June 10, 2010

Kitchen Catch-up, and a Naughty Baby

I have a hodge-podge of pictures and kitchen topics to share, so I'm going to lump them all together here. First I wanted to show you one of the loaves of whole wheat bread we've been baking. We've gotten into a regular routine of making 3 batches of the dry ingredients and then adding the wet ingredients when we're ready to bake. Now when I read the labels on the commercial bread, I just can't put it in my cart. We use the recipe and method from this great food storage site. The two videos that this gal did are very helpful. They bill this as bread that is just as soft and chewy as the store-bought type, and they're right!

I also want to share something that was given to me quite some time ago by my Arizona aunt. This is a recipe for homemade creamed soup mix. Here's the link to the recipe on the Iowa Farmer Today website.
You can make this mix and keep it in your fridge, then measure out what you need when a recipe calls for a can of creamed soup. I used chicken broth instead of water in this instance, and you could add all sorts of things like celery seed, mushrooms, etc. to make it the way you like. It's very versatile and oh, so very healthy in comparison.

This is what it looks like after mixing in the broth and beginning to heat it.

It thickens nicely, but don't expect it to be the solid mass that comes from a can.

I used this in an asparagus and ham casserole and we were really happy with the outcome.

Here's a look at the lettuce that we didn't plant! It's still coming on strong and we've been thoroughly enjoying it.

I had the great privilege of visiting with my grandmother this week. I baked some coconut jumble cookies and packaged them up for Grandma and her very sweet roommate Mary. I also took my laptop along to show them pictures of recent events. It turned out to be a very good way to show photos to a couple of elderly gals.

We continue to cook great recipes from "Cook This, Not That". I made the Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables. It gave me a good reason to use our thriving herb collection.
The herb and lemon mixture was placed under the skin as well, and really permeated the meat beautifully. The chickens were purchased from the Iowa Food Cooperative. We joined after watching Food, Inc. We had a healthy source for beef and wanted to buy healthy chicken, pork and lamb. DH did a simple Google search and found them! You should look around your area for a similar coop - it's worth the effort.

And now for the naughty baby matter! I caught this precious little newborn munching on our peach tree this week, and I suspect it may be the one that came up into our front perennial bed and chomped the rose blooms right off the bushes! So tiny (this tree is only 4 feet high) and yet so destructive - ahhh!

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