Category Archives: In my kitchen

New class added online – Cheese class for kids ages

https://outschool.com/classes/homemade-cheese-the-basics-to-soft-curd-goat-milk-cheese-class-1-9x7okyJw#usCGc3YJOv

Description

The student will learn how to make two different homemade simple cheese recipes using vinegar and lemon juice. 

The student will learn and decide on what (optional) additions they can add to their cheese.

The teacher will demonstrate how to create 2 soft cheeses from scratch. Students can follow along and create their own if they have ingredients, or just watch and learn. 

 Teacher is available via email for any additional question. 

Homework? Let's eat!! 🙂

French Butter Cakes – Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter and flour 12 (3 inch) madeleine molds; set aside.
  2. Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and salt at high speed until light.
  4. Beating constantly, gradually add sugar; and continue beating at high speed until mixture is thick and pale and ribbons form in bowl when beaters are lifted, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Sift flour into egg mixture 1/3 at a time, gently folding after each addition.
  6. Add lemon zest and pour melted butter around edge of batter. Quickly but gently fold butter into batter. Spoon batter into molds; it will mound slightly above tops.
  7. Bake 14 to 17 minutes, or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.
  8. Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan; invert onto rack. Immediately sprinkle warm cookies with granulated sugar. Madeleines are best eaten the day they’re baked. Leftover madeleines are wonderful when dunked into coffee or tea.
  9. Variation: Chocolate Madeleines: Omit lemon zest. Increase sugar to 1/2 cup. Substitute 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder for 2 tablespoons of the flour; sift into batter with flour.

2018 Christmas – Advent, Day 18, Meals from Scratch – Swedish Meatballs over pasta or rice

December 18: Luke 2:13 – Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, —

This has to be one of my favorite “Not so healthy” dishes. This dish can use homemade meatballs (That recipe will be linked next week for New Years or even pre-made meatballs.

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  1. In a skillet or saute pan to medium-low heat, melt butter and whisk in flour until it has turned golden brown.
  2. Slowly whisk in beef broth and cook until thickened, then add in milk or cream (heavy cream makes a GREAT sauce), Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt. Continue to stir until well-combined.
  3. Add meatballs back into the skillet, turning to coat well. Add fresh parsley, if using.
  4. Serve over Rice or wide egg noodles (The fav in this family!)

2018 Christmas – Advent, Day 12, Gnocchi Soup

Luke 1:68 – “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.

Ingredients

This is a family favorite and it is so very filling. You can make this with cooked chicken, carnitas or ground beef. 

  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart half-and-half or whole milk
  • 28 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup carrots finely shredded
  • 1 cup spinach leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound cooked hamburger
  • 16 ounces package ready-to-use gnocchi
  1. Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the half-and-half or the whole milk. Simmer until thickened.
  4. Whisk in the chicken broth. Simmer until thickened again.
  5. Stir in the thyme, parsley, carrots, spinach, beef, and gnocchi.
  6. Stir in salt and pepper.
  7. Simmer until the soup is heated through. Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.
  8. Serve with bread and salad. 

2018 Christmas – Advent, Day 3, breakfast egg biscuits

December 3:

Luke 1:30 -But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.


Try something new for breakfast. In our home, we like to make a whole breakfast wrapped up into one “sandwich”.  Once made the kids can grab and go. They will also stay good in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven or microwave (We don’t have a microwave, so I don’t know how long to put them in for.)

We start out by adding biscuit dough to the bottom of a muffin pan (I don’t know why my preference is my square brownie pan ( here is the Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2SrnAp0 ), but you can use any non-stick pan that you have. 

Then we add a single egg. I do crack the yoke, you do not have to. 

Top the eggs with cooked ham, sausage or bacon and sprinkle with cheese. 

Into the oven, it goes for about 25 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

The biscuit dough can be either store-bought or homemade. Many times we will make a batch of freezer dough to have available for mornings like this.  There are great recipes in the 2 books in the “Don’t Panic Dinner’s in the Freezer” series.  I like this series because each recipe shows the x3, x6 and x9 to make multiples of each recipe for later.  The “More” book has a biscuit recipe in it. 

