As you know, I love to cook. Nothing makes me happier after a long day of working than to spend some time in the kitchen. It honestly relaxes me. It is a time of day when I can spend time with myself and be creative in a different way. Mixing flavors, creating new ideas (trust me – they are not always successful) and cooking with fresh seasonal ingredients makes me happy.

I always seem to be taking photos of fresh produce while traveling. I daydream and think how lovely it would be to rent a small apartment in Paris (or anywhere really) and be able to shop at local markets and experience the local flavors.

While I can’t take the credit for one of my new favorite recipes, I can honestly say that there is something about this concept that really excites me. I’ve kicked myself of late, thinking, “Why haven’t I done this for years?!?”.

This might be boring for some. I do like to keep you all on your toes and throw a little food chat on my blog every so often. This concept is just so easy, I can’t resist sharing.

One of my biggest peeves is wasting food. Especially fresh fruit and vegetables. Here in San Francisco, we are required to compost our food scraps (you can get fined if you mix food with other things). I was always throwing scraps of vegetables away. Skins of onion, tips of asparagus, carrot pieces, celery stalks.

Anyway, to make a long story short: instead of throwing my scraps of vegetables away, I pop them into a zip lock bag in my freezer and let them collect until there is a substantial quantity. If you cook as much as I do, you can fill up a few bags in no time.

Just last week, I was going out of town and I was frustrated that I had purchased some produce that was going to go bad if I didn’t use it before I left. So I decided to freeze the vegetables as well. Instead of just throwing them away, I was able to use them.

Now comes the fun and easy part.

I take the vegetable scraps out of the freezer and throwing them into a large stock pot. I fill the pot with water and simmer for several hours. I might add some bay leaves or other herbs, plus salt and pepper. In no time you have the most delicious broth you’ve ever tasted. Its easy, healthy and a great way to use something in a new and different way that you otherwise might be wasting.

(photo from my trip to Venice, Italy- 2010)