About this time of year I’m so sick of winter I could scream. Given the horrific blizzard we had a few weeks ago that feeling has multiplied exponentially. Add to this a little homesickness and a craving for some quality mommy time (yes, I still say mommy) and the normal dream of garden beauty or plans for family vacations aren’t enough to get me out of my doldrums. Today I need the dreams of warmer weather AND some homey comfort. The answer was to whip up a batch of Jamaican Meat Patties.
If you live anywhere on the East Coast you experienced some form of the nasty nor’easter that blew through a week ago. After three days of healthy, home cooked meals I realized that I made a complete waste of quality time for sharing. With that in mind I remembered to grab my camera before starting in on an impromptu dinner delight.
Most of you do not know me personally so you’re not aware of my inability to follow a recipe. For me the kitchen is like an artist’s studio and my stove the canvas. I normally start preparing meals with a finished product in mind, and I may glance at recipes for guidance in terms of a flavor profile, but for the most part I just decide as I go. That being said please know that you can change up this recipe as you see fit and know that the measurements are as close to exact as I get.
I adore Thai basil!!! So much so that I completely over did it in the garden this year. One can only eat so much Thai food (especially if you’re not Thai), and even if you eat Thai daily each recipe only calls for so much. Since my plants were going to flower and I still have a few months of valuable growing time I figured it best that I figure out how best to preserve the bounty. Alas, Thai Basil Pesto.
The other night while shuffling through my mental rolodex – yeah, rolodex for those who remember the telephone – of dinner recipes I nodded off like a sleepy toddler. Bored to tears with my usual offerings I decided to channel my inner romantic and craft a meal of new love inspiration. I don’t know about you, but new love is like the viking’s siren to my inner chef. In the early days I plied my beau with such an array delicacies that we had to wind it back big time in avoidance of a new and much larger waisted wardrobe. That being said I still, every now and then, want to wow his taste buds in memory of the days of yore. Unfortunately it was late and I was feeling lazy so I had to make due with what I had on hand.
Having perused the contents of the fridge I realized I was going to have to dig whole lot deeper and open the freezer. Now I’m not one for buying pre-made items, but every now and then I see something that catches my eye so I purchase and pop it in the freezer for a later date. There in the icy depths I found shrimp, some lovely artisanal ravioli and leftover bacon from my twice yearly attempt to make breakfast for the family… that is a whole other post since no one likes to eat the same thing in the morning which drives me crazy. Awesome! I knew exactly what to make and it’d be quick and easy. Here’s the basics.
A few weeks ago I conquered growing my very own baby SCOBY. Now I’m going to tell you how to make and flavor your Kombucha. There are so many sites that offer great insight on brewing Kombucha. I can’t claim to have used one recipe, but rather combined a few processes and then developed flavors based on what I like.
First, you want to make sure that you are using the right ingredients. After I had started the process I found a great article on Cultures for Health that really helps you to understand the proper and best ingredients to use. Luckily, I had chosen the most highly recommended items so I’m feeling good about the outcome of my finished product. Let’s get started.
I am a kombucha fanatic though my wallet is not. After saving up a few empty bottles I figured it was time to do some research and start brewing my own. The main ingredient in brewing kombucha is a SCOBY. What is a SCOBY your ask? Why I will happily tell you.
First, let’s talk about what kombucha is. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been drunk around the world for centuries. It is well loved for its refreshing flavor and probiotic properties. The specific yeasts and bacteria in kombucha are what gives it its fizz and unique flavor. At the heart of the process is the SCOBY which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. The bacteria and yeast, like most couples, have a complex and mutually beneficial relationship that lead to the delishness we call kombucha.
Some folks may tell you that I don’t know how to bake, BUT it would be a fib. It is not so much that I do not know how, but rather an abhorrence for following directions. Yes, it is true, I like to do things my own way which – surprise, surprise – does not lend itself to baking. At least not baking well lol.
Today I decided to use up some over ripe bananas to make my daughter an after school snack. I found a quick easy recipe for Banana Breakfast Bars which I thought would make for a good lunch box stuffer as well. I tend to bake things that I know I have the ingredients for because I don’t like stock piling things like chocolate chips and marzipan…okay no one I know really stocks marzipan but still.
I admit it. I am a full fledge foodie…was a foodie before it was even a thing lol. I spent many years working in the industry, writing about food, reviewing restaurants and experimenting on my own. Most recently I’ve been growing my own food (see my Garden section) in hopes of expanding my family’s options.
My hope here is to share those recipes I’ve created as well as some of the great ones that I find. I can’t wait to eat with you and hear your thoughts on the menu items I share.