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kombucha 101

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014


1. Tea: steep 8-10 bags of plain (no oils or flavorings) organic black or green tea or about ¼ cup loose leaf tea in approximately 8 cups of filtered water.  Double steep to make it decaf if you want.  Let cool to room temperature.

2. Sugar: Dissolve 1 cup of sugar into a few cups of  boiling water.  Let cool to room temperature.3. 1 cup unflavored kombucha4. SCOBY

Combine into a 1 gallon glass jar.  Put a coffee filter on top, secured with a rubber band.

First Ferment:Depending on the size of your container, ferment for 7-30 days, depending on how warm your house is.  Do not disturb, as a new SCOBY layer will be forming on the top.  The longer the fermentation the stronger the kombucha will be and it will also have less sugar.  The SCOBY may turn brown, which is fine.  Anything green or black, means mold is present and you will need to throw it out.Second Ferment:

Remove new and old SCOBY (may or may not be attached to each other) and save for future batches.  Pour kombucha into smaller containers, add fruit/ juice to taste, and place the cap on VERY lightly.  If you put it on tight it may explode.  Keep on the counter for up to 2 full days which makes it fizzy and gives it a great fruity flavor.  You can then remove the fruit before putting it in the fridge.  Putting it in the fridge should stop the fermentation and you can secure the lids tightly.

For more information (and videos) check out Cultures for Health.

roasted buffalo chick nuts

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

(or Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas)

1 Tablespoon butter
¼ cup hot sauce
1-15 oz can garbanzo beans

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Pat dry with towel.
Spread garbanzo beans onto baking sheet.
In a small sauce pan melt butter over medium low heat. Add hot sauce and stir until combined.
Pour the hot sauce mixture over the beans. Toss to coat evenly.
Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until browned.

Adapted from Modern Mom.

hot chocolate

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
whipped cream (optional)
1. Combine the water, cocoa, and sugar in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until hot. Stir well to create chocolate syrup.

2.  Add the milk to the chocolate syrup and microwave the mixture for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until hot. Add the vanilla and serve with whipped cream on top.

Makes one 16-ounce (grande size) serving.

Adapted from Top Secret Recipes.

slow cooker steel-cut oatmeal

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

coconut oil (or butter)
8 1/2 cups water
2 cups steel-cut oats (I’ve made with 1 cup steel-cut oats and 1 cup old fashioned oats)
1 3/4 cups whole milk*
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


• Coat the insert of the slow cooker with a thin layer of coconut oil. Add the water, oats, milk, brown sugar, and salt and stir to combine.
• Cover and cook on low until the oats are cooked through and creamy, about 7 to 8 hours. Stir in the vanilla and serve immediately.
*Can substitute a can of unsweetened coconut milk or Lactaid.
Recipe adapted from Chow.

fall apple wine

Sunday, October 20th, 2013
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup apple cider (apple juice will work in a pinch!)
1 bottle of merlot (or Cabernet Sauvignon)*
cinnamon (optional)
apple slices (optional)
ice cubes

Mix honey and water.  Add apple cider and cinnamon.  Add wine and ice cubes.  Garnish with apple slices.

*I’m on a boxed wine kick these days, so I usually make the honey/water/cider/cinnamon mixture and keep it in a jar in the fridge.  One bottle of wine is about four or five servings, so I eyeball about 1/4 or 1/5 of the mixture to a glass of red wine.

oven tacos

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

adapted from Mommy, I’m Hungry

2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
shredded cheddar cheese
hard taco shells

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Return to pan, add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes if mixture seems runny.

Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish standing up. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.

easy peasy meatballs

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine egg, water, bread crumbs, onion, salt and pepper and combine. Add ground beef, broken into chunks, and use your hands to combine. Form into meatballs about 1″ in diameter and place on a broiler pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until meatballs are no longer pink in center. Cool and freeze, or serve with pressure cooker marinara sauce.

pressure cooker marinara sauce

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
2-14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (or 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, chopped into large chunks
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 red pepper flakes (optional)
black pepper
Heat pressure cooker on medium heat and add olive oil.
Chop onion and garlic however fine you like and add to hot oil.  Cook until translucent.
Add the basil, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes.
Add in the carrot.
Add the can of tomatoes and water.
Put lid on cooker and bring to pressure.  Cook for 1/2 Hour.  Turn off and bring pressure down by either quick release method or take off burner and let it naturally release.
Using a hand held immersion blender, blend the sauce.  If sauce is a little watery, let simmer uncovered.
Add salt and pepper to taste.


quick shrimp

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Melt a stick of butter in the pan. Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Add layer of fresh (or thawed) shrimp, then sprinkle a generous layer of Old Bay seasoning (or one pack of dried Italian seasoning) over all of it. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min.

creamy chicken enchiladas

Friday, February 15th, 2013

• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut up and softened
• 3 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
• 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
• 2 (8-ounce) packages Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
• 2 cups whipping cream

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, and saute 5 minutes. Add green chiles; saute 1 minute. Stir in cream cheese and chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until cream cheese melts.

Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas, and place, seam side down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese, and drizzle with whipping cream.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

This is a Southern Living Recipe, but Miss Gail made this and it was divine.  She suggests adding salsa, corn or black beans to the filling.


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