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How I Make The Best Hard Boiled Eggs

8 Dec

 

I love  hard boiled eggs for quick protein. Up until a few years ago however, I never ate eggs. So when I first started, I had some pretty shaggy looking hard boiled eggs.

I have tried many methods from various other tutorials and kept what worked. My method is a compilation of several of those tips that have consistently worked for me!  I know many like the oven method or the steaming basket way of hard boiling eggs but to me the texture is never the same or as good as old fashioned hard boiled eggs.

First, I gather my ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, healthy pastured eggs.DSC_0130

 

Fill a pan with cold water and your eggs. Drop in a teaspoon of baking soda and stir it around till it dissolves.
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Then add a splash of vinegar. It shouldn’t fizz because you dissolved the baking soda first.

{I was posing the vinegar bottle while the baking soda dissolved fyi because I know you can still see it in this picture :-)}DSC_0142

 

Bring your water to a boil and while covered, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
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While waiting, give attention to your screaming toddler climbing up your legs.

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When you get a minute, get some ice.
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After the 10 minutes are up, drain your water and fill with ice and cold water. This shocks the eggs and stops the cooking. DSC_0158

 

 

Now this is the most important tip I can offer. Look at your eggs and find the narrow pointed top part. DSC_0172

 

Tap the top part of your egg first. DSC_0174

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Then flip it and tap the wide bottom part of the egg. DSC_0176

 

 

I have found this is the best way to get easy to peel eggs because the act of tapping the eggs forces the air from the air pocket all around the egg and knocks the shell away from the egg white.

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I also like to have some cold water running to help rinse away the little bits. DSC_0178

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This egg basically peeled in two pieces. Don’t you love that!?

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Pretty, smooth, perfect hardboiled eggs! Not a shaggy one in the batch. DSC_0184

 

Rich and golden without any green ring! DSC_0186

 

 

 

 

 

As a bonus I will share with you my easy egg salad “recipe”.

First, chop up your 8-12 eggs in a medium size bowl. I LOVE using a pastry blender for chopping up my eggs for egg salad. It is quick and efficient! DSC_0190

Assemble your desired spices. I use about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I usually eye ball this part and season to taste but those amounts are pretty close. DSC_0192

Add about 2 big dollops of your favorite mayonnaise which is probably about 1/4 cup. Start with less if you prefer less mayo in general. I am a mayo lover so I like it really creamy. With that, add your favorite mustard. I prefer a slightly spicy brown mustard. I use a big squirt which is approximately 1 tablespoon. DSC_0194

Mix all together and enjoy!  DSC_0196

This is an easy lunch idea for my kids because they adore snack style lunches. They love crackers and egg salad or tuna salad with fruit. I love it too because it is super easy and a big batch keeps for about 5 days in the fridge.

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Wild Rice Soup

5 Nov

I wasn’t planning on blogging about this but I had so many requests for the recipe that it was just easier to post it here.

Wild rice soup

A post shared by amandacolo (@amandacolo) on

{hence the terrible phone picture}

 

 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion diced

2 cups carrots

2 cups celery

3 cups cannellini beans

4 cups chicken or veggie stock (You may use more for cooking rice and/or thinning out soup to desired consistency)

1 1/4 cups wild rice

4 cups whole milk or cream

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

(The following additions should be added to taste. You may add more or less.)

2-3 TBSP apple cider vinegar (you could use a nice dry white wine instead of acv)

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP thyme

1 TBSP parsley

a dash of curry powder

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

freshly grated parmesan

 

1. Cook your wild rice. You can cook it in water or extra stock. If you are using homemade chicken stock it can help to break down phytic acid in your rice. For 1 1/4 cups wild rice use just a tad over 3 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil then add rice. Cover and turn temp down to low for 45 minutes.

2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot and add your diced carrots, celery and onion. Saute for 5-8 minutes on medium heat.

3. Add 4 cups of stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. About half way through this 20 minute simmer, add your 3 cups of cannellini beans.

