cooking, farmers, fresh, fresh berries, Uncategorized

tis the season

20170610_134346-1_resizedOf course, you know what season I am talking about!

Fresh Strawberries and just picked Rhubarb season!!!

This past weekend Mr. Right brought home our first flat of fresh berries to indulge in.  Oh man, this is good stuff! 20170610_084932-1_resized

Oh, la la.  Love berries & rhubarb. (and Mr. Right, I think they call that a trifecta?)

The rhubarb tartness and strawberry sweet somehow mingle together on your tongue to create this amazing flavor combination of perfection.

The first thing I made was a Galette and then I made a sauce.

Enough chit-chat… let’s move to pictures…..

 

IMG_20170612_162747 (4)

Clean plate club members.  enough said.

The end.

Whatcha been cooking in your neck of the woods?

 

 

cooking, friends, haPPY, recipe, Uncategorized

easy fix

Yesterday while teaching a baking lesson the unthinkable happened.  I reached to get a box of brown sugar and discovered it was nearly empty.  GASP.  Oh no!  We NEED 1 cup!

My almost 11-year-old friend, was instantly sad.  We were in the process of gathering ingredients to make her Dad’s favorite molasses cookies.  Big ol’ sad face with huge sad eyes. (Can you imagine, this face being sad?  Oh dear.)20170328_120302-1_resized

Why don’t we just make some?

WHAT?

Make brown sugar?

um, yeah, that’s what people do.

I don’t know how to make it.

I do.

I will teach you.

Pencil ready?

Write this down:

 1 cup of white sugar + 1 Tablespoon molasses, mix = Brown Sugar. 

Done

Wait!!!! 

That’s it?

Yes, that’s it.

Chop, chop, Lollipop!

Let’s get that cookie dough made so we can chill it and make cookies for your Dad!

20170328_153841_resized

cooking, grandchildren, recipe, Uncategorized

ribbit ribbit

In so much as we say we will indulge our grands with anything they want, secretly we have limits.  A pony?  Sure!  New shoes that their parents said are too pricey?  Sure!  Any book they want?  Why, yes indeed!

Sugar, not so much.

Luckily for us, their parents are well-educated and informed.  They know that sugar on little bodies is not a good thing.  Sugar on little people makes parenting so much tougher.

Sugar causes inflammation.  Sugar suppresses the immune system, a weak immune system is trouble.  Sugar generates alertness, making bedtime difficult.  On and on the list goes as to why we should all be serious about leaving out sugar.

My job?  My job as Grandma Daleen is to love them and I show that by listening to them, sewing for them & baking treats and goodies for them.

One trick to being a good grandma is to indulge my little darlings without upsetting the parental apple cart.  We think our grands are being raised extremely well.  So proud of our adult children.  We would like to respect their desire to raise healthy, well-adjusted young people.

However, I still want to bake fun, happy, silly treats for our grands.  I think, just maybe, I figured out a wonderful solution.

I found a new cookie cutter, several actually.  I only bought one to try.  I loved the idea of controlling the ingredients, yet making the impression so deep on the cookie that no frosting is needed.  Thus cutting down on sugar, yet still having a fun treat.

20170322_113751_resizedI searched for a recipe that wouldn’t spread too much. I didn’t want the shape of the 20170322_112953_resizedcookie to get distorted.  I played with the amount of sugar, so I used less.  I must say this recipe turned out perfect, perfect, perfect for these types of cookies.  Oh wait, maybe that is why they are called, “Simply Perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookies”?

https://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-chocolate-sugar-cookies/

The flavor is mild.  The dough turned out smooth and held its shape perfect.

20170322_120048-1_resizedThis practice batch of frogs is for Mr. Right’s 80-year-old chess teacher.  Chess teachers love chocolate frogs, right?

PS.  Oh, you KNOW I am going back to buy all the animal cookie shapes!!!!  Grands NEED homemade animal cookies!!!!

