The past week we house-sat for the neighbors. It was wonderful. Especially considering we live above the dog kennel and it was the week we had 74 dogs. Whew! Anyways, they left a lot of apples and pears in their fruit basket and by the time I got around to wanting to eat them, the apples were a little wrinkly and not too good for eating. SO I asked Peggy for an apple pie recipe and she hooked me up with her grandmothers. It was amazing. I think also, the first time I feel like my crust and filling were both successful! This one is topped with a crumble, so you just need ½ a pie crust recipe.
Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Apple Pie:
1 9” pie crust (just for the bottom of the dish)
(I used THIS ONE)
6 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
½ cup sugar or ¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sifted flour (I used WW)
Directions: Preheat oven to 425F. Roll out crust and place into buttered pie dish. Layer apples and drizzle with lemon juice and ¼ cup maple syrup (or the sugar) and nutmeg and dot with the butter. Make the crumble topping by mixing melted butter, flour and sugar together and crumbling it over the apples with your fingers. Place pie in oven for 15 min and then lower the temp to 350 for another 30 min or until the crust is golden and the apples are a little bubbly! My times were slightly different than the original recipe due to altitude adjustments.
If you can resist, wait until it cools to serve! The only thing I changed was that I used whole wheat flour, which turned out fantastic! I will be making more of these as apple season come around!!! Maybe when I make more I can actually get a decent photo of the sliced pie. I took this one to work at the kennel and we devoured it before I could really document.
Spring is here, sort of! The last few weeks of glorious sun shine and shorts weather has turned back into windy snowy weather, for which we are only grateful because the wet stuff will help to make all the land green once the sun comes back out. BUT I could seriously do without it. I mean, I really was enjoying my shorts (even if they were due to vacation down in the desert!).
Anyways, I have been pretty busy with some kitchen experiments and LOTS of bread making. I got a thrift store bread machine for $4.00 and I have since been using it 2-3 times a week. Mostly, for sourdough whole wheat sandwich bread, but a few different loaves have come out of there as well. In addition to the bread maker bread making, I have been making some long-rise, no knead sourdough loaves. Stand by for posts on those! Also, posts and updates to come on my Kombucha (first batch success!) and ginger bug (which will hopefully become soda but has yet to ferment).
Baked Salmon in Cream:
Salmon filet for 2-3 people
1 cup cream or 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup sour cream
¼ cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp dill
2 Bay Leaves
salt and pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 425F. Rinse salmon, pat dry and place in the bottom of a baking pan (I used a 3qt dish). In a small bowl, whisk cream (or milk and sourcream) and tomato paste until blended. Pour mixture over the salmon. It should fill the pan about 1” and surroung the salmon. Top salmon with spices, and place in over for 15-20min until it flakes with a fork.
Yum! I think I will try it next with some homemade pasta. I modified the recipe from the Nourished Kitchen cookbook which just uses heavy cream. I figure tomato sauce couldn’t hurt and I needed to use it up. I served it with sautéed spinach and onions and mashed sweet potatoes.
Well, it has happened! Mango and I have not quite reached the landmark of an entire year of knowing each other, but we have reached his first birthday! And boy did we celebrate! First (yes, I know, he is a dog. BUT he is MY dog and he is a wonderful dog. The best. So he gets the best) there were presents! I got him a raw beef bone. Bones are not only an excellent source of yumminess and occupation for a dog, they are excellent toothbrushes. They keep plaque away and doggy brains happy. Winwinwin. Win. I also got him a Busy Buddy treat-hiding rope toy. So he has to work a little bit, but the toy magically dispenses treats for him! He has a few similar ones so it wasn’t his first rodeo, but he loves ropes, so I got this one to add to his collection…and he carried it around all day.
After breakfast and presents, we went downstairs for a typical day of dog walking and hanging out with dogs (gosh, don’t we have it just the best?). After a handful of walks (there were 36 dogs to be exact) we had Mango’s party! Shadow, a local aussie shepherd, joined us for some hoop jumping and tunnel running. AND some cake!
While not as sweet as the human version of cakes, it makes a nice breakfast treat for humans. And the dog, BEGGED for it. But he is polite, and so he even waited on his candle to be lit and the song to be sung.
Banana Carrot Pupcake:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
3 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
2.5-3 cups water
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Mix everything together and place in 9×9″ cake pan or 6 muffin tins. Bake for 35min (cake) or keep an eye on cupcakes starting at 20min. Top with Pumpkin PB icing for extra delectability!
PS…you cannot have a birthday without icing.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin ICING!
3/4 cup pumpkin (I used canned)
1/4 cup PB
1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions: Stir well, slather generously on cake. Try not to eat it all before you get it on the cake…or just make a second batch….
It is only almost the end of February but IT FEELS LIKE SPRING! Mud is coming out everywhere and the snow is slush and then frozen ice patches in the morning. Super hazardous for dog walking, running and pretty much going outside. Is it really February? Hello, climate change. Either way, all of this warm weather gets me excited for summer!!! Woo!
Anyways, in efforts to clean up the life (cont. from New Years!) I am reverting back to my less-processed life plan and making a lot more stuff. Including my own deodorant (sorry, gross, but its way better!) toothpaste and sunscreen. I am also making my own crackers, hummus, corn chips, bread, jam, hot sauce and other typically “processed” store bought items. And I feel way better about all of it.
