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Posts Tagged ‘Real Food Challenge’

This last weekend I purchased a bushel of Fuji apples. One of my absolute favorite apples. Ever. My intent was to store them in our cool basement since they’re such good keepers. (For a good list of apple varieties and their qualities visit pickyourown.org)

Instead I’ve been going mad for baked apple goodness. Sunday I made these:

apple dumpling

Apple dumplings that are knock-your-socks-off good. The key to such a good flavor was the boiled cider – also known as apple molasses – that I made. Just a little bit imparts an amazingly intense flavor. Sure you could buy it online and have it shipped, but if you have the opportunity you should try to make it, especially if you can get local apples!

So because I couldn’t get enough of that yumminess, I had to make something more…. but better for me.

Enter Apple Dumpling Oatmeal.

I prepared this last night before bed in 15 minutes, and it was ready to go for me this morning. You could alternatively prepare this in a dutch oven, or on the stove top if you don’t care to leave a crockpot plugged in all night. I’ve given you three options! Just bring your appetite. This is a stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal. The kind that makes you want to get outside and get something done. That, or help yourself to seconds…

apple dumpling-inspired oatmeal

Apple Dumpling Oatmeal

Makes 6-8 LARGE portions

  • 2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1-1/4 cups steel cut oats or thick rolled oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 rounded tsp boiled cider (lick the spoon!)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar (brown, raw, or sucanat), honey, or syrup
  • 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • (if you don’t have access to boiled cider, substitute 1 cup cider for 1 cup water, then get to the store and pick up some cider and boil it!)

Dutch oven:

Preheat oven to 400F. Meanwhile add ingredients to dutch oven on the stove top, bringing them just to a boil. Cover and put in oven. Immediately turn off oven. In the morning you may need to add some liquid in the form of milk or water, and to reheat on the stove just a bit.

Stove top:

Add ingredients to medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover tightly and lower heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally. It’s done when your oats are soft and apples are no longer firm.

Crock Pot:

Add ingredients to crock pot and turn on low. Let cook at least 6 hours. Stir gently before serving.

gone

Top with a drizzle of fresh cream(and maybe some maple syrup) and enjoy it while it’s still warm!

***

You can find Jennifer at Unearthing This Life where she’s currently focusing on autumn and homeschooling.

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turbinado sugar

 

Lately I’ve been doing some research into how foods affect our bodies. Last year I read quite a bit on soaking grains and beans and how beneficial nixtamalization is for us. So far this year my focus has been sugar. Did you know you’re only supposed to have 2 tablespoons of a sugar source in one day? That includes sweetening beverages, treats, cereals, desserts, and so on.

I’ve been really surprised at the lack of information (and misinformation) that I’ve had concerning sugars. I can’t imagine what the average American who doesn’t educate themselves about food understands about sugar. Isn’t it amazing that obesity is on the rise while we’re eating “low-fat” and “diet” foods? These foods are removing healthy fats, adding things like margarine in their place, then adding extra sugar and salt for flavoring. No wonder Americans have such high rates of heart disease and diabetes.  We’re eating 17 times the amount of sugar than we did 200 years ago, and we’re pretty much keeping ourselves on a sugar high! This causes our endocrine systems to do a poor job of keeping our bodies running smoothly so we get depressed, develop allergies, gain weight, have high triglycerides and so on.

That’s probably old news for most of you here. But did you realize that our raw sugars, including Turbinado and Sucanat are refined beyond milling? I was under the impression that our lovely raw sugars were washed canes that were ground in mills and sold … not evaporated, heated, or filtered. In some cases extra molasses is even added to these products to make the color and flavor more consistent.

So what’s recommended for us sugar addicts as we’re weaning ourselves off our favorite addiction? Well, our bodies think sugar is sugar – so the Corn Sugar people say. It’s not what’s NOT in the sugar, it’s what is in there that we’re concerned about.  Sorghum, for example has lots of B vitamins and minerals, molasses from sugar cane has lots of minerals too. Raw honey can help with local allergies, plus it may not upset glucose levels quite so badly for some. Rapadura’s great for baking while stevia is a low-calorie alternative for beverages. And if you avoid Corn and beet sugar (including their molasses by-product) you’re also avoiding GMOs.

