Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vegetarian Dog Treats

So I have been really wanting to try these out for some time, and for some reason, can never find the time to do it! Busy Busy Busy!! Well, my favorite 4 legged K9 has seemed a little down in the dumps the last two days. He's usually frisky and playful and we can barely get him home cause he has so many neighborhood friends. But lately, hes just kind of laying around the back porch... maybe female troubles.... either way I wanted to do something to cheer him up!

3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (rosemary, sage, basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano)
2 eggs yolks
1 cup water

  1. Set oven for 350. Mix dry ingredients
  2. Stir in wet ingredients and combine
  3. This might get a little messy but use your hands!
  4. Shape into treats, for a smaller dog you could probably get 24+ treats. I'm making 16 for my big guy. You decide!
  5. Bake 12- 15 minutes


Thursday, April 12, 2012


Have you heard the news about the growth hormones in GMO processed milk byproduct cheese? It's not a pretty thing. Going on 6 months (give or take) We have weened our family off of cheese for "at home" meals. At restaurants, we might get a pizza or a cheeseburger, but we have not bought cheese at the store and brought it into our home for quite awhile *take that!* but how long can one go with out cheese on burritos? spaghetti? salad? stuffed bread? broccoli?!? Well, we did it and I have to say it felt great! and I cant complain about my waistline either. (Did i mention we stopped buying potato chips and never drink cokes?) So anyway, Last week I decided to give it a go at making my own. (cheese that it) and it came out delicious! want to try?

  • 1 1/2 gallon milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp citric acid
  • 20 drops rennet diluted in 1/4 cup filtered chlorine free water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • more water :)
Now that your stocked and ready, let's go!

Before you actually begin the cheese making process, if your milk and cream has separated, skim it off and place in a small jar, for another use, home made butter! (you gotta be kidding me right?) Trust me it is worth it if you have the cream...

  1. Place milk in a non reactive (stainless steel) pot ( a big one!) sprinkle the top with citric acid and stir. Heat slowly to 90 degrees.
  2. remove from heat, add diluted rennet, stir, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon and mesh colander, remove the curd (save the whey!!) and strain as much as you can from the curd.
  4. meanwhile, heat some salt water to 135. place your curd into water and melt it. remove from water and begin "stretching" the cheese. you may have to do this a few times but the result is a stretchy, shiny, taffy like, mozzarella log. The look you are going for is stretchy, shiny, and doesn't break. If yours is not like this don't worry, it will more than likely still be delicious, just not mozzarella, but a different kind of cheese.
  5. shape into a ball and place in lightly salted ice water for a minute or two. This helps to retain it's shape.

Fin!! you did it!

 Boo and points off for really lame non photograph blog on cheese making! If you will, please accept my sincerest apologies and cut me some slack! will update soooooooonish!

Garlic Lemon Roasted Chicken

This is the best chicken I have ever made. nuff said...

you will need:

  • a chicken (surprise!)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • a lemon
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Fresh herbs (I recommend rosemary, thyme, and sage, but hey its your chicken!)
 This is also a great way to cook a a moist turkey! try it.

Preheat oven to 475. Cover the outside of your clean and dry chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some dry herbs if you wish. This is going to be your moisture saving crisp out side. No matter how hard you try, you cannot "add" moisture to a chicken. So you need to keep the moisture it has inside. Someone once said "a tsunami of pepper on your chicken" is best. really get it covered.

slice a lemon (peel rind and all) and peel your garlic

Place these inside the chicken whole. I was out (boo for me) of fresh herbs, but stuff the fresh sprigs of herbs you have in with the lemon and garlic. This will create steam and the flavor will transfer to the chicken.

Now, place breast side up and cook for 20 minutes. This gets it crispy and creates a moisture barrier). Reduce heat to 350 and put timer for 40 minutes. Check the temperature inside the breast without touching the bone. You are going for 150 degrees. *gasp!* I know I know, not done yet!
remove from oven and let finish cooking until it reaches a safe 165. 

Homemade Butter

Butter is absolutely a ridiculous luxury when it is homemade. I cannot stress how much you will want to do this.

If you are able to get milk that will still separate itself from it's own cream, your going to be so happy you read this post. Skim off this cream, place into small jar, close it up, shake it up, spread it on, enjoy!

  • If you have bought a large amount of cream, I would suggest doing this in a food processor.
  • wait to the cream to be room temperature, it butterfies faster.
  • turn this into a family togetherness session (not to mention an arm workout!) pass the jar around and take turns shaking!
  • get your moves on! turn on some tunes and shake that butter!
  • don't try making a lot at once with this method, it will take........ time.......
  • don't fill up the jar completely. 2/3rds full will work good.
  • rinse with cold water after it turns to butter, shape into ball, and place in fridge.
  • it's very light, almost like whipped butter, but if it's not light enough, whipe it and add honey for a delicious sweet spread!
  • enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A little color in my life

It's thursday and things around here are heating up. High humidity and and hot temps (>80 degrees at times!) has been doing a great job on my little flower bed! Gorgeous!

~Song of Solomon 2:11-12
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

Thank you Jesus!
*A note: Please excuse the leaves that cover my flower bed's floor. The color sprouted before this lazy gardener got them cleaned up. I know, I know, I could have cleaned before I took the pictures, but they were too beautiful to wait a second longer. Plus, it shows that glory of the Lord Jesus. Even in the midst of a bunch of dead leaves, he arrayed the flowers of the field more than King Solomon in all his glory. WOW!

 Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


First, Let me direct to this very interesting article...
10 Surprising facts you didn't know about yogurt :)

Now that you know this is definitely something you want to eat on a regular basis, Let me direct you to this very interesting article...
Why you don't want to buy it

So, where does that leave you? Making your own of course!

First you'll want to gather the necessary supplies and ingredients. List must be long right? Nope not at all! Yogurt is a one those great luxuries that take little to make, and once you get used to the process, hardly anytime at all! And you probably have what you need already on hand!

Let's go!

  1. Organic (best if you find a local dairy!) Milk
  2. Yogurt (Plain and organic)
  3. Glass mason jars (I use quart size but pint would word for individual servings! so cute!)
  4. Large pot
  5. Thermometer
  6.  something to incubate your yogurt. I use an Excalibur food dehydrator. Other methods I have heard of include wrapping your jars in towels and placing them in a cooler over night, or putting in a 9x13 baking dish and setting in your oven with the light on over night. I have not tried these methods myself but what ever works! Also you can really fancy with a yogurt maker or kit!
Put some water in a large pot, and place your milk filled jars inside. Turn the heat to high and set a timer for 30 minutes.

Stir to distribute heat and to remove skin that formed on top of milk (if any)
By now the heat should be at 180 degrees, if not 10 more minutes on the timer.

Hot milk! Remove from pot carefully using pot holders! Ouch!
now it's time to cool them down. I have found the best and fastest way is a cold water bath. This can break your scorching hot jars or please be careful and follow the tips. Notice in the first picture my water is on hot until my tub is full. Then I turn that water to warm and let it run for about a minute, finally I turn my water to cold and set my timer to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile get your supplies ready for the next step. Your yogurt starter, a bowl and tablespoon, and lids. If you are using a dehydrator, set the temp to 115. Or get your towels and cooler ready.
After 15 minutes, the milk should have cooled between 110 and 120. Any hotter and your yogurt will curdle, leaving you with cottage cheesy yogurt, and any cooler, the cultures won't activate. I usually try to get mine between 115 and 118. Stir and check.

Pour  a little warm milk into bowl
Put 2 Tbsp of yogurt into your bowl and mix.
Pour back into jar
Skim and discard bubbles. Optional, but it looks yummier when you do :)
cap and incubate over night, then place in fridge for another 8 hours. I know, This seems like a lot of steps, and at first it is a bit of time and work. But the more you do it, the faster and easier it will become. Also, your first batch might be half whey ha;f yogurt. (this is due from the lack of real nutrition in commercial yogurt) Not to worry! The whey is actually the best way to give your body extra protein! drink it yourself or give your pet for a healthy boost! Next time use your yogurt as a starter and before you know it, you will weeded out any traces of the commercial yogurt, which result in a full thick yogurt from your own starter. This process was overwhelming to me at first but it got much better with practice. Now my husband and children enjoy yogurt with raw honey and organic homemade yogurt for dessert! Super healthy sweet treat! I'll take it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vegan Tortillas

Just like your mama (or grandma) used to make. Do you remember the days you awoke to the smell of fresh homemade tortillas? soft and a bit chewy...and delicious?? if this memory has escaped you, or if your circumstances left you without fresh tortilla smell, then this is the post your looking for. Get ready to make some memories... oh yeah.... and tortillas...
  1. 3 cups flour (your choice, I used white bread flour today, but you can use 100% whole wheat, half white half wheat, all purpose, whatev...)
  2. 2 tsp baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda ... boo me)
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 cup *hot* water
  5. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  6. Bowl
  7. stirring spoon
  8. tortilla pan (or large skillet or griddle)
Combine dry ingredients and stir well
make a "well" in center or flour mixture. add water and oil. *Tip: Make sure the water is AT LEAST warm. I think this is the secret to soft, pliable tortillas*
Slowly combine
Now That every thing is in one ball, take out and knead by hand until smoooooth
Divide. This recipe will make 12 burrito size tortillas, 16 medium, 20-24 fajita size. *Tip: to help with equal sizing, I divide mine in half, then those in half, then those in half until I get 16. Or in thirds, the in half in half for 12... you get the idea)
Dredge in flour...
on both sides...

Roll, flip and turn 180degrees, roll, flip and turn, roll, flip and turn, repeat until your desired size and thickness

Place on hot griddle for about 7 seconds, you should see a few bubbles. *Tip: I cook mine on a higher heat for a shorter time than most people. Not sure, but I have a theory this also attributes to the super soft tortillas that result. If you're burning yours, lower heat or flip faster, keep trying until you get your rhythm, you can do it)

Flip and cook again for about 5 seconds. *Again I like to have the heat to were you will see the brown spots within 5 seconds. on my stove this is a medium heat)

 Repeat with all your dough balls.

FIN! <3

Yay! You did it!
These babies are best when eaten right now, however they will keep for a few days (definitely not as tasty by the third day, I usually do not make more than this recipe unless we are having company to ensure peak freshness and tastiness) They also freeze well so have at it. I must admit, mine have never made it to the freezer (me checking the bread box... hey! didn't I just make a batch of tortillas?) but the more you do it the faster you will get and you will see that you can have tortillas whenever you feel like them! burritos, wraps, soup scoopers, you name it. enjoy