Bizz & BooBoo

A hippie mama doing her best!

Eck – but it’s yummy… October 25, 2011

Filed under: Food,Giveaways,Healthy Living — bizzandbooboo @ 12:32 am
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ECK = Eggs, Cheese & Ketchup on toast or bread (think BLT, but not). Bizz (my 4 year old son) loves an ECK sandwich, so does BooBoo (my 1 year old daughter) – but hers never really stays together as a sandwich when she tries to eat it. And I am happy to feed it to them because it is super healthy – IF made with the right ingredients.

What it is NOT made with is store-bought white eggs from CAFO raised chickens, processed slices of individually wrapped cheese, Wonder bread and Heinz ketchup.

What it IS made of is Pasture Raised Organic eggs from healthy happy chickens that we purchase weekly at the farmer’s market, and we are lucky enough to visit where they come from once a month or so at Chaffin Family Farms. Raw milk cheese that I purchase through a cheese buying club at our local Weston A Price Foundation. And bread from a local bakery, Miller’s Bakehouse, that is created in the old-world fermentation style! Oh – and the ketchup is a homemade fermented recipe from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook!

Why does it matter?

EGGS – If you have never seen them side by side (and your budget allows) go get a store bought egg and an egg from a pasture raised chicken – break them open in bowls next to each other and notice the difference. The store bought egg probably has a pale yolk and very runny white. The pasture raised egg has a bright orange and larger yolk and the white seems to stay together in a circular glob. This equates into the simple fact that pasture raised chickens have more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E & A and higher amounts of folic acid and B12 then their conventionally raised counterparts. And this means – they make YOU and YOUR KIDS more healthy!!!

CHEESE: Processed cheese is jut plain bad – who wants a product that has been processed, denatured and had who knows what added to it – only to be put back together in perfect little slices between sheets of plastic – Bleh, not us 😦 I much prefer cheese produced from local raw milk and guaranteed to be free from added hormones, antibiotics, gums and artificial ingredients.

BREAD & KETCHUP – While they are very different, the similarity is that conventional store-bought versions of both of these items are filled with artificial ingredients, HFCS, and a lot of words I can’t pronounce and don’t know what they even are. I like my bread to have about 4-10 ingredients that I can read and I like to make my ketchup at home.

Think of your kids favorite quick snack – fruit snacks, string cheese, goldfish, boxed mac & cheese – how can you make these unhealthy snacks turn healthy – and still be quick, convenient, frugal and most importantly more healthy for your children? I challenge you to find a solution.

Before our ECK sandwiches I admit my son ate more than a few sandwiches made with white bread, processed white american cheese and store-bought ketchup. The funny thing is – even he enjoys the new ECK sandwich better 🙂

*Side note on frugality – many of these “healthy real-food” items are MORE expensive then the conventional ones – BUT, you WILL be saving your family money in the long run because you will have healthier, happier children!!

~Jesse

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourment Pennywise Platter 10/27/2011!

———

Some giveaways to share:

Headchefs Cooking Adventure Book – Sweeps4Bloggers – ends 10/25

Blanchard’s Coffee – Sweeps4Bloggers – ends 11/4

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Coconut Macaroons – Fail, kind of. September 27, 2011

Filed under: Food,Recipes — bizzandbooboo @ 8:04 am
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After making carbonara for dinner the other night I was left with 4 egg yolks, as with anything I hate to waste food that is perfectly good. What can I do with 4 egg whites, what can I do?

Coconut Macaroons from Nourishing Traditions!!

So I pulled out my trusty Nourishing Traditions Cookbook (if you have never perused Nourishing Traditions – you must – it is a bible of sorts for real and traditional foods and how to prepare them!)

I found the macaroon recipe –

Macaroons

Yield: 2 dozen

  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups commercial dried unsweetened coconut meat, finely cut

Directions: Line baking sheet with buttered parchment paper. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. Beat in arrowroot and slowly beat in syrup and vanilla. Fold in coconut. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1/2 hour until lightly browned. Turn oven down to 200 degrees and bake another hour or so until macaroons are completely dry & crisp. Let cool completely before removing from parchment paper.

Sounds easy enough right!

First I mixed my egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of sea salt!

Then I added in the arrowroot powder and mixed well, then added the syrup and vanilla. Though I had a hard time getting the syrup to “mix” well with the egg whites. The egg whites are so light and the syrup so heavy that it seems to want to just flow to the bottom – and I did not want to over-mix it and kill the fluffiness of the egg whites. So I mixed them in the best I could!

Finally it was time to fold in the coconut! The batter looked pretty good at this point.

Until I started to spoon it onto the cookie sheet.

The first few were okay, then they got really runny and did not stay together at all.

