Thursday, November 1, 2012

Turnip Au Gratin

Lots of delicious turnips are being harvested now. Wanting something a little different, I created this recipe for turnip au gratin. It is fantastic!
Thinly slice turnips. I used a mandolin.
Layer turnips in a baking dish, overlapping a bit. Next lay slices of cheese. I use swiss and think the flavor is great, but use what you have (and like.)
Repeat with turnips and cheese, ending with turnips. Next make a white sauce
Melt 3 tbsp. butter. Whisk in about 3 tbsp. flour until smooth and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly stir in about 1- 1 1/2 cups of milk. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until thick and bubbly. Pour over turnips. Top with bread crumbs and bake at 350* for about 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Blue Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Tonight's homestead meal is mini meatloaves stuffed with blue cheese, roasted potatoes and a salad fresh from the garden. The blue cheese was the only store purchased item on the menu.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg
1 small onion
1 large clove garlic
1 large handful of kale~ spinach would work too, but kale is what we have right now
2 tbsp. minced parsley
4 tbsp. blue cheese, crumbled
Saute onion and garlic in butter until soft, Add kale and cook until wilted. Let cool. In a bowl combine all ingredients.
 Shape into 4 mini meatloaves. In the center of each meatloaf make a hole. Fill each hole with cheese and carefully close meat back around it.
 Drizzle with ketchup if desired. Bake 350* about 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

The boys are so used to eating these they won't eat cookies from white flour. This is an everything but the kitchen sink cookie. Feel free to add or take away ingredients that you don't care for but do use the whole wheat flour!!

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 sugar
3/4 brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups oatmeal, we prefer old fashioned, not instant
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts, any kind
1 package dark chocolate chips

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and blend. Add dry ingredients and vanilla. Mix in nuts, raisins and chips. Bake at 350* 10-12 minutes.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Soup

As a side the other night I made grilled veggie skewers to toss on the grill.  They were made with the last of the garden vegetables that we are still harvesting. Red and yellow bell peppers, onions and okra along with some small eggplant and zucchini from a local market. Tossed with olive oil and a variety of herbs they were quite tasty. However, we did not finish them all and I had about a quart of veggies left. I am not big on these reheated so I pondered what to do with them. I hate to waste anything! Today they became an awesome soup.
I put all the vegetables in my vita mix blender along with some leftover chicken stock, about 2 cups, just enough to make a smooth creamy soup. I then transferred the soup to a pot, added about 1/2 cup of half 'n half and heated gently. Once nice and warm I topped with fresh basil and a handful of cheese. The soup was absolutely wonderful with a smokey depth from the grilling. I am sure this would be really good with roasted veggies as well.  Maybe beets, carrots and rutabaga? Topped with goat cheese...yum.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mexican Rice

Tonight we are having beef and chicken fajitas. As a side, I created this rice with the last of the summer tomatoes, peppers from the garden, onion and garlic harvested earlier this summer and pulled from the pantry. Rice and spices are pantry staples and always on hand.

1 cup assorted peppers, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes, cored and processed in the blender
1 1/2 - 2  tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 c beef stock (optional)
3 cups cooked brown rice

I precooked the brown rice in my rice cooker. You can precook rice stove top as well. (I just love how my rice cooker makes it so fluffy and it has a keep warm mode that is helpful if I get ahead of myself.)
To prepare the sauce:
Saute onions and peppers in butter until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Process tomatoes and pour in pan along with the beef stock. Add spices and simmer 5-8 minutes. Pour sauce over cooked rice until desired consistency. You may not need quite all of the sauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marinated Chicken Breasts

The basil is overflowing in the garden and chicken is plentiful right now. I decided to make chicken sandwiches tonight with a side of broiled peppers filled with cheese, as those are plentiful as well!
I topped the sandwiches with lettuce, cheese and pickles canned earlier this summer. Chick-fil-e has nothing on this sandwich!
You will need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Wash and dry chicken and place in a ziplock back
Mix marinade and pour over chicken. Let marinate several hours in the fridge turning bag every so often.

3/4 c. olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, smashed
8 large basil leaves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Remove chicken from bag and grill about 11 minutes or until done.

