Friday, January 24, 2014

What example are you setting about bullying?

With Justin Beiber in the news, it floors me that so many adults are hating on him. What message are you sendin to kids?  We wonder why there's hate and violence in schools. 

First off. He's a performer. The fact that the paparazzi follows his every move, waiting  for him to fuck up is despicable. He's a kid and people hated in him before he did anything wrong, so it's not about what he did. We all know someone who has done far worse.  That's called jealousy and the fact that everyone is spending so much energy on him leads me to believe they are fans. Why else do you waste energy on a person unless you are obsessed with them. 

How would you like it if the paparazzi followed around your child airing his every fuck up.  Grow the fuck up. You only prove what type of person you are by posting hate. 

A fellow coworker said he hopes someone shoots him. How can you hate someone so much, that you don't even know, that you want him dead?

Another coworker sent me a text because she too likes Justin Beiber and is appalled by the hate on Facebook. 
I'm not some super-fan. I hardly know what he sings, but I'm a mom and I have real issues with bullying and if people were hating in my child like that, it would hurt. 

Some complain what kind of role model is he?  My question is,  What kind of role model are we, as adults, posting hate all over the internet? You are promoting  bullying by participating in the hate. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My favorite healing herb blend & my muddle

I always thought those muddle things (I realize its a mortar but we call it a muddle in this house) were cool so about three years ago, my son asked for one we saw at TJ Maxx. It was marble and only 5.99.

I didn't know where I was putting it and I don't usually buy things unless I know where it's going to go because homeless things tend to turn to dusty clutter. 

It's still homeless, well not really, it's home is on my counter. I never put it away. I use it every single day. 

When you use a muddle to crush up your herbs, you bring out the oils and best flavors. The aroma is pure heaven.

Herbs have amazing healing powers and I love adding them to our foods to keep my family healthy. In fact I add them to everything. One of the greatest books I have on herbs is called Healing Spices- how to use 50 everyday and exotic spices to boost health and beat disease. 

It alphabetically goes through just about every spice in your spice cabinet, in great detail. 4-5 pages, describing the herb, what it's health benefits are, what it helps heal,  what it pairs well with and even includes a recipe using the herb. 

It even has a spice combo section in the back that offers spice blend recipe by region of origin, Middle East, china, Latin America, North Africa, India, France, etc. even Chesapeake bay seafood seasoning recipe. You will get no additives or fillers if you blend your own spices. Mulling spices, pickling spices etc. 

Here is my favorite healing blend. I made it up myself and I put it in everything. My husband said, I don't know what spice you are using but it's amazing!  

I'm going to call my measurement parts because I pinch the herbs for every recipe into the muddle bowl so that they are freshly muddled for each recipe. It really only takes a minute and it's so much better than making a big batch that sits around loosing flavor. 
I realize this is a lot  of spices, but its all just pinches.  Its great on everything, from pizza, to eggs, sausage, even pasta. I am big on fennel seeds as my grandfather had Alzheimer's and I try my best to eat foods that prevent that.

My Healing Herb Blend
In the muddle bowl:

2 parts: 
Fennel seeds, rosemary 
1 part each:
Oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, thyme,
1/4 part each:
Cinnamon, all spice, clove, nutmeg, ginger, caraway seeds, one peppercorn and a dash of sea salt. 
If the meal I'm adding this to doesn't  have fresh garlic in it I add 1 part garlic to this also. 
Sometimes I add paprika to this (1/4 part) if I want a smokey background flavor. 

Muddle away. Grind those spices. Take a whiff. Omg that's heaven. 

never buy powdered spices. I'd rather use a zester on my nutmeg, dried ginger root etc. there's a great Amish store near me that has a huge spice aisle with many herbs in whole form. I also love seed. Fennel seeds are my favorite herb. 

Find yourself a muddle set and play with your spices. Even if you only muddle your Italian seasoning, you are going to love the flavor results. And the aroma!  

You can buy them online or check our Ross/TJ Maxx type stores. You can get great deals on kitchen gadgets there. I got my pasta machine there for 15 bucks. If  you can't find one, you can order offers free shipping overs so many dollars, free for prime  members. 

This is one book I've had for a few years and I always reference back to. You won't ever want to part with this book. 
Some peeks on my book. My favorite spice...

I probably don't have to remind you that you should keep your spices in the coolest darkest cabinet in the kitchen.  Away from heat sources and moisture.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Super Easy Homemade Bread (and pizza dough)...Five Minutes to whip up a batch of dough

I felt the need to update my post about Artisan Bread.   I got a book years ago, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (and since have bought all of their books, Zoe and Jeff are awesome).

I whip up a batch of this every few days..takes me five minutes and I let it on the counter for three hours, and then it lasts in my refrigerator for 2 weeks.  What could be not only makes a tasty bread (many different ways), but its a great stromboli and pizza crust too.

I have been playing with this recipe since 2007 because my cookbook club sent me a copy of their book. Its so versatile, you can use this recipe for so many things.

 You can flatten it out and sprinkle raisins and cinnamon and sugar on it and roll it up, and put it in a loaf pan and bake it...they also have a buttermilk In their book that yields even better cinnamon raisin bread, but I won't give all of their recipes the book.  You can make it with this dough though.  I have only because I make this dough several times a week and always have a rolling batch on hand.  You can use some semolina in place of the flour too for a crispy pizza crust or just roll this recipe really flat.

I add spices to mine that I muddle and toss in with the flour...because I use it within a few days..I would not attempt to keep it in the fridge two weeks adding extra stuff to it.  Keep it basic if you don't think you will go through it fast. Its so good with the "mafia" spices muddled and tossed in...goes great with cheese and beer.

I won't bore you anymore with it simple..

Artisan Bread Dough Master Recipe

In a big container like the one shown below (you can get these at the restaurant stores), add these ingredients in this order and stir with a wooden spoon:

3 C lukewarm water
1½ T yeast
1½T kosher salt
6½ C bread flour (the gluten content is ideal, but you can use all purpose, I have and it works)

Mix will with a wooden spoon and let it set out on the counter three hours, then refrigerate up to two weeks.  Grab a wad and put it onto a flat stone, freehand, or in a bread stone (sprinkle a little corn meal on the stone to prevent sticking...especially if you are rolling it out to make stromboli or pizza, and bake at 400 for about an hour, the time will depend on the size.  They say to let it rise first, but we just bake it as is and it works.  If you have the time, let it rise 30 mins before baking.

You can get the book here. They also have a healthier version Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day 

I now buy my bread flour at Sams in 25 pound bags because we go through a lot of it.  I also get my yeast there really cheap.

Here my husband made a breakfast pizza with it.

I have some of my baking stones for 20 years.  Get good quality baking stones here.

Here is the video of the authors making a batch way back when, on a news show.