Posts Tagged ‘fiestaware’

Real Food Recipe: Heavenly Baked Beans

Friday, October 29th, 2010
We have always been relatively healthy eaters but everybody has their vices, mine is canned beans. Due to the baby’s soy allergy/intolerance, our participation in the Nestle boycott,and the desire to eat more whole foods we’ve been making things from scratch.  There is little as satisfying as taking an over processed comfort/junk food and using it as inspiration for a delicious meal.
Baked Beans are very easy in a Crockpot but do take a long time.  It sure is worth it, as is all the sugar (I didn’t say this was health food).  They also freeze well.
1 lb of beans (if I can find solider beans I use those, generally I use navy beans)
1 large peeled onion studded with 3 cloves
enough water to cover beans
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of molasses
¼ cup of maple syrup
2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
½ tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of ground pepper
2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 cup of butter (or vegan or carnivore fat of your choice)
Rinse your beans under cold water.  Cover with water and soak overnight/all day.  This soaking helps soften up the beans and starts the germination process which helps you digest them.
Twenty four hours later, drain and rinse the beans really well.
Toss any split beans, loose skins or generally ugly beans in the compost.
Throw them in your Crockpot/slow cooker with the clove studded onion.


Add all your ingredients in no particular order.  Stir around a bit.



Turn the Crockpot on high and start cooking them for a full work day.  I have let them cook for as long as 20 hours, starting on low and turning them up to high for the last 8 hours or so if that’s how the timing works out.  I know it’s a little excessive, but they really are delicious and the smell of molasses filling your house is spectacular.  Check them a few times, if the liquid has reduced too much, add a little water, if the beans seem close to ready and they’re too wet, take the lid off for a bit.  Pull out the onion bits before serving.

Although the cooking time is long, the amount of work is minimal, probably 5 minutes worth of actual labour.
I like to eat them with mustard and toast which I hear this is an East Coast thing.  I think I need to go have some right now…

Recipe: Pickled Beets are Delicious

Friday, October 15th, 2010
Beets are one of my favourite vegetables.  They are so easy to grow, grow beautifully in a container or in the garden, come in so many colours and shapes and even striped.  I also enjoy that the entire plant is edible, the tops are great steamed with vinegar and butter, and although a roasted beet is a delicious thing what I really crave is a pickled beet with lots of cloves.
This recipe is very versatile.  I will give the small batch amounts, but know that you can scale this recipe up quite easily.  This round I have processed 4 times the amounts listed so you might just get a jar of beets for Christmas.
You will need:
10 medium beets; about 3 ½ pounds
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup of water
1 cup of vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of cloves
To prep your beets, give them a good wash and cut off the tops, save them for dinner.  Boil beets for 45 minutes, this will cook them and make it easy to remove the skins.

While they’re boiling it’s a good time to prep all your jars by cleaning them and starting a few of them boiling up in a big pot.  Start heating up all your lids and rings in a smaller pot on medium heat.  Do this on your back two burners, as you’re about to have all four going at once.

Its also time to make your brine.  Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cloves in a pan and boil until sugar and salt are dissolved.  You’ll need to strain out most of the cloves or put them in cheesecloth or a tea ball.  Keep it going on low heat.
After 45 minutes, plunge your beets into cold water.  You should now be able to rub the skins off with your hands.  Do this under running water or in a full sink and your hands won’t stain.  Not that there’s anything wrong with purple hands.  Have a knife and peeler on hand to get rid of any rough spots.
Cut the beets into slices or wedges.

Now pack your boiled jars with the beets and cover with brine.  I like to throw 1 or 2 cloves in with each jar.  You need to leave ¼ inch of room at the top and make sure the jar lips are clean.
Put the lids on, finger tight, and heat process for 10 minutes.
Then find a nice cool place out of direct sunlight to store them.  This recipe is nice because you can eat them almost right away, or wait a few weeks and they’ll get even better.
I really like these short jars as they fit just enough to finish at one meal, therefore perfect for a potluck. They are 8 oz wide mouth Ball elite jars.
As with all canning recipes, please follow safe canning practices.

