Author Topic: Cook-everything-from-scratch October  (Read 20387 times)

StetsTerhune

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Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« on: September 26, 2013, 06:56:37 AM »
I started the year out really well with cooking, but have been slacking quite a bit lately. Not bringing lunch to work, an occasional pizza or take-out.  Combine that with fall coming, which means I can bake without my apartment becoming 120 degrees. Combine that with a few pounds packed on by my usual end-of-summer hedonism.

So here's my challenge to myself: for the month of October I am not going to consume anything that isn't cooked from scratch (either by me, my wife, or someone I know personally).

Obviously, "from scratch" isn't a very definitive term. I've decided not to be terribly strict about it -- the point is just to force myself to cook every meal, while slightly stretching my cooking boundaries.  My basic rule is that anything  being used as a cooking ingredient or condiment is ok, but anything I can easily make myself I will.  This means baking bread, making pasta from scratch, but I'm not going to try to worry about making hoisin sauce, for example. I haven't yet decided on frozen/canned fruits and vegetables, but I'm thinking I'll probably use them if there isn't a good fresh alternative available.

Half-Borg

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 07:48:11 AM »
Count me in, I'm excluding canned stuff and sauces, but will include lunch at work for the two weeks I'm working in October. Lunch is employer subsided and really not worth skipping for me.

RootofGood

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 07:57:33 AM »
I'm not quite that hard core of a chef to do everything from scratch (especially bread and pasta!), but we come pretty close (although plenty of raw ingredients come from a jar or can). 

I'll be curious to hear updates and challenges you face.  Along with meals you made and if you cheated any.  Also curious about the time required. 

Good luck! 

Half-Borg

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 08:23:38 AM »
I'm not totally sure what pasta is.
I'm not going to make noodles by hand, but I will make sauces from fresh ingredients and spices. That's actually quite easy, just slice up a bunch of veggies and cook & stir until it's a gooey mass.

Russ

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2013, 08:42:46 AM »
I'm in, with the exception of food that someone else pays for. I get a lot of free food at work, plus my parents are visiting and are going to want to take me out for dinner or something.

I'd love some new recipes too, so if anybody makes something awesome please share! For starters, here's the Mustachian Recipe Index, which includes every forum recipe except those added in the last month (which will be added soon!)

jfer_rose

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 08:58:05 AM »
My kitchen is under construction and I have been eating such crap!!!!!!!! So I am totally in for this. Depending on when my kitchen is finished, I may start a few days late, but I will participate as soon as I regain the ability to cook anything from scratch.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 01:48:44 PM »
So I cooked a double recipe for dinner last night (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/12/dining/the-minimalist-a-condiment-gets-to-shine.html) which I also ate for lunch today. Plain Yogurt with some jam for breakfast. Planning on making a pizza for dinner tonight.

Also made a big pot of black beans last night, and hoping to make some granola bars and a pot of soup tonight -- I think the key for me is building a buffer of things in the fridge/freezer that I can grab when I don't have time to cook right then.

So far I'm really excited about this, it's fun to be back into cooking though I know there are going to be some difficulties. My sister asked if I could stop by one evening this week to help her with something and my first thought was "How will I manage to eat something homemade for dinner?"

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 02:01:43 PM »
great idea! I am in - with the exception of using a gift card that we got for our wedding for a lunch date sometime in the month.

Russ's recipe index is totally awesome and a great place to start!

My personal goal is to start those "from scratch" things I have been putting off...like the variety of kefir and yogurt starters I have been hiding (forgetting about) in my fridge

kdms

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 10:59:13 AM »

I've decided not to be terribly strict about it -- the point is just to force myself to cook every meal, while slightly stretching my cooking boundaries. 


I'm in...we already do most of our stuff from scratch, including the breads and pasta, but we've also been getting lax about hitting the pizza place a couple of times a month, and Tim Horton's is showing up more and more on the bank statements.  Not good, or healthy, and it's not like we don't have plenty of food in the fridge and freezer to work with.