The batter was so runny after I had spooned 3/4 of them out that I got out some of the coconut chips I had and added them to make it stay together a little more.

This is what went into the oven, you can see the ones I added the coconut chips to that stayed together more and look clumpier:

And here was the finished product:

Thee upside was that they tasted pretty good – they were a little dry, I think I could have cooked them a little less at 200 degrees. But the kids loved them, as did hubby and I!

Maybe next time I will use half coconut chips and half finely cut coconut meat.

~Jesse

*Shared on Traditional Tuesdays: Nutritious & Delicious 9/27/2011!

*Shared on Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 9/29/2011!

*Shared on Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday 9/30/2011!

 

Holy Tomatoes!! September 20, 2011

Filed under: Canning,Food,Preserving,Recipes — bizzandbooboo @ 5:00 am
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I am a very lucky lady. In the past several months as I have become more and more frugal with our spending and I have been amazed by the generosity and kindness of others! Freecyclers are amazing, I have recently received spice jars (to store my homemade spices and herbs) and some wonderful magazines and books through our local Freecycle group. And I have passed on a large mirror which will be used by kids in 4-H to practice showing their sheep, along with a box of cleaners & beauty supplies that I no longer want or need!

Beyond the “stuff” I have also gotten some amazing deals on food – free and inexpensive. The peaches from my Putting Up Peaches post were a great deal from Chaffin Family Farms, the oranges from my Putting Up Oranges post were gleaned downtown – cost some time and ladder climbing. I also recently got 2 big bags of plums (post forthcoming!) from a freecycler. And most recently…. I got a call from my Mom Saturday morning that one of her co-workers had an abundance of tomatoes and would love to share with me!! My lucky day 🙂

Now, when I say abundance of tomatoes – I mean it. I have never had so many tomatoes in my house at one time before! I am starting to dream tomatoes.. and I love it!

My first project with the tomatoes was to make some good old-fashioned Spaghetti Sauce. I used the recipe from The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving by Janet Chadwick – along with some adjustments from Lisa (my Mom’s co-worker) and a few slight changes of mine. *Note – if you are water-bath canning tomatoes you must be very careful that you have enough acidity for your canned goods to stay safe to eat – therefore before you change any recipe make sure it is a change that can safely be made!

Lisa also let me borrow a hand crank food mill – thank goodness!

The first step was to get tomato puree from the tomatoes. Everyone helped out (except BooBoo.. she played and then went to sleep)


Once the tomatoes were pureed I placed the puree with all the additional ingredients in my stockpots – I didn’t have a big enough one for a whole batch, so I split the recipe in half and did two batches!

Once the tomato sauce came to a boil per the directions I transferred the sauce into oven safe cookware and placed it in the oven overnight (for 10 hours @ 200 degrees). It can also be reduced on the stove top by simmering and stirring often. Though the oven method takes longer it was easier for me because it was already late in the evening (as usual!).

After about 9 hours in the oven (bright and early the next morning) I started getting the jars, lids and canning water bath prepared.

Once enough time had passed I transferred the sauce into jars!

And I ended up with 2 quarts and 10 half pints! Can’t wait to make a pasta dish for everyone to use it.


Jan’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce (with Lisa’s changes and Jesse’s alterations!)

Yield: 6-7 quarts

The original recipe is listed (what I actually did if different is in parentheses)

  • 10 quarts tomato puree
  • 4 large onions (Thank you GRUB for the excess onions!)
  • 1/2 cup dried sweet basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano (added an extra teaspoon, yummy oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup honey or sugar (I used 1/3 up of raw honey)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram (Didn’t have any, so this was omitted)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon per Lisa’s recommendation!)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (I used 2 plus a little)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons dried parsley (used my own dried parsley that I dried a few months ago – yay!)

Direction:

  • Puree tomatoes in a hand strainer (thank goodness I got to borrow one!). Chop onion finely. Put all ingredients together in a large pot and stir well. Bring to a boil on top of the stove.
  • Cook uncovered in a 200 degree over for 10 hours – do NOT stir.
  • Start prepping lids, jars, water bath an hour before cooking time is up.
  • After 10 hours transfer hot sauce into hot jars. *To ensure safety of the sauce add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid OR 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to EACH quart jar. Leave 1/2 inch headspace .
  • Process for 35 minutes once water has returned to boil.
  • After jars have cooled (I usually let them sit for 24 hours), remove bands,check seals, label and store!!! (and start enjoying!)

I have also made in the past 2 days…..

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Catsup (maybe… it might end up just being more pasta sauce, lol)
  • Salsa
  • Whole Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Juice
  • and I’ve given several flats of tomatoes to my Mother in Law…

Tomorrow I am going to figure out what to make with the remainder of tomatoes that are left!

What is your favorite way to preserve tomatoes?

