Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Counting Fog



Well we are experiencing the first fog of the season this morning.  Not a big one....but fog none-the-less.  Folk Lore says that you can count 90 days from a fog and that is when it will snow........unless, of course, it will rain within 3 days.  I don't think we're expecting rain (still hoping) so with that aside it looks like snow on October 31st. 

I guess I have to much time on my hands but I kind of have fun with marking these days on the calendar to see if it comes to pass.  The thickness of the fog also apparently has something to do with the heaviness of the snow.  Heavy thick fog = blizzard, light fog = light snow.  The above picture is one I lifted from the internet because the fog this morning was very light and did not last long enough for me to grab a camera and photograph it.  Not saying much for snow chances for this one. 

Some years it's been pretty acurate, other years.........not so much.





Picture Credits:  Early morning fog along Houston's Braes Bayou uh.edu

What To Do With All That Zucchini


There is a summer delima of what to do with all that zucchini...........It seems even with only one plant I never come up with enough dishes to serve these little (or sometimes big) delights.

Zucchini Tomato Side Dish

    • 1 medium zucchini or crookneck, sliced
    • 2-3 slices red onion
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 medium tomato cut into wedges
    • 1 juiced tomato
    • 1/8 tsp basil
    • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
    • Seasonings: hot pepper flakes, etc.
    • 1 tbsp cooked bacon
    • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a large skillet sauté the zucchini, onion and salt in oil until veggies are crisp tender. Gently stir in tomato and seasonings. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bacon.


Squash, Bacon and Mozzarella Quiche

    • 1 pie crust for 9 ½ inch pie plate
    • Filling:
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 cups sliced yellow squash
    • 2 cups sliced zucchini
    • ¼ cup chopped onion
    • 1 tbsp chopped basil
    • 1 cup milk
    • ¾ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp pepper
    • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 3 egg whites
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup diced bell pepper
    • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare pie crust and bake in pie pan at 400º for 15 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350º

To prepare filling, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, onion and basil as well as bell pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Cool the squash mixture slightly. Combine the milk, salt, pepper, bacon, egg whites and eggs. Whisk together. Arrange the squash mixture evenly over the crust and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Cool for about 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil leaves that have been drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. May also be served with sliced fruit that has been layered with yogurt and topped with granola.

Friday, July 27, 2012

French Haricot Vert Green Beans



I grew the really thin French (Haricot) Green Beans this year and really like them.  Harvest was average compared to the hybrid green beans, but you have to remember that this is heirloom.  The flavor was great.  I froze some in small, meal size bags for us.  I will DEFINATELY grow these again next year......maybe exclusively.

Here's a couple of great recipes for serving two people.....go ahead and increase to serve your family:

French Green Beans
1/2 pound French Green Beans (just snap the stem end off)
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Dressing:
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon pure apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Blanch the beans by putting beans into a pan of boiling water and
    cooking for about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl
    of ice water, allow the beans to cool. Remove, drain, and place
    in a bowl.
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl and add the green onions, tomatoes, and walnuts.
  3. In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the salad
Haricot Vert - French Green Beans With Garlic and Sliced Almonds
  • 1/2 lb French style green beans, rinsed and microwaved for 4 minutes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup water or 1/8 cup chicken broth
  • coarse sea salt, to season
  • pepper ( to season)

In a large pan over medium high heat, heat oil adding almonds and toss till for 1 minute add garlic to lightly brown add beans and water or broth cover for 5 minutes on low heat.  Season with salt and pepper.

French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs

  • 1/2 pound thin green beans (haricot vert), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon or basil, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp chives, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges

  • 1 Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain the beans and pat dry on a cloth or paper towel.
    2 Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Cook the onions until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
    3 Add the green beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
    4 Add all the herbs and some salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.
    Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Cheesy Mashed Potato Bake

    I make this and sometimes double it.  I then use a large scoop and put one scoop on waxed paper lined baking sheet and then freeze them.  This is the perfect one person serving size.  I can ten get out whatever we are going to need for supper, thaw in the frig and bake it up.



    4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cooked as for mashed potatoes
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar Cheese
    Salt and pepper to taste.

    1.  Be sure you salt your water when you cook your potatoes.  If you cut the potatoes in smaller chunks then cooking time is greatly reduced.

    2.  Mash potatoes with butter.  Add onion, Cheese and sour cream.  Stir to combine.

    3.  Bake in appropriate size container, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Or, freeze in whatever size container you want, thaw and bake later.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Drying Herbs

    We had a post a few weeks back on Freezing Herbs.  Some herbs are great in a 'fresh' state.  Frozen herbs work for this although they will be a bit more whimpy and that really doesn't matter if you are cooking them anyway.

    Some herbs, like Oregano, are best in their dry state because........well......Oregano can be somewhat strong.  I just like to keep some of all my herbs dried for when I need them quick.


    Today all my dill was going to seed so if I was going to save any, it had to come in.  As you can see I had quite a pile.  I put newspapers down on the table before I started.  The pile was allowed to dry out in the house a bit before I began to make harvesting the dill weed easier.


    You can see that I have quite a pile of seeds already for planting next year, using in pickles and other recipes.  The little green pile in the front is the dill weed that I harvested.  Normally I take a stalk, pick off the dill weed and then rub the seed head to release any seeds that don't just drop off, then I'm off to the next stalk. I do not compost these because of seeds that may be lingering, although each spring I normally have dill coming up everywhere like a weed. LOL



    Many herbs take well to the low temps in natural drying.  Moisture in the air should be fairly dry or the herbs will mold before they dry this way.  Here I have some spearmint hanging in the house to dry.  While it dries it gives off such a sweet smell.



    Many times I'll use my dehydrator to dry my herbs.  I am able to adjust the temps on my dehydrator so I adjust the temp low for herbs so I don't burn them.   Above is some Thyme that I'm drying on sheets.  Dried Thyme will fall through the cracks  of a normal dehydrator tray.  The air in this dehydrator goes up and over the outside of the trays.



    On this try I have just a bit of extra sage that I over picked for an order.  Each herb has a different water content so be sure to check each variety often so that you don't over dry and burn your herbs.



    Finally, I have some basil in the dehydrator.  Normally I freeze this herb but this time I'm drying a few just in case.


    Once dried all herbs are put in an air tight container and stored in a cool, dark and dry place.




