Sunday, October 27, 2013

Appetizers make the world go round

Yes they do! Appetizers might be my favorite food group. Tonight I made three different appetizers for a get together tomorrow. Of course I had to sample each after I finished and boy O' boy are they delicious! 

The first is bacon wrapped dates. Pretty easy and so scrumptious! 

Ingredients: 
25 Pitted Dates 
25 Slices of Bacon (I cut one regular slice in thirds)

Directions:
Take one date wrapped in bacon and continue until all dates are wrapped then bake at 350 until bacon is crisp!

The next was a recipe I have never tried. Sam always calls this my science experiment in the kitchen when I try out new or made up recipes. 

Pecan and blue cheese Grapes

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 18 to 20 seedless red grapes, chilled
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Directions:

Line a small baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.

Mix together the cream cheese, blue cheese, and heavy cream until smooth.  Add the grapes and stir until coated with the cheese mixture.

In another small bowl, mix together the pecans and parsley.

Using a fork, transfer the grapes, one at a time, to the pecan mixture and, using clean hands, gently roll in the mixture until coated. Place the grapes plate or cookie sheet and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours and serve.


They are really yummy! 

The last thing I made was Pecan and Almond chocolate! 

Ingredients:

1 cup cacoa butter
1/2 cup cacoa powder
1/2 cup honey
1 t vanilla 

Directions:
Melt butter add honey and powder stirring until smooth. Then add vanilla. Pour into molds or lined muffin tins. 

I put pecan halves in the bottom of one batch and sliced almonds in the other. 

These three appetizer took me about 30 minutes to whip up this evening! Love quick, easy, clean food! 

Enjoy 

Jurahee

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How do you broth?

I live in a family full of great cooks! Both sides of my family has rich traditions based around food. We love food! 

 When Sam and I started dating and would go to family gatherings he would say " I have never seen so much food and all y'all do is eat and talk about what the next meal is going to be."

My mom is the queen of this! She is an outstanding cook and we love cooking together. Her two favorite flavor additives are boullion and butter. I do love and use tons of butter but the bouillon has a mile long list of ingredients that aren't at all natural. 

Anyway something that I have started doing this year is making bone broth instead of using bouillon. It is so easy and makes my house smell so good! Weird I know! 

So I mainly make beef broth but chicken would be so easy and delicious too! 

I have found a great old German meat market in Fredericksburg that sells marrow bones for fifty cents a pound!! Cheap deliciousness! Or for chicken all you need is a whole bird. 

I add bay leaf, garlic, onion, celery, and carrot to add great depth of flavor to the broth. 

So how hard could it be to fill a big pot full of bones, veggies, herbs and water and let simmer for a day or two? Easy breezy!

Here is my bone broth I started last night I will take it off in the morning. It's great to use for the base in anything you would cook in water, boil, thin etc. It's even great to just drink. The minerals found in the bones leech into the broth making it one of the most deeply nourishing foods we can make. 




Make it once, use it lots or freeze in quart measurements and use when you need it. 


Ingredients: 
2 T Vinegar 
2 - 4 pounds of bones
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
4 garlic cloves (I usually add a whole pod but I like garlic) 
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 
Combine all ingredients and add water to fill the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn to lowest setting and let summer for 12-48 hours. Use immediately as a base for soup or store in the fridge for a week. To store for longer than a week store in freezer bags and freeze for up to a year. 



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You are what you eat

So I have been on this clean eating God's diet path since February and I have become very passionate about it. 

In February I realized I had a one month old son that I was feeding everything that I was eating. Good, bad or indifferent. 

The real kicker was the 2 boxes of Girl Scout thin mints that I ate one evening. Had I really just done that? Wowza! Why was my food addiction and lack of food control (self control) causing me to be such a glutton. 

I had some serious talks with my cousin Jennifer who is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practicioner. She is such a knowledgeable wealth of information! 

But It wasn't until I got mastitis that I realized maybe there is something to this food thing. I found in my research about mastitis that sugar is one of the main causes! It couldn't have been the two boxes of thin mints, oh but it was. 

So I cold turkey cut out white sugar and white flour. Cold turkey like it was alcohol or cigaretts but really sugar is just as addicting as a drug! 

It was crazy how fast the weight started falling off just from removing two things from my diet. 

With the help of a great group of ladies in Rocksprings, our weight support group made me realize there are so many misconceptions about what foods are healthy. 

