Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hunter and Gatherer

I have been reading more and more about the Hunter and Gatherer Diet. This simply means limiting our diet to foods that Hunter and Gatherers would have eaten. Foods that occur naturally and were intended to be eaten. This means avoid foods pumped full of hormones, genetically modified foods, and processed foods. The main staples of this diet include: lean mean (grass fed lamb, turkey and chicken), fish (not bottom eaters such as shellfish), fresh fruits and veggies and raw nuts.

I do not know that I can eat this way 100% of the time right away, but my goal is 80% of the time for starters.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free...

Many of my family members have recently discovered some severe food allergies and intolerances to gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy. Since it seems that these intolerances are following genetic tendencies and have been attacking the immune system of close family members...there is a good chance that it may also be attacking my immune system at a smaller level. However, I plan read more, learn more and in the meantime work on eliminating these foods at least 80% of the time for my family and I. I will post more as  I read and learn.

But...this means I will be looking for recipes that exclude: gluten, dairy, eggs and soy. Please share if you have favorite recipes that fit this criteria!

Fruit Sorbet

All natural sugar and gluten-free!

ingredients:
3 cups of water
*desired fruit

directions:
Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
Add a bit of honey if the fruit is too sour.
If you do not have an ice cream maker, you may freeze it in a tall canister. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and stir with a whisk. Return to the freezer and stir about once every hour for about 4 hours. The more times you stir, the more air will be incorporated, resulting in a lighter finished 
product.


Fruit options:
  • 4 cups chopped cantaloupe
  • 3 cups grapefruit and 1 tsp fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 2 T fresh lemon zest
  • 3 cups fresh orange juice, 2 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen strawberries and 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups diced, seedless watermelon and 1/4 cup lime juice

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Favorite Easter Traditions?


I am always looking for new celebration ideas and traditions to begin with my family. Now that we have just passed Easter, what is your favorite new or old family tradition to celebrate the holiday? If you have children, what is your favorite method/tradition of teaching your little ones about Jesus' death and resurrection?

Pupusas - A Taste of El Salvador


Over Easter weekend my family had the privileged of learning to make Pupusas from an El Salvadorian friend. We had a great time learning the art making Pupusas and enjoyed eating them afterward. They are absolutely delicious hot off the griddle. This recipe involves a lot of dumping, pinching, and dalloping and not a lot of measuring. So I estimated approximate amounts, but you may need to make alterations for taste and texture. Use the pictures to help reach the needed texture of the corn flour dough and the amounts of each ingredient in the slaw topping.

Ingredients/ Tools:
electric griddle
spatula
small bowl of water
small bowl of olive oil

shell:
about 2.5 pounds Masa (corn flour)
about 1 cup of water
1/2 cup tomato juice (from blending whole tomatoes)
1 T tomato soup bouillon

filling: (You could use chicken, beef, or omit meat if desired.)
3 pounds of meat
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
salt to taste

shredded white cheese

slaw topping:
dried chiles (amount depends on your spice tolerance)
1/2 cabbage head, raw, shredded
1-2 beets, cooked, chopped
2 carrots, raw, chopped
1 onion, raw, chopped
1/2 cup juice of jalepenos in oil
1 tsp oregano
2 T white vinegar
2 T olive oil

tomato topping:
4 tomatoes blended together in a blender

Directions:
Filling:
1.  Prepare filling ahead of time. This can be prepared the day before and left in the refrigerator to meld flavors.
2.  Slow cook meat for about 1 hour with a small amount of water, garlic cloves, and salt.
3.  Once meat is cooked through and tender, Blend the following ingredients in a blender: tomato, onion, bell pepper. Drain meat and fry just a bit to help dry it out. Blend up meat with the pureed mixture. When the meat filling is ready, it should look something like the picture below.


slaw:
1. Prepare ahead of time and store in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
2. Fry dried red chiles in a small amount of olive oil (save oil), Then chop chiles.
3. In a large bowl, mix together all slaw ingredients and oil from chiles. Add more vinegar or oil if more liquid is needed. Add more chopped veggies if more are needed. The slaw should look something like the picture below.

shell:
Mix Masa, water. tomato juice and bouillon together with hands in a large bowl. Add more water or masa to reach the texture pictured below.


To fry pupusas:
1.  Preheat electric griddles to 375 degrees and coat lightly with olive oil.