This would be a great chicken to serve over a salad as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Homemade Pizza Dough

Pizza is a quick easy meal  for us, especially during the summer months with all the fresh summer vegetables coming out of the garden. Today's pizza was topped with roasted elephant garlic, the roasted Jaune Flammes tomatoes from yesterday (see life on the homestead blog), sauteed onions, mushrooms and Malabar spinach. Then we covered it with fresh crumbled goat cheese and mozzarella and a perfect pizza was created! Other combos might be garlic, summer squash and goat cheese. Of course it also makes a wonderful traditional pizza with a red sauce and meat.
You can use any kind of flour or combination of flours. Experiment with white, wheat and/or spelt to see what your favorite might be. This dough can be used right away or left to rise for several hours. I have found letting it rise produces a better crust but if in a hurry just use it right away.
Pizza Dough
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. yeast
2 cups hot water
5-6 cups flour
Put first 5 ingredients in a mixer attached with dough hook. Add flour a bit at a time until it pulls away from sides and cleans the bowl. Let knead for about 5 minutes. Let rise up to 5 hours or use right away.
Preheat oven to 425*. Divide into 2 balls. Roll out and place on stones or pizza pans. Barely prick with a fork and prebake for 7 minutes. Remove, add toppings and bake until crust is brown and cheese is melted. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Creamy Lamb Curry

This was a recipe born of desperation. My intention tonight was to make a Greek meatloaf with a creamy dill and cucumber sauce. Then I realized my dill was dead and I had none dried. Ugh. Plan B was a creamy lamb curry. I started gathering ingredients. I had most everything and headed to the pantry to get some chicken stock. There was none! This is ridicules!! Luke offered to go to the store. Absolutely not, I fumed. Doug asked if I had a plan C. Smarty pants. As Clint Eastwood once said, you must improvise, adapt and overcome. And so I created my own version. It turned out quit good I must say. I served it over brown rice with a salad. 

1 lb. ground lamb
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, diced
1, 1 inch piece fresh ginger grated
3 -4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 pint canned tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream

Brown lamb in a bit of butter. Remove to a bowl. Saute onion, jalapeno and ginger in pan until soft. Add 
garlic, saute 1 more minute. Add coriander and cumin. Cook until very fragrant. Add lamb and rest of 
ingredients. Simmer 45 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon
stick. Serve over rice.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Salsa

Now is the time of year that our garden is producing all of the fresh ingredients for salsa. I can at least 24-30 pints each year. We actually ran out several weeks ago! I have made this recipe for about 12 years now and everyone loves it. I think the original recipe was in Countryside magazine all those years ago.

5 lbs tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
2 1/4 cups assorted peppers, chopped
2-3 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup vinegar
2 small cans tomato paste

Put all ingredients in a large stock pot. simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent from sticking.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Makes 6-7 pints.

Some tips~
This doubles easily! Twice the salsa, once the mess.
If time runs short and I don't have time to can the day I make it, it will store in the fridge a couple of days until you get to it.
I use my blender to chop the veggies. Pulse tomatoes once or twice to get a chunky consistency. To chop the peppers and onions I cut into large pieces and pulse. To make it easier, put about a quarter cup of tomatoes in the blender each time. The liquid helps chop more easily.
Use any assortment of peppers. I use whatever is ready in the garden. Today it was mostly banana peppers, hot and mild, with a couple of bells and jalapenos for a bit of heat.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Corn Chowder

Our first corn harvest came in over the weekend. A  favorite soup is a bacon corn chowder made from fresh ingredients harvested this time of year. Served with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers it makes a tasty homestead meal. During winter months I use corn from the freezer. This soup can be frozen for a month or so since it makes such a huge pot. We rarely ever have to do that though!! Enjoy~


6 slices bacon
12-14 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
1 large potato, cubed
1 quart chicken broth
2-3 cups milk 

Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. In 3 tablespoons of grease saute onion and carrot until soft. Add potato and chicken broth. If too thick add a bit of water. Cook until potato is tender, 20 minutes or so. Add milk and continue to simmer for 15 minutes more.( I use whole raw milk with the cream so you may want to use some cream for a richer soup). Thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with enough water to make a paste. Stir in crumbled bacon. If using frozen corn, about 1 quart works well. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Creamed Peas and Purple Potatoes

