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Chia seed Carbo & Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Dessert Topping- My Recipe

Published May 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
choc dessert topping

My homemade chocolate dessert topping drizzled… eh, rather adhered to a frozen banana, sliced fresh strawberries and topped with sumptuous unsweetened Carbo chips.

I created maybe not the first chocolate dessert topping out there, but the most chemically-free one for that matter. In my endeavor to remain as healthy as possible I don’t consume sugar. I substitute it with raw honey. And there are certain treats in life I won’t deny myself. If it’s an unsweetened baking cocoa bar, Carbo unsweetened chips (it tastes like actual chocolate, but isn’t), or unsweetened baking cocoa powder count me in. I certainly put the Carbo chips to the test and they won me over when I made both chia seed Carbo chip cookies, and my first ever attempt at making chocolate cookies. I had the idea after I’d seen a pre-packaged deal of sugar and chemical-laden overkill called “soft-baked brownie chocolate cookies” or something to that effect, and since I no longer consume sugar, reviewed the ingredients of said package of cookies and there were more chemicals and sugars cleverly disguised by other names and maybe three or four actual ingredients that went into making the bad junk food cookies. I jotted down the ingredients and moseyed over to the baking aisle of Dollar General and discovered a brownie recipe on a box of Nestle Tollhouse baking cocoa. I didn’t need the baking cocoa so I jotted down that recipe, paid for my distilled waters and returned home. I didn’t expect my improvised cookie recipes to turn out. And before this I never made pure chocolate cookies. Since I already had all of the ingredients on hand, I decided to give it a try.

The Chia seed & Carbo chip cookies were excellent I thought. And the finished result of my chocolate cookies? They turned out good, if not, great. I believe I ate about five in one sitting and made half the recipe using some ground flax seed, but not much since it can act like nature’s laxative. In the Carbo chip cookies I threw in some organic raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, organic unsalted (plain) sunflower seeds, some qouina seeds, Nature Nate’s raw unfiltered honey, two Teaspoons of Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder, a pinch  of Redmond’s Real Salt, One cup of whole wheat flour, two palm-sized handfuls of unsweetened Carbo chips, one raw egg *(please note, the egg is optional, but DO NOT eat it raw due to possible Salmonella, a.k.a. food poisoning if egg is used). This Chia-seed & Carbo chip cookie recipe can be made without the egg, but you might need to use a little more water to form a dough.

I already had my cookie sheets lined in foil and greased with coconut oil so clean up is easier. Whenever I use water in my recipes and for cooking I always go with steam-treated distilled water and/ or Hiland Drinking water. I never ever use tap (city) water due to it’s nasty fluoridation and potential bacteria surprises. And the amount of distilled water I use in my cookie recipes will vary. I prefer to use just enough so the dough is between sticky and yet able to be dropped onto the cookie sheet by the spoonful. And the amount of honey I use also varies with each recipe.

My Chocolate cookies recipe (this turned out a lot like a brownie):

I like to melt down one square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, add in one palm-sized amount of Carbo chips, 3/4 cup of Nature Nate’s raw unfiltered honey, 2 teaspoons of Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder, a handful of ground flax seed meal (optional), a pinch of Chia-seeds, two heaping spoonfuls of unsweetened baking cocoa, one egg (sometimes I skip the egg and just use distilled water only) one, sometimes, two cups of whole wheat flour. I make my chocolate cookies a lot like I do with my Chia seed & Carbo chip cookies. I pre-heat my oven to about 350 degrees and bake the cookies for about fifteen minutes and watch them as they bake so they won’t burn. When a toothpick inserted in them comes out clean (and depending on how well done you prefer), remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool down on a wire rack. Since I like my cookies to be on the soft side I’ve never had success making thin, crispy cookies. I like to store my cookies in an air-tight container in the fridge. I also had some condensation issues with my cookies if I place them into plastic zip lock bags and store them in the fridge without allowing them to cool off completely first.