2.  Roll a ball (2 inch diameter) of the masa mixture in your hand, then form a cup. Like pictured below.



3.  Put a small handful of the meat mixture and then a layer of shredded cheese. Close up the pupusa and flatten with your hands. Like pictured below. You may need to dab your fingers in a small bowl of water and/or olive oil as the dough gets sticky.





4.  Fry on the griddle till warm and golden brown. Add more olive oil as needed.

5.  Serve with slaw topping and drizzle of tomato topping.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Green Rice with Poblano Strips

From: Mexico the Beautiful Cookbook - Recipe from the Mexican Region: Morelos


I have made this recipe with less oil,  no cheese and no cream and it was still quite delicious!
Ingredients:
2 cups long grain white rice
5 oz fresh spinach
1 cupparsley leaves
1 T chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 cups hot water
salt
2 T butter
3 cups onions, thinly sliced
4 chiles poblanos, roasted, sliced
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup thick cream

Directions:
1.  Soak the rice for 5 minutes in warm water, rinse well and drain.
2.  Rinse the spinach well, place in a saucepan with no added water, cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to blender, add parsley, onion, garlic and 1/2 cup water and puree. Set aside.
3.  Heat the oil in a skillet, add rice and saute for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. When the grains begin to separate, remove from heat and drain off excess oil. Add the spinach-parsley puree to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes. Add the hot water and salt to taste. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or till rice is tender.
4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in large skillet, add the onions and chile strips and saute for 5 minutes or till tender. Sprinkle with salt.
5.  Grease a ring mold or baking dish and arrange 1/3 of the onions and chiles on the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the rice and half the cheese. Cover with the remaining rice. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
6.  Turn our the mold onto a platter. Cover with cream and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place remaining onions and chiles in the center of the mold or over the top.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Looking for a Good Easter Read?

Here is a list of great Easter Children's books that convey the real Easter story.


  • The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs

  • The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier, Paul Maier, Frank Ordaz

  • Benjamin's Box by Melody Carlson, Jack Stockman (Illustrator)

  • Easter Bunny, Are You For Real? by Harold Myra, Jane Kurisu

  • The Crippled Lamby Max Lucado, Liz Bonham

  • The Easterville Miracle by Melody Carlson, Susan Reagan (Illustrator)

  • The Tales of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
  • Easter Eggs


    I learned a new way to decorate eggs this year. You can make any type of pattern that you like. Next year...Egg Decorating Party at the Herzog's home!

    Do It Yourself Directions:
    Supplies:
    Raw Eggs (if you want to save them, You can blow them out or carefully leave them. They will dry out and be fine, just don't break them or you will smell rotten eggs!)
    Hard Boiled Eggs (if you want to eat them)
    Beeswax
    Hot Plate
    Pie Tin or Tin Bread Pan (for melting wax)
    3 wooded matchsticks
    3 hat pins/ sewing pins/ dressmaking pins...ect (with 3 different sized balls on top of the pins)
    Egg Dye
    Newspaper
    Tissue or Paper Towels (for removing eggs from dye)
    spoons (for removing eggs from dye)

    Directions:
    1.  Prepare Wax Station: Warm Beeswax in Pie Tin/Bread Pan over a Hot Plate. Wax needs to be completely liquid. Put newspaper under the Wax Station to keep wax from dripping on your counter or tabletop.
    2.  Prepare Egg Dye Station: Following instructions on dye. 
    Set up three stations. Station 1: lightest colors;  Station 2: Medium colors;  Station 3: darkest colors (To make colors dark you may need to add extra tablets...example: If using PAAS dye add 4 tablets for the darkest dye colors. Put newspaper under your dying stations to keep your counter or tabletop clean. 
    3.  Prepare decorating tools. Stick the pointed end of each pin into a wooden match stick. Use tape to secure the pin in the end of the matchstick if needed. This will give you three decorating tools with different size balls on each end. This will give you more variation in decorating.
    4.   Decorate Eggs: (Don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes! It will take a few eggs to get the hang of it!) The beeswax is clear, so it protects the color of the egg or dye that it is placed over. To start: Make designs on the eggs by dipping the ball of the pin into the melted beeswax and then quickly making a mark on the egg. Practice your mark making first on newspaper if you want to.
    The first marks that you make on the eggs will be the color of the egg. Then, pick your first color of dye. Then make more marks on the egg. (The second set of marks you make will remain the color of the dye.) Then repeat, make more marks and dye the egg again. You can usually anywhere from one to three colors easily. As you add more colors, get darker and darker. As you get better, you may be able to add more colors successfully. 

