Browsed by
Tag: DIY

Seedy Mustard

Seedy Mustard

Seedy Mustard


1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds

3 T. brown mustard seeds

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup pale ale, Belgian-style beer, or water

2 T. light brown sugar

1 T. honey

Pinch of sea salt

1 T. ground mustard powder


Pour the mustard seeds, vinegar, and beer into a bowl. Whisk together and allow to soak 8 hours or overnight. Stir in the sugar, honey, salt, and mustard powder. Place about ⅔ of the mixture in a food processor and grind until it becomes a paste, then pour back into the bowl with the unprocessed amount and mix well. Pack the mustard into a pint-sized mason jar and allow to rest for a day in the fridge before using. Keep refrigerated.

Pickling Spice Blend

Pickling Spice Blend

Pickling Spice Blend


1 tablespoons Mustard Seed

1 tablespoon Coriander Seed

1 tablespoon Caraway Seeds

1 Tablespoon Celery Seed

2 Whole Cloves

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger (or a fresh slice if using immediately)

1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 or 2 Bay Leaves, broken into pieces

1 teaspoon Whole Allspice Berries

1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns

1 teaspoon Whole Dill Seeds

What to do with Celery Leaves

What to do with Celery Leaves

What to do with Celery Leaves


Celery leaves are actually quite tasty and incredibly versatile.


Add celery leaves to salads: My aunt likes to cut up the leaves and add them to her green salads. I had never tried it myself until I went to her house for lunch one day. I was surprised to find that it can be a delicious addition to change up and add a burst of flavor to your raw greens. (I think that it especially pairs up well with salads with apple slices.) I think the best leaves for salads are the lighter green, younger leaves, but that is a matter or taste, of course.


Add celery leaves and stalk pieces to stocks and bone broths: I like to freeze some of the leaves, and the small, ugly stalk bits I cut from my snacking pieces, so I can have them handy whenever I make stock or bone broth. Celery is probably my favorite vegetable for adding to stocks and broths. Not only is it incredibly healthy, adding its vitamins and antioxidants to your already healthy broths, but it also adds delicious flavor. I also often blend celery leaves and stalk pieces, along with onions, into soups with an immersion blender to give them great flavor and a thicker consistency. (That was a tip I learned from another one of my aunts.)


Chop celery leaves and use them as an herb. Celery leaves make a great replacement for fresh parsley in many recipes. You can chop the fresh leaves and add them to salsa and homemade salad dressings, for example. You can also dry the leaves and crumble them, using them as you would dried parsley.

Make pesto sauce with celery leaves.


Make celery powder with leftover leaves and ugly stalk pieces. This is actually probably my favorite use of leftover celery leaves and bits and pieces. It’s simple enough to dehydrate the leftover pieces and grind them into a fine powder once they are fully dry. The nice thing about celery powder is that it doesn’t take up much space at all and it keeps very well. I like to add it to soups, sauces, and all sorts of other dishes to add flavor and nutrients.


Make celery salt. Celery salt is just a modified use of celery powder. It is often made with ground celery seed that is mixed with salt. Don’t have celery seeds? You can also make a wonderful celery salt using the leaves and other not-so-pretty celery bits. Celery salt is often asked for in recipes, but I like to use it in place of regular sauce in all sorts of recipes to add extra nutrients and flavor!


Save for chickens or compost. If you don’t want to use the celery leaves yourself, don’t throw them away! When I’m short on time (and my freezer is full, and I have an abundance of celery powder on hand already), I throw them to my hens and they seem to love them. You can also add them to your compost bin.


Celery Powder


Wash and dry celery leaves and other celery bits and pieces. (To reduce drying time, consider chopping stalks into smaller pieces.) Fully dry leaves and stalk pieces in a dehydrator or at the lowest heat and convection setting of your oven. (Check occasionally and remove dry, brittle pieces, leaving the rest of the celery pieces to continue drying until brittle.) Once they are fully dry, grind up the celery leaves and stalk pieces until you obtain a fine powder. Celery leaves can be easily pulverized with a mortar and pestle. If using stalk bits, though, I find it much easier to use a spice grinder of coffee grinder.   Store the homemade celery powder in a well-sealed container to keep moisture out, preferably out of direct sunlight.



Celery Salt


2 Tbsp celery powder

2 Tbsp salt


Mix together celery powder and salt. Store in a well closed container in a cool, dark place.

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese


1 quart whole or 2% milk

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ tsp. minced fresh chives

½ tsp. minced Italian parsley

¼ tsp. minced fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Gently heat the milk to 180ºF. Add the lemon juice and stir slowly until the milk separates into curds and whey. Ladle into a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together over the curds and tie with butcher’s twine. Let the curds drain in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours, or until the desired consistency. Transfer the cheese to a medium bowl, stir in the chives, parsley, thyme, and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the cheese into a wheel and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly


9 ounces black currants

9 ounces superfine sugar


Puree the currants in a food mill using the finest disc. If the puree has seeds, strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove them. Stir in the sugar. Divide among 3 4-ounce jars, cover with parchment, and secure the parchment with butcher’s twine. Place the jars outside in the sun all day, or until jelled.  Makes about 1 ½ C.. Keeps for months tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Stockpile the cores and peels in the freezer until you have enough.


