October 13, 2011

Oyster Mushroom Update

I wanted to share an update on my oyster mushrooms. See this post for reference

It has been exactly one week since I started my kit, can you believe it?

Want to try it? Here is where I got my kit: http://www.backtotheroots.com/
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October 11, 2011

Tomato Tuesday: Salsa!

Back in my college years, my then roommates and I worked at a Mexican restaurant and they had the best salsa!
Since we were poor and the salsa was free, it was pretty much all we ate. 

The amount of salsa we consumed was quite alarming, really! What's even more alarming, is that I still crave it, it's that good.  I've made batch, after batch trying to recreate this smokey, smooth salsa and I finally did it.

Shopping list:
1. 6-8 fresh tomatoes. I used the last of the tomatoes from my garden, wow what a difference using fresh tomatoes makes!
2. 8-10 jalapenos
3. 4 garlic cloves
4. 1/4 of a cup of cilantro
5. Juice of one lime.
6. 2 T. of white vinegar
7. Liquid smoke, you can find this usually where you find BBQ sauce.
8. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Canola or olive oil.

1. Turn your BBQ on medium-high.
2. Slice your tomatoes and jalapenos in half (long way), removing the stems. You should remove some of the seeds from the jalapeno to reduce the heat. I usually leave about 25% of the seeds.

3. Coat the tomatoes and jalapenos completely with canola oil. I use a basting brush to do so.
4. Place the tomatoes on the grill, cooking each side for 5 minutes. Once the skin starts to fall off, they are done. Keep rotating the tomatoes so the skin becomes charred.
5. Add the jalapenos to the grill once some of your tomatoes are done and you have room to squeeze them in. Once the bottom of the jalapenos are charred, flip them. Remove them once the underside is charred again. Unlike the tomatoes you don't need to cook them. You are simply charring them.
6. Once you are finished cooking your tomatoes and jalapenos, set them aside to cool.

7. Once cool, remove the skin from the tomatoes ( I leave a little on as I like the charred taste).
8. Add  just the tomatoes and jalapenos, no liquid, to a food processor and blend well. Try to remove any excess water that has floated to the top of your food processor.
9. Now, add the garlic, cilantro, fresh squeezed lime juice, and vinegar.
10. The salt, pepper and Liquid Smoke should be added in small increments. The liquid smoke will add a lot of smokey flavor, which you may not need if you charred your tomatoes well.
11. I store my salsa in mason jars, it should keep 1-2 weeks!

I've got my chips and salsa, now I just need a margarita!
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October 10, 2011

Homemade Tortilla Chips

In preparation for my salsa post tomorrow, I thought I would share some tips on making your own tortilla chips.

I rarely buy tortilla chips, it's so easy to make your own and nothing can compare.


  • Corn Oil (you can also use canola or vegetable oil, I prefer corn oil)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salt

How to make them:
1. Place about an inch and a half of corn oil into a pan and turn the burner on high.
2. Cut your torillas into small wedges, strips, or whatever floats your boat.
3. Place tortillas into the oil. Make sure that none of the chips are on top of one another.

3. Once the bottom of the tortillas turn a hint of brown flip them with tongs.
4. Remove them from the heat once the bottom turns slightly brown again.
5. Place into a bowl or pan that has a few layers of paper towels on the bottom to catch excess oil.
6. Sprinkle with salt.
7. Repeat steps 3-6!

Tip: Try the first batch of chips once they are cool, if you notice they are a little soft but the outside seems well cooked, turn down the oil.

You will never buy store bought tortilla chips again!
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October 6, 2011

Growing Your Own Oyster Mushrooms

Who knew it was so easy to grow your own edible mushrooms at home! I'm always looking for new ways to eat fresh food that I grow. Not to mention keeping up my need to "garden" in the winter. Have you read my about me?

I came across this site: backtotheroots.com and ordered a kit immediately.

I got a little excited and ripped the box open before I realized I wanted to take a picture. 

They claim that you can grow up to 1.5 pounds of oyster mushrooms in 10 days. 
The first step is to slice a 3X5 inch "plus sign" in the front of the box (behind the cardboard cutout that I partially tore off above)

Next, you take the bag out of the cardboard box and soak it in water for 24 hours. After the ingredients in the plastic bag are completely soaked through, you place the plastic bag back into the cardboard box. 

You can keep your box on your kitchen counter, spraying it twice-a-day near the slits your created.

Can't wait to share my updates on this fun project!
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October 4, 2011

Tomato Tuesday: Time to harvest

Well Seattle, the rain is here.

That means it's time to harvest all your tomatoes. Although the temperatures are still warm enough during the day and night to allow you tomatoes to ripen on the vine, the rain is a major threat.

Too much moisture will cause your tomatoes to split and rot.

Image from tomatocasual.com

So it's time to harvest what is left. If they are completely firm, whip up some fried green tomatoes. If they are at all squishy, place them in a warm place to ripen!

I am going to be making salsa! Check back in next Tuesday for my recipe.
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