Monday, December 21, 2009

A little garden experiment

So I think this year along with my fancy schmancy seeds I would like to plant a "grocery store" garden using seeds you can locate in a grocery store. Perfect examples would be black beans or celery seed (which is usually salsify). I know one year I had planted whole mustard seed out of my pickling spice mix and it not only grew but it produced seed and then that seed grew. Very cool! So as an experiment I will run germination tests over the next couple of weeks and just see how viable all that seed you get in the grocery section really is. I also plan to use store bought potatoes and garlic. Who knows I might find a new favorite.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yule Log

I made a yule log today using a recipe from online with a few alterations
here is the original:
now I mixed all the dry together first, in a separate bowl I put the eggs and oil, water. blended wet, added to dry and baked.
I also adjusted the recipe for 18 since my pan was 12x18, used cocoa and oil instead of unsweetened chocolate (which removed the melting step for the cake), used 7 eggs instead of 7 1/2, used 3 TBS water + a single serve instant coffee packet instead of coffee liquor.
The icing was mostly to recipe except since I needed more of it I added 8 oz of heavy cream whipped up to extend it and again left out the coffee liquor.

I just hope it makes it to church tomorrow in one piece and its enjoyed :D

Planning for Spring

I'm working on our plan for the spring garden. Many mistakes were made last year we do not care to repeat. We over planted and were overwhelmed by a new baby. This year we plan to reduce the size, use raised beds and double dug beds. I ordered seeds very carefully to hopefully have enough to raise and save seeds for next year. I was very careful to order heirloom seeds and I probably need to go through my inventory and determine which varieties I have from last year that are also heirloom so they can continue to be a part of my collection for years to come. When I did my inventory the other day I determined we have about 100 varieties of fruits and veggies to work with. All I can say is awesome.

Spice Heaven

I went to Penezy's spices last week. I think I'm in heaven. I plan to replace all of my old spices with their amazing variety and prices :D
I think also that I may further explore indian cooking. recipes to come? Also in the new year, lots of whole grain cooking.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Materialistic Christmas

There is a lot to love about Christmas, but gifts (either giving or receiving) are not among my favorite parts. Today we were out, list in hand trying to find what everyone wanted and fighting our way through traffic and crowds only to come home feeling exhausted and disgusted with the process. Why can't we have a Christmas that resembles know with family, good cooking, spirit and much less hassle. Instead just as soon as Thanksgiving leaves us we are in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recipe: Basic Simple Syrup

its very simple
ratio of 2 sugar to 1 water
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
boil until clear
add 1 tsp extract (most extracts) to make a coffee syrup
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS light corn syrup (or if you are me, you don't have corn syrup and I think I'll use Agave nectar instead)

bring ingredients together and if necessary strain to remove lumps

Recipe: Basic Cheese Sauce

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
make a roux
then add 1 cups milk
and 8 oz of cheese
salt and pepper to taste

use cheddar for a cheddar sauce, works great for homemade mac and cheese
when this is refrigerated it congeals nicely...think I'll experiment to come up with a homemade cheese whiz

Recipe: Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Packet

4TBS dried buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground blk pepper
1/2 TBS ground dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp dried dill

mix and use as dried
to make dressing add 1 cup water, 1/2 cup mayo and blend well

I'm going to start posting recipes

So a little explanation. The recipes I'm posting will for the most part be a replacement for something that you would normally buy ready made such as cream of chicken soup or ranch dressing packets. I don't know that anyone but me will be interested but who knows :D

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

hmmm...maybe I should try it on for size?

Trying to get out more

  1. I need to get out. Having my DS has made me realize that I need to meet some people who have kids around his age and meet a few people for myself too. I was invited to a knitting circle this evening and I really enjoyed the company of a few like minds...actually I was a little surprised how much I had in common with them. I always thought myself to be a little out there but I think maybe I'm just a little out there with my old friends. Does that change who I am if I'm not a bit weird? Nah, I'm still weird...just they are too!
  2. (btw..not sure why this is numbering my just is) a few weeks ago I went to a Shy/Lonely moms play date which I unfortunately arrived late and only really made the acquaintance of one other mom there. I probably would have fared better if I had arrived earlier, before everyone had settled in.
  3. Prior to that I went to another play date that I had a great time at. Lots of people, I seemed to have things in common with. Hopefully I get the hang of all of this and manage to make a few new friends.