2-3 T. Sugar

2-3 C. filtered or non-chlorinated Water

1 lb. apple cores & peels (peels only if from organically grown apples)



Use 1 T. of the sugar per C. of water. Dissolve the sugar in the water. It is important to use non-chlorinated or filtered water because chlorine could prevent the fermentation process that is essential to making vinegar. Put the apple scraps into a ceramic, glass, or stainless-steel bowl, pot, or crock and pour the sugar water over them. Use enough of the liquid to cover the apples, but don’t worry if they float a bit. Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit at room temperature for 1 week. Every day, stir the ingredients vigorously at least once (more is better). Once fermentation begins, the liquid will froth up when you stir it. The liquid should have started to turn a darker color after one week of steeping and stirring. Strain out the fruit. Keep the liquid at room temperature, stirring once or more each day, for 2 weeks to 1 month. Its smell will shift from lightly alcoholic to vinegary and sour. The bacteria that create vinegar from alcohol require oxygen to do so. That’s why it’s important not to cover the liquid with anything airtight during the process. (FYI, all vinegar starts out as alcohol—it’s what the bacteria that make vinegar eat.) Once the vinegar tastes as strong as you’d like it, transfer it to bottles and screw on covers or cork. The vinegar is fine to use for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces anytime it tastes good to you. But if you want to use your homemade vinegar for safe pickling and canning, it needs to have at least 4.5 percent acetic acid, just like commercial brands do.

Canning Steak Sauce

Canning Steak Sauce

Canning Steak Sauce

1 C. ketchup (homemade)

1/2 C. onion, coarsely chopped

1 large clove garlic

1/4 C. water

1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C. lemon juice (bottled)

1/4 C. white vinegar

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. prepared mustard


Cooking: Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until it reaches a good consistency, stirring occasionally. Strain to remove onion and garlic. Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place your hot jars. Using your funnel in each jar ladle the mixture into the jars leaving 1/2” headspace.  Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace if necessary. Taking a clean paper towel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand to extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just “finger tight”.   Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn’t measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 15 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning. Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a “pinging” or “popping” noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

1 3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

16 C. water

2 stalks celery

2 medium onions, quartered

1 T. salt

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


Half recipe

1/2  3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

8 C. water

1 stalks celery

1 medium onions, quartered

1-1/2 T. salt

5 peppercorns

1 bay leaves

2 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 4 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


*You must process at least 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time to ensure safe processing.*


Prepare pressure canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside Combine chicken and water in a large sauce-pot. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Remove chicken from stock, reserving chicken for another use. Strain stock through a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Allow stock to cool until fat solidifies. Skim off fat. Heat stock to a boil. Ladle hot chicken stock into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. Process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude, according to your pressure canners directions. Turn off heat: cool canner to zero pressure. Let stand 5 more minutes before removing the lid. Cool jars in canner 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Canning Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Canning Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Canning Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Makes 6-8 pints or 3 quarts of canned concentrate


6 C. strawberries, cleaned and hulled

4 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 C. sugar


In a food processor, blender or bullet puree strawberry in batches.   Transfer strawberry puree to a stainless-steel saucepan over medium-high heat. DO NOT BOIL. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine. Using a thermometer heat to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Because this recipe has sugar it will get to temperature rather quickly so keep your eye on the thermometer. Remove from heat.  Ladle mixture into jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims, add hot lids, and tighten rings just finger tight. Process in water bath canner at a boil for 15 minutes. To reconstitute, mix one-part concentrate with one part water, tonic water or ginger ale. Adjust concentrate to suit your taste.  You can use bottled lemon juice for this recipe as well!  If you do not want to process this concentrate in canning jars, freeze the concentrate in 1 to 2 C. portions.

Zucchini “Pineapple”

Zucchini “Pineapple”

Zucchini “Pineapple”

You need to peel your zucchini.  I cut mine up in smaller sizes as it’s much easier to handle. Now, take out all the seeds.  A melon baller is easy to use for this.  Then cut up your zucchini into the size you want.  If you want to have “crushed pineapple” then just grate it up.   In a large pot add 46 oz. canned unsweetened pineapple juice, 1 1/2 C. bottled lemon juice and 3 C. of sugar.  Then add your zucchini. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Fill your hot, clean pint size jars with the zucchini and liquid.  Leave 1/2 inch headspace.  Adjust your lids and process in a water bath for 15 mins. Remove and wait for the ping sound.


The recipe actually calls for you to use 4 quarts of zucchini but I only used the one large one so I had extra liquid left over and I only got 4 pints of zucchini pineapple.  If you use the 4 quarts of zucchini you should get 8-9 pints. If you are like me and don’t use all the zucchini you will be left with at least 1/2 the liquid and you can make jelly from it by adding pectin to it.

Tomato-Basil Jam

Tomato-Basil Jam

Tomato-Basil Jam

2 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled

¼ cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil

3 cups sugar

1 1.75 ounce package powdered fruit pectin for lower-sugar recipes or 3 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin for low- or no-sugar recipes



Seed, core, and finely chop tomatoes. Measure 3 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes; place in a 6- to 8-quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Measure 3 1/3 cups tomatoes; return to pot. Stir in lemon juice and basil. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the pectin; stir into tomato mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining 2 3/4 cups sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 5 half-pints.

