Entries categorized "nourish"

chai spiced adaptogen herb blend.....

I'm head of over heels in gratitude for the warm reception our CSH received. If you didn't snag a share, there are a few left as of this morning. If you missed out, there will be partial shares again in September and December. I'll let you know when sign-ups open for those.

Today I wanted to share an adaptogen powder recipe I recently crafted up for the Herbal Academy blog. Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help your body adapt to stress. Head on over to read the herbal infused snacks article I wrote for them where you can find two really yummy recipes with this adaptogen blend : Chia Pudding and Protein Power Bites. (think tiny balls of energy, yum!)

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Chai Spiced Adaptogen Powder

    1 tablespoon ashwagandha powder

    1 tablespoon astragalus powder

    1 tablespoon triphala powder

    1 tablespoon marshmallow powder

    2 teaspoons ground ginger

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon ground cardamom

 

Stir these together & keep in an air-tight jar. I like to add this to smoothies, oatmeal, granola bars, baked goods, chia pudding and energy bites. It's a great way to add more herbs to your diet.

And speaking of herbs, I just got home last night from a weekend at Herbstalk. What a great little herbal event! I attended a few classes and bumped into some of my favorite makers at the market. Best of all, I got to see several of my herbal sisters - so good to see their smiling faces.

I'm off to tuck baby motherwort into the garden......

xo

stephinie

 


in our kitchen.....

Whole food kitchen 1

Whole food kitchen 2

Whole food kitchen 3

Whole food kitchen 4

Whole food kitchen 5

Whole food kitchen 6

Whole food kitchen 7

Some favorites from our kitchen over the last month.

Such gratitude for the return of plentiful backyard eggs! Frittata. Eggs & toast. Huevos Rancheros. Boiled eggs. Breakfast Burritos. Fried eggs over bowls of rice, greens, and beans.

We joined the lovely Feeding Our People subscription and it's been the perfect thing to pull me out of my cooking slump. Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, mostly vegetarian fare that just feels like real food for real family life. I'm in love with it. Those braised beans above were the first weekly recipe and they've been a staple ever since. Delicious!

I've been playing with a nut milk recipe for months now and I've got it just the way I like it with a combination of coconut, almond, cashew & pumpkin seed. It's rich and creamy and all but the youngest here love it, which is close enough to a win in my book.

Oat + coconut + nut butter energy bites infused with herb powders. So delicious! 

And those carrots. I have class on Monday night and I try to leave Joe with dinner mostly prepped (I leave at 3:30) so that when he walks in the door at 4:30 it's quick to get things going. He made these carrots and I just want to eat them every week now. We don't have a proper recipe for them, but I can tell you what he put it in them: carrots + butter + honey (or brown sugar) + sea salt. Cook at 425 or 450 until the edges are golden. Stir once or twice to coat the carrots in the decadent sauce (honey is my favorite over the two sweetener options). They are amazing you guys!

What's cooking in your kitchens these days? Share what you're loving.....

xo,

s

 


simple breakfast

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As soon as the weather starts to warm up, our breakfast begins to shift. I want something quick, nourishing, easy, and cool. My favorite go-to is a combination of nuts, raw oats, and fruit. A bit of yogurt or kefir. Or sometimes almond milk. Drizzled with honey or maple syrup. It keeps our bellies full as we go about our morning. It's easy to change up with different things we find rummaging through the pantry or freezer. Dried fruit. Sliced banana. Frozen blueberries. 

An easy whole foods way to start our day.

xo,

s

 


in my kitchen

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These are a collection of things from the last month or so.

We picked up our grain share near the beginning of February. We've been eating local beans, oats, corn, fresh flour. And popcorn! This sort of thing makes my heart very happy.

I've been sprouting. It had been awhile. The youngest gave me a peculiar look munching on his avocado-cheese-sprout sandwich and said "whatever these weird crunchy things are, I love them!" I'll take that as a win.

