Thursday, May 31, 2012

Next Weeks Meal Plan


Monday:  Sloppy Joes, Oven Fries (Opt), Cucumbers & Carrot Salad
Tuesday: Tuscan White Beans, Tomatoes, Basil & Shrimp, Super Salad
Wednesday: Broccoli, Beef and Hashbrown Casserole, Spicy Carrots
Thursday: Hawiian Grilled Pork Chops, Cashew Snowpea Stir-fry, Pineapple Upsidedown Cake
Friday: Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli and Carrots
Saturday: Grilled Chicken Under a Brick with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary, Fennel Coleslaw
Sunday: BBQ Short Ribs, L/O Coleslaw, Grilled Potatoes and Corn on the Cob

As usual more of the above recipes will be added.  Sorry, I had internet problems this week and didn't get this all done.  Recipes for the above meals added very soon!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shrimp and Snow Pea or Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry Recipe


Serves 2-3
This is an adaption from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver.

This easy and fast shrimp snow pea recipe is very versatile. You can use sugar snap peas in place of the snow peas. Add this great shrimp and sugar snap pea stir fry with your choice of Gluten-Free noodles, Rice or Cello Noodles.
Ingredients:
  • 1" fresh Ginger, peeled & crushed or finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed or finely diced
  • 1 fresh Chile, sliced (chose the type based on your heat preference)
  • Sea Salt
  • Peanut Oil
  • 1/2 lb. Lrg Shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • Large handful Sugar Snap Peas or snow peas
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • juice 1/2 Lime
  • 1/2 t Honey
  • 1 t Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 lb Pasta
  • small bunch fresh Cilantro, torn or cut in 1-2" sections.
Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta while your slice and dice the ginger, garlic, and chiles. When water comes to a boil, salt it well, then toss in pasta.
  2. Stir after it comes back up to a boil. Boil vigorously until it has your preferred bite. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
  3. Heat a pan or wok over high heat (you can start this part while the pasta boils if you are good at multi-tasking.) Swirl in some peanut oil and add garlic, ginger, and chiles. Saute for a minute or so, then add shrimp and cook for another couple minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through.
  4. Add sugar snaps, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame oil. Saute for a bit until everything is hot (about 1 min.). Serve over Rice, Gluten-Free Pasta or Cello Noodles. Sprinkle Cilantro over top.

Tips & Notes
  • Ingredient Note: Chile-garlic sauce is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.
  • Kitchen Tip: To toast nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

    Peas, What's the Difference? With Recipes

    Garden Peas

    Garden Peas need to be shelled before eating. Fresh garden peas have rounded pods that are usually slightly curved in shape with a smooth texture and vibrant green color. Inside garden peas are green rounded pea seeds that are sweet and starchy in taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. Garden peas have more nutrients and more calories than snow peas or sugar snap peas. However, they require more work to prepare because they must be shelled before eating. As most people do not want to spend the extra time to shell their peas, the demand for fresh garden peas is very low, and they can be more difficult to find than other varieties of peas. Garden peas are sweet and succulent for three to four days after they are picked but tend to become mealy and starchy very quickly if they are not cooked soon after harvesting.
    Ninety-five percent of garden peas are sold either frozen or canned. Frozen garden peas are a good substitute for fresh Garden Peas. They are already shelled, and because they are blanched before freezing, they take no time to prepare - just heat and serve. They also retain their flavor and nutritional value because they are frozen soon after they are picked. Frozen peas are more flavorful, contain less sodium and have more nutritional value than canned peas.

    Snow Peas or Chinese Pea Pods

    Sometimes called Chinese pea pods, this variety is usually used in stir-fries. Snow peas are flat with edible pods through which you can usually see the shadows of the flat Pea seeds inside; they are never shelled. Fresh and frozen Snow Peas are available.

    Sugar Snap Peas

    A cross between the garden and snow pea, they have plump edible pods with a crisp, snappy texture; they are not shelled. Both snow peas and snap peas feature a slightly sweeter and cooler taste than the garden pea. Like snow peas, snap peas have fewer nutrients and calories than garden peas. Fresh and frozen sugar snap peas are available.

    All raw peas are very yummy and nutritious eaten raw in salads or as snacks

    Cashew-Snow Pea Stir-Fry

    http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/cashew_snow_pea_stir_fry.html
    From EatingWell: May/June 2010

    Radishes add a burst of color to this easy snow pea stir-fry and cooking them tames their spiciness.

                2 servings, about 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes

    • 1 tablespoon Gluten Free soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Gluten Free rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Gluten-Free chile-garlic sauce (see Note)
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    • 3 cups snow peas (about 9 ounces), trimmed
    • 3/4 cup trimmed and quartered radishes (about 1 bunch)
    • 4 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted cashews, toasted (see Tip)

    Preparation

    1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar and chile-garlic sauce in a small bowl.
    2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add snow peas, radishes and scallions; cook, stirring frequently, until the peas are tender-crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the sauce and stir to coat well. Remove from the heat; stir in cashews.

    Nutrition

    Per serving :90 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 8 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 185 mg Sodium; 236 mg Potassium
    1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
    Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat

    Shrimp and Snow Pea or Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry Recipe
    Serves 2-3
    This is an adaption from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver.
    This easy and fast shrimp snow pea recipe is very versatile. You can use sugar snap peas in place of the snow peas. Add this great shrimp and sugar snap pea stir fry with your choice of Gluten-Free noodles, Rice or Cello Noodles.
    Ingredients:
    • 1" fresh Ginger, peeled & crushed or finely diced
    • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed or finely diced
    • 1 fresh Chile, sliced (chose the type based on your heat preference)
    • Sea Salt
    • Peanut Oil
    • 1/2 lb. Lrg Shrimp, shelled & deveined
    • Large handful Sugar Snap Peas or snow peas
    • 2 T Soy Sauce
    • juice 1/2 Lime
    • 1/2 t Honey
    • 1 t Sesame Oil
    • 1/2 lb Pasta
    • small bunch fresh Cilantro, torn or cut in 1-2" sections.
    Directions:
    1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta while your slice and dice the ginger, garlic, and chiles. When water comes to a boil, salt it well, then toss in pasta.
    2. Stir after it comes back up to a boil. Boil vigorously until it has your preferred bite. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
    3. Heat a pan or wok over high heat (you can start this part while the pasta boils if you are good at multi-tasking.) Swirl in some peanut oil and add garlic, ginger, and chiles. Saute for a minute or so, then add shrimp and cook for another couple minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through.
    4. Add sugar snaps, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame oil. Saute for a bit until everything is hot (about 1 min.).  Serve over Rice, Gluten-Free Pasta or Cello Noodles. Sprinkle Cilantro over top.


    Tips & Notes
    • Ingredient Note: Chile-garlic sauce is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.
    • Kitchen Tip: To toast nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Monday This 'n That

    ronald reagan header
    In honor of those who lost their lives while serving our country, we would like to share with you President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery:

    "Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.

    I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they’ll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that’s good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember.

    Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering. So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid, and passionate lives. There are the greats of the military: Bull Halsey and the Admirals Leahy, father and son; Black Jack Pershing; and the GI’s general, Omar Bradley. Great men all, military men. But there are others here known for other things.

    Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper’s son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his country and said, “I know we’ll win because we’re on God’s side.” Audie Murphy is here, Audie Murphy of the wild, wild courage. For what else would you call it when a man bounds to the top of a disabled tank, stops an enemy advance, saves lives, and rallies his men, and all of it single-handedly. When he radioed for artillery support and was asked how close the enemy was to his position, he said, “Wait a minute and I’ll let you speak to them.” [Laughter]
    Michael Smith is here, and Dick Scobee, both of the space shuttle Challenger. Their courage wasn’t wild, but thoughtful, the mature and measured courage of career professionals who took prudent risks for great reward—in their case, to advance the sum total of knowledge in the world. They’re only the latest to rest here; they join other great explorers with names like Grissom and Chaffee.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes is here, the great jurist and fighter for the right. A poet searching for an image of true majesty could not rest until he seized on “Holmes dissenting in a sordid age.” Young Holmes served in the Civil War. He might have been thinking of the crosses and stars of Arlington when he wrote: “At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight.

    All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It’s hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it’s the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins. Not far from here is the statue of the three servicemen—the three fighting boys of Vietnam. It, too, has majesty and more. Perhaps you’ve seen it—three rough boys walking together, looking ahead with a steady gaze. There’s something wounded about them, a kind of resigned toughness. But there’s an unexpected tenderness, too. At first you don’t really notice, but then you see it. The three are touching each other, as if they’re supporting each other, helping each other on.

    I know that many veterans of Vietnam will gather today, some of them perhaps by the wall. And they’re still helping each other on. They were quite a group, the boys of Vietnam—boys who fought a terrible and vicious war without enough support from home, boys who were dodging bullets while we debated the efficacy of the battle. It was often our poor who fought in that war; it was the unpampered boys of the working class who picked up the rifles and went on the march. They learned not to rely on us; they learned to rely on each other. And they were special in another way: They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty. They had the wild, wild courage of youth. They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.

    And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.

    That, of course, is the lesson of this century, a lesson learned in the Sudetenland, in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Cambodia. If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does. That’s the lesson of this century and, I think, of this day. And that’s all I wanted to say. The rest of my contribution is to leave this great place to its peace, a peace it has earned.

    Thank all of you, and God bless you, and have a day full of memories."


    Recycled Backyard
    Tire  gardens are becoming popular and what a great way to recycle something you’d  normally toss. You can paint them, stack them or even make them look like flowers! 




    This Weeks Menu Plan
    Remember ALL the recipes we use are GLUTEN FREE

    Monday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, S'mores
    Tuesday: Salmon with Asparagus, Rice (opt), glazed Carrots
    Wednesday: Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans
    Thursday: Gluten-Free Parmesan Chicken, Noodles with Marinara, Super Salad
    Friday: Crispy Orange Beef with Broccoli, steamed snow peas
    Saturday: Hamburgers, Waffle Fries, Raw Veggie Plate
    Sunday Brunch: Gluten-Free Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes, Sausage Patties Supper: Beef Fried
    Rice


    KNOW YOUR FARMER!!!!

    Do you know your local farmer?  Can you purchase fresh fruits & vegetables, grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, farm fresh eggs and raw milk locally (within 100 miles or less)?  If not, why not? Look for your local farmer, he/she can be found.

    This week Grandma Farmer is picking: Broccoli, Snap Peas, Sugar Pod Peas, Turnip Greens, Beet Greens, Rainbow Chard, Spinach, Sage, Spearmint, Oregano, Chives (Garlic & Regular), Dill, Thyme, Green Onions, Red Russian Kale, Aragula

    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    We are again attempting to read through the Bible this year. Just joining us or did you get behind? No matter and no need to play catch-up. Start where you are today and go forward.



    Friday: Luke 1:1-25, Ephesians 1:1-14, Psalms 119:1-8, 1 Kings 1
    Saturday: Luke 1:26-38, Ephesians 1:15-23, Psalms 119:9-16, 1 Kings 2-3

    Sunday:  Luke 1:39-56, Ephesians 2:1-10, Psalms 119:17-24, 1 Kings 4-5

    We also like to read a Proverb a Day corresponding to the day of the month. This month I am memorizing Psalms 32, could you memorize a Psalm?


    101 Herbs That Heal
    Below is the First 10 in my list of the 101 Plants/shrubs/Trees on our property that have healing qualities.
    1. Aloe
    2. Apple Trees
    3. Aronia
    4. Basil
    5. Blackberry
    6. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    7. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
    8. Catnip
    9. Cayenne
    10. Chaomile
    I only have 58 more plants/trees/shrubs to propigate. (Chuckle) This also means I get to create more beds to plant all these wonderful and beautiful plants. There's nothing like edible landscape, incorporate all these wonderful plants into your landscape and include them in your 'flower' and garden beds. We will discuss two plants a week.

    Aronia Berries


    What makes Aronia Berries so healthy?


    Aronia berries contain what may be the worlds highest concentration of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is the pigment that makes the berry so dark, (so dark in fact that this berry is the world's best source of natural dye) and like all dark-colored fruits (blueberries, concord grapes, acai, etc.) it has been shown to benefit your body in many ways.

    What are the benefits of eating aronia berries?


    High concentrations of anthocyanins are well documented in many fruits (most famously the dark grapes that color red wine) to offer almost supernatural benefits. They work by boosting & assisting your body's immune system, so naturally there are few ailments that they DON'T work to fight.

    For instance; cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver failure, DNA degradation, broken bones, burnt skin, and even viral infections have all been tested against high dosages of anthocyanin, all to impressive results.

    In fact, science has clearly shown that the only problems your body could have that anthocyanins cannot help in some way are those that are 'genetic,' because your body's DNA instructions are to make sure that problem exists.

    How much it helps your condition, however, has too many personal variables to discuss here, so you should consult a qualified doctor before taking mass dosages of this fruit juice for your individual problem.

    Where can I find aronia berries?

    Farmers Markets and your Local Farmers like GRANDMA FARMER grow aronia berries right on their farms!

    Blackberry



    The blackberry is known to contain polyphenol antioxidants, naturally occurring chemicals that can upregulate certain beneficial metabolic processes in mammals. The astringent blackberry root is sometimes used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery.

    Blackberries are notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid (a B vitamin), and the essential mineral manganese.

    Blackberries rank highly among fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense contents of polyphenolic compounds, such as ellagic acid, tannins, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins and cyanidins.

    Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of 5347 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Another report using a different assay for assessing antioxidant strength placed blackberry at the top of more than 1000 antioxidant foods consumed in the United States.

    Nutrient content of seeds

    Blackberries contain numerous large seeds that are not always preferred by consumers. The seeds contain some oil which is rich in omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and -6 fats (linoleic acid), as well as some protein, dietary fiber, carotenoids, ellagitannins and ellagic acid.

