Archive for December, 2009

A Personal Post

Posted on December 15, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I didn’t plan on posting about this. I didn’t plan on writing anything on my blog for awhile. I lost a good friend of mine over the weekend. He was 27 years old. He had been battling a disease, and on Saturday morning exactly two months before his 28th birthday he passed away at his mothers house. I’ve known him for five years. We had been through a lot together. I’ve never lost anyone close to me before. When I found out that I was going back to school, I hoped that he would be better by the time I graduated. He was very intelligent, and would have been a great person to have help me start a business. I admired him, he was incredibly driven and hard working. He started his own business at the age of 22. Earlier this year we hadn’t seen each other for a couple months, I called him up for his birthday, and we started hanging out again. We talked almost every day. At the beginning of the year my eczema was really bad, I had this rash on my neck, and I had been losing my hair for a year and a half and had no idea why. I was miserable and depressed. Hanging out with him was the highlight of my day. I always looked forward to hearing from him. I didn’t think this year could get any worse. I put down a dog of mine October 29th. I lost my job in September. I knew my friend may not be able to recover from the disease that he had, but I still had hope, and remembered that before this he was a very strong determined individual who could accomplish anything, and I thought that would help him get better. He gave me a Christmas card two years, first and last time he ever wrote anything to me, and I think I almost cried when I read it, it was such a sweet note. The last sentence was “always remember the good times in life.” A couple weeks ago I started a letter to him, and would write every couple days, I wasn’t sure if I would ever give it to him, but now I am continuing the letter, trying to write down as many memories that we had together, afraid that one day I will forget them.

Dustin and I

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Spaghetti Bolognese

Posted on December 8, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I was watching a Jamie Oliver dvd, and he decided to make bolognese sauce. I had never heard of bolognese sauce, and after watching him make it decided to give it a shot.


  • 3 ounces of pancetta
  • 1/2 cup of the following: carrots, celery, and onion diced.
  • 5 pieces of garlic finely chopped
  • Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1-1.5 lb. of beef
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Jamie said that most bolognese sauce is cooked using ground beef, but traditionally ground beef was not around so they used a cheap cut of meat. When I went to the farmers market to purchase my grass-fed beef for the recipe I asked the lady what would be good for slow cooking in a stew, and she recommended the center cut shank.

First step is to season the beef with salt and pepper then brown the beef on all sides in some butter, ghee or bacon fat.  Once done cook the pancetta in the pan. Jamie recommends adding rosemary springs, I did this and found pieces of rosemary in the sauce which I didn’t like. So I would recommend finely chopping several springs of rosemary. Then add the vegetables and saute them for 5- 10 minutes until softened. When watching the show I remember seeing Jamie drop in the piece of meat without cutting it up and then later pulling it out and shredding it. I tried this and it didn’t work out so I cubed it into 2 inch pieces.

When I cooked it I added the sauce and the wine together, but reading the recipe Jamie says to pour in the wine (he recommends Chanti, I’ve never heard of it) let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the wine has reduced by half. I think it would taste better this way. I then added the spaghetti sauce I used 1 1/2 containers. I purchased the Whole Foods brand. Jamie said to use 28 ounces of canned tomatoes but knowing that cans have BPA in them, I try to avoid buying anything canned. Then add in the beef. If your using a pressure cooker he recommends adding 1/2 cup of water. I let it cook on the stove for 3 1/2 hours or you can put it in the oven at 275* for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

I served this over Trader Joes Brown rice spaghetti, sprinkle the cheese on top. I liked having chunks of meat in the sauce, it’s a nice hearty sauce, perfect for winter!

I forgot to take pictures when I was cooking, but did take photos of how to cut up a onion. I went over to a friends house to make soup a month ago, and she showed me how to dice an onion. (Thanks, Erin) Cut the onion in half then make slices in the onion, but don’t cut all the way through you want to be able to hold the end of the onion.

Then hold the end of the onion that isn’t sliced and cut across: Then slice it into smaller pieces.