Both cookie recipes should yield about 12 cookies (depending on amount of the ingredients used) and have a shelf life in the refrigerator up to four days. Nothing beyond a week as these cookies will turn moldy. I don’t use yeast or any other ingredients other than what I’ve mentioned.

For my home made Chocolate dessert topping you will need the following:

Hershey’s unsweetened baking cocoa powder and/ or any baking cocoa powder will do. I prefer the unsweetened baking cocoa since I laid off the sugar as much as possible except if it’s already in the food to begin with. I like to add three Tablespoons of cocoa baking powder into a sauce pan, then break off one (sometimes two) small squares of Baker’s brand unsweetened chocolate, place this in with the baking powder over low heat, pour in about three or four Tablespoons of raw honey and allow the ingredients to melt. If you put this on medium or high heat it will burn and your sauce pan and utensils will have to soak overnight. I watch this stuff like a hawk so it won’t burn and through my many attempts found out that I love to melt just raw honey and the unsweetened baking cocoa together.

Next, you’ll want to stir this constantly, and then remove it from the burner once its melted, and the chocolate baking powder is absorbed. For an added natural sweet treat, try adding in some sliced banana, washed and cut fresh strawberries and blueberries and top it off with Carbo chips. This kind of  reminds me of Fondu in a way, but tastes very similar (in my opinion) to chocolate Sunday dessert topping but without all the loaded down heavily pre-processed chemicals. It is rich, so a little bit of my chocolate topping goes a long way. By the way, I haven’t tried this over ice cream since I don’t consume dairy products whatsoever, but I’m sure it would be excellent on ice cream. If I had to recommend a brand (or more than one), Ben & Jerry’s as I heard they were at one time supposed to be all-natural, and also Breyer’s ice cream. However, the true ice cream I ever enjoyed growing up was homemade using rock salt, ice, fresh cream, sugar, milk and mixed in an antique hand crank ice cream maker. I haven’t tasted any commercial ice cream since that could ever top homemade.

On a side note the Carbo chips are a lot like chocolate chips and can be found at your local health food store. The Carbo chips also come in the semi-sweet, and sweet varieties as well. The Baker’s brand baking chocolate comes in unsweetened (orange box), semi-sweet baking bar (comes in a red box with a depiction of a slice of chocolate cake topped with a few raspberries), Baker’s White Chocolate and Baker’s German Chocolate. The Baker’s Semi-sweet chocolate will have either 6 or 9 grams of sugar in it. I don’t know how much the others contain since I don’t buy them.

Thanks as always for sharing, liking, re-blogging, commenting, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

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Things I Miss the Most.

Published May 20, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

This is one of those trips down memory lane. And for the most part, whatever became of all those ‘In a jiff meals’ that are non-existent nowadays? Well, while my mind seems to be on the topic of food, cooking and whatnot, I decided to share some long gone missed meals that my mom used to prepare. And this is in no particular order, by the way.

Chip beef gravy over mashed potatoes. Not entirely a meal that can’t be made nowadays, but sort of falls within the ‘missed meals’ category since I no longer eat processed lunch meats.

What you’ll need:

One package of Carl Budding sliced beef pre-packaged slices (found in the lunch meat section). Remove the slices from the package. Discard any moisture-absorbing packets as they contain poison. At least some of the pre-packaged sliced meats contained these at one time. Cut the beef slices into strips and small chunks. Set aside.

Wash, peel and slice some potatoes and boil them until tender in a sauce pan. Drain off excess water and mash them with a splash of milk, a little salt and butter (optional).

In another sauce pan bring some milk to boil. I believe my mom used to put in a little bit of corn starch to make a white gravy. It’s been ages since I last watched her make this easy cheap meal. Before the gravy becomes too thick, remove from heat, add in the sliced and cubed beef slices, stir it and serve over mashed potatoes. This recipe should yield enough to feed three persons on a single serving. Therefore, if you want more, double up on the recipe. Best served warm and refrigerate any leftovers.