    Saturday, May 26, 2012

    Broccoli, Beef and Hashbrown Casserole

    This easy casserole, full of ground beef, roasted broccoli and topped with hash browns, was inspired by the classic Minnesota Tater Tot hotdish. Roasting the broccoli before adding it to the casserole gives the whole dish a much more complex and exciting flavor, but it’s by no means necessary. If you want to keep it simple, skip roasting the broccoli (Step 2) and use 6 cups frozen broccoli, thawed, in its place (omit 1 tablespoon oil, as well).
               
    2 Servings

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 cups broccoli florets and stalks cut in 1/4-inch circles
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut or grapeseed oil, divided
    • 1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef
    • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
    •  1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1 cups raw, grass-fed milk
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon arrowroot
    • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 cup frozen hash-brown or precooked shredded potatoes (see Note)
    • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1/16 teaspoon Hungarian paprika, preferably hot

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
    2. Toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once halfway though, until just soft and browned in spots, about 15 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and onion and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the beef is browned and the onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire, garlic powder and pinch salt. Set aside.
    4. Whisk milk and arrowroot in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often, until bubbling and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes total. Remove from the heat and stir in Cheddar, pinch salt and turmeric until the cheese is melted.
    5. Spread the beef mixture in a 1-quart baking dish. Top with the broccoli and pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top.
    6. Combine potatoes, egg, pepper and pinch salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Coat the top with cooking spray.
    7. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the potatoes are beginning to brown, about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition

    Per serving :411 Calories; 19 g Fat; 10 g Sat; 8 g Mono; 115 mg Cholesterol; 26 g Carbohydrates; 34 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 737 mg Sodium; 861 mg Potassium
    2 Carbohydrate Serving
    Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 low-fat milk, 1 vegetable, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

    Tips & Notes

    • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month (defrost in the refrigerator for 2 days before baking). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking (Step 7).
    • Note:  To make your own precooked shredded potatoes, halve 1 pound unpeeled baking potatoes; cook in lightly salted boiling water until slightly tender but still firm in the center, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a clean cutting board. Shred using the large holes of a box grater.  Use what you need then spread a piece of freezer paper onto a baking sheet.  Spread remaining potatoes in a single layer on sheet.  Freeze.  After frozen place in a zipper bag in freezer.
    Adapted from a recipe from www.eatingwell.com

    Parmesan Chicken

    I always have a bag of Parmesan coating in the freezer. 

    Parmesan Coating Mix

    2 cups Bread Crumbs (dried bread whirled in the blender or processor)
    1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
    1 tablespoon Garlic powder
    2 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
    Store in zipper bag in the freezer.



    You can use Chicken breast or boned Thigh meat.  If you use one large breast and one large thigh you will have enough for four people.  OR enough for two meals: one of Parmesan Chicken and Cube up the other for Chicken Bites for later.



    Boning the thigh meat is really easy with a sharp knife....just be careful.  Place in zipper bag and pound with small cast iron skillet until equal in thickness.



    Since our homegrown, free range chickens are raised until they are very large I always cut one breast lengthwise.  Again be careful. Place in zipper bag and pound with small cast iron skillet until equal in thickness.



    Making the Parmesan Chicken:

    Heat Coconut, or Grapeseed Oil in skillet until hot.


    Pat the chicken pieces dry and coat with gluten-free all-purpose flour mix.



    Dip in one or two beaten eggs and 2-3 teaspoons milk.


    Dredge in Parmesan Mix


    Place in hot skillet browning on both sides about 2 minutes.

    Salmon Asparagus

    Serves Two

    1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
    1 tablepoon Gluten-free soy sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoon Honey
    1 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot
    2 4-ounce wild caught salmon planks, skinned
    pinch salt
    1 teaspoon coconut or grapeseed oil
    8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
    1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    1/2 cup fresh raspberries (opt)
    1 cup hot cooked brown rice
    1. Whisk together vinegar, wsoy sauce, honey and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth
    2. Cut salmon fillets crosswise into 1/2-ince slices.  Sprinkle with salt
    3. Heat wok or large deep skillet ovr high heat untill hot.  Add oil and swirl to coat pan.  Add salmon and stir-fry until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes; transfer to plaqte.  Add asparagus and ginger; stire-fry until tender crisp, about 2 minutes.
    4. Return salmon to wok.  Re-whisk vinegar mixture; add to wok and stir-fry until sauce bubbles an thickens, about 1 minute. 
    5. Stir in raspberries just before serving.

    Beef Refried Rice

    2 tablespoons coconut or grapeseed oil
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup broccoli florets and stems cut in 1/4-inch rounds
    1/2 cup bean sprouts
    1/2 cup leftover beef, from Crispy Orange beef recipe
    2 cups cooked rice
    3 tablespoons guten free soy sauce or tamari
    Black pepper
    1 green onion, thinly sliced

    In a large wok or skillet over medium heat add  talbespoon oil.  Whisk the egg in a small bowl and pour into the hot pan.  Cook, stirring until set.  Remove from pan to a plate and set aside.

    Return the pan to the stove over high heat and add the remaining oil.  Add the broccoli and bean sprouts.  Stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minutes.  Stir in the beef, rice and soy sauce.  Season with pepper, to taste, and add the cooked egg.  Toss and cook the mixture until hot, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to serving dishes and garnish with sliced onion.

    Crispy Orange Beef with Broccoli

    3 cups white rice
    1 1/4 pounds beef chuck steak
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1/4 cup tapioca Starch or Arrowroot
    3/4 cup orange marmalade
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    2 tablespoons pure apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger
    2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce or tamari
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 head broccoli, cut into florets, stems sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
    1. Cook the rice according to package directions.  Reserve 2 cups cooked rice for the Beef Fried Rice later in the week.
    2. Thinly slice the steak, about 1/4-inch thick, across the grain.  cut the slices into 3-inch strips.
    3. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.  Toss the beef in the starch and shake off excess.  Fry the beef in 2 batches in the hot oil, turnig once, until crispy and golden, about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove the beef from the pan and set aside on paper towel linedplate.  Carefully drain the oil from the wok or skillet.
    4. In a medium bowl add the marmalade, garlic, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce and juice.  Whisk until well combined.  Add to the wok, over high heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in broccoli, reserving about 1 cup for Beef Fried Rice later in the week.  Cook the broccoli unti slightly tender and the sauce is thick, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the beef.  Serve immediately with the whit rice.

