Monday, 16 October 2017

Presto Pesto Potato Roast

  As promised in this post, here is another of the recipes born of my extra large produce haul. 

Ingredients: 
  • about 1 lb fingerling potatoes, cut as needed to bite size pieces
  • 2-3 large carrots, sliced thickly, greens removed (don't throw them out! You can use them for the pesto.)
  • about 1 lb fresh green beans, ends snapped off and broken to bite size pieces 
  • several healthy shakes Montreal steak seasoning 
  • about 1 cup presto pesto (recipe here)
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Prep/cut veggies and toss them in a large, cast iron skillet or roasting pan with the seasoning and pesto. 
  3. Roast in 400°F until veggies are tender and slightly browned (about 30-40 minutes), stirring a couple times to make sure everything browns/cooks evenly. 
  4. Serve with a flourish (optional)
  5. Pretend/allow your family or guests to think it took a lot more time and effort to prepare (optional)
  6.  Enjoy! (Probably not optional)
The finished product isn't nearly as pretty as it is in progress, I admit. That said, the textures and flavour more than make up for the presentation. If you really want to make it look better, garnish with a dollop of uncooked pesto and a bit of carrot greens. That will dress it up nicely. My batch got eaten up too fast to allow for any fancy looking garnishes!
 



 









Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What's in a Name?

Just a short, observational note today. 

I was asked the other day what the nickname, "teapot" had to do with submission.
Of course, there is the back story of how the name came to be in the first place. In addition to that though, there are several points to be made regarding the nick.

A tea pot is an object used for serving. It is a vessel, constructed to contain and dispense whatever its owner or user desires. Most are constructed in such a way as to be pleasing to the eye, in addition to being convenient to grip, hold, and otherwise put to use.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Save those seeds! It's not just pumpkin seeds that make great roasting!

It's Thrifty Food Tip time again, and since it's a classic fall morning here at the Wolf Den, I figured this would be the perfect thing for the season.


Roasted pumpkin seeds are definitely one of those things we associate with autumn. Their warm, toasty, nutty, slightly salty flavour makes for a great, healthy snack. While the pre-packaged ones are ok, nothing beats having them fresh, just as soon as they're cooled off enough from the oven! 
(Hmm.. Speaking of which, now I've got a craving! That's a hazard of writing the food-related portions of this blog. LOL)


As tasty as they are, what's even better is a medley of roasted/toasted seeds. You can roast up the seeds from cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and pretty much any other gourd, squash, or melon you can think of, with delicious and nutritious results. 

That's right; I said nutritious!
Squash and melon seeds are simply teeming with health benefits.


Cantaloupe, honeydew, and other "muskmelon" seeds are super high in antioxidant vitamins, minerals, amino acids, as well as being a great source of fibre and healthy fats. 
Watermelon seeds contain all those too, in addition to a good dose of folate (AKA vitamin B9), iron, and the plant protein, lycopene, which, in addition to being a great protein source, is another heart health booster.

Not to be outdone, squash seeds contain all the above vitamins and minerals, plus zinc, which is another immune system benefactor. Zinc also promotes healthy cell growth and division, sleep, mood, senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and increases prostate health.

 Vitamins A, C, and E can improve and preserve your vision by helping to prevent macular degeneration, and, of course, we all know that vitamin C gives us a great boost to our immune system, which, considering that fall also marks the start of cold and flu season, is an especially good thing.

Important minerals contained in the seeds, like magnesium, phosphorous, iron, calcium, and potassium help control cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function, improve bone density, immunity, metabolism, and brain function, and decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cancer
The heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases by lowering the levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.

Finally, a diet high in fibre adds its own cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose lowering properties, as well as promoting bowel health, for the prevention of things like IBS, diverticulosis, and diverticulitis. 

SO...
With all those health perks, great taste, and a FREE price tag, what's not to love?

Oh! And did I mention that it's mega simple to roast them, you can give them just about any flavour profile you want, and it's a great, fun activity to do with kids? 




Ingredients: 
  • seeds
  • enough oil (coconut, olive, grapeseed, peanut, etc.. whatever you want) to lightly coat the seeds
  • salt, pepper, and/or whatever spices/seasonings you like


Directions:
  1. separate seeds from the bulk of the pulp and give them a quick rinse. Don't worry about removing all of the pulp/flesh. It will roast up nicely and add the flavour and fibre content.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F. (you can use a higher temp, however, keeping it at or below
    300°F will retain most of the nutrients which high heat will destroy.)
  3. Toss together all ingredients until seeds are coated evenly with oil and seasonings
  4. Spread seeds in a single layer in a cast iron skillet, stoneware, or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake, checking and stirring every 15 minutes, until seeds are crisp and pulp is caramelized, probably about 20-40 minutes. 
  5. Let cool completely before serving/eating (OK.. Who am I kidding? At least let them cool enough to avoid burning yourself or others!)