Missed meal (defunct) Soup Starter:

Whether with meat or chicken added in or completely vegetarian, this was always great on a cold and/ or stormy day. Put the contents of Soup Starter and water in a Crock Pot and let it cook for you. And after a long hard day by suppertime this soup awaited you and the aroma was wonderful! 🙂

This was the only ‘soup’ in a tall cardboard container that was inexpensive to make, required very little extra ingredients, made plenty for second helpings with some for leftovers. Soup Starter was popular during the 1980s and was one of those brands that quietly disappeared from store shelves. I hear it was renamed Wyler’s Mrs. Grass. Oh, and Soup Starter was no stranger to pack an MSG wallop, either and very high in salt and sodium. I remember the ingredients in Soup Starter were dehydrated (freeze-dried) small veggies, shell macaroni, dry broth, and if you wanted meat or chicken you could add in a piece of either. Soup Starter made 2 quarts of soup. It came in beef or chicken, I believe. I was fond of the beef flavor.

There was once a  pre-boxed itty bitty ‘bow tie’ macaroni product by Kraft (no longer made) that contained small slivers of dehydrated carrot and some other spices. My mother also made that quite a bit and served it over mashed potatoes along with a veggie like corn, peas or green beans. I don’t remember the name of this pre-boxed side dish, but I liked it and haven’t seen it on store shelves since the very early 80s.

I believe that’s it for the defunct meals in a box and canister for now. Again all likely loaded with MSG nastiness, but duplicating these recipes might take some scouring store shelves to find the freeze-dried ingredients.

Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting and tweeting. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂 If I happen to think of any more I will add to this post.

 

A Wonderful Day for a Wok and San-J Tamari Soy Sauce..

Published May 20, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I’m referring to Chinese and Asian cooking that is. I recently purchased a 14″ Imusa wok and couldn’t be happier with it. Before I made my purchase I did a lot of price-comparison, reading reviews, and moreover, wanted to find a wok without a non-stick/ coated surface, but don’t think I succeeded. Why not go with a coated or the non-stick kind, you might ask yourself. Because harmful chemicals in those coated and non-stick varieties can leech out when cooking, and granted, I have no idea if the one I purchased is non-stick/ non-coated. It’s carbon steel though.

When I made my selection both woks I viewed at the store were identical. The only thing that set them apart was the difference in price by a dollar or two, and by their handles. One had plastic handles. No thanks. And the other had wood handles. Both were made by the same company Imusa. One price tag stated non-stick, the other stated 14″ wok non-coated. Neither label on the woks indicated which was non-stick/ coated and which wasn’t. The labels just stated ‘seasoning required’. I decided on the carbon steel wok with the wood handles. Woks, no matter the brand, will require seasoning before using them. I even looked at an $8 non-stick coated wok at Big Lots and wisely decided against it. It was too small and flimsy for my needs.

The only con I have with my new wok is that it requires oil before and after although it’s not that much of a pain. Woks are one of those high matience fancy skillets kind of like dutch ovens are and so are nearly all cast iron skillets. So far it hasn’t distracted me from teaching myself how to make fried rice, and other Chinese/ Asian-inspired cuisine,  etc.

A wok is great for stir fry, something of which I truly fell in love with more than nine years ago. However, the cost for all the ingredients became expensive. Back then, however, I wasn’t much of a full time gardener like I am nowadays and didn’t know the benefits of going outside and plucking my produce next to nearly nothing nor was I aware of freezing the stir fry ingredients like snow peas, onions, green bell and red bell peppers and whatever else appealed to me, either. And back then I didn’t kick my chicken habit or that of my pre-boxed Minuet white rice addiction. I haven’t had much success with fried rice yet but I keep trying. I believe this is because my rice turns out gummy from sitting overnight in the fridge and/ or I must be doing something wrong when cooking it.

I absolutely love Sesame oil but it loves me back in the wrong way. Other than that I would highly recommend the toasted Sesame oil by Kadoya. I also bought another brand of Sesame oil by Sun Luck, which doesn’t seem to give me problems, however, I noticed it lacks the robust flavor. Maybe it’s just plain, not toasted sesame oil.

