my tummeh

Apr. 28th, 2011 02:52 pm
snugglekitty: (tummy)
So, apparently what I have been doing to stabilize and/or increase my weight has been working. I have gained back both some of my appetite and some of the poundage I had lost. Thank Goddess for that.

Here are the things I did:

- Chivvied myself into a normal eating schedule (for me that means 4x per day) but was very permissive about what and how much I ate.
- Asked my friends to help encourage me in eating. Tsuj and gentlescholar were especially helpful with this.
- Tried to eat, where possible, with distractions. Eat while watching something on the computer, or reading, or having a conversation.
- Tried to eat what I was craving, if I was craving anything.
- Did the opposite of all the weight-loss advice I could think of. Put more on my plate than I thought I could eat, put sauce on everything, drink soda or juice instead of water, eat cookies MANY COOKIES.

(This is a test of DW crossposting.)
snugglekitty: (food)
Recently I've been making my own nut or seed milk, because I got tired of paying for those bricks that are mostly water and tend to go off before I finish using them anyway. I simplified an already simple recipe from Wild Fermentation. So here's what you need:

A blender.
A wire strainer.
A third of a cup of dried nuts, seeds, or grain. (For instance, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, or oats.)
A tablespoon of water.
Flavoring. (Recently I've been using maple syrup, vanilla, and a bit of salt. Yum!)

So, you combine these ingredients in your blender on a high setting. You only put in a little bit of water in at first because you want the seeds or nuts to get ground up. You run the blender, push the nuts back down, run the blender, push the nuts back down... okay, now you have a pasty mix. Add some more water (a cup or two) and stir. Now you're going to pour your wet, pasty mix through the strainer. What comes out the other side should be a cloudy liquid suitable for your granola or whatever.

The great thing about this is that you can put the solids in tupperware and put them back in the fridge. Just grind them up more, add some more water, and repeat.
snugglekitty: (PFP)
Go behind the cut for a picture of my harvest pickles, taken by [livejournal.com profile] tsuj. In my life, "harvest pickles" means "the pickles I made with the stuff left over from the farmshare."

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (food)
A few weeks ago, I was dining with [livejournal.com profile] katkt at my favorite local Greek restaurant. My body said, "I'd like some eggplant salad, please!" Me: "But we don't really like eggplant." Body: "Salad! Don't argue!" Me: "Okay."

So, I got the eggplant salad, which was actually quite tasty. I liked it enough to try to replicate it at home with an heirloom farmshare eggplant. Mine tasted a little different but it was rather nice.

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
1 small tomato
1 small cucumber, peeled
1 fresh clove garlic
1 t garlic salt (the good kind!)
1 T olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar

Equipment

blender
oven or toaster
vegetable peeler or sharp knife

So, first I sweated the eggplant. I sliced it up, put it in a colander with a little salt for about half an hour, and then I rinsed it and patted it dry. Then I roasted it in my toaster oven. Little toaster oven, I never love you so much as I do in the summertime. In the summertime you rock my world.

After that happened, then I chilled the eggplant. You could omit this step if you don't mind it being a warm salad.

Once the eggplant was chilled, I peeled the garlic, peeled the cuke, cut the heart from the top of the tomato, and put all the ingredients in the blender.

For all you GFCF and vegan folks, take heart! This recipe is all ready for you, you don't have to do a thing differently (unless you don't have vegan vinegar). Just dip in your favorite GFCF crackers and you're good to go. I enjoyed this salad on crunchy whole wheat crackers, with cheese and salmon to accompany it, but it would also be good in a pita sandwich or as part of a Middle Eastern appetizer plate. Tahini, anyone?
snugglekitty: (food)
A vision grew in my mind, based on the leftover grilled items from the barbecue (steak and mushroom, especially). Yesterday [livejournal.com profile] findingthegirl made a great wrap at my direction for my lunch. But something was missing. After a trip to the farmer's market, I am happy to tell you that spinach was the secret ingredient.

Wrap of Awesome, with veggie and GFCF alterations included )
snugglekitty: (food)
It all started with some marinated portabellos. They were left over from my making a fancy dinner for [livejournal.com profile] tsuj last night. I knew I wanted to have them for dinner.

2/3 c cooked portabellos
1 onion
1/4 c olives
1 c dry barley
2 c water
1 small package andouille sausage of any variety (including vegetarian)
8 shrimp OR small jar roasted red peppers
red wine
olive oil
garlic, salt, pepper

Add barley and water to a pan. Cook on high heat until boiling, then cover and simmer until done. In another pan, sautee onions and sausage in olive oil over high heat. When brown, add shrimp or peppers, cooked barley, olives, and seasoning. Allow barley to brown. When it is sticking to the pan, deglaze with red wine. Serve hot. Serves 4.

