Food

DIY Soda: Kefir Water

I have to update this post (original post 3/7/15). It’s been 3 months and I can no longer in good conscience refer to this as “lightly carbonated”. I have cracked open the lid and been sprayed too many times or had a glass fizz over while pouring it to not change the description. I guess my kefir grains are really happy now that they have gotten in a routine!!!

I don’t even know how I ended up doing this one. Somewhere, somehow, I read something about making ginger ale. Then I needed to know more, went down the Google rabbit hole, read about making Kefir Water/Kefir Soda, then I ordered these things called Kefir Grains, and now I’m writing this. It was not intentional, but it’s turned out to be pretty cool. Story of my life. LOL (more…)

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits (these will complete you <3)

I love pumpkin. I love fall when pumpkin everything is available. Then I get tired of pumpkin. Until about April, when I am planning the garden and I realize it’s been waaay too long since I’ve had pumpkin in my belly.

A while back, I made a pumpkin biscuit recipe–rolled them out and cut them and the whole nine yards. I may have made them twice. Because I apparently cannot justify rolling out biscuit dough as a way to spend my time. This makes no sense since there are plenty of things I do roll out, but biscuits are not one of them. This is also why I love my DIY Biscuit Mix and drop biscuit recipe. You can whip up a batch and have them on the pan in the oven in no time (also see Apple Cinnamon Biscuits)! So, I merged a couple recipes and created this recipe for Pumpkin Drop Biscuits. I heart them. The boys heart them. They complete me.




Dramatic? Maybe. Maybe not. But I will say that if there is only one left, a fight may break out. Unless you pretend that they are all gone and wait to eat the last one after the kids are not paying attention. I mean, I don’t know who would do such a crappy thing to their own children, but I’ve heard of this kind of thing going on from time to time……

I’ll post about baking your own pumpkins this fall (because I hate BPA lined food cans) after the pumpkin patch visits and hopefully a few successful ones from our garden (we had a bumper crop of 1 last year, LOL).

 

THE RECIPE: Pumpkin Drop Biscuits
Makes 10-12 biscuits

2 1/4 cup Biscuit Mix
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk (see notes)
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

GLAZE (optional)

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbs water

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475°F. Add baking mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to a large bowl and stir. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in a medium bowl, stirring until the butter forms small clumps.

2. Add pumpkin and Vanilla Extract to the buttermilk/butter mixture and stir to combine. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Scoop 1/3 cup portions (I use a heaping medium ice cream scoop) onto a baking sheet and press them down to flatten them ever so slightly–just to give them more of a traditional biscuit shape. Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 12 minutes.

3. If desired, prepare glaze with powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and water. Mix well. Sprinkle lightly over tops of biscuits with a fork or spoon while still warm. If you want a heavier coating, you might want to double the glaze, but I thought they were perfect with just a conservative amount. I did use every last bit, though, scraping the sides clean! However, these are delicious enough that I don’t think you would miss the glaze. True story.

NOTES:
If you don’t have actual buttermilk, you can use pretend buttermilk. Mix 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and let stand 10 minutes.

 

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Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

I remember driving out to a farm that raised Arabian horses and Pomeranians to look at a puppy. I pulled into the driveway and saw a moving mass of hair to the left–kind of what you envision clouds in heaven looking like, only they were puff balls of about 20 Pomeranians. Of course, once I stepped out of the car, they were barking and excited. A woman walked out of the house and told them to be quiet and silence followed. No doubt, she was the alpha female. So, I followed her to the fenced area and she called over the parents of the puppies she had available, one by one. This was not a puppy mill. Each of these dogs had a name, knew it, and were very well behaved. I was amazed. Dumbfounded is probably a better description since I’m sure my mouth was agape.

peanut butter dog biscuitsWe then went inside to see the puppies. I had a blond Pomeranian growing up and assumed I would want another blond. But the ones she had were little butt holes–I could just tell. Then, she brought out the “runt” of the litter. A little black-masked, multicolored Pom. I looked at her little face, she winked at me, and I was like did she just wink at me? (the answer is yes, it was her trademark move) So, I went home to think about it and went back the next day to get her. Her alpha female had just fed her and she was all happy and ready to go. Then, in her kennel, in the back of the car, I learned that a full belly during the first car ride is not the best idea. By the time we got home, she had vomited around the entire perimeter of the kennel. A perfect circle of hell from a sweet little angel…..and so our story began.

Circa 2007, when I was well rested. (sigh)

Sable was my first child. A sweet, wickedly smart, stubborn little girl. She had beautiful red hair with black and blond highlights (sable is the technical name of the color and also the name of a WWE wrestler she may have been named after). She was a fast learner and I am confident she could have been successful in agility contests. She never once ran away, even when she had the chance (she knew she was living the good life LOL). When it was washing day for her stuffed toys, she would sit outside of the laundry room door, stare at it, and wait–always aware of who was where and what was happening. She did not physically age gracefully, but she was a trooper and handled it better than most people would have. Being connected to her the way I was, I knew she was comfortable and content. And she knew I would care for her with every resource available (including acupuncture–which worked amazingly well, BTW). Ultimately, in September 2014, after 15.5 years of preparing for her untimely death, she passed away peacefully laying next to my heart, where she will remain.

peanut butter dog biscuitsAnyway, I know she loved me, but she may have loved peanut butter more. Just a crack of the jar and her big brown eyes were focused on your every move. So, naturally, I had to provide the little Princess with homemade peanut butter dog biscuits. I am sharing this recipe because every dog should have these at least once in their lifetime. :)

You don’t have to use a bone shaped cookie cutter–you can roll them out and just cut them into squares. But, the little bone shapes are freaking adorable.