    Not a Box

    There is a great children's book, Not a Box. If you have never heard of it. Check it out.
    I am curious...even at 9 months old. What is Ezra imagining this box is?




    Sweet Mama Zog's April Batch

    Today is a wonderful day for making bread. (10.) I am thankful for fantastic bread making weather. Even though it is April and we have a winter weather advisory here in Wisconsin, I am grateful for a terrific bread making day! 


    Sweet Mama Zog's Bread of the Month Club recipients will be receiving a fresh round loaf of Honey Wheat Bread today. What a great day for a slice of warm, fresh bread.



    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Tiramisu Layered Cake

    I doubled this recipe in order to have four layers of pound cake and plenty of 
    mascarpone filling/ frosting. I also added Lady Fingers to the edge of the cake (mostly to hide my mistakes!). 


    soaking the pound cake with espresso syrup
    soaked pound cake
    Layers of espresso soaked pound cake, mascarpone filling and mini chocolate chips

    Finished Four Layer Tiramisu with Lady Fingers around the edge

      

    Recipe slightly altered from: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

    Ingredients for the cake layers:
    2 cups cake flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

    1 cup sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 large egg yolk
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    3/4 cup buttermilk

    Ingredients for the espresso extract:
    2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
    2 tablespoons boiling water


    Ingredients for the espresso syrup:
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (You may use Amaretto or Irish Cream coffee flavoring syrup if you do not wish to use alcohol.)


    Ingredients for the filling and frosting:
    1 8-ounce container mascarpone
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (Deb note: I used brandy)
    1 cup cold heavy cream
    2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
    Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)
    Cocoa powder, for dusting


    Getting ready:
    Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

    To make the cake:
    Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.(Whisk them if you do not have a sifter)
    Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
    Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.

    To make the extract:
    Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until
    blended. Set aside.


    To make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur/brandy/coffee flavoring syrup; set aside.


    To make the filling and frosting:
    Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur/ brandy/ coffee flavoring in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.
    Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.


    To assemble the cake:
    If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer – user about 1 1/4 cups – and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.
    For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.
    With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. If you want to decorate the cake with chocolate-covered espresso beans, press them into the filling, making concentric circles of beans or just putting some beans in the center of the cake.
    Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving – the elements need time to meld.
    Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa. I cut a star shape out of waxed paper and placed it lightly over the cake, and shaved a layer of chocolate over it with a microplane, before carefully removing the star to leave a stenciled shape.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Apple Strudel - Another Family Favorite

    This was a favorite growing up! Classic, delicious!

    ingredients:
    crust
    2 cups flour
    3/4 cup shortening
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 egg yolk
    8 T. cold water
    filling
    5-6 cups apple slices
    1 T flour
    3/4 cup sugar or cane juice crystals
    1 tsp cinnamon


    directions:
    Preheat oven 350 degrees.
    Mix flour, salt, shortening, Add egg and water. Mix as pie crust. Chill well. Divide dough in half. Roll out  very thin and spread on a greased sheet. Fill with apple slices. Sprinkle remaining filling ingredients over the apple slices. Roll other half of dough thinly. Place over apple filling and pinch edges. Bake 45 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar frosting if desired.

    New York Cheese Cake

    This recipe is a family favorite from the kitchen of my Great Aunt. Our family enjoyed this recipe for many birthday and holiday celebrations.

    Ingredients:
    crust
    1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (9-10 crackers)
    6 T. melted butter
    1/4 cup sugar or cane juice crystals
    filling
    2 lbs cream cheese
    3/4 cup sugar or cane juice crystals
    2 eggs (lightly beaten)
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 Tb cornstarch
    1 cup sour cream

    Directions:
    crust
    Combine ingredients and press into a 9 inch spring form pan or pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Or chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
    filling
    Beat together cream cheese and sugar till creamy and light. Beat in eggs, vanilla and cornstarch ONLY till thoroughly mixed. Stir in sour cream till mixture is well blended.

    Pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Allow cake to cool in the oven with the oven door open (propped open with a wooden spoon) for 3 hours. Chill completely. Then serve with fresh berries or chocolate drizzles.

    Peanut Butter Balls

    This recipe was created by my friend, Pam. These Peanut Butter Balls are a delicious and fairly nutritious snack that can be enjoyed by all ages. I love them, so I am adding them to my blog, so that I never loose the recipe. (6.) I am thankful for friends to share recipes with!