We made maple syrup candy in the snow!! And it worked!! Yes, I needed extra exclamation points there because we've tried this in the past, several times, and failed. This year was a hit. One of the kids suggested maybe we just needed good snow. I think the Daddy just has better candy making skills than the mama.

Kombucha has gotten serious. I've been doing second ferments with fruit juice and ginger added. (blueberry and cherry) I even got some cool flip-tops on sale from the homebrew store. And a few small single-serve ones for Joe's lunch. His coworkers like to wander over to his desk and see what weird hippie thing he has that day. Is it mason jar soup day or strange metal lunchbox day?

I just finished my intro class on herbalism, and I am beginning my intermediate class right away. (more to share about this another post/day) I've learned SO much about herbs and even made my first herbal salve. I've been slowly gifting it to loved ones and telling them, this is magic. And I really mean it.

Leftover oatmeal muffins. An oldie and a goodie. Made with half spelt and half buckwheat. Slathered in butter and jam. My favorite from last summer's canning extravaganza is the wild grape. Hands down. I could eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon. Not that I have. Ahem.

Tell me, what's join on in your kitchen?

xo~

s

 


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We pulled off two birthday parties in the midst of the usual busy-ness this week. The first with around 23 teenagers. The big girl invited all of marching band and nearly all of marching band came. Much pizza and snacks were eaten. Lots of laughing. At one point the entire lot of them were playing and singing in the sunroom, our basket of small percussion instruments divided among them. I imagine the bus rides to and from marching band competitions sound similar. Joe & I really got a kick out watching them all, it was a good time for sure.

The second celebration was just our family. I baked her a pumpkin cake with maple cream cheese frosting from this recipe. Oh my goodness, delicious. Especially for breakfast with a cup of coffee the next day. I decorated it with wildflowers and calendula from our backyard. She loved it.

And now that big girl is 16. It's kind of amazing.......

xo~

s

  


wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

wild harvesting :: concord grapes

Last year we only found a few wild grapes here & there. It had been a hot and rainy summer. This summer was cooler and dryer and the grapes must have liked that a little better because they are hanging in heavy clusters from their vines on the trails behind our house and alongside the road. I fight the urge to travel with a ladder and pull over to pick them. Somehow I'm thinking winding new england roads and crazy woman with a ladder spell out accident waiting to happen. We did walk the trail behind our house and pick some from a few spots. I'm sure the birds enjoy them too, so we left plenty for them. We ended up with almost 20 pounds. Enough for a double batch of grape jam. The guy of the house was rather excited about this, having grown up making forts in the woods behind his house and eating his own weight in wild grapes every summer in upstate New York. Late into the evening I cooked the grapes down with a bit of sugar, just enough for a hint of sweetness. They never did quite jell, so I added a small amount of Pomona's to give the jam a soft set. It's not the color of the grape jelly we grew up with.... and nowhere near the cloying sweetness. The taste is right on though, with a hint of tartness just like eating the grapes fresh. I was so happy the jam retained their pungent heavenly scent as well. The kids like it on pb&j sandwiches. I like it on crackers with some soft goat cheese. Delicious either way, for sure. 

Another canning post... yes I know. Apples are coming soon....

xo~

s

 


in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

in which this becomes a canning blog.....

I could have probably stopped in to write you once or twice this week.

It would have been the same thing every day. I blanched this, peeled that, pickled those and put them in a jar. Hot water bathed them all and listened to the pop-pop-pop of the jars sealing after I plucked them from the bubbling water. Hours upon hours worth of it. Every day. For the past two weeks. I think I have an addiction...

I'm not really cool enough to be a canning blog. (But Marisa sure is if you're looking for one) My canned pantry is expanding though, and I've had to buy jars three times in the last ten days. Also, why oh why is it impossible to find those simple half pint wide mouth jars. Can. Not. Locate. And I refuse to pay Amazon two bucks a piece for them. The wide mouth are my favorite because they are so freaking practical. Easy to clean & stable when stacked several high. Back to the food part though....

