Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chicken Liver Pate


3 Tbsp. butter, plus 4 Tbsp, softened
1 pound chicken or duck livers
1/2 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 med. garlic clove, mashed
1/2 tsp. powdered mustard
1/4 tsp. dried dill
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt

Melt the 3 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skilled over medium heat. Add the livers, mushrooms and scallions, cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the livers are browned. Add the wine, garlic, powdered mustard, herbs and lemon juice. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes until the liquid is gone. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and allow to cool.
When completely cooled, add the 4 Tbsp. if softened butter. Process until smooth, then taste and season with salt as needed. Transfer to a crock or mold, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 week.

This is a version of the recipe in "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Coconut Flour Pancakes (gluten-free, grain-free)

This is from www.cheeseslave.com, one of my favorite blogs.
It's the same recipe minus the salt and sweetener.

3 eggs
3 Tbsp. melted butter or coconut ol
3 Tbsp. whole milk, or coconut milk
3 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional)

Whisk together eggs, butter, milk. Add baking powder and coconut flour until well mixed.
Heat coconut oil in a skillet or on a griddle over medium low.
Spoon 2-3 Tbsp of batter onto skillet to make 3-4 inch diameter pancakes.
This makes only a small about of batter, only about 4 medium pancakes. So most of the time I double it.
I like to add mini chocolate chips or almond extract to spice them up a bit on occasion.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sourdough bread - slow fermentation

After studying different ways and methods of making sourdough bread I settled on information from two main sources. I found the website www.sourdoughhome.com to be the easiest information to understand how to take care of my starter and I found the recipe at http://www.rejoiceinlife.com/recipes/sourdoughSlow.php to be the easiest recipe to follow while still providing a slow fermentation. A slow fermentation is important because in that time the gluten is partly or largely broken down as well as other anti-nutrients such as phytic acid. (Visit www.westonaprice.org for more information on how to treat your grains properly and why.)

So, here is the information I found helpful when putting together my 

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread.

To be ready to start the recipe you need to have a healthy sourdough starter.

If you have a healthy starter here are the 3 rules to maintain it:
1.       It must be feed no less than twice a day to keep its vitality (if it is at room temperature)
2.       Each feeding should be enough for it to double its size.
3.       Each feeding should be equal amouts of water and flour by weight. (2 parts water to 3 parts flour by volume)

*****If your starter was in the fridge you should take it out and give it at least one feeding the night before Day 1 to make sure it’s very active.******

(This information is taken from: http://www.sourdoughhome.com/)


  • About 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup very active starter
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt
  • 25 g (2 Tbsp.) lard or butter
  • Water
(65 g = ½ cup of flour)
(65 g = little less than 1/3 c. water)

Day 1 (Making the Sponge)

9:00 am (First feed)
In a large mixing bowl, mix 65 g whole wheat flour and 65 g of water with ½ cup of your active starter. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 4-5 hours.
1:00 pm (Second feed)
Add another 65 g each of flour and water to the bowl. Stir and cover.
4:00 pm (Third feed)
Add another 65 g each of flour and water to the bowl. Stir and cover.
7:00 pm (final additions)
Dissolve ¼ tsp of sea salt in ½ cup of water and add it to the sponge, then mix in the melted fat. Then add 325 g (2 ½ cups) of flour. Add a little cold water at a time to form a wet dough. You want the dough to just stick to your hands and countertop. The wetter the better. Knead for about 5 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil in a glass bowl, cover with plastic and put into the fridge for 12-72 hours. This is the slow fermentation step that breaks down anti-nutrients including some gluten. 

Day 2 (Baking Day)

9:00 am (Rising Time)
Take dough out of fridge (It should have doubled in size.)
Dump onto counter and let warm for a few minutes. Knead for a few minutes, adding water if necessary.
Shape dough and put into greased baking pan (I like pampered chef stoneware greased with coconut oil)
Cover with plastic and leave in warm place until double in size (3 ½ to 4 hours).
1:00 pm (Baking time)
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. If you have a baking stone put it in the oven as you preheat it and add a metal bowl of hot water to the bottom of the oven.
Bread should read about 180-190 degrees inside when done. Cool on wire rack.
“A warm place” means warmer than a normal house at room temp. I set mine inside the oven with the light on. It is 82 in there and that seems to work perfectly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mexican Casserole

1 lb ground beef or venison
1-2 cups brown rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook rice according to instructions. Preheat oven to 350. Cook ground beef for 4 minutes then add onion and all the seasonings. Stir well and cook 10 minutes more or until beef is done and onion translucent. Add minced garlic and cook 1 min. Add rice, beans and tomato sauce. Stir and pour into buttered casserole. Layer sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with your favorite toppings (sour cream, salsa, guacamole.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chocolate Ice Cream

