Recently in Food Category

 Yeah, the economy sucks, but that doesn't mean that you have to eat crappy food.  I've been experimenting, and I have come up with one dish that is easily turned into 3 dishes so you don't have to have the same old, same old leftovers each night.

Night one - Chicken Stew with Brioche - or should it be Brioche with Chicken Stew?  You decide.

I found a good recipe for Brioche using your bread maker to mix the dough and for the first rising.  Oh, and you do need to change a couple of things with that recipe before you make that bread - make the yeast 1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons and definitely add 1 tsp of salt to the dough.  Also, it took closer to 35 minutes in my oven for the bread to be properly finished.

So, you have this bread - rich bread - very rich bread.  I made a fairly simple chicken stew to go with it - 

Cut up a couple or three onions, a couple of cups worth of celery (definitely including the nice leafy parts), a couple or three carrots and saute them all briefly in a bit of olive oil.  After a breaf sauteing, pour in about 8 cups of chicken stock.  Bring it all to a simmer. Then add about 3 or 4 potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks.

I just know you are wondering where the heck the chicken is - it's coming.

I used frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts - 4 pieces.  I honestly just threw the frozen pieces into the pot along with about a tsp of thyme, tsp of rosemary, tsp of sage and 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, a can of mushroom pieces and stems and some garlic powder.

Just let it all simmer together for awhile - maybe 40 minutes or so.  Then, take some of that brioche bread and put it in the bottom of a big soup bowl and ladle some stew over the bread - believe me, it is totally comfort food - and very filling.

Next night - I put the leftovers in the pot and thought, gee.  I think I'll cut up the potatoes and chicken into smaller pieces and make some soup.  So I took the big pieces of chicken and potatoes, cubed them all, and put them back into the pot.  But then it looked like I needed to get more liquid in.  I had a half pint of cream in the fridge, so that went in.  Only, gosh, then I thought, the flavor is going to be way diluted.  So I added about another tsp of thyme and 1/2 tsp of rosemary.  

Still, It needed more - So I added a couple of handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese and to make it more like a soup, I broke a handful of broken whole wheat spaghetti into it and let it simmer about 10 minutes.

Umm.  Good.  Filling! Yet, still leftovers!

At this point, I have enough left to make a large chicken pot pie - simple - just put it in a pie pan and cover with some puff pastry and cook.  Pot pie.

The three meals cost less than 12 dollars for 2 people - so, 2 bucks a night per person for some really good food.


Cold, snowy Saturday

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Rather than spending the day fretting about the Obamahell that we have been thrust into because of the MSM's undying adoration of the President, I decided to bake some bread and plan a nice, yummy comfort-food dinner.

Brioche making its first rise.  I'm starting to chop up the onions, celery, potatoes, etc., for a chicken stew.  I think they will go well together. 

Honestly, when I'm cooking or baking, I am really quite happy.  I suppose that tells me I should do a lot more of it!

Baking Day

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Today, I'm baking.  First thing - caramel nut rolls.  John is going to take them to work tomorrow to gauge reaction of co-workers.  If they love them, I will make them for the Famers Market, if not, on to a different recipe.

Then, egg noodles - got to use these eggs up - making pasta and dehydrating it is a good way to do that.  I'm going to use my friend's dehydrator.

If I have time, I will make chocolate bread, and I will post the recipe!

I put up (love that term, put up!) 5 pints of fresh pears this morning.  Made Apple Butter a couple of days before Christmas, and it is good.

I am going to try to make some homemade fettucini today, and homemade egg noodles - seems like a good way to use up some of the eggs that my lovely hens lay for me!

I bought a pasta roller and fettucinni cutter attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer.  Very heavy, stainless steel, I read the instructions, but I probably need to check out you tube or something to actually see someone using the attachments.  Don't want to mess up the pasta!  Apparently, I can also use it to make lasagna noodles with! 

My good friend, Robin, makes her own ricotto cheese with her goats' milk.  Between us, we should be able to make almost entirely home made lasagna when her goats start giving milk in the spring.

I think I might make a loaf of chocolate bread, too.  I meant to do that before Christmas, but as usual, I ran out of speed before we had to leave to go visit John's family.

I may have mentioned that I had bought a bunch of fruit from the Pleasant Ridge HS Future Farmers of America.  It was delivered a few days ago, and I have been searching for just the right recipes to preserve the goodness of the pears and apples.

Thanks to my good friend, Robin, I learned how to can at her house a couple of months ago.  I bought a BALL Home Canning Basics Kit . It came with all the required parts, which made it much easier to get the stuff together to do this.

I found a recipe for Spiced Carmel Pear Jam. I didn’t want the spice to overpower, so I only used some cinnamon with just a wee bit of nutmeg rather than the clove, allspice and lots more cinnamon and nutmeg than the recipe called for.

I put the jam in pretty little fancy 1/2 1/2 pint Jelly Jar

I had more jam than I had jars prepared, so I added some brandy to what was left, heated it, and served it over some french vanilla ice cream. It would have been a lot better over my home-made ice cream (which is more of a custard, with wonderful eggs), but all I had handy was store bought.

