Yogurt Bread Calzones

img_8102This recipe was inspired by a traditional Georgian  bread called “Cheese Bread” I came across the recipe for “Cheese Bread” in my favorite cook book “Feast” by Nigella Lawson. I adapted it based on what I had. I had left over Pasta sauce and hamburger thawed out in my fridge I decided to add them to the cheesy filling in this bread. The filling is a mixture of feta, mozzarella and ricotta. The dough is made with yogurt, butter and flour. A dairy lovers dream! I also had my yogurt and ricotta made fresh from our dairy farm on hand. You can of course use store-bought, but look for best quality ingredients, or try my recipes for home-made yogurt and ricotta. If you are not a fan of the Feta tang, you can always substitute more mozzarella and less feta. This recipe creates either one large monster calzone to bring to a large table a feast, or individuals,  it’s up to you!

img_8104Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 3 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 C Yogurt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt

Filling:

  • 2 C Feta
  • 7 Oz Mozzarella chopped ( 2 C shredded )
  • 1 C Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 C Pasta Sauce

img_8106Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 F Cook ground beef until browned through and leave to cool. In large bowl combine butter, yogurt and eggs with hands. Add flour to mix, 1/2 C at a time. Add baking soda and salt. Knead dough until pulling away from sides of bowl. Cover and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. May leave for up to 3 days before using. In a separate bowl combine feta, mozzarella, ricotta, ground beef, and sauce. Cut dough into fourths. Place on greased baking sheets. Pat into disks approx 3/4″ thick. Pur 1/4 beef mixture on one half and fold remaining half over top, creating a half circle. Crimp edges with a fork. You can also make mini cheese balls as I did for my kiddos! Bake in oven until golden brown. approx 30- 40 minutes.

 

 

Simple Cheese Making: Ricotta from our Farm

img_8103Feel like doing a science experiment? This is such a fun thing to do and with kids or a partner even better! Such a simple cheese to learn.  You can get the hang of this after a couple of times and always have fresh ricotta on hand. Use ricotta similarly as you would use yogurt, in baked goods, and of course lasagna. Try with my Cheese Bread Recipe also. I love the process of making cheese, it really takes you back to a simpler time. I use raw milk fresh from our dairy farm, but you can also use store-bought pasteurized as well, just stay away from ultra pasteurized! Some grocers are carrying raw milk or non homogenized, low pasteurized milk which gives a much better flavor and texture for cheese making. I’ve included  a link below for ordering liquid animal rennet online.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Tsp Liquid Rennet 
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Gal. Fresh Milk
  • Tsp Salt (Cheese Salt is ideal)

Directions:

Place milk in sterile 5 qt. pot. Slowly heat milk until milk is too hot to touch, (or 200 F on candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Slowly add rennet, lemon juice and salt. Stir gently. Leave pot to sit for 10 minutes. Check to see if whey (liquid) is separating from curds. Add more lemon juice if separation has not occurred and wait a few minutes. Scoop curds out with slotted spoon into strainer lined with tea cloth. See photograph for example. Strain for 60 minutes and place in air tight container. Store in refrigerator and use within one week. Enjoy the rewards of you experiment and try different recipes!

Super Moist Pumpkin Muffins…made with yogurt and almond Butter

img_7839I painted this pumpkin platter and made these pumpkin muffins in hopes that fall will come early! A portion of proceeds from this platter goes towards your local food bank and can be purcahsed at ART to FEED website.

I hope to try this recipe with fresh pumpkin from our cousins Pumpkin Patch, but you can also use canned pumpkin as well! My muffin recipes are no fuss, use one bowl and make your life easier please and have fun cooking!  Muffins give so much room for creativity to add you own twist as well. I added my Raw Yogurt and some almond butter that give these muffins a super moist texture. For a healthier muffin you can omit the topping. Purchase almonds for a good cause through Farm to Kids and make your own almond butter as well! These freeze well for busy mornings and this recipe makes enough to share with neighbors and spread the love for all things pumpkin! Makes approx 24 muffins.

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Ingredients

  • 3 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 C Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2  C  Butter
  • 1/4 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Almond Butter
  • 1 15 oz Can Pumpkin or 2 C Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Topping

  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 c Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C flour

Directions:

PreHeat oven to 350 F. Grease muffins Tins. In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Melt the 2 sticks of butter in microwave or pan. Make well in dry ingredients and in this order add; melted  butter and sugar. Stir to combine only the wet ingredients without scraping sides. Add eggs and beat into wet ingredients one at a time. Add yogurt, maple syrup and pumpkin (reserve 1 tbs for topping). Fold gently until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Over mixing you eggs will lead to a tougher muffin. In general with baking the less you handle the better. Batter will be lumpy and this is ok!  Spoon into muffin tins.

Prepare topping; Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Stir until mixture resembles a loose crumble. Add more flour or oats if needed. Place a large spoonful on top of each filled muffin tin. Bake for 30-4o minutes or until golden brown.

 

Wild Black Berry Cobbler

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I love a cobbler because it is as simple a dessert as you can get. Using wild hand picked blackberries makes this all the better. Wild blackberries were everywhere at the knights ferry Maino ranch, a treasured spot by my grandfathers family. img_7246We loaded up the kids to visit the ranch and do some berry picking. Was made all the more exciting as this is rattle snake season- Yikes! Safe to say dad did most the picking! When visiting my parents on the coast we made black berry pie with black berries picked behind pops gallery. That was little more leisurely experience! Either way, using your fresh picked blackberries in this simple dessert the whole family will love! I use my raw yogurt in the batter of course, you can use store-bought as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C Butter, Melted
  • 1/4 C Raw Yogurtimg_7265
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2-3 Cups Fresh Black Berries
  • 2 tbsp Sugar for dusting

Pre-Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 3 Qt Baking dish with butter. In bowl mix yogurt, sugar and melted butter. Add Flour and mix until just incorporated. Lumps are ok! Pat Blackberries dry after rinsing. Pour batter into prepared dish. Sprinkle blackberries on top. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of sugar. Pour 1/4 C boiling water over top and place in oven for 45-50 min or until golden brown and cooked through in center.

