Basic Sauerkraut

The crock I used is a European style fermenting crock. There are other methods found on You tube which can be used. I only have experience with the European style crock with water seal lid.

The crock can be found online on Amazon and through this link:

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3058-european-style-fermenting-crocks.aspx

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Basic Sauerkraut for 5liter crock

5 lbs shredded cabbage, removed larger outer leaves and set aside.

3 tablespoons sea salt

a mixture equivalent to 2 teaspoons of

dillseed

caraway seed

celery seed

1 tablespoon juniper berries or whole peppercorns

4 oz. buttermilk

Toss the shredded cabbage, salt and seasonings together in a large bowl. Add to the crock. Using very clean hands , a potato masher or sauerkraut stomper, which I recommend: stomp and smash down the cabbage mixture , packing tight in the crock. Leave at least 1/5  head space in crock as the carbon dioxide produced in the fermentation process needs room .

Continue to stomp cabbage mixture until juices are released . Ideally you want enough juices from cabbage to cover the top of the packed mixture.

Make sure mixture is firmly packed.

Once the mixture has produced all the liquid it can, add the buttermilk. Sometimes the cabbage does not create enough juice. In that case make a brine of  salt water the strength of sea water, boil it allow to cool before adding to cabbage mixture.

Place the reserved large cabbage leaves that were removed prior to shredding over the top of the cabbage mixture. Put the weight stone, which in my case came with the crock on top of the whole cabbage leaves. Press down firmly so that the liquid covers the stones at least 1-2 inches. Add cooled brine water to compensate ,if need be.

Place the lid on top of crock and fill basin with water. This creates the air tight seal needed to begin the fermentation process. Set the crock in a cool place out of the way undisturbed for anywhere between 2-6 weeks or longer. Do not open the lid during this time. With the crock I used , you do have to add water to basin as evaporation occurs to maintain airtight seal. The time spent fermenting depends on your taste preference. It’s something you must experiment with.

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After the desired fermenting time has elapsed, remove lid.

There may be a whitish scum floating on top. Don’t be concerned. It’s perfecting normal yeast formation. Carefully using a spoon , spoon it out and discard.

You may not get all of the yeast scum, that’s okay. It won’t hurt you.

Remove the weights and large cabbage leaves from the top.

Begin placing you sauerkraut in sterilized jars that seal air tight. Top off each filled jar with the liquid in crock. Make sure the sauerkraut is covered with the liquid and seal jars.

You could seal jars in a water bath and store on shelf. I did not do this however I store mine straight into the refrigerator. It will last up to 6 months in the refrigerator providing its in a air tight container and the juice is over the top of the sauerkraut.

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Low Carb Cabin Quiche

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One of my sons asked me to develop some Low Carb recipes. This is one of them with more to come.

Low Carb Cabin Quiche

Make 2 nine-inch deep dish quiches
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Low Carb Crust

3 cups Soy Flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/3 cups cold shortening

about 8 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling:

1 lb. diced bacon, cooked crisp, removed to paper towel lined plate

8 oz. sliced baby bellas/cremini mushrooms

1 bunch green onions,sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

5 oz. baby spinach

2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

2 cups grated Emmentaler cheese

salt and pepper , to taste

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

16 eggs, room temperature

3 cups heavy cream, room temperature

Crust:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Cut in the cold shortening until pea sized. Add cold water and combine gently until dough comes together. Divide dough in half . Roll out and place each half into the deep dish pie plate or deep fluted tart pans. Set aside.

Filling:

Saute the mushrooms and bell pepper until tender in the remaining bacon fat. Remove to a colander on a plate using a slotted spoon to drain and cool. Add the spinach to the pan and sauté just until wilted and place in colander to drain well and cool. Place the cooled bacon, mushrooms, bell pepper, green onions and wilted spinach in a bowl; toss to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper.

Divide the bacon, vegetable mixture between the lined baking dishes; spread evenly on bottom. Divide grated cheeses evenly between the two baking dishes. Carefully pour the egg mixture between the two baking dishes.

Place each quiche on a baking sheet. Lightly tent the baking sheet with foil. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden and set. Remove to rack to set at least 10 minutes before serving.