Chat soon.

 

 

cooking, food review, friends, friendship, pure goodness, sewing, Uncategorized

Guest Author, Chef Natalie

It gives me much happiness to introduce to you,  my guest author, Chef Natalie.20161220_131129_resized_1

I wrote about our adventures in a previous post.   https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/5-star-soup-10-star-chef/

Housekeeping:  Because my guest is under 18 years of age, I have asked  and was granted permission of her parents to share some pictures.  

I am delighted to share this post with you my kind hearted & charming readers.

Please leave a positive, uplifting comment, send my guest Good Karma and by all means please share this post on your blog or on Social Media.  Thank you, kindly.  I appreciate your kind feedback and I know for sure, she will.

I have this funny feeling, we are all in on the ground floor of ……. something pretty special. 

Please welcome my friend, Chef Natalie!

Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m 10 years old and I love to cook. I started cooking with my mom when I was 3. I love helping my mom cook and I love seeing people like my food.

I spent the best day ever at Miss. Daleens house. We started the day by making a delicious 20161220_090844_resizedsmoothie. It was a banana, strawberry, spinach, lime juice, chia seeds and coconut smoothie. I got to crack open a coconut with a hammer and a coco jack. we used the meat scraper to get all of the meat. The tools that we used to open the coconut were so much safer than using a knife and a hammer which did not work out for me before. I had to get 3 stiches! Oww! Once we were not hangry any more we made palmiers. p.s hangry means your so hungry that your grumpy. The palmiers are like a light fluffy 20161220_105041-1_resized_1crossont covered in sugar. They were my favorite cookie of all because they were sweet but not too sweet. They were super easy but looked like you spent hours on them.

Next we made the dough for Daleens Famous molasses cookies. While that was chillin we tried facon!  Its coconut, tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup. It tasted surprisingly like bacon. After that the dough was chilled so we scooped it into marble size balls. We baked them for 14 minutes. Once all those were finished we moved onto the pizelles which tasted wonderful.

20161220_124152_resizedPizelles are like a flat pretty waffle cone. But it was not a cone. They can be flat or you can wrap them around a wooden cone shaped mold but you have to wrap it around when it comes out of the burning hot pizzelle iron. It was really hot. I think I20161220_125817_resized_1 burnt of 3 layers of my skin! Even though it hurt, in the end it was all worth it. For my family I filled them with ice-cream and put whipped cream on top. We loved them. You can also fill with ricotta and powdered sugar mix. For a fancy vibe you can add whipped cream on top. They 20161220_131653-1_resizedwere delicious and beautiful.

 

Ok time for a break, Im getting hangry again. Lets have lunch. For lunch we made vegetable bisque and cheese crackers by putting parmesan on a baking tray with parchment paper and baked it at 350 for 15 minutes. The soup and the cheese crackers together were fenomenal. We laughed talked and had a good time. We

talked about presentation for our food and how important it is because people eat with their eyes first. Also you need to put some of the ingredients in your food on top so if 20161220_115822_resized_1people are allergic to something they can see it on top and know they cant eat it. You have to be careful of allergies when your cooking for other people. Ask them ahead of time if they have any allergies and stay away from those things. For example nuts are a very common allergy

Back to work.

First we did the dishes and cleaned up. Into the sewing room to make the last thing, pot holders. We made a practice one and then made my mom two. They were so 20161220_144736_resized_2easy to make. It was good for my first time using a real sewing 20161220_155827_resized_1machine. Its cool to see how it works. Miss Daleen taught me a little bit about the parts. Its important to iron so you have clean

 

sewing lines and it looks more professional. Later when my mom came home I gave the pot holders to her for an early Christmas present. She loved them so much

All in all it was a great day hangin out with my best pal Miss Daleen. Hope we can do it again soon.

