Cooking / Baking

Full Circle Vegetable Box Review

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Cooking / Baking, Wellness | 0 comments

Our first vegetable box from Full Circle arrived first thing Monday morning, as promised.

Initial thoughts:

      In hindsight, this was probably too much leafy greens, as they all require cooking. It may be tempting to eat the spinach raw, but others suggest the nutrients are better assimilated when lightly cooked (particularly with fats).
      The avocado is rock hard even 3 days later, but I guess I can’t complain for getting one in December in Seattle. Same goes for the satsumas, which are delicious.
      Too bad they cut the leaves off of the beets, they are equally nutritious and can be prepared as a side to accompany the beets.
      Despite some minor complaints, it’s great to get fresh organic vegetables delivered to your doorstep. Why did it take us so long to do this?

To get the most bang out of your buck, it’s important to revive any vegetables that appear wilted and store them in a sealed container. Add some paper towels to the bottom of the container to soak up any water that remains from washing.

Now it’s time to figure out what to do this all these veggies! I guess that’s the fun part. Again, I’ve looked to Health-Bent for inspiration.


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Posted by on Nov 24, 2011 in Cooking / Baking | 0 comments


Well it finally happened. I’m 30. As for my 20′s: it was a good run, rest in peace.

I have some pictures up on my gallery from the flavor berry/birthday party, but I failed to get photos of our candle blowing, or of the Fat Kids! If anyone has them, I’d love it if you sent them my way. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate.

Part of my resolve going into my 30′s is to treat my body nicer and develop some more sustainable food practices. Over the last year I’ve spent a good deal of time in the kitchen or on the paleo/wellness/nutrition blogosphere and have learned a lot. Some of it will surely make it’s way into this blog.

OBTW: Happy Thanksgiving!

We spent the entire morning in the kitchen today, preparing for our usual two thanksgivings. Here’s what we made:

Powderhorn Potatoes
A staple dish in our household, something my mother has made for years. If you consider the starches (such as from potatoes) as vessels for flavorful fats, this dish is for you. Butter, sour cream, and cheese, along with some garlic and green chilis transform this bland root vegetable (actually potatoes are technically nightshades) into a side bursting with flavor.

Jalapeno Poppers
Prosciutto and Monterey Jack cheese on top of halved jalapenos for Thanksgiving? Yep. Another delicious dish from my mother’s side of the family.

Grain-free Pumpkin Pie
Found this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple. No flour or refined sugar needed as one can substitute them for arrowroot powder and maple syrup. The crust is walnut based and the pumpkin filling has a potent mix of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom…). I hope it’s as good as it smells.




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Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Posted by on Jan 25, 2011 in Cooking / Baking, Wellness | 2 comments

Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Ray and I went gluten free for the month of January (more on that later) so I was excited to find a gluten free brownie recipe that used black beans instead of wheat flour.  We’ve been noshing on these amazing (but expensive) bite-sized brownies from WOW foods, so I figured I could make something similar.  I was unsure about the black beans, but almost all of the reviews said that the brownies were amazing and fudgy and delicious.

Here is the recipe with my edits:

1 (15.5 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used ghee, you can also use butter)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt (I omitted)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee (I used 1 teaspoon of brewed coffee)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (recipe said optional, but in retrospect, these are very necessary).

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and melt the butter

2. Grease an 8×8 baking pan

3. Combine everything but the chocolate chips into a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add the chocolate chips and mix by hand.

4. Pour into the greased baking pan and bake for 35 minutes.

The verdict?  Meh.  They definitely satisfied my sweet tooth and had a “fudge-like” consistency.  They even tasted like chocolate.  But they were just a little off. As Ray’s friend Ben said, “They’re missing something… I think its gluten.”

Sigh, some things just aren’t meant to be gluten free.

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2010 Lake City Chili Cook Off

Posted by on Oct 14, 2010 in Cooking / Baking | 1 comment

2010 Lake City Chili Cook Off

…and we’re back! Sorry for the delay between posts, folks. We got all wrapped up in living life and whatnot.

