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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General TSO’S CHICKEN

GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN

Since our retirement, my husband seems to spend a lot more time in the kitchen. Now do not take this wrong he is an excellent cook and comes up with some good ideas. He loves his pressure cooker, one morning he is surfing the web for new ideas for dinner. He also knows whatever idea he conjures up has to be healthy.  So when he says WHY DON’T WE MAKE General Tso’s Chicken tonight my first thought was YUM, I love General Tso’s chicken, but reality says breaded, deep fried, grease  oh no.  So we do more research in the  Kuhn Rikon webb site, took about 12 different recipes and ideas and came up with this fantastic recipe.  I will admit I was skeptical that just a few ingredients  could bring out such amazing flavors. OK I was wrong; this recipe has become one of our favorite fast, healthy go to recipes. It also works well for us as we make it in our RV often. The recipe works with an instant pot or my traditional pressure cooker.

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS

SAUCE –   mix together and set aside

¼ CUP LOW SODIUM SOY SAUCE OR TAMARI

¼ CUP HONEY

1 TABLESPOON TOMATO PASTE

PINCH OF CHILI FLAKES

3 STRIPS 2 IN LONG FRESH GINGER OR  2 TEASPOONS JARRED MINCED GINGER

2 TEASPOONS MINCED GARLIC

3 TABLESPOONS RICE VINEGAR

PLACE

1 POUND CHICKEN    I USE CHICKEN TENDERS –  You can use any kind of chicken you prefer thigh’s  would be good also but more fattening.  Tenders are more convenient for RVing.

Add your chicken to your pot; pour sauce over chicken, that’s it, so simple. Close the lid. I bring my pressure cooker up to the top red ring and let cook for 5 minutes, then quick release. Instant pot cooks for 10 minutes then quick release. Remove the chicken to a vessel you can keep it warm in. Leave the sauce in the pot.

3 Tablespoons Water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix water in a small cup, whisk in 1 teaspoon cornstarch, add this slurry to your sauce in your pressure cooker and cook for about 2 minutes stirring to keep from lumping. Should  thicken up if not turn heat up and cook 1 to 2 additional minutes.

SERVE OVER BROWN RICE OR MY NEW FAVORITE FARRO

NOTE; FOR CONVENIENCE YOU CAN MIX THE SAUCE AND CHICKEN ALL TOGETHER, THAT WORKS WELL ALSO.

NOTE; ANOTHER HEALTHY IDEA WE DO OFTEN IS STIR FRY A LARGE BAG OF MIXED VEGGIES (LIKE THE ONES AT COSTCO) PLACE IN A REFRIGERATOR CONTAINER AND HEAT UP AS NEEDED. I THEN PLACE RICE OR FARRO IN A BOWL TOP WITH THE HEATED PRE COOKED VEGS , PLACE CHICKEN AND SAUCE ON TOP, VERY TASTY.

ANOTHER NOTE: YOU CAN USE WHITE RICE – BUT REMEMBER BROWN IS MORE NUTRIOUS!

BROWN RICE

1 CUP ORGANIC BOBS RED MILL BROWN RICE

2  ½ CUPS WATER OR STOCK

Place ingredient’s in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid or use your pressure cooker. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once or twice, cover. Reduce heat and simmer 45 to 55 minutes.

FARRO- ORGANIC BOBS RED MILL MY FAVORITE

1 CUP FARRO

3 CUPS WATER

RINSE 1 CUP FARRO, PLACE IN A POT WITH 3 CUPS WATER OR STOCK.  BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE HEAT TO LOW AND SIMMER FOR 30 MINUTES. DRAIN EXCESS LIQUID IF ANY.

HOPE YOU ALL TRY THIS SIMPLE HEALTHY RECIPE – CHEERS FROM LIZ AT JUST AROUND THE BEND

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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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Harvest Hosts Affiliate Banner     

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Cheers From Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥

 

la Gratella Italian Toaster

 

 

The brustolina is common in kitchens throughout Italy. This grill (graticola) is used for more than just a bread toaster (tostapane). On the stove and BBQ the brustolina diffuses heat evenly to quickly heat and toast slices of bread, to crisp bread for bruschetta, to crisp slices of polenta, to roast peppers, and more. It’s incredibly lightweight designed to provide quick and even heat distribution eliminating the need for a high gas flame, making the toaster perfect for RVing. Once done and cooled down, simply discard any breadcrumbs over the sink or trash bin. Since the Graticola is so thin you can either hang the Graticola using the handle on your utensil rack or retract the handle and store it flat in your drawer for easy storage.

10″ square.
4″ long retractable steel wire handle.
Stainless steel body and handle.
18/10 stainless steel wire mesh.
Imported directly from Italy.

Price: 15.99 plus shipping

The Graticola / Tostapanes many uses:

– grill bread for bruschetta or crostini
– thaw bread and other baked goods
– add more crunch to bread, rolls, croissants, etc.
– adding crisp to polenta
– roast peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and other vegetables
– and more

The Graticola is a perfect example for a basic but highly effective product that worked for generations and simply does not need any “modern improvements” other than the quality of material used for today’s Graticolas.

The reason why the Graticola is so effective and distributes heat very quickly and evenly is that the Graticola is rather thin and consists only of a base and a grid that lets the food “hover” closely above the base.

Watch out family everyone may be getting one the mail for Christmas!!!

 

Cheers From Just Around The Bend

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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!

NOTE : I have not been contacted or asked to review this product, this is  another product I Highly recommend for the RV and home, it just works perfectly. More product reviews to come♥♥♥

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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