Happy Turkey Day - The day before Thanksgiving Maddie and Izzie helped me make and apple pie from scratch. I think it took us an hour and half from start to finish, not inc...
Saturday, October 5, 2013
4-6 pork chops, bone in
1/2 cup cashews
1 tbsp coconut oil (butter would be fine too)
3 tbps apricot jam
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sour cream
salt and pepper
Sprinkle curry powder, salt and pepper on your pork chops and rub it in. Slice your pineapple. Get grill really hot and grill them until done. I know right? How long? Well that depends on how far your chops are from the coals, how hot your coals are, how thick your chops are.
I use the hand pressure test to tell if meat is done. It take some practice but it is pretty reliable. If you press the skin between your pointer finger and thumb with your hand loose that resistance is similar to the resistance that raw meat will give you. If you loosely make a fist and press in that same spot again, that is about what the meat should feel like if you want it pink (like for steak.) Since you want pork cooked further than that, clench your fist, and then press in that same spot. That is how firm well done meat should feel. Hope that helps!
For the sauce...
In a small dry skillet, toast cashew nuts and then set aside. Melt coconut oil. Add jam, heavy cream, grated ginger (as much or as little as you like) and pepper. Whisk on high until sauce thickens. It'll take a while but then it will happen. Do not walk away or you will either have a boil over or a burnt mess on your hands. When it thickens, remove from heat and add the sour cream. Whisk it in. Taste. If it is too sweet add more sour cream. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Stack pineapple and porkchops, top with sauce and sprinkle with cashew nuts. Enjoy!
Monday, September 23, 2013
1 bag of shrimp (is that a pound?)
3-4 strips of bacon (optional??)
4-6 button mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup uncooked rice
uncooked spaghetti noodles (about the amount for one serving)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
broth (I used shrimp, but chicken would be fine)
splash of heavy cream
Cook rice. 1/2 cup of rice to 1 cup of water, salt and a glug of olive oil. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Set timer for 15 minutes. Bam.
In a large skillet start cooking diced bacon. While bacon is frying, cut asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. Dice zucchini, and carrot. Slice mushrooms. Mince garlic. Bacon should be about done. Add a few glugs of olive oil and all your vegetables. Stir occasionally. Add italian seasoning and about 1/4 tsp of curry powder. Break spaghetti noodles into 1/2 inchish pieces and add to vegetables. Keep stirring on medium heat. If anything starts to stick, throw some more olive oil in the skillet.
Meanwhile peel those dang shrimp. Keep the shells and stick them in your freezer for use on another day. You don't have to do this, but if you don't you are throwing away potential free shrimp stock, just saying. (I make stock when I have about a gallon size zip bag of shells ready to go.)
Vegetables should be cooked and starting to brown, rice should be just about done too. Deglaze the pan with some white wine vinegar. (or whatever vinegar you have on hand.)
Add shrimp to the skillet and stir it until almost cooked through. Add rice, about 1/2 cup of stock and a splash of heavy cream. Stir until shrimp is cooked through and the noodles are not crunchy. Enjoy!
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Water Kefir is a fizzy probiotic drink. A lot of people think of it as a healthy homemade soda pop replacement. It is basically fermented sugar water. The kefir grains (which aren't grain at all, but actually yeasts and bacterias) work to eat the sugar converting it into simple sugars that have probiotics, higher vitamins (because they are made more easily digestible) including hard to get B vitamins. For a much better explanation check out this website, or google Water Kefir. There is also a Milk Kefir that you use with Raw Milk. This is not that.like these. You don't have to use swing tops. You can reuse beer bottles, if you buy extra caps and a capper, you can reuse store bought kombucha bottles or you can use another quart mason jar. I have found that the swing top bottles and the beer bottles create the most fizz. And sometimes if you use kombucha bottles they become hard to open, due to the pressure build up. Do not use plastic bottles. It's handy to have a funnel and you'll need a small strainer. Plastic is recommended, but since the grains don't stay in it long, I use metal. You want to keep your grains away from metal for the most part, I've read.
Pour a bit of your favorite juice in the bottom of each bottle. This is a cherry juice. My favorite is grape. If it is a lighter flavor juice I add a bit more (like the cherry above), grape I use a bit less. Experiment to your liking. Citrus juices are not recommended, although some people like to put a slice of lemon. Ginger also works well in kefir. You can also use fresh fruit instead of juice. Berries work excellently. Strawberry kefir is delicious!
For one quart of kefir you want to use 1/4 cup of grains and 1/4 cup of sugar. For most batches I use organic cane sugar. Sometimes I do half organic cane sugar and half succant. Kefir thrives on the succant, but it has a stronger flavor in my opinion so I don't use it as often. If your grains ever get a bit sad (they take too long to ferment, they aren't getting as bubbly, they start to get very, very small) use sucanat and or 100% pure blackstrap molasses (just a bit) to perk them back up. They need the minerals that plain white/cane sugar doesn't provide.