Seasoning suggestions:
  • Olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper medley
  • Peanut oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add extra flavour and texture with some dried seaweed flakes and/or kick it up a notch with some hot chilli oil. 
  • More savoury seasoning ideas: curry, cumin, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ranch dressing powdered mix, other dry soup or dip mixes
  • coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Add a little sweetness with a drizzle of honey
  • coconut oil, cocoa powder and cinnamon
  • coconut oil, ground cloves and cardamom

What to do with roasted seeds:
  • Use as a coating for fried chicken
  • Add to home made granola
  • Bake into granola bars
  • Top your yogurt
  • Mix into your oatmeal
  • Add to dry cereal
  • Put them in trail mix
  • Add to smoothies
  • Use in whole grain and seed breads
  • Add to muffins, coffee cake, and other baked goods
  • Add to salads
  • Use them in pesto
  • And, of course, you can just munch on them by themselves!

I don't happen to have any photos or seeds to roast on hand today, so I'll be adding pics to this post at a later time, as well as linking some more recipes once they are posted.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Presto Pesto Squashta Pasta

The last batch of summer squash of the season, plenty of my newly invented Presto Pesto Norwesto, some tortellini in the freezer that needed using, and my, perhaps unfortunate at times, penchant for having fun with words conspired to make me invent another new recipe last week. Introducing, Presto Pesto Squashta Pasta!

This is a SUPER quick and simple dish, and if you're using a stuffed pasta containing a protein source, or if you throw in some leftover roast chicken, turkey, or any other sort of meat or meat substitute, you've got an entire meal in 15-20 minutes, tops!

You can make this ahead and chill it as a pasta salad, or serve it hot. It tastes great either way. 


 Ingredients:
  • 16oz (or so) pasta of choice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 or more medium to large summer squash (any variety - thickly sliced)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1-2 Tbsp roasted red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning (to taste) 
  • Freshly ground pepper medley (to taste) 
  • Sea salt (to taste) 

Directions: 
  1.   Cook pasta according to package directions 
  2.   Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet, add  squash, sun dried tomatoes, pepper flakes, and spices and sauté on medium-high heat until squash is barely tender. 
  3.   Toss pasta and squash with pesto
  4.   Serve hot or cold and enjoy!
Variations: 
  • Add meat or other protein source to make it a meal.
  • Experiment with other spices to change up the flavour. 
  • Add in a few dollops of Alfredo sauce

Thursday, 5 October 2017

It's probably not the Zombie Apocalypse! (Realistic SHTF scenarios for regular people)

"Khaos is waiting for the zombie apocalypse! LOLOLOLOL!"
 
"We'll all just come to your house when the world ends! Harharhar!"
"Don't you mean BUNKER? Trololololol"
 "She runs a Costco on the side! Hahaha!"
Yup. Hilarity! I routinely hear these, and all sorts of other knee-slapping, solid bronze comedic content from friends and family.

The sad fact is, most "ordinary" people, it seems, still view stocking up beyond next week, having emergency supplies on hand, knowing how to do things without modern conveniences (and having the tools and materials to do so!), are silly, pessimistic, foolish, "asking for trouble" (WHAT!?), or downright crazy. Somehow, they equate being prepared for any eventuality with hoping for or hastening some looming, doomsday scenario.

Reality check, folks:
Being unprepared for an emergency won't keep one from happening! All it does is make you and those who depend on you more likely to suffer the consequences.

Being prepared frequently means the  difference between an emergency or survival situation and an inconvenience. In true disaster conditions, it can mean the difference between surviving and not.

If your car dies on the side of the road and you've gotta wait a couple hours for assistance, it could mean you have a "bathroom", plenty of water (and coffee!), something to snack on, protection from the weather, and maybe something to keep the kids (and grownups) entertained while you wait.

If the power goes out right before supper, it could mean you can still have a good meal, instead of scrounging for something that doesn't need electricity to prepare or having to go out to get something.

If the roads, power, and water are out in a good sized area for a few days or a week and you have taken the trouble to even stock up on a few days worth of food, water, extra medications, an outdoor cooking method, candles and/or battery powered lighting, and a few other supplies, things may be a little uncomfortable, but you're going to be just fine. Conversely, those people who refuse to plan ahead even in the slightest will have a true emergency on their hands. Not only are their own lives and well being, and that of their dependents, in danger. No - their (in)actions have endangered countless others as well. They've placed additional burden on their neighbours, communities, and emergency services. Now, rather than just having to worry about getting needed services and care to those who legitimately rely on electricity, special equipment, and such for medical reasons, first responders and rescue personnel have to spend precious moments and supplies bailing out some asshole who had the means to look after themselves, and chose not to. If it were up to me, I'd probably let them hang! Oh.. I'd take in their young kids and pets if I could, since they didn't have a say in the matter. The idiots though - those same folks who laugh the loudest about how stupid "preppers" are? They'd be on their own! Cause guess what? Nope. You're NOT coming to my house (or bunker, or BOL, or...) when the SHTF! And if you decide to try anyway, just remember your "Rambo" wisecracks regarding my gear, training, "paranoia", and defences, and think again.