I'm also looking forward to trying things I keep putting off....finally made lemon curd from scratch the other day and with the way it disappeared, I'm clearly going to have to make it again.  :)


swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 01:17:35 PM »
I'm also looking forward to trying things I keep putting off....finally made lemon curd from scratch the other day and with the way it disappeared, I'm clearly going to have to make it again.  :)

I love making homemade lemon curd! The danger when making things from scratch is finding out how easy it is for some things to make :)

athomeintheworld

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 01:36:47 PM »
I'm in.  Cheaper and healthier!  Favorite websites for recipes? 

I like 100daysofrealfood.com

RootofGood

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 02:04:06 PM »
I love making homemade lemon curd! The danger when making things from scratch is finding out how easy it is for some things to make :)

Or your home cooked food is so good you can't stand to eat at restaurants or eat prepackaged junk food.  That has happened now with my kids and their prepackaged breakfast muffins and pancakes at school.  They know what fresh ones taste like so don't care for the junk food variety.

4alpacas

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 02:29:56 PM »
Favorite websites for recipes? 

I like Budget Bytes.  I'm just moving into the cooking at home arena, so I appreciate the step-by-step pictures and simple recipes.

RootofGood

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 04:07:44 PM »
I bought pasta bolognese at the (pretty good) Italian restaurant where my knitting group mets. My husband sampled the leftovers, and we both agreed. Mine's better. *sigh*

Mrs. Rootofgood and I just had the same experience recently with a dish I made similar to one at Macaroni Grill.  The Macaroni grill meal was $30 for the two of us at a minimum incl. tax and tip.  We make it at home and get probably 4 meals for 2 of us out of it.  White sauce with bacon/pancetta, peppers, capers, chicken and seafood (although we stuck with chicken which we liked better).  Total cost for us at home was under a buck per large meal, and prep time wasn't much more than drive time to/from Mac Grill.  My version was at least as good, and way less salty. 

That's what I mean - hard to go to restaurants when you cook well at home. 

NinetyFour

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 05:55:18 PM »
I'm in.  In fact, I'd like to do this for the rest of 2013.

My only exceptions are soy milk and tofu--I won't be making them from scratch!

4alpacas

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2013, 10:52:49 AM »

That's what I mean - hard to go to restaurants when you cook well at home.

I'm still working on the second part!   I am usually too tired to go to restaurants after work, but I do have the problem of convenience food.  A frozen pizza happens about once a week in my house. 

Russ

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2013, 11:02:18 AM »
Just wanted to share this month's first challenge for me. Hopefully it will inspire somebody else in the same situation later in the month.

So last night I had to work late and ended up getting home super tired. I really didn't want to cook dinner, which was fine for then because I don't get very hungry at night, but I wouldn't have any leftovers to take for lunch. So I got up early this morning and cooked! It really only took 10 minutes extra (which I was pleasantly surprised by), since I was able to get ready for work while everything was on the stove. I probably would've bought lunch at work otherwise. Success!

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2013, 11:35:10 AM »
What did you end up making in the morning Russ?

I have been making a soup or stew pretty much every night since it started getting colder. Right after supper I have been portioning out the left overs into individual freezer portions for lunches and those nights I'm just not going to want to cook.

Loving how my house smells all day making crockpot chicken & stock:)

jfer_rose

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2013, 01:44:10 PM »
I'm so happy to hear everyone's updates! I hope to join in over the weekend. My kitchen is nearing completion and I very much look forward to removing the layer of construction dust and unboxing the pots, pans, and other supplies so I can get started with cooking everything from scratch.

Russ

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2013, 02:09:10 PM »
What did you end up making in the morning Russ?
Standard Russ-food, nothing terribly interesting. 1 green bell pepper, 2 small onions, 2 tomatoes, .5 lb meat, sautéed in coconut oil. I didn't have time to make rice, but that's what I usually cut the expensive things with. Sometimes I add other vegetables, but not today.

I know enough that I can make hella fancy things when I want to (thanks dad!), but usually I just cook enough to get food in my tummy.

Quote
I have been making a soup or stew pretty much every night since it started getting colder. Right after supper I have been portioning out the left overs into individual freezer portions for lunches and those nights I'm just not going to want to cook.

