Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Orange Pancakes using Master Mix

Extended Shelf Life for: Oranges (juice)
Master Mix is quickly becoming one of my ultimate "staple" products in the kitchen. This recipe was given to me in a High School Life Skills course as part of the Centsible Nutrition Cook Book. Until recently, I hadn't given it much thought. However, I then had a craving for pancakes, I wanted them to be quick and easy and have my choice of flours in them. Generally, when I make the mix I use half enriched white flour and then a combination of spelt flour and oats - I love it! I hope you enjoy this recipe and the many more to come that include the soon-to-be-infamous MASTER MIX!


2 cups Master Mix (recipe posted on right hand side of blog
1 1/4 cups Orange Juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
1 egg, beaten
Cinnamon to taste
Pinch of Orange Zest
Splash of Vanilla


Combine all ingredients; stirring just until batter is moist. Drop by spoonful in a hot greased griddle or fry pan. Turn over when bubbles appear on surface. Cook until well browned.

Goose and Cabbage Filling for Turnovers and Pot Pie

Extended Life for: Carrots and Celery
Having finely diced the smoked goose breast for the Orzo Salad, I was left with no other choice but to find another use for crazy bird! Half a cabbage and some dumpster carrots later I had sauteed up what I knew would make for a great addition to a couple meals I had in mind.


Olive Oil for sauteing
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 head Cabbage, finely chopped
2/3 cups Carrots, finely diced
1/4 cup Celery, finely chopped
1 small Onion, diced
1 cup Smoke Goose, finely diced
Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano and Chili Powder to taste


Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Add onion and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add carrots and celery, saute 5-7 minutes. Add cabbage, saute until tender. Add spices and smoked goose, heat through. Save for turnovers or pot pie!

Chili Spice Mix

Extended Life for: Jalapenos and Cilantro

In attendance of my own Bridal Shower a couple years ago, I received super-sized spices. I love cooking, therefore, I love spices. However, as is true with potato soup, the search for the perfect chili recipe is enjoyable yet laborious. Within me, resides a small inkling that the secret to the perfect chili lies in the spices. I am moving forward in discovering the "winning" chili, here is the spice mixture that I hope will bring it together.


1/2 cup dried Parsley flakes
1/2 cup Chili powder
1/4 cup dried minced Onion
1/8 cup dried Jalapeno
1/8 cup dried Cilantro
2 Tbsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. ground Cumin
1 Tbsp. Basil
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. Black pepper

Orzo with Smoked Goose and Crab Apple Butter Vinaigrette

Extended Life for: Grapes (Raisins), Oranges (Zest) While the above picture may not have you lickin' your chomps, trust me when I say this is a delightful dish. An uncle of Mike's is an accomplished goose hunter, most of which he has smoked and then shares with his beloved family. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with smoked goose and don't always enjoy the strong smoky flavor of the meat on its own. Having discovered a recipe for Apple Butter Vinaigrette and spotting a smoked goose breast in the fridge, I made the executive decision to put them together. This salad is enjoyable hot or cold.


3-4 cups Orzo, prepared
1 cup finely diced Smoked Goose Breast
1/2 cup Red Onion, diced
1/2 cup Raisins
1 tsp. Orange Zest

Vinaigrette -
1/2 cup Crab Apple Butter or Apple Butter
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
dash Pepper


Mix first 5 ingredients together. In a glass jar place vinaigrette ingredients, shake vigourously until well mixed. Pour dressing over first five ingredients. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, enjoy!

"Easiest Eggplant" with "Fresh" Marinara

Extended Life for: Eggplant, Tomatoes and Mushroom

A recent abundance of eggplant has provided a great opportunity to experiment with this great veggie. However, this recipe for "Easiest Eggplant" is one of my favorites: http://http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easiest-Eggplant/Detail.aspx. This round, I teamed it with a home-made marinara using some tomatoes I had boiled, skinned and froze as well as as some scavenged mushrooms.
One recipe Easiest Eggplant (eggplant, mayonnaise, bread crumbs)
Linguine or Spaghetti Noodles.
2 cups diced Tomatoes
2 cans Tomato Sauce
4-5 white Mushrooms; chopped
1 small Onion
2 Garlic cloves; minced
Shakes of the following:
Italian Seasoning
Prepare noodles and eggplant as directed on package and at allrecipes.com respectively. Saute mushroom, onion and garlic in olive oil for 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat and add seasonings to taste. Simmer 10-15 minutes or until rest of meal is ready. Serve eggplant on bed of noodles with marinara and parmesan cheese. Find satisfaction.

Baked Potato Soup

Extended Life for: Potatoes and Milk

Potato soup is one of life's great comforts. Discovering the perfect recipe, is one of life's great pursuits. I have enjoyed the potato soup of many friends and a few restaurants. I have produced some of my own delightful pots of potato soup. This one however, is one of my new favorites. Creamy, delicious and worth every minute, this is the soup you want to enjoy during the long yet comforting winter months.