Those few who happen to have been in my company when things have gone wrong... who enjoyed hot food and coffee, clean water, warmth, a safe and comfortable place to sleep, and that sort of thing when they would have otherwise been cold, hungry, afraid, and otherwise ill prepared when power or water has gone out, a vehicle has broken down in the middle of nowhere, roads have become impassable and the city (transit, emergency services, power, stores and other businesses closed) basically shut down, and the like, no longer join in the heckling. Of course, they don't risk being lumped in with the "loony" by standing up and saying anything either. Ya can't win 'em all!





Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Presto Pesto Norwesto! (Delicious pesto for almost free!)

Today's thrifty food tip is also a recipe, just cause I can. 😎 If you want to go directly to the recipe, without reading the article, click here, and please rate and review!

Pesto is, oddly, at once underrated and overpriced.

Dishes made with the warm, nutty, aromatic blend, as well as the ready-made stuff in a jar are nearly always outrageously priced. Perhaps that's what leads folks to think it is expensive or difficult to make, and why so few people make regular use of it in their own kitchens and cooking. 

The truth is that it takes a few minutes to make in a blender or food processor, and, even using the "finest" ingredients, the stuff is literally pennies a serving.

It's basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and a little salt and pepper. That's it. So, already, it's super economical to make it at home, especially if you or someone you know grows their own basil.
Many folk cut the basil with spinach to save money and/or tone down the flavour a bit. 


The thing is though, you don't even need those specific ingredients to make delicious pesto! You can literally make it with just about ANY greens and nuts/seeds you have on hand, as long as they're edible.

The greens in the batch I just made last week was primarily radish and carrot greens and fresh spinach, with a little bit of chives and Thai basil I snipped from my garden for good measure.


My rosemary isn't robust enough for harvesting any just yet, though I'm sure by next fall, I'll have plenty! My Thai basil, on the other hand, is going to town!
I've got some sweet, Italian basil just sprouted too. It'll be ready to harvest by next season, I'm sure.

Anyway, since you can use almost all ingredients that would often end up in the compost bin or landfill, this versatile paste of the gods is between dirt cheap and almost free. YAY!


So, as mentioned, the greens in this batch are carrot and radish tops, spinach, and just a bit of chives and Thai basil. For the nuts, I used mostly walnuts, with a small amount of pine nuts thrown in for good measure.
No seeds this time, though I'm definitely planning on making a batch (or two!) using roasted pumpkin/other fall squash seeds once I've got enough seeds saved up for that.

The cheese is a mix of Parmesan and Romano. Fresh (or frozen) cheese is always best, however, you can sub in the dried stuff in the can if it's
all you've got.


I also added a splash of lime juice in this batch, just cause it sounded good, and the results were, indeed, good! I'll be doing that again for sure. 
It gave it a kind of extra brightness that really brought out the flavours in everything it's gone into so far (stay tuned for more recipes!)   
My clean up crew helpers agree that it tastes great! They each give it two paws up.
 
 I almost never have to scrape or soak anything before it goes into the dishwasher, with such an enthusiastic set of trusty assistants.
Alright; Enough of my rambling. Lets get to the recipe itself, for those who are still reading.


Presto Pesto Norwesto!

 Ingredients:

  •  ¼ – ½  cup nuts/seeds (pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, toasted pumpkin, melon, or squash seeds, sunflower seeds, etc...)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 - 3 cups packed carrot/radish/beet tops, spinach, kale, or other greens and/or fresh herbs (arugula, dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, chives...whatever sounds good and is on hand!), roughly chopped.
  • ½ - ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  •     ¼ – ½  cup shredded/grated parmesan, romano, or other hard cheese (optional)
  •     salt and/or pepper, to taste (optional)
  •     other spices, as desired (optional)
  
Directions:

  • Put everything except olive oil, salt, and pepper into the food processor/blender and pulse until VERY finely minced or almost a paste-like consistency (to preference).
  • Add about ¼ cup of the olive oil and blend, drizzling in additional oil, as needed until desired consistency.
  • Stir in salt, pepper, and spices, if used, to taste.
  • Refrigerate or freeze in air tight container(s) until ready to use.
  • Presto Pesto!!
I usually vacuum seal things before they go into the freezer. It keeps them fresher, longer, and keeps them from getting freezer burnt. I've read a few places that pesto with cheese in it doesn't hold up well to freezing. I haven't found that to be the case. There's been no discernable difference between frozen and not frozen, so I suspect the people who wrote that didn't actually try it, or didn't package it properly before freezing. 

Yes, that label does say "lime Jews". It's an old family joke which has nothing to do with discriminating against anyone and everything to do with the funny things little kids say when trying to master speaking and language and words. So many things sound similar to one another! LOL For a good-to-print version of the recipe, click on over to AllRecipes.com, and click the print icon. Or tap on over.. I keep forgetting everyone does everything on their phones these days. (Dang kids! Get off my lawn!)

 Ginger doesn't care about words, language, talking, or writing down recipes. She just wants more of that yummy stuff!

Sugar appears to be in full agreement on that note.

We'll take it under advisement.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Potato Carrot Soup with Leeks and Kale



This hearty, fall garden soup gets its lovely, golden colour from the carrots. 