Canning Mandarin Oranges

Canning Mandarin Oranges

Canning Mandarin Oranges

Clean your jars, rings and lids. A dishwasher works great for this. I usually put them in a pot of boiling water and then place them in the oven on the lowest temperature while I prepare my fruit. Peel your mandarins. Remove as much of the white pith as possible. These little Kishu Mandarins took no work at all to remove the pith, but their smaller than golf ball size did involve a lot of peeling. Pull apart the segments. You can actually leave them whole if you prefer, but since I will mostly be using them for salads I decided it would be easier to separate them before the canning process. Pack sterilized jars with Mandarin segments, leaving about 1/2 space at the top of the jar. Prepare your syrup solution. It is up to you whether you want a light or thick syrup and adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. The sugar does not actually preserve the mandarins. Preservation is achieved through the canning process and water bath technique. You could just add hot water to the jars if you wanted no added sugar. I went with a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar. I found I used about 1/2 C. of solution for each pint of mandarins. I combined 6 C. of water with 3 C. of sugar. Place the solution over medium high heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring solution to a boil and immediately pour over packed jars of fruit. Slide a knife down the edge of each jar to release any air bubbles. I found an offset spatula worked great for this step.  Place lids and rings on jars. Place jars in a boiling water bath and boil for 15 minutes. You will need to adjust the time if you are living above 6,000 feet. Ensure the jars are sealed. Any unsealed jars should go directly into the fridge. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to 9 months.

Coconut Bacon & Coconut Chips

Coconut Bacon & Coconut Chips

Coconut Bacon


2 cup coconut chips (Toasted coconut chips work well here.)

4 tsp. tamari or soy sauce

4 tsp. maple syrup

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (or 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke and 1/4 tsp. paprika)


Mix together the tamari or soy sauce, the maple syrup, and the smoked paprika (or the liquid smoke and regular paprika) until well mixed. If you mix them in either a container with a lid or a bag, it will be easier to coat the coconut chips in the next step. Pour the coconut chips into the container with the mixed seasonings. If you are using a container with a lid or a plastic bag, it’s easy to coat all of the coconut chips by shaking them with the seasonings until fully coated. Spread the coated coconut chips over a baking sheet (or a dehydrator tray) so that they don’t overlap too much. Sweet, smoky, and salty, these seasoned coconut chips will remind you of maple sweetened bacon, but they are vegan! I’ll show you how to make coconut bacon in just a few minutes! Dry them out by using the low heat and convection setting of your oven (if you have one), or by using a dehydrator. They will get nice and crispy. If you want them to be a toasted color, you can either use toasted coconut flakes to begin with, or you can put them in the oven at a higher heat setting for a few minutes. Be very careful if you choose to do so, checking on them every minute or so, because they can burn pretty quickly at higher heat settings.

Eat as is or serve on salads or other dishes.

You can purchase coconut chips or make your own.


1 fresh coconut


Open the coconut and pry out the coconut meat.  Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the brown skin from the coconut pieces.   Rinse off and dry the white coconut pieces. Using your vegetable peeler again, peel off strips of coconut until you have finished making coconut chips with the entire coconut. Using either your oven or a dehydrator, dry the coconut chips until they are completely dried out. You can tell by trying to break them. If they are still somewhat flexible and hard to break, you should dry them out a little longer. They should easily snap in half. If you are using your oven, use the lowest heat and the convection setting if you have one. If you want toasted coconut flakes, you can continue to heat the coconut in either the dehydrator or the oven and they will start to slowly become toasted. They will first start to turn a golden yellow, followed by a darker brown color. You can quicken the process by turning up the heat a little, but be very careful! Toasted coconut flakes burn very quickly and easily. Once burnt, they don’t taste very good. Store your dried coconut chips in an airtight container. They are now ready for eating as is or seasoning however you choose.


Smoked Paprika Seasoned Coconut Chips

Matcha Lime Seasoned Coconut Chips

Sweet & Tangy Raspberry Coconut Chips

Pina Colada Coconut Chips

Ginger Vinegar

Ginger Vinegar

Ginger Vinegar


150 gram ginger root

150 gram sugar

1 quart filtered water


Add 2 cups of filtered water to a jar with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of grated or finely minced ginger. Mix everything together and cover the jar with a cloth, held in place with a rubber band, to keep bugs and dust out. Leave to rest at room temperature for 24 hours. The next day, add in another tablespoon of sugar and another tablespoon of ginger. (You can also add in a little water if you ever see that the mixture is too overrun with ginger.) Once again, mix everything together and cover it with a cloth. Leave it undisturbed for another 24 hours. Repeat the previous step each day until you get an active ginger bug. You can tell that your ginger bug is active and ready when you start to see bubbles forming at the top and a white precipitate falling to the bottom. (This normally takes around 4-8 days.) Overhead view of ginger, sugar and water turning bubbly. (An actively forming ginger bug) Once the ginger bug is ready, you can make sodas with it by mixing it with juice or mixes of water, flavoring, and sugar syrup and doing a second ferment in airtight bottles to build up carbonation. To make vinegar, add the rest of the ginger, sugar, and water and stop feeding the ginger bug. Cover it with a cloth and allow it to ferment for several weeks. Over the next weeks, it will become more acidic and less sweet. It should also begin to form a cellulose mass on the surface. This is the vinegar mother.  Once you are happy with the flavor and acidity of the vinegar, filter out the solids and bottle the ginger. It can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge.