Tonight's Homestead Meal:
Home grown Filet Mignon steaks, grilled zucchini fresh from the garden and creamy peas and purple potatoes also from the garden!
Not was it only beautiful, it was delicious!
Boil new potatoes until fork tender. Steam peas for about 12 minutes. Set both aside.
Make creamy Parmesan sauce:
Melt 3 tbsp. butter in sauce pan. Add about 3 tbsp. flour and allow to cook for a minute or so. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of milk or cream. (I used the cream off of the top of our raw milk). When thick add a heaping handful of Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. Fold peas and potatoes into sauce. Top with a bit more cheese and chives.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lacto- Fermented Dilled Radishes

A friend brought some of these for me to try and they were so good I wanted to try making some myself.
To make them you will need:
2 c. water
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
garlic cloves
fresh dill sprigs
a clean sterilized jar
I first made a brine with 2 cups boiling water and the salt. I set it aside to cool while I prepared the other ingredients.
I used the "Watermelon" radishes that I harvested from the garden. I peeled and cut them into nice size chunks. They were layered in a jar with fresh garlic cloves from the garden and dill sprigs from the herb beds. I poured the cooled brine over the radishes and placed a small jelly jar filled with water on top to keep the radishes submerged. (Set on a plate or bowl to catch the overflow of brine.) I let sit on the counter for 5 days. They started getting the "kraut" smell and I then put them in the fridge. Crisp and delicious, I am sad to say they are almost gone...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Double Dark Chocolate Chunk Brownies

A while back I bought some 88% cocoa chocolate bars. The boys like dark chocolate but did not care for this particular brand. Today I decided to make some brownies using them. Now the boys like eating this chocolate! Enjoy~

1 1/2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
2/3 c. melted butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3 oz. dark chocolate bar, chopped

Mix all ingredients until moistened. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Red Beans and Rice Soup

Each week I prepare a pot of soup that will be eaten for lunch and/or quick suppers if the day should get away from us. As I perused the fridge to see what ingredients were on hand I spotted the leftover cranberry beans from earlier this week. I decided to make these the base for our soup of the week.
From the freezer I pulled some roasted red peppers and chicken sausage. From the pantry, chicken stock, garlic, onions, and rice. My one cheat for this meal was a packet of Simply Organic Red Bean and Rice seasoning packet, however, you could substitute a Cajun or Creole spice.
To assemble the soup: Cook rice. Saute onion, diced sausage and garlic. Add to beans along with a cup of diced red pepper. These were already cooked, if using fresh, saute with onions. Add rice and enough broth to make of soup consistency and simmer for 30 minutes or so.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Stock

While making room in the freezer for our beef that will be ready in a couple of weeks I stumbled on several packs of beef bones. It was an exciting find since I have long been out of beef stock. I knew I wouldn't have time to cook them stove top so I decided to use my large crock pot and it worked even better than I hoped. Doing it this way allowed me the freedom to work outside while cooking the broth.
After thawing the bones I sprinkled them with a bit of salt and pepper and slow roasted them in the oven for a couple of hours. When they were browned and fragrant I transferred them to a large crock pot in which I put celery, carrots, onions and dehydrated mushrooms from the pantry. I poured the pan dripping over the bones and covered with water. I also added more salt and pepper along with some fresh thyme sprigs and turned it to low. They cooked for about 15 hours and the resulting stock was deep brown and rich. I strained the stock and the bits of meat that had fallen from the bones were separated and put in a container. I will freeze the stock for later use. (The meat bits will be mixed with some homemade bar-b-que sauce for lunch this week.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crustless Spinach Quiche

A lovely large harvest of spinach today and an over abundance of eggs lead to this meal.

1 lb. fresh spinach, torn
1/2 c. onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. butter
5 eggs
3 c. swiss cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter. Slowly add spinach and allow to wilt. Add garlic and saute a couple of minutes. In a large bowl beat 5 eggs and add cheese. Add slightly cooled spinach mixture and salt and pepper. Stir together and pour into greased pie plate.
Bake @ 350* about 35 minutes or until set.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Tonight we enjoyed a stuffed portabella mushroom dish that was filled with some farm fresh ingredients.

