Happy 4th of July!

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Meat Eaters Rejoice!

If You Are Concerned About The Source of Your Meat, Then This Post is For You

I love meat but really don’t love commercially raised feedlot animals. As I became pickier and pickier in selecting the meats I choose for my family and friends, I found the quality harder to find in easy to shop food locations.

When I did find grass-fed beef, it was expensive!

To the tune of $20.00 each 6 ounce steak expensive.

At that price, not many people can afford to eat grass-fed beef.

Until now!

Butcher Block is a company that specializes in grass-fed beef, organic chicken and heirloom pork. And the home deliver is sustainable packaging, not Styrofoam.

I ordered a box of mixed meats from them and got: 2 – 6 ounce Filet Mignon, 2 – NY Strips, 2 # ground beef, 2 sirloin steaks, 1 pork tenderloin and 1 bag of chicken tenderloin. Each box has 8-11 pounds of meat per box which is enough to make 20-28 meals.

Guess What,

I arranged for anyone ordering their Butcher Block Box through this link, to get:

$10.00 Off and 1# of free BACON

If you don’t eat bacon, then I’m absolutely positive there is someone you know who does who you could gift it to. But I have to tell you , it makes the most amazing BLT you will ever eat. Just saying.

Here is a video about the company. Watch, decide, the follow the link to order your box.

You’ll be glad you can get this quality of excellent meat shipped to your door at a price you can afford.

Here’s the link again:

Get My Butcher Box!

 

Now the biggest decision you need to make is to choose from one of the options:

There are 5 boxes to choose from: 1) all beef, 2) beef and chicken, 3) beef and pork, 4) chicken and pork, 5) Classic mixed box: beef, chicken, and pork.

I got the Classic Mixed Box and was more than satisfied with it. 8-11 pounds of meat per box which is enough to make 20-28 meals.

Meat Eaters Rejoice!

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Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Video Recipe

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: about 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Use the best quality ingredients you can for amazing cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces room temperature butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add the butter and sugars, stir to combine. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add to sugar and butter mixture; stir to combine. Do not over mix.

Mix in:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Use a small scoop to make even size cookies. Space 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with Maldon Flaked Salt, if desired.

Bake 350°F for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let cookies sit on the pan for a few minutes to “set up” before moving the cookies to  cooling rack.

Make sure you hide some for yourself because they go fast!

Ciabatta Bread

Timg_2177here is nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread, unless it’s eating freshly baked bread.

This loaf can be made in just under 2 hours and is easy and really delicious. The only problem I have with this loaf is that it does not last very long.

It gets gobbled up super fast.

 

Ciabatta Bread

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Dry Ingredients: Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer

  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt (non-iodized like Himalayan Pink Salt)

Wet Ingredients: Combine in a glass measuring cup

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (heat 30 seconds in a microwave until the water feels warm to your finger tip)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Using a dough hook, mix the dry ingredients on low speed. Slowly add the wet ingredients, mix until it is all combined.

Set the timer and knead on medium speed for 10 full minutes.

The dough will look wet and sticky. It is and that is the way it is supposed to be. A wet dough will give you the bigger holes Ciabatta is known for. Resist the temptation to add more flour! At 10 minutes kneading time, the dough will be perfect.

Remove the dough hook; cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes in a warm area. (Your oven on bread proofing setting is perfect)

In the meantime, prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper (or Silpat sheet), lightly dust with cornmeal and set aside until needed.

Generously flour a surface to put the dough on after 15 minutes. Plop the entire dough mass onto the flour and dust the entire surface with flour so your hands don’t stick to the dough.

img_2169Press the dough into a rectangle, fold into thirds, and then repeat. Do not knead the dough, just lightly pat it into place. Pat, pat, pat, just lightly.

Shape the dough into a rectangle and place onto the baking sheet. Loosely cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

While the bread is rising outside the oven, preheat the inside of the oven to 425° F.

After the bread has risen for 45 minutes, spritz with water and place it into the oven. The water will help give the bread a crisp crust.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Shelf life: 3-5 days or until gone, typically the same day it’s made.

Eat Fresh! What’s in Season Now: November 2014

Eat Fresh! What’s in Season Now: November 2014

Fall colors are in full swing, we are anticipating the first frost and freeze.

Today, the first day of November is rainy, cold and there are flurries in the forecast.

It’s a great day to pull out the crock out and put on a warming soup or maybe Chai tea.

Gather these things to make Chai. include black tea or burdock root or another herb if you prefer.

Gather these things to make Chai. include black tea or burdock root or another herb if you prefer.

If you’re heading to the market this month, here’s what you’ll find in season:

Apples: We’ve had some amazing local apples! The flavors this year are so delicious. Eat them raw, slather with almond butter and toasted almonds, make pies, turnovers or apple dumplings. Apple DumplingGrab extra to make apple butter for Christmas.