The key is to get used not eating so much sweet food. Stop dining out and eating processed foods, don’t eat low- or reduced-fat foods especially those that add sugar in place of fats for flavor, avoid overly sweet foods, count on fruits, and try to add fats to the treat (even if it’s an apple with cheese) to slow down the absorption of sugars, avoid alcohol. After a few weeks of this you’ll notice that most desserts and processed foods taste cloyingly sweet. You’ll probably notice a little weight loss and should see better attention throughout the day.

I know now that I’ve only touched the tip of the sugar iceberg, but there’s only so much one can share at a time! Personally, I’ll be reducing the amount of sugar in my diet to see what kind of impact it makes. Have any of you had experience with reducing or replacing sugar?

Resources:

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats; Sally Fallon. 1999, 2001.

Well Being Journal. Vol. 20, No.2. March/April 2011.

http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/73/1/White-sugar-vs-raw-sugar.html

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

Jennifer can also be found at Unearthing this Life where she blargs about homeschooling, cooking, gardening, and living in rural Tennessee.

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One of the hardest meals for me to get motivated to prepare is breakfast. I’m not one of those people who wakes up hungry, and I don’t enjoy sweet things on my belly first thing in the morning. These scones, on the other hand, are a treat I could manage every now and then if I prepared them the evening before. I suppose I could even be persuaded to bake these fresh – they’re that simple.

For this recipe I used some pear sauce I made last fall to be the main flavor of the scone. The sauce was prepared like a traditional spiced apple sauce with lots of cinnamon and some fresh grated nutmeg. You could substitute apple sauce for the pear sauce and it would taste almost as good. But of course nothing tastes as good as the first bite!

Pear Spice Scones

  • 1 cup unbleached AP flour
  • 1 cup wheat pastry flour (or wheat cake flour)
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pear sauce
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 3 Tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pear, chopped finely
  • flour for dusting
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • extra sugar for sprinkling
  1. Heat oven to 425F
  2. Chop butter into small bits and return to refrigerator.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flours, spices, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp sugar, cream, pear sauce, and vanilla then store in refrigerator.
  5. Cut butter into flour until it resembles a fine meal. Add liquid ingredients and pear and fold until just combined.
  6. Dust workspace generously with flour then fold mixture, gently, like biscuits for about 30 seconds.You don’t want to melt the butter.
  7. Form into a circle and place on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Cut into 8-10 triangles.
  8. Brush with cream or milk and sprinkle with Demerara sugar and bake.

Serve plain, with butter or clotted cream, with jam or some yummy lemon curd.

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Are you a fan of granola? Have you ever made it? I certainly hadn’t until yesterday!

Real Food has been a challenge for us over at Tanglewood Farm simply because we are not, by nature, folks who cook. We prepare food, if it’s easy, but intensive cooking and baking is certainly beyond my attention span, and my husband is content with simple fare (he certainly does more cooking than I do!) I’m the one with the dirt-caked fingernails, spoiling my dinner by munching freshly plucked peppers and tomatoes. While I know these constitute as real food, they’re certainly not a well rounded diet and this time of year it’s nearly impossible to find fresh produce worth your while in Michigan.

I wanted to start the Real Food Challenge off right, and while I was visiting my local farmers market last week I picked up a quart of local organic yogurt. Of course what better to go with yogurt? Granola! I scampered home, poured some yogurt, reached for my granola and it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t familiar with the nutritional information for the name-brand granola we keep in the house. A quick glance to the back of the box became a more intense, squinty eyed study of several impossible-to-pronounce words that are certainly not real food.

If you know me at all, you know that I am prone to bouts of “I can make that – and I will – right now!” so within an hour I was researching granola recipes and techniques. I’d considered making granola in the past but I always assumed it was totally beyond me. I was wrong.