 

cooking, garden, health, recipe, recipe comfort food, respect, Uncategorized

garbage broth

I keep a plastic bag in the freezer.  Whenever I have 2 mushrooms left over or the stems of some cleaned bok choy, half a carrot, 1/4 onion, extra green beans and on the list goes, I toss into the bag.   Until the bag is packed full, I just keep adding to it.  You know?  One tomato left in the basket, 2 stalks of broccoli…. and so it goes.

To be honest, I am learning that not everyone cooks.  So if you don’t have a “garbage bag” full of bits and pieces, odds and ends, you can always use fresh.

I like the idea of truth telling.  I am getting brave.

I prepare dinner at least 26 or so times a month.       Mr. Right and I are worth excellent home made food.  It is my privilege to prepare and cook delicious meals that are without chemicals, additives and dyes.  Our health is vital and of value to us.

I do have other hobbies and an actual job, so I do appreciate a smart cooking short cut.   I actually mean, I don’t cook 28 days a month.  More like 12 to 15 days.  I always make two or three sides/meals worth at a time.  For example today, I made 3 cups of broth for our Risotto tonight. Then I froze two packages, 3 cups each for another time.

20160915_103520-1_resizedTo make the broth, I use a large stock pot.   I added one chopped onion (save the skin and ends for the broth) 4 cloves garlic, one stalk of celery, a splash of peanut oil and I cook until soft and it all browns a bit.  Next, I added the entire bag of “garbage” from my freezer and the ends of the onion, celery and carrot from what I am simmering.  Added 9 cups of filtered water.  I toss in 2 Bay leaves, 6 peppercorns, oodles of fresh herbs from our garden and some real salt.

Cook/simmer for 1 hour.

Strain through a sieve.  Cool.

I package into freezer bags, 3 cup portions.  Take up less space, freeze flat, then store like books in your freezer.  20160915_122720-1_resized

Hey, 3 cups is the exact amount I need to make an amazing mushroom Risotto tonight for supper!

While that is cooking, I already had the cutting board  & knives out.  So I chopped some mushrooms and tossed it with some vegetables and put it all into the slow cooker.  Creamy dreamy mushroom soup headed our way.  20160915_113414-1_resized

The dehydrator is filled with sage today.  I wish I could make this post have a scratch n sniff option.  Our home smells so earthy, savory…. just lovely. 20160912_112906-1_resized

In this together,

Here’s to our good health and wellness.

Love to hear what’s cooking in your neck of the woods.

 

 

 

cooking, haPPY, health, Uncategorized

woman’s work

Usually two times during the year, my grandma would come to our home for a one week stay.  My grandpa would drive her, spend the night, then leave the next morning.  “leaving the woman folk to their work.”  He would return a week later, stay for a meal, then he would drive them home.

My bedroom was the “guest” room, so, during those times,  I slept in a sleeping bag on the sofa.

She came for canning.  Late August for all the garden bounty and then again in October for all the peaches, pears, apples and so forth.  She didn’t come with presents for us nor did she read stories.  She wasn’t the warm and fuzzy kind of grandma.  She came to work.

During the week, we 3 girls would have to entertain ourselves, outdoors.  We would get to eat lunch in our backyard fort.  Popsicle were offered from the doorway. We drank from the garden hose.  We played tether ball.  Simple dinners were eaten outdoors on the picnic table. We used paper napkins.   If by chance the weather was poor, we had to make camp in the family room and color, play dress up, pretend next door neighbor or play dolls.

We were not allowed in the kitchen.  It was work, hard work and dangerous.  Or so we were told.

Every now and then, I would see my mom and grandma, still wearing their aprons, come outside to hang laundry up on the line or I would see them sitting on the back porch step, talking.

I know now, that when they were sitting on the back porch, sure they were resting their feet, getting some fresh air, maybe a breeze,  however, more importantly, that meant the pressure cooker was doing it’s thing and they never stayed in the kitchen while it was working.  They re-told horror stories of pressure cookers exploding in kitchens across the land.  No one they ever knew personally, just stories passed along.   Good news, I have no such story to share about canning in my family, nor anyone I ever heard of.