Loving how my house smells all day making crockpot chicken & stock:)
One actually interesting food thing that I've started doing (on recommendation of the forums) is saving my vegetable and meat scraps in the freezer to make stock. Made my first batch over the weekend and boy is it good. I used most of it as rice cooking liquid the other day, and I'm thinking about making soup with the rest, although there's not that much. Never again will I throw away free flavor (and smells!).

jflo

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2013, 05:10:49 PM »


Quote
I have been making a soup or stew pretty much every night since it started getting colder. Right after supper I have been portioning out the left overs into individual freezer portions for lunches and those nights I'm just not going to want to cook.

Loving how my house smells all day making crockpot chicken & stock:)
One actually interesting food thing that I've started doing (on recommendation of the forums) is saving my vegetable and meat scraps in the freezer to make stock. Made my first batch over the weekend and boy is it good. I used most of it as rice cooking liquid the other day, and I'm thinking about making soup with the rest, although there's not that much. Never again will I throw away free flavor (and smells!).

Totally w/ you on that.  I have a large freezer bag that holds meat & veg scraps.  Even been caught saving my chicken bones at work to take home to the freezer bag.  It really doesn't get much easier than crockpot stock.  Whatever I don't use in a couple of days just goes back in the freezer until the next time I need stock.

Another gem - crockpot carmelized onions.  Slice up several onions, put a few pats of butter in, crock on high for several hours, and occasionally stir to make sure some of the onions don't stick to the side walls and burn. I have no problem coming up w/ ways to use them though - pizza, grilled cheese, omelet, french onion soup, whatever.  Onions are super cheap, but carmelized ones make food taste fancy.
 As much as I love the smell, I do keep the crockpot on the porch while doing this one. 

Osprey

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 01:21:50 AM »
I bought pasta bolognese at the (pretty good) Italian restaurant where my knitting group mets. My husband sampled the leftovers, and we both agreed. Mine's better. *sigh*

Mrs. Rootofgood and I just had the same experience recently with a dish I made similar to one at Macaroni Grill.  The Macaroni grill meal was $30 for the two of us at a minimum incl. tax and tip.  We make it at home and get probably 4 meals for 2 of us out of it.  White sauce with bacon/pancetta, peppers, capers, chicken and seafood (although we stuck with chicken which we liked better).  Total cost for us at home was under a buck per large meal, and prep time wasn't much more than drive time to/from Mac Grill.  My version was at least as good, and way less salty. 

That's what I mean - hard to go to restaurants when you cook well at home.

This is the reason MrOsprey and I stopped eating at Italian restaurants. His pasta dishes are so much better even compared to the high end, "good" places. I am hoping for a similar process with all other kinds of food as our skills improve: we have steak grilling down to an art but next up is Mexican and then Indian.
September "no fast food" was a failure but I learned a lot. So count me in for Cook-everything-from-scratch October!

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2013, 09:56:56 AM »
Victory! (well mostly)

Made a HUGE pot of steel head and white fish bisque for supper as I was craving Lobster Bisque from my favorite fancy restaurant ( an 18 hour and one country drive away)

All from scratch except for some Lobster Better then Bullion (which is awesome stuff) I figure this little cheat is okay since it stopped me from going out and buying a few lobsters to make stock out of.

I got 12 servings for about 7.00 worth of ingredients (darn tasty fish) so saved approximately $113.00 over going out for the same amount, not including tips and travel :)

What is everyone else making?

Russ

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2013, 10:13:08 AM »
Victory! (well mostly)

Made a HUGE pot of steel head and white fish bisque for supper as I was craving Lobster Bisque from my favorite fancy restaurant ( an 18 hour and one country drive away)

All from scratch except for some Lobster Better then Bullion (which is awesome stuff) I figure this little cheat is okay since it stopped me from going out and buying a few lobsters to make stock out of.

I got 12 servings for about 7.00 worth of ingredients (darn tasty fish) so saved approximately $113.00 over going out for the same amount, not including tips and travel :)

What is everyone else making?