The mushrooms were brushed with olive oil and grilled until softened.
To make the filling:
Cook some sausage of your choice until brown. We used an all natural chicken sausage but the deer sausage we have would have been good as well. Remove from pan. In the same pan, saute a medium onion until soft. Add several cloves of garlic and about a pound of fresh torn spinach and allow to wilt. Add sausage back to pan and gently fold in fresh goat cheese, set aside.

I then made a pesto using the sun dried tomatoes from last summer's bounty. I made it with garlic, basil, walnuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. (Process ingredients in a blender or food processor.)
The mushrooms were filled, topped with pesto and broiled until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!

We ended up with a lot of extra filling and I thought it would make a great pizza topping. It did! I made a whole wheat crust, topped with sauteed mushrooms, the filling, more goat cheese, the pesto and mozzarella cheese. Probably the best pizza we have ever had!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Grandmother's Collard Greens

Due to the unusually hot days I had to harvest all the collard greens before they bolted this week. I am cooking them like my grandmother used to and freezing them to enjoy at a later date. She was born and raised in the eastern part of N.C. where the black sandy soil grew the best collards and sweet potatoes in the state. They were also famous for their peanuts and country hams. Every time I fix collards I hear her telling me how to do it and it makes me smile.
First of all you MUST have the Morris heading collards 'cause those others won't no good. Yes mam. Once you have the correct variety to cook you must wash them real good. At least twice. Yes mam.
 Now put you ham in a pot of water, cover it and let it boil for at least an hour 'cause that's how long it is going to take you to wash, de-stem and cut up the collards. Yes mam. (We are lucky around here to have a ham company that cures using only salt and sugar but she used ham for all those years, so in this recipe go for it!)
Cut the thick center stem out and coarsely chop the collards.
 If you are going to cook 'em might as well do a bunch at one time. Some for now, some for the freezer. Yes mam. Once the ham has created a nice salty broth add your your collards, cover and boil them for another hour at least. Now when I say boil, she did boil them. I prefer to simmer, that way I don't need to hover over the stove! Enjoy~ Thanks Grandmother!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Onion Rye Bread

This is a favorite bread for sandwiches such as reubens and patty melts. It also makes for delicious toast.

Onion Rye Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups rye flour
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup hot water
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 med. onion finely diced
2 tbsp. caraway seeds

In your mixing bowl with dough hook attached put in:
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup hot water
Half of the white flour, half of the rye flour
water, milk and butter
Turn on mixer and let incorporate.
Add onion, caraway seed and rest of rye flour.
Slowly add white flour a little at a time until dough pulls away and cleans the side of you bowl. Let knead 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until double. Punch down, place in a greased  9 x 5 pan and let rise another hour or so or until puffy when touched. Brush top of loaf with and egg wash mixture and bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Corned Beef

This was posted on my other blog a while back but is so delicious and easy I wanted to repost and add pictures. We love corned beef but not all the junk that is in it. I have started corning my own and it so easy!
You need a large bowl, some salt, water and a roast. I use whatever roast that happens to be plentiful in my freezer at the time. This time it was a chuck roast.
Dissolve 1 cup of salt into 8 cups of water. Put your roast in and make sure it is completely covered and weighed down under the water. I set a plate on top of mine and a jar full of water on that. Let sit for several days. I let mine sit for 4. After corning, take out the roast and rinse. Place in a large pot with your corning spices (I use a mix from Penzey's).To avoid all the big pieces of bay and seeds I ground mine and sprinkled them on the meat. If you cook it stove top, cook for an hour or so before adding vegetables. I like to use my crock pot. I put the roast, spices and large chunks of carrots and potatoes in it, turn on low and cook all day. About an hour before serving I add wedges of cabbage and continue cooking.
And that is what's for supper this St. Patrick's Day!