While my family had more than enough …things, money, nice homes, cars, stuff…….no one I was ever related to nor knew had air conditioning in their homes.

Picture this, today it will be around 90*.  Add 90 degrees + hot stove + boiling water + pressure cooker…… well, it just doesn’t sound ideal.  It sounds hot and miserable.

20160816_195831_resizedYesterday, I picked a bounty of tomatoes from my garden.  (note:  from this moment on, when I fill out a form that says: Hobbies______________________.  Along with sewing, quilting, cross stitching, embroidery, I am now going to add gardening!)

This morning I cut an X in the bottom of each tomato.20160817_080854-1_resized Boiled them for 45 seconds, plunged into ice 20160817_081516-1_resizedwater, peeled then chopped and tossed into the crock pot.

Wait, no crock pot 60+ years ago?  They cooked sauce all day long on the stove.

I added fresh picked parsley, onions, garlic lots of garlic, herbs and S & P.20160817_082706-1_resized

20160817_085020-1_resizedMarinara sauce is simmering as I type.  I can freeze some for later use. By adding this or that, it will become pizza, spaghetti, egg plant Parmesan, lasagna or Bolognase sauce. Tonight, grilled mushrooms will be added to the mix and it will smoother some homemade pasta.

I dripped a bit of tomato juice on the kitchen floor.  Instead of bending down to wipe it up, I just got out the swifter and made quick work of mopping the floor.  Tossed the wet towel in garbage and went about my day.

I did not have to get out the rope mop, bucket and Spic& Span cleaner.  I did not have to heft that mop, do the floor, then wring it out with my hands, then rinse it clean, then hang it on the line to dry.

Here’s to all the grandma’s/mom’s that came before us and did “woman’s work”.  Read that as hot, heavy duty work,  washing and cutting up vegetables and fruits,  washing and boiling hundreds (and I honestly mean hundreds) of jars and lids all while still watching children, doing laundry, mopping floors and figuring out what to make for meals.

Today, I for one am mighty GRATEFUL for air conditioning, swifter mops, crock pots, 20160817_085551-1_resizedfreezers and a Mr. Right who doesn’t call it “woman’s work”.

I have a pretty good feeling, he would offer to take me out to dinner because I slaved in the air conditioned kitchen this morning for 45 minutes.

In this together, folks.

Chat tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cooking, friends, friendship, garden, Uncategorized

5 star soup, 10 star chef

Ah, the soup. The flavors were spot on.  You could taste layer upon layer of flavor building.  It started with a well crafted vegetarian broth.  A sprig or two of rosemary, a couple stems of thyme and a few choice pieces of parsley, all freshly picked from the garden, added to the broth to simmer in the background for another hour or so.

Once the flavors developed in the broth & herbs removed, gorgeous chunks of zucchini, garlic and onion were added.  The heat was gently brought up to a simmer.  The vegetables were allowed to play together, absorb and share their glorious flavors.   As soon as the onion and zucchini were easy to pierce with a fork…. out came the immersion blender.  The chef did it on slow and took her time.  She made sure all the timber was blended well.  Next,  3 heaping spoonfuls of lush sour cream was added.  The immersion blender reappeared and was once again instrumental in producing a creamy soup, almost silky in texture.  You could see the steam rising. 20160802_122906-1_resized

The bowls were heated before the chef used a ladle to gently ease the subtle green colored liquid silk into each.

20160802_123013-1_resizedThe garnish was quickly, yet thoughtfully applied.  Grated Parmesan, freshly snipped chives, fresh, stunning green pea shoots,  a couple of garden fresh picked peas, a chive flower and a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper. 20160802_122833-1_resized

The offered bowl of soup was a feast for the eyes.

