Sautèed Onions and Chia Seeds over Butternut Squash

A savory vegetarian dish with seasonal produce, and lots of healthy oil for adding moisture to the hair and skin.

 

Fully cook a butternut squash.

Remove skin and seeds, then mash or blend to desired consistency.

Add fresh or dried thyme, cardamom (1 drop food-grade essential oil**), turmeric and garlic powder to taste.

 

In a frying pan sautè one onion – sliced – with 4 tblsp. olive or coconut oil. Once the onions are browned add

2 tblsp. chia seeds

2 tblsp. pine nuts

1 tblsp. (or more to taste) liquid aminos

 

Top butternut squash with sautèed onion mixture for a yummy, warm, one dish meal

IMG_0179wb

** I have a specific brand of food-grade essential oils that use in my recipes.  DO NOT consume any random brand of essential oil as many of them contain toxic filler ingredients. If you’d like to know more about that brand that I use, you can contact me via e-mail.

 

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Ultra Chocolaty – Chocolate Coma Cake

Ultra Chocolaty - Chocolate Coma Cake

Ultra Chocolaty – Chocolate Coma Cake

Three 8″ round cake pans lined with wax paper.

Cake:

5 oz. (1/2 a bag) Ghiradelli bitter sweet baking chips
16 oz. (two 8 oz. bars) Ghiradelli semi sweet chocolate bars
2  1/2 sticks butter
1 heaping cup of sugar
1/2 cup flour
12 egg yolks – slightly beaten
12 egg whites whipped into stiff peaks

Filling:

Apricot Pineapple (or any other type of fruit) Jam
**fruit pie filling would also work well
Fresh pineapple (or other soft fruit) slices

Preheat oven to 350˚
Whip the egg whites and set aside.
Beat egg yolks set aside.
Have the sugar and flour measured and standing by in their measuring cups.

Break up chocolate bars into small pieces. On low heat, melt chocolate and butter. Constantly stir with wire whisk until everything is melted and smooth. Immediately remove from heat.

Pour chocolate / butter mixture into a large bowl. Slowly stir in egg yolks till completely mixed. Add sugar in the same manner followed by the flour. Once this is completely blended, add half of the whipped egg whites. Gently fold this in until thoroughly mixed. Repeat with remaining egg whites.

Pour batter into wax paper lined pans. Trim wax paper excess (otherwise it will smoke inside the oven).
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a thin crust forms on top (when it smells and looks done –  i.e. ‘spongy,’ gently and quickly tap on the top of the cake with with a finger to check for the crust. ( Caution: DO NOT try this if it still looks like batter as it will cause a burn.)

**the toothpick doneness method does not work with this cake.

Remove cakes from oven and let cool until the centers appear to sink. (This is normal….the sink holes are a perfect place to fill with wonderful things…) While still warm, flip them over onto a wire rack. Gently pull away the wax paper.

cake out of oven

Ganache Icing:

24 oz. (three 8 oz.) Ghiradelli semi sweet chocolate bars
approx. 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Break chocolate bars into small pieces. On low heat use wire whisk to gently stir until mixture is smooth. Slowly pour in small amounts of the whipping cream while whisking until desired consistency is achieved.  Let it cool some before frosting cake. (But not too long as the icing will harden.)

Assemble:IMG_2232

Place first layer of cake on a decorative dish. Gently spread fruit (jam or pie filling) evenly over the top leaving enough space around the edges so it won’t squeeze out when the next layer is put on.  [On the cake pictured above, I put fresh pineapple slices on the bottom layer only.] Repeat with cake and jam layering leaving the top of the cake jam / fruit free.  Once the cake has been assembled, gently trim any jaggedy edges with a large serrated knife.

Frost.

Place cake in the refrigerator for a few hours to harden the frosting. (If you plan to put candles on…do that before it goes in the refrigerator.)

finished cake

E-n-j-o-y!

Apple (or other fruit) Cider Vinegar

I LOVE it when I can work in my kitchen preparing one thing…and have numerous other things going on at the same time. This one utilizes scraps from ‘other things going on.’

apples

Apples or other tart fruit scraps

1 cup honey per gallon of water

Open glass or crock container

Towels or cloth for covering

Time…

Chop apples into chunks (or use scraps from pie making)

Add honey – stir to mix well

Put a glass plate on top with a weight to make sure all fruit is submergedapples in bowl

Cover with towels (the towels are to keep out fruit flies *see fruit fly trap below) or use a rubber band to tightly tie down a cloth around the opening of the container.

Place in dark spot on counter or in pantry for a month or more…taste occasionally till it’s reached the desired strength
Note: a white ‘fermenting’ scum will appear on the top [this is normal]…scoop it off if you wish…or scoot it aside for taste testing

Strain out fruit

Put liquid in a glass jar with a lid

The 'floaties' are a good thing....it's what turns the fruit liquid into vinegar. Bacteria, air, and sugar create a vinegar 'mother.'