    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    "The mission of the Son of man"

    For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10


    Suggested Further Reading: Luke 15:1-7



    It is strange what unusual places Christ finds some of his people in! I knew one of Christ’s sheep who was found out by his Master while committing robbery. I knew another who was found out by Christ, while he was spiting his old mother by reading the Sunday newspaper and making fun of her. Many have been found by Jesus Christ, even in the midst of sin and vanity. I knew a preacher of the gospel who was converted in a theatre. He was listening to a play, an old-fashioned piece, that ended with a sailor drinking a glass of gin before he was hung, and he said, “Here’s to the prosperity of the British nation, and the salvation of my immortal soul;” and down went the curtain; and down went my friend too, for he ran home with all his might. Those words, “The salvation of my immortal soul,” had struck him to the quick; and he sought the Lord Jesus in his chamber. Many a day he sought him, and at last he found him to his joy and confidence. But for the most part Christ finds his people in his own house; but he finds them often in the worst of tempers, in the most hardened conditions; and he softens their hearts, awakens their consciences, subdues their pride, and takes them to himself; but they would never come to him unless he came to them. Sheep go astray, but they do not come back again by themselves. Ask the shepherd whether his sheep come back, and he will tell you, “No, sir; they will wander, but they never return.” When you find a sheep that ever came back by himself, then you may hope to find a sinner that will come to Christ by himself. No; it must be sovereign grace that must seek the sinner and bring him home.

    For meditation: We all like sheep have gone astray; we have all gone our own way (Isaiah 53:6); we have all ended up like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). The Lord Jesus Christ is the great shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), the good shepherd (John 10:11,14) and the giving shepherd who gave his life for his sheep (John 10:11) and who gives eternal life to his sheep (John 10:28). Have you been found by him and returned to him (1 Peter 2:25)?

    Sermon no. 204365  from sermons preached by Charles  H. Spurgeon on 11 July (1858)

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Beets, Beets and More Beets




    I harvested some Beets today. Not wanting to do the same old thing with them I decided that they would be best used in some different ways. If you go to my GRANDMA FARMERS GARDEN blog, I've explained the value of beets for your diet.

    How to Choose Beets
    Beets are in season from June to October,but are available in most stores all year round. Choose firm smooth beets. They should be a beautiful color when you rub a bit of the dirt away.

    I Am Having a Love Affair With Condiments
    Because of my current love affair with condiments gracing my table I am going to give you a link to how to can and make pickled beets.  These are the 'canned' variety.

    Pickled Beets Recipe
    Canning Beets

    I would be amiss if I didn't give you my fav lacto-fermented variety that I keep in my refrig continually.  This is the very best link I could find and I love working with them this way.  Keep in mind that you need to gather your equipment first before you decided to buy your beets.  Since Beets are a root crop they are on my 'must be organic' list due to the herbicides that are sprayed on the beets to keep them weed free (necessary for commercial farmers as beets won't grow in weeds).  We weed all ours by hand.  I like using my Antique Crock bowl for this kind of thing.  Since you are not fermenting in the bowl small cracks don't matter BUT when you are fermenting in the crocks be sure that there are no chips OR CRACKS in your pickling or fermenting crocks.  You can buy them in antique stores often for less than new.

    How to Make Lacto-Fermented Beets

    holding beets

    Beet Juice Blends

    Don’t like beet juice by itself? Try these recipes for tasty blends. You can blend with other fruits or vegetables for extra nutrition and flavor. This can be important for some people as beets have oxalic acid which can cause kidney stones. Blending with another veggie or fruit will reduce the concentration, or eat a calcium product in addition to your beet juice.

    Using a Juicer
    Use whole,raw beets. Wash them extremely well or peel the skin first. Cut into size recommended for your juicer.

    With Blender
    You can also use a blender to make beet juice. Clean and peel the beets. Chop or grate finely. Add the finely grated beets with ¼ cup water or juice to the blender. Blend well. Strain through a cloth to remove large pieces if desired. But remember, this contains fiber and beneficial nutrients, so find a way to add them to your diet.

    Beet and Fruit Blend
    Blend together 1 beat with leaves, 1 apple and 1 pear.
    Beet and Veggie Blend
    Blend together 1 beet, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 cup green tea, 1 orange, and ½ inch fresh peeled ginger root.
    Tropical Blend
    Blend together 1 beet, 1 cup pineapple, and ½ cup papaya

    Drink Your Juice Blend immediately to utilize the nutrients before they are lost. If you want to make enough for several days,freeze in individual portions. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for a refreshing beverage for breakfast.

    Beet Kvass
    Beet Kvass is a Ukranian drink that no household was ever without. Here’s how to make up 2 quarts of the traditional tonic:

    3 beets,peeled and chopped*
    ¼ cup whey
    1 tablespoon sea salt
    Filtered water

    Put the beets, whey and sea salt in a 2 quart glass jar or container and fill with filtered water. Stir and cap. Let it set on the counter at room temperature for 2 days,then transfer to the refrigerator.
    Drink a 4 ounce glass in the mornings and evenings for a regenerating tonic. You can also use beet kvass in place of vinegar in your salad dressing recipes or add it to soups.

    *Note: Don’t use grated beets because they will ferment too rapidly. You will have alcohol content instead of the valuable lactic acid that is noted for its medicinal qualities.

    Sweet Potato and Beet Chips with Garlic Rosemary Salt

    2 Sweet Potatoes
    2 large beets
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
    2 tablespoons salt
    10 cups coconut oil




    1. Wash the vegetables and dry very well. Set aside
    2. In a small bowl combine the garlic, rosemary and salt. Set aside.
    3. Warm the oil in a large pot over high heat to 350 degrees (use a deep-fry thermometer)
    4. Trim 1-inch off the end of each sweet potato. Using the V-slicer or Mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Trim 1-inch off the root end of the beets. Using the V-slicer or mandoline slice the beets into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick
    5. When the oil is hot add about a quarter of the sweet potato slices. Let fry until golden and the bubbling has almost completely subsided, about 2-3 minutes. Using a mesh sieve or slotted spoon remove the ships to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with some of the garlic, Rosemary and salt mixture. Continue with the remaining sweet potatoes.
    6. Transfer to a serving plate.
    7. Fry 1/4 of the beets. Let fry until curled at the edges and most of the bubbling has subsided, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the beets to another paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt mixture. Continue with the remaining beets. Let cool and transfer to a serving plate.
    Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup Serves 4

    8 ounces pork sausage
    1 very large beet, peeled and shredded
    1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
    1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
    1 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
    1/3 cup chopped onion
    2 ounces tomato paste
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded
    1/2 cup diced tomato
    1 large clove garlic, minced
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 teaspoon white sugar
    1 tablespoon sour cream for each serving (topping)
    1. Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    2. Fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, and cover the pot. Return to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until they have lost their color. Add the carrots and potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes.
    3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cook until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and water until well blended. Transfer to the pot. Add the raw garlic to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
    4. Ladle into serving bowls, garnish with sour cream and fresh parsley.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Kitchen Klatter - Real Food Time Savers



    I know that sometimes it's a challenge because we feel that cooking traditional meals is just way to time consuming...........after all, I can just take a meal from the store out of the freezer or whip up a box meal in minutes.