I'm not a huge fish fan, but if I was I'd be super jealous of anybody who gets to eat your soup.

I made lavender rice yesterday with what I have left over from some lavender-earl grey scones I tried to make. It was alright (better than the scones at least). Gonna try it in some cream sauce next week. I really want to make some lavender & honey ice cream, but there aren't any cheap ice cream machines on CL right now and I don't want it enough to make it by hand :-P

ace1224

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 10:15:12 AM »
i will be furiously batch cooking all day sunday to avoid the "but i don't wanna cook".  this one is hard, but i'm going to jump in and try.  i can cook well, and have even taken classes, i just love going out to eat, even if i can make it better at home.
so i'm going to not go out.

tonight we're having ranch burgers and homemade fries

NinetyFour

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2013, 10:33:14 AM »
Unless I just go straight to bed when I get home from work (got up at 4 this morning), I will saute/stir fry garlic, ginger, onions, collards, and carrot slices.  I will serve it over some quinoa and throw in some chick peas that I have already cooked.  Yum.

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2013, 10:54:14 AM »

I'm not a huge fish fan, but if I was I'd be super jealous of anybody who gets to eat your soup.

I made lavender rice yesterday with what I have left over from some lavender-earl grey scones I tried to make. It was alright (better than the scones at least). Gonna try it in some cream sauce next week. I really want to make some lavender & honey ice cream, but there aren't any cheap ice cream machines on CL right now and I don't want it enough to make it by hand :-P

Aww thanks, Russ:) Lavender rice sounds interesting, the ice cream idea sounds great! I made some Lavender earl grey tea shortbread cookies once, my mom liked them, but all I could think of when I was eating them is "i just don't get it"

Going to start a batch of crockpot Chai concentrate this morning the cold rain and sleet are getting tiresome.

I love hearing what everyone else is doing :)

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2013, 02:51:23 PM »
Going to start a batch of crockpot Chai concentrate this morning the cold rain and sleet are getting tiresome.

Holy crappers, rain and sleet?  It is 87 right now in North Carolina and I thought it was fall.  This time of year is amazing because some of you are in what I call winter, and us in the South are still in summer!

I'm waiting for cool weather too to cook some good cool weather dishes.  Lot easier to let a crockpot or oven run all day to slow cook if you need the heat in the house anyway! 

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2013, 03:05:27 PM »
I bought pasta bolognese at the (pretty good) Italian restaurant where my knitting group mets. My husband sampled the leftovers, and we both agreed. Mine's better. *sigh*

Mrs. Rootofgood and I just had the same experience recently with a dish I made similar to one at Macaroni Grill.  The Macaroni grill meal was $30 for the two of us at a minimum incl. tax and tip.  We make it at home and get probably 4 meals for 2 of us out of it.  White sauce with bacon/pancetta, peppers, capers, chicken and seafood (although we stuck with chicken which we liked better).  Total cost for us at home was under a buck per large meal, and prep time wasn't much more than drive time to/from Mac Grill.  My version was at least as good, and way less salty. 

That's what I mean - hard to go to restaurants when you cook well at home.

This is the reason MrOsprey and I stopped eating at Italian restaurants. His pasta dishes are so much better even compared to the high end, "good" places. I am hoping for a similar process with all other kinds of food as our skills improve: we have steak grilling down to an art but next up is Mexican and then Indian.
September "no fast food" was a failure but I learned a lot. So count me in for Cook-everything-from-scratch October!

We have mexican down pretty good.  Empanadas, tamales, shredded chicken/pork, regular ground beef of course.  Even made my own tortillas which was incredibly easy, but not that much better than store bought (and not much cheaper). 

We have done great with indian too.  Many of our indian curry dishes from scratch end up thai/indian, since the old coconut milk makes a frequent appearance (Mrs RootofGood is Thai).  We buy the 2 pound tubs of curry from the local asian grocery and use that stuff liberally! 

For awesome butter chicken, we buy Butter Chicken Curry paste from amazon.  Kitchens of India brand.  Not sure if buying curry packages counts as "from scratch" but I'm a realist.  I can make awesome butter chicken healthier than the Indian restaurant, and for ~$1.50/lb instead of $6-9/lb the Indian restaurants charge for take out. 