This was astonishingly good. What was most interesting is that it evolved - first the mushrooms, then the barley, then the sausage and olives, and suddenly I realized I was but a few short steps from a paella. :) Maybe my subconscious was steering, but I had no idea.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Not filtered, funny story, behind the cut in case you're not interested.

Read more... )

cooking

Oct. 25th, 2008 02:21 pm
snugglekitty: (squash soup)
I am making a long-overdue pot of carrot ginger soup.

And a similarly-overdue pot of root veggie curry with cabbage.

And [livejournal.com profile] jenaflynn was kind enough to agree to pick up dumpling wrappers for me. And these wrappers, I will turn them into dumplings with cabbage and leek and mushroom.
I also have a tentative plan to make squash and goat cheese lasagna.

And then I will have Lots of Food.
snugglekitty: (pickles)
..that's good enough for me
P is for Pickle, that's good enough for me
P is for Pickle, that's good enough for me,
OH! Pickle, pickle, pickle, starts with P.

Did you think I'd stopped? )

A few days ago I also took a new batch of pickles out of the press - mixed end-of-summer dill pickles with boy choy, broccoli, peppers, carrots, and green beans. Nom nom.
snugglekitty: (pasta)
While I'm not planning on taking a peanut butter bath anytime soon (ewww!) at this point it looks like peanuts in small doses are no longer a problem for me.

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (pickles)
People mostly seemed to think that apple pickles were an odd concept, when I mentioned it to them. Those who have tried them were not enthused.

But now they taste just like hard cider. Only they're apples.

YUM.
snugglekitty: (silly quinoa)
A few weeks ago I had a fantastic quinoa salad with grilled veggies on the side, from the Cambridge Brewing Company. I wanted to try the salad part at home. My first attempt was tasty (and the leftovers were devoured by [livejournal.com profile] nessur and [livejournal.com profile] jenaflynn before they could even leave the table, for proof!) but did not resemble the initial salad. My second attempt did, and is behind the cut.

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (food)
This recipe is even better than the last carrot salad recipe I posted. "How?" you want to know. "How could it possibly be better?" Cherries and curry, my friends. Cherries and curry.

I had carrots left over from making the tasty ginger carrot pickles, so I decided to try my hand with another carrot salad. I had cherries left over from a big bag I got at the store last week, and I thought, "Why not?"

3 quarts peeled chopped carrots (I used rounds but sticks would work too.)
1 2/3 c fresh cherries
1/3 c vanilla yogurt (add more or less as desired)
1/3 c walnuts
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T mild curry powder
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 t salt
1 t cornstarch

Rinse the chopped carrots in a Pyrex dish. Put in microwave on high for two minutes. This will keep them from stiffening up when they get wet. (If you don't like microwaves or don't have one, just steam or parbroil them for a similar amount of time.) Stem, pit, and quarter cherries. In a small bowl, mix yogurt thoroughly with cornstarch to maintain texture. Let sit for a few minutes. Then add vinegar, mustard, and seasonings. In a large dish, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until chilled.

To make this dish vegan, substitute soy yogurt or cashew butter for the yogurt. I think it would be yummy with the cashew butter, although I might substitute something else for the walnuts in that case. Crisp Granny Smith apple, perhaps? Tart dried apricots? What do you think?
snugglekitty: (pickles)
1) Possible.
2) Delicious.

I could not find a single recipe online or in a book for naturally fermented watermelon pickles. I wanted to try making watermelon pickles, but I also wanted the health benefits of naturally fermented food! I persisted in believing they were possible. With a little help from The Joy of Pickling and a lot of help from [livejournal.com profile] mrpet, I have created a batch of these wonderfully sweet, tangy treats.

Here's how. )

A few days later, you will have delicious watermelon pickles! Yum! I'm taking mine out tonight. They are sour and sweet and chewy!
snugglekitty: (pickles)
The watermelon rind pickles are now on their third day. I did freeform them after all, with some live apple cider vinegar, rather than the hote white vinegar the recipe called for. They have given off a TON of liquid. On the suggestion of [livejournal.com profile] mrpet, I drained off some of the syrupy brine and replaced it with a smaller amount of a live brine from a previous batch of bread-and-butter pickles. Hopefully that will move things along a bit more steadily. I can always cook down the extra syrup and add it back at the end, maybe as a sauce to have on the pickles after they have been drained. We'll see. Ideally I'll get results in a few more days.

Yesterday I started my second batch of kombucha, using a baby and directions from [livejournal.com profile] dakotakym. I used four decaf teabags and two caffeinated ones. I let it come down to room temperature with the teabags still in it. It is now sitting on the floor of my dining room, which is a warm and quiet place. I hope this one will do better than the previous batch, which isn't growing mold or anything but still hasn't come to tasty fruition. Poor thing. It's hard to say whether the lack of caffeine or the lack of potency in the store brew is at fault. We will see what happens given more time. Maybe it will come out right in the end. It does seem to be growing a baby, just... very slowly.

