Whole Grain Mustard

IMG_2795    IMG_2818 I love mustard, and when I say love, I mean LOVE. I eat it on anything and everything. And not just small quaintites, I buy jumbo sized containers of the stuff because I go through it so fast.  Over the past few years I even  started taking down others with my mustard eating obsession. Sisters, brothers, even some of the littles are now mustard eating feens.  One of my little nieces is now just as bad as me. I don't think I have seen her eat a single meal without a side of mustard. Her favorite snack, clementines and mustard,  although sometimes she skips the clementines and just goes in with her fingers. Oh so good. I think that child could possible be mine.  And yes, it's mostly the yellow grocery store variety of mustard being consumed, but yellow mustard is just the tip of the ice berg. There is a whole world of flavors, textures and colors when it comes to the humble mustard seed. Whole grain mustard, to me, is one of the best and easiest to adapt to any persons specific taste. You can make it plan or add in just about any spice, vinegar, even a little sweetness that you might like. One of my favorite variations of this mustard is to skip the vinegar and use picked jalapeño juice. Aah, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So if you are anything of a mustard connoisseur, you really must, at least once, make your own batch.(It's so easy!) And you will love it and share it with all your friends and they will think you are a bad ass for making your own mustard and your life will just be so great. All because you are now a mustard maker.  Yes. 

IMG_2644Yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar and salt. The most basic ingredients.

Note- If you want, add in a pinch of any spice that you want.. Chili flakes, granulated garlic, turmeric.... And you can use the vinegar of your choice. I like apple cider because its mellow with a slight sweetness but white or sherry or any vinegar would be great. Even left over picked juice is fantastic too.

IMG_2678   IMG_2791 In a large jar, combine the mustard seed , twice as much vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cover and let sit for on the counter overnight until the seeds have soften and look almost like caviar. 

IMG_2800Now blend those seeds. You might want to add another splash or two of vinegar to help  blend and to thin out a bit. Chose how creamy or seeded you like you mustard. I like to make it creamy but seedy so I blend it half way to creamy.

Taste and add another pinch of salt if its needed and……..

IMG_2812You have got mustard! Make sure you have a good snack ready to eat with it.. My go to is carrots. I could eat this all day long.  

Enjoy and have a great Tuesday full of mustard and stuff!

-C


Whole Grain Mustard

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Optional..A pinch of  Garlic Graduals, Red Pepper Flakes, Curry Powder (Anything you want) 

Combine all ingredients into a large jar that has at least a few extras inches for the seed to expand.  Leave on counter for 8-12 hours.

Once seeds are nice and soft and have expanded, either eat as is (Mustard seed caviar) or blend the seeds to desired consistency (I like it half smooth, half seedy) Add a pinch more or salt and another splash or two of vinegar to help blend.

Refrigerate and use on anything and everytihng.

Irish Soda Bread

IMG_1945  There is irish soda bread in your future. I can see it. A nice hardy hunk slathered in butter and honey, crumbs all over the place.  So all you have to do know is make it. 

I remember reading somewhere (I wish I could remember where) that irish soda bread is just four ingredients, flour, sea salt, baking soda and buttermilk and adding  anything else would make  it a cake. So when I decided to make irish soda bread, thats all I used. ( I made it with some wheat flour) What you end up with is a highly dense, super fragrant, soft, chewy bread with a crunchy crust. Definitely not a cake.

Note….You can for sure add in a bit of sweetener or even little fat to make it richer and softer, but then it wouldn't be bread (or so that's what I read) There are tons of other recipes out there that have other stuff in them. This is just a really simple basic recipe. 

IMG_1828White whole wheat flour and all purpose flour mixed together. Salt baking soda and buttermilk. That's it.IMG_1840All the dry whisked together and in goes the buttermilk. Mix together until dough starts to form then dump onto a floured surface.  Handling dough as little as possible, knead into ball.

IMG_1857Place on a baking sheet and dust with flour. Take a sharp knife and cut  an X through the top about 1/2 inch deep.

Stick in into the oven for 50 ish minutes, or unit la tester stuck into the middle comes out clean and there is kind of a hollow thunk when tapped on. IMG_1956

And now you have a very pretty, dense hunk of irish soda bread. 

Cut and serve with butter and honey (thats how the mister likes it) or whatever you want to eat it with.