We also do Pad Thai and Vietnamese noodles/Pho. 

Our fridge is so full of awesome left overs right now.  It will be unpossible to go out to eat this weekend. 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 03:08:56 PM by RootofGood »

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2013, 03:36:59 PM »
Oh Yum! RootofGood, looks awesome!

Our fall isn't very fallish, kinda just a precursor to the 7 months of snow we get. Spending a few falls in the US is definitely on my life bucket list. The sights and sounds and tastes and colours...

I'm a little jealous :)

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2013, 04:49:28 AM »
Rootofgod, that looks amazing! You guys are awesome. I am south-east asian so coconut milk tends to make an appearance frequently in our kitchen too. Trying to go for "authentic takeaway" a la the indian place down the road though ;)
Getting hungry just looking at those pics...

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2013, 05:11:44 PM »
I love making homemade lemon curd! The danger when making things from scratch is finding out how easy it is for some things to make :)

Or your home cooked food is so good you can't stand to eat at restaurants or eat prepackaged junk food.  That has happened now with my kids and their prepackaged breakfast muffins and pancakes at school.  They know what fresh ones taste like so don't care for the junk food variety.

I bought pasta bolognese at the (pretty good) Italian restaurant where my knitting group mets. My husband sampled the leftovers, and we both agreed. Mine's better. *sigh*

I had some older milk in the fridge that I had to do something with (raw, so it didn't go rancid, just sour) and holy cow, was I ever surprised at how easy it was to make ricotta cheese.  And we've also gotten to the point where we don't go to restaurants not just because of the cost, but because we generally feel sick or off kilter afterwards - don't know what they're cooking with and I guess our systems just aren't used to it anymore - and we just don't want to feel like that.

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2013, 08:03:54 PM »
Made some homemade Naan for supper, was actually easy (with two people, one to roll and one on the stove)

We made 16 Naan for about 50 cents worth of ingredients. Our local store sells packages of two for 3.99 - savings of $32.00! and ours were MUCH better :)

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2013, 08:10:53 PM »
Made some homemade Naan for supper, was actually easy (with two people, one to roll and one on the stove)

We made 16 Naan for about 50 cents worth of ingredients. Our local store sells packages of two for 3.99 - savings of $32.00! and ours were MUCH better :)

Awesome, what's the recipe?  We just made butter chicken curry and realized we had no naan.  And it is definitely expensive.  I'd like to try making my own.

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2013, 08:37:31 PM »
I used this recipe:
http://food52.com/blog/8434-homemade-naan

Except I just used my mixer instead of doing it all by hand. Also, I substituted sour cream for the yogurt, because that's what I had (go figure the one time in probably a year I didn't have plain yogurt in the fridge)

If you use butter it might burn, we did some with butter, some with coconut oil and some without brushing anything on them, they all turned out well.

I would also add a little salt to the dough, after cooking and eating the first one we sprinkled a little salt on each before going onto the stove.

Have to say I like the stove top dry pan method. The one other time I tried to make Naan it said to do in the oven, which I did at my husband's (then freshly dating) parent's house - and just about broke their stove with lots of loud beeping and error messages talk -  about a first impression :)

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2013, 08:58:15 PM »
Thanks for the recipe, Swick.  I think I'll be having homemade naan for dinner with the leftover butter chicken curry.  With the sour cream substitution.  I'll probably make a half batch to start out.  Seems like a whole batch makes a lot of naan.

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2013, 09:00:58 PM »
It makes quite a bit, but freezes nicely too, and I am going to be having a toasted or maybe panini pressed peanut butter and banana naanwhich for breakfast tomorrow:)

RootofGood

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2013, 09:12:41 PM »
It makes quite a bit, but freezes nicely too, and I am going to be having a toasted or maybe panini pressed peanut butter and banana naanwhich for breakfast tomorrow:)

Oh that naan looked so good I was getting hungry.  Unfortunately it is cut my own hair time and bed time.  Until tomorrow, naan. 