In the last few days I have made :

raspberry jam

peach lavender jam

spicy dilled beans

spicy basil pickled eggplant

spicy curry pickled carrots

zucchini relish

wild grape jam (which I'll show you pictures of soon. wanna be canning blog lady that I am)

With the excpetion of the raspberries that I got on sale at the grocery store, everything else was local. This makes me geek out with happiness. Quite by accident, all my recent recipes have come from Tart & Sweet (pictured) it's a good one. I just picked up Food in Jars from the library and I adore it. I have pear butter cooking in the crock-pot right now. Yum! 

Do you have a favorite canning blog or book? Do share, I'd love to check it out.

Off to start (yet another) hot water bath....

 

xo,

s

 

ps - thank you for the sweet words on my last post. my do they grow quickly.....

 


how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

It's the little things in life some days.

Yesterday morning when I opened the fridge I was greeted with nearly three dozen eggs from our backyard hens. There has been baking, I have been making a huge frittata once a week, and we've been eating eggs for breakfast too.... but the hens were getting ahead of us. I have had no luck with anyone's method of hard-boiling eggs. Some of them helped (pin hole, vinegar, salt, ice bath, let them age) but none of them really yielded an easily peeled egg. Let alone one the kids could peel on their own. And I just can't let my eggs sit in the fridge for a few weeks before I boil them.... the beauty of backyard hens is fresh eggs, right?

So I googled it. And the one thing I had not tried was steaming them. Following the instructions from this, I steamed about a dozen and a half eggs from the weekend........

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

how to hard boil fresh eggs (that actually peel easily)

You need some sort of steamer basket for this. I used one of those fold up style baskets that fit in a variety of pot sizes. Add just enough water to cover the bottom, the eggs shouldn't sit in the water. Put the lid on & bring the pot to a boil. Fill with as many eggs as you want to cook & steam for 15 minutes with the lid on. Keep an eye to make sure you don't run out of water. I know that seems like a long time.... but you can see that it yields perfectly cooked eggs. I was wary, but it's just right. Spoon the eggs into iced cold water & chill until they are cool to the touch. Peel easily, without saying any bad words. (that's the best part.) And if you (like me) are so excited about this epiphany that you are jumping up and down and you offer a hard-steamed egg to every family member while squeaking "what until you peel it!"..... then we were meant to be the best of friends.... and I wish you lived closer.

It's egg salad for lunch here today.

Have a lovely Tuesday......

xo,

s

  

(ps - if you like the centers soft, boil for 10-12 minutes! we love them this way too!)


tomato + kale + bean soup......

tomato + kale + bean soup......

Soup usually starts something like this : I pull vegetables from the fridge. Perhaps a jar of roasted tomato sauce from the freezer. I'll likely start a pot of rice to accompany it. Maybe some irish soda bread if I have the forethought. The veggie chopping begins. It always starts with onions. Diced or sliced and sauteed. The veggies get cooked according to their time needs. Peppers, onions, and garlic first. Maybe some mushrooms. Followed by potatoes or carrots. Green beans, peas and chopped greens are added at the very end so they are just gently cooked before serving the soup. 

I don't really follow recipes anymore. I may look up a recipe to get an idea..... but it's full culinary ad-lib from there on out. A little salt and pepper. Maybe some lemon juice to add some freshness. Smoked Paprika. Cumin. Or maybe an Italian herb blend. Red pepper flakes on my own bowl when it's all finished. Smokey flavors pair well with cilantro. Parsley likes to dress up a mild soup. 

Soup is the best thing to do with leftovers. Rice, beans, chicken, roasted veggies. It's my favorite thing to feed to a crowd. I could eat some sort of soup every day and not grow tired of it. Truly.

This soup was inspired by this recipe. I wanted to use a 15 bean soup mix and make something that didn't involve chunks of ham. I'm not opposed to ham. I just wanted to try something different. You know? The result was delicious. The small beans cook faster, breaking down, and adding thickness to the soup. The tomatoes, lemon, and kale provide a fresh kick that is so appreciated in the last few weeks of winter. I know the calendar says spring, but it still feels like winter out there and we're a long way from fresh vegetables at the farmer's market here in New England.

tomato + kale + bean soup......

tomato + kale + bean soup......

