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.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Agua Fresca

Translated as "fresh water". Sometimes known as Aguas de Frutas translated= "fruit waters". Fruit water without the plastic bottle, preservatives and dyes of the bottled. Traditionally the water are made by mashing fruit then adding water and sweetener.

For honey use a small amount of hot water to help mix the honey into the drink.
If you use a blender don't all all the water in recipe just enough to make it drinkable.
Never add ice this is dilute the fruit flavors. Place in the refrigerator until cold. Use cold ingredients.....

Strawberry Agua Fresca 

* 3 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
* 1/4 cup sugar (more or less depending on sweetness of the berries)
* 2 cups cold water
* 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice



Watermelon  Agua Fresca
1 1/2 cups watermelon, diced (no rind)
5 cups cold water
1/4 cup sugar

Blend for a minute or two until the seeds break up . Let the  seeds fall to the bottom and should stay in the bottom when you pour.  You could use a strainer if you like to make sure the seeds don't get added to the drink..

  Melon Agua


1 ripe cantaloupe or honey dew peeled, seeded and diced
2 qts cold water
1/2 cup sugar



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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Speaking of from scratch.......

8 Muddy Boots a blog I follow has started a linky project to help us baking from scratch. I add some of my recipes when I can, sometimes Thursdays are crazy for me, but I try! So check out the great recipes from the blog universe!


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Taco Sauce

1 6-oz can tomato paste
3 cups water
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon onion powder (or dried minced)
1 or more jalapenos (to taste)


1. Combine the tomato paste with the water in a saucepan over medium
heat. Stir until smooth.


2. Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder, cornstarch, vinegar, and onion powder. Stir.


3. Chop the jalapeno slices very fine. You can use a food processor,
but don't puree. Add them to the mixture.


4. Heat the mixture to boiling. Continue to stir about 3 minutes and
remove from the heat.


5. Let the sauce stand until cool, and then put in a tightly sealed
container and refrigerate.
This will last 1 to 2 months.
Makes 3-1/2 cups.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breakfast Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and shortening. Stir in vanilla. Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir flour into sugar mixture alternately with milk. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center of the pan comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wacky Spaghetti

Wacky Spaghetti is spaghetti that was made from one of those days hurried meal. WAY Before Wacky Mac....... And to think I had this idea years before they came out with a product like this... Ummm maybe I should have copyrighted it... LOL
I had extra cooked elbow macaroni I thought goulash, but not enough for 4 people........ So I grabbed the box of noodles sure enough the box had very little. Same with many noddles and even the rice box. So I cooked them together! And Wacky spaghetti was born (by the way it was first called garbage! because they couldn't say goulash and said it looks like garbage!!)

What ever noodles you have spaghetti, lasagna, or whatever. Add spaghetti sauce......

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake
For the Cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon, and set aside.
Stir together the remaining ingredients.
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, stirring until you have a smooth, rather thin batter.
Pour into your prepared pan, and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 frosting.
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the milk and cocoa in a heavy saucepan (stir, stir, stir). Add the butter and, over medium heat, stir until the butter melts. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the sugar and vanilla until smooth.  . When the cake is just out of the oven, spread the frosting evenly on the hot cake.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Triple Berry Loaf

1/2 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, separated and beat (
whites beaten to a stiff froth)
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pint blueberries, blackberries and raspberries fresh or frozen

 Oven Temp: 375F
Cook for 40-50 minutes depending on oven

Directions:
Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the beaten egg yolk. Add the milk, alternately with the sifted flour and baking powder. Stir in the vanilla. Gently fold in the whites.  Then gently fold in the blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.  Yes the batter will turn a pretty shade of pink, purple color.

Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan in a  375F oven until cake tests 40 minutes.

Remove cake from pan by running a knife along edges. Spread a little butter over the top of the cake while it is still warm, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Elephant Ears!!

I just found this recipe and had to  keep it save for the Girls. They love elephant ears......... Found this at Simple Recipes

Ingredients

* Lots of granulated sugar
* Puff pastry
* Parchment Paper


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of sugar over your workstation. Roll out the puff pastry to about 10X12 inches. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of sugar (and spices if using) over the dough.

2 Roll up the left vertical side inward, stopping in the middle of the dough. Roll up the right side of the dough. The two rolls should be meeting at the middle and touching. Press the two sides together gently and let the dough chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. Repeat with any more puff pastry you may have.

3 Starting at one end, cut off pieces of the log, in slices about 1/2 inch in thickness. Lightly sprinkle sugar onto each side. Pinch and press the sides of the two rolls together to ensure that they don't unroll during baking. Place on large parchment lined baking sheets, or a baking sheet lined with a Silpat. They will increase size dramatically, so leave plenty of room between each cookie and only bake a dozen at a time.

4 Set the tray in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized. Allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paneer Cheese

I found this cheese recipe from Forging Fromage. I just might try this at home!!
200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes

1 Gallon whole milk
4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, approx.

1. Sterilize all equipment. In a large stainless-steel pot over low heat, slowly bring milk to a boil, stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

2. Add lemon juice. Stir for 5 minutes or until milk begins to curdle and the solids rise to the top. If it does not curdle, add another 2 tbsp lemon juice and continue stirring.

3. Pour contents of pot into a cloth-lined colander. Let curds drain. Rinse curds with cold running water, then twist them in the cloth to remove as much of the water as possible.

4 Twist the cloth tightly around the cheese and place on a plate. Cover with another plate and place a 2-lb. (1 kg) weight on top. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Unwrap cheese and place in a small bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Living in the Kitchen with Puppies  added this helpful hints:
*I am much too absent-minded to watch over a pot of milk. I use my slow cooker on high, lidded, with a probe thermometer in it - alarm set for 190f. It takes longer but you don't have to think about it.
*I let mine sit 2 days, and then pressed it even further between two cutting boards for a few moments, with me sitting on top!




The way the girls love and eat cheese this would be a great idea for a rainy day, to have the girls help make their own food..... To bad they are older now I could see this as a great school aged project.

Homemade Butter and Buttermilk

Making your own butter? Wow I found this is from the New York Times while in a daze with finding a new blog to follow but had to keep it for a rainy day (when I run out of butter... got a bulk package.

Homemade Butter and Buttermilk
6 cups organic heavy cream
Salt to taste (optional).

1. Pour the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Tightly cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and start mixer on medium-high speed. The cream will go through the whipped stage, thicken further and then change color from off-white to pale yellow; this will take at least 5 to 8 minutes. When it starts to look pebbly, it's almost done. After another minute the butter will separate, causing the liquid to splash against the plastic wrap. At this point stop the mixer.
2. Set a strainer over a bowl. Pour the contents of the mixer into the strainer and let the buttermilk drain through. Strain the buttermilk again, this time through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl; set aside.
3. Keeping the butter in the strainer set over the first bowl, knead it to consolidate the remaining liquid and fat and expel the rest of the buttermilk. Knead until the texture is dense and creamy, about 5 minutes. Strain the excess liquid into the buttermilk. Refrigerate the buttermilk.
4. Mix salt into the butter, if you want. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Makes about 16 ounces (2 cups) each of butter and buttermilk.

And to think I used to help my grandmother make butter in  a butter churn.  She told me that  it would help me develop a large chest... LOL