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Posts Tagged ‘Cook’

Assorted bell pepper fruits from Mexico

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2006 I moved with my Hubby (then boyfriend) to Florida.  His boss was Brazilian and thus we hung out with a lot of Brazilians.  I tell you what they have some of the best BBQ and food around!  They buy large “slabs” of meat and cook it up and cut it there right off the grill, everyone sort of gathers around to munch on the meat.   I learned a really simple dish from the boss’ wife, because of the language barrier we lovingly started calling it Brazilian Rice.

The first thing that she did was fry/brown the rice.  I had done that with rice-a-roni before but never in just making homemade boiled rice, although I confess most of my rice experience growing up was instant rice.  After the rice is brown then you add your water, bring to a boil and cover.

Chop up like making salsa: tomatoes, onion, garlic, green/red bell peppers, cilantro and then season with allspice and salt.

THAT IS IT!  Once the rice is done then you add the fresh ‘salsa’ on top of the rice and enjoy.  I tell you what the fresh food on top of the rice really pops in your mouth.

I used to make this all the time but over the years I have stopped, but I never stopped thinking about it.  I often wonder if I forgot a spice or two or even some vegetable (lemon or lime maybe?).  I’ve done internet searches to see if I could figure out the real name, but no… so alas we have Brazilian Rice ala Florida. 😀

 

Today is day 23, down another pound, feeling great, clothes are fitting better, energy is high.  I do admit there is still hunger, something about juice just doesn’t make our minds think we are full.  I know I’m getting all the nutrition I need, I am seeing the “glow” in my skin now.  Although I am ready to get back to a semi normal life.  I crave a cheese burger pretty much daily, so I know when I am done there will be a burger in my future!  Almost two weeks left, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

 

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Let’s call today Free Friday!  I just love free 🙂  I have downloaded this Ebook a while ago and was reminded of it today.  It’s called Is Your Flour Wet?  It talks all about the importance of soaking our grains,  why and it gives recipes too! No need to be in the US for this free item! Check it out and reference it often 🙂

http://theprairiehomestead.com/isyourflourwet.pdf

 

Happy Free Friday!

 

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We went to our first chicken slaughter well over a year ago, maybe two.  We have built a friendly relationship with our local feed & seed staff and they invited us out for a chicken slaughter.  We have been to several others they have put on over the past year and a half.  As we learn more about nutrition and food the slaughters become more interesting, for working a day we get our share of chickens, plus we get organ meat and this last time chicken feet.  Now let me tell you, if I thought getting to the organ meat was hard, looking at that grocery bag in the freezer with talons hanging out… it was really easy to just let it sit there.

I have zero experience with chicken feet, ZERO.  Honestly I didn’t even know they were edible.  I did a little research, but only a little… actually I think I looked at one website.  I knew that the feet were nutritious and from a gal at our feed & seed that they make a gel when you cook it, she called it gelatin, instantly I’m thinking cherry flavored, wait… cherry flavored chicken feet?  I guess we’re not talking JELLO here.  So Sunday I pulled out the chicken feet from the freezer and put them in the sink, here is what they looked like frozen.

All the dark bits are dirt and poo, plus you have the added bonus of blood, it was nasty slaughtering them but the feet are funky.  So I dumped them in to a sink full of cold water.  See there is this skin on the chicken feet, that yellow color is the skin.  Apparently you blanch the feet “briefly” and this skin is supposed to come right off, so for that not to happen while we were cleaning them we used cold water.

The dirt and poo came off, so did the blood and there were some extra feathers hanging around.  So if I sounded a bit sarcastic above about the skin on the feet it’s because I was.  See the skin killed the process for us, it was the most annoying thing ever!  The bag we did ended up being three different batches.  We blanched the first batch the longest and the skin came off but so did most of the meat under it.  The article I read said that it could become like glue if blanched too long, but honestly it didn’t feel very long.  Hubby asked “What did it say? How long are we suppose to blanch?”  “Briefly” was my answer, because that is what the article said.  The next batch, Hubby dumped in walked to the sink to get the strainer, then grabbed the pot and dumped the water.  It couldn’t have even been 30 seconds, but again the stupid skin was the worst!  Third batch, a little longer than the second batch and less than the first, and still we were left with skin we couldn’t peel off.  By the last batch we were so annoyed with chicken feet and skin we just left some on and I decided I’d just strain the soup stock.

Finally after we got them all done into a big pot they went with very good filtered water.  I think water is very important and the additives they put in city water, along with all the pharmaceuticals they have found in most city waters, it can be really bad for us.  So when you make soup use good filtered water.  Added the feet and on the stove it went for the evening.

Tonight I am enjoying the soup.  I added some dehydrated chantrelle mushrooms we had harvest in the fall, dehydrated tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, cabbage, and rice and made a hardy soup.  The chicken feet stock is mild, although we’ll probably add more water and let them boil another night.  With salt it tastes like the real deal, and it is a gel at cold temperatures, that means you go the “good stuff” out of the feet.  It has a lot of fat on top, which is healthy fat.  Fat is good for us people! Don’t listen to the people who says it isn’t.  Anyway, after all that finally enjoying the fruits of our labor.  It was very labor intensive, if you know how to skin chicken feet better, PLEASE tell me, we have two more bags in the freezer!  I suspect if you buy them in the store they will already be skinned, this is worth it though.  We used the whole chicken, even parts people would discard and we got tons of meals out of it, plus a boatload of nutrition.  So for the first time ever I’m enjoying chicken feet, who would have thought.