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Tomato Basil Soup

    Easy Slow Cooker Recipe - makes 4 servings

    1 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
    1/2 cup finely diced celery
    1/2 cup finely diced carrots
    1/2 cup finely diced onions
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1 1/2 tsp dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil
    2 cups chicken broth
    ½ bay leaf
    1/4 cup gluten-free flour
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup butter
    1 cups whole milk (or half and half for a richer soup)
    3 ounces cream cheese, diced
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp black pepper

    1. Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a slow cooker.
    2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
    3. About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed milk and cream cheese, salt and pepper. Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
    4. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Next Weeks Menu Plan

    Remember ALL the recipes we use are GLUTEN FREE

    Monday:  Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, S'mores
    Tuesday: Salmon with Asparagus, Rice (opt), glazed Carrots
    Wednesday:  Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans
    Thursday:  Gluten-Free Parmesan Chicken, Noodles with Marinara, Super Salad
    Friday:  Crispy Orange Beef with Broccoli, steamed snow peas
    Saturday: Hamburgers, Waffle Fries, Raw Veggie Plate
    Sunday Brunch: Gluten-Free Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes, Sausage Patties   Supper:  Beef Fried Rice

    Baby Goats Have Arrived!!!

    Our five Nubian Dairy Goats were bred to a Boer Meat Goat late last fall and all of them presented us with a total of 8 beautiful cross-bred goat kids.  They are all doing very well and so fun to watch as they run and jump.



    We have 5 baby does and 3 baby bucks.  All are for sale depending on when you want them.  As meat goats and ready for processing they will not be ready until March next spring.  If you are looking for outstanding meat goat breeding stock that can milk enough for caring for multiple babies they are available any time.  Price depends on when you purchase them.  One of the baby bucks is already sold.



    All our foundation does were bred to produce well over a gallon of milk a day.  You can't go wrong!!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Spinach, a Healthy Versitale Ingredient

    .

    Fresh spinach is great in salads, pasta, soups, dips and more.  It's a healthy addition to so many delicious meals and is great raw or cooks.  Spinach is full of important nutrients; folate, vitami E and lutein. 

    Folate works in the production of new cells, especially red blood cells.  Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and scientists believe that it plays an important roll in immune function, DNA repair, the formation of red blood cells and vitamin K absorption.  Lutein may be able to reverse some of the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration.

    Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto

  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  teaspoons dried oregano
  • 6 ounces spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

    1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot (or bell pepper) and chicken; cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 1 - 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and oregano; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
    2. Add spinach and beans to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
    3. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor (a mini processor works well). Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.
    4. Stir the  pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot.
    Recipe adapted from www.eatingwell.com

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    Pickled Garlic

    Necessity caused me to be unable to go to the DR for an earache (no wheels for me....I only have a car in the evening and on Sunday) and look for an herbal way to heal this issue. I had a terrible outer-ear infection this last week.....what was I going to do? I remembered the pickled garlic that I had in the refrigerator. I created this (the fermented garlic) long, long ago so I wasn't sure it was even okay yet.  I took a bit of the juice and added it to a bit of olive oil.   After dipping a piece of cotton in the resultant oil (until it was sopping in the oil) and sticking the cotton it in my ear the pain was almost gone by morning and completely healed by the next day. 

    In addition to the garlic and because I also wasn't feeling just right I drank several cups of my Immune Tea for a couple of days.

    I decided that I hadn't made use of the wonders of this jar of garlic so I determined to make a new jar AND USE IT!!

    This garlic can be used as I did above, eating a clove of garlic every day would be great, and you can chop it into your recipes.



    PICKLED GARLIC (From NOURISHING TRADITIONS)
    Makes 1 pint

    about 6 heads garlic
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 tablespoon whey (if you do not have use 1 more teaspoon salt)

    Set garlic heads in a 300 degree oven and bake until heads open and cloves can be easily remoed.  Place oregano, salt and whey with 1/2 cup of water.  Pour over garlic, adding more water if necessary to cover the garlic.  The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

    What Made This Work On My Ear Infection?

    I suspect that there are two factors that went into play to make this work on my ear infection.

    • the healing properties of garlic
    • the healing properties of oregano
    Both Garlic and Oregano have antiobotic healing action properties.

    Garlic, the "stinking rose" of the herb world, is one of the most ancient healing plants.

    According to Growing and Using the Healing Herbs by GAEA and Shandor Weiss, "Garlic tea, made by infusing several chopped cloves of garlic in 1 quart of water, has been used as a gargle, or taken internally for colds and flu.  Placed externally on a cut, on a wound, or simploy on the hands, or the soles of the feet, garlic's antibiotic qualities are said to be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.  A fresh clove of garlic placed on the gums may soothe an abscessed tooth or other inflamatio in the mouth.  A cotton ball soaked in garlic oil is an old-time European remedy for treating ear infections, (never put the colve of garlic in your ear, however).  Chinese herbalists traditionally used garlice to treat certain forms of high blood pressure."








    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Monday This 'n That

    My garden and yard is starting to look good inspite of the handicap and chronic pain that was inflicted on me by a doctor who messed up my last knee surgery.  I'm thankful for my husband who is working tons of extra hours (inspite of his own handicap) so that we can afford to hire help for me in the garden and yard.  What a blessing.  My inside chores and BLOGGING is suffering for lack of time, it is dry and we could really use some rain, so a good three day rain would be helpful right now.


    You are going to love tomorrows post about my ear infection that I healed at home and how I did it.



    Summer Lemonade or Limeade
    Homemade Lemonade Easy On The Budget



    1 cup Organic Lemon or Lime Juice, or some of each
    3/4 cup Organic Cane Sugar, ½ cup honey or ¾ tsp liquid Stevia extract
    Stir together 6 1/2 cups water, juice and sweetener of choice in a 2-quart pitcher. Serve over ice.

    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    We are again attempting to read through the Bible this year. Just joining us or did you get behind? No matter and no need to play catch-up. Start where you are today and go forward.

    Monday: Mark 15:1-15, Galatians 4:1-20, Psalms 114, 2 Samuel 16-17
    Tuesday: Mark 15:16-32, Galatians 4:21-31, Psalms 115, 2 Samuel 18-19
    Wednesday: Mark 15:33-41, Galatians 5:1-12, Psalms 116, 2 Samuel 20-21
    Thursday: Mark 15:42-47, Galatians 13-26, Psalms 117, 2 Samuel 22
    Friday: Mark 16, Galatians 6, Psalms 118, 2 Samuel 23-24
    Saturday:  Luke 1:1-25, Ephesians 1:1-14, Psalms 119:1-8, 1 Kings 1
    Sunday: Luke 1:26-38, Ephesians 1:15-23, Psalms 119:9-16, 1 Kings 2-3


    We also like to read a Proverb a Day corresponding to the day of the month. This month I am memorizing Psalms 32, could you memorize a Psalm?

    Myth: Food from the farmers’ market is so clean, you can eat it right there.

    Fact: Before you polish off that entire quart of cherry tomatoes on the ride home, think of all the people who may have picked over them before you got there. Dirty hands = dirty produce. And although it may be free of pesticide residues, it could still harbor dirt and other bacteria that aren’t good for you. Get your produce home, then clean it with this cheap and effective produce spray: In a spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, and 1 cup cold tap water. Shake well to mix it up, spray on your produce, and rinse before eating.

