Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Melba Toast Crackers

One of the easiest ways to be frugal in the kitchen is to present food differently. This helps in using what you have in creative ways, and thereby having new food, or at least food viewed as new. For instance I made a loaf of bread that was good. But no matter how good something is, it cannot be eaten everyday without getting tired of the taste.

There are many options available to eliminate waste. I could have cut the loaf in half and froze part for another time, or I could have given half to my neighbor as an act of generosity and friendship, or I could make crackers from the remaining bread and have a new type of food to enjoy and eliminate waste at the same time. Lets re-purpose bread into crackers.

Here is approximately 1/3 loaf of the bread, left after several breakfast. Although I have enjoyed this loaf, it is time to make something more from this and eliminate it from being pushed aside and left to waste.

Using an electric knife (quick breads are more crumbly, than yeast breads) which I prefer, cut slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Prepare a large baking sheet, I used coconut oil to film it lightly.

Take a small amount of coconut oil and "cream" it on a plate with a spoon. I have found that a spoon will spread the coconut oil on the bread slices easier than a knife will.

Cut the slices in half ( this is easier if you stack them up in 2 side by side stacks, and run the knife down the center), arrange on the tray and gently spread (or smear) a small dab, about 1/4 t of coconut oil on each piece. This is not specific, simply smear a bit of oil on each piece.

Place in a 250 degree oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until golden and crisping. Turn oven off and leave to dry, while oven cools. Keep the oven door closed. When cool, make sure there are no moisture pockets, you may need to preheat the oven, bake 5 minutes and then turn off and let finish drying.

Note: This will be based upon your oven and the density of the bread being made into crackers.

That's it, re-purposed bread into crackers. Made with the ingredients you want to eat, so you know that they will be good for you. Great as a snack, or with meals like soup or stew.Yum, crunchy and good!

As always, thanks for stopping by. This post is part of Tuesday Twister , Two for Tuesday  ,
Pennywise Platter , Food Renegade and Foodie Friday.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday night brights

In review it was a busy week, with Honey working mostly nights. Today was a day off for him and we spent some time out thrifting. Got some good buys, and some fun stuff as well. Thrifting is fun, we each have our own favorite areas to search. We will meet up a couple of times and check in with each other, then usually become ready for checkout at about the same time.

Honey found some jeans for work, and another pair for working in around the house. He spent a lot of time in the books and music area, but came away empty handed this time. We did find these things also:

A life jacket for the granddaughter. 

Something fun to read, and (in time) share with the grandkids.

I was pleased and surprised to come upon this book, The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book. I have the companion book,
The Wooden Spoon Bread Book, which I have used and splattered on for years. 
Yes that would be a butter spot there on the lower left of that book! I am pretty sure there is vanilla dribbles and a chocolate smudge on a page or two inside.
After we came home, Honey decided he needed to start getting things ready for fall. 

This rain gutter needs replacing. 

And now the roof is clean, but wait, don't tell me........

Yep there it is now, all the roof gunk is now all along the roof line on the ground. Hmmmmm, I hear the clean up going on now, glad there are leftovers, Honey is going to be hungry!

This week there is some backyard banter to share. 

The raspberries are top heavy, and sprouting up everywhere! And they are.....

flowering again!

The strawberries are still producing, and there is enough from tonight's picking to go with ice cream. There will be berries to pick daily for a week, from the amount of green berries waiting to ripen. 


I don't know about you, but I found I do not like having my measuring spoons on a leash. I took them apart and now keep them in this pretty red over-sized mug, right on the open pantry, ready for use.

Oops, looks like that one shelf needs to be rearranged, it sags in the middle!
Generally I do not like to move the furniture around. Of course this is a small house, and honestly, where would I move it? But I do love to change out the decor. The stuff Honey calls a "getintheway". I change things on a semi-regular basis, and here are a couple of changes that turned out well.

