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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Dutch Oven Fruit Cobbler and Gluten Free

Dutch oven cooking is a fun way to create food and desserts gourmet style. This particular Rving Adventure lead us to Horse Creek Campground for 5 days of Hiking, biking and campfire cooking with great friends.

Since half of our friends and family tend to be gluten free I came up with this delicious gluten free fruit cobbler. I decided instead of using my oven in the RV, I would cook it on the campfire in a cast iron pot.  IT’S EASY, FUN AND DELICIOUS!!!   🍏

RECIPE:      

In a medium bowl add:

FRUIT MIXTURE:

4 cups of FRUIT– can be sliced apples, apples and blueberries, mixed                                        fruit (strawberries,  blueberries, raspberries etc)  I personally add 1                                     cup rhubarb to any of  the above fruit mixtures, Yum.

To the fruit mixture mix in-

1 Tablespoon Tapioca

2 Tablespoons sugar free raspberry jam (I prefer Trader Joe’s)

1 Tablespoon Honey (more if you like it sweeter) also can use Stevia, Agave etc

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together gently and place in a deep dish pan, 8 x 8 inch casserole dish or any ovenproof  dish you prefer- pour into chosen pan. Set aside. If cooking in a conventional oven set oven at 350 degrees.

If cast iron cooking I used a 12 inch dutch oven and placed 8 coales on the bottom and 12  to 14 coales on the top. This particular time I used a dutch oven liner which really helped with clean-up as we were dry camping with limited water, either way it turned out perfect.

TOPPING

In a medium bowl add:   🥘

1 Cup Oatmeal

1/4 Cup chopped nuts ) I prefer pecans) almonds are good also

2 Tablespoons gluten free rice flour (can use gluten free baking mix)

If you are not gluten free I use 100% whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Optional but yummy is to add 1 to 2 tablespoons flaked coconut to topping mixture

Stir above ingredients together mix in the butter or olive oil until crumbly 

ADD:

2 Tablespoons Butter (melted) or 2 Tablespoons Olive OIL (We prefer the olive oil for health reasons , I’ve made it both ways and really can’t tell the diff). Try it both way and see what you think.

Sprinkle topping over your fruit mixture, spreading evenly- place in preheated oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly approx for 30 to 40 minutes. We live at 6 thousand feet so my cobbler takes a little longer in Bend, Oregon. 350 Degrees

Now the Cast Iron Pot over the campfire cooking method: 

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The method is the same as a conventional oven the only difference is If cast iron cooking I used a 12 inch dutch oven and placed 8 coales on the bottom and 12 to 14 on the top. This time it took about 40 minutes  at 1500 feet elevation to cook to perfection. Just peek at the last 15 minutes to check if its bubbly and browning nicely.

Now the unhealthy part, really good with vanilla bean ice cream (Per jeff) and or whipping cream, just a suggestion.

CHEERS FROM LIZ UNTIL NEXT TIME♥♥♥♥      

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Thank you for sharing my creativity! However, unauthorized use and/or duplication of content on this blog without written permission from me is not allowed. You are welcome to use a couple photos, given that you link back to the JUST AROUND THE BEND blog post you are using it from. Any free printables I share are for personal use only. Please feel free to pin anything you see on this blog, using the handy “pin it” button when you hover over a photo. Thank you!

Thin Bins Collapsible Containers

Over the last three years of our owning an RV, traveling extensively and trying to stay organized , we have slowly figured out some tricks. Thin Bins is one trick that helped declutter our cabinets! Thin Bins are the perfect choice for small apartments, dorms, RVs, camping and more!

Saving Space is huge as each container is collapsible to 1/3 its original size for easy compact storage and the right lid easily snaps shut making them stackable.

Thin Bins Collapsible Containers – Set of 4 Square Silicone Food Storage Containers – BPA Free, Microwave, Dishwasher and Freezer Safe – $19.99 and Free Shipping with Amazon.

I prefer the value set – Set of 4 assorted stackable and collapsible silicone containers – Includes one of each size for the best value: Small (10.5 oz), Medium (18 oz), Large (26 oz), and Extra Large (43 oz).

The design is amazing, with snap on lids which create an airtight vacuum seal that keeps your food secured and fresher longer. Featuring an air vent for microwave heating.

Now the really important part, thin bins are made from 100% FDA compliant non-toxic, BPA free, food grade silicone. They are non-stick, leak-proof, easy to clean , they don’t stain and microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe. Great for storing leftovers in the fridge and microwavable for when you’re ready to enjoy your meal.

I have not been contacted by thins bins to represent their product.  I  have used this product for over two years and like it so much I have ordered another and  believe in its quality and convenience.

