How to Make a Ginger Bug–How to Make a Lacto-Starter

How to make a Ginger Bug--How to make a Lacto Starter

How to make a Ginger Bug–How to make a Lacto -Starter

So you’re probably wondering what a ginger bug is, and why on earth would I make it!  The short answer is that it’s a culture of good bacteria that is used as a base for homemade lacto fermented sodas.  Much like kefir, kombacha, yogurt, and  other fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut, the bacteria in lacto fermented sodas provides beneficial bacteria to our guts. I’m not a fan of conventional soda’s for obvious reasons, and I’m so glad to have this as an alternative.  The recipe I used for making this lacto soda starter comes from the book Bar Tartine Techniques & Recipes, get a copy, it’s a great book.  You can use any type of sugar that you like in this recipe, and don’t worry about the sugar, it’s not for you, it’s for the bacteria, and they need it to thrive.   They eat it, and what’s left over is a thing of pure beauty.  One thing you should know about this recipe, is that you have to use organic ginger.  Commercial ginger is radiated, and because of that will not make a successful starter.

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Ingredients

4 cups of filtered water

5 teaspoons of grated  organic ginger

5 teaspoons of organic sugar

Directions: Add the water,

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1 teaspoon of ginger,

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and one teaspoon of sugar, to a large canning jar, or a bowl, stir well,

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cover with cheesecloth and place in a dark corner.

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The next day add one teaspoon of ginger, and one teaspoon of sugar, stir well, cover with the cheesecloth and return to the corner.  Continue to do this for another 3 days.  By the 5th day your ginger bug should be bubbling with action.  By bubbling I mean this:

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The bubbles are not boiling, just a few here and there, but when I moved it with spoon it sizzled.

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Once you get that, your ginger bug is ready to use. If you’re not ready to use it right away, transfer it to a mason jar, cover it, and refrigerate it.  Make sure to feed it once a week with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  When you’re ready to make soda bring the starter to room temp, feed it with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of sugar until it bubbles again, about 3 days.  Stay tuned tomorrow I’ll share my recipe for strawberry soda using this starter–it’s soooooooooooooooo good!

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Miso Buttered Salmon

Miso Buttered Salmon

Miso Buttered Salmon

 

So now that you know how to make miso butter,  what do you do with it?  The truth is, there are a myriad of things that you could use miso butter on, one of my favorites is on veggies.  Especially corn.  Page loves corn, and I buy organic non gmo corn at the farmers market whenever it’s in season.  I shave it and freeze it.  Then I throw it in a pot with no water and allow the water to cook off, once it has I add in miso butter, and let the butter  brown.  The kernels get the nutty flavor from the brown butter, with an unami flavor from the miso–talk about delicious!!  Besides corn, I love it on green beans, sauteed spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts, cabbage–just about any veggie you can think of, miso butter makes it better.   Do you know what else miso butter makes better?  Meat! Almost every kind of meat.  Steak with miso butter is a revelation! Seafood with miso butter is ascension!   This recipe is so delicious, I find it hard to eat salmon any other way.  Every bite of this deserves it’s own moment of silence, it’s own moment of indulgence.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb salmon steak, patted dry

2-3 Tablespoons of miso butter

1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt more if you desire

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425F.  Season salmon steak with garlic salt.

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Using a butter knife apply a thin layer of miso butter on the top and sides of the salmon.

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Place the salmon on a foil lined baking sheet, then place in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.  In my experience 10 minutes is usually the perfect time, you only want to go longer if you salmon steak is thicker than 1 inch.  Longer than 15 minutes and your salmon is probably over cooked.

