Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crazy Days

I have neglected my blog terribly.  We've had so much going on that I just haven't had the time to think about posting anything.  Don't give up.  I am planning on updating the WinCo list within the next two weeks. Since my husband gets summers off, we try to cram visiting family in with our various home projects, so the Winco list may not be as consistent until August.  I did noticed, however, that Costco's almonds have increased to $3.65/lb in my location, but the pistachios are $4.99/lb which is $1.00/lb less that other places I've seen.  Good luck and happy summer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chilled Cantaloupe with Vanilla Ice Cream

Summertime.  When I think of summer, I think of ice cream.  I’m not an ice cream lover, but my husband is -- no doubt about it.  If there is ice cream in the freezer, he will eat it. I have never met anyone else who likes ice cream as much as he does, so in the summer I try to have it on hand more often, just to give him a treat. Through the years he’s been able to manage his ice cream portions, giving the kids a chance to have some too.  He says he prefers quantity over quality, but myself, I enjoy a good quality ice cream every now and then.   

When my husband and I were still dating, he had a roommate who literally cut a chilled cantaloupe in half, scooped out the seeds, and stuffed the middle with vanilla ice cream.  At first I thought that was a little strange, but after trying it, I really liked it.  It’s cool and refreshing and makes a great hot weather snack or dessert.  I can’t eat an entire half of a cantaloupe with three scoops of ice cream, but one scoop of ice cream with a slice or two of melon is more my size.

Fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or even marionberries are other great alternatives: simple and delicious.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fermented Salsa

Fermented Salsa...eeew! Right? 

I've been researching about the benefits of fermented food and have become intrigued on the nutritional aspects of eating fermented foods.

I found a very simple and easy recipe for homemade fermented salsa and thought that even this was something that I could try.  I happened to have all the ingredients in my fridge and I figured I wasn't out much if it didn't work.  It took me all but 10 minutes to prepare everything and store it in a cupboard that I frequently get in to...just so I don't forget about it.  Two days later, it looked how it was supposed to (from what I've learned) and I refrigerated it until the next day.  Surprisingly it was pretty good.  The taste is slightly different from fresh salsa, but has a slight zing to it that is almost addicting (for me at least).

With the complexity of the strong flavors of the cilantro and onion, added heat from the peppers, and a unique "zing" from the fermentation process, this salsa would be great as a condiment for many warm weather and cold weather dishes.  I've added it to my tacos and burritos, taco salad, on top of enchiladas, on Mexican rice and it's all been great.  I'm sure it would be great as a topping for chili and casseroles as well.  It is meant to be eaten unheated.

This recipe came from  She focuses on traditional cooking, and has a few more fermented recipes on her site as well.

Fermented Cilantro Salsa (makes 1 quart)
3 medium ripe tomatoes, preferably organic or the equivalent
2 green onions, preferably organic or the equivalent
1 large or 2 small bunches of cilantro, preferably organic or the equivalent
4 cloves garlic, preferably organic or the equivalent
4 serrano peppers, or 4 jalapeƱo peppers, preferably organic or the equivalent, (optional)
4 tablespoons whey
2 teaspoons coarse unrefined sea salt, Celtic Sea Salt is ideal for this recipe

1. Wash all the vegetables thoroughly, and dry them. Chop the tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and garlic very fine. Place the chopped vegetables in a large glass bowl.
2. If you are using the hot peppers, protect your hands by using disposable gloves. Remove the seeds, unless you really like it hot. Slice the peppers into small circular pieces, and add to the rest of the vegetables. Be sure never to touch your eyes until you wash your hands thoroughly.
3. Add the whey and the salt to the vegetables, and mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into a quart-sized Mason jar. There should be at least one inch of space between the top of the jar and the mixture. It is important that the mixture does not touch the lid.
5. Cover the jar, move to a dark place (I use the inside of a cupboard), and let rest for two days while the fermentation takes place, then refrigerate.

This condiment should last a few weeks in the refrigerator, though, to be honest, we always finish it
within a few days.

An alternative would be to add 1 to 4 teaspoons of bottled hot sauce, preferably thick and organic, after
the fermentation is complete. Stir well. This avoids the problem of handling fresh hot peppers.

My Advice:

She forgot to mention that once the ingredients are in the jar, they really do need to me pushed down to the bottom, allowing the juices to rise to the top and cover the ingredients.   If the juices still don't cover the ingredients, top it off with a little water, leaving at least one inch of space from the top.

Also, I used fresh jalapenos almost completely seeded and it turned out very mild.  I like things a little spicier, but two of my kids struggle with the heat a bit and this temperature was perfect for them.

