Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rotkraut-Should be Lilakraut

Certain dishes always invoke spirits of  my passed loved ones.

Rotkraut, or red cabbage, definitely brings my daddy into my kitchen. Every time I make it :). I can see him standing there in his undershirt, cigarette dangling in his mouth, waiting for the cabbage to have smoldered to JUST the right point to add water. :)....

Red Cabbage is usually around in the fall, and for me it is just a fall food. Though I buy red cabbage in the summer, it goes into slaw and is eaten raw.

Here is my recipe:

1 red cabbage
1 onion
Bacon fat, or vegetable shortening (I save bacon fat, and it is what I use for taste)
Bay leaves
Cloves
1 sour apple
Water

Chop your onion and brown in the fat. While they are browning, cut your cabbage in four quarters and cut out the strunk (trunk?). Slice the cabbage into strips, but not too thin. Once the onions are brown, start adding the cabbage to the pot.

A NOTE: make sure you use a big pot. The cabbage cooks down, but it needs room, because:

You want to "smolder" the cabbage until all of it is soft. Do not add water until the cabbage is soft from smoldering in the fat.

Add salt, pepper, cloves, and bay leaves, and stir. Add about 2-3 cups of water. You don't want to cover the cabbage, but want to give it enough water to slowly cook without burning.

Cut your apple into wedges and lay on top of your cabbage. Do not stir. Cover, and cook on very low heat for about 90 minutes. When it is done, the apple will be soft and you can stir it in.

You can season the cabbage with a little sugar & apple cider vinegar, if preferred :).

Enjoy, and wave at my daddy when you are cooking!
Much love,
Heike

Monday, October 29, 2012

Get out the butter & brown sugah', we are cooking SOUL food!

This has to be one of my favorite recipes. There are many versions, but here is the basic. Look at my picture closely, see those huge chunks of butter? In three hours, they will make my taste buds sing!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry lima beans
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Cover beans with water; soak overnight. Drain beans and refill pot with water to cover beans, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender. Drain. In slow cooker, mix beans and butter. Mix together sugar, salt, and mustard. Sprinkle on beans. Stir molasses and sour cream together, pour over beans and mix to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 5 hours.





Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

One day at the health food store, a package of Chia seeds came my way. I only knew Chia Pets :). The package promised this Aztec superfood would give me lotsa' Omegas, so of course I bought the big pack.

I went home and soaked my seeds in water, like the directions said.

Ew.

What came out was gelatinous mass, that looked like snot with seeds in it. 

Every once in a while, I would some in muffins or salad dressing, it did not float my boat.

That is, until I found THIS recipe! Here is the original that I found at www.greatist.com:

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup almond (or skim) milk (I used coconut milk)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon agave syrup (I used maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg

What to Do:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (I put all ingredients in a pint sized Mason Jar. Perfect)
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight (or even a few days!)
  3. Scoop it, garnish, and enjoy!
My son is my brave tester, and we decided with like it! BUT, we had the tweak it a bit, so here is our version, and we are sticking with it.

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup raw or organic whole milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 swig vanilla (or bourbon vanilla, if you have some stored on you shelf like MEEEEEEE! It is    fabulous after 6 months of steeping :).) We also tried Hazelnut Extract, yummy!

Same process as above, overnight makes it nice, thick, and a little bubbly smooth.
You will be addicted, and it is healthy as can be (chia seeds are an amazing source of Omega 3, fiber & proteins).
Enjoy that pumpkin, baby!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kiss my Fig......

A few years ago, I planted a purple fig that was hung with future wishes of a new moon goddess circle :).

The wishes have since blown in the wind, but the fig tree is thriving. It is still small, but is producing like crazy. I have always had a bond with fig trees, I love the smell of the leaves, and their beautiful shape.

Most of all, I LOVE their fruit.

I am a fig ninja. I can eat figs until I drop. It is a an addiction....actually, I don't stop till I drop :). The season is short, so...............

I love the figs plain, mine usually make it from my tree to my mouth. That is is good thing, as figs do not travel well once they are picked. I have not had enough left for fig jam, but if you are lucky to have a friend with an abundance of figs...jam is heavenly on fresh, buttered bread.

Here is a quickie, delicious:

Cut open a fig, spread with greek joghurt or goat cheese (my favorite version, but I did not have any handy), drizzle with raw honey.

While you are enjoying this heavenly snack, you can delve into fig lore on this fab blog I found:
"Fig Trees have had starring roles in some of the world’s great religious, historic and mythical dramas. The fig tree is noted as the Tree of Life and Knowledge from Central Africa to the Far East."...Gypsy Magic: Fig Trees-Legend & Lore

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beer or Lemonade? Make them BOTH!

Hello Beautifuls!
I have made two (short??) videos on making both fermented lemonade, and ginger beer. The recipes are underneath. These are two super tasty drinks, and a great alternative to soda. The ginger beer takes about 4 weeks to be "ready", but the lemonade only takes two days, so I am adding that as an almost instant gratification!  Message me if you have any questions, and remember, these are just "my" adaptations of some wonderful recipes. I try to make it simple & quick, the hardest thing is waiting :). Forgive my heated look, it is 108F outside, and about 90F in my kitchen...LOL...just pretend I am in the South somewhere without A/C, kinda like "Fried Green Tomatoes".


Have fun!
Heike





Ginger Beer
This is my adaption from the fabulous book "Wild Fermentation", a great book for your library if you really want to get into the old art of fermentation. Ginger beer takes about 3-4 weeks to finsih, as your ginger "bug" takes 1-2 weeks :). Plan ahead, once you make this, you will be hooked!
You will need:

for the "bug"
Fresh ginger
sugar
water
1 small mason jar with lid, or not (see note)

Chop ginger, making about 2tbls. Put about 1 cup of filtered water into a small mason jar. Add 2tbls sugar, and add ginger. Cover with a cloth or coffer filter with rubber band, or just lid very loosely so air can get in. Do this every 2 days until your bug starts to bubble. I have mine on a shelf in the kitchen with my kombucha and other concoction so I do not forget it! When it bubbles:

You will need:
3-4 inch piece of fresh ginger
2 lemons, juiced
1cup of sugar
OPTIONAL
1 handful of Sarsaparilla root, or herb of your choice

Equipment:
Bottles, preferably dark.
funnels for bottles, and jar if you strain my way :)
strainer

Boil a 1/2 gallon of water, add sugar and ginger. Boil for 15 minutes, then cool. Once cool, add your strained ginger bug (keep about 2tbls of your ginger bug for the next batch), lemon juice, and another 1/2 gallon of water.

Strain liquid if you have added herbs. Then fill into tight closing bottles (dark bottles are best. I recycle grolsch style bottles, and big beer bottles with twist lids :)...) Put a label with date. The ginger beer must ferment for two weeks in a dark place.  Put the date in your calendar to remind you! Carbonation explosions happen if left too long (I can personally attest to this :(..)

WARNING! Cool your ginger beer before opening!
The fermentation causes some serious bubbles, and opening the bottle warm will make it spurt out like a volcano. There is no limit to UP, as my ceiling will attest to! Also, you want to open the bottle slowly, in small waves, letting the carbonation escape. You will find the best way, just practice the first time in a sink :).


Fermented Lemonade (It's FIZZY!)
You will need:
5-7 lemons, or enough to make 2 cups of lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup whey

Equipment:
1 gallon jar with filtered water (I use recycled pickle jars)

This recipe is so simple, gifting you with yummy "good for you" fermented lemonade. Simple fill your jar 3/4 full with filtered water, add sugar and dissolve. Add lemon juice & whey. Now put a tight lid on your jar, and sit in a dark place in your kitchen. After two days, the lemonade will be fermented :). Now you can transfer it to the fridge, cool, and ENJOY!
A Little about Bottles and the Gooky stuff in them:
Fermentation causes a "silt" to form...some people think that looks yucky, but it is quite normal. You can filter this out when you pour your finished ginger beer, just pour it through a coffee filter.

I recycle bottles. If you have a dishwasher, it is very easy to sanitize them, just run them through a hot cycle. I don't, so I periodically boil bottles, and cap them. Then, when I need them, I give them a quick rinse with hot water before I bottle.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Do chickens take a bath?

I have been MIA for about 6 weeks. My Mama was visiting, and it was CRAZY :)...good crazy, but CRAZY. Now it is time to catch up. I will, I promise, 'cause things are happening outside that I need to share with you. Not today.

Today, I will share how my chickens take a bath. :). Enjoy.
video

Monday, June 25, 2012

Heavenly - Gries Schnitten

So, my Mama is here from Germany, so the German is just pouring out of me!! ;)

Today, I present one of my FAVORiTE desserts...you will be hooked for ever.

What is Gries? Semolina. Some people here make it with Cream of Wheat, but I recommend semolina.

This is a feel good, and made by feel recipe :).

You will need approx. 2 cups of milk (you can try this with coconut milk, or soy, I am sure), 2 tblsp sugar, and 1/4 cup plus of semolina.

Bring milk to a boil, add sugar and semolina, and STIR. You have to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn. This is where the 1/4 plus comes in. You bring the mix to a boil, then bring down the heat and keep stirring. It should thicken up. For real "Griesbrei", you want the consistancy to be smooth, not runny, but not too hard (If you eat grits, and the Brei is that thick, it is too thick).  If it does not thicken, add more semolina. Make it more delicious by taking your Brei of the heat, then stirring in an egg yolk. You can stop here and have a great meal, just add some berry compott...mmm.

OR

You make it a bit thicker, so your spoon almost stops while you are stirring. Take the finished Brei and put it in a pie dish, and put in the refridgerator. It will become stiff. YEAH!

Now take this stiff Brei, and cut it into wedges. Heat up your favorite skillet with some BUTTER, put the wedge in and fry on both sides. P.S. The Gries Schnitte in the picture is a bit woobly. The Brei was too soft, but we ate it anyways, because it was DELICIOUS :).

YUM.

Serve warm with compott, vanilla sauce, jam......

:)
Much love,
Heike

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Drink yourself beautiful....

I am not talking about the "Drink a few beers and turn down the lights" type of beauty remedy...today :). No sister, I am talking about the fabulous, inexpensive, Wild Woman way. Have you ever noticed how Wild Women are always radiant? They shine, even at a very wise age. I will bet some big $$'s that is not a chemical peel, botox, or expensive cream that keeps them looking that way.

Meet Nettles, Clover, Oatstraw & their sisters.



Now is the perfect time to get into an infusion routine. Infusions make excellent cool summer drinks. Not only will your skin & hair thank you, your beautiful organs will SING with joy. Okay, I am getting a bit carried away, but seriously, herbal infusions flush toxins out of your body, rejuvenating your cells. Stay consistant for 6 weeks, and you will notice a change, inside & out. It is not as quick as drinking beer and turning off the lights, but you will feel much better, Goddess :).

