Turkey dinners are never quite the same without Green Bean Casserole, but more and more, we have become aware of things that we may not want in our food.
So, what do we do about this? For ages Green Bean Casserole has been made with Canned Condensed Soups. Is there a way around that? ?
Making your own cream soups, and condensed cream soups is actually a whole lot easier that a person might think.
Check it out! You can add chicken stock to this easy condensed cream of mushroom soup to make it a delightful cream soup, or leave it as is to use instead of something from the can.
All you need to do is roam the Farmer’s Markets to know the peaches are coming ripe. For those in Southern Oregon, Peach Palooza at Medford’s Harry & David is always the way to go when you’re planning on stocking the pantry with preserves. You can usually get really good peaches for under $0.40 a lb. Sometimes, even as low as $0.10 a lb.
Now, that’s all well and good, but it won’t do you much good if you can’t put all those peaches up somehow.
Enter Ball Canning. Ball is wonderful for the canning world through various products and recipes. I have a good stock of their Low/No sugar pectin in my pantry for times like these when I have a great crop.
I still have a good 10 Lbs of peaches in my freezer that need to be canned in one way or another, and I have found a truly Tremendous addition to the peaches this year.
Last year I did some Peach Butter, using the recipe below, with 2 differences. I added about 1 Tsp Sweet Breakfast, and I put the mixture through a blender before heating.
This did well, but not quite as well as I was hoping. I never use a lot of sugar (1 Tbsp per 2 c fruit), because I want to taste the fruit, but the Sweet Breakfast overpowered some of the peach notes. I wasn’t too happy about that. I had thought that because Sweet Breakfast has no cloves, there would be no problem, but it needs to be added to a stronger, more sweetly flavored fruit like apples, raisins, or pumpkin to pull of it’s masterful art of flavor blending.
Fast forward to a peach pie I recently made with Chai Spice. Chai Spice, rather than overpowering, wrapped itself around the flavor of the peaches and said, “Here, let me give you a boost”. I was in heaven. The Cardamom in the Chai accentuated the natural tang, while the other sweet spices just kind of gave a mellow sweetness that sang the praises of a ripe, sweetly tart, juicy peach that is so often missed in pies and preserves.
Stay tuned, I’ll give you more accurate spice measurements as I get into my canning season.
This recipe is for their Auto Canner, and you will find the regular canning recipe in the package for the Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin.
We’re getting deep into summer now, and the Lavender Festival circuit is in full swing.
Growing Miracles is a farm run by some amazing people, that I’m proud to help support as a vendor.
To celebrate, we will be at the Growing Miracles farm July 12-14 and we’re giving away some of our ever-popular tester jars to three separate winners! Each day, 1 winner will be chosen of those that sign up at the booth to relieve not one, but FIVE of our tester jars, each with a different spice in them!
To sign up, find us at Growing Miracles and sign up with your name and email address and we will contact everyone with their prizes following the festival.
Can’t wait to see if you won? Come by the booth at the end of the day when we draw the winning entry.
My God-Mother has been a huge inspiration in my culinary development. She’s half-Greek, and an out-of-this-world fantastic cook. Once in my teens I left her in horrified silence for all of 30 seconds when I said “who cares what it looks like, just as long as it tastes good!” I have since mended my ways under her tender and thoughtful care. This is one of her recipes that she has graciously allowed me to adapt and put out for all of you to enjoy.
Normally, this is done on a leg of Lamb, and rotisseried. Most recently, I broke out an elk shoulder roast and cooked it on low in the crockpot for about 5 hours. Carol’s tutelage did not disappoint. It was the most tender, juicy elk roast I’ve had yet.
My Dad and I are planning to do some camping this year, for the first time in ….. Well, we will just say… A long time.
Suffice it to say, I’m excited. Back in the woods, the clean smell of mountain air, hiking to gorgeous waterfalls, or sitting at the edge of a river fishing…. There’s nothing like it.
But, it can all have you longing for home if you don’t go prepared.
