My review of the homemade fruit and veggie wash

If you are on Pinterest, I am sure you have seen the homemade fruit and veggie wash recipe going around. It’s super easy and consists of white vinegar and water. I followed the recipe and filled my sink halfway with water and added 1 cup of white vinegar and let my fruit and veggies sit for 10 minutes.

I added broccoli for one specific reason. I wanted to see if it truly removed the wax. It’s hard to tell on apples and strawberries, so I used the broccoli as my tell tell sign.

Proof is always in the pictures when using a flash.

On this head of broccoli pictured above you can see where part of the wax was removed, but there are areas on the broccoli where it did not come off. I did swirl my heads of broccoli around in the vinegar mix to make sure it got in between the florets.

On this head of broccoli pictured above it didn’t do quiet as good of a job cleaning off the wax. I am not sure why there was such a difference, but there was.

Is this a good cleaner. Sortof, it’s absolutely better than water! Does it remove all of the wax? Well, you can see for yourself. I would definitely use this method again if I find myself in the predicament that I was in when I was cleaning these fruits and veggies (out of of Environe). Since I really am concerned about the trapped pesticides under the wax, I prefer Environe because it removes all of the wax. If you aren’t like me, and just want your fruits and veggies cleaner than with using water, please go with this recipe. It does seem to naturally remove the wax as you can see in my pictures. Happy cleaning!

Vicki’s Homemade Minestrone Soup

This is a super easy, filling soup that my friend Vicki Pauli, from Texas, gave me the recipe to. This is her creation and it’s a recipe you will want to try out. She is the same person who gave me the Best.Ever.Lasagna. Anytime she posts something and says it’s hers I usually try it out because she has never let me down. As we draw closer to fall, I know you will want to have this soup recipe in your recipe box! This recipe makes a very large batch. Large enough to feed our family of 5 twice. We froze our left overs and I am so happy we did so I could use them on a night when I didn’t want to be in a hot kitchen.
Minestrone Soup
What you need:
1 whole chicken or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 bullion cube
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 bag of mixed veggies (I use Bird’s Eye mixed vegetables for soup found in the frozen vegetable section)
1 box of shell pasta
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
First season your chicken with salt and pepper and carefully place it in a large stock pot of boiling water. Boil your chicken until it is cooked all the way through. I usually let mine boil for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on how thawed it was and how many breasts I am cooking. Once it is cooked, remove it from the water to cool and add your bullion cube to the same pot you cooked your chicken in. While your chicken is cooling, add your crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and mixed veggies into the stock pot. Let that simmer for a bit while you shred your chicken. Then add your box of pasta and your shredded chicken to the stock pot. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Let it slow simmer until the pasta is tender and cooked. Give it one last taste test to make sure your salt and pepper ratio is ok and serve with a side of corn bread.
If you make this soup, please let me know. I know you will love it and would love to give her the feedback. Thank you Vicki for sharing once again!

5 Cheese Tortellini


Made sauce with heavy cream and Fiesta blend cheese. I used Kale, diced tomatoes, onion & seasonings in this batch.

This recipe is on our rotation. We love this! What I love about this recipe is that you can add or take away and make a different version of it each time.

Galit gave me this recipe years ago and we have claimed it and made it ours.

What you need:
1 bag of cheddar cheese
1/2- 3/4 cup mozzarella
OR
1 bag Fiesta blend instead of Cheddar and Mozzarella

1 quart of half and half
OR
1 pint of heavy cream as well. (I use what we have on hand at the time)

1/2 bag spinach
OR
1/2 bag Kale

1 head of broccoli
OR
1 can diced tomatoes drained

1/2 medium onion chopped finely
a few shakes of Emeril’s Essence
a few shakes of Italian seasoining
1 tbsp minced garlic
pepper
1 bag of fresh refrigerated 3 cheese Tortellini

Let’s get cooking:

Saute your vegetables and garlic in olive oil and add your seasoning.

Make your tortellini according to package directions.

In a saucepan over medium heat combine half and half (or heavy cream) with cheese. Stir until cheese has melted and is well blended with the cream.

In a large bowl combine tortellini, vegetables and pour your cheese on top. Serve & enjoy!

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Made sauce with half & half, Mozzarella, and Cheddar. This batch has broccoli, spinach, onion & seasonings.

You haven’t had cabbage like this!

I love Pinterest. I do. I find my to do, to make, to sew list growing every time I log in. I came across this baking sheet of yumminess on a friend’s Instagram. I love cabbage. The man and the 3 Things do not. I know from experience with them that if it’s roasted they will all usually eat it. I went for it. To get the recipe, click on the picture or click here.

It was seriously good! When I made mine I didn’t add any lemon. Instead I drizzled olive oil on the cabbage, and sprinkled it with minced garlic and Emeril’s Essence. Glory, glory. It was good. So good. Thing 3 was the only one at the table who would have none of it. You.Must.Try.This! When you do, let me know what you think.

Roasted Asparagus

I have time for a quick post. This week has been a hectic week for us. I am hoping it will slow down next week. Did everyone get their first seasonal cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks? I did! I made a special trip up there this morning. It’s like ringing in fall for me… no matter how hot it is outside. I am ready to decorate our home for fall this weekend!

This recipe is too easy and SO good. I love asparagus and I have won the man and Thing 1 over with this recipe.

Cut the hard ends off of your asparagus. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. I like to line my sheet with tin foil, it’s easier to clean up that way. Brush olive oil on all sides of your asparagus. Be generous. Add salt and freshly pressed garlic. I use about 2-3 cloves for one bunch of asparagus.