I am a creature of convenience, and as always, I will share my simple way to make it happen.

Before you go to bed, boil water, but a few fat pinches (or about 1/4 cup) of herbs in a quart size mason jar, cover with water, close, and let stand overnight. The next morning, strain into another mason jar, screw closed, start sipping, or put some ice in if you like it cold. If you finish that mason jar, you will look & feel even MORE fabulous after just a few days. BTW, if you have a teenager, this is the BEST way to avoid acne. My 14 yr old always goes for the Nettles....Just make half gallon jars, and double the herbs. The measurements are only a guide, adjust to taste. I actually make my infusions really strong, since we all LOVE the taste...no sweeteners added, not even the kids.

Here are some of my favorite herbs to infuse:
`Nettles (good for everything woman)
`Nettles, Oatstraw & Horsetail (Minerals galore, and great for the nerves. Horsetails does wonders for hair & nails)
`Health Tea, makes the most excellent ice tea:Strawberry leaf, Red clover, Fennel, Damiana, Sweet Woodruff

I get all my herbs at Mountain Rose Herbs if I don't grow them in my yard. Check out the big bags, it is well worth the extra $$'s. I will also be offering the mixes via mail for a small donation if you don't want to make them yourself. Just message me :). My tip: make any mixes in batches, so that all you have to do is scoop them out.

Happy Beauty Brewing!
Much love,
Heike

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Escargot in Beer Brine



The time has come to plant. A few weeks ago, I was "itchin'" to get started, the first seedlings were in the stores (way too early, just there too tease me), and I WANTED TO PLANT. Alas, I knew it would keep getting cold, so I waited.

Now I have seedlings, will plant. For some reason, I am stuck in a plant rut. Today will be the day...until then, let me share some preps:

The Poopers...or shall I say, soil preppers? These two are great, but really do nothing but forage & poop, and lay an egg a day :). It is fun to watch them scratch, but I am going to have to find a way to keep them out of my beds. Unfortunately, they get so into digging and taking dirt baths, my seedlings get sacrificed.....training?

And this is where the little poopers live :). We built this out of repurposed or left over wood, and made our own plan. The roof is corrugated UV plastic, that was new, and probably the most expensive thing on this coop! Everything is secured, both for the dog's sake, and to keep the night critters that roam our Suburbia at night, out.

I took this pic during a rain shower from my porch :)...I love the soft spring rain. I posted this here to show you my tomato boxes, in which I planted cover crop (burdock & sweet peas) to condition the soil over the winter.

..and then it all came down! Cut down and laid to rest in the box. I covered this with soil, and just planted tomatoes (pics soon). Last year, the lasagne garden was AWESOME for my tomatoes, we will see what this year brings, when I actually get around to putting in the water system :).....

Thornless boysenberries :)...all along my fence. I cut these down, and was afraid I trimmed too much. Now the bushes are lush with leaves and new growth, and LOTs of blooms. The bees are lovin it, and I can't wait to harvest those berries.

Attempt at growing potatoes. Never worked for me before, but I am trying again. Will report back. German butter & purple potato.
I also planted strawberries on top of a hay bale, and that was a fail. The hay had some weird mushroom in it, and after the rains stopped, it grew the most alien looking mushroom :)....and inky something...lacy, black, and ugly. Stained everything. Seems they are not poisonous, so I am hoping that true Sacramento heat will dry it out. Strawberries are looking pretty good. I took pictures of the bale, and the alien mushrooms, but they mysteriously vanished from the camera....??.....

Last, but not least, the chaos herbs. I just pulled all the borage, let the bees have their hay day, then it went. It was almost 5ft tall! Have a batch of mystery plants where I dumped a downed seed pallet...looks like chamomille, a tomato :), borage, dill, and what I though may be lovage. But it stung me, and so now I am thinking a NETTLE! Will watch it further.

The best snail trap ever: BEER. Put some cheap beer in a low dish, bury it some, and enjoy the snail trapping. (BTW, cheap beer works good as a hair setting lotion too :)....). Sorry, can't love snails. Thought the chickens would get them, but they can't keep up. Watch the dog though, mine seems to enjoy escargot in beer brine. Ew....

More updates to come...the pressure is on!
Happy planting!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Temple Cleaning

Spring is springing here in my part of the world! I am preparing the garden, just planted tomatoes, and am looking forward to months & months of summer fruit & vegetables. Other than the heat, I always feel more fabulous starting around the middle of May. It must be my diet?

 Here are two of my favorites, just to get your appetite wet:

 Kombucha!!! Now, you can go buy the little bottles of this fizzy wonder drink, but if you are like me, that will just not be enough and you will drink yourself into bancruptcy. What does a resourceful girl do? Make her own! I resisted this for quite some time, for some reason I had the notion that I could not make Kombucha the "right" way, and that I might poison myself :). Silly Girl......

Making your own Kombucha is so simple, and I love playing with the flavors. I make it with black tea, oolong tea, and green tea....each one giving me a different base. You can add different herbs & flavors after the initial steep (don't add it with your mother!), and give the Kombucha additional healing propoerties. My newest favorite: Black Tea Kombucha, steeped with Hibiscus flowers....Just yummy.

There are hundreds of Kombucha tutorials online, so I am not even going to confuse you with my way. If you want my simple way, you can message me, but I suggest you begin with the tested way. I like this site, Kombuchakamp. You can get supplies there...I use a big pickle jar, and received my first scoby from a friend. If you are local, you can get a scoby from MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE :).

