Monday, October 27, 2008

Husband's Favorites



The comforts of the season!

Friday, October 24, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Friday in October

Today in my kitchen, I:

Made oatmeal porridge for breakfast with cinnamon, butter, and applesauce.

Made tuna sandwiches for lunch with carrot sticks.

Defrosted ground beef and tomato sauce from the freezer.

Started a new batch of Kombucha.

Made spaghetti sauce and pasta noodles (Ah! total compromise here, but I was leaving for a night off learning to hand sew dolls) along with a salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Fed the sourdough mother.

Soaked coffee grounds for cold water extract.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Thursday in October

In my kitchen today, I:

Made oatmeal porridge for breakfast.

Made husband's latte.

Made PB-Honey sandwiches for lunch with liberty apples.

Snacked on leftover chicken salad.

Made a sauteed leek and fried potato dish with fried eggs on top for dinner (I am in desperate need of a grocery store trip...perhaps tonight. This is the off week for our grocery deliveries, and my pantry feels it).

Soaked flour in yogurt for pizza dough for tomorrow's dinner. (I realized that I had no butter - see above mention of desperately needing to go to the store)

Fed the sourdough mother.

Soaked oats for tomorrow's breakfast.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Wednesday in October

Today in my kitchen, I:

Grabbed banana's and downed some milk on the way out the door to adventures before the milk adventure.

Served the boys goat milk yogurt and raisins for lunch (with a touch of maple syrup to take the edge off the extra sourness) with a little Liberty apple each.

Made myself oatmeal porridge with applesauce, butter, cinnamon and raisins.

Made a chunky chicken salad for dinner (I added chopped cold baked potatoes, for some reason whenever I do this, my husband loves to eat salad), with bread on the side.

Gave the boys applesauce for dessert.

Enjoyed vanilla ice cream topped with warm applesauce for dessert with Husband.

Fed the sourdough mother.

Soaked oats for tomorrow's breakfast.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Tuesday in October

Today in my kitchen, I:

(perhaps it should be noted that every morning starts with a banana for us all, and a glass of real milk before we make official breakfast. There is also, typically, a mug of milk with every meal)

Made scrambled eggs with bread and butter for breakfast.

Made PB-Honey for lunch again with carrot sticks on the side.

Reheated Enchilada's for dinner (I love a meal that can extend itself for several days if need be).

Made vanilla ice cream and enjoyed it for dessert!

Fed the sourdough mother.

Soaked the oats for tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Monday in October

Today in my kitchen, I:

Made oatmeal porridge for breakfast.

Made fresh squeezed orange juice for us all.

Made husband's latte

Made "peanut-butter-honey-bites" for lunch with grapes and our homemade fromage blanc.

Soaked rice.

Made salmon, rice, and an "everything salad" for dinner along with re-heated potato-onion soup and hearty sour dough bread and butter. [I really meant to take a picture, but we had one of my highschool friends who was in town (yea for Facebook) over for dinner and I got sidetracked.]

Fed the sourdough mother.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Sunday in October

Today in my kitchen, I:

Put the loaves in the oven to bake.

Poured off the whey and stored the yogurt (nice and thick!).

Strained and hung the cheese to drip out the remaining whey.

Made oatmeal porridge for breakfast with fresh squeezed orange juice.

Made husband's morning latte.

Packed some freshly baked bread to share with our home church where we stayed for lunch.

Snacked on apples.

Reheated enchiladas for dinner with remaining guacamole and creme fraiche.

Enjoyed delicious grapes for dessert.

Fed the sourdough mother.

Set oats to soak for tomorrow's porridge.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In My Kitchen: A Saturday in October

In my kitchen today I,

Made scrambled eggs for breakfast served with bananas and milk.

Made a sample platter of crackers, fruit, and tuna salad for lunch.

Roasted a chicken, set aside meat, made gravy and froze it for later.

Made green enchilada sauce.

Made chicken enchilada's and guacamole, and served them for dinner alongside creme fraiche and our homemade salsa.

Enjoyed blackberry, goat milk, ice cream for dessert.

Began culturing goat milk yogurt and set in warm oven overnight.

Began culturing goat milk fromage blanc and left for overnight.

Prepared the sourdough loaves and set to rise overnight.

Soaked the oats for tomorrow's breakfast.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Food for Thought: Eggs

On the left: An egg from chickens I know who forage in a field with some goats and snack, in part, on scraps from my own kitchen.
On the right: The most ridiculously expensive eggs I could buy at WholeFoods, they are "Free-Range, Organic, Certified Humane, with No Hormones nor Antibiotics," yadda, yadda, yadda.

Color speaks.

Also interesting was that the left egg was actually smaller and yet the yolk is slightly larger. I wish that I could add a "normal" egg from a $1.25 a dozen box from Albertson's to really drive home the point, but you'll just have to imagine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brillante Weblog Award

To my surprise Prepare To Eat has been nominated for another blog award!

Many thanks to Daja at In Other Words, who is perhaps a long lost twin of mine, loving food and theology, while staying at home to mother many kids (she's got a good head start on us). Someday I do hope to actually feed her rather than just make her drool over my pictures. You might enjoy visiting her food blog as well.

The rules are as follows:

1. The winner can (and should, really) put the logo on his/her blog
2. The winner must link to the person from whom they received their award.
3. The winner must nominate at least 7 other blogs for an award.
4. The winner must place links to those blogs on their own blog.
5. The winner must leave a message on the blogs of the people they’ve nominated.