It’s really quite simple: take some thick-rolled oats, some nuts and seeds, spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom) a healthy oil, a sweetener and mix by hand. Spread thickly onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Then bake (I had to use a higher rack in my oven to prevent burning) at 275-300º for roughly 40-50 minutes, stirring carefully every ten minutes to keep it from burning. It’s definitely a process that demands experimentation, and it seems to be abstract and free form for the most part.

I didn’t measure a single dry ingredient. I approximated between four and five cups of oats, added pepitas and hazelnuts, as well as flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg and some seasalt. To this I added a half cup of (homemade) maple syrup and a half cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and tossed.

Something I did discover is that you should know how heat affects your nuts and seeds. Hazelnuts and flaxseeds seem to be prone to burning, and so the batch that was on a lower rack in the oven has a very-close-to-burnt taste. Lucky for me I caught it literally minutes from charring and destroying half of my granola.

This has been an amazingly inspirational experience for me. It seems like a small feat for a seasoned real foodie, but coming from a background of boxed/tin-canned food this makes my long-term goals seem so much more attainable.

Of course, being as obsessive with taking things to the next level as I am, yesterday evening was spent reading up on how to grow and process my own rolled oats and raisins so that I can grow things myself! Right. Okay. Maybe I should stick to experimenting with the granola recipes for now…

Have you ever made granola? What is your favorite recipe/tip?


Tanglewood Farms: A Quick Introduction

After following Not Dabbling in Normal for more than a year now, it was such a pleasant surprise to receive an email last week, asking if I’d like to post regularly here.

Normal is definitely not a word I’ve ever used to describe myself. I grew up with a mother who was bent on landscaping every inch of our large yard. When she gardened, it was wild and natural, and always large scale. Her use of this wild and natural aesthetic, as well as her ability to craft beautiful things, was definitely a huge inspiration for me as I matured. I knew from a young age that I wanted to forge my own way in life.

Hurry up spring!

At this point, I’m honestly not sure if I consider myself a small-scale farmer or a large scale gardener. I’m really something in between. My husband and I are currently renting a small cottage in South Eastern Michigan, and have a sort of makeshift farm utilizing an old milking barn and surrounding fields. In the past few years of living here my love for edible gardening has grown exponentially, as has my need to become more self sustainable. You might call it an obsession. Since moving into our rented bit of paradise, I have adopted herding dogs, found kittens in the snow, raised ducks and brought home our very first breeding ewes to start a small Icelandic sheep flock. I am a professional horse trainer and riding instructor, and I tend to be pretty darned verbose. You can find me over at Tanglewood Farm Blog where I often write about my latest harebrained ideas in gardening, carpentry, animal husbandry and more.

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One meal that The Kid, Hubby, and I can agree upon is roasted chicken. It’s one of my favorite meals because it’s easy to prepare, the flavor is great, and I can make several meals out of one bird. The first meal we make is usually served hot out of the oven with carrots and potatoes. The second is a freebie, and the third is made of leftovers – plus there’s always broth to make from the bones, leftover meat, and skin.

Chicken Pie is our most recent favorite freebie meal. It can be made with any seasonal vegetables, and with dairy-free alternatives. You could also substitute beef, pork, or skip the meat altogether. I’m personally looking forward to mushroom season, and am thinking of a topless tomato and zucchini version for summertime. Right now we’re fortunate that peas, carrots, early potatoes and spring onions are in.

Filling

  • 1/2 roasted chicken (we roast with onion, carrot, rosemary, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper. Feel free to eat your veggies. You’ll make more for this recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 minced onion
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped. Save leaves for seasoning.
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables, salt & pepper, and thyme to pan. Tuck rosemary and parsley leaves to the side of a pan and do not disturb. If you have any remaining juices from baking your chicken feel free to add them for flavor. Cook vegetables until softened, but not done.

Add chicken, cream and milk and cook long enough to reheat chicken and flavor dairy.

Remove rosemary and parsley, then pour mixture into a large bowl. Once cool enough, add flour to bowl and mix in with hands. Set to the side and prepare dough.