-C


Irish Soda Bread

  • 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or you can use all purpose) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or your choice if milk plus a tablespoon lemon juice) 

Preheat oven to 375

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda and salt. Mix in buttermilk until the dough starts to come together. If the dough seems to dry, add another splash or two of milk. Dump out dough onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. transfer onto a baking sheet, dust with flour and cut a x about 1/2 inch into the top. Stick into oven for 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread makes a hollow sound when tapped.

Let cool enough to handle.

Cut into and serve with a smear of whatever you want

Best eaten within a day or two

Butternut Broccoli Soup

IMG_0472 Happy Friday!

A simple post for the simplest of soups. Minimal ingredients, no fuss, fast to make but can be left all day to simmer……. And oh so very very good. 

This has been one of my go to soups this winter. Warming, hardy, comforting….every kind of soft cozy feeling that I need when I can't leave my house because it's so cold out that all I want to do is sit on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, with a book, and eat hot soup. (That's the my plan for the weekend) But it's also good for any type of weekend activities you might have… it't kind of the perfect soup.

IMG_0315The Stuff. A medium sized butternut squash, seeded and diced (no need to peel, but go for it if you want) About a pound of broccoli, (fresh or frozen) and a few shallots. Salt, pepper and a few cups of water. 

Note.. I didn't add any spices to this batch because I really love the flavor without anything. With that being said, I have made this same soup with sage, rosemary, turmeric, even curry. Almost any flavor works in this soup. 

IMG_0399    IMG_0364The chopped squash and broccoli go into a big pot with about 2-3 cups of water. Add about a tablespoon of salt and pepper. Lid up the pot and place on medium low heat for about a half hour, or unitl squash and broccoli is fork tender. Now blend together with either a emulsion stick blender or place in a blender for 3-5 minutes until completely smooth. Add enough water to keep things moving. Add more water if you want a thinner soup, less for a thicker soup. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Once blended, place back in pot on simmer until ready to serve. 

When the soup is simmering, thinly slice the shallots and toss into a pan. Sauté until soft and fragrant. 

IMG_0426 Finish off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and top with the  sautéed shallots.IMG_0455

Soup and a spoon. So simple, so good.

Have a great weekend…..Try and stay warm!

-C


Butternut Broccoli Soup

The Stuff 

  • 1 medium butternut squash 
  • 1 pound of broccoli (crown and stem and can use frozen)
  • 4 shallots
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Split squash in half, remove seeds, and dice into chunks.  Place in big pot. Chop up broccoli and add to pot. (or just add frozen chopped broccoli) Add water until stuff is about half way summered. Place a lid on the pot and cook on medium low heat for about 30 minutes or  until squash and broccoli are fork tender. Blend together with either a stick blender or place in a blender. Add enough water to keep things moving. Add more water if you want a thinner soup, less for a thicker soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Once blended, place back in pot on simmer until ready to serve. 

When the soup is on simmer, thinly slice the shallots and place in a pan to sautee until soft and fragrant.  

To serve, ladle soup into bowl, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with sautéed shallot.

Eat with a spoon

Parsnip and Carrot Fries with Smokey Sriracha sauce

   IMG_0792  IMG_0950Before we get to the fries, I just want to mention that  yesterday was one of those fantastic winter days that reminds me why I love living in Vermont.  Pretty white snow everywhere, the sun was out, and 20 degrees without a gust of wind. The trash dog an I were even able to go for a little hike.  It was so nice and soooo sooo needed!  Anyways, the other day as me, my sister and the mister where putting together  one more piece of Ikea furniture, (I am the master at Ikea assembling!)  a little runs into the room and presents the mister with a Dominos pizza. Yup, a whole pizza just for him. Why you might ask? Well I guess my sister was  delivered the wrong pizza and the place didn't want it back and she didn't want it, so she gave it to him.

A whole pizza to himself. I didn't mind too much..he was just going to be eating it for lunch and dinner until it was out of the fridge. But for dinner I did want him to eat something of the vegetable matter that didn't come out of a box. I was going to make him a big salad, but then realized that would mean sharing the last of the greens that I had for MY dinner and I was not about to do that, so I made him parsnip and carrot fries instead. No biggy, just some slicing, a little tossing and a bit of time in the old oven. And I figured I might as well make a nice sauce for those fries because I be so very nice.

The biggest problem that I ran into when I made these fries was that I didn't make enough, so you should probably make twice as many as you think you will eat. If you end up not eating them all (which you probably will), well then you now have a great start for a soup or a nice addition to a salad. Either way, you will eat them because they are amazing and addicting… and as healthy as can be!

