03/02/2009 at 9:52 pm (food)

We enjoy eating granola for breakfast. I make it in small batches in my toaster oven and it lasts a few days. We like this recipe because it’s easy to make.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For a half batch (the size I make), melt 1/4 cup butter plus one Tablespoon with 1/4 cup honey in saucepan on low, stir so it doesn’t burn. Add 1/4 cup flax seed, 1/3 cup raisins, and a handful of nuts, if you prefer, and stir well to coat all ingredients. I bake it in a glass pan that looks like a miniature 9X13 pan that fits in my toaster oven. I dump 2 cups of oats in that pan and pour the wet ingredients on top of that to save myself from dirtying another pan. Give it a few stirs to mix everything together and bake for 10 minutes. Take it out, stir it together, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let cool, and stir it occasionally, otherwise, you’ll have that granola stuck in the pan! When it’s cool and dry, I store it in a canning jar.granola


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12/30/2008 at 8:08 pm (food)

A dear friend of mine, from Texas, gave me a box of black tea once. She had only known me for less than a few weeks and already knew that I loved tea! I miss her! Well, when I tried the tea back then I found it too dark and strong. So, I stashed it away in my tea tin and saved it. Sure glad I did too, because Nick loves it! It’s one of his favorites.

How did this happen? Well, back when Nick still worked at Walgreens he was really enjoying drinking the Arizona teas specifically one with ginseng and honey in it.  He didn’t want to always have to buy it from them. They were fairly cheap but still cost us money. So I got him to try a cup of the tea from Sarah and he liked it.

Now, he was enjoying it and so  when we ran out of it, I substituted some generic brand of tea that we had always enjoyed iced before. The standard kind you buy in the tea section, I think it’s black and orange pekoe.  But it was too late, he’d had the good stuff and couldn’t stand it! It was so flavorless.

Then one day I tried it and now, I look forward to waking up to have a cup. Since then, I have been drinking tea like crazy and enjoying trying new ones. Which is great, because I recently received a nice sample of different kinds of tea from a good friend that I met through the local co-op I joined. (She has a love for herbs like me and I’m really glad I met her.)

I haven’t tried them all yet but  so far my favorite is one called  Rooibos vanilla. I don’t know if it’s caffeinated or not, but after drinking 3 cups of it, I had a hard time getting to sleep. Now, I’ll be sure to drink it in the morning and not right before bed.. Oh, it is sooo delicious!

I also just found out that Arizona makes hot tea now. I’ll have to see if they have our favorite in bag form.

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Wood stove cookery

12/12/2008 at 7:07 am (food, thoughts)

I can’t explain it. But food tastes better when cooked on the wood stove.

People will say that I’m being sentimental or some such, but it is absolutely true.

Noel has been cooking my morning oatmeal on the stove for the past couple weeks. But a couple days back it was warm enough that we didn’t need to start a fire so she cooked my breakfast on our electric burner.

I could barely choke it down I kid you not. There is some difference.

And I think that maybe it has something to do with the whole slow food thing.

It takes longer to cook on the wood stove. And I think that that makes all the difference.

What have we lost food-wise in our ever constant quest for now now NOW!

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Upset tummy tea

11/11/2008 at 9:04 am (animals, food, herbs)

This morning Milo (our dog) woke up with a stomach ache. Usually I give him a little bit of pepto bismol, if I can catch him. He hates the pink stuff! I figured if we’re trying to find more natural things for us to take for ailments, why not him. So, I grabbed a book I’m borrowing from a friend called Country Wisdom and Know-how and looked up to see what kinds of recipes it had for dogs. I noticed the book had some really good simple herbal recipes for animals and was pleased when I had all the ingredients. It called for peppermint, ground cloves and ground ginger. 1-2 teaspoons 3 times a day. Since he’s so small, I gave him 1 teaspoon and he actually seemed to like it! It’s basically made like tea and I have to wonder if it won’t work on humans too. I think I’ll try it before I reach for a peppermint candy to soothe a stomach ache.

The recipe: Take one cup of water and bring to a rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon dried peppermint, 1 pinch of ground cloves, 1 pinch of ground ginger. Turn off heat and steep for 10-15 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2 days. 1-2 teaspoons, 3 times a day.

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Dinner time

10/02/2008 at 6:47 pm (food)

I hate microwaves.

I do not believe that it is safe to eat food warmed in a microwave.

But the only way to have hot food for dinner at work was to heat it in a microwave … until now.

Yesterday I bought a Thermos “The Rock” vacuum bottle to carry hot food to work for my dinner.

And today I took it to work for the first time. And I am impressed.

Noel heated my soup for me (on the stove) this morning while I was eating breakfast a little after 7 this morning. I took the food-filled bottle to work and stuck it in my locker.

At 12:30, I took my dinner break and sat down to eat. I was surprised to find my soup almost too hot to eat.

All morning I was wondering how it was going to be, I figured it’d be warm but not too hot. I was wrong.

Herrick Kimball over at the Deliberate Agrarian wrote a post about how he uses a vacuum bottle to cook his meals in. And I’m excited to try it.

He talks about putting oat groats in it before he goes to bed for breakfast the next morning.

I’m imagining having jars of various dehydrated foods that I can choose from. Put a scoop of lentils in, one of barley, some tomatoes and onions, whatever suits my fancy that day. And then pouring in some hot water from the hot pot and letting it cook all morning while I’m working.

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Apple Crumb Pie

10/01/2008 at 11:42 am (food)

I recently canned some apple pie filling and made some apple crumb pie the other night. I wanted to post the recipe on here so I don’t lose it, as it was a big hit in the family!

The crust-(from Land O’Lakes website)

2   cups all-purpose flour
1/4   teaspoon salt
2/3   cup cold butter
4 to 5   tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in large bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened.

Divide dough in half; shape each half into ball. Flatten slightly. Wrap 1 ball in plastic food wrap; refrigerate.

For 1-crust pie, roll out 1 ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan; unfold dough, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan. Crimp or flute edge. Fill and bake according to pie recipe directions.

For 2-crust pie, roll out remaining ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold dough into quarters. Place dough over filling; unfold. Trim, seal and crimp or flute edge. Cut 5 or 6 large slits in crust. Bake according to pie recipe directions.

For baked unfilled pie shell, prepare dough as directed above for 1-crust pie. Prick crust all over with fork before baking. Bake at 475°F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

What I did was I made the crust, rolled it into a ball and wrapped it in wax paper and put it in the fridge. Then, I made the crumb topping in a seperate bowl and put that in the fridge.

Crumb topping-(Better Homes and Garden)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar (I make my own)

3 Tablespoons butter

a few sprinkles of cinnamon (my addition)

When I was ready to make the pie, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and I rolled out the chilled pie crust into my pie pan and spooned the canned apple pie filling on top. Then I sprinkled the crumb topping on top and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. The apples in the pie filling had already been cooked so I was just basically cooking the crust. Recent batches I have baked it at higher temperatures and for longer baking times and it seems the crust would turn out too tough and overbaked. The way described above produces a flaky crust and very delicious! A winner in our household!

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Dried okra, anyone?

09/14/2008 at 8:09 pm (food)

Someone told me the other day that dehydrated okra makes a tasty snack! So, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I cut it up in slices and sprinkled seasoned salt on it and then laid it out to dry. In about 4 hours it was crunchy and done. It tastes really delicious! It does get stuck a bit in your teeth, which is annoying, but the taste makes up for the inconvenience. The best thing to do is to just keep eating more. I can’t wait to make some more!

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