Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blogging and other ideas

Even though I've been blogging since 2008 I still feel a little funny when posting anything and am looking constantly at other blogs for tips and clues in composition and design.  Through reading through various blogs I have mentors that I've discovered and I really admire this lady, Ree Drummond, from The Pioneer Woman blog and recently read some new tips that I found to be helpful for my blog.  She makes me feel I can blog about anything!

Speaking of blogging I have discovered I have some new favorites to talk about!

Not in any particular order:

Duck Duck Goose German Brown Porter (yummy and Hoppy) served at
The Washington Street Pub in Easton and the
SILVER MEDAL WINNER in the Maryland Govenor's cup Competition October 2010
Brique Restaurant in Centreville

Commitment Fitness in Centreville

Snap Pea Crisps (great snack without too much guilt)

Nice Farms Creamery from Federalsburg with a
selection of fresh local whole milk and yogurt

The favorites are all relatively local and good for you.  Two winning combinations if you ask me.  

Some pretty pictures from last summer

Heirloom tomatoes from the garden

Bloody Mary bread

Neiman Marcus cookies


Arugula from the garden

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day idea

I was going through my Facebook newsreel after work tonight and saw this idea.  Printable stickers for fruit!  What says I love you more than a healthy gift of (organic) fruit.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Soup and Bread

I read about Soup and Bread on Blue Kitchen's blog.  Soup and Bread offers soup every Wednesday in a local restaurant/coffee house by volunteers from all around the community.  It seems the average is 4-5 crockpots full of soup and they're served from 5pm until it's gone, about 2 1/2 hours later.  The soups and bread are free but it provides an opportunity for those who can donate to give towards a pre-selected local charity as well.

My thoughts first went to a couple of older gentlemen who make their way around the local historic town where I work.  The weather is cold now and yet they are outside for most of the day.  Wouldn't warm soup, even if it's only once a week, be a great way to let them know we care about their well-being?  Feeding people seems like such an easy and charitable thing to do.  Especially if a town got behind it.
(UPDATE:  Here's another older link found on Soup and Bread

On a lighter side:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sprout resources

I just stumbled upon this and in a frantic hurry decided that I'd try to incorporate it into my blog (since I haven't had a post in a while). Currently I'm fascinated with sprouted EVERYTHING. I've been scouring a cookbook from work called Essential Eating A Cookbook by Janie Quinn and really feel it strikes a cord with me. I like what it has to say about eating for your body's true health and how the body can be healed by the foods you eat, and how you eat them.

Here's the link to a sprouting site that I currently want to check out: This is the place to start sprouting!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Real Food Wednesday: Homemade cream cheese

I didn't have to think too hard about this Wednesday's submission. In fact, this one was in the storage tanks to pull out for just this occasion. A few weeks ago I attended a Sustainable Cooking Cooking class taught by Sharon New-Bauckman.  In that class I learned the MOST SIMPLE thing to do....make cream cheese from yogurt.  It truly is fun to make (and soooo simple) and the possibilites are endless on what you can add to the final product.  In a choice between sweet or savory I usually, always, pick savory so my add-ins include garlic, chopped green onions, and some sea salt.  Sharon added a touch of pure maple syrup to the class version of cream cheese too. 

Basically, all one has to do is get a good quality NON-LOWFAT (yes in bold letters I'm emphasizing) plain yogurt.  What was used in Sharon's class and what I use, because that's what's stocked at the store where I work, is Seven Stars plain yogurt. Depending on how much cream cheese you want (lots or not-so lots) and how big your seive is depends on how much yogurt you dump into the seive for the final product.  I usually dump about half the 32 oz. container into the seive.  Sharon also said that you can experiment and use other flavored yogurt for the cream cheese.  Seven Stars offers Maple and Vanilla yogurt as well.  Just rememeber to always use the full fat versions. 

Equipment needed:
A:  A medium to large mesh seive.
B. A large bowl to place under the seive and to catch the whey.
C. Cheesecloth.
D. Yogurt of your choice.

Place the seive over the large bowl and line with the cheesecloth.  Dump the yogurt in the cheesecloth lined seive (I slightly cover) and wait about 24 hours.  Well, that's what I wait because I want a thicker result but anywhere between 12-24 hours per Kelly the Kitchen Kop

After your cream cheese is at the desired consistancy feel free to add any ingredients to your hearts desire.  The above photo shows what I added.  Refrigerate the final product

I slathered my cream cheese on some bread I got from Magnolia Bread Company at the Chestertown Farmers Market.  I also added some bacon (I have an addiction and will put bacon on nearly anything) from Lew's farm to complete the bliss.

