Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Chocolate Bark with Neighbors

Chocolate (lots of it) toppings, good friends and children. At the moment I can't think of a much better combination of favorites...OH WAIT....change the children to girlfriends and add wine and cheese with the chocolate and you have another great combo. Either still begins with chocolate. ;)

I'm a dark chocolate kind of gal. I'd like to think that it's because it's better for me but let's be realistic. For some reason milk chocolate doesn't give me quite the satisfaction as it use to and just seems like a waste of calories for me. Ha...yeah I'm a calorie counter of late. However, if you really know me you know that's not totally accurate either.

At any rate. I had a girlfriend come over with her kids and we made chocolate bark to give to our friends. I should probably rephrase that as well. My friend and I make bark, my husband watched our baby, and the children ate their "goop" of melted chocolate with toppings.

It was easy, inexpensive and fun to make. Let's not forget the quality point. Why waste time or energy on crap in my opinion. All very important variables to a mother of 3 under the age of 6.

Here's what we did.
Grease (sprayed) cookie sheets and then put parchment paper down (spray is for the parchment to stick)
use a double boiler (or a boil over a simmer pot of water)
add chocolate to the bowl and stir until melted
pour onto cookie sheets
put toppings on

Toppings that we used: marshmallows and graham crackers
nuts, candy cane,toasted coconut, dried apricots and craisins.

Refriderate for 1 hour....break apart and EAT!
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Okay Ladies and is the EASIEST Bread Recipe you have ever tried. I have always been a baker but up until this recipe I have always left the homemade bread to my mother. She has always been able to go into the kitchen without any recipe and whip up bread to die for. This is not only super yummy it is really really EASY....

5 Minute Bread Basic Recipe

3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp salt (I use Kosher. If you use table salt only do 1 tbsp.)
6 1/2 cups flour

Combine all ingredients together (I use a kitchen aid mixer but it is not necessary) I also always add a pinch of sugar to help aid the yeast. No kneading!

This will be very sticky! Flour your counter...alot. Dump out and quickly form 2 loaves. The less flour you use the better so don't knead it just flour the outside heavily as you form it and then pat the excess off and put in greased loave pans.

Let raise (I put mine in the oven) for 30 minutes or so. Turn oven on to 400 degrees and put in when the oven is still cool. (Again this is not necessary but it saves you time in the raising process. Cook 3o minutes (the bottom should sound hollow when you dump them out to cool). Waaalaa!

I believe this costs about 50 cents/loaf! So totally time is 1 hour from start to finish and you really are only hands on for 5 minutes.

Now for my healthier version

Whole Wheat/Oatmeal/Flax

3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 molasses or honey (optional depending on your mood or supplies)
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 hand fulls of flax seeds
3 cups whole wheat
3 cups white flour

same process...really sticky but flour generously the outside as you form the loaves then you should be good.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fire Hot Veggie Box....ready for sale

Neighbor called to see if I had anything ready to put in a box for them. I didn't think I had much but I underestimated.
So pretty and so yummy.

Grilled zuchinni sandwiches on foccacia bread... salad topped with nasturtium blossoms...Snap peas sauteed with fresh mint....YUM

Yellow Squash
Snap Peas
Nasturtium blossoms (great in salads...peppery taste)

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Bread and Butter Zuchinni and Yellow Squash Pickles....Check

We came home from a lovely vacation to bumper crop of zuchinni and yellow squash! That's the only thing that seems to be growing de cent in this rain.
I then proceeded to pick all the ones that were ready thinking that I would have the time to put together veggie boxes for my customers. Well the boxes never happened that week and I stared at a milk crate full of zucchini for a couple days hoping that some magic lady would appear and do something good with it. magic lady. They were still in great shape and probably in the condition you would find at the store but I don't like to sell anything that I haven't picked within 2 days.

So....One evening I put the kids to bed early (miracle in itself) and just as I began to start on my pickles I heard the pitter patter of my two year old. "I wanna help you mommy." My immediate reaction at 10 pm was "no you need to go back to bed" His response "See mommy I have a knife. I just want to make you happy" Well as you can see the 2 year old runs the house and learned how to make pickles that night. We did have fun and some good giggles mixed in. :)

If you have yet to make pickles I highly recommend the bread and butter pickle recipe. They are NOT hard to make....I promise.
They are so good but really anything pickled seems to be.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

U-Pick Raspberries at Garcia's Farm!

Holy Raspberries!! 2.5 gallons later we are on our way to making Raspberry Rhubarb Jam! What a great way to spend a couple hours with your family! We were in awe of the unlimited supply they had. The golden ones are my favorite. They are so much sweeter than the red ones...but alas had to get red ones too. :)
My 6 year old picked his own bucket and told me I wasn't allowed to make jam with his but was excited that he could have homemade jam on his pb&j's for 2 year old chose to pick and eat the ENTIRE time! :) Fun times had by all. Make it out and support a local farmer if you can. $4/lb....can't beat that!
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Hot Veggies!

All our hard work has been worth it! Red Hot Veggies is in business!
I just picked our first true harvest of French Breakfast Radishes with my boys. This is our favorite variety. They are more mild than the ones you get in the store and I think they are prettier. :)
The best part of the entire picking was my boy's oohhs and ahhhss when they pulled out a big radish. We cleaned them and put them in bunches along with bagging arugula and spinach.
So 20 bunches of radishes, arugula, and spinach are now ready to sell.
All this done with 20 lb baby on my back or one handed when she felt like she wanted to be in on the fun. :)

I am finally doing something I believe in and love!

Want to try something new? Radish appetizer. Fresh radishes, herb butter (or regular), sea or kosher salt.
Arrange radishes on plate with butter and salt in ramekins. Sounds boring....It is sooo not!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

So I haven't decided what or whom to blame for ruining my "diet" this week but last week Rhubarb and Martha Stewart's Rhubarb Cupcakes were at fault!
With the help of my 6 year old we had our first harvest of rhubarb cleaned cut and froze in an hour. Well that is if you added the time up. Really it took the day to get it into the freezer but that's another story. 24 cups to start in all. I of course HAD to make something with the fresh rhubarb so tried out Martha's Cupcakes. die for...or at least to blow a diet for!

Love to see all of or hard work growing now. I think we might have gone a little crazy the last month and a half but now that veggies are popping up and strawberry and raspberries are blooming I get reminded why we do this every year.

Had our first salad of the season two nights ago with baby arugula and french breakfast radishes. Made us smile. :)

Someone asked me the other day at my son's soccer game why I don't join the "MOM's Club" for activities to do so I don't get bored.......ummm yeah I'll get right on it. :)

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About Me

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South Central, Alaska, United States
Love, joy, procrastination, and frustration of a Urban Alaskan Gardener Cook and most importantly Mother of three.... It might not always be pretty but I wouldn't trade it for anything! Life long Alaskan who really does not enjoy the ever so long winters. However, I live for my summers. My body decides that when the light comes (and let me tell you we get a lot), sleep no more, have time to make up for. I enjoy cooking/baking/decorating but my passion is gardening. I always set out for things to be perfect but usually settle for a lot less because frankly I don't have the time or patience (3 children under the age of 5 need I say more...oh yeah...and a husband:) So to sum me up I'm an introverted, detail oriented, procrastinator that hates to be late for anything and rarey finishes a project. I love my family and friends and throughly enjoy being able to take care of my children and watch them grow everyday!