 My second favorite: Lentil Salad

I just LOVE lentils, but sadly, I may have to cut this from my diet. I have been looking at the "0+" diet, and lentils are on my AVOID list. I grew up with lentils, and resisted this recommendation. Well, actually, I resisted the lentils, and then decided to screw it and eat mounds of my tasty lentil salad. Big mistake. It does effect me, and not in a good way. I will share with you though, as this makes an excellent salad to take on trips, picnics...or as make ahead food. You can eat it plain, or get creative by putting it on rice, pasta, bread..It gets better after a day in the fridge.

 Soak lentils overnight with a tsp of baking soda. Drain, and cook until softish, about 20-30 minutes (you don't want them mushy) Drain. Season with salt, pepper, vinegar (apple is good, or balsamic...your taste),and olive oil. Add chopped tomoatoes, and LOTS of parsley. Really, overdo the parsley. It is good for you, and just tastes fantastic in this salad. Let stand a few hours or overnight in fridge. Voila! You may have to season again. Also, you can add red onions, and feta cheese, that tastes divine.

Enjoy! Much love, Heike

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Experiment successful! Banana Spelt Muffins.


Still in the beginning thrills of my "wheat-free" adventure.

I have had some definite doozys....my kids are reluctant to taste my creations. This one turned out good.

I took a vegan recipe I found online, and tweaked it. Please excuse my "Simpler's method", but t works.

Recipe:
2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed ( I put overripe bananas in the freezer and thaw them for stuff like this. They look a bit, well, ick, but are fabulous for recipes)
3-4 large tablespoons of honey. I used a wildflower...stronger is probably better.
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tbsp applesauce. Okay, this is what I started with, as the recipe called for vegetable oil. In the end, I added more applesauce to make the mixture wetter and to a muffin consistancy.
1/3 cup maple syrup (did not add this...but you could)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (same for nuts. Did not have any, but think walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts would be yummy too!)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners. (This recipe barely made 9 muffins. Will have to play some more and see if I can make it to 12.)

Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Mix the bananas, sugar, egg, applesauce and maple syrup in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients in gently, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide evenly among the muffin tins, then sprinkle with some of the chopped pecans. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (they’ll look pretty dark, but they’re not burnt!) Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ok, so the muffins stick to the paper...but once you get them out, they taste really yummy. With butter :).

Monday, March 26, 2012

FAST FOOD fish...Almost as quick as twitching my nose...

As I am slowly adjusting my diet to include mainly lean meats & fish (no wheat, NO DIARY!!!! :(...), I am experimenting with different recipes, and will share the ones that are successful.

Criteria to become "successful":
1. It must taste good (gluten free is not my friend yet)
2. It must be quick & easy to make, without many "special" ingredients
3. The rest of my family should like it too, as I am too busy to cook us separate meals.

I happened upon some beautiful Cod filets. Instead of breading them, which is my usual, and knowing that baking/frying cod without anything can make it a bit dull, I tried this:


Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Rinse 1.5 to 2lb of cod filets, and lay them in a buttered, 9x13 baking dish.

Salt & Pepper

Cover with salsa. You can go mild or spicy, pineapple, chipotle....the possibilities are endless!! I used Roasted Garlic Salsa.

Top with cheese of your choice, I used cheddar...to give it some zing. Left it off on one side for me..

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until fish is opaque.

Serve with rice & salad.

Voila! It really couldn't be much easier :)...like waving a wand.

It smelled so delicious, I could not even get a picture. The family was famished, and got their plates while I was out looking for my camera :)...so please enjoy the picture of the Cod before it becomes filet.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Witch bread? Making magic happen in 3 minutes......


Meet Delphine, my residing Kitchen Witch :). A few weeks ago, I made bread dough to rise over night, and in the morning it was soft & spongy, way too gooey to handle. I almost threw it in the trash....but instead Delphine gave me a tip: "Put your cast iron pot in the hot oven and just plop it in. See what happens!"

And so I did :)....and now I have the perfect, QUICK, recipe to share with you. I believe I was making a "5 minute bread recipe"...it may be a combination of a few tested recipes. A few easy steps, and you will have a fabulous, European style bread.

I make the dough at night (takes me about 3 minutes), and let it rise overnight.

You will need:
3 cups of white flour
3 cups of whole wheat flour
1.5 tblsp yeast
1 tblsp salt
about 2-3 warm (not hot) water
A cast iron dutch oven

Step One:
In a large bowl (I use the mixing bowl from my KitchenAide), mix the ingredients. Your dough should be wet, not dry. You are not going to knead this bread, you basically just stir enough to get everything mixed up.


Step Two:
Cover your bowl with a plastic top or something that will let a little air in. I use a plastic lid from a Tupper plate :). Let is sit overnight or at least 12 hours. When you open the lid, the dough will look something like this...spongy & wet. That is perfect!


Step Three:

Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Have your uncovered pot in the oven, as well as a deep cookie sheet (this will hold water. Use metal, not ceramic...Ceramic or stone will crack).

Of course you could never scoop this up with your hands, so.....


Sprinkle a little flour over the top and begin to lift it from the edges with a big spoon. Keep sprinkling flour until you have a ball in your plate. Do NOT mix. You are just trying to get it from the bowl.

Step Four:
When your oven is at 450, pull out the pot enough that you PLOP your dough in. Here is a tip: Make sure your cast iron is always seasoned. This way, the dough will not stick to the pan. No oiling necessary.

Quickly put one cup of water in your cookie sheet below your put and CLOSE THE OVEN FAST. I do all this in a mere few seconds. I have my cup of water ready. The water creates steam, and you want to lock it all in with the heat as fast as possible.