The 2010 Lake City Chili Cookoff was a lot of fun.  The weather called for a torrential downpour, so we spent all weekend making the basement as clean and hospitable as possible. We even installed a few strips of rope lighting along the low parts of the ceiling so that Adam tall people wouldn’t bonk their heads. (Ray already has muscle memory for the low spots of the basement – he could walk around down there in his sleep.)  After all that preparation, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.

Chili and power tools - mmm.

Ray decided to enter the competition less than 24 hours before it began, leaving me to hand-write his chili name into every single ballot, and sending him scrambling to come up with a recipe.  The fact that he won first place in the vegetarian category was quite the upset, but what can I say – the man can cook!  (He is making a fantastic dinner right now.)

First Place – Vegetarian: “Shot In the Dark” by Ray

First Place – Meat no Bean: “Happy Thanksgiving!” by Elizabeth

First Place – Meat with Bean AND Best in Show: “Cramson” by Jeremy and Tanya

The winners of the 2010 Lake City Chili Cookoff

We’re already thinking about next year’s cookoff.  Better weather!  More chili!  More prizes!  We’ll send out an email to save the date next Spring.

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Pies in a Jar

Posted by on Aug 18, 2010 in Cooking / Baking, How-To | 1 comment

Pies in a Jar

In my last post I talked about how this post about pies in jars was meaningless in light of my uncle’s passing.  But I really like pie, and Randy did, too.  And then I realized something that stopped me in my tracks – the first time I ever tried making pies in jars was when Randy came over to install my dishwasher.  While he worked, I baked, and I sent him home with his own jar of pie.  He was one of my first taste-testers, so this post makes sense after all.

I taught my sister-in-law how to make pies in a jar a couple of weeks ago.  What I love most about these little beauties is that you can freeze them in their single-serving jars, and the next time you’re craving a piece of pie, you can just whip one out, bake it, and in no time you’ve got freshly baked pie!

Baker's apprentice.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of making blackberry pie with my mom.  In the memory that stands out most in my mind, I am six years old.  My mom and I had just spent all day picking blackberries in White Center, and baked ourselves a gorgeous pie.  We left the pie cooling in the kitchen while we walked to the store for vanilla ice cream.  When we came back, our dog Max had knocked the pie to the ground and all but eaten the entire thing.

This recipe is for blackberry pie, but you can sub-in any type of berry.

Make sure you get the half-pint, wide-mouth jars. The traditional ones just aren't as cute.

6 – half-pint, wide-mouth canning jars

Pie crust (double-batch)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening

Pie filling
4 cups blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca balls (not pudding)
1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter

1. Make one batch of crust by mixing half of each ingredient (1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup shortening) in a food processor with the pastry attachment.  Mix until dough resembles coarse crumbs, then gather into a ball.

2. Press dough into the sides of each jar.  I don’t put any crust on the bottom to create a nice filling-to-crust ratio.

3. Mix all of the filling ingredients except the butter in a mixing bowl. Divide the contents evenly between the 6 jars. Make sure the filling isn’t mounded over the top of the jar, so that the lid will fit back on. Put a small pat of butter on the top of each jar.

4. Create another batch of dough using the remaining ingredients. Roll the dough out on a clean, floured countertop with a floured rolling bin. I like to do a lattice top, but you can also use the jar lid to cut out a round top, just be sure to cut slits for steam vents.

5. Add the seal and jar lid and freeze.

When you’re ready to bake the pies, remove the lid and seal, put them on a cookie sheet to catch any filling that bubbles over and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Try to let the pies defrost for a bit before baking if you can. If you simply can’t wait, you’re supposed to be able to put the jars in the oven directly from the freezer without them cracking.

Pies in a jar make a great gift. You can even add a colorful piece of fabric or paper in between the seal and lid.

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