Waste or mistakes never happen in a farm kitchen.....only future animal or plant food.

November 29, 2011

Rice Cooker Spanish Rice w/Gelatin

Ingredients: Makes about 8 servings
2 cups Broth
4 TBS Beef gelatin
1 tsp Cream of tartar
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Salsa
4 scoops Rice (rice cooker scoop is about 3/4 of a cup of actual rice)
Water to 4 cup fill line
2 TBS Coconut oil or Butter

  1. Put broth in pot and sprinkle with powdered ingredients, so gelatin can soak up some liquid.
  2. When soaked, put rice and salsa into pot and stir.
  3. Fill to 4 cup line marked on pot with water (or add extra broth).  
  4. Add a plop of oil or butter.
  5. Cook.
  6. When rice is done, fluff and serve.

My 4 cup rice cooker allows for setting a timer to start cooking at a later time AND keeps the food warm for up to 14 hours. Very handy!

Foodie Wednesday

November 25, 2011

Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese - GF

I was "hopping" this morning and came across this recipe: Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese

Finally a recipe that doesn't require a big production or a lot of prep time!

I adapted it to what I had on hand, but it sure was EASY...and tasty!

Ingredients: 4-6 servings
2-4 TBS Coconut Oil
2 cups Penne Rice Pasta
2 cups full fat fresh Milk
.5-1 tsp Salt (some cheeses are saltier than others)
.5 tsp Red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper
Hot pepper sauce

4-8 oz white cheese (shredded in the Cuisinart)

Place all ingredients in cooker, in order (omit cheese) and press the start button.  When it's finished cooking (switched to "keep warm" setting) shred the cheese, mix into the pasta and serve.

I used the white rice setting on my cooker the first time and the porridge setting the second time.  I also put the coconut oil in first the second time around. The noodles were the same consistency, but the porridge setting left a little liquid at the bottom.  I liked the extra liquid for mixing with the cheese, but it's not a big deal if your cooker only has one setting.  I also liked that there wasn't any browning of the bottom the second time.  I suspect the oil on the bottom, but it could be the porridge setting, I suppose.

For the cheese, I used Jack with extra hot pepper sauce the first time and Jalapeno Havarti the second time. The Jack didn't have enough personality for me, the Havarti was excellent!  A good white cheddar would hit the spot as well.

Next time around, I am going to attempt putting the cheese in during the cooking....to see if I can save an additional step.

Update Nov 28th: 
Tweaked the recipe a little more...3rd times a charm.

2 TBS Coconut Oil
2 cups Rice Pasta
2 cups full fat fresh Milk
.5 tsp Salt (some cheeses are saltier than others)
.5 tsp baking soda
2 TSP Cream of Tartar
1-2 TBS Mustard (I didn't measure, just scraped what was left in the container)
8 oz  Jack cheese (cubed or shredded...I just broke off small pieces)

No need to separate the cheese, just toss it all in there!  I found it easier to add the noodles last, after mixing the other ingredients together...otherwise the mustard stays clumpy.

Hunk a Meat Monday


Home Smoked Turkey Drumstick with Warmed Orange Cranberry Sauce

The leftover cranberry sauce was already in pyrex, so I took the legs sent home with me in a doggy bag and put them in a small pyrex tray and put everything in the toaster oven.  The default setting on my oven is 30 minutes at 300*, perfect for reheating just about anything.

The turkey was purchased from a local grower who raises them on pasture with non GMO feed.   This was a "runt" at 11 lbs.  My friend likes to brine her birds and her husband smokes them using a blend of real woods.  I think hickory and pecan were part of this years batch.  Good stuff...especially the dark meat!

Friday Potluck
Friday Food

November 24, 2011

Orange Cranberry Gelatin (updated)

This is what I intended to make: No Stir Cranberry Sauce

  • At about 6 PM last night, I discovered that my apple juice concentrate was from 2007 and it smelled/tasted horrible.
  • I substituted frozen grape juice, mixed all the ingredients together (including adding a stick of cinnamon and star anise, in addition to cloves) and waited for the cooker to come up to pressure.  It smelled SOOOO good putting it in the pot, I was really looking forward to it.
  • About 15 minutes later, I SMELLED the steam releasing from the pressure cooker.  Not good, it was burnt! It's been so long since I used the cooker, I think the burner was too high AND the gelatin was too sticky.
  • After waiting for the cooker to cool, we cleaned and scrubbed (baking soda works GREAT, BTW!) and started over.
  • Second can of grape juice concentrate was stinky too, cardboard container instead of plastic like the first.
  • The chickens ate well last night........