Crust

  • 3  cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus some for dusting
  • 2 Tbsp Demerera sugar or about 1 Tbsp granulated cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup ice-cold water
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt.

Pour in 3/4 cup melted butter and mix with a spoon. Add 1 cup water and use hands to incorporate everything together loosely.

On a flat surface, sprinkle extra flour and pour your dough out to work. Mix dough by hand for at least 30 seconds making sure that the dough is smooth, but not overly wet. If it seems too wet add more flour.

Cut dough in half and roll out to fit in bottom of 8-9 inch pie pan. We use a round cake pan.

Add filling, roll out top crust, and crimp closed. Place on a lined cookie sheet to prevent dripping.

Cut several slits in top crust or use a pie bird, then brush remaining butter on crust, and bake for 1 hour. The interior should be good a bubbly.

When it’s done, allow the pie to rest for 15 minutes prior to serving – if you can wait that long.

 

You can also find Jennifer blarging along about life in rural Tennessee over at Unearthing This Life.

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slice

 

Almost three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with a triglyceride level of someone twice his weight, and was borderline diabetic. Not wanting to be tied down to a lifetime of prescription drugs, he opted to adjust his cholesterol levels by adjusting his diet. Fortunately we had the support of our family doctor in this transition.

I immediately started poaching everything, removed butters and switched to olive oil and margarine, swapped to skim milk from 2%. We removed all cured meats, breads and pasta from our diet, in addition to the few boxed and frozen processed foods like macaroni and cheese that we ate. We added wheat germ and removed egg yolks, in other words – we did everything the American Heart Association suggests in their diet.

Hubby also stopped eating cheeseburgers and french fries at lunch. He started eating vegetarian wraps for lunch and within a short time he lost 30 pounds without exercise. In essence he starved himself. He ate likely less than 1200 calories a day and he had almost no fats or sugars going into his body because we limited ourselves strictly to protein and vegetables. And it showed. Sure, he lost the few pounds he needed, but he looked hollow and weak. His shoulders looked like those of someone twice his age, he had circles under his eyes, and his skin looked sallow. What was important at that time was that his triglycerides were where they belonged.

One year ago our family warily committed itself to the Real Food Challenge. And while I had already introduced organic homemade butter and milk to our diets and we had baby chicks on the way, I don’t think we were quite prepared for the changes the Challenge would make to our lifestyle.

Hubby gained 10 pounds immediately, but his cholesterol levels remained healthy because we added good fats to our diet (no sugar), and he’d long stopped “starving” himself. We didn’t realize that we’d want to keep eating Real Food forever. I thought after that month that I would go back to purchasing some pre-made foods, but even sandwich bread, no matter the brand, tasted flat and dead to me – and all other foods are too sweet or salty.

We’d grown accustomed to the taste and flavors of good, healthy food. Sure there were some flops. My husband didn’t care for my pasta recipe, I’d had homemade wines explode in my storage room, and there were last minute bread baking adventures.

I didn’t know that I’d become an advocate for food in a society where women are supposed to shy away from eating heartily. I wasn’t aware that I’d fear eating processed foods again. I was surprised how much I’d love to cook on a daily basis since now it’s all an experiment. I was amazed at the wonderful flavors Real Food had and appalled at the flavors processed food lacked.

For some odd reason our culture has equated eating tons of meat, large portions of food, dining out too much, eating fast food or processed box meals with the lifestyle to have. Sorry, but if I were to compare my life to the Jones’ I wouldn’t want to be so busy that I would have to resort to eating this way. And if you know someone who eats this way because they cannot afford to eat healthfully, perhaps you could share something from your garden with them this year, or share some knowledge to help them eat and cook better.

As for Hubby and I, the Real Food Challenge is like an anniversary of sorts reminding us why we spend the extra time and money to eat the way we do. We actually decide what we’ll give up in order to afford this lifestyle.  We’re always looking for new recipes and trying to stay on top of healthy eating news. If you need some ideas for recipes or information pertaining to the Challenge, be sure to click on the Resource tab at the top of this page. Also, at the end of this month, we’ll be giving a few things away in celebration of the Real Food Challenge.

