There are many different buzz words that explain this phenomenon: flexitarian, semi-vegetarian, and week day vegetarian; where you only eat meat on the week-ends. But anyway you want to say it, you are cutting back on the meat you eat. Some do it for health reasons, animal rights, the environment or all of the above!

Removing high fructose corn syrup and preservatives from our table.
This is my on-line recipe book with my adventures into finding healthy food for my family to eat....
Trying to cook more from scratch with less prepared foods.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Slow and Easy Lasagna

My dad loves lasagna and I have heard that he really isn't eating very well lately. It's just him and he eats way to much fast food and heat and eat food. SO to avoid a haunting from his wife the woman that raised me and would  home-cook meals for our family... Miss Animal Rights and I (with a little help from the Linebacker... my nephew who now lives in the area going to college, on football scholarship) we have a plan to cook when he comes over and send food home with him ... well tonight the daughter talked him into Subs.... So I found a recipe for crock pot lasagna I was thrilled! I could cook a big batch of lasagna and not heat the house up. Oh maybe a small crock pot for meatballs... For the Gpa and Tech...

Box of regular lasagna noddles (broken)
a jar of spaghetti sauce
ricotta cheese/ cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bag of Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup of water

I like a lot of sauce so I would add a 15 once can of tomato sauce also.
Mix together egg and ricotta cheese and or cottage cheese. 

First layer is a scoop of spaghetti sauce.
Next place the noodles on top, broken to fit in the crock pot.
Top with the ricotta cheese/ cottage cheese spread. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top of that
Keep layer that way until you reach the desired amount... around 4 layers....
Last layer left the cheese off (reserve some in the refrigerator)  
After using all the spaghetti sauce add the 1/4 cup of water to the jar shake to get all the sauce left in jar... and pour over the crock pot lasagna
Cook on high for 4 hours low for 8
Add your reserved cheese at the last hour.
You can push those noodles down to keep them from getting to dry and burning.


Making Vinegar.

Seems cool...Make your own Vinegar! (Please check out that site if you need a idea on what you can use for the flavor ..She has a great list!  Or help from this site... ) but makes me wonder if our great grandparents did this and if they could they would be yelling  at us for not knowing these types of things....

A glass jar, bottle, pot, or enamelware pot.


peelings from clean, organic fruits or vegetables. anything that contains sugar or a starch.Frozen juices work...but don't use bottled one they have added chemicals that keep it from turning into vinegar.

distilled water

If you are worried that this won't work; you can add a 1/2 cup of unpasteurized, unfiltered vinegar like Braggs Apple cider vinegar. Just think of it like a vinegar starter....

Sanitize the bottle by filling with boiling hot water let sit for 10 minutes. Dump out water carefully. Add leaves, fruits.  A wide opening is a good idea for the fermenting part and smaller bottle for the finished product... 
Cover them with the distilled water.
Use some cheesecloth to cover the bottle it needs the airs to help it ferment.  The natural bacteria and wild yeast in the air helps ferment the mix  into the vinegar.
Place in dark place.  And you might find some flies trying so hard to get to the mix. It might be a good idea not to leave in the kitchen.
Stir once a day.
After a few weeks it will start to smell like vinegar. Let steep until it reaches as strong as you want or when you notice it is getting weaker.

Strain through cheesecloth into smaller bottles. Keep a 1/2 cup for the next batch!!!

Let that sit for 6 months or so before using to make a smoother vinegar.

hummm I might have to write a blog on how this works out.

I do have some red wine "vinegar" that I use for a hair rinse.... It was one of those box wines that was forgotten about.... I was told that is taste like vinegar but it really doesn't have a very strong vinegar smell... so it is nice to use as a hair rinse and it doesn't go to waste.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

drunkin' cupcakes

Irish car bomb

cupcake recipe
1 c Guinness
1 c unsalted butter
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 c sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
2/3 c heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1 to 2 tsp Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting
3 to 4 c confections sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 Tbsp Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes
Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting
Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day.

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

3 C. Flour

1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 C. Non-Fat Dry Milk
2 C. Sugar 
1/2 C. Butter, softened

3/4 cup bottled strawberry-flavored nonalcoholic margarita drink mix
1/3 cup tequila

3 Eggs

350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together the flour, non-fat dry milk and baking powder and set aside.

Cream sugar and cream together. Add the liquids. Mix in one egg at a time. Add in flour mixture 1/3 at a time. When flour is thoroughly mixed, batter will be slightly lumpy.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Strawberry Margarita Buttercream:

1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp tequila
3 tbsp strawberry preserves


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Puppy Icee Treats

Ah poor canine he pants and nothing seem to help him in the heatwave last week. I was asked to get him some frozen dog treats.  "please...mmmommmmm" So I said why not make him some..

32 ounces vanilla yogurt
1 mashed banana or one large jar of baby fruit
1/2 cup peanut butter

opt: 2 tablespoons honey

Blend together. Spoon into ice cube trays, muffin pans or small cups.  Freeze until set. Rinse the outside and bottom of the pan to help remove the treats.

So now every time we get a ice cream treat the canine begs for his treat too....
One of the cats loves them too, but she just likes to lick it!!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baked Corn recipes

Soak entire cob unshucked for 10 minutes .

Put in oven at 350 for 20 minutes

Let cool enough to handle then shuck to make a ready made handle !
Fun food!!!