Some excellent soy sauce I recently discovered is San-J Tamari. It’s gluten free. For the longest time I wouldn’t purchase any soy sauces simply because they always were too rich for my system, for one. Secondly, the other brands of soy sauces have so much MSG, flavor enhancers, and other added junk and wheat ingredients in them that the taste was too much for me, that is until after much reading discovered some rave reviews for San- J Tamari soy sauce. I thought “… well, I’ll only waste about three dollars if I don’t/ can’t stomach it.”

Is San- J Tamari soy sauce vegan? From what I’ve read, yes, it is.

Is it strictly for stir fry, Asian and/ or Chinese cooking? Nope. San- J Tamari soy sauce is excellent on salads, hard-boiled eggs, raw cabbage leaves, tomatoes and avocados and has a meaty flavor without being too rich and contains no wheat ingredients. San-J Tamari soy sauce also compliments any meal just about.

Now back to the wok. Here are some do’s and “I can’t believe I just did that!” kitchen calamity learning experiences. Okay, maybe ‘disaster’ doesn’t quite fit, but oh, well… 🙂

The Do’s:

Do wash and dry the wok thoroughly, especially when the manufacturer’s instructions recommend to oil the wok in order to “season” it before cooking in it for the first time. Seasoning is basically a process that darkens the wok and creates a type of coating on the surface. Some regular cooking pans even the cast iron skillets and dutch ovens will require seasoning before use. A wok is no different.

I like to oil my wok with a little bit of coconut oil and/or used to use a drizzle of sesame oil and smear it around using a dry clean paper towel this way there’s no mess winding up in my laundry. Grease and oil is very difficult to remove from kitchen towels, etc.

The Don’ts when using your wok:

Don’t use metal cooking utensils when cooking with a wok. This will scratch and gouge the surface, and it was a mistake yours truly here made the first night even though I was gentle with the metal slotted spoon. Make sure to have some wooden utensils on hand when cooking with a wok.

Another useful healthy tip: Don’t buy used wooden cooking utensils, no matter how clean they appear. They can harbor nasty bacteria, have unseen surface cracks where dirt and other filthy particles can linger and/ or be splintered.

Make sure to buy new wooden utensils. If you opt to purchase used/ second hand wooden utensils you never know where they’ve been or what they were used for, and they may not have always been used for cooking meals, either. And wooden utensils can be breeding grounds for mold spores especially if the utensils are untreated or show a lot of use. I’ve recently bought one of those new ‘economy’ three packs of wooden spoons and like to refer to these as “get me by until I can find something better” wooden cooking utensils. But thinking way back to some similar wooden cooking spoons my mother had when I was a child, those were better made and lasted us many, many years without cracking, splintering even beyond their normal wear and tear. There was something that made those older version wooden spoons of yesteryear better made from higher quality wood, perhaps and I’m just guessing on that.

The three pack I bought in a pinch made me seriously question if I’d get nasty  splinters in my food or lodged in my intestines. The new spoons were rough cut with jagged edges and so poorly made I couldn’t believe the quality was so shoddy they were allowed to be sold. I scrutinized all the wooden spoon packs they had at the store which weren’t many, by the way and the workmanship is very crappy. I realize that hardly any wooden spoon set out there will even be worth $3 (and I think paying $8 is excessive for a very rough produced bamboo set, too). I decided to use the cheap three pack of wooden spoons for something else other than cooking, like gardening or stir sticks for when its time to re-paint.

I went to the new small grocery store and in my “hustle my bustle” usual manner when its late I found a Chef Craft heavy handled beechwood spoon for $1.79. That’s a far better price and the quality was surprisingly better in my opinion. In fact, I was so impressed with the heavy handled Chef Craft brand beechwood spoon, I bought a second one later on. So far they seem to hold up well cooking with the wok and its been little more than a week. However, I never leave the wooden spoon unattended in the wok while my food is cooking. I like to use one of my old Corningware dishes as a spoon rest.

So for the least amount of money the Chef Craft brand wins. Now as far as how long these particular wooden spoons will last, I have no idea. I assume quite a while with normal use just depends. And I discovered I had a Sushi mat, chopstick and rice paddle set that I just got around to trying out for the first time.

