Old Fashioned Strawberry Jam

Summer begins with fresh strawberry jam.  It is a heavenly smell in the kitchen and so easy to make.  Fresh picked strawberries; sugar and lemon juice are the only ingredients.   Strawberry [Read more…]

In My Garden

Growing up in the North, I was never much into gardening. Moving into southern BC Creston valley, where everything grows or so I am told, I need to learn a bit more. With all our renovations there was not much left over for plants but I picked up a few things for the kitchen. I have always wanted a herb garden so I planted rosemary; basil; thyme; oregano; sage and parsley. The oregano didn’t make it, not sure why, but everything else is doing fine. I had a chive plant that I brought with me and it is also growing like mad.

It is so much fun to just nip out to pick a few leaves to add to a salad or dinner.  The smell is amazing when you pick them, I always crush a tiny bit to release the aroma.  I love putting a fresh herb into infused water as well.  So refreshing.Fresh Herbs

With the plants doing so well, there is enough to clip and dry them for winter use.  Today’s harvest has a very full tray of parsley, one of sage, and a small amount of thyme and rosemary.

For chives the easiest way to save them for winter is to snip them with scissors into small ziplock bags or containers and pop them in the freezer.  They are fine enough that you can take them out frozen and sprinkle them directly on your salad or baked potato for a fresh taste in the winter.

Mix Party – This is not your Mother’s Home Party!

Mix PartyI am pleased to introduce Mix Party!  A young dynamic direct selling company, Mix Party offers exclusive sparkling wines, cocktails, and gourmet products that are unique in the market. They are a fresh, exciting and fun business opportunity.

Do you have energy and attitude to add to the mix?  Are you looking for a fun “happy hour” kind of business.  Then maybe Mix Party is for you.  There is a generous compensation plan where you can earn up to 45% on your personal sales as well as team building bonuses, prizes, trips and incentives.

It’s not a party without you!  Welcome to the cocktail revolution!  Are you ready?  Contact Tina Kraft, Associate Director here:  I Want To Party!

Cheers!

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO PARTY WITH US?

Chicken Soup from Bones

Chicken Soup

Home made Chicken SoupI really love making soup.  It is a creative process that produces a wonderful and satisfying result.  Using bones to develop a broth is economical and you can modify as to what you have in your fridge or dietary needs.
A very easy bone soup is using the carcass from a purchased BBQ chicken.  For two people you can have a nice chicken dinner one night, sandwiches the next day and chicken soup the following dinner time.  It makes the purchase of a precooked meal very thrifty.  I have also found that generally buying a whole raw chicken is, more often than not. more expensive than the BBQ ready to serve ones are.  Go figure.
Broth and VeggiesAfter the first nights dinner, remove all the meat from the bones.  Chicken and ZucchiniToss the bones and skin into a large pot with
a half of onion; cover with cold water; bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 hours.  Strain and discard all the bone mixture.  At this point you can make soup, but I find that if I cool it overnight I can skim most of the fat off for a healthier soup.  Once the fat is skimmed off you can freeze your stock to use another day if you aren’t making soup immediately.  Mine made appx 4 cups of broth.
This is where the fun begins.  What’s in the fridge?  Well, today I had 3 carrots, a couple of potatoes and a zucchini, oh and the chicken leftovers from last night.  I’m sure I can make dinner out of that.
Start by chopping the potatoes into bite size pieces.  Think of it on a spoon and screaming hot!  You don’t want too big a bite.  Toss them in to the broth.
Next I peeled and grated the carrots and put them in.  Sometimes I just chop them small but what’s life without a little change now and again?  The zucchini will wait until the end when I add my leftover chicken, that way it doesn’t over cook.Homemade Chicken Soup
To season I added salt; a pinch of garlic; paprika; and thyme.  I don’t like to be too generous with the garlic as it overwhelms the soup.  I love to add onion but did not have any left so slipped in a chive stem and some fresh parsley.

Last goes in the chicken and the zucchini.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, cook until potatoes are soft.

 

Serve with fresh hot biscuits or bread and butter.  Yummy!

Chicken Soup from Bones

Chicken Soup from Bones

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup leftover chicken
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 2 potatoes, chopped small
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped small
  • Seasonings

Instructions

  1. Chop the potatoes into bite size pieces
  2. Peel and grate the carrots
  3. Add seasonings
  4. Put potatoes and carrots in broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and cook for 1/2 hour
  6. Chop Zucchini and break up chicken to bite size pieces and add to the pot.
  7. Continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 mins.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasonings
  9. Soup is done when potatoes are soft.
  10. Enjoy
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Raspberry Vinegar

Raspberry ScrubThis is a recipe I have made before and found it wonderfully delicious!  Raspberry with Coconut Balsamic VinegarIt makes a marvelous, refreshing summer drink.  You can serve it over crushed ice or mix it in to ginger ale, tonic water or soda water.  For a grown up drink you can mix it with Mix Party Wine Cocktail Raspberry or their Sparkling Wine, like Bubbles (Rose) that contains real edible 24 carat gold flakes.

This particular version has an added extra zing using Mix Party Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar, instead of regular.  I hope you enjoy trying this out.  Watch for a great giveaway coming soon with Mix Party!

