Showing posts with label and Yummies.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label and Yummies.. Show all posts

Friday, 28 June 2013

Iced Coffee and Maple Syrup

Recipe, 1/2 gallon jar
Fill half the jar with coffee, cooled
Add 1/4 cup real maple syrup
Fill almost the rest of the jar with whole milk, leave room for ice.
Top with ice
Put lid on jar and shake


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Red Chicken in a French Pot

Roasted Red Chicken in a Red Pot with Red Fire Peppers and Red Onions

That's what we call this recipe that I make in my red French Braiser oven. My husband got it for me for Valentine's Day/Birthday/ILoveYouAlwaysEveryDay.  We have a few, a very few poulet rouge chickens left in our freezer (translates Chicken Red Chicken). I love red onions best for cooking, had red potatoes and red bell peppers in the fridge, and nothing is complete without red cayenne and red/pink sea salt.  I also brine the chicken. I brine all poultry, always in sugar and salt water. Actually, this is how I thaw the frozen bird.

Put the chicken in and tuck quartered onions, potatoes, red bell pepper, and some butter all around. I also put in a few slices of citrus, this time it was clementine but lemon and blood orange work well too.  I put melted butter all over the bird and then sprinkled with salt and cayenne and white pepper. Sometimes I use our Swamp Fire mix, but your favourite seasoned salt will work. I have used the North African Berber seasoning from Pensey's and that is good too.

350 degrees until it is done. Usually 75 minutes, but this one was done in 45. Check. I start to check with the meat thermometer when it starts to smell good and brown on top. Always use a good meat thermometer. Always.

I cooked the chicken upside down. Not on purpose. I could not remember which way it was supposed to go.  We carve it up, leave the onions in the pot, put the bones back in, add carrots, celery, and vinegar. Fill pot with water and put back in the oven over night= 3-4 quarts of good bone broth.

The kids fight over the drum sticks and both girls eat all the meat off to the bone. Isaac gets a mini drum from the thigh. He eats it to bone too. The breast meat is tender and juicy and very deep in chicken flavour- that's the breed of chicken though, not the cooking method. Breed and feed matter, this hertiage bird is raised outside at our farm and fed goat milk whey. It takes a fabulous breed and makes it that much better. When we raise these to sell, we post on facebook and sell out 80 chickens in 20 minutes, with a waiting list. They are that good. They average 4-5 lbs each.

I had to hide my last 10 to keep them for our family. ;)

We do chicken at our house every 3 weeks or so. Each chicken will provide 4 meals. We don't waste any of it.


1 Whole Chicken, brined
8 small red potatoes or 4 large yellow potatoes quartered
1 red onion quartered
1 stick of butter
1-2 red bell peppers chopped into 2 inch chunks
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste (or seasoned salt)
1 orange or lemon (citrus)

350 degrees until done

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Gravy, it is all about the gravy.

I decided to split up my post about biscuits and gravy into two posts because gravy has earned its very own place in my kitchen.

Gravy is easy.

No. Really it is.

Oh, I know those of you unbelievers are shaking your heads now and thinking about just grabbing a jar or packet of gravy from the grocer.


Gravy is just a roux base. I know, the term roux is fancy sounding and scary.

So, to start, the gravy I make for chicken fried steak is the same sausage gravy I use for biscuits and gravy. The exact same.

1 lb ground sausage
1  Portabella mushroom
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 cup chicken broth/stock
1 cup milk
2 T sour cream
1 T seasoned salt w pinch of cayenne

Start with a good ground sausage. Pastured pigs make the best sausage. I have used green onion, breakfast, or Italian sausage- they all work. I like the breakfast blend the best though. Fry it up brown. When it is half done, add chopped mushrooms. Brown until cooked and crumbly. Add butter. Once the butter melts add the flour and sprinkle it all over everything. Stir fast. Be ready with the broth. Once all the flour is wet with the grease and butter, add the chicken broth and stir furiously. It will thicken quick, add the milk when it thickens, stir furiously and turn the heat to low/medium. Add the sour cream and seasoning to taste. Turn the heat off entirely once it is as thick as you like.

See? Easy.

When making a chicken gravy, start with melted butter, add flour and stir until all the flour is wet, add 2 cups of broth and stir until it is as thick as you like. Season.

When making Alfredo type sauce: melt butter, add flour and stir until flour is wet, add 2 cups of milk and stir until it is as thick as you like, add 1 cup of cheese of your choice, gently stir off heat until cheese is melted, season. I like Asiago and Parmesan (Not the green can kind though, the real hard grate yourself kind, because I am a cheese snob. The green can stuff technically will work.)