    The recipe is pretty flexible so I'll just give approximate amounts. Eyeball it, you don't need to measure them out.

    In a blender or food processor, combine:
    1/2 cup dried fruit (could be any combination of raisin, figs, cranberries, apricots)
    1/3 cup nuts (I usually use almonds, walnuts, cashews)

    Process until everything is cut up into pretty small pieces. Dump into a large bowl.

    Add:
    1/4 cup quick oats, or old-fashioned oats, pulsed a few times in the blender
    1-2 Tbsp of wheat germ
    1-2 Tbsp of dried unsweetened coconut
    Can also add 1 Tbsp ground flax

    Mix well and then scoop in about 3/4 cup peanut butter. Mix together until it starts holding together, you may need to add more peanut butter. You should use your hands near the end of the mixing here, to check the consistency. Form small balls, anywhere from marble to ping pong ball size, depending on your preference and what size mouths are eating them. (I usually make mine too big for my kids and end up splitting them in half with my hands right before they pop one in!) Place balls on a plate and freeze for 10 minutes, or refrigerate for 20. Enjoy! Any balls you don't eat right away will store well in a tupperware in the fridge. I haven't frozen them, but I'm sure you could do that, too.

    Apple Slices and Dates...In Drewski's Honor

    Looking for a yummy, but natural snack? This combination was suggested by my brother, Drew. (AKA Drewski) Thanks buddy!




    Try an apple sliced up, topped with a date or pieces of dates. The mixture in your mouth tastes almost just like a caramel apple. (5.) I love natural sweetener! Dates and Apples!

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Muhammara Pizza

    Recipe 
    Ingredients:
    Muhammara Sauce
    Pizza dough
    Vegetables of your choice: red onion, zucchini, red bell pepper
    Feta cheese
    Greek olives

    Directions:
    1. Make pizza dough.
    2. While dough is rising prepare Muhammara sauce and prep toppings.
    3. Once dough is ready, spread onto a pan or pizza stone and top with toppings. Bake at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

    Whole Wheat Crust

    Recipe
    ingredients:
    1 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
    2 tsp active dry yeast
    pinch of sugar
    2.5 to 3 c. whole wheat flour
    2 Tb olive oil
    1/2 tsp salt
    cornmeal for sprinkling


    directions:1. Pour warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast, sugar, and 1 Tb flour over surface of water. Stir til dissolved and let stand at room temp. until foamy, about 15 min.
    2. Mix: In a large bowl, place oil, salt, 1 c. flour, and yeast mixture whisk hard until smooth, about 2 min. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring with wooden spoon until soft, sticky dough forms that just clears the side of the bowl.
    3. Knead: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a springy ball, dusting with flour when needed, about 3 min. The dough should be soft and springy. Form the dough into a flattened ball. (Optional - add seasonings to dough at this time...basil, rosemary, ect)
    4. Place dough in a greased deep container. Turn once to coat the top and then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temp. until tripled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (The dough may be refrigerated overnight at this point. Let stand 45 min at room temp. before proceeding if you refrigerated the dough.)
    5. Prepare toppings while dough rises. Preheat oven to 500 degrees at least 20 min. before baking. Put pizza stone in oven while preheating if using one.
    6. After dough has risen, shape dough onto pizza pan (sprinkle both sides of dough with cornmeal if desired), pizza stone or cookie sheet.
    7. Bake crust 5 min. at 500 degrees. Remove from oven, top the pizza and then return to over for 5-10 more minutes til dough is crisp and pizza toppings are warm and melted.

    Brownie Bites

    Recipe

    Ingredients:

    4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
    3/4 cup canola oil
    3 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup flour


    Directions:
    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Put a small baking dish of water in the oven as well to add moisture. Leave in while brownies bake.) Line a mini muffin tin with baking cups (paper or foil) or spray with cooking oil.
    2.  Microwave in a large bowl till chocolate is melting: 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate and oil (or in a sauce pan on the stove) Stir till chocolate is completely melted.
    3.  Stir in: sugar, Blend in: eggs and vanilla, Add: salt and flour and Mix well.
    4.  Spoon batter into mini muffin pans
    5.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. (Till brownie are done to your liking!)