Be sure to stay with us all month long!

 

You can find Jennifer at Unearthing this Life where she blargs about raising chickens, a daughter, and gardens; shares recipes and rants; and otherwise discusses life in rural Tennessee, often with a view from the back of a motorcycle.

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It used to be all that I’d preserve was tomatoes. After a few years of that I started freezing apples and peaches that I’d purchased by the bushel. When we moved to our current property we were loaded with wild blackberries, so preserves and jams obviously had to go on the list.

Now, after almost 10 years of canning, freezing, and putting by for the winter, we have a pretty good stash of goodies that help us get through until it’s time to start harvesting wild and gardened foods again. This year we put up tomatoes, chow chow, several types of fruit preserves, honey & pecans, chutney, pear and lemon preserves. We froze roasted red peppers, squash, and pumpkins, as well as a half of a pig we processed ourselves. We have onions, potatoes, winter squash, and sugar pumpkins in dry storage, and we recently joined a meat CSA. We also have dried herbs for seasonings and teas – things like sumac berries, lemon balm, and mints. And finally, I managed to save some of those wines that I brewed (hic). 

I almost feel like we’ll be cheating for this year’s Real Food Challenge (Don’t forget to sign up if you’ll be joining us)!

So, of those of you that will be playing along this next month – what will you be falling back on that you “put by” this past year? Do you mainly can, freeze, use a dry storage system like a cellar? Or will you have to start from scratch and pick up your supplies from stores and growers?

You can also find Jennifer blarging away at Unearthing This Life. There she rambles on about chickens, organic food, gardening, and living in rural Tennessee.

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Last night I finally got to watch Food Inc.! My mother was the first to tell me about it months ago. Then Kim went temporarily insane and challenged the whole dang world to eat better by nixing all processed foods. Ha! I was the first to jump on board. You see, I also went temporarily insane (Hubby would argue) after reading Kingsolver and Pollan.

image c/o USDA and Wikipedia

 

I thought, “how in the world can we be paying people to eat this crud?!” I willingly exposed myself to nothing but scratched foods for a month because of books I’d read, but now, having watched the film that inspired The Real Food Challenge I feel even more disillusioned by corporate farms and industrial organics. In a nutshell here are my immediate opinions of the film, the foods, the companies, and The Real Food Challenge: 

  1. Our food situation is so much worse than I thought – even after reading An Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  2. I cannot get the imagery of the miles of mud and manure that our beef is raised in, nor the industry of chicken.
  3. I’m appalled that we humans can treat each other so, so poorly; that the dollar is more important than humans’ well-being.
  4. Joel Salatin is my hero. Not only can this man raise humane food in a self-sustainable manner, but he’s reversed ecological damage on his property by doing so. Raising food CAN be good for the environment! Happy Earth Day, Joel!
  5. Growing up an Indiana girl and having watched this film, I have learned a new disdain for corn and our country’s reliance upon it. I think I truly understand now why it was chosen as a resource for fuel.
  6. I will never look at a grocery store the same way when the same four or five companies are filling it up with different labels.
  7. We can make a difference by talking, not purchasing, teaching, learning. 
  8. My concience is having a very hard time considering ever feeding my friends and family any of this slop. If I could only afford to purchase a few humanely raised/produced foods it would include milk and all meats – or I will do without.

Those of us here at NDIN have continued on by still eating the same types of foods as we did during The Real Food Challenge. What I want to know is who of you out there are continuing to live the Real Food lifestyle, and what your opinions are of Food Inc. (Think we forgot it? Nah, we still have a few prizes to give away for those of you that are keeping up!)

If you want to make a difference in the way our communities eat you can help! Teach a child to garden. Share your bounty with someone in need. Speak to the government. Boycott CAFO products. Buy local. Go to your farmers’ market. Start a garden. 

What will you do?