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Remove the salmon from the oven.  It should be nice and caramelized on top.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Miso Butter–How to Make Miso Butter

How to Make Miso Butter

How to Make Miso Butter

Butter is delicious all on its own, I love adding it to sauces, slathering it on piping hot corn on the cob, or a simple piece of toast. There is not much that butter doesn’t improve.  However, miso butter is the younger, prettier, and more sophisticated sibling of butter. It’s everything butter is, but better! I was introduced to miso butter by David Chang after watching a chef series he did.  Frankly, I don’t know why I never tried making miso butter before.  I have had it several times at restaurants, and was always fascinated whenever chefs mentioned using it. I guess it just never occurred to me to try to make it at home–until it did–and now I can’t live without it.  Most chefs recommend using a 2 to 1, or 3 to 1 ratio of butter to miso.  I found my sweet spot is larger on the butter side, so my ratio is more of a 4 to 1. Tomorrow I am going to share one of my absolute favorite ways to use miso butter, until then here is how you make it.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of white organic miso

7  tablespoons of grass fed butter–cut into cubes–it makes mixing easier

Directions: To a medium size bowl add the butter,

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Then the miso.

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Using  the back of a large spoon, mix and mash together the butter and miso paste until well combined.

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You’ll know the butter is fully mixed when you no longer see streaks of brown or yellow.

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Once the butter and miso have been well combined, transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for later use.

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This butter is amazing on almost everything, from steaks to veggies and fish!  See you tomorrow;-)

If you like this recipe try my recipe for How to make Butter or How to brown butter

 

DIY Onion Soup Mix–Copy Cat Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix

 

DIY Onion soup mix

DIY Onion soup mix

There are three seasonings that I can rely on my mom to have in her cupboards at all times: Lawry’s seasoning salt, Lemon pepper, and Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix.  In fact while writing this, I was tempted to call her, and have her take a picture of what is inside her cupboards, just so that you guys could see, but she’s not that technologically savvy.  She barely knows how to get the pictures that I send her of Page through text.  When I was growing up my mom would rent  4-5  movies and make a bunch of snacks for us watch over the course of the weekend.  One of those snacks was a sour cream and onion dip.  She’d take a container of sour cream and mix in a package of the Lipton Onion Soup mix–simple but delicious.  We’d happily nosh on potato chips, celery, and carrot sticks dipped in the onion dip while we watched the latest movie release from Blockbuster video–yes I just dated myself!  Oh the memories!  I haven’t had that dip in years!  I’d say a good 10-12 years, maybe longer.  It’s not something my mom makes any more.  I wanted to make it for me and my hubby, but I didn’t want to buy the Lipton’s seasoning. I had an idea of what was in the seasoning–or at least I thought I did– dried minced onion, onion powder, dried green onion–but to be sure I called my mom and asked her what was on the ingredient list.  Sure enough she had a box in her cupboard and  the ingredient list she read to me was anything but simple. Besides the MSG, onion powder, and cornstarch, there were a list of ingredients that had  nothing to do with onions. So I set out to do what I do best and made my own–without all the added preservatives and coloring.  I used the organic onion powder that I made myself, and added minced onion and a few herbs.  A perfect match! Tastes just like I remember it! Delicious!!

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Makes the equivalent of 1 package of Lipton Onion soup mix

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of organic dried minced onion flakes

3 teaspoons of organic onion powder

1 teaspoon of organic dried chives

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon of celery salt

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, if you don’t plan on using this right away, transfer it to an air tight container for later use.

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Mango Creamcicles

Mango Creamsicles--Mango Half and Half Bars

Mango Creamsicles–Mango Half and Half Bars

Yesterday marked the official kick off of the summer season, and nothing screams summer more than a creamsicle! They’re the perfect blend between a popsicle and ice cream–half popsicle and half ice cream–doesn’t get much better then that!  If you don’t have a Zoku Quick Pop Maker–order one! It will more than pay for itself.  If you just refuse to spend the extra $10-12 to upgrade from your popsicle molds, then go ahead and use your popsicle molds, but you will not get the creamy center  you get from a typical half and half bar.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of mango puree

1/4 cup of water

1 cup of organic coconut cream can sub with heavy cream or half and half

1 teaspoon a vanilla extract

2 tablespoons  of maple syrup or sweetener of your choice

Directions: To a cup add the cream vanilla extract, maple sugar, mix well and set aside.  To another cup add the mango puree and water, and mix until mango puree is thinned out.

