Posts tagged ‘cooking’

May 20, 2011

of houses and homes…

The question has been asked

What makes a house a home?

But I have been wondering, what makes my house my home?

My house is not so large and spacious as some – it’s cozier than those. Yet, it is not so small and cozy as others – it has more room for activity.

    Is it the size that makes my house a comfortable home to me?

My house is brimming with beautiful things, like books and balls, fabrics and foods. But other houses are even more full of these frivolities.

    Can it be the things in a house that make it a home?

My house is rarely quiet. My sisters sing and tell stories while my brothers drum on tables and beg to be read to.

    Perhaps it is the joyful sounds it holds that makes a house a home.

My house is home to Mother and Father, sisters and brothers. Many houses are homes to families, but my house is home to my family.

    For it is the people who call a house a home that make it so.
April 1, 2011

Sweet Giveaway!

The Azure Standard blog is hosting a giveaway, and it’s really sweet! Click here to check it out!

If you enter, please mention me (Jordan Newhouse) or my blog so I can get an extra entry 🙂

PS, this is not an April Fool’s joke!

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April 8, 2010

How to~Sourdough bread

This tutorial assumes that you already have and know how to care for a sourdough starter. If you don’t, please check out this post.

2 1/2 cups flour (I like Kamut or Hard red wheat best, or even a mixture)
1 cup starter (I use a “cool-rise” starter that is kept in the fridge)
1 cup water

Put the ingredients above in a bowl in the order listed and mix together. I like to use my hand rather than a spoon or other utensil. Take your time to make sure that there are no lumps of flour. You may need to add flour or leave some flour unmixed in the bottom*, depending on the consistency of the starter.

Once the dough begins to hold together but doesn’t seem to dry, put it on the counter and finish mixing it. Knead it a bit and return it to the bowl.

*If you had left some flour in the bottom, you can dump it into the starter now to feed it.

Let the dough sit, covered with a moistened towel for 15 minutes or so (you might want to set a timer…), then dump it out on the counter again.

Add 1 teaspoon salt and knead in well. Quality salt really makes a difference in the finished bread.

Return the dough to the bowl and cover. Leave for about 2 hours.

Dump out the dough once more and knead just a little. Form into a loaf, biscuits, rolls, cinnamon bread, pizza dough or whatever. 🙂

Let sit, covered with a single layer (ie don’t fold the towel) for 2-6 hours or until risen.

Bake at 350*F

A whole loaf takes 40 minutes,
A dozen biscuits takes about 20 minutes,
Pizza is baked like any other crust (depending on the thickness).

Oh, and since I’m talking about jobs for little people this month I thought I’d mention that my little brothers love it when they get involved in the bread-making process. Sometimes they get their own little bit of dough to knead and shape however they like. When we make Pizza, they can help add toppings. It’s easier than you think to include little ones in the kitchen. One tip though–make sure you’re already familiar with the recipe… I tried to make my first cheesecake with a four-year-old… it turned out delicious, but the process was just a bit stressful! 😉

Please let me know if this is clear! Feel free to ask questions too 🙂

April 6, 2010

How to~Caring for your sourdough starter

The Basics:
Feed your starter 7-24 hours before you want to use it to make bread. This activates the bacteria. You can also feed your sourdough just to keep it healthy if you don’t make bread often. It’s a good idea to feed it at least once a week. If you leave it alone longer, just be sure to feed it twice before making it, allowing 7-24 hours between feedings. Starters have been known to last 3 months or more without being fed, so long as they receive a little TLC when being “brought back”.

Generally, you’ll want to feed the sourdough this way:
one part starter
one part flour
one part water
Depending on the type of flour you’re using, the amount of time since you fed last, and other variables, these measurements may be off. You can also feed the sourdough with much less flour, especially if your starter is getting too large. Just add the amount of flour you’d like to the starter, stir it in a bit and add water to make it the consistency of pancake batter.

Some things to remember
*Don’t over-feed your starter (if you have 1 cup of starter, never add more than 1 cup of flour)
*keep your starter soupy–it should look like pancake batter
*be gentle–if you over-stir your starter it will get to glutenous and elastic
*the starter will naturally separate and may turn any shade of brown or black. This is normal. If it turns pink, though, you have bad bacteria. It’s a good idea to dispose of pink starter altogether, though some say it’s possible to use a bit of the bad stuff to start a new batch of good stuff.
*again, black’s ok, pink, not so much.

Please comment and let me know if this is clear. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions! If you know something about sourdough starter that I haven’t mentioned, please comment–I might just edit it into this post (with due thanks, of course)!

March 3, 2010

Flavored Kombucha

This post is old! Visit this link for the updated version with links that work!
 

 

Mmm, Mmm, Good! I never thought I’d be saying that about Kombucha, but this stuff is so tasty! The original recipe (and suggestion to use ginger) is from my friend CJ, but we tried our own variations.

First of all, you need to brew your Kombucha. I decided not to go into it since Rebekah at Do Not Grow Weary already created such nice instructions (with pictures!). I do it basically the same except that I use only 3/4 cups of sugar.

After I have the finished brew (it takes about 5-10 days, depending on the temperature of the house), I pour it into jars (CJ uses bottles). Then I add the flavors! The picture above shows the four we tried (we had already drunk some so that’s why some aren’t full) L-R: Apple ginger, plain ginger, lemon ginger, blueberry ginger. In case you didn’t notice, ginger is a key ingredient. I really think that’s what makes it taste so good.

How to make ginger juice:
rinse ginger root.
place in blender.
cover with water.
puree.
strain off liquid (this is your juice)
use pulp for lemon ginger muffins…I’ll have to post that sometime!

Freeze this ginger juice in ice cubes, filling the cubes only halfway. Use one of these cubes for a quart of Kombucha.

Now that you know how to prepare the ginger, here are some recipes for flavored Kombucha. For each, combine ingredients in a quart jar, cover with the lid and let sit on the counter for about 3 days, or until it taste right to you. It will be fizzy. like soda. A new little scoby will form on the top. You can put this in a smothie or use it in a recipe like this one for a hair rinse (beware–this guy is a rambler…). I’ve also heard it’s good to use on your face.

“Apple Cider”
~one ginger cube (as prepared above)
~four thin slices of apple
~one quart fermented Kombucha

“Ginger Ale”
~one generous ginger cube
~one quart fermented Kombucha

“Lemon soda” or “Super Tasty Liver Cleanser”
~one ginger cube
~two thin slices of lemon
~one quart Kombucha

“Blueberry soda”
~one ginger cube
~8 frozen (or thawed) blueberries
~one quart Kombucha

If you try these recipes, or have some of your own, please post them in the comments! I want more ideas 🙂

Lastly, if you live nearby feel free to request a scoby! It grows and multiplies, so I’ll have some extra.