2/3 cup Butter
2/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
7 cups Milk
4-5 Lg. Baking Potatoes baked, cooled, peeled and cubed
1/2 med. Onion, diced
12 stirps of Bacon cooked and crumbled
1 1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste


Melt butter stir in flour; heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Steamed Artichokes

Extended Life for: Artichokes


4 artichokes
1 lemon, halved
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, peeled


Trim down artichokes. Bring 2 inches of water to boil. Add bay leaf, garlic and lemon juice to water. Place artichokes face down in steam basket, place over boiling water, cover and steam for 40-50 minutes. Serve with melted butter or favorite dipping sauce.

Grilled Eggplant

Extended Life for: Eggplant

2 large Eggplant; peeled and salted if preferred
Cooking spray - Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
Preheat an indoor grill. Spray grill with Olive Oil. Season Eggplant with parmesan and Italian seasoning. Grill 10-15 minutes until grill marks are visible. Serve with dumpster coleslaw or other greens and couscous. Enjoy!
(Also recommend serving these eggplant slices with marinara as a low-fat version of eggplant parmesan - delish!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Oranges

Extended Life for: Oranges

Having retrieved a fairly large amount of oranges, I did my best to make them go as far as they possibly could. From dried orange zest, orange juice for sauce and pancakes to these little treats for which I lost the final picture, oranges are a great and versatile fruit!

1 large Navel Orange; peeled and sectioned
2 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
1 Tbs. Butter
Dash of Vanilla

In a double boiler (or a small stainless steal bowl placed in a saucepan of boiling water) melt chocolate. Remove chocolate from heat stir in margarine and vanilla. Dip orange sections in chocolate then place on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Cool oranges in fridge for 15-20 minutes, enjoy!

Kosher-Dill Pickles

Extended Life for: Cucumbers

This year has been a year of canning and preserving. As a child, I had the opportunity to help my parents prepare salsa, spaghetti sauce, apple butter and of course, pickles. Now that I am grown and daily developing a love for the kitchen and the "old way of doing things" I have inherited the canning supplies. Having conquered jams and jellies I knew the next step was pickles - how incredibly easy compared to my previous canning adventures!
8-10 Cucumbers
3 cups White Vinegar
3 cups Water
1/4 cup Pickling Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
6 Tbsp. Dill Seeds
1 clove Garlic per Jar
Wash and "spear" cucumbers. Wash and sterilize glass jars. Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Loosley pack cucumbers into hot jars. Add 1 Tbsp. dill seed, 1 clove garlic, and fill jar with hot vinegar mixture (leaving 1/2 inch headspace). Process in boiling-water canner.

Strawberry Jam Bars

Extended Life for: Strawberries...via Strawberry Jam

I previously posted a recipe for Freezer Strawberry Jam. Here, that jam becomes the star of these easy to make bars.


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and honey. Combine flour, baking soda and spices gradually to the creamed mixture. Divide dough in half; spread half into lightly greased 9x9 baking pan. Spread with jam. Drop remaining dough by teaspoonfuls over jam. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars and share with strawberry loving friends!

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

Extended Life for: Eggplant, Tomatoes and Hummus

If you're ever searching for some great vegetarian options or a way to use vegetables that you're not so familiar with, check out http://www.vegetariantimes.com/ or subscribe to the magazine, it's definitely worth the investment! This recipe was adapted from the recipe posted on their website, but of course, includes a few substitutions and additions as certain ingredients were present in my home and were needing to be cooked quickly! I doubled this recipe (the ingredients that follow are to prepare as doubled) as well and ended up putting the two 8x8 lasagna's in the freezer for a future night when I want something home-made but lack the energy to be the one making it!
3 medium Eggplant, bite-size chunks
8 Tomatoes, halved
18 oz. Spinach or Swiss Chard, steamed
1.5 cups Mozzarella
1.5 cups Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Hummus, flavor of choice
1 cup Grated Parmesan and Asiago Mix
12 no-boil Lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two roasting pans and two 8x8 or 9x9 square baking dishes with cooking spray. Place eggplant in one roasting pan - sprinkle with salt and pepper, place tomatoes in the other roasting pan. Roast both vegetables until tender, about 30-40 minutes. While roasting, toss eggplant occassionally. When veggies are finished roasting, remove from oven, let tomatoes cool slighty then remove skins. Reserve 1/2 cup tomato juice, add the rest of juice, plus tomatoe halves, eggplant and basil to large bowl to mix and break apart tomatoes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 (if you plan to bake them that day, otherwise turn oven off). Steam spinach or chard 4-6 minutes, set aside to cool, then chop. In another large bowl, mix mozarella, ricotta, half of parm./asiago mix and hummus together. Now, begin layering the lasagna: noodles (2), 1/4 eggplant/tomatoe mix, 1/4 cheese mix, 1/4 spinach or chard, repeat. Do the same in other baking dish. Final layer: noodles (2) 1/4 cup reserved tomatoe juice, 1/2 of remaining parm/asiago cheese mix.
We have not yet enjoyed this dish, so I can't yet rave about the flavors, if you get to eating it before us, let us know how it turned out!

