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Sweet and Spicy Glazed Nuts

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Nuts

These little gems are awesome! I never knew how easy it was to make glazed nuts, and wanted to use up the last of the nuts in the cupboard from our gluttony around the holidays. Now, we can eat these by the handful, or chop them up and top a cake or ice cream with something with a little bit of zing. I have had excellent luck getting my little chefs to eat salad with these added to the top. On to the recipe!!

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Nuts

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Stir after the first 10 minutes.
Pour baked nuts over parchment until cool.
Store in a glass jar, although they won’t last long.

Foods In A Jar

From the garden to jar

I have a burning desire to always put food up. No matter if it is canning, freezing, dehydrating, or simply layering into canning jars for the pantry, it is one of the foremost things I worry/think about, when I have time to muse. I have found that many of the old cookbooks address meals in a jar, much more than modern ones do. The more modern varieties are usually desserts (not that there is anything wrong with a dessert), but savory main dish ingredients should be considered for a full pantry.

I found this cool idea for a meal in a jar, from YouTube channel: Linda’s Pantry. Called Rosemary Chicken and Rice, it sounds delicious!

Rosemary Chicken and Rice

I especially appreciate her direction, because it uses dried foods that many of us keep in our pantry, but may not know how to combine into a new meal. Does anyone know where to buy freeze dried chicken? That’s a new one.

Another cool idea, is to mix your own flavored rice together, and store it in jars. Since the flavoring can sometimes settle out of the rice, you could keep it in single meal sized jars. These do not have to be canning jars, and are wonderful for those glass jars that you always have piling up. Here is my recipe (this is straight from my Canning and Preserving For Dummies Book)

Rice Mix

1 cup long-grain rice

2 tsp bouillon granules

3 teaspoons dried herbs

1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and cap tightly until needed. For my family, I double this for one meal. As long as you use the entire jar for one meal, you will have an even ratio of rice to flavor.

No bouillon? How about powdering the dehydrated veggies of your choice: I use tomato, onion, green pepper, nettle , mixed in equal parts with Nutritional yeast, and substitute it for the bouillon. You may find that you have to adjust the salt, because of course a purchased bouillon is very salty.

Finally, please note that I am posting to the old address today. Last night, I moved to my own server and then promptly broke the site. No worries, but I can’t embed the video or do the kinds of things I want to at this address. Hopefully, but tomorrow I will get it all worked out.

Have a great afternoon!

What’s On Your Lunch Menu?

No, I am not going to rant about the school lunch program again. Today, this is closer to my heart, and home. What is on the lunch menu for your homeschooled children?

Our school year starts pretty soon, and that means organizing and preparing breakfast, plus lunch, for school. We start our days at the table, and since trying to keep all the children going in the same direction, is a little like herding cats, I appreciate having my meals well thought out ahead of time. Since I like to be present for the discussion that will inevitably ensue at the table, having the food ready is essential. Here are some of my favorite ideas and recipes:

Granola

Muffins-double the batch and keep them in the freezer

Cheddar and Bacon Muffins

Brown rice-to add to leftover meat/egg for hearty wraps

Yogurt/cut up fruit salad or keep them separate for dipping

Toad In A Hole – fancy term for cutting a hole out of bread and frying that up with an egg in the hole. Kids love them!

 

Lunches are actually a little easier, since I plan on having leftovers when I am making dinner. I let the kids run around and burn off steam, while I put things on the table. That way, they are calm and I have a moment to get everything together without little people underfoot.

Bento is my go-to choice for lunch. I do some fancy things like Onigiri and octopus turkey smokies, but for the most part, I follow the spirit of Bento, and put together lots of little bits for everyone. If you have older children, they might like all the little things on a tray for them to select, instead.

I do try to stay away from a fat sandwich for lunch. The carb overload makes us sleepy, and I find it makes the kids crave sweets right after, too. To avoid this, pile that sandwich stuff onto 1 slice of wholegrain bread, or skip the bread and call it a snack plate. Lunchtime often includes me reading something out loud, and my 4 boys do better, when they have finger food or busy-food to eat. This works for us!

