I try to be as eco-friendly as possible, but our household has one horrible weakness: Magazines. My husband is obsessed with Entertainment Weekly (don’t tell him I told you that), and I got 5, count them, 5 free subscriptions for responding to a customer satisfaction survey. Many of them are food related.
Yes, a lot of the paper gets tossed in the recycling, but they don’t totally go to waste. I have a system, that goes like this:
1. Fold pages of favorite recipes.
2. Make giant pile of magazines with at least one folded page.
3. One day, go through and rip out all the folded down pages.
4. Place in magazine folder for undetermined amount of time.
5. Cut our recipes nicely, and tape into recipe notebook.
The magazine folder, is the recipe weigh station, if you will. A lot gets weeded through and
tossed out recycled when it comes time to actually put them into the book. On the left side are some longer articles that I’ve swiped from different magazines, as well as some brochures for animal sanctuaries, and a photocopy of natural body care and cleaning solutions I took from “How it All Vegan”, before I gave it away (not my fav), including 45 things to do with vinegar. It took me awhile to get on this “greener” bandwagon, even though I took that photocopy a few years ago, so I was happy to see it! Some snippets:
4. Deter ants. Spray vinegar around doors, appliances, and along other areas where ants are.
17. Treat sinus infections and chest colds. Add 1/4 cup or more of vinegar to a vaporizer.
23. Cut grease and odour on dishes. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water.
43. Freshen cut flowers. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar for each litre of water.
The right side is where I keep all the torn magazine pages, as well as any printed recipes that I really liked enough to possibly make again. Some examples are:
Those are actually all recipes that I had made ahead and froze while I was pregnant with Simon. The first two were great, I loved having the soup and muffins on hand for an easy snack (or lunch), especially those first few weeks. This is my favorite spanikopita recipe, and it defrosted perfectly (I left a review on the link as well). The peppers did not turn out so well defrosted, but were amazing the first time around. Remembering all this makes me want to make it again…which I guess is the point!
Everything on the right side of the folder are the clippings that are waiting to be cut up neatly and taped into my “scrap book”. Aka a spiraI notebook I had lying around 4 years ago when I started this. Had I known I was actually going to keep up with it, I probably would have chosen something a bit nicer. But now I’m attached to the little mink.
I know this all might sound kind of silly, but there are lot of great recipes in these magazines, even those that aren’t vegetarian (I get Bon Apetit and Rachel Ray Everyday), to name a few). If I didn’t have some kind of system, I’d never make any of them. That would be a waste.
Last weekend I went through months worth of magazine clippings, they’ve been piling up since before I was even pregnant with Simon. I currently have 79 pages of the book filled (yes, they’re numbered), but what immediately struck me when planning what to make for the week was on page 1. It also did not come from a magazine. It was a recipe for Zucchini Cakes that my aunt sent me a few years ago. I’ve made it before, but it needed to be made again. Today.
Zucchini “Crab” Cakes
Mix everything together in a bowl (get dirty, use your hands). Form patties, and pan fry in a mix of oil and margarine until golden brown on both sides.
Sometimes, we have dinner, and it is good. Its food. It did it’s job. But other times you eat food and are just happy. This is one of those meals. I first made this for my husband one summer when he was home on R&R from deployment and we were staying at the beach. I had to make it from memory and we had to go out and buy all the ingredients. I showed him the list, and he looked at me like I was nuts, and told me we would never find Old Bay at the store. After all, we were in Delaware. Not Maryland. And since I am not from Maryland, he was dumbfounded that I even knew what Old Bay was.
Obviously, my husband is from Maryland, the crab capital of the country. He thought Old Bay was a Maryland-only thing. Luckily it isn’t, because he loves these Zucchini “Crab” Cakes. I do wish I had to ability to really convey through my photos how good these are.
5-6 Tbsp Orange Juice, divided
1 tsp orange zest
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
1 1/2 cup couscous (about one box)
In a saucepan, add the water, oil, 3 Tbsp orange juice, and zest. Bring to boil. Add couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit until tender and all liquid is absorbed, 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add more OJ to your taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I didn’t tell my husband anything about the couscous, and while I was off photographing, and he was off eating, I hear: “This is good! It’s orangey!” As though it happened on accident, haha. He was an all around fan of this meal.
As was Simon. He is really a great little eater so far. I had tried giving him couscous a few weeks ago, and he didn’t know what to do with it. Today though, he figured out that it is clearly meant to be mushed into your zucchini cakes and shoved in your mouth.
I am not the most organized person, so I’m frankly impressed with myself when I keep up with something like this. Its just as simple as cutting and pasting, but I’m still proud of my little recipe scrap book!