    Read this entire article

    This Weeks Meal Plan

    Monday - Sweet & Sour Chicken Wings, Refried Rice
    Tuesday - Easy Gluten-Free Skillet Lasagna, Super Salad
    Wednesday -Stuffed Chicken Breast, Carrot Cucumber Salad
    Thursday - Fiery Scallops & Bok Choy over Cello Noodles, steamed sugar snap peas
    Friday - Sweet and Sticky Spareribs, Crispy Potatoes, Fennel Cabbage Salad
    Saturday - Grilled Steak, Baked Potato, Super Salad
    Sunday Brunch:Italian Frittata, Salad; Supper: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Fruit Salad

    Our GAME PLAN contains grocery list and a day by day list of to-do's for your meal plan. We'll send this to you for a $1 donation to Grandma Farmer to PAYPAL at gramafarmer@gmail.com

    101 Herbs That Heal

    Below is the First 10 in my list of the 101 Plants/shrubs/Trees on our property that have healing qualities.

    1. Aloe
    2. Apple Trees
    3. Aronia
    4. Basil
    5. Blackberry
    6. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    7. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
    8. Catnip
    9. Cayenne
    10. Chaomile
    I only have 58 more plants/trees/shrubs to propigate. (Chuckle) This also means I get to create more beds to plant all these wonderful and beautiful plants. There's nothing like edible landscape, incorporate all these wonderful plants into your landscape and include them in your 'flower' and garden beds. We will discuss two plants a week.

    Aloe

    I would never be without an Aloe Vera plant in various sizes.  Here we have to have it as an inside plant.  I use the smaller leaves for minor kitchen burns but have filleted larger leaves and placed on larger burns when necessary.  It is amazing how the burned skin will suck the moisture out of a plank of skinned aloe leaf.  I change often and find the used up portion just a paper thin piece left even though the piece I put on the burn was at least a quarter inch thick originally.  When I've used this the healing is usually quick and without scarring.  For serious burns see your Doctor.



    Apple Tree

    Medicinal qualities?  I found an interesting article by Jim McDonald which is worth a read.  Very interesting.

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Stuffed Chicken Breast

    Don't be afraid of this recipe, it really is easy to make.

    Serves 4 (we like to do the whole recipe on this one so we have left-overs for lunch)

    2 large free-range chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets
    approximately 6-8 spinach leaves
    1 roasted red pepper, quartered
    4 slices nitrate-free ham slices
    4 slices swiss cheese
    sea salt and pepper to taste
    1-2 farm fresh eggs
    1/2-1 cup coarsely ground almond meal

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking dish with olive oil and set aside
    2. Large free-range chicken breasts can be cut in half length-wise (be careful) and then pounded between two pieces of waxed paper until they are about 1/4 inch thick with a cast iron skillet.
    3. Remove paper, season tops of breasts with salt and pepper.  With the seasoned side down place a layer of spinach on the chicken.  Next layer one slice of ham per breast followed by a quarter each of the roasted red pepper.  Add the cheese.
    4. Carefully roll up each chicken breast starting with the narrower end and rolling to the other end.
    5. Whisk the egg in a bowl.  Place almond meal in a separate bowl.  Dredge a roll in the egg wash and then cover with the almond meal.  Do this with all the breast rolls.
    6. Place the chicken rolls, seam side down in the baking dish.  Cook for 25-30 minutes.  Let rest for about 10 minutes and enjoy.

    Fiery Scallops & Bok Choy over Cello Noodles

    serves 2

    1/2 pound sea scallops
    1 tablespoon arrowroot
    1 tablespoon grated, peeled, fresh ginger
    Grated zest of 1/4 organic orange
    1.4 cup chicken broth
    2 tablespoons orange juice
    1 1/2 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce or tamari
    1 teaspoon honey
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    3 ounces broccoli florets
    3 ounces baby bok choy cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 1/2 teaspoon white wine

    Cello noodles cooked according to package directions
    1. Toss together scallops and 2 teaspoons arrowroot, ginger and orange zest in zipper bag until scallops are evenly coated.
    2. Whisk togehter remaining arrowroot, broth, orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and pepper flakes in small bowl until smooth.
    3. Add 2 teaspoons coconut oil to wok or skillet and set over med-high heat.  Add scallop mixture and stir-fry until scallops are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes then transfer to plate.
    4. Add broccoli, bok choy, and wine to skillet.  Cooke, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Re-whisk broth mixture.  Return scallops to wok along with broth mixture.  Stir-fry until suace bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute.
    Serve with steamed snap peas.

    Carrot Cucumber Salad

    Sometimes simple is the best and this simple salad was always a favorite with our kids.

    Serves 4

    2 medium size cucumbers
    2 medium size carrots
    Creamy Dill Dressing

    Peel the cucumbers and slice them in half lenght-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. Slice the cumbers into 1/4-inch thick slices. Peel the carrots and grate them. Mix the carrots and cucumbers together. Stir in the dressing.

    Creamy Dill Dressing

    1/2 cup yogurt
    1/2 cup Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing
    1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or half as much dried dill weed)

    Italian Frittata






    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1/3-1/2 pound mild Italian Sausage, cooked
    • 1 potato, diced
    • 1/3 cup onion, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons red bell peppers, chopped
    • 1/3 cup spinach leaves, lightly chopped
    • 1 small roma tomato, diced
    • 3 farm fresh eggs
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper 

    1. Preheat broiler. Heat 6 inch cast iron skillet with 1 teaspoon oil on stove.
    2. Add onion, pepper, sauté over medium heat 3 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile beat eggs, milk, seasonings in bowl or large measuring cup.
    4. Add potatoes to pan salt and pepper to taste, sauté another 4 minutes.
    5. Add sausage to pan, sauté another minute.
    6. Turn down heat to medium low, add other tbsp oil, pour in egg mixture, sprinkle spinach on top.
    7. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
    8. Remove lid, with rubber spatula, loosen egg from sides of pan.
    9. Sprinkle tomato, cheese on top.
    10. Place under broiler about 6-8 inches from heat, broil 3-5 minutes, until slightly brown and bubbly.
    11. Cut into wedges.

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Crispy Potatoes for Two....or more

    serves two

    2 tablespoons coconut or grapeseed oil
    2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    Sea Salt and pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons water
     1 1/2 unsalted butter

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    In a large cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the potato cubes and season with salt and pepper.  Saute stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. 
    1. Turn the heat up to high, add the water, stir, and cover the pan with a lid.  Steam the potatoes until the water evaporates, about 3-4 minutes. (open the lid long enough to give the potatoes a quick stir ever 1-2 minutes).  Lower the heat to medium and saute another 1-2 minutes until all traces of water are gone. 
    2. Toss in the butter and stir to coat the potatoes. 
    3. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven until the potatoes are crisp and browned to your liking, about 15-25 minutes. 
    Can be doubled or tripled to serve your family.

    Sweet and Sticky Spareribs

    serves four so divide in half for two

    1 tablespoon coconut oil
    2 tablespoons barbeque sauce
    2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
    3 tablespoons pure apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
    2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    1 cup pineapple juice
    1/4 cup coconut sugar
    salt and pepper
    2 1/2 pounds spareribs (preferrably from your local farmer who raising the pigs on pasture)

    In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade.  Cut the spareribs into individual ribs and put in a resealable plastic bag.  Pour the marinade into the bag and toss to coat.  Put the bag into a large bowl and refrigerate to let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight is better.