This is what I actually made:  Orange Cranberry Gelatin
Looks more like strawberries than cranberries, doesn't it?

It tastes wonderful.  The only thing I don't like about it is the muddy red color it has compared to the vibrant, bright red I get with apple juice concentrate.  The star anise and cloves didn't smell right with the OJ, so I left them out.

2 - 10 oz bags cranberries
1 can OJ frozen concentrate
1 cinnamon stick

1.5 cups beef gelatin
1 cup cane sugar
2 large pinches of salt
1 cup Apple Cider
1/2 -1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar####

Heat first 2 ingredients on medium heat in a pressure cooker until OJ is melted.  Blend remaining dry ingredients together, then sprinkle on top of wet ingredients.  I added some apple cider to the top because it didn't seem "wet" enough. DON'T MIX.  Put lid of cooker and bring up to 15 lbs pressure, then remove from heat. Let cool naturally.

When safe to open, remove lid and much cranberries with a ricer/potato masher (circular press with small square holes).***  Remove cinnamon stick and chill until set.  Can be made ahead and served at room temperature or gently warmed.  Serve with Turkey or Ham!

#### This year I didn't have any apple juice/cider, so I experimented. I LOVED the ACV in the cranberries, perked it right up, gave it some personality, like a chutney. I may have added a little extra sugar, I don't remember.

***If you have issues that make small seeds a problem, go ahead and strain out the berries instead of crushing them.  You will get all of the flavor without the future discomfort.

Simple Lives Thursday
Full Plate Thursday 
Ingredient Spotlight: Cranberries

November 23, 2011

Chocolate Balsamic "Gravy"

Chocolate Balsamic "Gravy"
Balsamic Vinegar (OG)
Beef Gelatin
Cane Sugar
Cocoa Powder
Cream of Tartar (optional)
Coffee (optional, leave out C of T, if using)
Mustard (I like Gulden's, no water added)

I originally made this with some leftover coffee and gelatin for some sirloin steak we were having for lunch. I thought is went well with the steak, but was a little weird with the potatoes.

Ketchup Boy raved about it, even on the pan fried potatoes.

So I made it again for dinner, this time tweaking it with more vinegar and mustard and leaving out the coffee. I was aiming for an unusual vinegrette for a "Warm Potato Salad" type dish. It worked great!

Savory Sunday
Simply Delish
Gluten Free Wednesday
Ultimate Recipe Swap
Ingredient Spotlight: Cocoa

November 16, 2011


I started getting white hairs in my late 20's.  Yesterday, I found a partially white hair that had grown back normal color.  The bottom 3 inches was white, the rest was brown.  I should have taken a picture, but vanity won and the offending 3 inches is no longer attached to my head.

November 13, 2011

Simplified No Corn Syrup Caramel Corn with Gelatin

This is it, the finished product...not too oily, not too sticky, not too wet, not too clumpy, not too salty, not too bland.  You can read about some of the experiments here: No Corn Syrup Caramel/Toffee Popcorn


  • 1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 TBS beef gelatin
  • 2 TBS cane sugar
  • 2 TBS brown or "whole" cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of vanilla (optional) 
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda (added at very end)
1/4 cup white popcorn kernels


  1. Get out 1 stick of butter and let soften
  2. Pop the corn
  3. Remove unpopped kernels and loose "shells"
  4. Set aside in a large mixing bowl. 
  5. Mix all dry ingredients (except baking soda) in a small sauce pan
  6. Mix dry ingredients with butter and heat low and slow until dissolved
  7. Increase heat to medium, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom
  8. Let it bubble up a bit...a few minutes or so.
  9. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla
  10. Add baking soda, stir and pour over popcorn
  11. Fold caramel gently into popcorn, coating as evenly as possible
  12. Serve as is with a fresh glass of milk or mold into balls before it cools.
  13. ENJOY!

Simple Lives Thursday
Friday Food
Simply Delish
Your Recipe, My Kitchen
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
See Ya in the Gumbo
Made From Scratch Tuesday
Hearth and Soul Hop
Fat Tuesday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Friday Potluck 
Gluten Free Wednesday 
Foodie Wednesday 
What's On Your Plate?
Food and Health Carnival
Sweet Temptations

November 11, 2011

Coffee Bites

This is strong stuff, a little dab'll do ya.....think coffee gummy candy.  

2 TBS Beef Gelatin
2 TBS Cane Sugar 
Pinch of Salt (Optional)
1 Cup Hot Coffee

Mix dry ingredients together, then add coffee slowly while stirring rapidly.  Chill for at least an hour, then nibble.
Drink some of it hot, then chill the rest for later.