I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying learning about preserving foods, gardening and cooking. Yeah, I’ve cooked forever, but I’m just now starting to appreciate cooking something that takes the whole day to cook instead of fast, fast, fast!

For many years, we have spent a lot of money on friends and relatives for Christmas gifts.  I know for a fact that some rather pricy gifts were never used, and that's okay.  Those were years when I was working and bringing in the "big bucks" and had no time at all for a thoughtful gift that came from our hearts.

So, this year, I'm baking and probably canning gifts for people.  I have made some nice bowls and such (they are all hopefully being fired as I write this), and I've made a couple of baskets.  I hope to fill these things with Christmas Cookies, breads, home-made egg noodles, and perhaps some apple butter or pear butter.  

The local Future Farmers of America came around selling fresh apples and pears as a fund raiser.  My fruit was just delivered by two of Rodney's kids.  (Rodney is my go-to farmer.  He cuts my hay and bales it for me.  If I have a question, he always helps, and his 8 children and his wife are just wonderful people).  So now, I really have to figure out what to make.

Robin gave me a great recipe for parmesan/garlic breadsticks, I'm trying that out right now.  Robin has also helped me to make some baskets. 

I need to make Whiskey Balls (a rather yummy no-bake cookie/candy laced with bourbon and cocoa), Spritz cookies, Almond cut out cookies, Key Lime cookies and pecan puffs.  

The weather is really cold and nasty, so I'm sure that I can get all this baking done and baked goods put away in the freezer.

Robin also taught me how to can fruit, I think I'll try either a hot cinnamon applesauce or apple butter in the pretty little decorative jars.  

I dunno. What do you think?  I figure if nothing else, if they hate it, at least the wild birds will get a treat LOL!

Eggs Eggs Eggs

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What does organic mean? Organic means that chickens are raised without any antibiotics whatsoever on feed that was grown without any pesticides or non-organic fertilizer. It really has little to do with the treatment of the chickens, though the regs are changing somewhat.

There is an USDA Certified Organic label that can be used by farms that have paid the big bucks and waited 3 years to be certified "Organic" by the USDA. They figure it takes 3 years for any non-organic residue from previous use of pesticides to be leached out of the land. Last time I checked, earning that "Certified Organic" label cost from $400 to 1,000 a year.

Because I have such a very small business, I am exempt from going thru the certification process. The regs allow those of us who sell less than $5,000 a year of organic products to use the organic term. A good story about how all that works is here:

Anyway, the only time I can say my eggs are totally organic would be in the summertime, when the birds fend for their own on the farm every day - they eat seeds, grasses, bugs, even frogs, toads, snakes (apparently a great delicacy among the chicken folk). I don't have to supplement them unless it looks like they are not getting enough - then I give them "Natural" scratch grains from Purina - which means it is all grain and fruit, no animal by-products. A lot of feeds have things like feathers ground up in them, and other lovely things. Not that there is anything wrong with feathers - they help to make a great compost, but as food, eh, I don't know.

This time of year, my birds still eat grass on the ground, hay from my own hayfields, and the Purina Natural scratch grains. They also get leftovers! They love leftover veggies, casseroles - just about anything, but I never feed them leftover chicken casserole!!! You can, but to me, that's just not right!

Some use the the term "all natural" for their chickens and/or eggs - that only means that they are on a vegetarian diet. Only chickens are NOT vegetarians, they are omniverous, like humans. I find that the more insects, worms, snakes, frogs, etc., that my chickens find, the more wonderful their eggs are.

It is the time of year when people are baking - pies, breads, cakes and COOKIES!!!  Eggs are a vital ingredient for these great recipes.

I am selling fresh eggs for $4 a dozen.  And I mean fresh.  I collect eggs 3 times a day, and they are immediately placed safely in a recycled paper egg carton.  The Hens of Argghhh, have the run of the nearly 80 acre fram, and are not given any hormones or antibiotics.  These are pure, beautiful, yummy eggs.  

Did you know that most eggs you buy in the store are at least 3 to 4 weeks old?  Did you know that they come from factory egg farms, where the chickens never get to see the light of day are are feather to feather, forced to lay until their short life is over?

Shouldn't you consider paying a bit more for lovely eggs from local, happy hens?  My hens have names.  They know me.  They run to me when they see me because they know I'm there to protect them, feed them and make thier lives as happy as a chicken's life can be!

Make your baked goods the best they can be with fresh eggs from the Farm at Castle Argghhh!!!!

If you are interested, leave a comment, and I'll get with you asap.

As a farmer-in-training, I am always checking out ways to use the food I can or hope to produce in new ways. 

Well, AliThinks has a review of this wonderful new concoction called Baconnaise.  You must, must watch her video, she is funny and darling, and you gotta love anyone who loves mayonnaise and bacon!

Anyway, I'm thinking that Bacoonaise might be great in deviled eggs.  I have got to get my hands on some baconnaise so I can test it out.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm up early to get to cooking and stuff. 

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Food category.

Fiber Guild is the previous category.

Fun Bloggy Things is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.