Honestly, I have no prior experience using a Sushi mat. I had to watch several different tutorial videos on how to use a Sushi mat and it requires the right ingredients. But since I’m extremely allergic to Seaweed, (this is what the rice, raw fish, etc. has in it), I instead opted for cabbage leaves and Turnip greens. It was just my personal preference for the cabbage and the Turnip greens were on sale and never tried those before until just recently.

And please don’t nag at me that I didn’t use the correct type of rice in my first Sushi knock-off experience. I don’t get uptight if the rice isn’t what so-and-so uses. I use whatever rice is either organic (whenever possible), and nutrient rich (not bankrupt like most ‘enriched’ and ‘parboiled’ inexpensive rice brands are). And I like to stretch my rice and mix it with wild and/ or brown and Basmati rice (again finding a non-parboiled and non-enriched brand can be tricky at times). Don’t know if Basmati rice is any healthier but with nearly all rice, it might contain trace amounts of arsenic.  So boil, boil and BOIL that rice for at least 35-40 minutes on the stove top. The recommendation is 25 minutes, but I go the extra mile and drain the water off and use a little fresh distilled water in my rice so it won’t stick to the pan after I cook it. Do I always remember to fluff my rice with a fork? Not always and it still turns out okay for my taste.

Using a Sushi mat flattens the cabbage leaves stuffed with cooked rice and tuna I found out and keeps everything from spilling out. I also tried using Turnip Greens as well but noticed those didn’t do good at all and I find they don’t make good Seaweed subsitutes, either. I later found out that Turnip greens are supposed to be cooked, but seldom eaten raw like lettuce. I’m no gourmet chef and will attest to that. I live and learn like the rest. 😀 I do love food and enjoying trying new dishes at least once. I will more than likely pass on the Turnip greens from now on.

What I couldn’t understand according to one youtube Sushi mat tutorial video by a how-to beginner why the lady placed a Sushi mat in plastic wrap. As she went onto explain in the video it was to prevent the Sushi mat from becoming messy and dirty. Messy… eh, excuse me, but dirty, seriously? She sounded like one of those women that just can’t stand the thought of a making a mess and everything has to be perfect and very clean.

And she seemed more overly concerned about how clean her Sushi mat and work surface appeared than about getting down to the task and showing the viewer how to make Sushi rolls and there was a lot of missing ‘step-by-step’ instructions as well. By the middle of the video and this woman’s worry over “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” Florence Nightingale mentality, I was scratching my head with a slight perturbed look on my face while having a good laugh. That’s why you reach for the scouring pad, a little bit of Ajax and some dish soap and water to clean up the counter tops after having fun in the kitchen. That’s why if any mess falls on the floor and your little furball four-legged vacuum cleaner doesn’t like cooked rice or bits of Seaweed, you bust out the broom and dust pan and simply clean it up. I began to wonder if this lady wouldn’t be one of those kind to just suffer a public freak out mental breakdown moment, curl up into a fetal position and try to find her ‘safe place’  if she ever came face to face with a soiled Sushi mat that wouldn’t come completely clean. As a viewer I couldn’t watch this particular Sushi mat tutorial all the way through and had to find a few more that had better instructions and that were thorough instead of being vague. I won’t knock the lady’s ‘give it a try’ spirit though.

And one thing I wanted to add about wok cooking, the veggies will be crisp (not wilted or mushy) and it all depends on the temperature setting used. I use medium-low heat when making stir fry and lower setting when I’m re-heating my leftover rice.

One dish I do love is wild rice, fresh washed and sliced Jalapeno pepper (about four slices since they’re hot), and for some real heat try some Sarreno chili pepper (extremely hot in my opinion) and that’s if you’re a fan of spicy-hot dishes. So it’s not nearly cooking Asian or even Chinese cuisine, but eh, I enjoy it. And I also use some of the San- J Tamari Soy Sauce, a dash of Redmond Real Salt, and a dash of black pepper (whatever I have on hand in the Hosier). As always thank you so much for sharing, liking, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, etc. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

Get the most out of your store-bought celery: grow it yourself and other inexpensive kitchen food discoveries.

