Homemade ‘Ginger Bug’ Strawberry Soda

So I have to begin this post, by admitting that I do not ever give myself enough credit for my foodie experiments and successes. So that saying, with or without the great hd pictures or sound bytes to prove it, I am going to give myself credit for making a bottle of homemade soda the other day.

My husband cant let it get past me when I do have a success, and this one was pretty darn cool, so of course I have to blog about it.

I did make a bottle of Homemade Soda.

With bubbles. The bubbles actually got thicker the longer we let it sit in the bottle.

No buying of carbonation tabs, which I could have bought. Here;

http://www.northernbrewer.com/fermenters-favorites-fizz-drops-8-oz

No buying fizzy tabs; which honestly are the coolest thing I have found in a long time, link here;

http://store.molecularrecipes.com/texturas-fizzy-by-ferran-adria-300g/

No, I fermented organic ginger.

I Bottled up some grated ginger root that I found at the food bank fed it some sugar, and left it in a really small jar with water.

grated ginger
grated ginger

After 5 days it was ready to use and make soda with.

I loosely used this recipe here for my idea, since I had some fresh Strawberries;

Cultured Strawberry Soda

Here is a picture of my soda and my mini bottle of culture on the first night.

1st night strawberry soda
1st night strawberry soda
mini bottle of 7 day old bug and new jar of 2 day old bug
mini bottle of 7 day old bug and new jar of 2 day old bug

 

Adding some of my ‘ginger bug’ culture at the end of an infusion seemed too easy for me. And making a fruit juice is insanely easy just seeping fresh fruit like tea for a while and maybe adding some sweetener if you want to it. I bottled it up in a old jar with a cork, and we actually prematurely started to enjoy it the night of making it, so got some minimal bubbles but they were inside of it, the next day more bubbles and a louder ‘pop’ of the cork, and the third morning, this morning, it ‘popped’ so loud, that I was actually proud enough of my experiment to try it again and again.

So I have another ginger bug in the making now, and more sodas to come. I am really excited though because for the best and most exciting news is…

MY HUSBAND HATES THE TASTE OF GINGER…

I was the most happiest to hear that my ‘ginger bug’ soda, did not give my husband a bad aftertaste, or any bad taste for that matter of ginger whatsoever, in fact he is asking for me to make more asap. I am so enthused cause the benefits of drinking lacto fermented ginger soda are great for the whole family. And since everyone liked my first bottle, I am sure to start some more, in fact I need to go disinfect some old bottles now for my next batch. My older ginger bug is happy and ready to make another batch of soda for me.

Here are some of the more interesting ‘ginger bug’ recipes I have found lately.

Organic Fermented Ginger Bug Soda Recipe

Fermented Elderberry and Honey Soda

Natural Ginger Ale

Banana ice cream

Today I went to the food bank. I got really excited when I saw a crate full of over ripe bananas, so I grabbed as many as I could.

We love to make banana ice cream and I wanted to share how with you in easy steps.

Here is all you need ; banana’s and some cocoa powder.

Step 1: peel your bananas in a bowl

 

overripe peeled bananas
overripe peeled bananas

Step 2: mash them up, I use a potato masher, works awesome. or you can blend them in a blender.

mashed naners'
mashed naners’

Step 3: add some cocoa and blend well.

add cocoa
add cocoa
blend well
blend well

Step 4: cover in plastic wrap and freeze until set. It will scoop out just like real ice cream.

It’s our diary free-sugar free ice cream!😁

Enjoy and be sure to let me know in the comments if you try to make this!

 

covered in plastic wrap
covered in plastic wrap
in the freezer
in the freezer

see it scoops (after all day freezing)*

see it scoops
see it scoops

scoop of banana ice cream

scoops
scoops

Pancake Mix Beignets (2 ingredients)

Lately, I have been making the most easiest Beignets, that are only made with 2 ingredients. Pancake mix and water, although Beignets can be made with yeast dough, lately I have been pretty successful with pancake mix.

I do not have pictures of making the dough, but its really easy.

Here is how to make pancake mix Beignets:

Ingredients:

3 cups instant box pancake mix

1 cup water

flour (or pancake mix) for dusting

Instructions:

First add 2 cups of pancake mix to a bowl,

then mix in 1 cup of water.

Then add 1 more cup to the mix until it separates from the bowl into a dough, no longer runny like a pancake.

Place dough on a lightly floured cookie sheet.

Roll out 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out into 2 inch by 2 inch squares , an easy way to do this, is cut lengthwise, then across.

Be sure to use enough flour that they do not stick when you cut them, and only cut once.

Heat up vegetable oil about 375 degrees, not over 400 or they will burn.

