Clapping On The Down Beat

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Experimentation January 19, 2016

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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:http://www.projmom.com/