KOMBUCHA BY JUST AROUND THE BEND

I have been actively making my own KOMBUCHA since July 2017.

Why: Because it tastes better than any store bought on the market. It’s far healthier, costs pennies to make compared to store bought. In addition it is just so much fun to make and makes me feel like a little brew master. PLUS MY HUSBAND LOVES IT.

So let’s get started with my simple directions, believe me its so worth it.

SUPPLIES:

  • 1 GLASS GALLON CONTAINER
  • 1 SCOBY
  • 10 TEA BAGS – BLACK OR GREEN JUST NOT DECAF
  • 12 GLASS BREW BOTTLES
  • 12 AIRLOCKS
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar

PROCESS: Boil 4 cups of water-add 10 tea bags and steep for 20 mins add 1 1/4 CUP SUGAR to dissolve, stirring to help it along. Cool adding another quart of water to help it cool. Make sure it is cooled to body temperature. Place in your gallon container preferably glass and fill with non chlorinated water up to 6 inches from the top of jar. Now you add your reserved 1 and 1/2 cups of started matured kombucha liquid and stir. Top with your scoby which in kombucha land is actually call THE MOTHER. The scoby is a rubbery disk which floats on the surface of the tea as it ferments. Cover with a clean cotton cloth (do not use cheese cloth) secure with a rubber band, do not use the lid the jar usually comes with. Place in a dark place ideally around 70 degrees temp. The kombucha mother will float above the sweet tea mixture as it ferments. Sometimes when you first place the scoby in the tea mixture it will sink, its ok within a day it should float up to the surface. I ferment my kombucha for 7 days and it has been turning out perfect.

This is the really fun part. Remove the mother and 1 generous cup of mature kombucha liquid from your gallon jar to help start the next batch. set aside.

Bottle the rest of the remaining liquid in your prepared jars.

PREPARED BOTTLES:

Our favorite has been blueberry, lime, ginger kombucha. I place 1/3 cup pure blueberry juice (no sugar added) in my jars, 1/4 teaspoon lime juice or powder and 6 slivers of fresh ginger, top with you your mature kombucha mixture and insert the airlocks. I place these on the counter for 3 days then remove the airlocks, lock down the ceramic tops and place in refrigerator. Best served over ICE. Remember you can flavor your kombucha with any fruit combo you prefer, try 6 slices of fresh strawberries – YUM. Another favorite my friend Cheryl got me hooked on is Pomegranate-Blueberry, that’s a great combination, but dont forget to slide a few (6) slices of ginger in your jar. Fred Myers and or Kroger has been having these bottles on sale for $2.99 each. They are Organic and no sugar added, just perfect.

Now you start over adding your room temperature tea, dissolved sugar along with the 1 and 1/2 cup fermented liquid left over FROM ORIGINAL batch and enough non chlorinated water to bring it 4 inches from top. Gently place your scoby (MOTHER) on top and in 7 days you have another batch of kombucha, it’s that easy.

You can purchase online a scoby which includes the starting liquid or find a friend to share, that works the best. We have a kombucha factory called HUM here in Bend and they sold me a scoby with starter liquid for $5.00 and it is going strong.

I must say you can do this, even my 84 year old mother is making a weekly batch of kombucha and loving the process.

UNTIL NEXT TIME FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND – CHEERS

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Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker

Since the pressure cooker came into my life close to thirty years ago, I’ve eaten better and saved money as well as time. We value our health and strive to cook always from scratch, this is the Thompson MOTTO.    Happy Cooking!

