Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicken and Bean Soup

I made this for dinner tonight and there were no left overs. This is a very healthy soup - and great tasting too.

Chicken and Bean Soup

½ cup dry garbanzo beans
½ cup dry black beans
1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces
1 ½ cups fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into ¼ inch slices
2 ½ cups sliced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped or shredded

1. Rinse the beans; place in a saucepan and add enough water to cover the beans by about two inches. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour. Drain and rinse beans.
2. Put all ingredients except fresh herbs and spinach in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
3. Add fresh herbs and spinach. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
4 servings

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My tangled up raspberries

A reader requested to see my raspberries - so here they are.

They are just a tangled up mess - I have no supports in there - I had some supports but they weren't working very well so I took them out this spring.

I have red and yellow berries. Summer and Fall (everbearing) berries.

I don't do a lot to them - just throw some compost on the ground between them once in awhile - maybe once a season - and cut out dead canes.

They are along one side of my house so they do not get full sun. I water them daily if it doesn't rain.

I would guess the secret to such abundance and the huge size of the berries is the compost. The berries spread and I dig up the errant canes and give them to my neighbors - none of theirs produce like mine do - so I think it has to be the compost.

I also have some black raspberries, but I moved them last year so they are not producing right now. The reason I moved them was that their canes grow really long and are more prickly - the red and yellow canes seem to be more stout and upright (sort of) and don't prick as much - the black raspberries were really tangling the other up even more and making it really hard to get in there and pick.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Making Raspberry Sorbet - Step by Step

How to make Raspberry Sorbet in eight easy steps.

Step One: Measure 1 cup of water

Step Two: Measure 1 cup of raw sugar (I suppose you could use white sugar, but why? - if you are going to eat sugar it shouldn't have the trace nutrients taken out.)

Step Three: Mix in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Step Four: Measure 1 quart of raspberries (about 1 lb)

Step Five: Put through a sieve or strainer to remove the seeds (I use my kitchen aid attachment).

I got about 1 1/2 cups of puree from the 1 quart of berries.

The syrup is now cool and a medium brown color. If you use white sugar it will be clear.

Step Six: Add the berries to the syrup and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. The xanthan gum is optional but it is a stabilizer that will keep the sorbet from turning into one big ice crystal if you don't eat it all right away.

Step Seven: Put berry mixture into your ice cream maker and process until done - the time will vary on how cold the syrup is - if it is still a little warm, then it will take longer to freeze.

Step Eight - enjoy!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fresh Raspberry Pie

Kathi’s Fresh Raspberry Pie
4 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
4 tablespoons water
2 - 9” pie crusts of your choice (I use the perfect pie crust mix from the gluten free pantry)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Line pie plate with one pie crust
3. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into bottom pie crust
4. Place other pie crust on top, flute and seal edges.
5. Make slits in the top so that steam can escape.
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for 45 minutes
8 servings

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

Currant Sorbet

What a wonderful treat on a hot summer day.

My currant bushes are really loaded - I'm going to have lots of currants to enjoy this year.

I made my sorbet different this time. I juiced the currants by using my food mill that I attach to my kitchen aid mixer.

The juice was really concentrated so I took 1 cup of juice, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of raw sugar and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.

The xanthan gum is a stabilizer - I use it a lot in gluten free baking so I always have it on hand - it is expensive - like $12 for a bag - but a little goes a long way. It keeps the sorbet nice and creamy - otherwise it is nice when it is fresh, but if you put it in the freezer for later, it will be a hard crystallized block.

I heated the juice mixture until the sugar was dissolved. Then I let it cool to room temperature and then I put it in my electric ice cream maker.

The juice mixture was a pretty dark red when I put it in the ice cream maker but as it froze, it turned a nice fluffy pink color. It is just so light and airy and oh so yummy - not to mention full of all kinds of wonderful phytonutrients.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Look what I had for dinner!

It just doesn't get any fresher than this. I dug them, washed them, cooked them and ate them all in the span of a half hour. There is nothing like tender new potatoes. They sure were good.