    I searched the web and found some great ideas for time savers when cooking traditional, REAL food just to share with you today.

    Make Ahead Food Prep

    The professional chefs do it, why can't you?  Get your family involved.  Even the 2-3 years olds can stand on a stool to watch and learn.  Chefs don't do it on their own, they have souse chefs (helpers).  Engage your family!

    1.  Have a weekly meal plan and choose a day (I do Saturdays) to dice onions, chop and slice carrots, celery and other veggies.  Make finger snack veggies for your refrigerator.  Then even a 3 year old can go to the refrigerator and get a few carrots, celery and zucchini sticks.

    Menu Planning

    I used to tell my 4-H kids all the time, "When you fail to plan you plan to fail".  Planning saves you time and money.  It will save you more time than what it takes you to create the plan.

    When beginning to plan take into account special allergies or health concerns.  Don't compare yourself to other people (bloggers or friends).  Be what and who God wants you to be.

    In the Kitchen

    Be the best YOU can be.  Know your strengths. 

    • What time of day do you work best in and plan your major kitchen tasks around that time frame.
    • Don't be afraid of change.  See what others are doing and adapt it to something that might make your work in the kitchen easier.
    • My mother had a saying, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."  So, why put off something until later that you could do at the moment.  I've found that things put off tend to build into much bigger tasks.
    • Have something you are dreading doing?  Do it first and get it over with!
    • When it comes to Healthy cooking and sticking to the meal plan it always pays to think one or two days ahead.  That way you don't get off track.  You'll also know when you need to do certain prep things like taking the meat out of the freezer and getting stuck with, "now what am I going to do?"
    • Clean up as you go.  I was the worst at this.  I hate clean-up.  However, I soon discovered that if I cleaned up as I went it wasn't such a huge, dreaded ordeal.
    I have tons of other ideas that I'll save for another time or this will get way to long......so until we meet again...............HAPPY TRAILS!

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Zucchini, Onion and Tomato Salad with Saffron and Cinnamon

    Serves TWO

    1 1/2 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1/2 pound or 2 med zucchini (one green and one yellow is beautiful)
    1 small red onion (cut into 1/2 inch wedges)
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 stick cinnamon, broken in half
    1/8 teaspoon Saffron threads (this is expensive so no need to add more)
    1 med heirloom tomato (.31 pound), cut into 1/4 inch wedges
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    1 tablespoon chopped mint
    1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


    Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add zucchini, onions, garlic, cinnamon stick and saffron. Cover; cook until zucchini is tender and onions are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes, parsley and mint. Cool to room temperature. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
     
     
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories88 Calories from Fat 31
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 3 g 5%
    Saturated Fat 473 mg 2%
    Trans Fat 0%
    Cholesterol 0%
    Sodium 16 mg 1%
    Total Carbohydrate 12 g 4%
    Dietary Fiber 3 g 12%
    Sugars 8 g
    Protein 3 g
    Vitamin A 21%
    Vitamin C 38 mg 63%
    Calcium 45 mg 5%
    Iron 0 mg 1%
    Potassium 565 mg 2%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs

    Gluten Free Wednesday - Recipes & Menu

    Being retired I try to create a menu for two including 'planned left-overs' for the week that I can create meals around.  Our Sunday "Family Style' meal is big so that the kids and grandkids can come spend the day at the farm.  There are 31 in our family including babies that are on the way so it can be a big spread if they can all make it....which doesn't happen often.

    In planning the 'Family Style' for Sunday's meal I will include 2.25#'s roast for us and then add  1/4# for each members of the family who are coming (they let us know by Friday noon).

    Sunday
    Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy, Canteloupe
    Lunch:  Taco Salad
    Supper:  Family Style: Herb & Onion Crusted Pastured Pork Roast, Roasted Potatoes, Creamed Kale,  Carrot Coins, Sauerkraut, Waldorf Salad (enough for family and planned left-overs)

    Monday
    Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
    Lunch: Egg Salad in Lettuce Cup, Carrot, Celery and Zucchini Sticks with dip, grape tomatoes
    Supper:  Crab Corn Chowder with Gluten-Free Herbed Cheese Biscuits,  Fresh Fruit Platter

    Tuesday
    Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
    Lunch: Green Smoothie
    Supper: BBQ Shredded Pork Sandwiches (Mike will use a bun and I will not), Potato Salad, Pickled Cole Slaw

    Wednesday
    Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
    Lunch:  L/O Corn Chowder with Gluten-Free Crackers, Fresh Vegetable Platter
    Supper: Grilled Salmon, L/O Creamed Kale, corn on the cob

    Thursday
    Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
    Lunch:  Potato Salad with Sliced Ham, Brats or Grilled Burgers, Fresh Grilled Marinated Pineapple, Corn on the Cob
    Supper: L/O Sliced Pork Roast, Sauerkraut, L/O Carrots & Potatoes from Sunday, Fresh Pineapple

    Friday
    Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
    Lunch:  Green Smoothie
    Supper:  Grilled Chicken, Zucchini Fritters, Super Salad

    Saturday
    Breakfast:  Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage Links
    Lunch:  Veggie Tuna Salad in Zucchini Boats, Fresh Veggie Platter
    Supper:  Grilled Grass-Fed Steak,  Baked Potato, Super Salad

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Green Smoothie/Juice

    I've started Green Juicing. I'm sure you've heard about the newest weight loss craze. Well don't juice because it's a craze and you don't have to juice fast exclusively. Maybe do one or two meals a day of the juice, even once is perfect for adding nutrients to your diet.



    I've actually made some of this green juice stuff.........yea but I added blueberries so it didn't 'look' green, which made it more appetizing and I thought it tasted great!  Mike (dear hubby) even said he'd drink a glass every morning on the way to work.  If the green bothers you............get over it!

    You can also add fresh, homemade yogurt from raw milk, a raw egg yolk (only if you know where your eggs come from so ask your farmer about how the chickens are fed and cared for), and/or goat milk whey protein.



    On my wish list is a Breville juicer.  Here is Martha Stewart actually making some great green juice with the Breville juicer.



    Happy Juicing!  Enjoy!!!

    Gluten-Free Zucchini Cheese Fritters



    3 cups zucchini, grated
    1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup minced onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 large, farm fresh, pastured egg
    1 tablespoon butter, melted
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup Gluten Free Healthy Flour Blend
    Coconut or Grapeseed Oil with a bit of butter for flavor

    1. Mix the zucchini, cheese, onion garlic, salt and pepper, egg and butter.  
    2. In a seperate bowl whisk the baking powder and flour together then add to the zucchini.
    3. Add coconut oil and a bit of butter to a skillet and heat until oil is hot.  Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan well.
    4. Drop by heaping tablespoons into the hot oil.  Cook until browned and then flip to the other side and cook the same.
    5. Top with sour cream or applesauce if you like.
    NOTE:  If you use frozen zucchini for this recipe squeeze all the 'water' you can out of it before mixing in the other ingredients.

