I made my first batch of vegetable broth for the season. My "recipe" is so easy (and sorry for the lack of pictures, it's late and I didn't feel like getting out my camera...) I simply collect scraps of veggies from throughout the week such as: broccoli stems, the hard vein of greens, carrot tops/shreddings, and leftover uncooked vegetables that are about to go bad, and anything else on hand (especially lots of herbs and spices). I throw all of it into a large stock pot, cover with water, and simmer for about an hour. This week, I had some cranberries leftover (story to follow) so I added those and t gave the broth a nice pink hue and a little bit of a stronger taste. After the veggies are finished, I strain the broth and freeze it and chop the super soft veggies to put in a pocket pie.
Cranberries: My first attempt at drying cranberries was a major fail, but I learned how to do it right for next time. I thought that I could just stick the berries in the dehydrator and let it do its thing. Well, the berries got dry alright; after 3 days and the insides were hollow! I learned that before dehydrating, you need to either cut each cranberry in half or blanch them to break the skin.
Pocket Pie: I like to make my own version of pies (like the ones you hear about from old London times). Basically, I take unbaked bread dough (like the sourdough that I have been religiously using), roll it out to about 1/8" thickness, spoon the veggies in with some fresh herbs/spices, garlic, a little salt, and sometimes tomato sauce/cheese. You can also play with the flavors. Adding teriyaki sauce and pineapple would be good. It all depends on your taste preference and what you have on hand. This is one of the best quick and healthy dinners that practically cost you nothing!! Please try and let me know what you did and how it turned out :)
I am also going to try to make my own homemade vanilla extract! I found a great recipe from here! A customer from my work said that you only need 3 pods per cup of alcohol! This can make so much vanilla extract! Yes, the initial cost is pricey, but the outcome is amazing and will actually save you a great deal of money. Not to mention the fact that this would make a great gift for the holidays to those of your friends that bake a lot!!!!
Whew! I guess I had more to say tonight than I expected, but it's time to retire and hit the books one more time before bed!