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Remove the ribs from the marinade and arrange on a baking sheet, cover with foil and poke holes in the foil to vent.  Reserve the marinade.  Bake until the ribs are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

    In the meantime, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until thick, about 30 minutes.  Reserve.

    Preheat the grill.  After 1 1/2 hours, remove the foil from the ribs. Baste the ribs with the reduced marinade and grill for 5 minutes.  Turn and baste the ribs again with the remaining sauce and grill an additional 5 minutes.  Remove and serve.

    Fennel Cabbage Slaw


    Fennel-Cabbage Slaw1 fennel bulb, core removed, cut into quarters and sliced very thinly, fonds reserved
    1 cup thinly slices purple cabbage
    2 green onions, chopped
    2 strips bacon, cooked chrisp and chopped

    Dressing:
    1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
    3 tablespoons chopped fennel fonds
    1 teaspoon honey
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Toss the fennel, cabbage, onions, and bacon together in a medium bowl.  Whisk the mayo, vinegar, fennel fonds, honey and salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl.  Add the dressing to the slaw and toss to coat.



    Fennel has a mild anise-like flavour, but is more aromatic and sweeter. It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses.

    What is a Super Salad?

    A super salad is just that..............super full of nutritious veggies!  A very nutrient dense vegetable salad.


    You'll start with some greens.  Use a variety of green salad offerings including; romaine, various lettuces, mesculins, etc.  Next you'll add shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, brocolli, cauliflower, zuchinni, tomatoes and any other veggies you want to eat raw in your salad.

    You can also add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pinenuts or any variety of nuts you may want.  You can even add fruits of your choice and, of course, some kind of homemade dressing.

    ENJOY!

    Asparagus, Ham and Mushroom Frittata For Two - Or so

    serves two

    Olive Oil
    4 ounces Asparagus, woody ends trimmed off and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
    2 ounces diced ham
    1 ounce sliced bella mushrooms
    1 small clove minced garlic
    4 eggs – beaten (season with salt and pepper if desired)
    1/4 cup shredded Colby Jack Cheese
    2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan Cheese

    In an 8 inch cast iron skillet add a few drizzles of olive oil. Add asparagus and gently sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes.  Add ham, garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute, stirring often for another 2 minutes.

    Pour beaten eggs over asparagus, sprinkle in cheddar cheese and let cook till set around the edges but still liquid in the center. When this happens sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and put in oven under high broiler setting (I have an electric oven so if you have gas oven I would just set the oven to 450 degrees.) Once set, about 7 minutes, take out of oven and using a spatula gently slide it out of the pan onto a plate and enjoy.

    Adapted from a recipe by Nutmeg Nanny

    Easily tripple or double for your family.  If you are using a 12 inch skillet, tripple the recipe.

    Easy Gluten-Free Skillet Lasagna

    4 servings (divide in half for just two)

    8 ounces Quinoa Rotini or Fusilli ( or whole grain pasta, if  you are not gluten intollerant)
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    4 small cloves garlic, slices
    8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
    8 ounces ground beef  (opt)
    1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
    8 cups baby spinach (or big spinach, ribbon cut)
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (+ or -)
    3/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
    1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain
    2. Brown Sausage
    3. Heal oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, sat and pepper, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 4-6 min.  (if there is lots of liquid in your pan drain off)
    4. Add tomatoes, spinach, garlic and red pepper.  Increase heat to med-high; cook, stirring occasionally until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.
    5. Toss the sauce with the pasta and divide among 4 bowls.  Dollop each serving with 3 tablespoons of ricotta.

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Next Weeks Meal Plan


    Monday - Sweet & Sour Chicken Wings, Refried Rice
    TuesdayEasy Gluten-Free Skillet Lasagna, Super Salad
    Wednesday -Stuffed Chicken Breast, Carrot Cucumber Salad
    Thursday - Fiery Scallops & Bok Choy over Cello Noodles, steamed sugar snap peas
    Friday - Sweet and Sticky Spareribs, Crispy Potatoes, Fennel Cabbage Salad
    Saturday - Grilled Steak, Baked Potato, Super Salad
    Sunday Brunch: Italian Frittata, Salad;  Supper:  Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Fruit Salad

    Our GAME PLAN contains grocery list and a day by day list of to-do's for your meal plan.  We'll send this to you for a $1 donation to Grandma Farmer to PAYPAL at gramafarmer@gmail.com

    Storing Herbs from the Garden

    On probably more than one occasion you have not used all of the fresh herbs you received in your box and you hated to see them go to waste. Never fear most herbs can be easily dried or frozen for use at a later time.
    Herbs that have low moisture content will dry better than those with high moisture content. For herbs with high moisture content freezing is the best way to keep them for future use. These herbs will retain more of their flavor when frozen: basil, parsley, cilantro, and chives. Herbs that are ideal for drying are: sage, mint, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and dill. The process is easy and is not time consuming.



    DRYING FRESH HERBS

    The first thing to remember is moisture will cause herbs to mold and rot so if you rinse them be sure to pat them dry and let them sit for a bit before tying them into bunches. Inspect the branches and remove any leaves that look unhealthy. Also take off the leaves on the bottom one inch of the branch. Bundle 4-6 branches together at the stem and tie them with a string or rubber band. The stems will shrink as they dry so be sure you have it tied tightly. Hang the bunch of herbs upside down in a dry, airy room (the laundry room or bathroom would not be a good choice) for about 2 weeks. They are ready when the leaves will crumble easily in your fingers. Always store the entire stem in an airtight container like a jar or zip lock bag because they will retain a lot more flavor if they are not crushed until you are ready to use them. Fresh dried herbs should keep for about a year. When they start to lose their color they are also losing flavor.

    FREEZING HERBS

    The best way to preserve herbs that have high water content is to freeze them. Moisture in the leaves will often cause the herb to mold before it becomes dry enough to store. While the leaves will become limp when frozen they will retain their flavor. Some of the herbs that are best frozen are basil, chives, cilantro, mint, and tarragon. Herbs that have been frozen will retain their potency for several months.

    Wash and pat or spin dry the leaves and lay them on a cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Freeze over night and then store in an air-tight container in the freezer. If you plan to use the herbs in soup or stew chop the herbs and put them in ice cube trays, cover with water and freeze. Store the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer.

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Swiss Chard

    Different varieties of chard exhibit lots of color. So much so that one variety is called rainbow chard. Those bright green leaves and multi colored stems hold a powerhouse of nutrition for our bodies. 

    Chard is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. While the leaves are always green, chard stalks vary in color. Chard has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves at the expense of the root (which is not as nutritious as the leaves). Chard is, in fact, considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available and a valuable addition to a healthy diet (not unlike other green leafy vegetables). Chard has been around for centuries, however because of its similarity to beets is difficult to determine the exact evolution of the different varieties of chard.
    Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K and C, with a 175 g serving containing 214%, 716%, and 53%, respectively, of the recommended daily value.  It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein.  Chard is also known for its iron content: the stalk retains more iron compounds than the leaves, hence their rosy color.

