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homemade air freshener

homemade air freshener

Over the past few years I’ve noticed that I have become more and more sensitive to a number of things including fragrances and air fresheners.  After reading some of the contents on various air freshener labels I’ve noticed there are essentially two kinds, air fresheners with gobs of stuff I cant pronounce and air fresheners with the simplest list of ingredients; alcohol, water and essential oils.

I have come to greatly appreciate the latter.  One type in particlular stands out in my mind as simple and amazing in it’s ability to freshen the air quickly and pleasently.  I’ve considered trying to reproduce it and have come up with a recipe I think will ease the minds of most indoor air-pollution consious persons.

Ingredience:

  • 6 oz  distilled water
  • several drops of essential oil (citrus, peppermint, lavender, etc)
  • 1 oz  alcohol (rubbing, vodka, gin etc)

Use a good misting style trigger spay bottle, shake and spritz away!

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photo: Not Dabbling in Normal

In the beginning God created the….

Ok so I wont go that far back but I will ask you to think about what it would have been like to be in the kitchen a couple hundred years ago.  What items would have been in the ordinary pantry?  How simple would the ingredients have been back then?  Raw, unprocessed foods were the supplies in the kitchen except for some things like sugar, flour and maybe a few other simple cooking and baking ingredients we take for granted today.

Simpler times meant simpler ingredients and it was cost effective.  Today, we face the dilemma of trying to decide which can of soup is the healthiest without loosing all that flavor or which boxed cake is the easiest while still light and moist.  Plus, we could save a bundle if we think simple foods and avoid the center of the grocery store and probably be healthier for it too.

I was reminded, this morning, of those simpler times at Not Dabbling in Normal. This sight is full of simpler times, eating real food and growing your own.  Today, Baking Powder is the topic.  Have you ever made your own?  Did  you know you could?… It never even crossed my mind.  Surprise!  Simpler is putting it lightly.  I figured it’s like lots of other stuff that requires special ingredients an ordinary cook doesn’t have access to.

If you want to simplify your kitchen, save a little for the cookie jar, are going back to basics or just want to experience a new thing, try making  your own Baking Powder.  Visit Not Dabbling in Normal and see how simple it really is.  You wont believe your eyes!

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Picture 9

Raisin Scones

This past saturday I hosted a baby shower for my daughter who will be the mother of our first grandchild.  My husband and I are thrilled and the shower was such great fun, with lots of ladies and lots of chatter and of course, goodies on the table for all to enjoy.

This shower was an afternoon tea and among some of the fair we served finger sandwiches stuffed with cream cheese fillings made with strawberry and cucumber.  My daughter worked at a tea house several years ago so she made the finger sandwiches.  We’d went shopping for the supplies the day before and found some gingerbread cookie cutters and she used the little cutter to cut the finger sandwiches.  They were so cute all looking like little babies and the ladies gobbled them up so fast we couldn’t get them on the serving table fast enough.

I was responsible for the scones, one of my favorite things to bake since they are so easy and fast.  I made three batches; one raisin, one pear and the other apple sauce.

I was in a pinch and had to make some of the scones from a recipe I found on the www, for reasons I wont explain here, so I found this raisin one and whipped it up quick.  I didn’t get a chance to taste it since they disappeared so fast.  You know something is up when the room gets quiet and there’s 20 women sitting together.   I figured they must have been good enough to eat.  🙂

The other recipe I used is my own.  I have found that it can be converted with most any flavors or fillings you like.  The original recipe is Maple Pecan but since my daughter doesn’t eat nuts I opted for the pears and apple sauce fillings.  They are moist and don’t crumble into pieces when you cut them.  Enjoy!

Maple Pecan Scones

3-1/2 c flour

1/2 c sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 c chopped pecans  (walnuts may be substituted)

1 stick butter cut into pats

1-1/4 c cottage cheese

1/2 c maple syrup

Method:

Using a food processor blend dry ingredients together first.

Add butter and spin just till crumbly.

(at this point you can choose to mix the balance of ingredients in a large bowl)

Combine cottage cheese and maple syrup in a seperate bowl, pulse into the dry ingredients being careful not to over mix.

Add pecans and pulse just to mix together.

Pour out onto a lightly floured board.  Dough will be sticky.

Form a large low round about 3-4 inches high and place on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.

Score (just into the dough about half way) the round into 8 pieces (like a pie)

Bake at 350 until golden for 25 minutes or more depending how high you choose to make your round.  Test with a toothpick or wooden skewer.  When it comes out clean the scones are finished.