If you like lists, I did make a two week meal list and some tips for frugal shopping here. Those meals are cooler weather ideas, but hopefully that means next month.

What are some of your favorite breakfast and lunch ideas? I am in the market for something new. Have a great day!

 

Strange Days On The Farm

Strange Days On The Farm

Goldenrod

Goldenrod with plenty of bee action

DH just mowed down the last of what was supposed to be our garden this year. I managed to keep it for a few extra weeks, because although the squash plants didn’t give us any veg, it was a haven for the bees, so I didn’t have the heart to get rid of the blossoming plants.

Our farm is so strange right now. We live in the ~in between~, of packing and thinking of moving, and the actual moving. Instead of filling my pantry with every available food from the garden and wild, I am trying to use up the foods that we do have stored (you know, the pickles that are a little mushy, the less desirable meats that end up in the bottom of the deep freeze). It is not the bustling kitchen that I am normally experiencing, and that is sad.

Now, I worry about NOT selling the farm before winter, and how our diet is going to be affected by not having a large stash of foods available. The rising cost of food isn’t really that worrisome, since the things most affected are not even on our menu. In my opinion, flour-sugar-yeast-beans-etc, may cost a bit more, but they still stretch much further than a box of Hamburger Helper; which I was shocked to see priced at $2.50 the other day, as a loss leader no less!! Scary stuff.

Right now, we haunt the local farmers markets and enjoy all the fresh, local foods we can. I believe frozen food is going to be more important for us this winter, as it is always less expensive. Oh well, at least my creativity will get a workout!

No matter what is going on during in our personal lives, the herbal stash grows. Right now, I am harvesting Goldenrod for winter cold and flu season. There seems to be plenty blooming, and it’s early. Hopefully, that doesn’t indicate more illness than normal this year. Either way, it sure is pretty.

If you are following the seasons for your pantry, now is the time to make some Sauerkraut. Actually all the veg could use a little fermenting, but start simple if you are new at it. Remember how stinky it gets! Don’t keep it right in the kitchen if you can help it.

Have a good day, and look for me on Twitter and Facebook!

Brownies 101

Brownies

Basic Brownies

Brownies are something that should be in everyone’s basic cookbook. I have a stack of really different brownie recipes, including one from my Uncle John, so rich you line the pan with foil and dump the whole mess out onto a plate afterwards.

This brownie recipe is well loved in our house. I like it because of the simplicity and how easy it is to substitute ingredients. It also has the benefit of handling change well. It takes only a bit of cocoa powder to make a fairly rich flavor, and you can sprinkle on all sorts of things before baking. We have tried coconut, candy bars, marshmallows, nuts, flavored baking chips, Fat sea salt (yum!). The brownie is the foil for experimentation, and that makes cooking fun!

Yesterday, I made them with peanut butter chips. They were a reward for the men going out and changing the oil on the Suburban for a couple of hours with their dad. In 100 degree heat, they are all crazy.

The recipe:

The Basic Brownie

1 cup butter, softened (I have also used coconut oil)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1.3 cup cocoa

1 1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well

Add cocoa, flour, salt and beat until combined

Spread into a greased 13 X 9 inch pan (I sprinkle with coconut or peanut butter chips here), bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting (this step is essential, or you end up with delicious glop)

 

Lovely Fan Potatoes

This recipe is one that has been calling to me from one of the cookbooks I have in my stash. It seems so simple, yet interesting enough to make dinner seem a little bit special.

To make them, slice as thinly as possible, but leave the bottom intact, so you can fan out the slices. Add a bit of butter or olive oil to each potato ( in this case, I used 1/4 stick of butter for 7 potatoes), and applied it with a basting brush.

Sprinkle with sea salt/seasonings and bake in a 450 degree oven for 1 hour. Then remove from the oven and shred just a bit of cheese onto each potato. Pop back into the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Serve!