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Tag Archives: recipes
Vinegar is an amazing all-purpose cleaner. It is non-toxic and food-grade, safe for the environment and for the family, even those who have asthma. It’s inexpensive, gentle on hands, and deodorizing. It removes fabric stains, soap scum and mineral buildup. I’ve used it to clean ceramic tile, linoleum, enamel, wood, glass, stainless steel and chrome. The only surface vinegar isn’t recommended for is granite or marble.
Although the vinegar smell dissipates in minutes, it is really strong while it’s being used. I found many recipes online for making scented vinegar cleaners so I decided to give it a try. It’s really easy!
Fill a quart-size glass jar with orange peel. Make sure the peels are clean. No need to scrub them or anything; just make sure there are no orange sacs, membranes or seeds getting lost in there. If you don’t have enough to fill a jar yet, freeze it and keep adding to it until it’s packed tight.
When you have enough orange peels to fill the glass jar, pour white distilled vinegar into the jar until it covers the orange peels, not quite to the rim but pretty close. Screw the lid on and store in a cool dark place. I hid mine under the sink. Mark your calendar two weeks from the day the jar was filled.
After two weeks of soaking orange peel in vinegar, it’s time to get it out. Prepare 3 HDPE 8-oz spray bottles for each quart of vinegar soak you have. Set up a funnel into the first of the spray bottles. Pour the orange vinegar in equal parts into the three spray bottles. Top off with water.
I added a tiny drop of Orange Extract into each spray bottle to really make the orange scent pop. And voila!
I made so many of these Orange Vinegar Cleaners that I’m giving away 3 bottles of it to 3 lucky commenters. Just leave a comment below before midnight April 7 to qualify. Good luck!
When my daughter was two we spent the year in Maine. Her Grammy grew a garden and took the wee one out to pick carrots throughout the summer. Grammy has now been dead for two years, but my daughter, now 8, still thinks fondly of her and those freshly picked carrots. So in honor of the coming of spring and of Grammy’s recent birthday, we made Carrot Cupcakes. Happy birthday, Grammy!
2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
2 cups organic sugar
3 cups shredded organic carrots
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda, aluminum-free
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup organic canola oil
4 large eggs, free-range and organic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into cupcake pan cups only about halfway to 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Test with a fork and when it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool completely before frosting.
10 oz organic cream cheese
10 tablespoons organic butter, softened
3 1/3 teaspoon orange extract
5 cups organic powdered sugar
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Stir in orange extract and powdered sugar gradually.
Doesn’t that sound like a martial arts movie with English subtitles? Maybe not.
How about this one? Vegetarian cook for meat-loving… what rhymes with cook?
I have a new challenge in the kitchen. I don’t want to eat meat anymore. Why be a vegetarian? I came up with these answers when I was 16, the first time I quit meat.
- Meat tastes sweaty. It’s flesh. If we were meant to eat meat, we would enjoy the taste of it raw the way carnivorous animals do. We do so much to make meat palatable – marinades, sauces, spices, rubs – but on its own, meat is gross.
- Industrial meat farms are evil. Overcrowded, dirty, drugged and abused animals is where meat comes from. I don’t want to support that evil with my money.
- We are what we eat. We eat our food’s life force, its fear, its sadness or its happiness. I have nothing against killing animals for food, just like I have nothing against carnivorous animals. What I care about is that animals lived a full life according to their nature before they are killed for food. Animals I described in #2 above are not the kind of energy I want in me.
You’re probably thinking, so what? Lots of people are vegetarians and there are a lot of vegetarian recipes online, that’s really not much of a challenge. Well, my husband and my daughter love meat. In fact, the reason I started eating meat again was my baby.
There we were, Jay and me eating at a sunny diner, when suddenly there was this foreign urge in me to reach a fork out to his plate. “Can I have that sausage patty?” I asked.
He looked at me funny. I felt funny. It was as if my baby’s little fingers came through my vegetarian belly to grab a bite of that sausage patty. Weird. But I went with it. I ate meat throughout my pregnancy.
