Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Flannel Hash

Super easy and fast, this hash is SO yummy!
Lightly adapted from Cooking Light


2 tsp pastured bacon fat or lard
8 oz pastured ground beef
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded purple cabbage (I used 3 mini heads from the garden)
5 small to medium sized beets, roughly chopped (I used chioggia, but any beet variety will work)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I used Braggs)
1/4 pastured yogurt
2 Tbsp freshly chopped dill

Here is a picture of one of the three mini heads of purple cabbage to give you an idea of how much I used:

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and add bacon fat or lard.  Once fat is melted, add ground beef and crumble and cook until there isn't any pink left.  Add onion, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic.  Saute until onion is translucent, around 5 minutes or so.  Add shredded cabbage, beets, water, and vinegar and stir to combine.  Cook until cabbage is wilted and the liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Spoon your yummy red flannel hash into a bowl and top with pastured yogurt and chopped dill.  The hash is also delicious on top of a bed of mixed greens.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup


2 Tbsp pastured butter
2 small onions, chopped (or 1 medium, chopped)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 butternut squash, chopped and seeds removed (save seeds for roasting--yum!)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large russet potatoes, chopped (do not peel--those skins have vitamins!!)
1 fresh sprig of thyme, finely chopped
6 cups homemade chicken stock (I used 16 homemade stock cubes plus water)
2 tsp coarse sea salt (add salt to taste if using a more fine salt)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup pastured milk

black sesame seeds
raw pumpkin seeds


Melt butter over medium heat in a stockpot.  Add onion and saute until translucent.  Add stock to pot along with your chopped squash, potatoes, celery, garlic, and thyme.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce to medium and simmer, covered for approximately 20 minutes or until squash and potato chunks are fork tender.

Once squash and potato chunks are tender, add soup in increments to a blender and puree.  It is helpful to have an extra bowl on hand to transfer your pureed soup into.  Once all of the soup has been pureed and is smooth, add it back to your stockpot.  Add salt, freshly ground pepper, and milk and stir for a couple of minutes to fully incorporate and to let the salt dissolve.

Garnish with black sesame seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, and a thyme sprig.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saving tomato seeds

I don't know about you, but I definitely have favorite tomato types.  My four favorites are green zebra, roma, yellow pear cherry, and cherry tomatoes.  Given that I don't like to buy new seeds every year, it is sort of a "must-know-how" type of thing for when it comes to saving my seeds.  I was a little afraid of saving tomato seeds because it seemed like a daunting task.  However, it was not scary at all and I highly recommend it to all of you other frugal seed-savers out there.

For saving tomato seeds you need:

jars (one jar for each type of tomato)

First, squeeze out the innards of your tomatoes into their respective jars.  Add a tablespoon or two (more if you're processing more tomato seeds) of water into each jar and then stir up the contents.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean dish towel and secure with a rubber band to ensure that insects do not get in your mix. Stir once or twice a day for around three days or so.  Mold may grow on top of the contents, but not to worry, that mold is beneficial! It eats the gelatinous coat away from the seed, which in turn makes that tomato seed able to sprout when you are ready for it to sprout.  After 3 days or so, fill your jar with water and wait 'til the majority of the seeds sink to the bottom.  The seeds that float to the top are immature and can be discarded. Pour out the water mix, leaving only the seeds that initially sunk.  Continue rinsing the seeds in this way until your rinse water is clear and clean looking.  Lay your seeds onto a paper towel, blot to take away the most of the moisture, and then leave in a breezy/sunny area to continue drying.

Store in a cool, dark place until ready to plant.

Happy seed-saving!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My favorite ice cream

Ice cream is one of my favorite things...unfortunately, there are very, very few stores that offer somewhat healthy ice creams.  The best solution is, of course, to make your own! DIY! <--one of my favorite acronyms.

This recipe is not only loaded with healthy fats, but it's also chocolate flavored! What could be better than that? 
Gently modified from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions

3 egg yolks from pastured hens
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 TBS homemade vanilla extract (there is a recipe in one of my previous posts)
1 TBS corn starch
3 cups cream from pastured cows (raw if possible, but NOT ultrapasteurized)
1/4 cup cocoa powder

In medium bowl, beat egg yolks together until smooth.  Blend in next four ingredients.  Once blended, remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and place in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk until completely incorporated.  Place cocoa mixture back into original bowl and combine.

Next, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker and within no time you'll be eating a decadent, chocolate-y treat! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prepping the garden for winter

There is still a ton that needs to be done in the garden, even though there isn't much left to harvest. I am talking about threshing seed heads, cleaning up weeds that are undoubtedly setting seed, and finishing up the bits and pieces left of the harvest.  I picked about 20 tomatillos the other day, which isn't bad for a "volunteer" plant. We didn't even plant tomatillos this year and they still came up! There must have been some viable seed in the compost from last year. I've also got (I'm guessing here) about 30 green cabbage heads that need to made into sauerkraut.  On top of that, the rest of the potatoes must be dug, two kinds of corn kernels must be removed from their ears, the raspberries and strawberries need to be transplanted, dry beans must be threshed, ... and the list goes on and on...

Looks like I've got my week cut out for me.