 

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One of my go to snack foods has always been crackers, but if you look at the ingredients of any of the boxes you find a lot of not so great for you things.  Hydrogenated oils (read more about these toxic oils here http://www.naturalnews.com/024694_oil_food_oils.html ) sugar, preservatives… you name it.  Most of the ingredients are not whole food ingredients, and if they don’t come from God why are we putting it into our temples?  Since I’ve been doing sourdough however,  I have found a lovely alternative.  Sourdough crackers are crispy, crunchy and delicious!

You add your sourdough starter to your flour and let it sour over night, I’ve actually got busy after I started these and let them sit on my counter for a couple of days and they still turn out amazing.  Mostly I’ve used raw butter but you can also use coconut oil.  The souring process breaks down the phytic acid and makes the grains much more easily digested, it doesn’t have to take the  minerals and vitamins from your body to break it down, thus giving you a much healthier option.  Plus the only limits you have in variety is the limits in your imagination.  After you sour your dough, you roll it out pretty thin, cook them in a hot oven until golden brown and let sit until cool (if you can wait).   Then you can either top them with some cheese or just eat them plain.  Then do not last in my house!  Last time I made a double batch and still they didn’t last.

For flavor options you can always steal ideas you see in stores, sun dried tomato and garlic, cheese, thyme and rosemary… Once I have my dough soured I add my additions before rolling it out.  They say you aren’t suppose to “play” with your dough too much because it won’t be as crispy and crunchy but so far I haven’t had this issue.  I’ve made cheese, where I grate cheese (I used Tillamook Pepperjack) then I took a handful put it on top of my dough and then kneaded it in, took more once that was incorporated and kneaded that in, until I had what I thought was enough.  The cheese blended in, so it was a guessing game as to how much, but once they cooked… oh my! They had the most amazing cheese flavor and it was natural not some chemical cheese flavoring.   Hubby wanted a type of graham cracker, so I made plain crackers and wiped the top with coconut oil.  I used my fingers (since my body temp heated up the coconut oil) but you can melt some and use a brush to brush the top.  Then I added a cinnamon/sugar mix we have (that we put on toast from time to time) and baked them.  It was a sweet treat and I got to control the amount put on top so you know how much sugar you are using, rather than getting what you get from a pre-packaged box.

Two years ago we had a crazy summer, most people here in Oregon didn’t get red tomatoes, people still call it “the year of green tomatoes.”  Thankfully we were not those people and actually ended up with so many tomatoes we didn’t know what to do with them.  So we dehydrated them and I’ve been putting them in soups and spaghetti and on homemade pizza with great success.  I cut them up and throw them in the dough and they taste like sun-dried tomatoes.  We also went mushroom hunting and have dehydrated chanterelle’s that I have added to soups and such, I bet these would make a fun addition to some crackers.

I believe that the more we make ourselves the healthier we will be.  We control what goes into the food, there are no secrets, no mystery chemicals, no cancer causing materials, just whole fresh food that is made with love.  I guarantee that if you give some homemade sourdough crackers a try, they won’t last in your house either.   Make some farmers cheese or some yogurt cheese (like cream cheese with a bit of a bite) and put that on top for some homemade probiotic cheesy goodness.

Make what you and your family like to eat.  I guarantee they will be gone before you know it and you’ll be setting more dough out to sour.  I can’t believe how easy these are and how cheaply the can be made!  There really is no reason to buy crackers at the store anymore.  Sourdough does take some planning ahead so you can soak the phytic acid out, but there is joy in planning nutritious food for you and your family.

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We grow much of our own produce in the spring and summer.  It is such a blessing to go out of your home, pick something that you grew and go inside and make something tasty and delicious with it.  We get so accustomed to it, that when winter rolls around we forget that we actually HAVE to go to the grocery store and get produce.  By produce I mean, greens.  Last week I was feeling “green deficient.”  We harvested apples and pears and made wonderful things with them, pear sauce, raw apple cider etc.  We have canned veggies, but most of them are pickled, and the fruit and pickled veggies were not enough, we felt we needed more.  So I went to Whole Paycheck and grabbed a big container of organic spinach and a couple of heads of broccoli.

Suffering from green food deficiency (I made that up) we decided to go with a nice spinach salad for dinner.  We have quit buying salad dressing in our home.  Which has been hard because I was a strictly a ranch type of girl, luckily when you start to eat different you get use to it.  So without further ado, here is the easiest (probably cheapest too) salad with non purchased salad dressing, which is all preference and your taste, so play around with it.

Large bowl of spinach greens (individual servings)

Lightly sprinkle olive oil on top, to taste

Lightly sprinkle Balsamic vinegar (we use a sweetened with honey and thyme vinegar, but have also used balsamic MANY times), to taste

Lightly sprinkle with Bragg’s Amino Acids (this might be the “secret weapon” it adds a salty taste and you get amino acids), to taste

Sprinkle with brewers yeast/nutritional yeast

Slice smoked gouda cheese in very small pieces and sprinkle a little over the top.
The flavor will explode in your mouth!  The Gouda adds a wonderful smoked flavor, I think it makes the salad.  Feel free to try other smoked cheeses, we get our smoked Gouda at Grocery Outlet and for CHEAP, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a great tasting salad.
Enjoy!

 

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