I hope you try this project.  It was fun, easy, and very gratifying to make a food product with my own hands.  The next step is to make my own yogurt but that's another Real Food Wednesday project!  As for the leftover whey from straining the yogurt, store in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.  Try some new projects with the whey as I have.  You'll be surprised at the foods that stem from whey!

This post is included in: Real Food Wednesday

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Real Food Wednesday: Dilly Beans and canning

So here it goes.  My participation in an online food "blog carnival" via Kelly the Kitchen Kop has begun.  Pretty fun since I have something to contribute and I'm not hurriedly rushing to find something in order to participate this week.  Thankfully, there's Dilly Beans!  They're my contribution to Real Food.

Canning, well, I haven't canned in years and it all came back like riding a bike (which I haven't done in years too).  Five minutes after the boil returns in the canner the beans are done.  After they are removed from the hot water process they delightfully, and re-assuredly, start clinking and popping to let me know they are sealing.  It's really the best sound ever after all your hard work to get the beans in the jar! 

The organic beans were ordered in bulk through Chestertown Natural Foods so they're not truly local beans which I would love to claim.  Perhaps picking some local beans for the next batch of Dilly Beans will be my next adventure!  Now that I've begun making them again I realize what a nice snacking resource they are as well.  The hubby LOVES them!

Dilly Beans Tracy Supcoe style

4 pounds (about four quarts) whole green beans
*1/4 teaspoon per pint jar crushed hot pepper flakes
*1/2 teaspoon per pint jar whole mustard seed
*1/2 teaspoon per pint jar dill seed
*1 clove per pint jar garlic
5 cups apple cider vinegar
5 cups good quality water
1/2 cup canning salt



1.  Wash beans thoroughly and pick out any inferior quality bruised beans.  Cut into lengths to fill pint jars.
2.  Make the brine mixture by combining the vinegar, water, and salt (I used Celtic sea salt this time) in a large pot and heat to boiling.  Keep warm and boil-ready.  Prepare the canning lids by placing them in alternating (top/bottom) layers in a small pot and cover with warm water.
3. Pack the beans into clean, hot, and sterilized (I boil the jars for 20 minutes) canning jars.
4.  Add the *seasonings individually to each jar as listed above.
5.  Bring the brine mixture back to a quick boil then pour into the pints jars filling to within a 1/2 inch to the top of the jar.
6.  Wipe clean the rim of the jars and then place the canning lids on top.  Screw the band on the jars until just slightly tight.
7.  Process the jars in boiling water for 5 minutes.  It's important to start the timing as soon as the water returns to a boil.  Remove jars and sit upright on a wire rack to cool, several inches apart.
8.  Allow, at least, two weeks for the Dilly Beans to work their magic in the jar. 

It really is fun and easy to do.  Tracy (my canning mentor) also recommends having the Dilly Beans in your tuna fish sandwich.  Just delicious!  Happy Real Food Wednesday!

Yield: 7 pints

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Humane Society Heroine

Sarah Collins, of Collins Creations, is one of the most enthusiastic young lady's I have met in a while. She has a heart of gold and the drive of Lance Armstrong. I met her at the Chestertown Farmers Market this past beautiful Saturday and bought one of her bracelets that she proudly made herself.

What makes Sarah so special, and attracted my attention, was that she operates her stand to raise money for the Kent County Humane Society. Half of her earnings she donates to the Humane Society and she's already raised $1,000.00 in this past year.

Sarah humbled me with her drive to help, her love of animals, and her will to succeed. Her proud mom, Heather, was all smiles as Sarah talked about her commitment to helping the Humane Society.

Local Fresh Market in danger of closing

It seems I never budget my time properly enough in order to keep up with this blog. Then there comes along something that really catches my attention and I want to go on the record and say something about it other than on Facebook.

Dr. Mowry's Fresh Market on Kent Island offers the public fresh local food every Tuesday evening starting around 5-5:30pm and running until 7pm or so. I had the pleasure of wandering around a few weeks ago and couldn't believe the large turnout. Parking was at a premium I assure you! But now, I just recently read, there's a danger of it closing due to poor turnout. Curious.

Here's the link to the article I read. I think it would be a shame for residents to lose touch with their local food sources. As I continue onward in my food journey I realize it's becoming more and more important to learn where my food is coming from, the conditions the food were raised in, and the values of the people who raise my food.