DIY Worcestershire Sauce

DIY Worcestershire Sauce

DIY Worcestershire Sauce

Makes 3 – 4 cups


3 T. olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 serrano chiles, chopped with seeds (I added 2 jalapenos, as well)

2 T. minced garlic

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Two 2-ounce cans anchovies, drained (I usually add the oil)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 T. kosher salt

1 lemon, peel and white pith removed and discarded (I zest it first and freeze the zest)

2 C. honey (original recipe calls for dark corn syrup)

1 C. molasses

1 quart distilled white vinegar

1/4 pound fresh horseradish, peeled and grated


In a large, heavy sauce pan, combine the oil, onions and chiles and stir over high heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, anchovies, cloves, salt, lemon, honey, molasses, vinegar, horseradish and 2 C. of water and bring it all to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces and thickens and barely coats a wooden spoon, about 6 hours. Your kitchen will smell heavenly! Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Press gently to release all the liquid. Discard the solids and let the sauce cool to room temperature. Store in a bottle or jar in the fridge. It keeps indefinitely, but you’ll be gobbling it up!

Garlic-Parmesan Blend

Garlic-Parmesan Blend

Garlic-Parmesan Blend

1 medium size shaker of Parmesan cheese

1-4 T. of garlic powder

2-4 T. of dried parsley


Empty the shaker of Parmesan cheese into a mixing bowl. Add 1 T. of garlic, and 1 T. of parsley. Stir and taste. If you prefer stronger garlic taste, continue to add garlic 1/2 tsp. at a time until you reach a flavor you prefer. Add dried parsley to a point you think LOOKS good – it is there mostly for looks 🙂 When you get a blend you like, carefully pour it back into the Parmesan shaker and remove label. This is great on French bread, pizza crust, or even a piece of white toast for a simple side dish for spaghetti. I also use it on top of this recipe for Pan Bread (a quick and easy focaccia bread.)

Homemade V-8

Homemade V-8

Homemade V-8

6 lb. of vine-ripened, organic tomatoes (preferably heirlooms), coarsely chopped

2 C. chopped organic white or yellow onion

2½ C. chopped organic celery

1 C. chopped fresh parsley (stems are fine)

2 T. honey

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin powder

6 drops hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Sriracha

Splash or two of Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Put all the ingredients in a large stainless-steel pot. Bring them to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until very soupy, about 40 minutes. If a thicker juice is desired, first carefully blend the vegetable mixture in batches in a countertop blender, then put it through a food mill. For a smoother and more delicate juice, go straight to the food mill. A sieve might work but it would probably take forever. Next time I’ll try using my hand blender instead of the countertop blender. Update: The hand blender worked well. Chill for at least several hours before adding more salt or other seasonings. This juice will keep for at least a week in the fridge. I tried freezing some in a small plastic freezer container but haven’t defrosted it yet. I’ll let you know how it comes out when I do.


Update: When I defrosted the frozen tomato juice it had separated some, so that you could see teeny bits of tomato. It tasted okay but looked a little odd. I put it in the blender, and that made it all bubbly and sort of orange, though after sitting in the fridge for a while it settled down.


For long term storage, this juice would probably fare better if canned in glass jars using the instructions below. If you use the frozen juice in a recipe, I’m sure it would work fine.


To preserve your juice in glass jars: Heat juice 5 minutes at 190°F (I love my digital kitchen thermometer). Do not boil. Add 2 T. lemon juice or 1/2 tsp. citric acid to each quart jar. Add 1 T. lemon juice or 1/4 tsp. citric acid to each pint jar. Ladle hot juice into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 40 minutes and quarts 45 minutes in a water-bath canner.

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Whether it conjures up a crusty, flavorful loaf of bread or a bubbling crock of flour/water starter, sourdough is a treasured part of many bakers’ kitchens. But where does the path to sourdough bread begin? Right in your own kitchen, with your own homemade sourdough starter.

Sourdough baking is as much art as science. The method you’ll read here for making sourdough starter isn’t an exact match for the one you read on another site, or in a cookbook, or in your great-grandma’s diary

Getting it started takes a lot of steps, but once its established, its easy to maintain and use.

1 cup (113g) whole rye (pumpernickel) or whole wheat flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water


To feed your starter


scant 1 cup (113g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water (if your house is warm), or lukewarm water (if your house is cool)


Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least 1-quart capacity.


Sourdough Starter – Step 1

Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours. See “tips,” below, for advice about growing starters in a cold house.


Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (113 grams, about 1/2 cup), and add to the remainder a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) cool water (if your house is warm); or lukewarm water (if it’s cold).


Sourdough Starter – Step 3

Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.


