Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy (yummy) Monday

 I've been wanting to make some more Ginger Carrots and try Saurkraut, so that's what I did this morning using recipes from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. I'm really curious about the saurkraut, because unlike the usual recipes, this one doesn't call for vinegar. The only ingredients are cabbage, caraway seeds, sea salt and whey (or more salt, if you have no whey).  After shredding the cabbage and adding the other ingredients, you pound the veggies with a wooden pounder or meat hammer to release the juices. Then place cabbage in a mason jar and push down with a wooden spoon until the juices cover the top of the veggies. The you put the lid on tight and let the jar sit on the counter at room temp for 3 days before moving to the fridge.

That reminds me of the way my great grandma used to make dill pickles. According to her daughter, my grandma, Grandma Rose would fill mason jars with cucumbers, pour the vinegar mixture over it, leave the lids on loosely and let them sit outside on the porch. The jars would foam and ferment, and then they were put away to be eaten later. Maybe I should try that. The last time I made dill pickles, I had to throw them out, and I even used an envelope mix from the store!

(makes1 quart)
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1 Tbl caraway seeds
1 Tbl sea salt
4 Tbl whey (if not available, use and additional 1 Tbl salt)

In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, salt adn whey. Pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer for about 10 minutes to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason jar and press down firmly with the pounder or hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage. The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but improves with age.

Next I had some veg pulp left over from juicing on Saturday: carrot, pomegranate, celery, chard, ginger, lemon, cucumber and apple. I'd saved it, hoping to find a use, and guess what: I did.

Using a recipe I found on, I made my own adjustments to it, and they turned out pretty good, I think.

Carrot Apple Muffins

1 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C grated carrots (or veg pulp)
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 C milk (I used a bit more)
1/4 C canola or safflower oil organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted, or olive oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add half the carrot mixture to the flour mixture, stir until blended and then add the rest. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

 Levi and  also made peanut butter cookies--a  flour-free four ingredient treat that tastes pretty good, if you like peanut butter. 

Quick Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C natural peanut butter (the kind that contains peanuts and salt, nothing else)
1 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients and roll into walnut sized balls. Bake 8-10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. Cool 2 min before removing from pan.
Source: Kitchen Traditions: The Lions Clubs Cookbook (c) 1994

I'm also soaking some pinto beans to make fermented bean paste (kinda icky name, but tastes sooo good!). I've made them twice before, with white beans and black, but not pintos, so I'm eager to taste the difference, if any.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Make Bread in a Pullman bread pan

The Pullman pan is a lidded bread pan that results in a loaf close to storebought bread, both in texture and shape. The crust is thin, unlike most homemade breads, and the directions to the pan say to let the bread cool wrapped in a towel for a soft crust. So far that hasn't worked, but the interior of the bread has a nice soft crumb and it can be cut thin enough or sandwiches that don't fall apart.

I've some fails in the past using this pan, which I purchased from King Arthur Bread Company a number of years ago. Today, though, I succeeded! Yay!

You can use any bread recipe that uses 4-5 cups of flour. I generally use  the Amish White Bread recipe, or more correctly, my version of  it. Heh.

*dissolve 1 Tbl yeast (1 packet) in 2 cups warm water in large bowl. Add 1/3 cup sugar.
*when foamy, add 3 Tbl butter or oil, 3 tsp salt (or less) and stir.

*Add two cups of flour (white or whole wheat) and stir.
*Keep adding flour, one cup at a time, unil dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
*Turn out onto floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky.
*Knead until dough feels 'right'. (springy, firm, not too soft.)

*Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled in size.
*punch down and form into loaf to fit pan.
*Grease the pan, making sure all surfaces are covered, including the lid.
*Place dough in pan and close lid, leaving1 inch open.
*Let rise until dough is nearly to the top of the pan (dont forget like I always do, or you'll have to squish it back inside the pan and then your loaf will be uneven)
*close pan and place in preheated (350*) oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
*pull back lid (be careful!) and check. If the loaf seems well cooked except for the top, remove the lid and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. (Be sure to keep an eye on it!)
*Turn out and cool on rack. Wrap in kitchen towel if you like.

DIY Cinnamon Scented Pine Cones

Nothing says Autumn more than cinnamon and spice, and what better way to project that than with cinnamon pine cones? (we'll just ignore the fact that it's 80 degrees today; it's October, that's what counts.)  While searching the internet for a way to make the pine cones, I came across two main recipes: the first, no doubt the longest lasting, takes 8 weeks and uses cinnamon oil rather than powder. The second, which I'm sharing here, is the quick version. Since I have an abundance of pine cones in my yard, my only expense was pickling spice, which I picked up at Meijer  for around $3.49. I already had plenty of ground cinnamon, cloves and spray adhesive. So if you have to purchase any of those items, the cost will be a bit more.

Cinnamon Pine Cones

*assorted pine cones, about 8-10 per batch, deciding on the size. Mine were the long, skinny type.
*1/4 cup pickling spice
*1/4 cup ground cinnamon
*1/4cup whole cloves or 1/8cup ground cloves
*spray adhesive
*trash bag

1. mix spices together
2. put the pine cones in the bottom of the trash bag in a single layer.
3. Spray the adhesive directly on the pine cones, taking care not to breathe in the fumes. Quickly close the bag with your ands and shake vigorously to turn the cones over.
4. Open the bag, allowing pine cones to settle into a single layer again, and respray with the glue.
5. Empty the spices over the pine cones, close bag and shake again to distribute.
6. Dump the pine cones out onto newspaper and allow to dry.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flax Snacks

A quick little recipe for some yummy and healthy no-cook snacks!

Flax Snacks

3/4 cup ground flaxseeds (buy whole, grind yourself in a coffee grinder)
3 Tbl whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl Cocoa
2 Tbl peanut butter
1/4 cup honey

Combine first four ingredients:

Add peanut butter and honey (mix with your hands) and form into balls.
Store in the refrigerator.

You could also add coconut or even chopped nuts and roll in cocoa.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I love Fall. I think it's my favorite season of all. Although I do love Spring when tiny green shoots break through the dull ground and Summer with its hot sun and growing things, Fall remains at the top of the list. Why, you may ask?

1. The colors. Red, orange, yellow, brown....all those colors are the ones I most like to wear.
2. The clothing.  Boots, sweaters, jackets, boots and boots and yeah baby!
3. The smells. Is there any better smell than that of leaves and the crispness in the air when Fall really makes its mark? I dont' think so.

Those are the main points, anyway. There are so many trees up here, it's like an orgy for the eyes! It's so wonderful to see fields of grasses and weeds rather than the field upon field of corn like I always saw in Galesburg. There were places there to see the changing leaves, but not like up here.

I love it! (pretty sure I wont' be saying that in a few months if the forecast for a terribly cold winter with tons of snow is accurate)

Yay Fall!