4. While your soup is simmering you need to make a simple roux. In a small sauce pan melt 1 stick of butter over medium low heat and add 1/2 cup flour. Whisk till combined and creamy. Turn it on low and continue to whisk often to prevent burning. You want to cook it through to eliminate the flour taste. I cooked it for about 12 minutes and turned it off. I still whisked it every so often until I was ready to use it.

5. After 20 minute simmer add in your cooked rice and 4 cups of cream. Return to a gentle boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add in your roux in 3 additions. Mixing it thoroughly after every addition.

7. Add your spices and season according to your taste. I say this because I actually never measured any of these and just added them in till I liked the flavor!  Again, I never intended on blogging this recipe so I wasn’t mindful of my real amounts. I also added in extra stock to thin it out to my desired consistency. After adding in the roux it can get quite thick.

We served this soup as our dinner with a simple slice of sourdough bread and butter on the side. It is very hearty and satisfying as a soup entree. You can add chicken or turkey instead of the cannellini beans if you would rather.  Since I don’t eat chicken, I used beans.

I adapted this recipe from a handful of various recipes to accommodate the fact that I wasn’t using chicken and Steven and I both hate mushrooms. For some reason everyone thinks the best vegetarian substitution for meat is 10 lbs of mushrooms. FYI it is not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applesauce

15 Oct

I have been wanting to try my hand at home canning for a long time but for some reason it frightens me. I bought a canner this spring with the intention of canning jam, tomatoes, pickles and applesauce this year. Unfortunately, our garden harvest wasn’t as abundant as we had anticipated and we were able to keep up with the produce with ease. Our plum tree also failed to really produce well this year. Last year we were swimming in plums! Plus, being pregnant I have lost all energy to accomplish many of these extra tasks and struggle to keep up with the ordinary tasks of running a household and raising a toddler.

Since we went apple picking and brought home 23 lbs of apples, I had no excuse but to finally do some canning. Yesterday I made a big stock pot of applesauce. I used this video as a guide from one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking, that sadly is no longer active. Her video shows how to make easy no peel sauce.

I washed, cored and chopped my 11+ lbs of Jonagolds.

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Due to the size and strength of my blender I pureed my apples in batches of four chopped apples and 1/2 cup filtered water and repeated until all apples were pureed.

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Pour all pureed apple, skins and all, into a stock pot and warm on low heat. Add a little cinnamon and sucanat if desired to flavor and counter the tartness.

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Meanwhile, prepare your jars and water canner. Fill up your jars, leaving the appropriate head space and process for 20 minutes fully submerged in the boiling water.

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Remove your jars from the canner after 20 minutes and set to cool. After 24 hours check to see that the jars are sealed and don’t pop.

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Since this was my first time canning, I decided to only can 6 pint jars. I saved another jar that is a tad larger than a quart to go immediately into the fridge and the teeny bit extra I put in to a freezer container to freeze. Over all I made about 19 cups of sauce!

I was hoping Linden would love it as much as store bought sauce because it does have a slight gritty texture from the skins. It is more nutritious with the skins and heartier in my opinion but it had to pass the taste test after all the hard work!

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The verdict: Finger licking good! He devoured 2 bowls of sauce and asked for a third but I gave him an actual lunch instead.

I checked my jars today and they are all sealed so my first canning adventure was a success! It was not as scary as I had always imagined it to be. I will be more bold next time and can more.

 

 

2nd Trimester and Sprouted Zucchini Nut Muffins

6 Aug

It’s been almost a month since my last post. You can thank morning sickness and exhaustion for that. I have not been up to doing ANYTHING. Tomorrow I am officially in my 2nd trimester (13 weeks and 3 days). Today was the first day in a long time that I actually felt mostly better. Still little bouts of nausea but over all, today was great. I actually cleaned my house, did laundry, made dinner, and finally got around to baking zucchini muffins with the pounds of zucchini I have lying around.