Potato Carrot Soup with Leeks and Kale

I prefer to use all organic produce, and think it tastes better, though it isn't required.

I make it in the Instant Pot, however, I've included instructions for other methods as well.

For an easy to print version, click here to be taken to this recipe on All Recipes, and, if you like it
(or even if you don't), please leave a review!

Yield, approx 6 quarts
Ingredients:

• 8 - 10 medium sized potatoes (or equivalent - any variety/ies) - chopped into bite sized pieces
• 2-3 leeks - thickly sliced
• 1 good sized bunch of kale
• • 1-2 large carrots with greens
• 1/4 lb bacon, chopped small
• 1-2 Cups shredded, sharp cheddar
• 1/4 - 1/2 Cup sour cream
• Sea salt to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper or pepper medley to taste
• Several healthy shakes Hungarian paprika (or the regular stuff, if you must)
• Enough Beef/chicken/vegetable broth to reach max fill line/almost top of pot (home made vegetable/bone broth is ideal!)

Directions:

• Cook bacon in large Dutch oven or soup/stock pot/
Instant pot (on sauté setting) until nearly crisped, stirring regularly.

• While bacon is cooking, cut the greens off the carrots and stalks off the kale. Set aside tender greens. Chop/slice carrots and kale stalks and add to sauté when bacon is almost crisp, then thickly slice leeks and toss them in. Keep stirring, and be sure to scrape bottom of pot regularly!

• Add kale, carrot greens, and spices and sauté briefly (stir/scrape more).

• Add potatoes and broth and give a good stir.(If using Instant pot, lock lid on with valve set to pressure and set it for 13 minutes on manual - let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes or so - then ok to manually release. Skip steps 5 & 6).

• Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

• Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.

• Add cheese and sour cream and stir in well.

• Serve garnished with carrot leaves.
Notes:
• I like to double the bacon and vegetable sauté amounts, and scoop out half the mixture to freeze for another batch (or other soup/stew) before adding the potatoes and broth

• If you prefer a vegetarian/vegan version, omit the bacon and sauté the veggies in your oil of choice.

• Feel free to add other veggies, meats, spices, etc to personalise the dish!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Almost Free, Nutritious, Homemde Pet Food


My dogs are truly spoilt!
Oh, not in a bad way - I don't allow disobedience, rudeness, whining, etc. I am the Alpha Bitch here and that is that - more in the, "these dogs are living the life", sort of way.

This fact was brought home to me anew this afternoon, as I was working on stuff on the computer, and wondering what the neighbours were cooking that smelled so tasty. Then I realised it was the dog food in its final phase in the rice cooker that was tempting my taste buds.

So, I've posted before about making utterly delicious, natural, packed with nutrients, and basically free bone broth and vegetable broth. You might think then that it's time to toss those scraps and bones once you've given them their "second life". Not so!

Instead, once you've strained off your tasty broth, you can use those bones and/or scraps again to feed your pets or livestock.

With bones, you will need to make sure that all of them are soft enough to crush into a chalk like substance with just your thumb and forefinger.
 
If you've used the pressure cooker, they're probably already there. If not, you need to cook them more (in liquid) until they are. 

For dogs, chickens, pigs, and other omnivores, bones, meat scraps, and veg are all good. Cats are naturally carnivores, so, while they can eat veggies with no issue, it's best to stick with meat products for food and save the veg for treats. I'm not totally clear on most other animals, and what I make is dog food, so that's what we'll mostly be discussing here.


Just take the scraps and bones and add liquid again, along with rice and/or oats, and some extra meat and veggies if you want, cook it until the grains are done, and you've got some tasty doggie meals!


If you're going to be just supplementing your dogs' regular high quality feed with home made once a week or less, there is no need to add anything other than grain unless you want to. If you want to move completely to home made, you'll need to add some additional meat and fruits/veggies, and possibly oils and fats, (depending on the amount of fat in your scraps) to the mix to ensure they're getting a balanced diet. Here is a link to a good article on the right ratios. The bones from your broth will take care of the calcium needs (bones will make dog poop light coloured and kind of chalky. This is normal and not cause for alarm!).




Friday, 29 September 2017

Don't throw away those soap slivers! (This week's money saving tip)

When your soap gets too small to use in the bath/shower effectively, move it to the sink for hand soap.
When that gets too small, put the pieces into the end of a nylon stocking (knee high, tights, pantyhose, really thin trouser sock, etc) and twist the opening and turn it over onto itself, or tie a half hitch at the end of it to close. Several soap scraps together in there will act just like a regular bar of soap and you will be able to use every, last speck, rather than throwing out perfectly good soap.

More uses for those little slivers and chunks of soap are:
  1. Use a small remnant of a full sized bar of soap is as a travel sized bar to stick in your travel supplies, camping gear, or go bag/bugout bag. 
  2. Put the pieces into a mug to use with a shaving brush.
  3. Save up the pieces to make a new bar of soap (same concept, but more attractive than the nylon)
  4. make your own liquid hand soap or body wash, by adding the slivers to an old soap dispenser bottle, along with some water.
  5. Use to "lubricate" stubborn zippers, sliding door/window tracks,and similar, by rubbing the dry chunk of soap against whatever needs to move more easily (you can also use wax from candle stubs, saved drippings, crayons, etc for this!).

