Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mustard for Valentine's Day?

Three Reasons to Give Mustard for Valentine's Day
  1. Proves you’re thinking outside the box (of chocolates);
  2. You don’t have to put them in a vase that the cat will knock over;
  3. Shows that you care about practicing safe snacks; you always use a condiment.
Although it was unattributed in my saved folder, I am pretty sure this came from the newsletter of the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, WI.  If your entire focus is mustard you better have a sense of humor and they do!

We love the varieties of mustard we can get over there and who knew you needed that many but we do and make a pilgrimage at least once a year!

Not to show up the museum, but if you cannot make the pilgrimage to this mustard mecca, you can easily make mustard on your own!  BTW these make great gifts to the man in your life too!

Beer Mustard Recipe
  • 3/4 cup brown or yellow mustard seeds, or a mix
  • 1/3 cup beer (brown ale, porter or stout)
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1. In a bowl with a lid, stir together all ingredients. Set aside on your kitchen counter for a couple of days, or in the fridge for a few days. Forget about it for a while.

2. When you remember it’s there, pour everything into a food processor and purée until smooth. Use immediately and for the next several months. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Classic Dijon Mustard
  • 1 and ½ cups white wine (ideally a crisp chablis or sauvignon blanc)
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 oz dry mustard powder (ground yellow mustard seed, about 1 cup + 2 tsp)
  • 2 Tbls honey
  • 2 tsp salt 

1.  Combine wine, vinegar, onion and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow aromatics to steep in the wine for 10 – 15 minutes.

2.  Strain onion and garlic from the infused wine, pressing on solids to release all the juice. Return wine to the saucepan and add salt and honey. Over medium heat, whisk in the mustard powder; continue whisking and heating until the mustard comes to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil mustard until it reduces to your desired thickness, remembering that it will thicken further upon cooling (I cooked mine for about 10 minutes). Taste and adjust seasonings.
Makes approximately 1 and 1/2 cups.

Mustard will keep refrigerated for up to a year so no need to worry that it must be eaten in a hurry.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Honey Almond Milk Bath - Bath Blend of the Month

Honey and Milk baths will soothe rough and damaged skin and after a cold spell like we've had where the heat was constantly running, my skin is crying for softness and moisture.  

What you need for dryness is a humectant.  Humectants (or moisturizers) are important cosmetic ingredients which prevent loss of moisture thereby retaining the skin's natural moisture. Some compounds also have the ability to actively attract moisture. Honey a natural humectant as it attracts and retains moisture. When used in skin treatments, honey traps and seals in the moisture leaving skin soft and supple.

Milk lends softening properties.  By milk properties, I specifically mean lactic acid, a proven skin-softener that gently removes dead skin cells without setting off alarm bells for irritation or dryness. Milk proteins and their plant-based facsimiles can deliver baby-soft skin on a level that has to be experienced to be believed. 

This month's recipe is a combination of Milk, honey and almond oil that works as a perfect three only with the herbs to give you softer, smoother less dry skin in this dead of winter season.

Honey Almond Milk Bath

1 Tablespoon Almond Oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons powdered herbs (chamomile, lavender, thyme, sage and roses in any combo is perfect)

Combine the oil and honey with powdered milk and mix until coated.  Stir in the powdered herbs and blend to combine.  

To use: Pour the think mixture under the running tap to melt the honey and dissolve and re-hydrate the milk powder.  Slip into the bath and soak until the water cools, then towel off and seal the moisture you have regained with a topical lotion.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Quick and Easy Dips for Super Game Day!

Here are two perfect dips to use with hot wings, chips, pretzels and fruit.  No mater what you are serving at your Super Game Day you can use these dips to add that extra special touch.

Ginger Lime Dip
½ cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp grated lime peel
1 Tbls lime juice
1 Tbls. Honey
½ tsp ground ginger

Stir all ingredients until well mixed.  Cover and chill.  Serve with fruit of hot wings.  Makes 1 cup.

Bacon Horseradish Dip
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup real bacon bits

Stir all ingredients until well mixed.  Cover and chill.  Makes 2 cups.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew - Weekend Recipe

This year in hopes of using more of my overwhelming collection of recipes, I have decided to post recipes on a theme.  They will always feature herbs, of course, but each month the weekday and weekend recipes (and maybe even a how to or featured herb) will follow the monthly theme.

Each post on a theme will have search words so you can find the rest of the monthly posts easily. Just scroll to the bottom of any recipe to find them.

Thought I would start the February theme, which is winter hearty Beef Stew, with a traditional version.  I adapted this from one I found years ago on the World Wide Recipes list serve.  It was posted by one of the members.

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbls vegetable oil
2 cups beef stock
4 medium carrots, sliced in coins
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced wide
1 large onion, chopped
1 19-ounce can whole tomatoes with their liquid, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tbls dried)
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tbls Herb seasoning blend of equal parts thyme, savory, rosemary and oregano (or use BYP Meat Seasoning)

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic or paper bag.  Add beef and toss to coat.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, ad working in batches brown the meat pieces on all sides.  transfer the meat to the slow cooker.  Deglaze the skillet with half the stock and add this to the slow cooker.  Add the remaining stock, vegetables, bay leaf, parsley and Worcestershire sauce and mix to combine thoroughly.  Cook covered on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.  Add the peas and herb seasoning blend and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a piece of crusty bread for a great meal!

To find any recipe featured this month - use the search box and type: StewFeb
To find any theme recipe from this year type: recipe2018

For 2018 the monthly recipe themes will be:
   January - Chicken Soup (ChickJan)
   February - Beef Stew (StewFeb)
   March - Jambalaya
   April - Ham & Shrimp Dishes
   May - Bread recipes
   June - Garden Delights
   July - Grilling
   August - Salsa, Corn and Jelly
   September - Squash Dishes
   October - Pumpkin Recipes
   November - Chili
   December - Herbal Cocktails
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