Published May 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

celery leaves drying for aloe vera blog

 

And that was another very easy nearly ‘free’ food I found out about two years ago. Surprisingly my first attempt yielded celery during the first freeze we had last year (before winter set in, that is). Now the celery chutes don’t get terribly huge when going form the container growing method. My first celery stalk growing experience left me with small, slender stalks that were young and still went great in soups and salads. They also froze extremely well.

 

Living on a shoe-string budget is tough and wherever nearly free food can be discovered, grown at home, frozen, dried (think in terms of long-term prepping), or even so insanely easy to re-plant and grow I find myself scratching my head thinking, “Why didn’t I think of this sooner? This is so easy!”

 

And my first celery stalk was chopped off mid-way and sat in a bowl of tap water (before I became wise about the fluoridation) on my kitchen window sill. I didn’t hold out any hope and thought my efforts would be a waste of time. Yes, my celery stalk had to share space with my beloved (although somewhat hearty soil-bankrupt) air purifying airplane/spider plant that’s been the dominant houseplant going on five years. I was surprised when I noticed leafy greens sprouting up from the lopped celery stalk. I can’t remember if I changed out the water or if that’s a necessary thing to do. Since my first celery stalk died during the winter and I had no place to bring it in out of the harsh weather, it didn’t last. Yet, I managed to re-grow enough celery from that first stalk to fill a large zip lock bag and I didn’t need to buy celery at the store for the whole year. When frozen about all celery is good for is using in stir-fry, soups and stews. I never had any success using frozen/ thawed celery in leafy green salads. But frozen celery goes great in my freshly prepared plain cucumber salads which means I don’t slather my cucumbers in any type of oils, mayonnaise, or commercial salad dressings since those don’t agree with my system. I make my own mustard-onion dressing that I will share in this post as well.

 

And a year later, I’ve nearly finished off my entire bag of celery. I haven’t tried to grow any celery stalks in the garden. I like to plant them in patio containers and snip off the stalks as I need them and allow the celery to re-grow more chutes. I have two more celery stalks that I re-grew using distilled water and was surprised when they appeared greener and more heartier. I transplanted those to outdoor containers recently and started on my third celery stalk in distilled water. Hopefully it will grow as well as the others.

 

How to make my onion-mustard cucumber salad dressing:

 

Wash, cut and place green onions in a clean mason jar. I like to use a pair of kitchen shears to snip the onions. And other times I will go out to my garden and cut off a large onion leaf. These are very potent and a little bit goes a long way. I also use the small onion bulb as well and chop that up. Next, I mix equal parts of Dijon and Spicy Brown mustard and add that in with my onions. I stir this concoction and leave it in the fridge while I prepare my cucumber salad.

How to make my cucumber salad (no-dressing or oil variety):

 

Wash, peel and slice up the cucumber if its store bought. Believe me, you don’t want to ingest the wax they use on the veggies. I’ve heard horror stories that the wax used is no different than what they use to wax floors with, Yeesh! And if it’s true, that’s a dirty little inside trick to make veggies appear delicious and ‘preserve’ them, I suppose. If you can grow your own cucumbers and don’t use pesticides, you could skip peeling off the outer skin. Since I don’t use pesticides on my garden for the very reason they can be toxic, I don’t have to worry so much.

 

There’s no wrong way to slice a cucumber. If you like thick slices, got for it. If you prefer small, thin slices, that’s excellent too.

 

Next wash, and slice one or two red tomatoes. Again, if they’re store-bought tomatoes they may have been gassed in order to ‘ripen’ them while their still green, and eating green tomatoes is okay too. Ever hear of the old 80’s movie, Fried Green Tomatoes? Anyways, if your tomatoes are home grown, then your assured of the safety of your own produce. Place the sliced tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl and set aside. Next slice up some red, white, and yellow onion (if you have any on hand and this is optional). I’m kind of basing this on my late grandma’s recipe but without the dressing. My grandmother used to use white onion cut into rings.