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Too much produce? We'll see about that!

I forgot to log into the web store at Terra Organics (if you sign up, please tell them Khaos WolfKat sent you!) and edit my CSA box by the deadline this week. That means I got an entire $42.00 worth of fruits and veggies yesterday!

Now, normally, I go in and pick and choose what I want from the weekly offerings, cause I don't use that much produce in a week by myself, especially when I've recently also been to the local farmer's market and bought a bunch of what's on sale.

So, what all arrived at my front door? I'll cheat and just post a picture of the packing list.


Yeah. That's a lot of fruit and veg, even for me!
So, of course, abundant salads as usual takes care of the radishes, lettuce, cilantro, and some of the carrot greens.

That would have been the tomatoes...

The sungold tomatoes would have been on that list, only I popped one of them in my mouth as I was unpacking the box and that was all she wrote. They were SOOOO good!

   These little gems are far too tasty to get lost in the shuffle of an ordinary salad, or even one of these super-delish extraordinary salads.
 I (and we, when my granddaughter is here) eat a LOT of salads!
You'd think more so in the summer, when it's too bloody hot to cook, only we seem to eat at least as much of it in the wintertime too.
Anyway, back on topic;  That still leaves an awful lot of produce to use up, so it was time for me to start coming up with meal plans and recipes so none of this goes bad. The melon was two breakfasts. Good stuff.                                   The first recipe,  Potato Carrot Soup with Leeks and Kale, is an adaptation of my PLFK (Potato, Leek , Fennel & Kale) soup (pronounced, "plufuk").
Potato Carrot Soup with Leeks and Kale

It turned out looking almost as lovely as it tastes, with the carrots lending that beautiful, golden colour.
Look for the recipe for that on Monday.

The beets, along with some of the carrots will go great in a big pot of borscht sometime this week or the next. I've already got the other ingredients on hand.
A couple more inventions spawned by yesterday's abundance are Goldenberry Pie, Presto Pesto (no basil or pine nuts needed!), Presto Pesto Potato Veg Roast, and Presto Pesto Squashta Pasta. (I know. I have a serious problem. I really ought to have it looked at. Only words are so much fun!)

Keep an eye out for those recipes the next few Mondays, and maybe a Sunday or two.

Oh, and, sadly, I don't really care for jalapeños all that much, even though these are quite lovely, so those are going to a friend or neighbour who can use them.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Delicious, Nutritious, Hearty Bone Broth/stock for Free

This weeks thrifty food tip is how to make your own bone broth, absolutely free.




(I'm cheating here, and using lots of the wording from my vegetable broth post, so if it looks familiar, that'll be why!)


You can buy chicken or beef broth in cans, cartons, or powder at the store, but not only is it pretty expensive, even for the cheap stuff, but it is also usually full of preservatives and artificial flavours and colours and very high in sodium to boot. 

Instead, why not just make your own?

You'll need gallon freezer bags, a freezer, some cheesecloth 
(optional, but makes things much easier) or a wok skimmer or strainer, and a crock pot/slow cooker, rice cooker, Instant Pot, stock pot, or other large pot for simmering or pressure cooker, and a marker. 

Every time you have bones left from cooking (or bringing home a roasted chicken), save them. You can even ask for take away bags/boxes to save bones from when you eat out, if you like. After all, you DID pay for everything on your plate!

Put them in all in labelled freezer bags and keep them in your freezer (if you have a deep freezer, better still!)
I have some separate bags for chicken, turkey, beef, pork, etc, some for general poultry, some specifically for smoked meats. You can separate them however you like.
When a bag gets full, time to make your broth (or start a new bag and make the broth later.. whichever). 

  • Line your pot with the cheesecloth, if using and dump all the bones in. 
  • Fill to the top with water. 
  • Add any additional salt or seasoning, if desired.
  • Turn the crock pot on low and let it go for 8-16 hours. 
    •  If you're using a rice cooker, turn it to the "cook" setting until it starts boiling, then leave it on warm for the same amount of time. Check water level periodically and add as needed.
    • If using the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer on lowest possible setting for 3-5 hours, at least. Check water level periodically and add as needed.
    • If you're using the Instant Pot/pressure cooker, set it to manual/pressure for 90-120 minutes and let it do a natural release.
  • When it tastes like broth, turn off the heat and let it cool enough to handle. 
  • Pull up the cheesecloth and squeeze out all the liquid you can into the pot, or skim solids out with a wok skimmer or strainer. (The bones and scraps can then be composted or added to animal feed. Just make absolutely sure the bones are soft enough to easily crush with your fingers before giving to animals)
That's it!
Once it's done, you can use it right away, or you can freeze or can it. For freezing, I suggest using a rinsed out, cardboard milk carton, freezer bags, reditainers, or, if you want more measuring control when you use it, ice cube trays.