Perfect your technique

How to make sourdough starter-1


How to make your own sourdough starter



Day 3: By the third day, you’ll likely see some activity — bubbling; a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 113 grams starter; this will be a generous 1/2 cup, once it’s thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter.


Add a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water to the 113 grams starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.


Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6.


Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6. By the end of day #5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You’ll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little “rivulets” on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma — pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary — as long as it takes to create a vigorous (risen, bubbly) starter. Note: see “tips,” below.


Sourdough Starter – Step 8

Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (a generous 1/2 cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. Hate discarding so much starter? See “tips,” below.


Remove however much starter you need for your recipe — typically no more than 227 grams, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you’ve made enough for your recipe plus 113 grams to keep and feed again.


Sourdough Starter – Step 10

Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 scant cup (113 grams) of flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you’re storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight.


Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it regularly; we recommend feeding it with a scant 1 cup (113 grams) flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water once a week.


Tips from our Bakers

Why do you need to discard half the starter? It seems so wasteful… But unless you discard starter at some point, eventually you’ll end up with a very large container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it; it’s not fighting with quite so many other little yeast cells to get enough to eat. You don’t have to actually discard it if you don’t want to, either; you can give it to a friend, or use it to bake. There are quite a few recipes on our site using “discard” starter, including pizza crust, pretzels, and waffles, and even chocolate cake. If you’re still uncomfortable dealing with discard, though, try maintaining a smaller starter: the smaller the starter, the smaller the amount of discard.


Why does this starter begin with whole-grain flour? Because the wild yeast that gives sourdough starter its life is more likely to be found in the flora- and fauna-rich environment of a whole-grain flour than in all-purpose flour. What if all you have is all-purpose flour, no whole wheat? Go ahead and use all-purpose; you may find the starter simply takes a little longer to get going. Also, if you feed your starter on a long-term basis with anything other than the all-purpose flour called for here, it will probably look different (thicker or thinner, a different color) and act differently as well. Not to say you can’t feed your starter with alternate flours; just that the results may not be what you expect.

LTS Lentil Barley Soup Mix

LTS Lentil Barley Soup Mix

LTS Lentil Barley Soup Mix


¾ C. medium Pearl Barley

½ C. dried Lentils

2 tsp. Parsley

¼ C. dried Minced Onions

¼ C. Beef Bouillon Granules

2 tsp. dried Celery Flakes

½ tsp. dried Thyme

2 Bay Leaves

¼ tsp. Pepper

¼ tsp. dried Minced Garlic


Mix all ingredients in a quart canning jar. To make soup, add jar ingredients to a large pot with 10 C. water. Simmer 90 minutes to 2 hours, until legumes are softened.

LTS Berry Muesli

LTS Berry Muesli

LTS Berry Muesli


1 C. Quick Oats

½ C. Applesauce Powder (Thrive Life)

½ C. freeze dried Blueberries

½ C. freeze dried Raspberries

½ C. freeze dried Strawberry Slices

2 C. Apple Juice (or other juice, milk or water in a pinch)


Add dry ingredients to bowl and toss to combine.  Pour juice over the top, stir to moisten well, and let sit several minutes to absorb juice. If you have them on hand, top with slivered almonds or other toasted seed or nuts.

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

4 whole roasting chickens or 35 assorted chicken pieces

8 whole bay leaves

8 teaspoons lemon juice

8 teaspoons salt (optional)

8 teaspoons dried parsley or 8 teaspoons dried cilantro


Remove fat and skin from chicken pieces. Have sterilized hot quart canning jars ready. Have damp hot cloth ready to wipe rim of jars. Seals should be hot in water. Lay out the chicken pieces in groups for each jar. Pack each jar half full. Add to each jar, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp parsley or cilantro. Fill the jar with hot water. Leave at least 1 1/2 inch head room. Wipe jar rim with damp clean cloth. Place seal and ring and tighten. Have the pressure cooker ready, fill the jars in the rack, lower the rack. Please the lid on the pressure cooker. Pressure cook 15 lb. pressure for 90 minutes.


DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN. You must adjust the heat to stabilize the pressure and maintain the 15 lb pressure. This is not hard to do. When 90 minutes have passed. Turn off the heat, take off the burner or leave on, let it cool naturally. Do not remove the pettcock, the pressure gauge. Let the steam go out naturally. Take the jars out, place on a towel, out of drafts. Let seal.

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

10 lbs fresh tomatoes

3 tablespoons oil

4 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons oregano, crushed

2 bay leaves, crushed

1 tablespoon plain non-iodized salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper, crushed

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon celery leaves, minced


Peel, core and chop tomatoes. Combine with remaining ingredients in heavy saucepan. Simmer 2 hours stirring often until desired consistency. Pour into hot jars to 1/2 inch from top. Wipe jar top and threads carefully with damp cloth making sure they are thoroughly clean. Put on lids and bands. Place in water canner with at least 2 inches of hot water over tops of jars. Bring canner to gentle boil and process 30 minutes. At end of processing time, remove jars to draft free area to cool at least 12 hours. Inspect each jar to make sure it is sealed, remove bands and wipe with damp cloth. Label with date and store.