 

 

6

Place biscuit dough in the pan. 

Break one egg on each biscuit

Add Cheese and cooked meat to the top of the egg.

 

Bake for 25 minutes or until eggs are cooked. 🙂

 

Christmas Cookies – Chocolate topped Toffee

KrisandLarry.com presents 6 different Christmas cookies/desserts for your cookie exchanges – Chocolate topped Toffee

Another tasty treat in our house, Although we do not make it terribly often as it is very rich.

It is a GREAT gift wrapped up in a bag with a bow for a last minute gift for someone this Christmas. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 Cups  (2-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1-1/4 Cups  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt (I use pink Himalayan)
  • 2 Cups  semisweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1 Cup  toasted chopped almonds, pecans or peanuts (or a mixture – )
  • Pink Himalayan or Flaky sea salt, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

 
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Do not skip this step or you will be stuck to everything!!!!
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Let butter melt and sugar dissolve and bring to a boil, then cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, so the butter and sugar don’t separate, until mixture turns a medium amber and is thick, 12 to 15 minutes. 
  3. Pour toffee mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and immediately top all over with chocolate chips. Let sit 2 minutes so chocolate begins to melt, then spread chocolate all over with a spatula to create a layer on top of toffee.
  4. Sprinkle all over with almonds and pecans (use chopped crumbs too for nice texture!) and salt.
  5. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour, then cut or break into pieces and serve.

Turkey Leftovers – Thanksgiving Eggrolls

I love that I can gather ingredients and make something completely new with items that I have already cooked.  And I love having leftovers after the holidays. 

We love our air-fryer and like to make items in it for a quick lunch. PB&J gets old when you homeschool. But PB&J egg rolls are fun and different.

The best part is that you can use any combination of left overs.

For ours, we spread our hot spinach artichoke dip on the egg roll wrapper and layered turkey, potatoes and green bean casserole. *Note: use less than you think for each layer or your eggrolls will overflow and not be able to close up.

Roll these and either oil or air fry. Our air fryer cooks a pan of these in 6 minutes. We roll them over at 3 minutes.

For the dipping sauce, I mixed together cranberry sauce, some cracked black pepperand a few tablespoons of apple juice. Stir in a pan over low heat. 

Decorating Sugar Cookies

So many of my homeschooling moms amaze me with all of their talents, one of them being my friend JenB. She has been professionally decorating cookies for a while and I CAN SAY WOWWIE! I love looking at her work. They are mini-pieces of art on a glorious little morsel of cookie. Some of them are almost too beautiful to eat. 

I had been researching and researching (not wanting to disturb JenB and her work) on getting the perfect recipe for Cookie Royal Icing. Here is the one that we finally came up with for us to work with. And YES! It worked GREAT! 

We did dye ours with some natural dyes because of El’s allergies… (and why would I want to put those yucky artificial dyes in my body anyway?) We used the Natural Dyes here: https://amzn.to/2KnFpSZ And although they worked, we only added enough to make a “pastel” colored Turkey. 🙂

Our next dilemma was the fact that my turkey cookie cutter was M.I.A. What to do, What to do? I have a large daisy cookie cutter and We made it into a turkey.  

When using your royal icing, outline and then fill. We started with an icing bag and that made a mess. Once we switched to an icing bottle, the designed flowed much better. (ignore the crazy, weird lumps in the start of the icing – it was from the bag – and user error)

*tip – one color at a time and let dry in between

Royal icing

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces, fluid Warm Water
  • 5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 2-ÂĽ pounds (or 1 Kilogram) Icing Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cream Of Tartar

Preparation

In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.

Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.

Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.

Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.

Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

Have fun decorating!

(*Recipe courtesy of Antonia74 at www.cakecentral.com)

I already had my favorite buttery sugar cookie recipe. It is one that we have been using for years. 