IMG_0818The carrots and the parsnips are all sliced up into big matchsticks and ready to be baked to crispy browned perfection.  I added the oil to the pan to toss the fries in and then sprinkled with a fair amount of salt and pepper.  If you don't have and or want to use a cast iron pan, a baking sheet works just the same.

IMG_0852   IMG_0896Oh saucy sauce stuff. Tomato puree, sriracha, and yellow mustard. Add a little bit of honey to lighten it up (can use brown sugar if keeping it vegan), a splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple minced cloves of garlic. Topped off with the smokey delightful spice of cumin. I cold eat this on everything…and I kind of did. 

All mixed up in an oven safe dish, I stuck it into the oven for a about 8 minutes until it got a little bubbly, just to let all the flavors fuse together…

IMG_0917Fries are done, Sauce is ready. Served in super cute tea cups.(from now on I want to serve everything in tea cups.) A perfect side dish, snack, or even a light meal.  It lead the mister to ask the question...What pizza? 

Happy Day!

-C


Parsnip and Carrot Fries with Smokey Sriracha Sauce

The Stuff

For the Fries

  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 large carrot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 tablespoon water)
  • 2 cloves or garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash and trim carrots and parsnips and cut into large matchsticks (any shape is good, just make them all uniform) Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on cast iron pan or baking sheet and stick in oven for 30 or so minutes, and rotating after about 20. The fries are done when  crispy and brown.

For the sauce. Mince garlic and add to all the sauce ingredients in an oven safe bowl. stick into oven for about 8 minutes until slightly bubbly and hot.

Dip fries in sauce

Focaccia with or without stuff

IMG_9014One of the best things about winter is that I can have something in the oven at any time and not worry about how hot the house is going to get.  I get to spend my free time (or my in between free minutes) baking up all the thing that I would not dare bake in the summer. (lots of bread and cakes) Yeah, I might complain a little about how cold it is outside (to my defense, -20 is kind of a bitch) but then I think of the super hot humid days that come during the summer and cringe.  At least when its cold out I am able to get warm, (que oven)  but when its super hot and humid, I just turn into something that border lines a wet towel and the rabbit animal… Not so pleasant.   I much prefer cooler weather. So no big surprise….I made bread.. or focaccia to be exact. And now you should too because first off, you want to eat it, and secondly, you can probably whip this up faster then it would take to get all of you winter warmies on and leave the house. Don't leave, just turn the oven on.  IMG_8863The stuff, which isn't a whole lot… Flour and salt.  A mixture of honey, water, and yeast. And olive oil. Its pretty much my pizza dough recipe, tweaked with the addition of oil, less flour and no kneading.  IMG_8891Mix together the wet and dry…I used my nifty dough whisk, but a wooden spoon or even your hand works. Mix mix mix. The dough should  be really slack and sticky.  And guess what.. no need to knead! Just make sure the dough is uniformly incorporated…hehe.. uniformly incorporated… sounds weird.  IMG_8902       IMG_8931Drizzle the dough (don't worry about making it into a ball, a blob is good) with a little oil and place in a nice warm place topped with a towel to rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size. Once is has fully risen, drizzle 2 tablespoons oil in two 9 inch cake pans.  Divide dough in half, and kind of smoosh dough into pans. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes or so. IMG_8977When dough has finished its second rise, drizzle each  with another tablespoon of oil and with your fingers, fill out the pan and indent the dough, kind of like playing a piano or tickling a puppy(?)….Then layer your toppings (if you want any)  Start with any herbs, then the veggies. Then last, any cheese you got. I used thyme, cracked black pepper, tomato, onion, topped with parmesan cheese. And the other one is just plain old salt.  IMG_9021Pulled from the oven when nice and golden brown..set on a wire rack to cool for a few minute and removed from the pans. IMG_9083The mister was practically salivating waiting for a slice… and he was so not disappointed. Crispy outside with soft airy insides… Everything a perfect focaccia should be. The one with the toppings was the favorite for the first night, but for a peanut butter and cheese panini for lunch the next day…plain is the way to go.. My suggestion, do what I did, jazz one up and leave one plain. And then make more if you need too because the forecast call for another week of below zero!!! Oh the things that I'll get to make! (me being positive) Stay warm! -C

Focaccia with out without stuff

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 2 teaspoons for topping (can use more or less if you want)
  • 2 teaspoons active yeast (or one package)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar if vegan)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Optional toppings

  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Thyme or any other spices
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Thinly sliced onion 
  • Parmesan Cheese 
  • Anything you want!