We live in a such a low fat, no fat, calorie counting, carb cutting society. Fad Diets! 

So many people want to be healthy and want to lose weight and we as Americans have made these yo yo diets so readily avaliable and complex. No one really wants to eat the cardboard that they say will make you drop 2 dress sizes in two weeks do they? 

Well I just want to say that there is something way tastier and easier out there. There is no counting or calculating or exercise regimen. It's just simply eating what God put on this earth for us to consume. Not what we as humans have turned it into "food" overly processed sugar laden junk. 

This Micky Ds picture from The Healthy Home Economist really cracked me up! So much so that it started this entire rant. With all this being said I absolutely 110 percent believe we are what we eat. 




So what are you eating these days? 

Jurahee 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pumpkin Granola

I know I have been MIA all summer.

Trying to get settled in our new home and adjusted to a new job takes time. I think I am back though.

Ready to share my journey of starting over from raw land.

have huge dreams and hopes for my new space and know it's only going to take a little sweat and hopefully not very much blood. 

Anyway I made this granola as an ode to the first day of fall! Which was an amazing beautiful day!!!


A friend of mine over at Coles Creamery introduced me to this a few weeks ago. It is wonderful and full of goodness!

Ingredients:
5 cups steel cut oats or rolled
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup honey
½ cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup grade B 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries 
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds 

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Then add dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.  Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  • I have a big ziplock full packed in my purse for breakfast tomorrow. It's pretty yummy stuff. Even Sam and my dad approved. 

  • Enjoy! 

  • Jurahee

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Laurel Tree

This little gem is a diamond in the rough! If you are ever in Utopia or within a 100 mile radius I say take a detour and get to The Laurel Tree.  You have to have reservations and they are only open for lunch and dinner on Saturday, but well worth the effort.  The food, service and hospitality are unlike anything I have ever experienced! It was a great! 

smoked salmon nacho
roasted vegetble soup and basil pesto biscuit
 grilled shrimp pasta and balsamic tossed salad
 red berry tiramisu

Eat well! Live well! Bon Appetit!

Jurahee

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

So in my antique hunting I found this cool old buffet in San Angelo at West End.  If you are ever in Angelo and like cool old furniture they definitely have lots to look at.  I was in search of a 7ft long buffet or sideboard to use as our double sink vanity in our master bathroom.  So guess how long this piece is yep 7ft and it has a marble top so I thought this would be the perfect conversion piece. 

Before Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I have seen Annie Sloan Chalk Paint all over pinterest.  Last year some good family friends of ours redid their kitchen cabinets in Ruidoso with ASCP.  Then she did several pieces of furniture and posted pictures on facebook. After drooling over how awesome her pieces looked I knew I needed to get some of this stuff and try my hand at it.  

The picture below is after 1 coat of ASCP, the left door has been distressed with sandpaper, the right door hasn't been distressed yet.  


After distressing to what I thought was "enough" it was time to wax.  I got both waxes, clear and dark.  There are several different techniques you can do to wax a piece so I dove in head first and tried the one I hoped would work the best.  I clear waxed the entire piece first and then went back with dark wax for added depth but a not so muddy look.

FYI if you get too much dark wax in one spot just put some clear wax over it and it will pull the dark wax off when you buff it off.

So here is the new vanity after I finished waxing it.

Painted, Distressed, and waxed! Love this stuff


I don't have a picture of it with the sinks on it yet but when I do I will be sure and post it.

Happy Furniture Making-over!

Jurahee

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Olive Oil Mayo

First off let me just say the Marinated Feta didn't last long.  I have eaten every bit of it! Well I did give three jars away.  It is so delicious!

Yesterday I met with our local weight support group and shared with them God's Diet.  There are lots of variations out there but I feel like if God made it then eat it.

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about eating.  God's diet to me is way more than a diet it is a way of living.


So this afternoon I decided to make this Olive Oil Mayo recipe out of an e-cookbook I have called Well Fed, it is a Paleo cookbook.  I do not follow a Paleo diet but there are some really great recipes in this that fit into God's Diet.

This mayo is so easy to make and it tastes great! It doesn't have any of the "CRAP" store bought mayonnaise has.

