Laurentians Here we Come!

I am in need of a vacation. Nothing long. Just something to get me out of Ottawa for a while.

I decided the Laurentians would be a great diversion for a weekend. I found a beautiful, newly renovated cabin in Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard, for a song. This time of year offers great discounts between the summer and winter seasons.

lalto

I have yet to plan an itinerary, but I’m sure just relaxing, reading a book by the wood stove will great.

I’ll be sure to post pictures from this little excursion in December, after our trip.

How to Turn Tired Vegetables into Liquid Gold

Sauteing vegetables to make vegetable stock

Do you ever find yourself with tired, wilted veggies, that you don’t know what to do with? Don’t throw them out! Instead, use them to make beautiful, liquid gold: homemade vegetable stock.

Vegetable stock is the easiest of all the stocks to make. It only simmers for an hour, unlike the three or four hours meat or fish stocks require. It’s also a great base for soup!

Generally speaking, any vegetable except those from the cruciferous family can be used in a vegetable stock. Also, too many carrots can make the stock too sweet.

This afternoon, I made a batch of vegetable stock, knowing I would use it to make a pot of Minestrone Soup on Monday. I vary the stock recipe each time I make it, dependent on the vegetables I have available to me.

Here’s my Recipe for Vegetable Stock

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, well washed and chopped

4 medium onions, chopped

5 large carrots, peeled and chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped.

1 small rutabaga (about 1 cup), peeled and chopped

2 – 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely

1 small bunch of parsley

1 teaspoon of whole dried thyme

2 dried bay leaves

8 cups of water

Directions

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. I like to use a stock pot.

Add the vegetables and stir-fry for about 10-15 minutes to brown lightly.

Sauteing vegetables to make vegetable stock
Sautéing vegetables.

Add the thyme, bay leaves, and cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Strain the stock through a fine sieve of a cheesecloth-lined colander. Press or squeeze the vegetables to extract their liquid. Discard the vegetables.

Use the stock as called for in your favourite recipes or chill and freezer for later use.

What to do with your Stock

I saved my stock for a vegetarian Minestrone Soup to make on Monday. I’ll share that recipe with you later this week.

Hope you see just how easy it is to make your own homemade vegetable stock. Now you can put those tired vegetable to good use, and waste less in your kitchen!

Happy cooking!

Adventures in Wildlife Photography: A Sneak Peak

My boyfriend has discovered photography…and “confiscated” my DSLR. I’m actually delighted that he’s picked up a new hobby. He’s set his sights on wildlife photography. As such, we’ve gone out to the woods two weeks in a row, in search for all things wild.

While the weather has been cool and the colours gray and overcast, we have managed to get some great shots. I haven’t gone through all the photos yet, but here’s a sneak peak. I’ll be sure to post more images later.

Bird's nest at Mer Bleu Bog
Bird’s nest at Mer Bleu Bog

 

Taking photos down by the water
Taking a photo by the water at the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary

One Post a Day for NaBloPoMo this November

Image of the NaBloPoMo logo

Image of the NaBloPoMo logo

I have been trying to get this blog off the ground for some time, and I have come up with a million excuses.

I’ve decided to quit making excuses and start writing. What better time to start than today – the first day of National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo.

I’m committing to create one post a day, however short or long, every day in November.

I’m really excited to share all kinds of creative delights with you this month. Here’s to a creative life – one post a day!