Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eat Atlantic Day

If you live in the Maritimes, please consider participating in Eat Atlantic Day challenge on September 2nd. It is a day where you pledge to eat only Atlantic produced foods on that day. It is a great way to think about what you are eating and a jumping point to eating more local food all of the time.

I have been coming up with our menu for the day.

Breakfast: Sunshine Pancakes from Speerville Mill in New Brunswick made with local milk and eggs and NS butter. This will be topped with maple syrup and/or wild blueberry syrup, maybe sprinkled with maple sugar, all from Atlantic Maple.

Lunch: Cavendish french fries from PEI with ketchup I will make from Fred Kingsbury tomatoes with all local ingredients.

Supper: Valley chicken, valley squash, valley carrots with valley honey, mashed potatoes from the valley and baked valley apples (yes, the valley has the best produce, lol!).

Snacks may be Scotsburn ice cream (Pictou county), dulse (Digby co) valley apples or baby carrots from Berwick.

That sounds pretty good to me!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Healthy Cookies

I have mentioned I am on the look out for recipes I can make that are good for the kids lunches when they go to school. I came across a recipe that is a winner! I found it here. They are called healthy cookies and they appear to be very versatile. They were very easy to make and we love them! They are egg free, dairy free and can be gluten free. They are also added sugar free but I put some honey in them. If I take a picture, I will add it here.

So here is the recipe:

Nikki's Healthy Cookie Recipe

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.

Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Indian Eggplant Recipe from Sonia (Baingan Bhurtha) – A Vegetarian Recipe You Will Love! | Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Indian Eggplant Recipe from Sonia (Baingan Bhurtha) – A Vegetarian Recipe You Will Love! | Kelly the Kitchen Kop (click link for recipe)


Ok I am totally stealing this picture from Kelly The Kitchen Kop because otherwise I may forget where it is and this looks very yummy!! I will be trying this soon because I have an eggplant in the fridge that I need to use ASAP!

I will be back soon to write about our trip and our food adventures with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Want to Change

I really want to change what we eat. I want to change how we eat. I think about it a lot. Then there is the issue of the food that we store and the amount of money we have to spend.

Catch 22.

With the kids going to school in the fall, I will have more time on my hands to cook and prepare foods. My question is, will I want to? I love reading real food and nourishing food blogs. They make it sound so easy. I could do it for me but I also want to do it for my family. Mark is the hardest sell. The kids are the pickiest. I would hate to spend a lot of money on nourishing food only to fall back on junk again. I have been restraining myself from buying but it can be just so cheap, easy and I hate to say it...good!

So I am still working out in my mind what I want to do about food in our family. I will still share recipes here that may not be so nourishing or even healthy but I hope the trend will swing towards what my core food beliefs are.

I asked the people in charge of the farmer's market is there was any talk of a WAP chapter in Yarmouth. I haven't heard back but I would volunteer help. I couldn't afford a $50 membership right now but maybe in a few months or after Christmas. I hate that money is what holds us back in so many things.

As of right now, I'm planning on getting a half share in the CSA, a quarter beef (not sure from whom yet) and half a pig, pastured if I can sell DH on it. I am trying to find egg sources but they get snapped up so fast. Raw milk is illegal, although I know some places who sell organic raw milk cheese and yogurt (2 hours away though). I can't find shares.

I am running through it in my mind but money is especially tight right now because we just bought the car, we took a big vacation and Mark got a speeding ticket. Tomorrow we are going on our 10th anniversary overnight temple trip and I plan on making a lot of farm market stops :).

I am sure it will all come together.

Donut Muffins? Yum!

I was looking around for recipes that I thought would be good to make for the kids lunches and came across this recipe . Sure sounded like a winner to me! Note to self, learn to take better food pictures!

It took a while for me to get around to making it. When the kids saw it, they knew they would love it. So last night while making supper, I whipped up a batch. They are very easy to make. Shaylee did a lot of the work. They were done by the time we finished supper. I finished them up and tried them. MMmmmmmm!! Very good! Yummy, donut texture, sweet but not too sweet but it had a different taste that I could not put my finger on....kind of spicy but I thought it was just the nutmeg and cinnamon.

Later when I was putting everything away, I realized I put CUMIN in instead of cinnamon, lol! Yeah, that would account for that spicy taste. I used my cinnamon sugar shaker to coat the tops so it still had that cinnamon taste but despite the mix up in spices, they were still good. It was a good reminder to relabel my spices as the letters were wearing off which resulted in the mix up and I was so harried making supper and helping Shaylee get the muffins put together that I didn't even think to smell or double check before tossing it in.

So I linked the site but here is a text copy of the recipe with a couple of my notes added in.