( Tomorrow we will be having corned beef reubens with the leftovers. Check back for the rye bread recipe!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cooking Beira Tronchuda Leaf Cabbage

Last Fall we started some seeds for a leaf cabbage called Beira Tronchuda. The plants were late going in the ground and I just now got my first harvest. Though the leaves look like collards they taste like cabbage. It is a really unique plant and one I will definitely grow again as you can continually harvest the leaves all winter, unlike harvesting a head cabbage once. They were delicious raw and were fantastic cooked and served alongside beans tonight for supper. I don't know for sure but think they would probably have more nutrients due to the dark color of the leaves.
To cook the cabbage I washed it well and cut the thick vein from the center. I diced it in finger size pieces. Next I fried a couple of pieces of bacon. When it was crispy, I removed it from the pan and added about 1/2 cup finely diced onion. Once the onion was translucent, I added the cabbage and cooked until tender, stirring often. Tasty!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black Bean & Corn Burritos

Today I needed a fix it and forget it meal. I was going to be a glorious day and I wanted to be outside!
I plundered through the freezer and pantry, taking stock of what was in there. Corn, beans, rice....Hmm...
Burritos? Mexican Salad?
The beans, of course were all dry and would have to be cooked first but everything else was at hand. So here goes.
I rinsed some black beans and tossed them along with some stock in the pressure cooker for 40 minutes. While they cooked I got all my other ingredients together. They were:
chicken  stock
1 package of frozen corn
1 quart of  tomatoes
1 cup brown rice
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped roasted red pepper (from the freezer)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. jalapenos
1 tsp each chili powder & cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper
When the beans were done, I  put everything in the crock pot turned it on low, adding some more stock for the rice to cook in.
I served it in wraps with torn spinach and shredded cheese, topped with homemade salsa, green onions and cilantro from the herb garden and a dollop of sour cream.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese

I have to say this was truly an elegant meal. Though it looks and tastes complicated it was easy to put together and the only store bought ingredients were black olives, capers and balsamic vinegar!
I thawed a chicken from the freezer and cut the breasts from the bone leaving the skin on. These were pounded between wax paper and set aside. I thawed out some roasted red pepper and plain goat cheese as well.
I made a spinach filling by sauteing spinach, garlic and onion in some butter. I made a red pepper relish by chopping the peppers and a handful of black olives, some capers and mixed them together with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Lay the chicken breasts out flat. On each breast I layered the spinach, then the goat cheese and finally the pepper relish, then folded the breast over the filling. They baked for 35 minutes or so at 350*. Our side dish was a combination of roasted root vegetables from the garden. I cubed freshly picked rutabaga, beets and carrots, tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay long sprigs of fresh rosemary on top. They were roasted for about an hour, uncovered at 350*. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lamb Bolognese

Yesterday my son had the cooking channel on and I caught Micheal Symon's show. I don't normally watch it but when he mentioned lamb, my ears perked up. His version of Lamb Bolognese and kale salad were a bit more sophisticated than the homestead recipe I created. (And I am sure his was just a tasty too! ;o)) I really appreciated the inspiration and give him full credit for the recipe here. I used lamb from the farm, veggies from the garden and pantry staples to create a most delish dish.

Lamb Bolognese

1 lb. ground lamb
4 carrots
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic
1 pint homemade marinara sauce
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp. oregano
pinch of chili flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
olive oil
Parmesan cheese
3/4 lb. pasta

Brown lamb in 2 tbsp. butter. Pulse carrots, celery and onion in food processor. Remove lamb and saute vegetables in pan. Add minced garlic, saute a bit longer. Add marinara sauce,cinnamon, bay leaf, oregano, chili flakes and beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lamb and simmer for 25 more minutes.
Cook pasta. Use a large pasta like fettuccine or rotini. ( I used rotini). Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup liquid. Toss pasta in sauce, add liquid. Drizzle with olive oil and add a large palm full of Parmesan cheese. Toss once more. Serve alongside a massaged kale salad. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Beef and Barley Soup

