Happy Valentine's everyone from the young at heart, to those who are just about to start out on this journey
This is what Valentine's day is all about. Have a great day!!
Made my cousins Loretta's bread yesterday and the men in my household inhaled it. I made homemade chicken soup and served it with the bread and it was yummy. I made a big pot of Chicken stock to use and keep for the week. I purchase necks, backs, wings from a local butcher who sells organic chicken, it makes the best chicken stock. My basic stock is very simple and has a million uses.
Basic Chicken Stock
Chicken bones ( I buy a large bag of soup bones from the butcher for about $3.50)
1 Med. Onion peeled and cut in 1/4's
2-3 Bay leaves
1 large clove of Garlic crushed
1 small bunch of Sage, Thyme, tied together and placed in pot
Peppercorns about 1/4 tsp
3 stocks of celery cut in 1/4s
2 large carrots cut in 1/4s
Salt to taste I usually add this 1/2 way through cooking.
Place everything in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and put lid on ; bring up to boil, turn down and simmer.
I usually will let it simmer on low for several hours, until meat is falling off bones, bones have become quite soft.
Pour stock through strainer and cool. Skim off any fat and then store in covered container until ready to use. It will keep up to 1 week in refrigerator, in an airtight container.
The longer you simmer it the more condensed your broth will be.
For the Chicken Soup
4 cups of soup
Carrots, celery, zucchini, onion, chopped into bite size pieces
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
Saute chicken, onion, carrots and celery
3 cups stock
1 cup boiling water
Bring to boil, turn down to simmer, add egg noodles and zucchini
Add fresh chopped parsley and sweet baby peas at the end of cooking
Add salt and pepper if necessary
9 Grain Molasses Bread
After the guys ate all of yesterdays bread, I thought I'd explore another type of bread. This recipe is a compilation of several recipes. I have taken 2 different recipes from my Mom's old recipe box (she passed away over 20 years ago), and an old recipe I had clipped and saved called "Mennonite Bread". Where any of these recipes came from is anyone's guess. What I came up with is a nice flavoured, dense, soft textured bread with a crusty outside, yummy inside.
41/2 cups boiling water
2 c 9 grain cereal ( I used Bob's Red Hill )
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 c Chia seeds
1/4 c psylium husks (Optional)
1/2 c flax seeds
1 c unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 c molasses
4 tbsp Vegetable oil (I used 2 tbsp coconut oil and 2 vegetable)
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 c dried skim milk powder
2 tsp honey
1 cup lukewarm water
2tbsp dry yeast
9 1/2 cups flour I used all purpose because I didn't have whole wheat I would have preferred using the whole wheat but you make do with what you have.
- Pour boiling water over grains leave until lukewarm
- Measure out your salt, oil, molasses, skim milk powder set aside while grains are cooling
- Dissolve honey into lukewarm water, sprinkle yeast over the top of the water
- Leave yeast mixture to sit until a foam has formed on top of water DON'T stir the yeast mixture
- When grains are lukewarm add salt oil molasses mixture
- Then add the yeast mixture
- Lightly stir in the yeast and molasses mixture
- Start adding your flour 1 cup at a time, stir until each additional cup is mixed in
- When you are adding the 7th cup it will be getting hard to stir your dough will still be quite moist, just thick.
- Pour the 8th cup on your table then place your bread dough onto the flour on your table.
- Knead your dough until flour is absorbed dough will still be quite soft
- Repeat this process until you have incorporated all of the remaining flour
Proofing and Baking Instructions:
1.Place the dough in a well buttered large bowl, rub a small amount of oil over the top of your dough cover with a clean tea towel and set your bowl in a warm place to let the bread rise, until it is double in size. This will take about 1 hour.
2.Remove bread from bowl cut dough into 4 equal pieces, form your loaves I chose to make 2 rustic round loaves, and 2 elongated loaves. Oil the top of each loaf and cover for another hour.
3.When you are ready to bake your bread make slashes across the top of your loaves, give them a slight brushing with egg wash and some oil then sprinkle some extra sunflower seeds over top.
4.Bake at 400 for aprox 40 minutes. I used the method of heating my cast iron baking dishes for 25 minutes prior to putting my bread in the pan, and cooking them with a cast iron lid on the pans This method gives them a crusty bottom and top but a nice moist center. Much the same way French bread is cooked with hot oven and the sprinkling of water; the steam forms in the cast iron keeping the bread moist but the crust forms nice and crunchy on the outside.
Blackened Jamaican Jerk Cod open face sandwich with steamed vegetables
4 pieces of cod fillet
Epicure Jamaican Jerk spice
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
Hot cast iron griddle heated in the oven
Brush the cod pieces with the oil, rub the salt pepper and jerk spice into the cod on both sides of each fillet.
Let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes
1.Prepare your vegetables:
I used baby Bock Choy and Brocolini ( on the west coast at this time of year, they are fairly inexpensive because they can still be grown locally so they are some of the cheapest vegetables to eat during the winter months.)
2.Wash place in steamer
4. Start cooking Cod on a griddle in the oven, this will take aprox.
5 to 8 min per side depending on the size of your cod fillets
5.Put bread in toaster
6.Start to steam your vegetables in microwave total cooking time aprox 21/2 minutes
7.Slice tomatoes and lettuce
9.Place mayo on toast
10. Lettuce and tomatoes
11.Vegetables should be cooked, give them a sprinkle of
Ponzu Sauce ( a lighter sodium Citrus Soy Sauce, sodium count in Ponzu is 17% where regular Soy Sauce is 48%) and a spritz of melted butter.
Well I am going to sign off, weight is still yo-yoing around the 140 mark, but I am not gaining just daily fluctuation of 1/2 lb or so. But I truly have to make this pudge budge. My daughter has just become engaged, and I am darned if I will be at that wedding wearing my fat lady suit. So with that joyful event to look forward to, I am more determined than ever.
Here is today's giggle