Cultured vegetables: The new unknown super food

What have I gotten myself into now? My husband ask me this often. Cultured vegetables: shredded cabbage and other veggies that are packed really tight into a glass jar, sealed, and left on the counter to ferment or “pickle”. Why do this? The fermenting process creates friendly bacteria that break down the sugars and starches and turn them into lactic acid (fuel for you muscles and tissues). Donna Gates the author of The Body Ecology Diet speaks high praises about these veggies that contribute immensely to healing and building your inner ecosystem.

daunting

Of course after reading her book, I was gun-ho for these probiotic super veggies. I made them with no thought of me disliking them because I had to wait a week for them to ferment. One night dreamed they were ready, I ate some and like it. That got me a tiny bit excited to try them. As the week went on I started to worry, I don’t like pickles and I didn’t like any of the vegetables I was fermenting (cabbage, carrots, and kale). Then my husband opened a jar…the sour smell made my stomach cringe and cramp, I put the tiniest bite in my mouth and gagged all the way to the sink. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I am pregnant.

My solution, besides letting them sit on the counter for months…put a small amount of them in my smoothie and slowly increase the dosage. My kids and I enjoy this smoothie recipe from the Blendtec recipe book.

berries

Creed has named it The Black Smoothie (spoken in the tone of Captain Barbossa)
3/4 c water
1 banana
2 scant TB of cultured veggies (my addition)
2 c spinach
1 c frozen berries

blacksmoothie

The Blendtec blender is a fabulous addition to any kitchen and I would highly highly recommend getting one, especially if you are serious about getting more greens and cultured veggies in your diet. It makes the smoothest smoothies with hardly any effort.

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October in a nut shell

The Cenatiempo family had a very exciting, very enjoyable, very entertaining October (well I cant speak for my husband but the kids and I did).

Our first event of the month: driving up to Flagstaff NAU to watch Alydia play some volleyball!
Slam
She was on fire (but only because I lit a match under her bum by telling her I had never seen her play very well).  
Desperate Love
Creed was so excited to see her, and couldn’t get her enough hugs and kisses.
"Tardino, Creed is cute as always though"
And Lid was excited and grateful that we drove the 3 hours to come watch her play.

Second event: UTAH!  Creed, Luci, and I were up there for 11 days which according to my dad was hardly anytime at all.  Devin came up for the weekend of the wedding. The worst part of the whole trip was missing our fight.  We booked the next flight to UT which just so happened to have a 2 1/2 hour layover in Vegas.  Of course I was not expecting a layover and had no stroller and no food.  Creed threw the fit of all fits in the air port and I was helpless. Thankfully the lovely travlers of Vegas gave us some of their food and chocolate.  Some adults were even jealous that Creed could throw such a tantrum and they couldn’t.  Luckily there was a “train” that took passengers from one gate to the next; after the fit was over we ended up riding this 45 second train for an hour back and forth while we ate our donated food.

Third event: The Wedding.  And it was a beautiful.  
Happy couple
Of course my family had to be late.  My mom was 30 minutes late and my dad was 45.  I tried to tell the hostess that we should start the wedding with out them (well at least my dad) but thankfully she persisted that we waited for them.
mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, great grandmother, and Creed

Creed and Luci had a wonderful time at Grandma and Grandpa’s new home.  
Life is good and almost complete.
Creed was always in the garden digging with his trucks, and Luci wandered around the house pointing at all the decorations.  
pointer
The weather had been beautiful, there was plenty of  space for the kids to play outside (and plenty of space inside), a farm with chickens that I could run to every morning, and my family; I did not want to leave all of these things that I loved, but I did knowing I was coming home to a wonderful loving husband who is working so hard to take care of his family, and who loves me more than anything in the world.

Our Fourth Event: HALLOWEEN! oooohhh.  The Saturday before Halloween our ward had a carnival which I didn’t think was all that cool considering we had to pay for food and activities. Outrageous.  Supposedly it was a fundraiser for scouts, but I didn’t see any there. Despite my disappointment Creed had a great time, so great that he did not want to leave and you guessed it threw a fit.
The diggingest boy are you a sucker?
As we walked to church today he saw the church and asked if we were going to the party.  I’m going to have one heck of a time when he is a teenager, he loves parties.  Trick-or-treating down Main St Mesa
Halloween day we went trick-or-treating with our friends Kaiza and R.J. Burns down the Main st. of Mesa to all the businesses.  
coloring party
Followed by a family home evening of carving pumpkins with the Burns.