Bouquets of Roses

Extended Life for: Roses and Baby's Breath

As he gleans, he discovers.
As he discovers, we create.
Occassionally, I am honored.
By a gift of fine roses.
Broken high on their stem,
Discarded for their imperfections.
The center they become
Of househole decor.
Beauty from trash.
A life of gleaning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Curried Eggplant

Extended Life for: Eggplant, Jalapenos, and Cilantro

A few Tbs. olive oil
2 Eggplant, diced
2 seeded Jalapenos
2 gloves Garlic, minced
1/4 bunch of Cilantro (or to taste)
1 can of diced Tomatoes, plus juice
1/2 tsp. Cumin Seeds
To taste:
Curry Powder
Chili Powder
(If you would like to "sweat" and peel the eggplant, go ahead! It helps with flavor, but takes time, so you choose what is important for this meal on this night.)
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add cumin seeds and cumin, heat until aromatic. Saute garlic and jalapeno. Add eggplant, saute about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook covered for 30-40 minutes, adding water if necessary, achieving a stew-like consistency. Serve with cilantro sprinkled on top over noodles (we used ramen, because we are classy) and of course, enjoy!

Zucchini Sauted with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Extended Life for: Grapes and Zucchini

This is yet another great recipe from Vegetarian Times. However, I did not make match-stick zucchini slices and our raisins were home-made. Having discovered an abundance of grapes late this summer, we placed them in the dehydrator and now have some of the worlds most rich and delicious grapes, they complimented this dish beautifully!


2 medium zucchini (or 1/3 of a GIANT zucchini)
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
2 Tbs. pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. plus a little extra, balsamic vinegar
3-4 Tbs. raisins
1 tbs. capers - plus a little "juice"


Slice zucchini into bite size pieces. Have nuts, garlic, capers and raisins ready to add as the dish will now come together pretty quickly. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a skillet or wok, add zucchini, season with salt, saute for about 2 minutes, until zucchini are tender. Remove zucchini. Heat another last Tbs. of oil, add pine nuts and garlic, saute about a minute. Add vinegar, raisins and capers, cook 30 seconds. Add zucchini and heat entire mixture through. Serve over rice or alone and enjoy!

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Extended Life for: Strawberries

Having salvaged some strawberries that were still in fairly decent shape, I made the best of the canning season and tried out this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.


4 cups hulled Strawberries
4 cups Sugar
1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 7.5 oz. package of regular powdered fruit pectin
3/4 cups water

Use a potato masher to crush the berries until there is about 2 cups of pulp. Add sugar and lemon peel, let stand for 10 minutes. Prepare fruit pectin in pan by boiling for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add to berry mixture; stir for three minutes when mixture is no longer grainy. Ladle into half pint freezer containers, let stand for 24 hours before placing in the freezer for up to a year.

Peanut Butter Rice with Apples and Raisins

Extended Life for: Apples and Raisins
In the midst of preparing crab apple butter I developed this quick dish that was sweet, healthy and completely satisfying. I don't generally use the microwave to prepare a meal, but this day, I made an exception as I was desperately hungry.


2 Green Apples, chopped
1/4 cup Raisins
1 Cup uncooked Instant Brown Rice
(plus required ingredients for cooking)
1/2 Cup Nutcracker Sweet Tea or any chai
3 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp. Honey
Cinnamon to taste


Prepare instant rice as per box directions for microwave. Prepare 1/2 cup tea, add peanut butter and honey, mix until smooth. Mix apples and raisins in a bowl. Let rice and peanut butter sauce cool slightly. Mix rice in with apples and raisins then stir in peanut butter sauce. Season with cinnamon as desired.
May be enjoyed warm or you may chill for a couple hours before enjoying!

Melba Toast

Extended Life for: French Bread (or any old bread)

These loaves of bread were retrieved a few months back and placed in our deep freeze. With the large amount of jams and apple butters I have been making, I need a way to test the product, so decided on crispy pieces of bread called Melba Toast.

You simply slice frozen bread thin, place on a baking sheet or stone, turn oven to 350 degrees and bake slices of bread for 30 -40 minutes. Eat within a couple days! They are great with jam or as a soup crouton!

Tea Gets Organized!

Extended Life for: Shelves

Mike took a short drive behind some local businesses and discovered these shelves behind one of the shops. He approached the employees about having the shelves and they enthusiastically agreed! Now, my desire to have a better organized tea world is fulfilled!

Truly; one man's trash, is another man's treasure.
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