    Gluten-Free Coconut Butter Cookies




    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    7 oz (2 2/3 cups) sweetened coconut
    2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I used my 'cake and cookie' blend)
    1/3 cup coconut flour
    2 teaspoons xanthan Gum (if it is not already in your flour blend)
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon pure apple cider vinegar

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. In a large mixed bowl beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until creamy (2-3 minutes).  Add eggs one and a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla.
    3. Add coconut and stir to combine.
    4. In a seperate bowl combine the flours, Xanthan Gum and Soda with a whisk.  Add to mixer bowl with vinegar.
    5. Scoop or spoon onto prepared cookie sheet.  Small cookies are best.  Bake 12 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool.
    HINT:  Do not put more cookies on a pan you've already used that is still hot.  Let the pan cool first.

    Teeny Tiny Potatoes

    Teeny Tiny Potatoes with Sweet Roasted Garlic

    When we dig potatoes it's the little ones people go crazy over!  Why shouldn't they?  These little tiny bundles are bursting with flavor and tender beyond belief.  We have a few available in our Market.  Get them before they are gone!
     
    Roasted Tiny Potatoes
    • 1/2 pound Teeny Tiny Potatoes
    • 2 cloves Peeled, minced Garlic (or more, if you like)
    • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Sea Salt,  to taste
    • Black Pepper, to taste

    Preheat oven to 325°. Place 2 tablespoons Olive Oil on baking sheet.  Add potatoes and garlic and toss to coat the potatoes.  Add salt and pepper over potatoes and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Toss with remaining Olive Oil, if desired.  Serve immediately. Enjoy!
    Serves: 3 - 4
    Cooking Time: 35 - 40 Minutes

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Monumental

    I know this is a bit off subject but not totally because this is the heart of Grandma and Grandpa farmer.  We love our country but we love GOD more.  Kirk Cameron is stumbling upon things we were learning and preaching in the 80's and 90's.  It's good to refresh our memories and be part of the solution.





    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers

    Remember that children's rhyme or tongue twister?  It's actually a early 1800's English rhyme/tongue twister that goes:

    Peter piper1836.jpg

    Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
    Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
    If Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?



    ***Answer below

    The earliest version of this tongue twister was published in Peter Piper's Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation by John Harris (1756–1846) in London in 1813, which includes one name tongue twister for each letter of the alphabet in the same style. However, the rhyme was apparently known at least a generation earlier.  Some authors have identified the subject of the rhyme as Peter Poivre, a Mauritian government administrator of the eighteenth century who once investigated the Seychelles' potential for spice cultivation

    There are several kinds of peppers growing in Grandma Farmers garden and yes, we've been known to pickle a few.  Below is a picture and write up on each variety available at 'the farm'.  Se our MARKET PAGE for availablilty to customers and pricing.



    CHILI PEPPERS

    Chili pepper pods, which are berries, are used fresh or dried. Chilies are dried to preserve them for long periods of time or may also be done by pickling.

    Dried chilies are often ground into powders, although many Mexican dishes including variations on chiles rellenos use the entire chili. Dried whole chiles may be reconstituted before grinding to a paste. The chipotle is the smoked, dried, ripe jalapeño.

    Many fresh chilies such as poblano have a tough outer skin which does not break down on cooking.

    Chiles are sometimes used whole or in large slices, by roasting, or other means of blistering or charring the skin, so as not to entirely cook the flesh beneath. When cooled, the skins will usually slip off easily.

    Our Chili Peppers include the Jalepeno and the  (tiny red ones we sell dried).

    Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.

    Fresh or dried chilies are often used to make hot sauce, a bottled condiment to add spice to other dishes. Hot sauces are found in many cuisines including harissa from the Middle East, chili oil from China (known as rāyu in Japan), and sriracha from Thailand.

    Medicinally Capsaicin is a safe and effective topical analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, shingles pain, diabetic neuropathy, post mastectomy pain, and headaches.

    There is also some disagreement on the use of the word pepper for chilis because pepper originally referred to the genus Piper, not Capsicum; however this usage is included in English dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary (sense 2b of pepper) and Merriam-Webster. The word pepper is commonly used in the botanical and culinary fields in the names of different types of chili peppers.

    BANANA PEPPERS
    The banana pepper (also known as the yellow wax pepper or banana chili) is a medium-sized member of the chili pepper family that has a mild, sweet taste. While typically bright yellow, it is possible for them to change to red or orange as they ripen. It is often pickled, stuffed or used as a raw ingredient in foods. It is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum. Its flavor is not very hot (0–500 Scoville units), and as is the case with most peppers, its hotness depends on the maturity of the pepper, with the most ripe being sweeter than younger ones.  The mild heat associated with them makes it ideal for adding to lighter fare such as salads in order to make them feel more filling 



  • Pickled banana peppers are commonly sold sliced and used to garnish pizzas, sandwiches and Greek salads.
  • Pickled and stuffed banana peppers are common inclusions on Antipasto bars filled with prosciutto and/or cheese.
  • Stuffed banana peppers are served warm with a variety of Italian sausage and cheeses.
  • Chopped or diced banana peppers are used in many relishes and salsas to add sweetness with other peppers providing heat.
  • Jellied along with other hot green peppers such as jalapeños.


  • BELL PEPPERS

    Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors. While green is the prevalent color you will also see yellow ones, red ones, orange ones and even purple ones. The color and flavor of a bell pepper is determined by not only the variety but also by the amount of time the pepper is left on the plant. A red bell pepper is just a green bell pepper that has been allowed to stay on the plant to ripen more.

    You will find that many recipes call for certain colors of pepper, but you can easily substitute one for another without greatly altering the flavor of the recipe. Often various colors are called for just for the esthetic effect. The more mature a pepper the sweeter it will become so the colored peppers will be sweeter than the green peppers, but they all will add color and a slightly sweet crunch no matter how you serve them.

    Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers. Also, one large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C, which is three times the 70 mg of an average orange.

    Bell peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. Their firm texture makes them a perfect choice for a veggie tray, and it is that same firmness that makes them an excellent choice for stir-fries. They can be stuffed with meat, rice, or tofu and compliment beef, chicken, pork, seafood and tofu.
    Conventional bell peppers are usually waxed and should be washed well to remove the wax before they are eaten. Not so with organic peppers. When you are ready to use them rinse them under cool water and remove the stem, seeds, and core. Store bell peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and do not wash them until you are ready to prepare them. They will stay fresh for about a week when stored this way.

    Solve the Riddle
    *** A peck is a measurement used for dried goods. It's equal to 2 gallons. 