3 egg yolks (farm-fresh, local if possible)
3 cups cream (I use 1 pint heavy cream from the store (not ultra-pasteurized) and 1 cup raw)
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla (don't cheat on quality here. Makes a big difference)
1/3 cup cocoa powder processed with alkali (won't taste the same with regular cocoa powder)
3 oz. Pure Maple Syrup

Mix all together and pour into ice cream maker.
(the quality of the cream makes a big difference on how creamy it is. You can substitute milk for cream and it will get less thick and creamy. You can buy the most expensive brand of high quality local cream for example "Black Star Dairy" in the Park Rapids area and you get a heavenly rich creamy ice cream)

P.S. For vanilla ice cream you just leave out the cocoa powder.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to cook nourishing baby food

"Third time is a charm."
It is time to start feeding my third child solids. What do I feed him?
As a Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leader and having just finished reading the "GAPS Syndrome" book by Natasha Campbell McBride and dealing with yet another child that seems to deal with reflux issues I am motivated and enabled more than ever to start out on the right foot. (or should I say "food"?) So I vowed to never buy a single jar (or plastic container) of baby food for this baby and I am finding out it is not that difficult and so delightful to me to go to my freezer and pull out what I want to feed him. I feel so good knowing what I am feeding him. I want to know what kind of chicken is in my baby food!

Philosophy behind this approach:
I used Natasha Campbell McBride's chapter on Introducing Solids to guide me in what to introduce first. I believe that her suggestions take into account what is most nourishing to the baby at that time in their life, hopefully having had only breastmilk up to that point. Also she focuses highly on digestibility of the food, making sure baby has enzymes and such present, to be able to digest the foods that are introduced.
That means of course that no starches (grains and starchy vegetables) are introduced since baby lacks most of the enzymes to digest starches well. (See the GAPS website for more info on the hows and why's of the diet.)

4 Steps to nourishing baby food:

1. Cook
2. Puree
3. Freeze
4. Select, mix and match

To have on hand:

1. Blender or hand blender
2. Ice cube freezer trays
3. Zip lock bags and permanent marker

Getting started

1. One of the most nourishing foods on the planet are bone broths. If you already cook broths regularly this will be an easy first step for you. If not here is my post on how to cook Basic Chicken broth.
2. So your broth will have carrots, onion and celery in it (chose home-grown, farmer's market or organic if possible) and a healthy local chicken if possible.
  • To make your baby food, carefully strain out the vegetables making sure you don't have chicken bones in with them and place them in another pot (if you are using a hand blender) or in your blender. (Note: I tried using my food processor and it does not make a smooth puree that way. My hand blender did a much nicer job. It looked creamy just like out of a baby food jar. Just beautiful!)
  • Over the vegetables I poured some of the broth just enough so they are sitting in it. Here you will just need to decide how thick or runny you want it to be. Start with a little less and add more broth if you want it thicker. Also remember that it thickens a little.
  • Blend this up, fill into the ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Next day label your zip lock bags and pop the cubes into them.
  • To use: take out one or two cubes for a meal and store in a glass container with lid such as pyrex in the fridge. To warm up, set it into a pan with a little water and heat until warm. You can feed right out of that container.
Next steps:

  • Now that you have learned the basics you can go ahead and print out the guideline for introducing solids that you can find at the link above.
  • In week three you introduce pureed meat. I recommend on the same day you made the broth and vegetable cubes to make some cubes with broth and chicken meat, cartilage and skin blended up and freeze as well as some cubes with squash and broth or cauliflower and broth, or just squash or just cauliflower. When you get to week three you can go ahead and take out two cubes per meal, one with meat and one with veggies and you can mix and match! So much fun and a little different for baby each time. I like to use cauliflower, squash, carrots and broccoli.

Monster bars

This is my final adjusted version of healthier Monster bars and they are great!
They are not healthy but the best I can do when I need to have a treat in the house, lest I succumb to even worse stuff from the store, heaven forbid!
(Notice there is no wheat in this.)

So here they are:

1/2 cup butter
2 cups rapadura (evaporated cane juice)
about 2-3 Tbps. molasses (I don't measure. Can't go too wrong here.)

Cream together. Then add:

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I used Skippy natural)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups quick oats
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Gently spread in greased jelly roll pad. Do not push down.
Sprinkle over top:

1 mini package mini M&M's (left over from Halloween!)
(Just enough to make it look pretty but ends up being just one per square.)

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake!!

Boy were my kids excited when that came out of the oven today. I have not baked anything for a long time and I was the best Mom in the world all of a sudden!