The ‘floaties’ are a good thing….it’s what turns the fruit liquid into vinegar. Bacteria, air, and sugar create a vinegar ‘mother.’

Let it sit another 6 weeks – Voila! It’s Vinegar!jar

Lisa’s Notes:

Like many cooks before me, I have to test my results before sharing a recipe.gift bottles

I experimented with different sugars; concluding that I like honey the best. I tried different sitting times; deducing that a stronger taste will result from a longer sit – but also that the type of fruit used, air temperature, and the time of year that you make it will also have an effect. Which boils it down to – the taste will tell you when it’s done.

Fruit Fly Trap – In an open dish on your counter, place vinegar, liquid dish soap and a piece of fruit that sticks up over the liquid

Additional Resources: 

From The White House Cookbook 1887  – Digitized – Michigan State University Library

“Apple Vinegar (economical and good)
Have an earthen jar ready for use. Into this put your apple peelings and cores if good. Cover generously with water. Cover the jar tight, and let stand in cool place. Every day parings may be added, putting on more water each time. When cold tea is left, pour into this jar and also add molasses to the proportion of a cup to a gallon of water. In the course of two or three weeks you will have an excellent vinegar made of nothing. When ready to use, strain through cheese cloth and stand away. This has been tried with good results, and with a little thought economical housekeepers can make enough in one summer to last all winter. ”

Apple Vinegar from Peels and Cores – Mother Earth News

How to Make Homemade Vinegar – Mother Earth News

Creating Homemade Fruit Vinegars – Mother Earth News

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar

http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/vinegar-history.html

Turkey – Brined & Self Basting – with Stuffing on the side

How do you know when something is done? When you can smell it…  This meal creates delightful aromas and flavors.

meal

Brine Mix:

Sea Salt
Dried herbs: juniper berries, rosemary, black peppercorns, cranberries, garlic, apples, thyme, rosemary, sage and orange peels.

In a heavy white garbage (compactor) bag combine 1/2 cup brine mix with 4 cups warm water.  Shake it around so that the salt dissolves.
Place bag inside of a 5 gallon bucket.brine mixture

brined

Remove packaging from turkey as well as giblets or packing in the body cavity. Rinse turkey with fresh water then pat dry.
Without poking holes, run your hands under the turkey skin on the breast and back to create skin pockets.
Use a fork or knife to pierce turkey meat in the breasts, thighs & legs.

Put turkey into basting bag inside of bucket. Fill bag with water until turkey is submerged. Place bucket in refrigerator several days prior to cooking.

Self Basting Herb Paste:

1  cup barely softened butter
4 strips bacon uncooked – chopped
1/2 onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley – chopped
Fresh sage – chopped (about 3 tblsp.)
1 preserved lemon – chopped (less if a less salty gravy is desired)

1 cup dry white wine

4-5 more strips of bacon

Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together till well mixed.

Gently place handfulls of the Self Basting Herb Paste into the skin pockets.

basting paste

Place turkey –  breast side down –  into baking pan.

Lay remaining strips of bacon on top of bird & cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Cook in 350 degree oven till done. (See package cooking instructions for how much time to cook based on weight.)

Check center of breast meat with meat thermometer. Once it’s reached 155 degrees it’s ready!

Adam prepares the 2013 Thanksgiving turkeys; a wild hunted bird and a store bought.

Adam prepares the 2013 Thanksgiving turkeys; a wild hunted bird and a store bought.

Strain out solids from turkey drippings. Place in pot on stove top. At medium heat, start adding sprinkles of Wondra Flour once bubbles start appearing at the edges.  Blend with hand-held whisk until desired thickness.

Stuffing:

Meyer Lemon Bread Crumbs – about 4 cups

1 bunch fresh cilantro – chopped
3 beaten eggs
1/2 onion  – copped
3 stalks celery – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
chicken broth – enough to moisten bread crumbs
1 drop food-grade Oregano oil (stirred into broth)

Combine all ingredients, cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

jaja with turkey

Stuffed Sweet Potaotes

This is a family (especially kid) pleaser! A yummy comfort food for a cold, rainy night.

IMG_1434

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Hollow out potato – leaving enough inside the ‘shell’ to support the structure.

In a pan, saute

2-4 tbslp. olive oil
with 2-3 cloves garlic – chopped
and 2 large carrots – julienned

once carrot are softened
add 2 small zucchini – julienned
3 green onions –  chopped fine
3-4 medium sized tomatillos – chopped fine (if you like a tart flavor…add more!)
remove from heat once zucchini has softened

*may also add meat for protein – in this recipe, I added chopped ham

line the bottom of the potato with shredded Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
fill with sauted vegetables then top with more cheese

California Stuffed Ham

Putting a spin on the Stuffed Ham of the east coast, I altered the ingredients to take advantage of greens in season in Northern California.

