Okay, today's post isn't that exciting, but I wanted to share a kitchen idea with you, one that I gained from Trent over at The Simple Dollar. I really appreciate the information that Trent posts, and the obvious amount of work that he has done to build a great blog.
The post I linked to above is about turning leftover vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away. Basically, take any scraps from the veggies you prepare (carrot ends, peeled skins, tomato cores, the center of bell peppers, etc.) and cook them in water with a little salt and pepper, and...Voila! Vegetable broth! I usually cook mine on the stove, I boil it for 20-30 minutes or so and then strain it, but Trent suggests the crock pot. The crock pot method is definitely great, because you don't have to watch it like you do a boiling pot of water.
The magic in this is two-fold: One, you're taking easy steps into resourcefulness - creating something new with items you already have. Second, you're stretching your dollar even further. Think about it. Say you pay $10 for raw produce, but you only use about 85% of the produce while cooking. If you throw away all the scraps, then you're only using 85% of what you paid for. When you use that remaining 15%, you've now eliminated the need to buy broth, plus you now have a great pre-made, homemade seasoning that cost you nothing (except the negligible cost of heating the water). You can use that broth in place of water when cooking rice, beans, quinoa, I've even used it when making savory pastries. It adds a depth of flavor that you can't get with plain spices.
Easily one of the BEST kitchen suggestions I've heard, and definitely my personal favorite. Try it out, let me know what you think of it!