Monday, March 19, 2018


Ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store who was raving about a spring tonic with cleavers.  I'd never heard of the plant but as soon as I looked it up I knew exactly what it was.  And it's in my backyard.  And all around.

Wanting to get in on the lymphatic cleansing, I picked a bunch and put it in a quart jar to steep overnight. 

Here is more info.  And here. In early summer I want to remember to make a tincture as this could be a quite useful thing to have around. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

kusherie (a reasonable portion)

One of my favorite meals is a rice/lentil/tomato/onion/yogurt dish that I got many years ago from the More with Less cookbook by the Mennonite Central Committee, submitted by missionaries in Egypt.

Ignore what I think of missionary work.  The food is good.

But the size of the final dish is overwhelming and can barely be eaten by me with the help of chickens and dogs. 

So, I'm tweaking it to make it smaller.  Reasonable.  Like 3-4 meals worth.  And also using brown rice, because I've rediscovered my taste for that.

WArning, this will make you need to do a lot of dishes. 

Pot #1:
Heat oil in large pan and then add 3/4 c. lentils.  Brown them for about 5 minutes, stirring often. 

Add in 3/4 c. rice and stir to brown a bit. 

Then add 2 c. chicken stock or water (with some salt if necessary and a bit of pepper). 

Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and let it cook without stirring for 40 minutes.

Pot #2:
1 can tomato sauce
a squeeze of tomato paste
celery leaves
1/2 green pepper if on hand (I never have one)
 1/2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. sale
1 t. cumin
dash of cayenne

Bring ot boiling and then reduce heat and let it simmer 20-30 minutes.

Pan #3:
Heat oil in skillet, add:
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic

Cook slowly to let them caramelize. 

All together:

Serve with rice/lentils on bottom with tomato sauce over it and then browned onions, topped with yogurt. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

bread made with dairy

I was very excited to find some local milk in glass reusable bottles on 1/2 off because of an upcoming expiration.  Yay!  Make yogurt!  So I did ... but it didn't work.  And then I tried again.  Nope again.  So I had half a gallon of runny gloppy sour milk. The chickens and dog are quite happy to eat it but I also wanted to make bread, so ...

This recipe was outstanding.  A perfect sandwich bread.  Fantastic.  Great flavor and soft texture.


  • 1 cup buttermilk (or runny sour milk that should be yogurt)
  • 3/4 c. water (or 1 3/4 c. liquid total)
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or less if dairy is high fat)
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour (or whatever whole wheat flour you have)
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 12 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Heat the 1 3/4 c. liquid (yogurt/buttermilk/water) with the salt, sugar, and butter.  Let it cool to 100-110 degrees F.
  2. Put 3 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and baking soda in a bowl and add the liquid.  Stir it in.  Add flour until it's the right consistency.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes, then set to rise in the bowl. 
  4. Cover and let rise for about an hour and a half (depends on kitchen temperature). 
  5. When doubled in size, punch it down.  Shape into the greased bread pan. 
  6. Set to rise again for about 30-45 minutes. 
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Note: you can proof the yeast with 1 tsp. sugar and 3/4 cup water if you like.  I don't bother anymore since I'm using SAF instant yeast which is very user friendly.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

cornbread made with yogurt

I had some starting-to-turn yogurt and wanted cornbread and found this recipe which is SO GOOD.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk
3T canola oil
1 T honey

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, milk, oil and honey. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

Here is a slightly modified version, and with muffins.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

shakshuka with feta

This is shamelessly taken from NYT and adds feta. Which I have a fair amount of to use up.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.
  3. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

bierrocks from More with Less cookbook

I have no idea how I came upon this cookbook as a young adult.  Was it a family member's that I liked and gifted to me?  My father's family are from a church very closely related to Mennonites, so that sounds plausible. 

Anyway, my dietary world was shaped by More with Less, Diet and Recipes for a Small Planet, Laurel's Kitchen, and Moosewood.  I know I can find just about everything on line and I've long since gotten rid of most books, but I'm thinking of rebuying these.

I bought a big head of cabbage at the farmer's market and for some reason I started to crave these bierrocks, which are handpies with yeast dough, ground beef, and cabbage.  They freeze up well and are very satisfying.  So, it's a long weekend project.



2 c. warm water 
2 pkg. dry yeast 
1/4 c. sugar 
1 1/2 t. salt 
1 egg 
1/4 c. oil or butter 
6-6 1/2 c. flour 

Meat mixture: 

1 1/2 lb. beef 
1/2 c. onion 

Remaining ingredients:

3 c. cabbage, finely cut 
1 1/2 t. salt 
1/2 t. pepper 
Dash Tabasco sauce 
Minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and smoke flavoring, optional 

Chill dough for several hours and prepare as for roll dough (or substitute frozen dough). 
Brown beef and onion in a skillet and add remaining ingredients. Cover skillet and continue 
cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender. Do not add liquid. 
Cool slightly. Roll out dough into thin sheets. Cut in 5-inch squares. Place 2 T. meat 
mixture on each square, pinch edges together, and place pinched side down on greased 
cookie sheet. Let rise 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 
This recipe 
is from the More-with-Less Cookbook (Doris Janzen Longacre, Herald Press, c 1976).

Monday, July 31, 2017

spaghetti carbonara

from NY Times 


  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, room temperature
  • 1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving
  • 1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated Parmesan
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ½ ounces of slab guanciale, pancetta or bacon, sliced into pieces about 1/4 inch thick by 1/3 inch square
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (about 3/4 box


  1. Place a large pot of lightly salted water (no more than 1 tablespoon salt) over high heat, and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with hot water, and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and pecorino and Parmesan. Season with a pinch of salt and generous black pepper.
  3. Set the water to boil. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the pork, and sauté until the fat just renders, on the edge of crispness but not hard. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Add pasta to the water and boil until a bit firmer than al dente. Just before pasta is ready, reheat guanciale in skillet, if needed. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta and add to the skillet over low heat. Stir for a minute or so.
  5. Empty serving bowl of hot water. Dry it and add hot pasta mixture. Stir in cheese mixture, adding some reserved pasta water if needed for creaminess. Serve immediately, dressing it with a bit of additional grated pecorino and pepper.