Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Beet Kvass and Big Tuesday


A liver cleansing, digestion aiding blood tonic; beet kvass is a staple in our house. Here's the simple recipe:

2 large beets
1/4 cup whey (see previous blog on making yogurt)
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Coarsely chop the beets; place with other ingredients in a 2-qt. jar. Leave out for 2 days, then refrigerate and enjoy! (Thank you Nourishing Traditions for the recipe...)


Well, I don't know if the swell filled in as much as it was predicted to, but it sure was beautiful either way. Santa Cruz in December... gorgeous!

Stuffed Lamb Hearts

Life is full of adventures... and on Sunday night Toby and I went on a wild one!.... On Saturday we went to the West Side Farmer's Market to get some greens, a bag full of persimmons, eggs, and organ meats. Luckily for us, organ meats are not very popular; not even the grass-fed, organic organ meats! (I always ask Toby, "WHY??") Anyways, we got to the Market about 15 minutes before closing, and bought the last 2 bags of meat: lamb heart and lamb tongue! YUM!!!

So on Sunday night I made a very special dish: Stuffed Lamb Hearts. They were stuffed with a delicious mix of red onions cooked in red wine with salt, pepper, garlic, sage, thyme, and rosemary. I then wrapped them in bacon and secured them with butcher's twine, and then baked in a small pan filled to the brim with beef stock. The hearts were delicious! We both liked the texture and taste. It had a melt-in-your-mouth, mellow taste. Not intense like lamb or liver sometimes is. It was interesting to learn that heart is actually all muscle meat; I guess it makes sense!

For all of you who are curious, this is why I love good-quality organ meats so much: [Sorry if I sound preachy; I don't want to... This is just incredible info. that I want to share!] : To make a long story short, organ meats are the absolute #1 nutrient-dense food. Rich in vitamins A, D and B, essential fatty acids, macro and trace minerals, copper, zinc, iron, and antioxidents. The amount of vitamin A in organ meats is exceptional! Beef liver supplies 36,000 IU of vitamin A per 100- gram serving (whereas skinless chicken breast only supplies 21 IU!!! and dark meat with skin supplies 201 IU). Amazing stuff, huh?

What an amazing feeling to hold the precious little lamb hearts in the palm of my hand. To see all the ventricles and arteries was incredible!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Good broth resurrects the dead" (South American Proverb)

There is something so special about making stock. Beef stock, fish stock, chicken stock. Today I made a pot of beef stock- it is simmering now on the stove. With winter coming soon, it feels like the perfect thing to do. Stock is amazing, and again, so cheap to make. I especially love having a reserve of mason jars filled with the gelatinous broth in the freezer, because it means we always have the key to a delicious and nutritious soup. Making stock satisfies a yearning deep inside of me to nourish my loved ones the best way I know how.  

After almost two years I finally made Leilani's Banana Bread (her original recipe has two secret ingredients: sour cream/ yoghurt and Apple Bananas). Of course mine turned out nothing like hers, but isn't that how it always goes when making someone else's classic recipe? 

One more thing: Our Figoa ("Pineapple Guava") tree is going off right now... I have to say thanks to Kanoa for the inspiration... Figoa flavored kombucha is sooo good!! 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

we had a great halloween scaring kids and giving out candy. i was a sailor and toby was a scary pumpkin-head guy. toby sat on the porch next to our scarecrow and i handed out candy to the kids. he scared them everytime!  screams were heard down the street. . . HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We got the meat!!

Cow meat that is.

We got 26 pounds of organ meats and meat bones (bones for making beef stock), and 29 pounds of other cuts. It is all grass-fed and local (well, pretty local, it’s from Marin County, 2 hours north of Santa Cruz). Good thing we have two freezers. My family is awesome, thank you Linda for organizing this! Thank you for all the organ meats and bones! Boy we have a lot of eating to do.

Yum, grass-fed Nourishment!


1-Organ meats! 

2- Mom with the meat. 

3-That is a deer head that Toby is holding. My cousin shot it; my mom wants the brains and fur to use for her tanning adventures; and Toby and I just wanted to check it out. Notice the tongue.  !


Talk about some serious Adventures in Nourishment

Adventures in Nourishment continue! 

Yesterday I bottled MY FIRST SUCCESSFUL BATCH OF KOMBUCHA! It sure took a few tries… mold killed my first few mamas, and I waited forever for a new mother (Thank you Mariko!!) But it worked, and it is SO delicious and so nourishing! (When I say “mama” I am actually referring to the mushroom used to make kombucha, which is actually not a mushroom but a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria).

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is excellent for digestion (because of the acetic and lactic acid it contains), and for detoxification (because of the glucuronic acid it contains). It boosts the immune system and even protects against cancer and other degenerative diseases. Talk about some amazing stuff! And the best part about it is that kombucha tastes like soda from the Gods! which is pretty amazing, because I don’t even like soda.

Kombucha is super easy to make. If you are interested, Google it! There are a lot of sites online with directions. The tricky part is finding the mushroom, but you can usually ask around and find one, or order one online. Good luck!


So, the Adventures continue… Yesterday I made pesto with the last of the basil from the garden. What a treat to have frozen for winter.


Speaking of winter, Toby finished putting in the natural gas stove in our house. A winter with heat will be such a new thing for us…Notice the rock hearth… we used rocks/ shells from all over: Chile, Alaska, Mariposa, Washington and Santa Cruz.  But don’t worry, there are no rocks from Hawaii, that’s bad luck!