Sunday, 24 September 2017

More frequent posts! (hopefully)

I'm going to make another attempt at posting more regularly here. Wish me luck, and enjoy the thoughts, tips, tricks, hacks, recipes, and more coming your way!
And do feel free to message me with a reminder if I start forgetting again.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A day in the Life of a "Make Ahead Cook"


0800

 The beets and rhubarb have dried from their washing on the counter overnight. I'm roasting them with carrots, shallots, a pear, goat cheese, and walnuts for supper this eve. This recipe, (without the fennel - cause I don't have any right now)

I've done my morning blood sugar testing and  taken my insulin. Now for coffee and a brief bit of socialising in a chat room over breakfast. (A very nice fruit and cheese plate)

Am I officially a "foodie"?

Someone mentions craving pho, and that sounds delish, so, I decide it would be a great idea to make up a pot!

Off to the freezer to see if I've got enough soup bones and such to make a good broth. I do, so I get to work. The bones are saved from previous meals. Smoked pork, chops,  beef roast,  steaks, etc. I also save veggie bits - celery ends, onion and garlic tops and skins, bell pepper stems and seeds, leaves or stalks that aren't good enough for using in a regular meal, etc. They will all have a second "life" in making a wonderfully flavourful bone and vegetable broth.


 First, to sauté the garlic, ginger, anise, cardamom, and veggie ends and pieces for the broth. I would normally put the fish sauce in now too, only, since I'm cooking the beets above it, and don't want that flavour added to the beets, I'll wait to do that.



  Next, since I like to pre cook the beets some in the Instant pot and peel them after, I go ahead and put them on the steamer insert on top of the veggies, and add enough water to soften them up. This will add a nice flavour to the broth, I think. I've used the beet water as a base for bone broth and soups plenty of times before. Never tried it for pho. Not precisely traditional. It should be interesting though.

In the meantime, I cut up the rhubarb and shallots, set them aside for later, and go back to some other household tasks.

 Once the beets are done, it's time to take them out to let them cool...

... Then toss the bones, salt, and fish sauce in the pot, along with the drippings from last night's beef roast.
 
 90 minutes, plus natural pressure release time in the Instant pot produces the same, delicious broth which used to take 4-12 hours simmering on the stove! It's a wonderful improvement!! No stirring, no monitoring. I just "set it and forget it" and come back to it later in the day.


That's about the time I decide that this would make a great blog entry, to give an idea of how this "make ahead" cooking can work, even if you're not willing or able to devote a full day or three every month to making an entire month's worth of meals to freeze ahead. This is a few meal's worth in almost the same amount of time it would take to make just one meal!

Fast forward to the afternoon. Lunch was a couple hours ago. (roast beef sandwiches from lst night's roast on fresh baked, rustic bread. OH yeah!)

 The beets are cooled and I'm taking a break from other duties, so I toss the rhubarb and shallots in olive oil and honey (even with the sweetness of the pears, the rhubarb needs a bit of honey to "tame" it.),



 
 I pop that in the oven for a bit whilst peeling and slicing the beets, and coring and slicing the pear.




Of course, I save the beet ends and skin too - they're going in the dog food! (more on that later).

Back to other things as I wait 'til time to add the rest of the ingredients to the roasting pan. I've got some more produce from my weekly Terra Organics delivery to sort, wash, and put away, and a couple recipes to type out before I forget what went into them.

It's getting on toward evening now.
Next up: add the beets, pear, nuts, and goat cheese to the shallots and rhubarb, toss it a bit, and back in the oven for its final stretch. This gives me just enough time before supper's ready to strain and decant the pho broth into the broth jug for another day or few (it's a lot of broth!)
Then I put the bones and scraps back into the pot, along with the beet skins and ends with more water and some rice and oats for some tasty, home made dog food in the coming days.

Now, the food is ready and that's good, cause all these amazing smells have been driving me insane ALL day.
Roasted Rhubarb & Beets with Goat Cheese & Walnuts





YUM!









Tuesday, 30 May 2017

White Knight Syndrome and "lil ones"

Note:
I wrote this when I was still a slave, originally, so be assured that this isn't coming from the standpoint of a free person who "doesn't understand" It didn't get posted other than in a private space at the time for obvious reasons. Now, however, I can and will post it where I like.


Also, this is specifically referring to Goreans and Gorean slaves, though it may also apply to certain high protocol venues.


I've been far beyond disgusted by this for quite some time now!

Where the hell did the idea come about that slaves must be treated with "proper respect"?
Since when is it inappropriate for any free person who damn well feels like it to bitch out a slave for any reason or no reason?


Do all you white knights out there who come running to the rescue of poor little slavie poos who got their widdle feeewings hurt REALLY think that they truly RESPECT you for coddling them??

Hell NO! The ones who want to play slave and be little couch princesses will walk all over you and pay lip service to you for it and the ones who truly wish to serve and be pleasing by Gorean ideals will be disgusted with you, but still be respectful toward you because it is their place, but neither of those is respect!

The slaves, the fake slaves and your peers will all see you for being weak willed and pussy whipped!