I enjoy copper, hammered copper in particular. I turned an old copper kettle (without a lid) that I got out thrifting into a planter. Then rearranged the copper pieces on top of the dining room hutch along with a photo of my folks taken right after they were married in 1951.

This is self explanatory! I had to have this CAFE sign for the kitchen. 

And how was your week?

As always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Cafe

This is such a fun way for me to treat myself, by cooking something new each month, and I also get to treat my family to a nice meal. We had a nice visit and a nice dinner, eating in shifts this time. Some were working, some had to go to work, some were helping others, and one little one got bite by her doggie. By the time dinner was over, it had been a long day for all. Again thanks to my family for coming to dinner and helping me by enjoying this little hobby with me, I do appreciate it! 

Relish plate w/ deviled eggs, Carrot pickles, okra pickles, radishes, roasted figs and Blue Cheese to spread on crackers.

Sesame Noodle Salad - From:  Sage Trifle - I used buckwheat Soba noodles, and this was delicious. However it does not photo well. Grey food is not pretty, even when it tastes good.

Tossed Green Salad (for those that desire) 

Pulled Pork - This one is by the seat of my pants!


This was very tasty, not a pretty photo when completely seasoned in the sauce.

Rolls for Pulled Pork - My favorite Cottage Cheese Dough.

I made the dough into a large flat loaf, that we cut into bun sized squares. That will have to do, until I get some muffin top pans for sandwich buns!

Old fashion soft fried Chicken thighs - This one is by the Lovely Jess, she cooked these so I did not get too far behind.

Some times you need a simple dish, with so many other flavors, fried chicken always works.

Onion Gratin, so sweet and tasty. - By the seat of my pants!

Rhubarb Cake with Vanilla Sauce - From My Kitchen Cafe:

Crisp Apple Pudding  -  From Tasting  Spoons:  


As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Onions, yes a whole cookbook about them!

I have one cookbook just featuring onions. It is not a large book, but it is all about onions.

Onions are a very healthy food, including a natural ability to work against bacteria. According to the article the link takes you to, just like garlic (yet in smaller amounts) onions have the same chemicals that fight against heart disease and cancer. Not bad I say. But they also taste good, as well as being good for you.

To be honest, raw onions and I do not agree with each other on most days, but give me a roasted onion cooked until naturally sweet, and watch out. Often times when a recipe calls for raw onion to be eaten raw, I will simply substitute a green onion. As of late, I have begun blanching onions and eating them in a fresh state.

This is easy to do and the "fresh" onion is a bit sweeter and mild. For me it also helps prevent repeated onion belching. Here is how to blanch onions for fresh use. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add your already diced or sliced onion (what ever the recipe requires), quickly stir with a spoon once around the pan (to make sure all of the onion pieces have been submerged) and immediately drain in a colander. Let cool, drain on clean toweling if needed and proceed with the recipe.

What are some of the ways you like onions?

I will make an Onion Gratin next Saturday. If you love sweet baked onions, you will love this. As always, thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate your visits!

Friday, August 27, 2010

LU is in the water!

Lu is beautiful, and in the water! Today was a calm and relaxing day on The Columbia river, right there between Vancouver WA and Portland OR.

 New paint is completed and the license displayed.

Leaving dry dock.

It takes a BIG trailer to haul a 25 foot boat.

After LU  was lowered into the water at the drop off point, the mast was put back on.


adrift.................. So relaxing.

As always thanks,
for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate it!

PS, here is what LU looked like when she first went into dry dock........

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Festive Jam Loaf

This is the freshest time of year! Not a kitchen I know of is not in the middle of something delicious and seasonal. One of my favorite summer time activities is jam making. I can never have enough, it is great to have on hand for eating and enjoying, as well as a gift to say "thank you" to a friend that offered a helping hand.

This easy loaf is tasty, as well as a great way to use up last years jam. You can also drop the mixture into muffin cups for a handy personal size treat to eat out of hand.

 I chose a jar of fig and orange jam, I added cinnamon to the flour mixture, and stirred in 1/2 c walnuts at the end.