In small batches fry a few squares, until golden brown on each side.

For sopillas (hispanic version): use lard instead of veggie oil.

dry them on paper towel, or on a cooling rack for excess oil to drip off.

Top them with powdered sugar and jam for beignets or honey for sopillas.

Here is a few pictures of the beignets I made today.

perfectly golden plate of 'naked' beignets
perfectly golden plate of ‘naked’ beignets
all i made today..ranges of golden
all i made today..ranges of golden
powdered sugar coating
powdered sugar coating
close up of powdered sugar
close up of powdered sugar
3  different kinds of jam
3 different kinds of jam
strawberry jam homemade
strawberry jam homemade
3 different kinds of jam
3 different kinds of jam
close up of my plate
close up of my plate
my plate
my plate

 

 

 

 

From Scratch Cheesy Snack Crackers

From Scratch Cheesy Butter Crackers

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup cold butter

½ cup milk

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup shredded cheese or more

1 tablespoon olive oil

sprinkle of salt

Equipment:

Parchment paper

pastry cutter

mixing bowls

basting brush

small cups

cookie sheet

Instructions:

Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper lining.

Sift Flour, baking soda, salt together in a large mixing bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter. Add shredded cheese, pulse also with the pastry cutter until pea sized and small. In a small cup mix milk and oil together, then add to the flour mix and create a dough.

Taking a handful at a time, roll out dough with a rolling pin, as thin as possible. And using a small circle cookie cutter, cut out crackers from the dough. I used a 2 inch round.

Here is a picture of that step.

cutting out squares
cutting out squares

Then you need to take away the excess dough and fork the dough.

Here is a picture of the forking step.

'forking' step
‘forking’ step

Then you need to brush the crackers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

brush with oil and salted crackers before baking
brush with oil and salted crackers before baking

20151015_123038

Place unto lined baking sheet and bake a sheet at a time on the second shelf at a preheated 300 degree oven for about 18 minutes, or until golden brown. They will puff up a bit, but not if you stabbed them good enough with the fork.

Makes 100 crackers. (yes so you better have some time.)

plateful of cooling crackers
plateful of cooling crackers
perfectly stackable
perfectly stackable

9/17/15 Beef and Pork Ragu with Macaroni noodles

The other day I made meat ragu with macaroni noodles. It turned out really good, I was really surprised how many helpings we all had, it was a really good meal.

To make it I used some ground pork and some ground beef. I cooked the meat in a cast iron with some onion and some salt pepper and Italian seasonings. I also added some garlic to it. I then added some diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to it. I reduced down the sauce until you could no longer see any water with the sauce. I also added a punch of salt to cut the aluminum canny taste of the diced tomatoes.

Here are some pictures of making the Ragu.

the meat done cooking
the meat done cooking
adding the sauce
adding the sauce
reducing the sauce
reducing the sauce
close up of ragu cooking
close up of ragu cooking

I then boiled some macaroni noodles. I made a whole 16 ounce package of them. I then drained the water and added the sauce. I mixed in the ragu sauce and added the last of my shredded mozzarella cheese, the cheese immediately melted into the noodles and the ragu mixed in well.

Here is a picture of how it all turned out.

finished meal
finished meal

The noodles were from the food bank, the cans of diced tomatoes and sauce were from the food bank, and the meat and cheese were from food stamps. I have actually been sitting on these noodles in the cupboard for quite a while and I even have another one left. I am really glad to have figured out a really satisfying pantry food bank-food stamp meal that we all loved. I am sure I will make this again.

Until next time in the Boho kitchen. I have now finally reached my goal of 90 blogs in 90 days, for my blog a day challenge, so I think I may take a break for a while. I may just get back to the quality of blogs that I was producing before this challenge, and maybe better now that I have improved my writing skills a bit with practice.

Thanks for reading~ ❤ ❤

9/12/15 Bacon Burgers with Mustard Chard

For Dinner last night we made bacon burgers. I used a mixture of ground pork and ground beef to make them. Everyone loved eating them, I am sure to make this again sometime. I even made some amazing extra condiments that made my burger farm fresh and yummy.

First I cooked some strips of bacon until it was nice and crispy, then diced it up. I was also defrosting the meat on the counter. Then I took the rest of the bacon and sliced some onion and diced some mushroom and caramelized it with some sugar until the onions were golden brown. I drained it and set it into a dish for a condiment.

I have some finished pictures here of the diced bacon and the onion mix.

diced bacon
diced bacon
caramelized onions with candied bacon and mushrooms
caramelized onions with candied bacon and mushrooms

I also got an idea from an online recipe to make a sort of slaw with the chard I had. I used 1 part vegan mayo to 1 part mustard and a dash of sweet relish in a bowl with diced chard leaves from the food bank. It tasted really good. I had some on one side of my burger with the candied bacon-onion mix on top and it was really good.