Yesterday I put some beef short ribs and soup bones in the oven to roast. I roasted them for several hours and when cool put them in the fridge over night. This morning I skimmed the fat from the pan, scraped out all the drippings and put them on the stove top covered with water. For the next couple of hours I let them simmer, covered. The resulting stock was deep and rich and delicious.
While the stock boiled, I put some hulled barley in the rice cooker.I like using hulled barley instead of pearled because the bran is still intact and therefore more nutritious. Once it was done, I assembled my soup.
I sauteed onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrots in a bit of butter. To that I added the shredded beef, strained stock and cooked barley. I also added some powdered Hen of the Wood mushroom. All of this was put in the crock pot and turned on low. Not finished quite yet, I scraped all the marrow from the beef bones, put that and the bones back in the pot, covered them with water once more and set to simmer again. I wanted to extract all the flavor and nutrition possible. Later, I added the second batch of broth. I allowed it to slow cook the better part of the day. The fresh mushrooms were store bought and the barley was from our bulk stash. Everything else was from the homestead. Tonight we will have a fresh spinach salad and soup... and that's what's for supper!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kale Casserole

This was delicious!

Wash kale and tear into bit size pieces. I probably had about 16 cups or so. I placed the kale in a large pot and added about 1 1/2 cups of water, covered and cooked until tender. When done, I placed in a strainer to drain. In the same pot, I sauteed onion in a bit of olive oil until translucent. Then I added 4 cloves of minced garlic and cooked a couple more minutes. I stirred in 2 tablespoons of flour and cooked another couple of minutes. Then I added about a cup of half 'n half, maybe a smidge more and cooked until thick. Lastly I added about 4 ounces of cubed Havarti cheese. (Any soft cheese would do though) and stirred until melted. I stirred the drained kale back into the cream sauce and once thoroughly combined, put it in a casserole dish. Top with fresh bread crumbs and bake at 350* for 25- 30 minutes until bubbly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Soaked Oatmeal Pancakes

This recipe makes a large number of pancakes. I refrigerate leftovers and the boys heat them for breakfast during the week. They can also be frozen. I like using spelt flour but whole wheat works as well.

The night before put 2 1/4 cups of oatmeal and 3 cups buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate.
 In the morning add:
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp. each salt, baking powder, baking soda
3 eggs beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup honey

Mix all ingredients together and cook until brown. Serve with maple syrup.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Massaged Kale Salad

This is a most delicious winter salad. With the lack of fresh lettuce this time of year, this has become our new favorite and we have gotten quite addicted to it I must say. Keep a bag of washed kale in your fridge and this is a super fast and super simple meal or side salad.

Tear kale into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage kale until dark green, slightly wilted and coated with oil. Add toppings of your choice, toss and enjoy.
Our favorite is slivered onion, diced avocado and feta cheese. We also like grated carrot, onion, Parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds.
This was lunch today~ kale salad and quinoa.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

I made this soup using the leftover chicken carcases from this weekend's smoked chicken. I wanted a more brothy soup and with a few fresh ingredients from the garden and noodles from the pantry this soup was put together in very short order. Everything but the noodles was produced here on the homestead! Enjoy~

I boiled the chicken until the meat fell from the bones. I put strained stock and the chicken bits back into the pot and added chopped carrots, finely chopped onion and some garlic. When carrots were almost done I added some  farfalle or bow tie noodles. Lastly I added some torn kale and fresh rosemary.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Garden Quiche with Savory Spelt Crust

The garden is blessing us with an abundance of winter vegetables. The chickens are enjoying the few extra minutes of daylight and have begun to lay again. Today's homestead meal incorporates all of the above for  a delectable lunch.

Savory Spelt Crust:
(2 crusts)
2 cups spelt flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Sift together and cut in with a pastry blender:
2/3 cup butter
Once butter in incorporated add about 6 tbsp. cold water, a couple of tbsp. at a time until dough comes together. Gather with hands and form a ball. Divide in half. Roll on a floured board and place in a deep dish pie plate. Set aside. You can refrigerate other ball to use in the next few days or freeze.

Winter Garden Quiche Filling:
Saute 1/2 medium onion, in 2 tbsp. butter, until translucent. Add about 8 cups of torn Kale and 3 cloves of garlic. Cook until wilted. Layer in crust. Top with broccoli. Top broccoli with grated carrot. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Beat 8 eggs with 1/3 cup of milk, cream or half 'n half and pour over vegetables.
Bake at 350* for about  45 minutes.