...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Monday, December 16, 2013

On the I-don't-even-know-what-number Day of Christmas...

This time of year it gets busy.
It just gets too busy.
Still, you want to give your family healthy, hearty meals.
If only you could shave a little time off your cooking schedule somewhere to repurpose it toward gift-wrapping...
That's what I did today.  I started with veggies and broth that were leftover from a roast I baked--of course the roast was eaten whole by this house's meat-eating crew that very night I cooked it.  To those I added some fresh stew meat and a can of cream-of-mushroom soup to make a nice hearty stew. Nothing particularly original there.

But then, I pulled my Italian bread recipe for my bread machine and started playing with some of the ingredients. Nothing major--still flour, water, oil, yeast, etc. I did, however, go to my dried herb stash and do some browsing, eventually choosing rosemary for an herb base. Then I decide to throw in a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese as well. These changed up the flavoring of the bread just enough to make it "something different."  I'll open the jars of thyme and basil to blend into some olive oil for bread-dipping.  By the way, a couple of those herb jars are repurposed lemon curd jars. Dried herbs don't require that vacuum seal, so herb storage makes a great way to recycle those glass jars! 

And look what I managed to accomplish today thanks to the involvement of the crock pot and the bread machine:

Happy gift-wrapping!

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