    Comments

    Curry and Clippinger wrote: "Halliwell suggests that 'off a pewter plate' is sometimes added at the end of each line. This rhyme is famous as a 'tongue twister,' or enunciation exercise." Halliwell was a well-known editor of nursery rhyme books from the 19th century.

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Herbal Iced Teas



    From: Frontier Herbs
    For nourishing refreshment, nothing quenches better—or is easier to prepare—than herbal iced tea. Use your favorite herbs alone or in combination. Drink them plain or sweetened, or mixed with juices, sparkling waters, or natural sodas. Serve them to guests, but make them part of everyday family fare, too.

    To make herbal sun tea, all you need is a large glass jar or pitcher, fresh water, and herbs. Try about two heaping tablespoons of herb per quart of water. Place the herbs in the container and fill with cold water. You can tie the herbs in cheesecloth or place them in a muslin bag or tea infuser first for easy removal, if you like. Cover the container.

    Set your container in a sunny place and let nature do the brewing. No need to set a timer—just leave the tea until it's as strong as you prefer it. When the tea looks and tastes ready, bring it in and take out the herbs. (Squeeze them before discarding to release all of the flavor into the tea.) Store the container in the refrigerator and serve your tea over ice.

    Note: There's some concern that brewing tea in the sun can harbor bacteria, and this is a possibility. That's because the water will get warm enough to provide a friendly environment for the bacteria but not hot enough to kill it. To minimize the risk, use a perfectly clean container (scrub it in soap and hot water and rinse well), and don't leave the tea to steep for more than a few hours. Make just enough tea for the day, and keep it refrigerated. If the tea becomes thick or syrupy, discard it. (By the way, teas that contain caffeine are less prone to bacterial contamination.)


    Classic Mint Iced Tea
    Due to its menthol content, peppermint is a naturally refreshing herb. Not only will it chill you out and calm you down on a hot summer evening, but it’s also helpful for indigestion, nausea, and any other tummy upset.

    Serves four
    4 cups water
    4 tablespoons dried peppermint
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 lemon slices, halved
    4 sprigs fresh mint

    Bring water to a boil in large, non-aluminum pot. Turn off heat. Stir in peppermint, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain, pressing on herbs with spoon to extract liquid, and discard herbs (if strainer holes are too large, line strainer with cheesecloth). Stir in honey until dissolved and let cool. Serve over ice. Garnish with a piece of lemon and sprig of mint.

    Citrus Hibiscus

    This colorful beverage brings a vacation on the beach to mind.
    1 teaspoon peppermint
    1 teaspoon rosehips
    1 teaspoon orange peel
    2 teaspoons hibiscus
    2 teaspoons lemongrass
    2 cups  water
    1 cup  orange juice
    2 cups  cold sparkling water
    2 tablespoons  honey (or to taste)
    Steep peppermint, rosehips, orange peel, hibiscus, and lemongrass in the two cups of water (either in the sun, or make a tea by boiling the water and pouring over the herbs). Strain. Add orange juice and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour over ice cubes and add a splash of sparkling water to each glass. Sweeten if desired.


    Lemon Balm Punch

    Here's an easy and economical party beverage.
    2 tablespoons lemongrass
    2 tablespoons lemon balm leaf
    2 cups  water
    1 tablespoon  honey
    2 cups  natural ginger ale
    lemon slices (optional)
    1 tablespoon  crystallized ginger, sliced (optional)

    Make sun tea with lemongrass, lemon balm leaf, and water. Strain and add honey and ginger ale. Add floating slices of fresh lemon to your punch bowl, and/or include a slice or two of crystallized ginger in each glass.

    Please Note:  Grandma Farmer has lovely Lemon Balm available in fresh leaf, dried leaves and in September, just in time for fall plantings, potted Lemon Balm to add to your edible landscapes.


    Peach Pick-Me-Up

    http://www.herbcompanion.com/cooking/peach-pick-me-up.aspx
    By Dawna Edwards
    Make the most of summer’s most heavenly flavors with this sprightly tea. Fresh, fully ripe peaches are best, of course, but you can substitute canned or frozen peaches in juice (not syrup) when fresh peaches are not available. You can prepare the mint tea ahead of time, but always mix in the peaches just before serving. Makes about six 8-ounce servings.
    • 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 cups pureed peaches, chilled
    • Fresh mint leaves for garnish
    1. Steep mint leaves in hot (80- to 90-degree) water for 3 minutes.
    2. Pour peaches into a sieve to remove chunks.
    3. After the mint tea has cooled completely, mix it with the strained peach puree. Serve cold, garnished with fresh mint leaves.

    Hip Apple Rose Tea

    http://www.herbcompanion.com/cooking/hip-apple-rose-tea.aspx
    By Dawna Edwards
    Packed with flavor and color, this tart tea is a delight to serve. Makes about four 8-ounce servings.
    • 2 cups hot water
    • 2 teaspoons dried and seeded rose hips
    • 10 to 12 dried hibiscus flowers
    • 1 tablespoon fresh pineapple sage or apple mint leaves
    • 4 teaspoons fresh raspberry leaves OR 2 teaspoons dried leaves
    • 2 cups cold water and ice
    • Apple juice for sweetening, optional
    • Apple slices, cut horizontally for garnish
    1. Steep hips, flowers and leaves in hot water (80 to 90 degrees) for about 3 minutes.
    2. Allow to cool slightly, strain and add cold water and ice.
    3. Pour tea over additional ice. Float apple slices in each glass as garnish.

    Lavender Lemon Quencher

    http://www.herbcompanion.com/cooking/lavender-lemon-quencher.aspx
    By Dawna Edwards
    Fresh and thirst-quenching, this cool summer tisane is perfect for a garden party or simply to calm nerves and aid digestion. Makes about four 8-ounce servings.
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried leaves
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds OR 2 teaspoons dried buds
    • 2 cups hot water
    • 2 cups cold water and ice
    • Fresh lemon for garnish
    1. Steep lemon balm and lavender in hot (80- to 90-degree) water about 3 minutes.
    2. Add cold water and ice.
    3. Serve over additional ice with lemon wedges.

    Ruby Tea

    Makes one gallon

    1 cup lemon balm
    2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
    ½ cup spearmint leaves
    Juice from one fresh lemon
    One dollop organic maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
    Lemon slices, for garnish

    Place the herbs, lemon juice, maple syrup and herbs into a gallon jar. Fill with boiling water and let steep 10 minutes. Strain and discard herbs. Serve hot or over ice garnished with lemon slices.

    Tonic Iced Teas

    Finally I found this site with a great tonic teas:


    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Make Ahead Freezer Smoothies



    Are you getting your "Five a Day's?"




    Need a great breakfast or snack on the go?  Grab a quick fruit smoothie and a muffin and you are off to go.  There are two ways you can put together some quick smoothies. 

