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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cookbook!!! I finally did it!

So I was the kid growing up that, Christmas after Christmas, I asked Santa for an Easy Bake Oven! images

Seriously, just ask my mom.  I dreamed and salivated over this!  All my friends had one.  But instead, my mom let me use the real oven.  Now, as a kid, this was not as cool as an Easy-Bake. No where near as cool.  Cakes just don’t have that flair as ones baked by light bulb.  But after years of feeling at a loss, I realized that my mom had given me a better gift than what an Easy-Bake-Oven could have provided.  She taught me how to actually COOK and BAKE.  No “Just mix powder and water” for this girl.  I was doing the real deal.  Betty Crocker Cookbooks_2

Also, I have to mention that not only did my mom let me cook with her.  But I read and day-dreamed a lot through cook books.  I used to read this old Betty Crocker one daily.  I ear marked the page with the gorgeous picture of the club sandwich.  My grandpa used to make those and boy were those like “THE BEST.”  (I wont lie and tell you that my husband and I didn’t order those for room service everyday of our honeymoon) This cookbook really helped shape me into the cook that I am today.  It helped me to see what was possible and what I wanted my house, my home, my family and my friends to have around them.

Now, in college, I studied art.  Don’t get me wrong, I love art. I love painting and printmaking and drawing and crafting. But really I love all that because it involves creating.  I LOVE CREATING.  It brings a whole new spark and joy in my heart.  I love looking at the things I’ve created and saying WOW.  And it also makes me really see how God must have felt when he created us, in awe of His creation. When God made us in His like-ness, He definitely gave me some of His creative genes.

So post college, my art studio has shifted from being filled with overly large canvases, to pots and pans and vegetables and meats.  And now I am creating meals, my true love in art form.  I just listened to a sermon and Jesus and eating.  And again, I feel like things are just being confirmed that me and food go hand-in-hand.  Now, I have to remind myself, that this is all within balance.  I can’t go hog-wild because somebody said its ok.  Jesus ate and drank and was with people.  He loved through food.  I want to be like that.  I want to walk and talk and do life with people over a meal.  I see nothing wrong with that.  In fact, there can be so much good that comes from it.  People get fed, and if I have anything to do with it, I want the food that’s being fed to be healthy and delicious.  I mean, who doesn’t feel loved when they are served a beautiful, healthy meal?

Ok, so lets put this all together. I love cooking, creating, being with people. I want to move past my Easy-Bake oven obsession and more into the realm of Betty Crocker. I used to say when I was younger that I either wanted to be a Kindergarten Art teacher or the next Betty Crocker.  I teach art to kindergarteners, check! Now on to my next goal…

I wrote my first cook book. I hope its the first of many.  Its all about Cauliflower, and will hopefully offer you lots of opportunities to try, experiement, eat and enjoy a vegetable that maybe has been just sup-par or standard for you.  I hope to spice it up a bit!

If you click the picture, you should get a link to download it for your Kindle.  Enjoy!!

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What helped shape you into the cook you are today? What gadgets and cookbooks did you (or didn’t you read) as a kid? Share your story below in the comments.

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Kombucha… Kitchen Experiments

I’m not sure when it happened.  I’m not sure how. But I feel in love with a drink… KOMBUCHA!

This tart, tangy, vinegary drink has won me over.  It reminds me of hard apple cider, yet less sugar, only a slight smidgen of alcohol, and lots and lots of good-for-you bacteria.  Think of it as a liquid cider-like yogurt! YUM!!!

Bad news, each bottle can run you around $3-4 a pop.  Its worth it, don’t get me wrong.  But at the rate I was wanting to drink it, I needed to learn how to make this myself.  I added it to my summer bucket list.  But alas, I am an over achiever.  I started two weeks early.  I picked up a starter kit at Whole Foods, made by Oregon Kombucha. You can always ask around for a starter scoby from a friend who is brewing their own.

In the process of getting my starter kit, I did lots of research to learn all that I could about this magical drink.  In short terms, Kombucha is fermented sweet tea.  You add a mother bacteria, aka SCOBY : symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.  The scoby eats the sugar and turns the sweet tea into Kombucha.  In the process of eating up the sugar, the momma scoby grows a baby scoby. And then this baby scoby can be used to make a new batch of Kombucha.  And then it will have a baby scoby and so on and so forth.  The cycle continues.  Its sooo cool to watch this crazy think grow in your kitchen.  I can only imagine that this would be wonderfully cool to do once we have kids.  I wish I would have done this in my cooking class this last year.

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Ok, so remember how I said earlier that I am an over achiever.  Well, I have to admit some mistakes I made along the way.  You know its best to learn from other people’s mistakes.  So I don’t mind sharing.

So my kit came with one cup of sugar, meant to be dissolved into one gallon of hot tea.  Well, I thought, why not get two birds with one stone, or rather brew two gallons with one scoby.  Apparently my momma scoby wasn’t big enough to brew it fast enough and 3 weeks in my tea was still pretty sweet, although tangy.  My friend Allie, also a Kombucha brewer suggested that I split up my new baby scoby into smaller batches of Kombucha, it should take less time to do less work.  So tonight, I’m trying that.

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I sanitized 5 ball jars.  Added the mother scoby to one jar and split the baby into 4 pieces.  Cover with a paper towel and jar ring and lets check it in a week.  I am soooo looking forward to drinking a nice iced glass of this.

Ok, and I’m sure you are all wondering, (because I was as I looked at lots of other blogs) what the heck does the scoby feel like.  To be honest, it felt like a chicken breast!

Prior to feeling the scoby myself, I ran across a very interesting article that suggested a recipe for making the left over scoby into jerky.  At first, I was quite perplexed, but after feeling it…. I can kind of see how this might pass off.  People eat cheese and tofu right…

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