Tomato + Kale + Bean soup::

1 pound dry 15 bean mix

oil for sauteing (use your favorite kind)

2 large onions, diced

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika (regular paprika is ok, but the smoked is amazing!)

2-3 teaspoons italian herb blend or all purpose herb blend (we like the ones from frontier)

1 can (28 oz.) organic whole tomatoes, roughly chopped (I do this with kitchen scissors)

1 can (28 oz.) pureed tomatoes

more water if needed*

salt & pepper to taste

2-3 TBSP lemon juice

1 large head of kale, tough stems removed, chopped into bite sized pieces 

olive oil or shredded parmesan and red pepper flakes to garnish

Directions:

Soak your beans the night before.

The next day, rinse them well and simmer them in about 12 or so cups of water. You will not be rinsing these after cooking, so start with 12 cups and add more water as needed. You don't want it to be too thick, but you don't want it to be watery either. Think good soup consistency when you add more water. Once the large beans are tnder, set aside until needed. If your bean mix came with ham seasoning packets, toss them out. You didn't think I was going to tell you to eat those, right? Meat flavoring sort of freaks me out a little. Just saying.

Saute onions over medium heat until tender. (use a big soup pot, you'll be adding everything else to this one) Add garlic, italian herbs, and paprika. If it seems too dry, add a splash of water. Cook for just a minute or two to soften the garlic. 

Add canned tomatoes, (or frozen equivalent if you have some from last summer. a quart of sauce can replace the pureed tomatoes) Bring to a gentle simmer, add more water if it seems too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I let mine simmer for about 20 minutes to let the flavors all meld together. Add the lemon juice, chopped kale and simmer for about 5 minutes, just until the kale is wilted. (any dark leafy green can be substituted for the kale) Serve with a splash of olive oil & red pepper flakes, or freshly grated cheese & pepper flakes.

Enjoy!

~s

 


nutmeg vanilla cashew creme......

Here it is, my recipe for cashew creme.

It was inspired by a recipe from Heather in her Whole Food Kitchen workshop. It's vegan. Creamy. Decadent. Delicious. There really isn't anything it doesn't taste amazing on. In fact I've seen a few savory versions of it that get used like nacho cheese dip with tortilla chips or spooned into burritos in lieu of sour cream. I'm trying one this week from this cookbook. (one of my favorites)

This version is delicious on fresh fruit, spooned over granola, or fruit crisp. I could probably tell you a dozen ways to eat it, but where's the fun in that? You should just make it and figure out something amazing on your own. I have one hint. Raw cacao powder + fresh raspberries + a spoon. Wow. 

You can make this in a regular blender! I made it that way for a few years before I got the new fancy one. It's not quite as smooth, but it doesn't really matter because it's still incredible........

 

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

 

*Cashew Creme*

(makes about 3 cups)

 

1.5 cups cashews (soaked in water overnight)

1 c almond or coconut milk*

2 TBSP coconut oil

2-4 TBSP maple syrup (by taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 generous dash of salt (maybe an 1/8 of a tsp or so?)

freshly grated nutmeg*

 

*how to*

Soak the cashew in water overnight. In warmer months, this is best done in the fridge to avoid fermenting your cashews. (I speak from experience on this one.) The next morning, drain the water from the cashews & place all ingredients into your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you use less milk (1/2 c) it will be very thick, 1 cup of milk results in stirred yogurt consistency when chilled. Keeps for at least 5 days, if it lasts that long!

*Coconut milk in the carton, not can.

*Fresh nutmeg makes all the difference! I'm guessing I use about an eighth of a tsp? I started using grated fresh nutmeg after taking Heather's class & I have not looked back since. The taste is SO much more vibrant. It makes granola *amazing*, seriously. And one jar lasts you a very long time, even if you use it regularly (like me). 

 

chilled consistency::

 

cashew creme......

cashew creme......

 

Enjoy~~

xo,

s