Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Versatility of Chopped Vegetables

Namely, onions.

Red, yellow, white onions add amazing fragrance and flavor to dishes. Usually, I go with red or yellow. Then I dice the onions. Heat (Medium Heat) up about a tablespoon (or two) of oil (olive or grapeseed) in a pan. Throw the diced onions in and stir with a wooden spoon. I read that you are supposed to cook with a wooden spoon and serve with a metal one. The reason you cook with the wooden spoon is to protect your pots and pans from scratches. It takes about five minutes.

After you have translucent diced onions, you can add garlic. Do not add garlic too early or else it will burn.

That should make many of your dishes more flavorful.  ONIONS and GARLIC.  Mmm...the house will smell wonderful!!

What I like to do is add other veggies too. In this photo, diced italian squash and mushrooms are in the onion-garlic mix. (Add bell peppers for more color and vitamin C. In this case, I already diced enough and decided to save the bell pepper for a dish the next day.)

I was making my pasta sauce chunkier.  All I do after is pour the pasta sauce of my choice.
Sure, the label claims that it is "Chunky" but I make mine much chunkier. I feel that it isn't worth making my own red pasta sauce since the cost of the ingredients and amount of time and effort would be much more than grabbing it at the store since I usually buy mine for $1 in bulk when it is on sale. Make sure when you buy sauces from jars that there are no artificial flavors. *Didn't take a photo of the chunky pasta sauce.* I was too hungry.

With the diced sauteed vegetables, not only could you make it part of your pasta sauce.. You can also add the mixture to an omelette, casserole, crepe, enchilada, mapo tofu, etc. The possibilities are endless.

ONIONS and GARLIC are your friends!!

TIP: Making your own minced garlic.
After you peel the garlic (or just buy peeled garlic), place it in a mini blender. Pulse a little to create minced garlic. Keep it refrigerated in a glass jar.  Whenever you need it, it is in the jar instead of having to do all the work every time you cook. ;)

p.s. Happy Pi (3.14) Day!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pictures from my Backyard...

It has been a warm summer in Southern California. Previously, I had removed tons of daffodil bulbs.  They were everywhere.  Planted some things in its place.  In mid-January, I planted some tulips which usually are to be planted in late-nov or december but my mom gave them to me since her soil was too hard this winter.  After a very short five weeks, these were the first of them to bloom...

A view of some rocks and decorations in my backyard.

For anyone who is curious about the status of my herbs that I tried planting from seed, here they are sprouting..

The area on the top left with the dirt was supposed to sprout chives. The basil and parsley sprouts are pictured above.

Here is another interesting tidbit..  Last year, I planted some tulips just anywhere since I just wanted to get the bulbs in the ground.  They bloomed.  Well, the area is pretty shady and we don't water it either. But this time around magically, the one tulip from last year became three!!  Take a look..

Happy spring time!!!  My favorite season...bright colors, more daylight, happiness all around... ;)

Don't forget that Daylight Savings comes early (about 5 weeks this time)...March 11, 2012 @2am.  We spring forward this weekend. Woo-hoo!!