I really try to keep a zero waste kitchen, so on this snowy day I made porridge bread using whey from the Greek yogurt I made on Sunday and leftover 9-grain porridge from breakfast yesterday. The whey creates a nice soft crumb and the 9-grain porridge packs the bread with flavor.
The bread will be paired with what I like to call pantry soup for dinner. At this time of year my soups are made with what was canned of dehydrated from the previous growing season and rarely contains the same ingredients two times in a row.
The bread recipe can be found below if you would like to try making the bread (I always double the recipe so I have a loaf for the freezer).
2 cups (227g) White Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups (241g) Unbleached Bread Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (227g) cooked 9-grain porridge or oatmeal
1 1/4 cups (283g) lukewarm whey (waste from making yogurt)
Mix all the ingredients together and knead for about 10 minutes
Place in a bowl, cover and allow to rise until double in size
Turn out on a floured board, knead quickly, shape into a loaf, place in a pan and allow to rise until almost double in size
The eggplants at the coop looked so good that we couldn’t pass them up. Tonight I used our find to make a favorite meal of spicy eggplant served over a bed of vegetable rice. There are a few steps to this dish but it is well worth the effort.
I listed the recipe below so you can try it for yourself.
1 large eggplant one or equivalent – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion – diced
2 TBS Sesame oil
2 TBS Coconut oil
6 garlic cloves – chopped
4 TBS minced ginger (I used jarred)
3 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS sriracha
2 TBS sambal oelek (or chili garlic sauce)
2 tsp molasses
3 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used tomato powder from last growing season hydrated in 1/2 cup of water)
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Crushed red pepper
1/2 cup water
Heat 2 TBS sesame oil in a pan & add the eggplant. Add a little salt & some crushed red pepper. Sauté over medium heat until tender but not mushy. Maybe 5-8 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Using the same pan, heat 1 TBS coconut oil & saute the onion with a bit of crushed red pepper. When soft – add to the bowl with the eggplant.
In the same pan, heat 1 TBS coconut oil. Add 2-3 TBS sesame seeds, garlic and ginger. When the garlic begins to brown add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, chili garlic sauce, molasses, soy sauce, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and water. Simmer over med-low heat for ten minutes.
Add the eggplant and onions then simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve over rice garnished with additional sesame seeds.
Spring has finally arrived so the chickens and ducks have started laying again, which means it is time to start making more egg based dishes.
Today I made a family favorite — chocolate egg custard. This tasty dish is light, sweet and creamy. Best of all it uses a limited number of ingredients and only takes about 10 minutes mix at 45 minutes to cook, which makes the custard a great weeknight treat. The recipe for the custard is as follows.
4 cup milk (I use 2%)
6 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat the milk in a large saucepan until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the burner and set aside.
Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cocoa to a blinder and give it a few pulses until blended.
Turn the blender to a low speed and gradually add the warmed milk to the egg mixture.
Pour the custard into a 9×13 casserole dish or 9 custard cups.
Place the dish or cups in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with enough water to rehash about an inch from the top.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the custard has just set.
The winter squash harvest is starting to come in. Unfortunately, the squirrels have reeked havoc on crops this year. Many summer and winter squash were eaten prior to maturity or scared by their little nails. Some of the Hubbard squash grew to maturity but were to scared for long term storage and needed to be processed immediately. I used one of these squash to make our first pie for the season since Hubbard, butternut, buttercup squash and pumpkin are interchangeable in pies and quick breads.
The recipe that I used is as follows. I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine does.
1 medium Hubbard squash
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Maple Whipped Cream, optional, recipe follows
Maple Whipped Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
Slice into quarters, seed and bake squash for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool.
Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set 4 cups of the mash aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt.
Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into squash. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Maple Whipped Topping:
In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. Add maple syrup. Beat together until soft peaks form.
Dinner tonight is fresh from the garden. Tomato herb tart topped with fresh goat cheese, and a bowl of mixed greens.