I made the burgers by mixing the ground beef, ground pork and diced bacon together. I also added some salt pepper and a dash of marjoram. I cooked them in the skillet with the bacon fat from the onion mix and only had to turn them over once. They were really juicy yummy burgers.

I also made some fries on the side, actually the whole meal was planned around french fries. I asked my son yesterday morning what he wanted to have for dinner and he said “ if you have potatoes I want fries.” At least he loves them homemade. I sliced my mini potatoes from the food bank really thin and fried them golden then covered in salt. I also served some homemade pickles with the meal.

Here are a few pictures of my plate. I even managed to get my husband to take a glamour shot that does the cooking justice.

before I put my burger together
before I put my burger together
glamour shot by my husband
glamour shot by my husband
perfectly cooked burger
perfectly cooked burger
mustard chard, carmelized onion, fresh tomato, bacon burger...
mustard chard, carmelized onion, fresh tomato, bacon burger…

9/6/15 Peanut Butter Balls

9/6/15 Peanut butter balls aka No Bake Peanut’s 3 ways Truffles.

If there is one thing that I wish that I could always have as a treat every night, it would have to be some form of homemade candy. Who doesn’t love homemade candy? If you have ever had some homemade caramel, or candy bars, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Even the occasional store bought caramel popcorn can satisfy that craving, but really nothing is better then the happiness of eating fresh made, or more like fresh melted candy.

I remember my favorite candy shop in Santa Rosa, as a child was “Peter Rabbits” its out of business now, but its an experience every child remembers if they went there. Even my husband went there as a child and remembers how amazing it was, you could watch them make everything right in front of you and it certainly inspired an inner candy maker in me.

Who wouldn’t want to make their own candy? I have succeeded in conquering how to make some iconic sweet things like from scratch lemon meringue pie and even homemade apple pie, I even was taught once on how to make the best Kettle Corn homemade on the stove. But to be your own candy maker, now that would be amazing to me. To never have to buy a store bought candy, would be a dream come true; Seeing as we all love it and the organic candy is really expensive anyways.

So my goal lately has been to make my kitchen homemade sweet-candy central. I learned how to make my own gummies, and I even learned how to make my own caramel. The family loves my caramel. I am really proud to actually say that through my brief caramel endeavors that I have learned some vital temperatures by heart and know how to read a candy thermometer and a laser thermometer.

But my newest candy goal is the candy bar and ball area. I thought that last night I could succeed in making a peanut butter truffle like ball, but really its just a really good filling recipe for like the best homemade peanut butter bar or ball that you could make.

Unfortunately I did not measure and did not even try, so everything is a rough estimate on measuring. So do not worry if you use less or more of anything, to each its own on flavor, its just an idea that I just so happened to make from scratch and then consume.

Here is how I made the balls. I first reserved a handful of whole peanuts. I had a bag of whole unsalted from the food bank and it was the inspiration for this. I then started to puree some more about a cup of more peanuts when it was chopped really fine, I reserved that in a bowl set aside then I made homemade peanut butter with the rest of the peanuts. This is my third batch in a week or two so I am fairly happy with my recipe and execution of the way that I make it in my high speed blender.

After making the peanut butter I combined it with the following, the leftover pureed peanuts, the whole peanuts, a lot of powdered sugar and some melted butter. I combined it with an electric mixer and it crumbled well. I then made balls out of them and chilled them in the fridge overnight.

We cannot stop eating them balls. They are like sweet peanut butter my husband said. I just wish I had some chocolate to melt and dip them into and make peanut butter chocolate balls, maybe even top the chocolate with something. I am happy with the results only thing it needs is more.

I will post up the pictures of them as soon as I can. Although they are sugary, from the confectioners sugar, I love them, I think they taste like a Baby Ruth candy bar, without the nougat part. Once again I conquered making something without having an oven, no bake peanut’s 3 ways truffles were a success.

peanut butter balls
peanut butter balls
close up of balls
close up of balls
close up
close up
close up of peanut butter balls
close up of peanut butter balls
plate of balls
plate of balls

8/30/15 Scratch made peanut butter pie crust

8/30/15

Today I made some homemade peanut butter and baked with some of it. I had a “mystery box” array of things to bake with, and really not enough of anything to figure much out. I have only like ½ cup of white flour so I am saving it for the most important thing that I can think of, which incidentally I have not thought of today, so I still have it. I used my box waffle mix to bake with and I used some of my whole wheat flour, which I have and still have a whole lot of. I had a bag of raw peanuts, not salted. I had some sugar, salt and baking powder. I even had some pudding boxes. Hey I said it was a random mystery box array of things.

