Meal Prep. Hello, Spring!

Major meal prep today because spring officially arrives on the flower farm this week! Our licensed plants are coming in, seedlings need to be transplanted and there are more seeds to be sown. Homemade pita bread for gyros served with grass fed sirloin and Tzatziki made from homemade yogurt, cucumbers and dill from the garden. Green beans, julienned peppers and onions from the garden slightly warmed then tossed with lemon and feta cheese. Mexican fare for mid-week with homemade tortillas and Instant Pot refried beans made with organic pintos from Clear Creek Organic Farms (cooking liquid reserved for easy Spanish Rice cooked in the Instant Pot). Finally...a batch of Instant Pot Baked Beans for the freezer because I am determined the giant drift around our grill is going to melt soon and I am so ready for a burger!

 

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Pineapple Water Kefir

Yum!

I couldn’t pass up the Pineapple sales this week! Lacto-Fermented Pineapple Salsa is fermenting on the counter. Sometimes we use the rinds to make Tepache...a fermented beverage...but this time the rinds went to the compost bin because they weren’t organic pineapples. We saved the cores to flavor our water kefir. Water kefir is another fermented beverage made by using particles of bacteria called ‘grains’. A first ferment is completed with the grains added to water and sugar along with some minerals to feed the grains. In this case we added a couple of raisins and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt. After 24 to 48 hours the grains and minerals are strained out and fruit, vegetables and spices are added for flavor. Water kefir can be made in pressure treated bottles to create a fizzy beverage and is a healthy substitute for pop but care needs to be taken to prevent bottle explosions. We choose to use mason jars with plastic storage lids to create a refreshing and mildly effervescent beverage.

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A Bone Broth Marathon

A Bone broth marathon since we’ve been staying close to the house due to the weather.  21 quarts and 10 pints of chicken and turkey broth processed from bones we’ve saved in the freezer. The beef bones are going to have to wait. The forecast for the next few days look nice and I’m heading to the greenhouse!

 

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Ready To Dig In The Dirt!

I know it’s below zero outside but we’re getting ready to sow some seeds for our veggie garden! We sow our onion seeds in the greenhouse at this time of year then transplant them into the garden in May. Our favorite varieties are ‘Candy’, ‘Walla Walla’ and ‘Redwing’. This is a picture of our garden from last July 1. A beautiful memory that brightens a very cold winter day! I’m ready to dig in the dirt!

 

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Instant Pot Bone Broth

It’s a soup kind of day! Bone broth going into the Instant Pot! The flavor and nutritional value of homemade broth is so much better than commercially produced broth...and you control the quality of the ingredients! Don’t hesitate to toss a small piece of turmeric into chicken broth. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory when used along with pepper and it deepens the color of the broth. Remember that splash of raw apple cider vinegar! It helps to draw collagen from the bones.


http://www.tlcinthekitchen.com/instant-pot-bone-broth/

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Meal Prepping!

It’s been an Instant Pot kind of day! Meal prepping because the upcoming forecast looks glorious and I plan to spend every waking minute in the greenhouse! 🌼 IP Bone Broth, IP Chicken Noodle Soup and IP Bean And Bacon Soup! Made a batch of IP Baked Beans and a batch of Sue’s Hamburger Buns  because it might just get warm enough to throw a burger on the grill this week! Check out some of the recipes on the website!

http://www.tlcinthekitchen.com/

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Happy New Year!

One of my favorite memories from this past year! Our friend Hunter gifted us the cabbage plant he grew from seed at school. I promised him some sauerkraut. This was probably the most cared for cabbage in the garden. 🙂 We planted it in a special place and checked it every day. Hunter’s cabbage grew to a whopping 9.86 pounds and he got some very delicious sauerkraut! Looking forward to all the happy memories we’ll make in 2019! Happy New Year!

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Perfect!

Kale from the greenhouse tossed in a yogurt based dressing along with with home grown onions, organic avocado, fermented giardiniera and cubed raw cheddar cheese served with a bowl of leftover homemade chicken noodle soup...the perfect meal for the night before Christmas Eve!

 

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Let’s Eat!

Saturday bread baking...Crusty French, Honey Whole Wheat and easy, fermented Dutch Oven Bread. Churned some organic, grass-fed cream into butter, a pan of lasagne is in the oven and broccoli from the garden is steaming! Can’t think of a better way to spend a day off on a snowy Saturday! Let’s eat! 🙂

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Black Friday Shopping

My version of Black Friday shopping! A little road trip with one of my favorite soul sisters to Clear Creek Organic Farms. Time to stock up on a few things before the snowflakes fly. Raw milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, hamburger, brats and other goodies...all natural, grass fed and organic. Making the day even better...we stopped for lunch at The Stirred Pot in Albion. This little restaurant opened in March and features dishes made with ingredients all sourced from local family farms and gardens. Highly recommended! Check out their Facebook page!

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Grateful For ‘Modern’ Conveniences

Grateful for ‘modern’ conveniences during these long and chaotic days! We went a bit old school for dinner last night and roasted a chicken in our Galloping Gourmet oven. I love this thing! Circa 1990’s, it’s probably one of the earliest versions of an air fryer. It was a still-in-the-box and never used $5.00 auction find. It’s handy for roasting meat and even cooks a good steak in the winter when it’s too cold to fire up the grill. Roasted chicken from our friend and neighbor’s farm, veggies and a salad from our garden...the perfect nourishing end to a long day!

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Making Butter

Making butter. It sounds like a time consuming and laborious project when we think of Grandma turning the butter churn, doesn’t it? Thanks to today’s modern conveniences, it’s now a process that can be done in the matter of a few short minutes. All you need is one ingredient...cream. We use cream skimmed from the top of our gallons of raw milk but cream or whipping cream purchased at the grocery store works, too...it’s  just not as flavorful and healthy as the cream that comes from those local grass fed dairy cows. Allow the cream to come to room temperature then pour it into the bowl of a food processor or ‘Ninja’ type blender. Use the dough blade and start whirling away. Take a peek every few seconds. First the cream will begin to thicken, soon it will become whipped cream then suddenly the butter will separate from the buttermilk! Drain the buttermilk and place the butter into a bowl. Use a spoon to stir the butter, draining away any additional buttermilk. Add cold water to rinse the butter, continuing to stir and drain the moisture away. Repeat the process until the liquid is clear and no more can be stirred out of the butter. Add salt if desired. You just made butter in less than 10 minutes! Reserve the buttermilk for another use.


It’s fun to get the kiddos involved in making butter. Let them make their own by filling a small jar halfway with cream. Secure a lid on the jar and let them start shaking away. Their butter won’t be ready as quickly as yours but they will be amazed to watch the process and they’ll use up some energy while they do it!

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Meal Prep For The Busy Days Ahead

The forecast of an early blast of winter weather had us scrambling to get everything harvested and tucked safely inside the greenhouse this past week! We took a breath today and did a bit of meal prep with some of our veggies! Easy and homemade meals to enjoy while we tackle our very long winter ‘To Do’ list! Homemade Runzas for the freezer and a few Pierogies for for dinner tonight. It feels early...but our favorite winter platter came out of the cupboard today as the snowflakes danced through the air and gathered on the ground. Grateful for an amazing harvest but sad to see it end so soon! 

 http://www.tlcinthekitchen.com/homemade-runzas

 

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