 Product Description
The Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top 7.4-Quart Pressure Cooker features an automated lid-locking system and safety release back-up system to give you ultimate peace of mind. The spring-loaded pressure release valve is a large knob marked with easily visible red lines so cooks can see at a glance whether the correct pressure has been reached. When it’s time to release pressure, just turn the knob to indicators for slow or quick release of steam. There is no need to hold down the release valve by hand. You see the exact pressure and know exactly when to start and stop cooking. So, there is no danger of overcooking and no noisy steam escapes. It’s blissfully quiet. Cook healthy delicious meals in minutes, not hours. Easy to use with its interior fill lines, automatic locking system, and precision spring-loaded pressure release valve. A stainless steel steaming trivet is included. Cooking with a Duromatic Pressure Cooker not only saves an incredible amount of time, it produces exquisitely delicious food. Vitamins are sealed in, instead of boiled away, vegetables keep their bright colors and flavors are so intense less seasoning is needed. While you are saving time you are also saving money and natural resources. Using a Duromatic Pressure Cooker also conserves energy. The Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top 7.4 quart is Kuhn Rikon’s most popular and versatile size. Included is Quick Cuisine Cookbook, a $14.00 value – free.

Epigraph “There is a gadget on the market that permits a cook to scoff at time. It is a pressure cooker… The hurry-up cook in possession of this steamer may serve many dishes denied her by any other method.” —IRMA S. ROMBAUER The Joy of Cooking (1946 edition)
This is a product review about a product I truly believe in, I have not been asked or paid to review this product.

Until next time, see you JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥♥

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RV Meat Loaf Pressure Cooker Style

On the road we need healthy, fast and delicious. Our pressure cooker is one of our most used and important tools in our cozy travel trailer kitchen. At home  in Bend we also make this dish and it cooks in 12 to 15 minutes, depending on your altitude. We still work, so coming home and being able to cook meatloaf and  potatoes in 12 minutes is such a help, add a veggie or salad and you have a quick complete meal..

Meatloaf in a pressure cooker? I was as surprised as you probably are, but it turns out to be a quick-and-easy success. “Amazing,” said my husband Jeff, “It doesn’t look or taste steamed.” But steamed it is, in the cooker’s vegetable basket. You can also use a standard collapsible steaming basket instead. It’s essential to cook the meatloaf in a container that has a perforated bottom.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  •  1 pound  ground lean chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated  Parmesan
  • Combine Separately
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1/4 cup  balsamic vinegar (use 1/2 Cup in the meatloaf mixture and the remaining amount to top the meatloaf) It’s yummy

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown, add the carrots, zucchini, peppers, celery, garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes or so. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup/ balsamic mixture and the cooled vegetables,  mix until just combined.

NOTE: At this point you can bake the meatloaf the traditional way in the oven, directions below, or follow me to the quick RV pressure cooker way, either choice this is a delicious and super healthy meatloaf

Traditional Method:.  

Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush the remaining ketsup /balsamic mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pressure Cooker Method:

Coat the bottom and sides of the steaming basket lightly with the cooking spray.  Transfer the meatloaf to the steaming basket and press into a disc of uniform thickness. (If your steaming basket has a central lifting pole, either remove it or shape the loaf around it.) Spread the remaining catsup/balsamic mixture over the top of the meatloaf. Pour 2 cups water into your 6-quart pressure cooker, set the prepared steamer basket on top of the water. Place pressure cooker on your stove’s burner , bring the pot to high pressure (15 psi). Once this pressure has been reached, reduce the heat as much as possible while maintaining this pressure. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Set the pot off the heat and let the pressure fall to normal naturally, about 12 minutes. Unlock and open the pot. Carefully lift the steamer basket out and voila, you have a healthy, moist and delicious dinner.

 

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Meatloaf ready to place on top of potatoes

I also place another steamer basket under the meatloaf basket and layer peeled potatoes, the potatoes cook perfectly  all cooked at the same time.

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Potatoes prepared to mash

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Steamer Basket

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So please give it a try and if you RV like we do, saving time in the kitchen is essential, as we would rather hike and bike, than spend many hours cooking. The pressure cooker allows us to be able to cook, fast and healthy and that’s what’s so  important to JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥

Broccoli Quiche Casserole

It seems like Christmas time brings out all of the family tradition recipes.  I cannot tell you how many times my children have either asked for the recipe or requested it to be made at our family dinners. So here is another great family recipe from my home to yours.

