Making Healthy and Delicious Steam Distilled Juices! - The Mehu Liisa from Finland!

So let me introduce you to my newest toy. It’s a wonderful gadget from Finland called a Mehu Liisa. It literally the best way I’ve discovered to make glorious, healthy and clear steam distilled juices for drinking, jellies and jams! This is the result of steam distilling three bunches of fresh Concord grapes with some fresh basil. It’s just luscious and so easy🍇🍇🍇🍇🍇🍇🍇🍇🍇🍇...#juice #mehuliisasteamer #concordgrapes #vegan #jelly#jams#iwivip #freshjuice #mehuliisa

 

17A48020-D734-4F67-BF73-4B26325C7947


Slow Food: Why you should be best friends with your slow cooker!

It's that time of year where the leaves are begining to turn and the aroma of autumn is spilling into the air! I don't know about you but when the days get shorter and the winds get colder I love to eat meals that have  deep, rich and delicious flavors. But I'm busy too, so that's where my slow cooker comes in. I don't think that there is anything nicer than walking into your home after a long day at work and being assaulted with the aroma of  a really delicious stew, soup or braise that's been cooking for hours and scenting your kitchen with onions, garlic and chicken and literally melting off of the bone! Believe it or not you can even make a brilliant lasagna in your crock pot or a cheesy polenta with fresh vegetables  and a yummy chocolate cake.

The sites below will give you some quick and painless recipes that you owe it to yourself to try! Having a crock-pot in your arsenal of kitchen equipment not only will save you time and money, but will help you stick to your eating plan. If you've got a delicious beef stew (organic please!) simmering all day in your crock pot and awaiting your arrival why would you ever stop for fast food. A crusty baguette, side salad and a glass of wine are all you need! If you're feeding a family it's even more important. If you throw dinner into the crock-pot before you go to work, by the time you get home all you'll need to do is have your children set the table (YES...I believe that they should know how to do this properly!), prepare a simple side dish ( if you have two crockpots like I do you can have both ready!) and sit down together for a wonderful meal. Home is where the heart is and it's where all of your childrens best memories will come from.  Fast food is not a meal...Sitting around the table, breaking bread together and discussing the daily adventures is where real sustenance comes from and your children will never forget it! 

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/slow-cooker.html

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/slow-cooker-favorites

http://www.marthastewart.com/274310/slow-cooker-recipes/@center/854190/comfort-food-recipes

 

Origin of photographs unknown!


Braised Artichokes with Garlic, Raisins and White Beans

Artichoke


Even though it's still very warm outside, there's a smell in the air that's distinctly reminiscent of Autumn. I'm not really sure what it is, the air just seems to be a bit spicier and every where you turn fresh produce is at the peak of ripeness.  The other day at the market I found two wonderful artichokes and I woke up this morning craving them for dinner. I was going out though, so  in order to have them ready at the appropriate time, I threw them in my crockpot. Normally, I'd just use water and a bit of olive oil, but I really was in the mood for something more, hence this recipe was born. 

You could make them on the stove top, but you'd need to double the liquid. However, I think that this came out  richer and even more delicious than if I'd used the traditional method. Besides, the smell that permeates the house is just exceptional!

For 4 servings you will need:

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 1/2 full cup of dark raisins
4 fresh tomatoes diced (in the winter used canned diced tomatoes that have been drained)
3 cups of water that you have stirred 2 tablespoons of “No chicken chicken base” into
Two tablespoons of  mixed herbs (freezed dried chives, dried minced onions, dill, chervil
1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
1 teaspoon of very fresh cinnamon
2 extra large globe artichokes
3 cups of cubed butternut squash
Fresh shredded 3 cheese blend (Asiago, Parmesan, Fontina)
2 cans of cannellini beans
Fresh sage leaves for garnish

Place the artichokes in the bowl of a slow cooker and add tomatoes, raisins and the broth into which you have stirred the garlic ,cinnamon and herbs and 1 tablespoon of the cheese blend.  
Drizzle the agave nectar over the artichokes and then the olive oil, cover and cook on slow low heat for 8 hours, adding the beans after the 6th hour.
Periodically open the slow cooker and baste the artichokes with the sauce that is being created.

Steam  the butternut squash until tender and set aside. 

In individual bowls, place  1  cup of cooked squash  and ladle the bean, tomato and raisin mixture over the top. Garnish with the cheese and fresh sage.

The artichokes can then be sliced in half and eaten separately with your favorite dipping sauce. Mine consists of 1 cup  of mayonnaise (or veganaise) with  2 tablespoons of good  vinegar and lots of chopped fresh tarragon!

Serve with a lovely Pinot Noir and some wonderful bread to sop up the sauce. This is the kind of meal that should be eaten outside, with a centerpiece of sunflowers and a simple peach or plum cobbler for dessert!

Corn Pudding with Smoked Gouda and Green Onion!

I love corn pudding and  here is my favorite recipe. It's much lighter than most, using corn as it's primary ingredient and not much filler! It smells so good when it's cooking and tastes even better. Corn pudding is the perfect fall dish, mine is made with salsa and chipotle pepper, but you can change things around and for a northern flavor use onions and maple syrup! 