Canning Raspberries

Canning Raspberries

Canning Raspberries

4 C. water

1 -4 3⁄4 C. sugar

1 1⁄2-3 lb. berries


Use 1 C. sugar for VERY LIGHT SYRUP; 2 C. sugar for LIGHT SYRUP; 3 C. sugar for MEDIUM SYRUP; 4 3/4 C. sugar for HEAVY SYRUP. Boil sugar& water together for 5 minutes& skim, if necessary; keep hot but not boiling. Wash fruit, drain& fill hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Bring syrup to a full boil& cover berries with syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any trapped air bubbles (I use a chopstick to do this) & adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath, 10 minutes for pints or 15 minutes for quarts.

Canning Pizza Sauce

Canning Pizza Sauce

Canning Pizza Sauce

4 pints

25 -28 tomatoes

2 large onions, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. cracked pepper

1 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. celery seed

2 tsp. salt

1⁄2 tsp. summer savory


Peel and puree the tomatoes. Mince the onion and garlic. Put olive oil in deep pan and sauté the onions and garlic until transparent. Add the tomato puree and the rest of the ingredients; stir well to blend. Cook on low until mixture is reduced by ½, stirring occasionally. This will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When sauce is done and nicely thickened, ladle into hot pint size jars, clean the rims of the jars, and seal. Process for 25 minutes in water bath.

Canning BBQ Sandwich Meat

Canning BBQ Sandwich Meat

Canning BBQ Sandwich Meat

5 Pints


58 ounces tomato sauce

2 cups chopped onions

1⁄2 cup green pepper

1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons salt

1⁄4 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce

1⁄4 cup mixed pickling spices

6 cups cooked beef or 6 cups pork


Combine first 8 ingredients. Tie pickling spices in a cheesecloth bag. add to sauce. cover and simmer 15 minutes. remove the spice bag. and add the meat to the sauce. Cover, heat. Pack into hot jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Adjust the lids. Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds, 75 minutes for pints. BEFORE SERVING: Boil uncovered 10 minutes before tasting or using. Serve on your favorite bun.

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

1 1⁄2 cups dried navy beans

1⁄2 teaspoon salt (optional)


Put 1 1/2 Cups Dry Navy Beans in each quart jar. Add salt as desired. Fill Jar with boiling water to 1 inch from the top. Put on lids and rings. Place in canner with hot water. Pressure can at 10 lb. pressure for 20 minutes. Beans will continue to soften when you use them in either your soup or for baked beans.

Canning Baked Beans

Canning Baked Beans

Canning Baked Beans

8 pints


2 lb. dried navy beans

1⁄2 lb bacon

1 -3 large onion

2⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 cup orange juice (optional)

2⁄3 cup molasses (I use Grandma’s molasses which has a higher concentration of sugar)


Soak beans in 3 quarts of water, (make sure they are covered!) for 12-18 hours. Drain but do not rinse. Return beans to pot and cover with 3 quarts of fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the bean skins begin to split. Drain the beans, reserve the liquid. Transfer the beans to a 4-quart or larger covered baking dish. Chop the bacon and onions. Add them to the beans. Combine the brown sugar, salt, mustard, and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the reserved bean liquid (or 1 cup orange juice and 3 cups water). Pour the sauce mixture over the beans. Don’t stir! Cover the beans and bake them in a preheated 350-degree oven for 3 to 3.5 hours. The consistency should be like a thick soup. Adds more liquid if the beans become too dry. While the beans are baking, prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the jars and lids hot. Ladle the hot beans into your prepared jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive tool, adding more beans as necessary to maintain the proper headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the lids and caps, hand tightening the bands. Process your filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hr 20minutes (pints) or 1 hr 35minutes (quarts). After the pressure in the canner has returned to 0, wait an additional 10 minutes, and then carefully open the canner lid. Remove the hot jars with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts. After the jars cool completely, test the seals. For added safety, boil the contents for 15 minutes before tasting or eating. (If you follow accurate canning protocol, that should not be necessary!). It takes a big pot to make this so if you want to double it, prepare two separate pots. My canner only holds 5 quarts so it can only hold a single batch anyways.

Canning Vegetable Soup

Canning Vegetable Soup

Canning Vegetable Soup

19 Quarts


11 lb. tomatoes

4 1⁄2 lb. potatoes

3 1⁄2 lb. carrots

2 lb. turnips (optional)

3 3⁄4 lb. green beans

7 cups corn

1 1⁄2 lb. celery

1 lb onion

1 1⁄2 lb. green peppers

3 lb. cabbage


Per quart:


1/2 teaspoons pepper

1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoons salt

Pinch of parsley


Chop as for soup. Heat, fill jars and process. Makes about 38 pints or 19 quarts. Add per quart: 1/2 teaspoons pepper, 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of parsley. Process: 15 lb. pressure. pints – 60 minutes. quarts – 70 minutes.

Canning Sweet Potato & Ham Soup

Canning Sweet Potato & Ham Soup

Canning Sweet Potato & Ham Soup

2 quarts


4 sweet potatoes, peeled cubed

2 lb. ham steaks, diced

1 cup water

4 cups ham stock

1⁄2 teaspoon ginger, crushed

1 tablespoon brown sugar


Cook all together until potatoes are 1/2 cooked. Pack into 2-quart jar. Pressure cook at 11 lb. pressure 90 minutes as always check ball book.

