Monday, November 28, 2011

Home Preserving: Chocolate Mint

Ma had preserving food down to an art but I am still learning.

I have been re-reading my copy of The Little House Cookbook these past two weeks and chapter 4 talks about preserving foods on page 36. The options were: freezing, smoking, salting, and drying. The cookbook only gets into the drying method.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cooking/Kitchen Tip: Foods to keep on Hand in your Kitchen

Ma had a garden right outside her door but she did not have a well stocked grocery store down the street like I do either. Still, who has time to run to the store all the time? Not me!

I get my weekly box of produce and add on items from Abundant Harvest Organics and now I only have to go to the store usually once every other week to stock up on staples.

Here is a list of staples I like to keep on hand in my kitchen. I shop at Costco, Trader Joe's, or Sprouts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy & Delicious: Fritattas!

Here is the secret to the perfect easy Fritatta!  We eat these ALL the time since they are so easy and yummy.

Use a skillet that can go in the oven. We have a Kirkland brand enameled cast iron skillet. It only cost about $50 which is a steal when compared to other brands!

Preheat the oven by turning the broiler on so it is ready to go.

Chop/cut up everything that will be going in your fritatta and melt your oil of choice in the skillet (butter or expeller pressed coconut oil is best). With our cast iron we use medium/low heat (# 3 out of 10 numbers)

Weekly Meal Planner using Produce from my Abundant Harvest Organics Box

There is a chill in the air and it is really feeling like fall! It definitely looks like fall in our little kitchen.

Our weekly box from Abundant Harvest Organics definitely had a fall theme as well. This is what we got:

fuyu persimmons
fuji apples
sweet potatoes
garlic chives (looks like blades of grass)
brown potatoes
fresh sage

    I also bought a lot of yummy add on items this week. Here is a list of what I bought that

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    7 Layer Taco Dip (Dairy & Legume Free)

    Ma definitely would NOT have made this but she did not grow up eating Taco Bell as a child so she doesn't have to battle those crazy cravings!

    I avoid beans these days and limit dairy to a few times a week because honestly I just feel a lot better when I do! I had a BIG craving for a taco dip the other day so I got to work on making a healthy version of taco dip, healthy by primal standards.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Time Saving Tip: Keep Everyone's Laundry Separate

    When I get into the BIG task of doing the laundry for a family of 5 I find myself thinking of how much easier Ma had it when it came to washing clothes.Ok I know she didn't have a fancy washer and dryer like I am lucky enough to have but she did sure have a lot less clothes to wash!

    I have been married for almost 12 years now so I have had a decent journey with doing laundry for more than just myself. It started out with just laundry for two and back then I would keep it all in one hamper and then sort it all out into baskets by colors and delicates etc. Didn't seem like too much of a big deal when it was just for the two of us. Then we had a baby

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Weekly Meal Planner using Produce from my Abundant Harvest Organics Box

    Since I do not have a garden of my own like Ma, I get the next best thing: A weekly box of organic fresh picked produce from California farms through the wonderful company called Abundant Harvest Organics.

    If you are reading this and you live in San Diego please take a look at the website to learn more and see about signing up. It is the best price for the amount of food you get and you will not find anything fresher in the stores. The best part is that you can feel good knowing that the farmer was also paid more money by selling the produce this way. You pay less than the prices in the store and the farmer gets paid more money, I would call that a win win!

    Every week here on my blog I will be providing weekly menu ideas using the produce that came in the box that week.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Easy & Delicious: Baked Squash!

    I love squash but honestly I do not have the time to wash it, cut it, gut it, peel it, chop it, just to be able to cook it! Luckily I figured out a way to get the same creamy hot baked goodness with limited prep time: just poke some holes it, throw it on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake the darn thing whole!

    The results have been impressive! So far I have tried this with a BIG almost 6lb kabocha, a small pumpkin, and a HUGE spaghetti squash.

    The baking time depends on its size and thickness of skin, but the temp I always use is 350 degrees.

    For the kabocha I poked some deep holes in the top and cooked it for 1 hour. Then I flipped it over and cooked it for 30 minutes more.

    When it came out I let it cool and then I sliced it like pie and easily scraped off the seeds and stringy parts. There was so much that I cut it all in slices and stored the extra in the refrigerator.

    It was great for a quick snack for the baby, or a yummy treat for me. To warm it back up you can take out a slice and cover it in coconut oil or butter and throw it under the broiler for a little bit.

    The other great thing about baking the squash whole this way it the benefit of warming your kitchen or in my case the kitchen and living room. There are some bonuses to having a small house sometimes!

    This is also a great way to collect all of your squash seeds to save for roasting!

    Last night I warmed our house baking one of our decoration pumpkins left over from Halloween. I poked some holes in the top and baked it 45 minutes and then turned it on one side and baked it for about 20 minutes more.

    As you can see from the pictures below Jad was VERY happy about his fresh pumpkin treat this morning! I even threw some of it into an omelet I made him for his 2nd course and he happily gobbled that up too. I am sure Ma would approve!