Any onion will do if you don't have green onions on hand.  I used 1/3 of a white onion diced, and it worked just fine.

Whey - If you don't know where you can get whey, any kind of plain yogurt is your best option.  That clear, yellowish liquid that rises to the top of the unstirred yogurt.  Simply pour it off and use it.  If you don't have the whey rising to the top, you can scoop out a couple tablespoons worth in the middle of the container and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.  It should fill up with whey. 

Another option is to make yogurt cheese by straining the yogurt in a clean, muslin cloth or several layers of cheesecloth for several hours - overnight.  Either sit the yogurt in a strainer over a bowl or hang the "sack" over a bowl that has been affixed to a cabinet handle.  The whey will collect in the bottom of the bowl and you can use the yogurt cheese for something else (dips, cream based dressing, cream cheese).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Good Earth Natural Foods

If you are wondering, yes, I've taken off the Good Earth price list.  I was so excited to included another bulk food list from a locally run and operated store.  I ran into a bit of confusion.  I have a local Good Earth that is fairly close to the nearest Costco in American Fork, making it convenient to run over there before I go to Costco.  There is also another one close to my dog's social class in Sandy (yes, that's dog.  I never thought I'd be doing something like this for a dog, but without giving you a long explanation, it has been a lifesaver and the trainer is incredible).  My original list came from the American Fork location, but I have been checking up on it in the Sandy location.  To my dismay, the Sandy location has been carrying different products from the American Fork location.  They seem to have roughly 20 additional bulk products than A.F., and even the granola is just slightly different.  I could not figure out how I could make this time efficient and right now I'm just stuck.  So, I'll continue to compare between the two locations and if it's just a fluke that new products are coming in and the old products are changing (ie: granola flavors) then I'll re-post it, but if not, then I apologize.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Honey Sweetened Grapefruit

Summer is quickly approaching and with temperatures rising, my meals and snacks lean more towards light, simple dishes and sweet, juicy fruit.  Growing up, my mom really enjoyed grapefruit.  Myself on the other hand, not so much.  There was this tartness about it that I just couldn’t get past.  Looking back, I remember my mom occasionally eating a grapefruit almost like an orange or a pomelo; peeling back the skin and eating the pulp of each section without any sugar added.  Even though I really enjoy grapefruit now, I’ve never been able to eat one without some sort of sweetener on it. 

Here’s an idea for grapefruit that my kids love.  It is a little time consuming when you first try it, but don’t let that stop you.  After you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast.  It takes me about 10 minutes to do about 5 grapefruits.

Honey Sweetened Grapefruit
  • 4-5 grapefruits
  • raw honey - about 1 Tbsp for every 2 grapefruits or to taste
  • bowl w/ lid to store in refrigerator

1. On a cutting board and with a sharp or serrated knife, cut the tops and bottoms off of the grapefruit.  After creating a flat surface for them to sit on, cut the remaining peel off each grapefruit.

2. Cut the very first segment of the grapefruit out as best as you can, holding it over the bowl as you cut, to collect any juice. 

3. Hold your knife with the serrated part up, carefully slip the knife into the segment, as close to the skin as possible and pull up, tearing the skin away from the pulp.  Then with the back of your knife, starting as far into the center of the grapefruit as possible, scrape the skinned segment off and  into the bowl  (this is almost a “scooping” motion).  Any pulp still stuck to the skin can be scraped away from the back of the knife as well. 

Tip: Once you get the first segment out, some grapefruits are easy to just pull the skin away from each section with your fingers.

4.  Add about a tablespoon for every 2 grapefruit (or to taste) of honey to the top.  Cover and refrigerate until the honey has dissolved.  This may take up to 24 hours if your honey is a soft, scoopable solid (like mine).

5. After the honey has dissolved, gently fold/stir the grapefruit segments. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

WinCo Foods Bulk List Updated

The WinCo Foods bulk section price list has been updated.

There wasn't a drastic decrease in price for anything.
The largest price increases were:

Black Chia Seed was $4.48/lb now $8.92/lb
Chives was $13.77/lb  now $15.90/lb
Nutmeg was $12.48/lb now $17.78/lb
Peppercorns, Multicolored was $8.43/lb now $13.22/lb
Tumeric was $3.91/lb now $7.03/lb

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crazy Month

Please forgive me about the stale blog.  April has been an absolutely crazy month.  I seem to have a very long laundry list of things I need to get done within the next couple weeks and this blog is one of them.  Thanks for the patience and enjoy your weekend!