~Jesse

*Shared on Traditional Tuesdays: Nutritious & Delicious 9/20/2011!

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 9/22/2011!

*Shared on Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday 9/23/2011!

 

Putting Up Oranges! September 15, 2011

Filed under: Food,Freezing,Preserving — bizzandbooboo @ 7:00 am
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I had a wonderful opportunity to glean some oranges in downtown Chico with some ladies whom I met through our local “Chico Garden Share” Facebook page! It is great to meet and spend time with people whom you feel like you “know” in the facebook world! And we got some wonderfully sweet and juicy oranges on our gleaning adventure!

It was a Saturday morning and after Bizz and I finished up at the farmer’s market we headed a few blocks over to get some oranges!

(Thank you Leslie from Performance Design & Landscape for the picture of me gleaning)

This is me - gleaning some oranges!

Bizz helped too!!

But mostly had to watch due to the height!

We ended up with a beautiful bounty of oranges (this is just a few of them).

Now what to do with them all… I decided to make orange juice, orange marmalade, and something with the peels…..

For the orange juice the whole family got involved in washing, peeling and juicing! It was sticky business.


I love how Bizz is watching Daddy out of the corner of his eye in this one!

I ended up with about 3 quarts of orange juice – one we drank right away and the others went in the freezer for another day.

Next up – orange marmalade… this is a first for me and it takes some time!

Here is a photo essay of the marmalade making… more info to come in a future post!

And now I have a bag full of orange peels and I know there are a lot of uses for them… I just have to figure out which one(s) to do! Hubby told me I was like a depression-era wife saving the peels to use also…. what can I say – I like to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (since the song!)

Have a peachy orang-y day!

~Jesse

*Shared on my Gather Page 9/15/2011! If you don’t know what Gather is check it out, it’s a cool social site which lets you earn points by viewing and posting, the points can then be redeemed for cash or gift cards!!

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 9/15/2011!

*Shared on Real Food Whole Heath Fresh Bites Friday 9/16/2011!

 

Homemade BreadCrumbs! September 12, 2011

Filed under: Food,Recipes — bizzandbooboo @ 8:41 am
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These are so easy I can’t believe I’ve never made them until now!

I recently attended a cooking class and the instructor was teaching us how to cook liver! She mentioned that she always makes her own breadcrumbs and gave a quick synopsis of how to do it – and I knew that I would never buy breadcrumbs again!

I was making some eggplant parmesan and needed to bread the eggplant slices so I figured it was the perfect time to try out the homemade breadcrumbs.

I put as many slices of bread on my cookie sheet as fit – and put them in the oven at 350 degrees. You can use whatever you have – I had the last bits of a loaf of sourdough and a bunch of multi grain from our local bakery, Tin Roof Bakery!

Placed it in the oven for about 20 minutes and then checked on it every 5 mins or so to see if it was done. The timing will vary based on the type of bread you have and how fresh it already was. You basically want it to get super hard and have no moisture left in it!

You can’t really tell the difference – but below is after about 35 minutes of being in the oven, I flipped the pieces after the first 20 minutes.

Next I put all the pieces in my super duper food processor with a bunch of spices. I used oregano, parsley, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, some italian spice mix I had and some TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute. Add more spices than you think you need so your breadcrumbs will be super tasty!

Then process until the consistency you want. I always end up with a few bigger chunks that don’t seem to want to break down, so I either sift them out or try to break them up in my fingers. Or just use them depending what recipe I am using 🙂

Then either store them in an airtight container (like a mason jar).

Or use them right up in a recipe (like eggplant parmesan!)


This is great to do with bread that is starting to get a little stale so you don’t have to throw it out! My goal is to always have some breadcrumbs on hand to use when needed, but I always seem to use them up quickly before I make another batch….

~Jesse

Similar Posts:

Cornbread Stuffing

Homemade Refried Beans

**This post was shared on my Gather Page 9/12/2011! If you don’t know what Gather is check it out, it’s a cool social site which lets you earn points by viewing and posting, the points can then be redeemed for cash or gift cards!!

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursdays 10/20/2011!

 

My 2nd Pickle Adventure! September 5, 2011

Filed under: Canning,Food,Preserving,Recipes — bizzandbooboo @ 11:33 am
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Once of my very first posts on this blog was about my first time making pickles. I only made a few jars worth and they were a big hit, but there was some constructive criticism given by the family about how they could be better – so began my second pickle adventure!!

I heard that the local farm I often visit had organic pickling cukes for $1/pound – couldn’t pass this up! We went out and picked up several pounds!

BooBoo at the farm!

This time I decided to use the Garlic Dill Pickle recipe from a blog that I love – Food in Jars. I know my hubby loves strong flavors in his pickles and I liked this recipe because it uses cider vinegar instead of white distilled. I have heard that you can interchange the vinegar no matter what the recipe calls for – does anyone know if this is true? I am still too new at this to know!