Now it’s 8 years later and I’m quitting meat again, only this time I have to feed two meat-loving freaks in my family too.
Since I first quit meat, there have been some changes in the meat industry. There are meat farms that raise their animals ethically. I scour grocery labels for the words, “free-range,” “grass-fed,” “free-roaming,” “organic.” It’s important to me that the meat I bring home came from animals who lived happy lives, and that I am supporting farms run by good people.
So here’s what I did for dinner last night. I started out baking Oregano Chicken for the meat freaks. Then I made Quinoa Asparagus for me, and as a side for the chicken. This is like a double protein meal for the meat freaks, because quinoa is rich in protein. Raw salad rounds off the meal.
1/4 cup organic butter
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 teaspoons dried organic oregano
1 lb of organic chicken
Preheat the oven 375F (or 190C).
Lay those chicken pieces in a baking pan. I used a square glass pyrex pan about 9×9, just enough room to keep the sauce together.
Melt the butter in a small stainless steel saucepan. Add lemon, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and oregano. Stir it up, then pour on top of the chicken. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
4 cups of water
2 cups quinoa
2 tablespoons extra virgin organic coconut oil
1 green onion
1 bunch organic asparagus
1 teaspoon oregano
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Bring water to a boil, then add quinoa. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed the water.
While waiting, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet until it melts in the pan. Add green onions, asparagus, oregano. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of water to steam the asparagus. Cook until asparagus is tender but not mushy. Mix in the quinoa. Squeeze half a lemon, and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Yes, you read it right. My husband made me breakfast. How sweet! He really is a good cook. Check out his bean soup here. And he also came up with the idea for Bumblebees. But in true Jay fashion, he gave his recipe the unappetizingly strange and thoroughly nonsensical name, Emphysema Lambada.
It’s good, though. Don’t knock it till you try it. Here’s the recipe:
1 organic carrot, peeled and chopped
1 organic celery, diced small
2 organic green onions, chopped
some organic frozen mixed vegetables (it’s got peas, corn and carrots in it, I think he used about a third of a package.)
1 organic beef hotdog, chopped up as thin as possible
1 tablespoon organic canola oil
1 organic egg from free roaming chicken
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the carrot, celery, green onions, mixed vegetables and hotdog. When the vegetables are tender, make a hole in the middle of the skillet and crack the egg in it. Scramble the egg and mix it up with the rest.
Serve warm as is. Or do what my husband did: he set some rice to steam before he started so that by the time the rice is cooked, we are ready to Lambada on top of rice.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
A big vat of hot soup is comfort food in the winter. What’s really awesome about soup is that it gets better after it has sat together, chilled in the refrigerator, then reheated next day. This recipe feeds my 3-person family for two days, and is a great classic meal.
1 lb. lean ground beef, free-range, grass-fed and organic
1 organic onion, chopped fine
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, organic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups beef broth, organic
4 cups water
3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs organic celery, diced
1/2 cup pearl barley, organic
2 pieces organic green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan or stock pot, brown ground beef over medium heat, breaking it up with a spatula. Drain the grease that comes out of the beef. People seem to be mystified about how to do this properly. Never ever drain the grease into your kitchen sink. You are asking for trouble, you bad kitty! Grease hardens when cold, so your kitchen sink will clog up if you pour that grease down the sink.
I use a Pot Drainer to drain the grease into an empty can I keep next to the stove. I keep adding grease to it until it’s about 3/4 full. Let the grease harden in the can before throwing it out, can and all.
Stir in onion and cook until glassy. Add tomatoes, oregano, broth, carrots, celery and barley. Bring to a boil, then return to a simmer on low. Cook for an hour until barley is tender. Add green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
My pantry is always stocked with every ingredient on the list below, waiting for those lazy weekend mornings when we can have a slow breakfast. Yeah, I know you can get pancakes to-go at fast-food places, or get those pre-mixed pancakes that come in a box, but making pancakes from scratch means I know exactly what goes into my pancakes.
Besides, my daughter loves to make pancakes with Mama. She’s been making pancakes with me since she was four. She loves to measure out the ingredients; great way to learn basic fractions. Me, I’ve been making pancakes since my daughter was four, too, so really, she knows how to make pancakes just as well as I do.
