Recipe: Homemade “Grape Nuts” Type Cereal

May 31, 2009 § Leave a comment

Grape Nuts Box Art

Old Grape Nuts Box Art, Courtesy of the World of Mr. Toast

In our continuing effort to buy less processed food, my husband and I examined another expense that we’re destined to get rid of: breakfast cereal. Ultimately, most breakfast cereals don’t give me the protein content I need. I’ll be honest, though, I have my favorites and good cereal ranks right up there in my top 5 with whole oats for breakfasts.

So, when we went to the farmer’s market this past weekend to stock up on a few items, I was pleased beyond imagining to see a second whole grains vendor there for the weekend. Jennings Brothers Stone Ground Grains hails from Nashville, MI, about 142 miles away from the market itself. That’s a little further than I like to buy for food; we aim for within 100 miles of our home as much as possible. But I also know that Jennings Brothers splits their time between our market and the market where my Dad lives, so in a funny way purchasing from them was like being a little closer to him. Sue me; I’m sentimental. Still, their products are grown and made right in Michigan, which you can’t always say about Michigan-based companies. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Recipe: Clean the Cupboards Granola

May 31, 2009 § 3 Comments

Granola

Granola

Shopping hungry is always a bad idea, even at the farmer’s market. I’m lucky enough to have several grain growers at my local farmer’s market, which allows my husband an I to take one step closer to not purchasing pre-processed foods. I’m starting to experiment with making our own breakfast granola rather than buying purchased cereals. This first attempt seems to have turned out far better than I hoped for and allowed me to clean out the last of my dried nuts and fruits from our winter storage. The recipe will certainly evolve based on what we have available at any given time, but here’s what I came up with today. « Read the rest of this entry »

Recipe: Chicken Dumpling Stew

April 7, 2009 § 4 Comments

Chicken and Dumpling Stew

Chicken and Dumpling Stew

Every so often a simple recipe comes along that rocks your world. This was one of them for our family. I had just made some homemade chicken broth and rather than freeze it, like I usually do, I actually had an immediate plan for it. I’m trying to work through some flour that’s a little past its prime, but still fairly tasty. And I had vegetables from the farmer’s market to use up. I wasn’t thinking chicken and dumplings when I went into the kitchen, though. I actually thought I was going in to make a cream of potato soup, but once again, you just never know what the kitchen will produce. « Read the rest of this entry »

Recipe: Oat Nut Plum Bread

March 10, 2009 § Leave a comment

I have to confess that I’m not very fond of Sucralose-based sweets. I’m simply not fond of artificial sweeteners and baking with them doesn’t provide the same structure. You have to fiddle with the recipe a LOT to get it to work. The net result is that while I do make baked goods, I have a tendency to avoid eating them because hypoglycemia forces me to. My husband does not complain, of course, because he gets to test the recipes personally no matter what. « Read the rest of this entry »

Recipe: Plum Tart with Violet Jelly Glaze

March 2, 2009 § 3 Comments

Plum Tart, originally uploaded by iasmindecordoba.

Plums are definitely not in season. I don’t make a habit of buying out-of-season fruit at all. But a fellow Freecycler had purchased too many (via a case purchase) and offered them up. I figured at the very least I could do some quick canning, but a tart happened. Like the masthead says, sometimes you just don’t know what the kitchen will produce. I didn’t go in intending to make a tart….it just sort of happened. This tart uses a shortbread crust for a 9- or 10-inch tart pan. A separate recipe for the sweet spice mix I used is noted below. « Read the rest of this entry »

Recipe: Orange-Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Toasted Almonds

December 25, 2008 § 1 Comment

This is by request and not my typical, well-written recipe with steps. Ask me questions if you need help with any of the steps. And no, for the record, I’m not a big fan of sprouts. This just … just sort of happened. But I confess I liked them.

To be truthful, I sort of made it up as I went. Let me see if I can tell you what I did. I’m sorry it’s not in modern recipe format.

I grabbed a gallon-sized ziploc bag of brussels sprouts from the freezer. They had been cleaned and trimmed of the hard ends before freezing sometime late this year but had nothing else done to them before I stuffed them into the freezer bag. I pulled the bag out of the freezer and ran it into a sink of coolish water while I was preparing other things. This defrosted them somewhat but not completely.

The whole of the bag completely filled a very deep glass baking dish I have. To the brussels sprouts in the pan I added three tablespoons of cold butter, cut into small chunks (they were what was left over from the biscuit dough for the cobbler). I also added three smashed garlic cloves about the size of my thumbnail and another two or three the size of my pinkie nail.

Then I drizzled olive oil on the sprouts, probably about two tablespoons worth, and another two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Then I rasped the outside of an orange (all of it) over the top of the dish, cut the orange in half and squeezed the juice from both halves on to the dish.

Then I added a healthy teaspoon of red sea salt, ground a few really good grinds of a mixed peppercorn mix onto it, and tossed it lightly to coat the sprouts with everything in the pan.

Pan covered then into a 450F oven for…hmmm….35 minutes? Until the sprouts were crisping and browning, with the occasional turn with a wooden spoon. As they were getting close to being done, I toasted a good handful of slivered almonds in a dry pan…maybe… hmmm…I think maybe as much as half a cup but it looked like less in my hand.

Toss together, add a little more sea salt for texture, and serve.

Would have been better with pancetta, but I didn’t have any. 🙂 Or shallots. Or..or…or…:) Relatively speaking it’s pretty glycemic friendly though.

Sorry I don’t have more specific directions. I was sort of flying through the kitchen at Mach-1. 🙂

Recipe: Hypocras-Spiced Watermelon Pickles

August 13, 2008 § 3 Comments

When I was a little girl I was very lucky to have a father that enjoyed reading to me. He would read Hardy Boys novels, the Bobsy Twins, The Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew. All very typical, though likely a bit more advanced than most parents would consider reading to their children of the same age (I was roughly 3.5-4 years old when he started these). But one of the things I remember most was my father reading me poetry. Robert Frost and e.e. cummings were some of his favorites, but there was a special place in his heart for the book “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle” (in which the poem of the same name appears). We would always begin the reading with Eve Merriam’s suggestion:

Don’t be polite
Bite in.
Pick it up with your
fingers and lick
The juice that may
run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now,
whenever you are.

I smile when I think of this and as I was cutting up the watermelon for lunches this week, I thought about those nights when, even utterly exhausted from work, my father would take the time to read me something, even something as small as a poem, kiss me on the head, and send me off to Dreamland. These are for him.

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