Those with a slave heart that come TRULY seeking slavery within Gorean ideals are looking for REAL men who will keep them in their place! Why bother looking in Gorean venues for weaklings who will uphold the standard of coddling them and fearing to displease them? They can find that anywhere!

It's bad enough seeing all these brats who call themselves slaves, but only serve or behave when, how and to whom they please, but to see so called masters not only condoning it, but actually jumping in to "rescue" the little bitches when someone "dares" to smack them into their place... That is just pathetic!

Why don't you stand up and fucking be MEN! ?
Or at least, if you prefer to be the slaves of women, just admit it and let the real masters be masters instead of trying to claim it is "honourable" to play captain save a ho!

And girls, if you want to be treated respectfully, have a problem with being treated as a meaningless slut, can't handle being ignored, told off, used, or otherwise treated LIKE A SLAVE, then quit trying to be what you aren't!

Yes, it's lovely when the free treat slaves well.. or even with respect, but that is a privilege and a GIFT to the slave, from the free, not a prerequisite or a right! fucking DEAL WITH IT!

If you call yourself a Gorean slave and you don't like what I have to say, tough shit. You are fooling yourself!

I you're free and don't like it, better look in the mirror, cause the pillow princesses aren't the only ones fooling themselves!

I'm sick of watching the same old scene played over and over!
Where the hell are the real Goreans??

Yeah... I know this is Earth.. There is no Gor.. Etc. By, "real", I mean those who are true to the ideals and philosophies, which, when dealing with slavery, includes the idea that slaves are chattel.. livestock, and have NO RIGHTS.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Norwescon 40 Friday Afternoon High Protocol Tea Social Menu

This is the menu for the event. Actual event details can be found on the Facebook or FetLife event pages.


Several of the teas served are blends by the Friday Afternoon tea company. Be sure to stop by their booth in the Dealer Room to sample lots more of their delicious teas, and take some home with you!


Arrival drinks ~
  •   Tea ~ Raven's Blend ~ This blend is comprised of Darjeeling and Ceylon black teas with white tea and blue cornflower. Medium-bodied with a complex, lightly malty flavour.
  • Coffee ~ Organic, fair trade, shade grown, dark roast. 
  • Ice water
  • Shimmering blueberry pomegranate juice spritzers


First course ~ Savouries 
          
 Teas
  • Dragon Lily flowering tea ~ A beautiful, white tea with orange lily petals, which features a velvety, apricot flavour.
  • OMFG ~ This herbal infusion is a blend of Orange, Marigold, Fennel and Ginger.
 Finger sandwiches
  • Open face curried chicken cucumber sandwiches  (GF) ~ An exotic take on the classic, cucumber sandwich: Fresh cucumber slices, topped with curried cranberry chicken salad (curried chicken breast, cranberries, walnuts, organic leeks, and mayonnaise)
  •  Open face curried hummus cucumber sandwiches  (GF, DF, Vegan) ~ The vegan version of the above: Fresh cucumber slices, topped with curried cranberry hummus (curry hummus, walnuts, cranberries and organic leeks)
  • Tomato Provolone Spirals ~ Savoury provolone, peppers, tomatoes & tender spinach wrapped in herb flatbread layered with a seasoned neufchatel cheese spread.
  • Turkey Pepper Jack Spirals ~ Smoked turkey and pepper jack cheese wrapped in flatbread layered with a seasoned neufchatel cheese spread.
  • Turkey, Bacon, Ranch Spirals ~ Smoked Turkey, bacon, tomatoes and tender spinach wrapped in herb flatbread, layered with a ranch-seasoned neufchatel cheese spread.
 Garden & Grain Tray
  • Baby carrots
  • Celery stalks
  • Golden Muscat grapes
  • Tomato medley
  • Pita chips
  • Cracker assortment (GF options)
  • Ranch dip
  • Spinach artichoke dip
  • Hummus (GF, DF, Vegan)

Second Course ~ Scones & Breads

Teas
  • Lavender Dream flowering tea ~ White tea with crisp, aromatic lavender flowers, complemented by tangy hibiscus flowers
  • Queen of Hearts Blend ~ Ceylon black tea, rosebud, rose hip and black peppercorns make this an unusual flowery and spicy blend.
 Treats
  • Mini croissants
  • Scones in a variety of flavours (GF options) ~ served with clotted cream, lemon curd, and apricot preserves.
  • Custom made-to-order pancake cupcake teacakes ~ additives include: dark and/or milk chocolate chunks, dark chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, dark chocolate & mint M&M's, peanut butter cup chunks, walnuts, jams, and more TBA.