Canned Sugared Lemon Slices in Syrup

Canned Sugared Lemon Slices in Syrup

Canned Sugared Lemon Slices in Syrup

16 half pints, 8 pints


32 lemons, sliced thin with juice

4 cups sugar

4 cups water

1⁄4 cup salt

1⁄4 cup red-hot candies (optional)


Slice lemons as thin as you can get without breaking the rind. Save all the juice when you are slicing the lemons.(Add the lemon juice to the syrup.). Wash and sterilize 8 pint jars, wide mouth if you have. Heat the jars in the oven upside down in a pan with water 250* Heat seals in water. In large kettle, add water, sugar and salt. Turn heat to medium and dissolve sugar, do not burn, stir. Have a hot water bath canner ready with water heating. Pack lemon slices in jars, about 4 lemons per jar. Pack tight. Add syrup carefully. Make sure there are no air pockets, stick knife gently down the sides. Wipe each jar rim with a hot damp cloth, Place seal and ring on jar. Place jars in canner and process in hot water bath 20 minutes. Make sure boiling water is over the tops of the jars. Note: If you want the syrup to have more color and flavor, add the red hot cinnamon candies to the syrup and stir until they dissolve when making the syrup. Take out of the canner and place on a towel out of drafts until they seal. You can also turn upside down if you wish.

Makes 16 half pints. Excellent Christmas gifts. Attach a card listing the uses.


Originally, I made this recipe to use in a lemon upside down cake and from there used a standard sweet canning syrup. The sweet & sour syrup can be used as a base, then soy sauce/ginger or any other spice added, thickened for oriental dishes. The lemon slices can be used as garnish, drinks, cakes, breads, rind can also be used. This recipe is multiple use. I have used the slices to decorate cakes.

Canning Cuban Black Beans

Canning Cuban Black Beans

Canning Cuban Black Beans

2 lb. dried black beans

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup bell pepper, chopped

6 teaspoons garlic, chopped

1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt

1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

1⁄4 cup cider vinegar

1⁄2 lb salt pork


Sort dry beans. Soak overnight in water. Drain beans, add new water covering by 2″, and bring to a boil. When boiling begins, remove from heat and set aside. Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil until onion is glassy. Add remaining spices, salt and vinegar to the sauté pot. Sterilize 8-pint Mason Jars. Add 1/4 cup of sauté mixture to each jar. Chop Salt pork into small pieces and divide into eight “piles”. Put one “pile” of salt pork into each jar. Add 1 slightly heaping cup of black beans to each jar. This should leave about 1 1/2″ headspace in jar. Do not overfill with beans. They expand a lot during processing. Overfilling will cause jars to leak in canner. Top off each jar with bean juice, leaving 3/4″ headspace. Put of lids and process 1 hour 5 minutes at 10 psi. After processing, remove from heat and allow canner to return to ambient pressure of its own accord. Remove and cool jars. Needs to age a month or so to blend flavors. When serving, it is normal to add a bit of water, since water boils out during processing. Serve ladled over rice and add a dollop of sour cream.

Mango Raspberry Fruit Leather

Mango Raspberry Fruit Leather

Mango Raspberry Fruit Leather

1 large ripe mango, peeled and chopped

6 ounces fresh raspberries

2 T. sugar


Preheat the oven to 15O°F. Line a rimmed half-sheet pan with a silicone baking mat. In a blender or food processor, blend the mango until smooth. Transfer the mango to a bowl and set it aside. Add the raspberries and sugar to the blender and blend until smooth. (It is important to blend the raspberries with the sugar, as the sugar helps liquefy the berries.) Place dollops of the mango and raspberry purees on the prepared pan. With a small offset spatula, spread the purees evenly over the pan—try to spread them as evenly as possible, not too thin and not too thick, and try not to spread them to the very edges, so you’ll have room to grab the fruit leather and peel it off the mat when it’s cool. Bake for 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours, rotating the baking sheet every hour. The leather is done when it is still tacky but not too sticky or wet. Let the leather cool. Remove it from the mat and place it on top of a sheet of wax paper. Cut the leather and wax paper into strips with scissors and roll them up paper-side out, then store them in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Gourmet Vinegars


Fresh pearl onions

Baby carrots with greens

Empty glass wine bottles & Corks





Whole peppercorns


Carrot & Pearl Onion Vinegar


Peel dry skin from onions, removing additional layers until small enough to fit in bottle.

Clean and peel carrots. Cut off all but an inch of greens. Fill bottle with enough onions to cover bottom. Add several carrots. Using funnel, fill bottle with vinegar. Seal bottle with a cork and store in a dark place for 5-6 days, shaking every few days.


Cranberry Vinegar


If using frozen cranberries, wipe off moisture before using. Place approximately 1-2 c. cranberries in bottle. Using funnel, fill bottle with vinegar. Seal bottle with a cork and store in a dark place for 5-6 days, shaking every few days.


Scallion-Peppercorn Vinegar


Clean scallions and trim greens to just below the neck of the bottle. Place inside.

Add peppercorns. Using funnel, fill bottle with vinegar. Seal with a cork and store in a dark place for 5-6 days, shaking every few days.