Bake for 45 minutes.

ABRACADABRA!!!


This is what you get :)......mmm...

Take out of the pot and put on a cooling rack, or your burner, like I do :).


You should wait at least an hour before cutting, if you can. If you cut it if it still warm, it is very soft inside. With that said, we can never wait an hour and cut it anyways :).

This bread holds well for a few days, you just want to keep the cut side covered. I do not put it in anything, I just leave it sitting on the cutting board, with the cut side down, and a knife...ready for cutting any time :). If the bread does dry out, it is excellent for bread crumbs.

Kitchen Witch Commentary: (Delphine) "It took a lot of hard work and persuading to get my Witch to try this bread. Now she makes it in her sleep, and I can just savour the wonderful aroma of witchy bread."

P.S. Need a Kitchen Witch? Check out www.etsy.com/shop/goddessinthegroove
:)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yummy coffee dip ~ Gugelhopf



My neighbor recently gifted me two Gugelhopf, or bundt pans :). One is metal, and the other a beautiful blue & white ceramic.

:)

My Oma used to make yummy yeasty breads & cakes, so I never had a need to make them myself. All these years, I have not attempted to make a Napfkuchen (that is what we called the Gugelhopf), or any of the wonderful creations I remember from my childhood. My neighbor has opened a flood gate :).

First on my list is of course, the Gugelhopf, as I am in love with the blue ceramic and just want to make something in it.

A little history from Wiki: Gugelhupf is a big cake, derived from the Groninger Poffert, and has a distinctive ring shape or the shape of a torus. It is usually eaten with coffee, at coffee breaks.


Gugelhupf consists of a soft yeast dough which contains raisins, almonds and Kirschwasser cherry brandy. Some also contain candied fruits and nuts. Some regional varieties (Czech, Hungarian and Slovenian) are also filled, often with a layer of sweetened ground poppy seeds.

It is baked in a special circular pan with a central tube, originally made of enamelled pottery. Similar pans are used for making Bundt cakes, a cake baking pan shape in the US derived from the Gugelhupf.


I have some wonderful recipes from my Oma, but I picked one that is already translated & converted for the sake of sanity, and for instant gratification.

Ingredients (adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kugelhopf-106380)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (less than 1 envelope)
2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
1 cup whole milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange or lemon zest
About 20 whole blanched almonds (1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar


Special equipment: a standing electric mixer with paddle attachment; an 11-cup kugelhopf mold (9 1/2 inches in diameter) or an 11- to 12-cup bundt pan

print a shopping list for this recipe
Preparation

Stir together yeast and water in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Heat milk with 6 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar over low heat, stirring, until mixture is warm (105 to 115°F), butter is melted, and sugar is dissolved.

Sift together flour and salt into bowl of standing mixer. Make a well in flour and add yeast mixture. Add warm milk in a slow stream, mixing at low speed with paddle attachment. Increase speed to medium and beat in eggs 1 at a time, then beat in raisins and zest. Continue to beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Dough will be very sticky.)

Butter kugelhopf mold with remaining tablespoon butter. Put 1 almond in each depression in bottom of mold (the almonds are only decorative; you can skip them altogether if your mold has no depressions), then scrape spoonfuls of dough evenly into mold (dough will be very elastic). Cover top of mold with oiled plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until it fills pan, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove towel from kugelhopf and gently peel off plastic wrap. Bake kugelhopf in middle of oven 15 minutes, then loosely cover mold with foil and continue to bake until golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert cake onto a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. Dust with confectioners sugar.

***********
I eliminated the raisins because my daughter does not like them, but next time around I will add them back in. It just tastes a bit boring without them. My vanilla brandy was yummy here, but I am buying some Kirschwasser (cherry shnaps) for the next one.

This always tastes yummy fresh, but makes a heavenly dip in for coffee on the next day!

:)

Guten appetite!
Heike

Friday, March 2, 2012

If you're laying an egg, I am too!!

The little things in life are just the best.....

Today, one of our chickens was extra bitchy. She was gackering & feisty all day, wouldn't let us pick her up and move her, and she kept pecking on her loyal friend, Snowball.

Some time during the afternoon, I was Skyping with my Mama in Germany, when Pepper jumped up on the dresser on the porch and started pecking on the window.

"How strange" I thought, they never come in until it gets dark.

So my son got the chickens, and put them in their makeshift coop. Pepper immediately went to the back and sat in the wood shavings instead of the roost. Then she began covering herself with shavings....while the other chicken started picking them right back off :). This was quite entertaining (I need a life!), and got even better when Snowball turned around and SAT on her and began gackering herself. That's when Pepper drew the line and pecked "Get the hell off, sister!".

My son kept checking on them, he was hoping for his first egg. She was acting weird, and it is about time for them to start laying.

All of sudden I heard a PLOP. No, I thought. Then I hear: "MAMA, PEPPER LAID AN EGG!!!"

Yes, ma'am, she did.

My son carried his egg around, called his daddy, emailed his 4H project leader, and told all the neighbors. It was like a birth :).

4 hours later I was outside taking down clothes, when my son come careening out with an egg in his hand...."MAMA, SNOWBALL LAID ONE TOO!"

That's my chicken, she was not going to be outdone.



World: We have two layers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am going to revel in Money & Youth, once my hands are no longer sitcky....


