Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Lot Of Greatness Happened In Our Bodacious Kitchen This Week

In September, I served a fried chicken tender dinner that I was not proud of. That meal changed a lot of things for me. You can read about that here. Since then, I've incorporated more daily time in the kitchen to make more items from scratch for Lisa and me.

Our kid's meals and snacks are already homemade from lean meats, fresh produce, whole grains, and a little dairy.

Since writing that blog column, I've stepped up to the plate and made some scrumptious, homemade meals and snacks.

I have a list of items that we buy from the store that I want to start making homemade in our Bodacious Kitchen. One of the items on that list was flour tortillas.

Years ago when I traveled to the Dallas/Plano area in Texas for business several times a year, I would stuff my face with authentic Mexican food. My favorite was the homemade flour tortillas. Warm. Soft. Fresh. Addicting.

Once you have homemade flour tortillas, the store bought tastes like crap. It's like the difference between real maple syrup and Aunt Jemima.

This week, I made homemade, fresh flour tortillas. Absolutely delicious! They reminded me of the ones I ate in Texas.

I had quite a bit of pork left over from my apple pork dinner the other night. I took half and chopped it up with scallion and herbs. I shredded some sharp cheddar. I mixed everything together and made homemade Quesadillas.

We also had a lot of my herbed mashed potatoes left over from the other night. I used them to make one of Lisa's favorites...mashed potato cakes. This is what we ate with our Quesadillas.

So. Delicious.

I make homemade bread several times a week to go with our dinners and use for sandwiches in Lisa's work lunches. I'll also use it to make toast or breakfast sandwiches for Lisa's breakfasts.

Most weeks, I always have a little leftover bread. I use that to make my homemade croutons, bread crumbs, or I toast it up for stuffing. Leftover bread freezes well so none of it goes to waste.

A couple of weeks ago we went to our favorite apple orchard to buy apples, sugar pumpkins, winter squash, and a jar of Lisa's favorite homemade blackberry jam. It's a bit pricey, but it's made with only 2 ingredients. Blackberries and sugar. That's it.

I know how to make jam. I just don't know how to seal the jars in the hot water. I use the same method. Fruit and sugar. Boiled down until it's thick.

Instead of buying store-bought jam, I'm now making it homemade every week. One or two jars. This week, I used freshly picked raspberries that we had in the freezer from August.

At the end of the week, any leftover homemade jam will be used for a dessert. This week, I made a small batch of pie crust that was enough to make a dozen raspberry hand pies.

Leftover homemade jam can be used in a lot of the stuff that I bake for desserts and Lisa's work snacks. Her favorite are my hand pies, cookie bars, and coffee cakes.

Last night, we had a couple of our favorite humans over for dinner. I made a delicious lasagna using spinach and cheese ravioli instead of lasagna noodles, homemade bread, salad, and for dessert...a beautiful pumpkin crunch tart.

The next item on my list of foods to make homemade is...


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