Here’s mine before they were roasted.

Set your oven to 400 degrees and roast them for about 15 minutes. You want the ends nice and crisp.

These and roasted broccoli are my favorite. I can’t get enough of them when I make them. Try them out! Happy cooking!

Eggplant Parmesan

I have been on an eggplant kick lately. Normally I grill my eggplant after loading it up with olive oil and salt. A few times I have been able to coax Thing 1 to have a taste. At the end of the meal, I was the one who was still chowing down the eggplant. No one seems to appreciate this purple fruit..vegetable… like I do.

Last night I whipped up some Eggplant Parmesan and everyone at my table ate it. Things 1 & 2 thought it was chicken at first. Thing 1 is wise to me calling something “new” chicken so when she saw chicken already on her plate the questions began. I waited until she had almost eaten all of her eggplant parmesan and then I told her the truth about what she was eating. She looked at me incredulously and said, “really?” “Yes dear, when you don’t know what you are eating sometimes you are able to enjoy it for what it really is without the preconceived notions that you do  not like it.” Thing 2 didn’t care what it was, he ate it all. That’s my boy. I do believe I finally have some purple fruit.. or is it vegetable.. eaters in the house besides me. Hooray. One small fruit, uh vegetable at a time. Seriously, is it a fruit or is it a vegetable? I think it’s a fruit we eat as a vegetable. Something to chew on today.

Let’s talk about how I did it.

Things you will need:

1 good-sized eggplant

Italian bread crumbs

3-4 eggs (this depends on the size of your eggplant)

1 29 oz can of tomato sauce *1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce*

minced garlic

1 tbsp Parsley

1 tsp basil

Parmesan

Mozzarella or Cheddar

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees

Wash and dry your eggplant. Remove the skin. I don’t have one of those handy-dandy veggie peelers and the potato peeler doesn’t work very well on the eggplant so I use a knife to remove the skin. Just get ‘er done. Set your eggplant on its bottom and just cut straight down. After removing the skin, cut the ends off and start slicing. You will want your slices thin so that they will cook quickly.

Grab a cookie sheet and spray with Pam. After slicing your eggplant, dip each slice in egg and then dip in the Italian bread crumbs. Get them nice and coated and spread them on your cookie sheet in a single layer. I ended up using two baking sheets for mine. Place them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

While your eggplant is in the oven get your sauce ready. *If you normally use a particular spaghetti sauce you can use that* Pour about 1 tsp of olive oil in your skillet. Add 2 tbsp of minced garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add your can of sauce and stir. Add Parsley and basil and let it simmer until your eggplant is ready.

In a 9 x 13 dish you will want to layer sauce, eggplant, and cheese and end with your cheese. I did not have any Mozzarella. I forgot to add that to my grocery list so in the bottom layer I added Parmesan and Cheddar.

On the top layer I only added Parmesan. Sprinkle lots of basil on top. Set your timer for 20 minutes and place it back in the oven (uncovered).

Here’s a little secret. Last night was the first time I have ever had eggplant parmesan! I’ve had eggplant on pizza, grilled, in dips….but never like this. To me, my little dish was great. I hope you like it too!

Pasty… what is it?

Pasty… weird name, right? You are probably wondering what I am about to blog about. I am going to give you a recipe to my man’s favorite childhood meal, a pasty. The pasty originated in Cornwall. It was a meal that was made for lunch (talk about a heavy lunch) for miners. It is said that they would come to the surface covered in dirt and would hold on to the crust part of the pie to eat so that they wouldn’t get their whole meal covered in dirt. The pasty was also used to keep the miners warm… they would stuff the pocket in their jackets and hold onto it until the next meal. (so wikipedia and the man says).

So that’s great and all but you still don’t know what it is. It’s like a southern pot pie without the peas, chicken and juice. It’s a pie made with beef and vegetables. When we go up to northern Michigan (way way up north… like 2 hours from Canada north) they don’t come in the form of pies, they come in the form of pockets. You can pick one up at a gas station, in the form of a pocket (like the miners would have had it) wrapped in foil or wax paper. Unlike picking up cooked food from our gas stations, you will not get sick and you will love it and appreciate it’s warm goodness in the dead of winter during a blizzard… I know this to be true from my trips up there.

Want to know how to make one?

I use a rolled out pie crust
1 lb of ground beef
carrots (dice them small) (I use about 1 1/2 carrots)
onion (I use 1/2 a large onion)
celery (I used one stick)
potatoes (slice them as thin as you can, then dice them up).. (I used two large red potatoes, peeled)
butter (tub butter people-don’t show up with the stick stuff)
salt and pepper

Place your pie crust in your pie pan. I start with a layer of potatoes, onion, celery, carrots- then salt and pepper, THEN I put some beef (uncooked) in there…. then butter. Lots of little slices of butter.. more salt and pepper and I begin the layering again. If you don’t dice and slice your potatoes into small pieces you may have to bake your pastie longer.

Once you have run out of room or ingredients, place your other pie crust on top and pinch the sides together. Slice an x on top of the pie crust for ventilation and bake at 350 for an hour or until your veggies are cooked.

Ya’ll this was the best pasty I have made to date. I started learning how to make these when the man and I first got married. His mom was showing me how to make the crust from scratch. This was a great meal.

The great thing about these pies is that you can change the filling up. Sometimes we throw in squash and zucchini. Have a vegetarian you are feeding? Leave out the meat and fill it with lots of veggies. Its a great dish and other than the slicing and dicing, it’s pretty simple, yet very hearty.