One Pot Chicken for Two Meals

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And one fabulous pot I may add!  I use my red cast iron dutch oven, which was a wedding gift, ( 8, or is it 7 years ago?), for so many different things throughout the fall and winter months. You could use a crock pot for this as well. This recipe incorporates my yogurt- sweet potato pasta sauce. Since I was out of my sauce I made a batch by roughly cutting up garden vegetables place in pot, cooking through and blending with immersion blender (love this tool!). I then placed the chicken in the sauce and cooked through, so no fuss and less mess for busy week nights! You could substitute a similar marinara. The first dinner I made with this recipe I simply served the chicken over rice.The second dinner I used the leftover chicken, sauce and rice for  enchiladas! See directions below and enjoy this simple but satisfying meal! img_8110-1img_8286

Ingredients:

  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 4  C Pasta Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp Fresh Chopped Tarragon

img_8285Directions:

Place Chicken Breasts in dutch oven or crock pot. Season with salt, pepper. Cover with sauce. Add tarragon and nutmeg. Simmer for 2-4 hours until chicken shreds easily with fork. Serve over rice of choice.

For Lentil Rice as pictured:

Boil 1 c white rice, 2 c lentils in 3 c water with 1 tbs of butter and 2 tsp of chicken bouillon unit cooked through, (around 50 minutes).

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • Left over Chicken Breasts with Sauce and Rice (About 2 Qt Total Leftovers)
  • 4 C Shredded Jack and Cheddar Cheese.
  • 6 Large Flour Tortillas
  • 2  15 0z can of Enchilada (Red) Sauce.

Directions:

Pre Heat Oven to 350F. Place 1/2 C Enchilada sauce in bottom of 9″x 13″ dish. Place 1/4 C leftover mixture in tortilla and top with 2/3 shredded cheese. Fold and roll as you would a burrito. Place seam side down in dish and repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over rolled tortillas, being sure to get edges as well. Top with Remaining cheese. Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove and bake additional 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

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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!

Creamy Balsalmic Yogurt Dressing

imageThis is my go to salad dressing. I haven’t met any one who doesn’t care for it, including my kiddos. It has a balance of sweet, salty, tangy and the silky texture is divine for any salad. Would also work as a great marinade. Try adding a twist of your own, maybe a hint of heat? I use my home made raw yogurt, you can also use store bought plain or Greek yogurt. We also use our Aunt and Uncle’s olive oil, California Gold. They make a wonderful balsamic as well! Use a good, authentic balsamic dressing. No red wine vinegar stuff! The key to this is to whisk the heck out of it to remove any lumps. I used this dressing on a mix of kale from our garden, but you could use on virtually any greens, including with coleslaw.

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Ingredients

  • 2 C EV Olive Oil
  • 3/4 C Real Balsamic
  • 1/4 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Mustard
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Salt/ Pepper, or to taste.

 

Directions:

Whisk ingredients and pour over salad. For Kale salad a tip: massage kale leaves with a course ground salt to tenderize your salad 30 minutes before adding dressing. Add Feta cheese and candied pecans for a decadent salad. A word of warning, a little of this dressing goes a long way so add sparingly and increase if desired!

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.

 

Raw Butter With Yogurt

 

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Is this  a new dairy product? Probably not, there is probably another name for this but I don’t know what it is, let me know if you do! I add my raw yogurt to this butter which gives the butter a nice tang. It may be too strong in flavor for some, and if so feel free to omit the yogurt. Butter is easy to make at home, only problem is it takes alot of heavy cream. I create our butter with milk from the dairy. I allow the milk to separate from the cream by letting it sit for 24 hours. I then carefully skim the cream off the top. Using a wide mouth container helps. By adgetating the butter in a blender, food processor or other means, it begins to form butter that you them pat into a desired shape and place in serving dish. I created this Holstein Butter Dish  to benefit Art to Feed and your local food bank.

Making your own butter is worth the work and time, fresh butter really tastes amazing. I plan on using if for my Cultured Chocolate Chip Cookies, try it out! Get creative, add things to butter like garlic or other seasonings to make a very special treat!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 C or more of Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Yogurt
  • 2 tsp Salt or to taste.
  • I Bowl of Ice Water

Directions:

Place Heavy Cream in bowl of blender or food processor. Blend until milk starts to form little clumps.(Approx 3 -5 Minutes)

Strain the “clumps” from the whey. Press the clumps together and place in ice bath. Slowly begin to pat and shape encouraging any excess whey to drain. If butter gets too soft place back in ice bath and repeat until all whey has been removed. Place on parchment paper and roll into log shape. Or place in desired container and refrigerate until firm. Enjoy!

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Make Your Own Tea

img_7756Did you know the Dutch were the first to import tea to America and Europe? This according to my favorite book right now “Home Grown Tea” by Cassie Liversidge.

Tea time is sacred to me. It is the time when I have 10 minutes of quiet, myself and tea. To regroup and pray. If you are like me, making that time even more special with your own tea is intriguing. Through this book  I have  had a revelation; making your own tea! It is so easy to do and you will be amazed at the difference in taste and experience. I have tons of mint growing like a weed, so there is a whole tea in itself! I also went to nursery and got some beautiful chamomile and lavender plants. You can also make teas with dehydrated fruits! Combinations and health benefits are endless. I find that mint, lavandar and chamomile are most appealing to me. I combined mint and chamomile for a tummy soothing tea tha also aids in relaxation and calming of anxiety.  img_7758

Directions:

Pinch off as many mint leaves as desired, I used about 1 large bunch per tea bag, leaves only. You can use fresh or dried leaves. I prefer fresh for mint teas. Place in tea bag or diffuser.

Cut a couple long stems with flowers of chamomile plant per tea bag. Chop up stems and all then add to mint in tea bag.

Boil water, and pour over tea bag to wet first. Warm inside of cup and discard. Place tea bag and add boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes and no longer. Chamomile tends to get bitter if over steeped (is that a word??) Enjoy!! Save tea bag and can be reused 1-2 more pourings. Sweeten if desired.

 

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!

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!