To make this you'll need:

Two bags of frozen sweet corn( I use one white and one yellow)

2 cups of diced onion

2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic

1/2 teaspoonful of smoked chipotle pepper

1 cup of fresh salsa

1 large wedge of smoked gouda that you've shredded in the cuisinart

1 bunch of green onions that you've shredded in the cuisinart

1 cup of heavy cream

4 organic eggs


Place the eggs and cream in a bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients  and fold together. Place the blended ingredients into a baking dish and bake until firm, approximately 45 minutes. My preference is that you use a cast iron skillet or baking dish because for some reason cast iron  bakes the pudding more evenly. You can substitute diced peppers and onions for the salsa and add sage, cooked and drained ground sausage and maple syrup for a very northern flavor. 

Enjoy at Thanksgiving and any other time that you'd love some comfort food!

Photograph courtesy of www.stritesorchard.com

 Indian_corn


Scallops with Pomegranates and Arugula!

Last night, I made this salad of seared scallops, pomegranate seeds, pistachios and arugula. With several slivers of freshly shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of garlicky viniagrette it was really very good! I think that it would also be delicious with ripe pear mixed with the scallops or even fresh fig. Sear the scallops quickly in a cast iron pan and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Wait to turn them in the pan until the bottoms have turned a caramel colored and are almost candied. 

Scallops with Pomegranates and Arugula!

Comfort Breakfast for a Yummy Husband!

My husband, well he is a saint! He is huge among normal men, but especially in MY heart! He works sometimes 70 hours a week  , fullfilling his dream to build a business that supports not only us, but our entire community. He is ceaselessly positive and never gripes about his long hours. He amazes me with his resiliance!

  He's eaten his favorite cold cereal and is usually out of the house by the time I cook breakfast for our son, but last friday, he happened to be around and I saw him looking wistfully at the two egg sandwiches that I wrapped up for Alex. It was then , that I realized that i hadn't cooked breakfast for this wonderful man for years. EGADS!

This morning, I got up and made my early rounds while he was still sleeping and brought him his favorite thing to drink this time of year which is a decaf eggnog latte'! Then I invented  a breakfast sandwich just for him!

He told me that I should name it "Heart attack waiting to happen!", and then he scarfed it down with the happiest look on his face! I'm not going to call it that, but I've named it "The I love Jim!" (stop gagging my friends!)

It's so simple that I've decided to share the recipe so that your husbands can be really happy too!

You will need:

2 slices of great whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon of chunky peanut butter

1 teaspoon of Helmanns mayonnaise

3 slices of crispy bacon

1 perfectly fried (in butter!)egg, dusted with onoin powder and a bit of salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of smoked mozzarella cheese (American will do!)

Now for the tough part!

Spread one slice of the bread with the mayonnaise and one with the peanut butter

Place the egg on the peanut butter bread and add the cheese on top of that

place the strips of bacon on top and and cover with the other slice of bread.

For the record, if I had some hash browns handy I would have added those too!

Serve with a kiss!


Comfort Breakfast for a Yummy Husband!

My husband, well he is a saint! He is huge among normal men, but especially in MY heart! He works sometimes 70 hours a week  , fullfilling his dream to build a business that supports not only us, but our entire community. He is ceaselessly positive and never gripes about his long hours. He amazes me with his resiliance!

  He's eaten his favorite cold cereal and is usually out of the house by the time I cook breakfast for our son, but last friday, he happened to be around and I saw him looking wistfully at the two egg sandwiches that I wrapped up for Alex. It was then , that I realized that i hadn't cooked breakfast for this wonderful man for years. EGADS!

This morning, I got up and made my early rounds while he was still sleeping and brought him his favorite thing to drink this time of year which is a decaf eggnog latte'! Then I invented  a breakfast sandwich just for him!

He told me that I should name it "Heart attack waiting to happen!", and then he scarfed it down with the happiest look on his face! I'm not going to call it that, but I've named it "The I love Jim!" (stop gagging my friends!)

It's so simple that I've decided to share the recipe so that your husbands can be really happy too!

You will need:

2 slices of great whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon of chunky peanut butter

1 teaspoon of Helmanns mayonnaise

3 slices of crispy bacon

1 perfectly fried (in butter!)egg, dusted with onoin powder and a bit of salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of smoked mozzarella cheese (American will do!)

Now for the tough part!

Spread one slice of the bread with the mayonnaise and one with the peanut butter

Place the egg on the peanut butter bread and add the cheese on top of that

place the strips of bacon on top and and cover with the other slice of bread.

For the record, if I had some hash browns handy I would have added those too!

Serve with a kiss!


Sunday Dinner!

My parents are coming for dinner tonight and this is what's on the menu!

Potato Soup laced with Bourbon and Nutmeg

Steamed Artichokes with Balsamic and Fig dressing

Ham and Gruyere Tarte with Caramelized onions

Roasted Turkey Breast with Maple Glaze and Butternut Squash with fresh sage

Tossed Green Salad with Rogue Creamery Smoky Bleu Cheese

Cinnamon ice cream served with pears poached in burgundy


Sunday Dinner!

My parents are coming for dinner tonight and this is what's on the menu!

Potato Soup laced with Bourbon and Nutmeg

Steamed Artichokes with Balsamic and Fig dressing

Ham and Gruyere Tarte with Caramelized onions

Roasted Turkey Breast with Maple Glaze and Butternut Squash with fresh sage

Tossed Green Salad with Rogue Creamery Smoky Bleu Cheese

Cinnamon ice cream served with pears poached in burgundy