Beef, lamb, chicken drippings, ect- all follow the same equation. Melted fat, add flour, add liquid of  your choice, stir furiously until thick and gravy.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Preface/Background to Our Chinese Unit Study, Unschool Style, plus an introduction to newbies to "strewing".....

We homeschool. We unschool as a philosophical approach. For those who are unfamiliar with that term, it is like Montessori without the large class management of other people's children aspect.

Our classroom is our home, our farm, our community- you get the idea. Our home is filled with books, seriously thousands of books. No less than three bookcases hold "kid" books, the rest are all over- history, science, literature, classics, antiques, newest editions, science fiction. We love books.

In our dining room, at kid level, I have art supplies. I do keep the higher quality paints and inks up high but only so Zap doesn't eat them and Holly doesn't take up Interior decorating- again. They can have them down when they ask, just not when I am in the shower or on the phone. You know? This.

I have a whole huge bookcase with kid history, math, and reading books. Whole curricula..

"Hold up, lady, you just said you unschool!" Yes I did. That doesn't mean we don't learn things or enjoy using books. We all do. Especially me.

That's where something called strewing comes into play. Strewing is where we make available items of interest and leave them in accessible places to be found and explored at will.

So I thought about how we will handle school this year, since I am going back to work away from home a couple days a week and fall is pretty busy with deliveries and craziness of farm stuff. My kids have been begging to learn more about China, love Chinese food, music, and art. We've also fielded some questions from them about why we don't buy Made in China products (we actually do though), especially packaged food and art supplies (which end up as food unintentionally toddler style). A really negative bias has crept up in our whole culture regarding products from China, mostly from teh massive lead poisoning issues that have happened. Plus we like to buy local, as local as possible in all things. But that doesn't mean we have to bash a whole culture, you know?

And I realized too that I know very little about China. I mean, I have seen Mulan a million times with the kids, and I know I like crab Rangoon, and I can point to China on the map....and that's about it really.

So what better way to organize our lives and learning than to have mama learn some more about China? And that's how we'll do this, I will learn and do projects and if they are interested then they can too. I plan on creating a syllabus, with books and supplies provided for each mini lesson, here on the blog, in case anyone wants to replicate what we are doing. Label will be China, Dragons, and Yummies.

A brief summary of items we will cover in the groupings:

Art: watercolor, calligraphy, kite making, origami, paper making
Culture: Tea ceremonies, religion, etiquette, medicine, agriculture, puppetry
History: Time lines
Geography and cooking are paired. We'll study regional cuisines and cook them every week, in reference to regions and types of ingredients. Food can really be a good way to teach other aspects of culture. Plus, YUMMY. Oh, and animals. Geography=animals to my kids. Maybe a zoo trip.
Science: inventions, building, medicine, agriculture, earthquakes
Math: fractions in cooking, calculating for science, abacus, money measuring, weighing
Reading: stories and books from China, about China, writing to a pen pal, writing messages in cards, creating fortune cookie messages, calligraphy
Dragons. My kids like dragons a lot.
Chinese New Year and holidays.
We plan on attending the Asian Festival here this year too.

Things I have purchased so far:
  • A calligraphy set, a real one with ink and stone and hair brushes and bone chine dishes. Not expensive and yes, made in China.
  • Toy dragons. Yes I did.
  • Paper dragons to hang from the ceiling.
  • Real stainless steel chopsticks and bone china spoons
  • Cast iron tea service
  • Tea
  • Books on calligraphy, craft and building projects, books on Chinese history for kids, Chinese mask book
  • Pandora, Traditional Chinese station
  • Netflix, Wild China and Studio Gibli movies. Dress up clothes with Chinese theme.

We'll start this October 1st ish. Expect lots of cute pictures of kids doing stuff and cooking. These items are on the shelves and ready to explore. We already listen to the music every day. At the end of the week, we'll have lunch at the local Chinese buffet (yay rural Iowa!). We'll cook from the recipe books twice a week, maybe more at lunch time.

Each time we do an activity, I will post book and supply list with links to isbns, mostly because that is where I shopped for the stuff.  I'll also post a reflection on what worked, ect.

I'd love additional ideas to work in too.....and that's about all of it. The ideas of it all will unfold as we live it. The girls want to trade out our dining room table for a lower standing coffee table so we have to sit on pillows to eat meals. Is that even how people eat in China? Where did they get that idea?