Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A New Day

I have discovered a new favorite cellist..  Enjoy...

sunrise over the ocean

atlantic ocean sunrise

Monday, May 16, 2011

Homestead Thursday

I wrote most of  this last Thursday the 12th.. Tried to post but Blogger wasn't working for me. Haven't had time to sit down to edit and post until today Monday.  Oh, well.

Thursday has been one of my favorite days of the week since my college years... (that was long ago.)  I guess it is because the work week is almost finished and the weekend is in sight. Thursday's have unintentionally turned into "hunt and gather "days, with the likes of bargain shopping at grocery stores, thrift stores, looking on line and /or in books for frugal homemaking ideas,etc.  I enjoy homemaking, on most any day but especially on a Thursday.    Hopefully I will be able to chronicle what I am calling  "Homestead Thursday" to keep a record for myself and for whomever happens to read this blog.

Today I made granola, again... This time I tried a no oil recipe for the lower fat content.  For part of the liquid I used some left over morning coffee . I doubled the recipe.

  • 4 cups Old Fashioned whole oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup honey, molasses, (or dissolve some brown sugar with the fruit juice or coffee on the stove)
  • 1/4 cup fruit juice or coffee
  • 1 teaspoon or more of  your favorite spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • 1/2-1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (your favorite like almonds, pecans, peanuts, walnuts etc)
  • 1/2 cup of one or a combination of: wheat germ, flaxseed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed
  • 1 cup dried fruit any dried fruits...(cranberries, raisins, coconut, currants, golden raisins, cherries, apples, mangos to name a few)

    • Spray a large baking sheet with a cooking oil spray
       Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
    • Spread the oats in the pan and toast them by stirring every 2-3 minutes.
      While the oats are toasting, put the juice, honey, flavorings, and spices in a saucepan and begin heating until it just begins to boil.
    • Place the toasted oats, nuts, seeds*, in a large bowl. Pour the liquid honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well coated. Place this mixture back into the baking sheet again.
    • Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
       Add the dried fruit..Cool completely. Break into chunks the consistency that you desire. Store  granola in an airtight container.

      *some like to add the dried fruit while toasting. Try it either way

While the oven was warm I toasted some bulgur  to make into a tabouli .(Most people don't toast the bulgur first. It seems to give the bulgur a little more nutty flavor.) I had some cilantro and chives from the garden. Had some carrots.  Here is a rough guideline of what I did.

  • 1-2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup finely chopped onion or chives, green onion
  • finely chopped carrots, tomatoes, cucumber use as much as you like or have on hand
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt and other spices if you want.  I added a little curry powder. 
In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the bulgur. Use one cup of water adding a little more if wheat absorbs quickly and it looks like it needs just a little more. Let stand about 20 minutes and water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Add the chopped herbs and vegetables and toss with the mix. Combine and mix/wisk up  the oil, lemon or lime juice, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to bulgur mixture and mix well. Chill. Serve and enjoy.

Using the heat already in the oven I turned it up to make banana bread with some over ripe bananas I had stuck in the freeze and two boxes of Hodgson Mill Bran Muffin Mix some one gave me

Looked in the refrigerator for leftovers that could be morphed into a different dish for dinner. Found a bowl of cooked cabbage, some already sliced up onions, about a cup of red beans and some rye bread. I had one can of diced tomatoes in the cabinet.  Decided to make a cabbage casserole of sorts.  Cooked up a pot of brown rice to add to the casserole mixture to make the casserole stretch.

My made up casserole went something like this:
~  about 4 cups cooked cabbage, chopped 
~1  can diced tomatoes with liquid
~ the beans
~ an onion chopped or sliced
~spices- I used cumin, garlic, cayenne, black pepper
~a cup or two  of cooked brown rice
 ~Layered like making a lasagne..

~I found a little sour cream in the fridge to put on top when serving. 

1. Combine  and cook the first five ingredients in a large sauce pan. Making something like a thick sauce. Let it simmer a bit to get thick.
2. Grease a casserole dish or iron skillet.
3. Place some of the sauce mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish or skillet.
4 .Place half of rice  on top. Add cheese on top of rice if you have some. 
5. Repeat layering.
6. Top with cabbage mixture.
7. Add toasted bread crumbs on top. Use crackers if you have some in the cabinet.

  Bake for 30 minutes or so until it looks all hot and bubbly at 350 degrees. Pull out of oven and serve with sour cream or any other cheese.