Friday, March 28, 2008
I like cornbread that has a mix of flours, so that it isn't as grainy/crumbly as a corn meal only bread. To add a nutty flavor, I used a sunflower millet flour for this one, and it matches the texture and flavor of the corn meal - tasty!
1/3 c honey
1 c buttermilk
4 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c organic corn meal
1 c organic whole wheat pastry flour (I used sunflower millet bread flour - YUM!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Beat together egg, buttermilk and honey. Stir in melted butter.
Stir together the dry ingredients in a different bowl.
Combine two mixtures and stir.
Bake in greased square cake pan or muffin tins.
Bake about 20 minutes for a pan, and 15 - 17 for muffins (until golden).
Cool, then slice and eat with butter and a drizzle of honey. SO good!
Remember this flour? That is what I used for this bread!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I have so many dinner meals that I have photographed but never posted - in the evening the light is dim, and my cozy bulbs make everything seem yellow in a photo. So I happily take sunny pictures of my lunch. Lunch is an underrated meal, though, I think. So perhaps it deserves this attention!
So today, panini. We love panini. For Christmas one year a gift was a tabletop grill which I thought I would never use. But then we made a panini, and we haven't turned back.
Panini are good with just about any toppings - avocado, bell peppers, sun dried tomato, pesto, cheeses, salami, pancetta, shredded carrots, olive tapenade, sprouts... My 5 year old loves aged Irish cheddar on his - my 3 year old loves natural peanut butter and raw honey. ALL so good. I love using fresh baked sprouted bread and our fresh butter - it makes such a nice crust! And it only takes a few minutes to make.
And for the boys, that XX pattern on the outside is the best.
Oh, and please, don't use margarine - be sure to use real butter!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Mmmm Mmmm quiche. Quiche is one of those things that is good for most meals, and is nice on its own or with a fresh salad or bowl of soup. With spring comes more fresh eggs - and quiche!
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used Gruyere, and Gloucester cheeses)
salt & pepper to taste
Whatever fillings you want::caramelized onions, veggies, sausage...add about 1/2 to 1 cup
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust or, make your own
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Layer your fillings and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle a little cheese on top too.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set! Cool and cut into wedges.
Eggshells, like coffee grounds, are a good addition to your garden. Save your shells - rinse them in some hot sudsy water, drain, bag, and save in your freezer until spring. You can crumble them and add to your garden beds. The eggshells add calcium and other minerals to the soil (great for tomatoes), and if you sprinkle them in a circle around your plants, they help deter slugs and snails too!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I love coffee. It is great that we can get locally roasted, organic fair trade coffee right in town. I have a favorite - they buy directly from small farmers who use only sustainable practices, pay them fair prices (and disclose the info), and even deliver coffee locally using bikes and skateboards. Can't beat that.
After brewing, I don't throw my espresso pucks away - I save the grounds. In the summer, they store up and I take them out as each bowl fills to use in the garden immediately. In the winter, I save my grounds in bags all winter and when spring comes begin to use them to help kickstart my plants and bushes, and prepare my beds.
Coffee grounds make a great addition to plants like blueberries or rasperries and flowering bushes like lilacs, roses, and hydrangeas who like a more acid soil.
The grounds also slowly release nitrogen and make a good fertilizer when lightly sprinkled around plants before watering. It helps boost the nice dark green leaves.
Grounds also can help with certain bug issues -- they deter cutworms, mites and other detrimental bugs - just sprinkle around the base of your plants or problem areas. Slugs and caffeine don't mix, so it helps deter their destructive appetite from your plants as well.
Grounds are a good addition to your compost.
If you have houseplants, sprinkling a little on their soil every few months before watering will help give them a little boost.
Coffee grounds make a great natural (and pet/kid safe) addition to the garden. If you don't drink much coffee, no worries. Many coffee retailers now offer free bags of used grounds just for gardens (and it keeps the grounds out of the garbage cycle - bonus!).
Monday, March 17, 2008
A blog I read posted about this basic bread recipe today. Since I was planning on baking bread today but was running a bit behind on everything, I thought this would be good to try.
I tried out a new flour today with this loaf. I used Great River Organic Milling 100% Organic Sunflower Millet Flour - which has stone-ground wheat, stone-ground corn, hulled millet, ground sunflower seeds and ground flaxseed. WOW. It is a rich, nutty bread with a lot of flavor! So good!
1 c of warm water
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
... and enough flour to make a workable, kneadable dough
Add ingredients into a mixer in order and use a dough hook to mix well - or use your knead cycle on your bread machine. When it starts looking pliable, take it out and knead by hand a bit.
Form a ball and put it into an oiled bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place until dough is doubled in size (It was about 1.5 - 2 hours for me today). You will know it is ready when it has doubled in size and you can poke your finger into the dough and it will leave an impression.
At this point punch dough down and re-form into a ball. Let it rise again, about half as much time as the first rise.
When ready, punch it down again, and gently form a long loaf and place on a cookie sheet or cooking stone. Let rise one last time - about the same amount of time as your second rise, or until dough looks ready to go.
Brush the top of the loaf with a mix of egg white and water, and make a few slashes along the top.
Place in an oven preheated to 350ºF and bake for about 45 minutes.
I used a sunflower millet flour today - great flavor and good for you. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E. They are also a very good source of vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorous, vitamin B5 and folate.
We dyed our first batch of eggs today! Our eggs are from a local farm, so are already beautiful shades of brown, blue/green, white and beige. But we added some more rich color by hard boiling them with some natural dyes. We hard boiled them in a pot with onion skins, paprika, and ground espresso beans. After they cooled, we drew on designs using oil pastels before dipping them into one more color wash. We love the deep, rich, earth colors that emerged.We plan to make a batch using red cabbage and beet juice this week as well. Fun!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I love finding good egg recipes both savory and sweet, and this honey custard is delicious. Today the boys helped me make it, and it is so quick and easy - and the results is melt in your mouth creamy and sweet.