Wordless Wednesday: Gratuitous Carrot Photography / Pornography

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

In celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving we harvested and shared the last of our carrots from the garden with my family. My soil is mainly sand, which may be terrible for tomatoes but it certainly makes good carrots. This year we had great luck growing a rainbow of carrots; white, yellow, red, orange and purple.  Rebecca really likes watching me pull them out of the ground but is afraid to do it herself.

Regarding the title, please see this great post regarding garden porn from you grow girl, circa 2003. Safe for work, I promise.

Recipe: Perfect Pesto

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The last pesto of the season is always delicious but also a little sad.  I suppose not having fresh pesto all winter just makes it more delicious in the spring.  I’ll try to make this quick and painless so I don’t miss it too much.  Pesto is so, so, so simple to make and absolutely one of my favorite foods.

You’ll need:
4 cups of washed basil with stems and flowers removed
1 cup of pine nuts
¼ – ½ cup of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
garlic scapes
¼ cup of parsley
We typically pick basil right into the salad spinner, then we can collect it, wash and dry it really easily.
Its important to sample your ingredients.
In your food processor, combine pine nuts and garlic and pulse a few times to start your chopping.  Add the basil, parsley and scapes, probably in two batches.  Add the olive oil to keep things moving as you continue chopping with the food processor.  Last but not least, add the salt and pepper.
We used to use a blender, but after two were destroyed by making this recipe, we invested in a real food processor.  Blenders are for smoothies, not nuts.
It will keep for up to a week in a tightly sealed container in the fridge, but we’ve never been able to last that long with out eating it all.
Our favourite way to eat it is on pasta with tomatoes from the garden. Beyond pasta, it is essential on tomato sandwiches, wonderful on pizza and our old roommate even used to eat spoonfuls straight out of the fridge in the middle of the night.
Stayed tuned for a post on BBQed pesto pizza by the end of the week.

Recipe: Autumn Soup

Friday, October 1st, 2010
This is a staple at our house once the weather starts to get colder and the vegetables from the garden start to take over the house.  Currently we are overrun with carrots and squash so it must be time for soup.
First things first we need to make the stock.  I like to have some made ahead but lately I’m just not that organized.  We avoid store bought stock for a few reasons; BPA in cans, high levels of sodium especially for the baby, and all vegetable stock seems to have soy, which we just can’t have.  Stock is so easy to make that there’s really no need for the prepared stuff anyway.
Soup stock:
Fill a big pot ¾ full of cold tap water
Add 1 carrot cut lengthwise
4 stocks of celery, the more leaves the better*
2 peeled onions
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Let the water reach a boil then turn down to a simmer for about an hour.  Once everything is soft and the stock has a nice colour, strain out veggies.
*We like to use organic celery.  It tastes better and it’s the number one food on the dirty dozen; the EWG’s list of foods with the highest levels of pesticides and therefore the most important foods to buy organic.
If I haven’t prepared the stock ahead of time I start roasting the veggies as the stock simmers.  They will be finished at about the same time.
Roast your veggies on the barbeque:
Roast together with a pinch of salt and a liberal amount of olive oil:
A handful of orange carrots

A handful of yellow carrots

2 red onions
A handful of tomatoes
1 zucchini
Normally I would use one squash, but this time I used 3; 2 Waltham Butternut and 1 Royal Acorn. We officially have too many squash.  I normally would never use this much, but we need to use them up and we have a lot of people to feed this weekend.
Sprinkle each half with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
Put 1 clove of garlic in each cavity.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Grill veggies at 400° for 45 minutes and squash for 1 hour.
Make the soup:
Scoop out the squash into your pot of stock.  Add your veggies.   Add a chopped up potato for each person. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend the soup:
An immersion blender would work best, but since I don’t have one I whizz it up in the food processor in a few batches.  Generally we continue to cook it for at least 20 minutes, or until its time to eat, once the soup has been blended.
Garnish with a nasturtium or some chives and serve with a nice piece of bread (like Ace Bakery’s Rosemary Focaccia) with too much butter.