 

THE RECIPE: Sable’s Peanut Butter Biscuitspeanut butter dog biscuits
Makes 2 quarts

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbs ground flax
1 Tbs baking powder
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk (regular or Almond Milk)

1. Preheat oven to 375° In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk.   Add wet mixture to dry and mix well.

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll out to ¼ inch thick and cut out shapes.

3. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until slightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.

SUPPLY LINKS:
Bone cookie cutters, Amazon, usually under $6 for a set of 3 as of 4/2015.

 

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peanut butter dog biscuits

DIY Cafe Cornbread Mix

Next on the list of mixes is cornbread. I realized over the years that I like my cornbread to be a little more cake-like after having experimented with recipes that included boxes of cornbread mix and yellow cake mix. Some of those ended up being too sweet–I couldn’t even justify calling it cornbread. They were yellow cake without icing. I like yellow cake, just not with chili. So, this recipe is a hybrid–a good cornbread recipe with a hint of sweetness. (more…)

DIY Hot Cocoa Mix

It’s February. And it’s freezing. And we’ve all had enough of it already. So, the only thing that will help at this point is alcohol. Or hot cocoa with marshmallows, followed by alcohol. I guess there is a whipped cream flavored vodka now, so that might actually be good in the hot cocoa. Wait……this post is supposed to be about hot cocoa mix.

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Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

I’m on a mission to make a few varieties of biscuits from the DIY Biscuit Mix. This one is freaking amazing. I’ve eaten 2 already because I couldn’t wait until breakfast. My patience only goes so far when the scent of apples, cinnamon, and biscuits is wafting through the house at once. It’s like kryptonite. (more…)

DIY Pancake Mix

I love pancakes. Or, I love butter and real maple syrup and need a medium to transfer them to my mouth. Pancake mix is one of those things I refuse to buy, but until today, I had not made my own. I have no logical reason to explain the delay. (more…)

DIY Powdered Coffee Creamer: Irish Cream

I love Irish Cream. On the rocks. In coffee–but not on work days LOL. So, here is a non-alcoholic powdered coffee creamer that can fill in when I am expected to be a fully functional member of society instead of a jackass.
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DIY Coffee Creamer Powder: Vanilla

I’ve been experimenting with DIY coffee creamer powder for a while now. Made some mistakes, made some that were only marginally tolerable, and made a couple that I have repeated because they turned out great. Why would I bother? It’s that crazy partially hydrogenated oil again. Making your own eliminates that silliness and won’t cost you any extra. I splurged this time and bought some whole milk powder to mix with the skim milk powder. I just like a little fat in my coffee to help keep my coat thick and shiny. :) (more…)

Making Almond Coconut Cups

I’m still working on ways to use the lovely almond meal from making Almond Milk. This is not a problem I ever anticipated having. LOL  But, every week, I have a new batch of almond meal. It’s like Groundhog Day, one of my favorite Bill Murray movies, where you wake up and the same thing happens over and over and all you can do is think of different ways to approach the situation. That is me with almond meal. Next up? This version of a peanut butter cup. (more…)

DIY Biscuit Mix

I found a drop biscuit recipe that I really like. It’s easy to make, but I knew it could be easier. Just look at all of the biscuit mixes on the grocery store shelves! Of course, the ones at the store have partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, which is basically the devil, raising your bad cholesterol and lowering your good. Even the FDA has proclaimed it to no longer be “generally recognized as safe”, which is astonishingly unbelievable considering the things they do recognize as safe. I digress…. (more…)

Making Essence Water

My primary beverage is officially water. I quit drinking soda a long time ago–I still have one now and then, but probably just a few times per year (so I really enjoy it when I do). I switched to sugar free drinks for a while, but then I removed artificial sweeteners from my routine. Aaaaagh!!! So that left water, tea, coffee–which I love, but sometimes you just want a little flavor. Enter fruit infused water–AKA Essence Water. (more…)

Making Almond Butter

I have finally been able to replicate a successful batch of DIY almond butter. The first one I tried was great, the second blew up my food processor (oops), and the third turned out as expected (after buying a new food processor). I’ve never really sought out almond butter, but after starting to make my own Almond Milk, I have a new supply of almond meal that needs to be utilized. So, this was an obvious choice to try and master. (more…)

Making Kettle Corn

I remember the first time I smelled Kettle Corn. Sugar, corn, steam, oh my!!! It used to be a rare treat, only available at theme parks and standard issue community festivals. That is, until I realized it can be made at home–and I’m not talking about a microwave bag! I mean real kettle corn–only without the giant kettle and open flame (minor detail). I use to make this while I was playing on my computer so I actually didn’t pay much attention to it, you know how it is when you are playing online games, but after a few times I just had to focus and take the time to make it perfect, so I started to re arrange the recipe until it was perfect and  now, it is my go-to, somewhat healthy, sweet/salty snack, and of course it’s great to eat while playing so if you are interested read and try my recipe and check out these online video games if you like them too. (more…)

Making Chinese Restaurant Almond Cookies

Our favorite and most authentic Chinese restaurant in town has delightful almond cookies (I have a wicked sweet tooth, my nemesis). These almond cookies are apparently quite popular in US Chinatowns, and from what I have been able to gather, are probably a version of a walnut cookie from mainland China. Regardless of where and why they came into existence, they are a delightful shortbread-y sugar cookie (I love cookies). Crisp and soft at the same time. Sweet, but not too sweet. Delicious with coffee, tea, for breakfast, afternoon snack, or all of the above (it happens, don’t judge me). I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about them. (true story)

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