Earl Grey Jello - It's not just for kids

I discovered this lovely, sophisticated snack quite by accident.  I made some hot tea with gelatin and then forgot to drink it. The cold room gelled it right up. Not one to want to waste food, I was prepared to tolerate eating it as is.  I was pleasantly surprised at its delicate balance of flavors.  The cream of tartar enhances the citrus tone of the bergamot.

Ingredients: (per serving)
1 TBS Cane Sugar
1 TBS Beef Gelatin
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
Pinch of Salt
1 cup freshly brewed Earl Grey Tea

Mix the dry ingredients together in a cup or serving dish and poor HOT tea over them to about halfway, stirring rapidly.  When powders are all dissolved, add the rest of the liquid and chill in the fridge for about an hour or so...or in a cold room like mine.

I like to make jello in small, lidded pyrex dishes for To-Go foods.  It freezes fine, so is an easy make ahead snack/meal as well.

November 7, 2011


My saliva pH was a whopping 7.0 this morning at rising, before eating.  I didn't ever think I would see the day.  There have been times in the past few years when the pH strip wouldn't even change color. Tomorrow may bring it's own challenges, but today is a good day!

Fight Back Friday

November 3, 2011

No corn syrup Caramel/Toffee Popcorn ....a work in progress

I LOVE caramel popcorn, I don't love corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.  If I am going to eat caramel popcorn, or even kettle corn, I am going to have to make it myself.

I started with this caramel popcorn recipe and substituted simple syrup for the maple syrup with a little cream of tartar.  It made the popcorn soggy, but still tasty.  I forgot to scroll down and read the directions for OVEN baking it for a while before eating.  Oops.

The next batch I made after finding this marvelous looking toffee recipe using cane sugar and NO WATER or baking.  I made a double batch using half & half regular and brown cane sugar.  I also mix butter with coconut oil half & half and added some gelatin.  WOW, quick and easy, but gloppy and hard to blend well.  The fat did not want to stay mixed in with the sugar mix.  I suspect the coconut oil.  I thought it TASTED fabulous, it wasn't as sweet as the first batch, which I liked.

Current version:
1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 TBS beef gelatin
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup brown cane sugar
1 TSP cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of vanilla (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda (added at very end)

1/2 cup white popcorn kernals

Mix powdered ingredients together (except baking soda) and add to softened/melted butter/oil. Stir over medium low heat until blended. (That's the theory anyway....)
Meanwhile, pop your corn by your own preferred method....I like my air popper, significantly decreases burning risk.

When sugar mix is ready, or you just can't wait any longer, stir the vanilla and baking soda in and pour over popcorn and mix as best you can.  It will stick together in large glops....like those pink, popcorn sugar bricks at the country fair.  The oil will pour out separately to some extent, so try to spread evenly.

Version #2
1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
2 TBS beef gelatin
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of vanilla (optional)
1/4 tsp baking soda (added at very end)

1/4 cup white popcorn kernals

This is basically the same recipe as above, but cut in half except the gelatin. I also forgot to halve the baking soda and it was a bit much, but still edible. I used all white sugar, didn't cook it as long, and eliminated the coconut oil.  The butter and sugar mixed up together better, but I lost some of the flavor without the brown sugar and/or not cooking it as long.  It was also wetter, like the first batch.  It spread a lot easier, so that's not a bad thing.  I suspect I may have started at too high a temperature the previous batch causing it to harden up right away.  Still looking for a happy medium and am enjoying the "mistakes" very much.

November 2, 2011

Quick and Easy (No stir, almost) Cranberry Sauce or Jelly

1 bag cranberries (OG generally require less sugar)
1 can frozen apple juice concentrate
10-16 whole cloves OR a few dashes powdered clove
Pinch of salt
Cane Sugar/Cream of tartar to taste

For jelly, add a little beef gelatin in there too.

Using a stainless steel pressure cooker, add all ingredients to the cooker, mix and seal the lid.
Bring to 15 lbs of pressure and  turn off.  Wait until the pressure is naturally released and remove lid (this is about 10-15 minutes in total.)  Stir to break any whole berries, correct for seasoning (I like tart, some like syrup sweet) and serve at room temperature.  Can be made ahead, keeps for weeks.

P.S. Don't forget to fish out those whole cloves, if using.

Simply Delish

November 1, 2011


The black color is disappearing from 5 of my moles and the extra flesh is shrinking on the 3 raised ones.   One is flat now and the other 2 are about half sized.  It appears to be a first in, last out policy. ;)