I even took a picture of my mystery box items…lol

my ingredients
my ingredients

I decided on two things to make with some homemade peanut butter from the peanuts. Because what do you make with raw peanuts besides fresh peanut butter? I made the peanut butter in two batches.

Here is a picture of me making the second batch.

making peanut butter
making peanut butter

The first batch I measured out 2 cups of fresh peanuts into the blender and added some olive oil to them. I had a hard time with my blender but it me out really creamy from the olive oil. I really wished that I had some honey to add to it, but instead I added some salt and sugar and hoped for the best.

The next batch I pulsed the peanuts in the blender first, then added less oil and the salt and sugar. Then I figured out the best setting to blend it, which was low speed on 8. I have a 10 speed blender. I let it blend on 8 for a few minutes and the motor started whirring and the blender got warm and I could smell the plastic of the motor working too hard, so I turned the blender off. I have never gotten a better homemade peanut butter before though. I joked with my husband “ You know its better for the peanut butter when the blender gets hot and jumps around..right.” lol

Here is a picture of both batches of peanut butter.

batches of peanut butter
batches of peanut butter

I jarred most of the second batch, as it was better and less oily then the first batch. Then took the rest of the peanut butter and decided to bake with it. I decided to make a homemade peanut butter-waffle mix pie crust and chocolate pudding pie.

I added an egg to some of the oily peanut butter then incorporated some salt, sugar and waffle mix with some extra baking powder. It turned out crumbly, but I was able to press it into my larger walled pyrex pie pan. I par baked it until it was golden ready. I cooled it until it was 80 degrees, then I made my pudding mix according to the box directions and poured it into the crust. That is cooling and setting in the fridge now.

Here is a picture of the baked pie crust before the pudding.

before peanut butter pie crust
before peanut butter pie crust
before pudding; pie crust
before pudding; pie crust

I also decided to try and attempt to make some peanut butter whole wheat crackers. I accidentally forgot to add water so they did not turn out. Yet I tried really hard to make them. I will make sure to try better next time I go to make crackers.

Here is some pictures of them.

before crackers
before crackers
crumbled mess of attempting crackers
crumbled mess of attempting crackers

Execution wise and shaping went well, but forgetting the water, made them crumble after baking making them not edible. But the cracker crumble tasted good, the not burnt ones anyways and I plan on making them correctly again soon. I am dissapointed to waste a cup of homemade peanut butter and some flour, but glad that I got the easiest mistake out of the way so I will not ever do it again.

Now we are waiting for the pudding to set on the peanut butter pie and I am planning on another taco dinner. I love Mexican food.

Here is a picture of me putting the pudding into the pie.

smoothing out the pudding
smoothing out the pudding
smoothing out the pudding
smoothing out the pudding

Here are the final pictures of the finished pie and slices;

 

first cut of pie
first cut of pie
cutting first slice out
cutting first slice out
taking first slice out
taking first slice out
cut pie
cut pie
devoured pie
devoured pie

Until next time in the Boho kitchen; sometime you bake good, sometimes you bake bad, but every time you bake your learning.

8/13/15 Fresh Link Cod Fish Nuggets

Yesterday I made fresh link cod. We got a large one from our friend that goes out fishing almost every day.

Here is a picture of it in the sink waiting to be filleted by my husband.

fresh fish
fresh fish

 

We made a deal with each other. We would take a whole fish, if my husband would process it, and I would cook it. We decided to make fish nuggets.

ready to cook
ready to cook

I made a bowl of milk and eggs, and another of a lot of Italian breadcrumbs. I got the plate of fish fillets from my husband and got to work. I had a really hard time getting my oil to temperature to fry them right. I wanted a consistent 375 degrees like I make for my fried chicken. Since the fish looked a whole lot like chicken breasts to me, I treated them as such.

As soon as I had my oil right, I made them one or two at a time and just browning them on the outside nice and golden. I dipped them into the milk-egg first and then the Italian breadcrumbs, then fried.

first ones made
first ones made
nuggets
nuggets
inside of nuggets
inside of nuggets

Here are a few pictures of the process and results. I also made some fresh steamed spinach, with some roasted garlic.

My husband also made his famous corn bread. So we had fresh fish nuggets, corn bread and spinach. It was a great local dinner.

fresh corn bread
fresh corn bread
my plate
my plate

8/9/15 Homemade 5 min Pizza Sauce

Yesterday I made homemade pizza again. My husband had bought me some awesome bread flour for feeding our sourdough starters so we had some, and since we got food stamps today, I decided to use some of it to make pizza dough. I also made some homemade 5 minute Pizza Sauce.  For full recipe scroll down.

