Monday, July 30, 2012

Food: Carrots, Carrots, and cauliflower

I like to eat but I don't always like to cook.  Well that isn't exactly true, sometimes I am just to tired to cook or I don't want to make a meal from scratch.  Most of what I know about cooking I learned in the kitchen with my Granny. (I sure miss Marie.)   I'm not the best chef, but I love a challenge from time to time to flex my culinary muscles.  I volunteer at a local food bank often and sometimes end up with a surplus of certain food items.  After I give a some to my neighbors, I still have quite a bit left and I refuse to waste food. (Food ain't cheap, even for couponers.)The past two weeks I was blessed with an abundance of cauliflower and carrots.  Needless to say, I took on the challenge.

At first I was a little overwhelmed with the pounds and pounds of carrots that I had so I decided to blanch a few pounds and freeze them for a later time.  In the middle of the week everyone in my household was plagued with a summer cold so I used a few pounds of baby carrots, celery, egg noddles, and chicken for some homemade  soup.  I still had a ton of carrots left this morning so I spent 15 minute juicing about 4 pounds of carrots. I added a few apples which I thought would take away some of the overwhelming carrot flavor, but that didn't quite work.  I decided to mix my my homemade carrot juice with the same amount of Tropicana Orange-Tangerine Juice (the only orange juice that the hubs will drink) and that did the trick.  I've been drinking it all day and it is wonderful.

If you have ever juiced, you know that it is inevitable that you are going to end up with some type of pulp.  The pulp was perfect for carrot cake cupcakes  that I was planning on making today, it was the exact amount that I needed.  I have only made carrot box cakes in the past, but I am so glad that I made it from scratch today.  I have not quite become confident in my baking skills enough to make my own recipe, so I used Alton Brown's recipe on  I even made the frosting from scratch and it turned out great.  They were so flavorful. We still have a few pounds of carrots left, so I will probably juice again and make some carrot-banana bread or a carrot salad.

I haven't used any of the cauliflower yet, but tonight I may make some garlic mock mashed potatoes.  I am always looking to add to our families menu, especially with a picky toddler and a selective husband.  I will also be making garlic mock mash potatoes, using the cauliflower which I hope I can add to our ever growing family menu, especially since the oldest Tot in my house doesn't eat much.

I know there are tons of dishes that can be made of of both cauliflower and carrots, what are some of your favorites?

Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks

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