The apple tree in our backyard has left us with a bounty of apples… So today I made Apple Butter. It is kind of like applesauce, but I used whey in it, and I am letting it ferment on the counter for two days before transferring it to the refrigerator. Yum!! This is all it consists of: 4 cups cooked apples, 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1/4 cup whey, and 1/4 cup raw honey, and cinnamon. (Blended together and then left out of the fridge for 2 days).


I also made an Apple-Rhubarb Pie! I used my mom’s recipe this time, which has more sugar and butter in it than the recipe I usually use (from Nourishing Traditions). Toby LOVES it when I make pies with more sugar/butter. I do, too.


Tonight my parents are coming over for dinner. I am making a very special Japanese dish called Sukiyaki. I learned how to make last weekend when we were up in San Francisco visiting Kanoa and Mariko. On Saturday Mariko made us Sukiyaki (which her grandmother taught her how to make). It blew our boots off because it was so amazing tasting. Sukiyaki consists of either chicken/ tofu or thinly sliced beef. It is cooked slowly in a sauce of shoyu, sugar, and sake, and alongside yam noodles, napa cabbage and grilled onion. It is served over rice, with a raw egg in between the rice and stew. Mariko took me to Japan Town in S.F., so I have all the authentic ingredients to make it.


Talk about some serious Adventures in Nourishment. 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to make Yoghurt; plus whey and cream cheese

I have discovered the absolute joy of making my own yogurt. It is so easy and cheap to make, and all you need are some basic tools!

Mini analysis (for frugal people like myself):

-Cost of 1 quart good-quality store-bought yogurt: About $5.00

-Cost of 1 quart good-quality homemade yogurt: About $1.50 or so, depending on price of 1 quart of milk

PLUS, if you make a double batch of yoghurt, and turn the 2nd batch into whey and cream cheese, then the savings are as follows:

-Cost of 1 quart good-quality homemade yogurt, and whey and a lot of cream cheese: Only $2.50- 3!!, depending on price of 1/2 gallon of milk


Here’s how you make yoghurt (full of beneficial bacteria and lactic acid, which does wonders for digestion)! Remember: The more you make it, the easier it becomes!


What you need:

-1/4 cup good quality plain yoghurt (store-bought or from previous batch)

-1 quart pasteurized whole milk

-a candy thermometer (you can buy these at Safeway; they’re like $4). 

-a pot and glass/enamel baking dish, or 1 quart-size mason jar, or 2 pint-size mason jars


How to make it: 

-Gently heat milk to 180 degrees, then let it cool to about 110 degrees. -Stir in yogurt and put it in a glass or enamel container. I have found that mason jars or a baking dish work. -Cover and place in a warm oven (a gas oven with a pilot light or electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off) overnight. -In the morning the yoghurt is done! It may be slightly thinner in consistency than you are used to, but it is so good tasting! And it is so cheap and easy to make!


To make the whole process even more amazing, you can make a double batch of yoghurt (using a 1/2 gallon of milk), and turn 1/2 of it into whey and cream cheese!! The cream cheese is so good; I like putting it on toast with jam, or using it is place of crème fraiche/ sour cream in tacos or soups. I use the whey to make lacto-fermented vegi’s (like kimchi or pickles.


This is how you make whey and cream cheese (or crème fraiche or whatever you want to consider it): 


What you need:

-Any amount of yogurt

-A strainer

-A bowl, a long spoon or stick

-A piece of string/ ribbon 

-2 dish towels


How to make it:

-Place the 1st dish towel over the strainer, then place it on the bowl. –Pour the yogurt in, and place the 2nd dish towel over it. Leave that for a few hours on a countertop. –The whey will drip into the bowl, and the milk solids will stay in the towel. Tie up the towel with the milk solids inside and attach the sack to the long spoon/ stick. It is ready when the whey stops dripping. Store in the refrigerator in covered jars. Enjoy!!!






Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yum! Homemade tartar sauce

Recipe for some AMAZING tartar sauce: 
Tartar Sauce 
-Makes 1-1/2 cups 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1/2 cup minced pickles 
2 tablespoons minced green onion 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 
2 tablespoons small capers 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
pinch of cayenne pepper 
-In a bowl, blend all ingredients well. 
-Store in refrigerator, but serve at room temperature. 
. . . . . . 
It's even more special when it's made with homemade mayo... 
Like tartar sauce, mayo is actually super easy to make; it can be made in a Quisinart or even a smoothie blender if that's all you have! When mayo is made with good ingredients (homemde or not), it is actually very good us!! Good mayo is full of valuable enzymes, especially lipase- which helps your body digest fats and oils. 
Easy Mayo Recipe: 
-Makes 1-1/2 cups 
1 whole egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard 
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice 
3/4-1  cup extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil 
generous pinch of sea salt 
-Combine everything but the olive oil and blend well (about 30 seconds). 
-Then with the motor running, add the oil a few drops at a time. 
-Taste it! You may want to add a bit more salt or lemon juice. Yum! 
(Both recipes are from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon- thank you again). 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Got 'but?

Fish stock, fish sauce, fish chowder, fish tacos, breaded fish, BBQed fish, fish scrambles, fish with vegis, fish with coconut rice, the list goes on and on! My husband Toby caught two big Halibut yesterday! At the end of Woodrow Street, right in town!! (West Side Santa Cruz). 2 Halibut!! Boy I guess I am good luck or something, he caught the first one when he was showing me how to cast for the 1st time! 
My heart was pumping, and I immediately thought to myself... food! Fish, fish, and guess what, more fish. This has been the story of our lives for the past few months. 
Last night Toby cooked up the fish; seared in garlic and butter, and then BBQed outside. Served with bell pepper stir-fry and homemade tartar sauce. Delicious!