Here is a gem that Dad passed on to me that I am VERY happy to pass along to you!
A couple of things inspired me to go to the classic side with our Curry.
I got lunch the other day from a local Thai food truck where I have re-acquainted myself with the love of Pad-see-ewe that dates back to teenager-hood on the horse ranch, and a recent customer who gave me a challenge with a great sounding combination.
So, Tonight, I grabbed a can of Coconut Milk, and whatever vegetables I had handy in the fridge and set to work on dinner.
It was not the Thai Curry at all that I had the other day. I would have to get me some LemonGrass, Fresh Ginger, and a small host of other ingredients I don’t usually have to pull that one off but it was quite good. Leftovers will not last long.
So! We’ve had many, many questions regarding the differences between our spices and what you normally find on the store shelves and wanted to answer them for you.
1. Our spices are incredibly strong, you’ll use much less than leading brands. We normally recommend starting off with half as much as you normally use, and then add to taste.
2. Glass packaging. Spices have the flavors they do because of volitile oils, called essential oils. These oils evaporate unless the spices are treated correctly, leaving you with very weak spices. Most spice companies package their spices in plastic, or using plastic caps. Plastic is actually porus to things like these oils, which allows them to escape the packaging and dull the flavor of your spices. Net: you use more than you have to. That’s why we package in glass jars with glass lids and silicone gaskets… Less opportunity for the essential oils to escape, leading to fresher blends for longer amounts of time.
3. No junk. Our Hart’s Desire line has no salt, sugar, preservatives, anti-packing agents, etc. Nothing belongs in these jars but spices. This means they are safe for people on low salt, low sugar, nitrate free, etc. Diets. We want people to know that when the use our spices, they know what’s in their food.
4. Love. We’re foodies. We love flavor, we love a great product at a reasonable price. We love the ease of using spice blends, which takes the guesswork out of cooking. Using Hart’s Desire, you know that you will get consistent results to make you and your family say Yum when you don’t have much time and energy to cook. Some of you don’t know how to make some of your favorite dishes, like Jambalaya without a boxed mix, and don’t have the time to figure it out. That’s why we’re here. To make your life tastier without un-pronounceable stuff in your food.
A great Mediterranean dish can always be a crowd pleaser. Greek Salads are refreshing, simple, and they can be thrown together quickly. A person who likes to play with their food could always throw just about anything in there, use any leftover dressing as a marinade, and have it all come out good,
Traditionally, Greek Salad is very simple in the way of seasoning; a sprinkle of Salt, Pepper, and Oregano, but we went a step further. Not everyone has what we call Simples in their cupboards… Individual spices like Oregano, Rosemary, Basil, etc. and, instead use blends like Greek seasoning. Greek is indeed an all-around spice blend that goes great in Marinades, Salad Dressings (obviously), but also on fish, chicken, beef, even strong meats like Lamb.
A note on this recipe: The Olives… Most people have black olives in the larder for special occasions, or even just a quick snack. They do go well in this recipe, but we suggest you try one step further for the best results: Kalamata Olives! Kalamata Olives have a stronger brine, and bolder flavor. Often, they are not pitted, however. Take your preference of one, the other, or a mix when making this salad.
So! Without Further adieu- Greek Salad!
Recently, I’ve had a huge hankering for doughnuts. My absolute favorite: Plain Cake. There’s nothing like the soft crumb, and marvelous flavor. On Saturday at the Umpqua Valley Farmer’s Market, one of my fellow vendors had just ooooone last cake doughnut that he didn’t sell. Now, it’s been nearly a year since I had one, and I had been looking at the doughnuts next to me all day at the farmer’s market, and patting myself on the back that I hadn’t yet given in. Rick was adamant, and, well, I gave in. It was ambrosia.
The only problem with giving in: You want more!
So! off to the internet I went to find a recipe to convert.
King Arthur Flour is well known for having great recipes. Gotta admit: They know their stuff! (I should hope so, anyway). So, I found their recipe “Baked Doughnuts Three Ways” and set to converting. And Boy, was it good!