Third Course ~ Dessert

Teas
  • Satyr's Blend ~ This ridiculous blend is a bizarre combination of several herbal components, spices, and (whaaaaaat!) dark chocolate chunks! The scent of the dry leaf is wild, foresty and slightly spicy. When brewed, this tisane creates a fascinatingly smooth flavour profile.
    Ingredients: Rooibos, peppermint, chocolate, mate, rose, ginger, lime, peppercorn, clove
  • Dorian Gray ~ Inspired by Friday's favourite Oscar Wilde novel, this blend is as dark, murky and exotic as the character after whom it is named. This one was a big hit at the last NWC Friday Afternoon Tea, and tastes like drinking a cinnamon roll (in a good way)!
    Ingredients: Pu-er black tea, gunpowder green tea, ginger root, blue cornflower
 Desserts
  • Double fudge brownie bites (with or without walnuts)
  • Dark chocolate covered pomegranate, açai blueberry, & almond bites (GF)
  • Assorted cookies and candies

~ Dairy free creamer and sugar substitutes will be on hand. 

~ Gourmet coffee and ice water will be available in addition to or instead of teas.  

~ Please feel free to bring additional food and/or non-alcoholic drinks for yourself or to share, especially if you have special dietary needs/allergies.

~ Please do bear in mind that the snacks, whilst suitable for a light repast, are not meant to be a full meal, so it may be prudent to plan for a light meal shortly following or prior to the Tea.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

House boy/girl

My boy has lost the ability to safely carry out many of the more labour intensive tasks he used to do. As such, I am in the market for a house slave or sub, to pick up the slack.


I have a primary slave who is, and will likely remain, First Boy (AKA alpha slave).

(I am also actively seeking a lesbian or bisexual kajira (female slave) to add to my household as a personal slave. Click here for more information regarding that position.)
 


Applicants wishing to be considered will:
  • Take the time and effort to read this post, and my Fetlife profile in their entirety, before contacting me.
  • Write a well worded, polite, and concise introduction, using proper spelling (UK or US spellings are fine, and if English is not your first language, that will be taken into consideration. It is the effort I am concerned with!), grammar, capitalisation and punctuation, telling me why you wish to serve me and what qualifications, skills, and/or traits you possess.
  • Be rigorously and entirely honest; Both with me and in all areas of their lives. (Note: This does NOT mean giving out your personal information before we are ready to move to that level! That is simply foolish, and I have no use for a stupid or foolish slave!)
  • Have a sincere desire to serve, please, and obey.
  • Practice good personal hygiene and grooming.
  • Be drama free.
  • Have and maintain their own living quarters. This will not be a live-in position.
  • Be mature and capable of independence.
  • Like, and be able to be around animals, especially dogs. 
  • Not try to "usurp", or  otherwise displace my first slave in any way. He was here first, and his position will be respected. 
  • Be physically able to perform heavier household duties, requiring manual labour, on a regular basis.
My house slave/sub will primarily perform domestic duties and assist my personal slave(s) with such. Domestic service will include things such as cleaning, organizing, yard work, household repairs, doing any lifting, carrying, and heavy work associated with building or assembling furniture, and the like. Depending on circumstances, I MAY choose, at my discretion, to permit the house slave to perform more personal tasks for me and/or my personal slave(s), however, this should not be expected, nor will it be required if personal service is not for you.

This position is very much focussed on service for the sake of service, more so than usual. Occasional BDSM play is a  possibility, however, priority for that goes to personal slaves. Knowing that I am pleased with your work should be your biggest motivation. 

I am willing to accept a slave or a full or part time sub for this position. 
The difference is that a slave will be owned, fully, with all the loss of rights that entails; A full time sub will have certain rules and expectations always in place, whether or not they are in my presence, and a part time sub will only be expected to submit to and obey during scheduled times with me. 

Either way, when in my presence, I  expect obedience, not necessarily without question, though without undue hesitation or unnecessary questioning, and to provide me, promptly, with any information that is relevant to the situation.
I also expect respect and deference to be shown to me at all times.



Prior training is not necessary, although it is definitely a plus. A sincere desire to learn, obey, and be pleasing is far more important to me than prior training. I will train you to suit my preferences, either way.

Bear in mind that your position will exist in order to make MY life more pleasant and convenient, not yours. I would like my sub/slave to be fulfilled by their service to me, however, it is not about you. It is about ME.
I am not interested in solving all your problems for you, relieving you of your responsibilities as an adult, or excessive micromanaging.
 That said, I will provide guidance, encouragement, and support in areas of self improvement, with the expectation that you will do the footwork required.


Any potential slave will be interviewed and we will communicate online, followed by telephone contact, to see if it seems like we are compatible.
If it seems likely, we will arrange to meet in a neutral and public location, where we will talk further and get to know one another a bit more. If that meeting is productive and positive, we will meet again, as many times as needed for both of us to feel comfortable moving to the next level.
If all that goes well, the slave will undergo a probation period, during which, they will receive training and will serve me as though in my collar, until such a time as it is determined a more long-term situation is in order. 


Questions in response to this post are welcome, AFTER you have read the entire post and my profile, to see if your question has already been answered.

Responses that contain "net speak", lack of punctuation, S/slashy T/typing, or rudeness will likely be ignored, as will questions that are already answered in this post or my profile.

**While the parts of your appearance that you have no immediate control over are largely unimportant, I insist that you make the effort to properly bathe and groom yourself daily, and wear clean clothing when in my presence. I understand that many of us cannot afford "nice" clothing, but it had better be clean and neat!