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Cheers From Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥

 

Purple Haze Lavender Farm

This is our second Harvest Host experience and believe me another amazing adventure. The hosts and helpers are all so friendly making you feel right at home. Upon our arrival fall was certainly in the air

When you visit the Sequim lavender farm at Purple Haze, you are invited to wander the fields, enjoy the beauty of this sweet smelling herb, pick your own bouquet of flowers and picnic on the lawns. This of course depending on the season. We arrived in late September so the store at the farm was closed, yet we were welcome to wander around and even stay with our RV for the night. As members of Harvest Hosts this was a very nice option. I  need to mention that Purple Haze has a gift and ice cream shop in downtown Sequim. The shop is adorable and the lavender ice cream is amazing, well worth the drive into town. At this time the lavender farm is closed so head downtown Sequim to their unique and aromatic store and dont forget the ice cream, it is amazing.

 A Little History
Lavender is a plant rich in history and myth. With its roots in the ancient herbalists, lavender’s properties as a disinfectant and antiseptic grew through the centuries, even gaining the reputation of warding off the plague. Lavender’s popularity with the English royalty gave it a berth in the ranks of a cosmetic herb, and it was with Queen Victoria that lavender was recognized as a tonic for nerves.

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Until Our Next Adventure From 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 ♥

Joshua’s Cream Of Celery Soup

Serves 6– 8

The story behind this soup is that my son (Joshua) and I exchange recipes. He has become quite a healthy and gourmet cook , which always makes a mother proud. He mostly shoots from the hip, meaning he reads recipes, then totally changes them to his liking, creating recipes to a whole level of goodness and healthiness. Make this comforting soup when you want to lose some serious pounds and when you can find fresh celery with heads full of leafy tops at your local market. Put some of those tops in the soup and use the rest to flavor broths, sauces, and stews, and to toss in your salads. With only a few ingredients and very quick to make, this is a perfect RV meal. It makes quite a lot depending on your size of celery you start with, but freezes well.

1 Teaspoon olive oil

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1 Large yellow onion diced

1 pound of  carrots peeled and cut into rounds

1 small russet potato, peeled and diced

1 Large bunch celery, including some of the tops and leaves, chopped, plus a handful of leaves for garnish

1 Heaping Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon (or homemade stock)

1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups water, plus more as needed  ( enough  to cover the veg’s by about an inch)

1/3 Cup  minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 Cup half and half   (optional)

2 Cups diced roasted chicken  (optional)

GARNISH

¼ cup (1 oz/ 30 g) shredded pecorino romano cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

In a Dutch oven or soup pot,  over medium heat add the  olive oil . When the olive is sizzling add the onion, cook until slightly browned and caramelized. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the  celery, carrot, and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrot is bright orange, about 15 minutes. Add approximately 2 cups of water, or enough  to cover vegetables by at least an inch .Season with 1 heaping Tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon (or 2 cups of homemade stock) and a few grindings of pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.Re move from the heat. Using an immersion blender, or a vitamix , purée the soup until smooth. I prefer the vitamix as it really gets the soup silky smooth. Purée in batches, and return the pureed soup to the pot.  At this point you can add the half and half and chicken pieces (totally optional) . Add more broth as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Its that simple now you are ready to serve – remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

NOTE: This soup is also just as good leaving chunky and not pureeing at all,  super good option also.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with shredded pecorino romano cheese

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Jeff’s Favorite no bake 21 Day Fix Cookies

Valentines is upon us and keeping with our healthy regime, I have decided to make one of  Jeff’s favorite cookies and surprise him for Valentines. The last few times we have stayed with my sister in law (Vicki) she has made these cookies for us and believe me it’s hard to limit yourself, they are just that good and a breeze to make. Happy Valentines to all of my friends, family and all who follow my blogging journey. ♥♥♥

Ingredients

1 Cup Organic Almond Butter or Organic peanut butter (or better yet 1/2 cup of each)

3/4 Cup Organic Honey

1/2 Cup Olive Oil or coconut oilp1000970

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 Cup Chopped nuts (any kind you prefer)

2 1/4 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal (not instant)

6 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)

1/3 Cup unsweetened coconut

Place first three ingredients into a medium saucepan and slowly heat up over low heat, stirring to blend. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients into the saucepan and blend. I use a small cookie scoop or a soup spoon and scoop onto parchment paper that has been placed on a cookie sheet.. Spacing each cookie a little apart. At this point be sure to hide from family, these are very addicting. Place in your freezer and freeze for an hour, now they are ready to eat. After the cookies are frozen I put them in the freezer in snack size baggies to keep me and my cookie loving husband from eating them all.

Makes 24 or more depending on the size of balls you scoop. Lately I have been using my littlest scoop and getting 36 cookies.

Note: I also like to add toasted coconut, little mini chocolate chips, etc the possibilities are endless.

The original recipe is from No Bake-21 Day fix Cookies. I have changed it up a bit and added items we feel make it healthier and more organic, which is very important to us..

CHEERS UNTIL NEXT WEEK THE FEATURED RECIPE IS JOSH’S CREAM OF CELERY SOUP-YUM

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