1/2 c honey
2 c fresh milk
1 tsp finely ground sea salt
ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Beat together all ingredients thoroughly in a casserole dish (I used square cake pan) - sprinkle cinnamon/nutmeg over the top. Place the dish in a larger cake pan filled with water. Bake at 350ºF for about 45 minutes or until it is set and firm.
We drizzled a tiny bit of fresh maple syrup over the top of our warm custard before eating. Mmmm. And extra bonus - the eggs, honey and milk I used are all local!
See how golden our custard is? The eggs we get are super fresh and local from healthy hens and the yolks are so fat and orange they look like the sun. Eggs from free range hens actually are healthier than factory farmed eggs not to mention they just taste better!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
We have been making breakfast smoothies a lot lately. The boys love helping...cutting bananas, adding veggies into the juicer, stuffing the blender. And of course they just taste great! We are on the last bag of frozen strawberries from our U-Pick last summer...almost made it to April!
2 stalks celery
2 apples (peeled)
2 mandarins (peeled)
1 banana (peeled/sliced)
1 cup yogurt
juice from above
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
small handful of frozen strawberries
Juice everything in the first list in a juicer. In the blender add the banana and yogurt at the bottom, pour in the juice, add the frozen fruit, and then whiz until smooth. I added berry blast microgreens powder and a drizzle of flax seed oil in this too - extra good!
Use organic ingredients whenever possible - especially for things like raw fruit/veggie smoothies. You not only keep the pesticides out of the mix, but organic fruits generally have a higher nutrition content than traditionally grown products. Just all around a better choice - and better taste.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I love carrots. My husband - not so much. So if I want to eat carrots often, I need to play around with recipes and find ways to make them even more tasty. I juice them for sauces, use them in soups and stews, bake them to make crispy fries, and of course cook them as a side dish. This version turned out so good - had to post the recipe. If you have a big family double the recipe!
glazed ginger carrots
4 carrots, sliced into 3/4" pieces
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1" chunk of fresh ginger, peeled/chopped
1 Tbsp maple syrup (brown sugar would be fine too)
2 tsp butter
dash sea salt
grated pickled ginger for garnish
Heat coconut oil in skillet on med-high. Add the garlic and ginger, let cook for 1 minute or so to infuse the oil. Remove the garlic and ginger. Add carrots into hot oil/skillet. Add a dash of sea salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add maple syrup and turn down heat. Let it sit on the stove for a few minutes so that the maple syrup cooks down a bit. Turn off heat. Add butter. Stir.
Spoon on plate - you don't need the extra sauce from the pan...but make sure those carrots are coated/glazed when serving. I added a few pieces of grated pickled ginger to the top. SO GOOD!
Carrots have lots of good stuff in them. Antioxidant compounds, pro-vitamin A carotenes, and much more.
"Carrots are by far one of the richest source of carotenoids-just one cup provides 16,679 IUs of beta-carotene and 3,432 REs (retinol equivalents), or roughly 686.3% the RDA for vitamin A."
Thursday, March 6, 2008
After this harsh winter I am CRAVING fruit. Fresh fruit. Oranges, lemons, and particularly strawberries. My body must be needing something after these months of dark, cold, snow, and inside living.
For lunch today I had some juicy organic strawberries with organic garlic hummus, pasture raised raw milk 6 year local cheddar (can I say wow?), and garlic naan. Hit the spot!
strawberries:: Strawberries have lots of vitamin C as well as phytonutrients and antioxidants. They also have vitamin K, manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
This subject came up on a local board I am on, so I thought I would post the recipe! Many people don't like using gelatin for many different reasons. Agar-agar makes a good substitute, and if you are looking for a jello or panne cotta type of recipe - this is great for that. This recipe can be kid oriented like jello cups, or made into a grown-up version using sparkling wine. Mmmm.
agar agar jello
This takes about 10 minutes to do only - and then a few hours in the fridge to set.
1 Tbsp agar-agar flakes or 1 1/2 tsp powder (yes, TBSP flakes, TSP powder!)
2 Tbsp sugar or sweetener - I use honey or agave
2 cups simmering fruit juice*
Cut up mixed fruit if you want. You can use drained canned too, if you like. Just don't use
kiwi or pineapple, or the agar won't gel (some enzyme thing).
1. In a saucepan, heat up juice (not boiling), then add agar and sugar. Stir well and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until both the agar and sugar have dissolved.
2. Line up your cups/container* and pour mixture to about half.
3. Add the amount of fruit you want into container(s).
4. Cover and chill about 2-4 hours or until soft set.
*Juice: We like to use fresh squeezed juice such as orange or lemonade (if you use lemons add a bit more honey/sugar to taste). We also love using the veggie/fruit blend juices since they contain veggies but are still sweet enough for this recipe. For the more traditional jello flavor, use white grape or apple juice.
**Containers. We like the little glass canning jelly jars. You can basically use any mold, cup or containers you want.
Oh, and for a truly delicious grown-up version? Use champagne or sparkling wine instead of juice. And then for fruit use pureed fresh peaches with honey, fresh whole blueberries, or cut
up strawberries. Use a champagne flute or wine glass to set. SO GOOD.
Agar-Agar is derived from red seaweed. This natural thickener is mainly used as a gelling agent in desserts, puddings, jellies, and pie fillings. Since it is from a sea vegetable, it is a good source of iodine, calcium, iron, and phosphorous. It is also a good natural fiber!