 

I also like to spice things up with a fresh cut Japeno and throw that in with the cucumber and tomatoes and mix some crushed red pepper as well. I then give this salad a soak in a little Apple Cider Vinegar/ distilled bath just for good measure, rinse and return to the bowl. I like to finish off with a few snips of fresh Kale (the yellow blooms will produce a delicate sweet taste, too), Parsley, Chives, Peppermint, Spearmint, Pineapple Sage leaf, one leaf of cabbage and fresh Brussels sprouts (never the canned or frozen variety for me). So technically its not a straight cucumber and tomato salad, rather an actual salad. Eh, sometimes I enjoy a change of pace.

 

What to do with those celery leaves: don’t throw them out! Wash them off really good and dry them. I say this because the cost of buying celery either in seed, salt, or even the crushed leaf variety can be expensive. Since I don’t have a pestle and mortar I can’t grind the leaves  into a powder so it’s the very old-fashioned ‘drying’ method by placing the celery leaves (preferably washed, dried off, and place on a cookie sheet or in my case a pie pan lined with a coffee filter will do. Allow the celery leaves to thoroughly dry for two weeks or a month or so. When they’re completely dry (and some might be curled), then you can store them in a spice jar or use them immediately in soups, stews, stir-fry, etc. I had great success drying two bunches of half priced cilantro for a month and yielded two huge batches to last me a year or better. Cilantro goes great in homemade pico de gallo (Mexican condiment/ salsa).

Hope my shoe string budget kitchen tips help. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, commenting, sharing, tweeting, I truly appreciate it. 🙂

Home made Tortillas- How to guide:

Published June 16, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Here’s a recipe for making home made tortillas. I found this out after doing some research online. Not only is it more healthy for you, I believe, but also cost-effective in the long run. Here’s what you’ll need:

Make sure your counter top surface is clean and dry before you begin.

Flour (if you can afford the non-GMO flour, then get some of that). By the way, I haven’t made this with wheat flour since me and wheat have never gotten along.

One teaspoon or so of Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder

One teaspoon of salt

Half cup of milk (I use non-fat powdered milk and mix it with distilled water and sometimes just distilled water).

Olive oil, I would say no more than three teaspoons. Personally, I used organic coconut oil in place of olive oil.

On the flour, it depends on how big of a batch you want to make. I don’t measure out my flour, if I had to guess though, I likely used under half a bag of small flour (2 lb.) and still had plenty left over to make another batch of tortillas.

Mix your dry ingredients first, then mix your other ingredients: milk and oil in a separate bowl. Very gently combine all ingredients together. This should be real sticky almost like when making bread. Some people prefer to oil their fingers and work the dough like kneading it in the bowl, others (like myself), prefer to dust their fingers in flour and knead it that way. I mixed all of my ingredients with a spoon before I kneaded the dough.

Next you let the mixture set at room temperature for a few minutes about five-to-ten. Get your skillet out and warm it up. DO NOT add any grease or cooking oil in the skillet. These tortillas are meant to flipped over and watched constantly so they won’t burn in a dry skillet.

When your skillet is warm, begin pulling apart the dough into balls and knead them on a flour-covered surface.

Roll out the dough into a circle. Thin or thick is a preference.

I made my first and second batch a lot like fajitas. Place the tortilla in the skillet and let it warm up to a pillow-like appearance. It should produce some air bubbles and this will let you know its time to flip it over. Allow the other side to cook. The tortilla should have some brown spots.

Proceed by rolling out more dough into the shape of a tortilla and heat them up one at a time. When finished, turn off the burner and let the skillet cool off entirely on an unused back burner or trivet.

Enjoy your fresh tortillas or if you want to use them later, freeze them in a plastic zip lock bag. This recipe yields about 10-12 tortillas per batch. I was able to squeeze out 14 tortillas since I made mine however I felt like. They didn’t turn out perfectly circular, but that’s okay. They tasted far better than store bought. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, commenting, etc. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