    Chard can be eaten raw, sautéed or steamed and it can be used in the place of spinach or other greens in salads, soups and other cooked dishes.  Raw chard has a light texture and the leaves can replace the lettuce on your sandwich. Sauté the leaves and add them to pasta, omelets, or quiche. The leaves can be added to soup for a few minutes before serving to add flavor and nutrition.

    To avoid spoilage chard should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator

    HINT FROM ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS: "I never liked Swiss chard, until several years ago I had some that had been freshly picked from my local farmer's garden. It was so sweet and buttery I couldn't believe it was actually Swiss chard. It was then I learned that freshness was the key determinant to whether chard was delectable or detestable. Last night we had Swiss chard that we had picked up from Whole Foods. It was good, quite good. But not nearly as fantastic as the chard we had a week ago that we had bought from our local farmer. So here's a hint. If the thought of Swiss chard leaves you uninspired, get some from a local farmer that has been freshly picked. It is sort of like the difference between white corn picked that day, or the same corn two days later. The tastes don't even compare."

    Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 green onions, sliced
    2 Tablespoons diced red onion
    1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 bunch Swiss Chard, rinsed and chopped
    1 tomato, slices
    1/2 lemon, juiced

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Stir in onions, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and feragrant.  Stir in garbanzo beans, and season with salt and pepper; heat through.  Place chard in pan, coo until wilted.  Add tomato slices, squeeze lemon juice over greens, and heat through.  Plate, and season with salt and pepper.

    Great as a main dish or serve as a side for fish or meat.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Any Time Fritatta

    This frittata is perfect for any meal and is extremely budget conscious.  It’s also an excellent way to use leftover ham.

    1 cup broccoli florets
    3/4 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms
    2 green onions
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 cup cooked ham (or bacon)
    8 eggs
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup fresh tomato

    Preheat oven to 375°

    If you’re using fresh broccoli, clean and cut the heads into florets. Wash and chop the tomato, slice the mushrooms and onions. Finely chop the garlic cloves. Cube the ham, grate the cheese.

    Add the butter to a skillet over medium heat and sauté the broccoli, mushrooms, onions and garlic until tender. Add the ham and heat through. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover to keep warm.

    In a large bowl beat together the eggs, water, mustard and Italian seasoning until foamy. Add to the mixutre in your skillet.

    Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

    This dish is perfect frozen prior to cooking.  It can be thawed and cooked for another meal, which is what we did since there are just the two of us.  You will probably have to adjust the cooking time.  Simply pour the amount you have decided to freeze into a zipper bag, label and freeze.  You can also simply use half of the above and a smaller skillet and just cook enough for two.

    Great Served with a Salad!

    Yield: 4 – 6 servings.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Taking Stock - What's In Your Pantry?

    When creating menus I tend to get on certain tracks and get lost on them. Things happen and sometimes a couple of meals a week get changed. All this often creates an overstock in my pantry. That's why occasionally I take stock of what is in the pantry and create meals directly from there.

    Cleaning and organizing your pantry is important to do whether you do it monthly, quarterly or just annually. If you are buying in bulk it's even more important to do.

    Where is your pantry?  Your pantry could be in your cupboards, your freezer, a seperate room on shelves or even in containers stacked in a corner or under your bed.  Your pantry(ies) is/are where ever you store your food in the living space you reside in. 

    Great care should be taken to understand the proper ways to store your food and the conditions needed to preserve it so that it is not wasted. A person is prudent to understand what containers are best to use in the storage of your food.  If you are a person who has a great understanding of the nutritional content of your foods and choose to purchase the most nutrient dense foods possible this is even more important.  It's a shame to spend the extra money to purchase nutrient dense and/or organic foods and then store them in containers that will contaminate them in some other way, i.e. plastics.

    As you place items on your pantry shelf be sure that you write the date that you placed them there.  This will help you to use the oldest items first.  This week when I go through the shelves, take things, down, wipe and shelves and put them back I'll also write down on a master list just what I have on those shelves, how much and the date the items went on the shelf.

    Because it is 'cleaning and organizing' week for the pantries I'll take my master list and create my weekly menu from what is already available there.  I will continue to make my meal plans for the week from these master lists until I have used up any and all items that I've had on the shelf for more than three months.  Then I can start over!

    I hope this idea has been a blessing to you!

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Monday This 'n That

    Thomas Jefferson ordered the landscape at Monticello to create a "ferme ornée," or ornamental farm, combining function and beauty.

    What's Available from Grandma Farmers Garden this week:

    Greens (4-oz $2): Red Russian Kale, Arugula, Spinach
    Herbs (1-oz $2): Sage, Oregano, Chives (Garlic and Onion), Spearmint, Dill Weed, Cilantro, Flat Leaf Parsley, Lemon Balm
    Vegetables:  Green Onions 6-8 bunch $2
    Fruit:  Rhubarb $3 per pound
    Farm Fresh Eggs (fed organic grains) $3 a dozen
    Grass-Fed Ground Beef $4.50 per pound
    Daylilies 6 fans for just $5

    Email Us for pick-up.  We do make daily trips to Omaha and ocassional trips to Lincoln where we can meet.

    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    We are again attempting to read through the Bible this year. Just joining us or did you get behind? No matter and no need to play catch-up. Start where you are today and go forward.

    Monday: Mark 13:32-37, 12 Cor 12:1-10, Psalms 107, 2 Samuel 1-2
    Tuesday: Mark 14:1-11, 2 Cor 12:11-21, Psalms 108, 2 Samuel 3-4
    Wednesday: Mark 14:12-31, 2 Cor 13, Psalms 109, 2 Samuel 5-7
    Thursday: Mark 14:32-42, Galatians 1, Psalms 110, 2 Samuel 8-10
    Friday: Mark 14:43-52, Galatians 2, Psalms 111, 2 Samuel 11-12
    Saturday: Mark 14:53-65, Galatians 3:1-14, Psalms 112, 2 Samuel 13
    Sunday: Mark 14:66-72, Galatians 3:15-29, Psalms 113, 1 Samuel 14-15

    We also like to read a Proverb a Day corresponding to the day of the month. This month I am memorizing Psalms 32, could you memorize a Psalm?

    This Weeks Meal Plan

    Monday - Szechuan Orange-Ginger Beef with Rice (opt), Coconut Pudding with Fresh Strawberries
    Tuesday - Chicken Noodle Casserole, Peas
    Wednesday - Salmon with Asparagus, Rice (opt), glazed Carrots
    Thursday - Tex-Mex Stir-Fry
    Friday - Brocolli, Ham & Cheese Frittata
    Saturday -  Pizza, Super Salad
    Sunday -  Roast Pork Loin, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans and Fried Apples

    I've been cooking out of the WeightWatchers One Pot Cookbook these last couple of weeks.