 

Golden Mint and Cucumber Summer Gazpacho

img_7188Our cucumbers are growing out of control!  This is an excellent way to use cucumbers, tomatoes and other veggies in you garden for a fresh easy dinner. Make extra and save to bring a neighbor in need! I chose to use our small yellow pear tomatoes to add a golden color and mild taste that doesn’t over power the cucumber.  You can also use other tomatoes, but I love the color and lightness that these tomatoes add to the soup. Serve cold with a spring of mint for a refreshing summer meal loaded with nutrients. My kids love this soup and it makes me happy to know they are getting a good serving of vegetables hidden in this creamy broth. I use our raw yogurt for a creamy texture, a great taste and for the health benefits. You can add a few other seasonal veggies you may have in your kitchen or garden;  celery, onion, garlic, bell pepper etc, but  keep the main focus on the cucumber!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 to 3 Large Cucumber- Skin On
  • 3 C Pear Tomatoes
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Small Mild Peppers (e.g-Anahiem,Bell)img_7145
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 4 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 C Yogurt

Directions:

Roughly chop up vegetables and place in large stock pot. Add olive oil and salt and pepper,
cook on high until tender and cooked through. Add chicken stock to cover and yogurt. Simmer for 30 min. Let cool then place in blender. Cool in fridge and serve cold with spring of mint. One of my children requested it be served hot and that is just fine also! Enjoy!

Quick Pretzel Crusted Pork Chops

img_7131These cook up in a snap and are easy to assemble. I used pretzels because I ran out of Panko, (my favorite; a  japanese style bread crumb). The pretzels tasted great with the pork and added a nice crunch. You can use anything you have on hand for the breading; breadcrumbs, Panko, crackers, pretzels. I always like a challenge to avoid another errand just for an item or two, and feel very resourceful and creative in using what I already have! It doesn’t always work as planned, but it’s fun to try! The pork is marinated in my raw  yogurt,  lemon salt and pepper and that’s it! The longer you marinate these the better. These were marinated for about 6 hours and turned out tender, you could do this overnight or a couple of days even better! These chops are a really thin boneless cut that is perfect for breading. I place in oven because, well, I hate the effort and mess of frying food on the stove top. Put them all in a pan (bottom covered in foil so no mess) and that’s the extent of it.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Thin Cut, Boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 c Yogurt
  • 1 tbs Salt
  • 1 tbs Fresh Craked Pepper
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 4 C Pretzelsimg_7129
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

Place pork chops in Ziploc bag and add yogurt, lemon salt and pepper. Fun part; pound with fist or smooth part of meat tenderizer to help tenderize and flatten a bit.  Marinate for 3-24 hours. Preheat oven to 425 f. Pour olive oil 1/4 way up in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ dish. Place pretzels in Ziploc bag. With rolling-pin roll over bag to create “crumbs” you will have some larger pieces and this is OK! Add marinated pork chops to crumb bag, one at a time, and shake. Remove and place in dish, leaving room around each pork chop. Repeat with all pork chops and place in oven for 10 minutes, turning each pork chop and cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from pan when done and allow to drain on paper towel before serving!

Pulled Pork Poor Boys

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These simple sandwiches are great for a quick family meal after a busy day! I use our raw yogurt along with mayonnaise. If you would like use all yogurt by all means!  I tend to love the mayonnaise taste and the yogurt adds a little tang that goes well with the sweetness of a BBQ sauce. Use any sauce you prefer, you really can’t go wrong here. Our baby arugula is growing so well this year, and I love adding it to sandwiches for a little kick. Top this poor-boy with fresh arugula and cabbage, or any veggies you have on hand, and you have a meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Pork Serloin Roast
  • 2 c Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 Bottle of Beer (recommend Sierra Nevada, or beer of your choice)
  • 1/4 C Spicy Mustard
  • 1 /2 C Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C Yogurt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Seasonal Vegetables ( Cabbage, carrots sliced, cucumber, bell peppers, arugula) to Top.

Directions:

Place Pork in Crock Pot, cover half way with water. Add beer, BBQ sauce and chicken bouillon. Whisk together. Add more water to cover if needed. Set  Crock-Pot to desired length of time. When finished remove, cool and shred with fork. Add remainder of BBQ sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, yogurt salt and pepper. place on rolls and add sliced vegetables. Enjoy!

 

Fluffy Protein Bread

img_7028-1This Recipe is for a bread machine, but can be used without one as well. (Bread machines are amazing you can make any sort of dough and either bake right in the machine or in the oven.) This recipe uses almond four (courtesy of Farm to Kids– check out their cause!) and yogurt to give the bread a mellow flavor and tang similar to a mild sourdough but with the texture of focaccia.

Ingredients:

  • img_70202 c Bread Flour
  • 1 c Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbs Maple syrup
  • 1/4 c Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • 1/2 Warm Water

Directions:

Place ingredients in Bread Machine in order listed. Place machine on dough cycle, (or leave to bake through in machine, its up to you!) When dough is finished, remove, punch down and place into greased loaf pans. Place in warm space (like unheated oven) and allow to rise one hour. Bake at 350 F for 15- 20 min until golden brown. Serve warm with butter or slice and enjoy later.