Healthy Fruit and Berry Blast Granola with Flax Seed and Millet

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Granola is so easy to make yourself. This recipe is just a guide. Follow it to the tee or add whatever your favorite fruit nuts and seeds are.

Healthy Fruit and Berry Blast Granola with Flax Seed and Millet

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup flax seed

1/2 cup millet

1/4 cup freeze dried sliced strawberries

1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries

1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries

1/4 cup dried apples, coarsely chopped

1/8 cup dried cherries

1/8 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/8 cup dried raisins

1/8 cup dried cranberries

1/8 cup dried blueberries

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup honey or to taste

3/4 cup egg whites

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and oil them; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit; toss. In a separate bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, honey and egg whites until combined well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss until evenly coated. Divide granola mixture in half between the two prepared baking sheets. Spread out granola in even layer on baking sheet. Bake each sheet for 25-35  minutes or until edges are crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool completely on rack. Once cooled, break into clumps and store in airtight container.

Pastry Cream AKA Creme Patissiere

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Oh the love of pastry cream. This beautiful almost sinful delight has so many uses such as fillings for tarts,cakes,cream puffs and last but not least eclairs. Yum!!!

Pastry Cream

1 vanilla bean

1 2/3 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

With a sharp knife split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the back of the knife carefully scrape the seeds from the bean and place into a saucepan. Toss the scraped bean into the saucepan as well. Add the milk to the sauce pan, over medium heat bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer. Turn off heat and cover tightly for 15 minutes to steep. Covering the milk and vanilla mixture is of great importance to the outcome of the pastry cream. If not covered, the finished pastry cream can be dry and not the wonderful supple cream it should be.

In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch to the whisked egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Once the milk has steeped the 15 minutes. Uncover and remove the vanilla bean. Pour about a third of the milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined. This is called tempering the eggs. Tempering warms the egg mixture to that of the milk , not shocking it. Without tempering you would end up with scrambled egg instead of a smooth pastry cream. Pour the tempered mixture into the saucepan of remaining milk. Whisking constantly over medium heat, cook until mixture just begins to boil and has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes and stir in butter until combined.

Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover top with plastic wrap. Allow to cool. Refrigerate if not using right away,once cooled.

Don’t trow away the spent vanilla bean. It has much more life in it. Rinse it off and allow to dry. When the vanilla bean is dry , add to a jar of sugar and just sit back a wait for the magic to happen. In a few days you will have vanilla sugar. Yum!

Fond memories today as I enjoy reading Grandmas cookbooks.

There are so many other things that I should be doing today, instead I’m sitting down and reading my Grandmas old cookbooks. Some even tell you how to gauge the temperature of the oven by how long you can hold your hand over the fire of the wood stove and others use egg shells as the measuring cups. What I remember is how I absolutely loved her Lemon Meringue pie and Carrot pudding.

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Guest Blog from Jill Skeem, author of Comfort Food Gets A Vegan Makeover

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I was watching the evening news tonight and saw a report on a product that will be available this spring. It is called the Hapifork. This computerized fork vibrates when one eats too quickly (taking additional bites prior to 20 seconds). While I agree that eating slowly helps with the digestion of your food and chewing your food longer definitely improves the nutritional benefit you will receive from your food, but a vibrating fork! All you have to do is put your fork down in between bites!! This will slow you down, so you don’t overeat. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that it is full. If you eat faster than that, you will overeat and then after 20 minutes, it will hit you…you are full…and now want to burst. By putting your fork down in between bites and chewing your food really well, you will end up eating less but feeling satisfied. This works no matter WHAT you are eating.

Jill’s book signing and tasting for Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover is tomorrow at Rudy’s from 11-1. If you can’t make it, Rudy’s in Twin Falls, Idaho is selling her book. Go to www.jillskeem.com for more information about purchasing.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

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Pumpkin White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

2 cups white chocolate chips

2 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line baking pans with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together until well combined. Beat in the eggs ,vanilla then pumpkin puree. Combine until blended.

Add the remaining dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add to butter mixture and blend well. Stir in the chocolate and nuts.

Using a small ice cream scoop/disher  scoop out the dough about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake for about 12 -15 minutes until just set and edges are barely brown. Remove baking pan from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheets before removing.