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grilled pizzas

Dear Grilled Pizza,

Oh! How I love you so! You’re the perfect combination of char marks and melty cheese oozing between slices of vegetable and sometimes meat. I love to share my leftovers with you, especially if it’s barbeque. Chicken, zucchini, onions, ground meat (even salami!), they do compliment you so. You pair just as well with or without beef or pork, however those sweet dessert pizzas are but a mockery of your loveliness. Those crazy Westerners should keep their sweets to cobblers and tarts instead. Mild peppers are like the cherry on top. You are perfectly paired with the smokiness of the grill; the fast cooking technique. Most people wouldn’t care for your need of constant attention, but you’re one of the deserving few that actually require it to be the best you can be. I love to attend to you with mozzarella and feta, sometimes queso blanco. Fresh herbs as a garnish. Green tomatoes or sun-dried. And always lots of garlic with some sweet olive oil. I’d even give you a bouquet of broccoli or mushrooms if you so desired.

Our rendezvous every Friday evening only leaves me wanting more of your many flavors. So many people take advantage of one side of you; they waste your beauty with pepperoni and sausage. They adorn you with too many flavors to truly taste who you are (because deep inside we all know it’s the crust that matters). We Americans love you and leave you, to use up your convenience, to eat you with cheap swill. I for one can no longer do that to you – I see your importance. You bring our families together, you bind our leftovers into a harmonious flavor, you are eloquent and yet strong, simple or artisanal (and you pair well with wine or beer, and even sweet southern tea). You are seasonal and somehow you’ll always ring true of your homeland if we treat you gently. With all of these words and love from the deepest acre of my fickle heart, will you be mine this eve?

With many tasty wishes in mind, Jennifer


grilled pizza
Jen’s Pizza Sauce: (enough to cover 3-4 10 inch pizzas)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp (or more) crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pint crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste (or one small can)

Lightly sauté garlic, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper in olive oil. Add tomato sauce and paste and simmer for about 20 minutes over medium low heat. For a smoother tomato sauce you can use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the chunks of tomatoes.

pizza sauce collage

Alteration: to create a barbeque pizza sauce add 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Adjust for sweet/tartness.

The Best Pizza Dough Ever recipe found at 101 Cookbooks. I slightly alter the recipe by using 1/3 whole wheat flour. I also add a cup of sourdough starter and combine dough making with my weekly sourdough feeding. Finally, I’ll sometimes substitute some whey for water and/or add some wheat germ or garlic.

Ciao!

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Since we’re focusing on the Real Food Challenge this month, all of us here at Not Dabbling want to provide as many recipes as we can, ranging from simple to advanced. Each of us hopes that all of you can find something new to try that you can incorporate into your own Challenge. Also, make sure you post your progress with the Challenge here by Sunday. Everyone who comments or links on their progress will be entered for a chance to win a copy of “Food Inc” – the film that prompted this Challenge.

queso
This makes a wonderful crumbly mild cheese that melts fabulously on top of pizzas or beans, inside burritos or pierogies. Some call it Queso Blanco, others call it Farmer’s Cheese. Either way it’s probably the simplest cheese to make at home without any fancy equipment or ingredients.

What you’ll need:

  • Large, heavy bottomed pot
  • Cheesecloth
  • Strainer
  • Thermometer that reads up to 180 F
  • Slotted spoon
  • 1 gallon raw or pasteurized milk – not ultra-pasteurized
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar

Heat milk to 180 F, slowly so it does not scald or boil. Once the milk reaches the desired temperature, turn down heat to a low simmer.

cheese collage

Add vinegar, stirring constantly. The milk will begin to form small curds. This process will take from 5-15 minutes.

Pour milk through a strainer lined with cheesecloth and allow to drain for about 30 minutes. Conserve this liquid (whey) for making sauerkraut, soaking veggies or grains.

Tie corners of cheesecloth together and twist gently to squeeze out extra whey and help to form a ball. Allow to rest until the cheese stops draining.

IMG_5819

Crumble cheese for immediate use, or wrap with waxed paper to store for several days in the refrigerator. You can add salt or herbs for flavoring before you tie the cheesecloth 0r keep it plain to add to multiple dishes.

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