In a bowl or jar, mix honey (or sugar), yeast and warm water together and let sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and starts to foam In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 1 tablespoon of salt. With either a wooden spoon, dough whisk, or if you have one, a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the yeast mixture with the flour. The dough is going to be really sticky so mixing might get a little gloppy, but keep at it until everything is full incorporated.. for about 3-5 minutes and don't be afraid to use your hand… you can wash it off.  Once mixed drizzle with oil and cover with a towel. Let rise for about an hour or until dough has dubbed in size. When dough has double, coat two 8 or 9 inch cake pans each with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Dump dough onto floured surface and cut in half. Take each half a place in pan. cover and let rise again for another 20ish minutes. preheat over to 400 degrees After second rise, lightly take your fingers and push down dough, making little indents all over the surface. Drizzle each with another tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle each with a teaspoon of salt. If using spices or any other toppings, nows the time to layer them on. And do any cheese last! Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. When done, place on a wire rack and let cool a bit before removing  from pans. Done!!  To store, place in a paper bag.. best eaten within a few days!

Jalapeño Lime Tortilla Chips from Scratch

IMG_7418 How awesome will you be when you bring the most freaking amazing tortilla chips to the party this weekend? You will be like.."what, it ain't no thang.. I am just good like that" Yes, yes you are.

And yes, I am assuming that you will be making these awesome chippers to share at a Super Bowl part this weekend. I say this because even as I sit here writing this (with the TV on) there has been nothing but football talk…deflated balls, hot wings, half time shows and commercials. It's almost as big as Christmas.  Got to get the decorations, the special game day food and your football jerseys. It's crazy and all over the place. So that's why I am assuming you are making these for the game.  But if you not going to be participating in any football parties.. by all means, make these chips for yourself anyways. Celebrate you day! Have a non football watching party. Or just make these whenever.  Jalapeño Lime chips for everyday! 

Note: You can make these chips without the jalaeno and or the lime if you need or want to. You can also stop after the first step and have some dank corn totillas for tacos ands stuff..But definitely make the chips… worth it for sure!

IMG_8074     IMG_8093

All the stuff.. Masa harina, hot water, salt, a lime and a jalapeño. Zest lime and place half the zest into a glass bowl with oil and either sit on warm oven or microwave for 30 seconds to infuse.  Puree the jalapeño with a cup of hot water and add the puree and half the zest of a lime, plus salt, to the masa harina. Mix it all up with another 1/2 cup of water or enough to make the dough resemble play dough… You can add more water or masa if you dough is to wet or dry. 

IMG_8160Knead dough a few times just to make sure it's completely uniformed and divide  into 12-14 equal pieces. Place balls on a plate and cover with a wet paper towl to keep from drying out.

 I do not own a tortilla press so I used what I had… wax paper, a wooded cutting board and brunt force. I took each ball and place it between the two pieces of the waxed paper, placed the cutting board on top, and with all my might and body weight, pressed down to smoosh.  It works like a charm.

IMG_8174My cast iron skillet is big enough to cook 2 -3 at a time, but doing one at a time is cool too. Preheat the skillet to medium heat. Cook each tortilla for about 2-3 minutes ( or until starting to brown) on each side. IMG_8185Half way there to chips!!!

With my fingers ( you can using a basting brush for sure), I rubbed a little of the lime oil all over  both sides of each tortilla. Stacked a few high,  then sliced those tortillas into triangle shapes. If you  want to go crazy, you could cut them into strips or even use a cookie cutter and do some fun shapes… but triangle are easy, classic, and practical. A good shape for dipping!

IMG_8210Placed all nice and cozy on a baking sheet. trying not to overlap. Into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes to complete the chip making process.. After about 15 minutes, check for doneness. When nice a crispy, remove from oven, squeeze  lime juice all over and sprinkle with salt. I then stuck them back in the oven for a few more minutes just to dry the lime..

IMG_7415After cooling down, take those chips and stick them in a bowl. 

Eat a few, but wait and save them for the party. Or better yet, make a few batches. Bring a batch, eat a batch. (Its ok, you are allowed)

Eat with some salsa, maybe some of this guacamole, or just as they are…Anyway is the right way as long as you are eating!

Have fun making these and have fun getting read for the party this weekend (Super Bowl or not!)

