Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cranberry Scones

(from http://www.food.com/recipe/cranberry-scones-13067)  I used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk; we always have Astro Balkan yogurt in the fridge.  Also, I used a food processor to cut the butter (COLD) into the dry ingredients and then to blend in the wet ingredients to form the dough.  Quick and easy and oh so scrumptious!!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat buttermilk and egg in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, measure flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas.
  5. Mix in cranberries, sugar and orange rind.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until soft dough forms.
  7. Using your hands, form dough into a large ball and place on floured surface.
  8. Knead about 10 times Pat into two circles about 1 inch thick, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Score the tops of both circles to make 8 wedges on each, if making for a buffet, for regular scones, score each circle into 4 wedges.
  10. Bake scones for 15-20 minutes.
  11. While still warm, brush with butter and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year's Resolution Lesson #9: The Word is Sufficient

I have to post this link to a blog post at Theology for Women that so articulates what the Lord has been speaking to my heart about "how to apply general Biblical wisdom to your specific situation without condemnation for how others apply it in theirs."

Basically she is saying that Scripture is sufficient in how to guide us as women in living out our individual lives and we must be wary of receiving others' personal conviction that has been attached to it when it is being taught or instructed.  My friends, doesn't that just breathe of grace?  The amount of food prep and cooking I do doesn't have to be what you do.  The craft activities that you do with your kids doesn't have to be what I do.  All that matters is that we are listening to the leading of the Lord in our own particular situations and are looking at them through the lens of the Word.  Your heart will know when you are hearing the gospel in what you are being taught.

New Year's Resolution Lesson #8: It Takes a Village

A mother who believes she has to be all things to her children at all times is a very burdened mother indeed. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crispy Almonds

I made these yesterday for a new mom who is off dairy and gluten right now for her little one's comfort.  They are delicious, highly addictive because of their crunch and flavor, and are a nutrient-dense snack.  For optimum digestion and nutrient availability, you should always buy your nuts raw, soak them for the day or overnight, and then dry them in a low oven.  Here's a basic recipe that shows you how.  You can (and should!) use this method for any other kind of nuts you use around the house, including pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pecans.  The Nourishing Cook, or any other food blog that follows the traditional food preparation techniques researched in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, will also have basic recipes for crispy nuts.  The beauty of this method is that it is "set it and forget it".  Put your nuts on to soak in the morning, then some time in the evening, drain and rinse them, put them on a cookie sheet and let your oven do the magic overnight.  Easy peasy!

Crispy Almonds

by Kim

These nuts are a staple at our house. We use them in cookies, desserts, nut butters, and more! Make a large batch, keep half in the pantry and then freeze the rest to preserve the good fats in the nuts and prevent them from going rancid.
Here are some great recipes that use crispy almonds as one of the ingredients:
Almond Coconut Chocolate ‘Milk
Hazelnut Almond Shortbread
Gluten Free Almond Cookies
Almond Nut Butter

Crispy Almonds


Difficulty:  Easy

Yield & Notes:  Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

4 cups almonds, preferably skinless [TNC: I used almonds with skins because I couldn't find skinless almonds]
1 Tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Preparation:

Mix nuts with salt and water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in a mason jar in your pantry.

Luscious Lentil Soup

This is my "go-to" soup.  It is simple, hearty, healthy, and every bit as luscious as its name suggests.  I've made it for my family, friends, and church functions and it has always had rave reviews.  The base recipe is from an internet search that I printed out long ago and it indicates it was "Exported from MasterCook".  So that's the best reference I can give for this right now.   This is a blended soup, so you don't have to worry about how pretty your chopped veggies are, as long as they are consistent in size to cook evenly.  Enjoy!

Luscious Lentil Soup (mom_of_4 comments in italics)

8 c chicken stock or water  (Definitely chicken stock! but as in any soup, water will do if necessary.  Sometimes I only use 6c liquid if I want it to be thicker.  Often I use 4c stock, 2c water.  Saved potato water from boiling potatoes is a delicious substitute too!)
4 medium carrots - sliced  ( I like a small dice, because they blend better in my hand blender)
4 celery stalks - sliced  (same here)
1 medium onion - chopped
1 leek - chopped  (I almost never have leeks in the house, but it is a lovely addition if you have one)
1 tbsp fresh parsley - chopped  (Again, for some reason, don't have this around very often.  It is good without, but very nice with)
1 1/2 c red lentils
1 tomato - chopped  (This soup is best with nice fresh tomato in it.  I can't explain why, but I've used canned diced tomatoes and it is still good, but it is truly "Luscious Lentil Soup" when you use fresh.  One large or two medium.)
30 ml garlic - crushed  (Or 2 nice large cloves, minced)
1 large bay leaf
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme  (Or a generous pinch of dried thyme leaves, crushed between your fingers)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.  (Start your onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in some fat to "sweat" for a few minutes.  Bacon fat is a perfect flavor layer in this soup, but olive oil or butter will do.  Salt your veg with sea salt.  Add tomatoes, stock/water, lentils, and herbs.)  Cook over medium heat 45 minutes.  Puree 2 c soup in blender.  Mix with remaining soup in pot.  Heat thoroughly and serve.  (It is so much easier to use a hand blender if you have one.  Whirl it up until it is the texture you like.)  Makes 8 servings.

Variations:  Serve with lemon wedges for added zest.  Or add 1 tbsp miso for extra flavor.  (I have never tried this.  I never have miso around the house.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year's Resolution Lesson #7: Don't Forget

Don't forget:  I'm not being so hard on myself

I don't know about you, but when I'm turning a habit around, I need a lot of reminders.  I need to hear them, I need to see them, I need to think about them.  You can't turn around a habit of over 30 years in two weeks.  That's why you're going to continue to see these reminders if you choose to visit here.

But don't just come for the reminders.  Come for the recipes too!

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6: 6-9

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolution Lesson #6: Not Often Easy

Finding out it's not as easy as I thought to "not be so hard on myself".   The things worth doing though, are not often easy.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30