Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Twister #2

Some weeks you just get more time in the kitchen than others, and this was certainly true for me this week. (Not so much next week!). Believe me, I'm not super woman, but it just worked out for me. I'm not going to go into details on each item, but wanted to highlight some new things I tried this week and just some ordinary stuff as well. 

If you want to participate in Wardeh's Tuesday Twister, be sure to go over to her site and find out more. A lot of what I've been doing is stuff I'm learning in her Fundamentals eCourse. If you didn't get to take this class this time around, she will be hosting another in the future and I'll be sure to let you know.

First, I learned to soak grains, specifically rice, in order to remove the phytic acid and release the enzymes. However, I wasn't sure what it would do to the rice in terms of taste and texture, but since we soaked it in water with some apple cider vinegar, it resulted in a very satisfactory dish. Some was used in a rice salad that I love, some in a soup, and the rest, well... my two younger girls kept asking if they could have some rice - as a snack! I think that tells you how much they loved it. The rice had a slight tang to it which made it wonderfully delicious!

Second, I made some soft goat cheese. This was the first time I had made it on my own, so I was hoping it would really work! And yes, it did! I still can't get over how easy this is to do. I added some italian herbs this time so that I could use it on a pizza along with some mozzarella, leeks, italian sausage, and tomato paste.

I also made a soaked baked oatmeal for breakfast Sunday. I have been looking for a recipe for this quite a while, but most had something close to 2 cups of sugar or two sticks of butter and few, if any, were soaked. Kelly the Kitchen Kop had just what I was looking for! Only one family member thought it was too sweet (it only had 1/2 cup of honey!). The rest thought it was perfect and enjoyed it a lot. I was surprised since I had never made baked oatmeal and I was afraid they'd turn their nose up at it. This was enough to last us for two mornings. I just reheated it for a few minutes in the oven the second day.

Another soaked item this week: almonds. Yes, I didn't know it was possible, but this process of soaking mimics germination which releases the enzymes that are dormant until germination actually takes place. After they dried, I used my Food Saver to vacuum seal them until later use. 

I love my dehydrator and this was another great opportunity to use it. I don't think I've mentioned this specifically, but if you ever find that you are in the market for a dehydrator, I'm now an affiliate for Excalibur and if you go to the top of this blog, click "Shop", there you can purchase one directly from Excalibur through my blog. I do receive a commission which I use to support this site.

That last item was a pot of black beans that I soaked with whey from the cheese up above and water for nearly 24 hours, then simmered on the stove until tender. Never have I used whey before, and I actually ended up freezing some in cubes for later use. I'm planning to use the beans in tonight's meal - a soup with some italian sausage, chard, and such. Whatever suits my fancy and is in the refrigerator! I may just sneak some and eat them by themselves though cause this bean broth is thick and delicious! I love my beans like that.

Before I close, I just had to share this neat tip that I learned from my friend Lynda.(She doesn't even know I got it from her, but my girls kept telling me about it after spending the night at her house!). 

Maple syrup is sooooo expensive and I ration it as if it were liquid gold. And of course, the pancakes absorb the syrup so fast, the girls are alway wanting more. If you just roll a small hand towel or wash cloth and tuck it under the back of the plate, it will tilt the plate and pool the syrup at the front. Then you can dip your pancakes in it and not use quite so much. Please, do not laugh at me if everyone on planet earth already knew this trick and I didn't. I'm just pleased as punch, so no one burst my bubble!

I'd love to hear what you're learning in your kitchen this week. Please comment below and if you've posted something on your own blog, be sure to let us know!


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