-C

Jalapeño Lime Tortilla Chips

Makes 12-14 tortillas.. then made into a medium bowl of tortilla chips.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups hot water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1 large or 2 small jalapeños 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

To start, zest lime and add 1/2 of the zest to bowl with the oil. Place oil on warm spot on stove to let the oil infuse the limeness. 

Take jalapeno and puree with 1 cup of hot water. In a large bowl, add puree  and remaining lime zest to the masa harina and mix, adding an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water until the dough  resembles  play dough, not to soft, but not to dry and completely incorporated

Divide dough into 12-14 balls and place on a plate  under a wet paper towel to keep dough from drying out. 

One at a time, take a dough ball and place between two pieces of wax or parchment paper. Place either a plate or cutting board on top and press down as hard as you can (you could even stand on it). Remove flatten tortilla from paper and place in medium hot skillet. Cook each tortilla for 2-3 minutes on each side.

When all tortillas have been made, lightly rub lime oil on all over both sides. Stack a few on top of each other and cut into triangles. Place pieces on a baking sheets (I used 2) and bake at 400 for 15- 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crunchy. When chips are done, remove from oven, squeeze or sprinkle lime juice on chips and sprinkle with salt. Stick back into oven for another 2 or so minutes to re-crisp from the lime juice. 

Remove and let cool completely, then dump into a bowl

Enjoy!

Cabbage Cauliflower and Chick Peas Braised with Caraway and Mustard

IMG_5899

What a way to start the day, with a mouth full of c words…….Caraway, cauliflower, chick peas and cabbage…What did you think I meant?

This week has been nippy, no, its been chilly…..nah, it's been freaking freezing! Yeah, freezing cold. When I woke up this morning to walk the pup, it was 5 degrees. So needless to say, when it gets this cold, I like to keep inside. Tying not to be a complete lazy bones, I went to town on my spices… refilling jars with all the little baggies scattering the kitchen, screwing on lids, and wiping down the shelves. Not a bad accomplishment for a day. While cleaning I came upon a little bag or caraway seeds,  Not enough to warrant a jar on the wall, but defiantly enough for one dish.  

When I think of the bright, somewhat sweet and peppery caraway, I think cabbage.(anything cabbage and I am sold) A big pan cabbage, added cauliflower for the mister,(his favorite) creamy chick peas because we need  protein and they be tasty, and of course mustard, because everything tastes better with mustard.(I'll let you in on a little secret.I eat a lot of mustard, I am kind of obsessed. Mustards of all kind; grainy, homemade, dijon…but usually just plan old yellow. And I eat it on everything.. but my go to is French's yellow mustard and carrots…don't judge) A warm, bright and filling dish, perfect for a freezing cold evening stuck inside. You can eat it as main dish or add a pile of quinoa or wild rice, or even a big plate of greens. What ever say you eat it, you and your stomach will be happy.(If your worries about cabbage bloat..don't be. Cooking cabbage helps breaks down the enzymes that create gas, plus caraway has anti bloating properties…WIN!) 

IMG_5869

Cabbage, cauliflower,(fresh of frozen….I used frozen in this recipe) pre-cooked or canned chick peas, caraway seeds, yellow mustard, and salt..(I added pepper too)

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IMG_5938

Chop the cabbage and toss into a lightly oiled pan with the rest of the stuff. Heat pan with everything but water  for a couple of minutes.. to warm the caraway and give everything a cooking head start, then add the water. Stick a lid on it and let simmer. After about 15 minutes, give it a stir or two and do a taste test. At this point, it's up to you…how cooked you want the veggies? I kept mine cooking for another 10 minutes. I also added another 1/2 cup of water. Not enough water and the pan will burn, a little extra water is good, it creates a yummy broth.

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When you are happy with the flavor and doneness, eat it. I made myself a  bowl with a heap of pickled beets(holy yes!). I am sorry if you don't have any pickled beets, but the dish is still amazing without them.  Fresh ground pepper really does the trick too!

So there you go, make it tonight, it will make you warm,smart and happy

-C


Cabbage Cauliflower and Chick Pea Braised with Caraway and Mustard

serves 2-3

  • 1/2 small head of green cabbage(about 2 cups chopped)
  • 2 cups cauliflower(fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup cooked chick peas
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lightly oil a medium sized skillet and add all ingredients except water. Heat for a few minutes to warm up veggie and caraway seeds then add a 1 1/2 cups of water. Keep on medium heat with a lid and stir on occasion If water evaporates completely out, add another 1/2 cup.  Dish is done when veggies are tender.. about 20 minutes….but whenever tastes best to you!