My nominations are for the following blog sites:

1. Leah at Just Like Camping. She is brilliantly hilarious in providing regular contests for things like guessing all 15 ingredients in a soup she just whipped up.

2. Maria at Living [Frugally] Well. There is no more brilliant idea than complete financial transparency as a motivator to live wiser, more frugally, and get out of debt.

3. Summer at A Shot in the Dark. She is unknowingly brilliant, and that is a beautiful thing. She finds large gems of truth from behind the camera, and most especially when it is pointed at herself. This is a private blog, but she'll likely let you in =)

4. Andy at Heroic Science. Saving science through music: Brilliant!

5. Deanna at Stories Glimmer. Tired of an old blog, brilliant to start fresh, and brilliant to let us in on so much of a published author's writing process.

6. Cherie at Cause I Believe In You. She's not afraid to share the moments of brilliance as they come to her, whatever the source.

7. Tucker at Pilgrim Akimbo. This brilliantly titled blog is apt to keep your list of things-to-think-more-about long as he shares brilliant insights from life and cinema.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Food Art

Butter melts in olive oil:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

When I first started cooking, I would use the whole head of lettuce every time I would make a salad - even a side salad to complement dinner. Then it changed to a half. Now it is closer to a quarter. My husband and sons do not eat as large a portion of salad as I do, and smaller portions mean more salad through the week for everyone, and less waste sent to the chickens.

I also have learned to let go of my perceived need to make a completely new meal every night of the week in order to be a good cook. Instead, I keep part of it to re-use for the next night, or later in the week. I plan for leftovers. My dinner responsibilities are easier and we have the flexibility to invite someone over for dinner any night of the week as I am always making a bit more than we'll eat that night.

Tuesday "Quiche, Soup, and Salad Night"

The leftovers become cold quiche for lunch Wednesday, and soup on the side of dinner (yes, that is right, I actually made dinner on a Wednesday and for 2 weeks in a row no less!).

Then the leftover chicken can go into sandwiches, enchiladas, and salads for the rest of the week.

Recycling a skeletal meal plan (e.g. Tuesday = Quiche, Soup, Salad) also makes dinner easier. I am currently working on a skeleton meal plan to share, some examples of how we fill it in, as well as a document where you can keep track of your own fleshed out plan.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Healthy Desserts: Carob Treats

I made my first batch of carob chips. It was so easy that I cannot believe I had not tried this recipe before now (also, of course, from Nourishing Traditions).

Carob Chips
makes 1 cup

3/4 cup carob powder
1 cup Coconut oil
1/4 cup Rapadura
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Chocolate Extract

Mix together in a glass container in simmering water until well combined.
Pour out onto a parchment paper lined sheet (or just parchment paper - I fold up the sides to contain liquids) and refrigerate overnight.
Break into pieces, store in refrigerator (coconut oil is completely liquid by 75 degrees)

A wonderful use of carob chips is to melt them back down and pour over ice cream. The primary use in our house is for a dessert recipe I created inspired from an EveryDay Food magazine (Jan/Feb 07 "molten mocha cakes"). My husband actually requests this treat regularly.

Molten Carob Cake (gluten-free)
Serves 2
Prep 10 minutes, total time 35 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces carob chips (as in above recipe, store bought if you must - though I can make no guarantees on the gluten-free)
1/3 cup Rapadura
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely ground espresso (grind #1) [ you can also use a mortar and pestle on regularly ground coffee]
sprinkle salt
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder (plus more for dusting - if you want to be fancy, add a smidgen of stevia to the dusting arrowroot powder)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two 6 ounce ramekins with butter and dust with arrowroot powder.

Gently melt butter and carob chips together, then remove from heat. [If you do not make your own carob chips, then add a tsp vanilla extract and a tsp chocolate extract]

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, rapadura, espresso powder, and salt. Add carob mixture, whisk to combine. Add arrowroot powder until just combined (do not over mix).

Pour batter into prepared ramekins. (Carob cakes can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated, just adjust bake time to 14-15 minutes depending on carob - coconut version takes longer than store bought)

Bake until toothpick comes out clean 1/2 inch from the edge of ramekins, and toothpick in the center comes out wet, 10-11 minutes (again, depending on carob). Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run knife around inside of ramekins to loosen. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with arrowroot powder; serve immediately. For fun or special occasion, cut a heart out of the center of the parchment paper and sprinkle a heart onto the cakes.

If you want to double or triple this recipe for a bigger cake, just add 3 minutes or so to baking time - test by toothpick. [I should note that I have never tried this part!]

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tomato Harvest: Salsa!

5 quarts of salsa fermenting on my counter top!

Oh the wonder and versatility of the tomato.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tomato Harvest: Sauce!

Tuesday our abundance (42!) of heirloom tomatoes were transformed into sauce.

First they were submerged in boiling water for 20 seconds each:

Followed by an ice bath:

Then they were skinned:

Then juiced (note: do not juice 42 tomatoes with your bare hands if you have a cut on your finger):

Then reduced by a third with sauteed onions:

After reduction, basil, salt and pepper join the fun:

And sit to amalgamate for a while:

After which the sauce was pureed and scooped into bags for freezer storage (since I still lack the know-how, and lids, for jarring):

42 Heirlooms produced roughly 37 cups of sauce - which would cover about 37 pizzas, or 11 eggplant-squash lasagnas, or...only time will tell what other crafty concoctions this sauce will bless. In the mean time it has already covered two pizzas for a dinner with friends (I meant to take pictures, but we devoured them too quickly), and is now roughing it out in the freezer.


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