Sunday, May 19, 2019
My pickling recipe is pretty standard. Water and vingear in equal ratio; sugar, salt and a spice mixture. We redo this mixture every year, in search of the best one. It is a work in progress!
Pictured above is dill, garlic, mustard seed, black pepper, red pepper flakes, onion, celery seed and juniper berry. I know there are several non-AIP ingredients, so if you are sensitive to nightshades, unfortunately this is not the recipe for you.
Store for 4 months, then enjoy! Then what do you do? Snacks, bloody mary cocktails, salads? How about a pickled pasta salad?
Enjoy the bounty of the season!
Thursday, April 25, 2019
2019 marks 10 years in a few anniversaries. I quit smoking, my dad was diagnosed and died 3 months later from lung cancer.
This year I had a long conversation with my doctor. My own health is at a turning point. I am at the point that unhealthy habits that seem minor now will lead to a shorter lifespan down the road or have me suffering from medical issues. I don't smoke but that doesn't mean my 12 years of doing so didn't do enough damage.
How does this happen? You go from what you thought was healthy to a crash in 10 years. My hair started falling out 10 years ago too. Stress is not my friend. While I have made several changes to get back on a better path, it's time for some more. Nerve pain is getting worse so I have to keep doing the good things that help and use products that don't hinder the healing.
Instead of giving things up, I am trying to change my mindset about what I am gaining. More time with my husband. The lung capacity to take a high altitude hike! Less mass on my joints leading to less pain. Maybe less psoriasis flares.
The possibilities are endless!
I am going to slip back, I am doing to fall down (I am a but clumsy at times), but I will keep pushing forward!
I have a goal set, a time frame. Spring helps as I am naturally more active. Gardening is a big job around our home, so expect to see a few more reading in the garden posts!
Don't fear change. Take it slow, be well, keepoving, and rest when you need it.
Blessings to all.
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Daily cooking has lead me to vary my routine and reciepe collections. When I make the weekly menu, due to the fact I am cooking for a house guest too, I need to make a touch more than usual. I plan to make meals that are easily reheatable and filling to the hard working man (could be woman, but the two I am meal prepping for are men).
While I could get by with just a small salad and a protein, they need a bit more to work 10-12 hour shifts.
Some of their favorites:
Cowboy Beans (actually is B's reciepe)
Sausage pesto pasta
Chicken Enchillada casserole with homefried tortilla chips
Shrimp stir fry with Coconut rice
Roast chicken with mashed potatoes
Sweet & sour Meatballs and Hawaiian style pasta salad
Fresh Pork chops n roasted veggies
Chicken Quarters with roast root veggies
Fully loaded steak salads with homemade dressings (choices!)
Teriyaki Chicken Legs with fried rice (in a number of combinations)
I must admit, I've had a bit too much of my trigger foods. I ended up having a bad autoimmune flare a few weeks back. Things that upset my system are legumes, corn, wheat, nuts, and dairy. Legumes seem to be the worst right now. I have come to the conclusion that almond milk creamer in coffee is actually a bad combination. Thankfully I have found a coconut milk creamer that I enjoy - so I can have one cup of coffee. Otherwise, it is back to tea; not that I am complaining as I LOVE tea too.
You probabally want reciepes.
Some I may have posted about before, while others I just follow what I think sounds good at the time. Things that inspire the menu are what is on hand, what is on sale, what is going to be fully used, or made to last over a few different reciepes - if I buy in bulk (like eye of round beef roast).
Ground Beef - 1 lb
Ground Venison 1 lb
Ground Pork (plain not sausage) 1 lb.
Sourdough loaf (the airy kind not the soft kind)
Dark marbled rye bread (at least 4 slices)
BBQ sauce ***
Medium white onion, minced
Garlic, 2 cloves minced
Handfull of Parsley, chopped
Fresh ground Pepper
*** These are items I make from scratch.
*Tear the sourdough into chunks and let it sit out on the counter overnight alongside the rye bread. You want the bread to dry a bit so the crumb is fine when you add to the meat mixture.
*Next morning bring all ingredients to room temp except the ground meat.
*Using gloved hands, add to a large non-reactive bowl: beef, pork and venison, minced onion, chopped parsley, minced garlic, dash of salt, dash of pepper, and a splash of bone broth. You only want a splash at this step.
*Gently mix with your hands. Remove and discard gloves.
* Add 3/4 of the bread by tearing the bread into fine crumbs for the rye bread, and half crumb and a few chunks for the sourdough. Do not mix in yet.
*Once the bread is sprinkled all over the meat mixture, crack an egg over (ratio of 1 egg per 1.5 lb of meat so I use 2 eggs as I use 1lb of each meat item).
*add a dash of worcestshire sauce, a splash of bone broth, and a dollop of BBQ sauce.
*With new gloves, gently mix in the crumb and eggs with your hands.
*Review time - If the mixture is too dry, add a touch more of BBQ sauce or bone broth. If it's too wet, add more bread (which is why we reserve some of the bread).
*Adjust the mixture as needed, discard gloves.
*Prepare your pan. I found that lining my baking dish with parchment paper made it easy to lift out the finished meatloaf. But if you are only serving buffet style in the kitchen like we do, it's not needed. Instead, just sprinkle some olive oil around the dish to give it a nice coating (and a nice outside edge).
*Add the meatloaf mixture, then smooth out.
*Coat with a light amount of BBQ sauce
*Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then top with a bit more bbq sauce and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
*Total is an hour - give or take until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.
*Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
I serve this with parmesan garlic mashed red potatoes and a side of sour cream! Note - I make this when I can handle nightshades and eggs, not during a bad flare.
If you don't want this as a casserole, you can use this exact recipe to also make meatballs or cook in regular muffin tins, or mini muffin tins! The possibilities are endless.
How do you like your meatloaf? More meat than bread, ketchup or bbq sauce, dry or moist?
Off to do some shopping - will post the next reciepe later on!
Friday, November 23, 2018
You see it all started a few weeks ago. We began to change from grain heavy meals during the week, to more limited, then to barely any. The meal portions got a little smaller, or were filled by more nutrient dense items. While we couldn't finish our plates - what we did have was amazing!
Menu for a Feast of Thanksgiving went like this:
Homegrown cucumber pickles***
Cold imitation crab dip
Whole grain crackers
Apple wood smoked Turkey
Golden mashed potatoes
Gluten-free smokey Gravy**
Roasted Homegrown Carrots and Beets***
Green Bean Mushroom bake with onions and bacon**
Coconut cream Ambrosia salad**
Pumpkin Pecan tarts with almond meal crusts*,**
Smoked Pumpkin Cheesecake **
Pumpkin pecan Pie/Tart**
Whipped coconut cream**
*Personal sized **Experimental or new dish. ***Includes good items grown here
Now you might feel this menu was not that daunting. We had a few hiccups along the way, one being that I bought too big of a bird and B did his best to accommodate my purchase. We joked that the best way we learn is trial and error. But at the end of the day, even in light of the issues we faced and lessons learned, we had a beautiful spread and ended in laughter!
Our dog, being his first thanksgiving and all - found out that every time B went for the door, he cold go and smell the aromas that were coming from the smoker box. He would come back inside and look at me like "Do you smell that??" It permeated B's clothes. We all drooled that day!
|Turkey in the brine|
|Ready for the smoker|
Roasted beets and carrots
The last few weeks I have been trying to avoid my trigger foods - corn, soy, wheat, dairy, sugar, and artificial preservatives. For the most part I have been successful. Thanksgiving did have dairy, some wheat, and limited sugar. We used honey, coconut sugar, coconut cream where possible, and just used full fat versions when not. When it came time to discuss green bean casserole - B mentioned he didn't really like the standard version. Thus we tried something new.
|Green bean mushroom bake|
|Desserts, personal sized|
So there are some of our recipes this year. This was our dogs first thanksgiving and our first without our Missy Kitty. Grateful for our home, life, surroundings, friends, and family.
Hoping you and yours made it memorable too!!
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Originally she was supposed to a cat to keep my grammy company. When I moved, she went with me - and since then she's been by my side. Earlier this year she had survived an eye removal due to a lens issue. We all had hope she would last another 5-10 years.
One month ago she woke me up, throwing up and looking lethargic. It was my normal day to work from home, and for that I will ever be grateful.
She continued to decline all day. I had to clock off work early and came to the realizaton that this was her last day. I talked to my mom, sister, and B - we all had tears as this cat meant a lot to everyone. Our dog knew something was wrong. Usually they tormented each other and that day he nuzzled her, laid by her side and was the most gentle I had seen of him. Not knowing if I could drive, my friend said she had some calming medicine if kitty needed it. She wasn't able to lift her head and I knew it only hours before she'd end up having major problems. She was already shutting down. With a goodby to puppy, Missy took a last ride downriver, where her wonderful vet waited past their normal closing time.
After loooking at her, hearing about the day and some of the prior weeks (eye started to become more dialated than usual), Dr. J thinks she had a vascular stroke. The eye lens shifted, she couldn't see the last few hours, and she was in obvious pain. this wasn't something we could have prevented, it was only a matter of time due to her eye. It was the right thing to do. She went night night amid tears and laughter and lots of love with me, her vet, and the vet assistant. I took her home with me and since B wasn't home, I had to move the green beans to make room for her in our chest freezer.
In the days that followed, I was super glad for our puppy. He barely left my side and we grieved together. I was so heartbroken. When B got home days later, he made a beautiful box where we laid her to rest with her favorite blankie, toys, collar and all of our love. Her final resting place is in our rose garden, in between two rose buses, where we can see her spot out our dining room. My plan is to make a wood sign for her as her memorial garden. One day we do want a bigger place, and while I won't move her, i will always take her sign with me.
Some may think I grieve too hard for just a cat. She was more. I am aproaching my 40's. We have failed to concieve the last 6 years, so that darn cat was my kid. And she's gone. I know it doesn't fully equate to the loss of a human child - it never can. But the loss and grief is the same. There was an empty part of me that just ached for days. The only solace I took is that she didn't have a long and slow painful death. She was super healthy one day, and failing the next. She always trusted me, and in those final moments, she was at peace.
The night we laid her to rest, I decided to make roast chicken - her favorite - for dinner. An hour into cooking, the chicken wasn't cooking very well. The lower element went out. Man did we have some laughs! You can bet she was chuckling or smirking up there in kitty heaven, just thinking, no roast chicken without me hunans! Two Amazon orders later, we got the the right replacement element - and I haven't make roast chicken since. The next time we do, we will dedicate it to our Missy. Our first taste tester here at Books n Brew, but not our last.
Our pets are more than just nusiances, they are family and we love them just as much - even sometimes more so!
I don't have a recipe to post today, nor a book, It's just my post about my sweet Missy Kitty. Hug them tight and give lots of love - for their lives are not as long as ours, but they are such packed with lots of love.