Showing posts from May, 2013

Homemade Domiati Cheese

With a little less milk around here for a while, I thought I would make a type of cheese that I have not tried before.  Domiati, if you are not familiar with the variety, is an Egyptian cheese named after the city it was invented in.  This cheese is brined in a way similar to Feta, but the difference between Feta and Domiati is that Feta has a more crumbly nature while Domiati has a bit of a spring to it. 

I want to warn you ahead of time before you look over the recipe, it uses a LOT of salt, but rest assured, the cheese does not ends up tasting too salty.

Here is the recipe:

Start out with 1 1/2 gallons of milk.

Put the milk AND 1 cup salt into a sterilized pot and heat, while stirring, to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Thermophilic culture on top of the milk.  Let set for 5 minutes to rehydrate, and then stir in.

Immediately dilute 1/4 teaspoon of rennet in a 1/2 cup water and thoroughly stir the pot again.

Cover the pot after stirring so as to hold the 100 degree temper…

Matthew 4 & Fasting

This summer I am very excited that I will have the opportunity to facilitate a Kay Arthur bible study on fasting. I know I have a lot to learn on this subject and it seems from the growing interest I have received from the women who would like to join me in my study, fasting is a discipline many Christians lack a good understanding of.
In both my studies of scripture and my studies of gut health, I have come to the balanced view that fasting is both good for the body and soul – a practice which God intended for us to keep on a regular basis for our complete health.
...when you fast...” Matthew 6:16a
Jesus going off into the desert to fast for 40 days and 40 nights, as it is accounted in Matthew 4, may have been an extreme example of fasting, but as the scripture above from Matthew 6 states the matter of fasting for a believer is not an “if”, but rather a “when”. And, Jesus at one point in scripture is recorded as to telling His disciples of the powerful faith life which will be avail…

Chicken A La King with Popovers

Wanting to use some up some extra eggs, our chickens are now into their very fruitful summer production, I thought for dinner I would make some popovers and top them with Chicken A La King.  This sauce is basically a take on a simple rue with lots of "good fats" incorporated for a wonderful and healthful family dinner.   Also, if you make the sauce while cooking the popovers, this is a dish that is easy to whip up in a rather short period of time.

Here is what you will need for ingredients:
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups cut up, leftover, chicken
1 Tablespoon dried tarragon
2 cups sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

First get the popovers going in the oven and then melt the butter in a sauce pan.

Add in the flour and stir until the flour and butter make a lumpy paste.

Next add in the stock and then whisk and bring to a simmer.While the stock is heating up take time to cut up the chicken and add the tarragon.

When the stock is thi…

Vacuum Sealing Cheese for Storage

Storing cheese for me is a bit of a practice of necessity.  I would love to say that I wash my hand-made rounds with wonderful brines and flavored washes, but truly my schedule usually leaves me so flustered that I sometimes look in the refrigerator and wonder, "Now which cheese recipe was that?".And sadly, I have to admit, at times I have actually stored cheese without a label!

Thus, my vacuum sealing method has been perfected in helping me to store and age cheese here on our farm.  And, if done right, I have had no issue with unwanted mold on my nicely brined and pressed cheeses which makes it the most utilitarian method for this sometimes very frazzled hobby farmer.

Here is the simple method I use to vacuum store the cheese:

First I create a bag out of the vacuum seal material.

Next, I put the half round of cheese in the bag.

Then I vacuum seal the bag shut.

And finally I label it with the name of the cheese and the month it was made (that is close enough for me).

My goal is to …

Matthew 3 & Credible Ministry

In reading through Matthew 3 a few weeks ago I saw a paradox I have struggled with on both sides throughout my life. A struggle that vies religious standing with the divine gifting of the Holy Spirit. Let me explain:
The Pharisees and Sadducees were coming to see John, not to repent and be baptized, but rather to criticize him and at the same time show off their worldly religious credentials. John had none of these credentials and yet his ministry was booming. This unusual man clothed in camel's hair, who ate locusts and honey, did not have the high credentials these so called “learned” men did. But, God Himself had set apart this desert living nomad who daily changed the lives of the men and women who he helped bring to repentance.
It was a confusing situation to all those who looked at John's ministry from the outside with no change of heart. These men of religious standing had to be completely aghast as to what they were witness to as they approached John at the rive…

Sun Dried Tomato Quesadillas

For a quick dinner tonight I whipped up a batch of these quesadillas using some leftover soaked grain sourdough flour tortillas along with my homemade taco seasoning.  My reason for adding the sun dried tomatoes was because after this long winter I am just yearning for a touch of summer in my cuisine. 

By the way, these tomatoes were not really sun dried but rather they were heirloom tomatoes I grewin my garden last year and dried in my dehydrator for long-term storage.

Here is what you need to make up these simple quesadillas:
2 1/2 cups cheese (I used 2 cups of aged cheddar and 1/2 cup fresh Leerdammer)1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (rehydrated in 2 cups boiling water, well drained, and then chopped)8 soaked grain sourdough flour tortillas1 teaspoon taco seasoningbutter for frying

On top of one tortilla, place 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 of the tomatoes.

Top the tomatoes then with 1/8 cup cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of taco seasoning.

Top with another tortilla and then place on a buttered 350 degree …

Tangy Lemon Custard Bars

For a long time now I have been trying to make lemon bars by converting traditional, unhealthy, ingredient recipes to ones with more healthy alternatives.  But to my dismay, these revisions never turned out a really good tasting end product.  This recipe though did work out, and it made an incredibly wonderful dessert but at the same time is a totally different take on the lemon that puts a very healthy traditional custard on top of a simple gluten-free crust.  

NOTE:  For those of you who are beginner cooks, just a warning about custard - it needs a lot of attention and constant stirring to keep the eggs from turning into scrambled eggs instead of a thick rich custard.

Here is what is needed for this recipe:
8 large eggs (10 medium), divided
3/4 cup butter, divided
3/4 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup coconut chips
1 cup real lemon juice

In a food processor, blend 2 eggs and 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1/4 cup honey.

Add in the coconut flour and coconut chips and proc…

Dill Sourdough Crackers

To accompany some of my homemade Fromage Blanc, which I flavored with fresh herbs from the garden and toasted sesame seeds, I decided to make a sourdough cracker with dill in it.

Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon dried dill
salt for sprinkling on top of crackers.
extra flour for rolling

To start, mix the sourdough, butter, and flour.  Knead together.  Let sit for 4 or more hours.

Next knead in the dill and salt.

On two sheets of parchment, roll out the dough and then cut into desired cracker sizes.  I have found it easiest to roll the dough out width-wise first and then turn the sheet and finish rolling out the dough lengthwise to fit the dough square in the center of the parchment.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Kefir Soaked Brownies

My middle son Timothy loves brownies.  Actually I might even go as far to say he has a passion for them.  What is mother to do?  Well, this recipe is a pretty good compromise I believe that satisfies this child's desire for chocolate and my desire to feed him healthy food.

Here is what you are going to need for ingredients:
2 cups milk kefir
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cup SUCANAT
3/4 cup softened butter
4 large eggs (5 if using medium sized)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons natural chocolate flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Start by combining the kefir and flour in a bowl.  Knead the mixture together and then let sit, covered, for 8 hours.

After the soaking is complete, mix the butter and SUCANAT together and then add in the eggs, salt, cocoa, baking powder, and flavorings.

Finally, scoop in the soaked flour and beat well with your mixer.

Put the entire mixture into a baking dish that has been coated with coconut oil or butter.

Bake a…