Ingredients:

1 large egg
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 cup light olive oil (not extra virgin!)
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t salt

Directions:

In a blender of food processor break the egg and add the lemon juice.  Put the lid on your appliance and let it set until it reached room temperature, at least 30 minutes.  Once they are at room temperature you are ready to add the mustard, salt and 1/4 cup of oil.  Blend until combined.  Now if the fun part of emulsifying.  Slowly stream a thin drizzle of the remaining 1 cup of oil into your processor.  DO NOT DUMP it in all at once.  Once you have all the oil in you will notice a thick white mayo has magically formed.

I decided after I made this mayo I should try it out so I made my mothers delicious egg salad.  Sam even liked it so it must be good.

Happy Eating!

Jurahee






Sunday, April 7, 2013

DIY Marinated Feta

All I can say is DELICIOUS!!

Over spring break I was introduced to this amazing concoction and could not get enough, so yesterday Katy and I went to Costco, while we were in San Antonio for Irene's HEB Slim-down Showdown Finale, and bought the goods to make it.  

Ingredients:

Grapeseed Oil
Block O' Feta
Bay Leaves
Garlic Cloves
Whole Peppercorns
Thyme
Rosemary
Any other herb you like would also be good


This block of Feta is unlike any other feta I have ever eaten.  It is creamy and buttery oh so tangy and delicious.  Crumbled feta is good but it tastes different than the block.

Directions:
Cube up the feta, fill jars with it but don't pack them too tight.  Add chopped herbs, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Then fill the jar up with grapeseed oil and seal.  Let set out for two hours and then refrigerate for two weeks.


It is so easy to make the hard part is waiting 2 weeks for it to be fully marinated.  

Enjoy!

Jurahee











Thursday, March 28, 2013

Garage Sales, Resale Shops, Antiques OH MY

So I have always loved the saying "One mans trash is another mans treasure" and lately I have been rounding up the treasures! I discovered a whole new side of Kerrville that I fell in love with, I'm going to just call it the junkin' side. 

If you ever have the chance go to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore you will not be disappointed.  There are so many cool finds, some new, some used, and some really old. 

A few weeks ago I went in a bought some old sconces, a chandelier and some really cool finials.  I should have taken Sam's pickup!  However it was probably easier or my pocket book since the prius can't hold that much stuff.

We are in the process of building a house so I am determined to make sure it has plenty of character. I do not want it to look cookie cutter or like a brand new house for that matter.   

Once I get some of my "treasures" fixed up I will be sure to post before and after pictures. Right now we have just finished one piece of furniture, I say "we" but really Sam did it all, I just found it.

Sam's gun cabinet before

And after he burned and stained it.


I have played with this picture for thirty minutes I can't get it to upload right side up so I'm sorry your going to have to tilt your head :)

Happy Easter!

Jurahee

Monday, February 25, 2013

Looks like pizza

Tonight I adapted a Pinterest recipe with what I had in stock at Casa Silvers.






I have seen cauliflower crust recipes several times on Pinterest so I decided to make my own.

I steamed a small bag of frozen cauliflower until it was very tender. Then added a tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and two eggs.

With my handy stick blender I whipped the cauliflower into a mashed potato consistency. Once smooth I added a tablespoon of Italian herbs and mixed together.

I preheated my oven to 400 and oiled my sheet pan. I spread the smooth cauliflower into a thin circle on the pan. I then baked until golden brown. It was amazing how much it looked like pizza crust.

As for toppings I used:
Spinach
Capers
Kalamata olives
Feta
Sun dried tomatoes
Prosciutto

I guess it could be called Greek/Italian gluten free pizza. Or GIG pizza for short :) I really enjoyed it! Sam had shepherds pie (mashed potatoes, steak bites, wilted spinach and brown gravy layered in a bowl) he asked why I cooked things that stink. He hates cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage so unless I make something from those things when he isn't here and the house has time to air out he immediately wants no part of what I'm concocting.

Have you ever made a cauliflower pizza crust? What did you top yours with?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

7 months later

Well I know it has been far too long since I have posted but our lives have changed a lot over the past 7 months. On January 15th we were blessed with the birth of our first child and our lives are definitely changed forever.  Shep is the light of our life and apple of our eye :)


Today we spent the day admiring him.

Sam has told me that my gardening days may have to be put on hold a few years since I will be chasing this little guy around.

I am behind this year for sure but hopefully I will get some tomato plants soon.  Last year I planted March 1st and it didn't freeze again but I bet we have a later freeze this year. We shall see.

The blizzard that is hitting the panhandle tonight will probably not make it this far south but we could sure use the moisture.

I hope I can do a better job over the spring and summer of keeping everyone posted on whats going on in our family of three!