    Mission 101 Herbs That Heal

    I have created a list of the plants and herbs in our yard, currently that have healing qualities.
    1. Aronia
    2. Basil
    3. Blackberry
    4. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
    5. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
    6. Catnip
    7. Cayenne
    8. Chaomile
    9. Cilantry
    10. Currants
    11. Dandelion
    12. Dill
    13. Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)
    14. Feverfew
    15. Gooseberry
    16. Hollyhock
    17. Horehound
    18. Hyssop
    19. Juniper
    20. Lavender
    21. Lemon Balm
    22. Linden Tree (European Basswood)
    23. Mullein
    24. Oregano
    25. Oxeye Daisy
    26. Parsley
    27. Peppermint
    28. Plantain
    29. Raspberry
    30. Red Clover
    31. Rosemary
    32. Rugosa Rose
    33. Sage
    34. Spearmint
    35. Sunflower
    36. Thyme
    37. Violet
    This means I only have 64 more plants/trees/shrubs to propigate.  (Chuckle) This also means I get to create more beds to plant all these wonderful and beautiful plants.  There's nothing like edible landscape, incorporate all these wonderful plants into your landscape and make them your 'flower' beds.  We will discuss two plants a week.


    BASIL - Bet you thought this was just a culinary herb.  Not so!  Basil is an excellent digestive system support herb.  Basil enjoys full sun and well drained soil.  It loves to be next to any kind of peppers and tomatoes and often is said to enhance their flavor when Basil is nearby.



    BLACK EYED SUSAN - These beautiful, happy flowers do well in full sun and will grow in just about any soil type.  It is said to repel insect when planted with feverfew, licorice, or hyssop.  Black-eyes Susans attract birds of many kinds into the garden.  Roots may be dug in spring or fall.  Leaves may be gathered by handpicking or with snips any time.  Used mainly as a herbal diuretic so should NOT be used in pregnancy.  It is also used occasionally to support heart health and for women's health concerns.  It is used as an Infusion or a traditional tincture.

    BEWARE:  This plant can be toxic to your pets!



    Grain Free Brownies

    I'm going to send you to a different blog for my new favorite recipe for brownies.  Hubby says they actually taste like brownies.....really chocolatey.  Espresso Fudge Brownies

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Mango Chutney Sauce

    This is a perfect alternative for maio on a great Chicken or Turkey Sandwich.  Add the chutney, baby lettuce greens, sliced tomatoes and you are set with a delish sandwich on whole grain or gluten free buns or rolls.

    • Olive oil
    • 3/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 Tbsp diced fresh ginger
    • 2 Tbsp chopped raisins
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • Scant pinch of red pepper flakes
    • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar or 2 Tbsp Honey
    • 3 Tbsp pure apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • Salt to taste

    Method

    Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add the chopped mango, ginger, raisins, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, vinegar, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and let cook gently for 30 minutes.

    Store in Refrigerator.


    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Sabatical

    Taking a BLOG sabatical until Monday to work in the garden and have a garage sale.  Thanks for your patience

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Not All Eggs Are Created Equal

    Do the eggs you buy have bright yellow yolks and stand up tall in the frying pan or are they pale and runny?



    Here's the difference:


    Commercial Eggs are kept in small cages stacked on top of each other all their lives.  They lay their eggs on the wire and the egg rolls out the bottom and onto a conveyer or other contraption to gather the eggs.  Workers go through several times a day and remove the dead chickens who normally have very short life spans.  They are fed the cheapest grains possible that also contain antiobotics and chemicals like arsinec so that they stay awake longer and keep laying.


    On the small farm a free-range hen is allowed some outside time to roam, eat bugs and dig in the dirt/grass.  Cage-Free means that they do not spend their lives in a tiny cage 24/7.  Many small farms have a variety of methods of allowing their hens to spend time out doors and to live a more 'normal' chicken life.  This all depends a great deal on the preditor situation the farmer may have on his farm.



    So why are these eggs more expensive?
    • First of all, they lay fewer eggs because they are not stimulated to lay more than God originally created them to lay.  They also tend to lay the eggs everywhere so they are sometimes harder to find.
    • They are probably fed some outstanding organic and/or transitional grains like here on our farm.  Organic grains are not cheap but they are higher in nutritional value and are not Genetically Modified like all the grain in a commercial feed.
    Don't be fooled, however, by the words 'free-range' or 'cage free' when found on your grocers shelf.  Since there is no regulations on these two words, unfortunately, some large eggs factories will push the envelope and cheat the system any way they can to get the most profit possible even though their defination of those words are far from the definition understood by discerning food buyers. 


    This is why Grandma Farmer encourages you to purchase as much of your food as possible from local farmers that you know and trust.


    So why bother driving further to buy a dozen eggs for $3 plus when you can purchase them for $.95?  Primarily you'll know that your eggs are fresh.  Most farmers will label their eggs with a 'gathering' date.  Eggs in stores are generally 2-4 weeks old when you purchase them.  Thus, the buzz word, "farm fresh".  Here are some additional reasons:


    • GMO (Genetically Modified Grain and Foods) are dangerous and not the healthy alternative Monsanto is pushing on you.  Read my recent post on the issue! There are plenty of books and articles on the net on this issue.  Become aware and push for Labeling of GMO foods like other countries and don't eat GMO foods.  Many countries now refuse to purchase food from the US because of the GMO issue.  They don't allow Monsanto to shove their seeds down their throats and have banned them from their countries (i.e. Peru and other countries).
    • Recently, Mother Earth News did an egg study comparing free-range eggs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs. The findings showed that free-range chicken eggs produced the following results:
      • 1/3 less cholesterol
      • 1/4 less saturated fat
      • 2/3 more vitamin A
      • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
      • 3 times more vitamin E
      • 7 times more beta-carotene
    • Free-range eggs contain 70% more vitamin B12 and 50% more folic acid (British Journal of Nutrition, 1974).
    • Greek free-range eggs contain 13 times more omega-3s than U.S. commercial eggs (Simopoulos, The Omega Diet, 1988).
    • Pasteurized eggs are higher in vitamin E and omega-3s than those obtained from battery-cage hens (Animal Feed Science and Technology, 1998).
    • Free-range eggs are 10% lower in fat, 34% lower in cholesterol, contain 40% more vitamin A, and are 4 times higher in omega-3s than standard U.S. battery-cage eggs, and free-range chicken meat has 21% less fat, 30% less saturated fat, and 50% more vitamin A than that of caged chickens (Gorski, Pennsylvania State University, 1999).
    • Free-range eggs have three times more omega-3s and are 220% higher in vitamin E and 62% higher in vitamin A than eggs obtained from battery cage hens (Karsten, Pennsylvania State University, 2003).
    • Many bakers will use strictly Farm Fresh Free-Range Eggs because they will get more rise in their batters than their commercial counter part
    Whether you have to pay $3 or $4 for a nutrient dense dozen of eggs, you can see it is well worth the effort.  Even at these prices it is still a healthy, reasonably priced protein for your family.  Additionally, you help to keep the small farm alive!