Tips: Be sure to sterilize bottles with hot water, or clean thoroughly with soap and water before using. Use white wine, red wine, cider or any type of vinegar. Carrot & Pearl Onion Vinegar is a fantastic salad dressing; Cranberry Vinegar is a great base for coleslaw; and Scallion-Peppercorn Vinegar is good for stir-frying. If a veggie gets stuck in the neck of a bottle, use a chopstick to gently push it down.

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Apple Sauce

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Apple Sauce

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Apple Sauce


10 C. peeled, cored, sliced apples

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

Juice of 1 1/2 -2 lemons {plus zest if you like it extra lemony}

1 vanilla bean, seed it and throw in both the seeds and cook with the pod


Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and cook for 30-ish minutes or until apples are soft and begin to break apart. Mash with a hand masher or just stir until a good chunky consistency is reached.

Homemade Berry Syrup

Homemade Berry Syrup

Homemade Berry Syrup


1 cup berries, fresh or frozen


Grated lime peel


In a small saucepan, heat berries and a few spoonfuls of sugar, along with a splash of water, over low heat until berry juices start to release. Pull the berry-sugar mixture from the heat and let cool for a moment. Divide the mixture and reserve half. Purée the other half in a blender until smooth. Pour it through a strainer to remove the skins and seeds (you can compost these). Put the strained syrup back in the saucepan and heat over low heat. Grate in a bit of lime peel and cook until just heated through. Add the remaining whole berries and heat until about to burst, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.  NOTE: Follow the same instructions with just about any berry. Try varying the citrus as well. Strawberries love orange, and raspberries love lemon. This berry syrup will keep refrigerated for two weeks, or frozen in an airtight container for four to six weeks.

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Chees

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Chees

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Cheese

Queso Blanco is meant to be used right away in its crumbly form, or it can be pressed with weights to form a cheese that can be fried.  Acid used will impart a little flavor, try different ones, such as champagne or red wine vinegar. Note that ultra-pasteurized milk will not work, it has been heated to 280, and has no cultures.  This will work with goat, sheep or cows’ milk.  Again, will have a slightly different flavor.

1 gallon milk

¼ C. vinegar lemon juice or lime juice

Salt to taste

Heat the milk slowly in a large pot to 185-190 degrees F. Turn off the heat and stir in your acid – vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice – a spoonful at a time, stirring, until curds form and separate from the yellowish whey. If it does not separate int curds and watery whey within a minute, or the whey looks milky, heat a bit more. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Set a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and strain the curds from the whey. Discard the whey or keep it for other uses. Add salt at this stage, if desired, and stir. Stir the curds up a bit and let it drain for 10-20 minutes. For firmer cheese, wrap up the ends of the cheesecloth and continue to drain an hour or so. Hang over the sink faucet, or on chopsticks or spatula that spans the top of a tall pot.  After 4 hours, unwrap cheese and chill in refrigerator. For dense cheese, place a weight over the top of the wrapped cheese (or cheese that has been placed in a cheese mold) that will press it for several hours, until it is packed.  After chilling you can slice or cube the cheese, use in cooking, fry or serve fresh.

Homemade Stroganoff Hamburger Helper

Homemade Stroganoff Hamburger Helper

Homemade Stroganoff Hamburger Helper

1 lb ground beef

1 medium sweet onion, diced

8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. ground black pepper

4 C. low sodium beef or chicken broth

12 oz. egg noodles

1/2 C. sour cream

1/2 C. chopped parsley


Heat large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon as it cooks, until it is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef to a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onion, mushrooms, and salt and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Sprinkle the paprika, thyme, and pepper over the top and stir to combine.  Pour in the broth and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Add the pasta. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Return the reserved ground beef to the pan and stir through until warm, about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

Homemade Lasagna Hamburger Helper

Homemade Lasagna Hamburger Helper

Homemade Lasagna Hamburger Helper

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium sweet onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

8 oz. dry mafalda pasta (small wavy like lasagna pieces)

3 C. chicken broth

1 C. (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tsp. minced fresh parsley

In a large, deep skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until it is well browned and no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat, if needed. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet and stir. Season with salt, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper, and cook until the onion gets soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes, pasta, and chicken broth and stir everything together. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through; most of the sauce should be absorbed. Stir in the cheese and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute until the cheese melts. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Glorious Granola

Glorious Granola

Glorious Granola

Some consider granola too high in calories and fat to be used as an even-day breakfast cereal, though it’s delicious that way. We also love to use it as a topping for fruit and yogurt. Pack some of this granola into an attractive glass jar: It makes a great hostess gift.


6 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup skim milk powder

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sesame seeds

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup honey

1 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup golden raisins

3/4 cup dark raisins

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, toss together the oats, wheat germ, milk powder, nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, and cinnamon. In a heavy saucepan, heat the honey and oil until hot but not boiling. Remove pan from heat: stir in vanilla. Pour the honey-oil mixture over the oats mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread evenly in three 9- by 13-inch baking pans, or two roasting pans. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until mixture is golden. Cool thoroughly; mix in the raisins, cherries, and cranberries.  Yield: About 10 cups