Well butter my biscuit, er, GF Muffin

Recipes

Butter. Probably second in line behind my first love, bacon. And like with anything, I of course had to figure out how to make my own. Turns out, it isn’t that hard. Thinking back, I’ve made butter by accident, though then, I just thought that it was ruined whipped cream. I like to taste my butter, so I don’t cook with it often, I prefer to put it on top of veggies, steaks, etc. so that I can taste it with every bite. That said, when I make my butter, it’s a huge splurge. The Heavy Cream that I buy, while delicious, is not cheap, but it is oh so worth it. 
Following are the step by step instructions for making your own butter, but it really is essentially fool proof.
Here’s what you’ll need to make butter:
1 pint organic heavy cream

Stand Mixer 

Dish Towel (splash guard if you have one)

Salt (if desired, I use Himalayan Sea Salt)


Add the cream to the mixing bowl on your blender. You’ll want to use your splash guard if you have one here, if not, loosely wrap a dish towel around your stand mixer. 


Using the Wire Whip turn on and slowly increase the speed to high. After a minute or so, you can drop the towel as the initial splashing will be over and for a while it will just look like whipped cream in the bowl. 


But keep an eye on your whipped cream. Depending on the quality of your cream, it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the butter to separate from the butter milk. 


When this starts to happen, shut off your mixer and switch over to the flat beater, as it will be more gentle on your butter. You’ll need your towel again here, turn on the mixer slowly up to high speed again until the butter is fully separated from the butter milk.


 At this point, you want to drain off the butter milk. I also squeeze out any butter milk that is still inside the butter as well. This can be done in small batches in your bare hands or if you prefer, you can place your butter in some cheese cloth and squeeze out that way. Once the butter is squeezed out, I put it back in the stand mixer and add 1tsp +/- salt, depending on taste. That’s it. I store mine in a small ramekin at room temperature. Enjoy!


Pictured below, my homemade butter vs store bought. I know which one I’d prefer!

Blue Fish with Caramel Sauce

Recipes

I tend to order fish when I eat out way more often than when I cook at home. Not because I can’t cook it, more because I always cook it the same way, and it always seems to be served with a delicious sauce that I never dare try to replicate at home. Well, today I get a wild hair and decided I wanted fish for dinner and went to Whole Foods to see what they had. I was so excited to see Blue Fish because it is one of my favorites and I’ve been dreaming about the last time I had it with a Vietnamese Caramel Sauce that was to die for. I decided that tonight was the night that I was going to try to replicate it but more carb friendly and soy free. Of course, all I bought at the store was the fish, so I had to come up with the sauce with what I had on hand at home. 

Below is the recipe that I came up with. It’s not exact, but I think that it replicates the favors quite well, and it tastes good, and that’s what really matters the most. 

  
Blue Fish with Caramel Sauce

  • 2 – 4oz Blue Fish filets
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2T coconut aminos
  • 20g coconut sugar
  • 1T fish sauce
  • 1/2tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro (if desired)
  • Green onion (if desired)

Coat the fish with evoo and salt and pepper liberally. In small sauce pan combine sugar, fish sauce, coconut aminos, ginger, and lemon. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Simmer until sauce coats the back of your spoon. 

In a screaming hot cast iron pan, cook fish skin side down for 3 minutes. Turn and cook 2-3 minutes until cooked through. 

Top with sauce and cilantro and green onions if desired. Enjoy!

  

Spring Fever

Every Day

Is that anything like Cat Scratch Fever? I sure hope not, because that sounds less than pleasant!

Actually, I do believe that Spring Fever is a real thing. I’m not a cold weather person, and every year in February I start to crave the warmth. I look out the window on those sunny winter days wishing and dreaming that it were 80 degrees outside instead of 20. March comes and is always a tease. You get a few days here and there of nice weather, but then that damn lion that came in with the beginning of the month rears its ugly head. And this year, the lion hung around well in to April when we got a rare April snow. That was not fun.

That said, I feel like it is finally safe to say that Spring is here. And with that always seems to come my renewed motivation. My exercise of choice is walking outside and it just doesn’t happen when it gets dark at 4pm and is only 32 degrees during the day time. But with Spring time and warmer and longer days, I have fewer excuses and finally get back out there and start moving. We also have a puppy this year who needs to be worn down on the daily, so that gets me moving as well.

There is nothing better than walking out my front door on a Spring evening with the puppy by my side, kids playing in the neighborhood, neighbors cutting the grass or grilling and birds singing. There is something about that combination of sights and sounds that feels like Spring. That feels like the long winter is finally gone, there is new life and new hope and I’m once again seeing the possibility of a new me. I tell myself, this is the year that I will get healthy, this is the year that I will take control of my life and my body and my spirit, tonight I will walk and tomorrow I will continue on the path to a smaller pants size.

I like myself in the Spring. I’m a dreamer. An idealist. I’m motivated. I love myself. That’s the problem you see. Everything is connected. When the weather starts to cool down in the fall, it goes from me enjoying those crisp evening walks to me snuggling up on the couch watching tv with my honey. I become less motivated to eat well and more motivated to make and indulge in comfort foods. One things leads to another and next thing I know I’m craving Spring to get back on my feet, to get motived and to again, get healthy, and take control of my life and my body and my spirit. It’s cyclical, and for me, that isn’t necessary a good thing. I always tell myself, this will be the year that I don’t let Winter get this best of me. This will be the year that I maintain my healthy habits through the cold months and maybe even spend some time on that dreaded treadmill. Maybe this will be the year, but maybe it won’t. But one thing is for sure, I’m going to march forward into this Spring with the same ideals and dreams that I do every year. I will worry about the hear and now and just hope upon hope that this is the year that I finally find a way to love myself enough to continue through the cold months and hopefully next Spring won’t start with a fever, but instead will be a continuation of the steps that I am taking for myself today.

Pickled…….eggs?

Recipes

Being from the suburbs of Philly means that I also grew up close to Lancaster County and thus there was a Pennsylvania Dutch influence in a lot of the foods that we ate growing up. One of my favorites as a child and still today is Pickled Beet Eggs. As a kid, I really only ever wanted the eggs with the sweet and sour flavor, but as an adult I’ve learned to love the beets and the onions as well. Sure, I end up staining everything in my kitchen a vibrant hue of red when I’m making them, including my hands, but the end result is so worth it. Over time, I’ve learned to appreciate the natural sweetness of the beets and no longer use sugar in my brining liquid, I just don’t think that it is needed. Instead I use a combination of vinegars that bring out the natural flavor of the beets and naturally enhance the recipe. This is a favorite in our house and I hope that it becomes on in yours as well.

Pickled Beet Eggs

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled

3 large beets peeled and cut into 1in pieces

4 cups water

1T + 1/2T Himalayan sea salt

1t black pepper

1/4 C apple cider vinegar

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1 medium onion sliced

Bring the beets to a boil in 4 cups of water and 1T of salt. Boil for approximately 15-20 minutes until fork tender. While the beets are boiling, place your onion on the bottom of your non-reactive container and then place the eggs on top. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. When the beets are ready, place them directly into the container with the eggs and onions. Keeping the beet water on the burner, add the vinegar and stir to combine. Add the brining mixture to your container. Cover tightly and refrigerate 48 hours. Enjoy!


M.P.