Clapping On The Down Beat

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Experimentation January 19, 2016

Filed under: Interests,Parenthood,Uncategorized — clappingonthedownbeat @ 4:16 PM


I am now adding brewer to my list of roles.  I turned my oldest son on to kombucha tea.  At first it was a “treat”, then it became a weekly request, then I decided we would just make it at home.

Now you might be asking “what is kombucha”?

Kombucha refers to any of a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly used as functional beverages for their unsubstantiated health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY).

It is a lightly carbonated probiotic drink.

We start by basically brewing sweet tea.  It cools down,  then the SCOBY is added.  It’s the white thing floating in the jars.  This bacteria/yeast colony feeds on the sugar, and carbonates the liquid.  The tea ferments for about 10-14 days.  We taste it along the way.  When its ready, it can be flavored with a little juice.  Then the process starts over again.

Way cheaper and more fun to brew at home.  It’s a science experiment we benefit from.

And our SCOBY grows more SCOBYs.  We are up to brewing two gallons every two weeks.


Roll Over Meals January 5, 2016

Filed under: Meal Planning,Uncategorized — clappingonthedownbeat @ 2:08 PM

When I plan out a menu for the week, I try to take into consideration meals that go twice as far.

What do I mean?  Cook once- eat twice.

For example; if I plan a meal with potatoes (roasted or mashed) I make a double portion so that I can make potato soup.  If I cook chicken, I make 2 or 3 times as much so that I can use leftovers for enchiladas, fried rice or casserole.

Here are two great “roll over” meals.

Potato Soup

I made bacon for breakfast* so I made some extra  so I would have a topping for my soup.

*(side note, the best way to cook bacon is to put it on a rimmed sheet tray and bake it.  I have thick cut bacon and I set the oven to 400 and bake it till I start to smell it, then watch it every 2 minutes till it is as crispy as I like)

There was only 2 pieces of bacon leftover, so I diced up three slices of bacon and rendered (cooked) them off in a pot.  I scooped out the crispy bacon pieces to use for topping and set them aside.  I then added 2 chopped leaks in the pot.  Leaks are in the onion family and have a wonderfully mild flavor.



As the leaks begin to cook down, chop 1 carrot, 2 stalks celery, 1 large shallot (shallots are the secret between restaurant cooking and home cooking- not enough people use shallots).  Shallots have a flavor cross between garlic and onion.  I also add 3-4 cloves smashed garlic.


On medium low, let the vegetables sweat out.  I add a little bit of salt, about 1 tsp.  Then add your potatoes- cut up raw russets, left over roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes.


Next cover the potatoes with broth or stock.  I use 5-6 cups.    Bring to a boil, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.   Then puree the soup.  I have an emersion blender, but a regular blender works too.  Just becareful blending hot liquids!  I like the soup a little chunky, so I don’t puree too long.

You can add a little milk, cream or sour cream at the end to finish, but the potatoes have a lot of starch and will thicken the soup.  I usually add water then next day to thin the soup out.


Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

I made a crown roast of pork with wild rice stuffing for Christmas dinner and not wanting to put the  last cup of rice back in the pantry I cooked off the whole bag knowing I’d make a meal with the left over rice.


Start with dicing one onion and 2 stalks celery.  In a saute pan, add 1 Tbsp butter, onion and celery.  Sweat out the vegetables with a little salt and pepper till translucent.  Set aside and let cool.


If you don’t have extra leftover chicken for thes casserole, rotisserie chicken works great.  Chop chicken into bite size pieces- about 2 cups.  In a bowl, mix chicken, 1 cup homemade cream of mushroom or 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream- I kind of eye ball these.  Optional: 1 can chopped water chestnuts, cooked wild rice (I like the MN grown but you could use a wild rice pilaf too.)


Mix in the onion and celery mixture.  Pour into a baking dish and top with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 about 30 minutes till bubbly.  I serve this with steamed broccoli.



Winner Announced March 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — clappingonthedownbeat @ 5:43 PM

Lucky winner is number 2!


Party Invite December 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — clappingonthedownbeat @ 2:51 PM

Here’s your invitation to come to a fun girls night out at Apricot Lane in Stonebrier Mall. Sunday December 19th from 6-8pm you can come, shop, have some wine and snacks and win some door prizes.  Plus you get 20% off your purchase.  Apricot Lane sells fun denim like Miss Me and True Religion.

Project MOM spring registration has begun: