A while ago I was sent a copy of the book Homemade Condiments by Jessica Harlan. This book is totally my kind of cookbook. If I can make it instead of buy it, you know I will. I only recently started making salad dressings and they were seriously lacking inspiration so this book has inspired me to step it up a notch.
The other night I made a Lime-Cumin Dressing that was fantastic. It would be great paired with a Mexican meal or even on a wrap. I drizzled it over some tossed spinach, red peppers, and cucumbers. It went surprisingly well with the venison steak I grilled.
I also made a honey mustard recipe that turned out great as well. I put it on a ham sandwich and I’m pretty sure it would go really well as a dipping sauce too.
There’s also a chocolate almond Nutella type spread that I’ve got all the ingredients for. It’s on the list to make as soon as the massive tray of brownies I made yesterday is gone. I can only handle the temptation of so much chocolate at a time! I’m definitely going to make some of the different ketchup recipes in here this summer as well.
I’ve also been given a chance to give away a copy of this book! Want to win a copy? Enter below!
We have a slightly ridiculous amounts of beets this year. Last year was the first year we grew them and the entire family loved them so we grew three times as much this year. Beets should keep well in cold storage so I’m looking forward to eating them most of the winter.
However, lots of beets means learning new ways of preparing them so last week I took a stab at making beet pasta. It turned out great. The dough was a really pretty color and the kids thought that was pretty awesome. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was the color of the pasta after it had been cooked. Most of the red came out in the water so we had very pale pink noodles. Aside from that they were easy to make and not a whole lot more time consuming that making regular pasta.
Want to make your own beet pasta? Here’s how I did it.
Recipe makes approximately 8 servings. This is a long process although not a ton of work. Start early!
Peel and chop 1-2 beets. Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees until soft. Let cool.
If you store your eggs in the fridge, take 3 out to bring them to room temperature.
Blend until smooth in a blender. Try not to cringe at the color whirling around in your blender…
Once your beets are blended, measure out half a cup of puree. Save any leftovers for another meal, throw it in the freezer, or feed it to your baby if you have one!
Put 3 cups of all purpose flour in a stand mixer and crack your three room temperature eggs in.
Use the dough hook to mix all the ingredients together. Don’t have a stand mixer? No problem, use your hands and your dough will most likely turn out even better than mine.
Continue to knead your dough. Add flour until your dough is smooth and not sticky. Depending on the size of your eggs you may need to add quite a bit more, or just a small amount. If your dough is ever too dry you can add a bit of water.
Once your dough is looking smooth and elastic, remove it from the bowl and knead by hand for about five minutes. Longer if you’re tough, shorter if you’re a weakling when it comes to kneading. Like me.
Check out the color of that dough!
Cover your dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least half an hour. Longer if you have time!
After the rest period split your dough in to four sections. Keep one section out and cover the other three back up.
The rest of my instructions include using a pasta machine. If you don’t have one you can hand roll and cut them. I tried to find a good online tutorial for this but I didn’t have much luck. It might be worth looking into however, I’ve done it before and it’s not very difficult.
Cut your small section in half and roll one piece through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Fold it in half and run it through again. Continue to fold and run through until you get a nice uniform piece. When you get a nice piece start rolling it through thinner settings until you get to the second smallest setting, or smallest, depending on your preference.
Cut your long piece in half. This is totally optional, I do it because my pasta machine is terrible at cutting the noodles so the longer they are the more of a pain it is for me to separate them.
Dust with more flour and run it through your choice of noodle. I always use my linguine cutter again because I have to separate all my noodles after they have been cut and that takes twice as long on the spaghetti cutter.
Repeat steps with all the dough.
This is also where I get help. Lots of help. Three kids fighting over who gets to help in fact!
The next step is optional. I like to hang my noodles partly because I freeze half of them and partly because I find if they dry for a half hour or so they just come out a nicer texture. You can however cut and boil your noodles right away. If you don’t hang them, flour them liberally as you continue to cut the rest or you’ll get a big pile of noodles all stuck together.
I use my laundry rack to dry my noodles. And yes I wash it before and after!It looks like a lot of noodles but this is barely enough for two meals for my family.
Once your noodles have hung for a bit get a big pot of salted water boiling. Add your noodles and cook for about 5-7 minutes. I’ve never actually timed it I just keep sneaking noodles and trying them until they are ready.
Drain and serve any way you like!
3 eggs, room temperature
3-4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup beet puree
Combine eggs, 3 cups of flour, and beet puree into a stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook until well combined. Continue to add flour until you get a smooth, elastic, and not sticky dough. Let rest for at least half an hour. Roll out and cut. Boil in salted water for 5-7 minutes.
My littlest dude is eight months. Already. This means that he’s been on solid food for a couple of months already. I made a decision when I was still pregnant with him to try to completely avoid processed food and formula for him. At first I thought it would be a little difficult when it came to baby cereal but it turns out it was extremely easy. I mostly fed him oatmeal cereal at the start and then quickly switched to regular cooked oatmeal when I decided to do Baby Led Weaning with him.
It’s really easy to make baby oatmeal. All you have to do is dump a couple of cups of instant oats in a blender or food processor and blend! I then put it in a mason jar and stored it in the fridge. When it came time to make Lachlan cereal I put a couple of spoon fulls in a bowl and poured boiling water over top, whisking as I poured. It starts out looking like it will be really lumpy but once it cooks a bit and you whisk it with a fork it smooths out.The only other baby cereal I made was rice cereal. I bought heritage grain short rice and cooked up a pot of it. Then I blended it and poured it into ice cube trays and froze them. Then I just pulled out a cube or two whenever I needed one. If you avoid using the microwave you have to remember to pull it out ahead of time to let it defrost then add a bit of boiling water to warm it up.
Have you made baby cereal before? How did you do it?
I’ve posted about Granola before but I’ve changed up my recipe a bit and make it in much larger batches now. We’ve switched over completely to Granola and Oatmeal for breakfasts which means we don’t buy any cereal at all anymore. This means I’m making much larger batches as we go through so much more. My kids eat 2-3 bowls a morning. Ouch. Help me once they are teenagers.
My favorite thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. I change the dry ingredients up based on what I have in my pantry and what happens to sound good as I’m making it. As long as I keep the dry ingredients to wet ingredients ratio about the same it always turns out.
16 cups quick oats
3-4 cups ground flax
1 cup oat bran
2-3 cups sliced almonds or other nuts
1 cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup honey
4 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Mix together all your dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a saucepan heat up your oil, syrup, honey, and vanilla until it just starts to boil.
Pour your wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined, breaking up any clumps as you go.
Spread granola over cookie sheets, no more than 1/2 inch thick and bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool then remove from pan and store in an airtight container.