October was great.  Bring on November and the rest of the Holidays! IF you want to see more photos check out my flicker page!

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Peanut Gallery

We celebrated Luci’s first birthday this past Sunday.  Time is flying by.  I suppose from here on out everything will be happening in the blink of an eye and before I know it I’ll open my eyes and she will be a teenager (I think there is a MOTAB song about that).  Here is a collage to remember my little Lue before she’s grown up.

LUCI TRIBUTE

We sure do love her, and wherever we go she wins every heart with her big brown eyes and smile.

Pictures from here birthday dinner party are on my flicker page.  Enjoy.

 

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Friday Night, Pizza Night!

Ah, Friday, a big sigh of relief.  Who doesn’t love Fridays?  It’s the last day of school and/or work for the week, and the start of wonderful weekends.  So why not have pizza for dinner?  Better yet make it homemade pizza and get the whole family involved!

I’ve been trying to perfect my pizza technique over the past couple years, and at one point I thought I had it down, then I got prideful. My husband asked me what we were having for dinner one night, I replied pizza, he looked at me with the face that can tell no lies and said softly and honestly, I haven’t really liked your pizza lately.

Whhaa!  Oh my pride, my confidence, I was brought low and humbled.  And I didn’t make pizza that night, and haven’t for a couple months.  Until I was inspired by one of my friends’ blogs who had picture of her recently made pizza; it looked so perfect, so delicious, so cheesy, so yummy, I wanted her to invite me over for dinner.  I knew I must have some. I must try to make pizza again!

My desire for pizza was strong, and when you have strong desires great things come to pass.  Here is the dough recipe I use:

P is for Perfect Pizza

Dewy’s Pizza Crust (I think this is from a restaurant in Cincinnati. My sister-in-law gave me this recipe, and it just so happens she lives in Cincinnati.)

Makes 2, 12 inch pizzas

1 ½ c. of warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 c. flour

Proof yeast, sugar, and water in a liquid measuring cup.  Meanwhile combine salt, flour and olive oil in a mixing bowl.   When yeast has proofed add it to flour mixture, and stir until a wet dough forms.  At this point the flour and liquid should be combined to form a wet and sticky texture.  If you have too much flour add some water, or a better idea is to not put in the whole 4 cups of flour and only add enough flour to make a sticky dough.   Dump sticky dough onto a lightly floured surface and start to Knead.  (See my tips below to watch a video on how to knead dough.)  Once the dough has been kneaded and can be handled without sticking completely to your hands (it should still be a tiny, tiny bit sticky) place it in a lightly oiled bowl cover with a plastic bag and let it rise slowly in the refrigerator until doubled.

I’m not going to tell you what sauce to use, or what to put on your pizza that is all up to you.  As long as your foundation is good, you can’t really go wrong with sauce and toppings.

Here are some tips that will help you to make the yummiest pizza ever.

Tips from Emily the not so professional pizza chef:

-Make your dough in the morning and let it rise slowly in the refrigerator all day.  This develops the flavor and gluten, which makes the dough taste less like flour.

-Follow the said dough recipe, being careful not to add too much flour.

-Knead your dough by hand!  You don’t have to do this; but it makes me proud to tell my family that I kneaded the dough by hand.  Plus it’s a good skill to have for the end of the world. Check out Julia Child kneading her croissant dough, watch the whole video, or skip right to the kneading at 6:24 (this video was that ah ha, light bulb moment for me)

-Use whole milk mozzarella cheese, for a hot stringy mess.

-Use a HOT, HOT oven and a HOT, HOT pizza stone.  So hot that every time you open the oven the smoke alarm goes off!

-Accompanied by a pizza peal of course, making sure your newly formed pizza crust has enough flour and corn meal so the pizza won’t stick when you try to slide it onto the stone.

-Let your pizza rest a couple of minutes after its out of the oven so the cheese can set.

-Practice makes perfect.

And finally the eating of the the pizza.  Oh it’s so yummy.  My husband said this was one of my best pizzas!  I was very proud of it, and didn’t share any of the leftovers the next day.
Say cheese! Put a smile on

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Give Away!

Think of your home. Now picture your home dirty. What is the easiest way to clean your house with kids around? Turn on a movie. Now you have one to two hours to get your house clean and yes it’s possible without the interruption of a tornado child and their path of destruction. All is well, things are getting cleaned, kids are being pacified. It’s quiet you can hear yourself think. You can also faintly hear the movie in the back ground…wait it’s to quiet, could it be possible the kids are just really into the movie? Go check.