Yesterday one of my gorgeous friends brought me a large bucket of Sage! Sage is one of my allies. The intoxicating scent of Sage puts me into a immediate state of CALM....as does Rosemary and Mugwort. So this is my time of year! :). Last night, when the house was still, I sat down with a glass of wine, blues radio, my string, and began tying the Sage sticks & leaves. The sticks will become brooms for my fabulous sage Kitchen Witches (they come when the Sage is ready, and they are definitely my herb Witches!), and the leaves become bundles. The small, loose leaves I let dry, and later put them in sleep pillows or grind them up for seasoning. I use an abundant amount of bundles, as I am constantly cleansing my thrifting treasures, so tying & drying my own is smart.

Magical, mythical Sage; foremost being known for cleansing and chasing away bad Spirits. It is said to attract money, “where Sage grows in the garden the woman rules”, as well as granting a long life and endless youth.

Sage is a wonderful herb for cooking, I especially enjoy infusing meats & chicken when roasting them in a clay baker :).

Sage is hailed for its’ medicinal qualities, and is very similar to Rosemary, as its’ primary medicinal components are volatile oils, & flavonoids. Often used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, Sage is my favorite for any ailments of the mouth. Once, my son had to get a tooth pulled. Of course the dentist prescribed antibiotics for the hole....instead, I had him swish with a Sage infusion several times a day. Within a few days the wound had healed. (You will want to watch closely for infections if you decide to do this.... I kept that prescription for back up. Antibiotics are not evil, I just choose to save them for necessary situations :)...)

If you are tying your own Sage, you will revel in the intoxicating smell, and when you are done, you will try to remove the sticky sap-like residue from your hands. These are the wonderful oils I described :)....No fear, there is an easy way to remove this, and it is surely in your kitchen: Olive Oil. Rub a little olive Oil on your fingers, and the residue will ball up and disappear, while your hands get a bonus oil treatment.

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I should have watched Julia do it first...French Crepe...and what I made :)


My son and I love watching cooking shows together. A few days ago we watched "Cooking Mexican", and they were making crepes with some type of yummy caramel sauce over it....mmm.....just delicious.

We decided to make crepes. I pulled out my Julia Child cookbook I recently claimed at an estate sale. Actually, my son went outside to play right when we got started (Nerf gun vs. crepe...the Nerf gun won), so I was on my own.

The first 3 crepes were a bit..creative. The third one looked like it could be a crepe. They were all yummy...with homemade elderberry syrup and joghurt.

Let us watch the expert :)..:



Now, run in the kitchen, get your ingredients, make some yummy crepes :). P.S. We added a little nutmeg & cinnamon to our batter.

Julia Child’s Master Crêpe Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

2/3 cup cold milk

2/3 cup cold water

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing on pan

Directions:

1) Mix all ingredients until smooth in a blender or with a whisk. Refrigerate.

2) Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter.

3) Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and then tilt the pan in all directions to cover the bottom evenly. Cook about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook briefly on the other side.

4) Cool on a rack or plate as you finish making the rest. Serve as desired.


Much love,
Heike

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Imbolc - Modern ploughing of the "fields"


If I were already on my "farm", I would be finished feeding and milking the animals, and my children would be out in a pack today, going from door to door with a decorated plough, collecting small tokens & goodwill. Don't refuse them....

:)

Happy Imbolc.

Excerpt from Wicca.com on St. Brigid:
"Another traditional symbol of Imbolc is the plough. In some areas, this is the first day of ploughing in preparation of the first planting of crops. A decorated plough is dragged from door to door, with costumed children following asking for food, drinks, or money. Should they be refused, the household is paid back by having its front garden ploughed up. In other areas, the plough is decorated and then Whiskey, the "water of life" is poured over it. Pieces of cheese and bread are left by the plough and in the newly turned furrows as offerings to the nature spirits. It is considered taboo to cut or pick plants during this time."

I love whiskey.... Instead, I am sitting in front of my computer in Subfarmia, perusing the wonderful seed catalogs (some of these are just beautiful works of art.), and getting ready to plant my trash can potatoes.

Happy ploughing!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Avocados & Bananas have kept me sane ~ My last meal



Alternative Title: I will never be a Vegan.

Today is day 14 of my juice/veggie fast. I planned on doing 15, but I am done. Really. It has been an interesting run, and a few minutes ago I relished my last "meal" on this adventure, a large, scrumptious salad with cucumbers, peppers, parsley, and, taa daa...avocados. I don't know what I would have done without bananas & avocados during this time, they were my "I am STARVING, and need FOOD...NOW" go to food.

I bounced around 140-132lbs during this time, and measured between 34 and 30.5 inches in my waist. I tracked this for fun, and it was interesting to see how my body reacted to certain foods/juices. If you want to see the details, you can go to my short & sweet journal here.

I started all this in the hopes to rid myself of chronic nerve pain, and to give my body a chance to "detox" a bit. I certainly got to deal with my pain, not in a good way. Around day four I got terrible pains in my legs, unassociated with those I was trying to get rid of. It was hell, and I ended up taking Ibuprofen that day. My body was releasing muscle toxins for about two days. I also realized the importance of hydrating. I have always been a bad hydrator. Yep. I just don't get thirsty, and may go all day just drinking a cup of coffee and and cup of tea. I eat lots of fruit, but that is just not the same. Now, there are some people who say it is not necessary to drink more than you "need", but I found once I upped my intake of water & coconut water (for electrolytes), I definitely felt better. Lesson learned. I now have a reminder telling me to DRINK.

I did not have coffee, or wine, or beer for 16 days, as I started to eliminate them before my fast. Things brings me to the ritual part.