Whole Wheat No Knead Sandwich Loaf!
1 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup melted butter
juice of ½ lemon
2 Tbsp molasses (maple syrup or honey)
¼ cup warmish milk
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour (I used WW)
Directions: Heat up water, juice, milk and butter until just about 100 degrees. Add yeast, molasses, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Stir well. Now add the last cup of flour gradually until you have a sticky, not kneadable, but also but not pourable dough. Transfer into a well greased 8×5” loaf pan and let rise for 45-60min. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F. When dough is done rising it does not spring back when you press it with your finger (gently!). Once this finger pressing perfection happens, place the loaf into preheated oven for 45 minutes or until its 190F in the middle. If it starts to brown on the outside before the time is up, you can tent it with some aluminum foil. If you eat lots, the recipe doubles well.
It is sooooo excellent. You can play with the amount of flour and dryness of the raw dough for the more dense vs. crumbly loaf (I like more dense, because you can slice it without it falling apart..). More dry dough will be more dense, less likely to fall apart bread where as wetter dough will be more cake-like and crumbly.
In other news, Mango Dog and I started a fundraiser for Potcakes in the Bahamas. You can help by donating OR purchasing yourself a sweet shirt at http://www.booster.com/potcakelove! There is a lot of info about the Potcakes and where the money will go as well as a mock up of the shirt on that link! Go check it out! Thanks!
Enjoy the end of the month. Welcome to Spring!
Hello! Another January post, yep! In efforts to save mula, we went “economy style” on this soup, but you’d never know with the flavor! Super yummy. Surprisingly yummy, I’d say! Sooo give it a try. Next month I am taking on the non-processed food challenge. Where I plan to make or be able to name all of the ingredients in anything I consume. Stand-by for updates on that!
And now for the yummys.
Lentil and Ham Soup Economy Style:
1 cup cooked ham, chopped into 1/2 inch squares
1 cup dry lentils
1 medium red onion, chopped
5 cups water
1 Tbsp Curry Powder (I used vindaloo style)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions: Toss everything in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Enjoy! I served mine topped with feta cheese crumbles. Extra tasty. I also made some biscuits to go along with it! Excellent choice. I used the Pioneer Baking Mix that is like Bisquick here in CO. Its easy and makes fluffy biscuits! Next month, during no-process Feb, Ill be making my own…booo.
In other news, while the rest of the country is under storm warnings and abnormally frozen temps, we had a mild storm last night and yesterday and are dipping well into the negatives at night, but nothing is holding us back! I feel for all of you who are getting “snowed in” for a threat of snow. I did that for a good portion of my life…its great to brave the multiple inch snow fall now though. Especially since we get to ski it!
Enjoy the coziness while you can!
New Years Healthiness continues! Well into January and I’d say I’m finally feeling like everything is back on track! I am participating in a triathlon in two weeks so I’ve gotten back on the bike and back in the pool and back on my feet running. Complete with a real training plan! Mango dog has also been subjected to a little training and he’s starting to build up his trail mileage as well. Mostly, he just searches for the perfect stick.
Tuna Steaks with Broccolinni and Sweet Potato Fries:
Heat oven to 425F. Chop sweet potatoes (I leave skin on) and toss with olive oil, salt and favorite spices. I use a little cinnamon, some old bay and some rosemary. Bake, tossing once halfway through, for 30-45minutes.
Sautee broccolini (baby broccoli) with olive oil, onions, salt and pepper until soft (5-10minutes), set aside.
Tuna:Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Coat tuna with your favorite spice rub (I used a citrus salt mix made locally here in Steamboat). Once the oil is shiny, place tuna in pan and don’t flip until the edges start to get white. This will leave a nice sear on the top. Flip and wait another 3-4 minutes (longer if you’d like a more well done steak) and serve.
Happy 2014! I’m a LITTLE late posting, but at least I’m getting it in. For New Years, I made the traditional southern collard green, blackeyeds and cornbread and had that with a giant smoked turkey. Traditionally, its ham at the new year, but the City of Steamboat graciously delivered a 9lbs smoked turkey to me in thanks for my service with Parks and Rec this past year. So, I used Mr Turkey instead of le ham.
Anyways, I won’t post the fixins, because I have posted them in the past (see here.) BUT, after a few days of eating turkey, turkey got old. SO, I chopped it up and made a soup. The stock I used for the soup was some the Thanksgiving chicken we had. I used the turkey bones and some veggies to make another TWENTY TWO cups of stock which will soon be reappearing here in more than one recipe. Lobster Bisque, anyone?
10 cups stock (I used chicken)
4 cups cooked, chopped turkey
2 zucchini, halved and sliced
3 roma tomatoes, chopped (I left the skin on)
2 medium potatoes, chopped (I left the skin on these as well)
one small bunch kale
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
Directions: Combine all ingredients but rice in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add rice in the last 1/2 hour.
Voila! I love soups…and their easy variations. Basically, veggies, protein, some starch or grain and a good stock. Winner. Feel free to mix it up as you’d like! I decided to go with current veggie drawer options only for this soup…but carrots and onions would be a good addition. Or pasta instead of rice. New Year, New SOup!