Muffins that Taste Like Donuts
lemanda on Tasty Kitchen

for the muffins:

1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon (NOT cumin, lol!)
1/3 cup Oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 cup White Sugar
1 whole Egg
3/4 cup Milk

for the topping:

1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Grease one standard size muffin pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Combine oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine. Fill standard sized muffin tin with the batter, using a scant 1/4 cup per muffin (note from Carla: I used a silicone muffin pan so they would pop right out after

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a bowl. Combine the white sugar with the cinnamon in another bowl. Shake muffins out while still hot. Dip muffins in butter, then into the sugar/cinnamon mix (note from Carla: I just spread the butter on top and sprinkled my cinnamon sugar on top). Let cool. Enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Loving this time of the year

I feel bad that I have no pictures to post. I am really loving this time of the year. Lots of cheap local food and lots of free veggies from the gardens of our families. I have bags of string beans in the freezer, along with all our blueberries. I have a pile of cukes that I plan to make into pickles.
I found some very yummy grass fed beef at the farmer's market that is only $2.50 a pound! It was so lean, it had no fat at all on it. I made it into hamburger and gravy and 1 pound was enough for two and a half meals (half because I made a sandwich for a snack; the kids don't like hamburger and gravy but Mark and I ate enough for two). I had to add lots of water to be able to make gravy and it was delish!! On Saturday I am going to ask if they sell beef by the side or quarter.

They are starting CSA's in our town! Community Supported Agriculture is something I have been wanting to support, unfortunately right now, it will still have to be a dream as it's kind of expensive. I may look into a half share though. From the news article :"One full share (vegetables only) will provide a family of four and cost $680 for 17 weeks. Meats and eggs can be selected in their premium full shares packages at a cost of $1,400 for 17 weeks. Half shares are also available for both."

Tonight for supper, we had a beef roast cooked all day in the slow cooker with some montreal steak seasoning on top and onions (Red and White claims their beef is local but I'm not 100% sure). It was served with garden fresh green beans and the driest squash I've had in ages. I love squash! If someone in my family says it's "Good and dry" you know it's the best! Fred Kingsbury usually has the best squash so it was a welcome treat, especially slathered with butter.

I am going back on a lower carb diet but I am not going to hold back on fresh fruits and veggies. They are just too good when they are so fresh. It would be a shame not to enjoy them while they are at their peak of goodness since through the winter veggies can be a bit boring and I am trying to be more seasonal in my eating. I hope to preserve a lot this summer/fall through alternative methods. I definitely could use a bigger freezer (although I don't regret giving our other one away).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Orange Blossom Honey Cake with Fresh Blueberries — Zoe Bakes

Orange Blossom Honey Cake with Fresh Blueberries — Zoe Bakes

Yummm...I made this cake yesterday and it is very yummy! Actually, I made the cake to bring to a potluck today and a cupcake so I could taste it. It was very good! I never used mace before and it had a nice taste to it so I imagine I'll be using more of it. I did make a couple of changes; I used all whole wheat. It didn't even occur to me until after I made it. I also tried using half olive oil instead of butter since I only had half a cup out. Won't make that mistake again! It overpowered the honey but it was still good. I also used a 9x13 baking dish since my recent bundt cakes haven't turned out so well and I couldn't afford for this not to turn out. I ended up baking it at a lower temperature the second half.

The kids and I picked 14lbs of blueberries the other day and on our vacation, we picked up a gallon of honey even though we have 3/4 of a 7lbs bucket left. Yumminess! Plus these two things go very well together :)

I haven't said anything in my main family blog yet, but my Facebook friends already know this. The kids are going to public school in the fall. The reasons are many. It will be hard to afford lunch and snack foods (their school doesn't have a cafeteria) so I plan to be making a lot more by scratch.

I will be posting more recipes here so I don't lose them, both successes and failures. I also want to try harder to eat more local food. I will be working on alternative food preservation (other than canning) since a lot of my past canning efforts were ruined plus from what I have read, there is a lot of nutrition loss with canning due to the heat processing. I am looking forward to having more free time to do this.

I am bound and determined to at least get a quarter of an organically raised local beef (they're still $2.50 a pound but will probably go up soon since they have finally been certified organic. I am debating between a local side of pork or a local pastured side of pork (as in advertised as pastured), the difference in price being $100. Maybe I should try to contact the farmer of the one not claiming to be pastured to see how his pigs are raised. I once read of how some cities fix their garbage problems by getting pigs to eat it. Gross! I was pretty turned off by pork for a while after reading that.

So we will need to eat down our freezer to have room for this. I want to stop buying convenience foods, which take up a lot of room. One of the blessings of having the kids in school is I will have a lot of free time to do the cooking I have always wanted to do.