Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rice Milk

(please don't give it to your baby as a milk replacement!)

We basically followed the Vita-Mix directions.

1 cup cold cooked brown basmati rice (cooked with salt and rice bran oil - 2 cups rice per 6 cups water)

4 cups warm water

2 Tablespoons Sucanat

Blended as per directions.  Decided it was a little on the thin and watery tasting side so we....

added another 1/2 cup cold cooked brown basmati rice and poured the rice milk back and processed it again.....

....we were delighted to see there was nothing in the strainer, so we can dispense with that step in the future! 

We bought the rice at a store called "India Market" in Irving off Hwy 183 on the way to the DFW airport.

From the recent news concerning arsenic levels in rice (from Ag use such as pesticides and feeding to conventional poultry - then using the manure for fertilizer) in rice grown in the good ol' USA, we might be better off getting our rice from India, although it wasn't organic.....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Tribute to JERF (Just Eat Real Food)

Today's nutrient dense lunch:

Organic Romaine lettuce, organic parsley, Costco grape tomatoes, homegrown green onions and sweet potato leaves, purslane from hubby's flower garden, organic home toasted sunflower seeds, craisins, homemade organic balsamic vinaigrette dressing with extra virgin olive oil and fresh pressed garlic cloves.

Sauteed homegrown onions, pre-cooked homegrown pork breakfast sausage, Costco's organic salsa, pre-cooked organic basmati brown rice, fresh organic rainbow chard leaves...Chard added at the end and wilted on low heat with the lid on....freshly crushed black pepper....

dessert:  homemade fudge made with local honey, carob and organic cocoa powder, almond butter, organic butter, various seeds, nuts, dried fruit......basic recipe here.

beverage:  kombucha - home brewed, of course!  Organic black tea and cane sugar...

Very satisfying.....

For more info on JERF click here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bottling the wine!

How many McKees does it take to bottle wine?  Three! 

The ring is from the yeasty bubbles that occurred during the fermentation process.

We bought this "Easy Siphon" years ago to use for bottling EM (effective microorganisms).  It works pretty well.  After bottling 4 gallons of wine we bottled 5 gallons of EM.  
(It's time to start another batch of EM!)

 It's a good thing we had so many Pellegrino Italian Sparkling Mineral water bottles around.  The last of each bucket went into canning jars....maybe to be used for cooking?   The dregs in the bucket were pretty thick and very pretty!  Like creamy grape sherbet!   
That went to the compost bin.

Our first try, successful!  Two cases of Muscadine Wine!  Thanks so much, Pat and Arnie! 

We love to try new things!  (Click here to see the first part of the project)

We tried it last night - had a small portion (2 or 3 ounces) on ice, it needed diluting with Pellegrino...much improved...It's sweet and strong...I think it would make a nice Sangria, add some orange and lemon slices....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kale Chips

I ordered some kale from Azure Standard Co-op and thought I'd try making some kale chips.  I've heard about dehydrated recipes, but came across some baked kale chips.  I thought I'd try that first, takes less time!   I found several recipes, one of them here.  The variety of kale we got was the really curly kind which was hard to get very dry.  I think that's one reason they seemed to take longer to finish up in the oven.....

I poured the olive oil into a little bowl and flicked the oil on the leaves and tossed them with my fingers (like gently gelling or moussing curly, wet hair!).  I was trying to distribute evenly and not end up with all the oil in one place!  It worked well.....I ground some sea salt on top of the leaves spread out on the parchment lined trays.  I sprinkled a bit of Simply Organics Chipotle on some of them....

They were pronounced GOOD and that they tasted like popcorn.  The last of them were forgotten in the oven and burned.  =(  Those tasted guessed it...burnt popcorn!  Oh well, we got tired of babysitting them!   So the hardest part of the project is getting them done to a "T" and not burning them!

These are the burnt ones...

  Next time we'll try a dehydrated recipe.  It's not good to eat a lot of cruciferous veg raw.  They are goitrogenic*...they block iodine uptake to the thyroid.  Incidentally, I recently read that almonds are also goitrogenic...we toast ours after soaking, skinning and drying them....they taste better and are more digestible, too!

*Cruciferous vegetables can potentially be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people with iodine deficiency. Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles. At high intake of crucifers, the goitrogens inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and also the transfer of iodine into milk by the mammary gland. (source)

Monday, July 23, 2012


 This is the McKee Family's  variation on the "Fantastic Carob Fudge" found on page 109 in the "Whole Foods for the Whole Family" (1984 printing) cookbook.