Yep… Breath, sigh, and breath again, count to ten, leave the room if your on your period.

Leave a comment and you can win this child.

ARGH

Not this child My precious

You'll pay for this later! But this one.
Sure, the situation looks harmless, unless you know he has a dairy allergy.  Once again just leave a comment and you could win!
Happy
But not this child.

Contest is now closed.

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Nooks and Crannies

I love bread.  I’m on a quest: to find bread recipes like the bread you buy in the store.   What? Why not just buy the bread in the store you say. Because I want to make it and use my food storage.

I have been on the look out for a English muffin recipe for a couple years and have been disappointed with the few I have tried. They all lacked the “Famous nooks and crannies” which hold all that melted butter, and were just dry, nasty, and a lot of work.  I’m proud to say I have found the ultimate English muffin recipe. I can say ultimate because it comes from non other than the infamous Alton Brown.  And its supper easy to make.

What you will need:
NOT A MIXER OR A BREAD MACHINE! And you can keep all your rings on, you wont even be touching the dough.
A bowl, liquid measuring cup, canning rings, griddle or the pan you cook pancakes in or a dutch oven skillet with a lid, and a cookie scoop.
EASY.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening (I used butter)
1 cup hot water
1 envelope dry yeast or
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
In a large bowl combine milk, sugar, shortening, and 1/4 tsp of the salt with the hot water.
In liquid measuring cup proof yeast in warm water with the 1/8 tsp of sugar. (Proofing is the word used for making sure you activated or awakened your yeast from hibernation. It does two things; ensures you didn’t kill the yeast with too hot of water, and if your yeast is old it lets you know its sill alive. I like to whisk my yeast and water ensuring all the yeast gets dissolved. The mixture is activated when it starts to get foamy. The sugar is yeast food and will help it get foamy faster.)
Add proofed yeast to the bowl along with with the flour.
Mix well with a wooden spoon or any mixing spoon, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 40-60 minutes. The longer it rests, the more air bubbles, which equals more nooks and crannies for your butter!
Add reaming 3/4 tsp salt (salt kills yeast that’s why the majority of it is added at the end). Mix well. Now our dough is ready for cooking. I told you it was easy.

These muffins are cooked on the stove or on a (griddle at 350F) and the key to not burning them is low heat. I cooked mine on the 4 but next time I will use the 3 setting on my stove. Very important! make sure you pan is preheated before you start cooking. Now, that your pan is hot arrange your canning rings in your pan (don’t over crowd them) spray with cooking spray and use your cookie scoop to fill-em-up, but don’t fill them too full, they will rise a bit as they cook. Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes on each side. To open, split them with your fingers or a fork.

And voilà English muffins complete with nooks and crannies. So good (and easy) there is no need to buy them from the store any more.

nooks and crannies
You will not be disappointed.

Posted in Food storage, Recipes | Tagged | 3 Comments

Unleash the power of the sun

My dad is a prepper.  He is very seriously preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  He has taken it upon himself to be prepare for ALL his family, all my Mom’s family, even family friends.

Naturally he is concerned for his family in AZ.  Knowing when something happens the chances of us making it to SLC are very slim.  He does what he can to convince us to get our year supply of everything and has helped where he can.  Christmas of 2009 he gave us a Berkey, which is the best water purifer out there acording to him, myself, and others.  Christmas of 2010 he gave us a Global Sun Oven.

I am very happy to be the recipient of these wonderful “tools”.  Unfortunately when we were given the sun oven we lived in an apartment.  The patio did not received enough sun shine to cook food.  Then we moved.  There was no room to take the sun oven to our temporary home at the in-laws.  So it got packed up tight in our storage unit.  Until finally seven months later we bought our condo (Dave Ramsey style).  Out of the darkens of storage came the light.  There it was my Global Sun Oven, time to harness the power of the sun.

As I watched the instruction video for my sun oven, the guy instructing said that it can hard boil and egg without water!  I was immediately intrigued.

Hardboiled without the boil eggs quartet

Amazing, it worked just like he said. I didn’t heat my house up one bit which was excellent seeing as how its 110 outside. Here’s my lovely egg salad sandwich which wasn’t so lovely to eat after all the salt I added.  The children’s faces were priceless when they took a bite.

Egg salad yummy yummy

This boy threw the biggest fit when I was taking the picture of the four eggs. He wanted to eat an egg so bad. I was a mean mom and made him wait in the bathroom until I had finished my photo session.

Mad face Lady Lu

And this little girl…well how could you not love her. She patiently waited to eat her egg.

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