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour(minus 1 cup), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla, then mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir together until you have a thick mixture.
  5. Add the last cup of flour slowly until you get the right consistency, about that of peanut butter. If you add it all at once, yours might be too dry. If it does get too dry, I have found that you can add 1T of milk. 
  6. Wrap the mixture with clear plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
  7. Roll out half of the dough.
  8. Cut with cutters, then bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom JUST begins to brown.

Using Freeze-Dried Chicken

I love having my freeze dryer. My favorite item that I love to freeze dry is not Ice cream (Although “Astronaut Ice Cream is Delicious – Remember Astronaut Ice Cream from the 1980’s?? check out this link if you have a minute: https://amzn.to/2OU33ai Yes, I literally make this now with my Harvest Right Freeze Dryer and my kids love freeze-dried ice cream).

Fruit is not my favorite either, although the kids go GAGA over the fruit snacks that we make.

And it isn’t the leftovers that I freeze-dry for Larry and Shelby to take to work for their lunches. These are SO convenient and don’t take up any freezer space because these are SHELF SAFE!!

Here is my affiliate link to My Harvest Right Freeze Dryer  – https://affiliates.harvestright.com/377.html. They are pricey but so worth it. I have no waste coming out of my kitchen.

I have freeze dried green bean casserole, lunch meat (yes, lunch meat when I can get it on a SUPER SALE), veggies out of my garden. We have made homemade “cup of noodles” with organic healthy ingredients and a lot less salt.  Soups and stews have been dried and later eaten as well as Alfredo! I even freeze-dried beef liver sliced up for my doggies for treats! We have even freeze-dried excess eggs, (Raw and whisked) and goats milk right off of our homestead. 

Of all of the things that I have used my freeze dryer for, I think that freeze-dried baked chicken has been the best item that I have made (you can purchase canned freeze dried chicken as well).  When I can pick up boneless skinless chicken for less than $1.50 a pound in my area, you can bet that I am buying extra and cooking in my crockpot or roaster oven for later. 

 

So what do you make with freeze-dried chicken? ANYTHING that you make with fresh baked chicken – Fajitas, alfredo, chicken with sauce, casseroles, tacos, chicken salad sandwiches…. literally ANYTHING!

So, HOW does this work?

This is very simple. Depending on the item, you can either choose to reconstitute with hot water by submersion (Either in water or thrown into soups), you can use a spray bottle to reconstitute (I use this method for things like kale or spinach that I am not added into a soup), you can wrap an item in a wet paper towel (think tomatoes) or you can leave as is and use on items or eat it CRUNCHY THe kids LOVE to eat strawberries like this and I have found that if I crumble up guacamole – yes, I did make and freeze-dry this as an experiment – it tastes GREAT on salads. 

 

OK, My friends here is the down low – This is EASY! Do not be intimidated by freeze-dried foods!!

 

 

 

Elderberry Syrup for those winter colds

My children know that when they are starting to feel yucky, they can just go into the fridge and get out the elderberry syrup. And all they need to do is to take a spoonful. We have been making this for years. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried elderberries (There are many places to get these… The best price that I have found and from a company that I trust is Mountain Herbs – https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/elder-berries/profile
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick (I keep these around for my chai tea)
  • 4 whole cloves (I keep these around for my chai tea, too)
  • 1 cup honey (I buy local honey from a small store in my area called HoneyMan.)

Instructions

  1. Add the berries, water, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon stick to a large pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Once boiling, reduce the berry mixture to a simmer. (I actually cooked today’s batch on my wood stove)
  3. Allow ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat.
  5. Add your honey to your jar.
  6. Strain the berries from the juice, using a cheesecloth and small mesh sieve over your jar. 
  7. Now you have the perfect syrup for fighting off the sniffles this season. Keep your jar in the fridge.
  8. Take 1 tablespoon daily by spoon . When I am in the middle of a cold, I take it 3 times a day. 

You can find me and others at the Simple Life Mom Hop and the Simple Homestead Hop!