*** Important to note. If you need a break from your kefir or you are going out of town, just get to the step where you are about to leave them on the counter to ferment, but instead, stick them in your fridge. They will keep for weeks like this and I think you can even rescue them if you forget about them for several months. If you are planning on taking a several month break from them, you can dehydrate them. I have not done this myself, but have heard of plenty of success stories.
If you just have them in fridge storage, when you take them out, depending on how long they've been in the fridge, they may be ready to pour on juice or may need to sit out for a bit. You can tell by how fizzy and the smell once you get some practice at it. ***
Posted by Amanda at 9:33 PM
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Chicken & Rice
1 cup of white rice (uncooked)
2 cups of water
pat of butter, however generous you want to be
pinch of salt
Cook your rice in a small pot, by placing the rice in the pot and covering with water. Add a pat of butter and salt. Bring to a boil and stir. Cover, reduce to low and set timer for 15-20 minutes. When rice is cooked, set it aside.
Meanwhile start your chicken dish.
1-2 breasts of chicken
2 lonely mushrooms (or more if you have them)
8-10 sprigs of asparagus
2-3 slices of bacon
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tbsp flour
thyme, salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
1 cup of cream/milk
parmesan cheese (optional)
Start bacon sauting in a large skillet. When it is almost done, add diced mushrooms and asparagus. Chop garlic up small and toss it in too. When the bacon is cooked and veg have had time to cook a bit, add chicken that has been cut into bite size pieces. Add your dried thyme, salt and pepper and stir all on med-high heat. When chicken is about half way done, in a small bowl mix the chicken broth with flour to remove lumps. Pour over chicken and add cream or milk. Stir, bringing to a boil to thicken sauce. Add parmesan cheese if desired. When chicken is cooked through, add in the cooked rice and another pat of butter. Stir. If you want it creamer add a bit more milk. Taste for salt/pepper and enjoy!
To kick this dish up a notch, pour all of this is in a buttered baking dish and top with a breadcrumb and olive oil mixture. Bake until breadcrumbs are toasted through. Serve.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Rice Paper Sheets
cilantro or basil (optional)
Boil the shrimp in salty water until cooked through. Do not overcook! You don't want rubbery shrimp. Set them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Prep all your ingredients. Finely cut the lettuce, shred you carrot, julienne your cucumber and thinly slice your avocado. Chop your herbs if you plan on using them.
Take a large shallow bowl and fill with hot to the touch water. Gently slide one wrapper in the hot water and let it sit for about 5-10 seconds. When it is very pliable, gently lift it up and try to keep it from folding on itself. Spread it out on your cutting board. In the bottom part of the wrapper, about one and half inches from the side, stack your ingredients. Place your shrimp down first (if your shrimp is small, use two), followed by avocado, carrots, cucumber, and lettuce. Take the bottom edge of your wrapper and pull it up and over the shrimp pile. After one complete turn, fold the left and ride sides of the wrapper over the shrimp and lettuce and then continue to roll until you reach the end of the wrapper. Repeat with the rest of your ingredients!
Peanut dipping sauce
melt about a tbsp of peanut butter in a small dish. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and honey to taste. You can also add chili paste for a hotter dip.
Ginger- Apricot dipping sauce:
Grate some ginger in a small bowl. Add a tbsp of apricot jelly. Add soy sauce and rice wine vingar to taste.
Posted by Amanda at 8:45 AM
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Chicken Parmesan Soup
1 chicken breast
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
3 tbs butter
lots of garlic, dried basil and oregano
2-3 cups of chicken stock
1 baguette of bread
Parmesan cheese (have about a cup of loosely packed, fresh grated)
fresh basil (optional, for garnish)
In a skillet (or I just used my soup pot and then rinsed it out) put at least 1/4 cup of olive oil and heat it up. Quickly cube up the baguette (reserve enough to make 1/2 cup of bread crumbs) and add it to the hot oil. Stir it around letting it toast. Add some of the parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl once it is toasted.
Slice chicken into thin pieces, like in a chinese stir fry. In a cleaned out soup pot add more olive oil and start browning chicken. Before it is cooked through, add the tomato paste, seasonings (salt, pepper, dried basil, oregano and garlic) Then add the can of tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a very gentle simmer DO NOT BOIL or your chicken will be rubber. Add 1/2 cup homemade breadcrumbs. (This thickens the soup a bit.) Add the butter cubed up to the soup. The butter is a trick I learned from Food Network, it mellows out the tangy tomato flavor and adds an awesome depth of flavor to any tomato soup or marinara sauce. Last, add more parmesan to the soup and stir to melt it in.
Serve in a bowl with cubed up mozzerella (this starts to melt and gives you strings of cheese as you eat. YUM!) And a few pieces of the toasted baquette. Enjoy!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The official listing with lots of photos and a walk through video is here:
Please check it out and send it to any friends you know who are thinking of moving!
Posted by Amanda at 5:44 PM