2 – 4 tbslp. olive oil
2 tbslp. fennel seeds

finely chopped greens approximately 4 cups worth:

bok choy
green onions
cabbage (for this recipe, I used red cabbage…but with a red sauce, the green cabbage would be better – for contrasting color)
pinch of salt
*chard, spinach or kale could also be used

In pan, heat oil till it starts moving around. Add fennel seeds to flavor the oil. Cook till slightly browned.
*be sure to watch this step closely as it is easy to burn the spice.

bok choy red cabbage web

Add chopped vegetables to seasoned oil. Cook only long enough to slightly wilt greens. Set aside.toasted fennel in olive oil

Heat whole ham in oven to about 3/4 done. Take out of oven, cut slices and fill the spaces with the greens.

ham stuffing

Top with Cranberry Clove Sauce – add water to some of the sauce so that it will drizzle down in between the slices.

Place ham back in the oven to finish heating.

finished

Cranberry Clove Sauce

Make your next meal pop with this mildly sweet, tangy super food sauce.

2 cups fresh cranberries

juice & zest from two lemons

1/2 to 2/3rds cup maple syrup

Combine all in pot; cook on medium (t0 low) heat. Once it reaches a boil, turn off heat. Carefully mash berries with a potato masher (berries will pop ….be careful of hot, flying cranberry juice)

Stir in 1/8 – 1/2 tsp. ground cloves OR 3 drops food-grade Clove Oil – to taste

cooking cranberries

Health benefits of cranberries

Antioxidents & Vitamin C

Healthier Teeth & Lowering Cholesterol

Reducing Inflammation

Squash (Pumpkin) Shepherds Pie

A good sized squash –  cooked **
Potatoes  – cooked

Vegetable_pumpkin
In approx. 2 tblsp. oil – saute in saucepan till done:
4 cloves fresh garlic – chopped
4 stalks celery – chopped
3 carrots – chopped
1 onion – chopped
1 lb. ground meat (beef/ turkey/ chicken/ pork)

add:
approx. 1/4 cup flour
approx. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) to taste
salt & pepper to taste
add about 1/2 of the cooked, mashed squash

Shepherds Pie

Mash remaining squash & potatoes together
add approx. 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (sharp)
add a little milk to desired smoothness

Place thickened meat / vegie mixture into the bottom of an oven safe baking dish
Top wth squash /potatoe mixture

Broil for 5 minutes until browned

Top with pumpkin seeds

** Lisa’s squash cooking method:  Rinse the outside skin of the squash then place it (whole) into baking dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. After about an hour, pierce it with a knife or press on the outside to see if it  is soft. Once the squash is cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds.

Salsa

Base:salsa web

2 tblsp. olive oil in saute pan
4 cloves garlic – chopped
1 habanero chili (or 3 Thai chilis…or any type / combination of hot peppers that you like) – finely chopped

Saute garlic and peppers in oil just long enough that you start to smell the aromas
(garlic should be slightly browned …turn off heat before it burns).  Remove from heat.

to the sauted oil, garlic & peppers add

1 can tomato sauce – set aside to cool

Chop:
4 stalks celery
1 large yellow or white onion
1 carrot
3 or 4 bell peppers
6 or more large fresh tomatoes
2 bunches fresh cilantro
juice and zest from 5 limes
salt & pepper to taste
1 tblsp. cumin seeds

Pour sauce base over chopped vegetables and mix.

Great freshly made…but even better after sitting over night!

Lisa’s notes:  Salsa…. I have been known to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I love mexican food and can tell in the first few moments if a restaurant is good by their salsa; if it is awesome, then the rest of the food usually is too.

My favorite salsa of all time is Casa Lupe’s.  My parents first took me to a restaurant that was in Gridley, CA when I was a child. Since then I have eaten mexican food all over and have yet to discover a salsa that’s better.  ….I have often contemplated applying for a job there so I could learn their salsa secrets!  This recipe is the culmination of many years of experimentation in attempts to match Casa Lupe’s awesome salsa.

Rhubarb Cream Pie – Grandma’s

1 1/2 cups sugarcandy tree mary jeanette donnie
3 tblsp. flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tblsp. butter or oleo
2 well beaten eggs
3 cups rhubarb – chopped

1 unbaked pie shell

blend sugar, flour, nutmeg & butter

add eggs and beat till smooth

pour over rhubarb in 9″ pastry lined pan

bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then in 350 degrees for 30 minutes

jeanette yo yo

jeanette queen

jeanettes 12th