I love citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, and limes are my favorites. I will find an excuse to put them into anything. One day, while looking to find another way to add citrus to a meal without driving my children crazy, I came across a most delicious recipe for a warm kale salad and paprika toasted chickpea salad. It had a most unusual, to me, ingredient. Salted lemon peel. I immediately had to try it and I was hooked. They add a rich citrus note to just about any dish. I started making salted peels for oranges and limes as well. It is simple to make and take only a few days for the curing.
Egg Nog. If there is a beverage that makes me think of Christmastime festivities, it is egg nog. It is spiced, creamy, heavenly, goodness. To smell it is to think of a snowy night in front of the fire.
Serve it cold or warmed with whipped cream on top. A side of Christmas cookies completes the snack.
A few years ago, I was very sick for Christmas. I couldn’t decorate much or even cook Christmas dinner. (Thankfully my oldest is very skilled in the kitchen.) I’m all about setting the atmosphere. I am definitely a Martha type person needing to be more like Mary. I just wanted to do something, anything, to be a part of making the day more festive. I didn’t have much in me but thankfully all it took was a simple footed bowl, construction paper, and sticky tack. If you don’t know what sticky tack is, let me tell you….it was the creation of pure divine inspiration. Blue putty that doesn’t dry out and causes things to stick together. But I digress…….
Out of desperation I created my silly little snowman egg nog bowl. But that little bowl ended up being a favorite item. It reminds me that it’s the simple things that make a difference. Spending a few hundred dollars may make a beautiful display, but bringing smiles and creating memories doesn’t cost anything but your time. Money can never buy happiness.
Cuddling under the blanket reading a story or walking through the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights are simple ways to draw closer to our loved ones and create memories. What simple ways can you add to this season to create memories your family will cherish?
And to help you with your egg nog endeavors, here is a link to my Pinterest egg nog recipe board. Enjoy!
I found this great recipe online and wanted to share it with you today. It is from MyRecipes.com. I absolutely love the smoky flavor of chipotle and the sweetness of maple, so when I saw this pork recipe, I just couldn’t resist.
As usual, I didn’t have everything I needed for all the recommended side dishes, so I improvised. Actually, I rarely make a recipe the way it says to. My creative side takes over often. 🙂 I made the pork just as described with one exception. I used pork chops and added more sauce 10 minutes before it was done. Just remember to alter your cooking times. I didn’t have applesauce and I didn’t have smoked gouda. I used mozzarella and made the apple onion mixture into a relish. To keep down on sugar content, you can make your own barbecue sauce. I also love my greens. I sautéed some French cut green beans in butter, lightly salted with sea salt, added cracked pepper, and when warm, tossed with parmesan cheese.
Here is the result:
The Chipotle Maple Pork came out tender and delicious. Just a tiny kick. When the bite is combined with the relish…..yummy!
I hope your family enjoys the meal as much as we did.
Do you have some idea on variations of these dishes? Post in the comment section.
As part of my journey to total health, I found that I had a negative reaction to wheat products. Bloating, weight gain (when I already have weight to lose), irritated tummy, cloudy thinking, were some of the symptoms I would have after eating any wheat containing foods. Switching over to a gluten-free lifestyle has given me enormous benefits. Still, I sometimes craved that wheat flavor. Thankfully, I do not have Celiac.
One day while researching, I came across Einkorn flour. It has been said that when einkorn flour is tested with the Celiac gluten test it comes back negative. It does have gluten and it is not safe for those with Celiac. However, many who have a gluten intolerance can easily digest Einkorn grain. This is because the grain that is available today has been cross bread multiple times and each time it retained all the chromosomes from it’s parents. Our supermarket wheat is Franken-Wheat and so is the gluten within it.
For the past month, I have experimented with einkorn. Einkorn wheat is rich and nutty in flavor. But there are some differences when baking with this flour as compared with regular store bought flour. My first attempt at pizza took way too much flour and, while yummy, was very dense. Almost too dense. While not rock solid by any means, this recipe will still provide a denser crust than you may be used to. It won’t be like the air-filled white bread at the store. We happen to like thick Sicilian style crusts so we did not try to thin out the dough too much.
Next, I took 2 cups of the einkorn wheat berries and milled it. That came out to 3 cups of milled flour.
Using my mixer and dough hook attachment, (although you can also do this by hand), I poured in the proofed yeast mixture, 1 tablespoon of pink Himalayan sea salt, and 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil.
With the mixer on the slowest speed, mix in all the flour, a 1/4 cup at a time. Then turn to medium speed and let it run until all the flour is absorbed and the dough is smooth. I found that it is better to let the dough stay a little tacky, but not sticky. Letting it knead in the mixer for 5-10 minutes is a good guideline. You can also add grated cheese and/or herbs for variety or if you wanted to make bread sticks.
Once the dough is ready, lightly coat the dough in olive oil and place it in a bowl with either a tea towel or plastic wrap over it. Place it in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
After your dough has risen, set your oven to 475° F. Lightly dust your baking stone or baking sheet with cornmeal if desired.
Take your risen dough and spread it out with your fingers and palms into the desired shape. I found that it holds it’s shape extremely well. I might make heart shaped pizzas next Valentine’s day. This made about a 10 inch thick crust. You could get 12-14 inches with a thinner crust.
Add sauce, cheese, meats, and/or veggies to your pizza…be creative!
Bake for 15 minutes if thick crust. 10-12 minutes if thin.
Once cooled, cut your pizza into slices and enjoy!
Real whole grain flours like einkorn taste wonderful and add a depth of flavor to all your dishes. Even if you are not dealing with gluten intolerance, this is a great healthier alternative to the bleached and processed flours on the grocery store shelves. My children love the taste and even prefer it over their favorite pizza place. Once you taste whole foods, it is so hard to go back!
P.S. I’m not paid to share this with you. I just love einkorn flour and what it has done for our family.
We are celebrating a low-key Purim at home this year. In years past we have put on plays and dressed up and we’ve had so much fun. Even though we are staying in, we wanted to do something fun and different.
For us that meant trying our hand at Hamantaschen cookies. We found a wonderful recipe for Hamantaschen from The Shika’s Blog. Here are some photos of our experiment.
We made poppy seed, almond, raspberry, and apricot. We ended up with 42 cookies. I can’t stress enough the importance of covering the dough with a damp towel. It made a huge difference. Because we were going for low-key we used almond and poppy-seed pie filling as well as raspberry and apricot preserves. Next year I plan to make the fillings too.