In case you are interested in my recipe, I included it below. It is a concoction adapted from a few different recipes that I changed to be healthier.

zuchhinmuffins

SPROUTED ZUCCHINI NUT MUFFINS

3 eggs½ c. Coconut oil (melted)

½ c. unsweetened organic applesauce

2/3 c. sucanat

3/4 c. raw or local honey

2 c. grated zucchini

2-3 t. vanilla extract

3 c. Sprouted wheat flour

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. baking soda

½ t. baking powder

1 t. Redmond Real salt

1 c. chopped walnuts (divided)

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease tin well with coconut oil.

In mixer, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla and sweetener.  Stir in zucchini.  In a separate  bowl whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and half of the nuts.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients by the cup and do not over mix.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and top with remaining nuts. Bake 20–25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

The growing TO DO list is starting to get out of control and I am hoping today wasn’t a fluke. Here’s to hoping the 2nd trimester energy and wellness surge is upon me!!!

Steven’s lunch

16 May

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Cilantro coconut shrimp soup. He gets many more interesting dishes than I do on this Whole30 Challenge! I altered the recipe just a tad. Basically I added more shrimp, used homemade chicken stock instead of water to add more depth and we were out of cayenne pepper so I added a few dashes of paprika. Also, I was hesitant to add an entire juiced lemon as per the recipe, so I added 1 1/2 tablespoons to Steven’s taste.

Homemade Mayo

15 May

I am not trying to have a cooking blog. Although lately it might come across that way with all of the Whole30 posts. This is really a family blog of sorts, but I do love cooking and do a lot of it so it is hard not to post about yummy kitchen creations. Like this delicious mayonnaise.

Look at how beautiful that is… that creamy swirl… mmmmmm.

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I made that, you guys! This makes me so happy because I love mayonnaise so much. I grew up on Best Foods (or Hellmann’s for you midwest readers) because my family and I are mayonnaise snobs. Just in case you didn’t know this, Miracle Whip is NOT mayo. It is actually a miracle that people eat that junk.  While the taste of Best Foods is amazing, those darn ingredients make it junk too. So, since starting on my real food journey a few years ago this has been my one big struggle. I have tried various other “healthier” options out here but the truth is they still contain soy or canola. News flash, canola is not “heart healthy”. That leaves me with making it myself. I have tried SO many recipes and techniques. Many attempts have left me in tears and with a mild case of carpal tunnel.  I am always trying to recreate that same flavor and texture that I love so much and often, it is a miss. Until now!

I found this recipe from The Clothes Make The Girl! I made her recipe exactly and it was amazing but not quite fool proof because I still managed to ruin it once or twice.  I decided to combine a few other things from the many other techniques, I’ve tried and now it is PERFECT.

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Squeeze a lemon. I don’t care if people say the bottle stuff is just as good. Squeeze your own lemon.

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Put one whole pastured organic egg into your blender, along with 2 Tablespoons of the aforementioned lemon juice.

Let them come to room temperature. This is very important. I will usually take out the egg and set it on the counter in the morning so when I do this step in the afternoon it doesn’t take a long time.

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Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt. We love our Redmond Real Salt.

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The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard. I don’t have dried mustard. I used this dijon mustard and just squirt a dollop into the blender.

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I was curious as to why this recipe tells you to include 1/4 of light tasting olive oil immediately and I’ve learned it is to make sure your mixture is up to blade level in your blender.

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Blend in your 1/4 cup of light tasting olive oil (not extra virgin because the taste is too strong) with your egg, lemon, salt and mustard for about 30 seconds. I should note that your blender should be on low. I snapped this picture while my blender was on the highest setting and almost messed this batch up. So don’t do that!  Your blender also cannot be a high powered blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix. Apparently they are such powerful machines that they run too hot and will break your emulsion.