Optional:  Sprinkle with brown sugar before baking.

Substitutes… as long as your liquid to dry ingredients balance out you can use your imagination…. chopped pear, persimmon, fresh cranberries, and omit maple syrup.  Other options include; apple sauce for maple syrup and add chopped apple.

You might also like this Bacon Cheddar & Scallion Scone recipe by King Arthur Flour I used earlier in the year for a women’s brunch.  And,… just in case  you are adventurous check out this King Arthur recipe for Starbucks style mini-scones.

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Some of us do some traveling now and then and a nice hotel comes with pricey room service and even more pricey restaurants.  I’ve seen folks talk about making a grilled cheese sandwich on the clothes iron in your room but how about tortellini with spinach and crème fraîche and ciabatta muffins?…. FROM SCRATCH?.. no microwave, no toaster!!!   Now that’s what I call room service!

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mankas_czech_cookbook

Crepes have become a Christmas morning tradition in our home.  Both our girls make repeated requests, err, uh, demands, making sure I have plenty of warning that there is no substitutes, or replacements allowed.  Crepes it is and crepes it will always be on Christmas morning.

Fortunately, crepes are easy and I love them so they won’t have to worry about the tradition getting canned by me.  I’ll share with you the recipe I have adapted from Manka’s cookbook that was given to me by my mom and dad as a gift.   A special treat since my dad is Czech and I don’t have many recipes that connect to that side of my heritage.

Milan Prokupek, Sr. titles his book, “Manka’s Czech cookbook and memoirs
my own story and how my mother cooked in Prague and how we cook now in Inverness, California.”

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Palachinka~ Czech Souzettes

  • Make a batter of 3 ounces flour (1/2 cup + 3 Tbs), 1 whole egg, 1 yolk, 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon water, a pinch salt, and a little dark rum.  It will look like a thick soup.
  • Spoon the batter thinly (only 1/4″ high) into a hot, well buttered 8″ pan, where it fries quickly.  Turn the cake over with a spatula and fry quickly on the second side.
  • Store them on a plate in a warm oven.
  • Make the palachinka very thin~less that 1/4: thin.
  • Spread a favorite sweet across the center of each palachinka.  The best filing is pure raspberry jam.  Roll the palachinka into a “log.”  Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and drizzle with a squeeze of lemon.

Psalm 119:103
How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I’ve been asked several times what kind of pan I use to make crepes.  My answer is … don’t go out there and buy an expensive crepe pan that you’ll only use a couple of times a year or more.  A good nonstick pan that’s in good condition will do a great job of getting  your crepes browned and tasty.  If you’re wondering what pan I use have a look at the circulon premiere professional line.

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My last post was a recipe for Venison Chorizo.  So, I got a request for breakfast sausage as an option for all those less than prime cuts of venison and other meats in the freezer.  Here’s the recipe I use.

Enjoy!

 

ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fennel
  • 1 tablespoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper (fresh peppercorns if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground meat

method:

  1. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices, sugar, salt, and garlic to a well ground mixture.  a simple electric coffee grinder kept just for this purpose will do
  2. Add oil and mix well.
  3. Mix the spice mixture with the ground meat until well mixed. You may wish to do this in a food processor or Kitchen Aid with attachment as it will take a couple of minutes.
  4. Refrigerate overnight before cooking and serving for best results. 

Makes 12 sausage patties. 

 

Notes: This recipe works for any ground meat you prefer.  Try venison or javelina.

You could modify this, using less sugar and Italian herbs instead of some of the other herbs and make Italian sausage. 

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I love it when I find good, useful and “homemade” information like this!

I love to make “my own.”

I love to watch things “become.”

I love vanilla!

Vanilla is wonderful.  And if you’re like me you use more than you can afford because vanilla extract is expensive.  I’ve been blessed in the past by a friend who brings me large quantities of Vanilla Extract from mexico.  But I always feel just a little guilty when they bring it because they always give it as a gift and refuse payment for the liquid bakers treasure.

So when I read this post by Elise I was just beside myself and ready to run down to the local brown bag and get me a 5th of vodka.  Humm, I wonder if Rum would be a good choice for this recipe?????

Now, all you Good Christian cooks out there who didn’t know you were using alcohol to bake your grandma’s pound cake need to do some research and find out the facts.  Then you just have to admit you love vanilla extract and get over your aversion for these spirits…..  you just gotta go and see how to make our own vanilla extract.

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