1 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached and organic
1 tablespoon organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder, aluminum-free
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, aluminum-free
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raw organic milk
1 egg, free-range and organic
2 tablespoons organic canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla, organic
1 teaspoon extra virgin organic coconut oil
organic maple syrup
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Beat in milk, egg, canola oil and vanilla until the batter is smooth. Ready for cooking.
I have the Lodge Pro Logic Square Griddle, 12″, but a skillet will do too. Heat that griddle or skillet on the stove on medium-low and brush coconut oil on the griddle surface. Coconut oil is the healthiest cooking oil on the planet, and unlike butter, it will not burn on the griddle.
Pour a large spoonful of pancake batter on the griddle to make silver dollar pancakes, or get a ladle for full-size pancakes. Smaller pancakes are easier to manage. Flip when bubbles form holes.
When pretty close to cooking up all the pancakes, put some maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles. Pour warm maple syrup on top of the pancake stacks. You can add fruit to it if you like. Strawberries, blueberries, bananas are classic additions to pancakes.
Have a lovely morning!
What do cauliflower and broccoli have in common? They are both cruciferous vegetables, super-nutritious and best eaten raw.
R.A.W. I love raw food. It feels so alive, all crunchy and juicy and electric.
Other cruciferous vegetables are radish, land cress, watercress, garden cress, mustard, kale, collard greens, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, bok choy, komatsuna, turnips, rutabaga, canola, arugula, daikon, wasabi.
All are best eaten raw to preserve myrosinase, an enzyme known to activate sulforaphane, which removes carcinogens from the body and inhibits tumor growth. (Read more about Anti-Cancer Foods and Broccoli Power.)
So what’s in my lunch salad? Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, sweet pepper and topped with maple cranberry sauce. Superpowers on a plate.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies have to be one of the easiest cookies to make. Everybody knows how to make that! That’s what I thought until I baked some.
I got the recipe off the top of the Quaker Oats container. They call it the Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Here’s my version:
1 cup (2 sticks) organic butter, softened
1 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 eggs, organic
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup organic raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cream together the butter and sugars. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Put the whisk away. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Using a spatula, mix the dry ingredients into the batter. Add oats and raisins. It will get very thick. Mix really well.
Butter a baking sheet with wax paper covers, then spoon rounds of cookie dough about a couple of inches apart from each other.
Now here was the tricky part for me. I baked the cookies too long and wound up with hard cookies. Bake it for 12 minutes. That’s it. (It might be even shorter if you live in a high altitude location.)
Get the babies out of the oven and let them cool off on wire racks.
Everybody loves these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Those people at Quaker Oats were right. These cookies quickly vanish. I have to make more!
I don’t remember when my daughter started helping me in the kitchen. Was it at age 3 or was it even younger? I remember her taking initiative making us snacks not even a mother could love.
Now that she’s 8 she’s become quite a cook. She can cook her own breakfast eggs. She’s been my assistant for the past two Thanksgivings, peeling and slicing potatoes like a big girl. She’s also got those really strong arms from gymnastics. The girl can whisk like a pro!
Today she made another one of her no-bake snacks, but this time she wrote her recipe out.
I asked her what the letters stood for. Here’s what she told me:
C.C. – cupcake liner
G.M. – granola Mom’s
M.S. – marshmallows
Sh.W. – sugar white (in our house that’s organic evaporated cane sugar)
H.W. – honey raw
R.O. – raisins organic
And what does M.W.H.B. with a circle and backslash stand for?
No Mother With Hanging Butt.
Whenever I make pies I wind up with extra dough from the pie crust. I hate throwing anything away, especially my pie crust. It’s so good! So I’ll tell you what I do.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix up organic sugar and organic cinnamon. I’d say about 1 teaspoon cinnamon to about 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix it up good. Flatten that leftover pie crust dough with a rolling pin and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over it. Roll up the pie crust, jelly-roll-style, then slice it up thin. Arrange the cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Fun little treats!