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Next, pour in your additional 1 cup of oil very slowly! I have tried pouring in my 1 cup of oil with a measuring cup and without fail my patience runs out and I end up pouring too quickly and breaking my emulsion and ruining my batch. There are ways of salvaging your broken batches but it is just such a let down and it makes me cry. Here is my “secret” weapon! This is just a cheap Wilton candy making squeeze bottle. I have tried making mayo in a food processor, with a stick blender, by hand, with my mixer and all while pouring in drip by drip out of a measuring cup.  I always had very inconsistent batches until this little bottle.

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I remove the blender lid and my squeeze bottle fits perfectly on the opening. I could just allow it to drip slowly on its own, but I find that a soft, gentle pulse of the bottle every few seconds is helpful and doesn’t release too much oil.

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You can see the emulsion starting already! Just keep dripping slowly. I find it does take a little longer using the bottle (about 10 minutes+/-) but it is better then your mayo breaking half way through and having to start all over!

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There it is! Just scrape out with a spatula, fill up your jar and store for a week in the fridge. You can lacto-ferment your mayo to last longer but while on the Whole30 we are not allowed to have whey. And to be honest, we end up using it by the end of the week anyway. It only makes about a cup.

Week 3 Whole30 Recap

14 May

I cannot believe we have already finished 3 weeks of this challenge! It really is going by so quickly for me. It is taking an eternity for Steven, however. I appreciate him so much for sticking it out with me. It was not an easy request and he has been cheat free the entire time despite his work buying everyone pizza and his Bible study bringing donuts.

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Day 15

I had eggs benedict, leftover grilled vegetables and salmon and spaghetti squash with marinara, salmon meat balls and zucchini.

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Day 16

I had a frittata for breakfast. Lunch and dinner were both spaghetti.

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Day 17

Life has been busy and I am so thankful for leftovers, even if they do get boring. Frittata and spaghetti were on the menu for breakfast and lunch again. For dinner I made tuna burgers with pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. On the side we had sweet potato salad with cilantro and jalapeno.

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Day 18

Stir-fry scramble is the easiest way to pack in the protein and veggies for breakfast that I have found. It almost tastes like vegetable fried rice! Salmon cakes for lunch and leftover tuna burgers for dinner. I am finding that for me to eat a lot of fish, I need to prepare it in a burger  or patty form. Eating fish is new for me and it helps me to eat it without over thinking the fact that I am actually eating fish.

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Day 19

I started this day with an egg wrap full of spinach, avocado and tomato served with mango. Mango is by far my most favorite fruit. It reminds me of a mission trip I took in college to Haiti. The air was so warm and you could smell the mangos in the wind. I could eat them all day everyday.

For lunch I made some bone broth vegetable soup with tuna burgers. And dinner was our take on a BLTA. I have tried to remain as strict as possible to the original Whole30 menu plan but as a vegetarian you are allowed to include fermented soy and kefir. I have abstained from using either but for this meal I did use organic tempeh. I avoid soy as much as possible in general but I did have it for one or two meals this week to break up the fish and eggs. I also made a batch of sweet potato chips fried in coconut oil. It felt like a little treat to indulge in a “chip”.

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Day 20

I had another egg wrap for breakfast. For lunch we had company over and I actually forgot to take a picture of my lunch but it was the same as dinner. I had roasted a whole chicken for everyone. It was served with fruit salad and roasted vegetables. I had tuna burgers with my meals that day instead of the chicken and I actually ate more then is shown on the above plate.

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Day 21

Mother’s day! Steven brought me breakfast in bed which was so delicious and wonderful! Left over fruit salad, fried eggs and roasted sweet potatoes with bell peppers.  For lunch I had a bowl of bone broth vegetable soup and mini Tempeh lettuce boats with tomatoes and avocado. Sunday was such a crazy day that we found ourselves still out and about at dinner time. We had two choices: go home and start dinner so we could eat around 8 or 9pm, or find a place to eat compliant. We chose to eat a big salad from the Whole Foods salad bar. I included 2 hard boiled eggs for my protein.

The final countdown has begun!!!

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