I have learned that most of my food is tied to a ritual. I LIKE to eat, I LIKE to drink coffee, wine, & beer. Yes, I can live without them, but I don't think I want to.

Ah, and the food....Yesterday, my family asked if I can finally make "my" bread again. The whole time I purchased bread, to avoid baking. You see, bread is my nemesis. I LOVE bread. Slathered in butter, plain, soaked in salad sauce, soaked in soup, covered with brie.....I baked bread yesterday, and knew I was done. I need to eat bread.

The whole time I cooked for my family. The other day I made a sumptious grass fed beef stew...mmm...it was dark, spicy, warm...just delicious smelling. My family was ooing and ahing all over it. Did I cave? No. Though I like meat, I don't crave it.

Baked goods....they were calling me in my sleep :).

This gives me a new appreciation for food. It also changes my mind about something I stated when I first watched "Fat, Sick, and nearly Dead". I said:"If it is that easy to loose so much weight, why doesn't everyone juice instead of trying these whacky diets & programs?". Well, it is not easy. I cannot imagine juicing for 30 or 60 days, unless I was a retreat where there were no people asking me to feed them, and no ovens. My hat off to anyone who accomplishes 30 or 60 days.

So, what did I gain from this?

:)

I will never be vegan (unless my life depends on it). I am sure my body is feeling better. I actually feel a bit weaker than normally, but that could be psychological. I will slowly re-introduce grains & dairy, and have decided to convert this kitchen to completely whole grain. I will make it a point to serve/buy more plant based foods, less meat (still looking for recipes for my meat & potato man), and less carbs. I am a carb queen. I am going to learn to cook more vegan foods to supplement my cheese based dishes :). I realize how much I love food, the social aspect of it, and I know that it would not make me a Happy Heike if I chose to live without the things I savor to eat. I don't think restricting myself from grains & dairy would make me feel better. I will seek alternatives where I can, but am looking forward to homemade joghurt, raw milk, cheese, and did I mention, BREAD? I will continue to make green juices for more protein, as I continue to train.

I can recommend this adventure highly, and the REBOOT program (www.jointhereboot.com) was a huge support.

Looking forward to breakfast.....
Much love,
Heike

I'm in love ~ Rotted food & chicken poop.




A few years ago, I went to county composting class and picked up a free composting bin. Fabulous little thing. I put it up in my back yard, and started throwing in our food scraps. Then, one day in the summer I opened up the lid to feed the compost, and EWWWWWWWW. It was moving and "broodling". Yes, it was making sounds :(.

I slapped that lid closed, and did not open it again until 3 days later. I am just too City Girl to deal with teaming maggots :(. What I did find out in that time (I was on a destroyer mission) is that my maggots were "good", and that people actually BUY them to eat the compost. Ew. I also read that chicken farmers love them. I sent a call out via FB and said they were free to whomever came and got them out themselves.

Then I covered them with newspaper & straw, and it all eventually stopped moving.

So, I am supposed to TURN the compost??? :)...Yes, girls, the compost needs to be taken care of. Fed, watered, turned.

Yesterday, on a warm & balmy 60 degree California winter day, my son and I decided it was time to turn over the compost, as our bin was filled to the max.

Ah....look what I found!

Beautiful, rich, dark compost, filled with happy worms. Enough compost to fill up 5 of my boxes in preparation for spring planting. Not only is this compost 'clean', it is FREE. Yes, FREE. As my husband will attest, we spends lots of mula in the spring on dirt & compost to refill those boxes.

Thanks to my fabulous girls, our compost is now getting even better with their contribution of chicken poo. And look, they are now enjoying the smorgesbord of critters that come up to dive around in it :). It's a wonderful cycle.

I keep a large coffee can on my kitchen counter and throw everything in there. No need for an expensive "kitchen composter". Break up the eggshells! I found eggshells that were whole on the bottom, so eggshells down break down easily. With that said, I put my eggshells in a mason jar on the counter, filled with water. Every other day, I water the flowers with it, then put them in compost. Break 'em first, nothing like putting your hands in stinky eggshell water.....

Did I mention it was free? I am now a compost ninja. I may even measure its' temperature....

And now...a little video for your enjoyment :).

video

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I was having wine with Angelina Jolie and eating bread & butter....


...until I woke up!

I was having the most fabulous dream! I was having a discussion with Angelina over the "fall of our school system" over a bottle of sweet, red wine, while feasting on scrumptious, crusty bread slathered with butter.

I am on day 11 of my juice fast :)...

Actually, I am feeling good. Yes, every once in a while, I crave my favorites, but that is my head, not my body, calling. Without counting calories, or staying on the Reboot schedule, I have lost 8lbs sofar, 3.5 inches off my waist. I eat or juice when I am hungry, which is getting less and less.

I had a day lapse in journal (which prompted emails from my concerned friends, to make sure I was still standing. Love ya!), but am trying to keep track of both the intake of food, as well as the thoughts this food adventure is triggering. You can view it here if you wish.

My family seems to suffer more than me. My kids, as we LOVE to eat together. I keep hearing: "Mama, I am sorry you can't eat!", or "I can't wait until you are off this juice fast so we can eat!". You would think I am making them juice! But, it is a switch for the family, and I think I will dedicate a post to that alone. Our experiences, what I cooked, etc.

Greetings,
Heike

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 5 of no coffee, bread & pasta, and I am still standing :)


I am on day 5 of my juicing/eating adventure, and so far, so good. I had some pain issues, but you can read all about that at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KO6PY7YTvP-dSq4SO9ShMeRzTg50hruhnrRd2FQNHlc/edit .