    First Is The Grab and Go 



    These smoothies are premade smoothies frozen in Ball freezer continers.  1 1/2 cups your favorite fruit and/or veggie combination, yogurt, protein powder, some chia and/or flax seeds, a little honey, vanilla and/or herbs/spices of your choice.  Blend, pour into the freezer containers and freeze.



    Take the container out and put in the refrigerator the night before so it begins to thaw or take along on an outing or road trip.  Any Smoothie is also great frozen as pops and shared with the children that way.

    Apple Yogurt Smoothie

    2 cups yogurt
    1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and diced
    ½ cup orange juice
    1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
    5-6 ice cubes

    Servings: 2
    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Preparation:

    Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

    Ready To Go Smoothie Ingredients

    Another "Smoothie for two" option is to take 1 1/2 cup frozen fruits, place them in a zipper bag and keep them in the freezer along with 3-4 frozen yogurt cubes until ready to use.





    Yogurt can be frozen in ice cube trays, popped out and placed into the zipper bag and stored in the freezer with your fruit.  Simply grab a bag, give it a whirl in your blender along with a cup of raw milk (opt) and you have an instant smoothie.




    Here's a great smoothie for the fall:

    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
    This smoothie serves two so reduce for one serving.  Pumplin Puree and Sugar Free Applesause are frozen in ice cube trays as is your yogurt.

    6 frozen yogurt Cubes
    4 pumpkin puree cubes
    4 applesauce cubes
    1 banana
    1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1 cup raw milk or milk substitute

    Blend and serve

    Gluten-Free Wednesday - Menu & Recipes

    Menu for Next Week
    Recipes linked were often changed to make them Gluten-Free

    Sunday

    Breakfast:  Eggs, Bacon, Toast (Dilly Bread)
    Lunch:  Taco Salad  (enough 'taco meat' in small bags in freezer for this)
    Supper: Grilled Pork Chops, Corn on Cob, Summer Squash & Carrot Stirfry, Twice Baked Potato, Fruit Salad

    Monday

    Breakfast:  Fruit Smoothie, Breakfast Muffin
    Lunch:  Veggie Egg Salad rolled in lettuce leaves, Cucumber and carrot sticks
    Supper:  Ham Hash (4 ounces ham cubes, 2 green onions, 6 ounces sliced potatoes), Cucumber & Onions, Left-over stir-fry from last night adding a bit of brocolli and snowpeas.

    Tuesday

    Breakfast: L/O Hash from last night with 2 scrambled eggs added
    Lunch:  Cobb Salad
    Supper: Asian Sloppy Joes, Corn on Cob, Cucumber and Onions

    Wednesday

    Breakfast: Almond Cranberry Granola, Fresh Raw Milk
    Lunch:  Green Smoothie
    SupperHearty Skillet Rice with Ham cubes

    Thursday

    Breakfast: Fruit with Cottage Cheese
    Lunch:  Left-over Refried Rice
    Supper: Salmon with Cherry Sauce, Broccoli Slaw

    Friday

    Breakfast: Green Smoothie
    Lunch:  2 Boiled Eggs, Sliced Tomatoes, Carrot and Cucumber Sticks
    Supper: Cabbage Rolls, Carrot Coins

    Saturday

    Breakfast: Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes topped with Peach Chutney (lacto-fermented), 2 eggs, 2 sausage links each
    Lunch: Green Smoothie
    Supper: Grilled Ham Steak (two 3 or 4-oz), Grilled Pineapple, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Heavy Metal Detox

    Some metals which make their way into our bodies through various means can stay there and accumulate, with the potential to eventually poison us. Some of the toxic substances include arsenic, lead, and mercury. Certain foods/supplements have been found to attach to these metals as they pass through our bodies, causing a cleansing/detoxifying effect.
    Click Here to find out how foods like Parsley and Cilantro work to remove heavy metal overload in your body.
    Add More Parsley and Cilantro (Coriander) To Your Diet:
    Parsley and cilantro (coriander) are very powerful natural green plant foods for detoxing heavy metals out of your body. Add these amazing herbs to juices, salads, soups and meals.
    The benefits of soaking seeds and nuts

    Heavy Metal Detox Pesto Recipe
    3 cloves garlic
    1/3 cup Brazil nuts (selenium source) or macadamia nuts
    1/3 cup sunflower seeds (cysteine source)
    1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (zinc, magnesium sources)
    1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander)
    1 cup parsley
    2/3 cup cold pressed olive oil
    4 tablespoons lemon juice (Vitamin C source)
    Big pinch of sea salt and or dulse flakes to flavor.  Soak the seeds and nuts overnight to release the
    enzyme inhibitors. Process the parsley, cilantro (coriander) and olive oil in a blender until chopped. Add the garlic, nuts, and seeds, salt/dulse and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste. Store in dark glass jar. It freezes well also if need be. Enjoy!
    HINTS: Freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer to baggies. Then it can be used it a ton of ways: over quinoa, as a spread on a turkey sandwich, tossed with pasta, rubbed it on chicken & baked,  mixed with rice with a squeeze of lime, etc.

    Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto Quesadilla

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Why I Seldom Use My Clothes Dryer



    Eight Reasons You Should Line Dry Your Clothes

    Did you know that there is currently a movement beginning to 'legalize' the line drying of your clothing?  Yes, legalize.  It seems that many places in the United States have made it illegal to have a clothes line and dry your clothing on it.  They say it reduces their property values if you poe folk dry your clothing outside on a line.

    The clothing dryer is the biggest energy hog in the homes of our country.  In 2001 studies showed that this machine accounted for 6% of the total energy usage of a household.  That was then, what would it be now?  What's more the DOE says no clothes dryer is more efficient than another other so NONE of them have received the coveted Energy Star award.

    So I created these eight reasons to line dry:

    1. It save money.  Running a dryer costs a lot compared to any other applinces in your home.
    2. Drying clothes in the dryer wears them out faster.  Wonder where that lint comes from?  Your clothes become thinner and break apart every time you dry them in the dryer.
    3. Need whiter whites?  Do it without toxic bleach and dry your whites in the afternoon when the sun is the strongest.
    4. Sunlight kills bed bugs.
    5. Nothing smells sweeter than clothing dried in the fresh air.
    6. In the summer, line drying helps to keep the house cooler.
    7. Clothing dried outside in a breeze acts like a fabric softener.  No breeze and they wil be stiff but use the towel once or wear those jeans for a few minutes and they are soft again.
    8. Clothing doesn't shrink when line dried like they do in the dryer.
    Can't find clothespins?  Try the dollar store, but I've found them to be a bit flimsy.  Look Here for the best clothespins.

