Sunday, November 27, 2011

bottle day, stage three

today we bottled our first batch of winter warmer! only 2 more weeks and we will happily drinking our first homebrew! made by us!

so many bottles, so much patience required.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

beginnings of a feast

so i sort of screwed up and forgot (as we were in a bit of a hurry) to take photos of our finished products. still, i wanted to share a few photos of what we made for thanksgiving, the greatest holiday ever, according to me.  our neighbors were kind enough to invite us over for dinner and we had a lovely evening filled with great food and even greater company.  they cooked some delicious dishes and provided us with many many delicious drinks.  our morning began with mimosas. naturally.

making pesto for a vegetable wellington that included asparagus, onion, and red peppers wrapped in puffed pastry and baked in a loaf pan.

wild wild west mushroom stuffing made with a lovely home made sourdough loaf, chanterelle mushrooms and wild rice. 

butternut squash tart with bourbon doused squash, toasted almonds and a wheat germ crust.

my favorite very tasty lemon poppyseed shredded brussels sprouts.  we bought Brussels sprouts on a branch! which is probably the most exciting thing ever!  i really want to grow some next year!

and toasted wheat germ rolls!

Hope everybody had a wonderful holiday!
love, heidi

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jambalaya Night

I have been thinking about this jambalaya all week and finally tonight I made it!  I pulled this recipe from the wonderful veganomicon and I have made it multiple times.  I am always so pleased with just how delicious it is, especially on a chilly day like today.

Here's what goes into it!

olive oil
seitan (I made my own, recipe also in veganomicon)
1 lg onion, minced
red bell pepper, chopped
green bell pepper, chopped  
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups brown rice
1/2 cup wine or stock (to deglaze)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
about 2 cups cooked or soaked beans (I used a chili bean combo)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of cayanne
4 cups veggie stock
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

This recipe is ideal for a stove to oven dutch oven but you can also make it in a stock pot and transfer to a casserole dish to finish cooking in the oven.

oven 375

First up, brown the seitan in a little olive oil and set aside.  Next, sauté the onion in some more olive oil then add the bell peppers and garlic.  Cook for about 10 minutes until very very soft.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook 4 more minutes.  Deglaze with wine or stock scraping up the delicious burnt on bits. 

Then, stir in the rice and cook for a few minutes so it smells toasty.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, beans, herbs and spices.  Bring to a simmer, then add the veggie stock. Taste and season to your liking.

Transfer to the oven, and bake for about 45 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice and beans are cooked through.  give it a good stir and let rest for 10 minutes before dishing up.  It needs to cool a bit anyhow.  Top with a bit of chopped parsley and get ready to be happy.

love, heidi

Sunday, November 13, 2011

spicy ginger apple butter

Made some tasty apple butter the other day.  It made the house smell oh so good.  Also it was super duper easy!  I based this recipe off of a link I found on 101cookbooks.  I added a gingery kick to mine because that morning at the grocery store we ran across a lovely bottle of ginger syrup, which was exciting, so we bought it!

Here's how!  chop up about 4 lbs of apples, i used a few types including fuji.  Place in a large stock pot and cover with apple cider.  simmer the apples slowly for about 1 hour until the apples are very very soft.  Puree the apples and cider until almost smooth.  return to the stock pot.  stir in 1 cup raw sugar, 1 cup ginger syrup, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and the juice of one lemon.  simmer the mixture over low heat, uncovered, until it reduces and darkens in color.  It took me around 2 1/2 hours to get to my desired consistency.  Be patient, it's worth it.

I canned mine (which came out to 7 small jam jars.) but you could also skip the sealed jars and put it straight in the fridge, as long as you eat it within a month. probably not a problem...  If canning, process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and set on clean dry surface, to cool.  Let sit out over night and check to make sure they are sealed the next morning.  Store in a dark cool place and enjoy as you wish!

love, heidi

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

sourdough bagels

we have been trying to use our sourdough in pretty much all we can. I was really curious how sourdough bagels would come out. bagels are great to have around the house and they came out great.

I am really in love with recipes that dont need yeast and just some good ol fashioned sourdough. here is what went in these:

1.05 oz starter
5.3 oz water
10.5 oz flour
.25 oz salt
.35 oz malt extract
.18 oz olive oil

add the water and starter in your mixer bowl. with a whisk break up the starter in the water till it foams. add the rest of the ingredients and mix till smooth. about 5-7 mins. let dough rest about a half hour. divide into four chunks and form into balls. let rest under a towel till doubled in size. press your finger through the center of the ball and spin around your fingers till its the size you want. i like the hole in the center to be a little bigger than a quarter. place on a oiled plate, wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge 4-6 hours or over night.  
pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees with the stone in it in the morning. bring a pot of water with about a tbl. baking soda in it to a boil. once at a rolling boil add bagels one by one. they should sink to the bottom and after 30 sec or so float up. if they dont, use whatever long spoon you might have to get them off the bottom of the pot. once floating let float for 30 sec then turn and let float for another 30 sec. take straight from the water to the pre-heated stone and bake for 15-20 mins. or until that goldeny brown crust is how you like it.

from this base really any favorite kind of bagel is possible. blueberry, seeded, onion, everything, chocolate chip, what ever suites your fancy.

They turned out just like bagels should. and went especially well with a little cream cheese and heidi's pomegranate jam.

Monday, November 7, 2011

red flannel hash.

flannel hash is just so yummy. it's my favorite breakfast. of the moment.  paired with some red beer. couldn't be much better.

super simple, no real recipe required. it's just onion, garlic, potatoes, and beets.  i like my beets shredded.  but cube them up if you would rather.  shredded is nice for additional texture, nice on the eyes and the mouth.  this time we threw in field roast apple sage sausage for some delicious protein.  but it would also be wonderful with some scrambled tofu or what ever the main part of breakfast may be for you.  not that hash can't be the main part of breakfast, because it definitely can, and often is... at least for me.

on a side note, today was a very exciting day at our house because we brewed our first batch of beer!  we visited the wonderful slippery pig brewery yesterday and that always helps with the inspiration.  it's going to be a winter ale.  it was so much fun, and we cannot wait to see what happens next!  more later!

love, heidi

Friday, November 4, 2011

fall hunting and gathering.

a lovely fall day. full of lovely fall discoveries.

mushroom spore printing.

the finished prints! pretty.

love, heidi

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

power pumpkin bread

we created a sourdough starter from scratch about 2 months ago now. we have mixed a few basic sourdoughs trying to figure out the oven. mainly just trying to get the crust right. still have a little more to figure out but getting so close i feel its time to share. we only use six main ingredients as a base you could say in all our bread. starter. flour. water. sea salt. wheat germ. malt extract. old world traditions.

this is a combination of two breads i created for a restaurant. a power loaf, made up of a 7 whole grain cereal blend, 3 seeds, honey, and molasses. and a pumpkin sourdough, made of pumpkin puree, honey and molasses. we decided to go the fresh route and roast a fresh pumpkin. it was a bit longer process for the roasting and cooling of the pumpkin but came out quite nice.

for that perfectly thick artisan style crust there are two musts. A good quality stone. stones can be found at most kitchen stores. anything from the cheap ones to expensive will work. but don't be afraid to spend a little money for quality if you want a good crust.
and steam. for steam, we place a small cast iron in the oven when it is preheating then add water when we first place the loaves in.