I am finding some things I really like to eat, and am not feeling "deprived" at all. Not drinking coffee is not such a big deal....not eating pasta & bread is. My daughter, whom I love, seems to be on a baking spree too, which does not make things easier.

I just made humus for the first time in my life :). Amazing, since it is so simple. It was delicious.

Here you go:

1 can of garbanzo beans (I am sure dry beans will be even better. I will start cooking more to put some aside for hummus).
1 clove of garlic
Lemon juice (I squeezed a half a lemon)
Olive Oil (about 3-4 tblsp, or more, to keep it creamy)
Turmeric & Paprika to taste

Whir it UP! Enjoy!
Heike

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The first day of eating bananas instead of biscuits


I decided to start juicing today instead of tomorrow. Today was a quiet, lazy day for us, so it seemed perfect to test how my body would react :).

Even though I feel that I read & prepared myself, I really am not. The Reboot gives GREAT guidelines & daily menus, but many of the items are not in season now, so I have to alternate.

That brings me to something I did not consider. The cost of juicing. Now, we eat lots of fruit & veggies anyways, and I usually buy organic or receive it from friends & neighbors. With the amount of fruit & veggies you need for one juice, this is just not going to do it. So I have gone through the recipes and found things that will incorporate what is in season here now. Mainly: Kale, carrots, apples (not really in season, but readily available), oranges & other citrus, greens, salad, parsley, beets, kiwi. I was able to get lots of kale & carrots at the farmer's market for a $1 a bunch/bag. So I stocked up, came home and washed and prepped them in Tupperware or bags.

I also did not consider the quandary this would put me in. I am proponent of buying local, but may have to go to Costco to buy apples, spinach, etc in bulk, otherwise I will have to starve. I also don't eat soy products, but will have to eat some tofu occasionally to bulk up my salads. The tofu may only be for the first few days while I get used to not eating my yummy bread, cheese, cheese, cheese...did I say cheese? No animal products, which also takes away my raw milk, joghurt, and butter. I don't mind not eating meat, but the bread & dairy...they are a huge part of my normal diet.

I will post occasionally while I wander the road of better health. If you want to see what I am doing daily, with weight, MOODS, :), etc, you can view my doc journal at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KO6PY7YTvP-dSq4SO9ShMeRzTg50hruhnrRd2FQNHlc/edit (this is on Google, you will have to have a Google account to view it. If you don't, just send me note and I can email you.).

Greetings,
Heike

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

For the next 15 days, Kale is my new Steak


After seeing the film “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” a few weeks ago, I was inspired. The film is a documentary of the 60 day juicing journey of Joe Cross, in which we see a drastic loss of weight (under doctor’s care), a road to better health, and the story of a man who changes people's lives with this experiment. What grabbed me most is the fact that he, and two others in the film, healed a chronic illness by juicing.

He hooked me. I am juicing.

I have never fasted before in my life. I am an eater. I love food, and since I am still on the scale of “thin” even with my weight gain from the two kids & last 10 years of eating, I have never felt the pressure to diet.

I do have a pretty nasty neurological problem that seems to get worse instead of better. Over the last 3 years I have not slept more than 3 hours at a time, I have tried any alternative medicines that were offered: herbs, acupuncture, massage, weed. When none of those worked, I went to the hospital and tried allopathic treatment. The heavy duty medicine worked for about 2 weeks, then my body said: “Hell no!”, I began having adverse reactions. My body is a mystery of its’ own. Even as a child, if I did get sick, I got REALLY sick in a matter of hours, then a few hours later is was completely gone. This cycle baffled doctors all the way into my adulthood. With that said, treatments can have immediate success, or horrendous adverse reactions.

I did lots of juicer research, and ended up purchasing the Breville Fountain on Amazon (had a coupon and free shipping). There are far more intense models out there that are just amazing. The Champion is made in the USA and owners love it, but it was out of my “spontaneous budget”, so I found the best I could afford.

The possibility of “cleansing” my body with juices intrigues me. The website of Joe Cross offers a REBOOT program as a support, and I will be following their 15 day REBOOT. I will be eating raw foods along with my juice, which makes me happy and calms the snacker deep inside.

My juicer arrived 2 days ago, and we have been experimenting with juice. My kid's favorite so far is the beet, orange, mint, carrot juice - before I add the carrots :). I like them all, but I also LOVE any vegetable and drink weird stuff that makes other people cringe. That brings me to the point of food. People are asking me if I will be able to STAND just having juice. Those that know me are concerned, as they know my love of pasta, bread, a good cheeseburger, CHEESE, raw milk, joghurt...ah...the list goes on, is deep. I don’t drink soda, only eat fast food occasionally, and pretty much eat a healthy, mostly organic diet. The transition will not be drastic for my body. The lack of coffee will be. I have been cutting down my coffee consume over the last week. Coffee is my ritual, and I love the taste. I have found some alternatives for the taste, will try to keep the ritual, and hope the lack of caffiene will not turn me into a bitch.

I have warned friends & family :). I am ready, making my shopping list, and will start officially on Monday morning. As excited as "I" am, I will not post every day of my progress (there are lots of "Juicer Blogs" out there!), but will check in every couple of days. If you are curious how things are going, I will post a public Google doc address where I will journal daily with weight, recipes, yippees & gripes.

If you have any yummy juicing or raw salad recipes for me, please share now. Going to the farmer’s market on Sunday!

Much love,
Heike