Heh, naanwich.  Nanner naanwich. 

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2013, 06:15:21 PM »
Just came across this site recommendation in another thread, looks like it has lots of options for homemade "Convince foods"

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/homemadeconveniencefoods.htm

Bought an on sale spiral cut ham so today is ham and potatoes with homemade cheese sauce oh and roasted broccoli. I am also making ham stock from the bone and trying to render the fat into lard. Not sure if this is going to work, but figured it was worth a shot :)

Russ

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2013, 06:32:36 PM »
Not sure if this is going to work, but figured it was worth a shot :)

My old roommates and I used to have a saying: "Cooking advances through disproof." If it doesn't work, at least you learned something (and it was probably fun too!)

Over the weekend I made some rockin' lentil soup. My lentils usually turn out pretty crunchy, but it turns out the trick must be to use the red ones. I had never done this before the other night and they turned out so much more tender and delicious than usual!

Tonight was chicken, vegetables, and rice with cheesy bechamel sauce (probably has some other fancy name but I don't know what it is). Very filling, which I like.

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2013, 07:57:14 PM »
Not sure if this is going to work, but figured it was worth a shot :)

My old roommates and I used to have a saying: "Cooking advances through disproof." If it doesn't work, at least you learned something (and it was probably fun too!)

So true, nothing ventured, nothing gained! It actually did work and managed to get a little lard and some cracklings out of it.

I LOVE red lentils, I make a dal or red lentil soup probably once every week or so. Lots of good recipes out there for Turkish red lentil soup, a little squeeze of lemon at the end makes it great :)

FI@2022Jem

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2013, 11:17:44 PM »
I'm jumping in a bit late but I want to get all these updates!

Russ,
My trick with green lentils (because I never remember to soak them) is to bring them to a boil for ten minutes then drain and set aside, then follow the recipe as normal. 

For example here is my favorite Greek lentil soup recipe.  It is so easy to modify! Basic recipe:
-boil two cups lentils for ten minutes, drain and set aside.
-Saute 2 cloves minced garlic and two chopped onions in 1/2 cup of olive oil for five minutes
-add 2 large chopped carrots, 8 cups water/or broth (it's delicious with just water), add back the lentils, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper and bay leaves to taste and simmer covered for ten minutes (plus whatever other veggies and spices you like)
-add 2 tablespoons tomato paste (of half a cup tomato sauce, some salsa, ketchup in a pinch...) and simmer covered for 25-35 minutes. 

This soup is great on the first day, also great leftover and freezes well.  I serve it with a splash of vinegar (red wine vinegar is my favorite) or lemon juice, or sauerkraut, pickle juice... some kind of acid.

patrickza

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2013, 06:43:50 AM »
Count me in! (happy to say I can't remember the last time I ate at a restaurant or takeout, much to the gf's disappointment...)

kdms

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2013, 07:28:24 AM »
That lentil recipe looks really good (ie easy) and lentils are so high in calories (very important for me, struggling to keep the weight on) that I'm going to have to try that.

With the post of the naan recipe, I am now one step closer to making my own current favourite take-out breakfast....the Subway egg sandwiches on flatbread.  The only thing left is the dressing - does anyone have a good ranch dressing recipe they can share?

On another win - ran out of soy sauce while making up a marinade for wild goose jerky, and rather than wait an hour for the store to open and use the gas to run out and buy, found a recipe online and had the missing two cups made up in under 30min using other ingredients I already had in my fridge and pantry.  Score!

ace1224

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2013, 07:52:06 AM »
i almost failed last night but i rallied and made knock off lettuce wraps that were surprisingly easy and good.  i'm glad i did it instead of picking up salads on the way home.  the best part was i had everything i needed in the kitchen already

swick

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2013, 09:22:37 AM »
On another win - ran out of soy sauce while making up a marinade for wild goose jerky, and rather than wait an hour for the store to open and use the gas to run out and buy, found a recipe online and had the missing two cups made up in under 30min using other ingredients I already had in my fridge and pantry.  Score!

Wait a sec, did you come up with another marinade, or come up with a substitute for soy sauce? If so, I would love to know what it is!