 

Raspberry Vinegar

Raspberry Vinegar

Raspberry Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of ripe raspberries
  • 2 cups of cider vinegar **
  • Sugar to taste. Start small and add to your sweet tooth
  • Can of Tonic Water
  • Mint Leaves or a couple of Whole Raspberries

Instructions

  1. Use an Enamel or Stainless Steel bowl
  2. Pour vinegar over crushed raspberries
  3. Cover and let stand for 48 hours in a cool spot
  4. Add sugar to your sweet tooth
  5. Serve two tablespoons to a 1/2 can Tonic Water and top with a Mint Leaf
  6. You can strain your raspberries, but we like to eat them
  7. ** I have used regular white vinegar with success and in the pictures above used MixParty Coconut Balsamic Vinegar.
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Smashed Potatoes

I love easy cooking with tasty results.  This is maybe not so pretty, but was it tasty.  I took smallish potatoes and baked them until tender.  Smashed Potatoes

Turn up oven to high heat, 450 degrees.  Place potatoes on a cookie sheet or pie pan, if you are only making enough for two, and smash them with a potato masher until they spread out.   Season to your taste.  I also added herb goat cheese and fresh chives from the garden.  Drizzle it with Sundried Tomato Infused Olive Oil from Mix Party   Bake for an additional 20 minutes until golden and crispy on the edges.   Check out Mix Party, it’s on their blog, for their version of this great recipe.  They used Mix Party Parmesan EVOO.  Which Oil flavor would you choose for this recipe?  Watch for a great giveaway coming soon!

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Small potatoes
  • Seasonings
  • Mix Party Olive Oil
  • Toppings

Instructions

  1. Bake your potatoes until folk tender.
  2. Drizzle the flavor of choice EVOO on a cooking sheet
  3. Place on potatoes and smash down with masher
  4. Season and add toppings of choice
  5. Drizzle a bit more EVOO on top of potatoes
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes until golden and crispy on edges
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Peach Sorbet with MixParty Coconut Balsamic Vinegar

Served in a Tea Cup

Served in a Tea Cup

With our fruit trees already bearing new fruit, I need to think seriously about what I have in the freezer.  The peaches that I froze were not used as much as I thought they would be so something new had to be done.

My diet has been gradually cutting out all dairy, with wonderful results.  However, that means no ice cream for a summer treat any more.  Back in the reaches of my mind and recipe cards I found something I could have and use up some of those peaches from last year.  Sorbet.

Sorbet is the best dairy-free; gluten-free, fat-free dessert out there and very easy to make.  Pretty much any fruit will make outstanding Sorbet, the limits are just your imagination.  You can make them plain or add a bit of zest with a tablespoon of your favourite liquor.

Check out MixParty and tell me one you think you would like to try in your Sorbet.  Watch for a great giveaway coming soon!

Peaches, here I come!

 

Peach Sorbet

Peach Sorbet

Served in a Tea Cup

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Frozen Peaches
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Envelope Gelatin
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon MixParty Coconut Balsamic Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Blend partially thawed peaches until smooth.
  2. Add water and sugar, and flavour** and stir until sugar is absorbed
  3. Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup of water add 1/4 cup of boiling water to this and stir until completely mixed, stir into peaches
  4. Freeze. Stir once or twice during the freezing time.
  5. Serve in a beautiful tea cups for special guests.
  6. ** In this case the MixParty Coconut Balsamic Vinegar; or for a grownup taste MixParty Wine Cocktail Pina Colada.
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Best Banana Bread

We love Banana Bread at our house and as they grow, our little wolves love it too.  This recipe has been used for many years, tweaked and sampled, until it’s just right.

Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread

[Read more…]

Fresh Raspberry Muffins

Do you ever get a craving for baking?  I often get this niggle in the back that says, Yummy, I want ….  Fill that in with the food of choice.  Today I wanted Muffins.  Raspberry Muffins.  This tale is about Raspberry Muffins turned to Blueberry Muffins.

Found the recipe I have used many times, Fresh Raspberry Muffins.  I began the recipe, 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar before I glanced down to read 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup milk.  Well, there is a problem.  I can no longer have milk, but that can be solved with coconut milk; and I figured I could substitute mayo for sour cream.  Next was the oil, no cooking oil, all I had was olive oil.   And last, my frozen, not fresh raspberries were in a big lump, just not usable for muffins but I found blueberries tucked in the back of the freezer.   This was going to be trickier than I thought!

The Raspberry Muffins, turned Blueberry were light and tender as any you could wish for.  The one item I would not use again would be Olive Oil, unless perhaps it was a butter flavoured.  Right out of the oven all you could smell is the olive oil, but after cooling it was not so distinctive.Blueberry Muffins Muffins

The real Fresh Raspberry Muffin recipe is below.  What have you made that required a few creative substitutions?

Fresh Raspberry Muffins

Fresh Raspberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups raspberries

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Measure liquid ingredients into a separate bowl and mix
  3. Stir liquid into dry ingredients until just moist
  4. Fold in raspberries
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle with a bit of white sugar
  6. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes
  7. Cool on wire rack
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Seasoned Kale Chips

Tasty Snack

Tasty Snack

Packed with vitamins, calcium and minerals, kale is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.  I love putting it in salads for added crunch and flavour.    One of my favourite ways to have kale is as Seasoned Chips.  Yummy!  This is a healthy alternative to potato chips.

Kale Chips are easy, peasy to make.  With a few ingredients, an oven or dehydrator, you can have these snacks with in minutes.  Be sure to experiment too. For a little extra spice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or sweet paprika;  if you are a cheese lover, a little Parmesan and fresh pepper.

Kale

 

Seasoned Kale Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Tasty Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry kale
  2. Take all the leaves off the center stem. You can cut or tear them off.
  3. Tear or cut the kale into bite sized pieces
  4. Place the kale into a large bowl then drizzle with olive oil and add Seasonings
  5. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Using a Dehydrator you will have to experiment as to times and temperatures.
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