As Bizz was washing all the cukes for me I worked on getting the water heated up, all the ingredients together and the jars prepped…

   

Here is the actual recipe that I followed from Food in Jars:

Garlic Dill Pickles
Makes approximately 8 pints (varies depending on size of cucumbers)
2 overflowing quarts of pickling cucumbers, sliced into fat coins
4 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
5 tablespoons pickling salt
16 garlic cloves, peeled (2 per jar)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar (2 teaspoons total)
1 teaspoon dill seed per jar (8 teaspoons total)
½ teaspoon black peppercorns per jar (4 teaspoons total)

Wash and slice the cucumbers.
In a large saucepot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer.
Arrange jars on counter and dole out the spices to each. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. You don’t want to damage the cukes, but you do want them packed tight.
Pour the brine into the jar, leaving ½ inch headspace.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
When 10 minutes are up, promptly remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cool on the countertop. When the jars are cool, check the seals (by pushing/tapping on the lid).
Pickles can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
If you want to skip the boiling water process, these pickles are also wonderful as refrigerator pickles. Just pop the jars into the fridge once they’re cool.

Once the jars were cleaned and sterilized I filled each one with the dill, peppercorns, garlic and red pepper flakes!

Then I packed the cukes in each one. I wanted to try a variety to see how they each turned out, so I did a few in coins, a few whole and a few spears!

Once all the jars were packed I poured the hot brine into each one leaving 1/2″ headspace!

Then I used the new jar lifter I won in the Canning Across America giveaway to process them (Yes, they spelled my name wrong…)!!  Thank you Canning Across America!

And I ended up with beautiful jars of Garlic Dill Pickles…. once again we haven’t tried them yet. Letting them sit  for a while to get really flavorful – I will post an update once they have been taste-tested 🙂

Similar Posts:

My First Pickle Adventure

Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day! I am busy putting up some orange marmalade, plum jam…. and we’ll see what else 🙂

~Jesse

*This post was shared on Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bite Friday 9/9/2011!

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 11/3/2011!

Oh – I also wanted to share — I recently joined swagbucks. And I think it is pretty cool that I can earn points to redeem for amazon gift cards and stuff here by doing surveys or watching tv clips and other stuff. If you are interested check it out here:


And if you do sign up please do it by going to *http://swagbucks.com/refer/bizzbooboo* so that I can get referral credit – if you have any questions about it – Please ASK! I am usually pretty leery of these things, but I am pretty happy with this so far 🙂

 

GRUB this week – and what I’ve been doing with it! August 31, 2011

Filed under: Food,Gardening — bizzandbooboo @ 7:00 am
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Yesterday was our bi-weekly GRUB CSA share pick up day! WooHoo!

Bizz and I headed out to the farm after his martial arts class while BooBoo stayed home with Daddy! Bizz went directly to the trampoline and proceeded to joyfully bounce while I leisurely picked out all of the amazing looking veggies for the week!

We received corn, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, squash, a melon and more! Plus as many cherry tomatoes as we could pick! I loaded up on the cherry tomatoes this week since it was a little easier to pick with BooBoo at home and Bizz on the trampoline!

 There are several different varieties of the cherry tomatoes and I made sure to get some of each!

Besides the obvious things we have been doing to enjoy our bi-weekly CSA bounty (popping cherry tomatoes as snacks, big bold cucumber/lettuce salads, fried squash and onions & garlic in everything) I thought I would share with you some of the things I am doing with the rest of it.

Last week I made amazing fries with the Bintje Yellow Potatoes (Check out this cool page I found on potatoes from The Cook’s Thesaurus)! Just chopped them up, coated with coconut oil and salt then baked. They were a big hit with everyone! And super easy to make!

    

I also had no idea what to do with all the eggplants we were getting, but I found a recipe for eggplant parmesan and made it one night – it was a huge hit. Now there are three of them in the freezer ready to pop in the oven at a moment’s notice!

 

The recipe and a post on making this along with how to make your own breadcrumbs will be forthcoming!

And with the bounty of peppers I cut a good portion of them up and froze them! I store them in an old yogurt container and I love to have them available to throw in when I am frying up some meat or potatoes or practically anything. I love the little hint of taste that peppers can give – and the smell alone while they are cooking is enough for me 🙂

  

This beautiful flower was growing among the cherry tomatoes at GRUB – I couldn’t resist capturing it with my camera, though I have no idea what it is!

**update – I’ve been informed it is a Clover Bloom – love it!!

~Jesse

This post was shared on Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bite Fridays on 9/2/2011!

Don’t forget – the Greenfeet Organic Produce & Nut Wash giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 PST – get your entries in!!!