I have discovered the existence of a book called Kombucha Teaology which talks in more depths about using herbs and different kinds of tea to make kombucha. I want that one.

In my next batch, I will use a shorter brewing time for the caffeinated tea to cut down on the caffeine levels. I will also be using some organic tea from [livejournal.com profile] veek.

woo hoo!

Jul. 4th, 2008 10:11 am
snugglekitty: (pickles)
This is it, kids.

This is the day I start my watermelon pickles. Num num num. This afternoon we are going to a barbecue, I hope the weather will have cleared up by then!

So, I told [livejournal.com profile] mrpet that we would be bringing watermelon to the barbecue, because I have been wanting to try watermelon rind pickles. Shortly I am going to go to the store for supplies (fresh mint!). Then I will cut up the watermelon and remove the rind. We will bring the watermelon itself to the bbq in pieces (with toothpicks!). But before that happens, I will chop up the rind, simmer it to make it tender, and put it in the pickle press with delicious spices.

All of the recipes I've found for watermelon rind pickles are quick-pickles, not live ones, so I will be free-forming it. I'm going to go for kind of a bread-and-butter thing. And I've never had watermelon pickles before, so my expectations are open. We'll see how it turns out...
snugglekitty: (pickles)
So, my exciting fermentation news is that my kombucha brew is finally starting to grow a baby. YAY! I am going to leave it in peace for a while and hopefully I will be delivered of a new SCOBY. (Hey, it's exciting to me, okay?)

Also, I have found an online kombucha newsletter and a kombucha community on LJ. Also also, [livejournal.com profile] dakotakym has shown me some better directions than the ones I was using before - right here at the Happy Herbalist. Last on the kombucha front, I have discovered that the Minuteman library system has a kombucha book available. Whee!

Enough of that, on to the funny story! )

Are YOU trained for pickle consumption? Enquiring minds want to know!

ETA: Oh, yeah, and I have a pickle icon now. Yay!
snugglekitty: (Default)
The friendly stranger [livejournal.com profile] dakotakym noticed one of my many recent pickle posts, and offered to give me some kombucha brew and some babies, if I wanted. If I wanted? Oh, yes, I wanted. Oh yes. Thank-you-very-much-and-would-you-like-pickles-with-that?

Read more... )

I think I'll start the new batch tomorrow. The current batch probably still has another week to go. Num num num. I guess that gallon will have to last me a week!
snugglekitty: (cheese)
(I'm starnting to need a pickle icon, huh? I'll get there. For now, here's some cheese! Cheese is fermented!)

So. My kombucha batch is... not done. I can see the stuff growing, and it looks right, which is good. And it's starting to smell like kombucha, which is also very good. But it still tastes sweet. I think it just needs more time. Also, my store-bought kombucha does not come with terribly secure lids. I have discovered this to my woe, twice now. Hopefully the lesson will stick this time.

Last night I took out the batch of beets and onions with curry and juniper. It came out very well, although admittedly they needed to be rinsed and strained. I don't love the level of sourness so I'm probably not going to try to use that brine for another project. Apparently curry makes things ferment more slowly, which makes sense when you think about it, but didn't occur to me when I started the project. The pickles in question are very tasty.

I'm down to the bottom of the jar of pickles that [livejournal.com profile] mrpet made first - mixed veggies - so I started another one, with stuff we got from the farmshare and using about half of the remaining brine from that first delicious batch. Chard and kale! Should be interesting. I cooked them a bit first, as the Intarweb suggested. I also threw in other veggies that happened to be lying around - red pepper, scallions, broccoli. We'll see how it turns out. I'm not that into cooking greens in the summer, so it's nice to have another use for them. I bet they'll be great in salad.
snugglekitty: (Default)
I am progressing in my pickle-foo. I made my first batch of pickles last week - ginger carrots, YUM - with light supervision from [livejournal.com profile] mrpet. Yesterday I started my first batch of totally solo pickles - Vidalia onion and beet, with curry, juniper berries, red wine, and apple cider vinegar. The brine is very pink and pretty. I am planning to do ginger beets later in the summer, when beets are really cheap at the farmer's market (or else in the farmshare). But it takes a lot more than one bunch to fill up the pickle jar.

How we make pickles, kombucha )

I got The Joy of Pickling out of the library for more ideas. It is less free-form than Wild Fermentation - the author seems to focus on the "complex expertise style", and most of the pickles are vinegar rather than brine-based - no live cultures. So I am using it more as a set of ideas to experiment with.
In that spirit, I am very curious about watermelon rind pickles, broccoli pickles, daikon pickles with dried shrimp and apple, tomato pickles (perhaps I'd oven-roast them first! nom nom nom), apple pickles, pickled bell peppers, pickled pumpkin, pickled mustard greens, and, well, pickled cranberry ketchup just sounds cool.

Anyway, if you're local and want to be in line for some kombucha starter in a month or so, leave a comment.

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snugglekitty

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