Friday, March 28, 2014

Italian Spices

For spring break, my lucky roommate decided to go to Rome to visit her boyfriend.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to Europe over my spring break, but I did feel like I was there, because of the gift she brought back for me!

She got me Italian spices! Aka she is the best roommate ever!

This is one of my go-to, quick meals, a simple rice dish.  You can put different spins on this dish depending on how you are feeling by mixing up the spices.  I sometimes make it with curry and cumin or even basic salt and paper.

I loved using the Italian spices.  They were really flavorful, delicious, and even a little spicy!

Feel free to try my recipe or mix it up!

1 cup Rice
2 big handfuls Greens (these can be spinach, kale, or anything else, I had this Asia green from my farm box that I used)
1 handful Mushrooms

Cook the rice according to the directions.  

Add mushrooms and greens to a saucepan with some olive oil.  Add whatever spices after about 30 seconds, to allow the greens to cook slightly.  Cook until the greens have become a vibrant color.  Serve over rice.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Duck for Dummies

This week, I decided to cook a duck!  I have been wanting to try to cook duck ever since I got back from study abroad.  Duck is all over Eastern Europe, and when I went to Prague, I accidentally ordered an entire duck for myself.. whoops!  Anyways, it was delicious, and with some help, I managed to finish the whole thing!

Anyways, this weekend, I have some free time, because there isn't a frisbee tournament.  I decided to venture to Eastern Market.  This actually reminded me a lot of study abroad.  Every city I visitied, I tried to go to a market.  I hadn't been back to any market since I've gotten back to the states, and this was a nice reminder.  As I was walking around, I saw a sign for duck, so I sprang for one.  My duck, at 5.4 pounds, is wonderful!

Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  Keeping in mind, I was the girl that sat in my Professor's office hours and balled my eyes out the day before our fetal pig dissection because I was too afraid to dissect.  This time around, I had a minor panic attack when I opened up the duck package.  I could actually see the things I had to look at in Biology.  Weird.  Anyways, I got over this eventually, to go on with the recipe.  

I found this awesome recipe to use, with an apple butter glaze.  I decided to roast some potatoes from my farm box to round out the meal.  The cool thing is, I used both sweet potatoes and blue potatoes.  I really like the color combination.  

And... on with the show!

1 whole duck
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 Tb of fresh thyme
1 Jar of apple butter

Take duck out of package.  Inside the cavity, there should be the innards.  This is like the heart, kidneys, liver, and other things.  (Do not panic).  Remove them, and either, 1. Throw them away or 2. Save them for other things.  I decided to actually make pate with the liver (recipe is here), and I am going to make duck stock next week to freeze.  However, if panic arises, just discard them.  No harm done. 

Rinse duck with cold water and pat dry.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.  I used fresh, but dried would also work.  I also put some thyme inside the duck.  I thought this would be a good idea, but I'm not sure if it actually did anything.  Then, I put it in the oven at 450 for 10ish minutes.

After that, I lowered the temperature to 350.  Every 15 minutes or so, I brushed apple butter on.  This helps the apple butter flavors set in.  

Anyways, it turned out well!  Duck is a success!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sprout Jar

For those of you who came here for duck.  Stay tuned!  The duck did not defrost in time for me to post tonight, but it will be updated soon!

Anyways, in a pinch, the blog post for the week is SPROUTS! A while ago, I saw this awesome blog post from one of my favorite blogs, The Free People Blog.  Anyways, it detailed how to grow bean sprouts in the winter.  Then, when I was at the garden store, I saw the seeds, and I made an impulse purchase.  I am now a proud owner of a Sprout Jar.

It is really easy to do, and I encourage everyone to try this.  Bean sprouts are good on most everything, super healthy, and extremely easy.  I will update next week to let everyone know how they are doing!

Glass jar
3 Tb sprouting seeds


Put seeds in jar and fill a quarter cup of water.  Let sit for 4-8 hours. Drain.  Rinse 2-3 times daily, leaving the jar horizontally placed to allow sprouts maximum growth.  In about a week you will have sprouts!