Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#Popcorn!! #Recipe

My son and I made popcorn... on the stove - for the FIRST time! Yes, really. I've never popped popcorn on the stove. I've seen it done with Jiffy Pop (do they still make these?). And, of course, I've sadly eaten the microwaveable popcorn but since I'm on a mission to learn more about controversial ingredients, I've decided I don't like the taste of that kind anymore. Probably a good thing, right!? 

We received organic popcorn (kernels) in one of my CSA boxes. I found a few recipes online using vegetable oil. I decided to substitute coconut oil in lieu of the unhealthy oils.


It takes a matter of seconds! I used one of our Vision Corning pots to make it. Bring coconut oil to a medium-high heat, drop a kernel in to see if it sizzles. When it does, pour the kernels in and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, cover. Listen (and in my case, look), when popping begins, start shaking lightly, while covered, over the burner. When popping slows, remove from heat. 


After the popcorn was done, I melted real butter (about 2 tablespoons) and lightly coated the popcorn with the other 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Delicious! I really can't believe it took me THIS long to make my own! So easy!! 


I must add that I know there must be someone else out there that hasn't popped their own popcorn. Hence the details (recipe). 


3 tbs coconut oil 

1/2 cup kernels 
1/2 tsp sea salt (divided)
2 tbs butter 
heavy bottom pot with lid

Yields: About 5 cups of popcorn (give or take, I didn't measure). 


Buon Appetito! =)




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Friday, November 16, 2012

Persimmon ... Cookies!!

In one of my CSA boxes from Abundant Harvest Organics, I received persimmons. Hmmm. What to do with persimmons? With every foreign item in my CSA box, I will search the internet for recipes. I've eaten dehydrated persimmons before but I didn't do the drying. So, here's to what I found... and the best part of it all was that my son and I prepared this recipe in the kitchen of Cooking and Kids'!



Recipe adapted from All Recipes, Persimmon Cookies II. These are our changes:

Ingredients:

4-5 Hachiya persimmons pureed (see note 1 below)

3/4 cup sugar (like this)
1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1 egg
1 tsp real vanilla
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour (like this) 
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Optional: sliced almonds, crushed walnuts, ground cloves (see note 2 below)



Note 1: The best way to prepare persimmons is freezing them then letting them thaw. You can also let them (over) ripen on the counter. This may take a few days so if you're in a hurry, freeze them! Use a pairing knife and peel the skin, throw the persimmons in the blender and puree. Bring the puree to room temperature, if cold, before using them in this recipe. 



Preparation:
1. After prepping the persimmons, mix the sugar, egg, and vanilla. 

2. Add in the pureed persimmons. 

3. In a separate bowl, prepare the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir until combined.



4. Add the dry mixture a half cup in at a time. 

5. Fold in the optional ingredients.




6. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop the batter using an ice cream scoop about an inch apart. The cookie batter will not spread but they'll be big so you may be able to fit 9 cookies to a sheet. 

7. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.



Yields 2 dozen. 


Note 2: We omitted the ground cloves and the walnuts from the original recipe. The cookies were absolutely delicious! We thought afterwards since we added a couple extra persimmons than what the recipe called for that we could have decreased the sugar content even lower (original recipe called for 1 cup)! Persimmons are not overly sweet on their own but with the hints of cinnamon and nutmeg they really did shine in this recipe.

Note 3: I made these again subbing the butter for applesauce to try a dairy free version of the cookies. Applesauce is a 1:1 for oil and butter. It cuts down on calories (but who's counting? -- when you're eating healthy fats in balance with each other, focus instead on quality not quantity (or calories in this case)). I would not recommend subbing applesauce. It makes the batter way too runny to set as cookies. I should have tried the batter as muffins but I am not sure they would have held out. 

Maybe you're a baker and have a recommendation on how I could have changed the recipe when it came out too runny when using applesauce instead of butter. Feel free to leave a suggestion below. 

What is your favorite recipe using this type of persimmon? 


Buon Appetito! 


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

#Pasta with #Tomatoes dish #recipe

Fantastic, easy, nutritious pasta & tomato dish!

I modified the following recipe with what I had on hand. The first bite reminded of the fresh pasta I made while we lived in Italy! Yes, my modifications were that good!

Original recipe by Chow: click here

I had on hand dried herbs - Italian dried herbs - rosemary, oregano, and basil. I also substituted the cheese called for in the recipe with feta and fresh romano. 

Everything else in the recipe I followed. If you like tomatoes, I think you'll like Chow's recipe or my rendition. Buon Appetito!! 
Photo Credit: Conveying Awareness


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Monday, November 5, 2012

#Foot Soaks #Recipes #Alternative Options

I love to soak my feet after a long day!

A couple weeks ago I developed sudden joint pain in my feet/ankles and wrists. I thought perhaps I slept weird?!? I totally get having joint paint upon awakening from a rough night’s rest, but two days in a row? Then when it happened 3 and 4 and 5 days in a row, I knew something could not be right and the first thing I did was post in a natural healing forum asking what to do. It was suggested that I soak in ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar; see its benefits) feet only or do a full body soak. Another suggestion was Epsom salt. A third suggestion was infused ginger. I looked up some suggestions online in addition to what was being shared in the forum and found many similarities. One that stood out different was adding chamomile and peppermint teas (or the dried herbs) to the Epsom salt. It was time to hit the store!

I picked up ACV, Epsom salt, both teas (bags), and 5 pieces of 4 inch ginger root. 

Everything I had read said to alternate each ‘treatment’ and soak at least once a day for a minimum of 20 minutes in as hot water as I could stand it.

The first night I added ACV to boiled water then added enough cool water to the basin for the soak. Felt a little tingling. I guess toxins coming out? Personally, I don’t enjoy the smell of vinegar so I soaked for 20 minutes.

The second night, I cut up the ginger into thin slices and infused it in a pot of boiled water covered for 15 minutes. I added this mixture to some cold water in the basin. Soaked for 25 minutes.

The third night I infused the teas in a covered pot for 15 minutes; added this mixture to the Epsom salt in the basin. Added cold water to basin until I could stand the heat. Soaked for 25 minutes.

These are the 3 soaks I did alternating for 2 weeks.  I thoroughly enjoyed the ginger out of the three – it smells and feels great!! I felt totally relaxed afterwards. The joint pain dissipated and hasn’t returned. If it should, these soaks are what I plan to do! Thank you Mother Earth of plenty!


I do receive a small commission from Amazon.com if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 

Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

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