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March 12, 2014

Vegetable Stock

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Yield: Makes about 2.5 quarts.


2-3 oz mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (Note: Include onion skins, if desired, for a caramel color)
1 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb (optional)
1 large garlic cloves, smashed (can leave skins on)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Dry sauté mushrooms in a separate pan, until they are lightly browned and have given up some of their moisture.

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large stockpot. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and fennel (if using) and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Cook over high heat for several minutes, stirring only occasionally. Cook until the vegetables begin to brown.

Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to turn a rusty color. Add the rosemary, thyme, onion skins if using, peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley and an additional 2.5 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and then drop the heat until you just get a bare simmer. The surface of the stock should just barely be bubbling. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, remove all the big pieces of vegetable and mushroom. Discard or compost. Set up a large bowl or pot with a sieve set over it. Line the sieve with a paper towel and pour the stock through it. When you have about half the stock poured through, stop, let what's in the strainer filter through, and change the paper towel; the old one will be gunked up with debris. Filter the rest of the stock.

To store, pour into glass jars and refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze. If you freeze in glass jars, leave at least an inch and a half of headroom so the stock can expand without breaking the glass of the jar.

Chile Rice

2 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 can (7 oz) diced green chiles
2 cups sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Pour into a well buttered baking dish. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes, or microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serves 4.

March 11, 2014

Crock Pot Broccoli Soup


2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Mix all ingredients except cream and cheese together in crock pot.
2. Cook on low for 4 hours.
3. Use immersion blender to blend.
4. Add cream and cheese and reheat.

Zoo Camp: Cheerio Bracelet for Birds

Zip ties

Place the cheerios on the zip tie
Chose it once filled
Hang on tree branch

Zoo Camp: Bird Feeder Pine Cones

Pine cone
Peanut butter or Crisco
Bird seed

Spread peanut butter or Crisco on the pine cone
Sprinkle with bird seed
Hang from tree branch

Zoo Camp: Frosty Paws for Hoofstock and Dogs

32 oz plain yogurt
1 banana
3 squirts of honey

Mush the banana
Mix the mushed banana, yogurt, and honey together
Place in ice cube trays or cups to freeze

Zoo Camp: 4-2-1 Dog Biscuits

4 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup peanut butter
1-2 cups HOT water

Mix flour, oatmeal, and peanut butter together.
Start with one cup of hot water and gradually add more (it needs to be hot to melt the peanut butter)
Knead the stiff dough
Roll out to 3/4" thick and cut into shapes
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes

Zoo Camp: Dirt & Worms

Instant Pudding Mix
Animal Crackers
Gummy Worms

Mix the pudding as directed on back of box
Crush animal crackers
Scoop pudding into small cup
Add the animal crackers on top of the pudding and add a gummy worm