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If using classic pop molds, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.  Divide mixture evenly among molds and freeze for 6-8 hours or until frozen solid.

If you are using the Quick pop maker, Pour the mango juice into the molds and allow to set for 2-3 minutes.
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At the 3 minute mark siphon out the remaining unfrozen juice with a straw or a unused infant aspirator–I purchased one just for this.  Zoku sells a tool kit for $20 which includes a siphon tool, but the aspirator is $3 and does the job equally as well.
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 After you have removed all of the juice, pour cream into the molds, and allow to set for another 4-5 minutes, then follow the directions for removing the pops.
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D.I.Y. Mango Fruit Roll-ups-How To Make Dehydrated Mango Treats

DIY Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

DIY Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

 

My friends are a kind and generous bunch! They are constantly giving me gifts–beyond the gift of friendship!  My friends supply me with a constant supply of treats.  I went out to lunch with two of my best girls friends the other day, and came home with a gift box of mango’s! Sweet, delicious, and ultra creamy, I did not want them to go to waste, before we got the chance to eat them all.    One of my favorite dried fruits to eat, besides pineapple rings, is dried mango.  But it’s so hard to find mango’s that have not been soaked in sugar.  The best thing about making these yourself, is that you don’t have to worry about that.  Page loved these treats even more than I did, I cut them into bite size pieces with a pastry cutter after they were done.  You could also use a pizza cutter.

 

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Ingredients:

6 mango’s, skin and pits removed

 

Directions: Place mango in blender:

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Blend until smooth.

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Pour out onto parchment paper and smooth out evenly.

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Place in oven, or dehydrator on 135 degrees Fahrenheit, or the lowest setting on your oven, for 6-8 hours. 

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Remove from parchment paper, roll, and enjoy!

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If you like this recipe you’ll love these: Pear Fruit Roll-ups, Strawberry-Apple Fruit Roll-ups, Pineapple Fruit Roll-ups, Tropical Punch Fruit Roll-ups, Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups

Crispy Pork Larb!

Crispy Pork Larb

Crispy Pork Larb

This is one of those dinners that is both healthy and delicious.  Trust me when I tell you when you take one bite of this you will be forever grateful that I started this blog–yes it’s that good!  For those of you who do not know, larb is a thai street food.  It’s so good that it’ll make you question how we do street food in America.  It’s bright, fresh, and full of the umami flavors that will make you go Mmmmmm… If you don’t fancy pork, no problem, you can try this with ground chicken, turkey, or even lamb and beef.  Check out my recipe for Chicken larb here.  This is one of my favorite ways to use ground meat, it’s so simple that this meal almost makes itself!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground pork

3 large cloves of garlic thinly sliced

1/4 cup of diced red bell pepper

1/2 of a red onion, sliced thinly

1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves

1 head of romaine lettuce, leaves removed to use as cups

1/2 cup of sliced persian cucumbers

1/3 cup of fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon of a good quality fish sauce, I used red boat

2  tablespoons of soy sauce

1/4 cup of water

Sea salt to taste

2 tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice

red pepper flakes to taste

Directions: Heat oil, garlic and red bell pepper and cook until garlic is fragrant–about 15 seconds.

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Add in ground meat season with sea salt and cook until brown about 5-7 minutes.

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Once brown, add in soy sauce, fish sauce, water and red pepper flakes if using.

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Cook until liquid evaporates and pork is brown and crispy about 2 minutes. Add in lime juice, toss well, remove from heat.  Add the meat to the lettuce cups, top with a generous amount of the fresh herbs, cucumbers, red onion, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of additional lime juice, enjoy! So good!

 

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