I found a couple of variations for Subway's Chipotle Ranch, which I will have to try, it's hubby's fave.
Half a cup of mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of minced cilantro
half teaspoon of paprika
half teaspoon of white vinegar
haldf teaspoon of water
quarter teaspoon of salt
quarter teaspoon of garlic powder
quarter teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of cumin.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and chill for an hour.
Enjoy!

and:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 ounce Dijon mustard
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce chipotle chile in adobo, pureed
1/4 ounce fresh garlic, minced
salt, to taste

Will keep looking for their ranch, but I think a copycat recipe of Hidden Valley Ranch would probably work pretty good.
 
i almost failed last night but i rallied and made knock off lettuce wraps that were surprisingly easy and good.  i'm glad i did it instead of picking up salads on the way home.  the best part was i had everything i needed in the kitchen already

Great job! I have to admit to an epic fail. We were out volunteering at a fundraising event  (firetruck pull) all day on Saturday and it was COLD. We didn't plan on being gone so long and a guy who is trying to start up a local business was selling homemade burgers...yup we caved. They were really good though.

kdms

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2013, 11:23:00 AM »
We use the wild jerky marinade recipe from NWEdibles site, and it calls for 1/4 cup of soy sauce for every 1lb of meat - we had 24lbs of goose to marinade, hence 6 cups required, and only 4 cups on hand..... 

Soy sauce substitute  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/soy-sauce-substitute/

4 tablespoons beef bouillon
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch white pepper
1 pinch garlic powder
1 1/2 cups water

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the beef bouillon, balsamic vinegar, molasses, ginger, white pepper, garlic powder and water. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.

If it wasn't so cheap at Costco (something like $3 for a 2L jug) I'd probably just make this and keep it on hand in the fridge.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 11:40:40 AM by kdms »

SisterX

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2013, 12:38:39 PM »
Yum, all of these recipes sound amazing!  I've bookmarked and written down a bunch of them.  Also, I forwarded the naan recipe to my coworker, who has recently started bringing in store-bought naan to make wraps with for lunch.  :)

Cooking from scratch, and not going to restaurants, isn't a particular challenge in my household because that's what we always do.  (My husband is really good at ethnic foods, I'm pretty good at casseroles and soups.)  However, it's the little extras that I don't frequently make.  Things we enjoy but wouldn't buy frequently anyway.  So last night, I made bagels.  Other than rolling them out (which will take some practice), it was super easy.  (And the last three I rolled out actually looked like store-bought bagels!)  Here's the recipe I used: http://hubpages.com/hub/Homemade_bagel_recipe_Make_great_nadrolled_water_bagels__its_as_easy_as_baking_a_loaf_of_bread

When the bagels run out, I'm going to try my hand at English muffins, so I can make breakfast sandwiches.  http://www.budgetbytes.com/2010/07/english-muffins/  (Yes, I could use regular bread for breakfast sandwiches, and have, but English muffins really add something to them.)

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2013, 06:57:06 PM »
It makes quite a bit, but freezes nicely too, and I am going to be having a toasted or maybe panini pressed peanut butter and banana naanwhich for breakfast tomorrow:)

Thanks so much for the recipe!  That naan was delicious!  Mrs RootofGood and the kids loved it too.  I made a second batch today.  Sour cream worked as a sub in the first batch, and I picked up some plain yogurt for the 2nd batch. 

One kid had the naan smeared in jelly.  We also used it as a pizza crust for another (picky) kid.  Then the kids put honey on some. 

I might try making a loaf of naan bread. 


kkbmustang

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Re: Cook-everything-from-scratch October
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2013, 07:15:15 PM »
Oh Yum! RootofGood, looks awesome!

Our fall isn't very fallish, kinda just a precursor to the 7 months of snow we get. Spending a few falls in the US is definitely on my life bucket list. The sights and sounds and tastes and colours...

I'm a little jealous :)

We don't really get fall either. We get about 3 months of hot, 6 months of OMG Hot and the rest is cold. I'm jonesing for some cooler weather right now.