¼ C Butter
¼ Vegetable Oil
½ C Xylitol
1 tsp Molassas
4 Large eggs
5 tsp Baking Powder
½ – 1 tsp Sweet Breakfast Blend (or Nutmeg, if you’re a purist) to
¾ tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
71 g Coconut Flour
80 g Superfine Blanched Almond Flour
1/2-3/4 c Milk (depending on dryness of ingredients)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, vegetable oil, Molassas and Xylitol until smooth.
3. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
4. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
5. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything
is thoroughly combined. The batter will be fairly thick.
6. Spoon the batter into the lightly greased doughnut pans, filling the wells to about 1/4″ shy of the rim.
7. Bake the doughnuts for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a
Note: When using Coconut Flour, it is essential that you weigh it for the best results. Usually Coconut flour will be 106 g/C, and Blanched Almond flour will be 120 g/ C. If you do not have a scale, you can sift and spoon your coconut flour into your measuring cup, but it does pack incredibly easy, so you will have variable results in the density and dryness of your baked good.
Curry lovers everywhere love our curry, but did you know it is also a component in some all-american dishes as well? Chicken Divan is an all-american casserole that is a staple in many homes. Have fun!
How do I use Provincial Poultry? First off, you can use it anywhere you use conventional poultry seasoning, just less of it. Soups and stews, stuffing, as a run on poultry, or fish, in marinades, or even in oil and vinegar dressing for salads. Bomb chicken soup is the best chicken soup I’ve ever made. Bon Appetite!
How do you use our Italian Herbs? You can be creative. Try it in soups, salad dressings, on steaks with our Chili Powder, or Chili Bowl, or in this recipe, developed just for it.
As many know already, King Arthur Flour is fantastic… not just as flour, but as a resource. The only thing that could make their recipes better is a little bit extra in the spice realm, and that magic happened tonight.
It is no secret by now that Hart’s Desire Spice Blends can be found at the local Roseburg supermarket called Sherm’s Thunderbird. They are doing well, partially because word has been getting around from happy customers at the Umpqua Valley Farmer’s Market, and partially because of demonstration efforts by us here at Hart’s Desire.
I was looking for a great recipe to showcase the Sweet Breakfast Blend. Not everyone finds the name intuitive, so a little extra effort never goes badly.
Enter King Arthur Flour. Taking a look at their Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake, I couldn’t resist the effort to use it in the upcoming demonstration this Saturday at Sherm’s.
By substituting only the Sweet Breakfast for the called-for Cinnamon yielded fantastic results! Use it Tablespoon for Tablespoon in this recipe instead of cutting the amount in half as I regularly recommend, and you will not be sorry. Another note on the recipe, It calls for a small amount of Cocoa Powder as an optional note. I do not consider this optional if you want a real crowd-pleaser. Both it, and the Sweet Breakfast ad a dimension to the flavor that really can’t be found elsewhere. Others might try to reverse-engineer this with little luck unless they know your secrets, making this a sensationally memorable dish to add to your gatherings.
I was asked to bring soup to dinner tonight, and so hit the bricks for something I’d not had to death.
Obviously, if I’m posting it here, I hit on something pretty good. The only problem for some people is that they don’t have things like Mustard Seed available in their kitchen, because they don’t use much in the way of “simples” as I call them… the individual spices. So, That might be a challenge, and who wants to go to the store to pay $5+ on something that you might not use again??
So! To save you time and energy, I’d like to make the present suggestions on spicing for this recipe:
Use 2 tsp of any one of Italian Herbs, Provincial Poultry, or Greek Seasonings, along side 1/2 tsp of each, Garlic and Onion with this recipe and you can hardly fail. Each of these three mixes will add a different twist to the soup, so if you have all three, Play, and tell me what you think!
If you do have the asked for spices, I recommend you double the amounts called for, and add 1/2 tsp of savory to the mix.