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt (low/med-low heat):
1 cup (12oz) Honey
3/4 - 1 cup (8-10oz) unsweetened Nut Butter
2 - 4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Butter

2. Leave the heat on, and using a hand mixer, carefully, mix.

3. By hand, stir in:
1/2 cup Organic Cocoa Powder (sifted)
1/2 cup Carob Powder (sifted)

4. Carefully, mix using your hand mixer again. It will get nice and thick & rubbery!

5. Stir in whatever Nuts or Fruit you want!
(This time we used: 1 cup of toasted sliced Almonds and 1/2 cup Craisins.)

6. Remove from heat, spread out on something that you can put in the fridge to cool.
The first time we put it on a Wax Paper lined cutting mat and it stuck to the waxed paper! The second time I spread it on a Plastic Wrap lined cutting mat. 
Store it in the fridge or freezer!

Yum, Yum!

This candy/fudge has to cool/harden in the fridge.
This fudgey stuff was SO glossy, thick & rubbery.....but so good.

Adrienne was caught with her finger in the pot...  =)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


 We have never tried making real wine before and have wanted to try it for a long fact the only fermented drinks we make are Kombucha, Kefir, and EM "wine".

Sunday evening:
We picked the Muscadine Grapes at a friend's house (for free!).
I am VERY sorry to have to tell you, but we forgot to bring the camera when we harvested the grapes. =(  

 Monday morning:

We separated the good from the bad/green and stems....

 Cute little bunch....

 After looking at a lot of books, this is the one we chose to follow:

 Mashed the grapes with a potato masher, in 5 gal buckets (two batches in each bucket).

This is the recipe:

 (click the picture to view it larger)

Wednesday afternoon:

 Pleas helped Debbie strain, smash and squeeze the grape was a mess!

The juice:

 Clean out the buckets, put the juice in again, add white sugar...

...and Baker's Yeast and stir it in..... you have to wait...for two weeks....   (click here for part 2)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Green Beans round 1

We planted enough green beans to actually have enough at one time to put them up!

There is nothing like fresh, organic home grown produce!  The night we (well, Adrienne!) picked them we had a pot full cooked with onions and home cured bacon.  =)  Yum!

We call this "add some beans" salad instead of three bean salad!    

The brine:  apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, pickling salt, mustard seed and celery seed. 
Filling the jars...

Boiling water bath canning for acid/pickled foods....we just use our pressure canner pot because it holds more jars and fits on our stove better.
 Pretty!  To serve we'll add a can or two of other beans such as kidney or garbanzos and some olive oil.  If they are too sweet, which is very likely, we'll add a splash of vinegar (and make a note on the recipe!).  I made this recipe YEARS ago, one time.  Pleas had visited the farmer's market with a friend and came home late on a hot Saturday afternoon with a case of green beans!  Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled at the time...but he DID help me put them up!
 The recipe said it would make 5 pints, we got 8 pints from 4 pounds of green beans....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Making our own Bacon

As you can see, we took our pigs in to the processor. We used Cobbs (click here), because they came recommended by Wes & Kelly Adams over at Adams Blackland Prairie (click here), and Robert Hutchins over at Rehoboth Ranch (click here).
Cobbs is a humane kill certified facility (click here), and that was very important to us. Our pigs lived over there about a week before processing, so they were well treated and very happy before they left this old earth. =)
This is 1/2 a pork-belly, that we had to cut into manageable pieces, for our very first bacon! Pork-belly is the name for the cut of meat that is classically turned into bacon. You can also make "buckboard bacon" which is made from roasts, so it is leaner. (We are planning to try that next!) We made three recipes this time, so we can decide what we like best:

This is recipe 1 (click here)

It is a dry rub, not too hard, but it did make a mess on the bag while we were putting it in the bag.

Recipe 2 (click here). First you coat with local honey...
Then you give it a generous cover of black pepper. (No, we do not use McCormick, we buy whole organic peppercorns, in bulk from Frontier Natural Foods Co-op, and grind our own.) We love pepper. Good, fresh pepper! Once you try it, there is no going back! (we grind it in a coffee grinder)

Then you try to pack it with a salt, etc mixture...ha,ha. That was a mess!
Debbie said there has got to be a better, neater way to get the meat in the she grabbed one of those flexible plastic cutting boards, and inserted it into the bag...

...which made a lovely chute! (What a good idea~ it makes me wonder what else we could use that cutting mat for!)

And last but not least, recipe 3 from Backwoods Home magazine

We just mixed an UN-godly amount of yellow mustard (Can you tell that we don't eat yellow mustard?), with some sugar, salt & black pepper, covered one half, slipped it into the bag (Thanks again, Debbie!) and flipped it over, poured in the remaining mustard mix, and that was done! =)

We vacuum sealed each one, but you could also just use Ziplock bags or some other well sealing container. They are in the fridge now, and we just have to turn them & knead them every day for 7-10 days...we could smoke them, but I don't think that that will happen, as we don't own a smoker.

Rinse well, soak, chill, slice and cook!

~Thank you, Adrienne for doing the really messy part of the job...
We will add to this post telling you how it turned out!