The tart is made with a herb crust that was blind baked for 20 minutes so it stayed crispy. After letting the crust rest for 10 minutes I topped it with chopped mixed herbs, sliced tomatoes, fresh goat milk feta, basil salt, pepper, and finished the layers with a drizzle of olive oil. Then baked the tart at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. The resulting tart had a flaky crisp crust and juicy topping.
With the very warm wet summer this year we have a bumper crop of green beans, tomatoes and eggplant. This morning I used 12 pounds of our tomatoes and 4 pounds of eggplant to make some lovely jars of aubergine pasta sauce.
The recipe I use is as follows. Please keep in mind that the canning method is the one that I use in my house. Please follow the canning method and times that are appropriate for your household.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion , chopped
6 garlic cloves , chopped
1 large bell pepper , chopped
2 lbs eggplants, cubed
8 cups tomatoes , peeled & cubed
1/4 cup tomato powder or 1-6 ounce can of tomato paste
4 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dry oregano
1/3 cup date sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup dry red wine
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Blend mixture with an emersion blender.
Put into hot jars and add prepared lids and rings. Screw rings on until finger tight.
Process in hot water bath for 40 minutes.
No matter how much canning I do, the reduction in volume when fresh produce is processed always amazes me.
The hard never ending rains this summer required that we use everything that we are able to harvest this year. This morning I picked carrots, green beans, egg plant, tomatoes and cabbage. The cabbage is now sliced seasoned and in the crock to ferment. Carrots, egg plant and green beans will be prepped for the dehydrator – I really prefer dehydrated veggies in winter soups and stews.
This morning carrot greens were turned into pesto – several batches for the freezer and one put aside for a pasta dish on Sunday.
Our gardens are starting to produce fairly well so I have been doing a lot of canning and dehydrating of vegetables, which has also produces a lot veggie scraps. By the end of this weekend I had enough to fill a large crockpot and make a batch of vegitable broth this afternoon.
I find that making my own vegitable broth saves us a fair amount of money and taste better than any brand I have found in the market. To make your own broth fill a slow cooker with vegitable scraps. For this batch I used onion, mushroom stems, celery, tomatoes, beets, kale stems, broccoli, cabbage, carrot tops, and green bean tips (keep in mind that you can always store scraps in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch of broth). Cover the scraps with water until it is about an inch above the scraps, add salt, pepper and herbs to the pot and cook on low for about 10-12 hours.
Run the cooked scrap mixture through press to render as much liquid as possible and then pour through a fine mesh seive to remove the larger vegitable particles that made it through the press.
Place the pressed scraps in to your compost container.
Pour the the warm broth into prepared canning jars and pressure cook for 75 minutes at the pressure recommended for pressure in your area.
We are currently living through the wettest summer in a good number of years. The upside is that we have not needed to water our crops in almost two months and we are seeing a bumper crop of all types of green beans, pinto beans and kale. The downside is our tomatoes are splitting, cabbage is starting to rot, and the pumpkins and butternut squash are slow to produce, and slugs are starting to become a real problem. In an effort to reduces some of the water related issues we have let the ducks loose in the fields to help with bugs, have been canning and running the dehydrators at least twice a week, covered every flat surface in the house with tomatoes that need to finish ripening, and cooking all types of kale and Swiss chard dishes. For dinner today I made a Pistachio, Farro and Kale Salad with hot water cornbread. The dish was very easy to make, used several items from our gardens and was very tasty. If you would like to try the salad recipe it can be found at https://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/farro-kale-salad-recipe/
We have finally arrived at the Time in the growing season hat we can eat mainly out of our gardens. This morning I picked eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, tomatoes and onions. A number of the fresh veggies noted earlier, and a block of tofu made by a local farm were used to create a Sriracha-spiced Stir-Fried tofu with eggplant and red bell peppers for dinner. There is nothing quite like the taste of garden ripened produce to make a very memorable meal.
If you would like to try this dish the base recipe can be found on Kalyn’s blog.
I made some minor adjustments to her recipe to fit what I had available in my gardens. I replaced the Thai basil with fresh Italian basil, the green onion with a freshly picked shallot, peanut oil with canola oil, and stevia with maple syrup. I also sliced the fried garlic and added it back to the dish at the same time as the sauce was added,