Sweet Jam loaf
adapted from: Seasonal Ontario Food
350 degree oven
1 c jam
1/3 c oil
2 eggs

1 c flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour - I prefer spelt flour
3 t baking powder
3/4 t salt

3/4 c milk

optional ingredients:  chopped nuts, diced dried fruit, chopped apples, cinnamon, the only limits would be your own preferences. 

Stir together until mixed well jam, oil and eggs. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine. Add the jam mixture and 1/2 of the milk, mix well to combine. Add remaining milk, mixing until combined and no streaks of any one ingredient remains. Stir in an optional ingredient if desired.

Bake 40 - 50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes then turn loaf out to cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf, 12 - 15 slices.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

Remember quick breads once cool and sliced, toast up just like yeast bread.

If you happen to have some left over you can make melba toast, which is delicious, here is the link for homemade Melba Toast Crackers, also made from this tasty loaf.

As always thanks so much for your visit today.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

Update:  This post is being shared with:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

This post is a part of Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Whats on your plate ,
Make it from Scratch.  and Food Renegade.  

Wednesday and wandering about, and Fire Roasted Salsa

Summer is coming to a close, school has begun across the river, and soon will start on this side. Fortunately it is possible to purchase the ingredients year round for this delicious salsa. This is another in the Lacto-fermented exploration I am upon.

Fire Roasted Salsa
adapted from: post at the NOURISHING gourmet - guest post by Shannon @ Cooking Gods Way

2 pounds of Roma tomatoes (8-10)
1 yellow onion - peeled and sliced thick, do not separate into rings
1 - 2  jalapeno pepper (I for mild salsa)
5 cloves of garlic - do not peel, mash lightly to "pop" the paper skin
1/2 red bell pepper

1 bunch cilantro, the bunch at my market was very large, I did use the whole bunch.
1 t cumin seeds, crushed fine
1 t oregano leaves - crumbled well (recipe called for 1/2 t Mexican oregano, did not have)
1 lime
1T sea salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (did not use this first time out, will next time) or more for spicy
4 T whey
Place all vegetables on rimmed baking sheet, broil until golden brown, turn as needed. Remove the vegetables that have browned, and continue to brown and turn until all vegetables are roasted.

Let peppers rest covered with a towel, to sweat. When cool, peel jalapeno pepper and remove all seeds. Remove the black skin from the red pepper.

Place all tomatoes (I did not skin, but you may of course) into work bowl of a food processor and process on "pulse" to chop coarsly, do not puree. Turn out into a large bowl. 

Next chop onion slices and garlic. Again, chop, do not puree. Add to the processed tomatoes. 

Process the peeled peppers and the cilantro, pulse to chop.

Juice the lime, add to the chopped vegetables along with the spices, salt and whey.

Stir well to combine, spoon into a clean quart jar. Cap with a plastic lid and let sit at room temperature to process for 2 days. Then refrigerate.

This is delicious! Bring on the tortilla chips, burritos, tacos and more............

And now for some end of summer links.

I love "jello" but not jello brand, too much artificial everything. Ferdzy @ Seasonal Ontario Food made some delicious gelatin desserts, take a look at these.



I am learning to make "smoothies", I know again I am late to the party! This is a good starting point or base recipe, I like that it uses yogurt too. Thanks goes to Rocquie@ Sage Trifle.
I will never tire of grilled pizza, this post has great information and a delicious looking photo,  from Elise@Simply Recipes.
This household is still new to eating kale, here are great tips, and a good recipe too. From Amanda@Daily Diner.

Yes another zucchini bread recipe, this one whole wheat. I am officially putting out the call for zucchini, I must have been missed on "leave a zucchini on your neighbors porch" day.

And for the last link, this broccoli salad caught my eye. It is not too sweet and has a different ingredient, curry. I am looking forward to enjoying this, look here @not so urban hennery.

I hope you see something you that will bring a bit of summer to you after the weather changes. As always thanks so much for stopping by,

I love having visitors!