    What about Clothes Line Posts?  We advertized for some and people were glad to give them to us.  Silly folks.  A local welder would probably be glad to make you a set, for a price.  We have a huge clothes line which seems silly for just two old folks but there have been times when I've used the whole thing.

    What about if it is illegal, raining or two cold to dry my clothes outside?  I have two handy little gadgets that are Amish made and purchased from Lehman's.  Lehman's has all kinds of homey gadgets.  I have used them for years.  Purchase only the best when you are looking to get indoor clothing drying racks.  Inferior racks just don't stand up to the ones I purchased from Lehman's.  The one to the left hang's on the wall and will hold a whole load of laundry.

    The one to the right will hold a load of laundry plus.  It sits on the floor and while it takes up space it does the job.  We use it all winter long and even in the summer if I need something dried when it's raining or I need it dried overnight.  I usually don't leave my clothes out at night because the humidity in our neck of the woods would make this a waste of time.

    Line Drying Hints:

    1. I try to get the clothes started first light, especially the colored clothes.  This keeps them from getting faded by the sun. I try to bring these in by noon. 
    2. Wash the clothes that will take the longest to dry first, ie towels, jeans, blankets.
    3. Wash whites last and leave them out in the afternoon sun.
    4. On warm days we pin two sock together matching up sock right on the line.
    5. When you take the clothes down off the line fold as you go and take the shirts, etc that need hung, off the line LAST so they don't get wrinkled in the basket.
    Have you heard of Freeze Dried Clothing?  Yes, I remember my mother did it a couple of times.  It takes a LONG, LONG time to Freeze Dry clothes and you can actually dry them on a rack or on a clothes line in your basement much faster. 

    Need it dried faster?  In the winter set your rack above a heat vent or put a fan infront of it.

    I don't know about you but there's just some kind of satisfaction just looking out at my clothes drying in the breeze.  Happy drying!

     





    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    From the Garden - Green Beans


    GREEN BEANS
    For many years the common name for these beans was string beans because they had a string that ran the length of the bean. Modern breeding practices have pretty much made these beans “stringless”. There are several varieties of this type of bean and they are distinguished as bush beans if they grow on a bushy plant or pole beans if they are grown on an upright plant. You may be surprised to know that these beans are part of the same family as kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans. Green beans, however, are harvested at a stage when they are immature. The bean inside the pod is just starting to form and the pod is still tender and edible. All of these beans are known as “common beans”.

    While the majority of snap beans are a deep emerald green you will also find varieties that produce yellow or purple beans. They are all a nutritious source of vitamins, fiber and protein.
    The fresh bean pods should be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. When stored this way the beans should last up to seven days. Just as with other fresh vegetables the sooner after harvest they are eaten the more nutritional value they will have.

    When you are ready to prepare the beans wash them under cool running water and remove the tips from both ends by cutting or snapping them off. If there is a fibrous string running down the side remove it at this time by pulling one of the ends you have removed down the length of the bean. Beans that are cooked whole will cook more evenly. Steaming green beans for about 5 minutes is the
    healthiest way to prepare them. They can be used in salads, stir-fry, soups and stews.

    Snap beans do freeze well and will retain valuable nutrients for 3-6 months when frozen. The process of blanching the beans before you freeze them will help retain valuable nutrients and better texture. Blanching is simply a process of steaming or boiling the beans for 2 to 3 minutes. This helps deactivate some of the enzymes that are responsible for reducing the nutritional value.

    Here is the Dilly Bean recipe adapted from the Ball Blue Book:

    Dilly Beans

    2 lbs. trimmed green beans
    4 heads dill
    4 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    2-1/2 cups vinegar
    2-1/2 cups water
    1/4 cup canning salt (don't substitute regular salt, this is chemistry!)

    Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. To each pint, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 head dill. Combine remaining ingredients in a large sauce pot (non-reactive, like an enamel or glass pot). Bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

    Yield: about 4 pints.

    Gluten-Free Lasagna Casserole

    Makes 4-8 servings

    8 ounces Gluten Free Spiral Pasta
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 pound grass-fed ground beef
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    8 ounces sliced mushrooms
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes
    1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    8 cups baby spinach
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    3/4 cup ricotta cheese

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil Add pasta; cook until just tender, according to package directions.  Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
    2. Add oil to heated cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and mushrooms, cook for 4 minutes.  Add ground beef and garlic.  Break up the beef and brown until just no longer pink.  Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. 
    3. Add tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper.  Increase heat to med-high; cook, stirring once halfway through, until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.
    4. Toss the sauce with the pasta, stir in ricotta.

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Kitchen Klatter - Freezing Herbs

    You can buy fresh herbs all year round but they are expensive off season.  A great hint that has been floating around the net these days is freezing herbs. Herbs actually lend well to freezing.   The exception is oregano, which works better dried since it tends to have an overwhelming taste.

    Many gardeners dry herbs from their herb garden, so that they'll be able to enjoy their fresh herbs for a few months longer. Drying herbs is an easy, efficient means to preserve fresh herbs, but herbs with a high water content seem to mold before they ever dry. To preserve herbs with a high water content, like basil, chives lemon balm, mint and tarragon, fresh freezing is a better option. The herbs will become limp in the process, but their flavor will be intact.

    Frozen herbs will keep their flavor for several months. Unlike dried herbs, where the flavor gets more concentrated when drying, frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs.

    Two Methods To Freeze Herbs:

    freezing herbsMethod One: Harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves. Wash, if necessary, and pat dry with paper towels.  Spread the individual leaves on a small tray or cookie sheet. Freezing the leaves flat and individually will prevent them from freezing together into a brick.  Cover and place the tray of leaves into the freezer.  When frozen solid, place in airtight containers and return to the freezer. Once frozen individually, the leaves will not meld together.



    freezing herbsMethod Two: Harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves.  Wash, if necessary, and pat dry with paper towels.  Stuff 2-3 individual leaves or a spoonful of chopped herbs in ice cube trays.  Fill the tray half way with water or Olive Oil. Make sure the leaves are down into the liquid, as best you can. They will tend to float, but we'll fix that with the next step. Place the half filled tray in the freezer.  Once the ice cubes are pretty much frozen, finish filling the try with water or oil. The leaves will no longer be able to float and should be completely surrounded with water. Now place the tray back into the freezer to freeze solid.  Once the ice cubes are frozen, remove from the tray and store in zip closure bags.  When ready to use, toss the whole ice cube into your favorite stew or dish.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Secrets of Keeping Cool with Cooling Essential Oils