This Post is part of Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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Lacto-Fermented Soda(No Kefir Grains)

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

When I went to the San Francisco farmers market back in September, I was eager to stop by the Eatwell soda booth for their lacto-fermented soda. When I excitedly found their booth they had three flavors: apple, strawberry, and lemon verbena. You could order a flight and try all three which I did. Flight of lacto-fermented soda. The lemon verbena was my favorite, they use their own lemon verbena hydrosol to make it. I brought my own mug and got a cup of the lemon verbena, and after I finished that up I got a cup of the strawberry. The apple was good, but I preferred the other two flavors. I told the soda maker that I found out about the sodas from a blogger(Becks&Posh) and was excited to come try the sodas, since I wasn’t from the area she gave me a copy of the recipe. I was excited to find a recipe that doesn’t call for kefir grains. I received kefir grains last year from cheeseslave, and  I tried to make a soda once with them, it didn’t turn out so well and I gave up.

First you have to make a base soda and for that you need:

  • 2 cups filtered water(must be chlorine free)
  • 1/2 cup of hydrosol, herbal tea or Fruit Juice
  • 1/4 cup of organic sugar
  • 1/4th cup of Whey

Heat the hydrosol, tea, or juice with sugar just to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add filtered water, mix. When temperature cools to about 100* add whey. Pour into a 1 quart mason jar and seal. Let sit for 2-5 days depending on the ambient temperature. Fermentation will progress more rapidly in warmer weather(the lactobacillus prefer temperatures of about 75* to 82*). Check it daily by loosening the lid a little, if you get a fizzing sound it’s working. After you hear it start to fizz give it an extra day or two. They do warn that the bottle can explode, which is why it’s important to check it every day to release a little gas.Phase 1 Bottled

Phase II Soda

  • Jar of Soda Base
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 tsp True Sea Salt
  • 1TB Lemon Juice

In a 4 cup measuring glass combine the soda base with the additional sugar, the sea salt and lemon juice. Using a funnel pour equal portions into clean soda bottles or screw top wine bottles. Measure out the filtered water into the same bowl and divide it between the bottles. Cap tightly and leave in a warm spot for 2-5 days. Refrigerate at least one day then enjoy. Transfer to individual bottles for a few days.

The recipe recommends using yogurt whey, I just used the whey from kefir. If you are not making your own yogurt or kefir and need whey purchase a container of yogurt that says “live cultures”. Next you will need some cheesecloth and a bowl. Place the cheesecloth over the bowl and dump one cup of yogurt over the cheesecloth, if you tie it up and let it hang that would work well, or have a bowl that is deep enough where the cheesecloth can fall into the bowl but it doesn’t touch the bottom of it and secure the cheesecloth so it won’t fall in. Let it drip overnight, the whey will be in the bowl. In the cheesecloth you will have yogurt cheese which you could put on waffles, or pancakes.

I used apple cider for mine, and it tasted like a wine cooler. Which could have been due to me using apple cider rather then juice, or I let it sit for too long.  Once I bottled it I let it sit for 5 days and it was warm then, now that the temperature has dropped 10 degrees or so, it might be okay to sit for 5 days. I think the next time I make it I will using cranberry juice.

Why Lacto-Fermented Sodas? Cultured sodas are a great source of probiotic enzymes and electrolytes. Since the soda uses whey which is a live probiotic it helps maintain a healthy intestinal micro flora.

In”Nourishing Traditions” Sally Fallon writes “These beverages give a lift to the tire body by supplying mineral ions depleted through perspiration and contribute to easy and thorough assimilation of our food by supplying lactobacalli, lactic-acid and enzymes. If you want to read more about Drinkwell Sodas their website is here:
They made a cherry soda, using black cherry juice, now that sounds really good!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Cheeseslave this week.

As you can tell I have some difficulty posting links, if anyone knows how to fix it so the whole sentence isn’t a link let me know.

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