That first bite.  Eyes closed, the warm, creamy liquid did a slow dance in our mouths just a moment before it slid down our throats.  I just barely caught the slight salt of the cheese garnish and the bite of the fresh pepper.  The mingling of savory delights was a symphony of flavors any restaurateur would be more than proud to offer to their guests.

Well done.  5 star good.

Yes, that good.

A simple, elegant lunch, however I thought I could going on eating that delicious offering all afternoon. I knew I would remember that meal for some time.

Oh, did I mention the creator’s name?  I am proud to say my friend, Chef Natalie, age 10.

You read that correctly.  AGE 10.

Because of her parents, she is respectful, smart, thoughtful, curious and a hard worker. She is over the moon enthusiastic and eager to learn, as much as she can, as fast as she can.

20160802_094355-1_resizedI had the privilege of spending the day with her.  Somehow, just by working side by side, she elevates the game.  You bring your A game, because, well, quite honestly, she is watching your every move.

She is serious.  Oh sure, she has an infectious laugh, is quick-witted and asks purposeful questions.  Don’t for one moment, let your guard down and causally  think this is child’s play.  This is the real deal.  She listened to and wanted to learn how to use a Coco-Jack to open a young coconut.  She was listening to every single safety rule about how to use the immersion blender.  She was already comfortable with the Blend-Tec, food processor and Kitchen-Aid.

We tied our hair back, we put on fresh aprons, we wore closed toe shoes, we washed our hands again and again and again.  We tasted and then flipped the spoon around and used the handle to taste again.  We went through a drawer full of spoons and I folded 11 freshly laundered kitchen towels this morning.  We worked the day through. 20160802_121402-1_resized

She made a meal for her family. Eyes on the prize.  Serving her brother, Dad and Mom a meal she could be proud of.  She never once lost focus.  She is fierce and determined.  She served them an appetizer, a soup course, the main meal and a dessert to finish.

The day began for us with glorious smoothies using fresh young coconut and the water, strawberries, mango, spinach and lime.  Chefs need to be well nourished so they can concentrate on cooking well for others.

The days’ list unfolded like this:

Smoothies

Zucchini Soup

Chihuly Salad

Pot Stickers

Molasses Cookies

She picked & gathered green beans, tomatoes, radishes, herbs and a fresh egg. She learned about and started a batch of sprouts in the kitchen.

It was a full day of learning, giggling & oodles of fun.  It was the good kind of tired.  You know?  So tired from cooking all day, yet somehow re-energized with pure joy and enthusiasm to serve the meal to your family.

I was the sous chef.  I helped and washed dishes. I scrubbed carrots, beets and a pear.  I washed bok choy & spinach.   I sent pictures to mom and dad throughout the day. I got out fresh kitchen towels, different tools, appliances and kept things moving along our time line.

When she says “I made pot stickers”.  She really means, she chopped the ingredients, made the savory filling, learned to make dumplings and took 46 home to her family.  The chefs in the kitchen each got to cook and sample one.  Oh, be still my heart.  Lush, moist filling inside a plump, perfectly steamed dumpling wrapper. Oh yeah, she made pot stickers and a lovely sauce to serve alongside.

*Housekeeping note:  Because my friend is under 18, I asked for and received permission from her parents to share these pictures.

I wanted to write this post as sort of a thank you to my friend.  I loved spending the day together.  The day flew by and I can’t remember smiling as much as I did.    Then I got to thinking.  I wanted to share this because, it’s what many of us are looking for.

You know when we (grown up adults) all sigh and complain that we are not sure what our mission is, or what our calling is?

Maybe, just maybe our calling is to be the “sous chef”?  Maybe, our mission is to lift someone else up and help them stretch up on their tippy toes, while they stand on a kitchen stool to reach their potential?

May you be a “victim of Grace” as I was.  While washing dishes and gently reminding a young chef to keep their fingers curled under while using a mighty big knife…….may you be gobsmacked by the Grace and Goodness of a young person who is looking to you.

In this together friends, all covered and splattered with grace.

Bon Appetit.