    Optional: For a twist add peanut butter chips, walnuts, butterscotch chips, or your own creative addition

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Hummus





    Hummus Recipe
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cup chick peas
    1/4 to 1/2 cup tahini 
    1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon or from concentrate)
    1/4 cup water
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    3/4 tsp. cumin
    3/4 tsp. sea salt
    (optional) 1/4 cup Greek olives or 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, one avocado, or 1 to 2 T sweet chili sauce

    Directions:
    Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor till smooth. 

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Muhammara - Made it, LOVE it!

    Today, I made my first batch of Muhammara. I made a few alterations. My changes are in green. Typically Muhammara is used as a dipping sauce for pita or bread, similar to hummus. I plan to use this delicious sauce as pizza sauce on a Muhammara Pizza!  I will use a whole wheat pizza crust then top it with: red onions, Greek olives, and feta cheese. This is also great as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, ect...



    Muhammara
    a 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained (or roast your own red peppers)
    2/3 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fine (use more or less walnuts for thickness desired)
    2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
    2 teaspoons pomegranate or grape molasses*
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    *available at Middle Eastern markets (available at Toys Grocery Store in Sheboygan, WI.)

    In a food processor blend together the peppers, the bread crumbs, the walnuts, the garlic, the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, the cumin, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth and with the motor running add the oil gradually. Transfer the muhammara to a bowl and serve it at room temperature with the pita triangles.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Fresh Balsamic, Craisin, Pecan Salad


    This is a salad recipe (slightly altered) from my brother, Drew, who is a fellow foodie.

    Ingredients:
    1 cucumber, peeled and cubed (seeded if you want to take the time)
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    2 hand fulls of fresh spinach, chopped
    2-3 scallions, chopped
    2 hand fulls of craisins
    1 hand full of pecans, chopped
    1 Tb balsamic vinegar
    1 Tb olive oil

    Directions:
    Clean and prepare veggies, drizzle vinegar and oil over veggies (use more or less depending on your likes). Toss ingredients together and chill till ready to serve.

    Braided Italian Walnut Bread

    A braided bread is very simple to make. Simply divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid it together like the picture shown. Use your favorite bread recipe and enjoy!


    Recipe
    Ingredients:
    2 1/2 cups warm water (110 - 115 degrees F.)
    3 Tb SAF instant yeast
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
    1 Tb Soy Lecithin
    1 Tb salt
    about 6 cups whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

    Directions:
    1.  Pour warm water, honey, olive oil, soy lethicin and yeast into the Bosch mixing bowl.
    2.  Pour 3 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour over wet ingredients. (Nutrimill Home Grain Mill is an excellent grain mill if you are interested in grinding your own grain.)
    3.  Cover and mix on level 1 in the Bosch mixer for 1 minute
    4.  Add salt and continue mixing on level 1
    5. Add flour while mixing on level 1 - about 1/2 cup at a time until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl and looks like the right texture
    6. Once the right amount of flour has been added, cover and turn the Bosch mixer to level 2 and mix for 6 minutes
    7. When the 6 minutes is up, pour a small puddle of canola or olive oil on your work surface, remove the dough from the mixer and knead dough 3-4 times on the oiled surface.
    8.  Then separate the dough into two  loaves. Pound them each on the table a few times to remove air bubbles. Then separate each loaf into three pieces, roll then to about 10 inch "snakes." Roll two of the snakes in walnuts to cover the outside. Then braid the three pieces together. Do this for each loaf. 
    9.  Allow loaves to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees during this time.
    10.  Once dough has risen, bake for about 30 minutes, till golden brown and a hollow sound when you knock on the top of each loaf. 

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Mango Salsa and Shrimp

    For dinner Peter suggested we saute some shrimp in butter and lemon juice...this is what I ended up doing.

    Ingredients:
    2 Tb butter
    2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    1/2 cup sherry or dry white cooking wine
    1 bunch of scallions, chopped
    juice of one lemon
    1 or 1/2 jalapeño (depending on your spice tolerance) 
    1 mango, diced
    1 cup of cherry tomatoes, diced
    1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 cups fresh spinach
    amount 1/2 pound of shrimp (I used farm raised, frozen, pre-cooked)
    salt and pepper

    Directions:
    1. Prepare pasta, rice, polenta or quinoa to serve with Mango Salsa Shrimp. 
    2. Melt butter and saute garlic. Add sherry, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
    3. Add scallions, lemon juice, mango, jalapeño and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add tomatoes, cilantro simmer for 2-5 minutes. Add shrimp and spinach, cook till shrimp is warm and spinach is barely wilted. 
    4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    5. Serve over pasta, rice, polenta, or quinoa.