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Monday, August 18, 2014

Basic Popsicles!

Hey everyone! This week I'm not sharing a recipe with you so much as a series of ideas that you can take in any direction you choose. The BF found us some Popsicle molds and by that night, we had some made. But if you can't find molds, paper cups and popsicle sticks work just as well. Basically, you can freeze whatever you'd like best into a popsicle- just keep in mind that some liquids don't mix as well, and some are heavier than others and might need a quick stir halfway through freezing. So let me show you some pictures and give you some ideas- then take it and make it your own!


Start out with some ingredients like this- fruit juice, soda, creamer, milk- you could even use yogurt, fruit, etc.
Then pour whatever mix you'd like into your molds! These are the raspberry and peach ones with a little milk- these could use a stir halfway through freezing so things freeze more uniformly.
Here are all of our finished popsicles from the first batch- on the left, peach and raspberry and milk; and on the right, orange soda or cream soda with a little coffee creamer, so it's like a float!
Here's what one of the peach-raspberry-milk ones looks like all done.
And here's the "creamsicle" of orange soda plus some creamer- don't over-fill the soda molds as they may overflow a little bit!


Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, August 4, 2014

Easy Float

Hey there!

This recipe is courtesy of my idea and the BF's execution of it. It's more of an idea than a recipe, so make it your own with whatever flavors of soda or creamer you'd like. I like to use cream soda best, but you can make this any way you like! Get creative.

Your arsenal- soda, milk, and creamer.
This is about the amount used in this cup, so you can kind of tell the ratios from there- start with a few tablespoons of each, and adjust to taste.
Then top off with your soda!
And yum, a delicious float without having to have ice cream!


Easy Float
-Soda of your choice
-Flavored creamer of your choice
-Milk (you do not have to use this, but we wanted to keep it on the creamier side but make it a little healthier than adding a ton of creamer!)
For one serving, mix 1/4 cup each milk and creamer (important to mix these so it doesn't curdle with the soda!) in your cup, then add 1 1/4 cups soda. Add ice. Enjoy!


Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 28, 2014

Traditional Potato Salad

Hey there everyone!

This recipe is thanks to my helping out for the 4th- I'm not really an eater of traditional potato salad, so I probably would not have brought you a recipe otherwise, but I was assured by all present that it was really good. Let me show you- super simple.

Here's your arsenal! Pretty simple, and colorful!
Chop potatoes and eggs, then mash roughly.
Add in your chopped veggies and mix well. (I forgot the pickles and added them later- just fine!)
Here are your seasonings and binder- change ratios to your taste.
Add your mayo and then your seasonings and mix well.
And finally, I added in the chopped pickled I forgot about earlier.

Sorry I don't have a picture of the finished salad- it's pretty similar to the above, just mixed and with paprika sprinkled on top. People gobbled it right up before I could think of it!


Traditional Potato Salad
-Potatoes, boiled
-Eggs, hard boiled and peeled
-Red onion, chopped
-Green onion, chopped
-Celery, chopped
-Radish, chopped
-Sweet pickles, chopped (or relish, whichever you prefer)
-Mayonnaise
-Pickle Juice
-Dry mustard
-Salt & Pepper
-Paprika
Chop potatoes and eggs once cool then mash roughly.
Mix in all of the other ingredients- using your own ratios and amounts to make it however you like it- don’t like something, don’t use it, and use more or less of ingredients depending on what you like. This is a really easy recipe to play around with the amounts of- just start slow with the mayo because that is almost impossible to fix.
Chill. Sprinkle with paprika to serve.

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marshmallows

Hey there everyone!

I've been saying for months that I'll make marshmallows, but haven't gotten around to it. But, lo and behold, the 4th of July came around and I couldn't think of a better opportunity to make marshmallows than for s'mores on the 4th! Let me show you how easy- it might look complicated, but they are super simple.