Its been such a blessing lately to know how to make homemade pizza crust. EVERY SINGLE person on food stamps can afford water and flour and a little oil. Having that for a backup-dinner when we have nothing else is super easy and simple. I know cheese is a little expensive, but yesterday I managed to afford a bag of Italian pizza cheese for only 2.79$. That was the only thing I had to buy for the meal yesterday.

I had a 1$ and some change leftover and I bought a baking dish from a local garage sale with the 1$ bill and just now found a wooden spoon to cook with for my change at the health food store. Now we are broke, but at least we got food stamps this morning.

I relied heavily on the fresh produce that I received from the food bank on Friday. I had a whole bunch of fresh basil, a nice bag of fresh Roma tomatoes, some dried garlic to skin and some fresh onions, both the greens and the bulb.

I took a lot of glamour shots of the fresh produce, I even treated my son to the last of the watermelon from the food bank for part of lunch. I just ran out of my famous homemade pizza sauce, so I decided to make some more with all the fresh Roma’s and basil and produce I had.

Here are a few photos of the veggies I had;

food bank bounty
food bank bounty
what I used yesterday
what I used yesterday

I recruited Chef Elijah for helping me with the basil leaves, I had a fresh bag that was still all pretty on the stems and with the awesome spiral shaped flowers.

pretty basil
pretty basil

I managed to take a few shots of his help. As he did that I chopped up a handful of large mushrooms I got from the food bank and then cut up some Roma tomatoes and arranged them on a baking sheet to roast.

boys help
boys help

 

Here are a few shots of Chef Elijah and the tomatoes arranged how I roasted them. I added some cloves of garlic and a few leaves of basil. And seasoned them with Italian seasonings.

garlic I used
garlic I used
before roasting
before roasting

The basil burnt. Bad idea. But the tomatoes and garlic roasted perfectly. I was so happy with how It turned out.

Here is a picture of them roasted.

roasted tomatoes
roasted tomatoes

I also made a mix of stuff into my blender, waiting for the roasted tomatoes. I had the following in the blender; handful of chopped fresh mushrooms, a puck of different frozen mushrooms, a handful of spinach, a few basil leaves, some olive oil, a quarter of a fresh onion bulb, a pinch of onion greens and a large dash of Italian seasonings. I added the broiled tomatoes and garlic and pureed everything into awesome pizza sauce.

Here is a picture of the blender before I added the roasted ingredients.

blender min
blender min

After the dough was ready I spread my sauce on 2/3 of the dough’s.

Here are a few pictures of my beautiful homemade fresh and spread pizza sauce.

spreading sauce
spreading sauce
my beautiful sauce
my beautiful sauce
pizza sauce on dough
pizza sauce on dough

I made a all cheese pizza, a cheese and tomato pizza and for myself I broke out my jar of pesto and made a pesto-cheese pizza. Our last night before food stamps was saved by some cheese and flour, and I am very happy that we ate like kings just about each day of the month this last month.

pesto cheese pizza
pesto cheese pizza
half devoured cheese pizza
half devoured cheese pizza

Now I am off to go Food Stamp shopping. I have 4 stores to go and 130$ to save on my card for my Schwans delivery and a few other things I know we will need throughout the month. I am even trying to save a few food stamps so that we can go to the farmers market again as a family.

Here is a rough version of the recipe for sauce if you would like to see it better, then reading through my commentary.

Homemade Red Pizza Sauce

Cook Time: 5 minutes or less

Prep Time: 15 minutes or less, depending on how fast you chop veggies

Results: 12 ounce Jar of Pizza Sauce

Equipment you will need:

Glass blender (able to take hot things)

Sharp knife

Small Jar- to save it

Ingredients:

4-5 small tomatoes (I use Roma)

3-4 cloves of garlic

handful of fresh basil

handful of fresh spinach

¼ of an onion

Italian seasonings

Handful of Chopped Fresh Mushrooms (whichever kind you prefer)

Scallion greens about 2-3 teaspoons

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Steps:

Put all ingredients but the tomatoes and garlic into the blender.

Slice your Tomatoes and smash your garlic and place unto a baking sheet in an even layer.

Sprinkle some more Italian Seasonings on the tomatoes.

Roast in the broiler until bubbling. About 3-5 minutes.

Put the roasted tomatoes and garlic into the blender with everything else.

Puree your sauce until smooth.

Put into a jar.

Use as much as you want for pizza, Stromboli and Meatball sandwiches and such.