PREPARE BROCCOLI

3       Cups broccoli florets (blanched)  Make sure after your broccoli is cooled you remove all          moisture. Place in a 9 X 12 casserole dish.

Large mixing bowl add in order:

4      eggs beaten for 1 minute

Then add:

1      Can cream of mushroom soup

3/4   Cup vegenaise  (or best foods  mayo)

2      Tablespoon finely diced onion

1       Cup sliced mushrooms

1/2   Cup grated sharp cheddar cheese  (divided)  1/4 Cup for egg mixture and 1/4 Cup to top            quiche

When all mixed together pour over broccoli, making sure all of the broccoli gets covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Checking that the middle have gotten fully cooked. We live at 3800 feet elevation so it takes a little longer.

I decided today to bake the quiche mixture in  my cupcake pan, they were cooked in 30 minutes exactly, with a little extra mixture left over. Hence the little red casserole dish. So either way 9 x 12 casserole dish or these little quiche cups it all turned out fabulous.

NOTE: It’s endless what ingredients you can add to this recipe, from asparagus, bacon, prosciutto, spinach, kale and many  different kinds of cheeses. When I make this for Jeff and I, I get very creative, but for the kids I tend to keep it very simple.

Until the next recipe from    JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥

Peppernuts (Pfeffernüsse)

Peppernuts are another of our family traditions. It began with Gramma Iler in the 1800’s, handed down to her daughter Kathryn (Iler) Thompson and on down to our Thompson Family. Kathryn Thompson always made a very large batch of peppernuts for her youngest son Jeffrey as he was born on Christmas Eve .Jeff can’t remember a Christmas without a special tin from England filled with the special little cookies. Before (Kathryn) mom passed on she handed down to Jeff her special tin she stored her peppernuts in. Now as tradition would have, we store our peppernuts in our special tin from England and share the little cookies with all of our family.

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Original Family Tin

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 6 cups flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Madagascar Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Grenada Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup white corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. ground Anise seed

Directions

Sift flour, dry spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add rest of ingredients to creamed mixture in the following order, mixing to combine after each addition: corn syrup and honey; egg; lemon juice and milk; and anise oil. Stir in dry ingredients to the wet mixture, about a cup at a time. The dough will be stiff. Split into four portions, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Roll each quarter with hands into long ropes about the diameter of your finger. Splitting each quarter in half or thirds may make the dough easier to work with. Cut ½-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet with some space between each peppernut. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Cookies will crisp up as they sit. Store in an airtight container.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea to experience the full deliciousness of these wonderful little cookies.

Yields

100+ little cookies

Notes and Thanks

This recipe was adapted from Suzanne at Window on the Prairie. This recipe makes a lot of peppernuts, but you can freeze the little cookies to bring out when you have guests!

Thanks to Julie Harvick for the fine china

Savory Spice for the finest spices

Bob’s Red Mill for the best products

 

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HISTORY

Pfeffernüsse are tiny spice cookies, popular as a holiday treat in Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands, as well as among ethnic Mennonites in North America. They are called pepernoten in Dutch (plural), päpanät in Plautdietsch, pfeffernuesse or peppernuts in English, and pebernødder in Danish.

The name peppernut (Pfeffernüsse, peppernoder etc.) does not mean it contains nuts, though occasional varieties do. The cookies are roughly the size of nuts and can be eaten by the handful, which may account for the name.

I love these old recipes and it turns out perfect everytime

GRAMMA THOMPSON’S ORIGINAL RECIPE

IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN place next 9 ingredients to heat and melt

1/4 Cup Crisco

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Dark Karo Syrup

1/2 Cup Sour Milk

1/2 teaspoon soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom

1/2 tsp. powdered anise

COOL

Add 4 cups more or less  flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder   – mix well will be thick.

Roll into long fingers, sliced into 1 inch pieces, place on a baking sheet and bake 11 minutes at 350 to 375 degrees

FROM OUR TRADITION TO YOURS – ENJOY FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