Apple Snack!

Apple Snack!

Beets: What a powerhouse of nutrition. Red, gold, big or baby beets, roast them, peel them , eat them. Make salads, pickles, noodles, you will feel your blood getting healthier with every tasty mouthful. Don’t toss those green tops! Chop the stems and saute, cook the greens like you would spinach, wash and saute until tender. I love the greens with a splash of Ume Plum Vinegar.

Bok Choy: This season is closing very soon due to frosts and cold weather. Grab some for stir fry, use instead of plain green cabbage in making bok choy slaw.

Brussels Sprouts: OK, try shredding them, saute with shiitake mushrooms, onions and pecans.

Put pecans on top

Put pecans on top

Use them in making slaw to. Get them before the freezes set in!

Kale and cabbages at the market

Kale and cabbages at the market

Cabbages: Fresh available through mid December. Time to make some sauerkraut! A good New England Boiled Diner with potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, cabbage and brisket would be nice on a chilly evening. Sweet and Sour Cabbage is great with roasted pork or pork chops, sautéed onions and apples. (See, staying seasonal!)

Collard Greens: My favorite choice for Meatless Mondays! Boiled collards, pinto beans and organic blue cornbread.

Greens from the market

Greens from the market

Yummy! Don’t salt the water you cook the collards in so you save it to use as a base for vegetable soup. Being November, chilly days are surely ahead. Nothing smells better or warms you better than homemade soup. Except chopping and burning wood.

Cranberries:

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

Although not local, these fresh berries only appear for a short while. Buy several bags and freeze them now for later. Make a batch of Cranberry Liquor or use left over cranberry sauce to make these oatmeal cranberry bars.

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

 

 

Cucumbers: Going quickly!

Greens: All kinds from whatever was planted in late summer for fall harvest. Make soup or saute yourself up a big bowl.

Fresh Herbs: Grow some of your own. Fresh herbs are expensive and why waste an entire bunch if you only need a leaf or a pinch? Besides having herbs growing in your kitchen is pretty darn cool. You’d be surprised how easy it is.

Kale: One of my favorite greens cooked or raw. If you’re prone to kidney stones, be careful as too much kale may encourage stone formation. Add dried cranberries to your kale salads.

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Saute it with bacon and onions or use Kale in soups, it’s quite delicious! Crispy kale chips are another way to use this amazing leafy green.

Lettuce: Tender lettuce will be gone once freeze happens. While you can buy lettuces year round, you may notice a slight price increase for it not being local.

Mushrooms: Only until the end of the month. Duck kale white bean soup 031

Mustard Greens: Spicy and greatly nutritious! If you don’t like how spicy they are, tame them by combining with kale, collards or other greens.

Napa Cabbage: Another good green about to retire for the season. I like this lightly blanched, stuffed and steamed.

Peanuts: Year Round, good source of protein. Have you ever made your own peanut butter?

Pecans: Pecan pie is just around the corner with the holidays fast approaching. Store your fresh pecans in a tightly sealed bag in the freezer for longer storage.Make Spiced Pecans for holiday gifts or make Pecan crusted okra for a new way to serve okra.

Pecan Crusted Okra

Pecan Crusted Okra

Radishes: One of my favorite salad vegetables, but try slicing them on a ham sandwich. Top a piece of lightly buttered bread with thinly sliced radishes, you’ll thank me later.

Romaine: Lettuces planted in the fall for the second planting, are coming to an end. Leaves should be strong and dark green.

Snow Peas: A crispy tasty treat. I love these as a nibbling snack or quickly saute. Be sure to “string” them before eating or cooking.

Snow Pea Tips: A trendy garnish for your plates

Spinach: Before the freezes set in for the winter, you’ll still find fresh spinach. Saute it, make omelets, spanikopita or spinach salads

Inside a baked garnet sweet potato; isn't that a great color?!

Inside a baked garnet sweet potato; isn’t that a great color?!

Sweet Potatoes: Available all year. Make Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries; save on fat and full on flavorSweet potatoes

Turnips: Roast turnips to bring out their sweetness. Mash carrots, turnips and potatoes together for a fun change to mashed potatoes

The foods are changing from light fresh foods to hearty, sometimes long cooked foods. The aroma of a simmering soup, a slow roasting chicken or pork roast is comforting and warming as the seasons change.

Thanksgiving is this month; time to reflect and express appreciation and gratitude for all you have in your life. With delicious produce still in the markets, plan your Thanksgiving menu around what you discover fresh.

The farmers will appreciate it.

#freshfood #whatsinseason #eatinglocal #eatrealfood #wholefood #realfood #seasonalfood #apples #cranberries #winteriscoming #staywarm #makesoup

mailboxes in winter

#happyhealthyholidays #healthyholidays