    It's easy to overheat yourself during the inevitable summer time hot spells! Even common outdoor activities – such as gardening, sports, entertaining or vacationing – can get uncomfortable when temperatures soar. Tips for avoiding overheating:
    • wear white or light-colored fabrics that reflect radiant heat
    • choose open-weave, loose-fitting cotton or linen clothing to allow air flow.
    • shade your head, neck and face with a comfortable, wide-brimmed hat
    • avoid prolonged exertion and take frequent rest breaks
    • regularly drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages
     If you do become overheated and are feeling the ill-effects of high temperatures, follow these tips to get cool and comfortable again:
    • cease strenuous activity and get out of the sun
    • drink water
    • sit in front of a fan or in an air-conditioned room
    • apply a cooling mist to exposed skin
    • immerse yourself in a cool bath or stand in a cool shower
    • apply a cool compress to your head, face and neck
    Here are some quick recipes for keeping cool in hot summer weather:


    Cool & Fresh Peppermint Body Mist
                 
    4 ounces water
    1 teaspoon vinegar or herb-infused vinegar (lavender, rose, peppermint, etc.)
    12 drops lavender essential oil
    12 drops peppermint essential oil
                      1 mister bottle

    Directions: Combine all the ingredients in the spray mister bottle. Shake vigorously and mist the skin.
    Always shake well before use. Avoid eyes and sensitive areas. Store the bottle in the fridge or ice chest to heighten the cooling sensation.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Refreshing Peppermint Bath
    1 tablespoon sea salt
                      1 tablespoon Epsom salt
                      1 tablespoon baking soda
                      5 drops peppermint essential oil
                      4 drops lavender essential oil

    Directions: Combine salts and baking soda in a small bowl. Sprinkle oils on salts and mix well. Dissolve into lukewarm bath.
    Tip: If you don't have time for a full bath, use this mix as a cooling foot soak.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Cooling Lavender Compress
                     









    • about 4 cups of cool water
    • 12 drops lavender essential oil
    • 9 drops peppermint essential oil
    • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil
    • 1 soft facial cloth
    Directions: Combine water and oils in a small basin or bowl. Swish with cloth, ring out excess, and alternate placement on neck and forehead.
    Tips: Refresh the cloth often, and add a few ice cubes to water to boost the cooling effect. Avoid getting in your eyes.


    Now you can order awesome pure essential oils through Grandma Farmer.  Packaged in .5 oz bottles. 

    July Special:  One Bottle each: Lavender, Pepperment, Grapefruit, Plus one soft, hand crochet, 100% organic cotton facial cloth packaged in a cute acetate bag tied with a lavender ribbon.  We will also include cards for the above recipes.

    Regularly $38.95  This Month's Special  $35.00
    To order contact me


    ESSENTIAL OILS ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE INJESTED INTERNALLY.  KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.


    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Juicing in Grandma Farmers Kitchen

    One of the greatest threats to health in our fast-paced society is the highly processed, chemical-, fat-, and sugar-laden foods eaten on a daily basis. A great need of the modern world is convenience foods rich in nutrition. Grandma Farmers Kitchen creates food products similar to those eaten by people who live to an old age, while remaining healthy, alert, and self-sufficient. Most of our food products should contain nutrient-dense, natural, whole ingredients that are free of sugars and artificial sweeteners.

    Juicing is the 15 minute nutrient express to health!

    Every morning I climb out of bed and head for the juicer so that I can make my hubby and I some kind of juice to send to work with him.  Some people start the day with a cup of coffee, our start to the day is a good quart of juice.  My hubby takes his on his hour long trip to work.



    Typically I will make a green drink with Green Apple, Chard, Kale, Spinach, Celery, Parsley and Cucumber plus I'll throw in some frozen blueberries vs Martha's Papaya.  I'd love one of the Juicer's Martha uses here!





    But today's Breakfast was homemade sprouted quinoa and coconut milk with frozen banana and strawberries, cinnamon, honey and raw egg yoke (only use a raw egg yoke if you know where your eggs are coming from).  I got this idea and photo from Hungry For Change

    Here's how to make the sprouted quinoa and coconut milk:  Soak the quinoa over night then drain and leave for 1-2 days to sprout, then put the drained sprouted quinoa and shredded coconut into a blender with water. Blended until combined and strain... That's the milk! Then add the other ingredients.

    DISCLAIMER: The information provided on Grandma Farmer's BLOG is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. Please seek professional help when needed.

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Making Your Own Vitamin Water

    Photo: Make your own vitamin water. Add fruits instead of sugar for a natural sweetener for your H20. Cut the fruit into paper-thin slices or small chunks. Combine ingredients with water. Refrigerate 4-6 hours and serve over ice. So delicious and very refreshing!

    I try to drink water (without ice) when I first wake up in the morning. It is refreshing and hydrating. It is even better when I take the time to slip in some lemon slices. It is a treat when I make this tasty “tea”. I drink up and enjoy feeling like I am at the spa while getting the extra vitamins that seep into the water (try to go organic to avoid any pesticides washing off into your water). Forget the expensive store bought flavored or vitamin waters and see how easy and delicious it is to make your own.  You can see that there are a large number of combinations that you can make for flavored Vitamin Water that is far more healthful for you.

    Herbed Cucumber Water
    • 10 cups water
    • 1/2 large cucumber, thinly sliced
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
    • 1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
    Combine ingredients in a large pitcher. Steep for several hours or overnight. Enjoy for 1-2 days. If this water disappears within the first day, I will add more water the next night to enjoy for another day before throwing out the herbs and lemon. Drink up!



    Blackberry Sage Water
    • 10 cups water
    • 2-4 cups mashed blackberries
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup packed sage leaves (can reduce for a milder flavor)
    Combine ingredients in a large pitcher. Steep for several hours or overnight. Enjoy for 1-2 days. If this water disappears within the first day, I will add more water the next night to enjoy for another day before throwing out the herbs and lemon. Drink up!

    Want Something Sweet?

    Blackberry Sage Cooler

    15 sage leaves
    2 tablespoons honey
    8  ounces mashed Blackberries
    8 ounces water

    Bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat just until sugar dissolves. Crush the sage leaves with the back of a spoon and add to the syrup mixture and set aside to let the sage infuse for 15 minutes and then remove the herbs.

    Meanwhile puree the blackberries in the blender and then strain the mixture through a fine strainer.
    To serve place a tablespoon of the blackberry puree in the bottom of a glass, add a tablespoon of the sage syrup and top off with 8 ounces of club soda.


    Blackberry Smoothie

    The pomegranate juice in this smoothie combined with the berries delivers an antioxidant powerhouse. The chia seeds are a great source of omega-3fatty acids and are a great source of fiber and calcium.


  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup of water for 10 minutes (or overnight)
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

    Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

    1 Cup Chopped Fresh Strawberries
    1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
    1/4 Cup Honey
    2 Cups Water
    ...
    Ice for Serving

    1. Puree strawberries and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth and transfer to a pitcher.
    2. Pour the strawberry mixture, water and lemon juice in a pitcher and stir to combine.
    3. Chill and serve over ice.