Not everything about the links I share are going to be things I necessarily agree with or endorse, but they all have some valuable things to glean from! Take what you can use :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chicken Raising & Butchering

Complete Guide to Homestead Chickens



Butchering a Chicken





Cutting Up Whole Chickens







Cutting Up Whole Cooked Chickens



Sharpening a Knife

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Secret Ingredient Macaroni & Cheese


I was making some muffins to have for Shabbat breakfast and I ended up with about 1/2 a cup of pumpkin puree left over. I didn't want to throw it out, and every time I put extra in the fridge I forget it until it's got more green fuzz than a sea-sick caterpillar! Then the idea came to me of hiding it in macaroni and cheese! The colour would blend in nicely and some spices added the flavour would be totally masked! As I was putting it together I realized I could up the nutritional ante farther by replacing the traditional bread crumbs with toasted wheat germ! So I put it all together, and served it up. It was a hit! My cute little veggie-hater had no idea she was eating something that was good for her! 

  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked macaroni (I used scoobi doo pasta. Use whole wheat or brown rice pasta for even more nutrients)
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or any combination thereof 
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8  tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • Spray Olive Oil


1) While pasta is cooking, make the white sauce.
2) Whisk the pumpkin and spices into the sauce.
3) Stir in the cheese until melted.
4) In a baking dish combine the pasta and sauce.
5) Sprinkle the wheat germ over the pasta and spray with olive oil.
6) Place under broiler for a few moment to brown the top.

Small Batch No Pectin Preserves


I love jam. I really REALLY love jam! One of my favourite things about jam are all the flavours you can find! However, if you want to get naturally sweetened jam the playing field get's a lot smaller! Browsing the aisle loaded with white sugar and high fructose corn syrup you'll find such taste bud tantalizers as Apricot Peach Passionfruit! Head on over to the Organics aisle and you'll do well to find anything more exciting than the usual strawberry and raspberry! Now don't get me wrong, I love strawberry and raspberry jam as much as the next person, but I want VARIETY! I'd also like to make it myself so I know exactly what it going into it and can make any flavour I feel like! I want to make small amounts because by the time I finish a jar of jam I'm ready for a new flavour! Did I mention I don't want to have to use pectin? I don't want to have to can it either! I can get low sugar needed pectin if I want to make big batches of jam to can, but I just want to make a single jar of jam with the amount of sweetener I want to use! So I use this recipe and make my own!

For 1 pint of jam...

1 lb fruit of choice (washed, peeled, chopped, etc.)
1/4 to 1/2 cup sweeter of choice (honey, sucanat, etc.)

Mix and marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day dump sweetened fruit with all it's juices into a shallow, wide pan. Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until fruit is softened.

1 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice
good pinch of dry flavorings (herbs, spices, grated zest, grated ginger, etc.)

Stir in, mash or use a stick blender to get the fruit to the desired consistency, smooth or chunky. Taste and adjust as needed. Continue to cook down until as thick as desired.

1 1/2 tbsp wet flavorings (vinegar, wine/liqueur, extracts, etc.)

Stir in, taste, adjust, pour into pint jar, let cool, and place in fridge.

If you get tired of eating your jam on toast, biscuits or pancakes...try making ice cream with it! I'd throw in a couple pastured egg yolks in there too for good measure ;).

Naan


I absolutely LOVE naan. I love them as wraps. I love them as pizzas. I love them for dipping. I love them toasted with butter. The only thing better than a naan, is a HOMEMADE naan! 

To make 8 flatbreads...

1 c. warm water
2 t. sugar (white, brown, sucanat, honey, whatever)
2 t. yeast
750g (5 c.) all purpose flour 
2 t. sea salt 
1 t. baking soda
1T. add ins (minced garlic, onion seeds, sesame seeds, etc.) 
1/2 c. yogurt 
1/4c. melted ghee (or butter or red palm oil or whatever)
2 eggs 
A little melted ghee

Mix the water, sugar and yeast and set aside a few minutes to proof. Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and add ins in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. To the flour add the yeast mixture, the yogurt, the oil and the eggs and mix to form a soft dough. Knead in the bowl for a few minutes. Dough should completely clean off sides of bowl. Grease bowl with melted ghee, put the dough in the bowl and brush with melted ghee. Cover with saran wrap and let rise for an hour in a warm spot. Punch down, knead a bit, and divide into 8 equal parts. Form into balls and place back in the bowl, cover, and rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, turn on your broiler and place a cookie sheet under it to get hot. Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Place a ball of dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 of an inch. Brush with melted ghee and carefully transfer to hot pan. You want it to cook for about a minute. Use this time to roll out the next one. When the surface of the naan is all bubbly, remove the pan from the broiler, slip the naan from the frying pan onto the baking tray (don't flip it!) and slide it back under the boiler. Put the next naan in the fry pan and roll out the next one. Check the naan in the oven, when it's golden brown it's done. Remove to a plate and brush with more melted ghee. Keep doin' the naan shuffle (shifting naans from pan to broiler, from counter to pan, and from broiler to plate) until all the naans are cooked.