Homemade Vegetable Stock | Dishin & Dishes

homemade vegetable stock recipe


Starting in January, you may remember Mr. Wonderful and I were doing a Daniel Fast or a 21 day plant- based diet including no meat, dairy and only whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

Many of the soups and recipes we made called for vegetable stock.  I have made chicken stock plenty of times (see how to make chicken stock with your leftover roasted chicken carcasses here). I have a shelf in my freezer devoted to housing plastic tubs of chicken stock. I haven’t bought a box of chicken stock in a long time.

But I couldn’t use that for our fast so I got to work making some vegetable stock.

homemade vegetable broth

There is no reason for buying it! You probably have all the ingredients laying around your kitchen.  Oh, and by the way, if you peel potatoes and carrots on a regular basis?  Toss the peels into a gallon sized freezer bag and collect them. They are great to add to any stock to bump up the flavor! Also hang onto your celery leaf tops of the celery if you don’t eat them (I LOVE celery leaves in my dishes!).  Toss them in with the peels and you can practically make stock with the stuff you normally throw out!

Today I made the vegetable stock with a stock pot filled with cold water (about 3 quarts of water). The easy thing about making stock is, you don’t even have to peel stuff!  I DO give my onions, carrots and celery a rinse just in case they have dirt on them.  Cut the onions in half (peels and all!) and then toss in 4 carrots that you’d just broken in half or thirds. Also break up 3-4 celery stalks. Leave on the leaves! They add delicious flavor! add in some garlic cloves (about 3 or 4) that you’ve smashed with a knife.

Photo Jan 16, 10 17 13 PM

I realize that the celery and carrots look “dirty” in the above photo but that’s just dried spices I added. In the summer I would add fresh herbs out of my garden, but here in the cold months of winter I add about 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary and parsley to the pot.

I took one last look at my vegetable crisper and decided to go ahead and add in 2 scrawny stalks of kale that were getting close to hitting the trash can and a couple of button mushrooms. Even if you don’t like mushrooms, I encourage you to try them in stock. They add a wonderful richness to the broth.

Then you just pop the lid on, leaving a little space to vent on one edge and just barely simmer it for an hour.

Once it’s simmered for an hour, take the pot off the stove and let it cool off somewhat. Then pour it through a fine strainer into a bowl.


You can press on the vegetables with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula which will release more veggie-rich liquid into the broth.

begetable stock

See how nice and rich and dark the broth has become? That’s flavor baby….pure flavor.

Then I pop this into the refrigerator (uncovered) for an hour or two to completely cool. It freezes beautifully so you can put it into freezer-safe containers and freeze it to use another time or if you plan on using it soon, a mason jar or two will work also! Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you decide to use it.

vegetable stock mason jar

The difference this makes in any soup you make will be significant. Try making your own broth or stock next time and save yourself some money!

**For an extra flavorful broth, roughly chop and saute your vegetables in a little olive oil until they begin to brown before adding water, then complete the remainder of steps. Alternatively, you can roast the vegetables in the oven as well to brown.

Homemade Vegetable Stock (or Broth)



Recipe type: Soup

  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks kale
  • 2-4 button mushrooms
  • ½ t. dried thyme or several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • ½ t. dried parsley or several sprigs of fresh parsley
  • ½ t. dried rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Break celery and carrots into thirds and add to 3 quarts water in heavy bottomed stock pot.
  2. cut onion in thirds and add to pot (no need to peel)
  3. smash garlic with side of knife and add to pot (no need to peel)
  4. Add kale and mushrooms to pot (no need to cut)
  5. Turn heat to high on burner just until the pot comes to a boil then reduce heat to where it barely simmers.
  6. Simmer one hour, pour through fine strainer into large bowl and chill in refrigerator one hour.
  7. Pour into freezer safe containers and freeze.




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Kid-Size Caprese Salad in Five Minutes

Kid-Size Caprese Salad in Five Minutes


Kids love things that are pint sized, like they are I right? This recipe for a Caprese salad makes it just their size and would be fun to pack in an air- tight container for their lunch box! You can literally whip it up in five minutes for a kids lunch or snarf it down yourself if you choose!! If you have a cherry tomato plant, you know how wonderfully sweet and delicious they can be. Last summer I had more than I knew what to do with cherry tomatoes.

If you have a dish that you like to cut them up for, you also know how long it can take to individually slice 30 or more of these little suckers! My mom-in-law sent me this trick one day and I’ve been using it ever since.  And if you follow through to the end, you’ll see a quick recipe that I use for my cherry tomatoes.  I’ve been eating this recipe at least twice a week for the past month! Take two lids, like those from a coffee container or other plastic container.  It works best if they’re the same size.

Sandwich your tomatoes in between them gently pressing down on the top lid.Take a serrated knife that is longer than the lids diameter and while still pressing gently down on the top lid, saw through the whole mess of them at one time!

Now dump your cherry tomatoes into a bowl.  Put in an equal amount of small fresh mozerella balls.  I am addicted to these tiny ones from my favorite new food store.