First, prepare your pan with the cornstarch and confectioner's sugar mixture- we don't want sticking!
Mix your gelatin and 1/2 cup water in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Put your syrup ingredients (water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt) in a (NOT NON-STICK) pot.
Boil over medium heat until it reaches 240 degrees. Remove promptly.
This is what your gelatin mixture in your stand mixture should look like at this point.
With mixer on low, slowly pour syrup in with gelatin and whip. Then add in your vanilla and continue whipping.
Let that stuff whip for at least 12 minutes. It'll be thick and lukewarm
Here's what it looks like before you pour it out- like a giant bowl of marshmallow fluff.
Pour your marshmallow mixture out into your prepared pan- use an oiled spatula to pat it out evenly.
Then cover the marshmallows with a dusting of your confectioner's sugar cornstarch mix.
After letting sit at least 4 hours at room temperature, turn out your marshmallows- be constantly dusting the stick sides with your confectioner's sugar cornstarch mix.
And carefully cut them into whatever size pieces you desire- again, dust those sticky sides. And the sharper the knife, the better- that's my Sabatier up there (thanks Mom!!).
Once all cut up, make sure they're all un-stickied by tossing with confectioner's sugar and cornstarch.


Marshmallows
-3 packets unflavored gelatin
-1 cup cold water, divided
-1 1/2 cups white sugar
-1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 tablespoon vanilla (the best you can get, or your favorite!)
-1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar + 1/4 cup cornstarch
Get a 9x13’’ pan and line, grease, and then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch mix (save the rest).
Put gelatin and 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and let cook 7-8 more minutes, or until at 240 F if you’re being particular. Remove from heat immediately.
Turn mixer on low, and slowly add all syrup to the gelatin mixture, then add the vanilla.
Whip for 12-15 minutes, until very thick and lukewarm.
Pour marshmallows into pan, using an oiled spatula to spread evenly.
Dust the top with cornstarch/confectioner’s sugar (keep the rest!). Allow to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn out marshmallows and cut them up as you wish. When cut, dust all sides of the marshmallow with the confectioners sugar/cornstarch.
Store airtight.


And you end up with a beautiful and truly pillowy pile of marshmallows.
Yummmmmm!!!
Then on the 4th, I put them out to make s'mores.
And they were DELICIOUS! truly heavenly. you've gotta try it for yourself!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, July 14, 2014

Guest Post by Nora: Sauerkraut!

The Esteemed Mother has deemed today as proper to grace us with her presence and the sharing of a recipe she's just made. Take it away, Mom/Nora!
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Sauerkraut, directly translated: "sour cabbage", is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. Wikipedia

It has 25% of daily vitamin C, 8% of iron, and 5% of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium!

While European peasants preserved their cabbage with salt in an effort to keep hunger away during the dark months, their method of preservation fulfilled another need: that of optimal nourishment. The process of lactic acid fermentation used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut increases vitamins, particularly vitamin C and B vitamins, and food enzymes.  Moreover, homemade sauerkraut is also extraordinarily rich in beneficial bacteria – friendly microorganisms which help to colonize the gut, train the immune system and manufacture vitamins in the digestive tract.  In winter, when colds and flus make their rounds, homemade fermented foods which provide plenty of vitamins, food enzymes and beneficial bacteria coupled with fermented cod liver oil (see sources).
http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-sauerkraut/


http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193124
Sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation. To put it (fairly) simply: There is beneficial bacteria present on the surface of the cabbage and, in fact, all fruits and vegetables. Lactobacillus is one of those bacteria, which is the same bacteria found in yogurt and many other cultured products. When submerged in a brine, the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid; this is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
The fermentation process itself is very reliable and safe, and the fermented sauerkraut can be kept at cellar temperature (around 55°F) for months, although those of us without cellars can make do with storing the kraut in our fridges. Besides preserving the cabbage, this fermentation process also transforms it into something incredibly tasty and gives it additional health benefits — fermented sauerkraut contains a lot of the same healthy probiotics as a bowl of yogurt.


How Long Does It Take To Make Sauerkraut?
For a small quart-sized batch like we're making today, the minimum time is about three days, though the kraut will continue to ferment and become tastier for many days after that. As simple as it sounds, the best rule of thumb is to keep tasting the kraut and refrigerate (or take it cellar temperature) when it tastes good to you. The sauerkraut is safe to eat at every stage of the process, so there is no real minimum or maximum fermentation time.



How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients:
1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

Equipment:
Cutting board
Chef's knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart widemouth canning jar (or two quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional)
Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth

Instructions:
Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it's best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You'll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you'd like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.→ Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevent dust or insects from getting in the jar.
Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it's fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There's no hard and fast rule for when the sauerkraut is "done" — go by how it tastes.While it's fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don't eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.


Your sauerkraut, just fermenting away!

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Thanks Mom!
savor it!
love, rue