Mushroom Update!

These things are growing insanely fast. Each photo is one day’s progress.

Honeyed Walnut Milk

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I was browsing through Mountain Rose Herb’s blog, and came across a entry on Walnut milk that I thought I’d try. I had no idea nut milk was so easy to make, so I’m pretty excited to add this to my toolkit of recipes. (Original source and recipe: http://mountainroseblog.com/lavender-walnut-milk-fudge-treats/ )

Their recipe calls for lavender, which I don’t have in stock right now, so here’s how I modified it:

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Mushroom Farm- Day 1

Mushroom Farm- Day 1

Mushrooms!

There’s no doubt this winter’s been harsh. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve let it get the best of me, and I’ve used the frigid conditions as an excuse to not work on any growing or cooking recently, at least not anything to speak of. 

In an effort to get myself out of this funk, I did myself a favor and picked up a mushroom-growing kit. Even if it’s in the negatives outside, I’m hoping I can still get this puppy growing delicious fungi in no time.

I’m not usually one to go for the pre-made growing kits, but that just goes to show how much effort I’ve got available right now.

The box instructions say to slit the bag and soak for about 8 hours,then the magic begins. Fingers crossed… we’ll see what happens.


Brandied Cranberry Walnut Relish
What food mascarades as a popular holiday treat, but is actually a powerhouse full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and has been researched for its anti-cancer properties? I suppose I kind of gave it away with the title and the picture of this post. Cranberries are an awesome source of nutrition, but more than that, they’re absolutely delicious.
Here’s an old family recipe that I’ve taken a few liberties with. It doesn’t require the cranberries to be cooked, so you get the added bonus of the maximum amount of nutrients from the raw fruit.
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 large orange
1 large, tart apple
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup brandy
1/2 cup honey (raw & local if possible)
A food processor or grinder is going to be your best friend with this recipe. You can chop these ingredients by hand, but be prepared for LOTS of chopping.
Finely chop the walnuts in your food processor. Don’t grind them to a powder, as you’ll continue to slowly chop them throughout the rest of the recipe. 
Roughly chop and core your apple and orange, leaving the peels on. Add this to your food processor, along with your cranberries (Be sure to sort out any bad cranberries. Ripe cranberries should be firm, not squishy or wrinkly).
Pulse your food processor on low. Any more than this, and you’ll end up with mush. You want to end up with the fruit finely chopped, not make a soup out of it. Once the fruit is fairly chopped, add your brandy and honey, and continue to pulse the processor on low. 
You can even throw in some nutmeg and allspice, or go crazy and add some spices of your choosing.
Voila! You’re done. That was simple, right? Now, you’ll just need to let this mixture sit for 12-48 hours in order for the flavors to really meld.
Serve chilled, room temperature, or lightly warmed.
**The picture doesn’t do this bad boy any justice. The mixture turned out this gorgeously creamy, rosy pink with flecks of bright orange. There’s only so much you can do with a point-and-shoot and flourescent lighting.

Brandied Cranberry Walnut Relish

What food mascarades as a popular holiday treat, but is actually a powerhouse full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and has been researched for its anti-cancer properties? I suppose I kind of gave it away with the title and the picture of this post. Cranberries are an awesome source of nutrition, but more than that, they’re absolutely delicious.

Here’s an old family recipe that I’ve taken a few liberties with. It doesn’t require the cranberries to be cooked, so you get the added bonus of the maximum amount of nutrients from the raw fruit.

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 large, tart apple
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup honey (raw & local if possible)

A food processor or grinder is going to be your best friend with this recipe. You can chop these ingredients by hand, but be prepared for LOTS of chopping.

Finely chop the walnuts in your food processor. Don’t grind them to a powder, as you’ll continue to slowly chop them throughout the rest of the recipe. 

Roughly chop and core your apple and orange, leaving the peels on. Add this to your food processor, along with your cranberries (Be sure to sort out any bad cranberries. Ripe cranberries should be firm, not squishy or wrinkly).

Pulse your food processor on low. Any more than this, and you’ll end up with mush. You want to end up with the fruit finely chopped, not make a soup out of it. Once the fruit is fairly chopped, add your brandy and honey, and continue to pulse the processor on low. 

You can even throw in some nutmeg and allspice, or go crazy and add some spices of your choosing.

Voila! You’re done. That was simple, right? Now, you’ll just need to let this mixture sit for 12-48 hours in order for the flavors to really meld.

Serve chilled, room temperature, or lightly warmed.

**The picture doesn’t do this bad boy any justice. The mixture turned out this gorgeously creamy, rosy pink with flecks of bright orange. There’s only so much you can do with a point-and-shoot and flourescent lighting.


Incense
As the days have become shorter and much colder, I’ve been working on wrapping up the last of my gardens and preparing them for winter. Today I gathered bits of pretty much anything that was still green, to dry and use as incense throughout the winter. I’m hoping the earthiness and aroma of these things will be enough to help chase away the oncoming dreariness of the long winter.
I was excited to find as much as I did.I was able to gather pine resin and needles, lily flower pods, blackberry leaves, spearmint leaves, and white oak bark. This is my first attempt at creating an incense blend, but if the finished product smells anywhere near as fantastic as these fresh ingredients do, I’ll be more than content.

Incense

As the days have become shorter and much colder, I’ve been working on wrapping up the last of my gardens and preparing them for winter. Today I gathered bits of pretty much anything that was still green, to dry and use as incense throughout the winter. I’m hoping the earthiness and aroma of these things will be enough to help chase away the oncoming dreariness of the long winter.

I was excited to find as much as I did.I was able to gather pine resin and needles, lily flower pods, blackberry leaves, spearmint leaves, and white oak bark. This is my first attempt at creating an incense blend, but if the finished product smells anywhere near as fantastic as these fresh ingredients do, I’ll be more than content.

Calendula
Winter may be on its way, but my garden is still hanging on for all it’s worth. There are amazingly still calendula flowers in full bloom, and it’s fantastic to see those little bits of sunshine poke through the dead leaves when the amount of actual sun has already drastically decreased.

Calendula

Winter may be on its way, but my garden is still hanging on for all it’s worth. There are amazingly still calendula flowers in full bloom, and it’s fantastic to see those little bits of sunshine poke through the dead leaves when the amount of actual sun has already drastically decreased.

Here’s a Health:

…to all of you lovely followers. I know I haven’t posted much recently; I’ve had loads of computer troubles I’ve been dealing with, but I’ve still been taking pictures and documenting my recipes and galavantings, and hope to have some more posts to share soon. So thanks to you for all your patience, and may you have a wonderful Halloween and healthy start to the winter season!

Healing Broth

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I was really happy with how my first batch of bone soup turned out, and so were a bunch of my friends that I shared it with… Lo and behold, it’s already gone and I’m taking the opportunity to try a completely different version. I’m aiming to use up some of my dried garden herbs from last season, to make way for fresher dried herbs I’ll be preparing from this harvest season.

So here you go: Bone Soup, Take 2.

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Bone Soup

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Bone Soup

Bone soup is something that is incredibly easy to make, and stupidly nutritious for you. Marrow has all sorts of health benefits, and the bone itself provides a great source of calcium. In its most basic version, you boil bones, often left over from cooking, in water and vinegar to dissolve the marrow and bone to create a broth. More ingredients can be added to create different flavours. Here’s what I did with my batch.

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