Forward Foods.  Toss in your cut cherry tomatoes.

Splash some balsamic vinegar over top and then drizzle some olive oil as well, using a little bit more olive oil than vinegar, just eyeball it.

Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and then chiffonade up some fresh basil and sprinkle it over top.  Stir everything up real well and let the tomatoes and cheese marinade for 15 minutes at least. If you can wait that long.

This is just a simple Caprese Salad recipe and I’m so addicted to this salad this summer.  I buy a huge box of grape or cherry tomatoes (due to the fact that my tomato crop was ruined this year!) .  It will make several of these bowls of salad. And with this quick cutting method for the cherry tomatoes?

I can have it at a moment’s notice.

Kid-Size Mini Caprese Salad in Five Minutes



Recipe type: Salad

  • 1 8 oz. Container small fresh mozzarella cheese balls (bobboncini)
  • 2 c. Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 6 T. Olive oil
  • 8 whole fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ t. Pepper
  • Pinch of pepper
  1. Slice tomatoes in half and dump into bowl with fresh mozerella balls,
  2. Roll basil leaves up together like a cigar and then thinly slice across.
  3. Scatter over tomatoes and mozerella.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Best if let marinade 20-30 minutes but also delicious right away!!!
  6. ***Optional: add one small cloves of chopped garlic into the mix!


See what other fabulous bloggers are making for Food Network’s Summer Soirée featuring Back to School Lunches!

Feed Me Phoebe: Easy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Chives
Weelicious: Easy School Lunches
Virtually Homemade: Brown Bag Pumpkin Chocolate Bars
Back to (Cooking) School: How to Make Quail
Dishin & Dishes: Kid Size Caprese Salad in Five Minutes


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How to Make French Press Coffee at Home

How to Make French Press Coffee at Home


Every Sunday morning, I get up before the rest of the household. I tiptoe out to the kitchen, past the sleeping dogs and husband, fill my tea kettle halfway and set it to boil on the stove.

It’s a day for special coffee. The rest of the week, I don’t really have time for this, but Sunday morning?

I make the time.

I make French press coffee.

Just what is it about French press coffee that makes it so richly satisfying? Why do I love to sit on my patio with my press pot and simple white cappaucino cup and saucer and write or read a good book?

A French press pot, press pot or plunger pot, which are other names this contraption goes by, makes a better cup of coffee than that old standby drip coffee maker. Think about it. When you drip coffee, the water doesn’t do anything but quickly pass through the paper filter and the coffee. There are newer Krup type coffee makers now that have improved this with funnel type filters that are permanent, but mostly quick drips aren’t the best way to make coffee.

The French press is great because you brew the water and ground bean together and you can leave it for a short time if you like weaker coffee, or longer, like I do for a stronger brew. And because there is no paper filter to absorb the essential oils of the coffee, it’s all going to be in that cup of coffee you’re drinking.

And, isn’t there just something special about a glass and chrome individual pot that is excitingly elegant?

So, what you’ll need to French press your coffee.

A French Press pot.  Bodum is a good brand but anything sturdy will do.  You can get one usually for between $20-$30 but a quick trip to amazon.com revealed some even less costly than that.

You’ll need a bag of whole coffee beans and a grinder. Again, there is much dispute amongst coffee snobs about the evenness and quality of the grinder, but I got a small one for $20 and I am happy with it.  You can play around with coffee beans in flavored and unflavored. It’s your preference really.

The rule of thumb for measuring out the coffee is one rounded tablespoon per four ounces of water. French Press pots come in different sizes so you have to take that into account. Mine is a 32 ounce pot so I use eight tablespoons, but now, I’ve done it so frequently, I just eyeball it.

Mine has a clear plastic top that pops off.

You’re going to put your beans in the silver cup located on top of the base.

Then pop the clear lid on tight.

That brown button under my fingers is what sets the grinder to whir and grind up the beans. Pulse it a few times to get a feel for it, and then just hold your finger down for a few seconds.

This is important! Do NOT grind your coffee to powder! The lid of the french press has a mesh plunger and if ground too fine, you’ll end up with dirty coffee as they will escape through this into the water.

This looks about right.

I flip my grinder upside down so all the coffee goes into the top.

Then I remove the top and voila! Fresh ground coffee!

Now you can measure your grounds into your French press pot, or just dump it in like me when you’ve done it enough to know.

Now for your water. Once your water boils, take it off the stove for about 20 seconds. Then pour it right over top of your grounds.

Fill it to within an inch of the top and then set your plunger lid right on top.  Make sure the plunger is all the way up on the lid.

Now, be patient and let this brew. The common time is four minutes.  I leave mine for five.  It’s just the way I like it.

Once that time is up, grasp the plunger firmly in one hand and evenly push down on it.  Don’t let the plunger go crooked or the coffee grounds will escape into the water.

Push it down all the way.

I love the crema dark foam on top.

And that’s it!  You have a lovely pot of rich dark coffee now to enjoy.

I love to take it to my patio with one simple gooey yolked egg and some toast soldiers.

I love Sunday mornings.



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