Cranberry Ketchup

Good with meatballs, too

Simmer one pound of cranberries in a cup of water until the berries soften and pop.
Put in blender along with:

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp each cloves and allspice
1 tsp salt.

Simmer this mixture for about 20 minutes. Cool and either freeze or store in the fridge. Keeps about three weeks.

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Bacon and Tomato Spread

12 ounces cream cheese, sliced for easier mixing
12 ounces (or about 3/4 cups) chopped fresh tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
3/4 tsp mustard
1 1/2 T. mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced fried bacon pieces
3/4 tsp dried parsley or 1 T. fresh

In a blender or a food processor with S blades, combine all ingredients except bacon and parsley. mix until smooth. Add bacon and parsley, process about five seconds longer- just enough to mix.

Use as sandwich or cracker spread, or a dip for vegetables.

Makes six servings, each serving has about 3.7 grams of carbs and 11.7 grams of protein.

Bacon Is Good Baby Food
 At what age may children have meat? This is a question which has not been definitely settled but according to Dr Isaac A Abt(sic], meat carefully ground or chopped can be digested by an infant as young as 2 months/ At any rate, as soon as the child has teeth with which to chew, meat may be introduced into his diet and it will be good for the development of the teeth according to Dr EB Forbes who says, “Spare the meat grinder and teach the child to use his teeth.”
 Bacon is the first meat recommended for children and it can be given as early as the eighth month. Bacon is valued in the diet of the child because the fat is next to butter fat the most easily assimilated of the food fats and its protein is as easily digested as any other meat protein which is regarded as almost completely digested. Through experiments it has been shown that the average person utilizes 96.3 per cent of cooked bacon. For children bacon must be crisply cooked and the excess of fat drained from it. Portland OregonNews

From a 1931 issue of Meat and Livestock News


Post Script:


I made a similar version for dinner using grated sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, and a touch of mayo- just enough to bind it all well.  I had it on Flackers – flax seed crackers, gluten free, grain free.

The diced sun-dried tomatoes were a clearance item at the small health food store in the next town over- tiny, locally owned, charming.  I hope that cancels out the price of the Flackers, which, even on sale, were more than four dollars for a five ounce box. Of course, they are very filling and you can’t eat more than three or four at once, however hungry you might be.

Posted in low-carb, lunch | 3 Responses

Low-Carb Hamburger Broccoli Alfredo Casserole

Serves at least 12

4 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, diced, green onions, or leeks (about 1 cup total)
20-30 ounces frozen broccoli florets or broccoli and cauliflower, defrosted (not cooked)
16 ounces cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, or a combo of parmesan and mozarella
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon basil
2 pinches nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, brown the hamburger and onion, seasoning with basil,salt and pepper; drain the fat if necessary. Put the cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on HIGH about 45 seconds until soft. Whisk until creamy and smooth. Gradually whisk in the cream until smooth, then stir in the nutmeg, cheese and garlic powder. Combine the hamburger and broccoli in 2 large, greased casseroles, 9X13. Drizzle the cream cheese and cream mixture over the beef and broccoli and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake at 350º for about 35-45 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top.

OAMC version: do NOT defrost the broccoli. Cook the meat and onions, cool. Combine all ingredients in ziplock bags or other freezer containers while the vegetables are still frozen. Freeze, labeling the bags.
On cooking day, defrost, spoon into casserole dish, and cook as directed.

Posted in low-carb, main dish, meat, OAMC | Leave a comment

Ugly Burgers

This meal is not pretty:

But it sure is tasty.

Think of Sloppy Joe flavor, but with less tomato-ey more nuance.

1 pound ground beef (should be lean, or just skip the beef broth altogether)
1 minced onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-2 cups (depending how lean your beef is), beef broth
1 Tablespoon or more soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
1 t. Worcestershire sauce (optional).
8 hamburger buns
Usual hamburger toppings

Thaw your grand beef.
Crumble it up in your crockpot.
Combine remaining ingredients, pour into crock pot and mix well with ground beef.
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Stir well. Use slotted spoon to ladle onto toasted hamburger buns spread with burger fixings of choice.

For OAMC version: combine all ingredients in a plastic bag. Label and freeze.  Thaw in fridge the day before cooking day, cook in crockpot as directed.

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Pickled Eggs

According to the Georgia Egg Commission, the following method of hard-cooking facilitates peeling of ultra fresh eggs.  Make a pinhole in the large end of the egg, place the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, and cover with cold water to an inch above the layer of eggs.  Place a lid on the pan and bring eggs to a boil.  Remove the pan of eggs from the burner, leaving the cover in place, and allow to sit for 15-18 minutes, adjusting time up or down 3 minutes for larger or smaller eggs.  Immediately remove eggs from the pan of hot water with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water for one minute.  In the meantime, bring hot water to simmering.  After one minute in ice water remove eggs back to the simmering water for ten seconds.  The ten second interval is important because this allows the shell to expand without expanding the rest of the egg.  Peel immediately by cracking the shells of the egg all over.  Roll each egg gently between hands to loosen the shell.  Peel, starting at the large end of the egg.  The peeling may take place under cold running water to help wash the shell off the egg and to minimize the shell breaking into the white.
Another cooking method when you are less concerned about peeling of ultra-fresh eggs is to make a pinhole in the large end of the egg, place the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, and cover with cold water to an inch above the layer of eggs.  Place a lid on the pan and bring eggs to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Place the eggs in cold water and when cool, remove shells.  Crack the shell of the egg all over.  Peel, starting at the large end of the egg.  The peeling may take place under cold running water to help wash the shell off the egg.

MOre here, including recipes.

Essentially, you need a sterile quart jar, a dozen eggs, and your vinegar and brine solution.  Bring the solution to a boil, simmer five minutes, pour over the boiled eggs in the quart jar. Put a lid on the jar and store in the fridge for a week to four weeks before eating (the larger the egg, the longer the time).

Eggs have not always been pickled in the fridge, but there is at least one case of botulism in home pickled eggs stored at room temperature. I’m inclined to think it’s because that batch was sometimes exposed to sunlight.  My husband used to store our jars of pickling eggs in the cool, dark of our 100 year old cellar (Yes, I know that’s a very young cellar if you’re a Brit.)

A really simple version is to save the pickling liquid from your other pickles, and pour it over hardboiled eggs in a jar, then store in the fridge.

Or you can do this:
Combine 1/2 cup sea salt with 2 cups water- heat and stir until salt is dissolved. Chill. Pour brine over hardboiled eggs in a quart sized jar. Store in fridge for two days.
Heat up 1 quart of vinegar, 1/4 cup of pickling spices, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add extra cloves or a dried hot pepper if you like.  Add some sliced beets to give the eggs a pink color, if that floats your boat.
Drain the brine from the eggs, and pour the new vinegar pickling mixture over them. Store in fridge two more weeks.

From Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living,

Or make this British Pub style:

Combine in saucepan:

Four cups Malt Vinegar

1 tsp Chili Peppers (to taste, so perhaps more or less)

12 whole peppercorns

12 whole cloves

3 Frontier Cinnamon Sticks 2 3/4, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2)

2 tsp Whole Allspice, ground and then measured

Bring to boil, then simmer for ten minutes.

Cool, strain.

Pour over boiled and peeled eggs in a quart sized jar.  Cover and store in fridge for two weeks before eating.

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Butterscotch Bars

1 6 ounce package of butterscotch pieces
1/4 cup of shortening
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed OR a cup of coconut sugar or sucanat
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

chocolate chip cookies

Melt butterscotch pieces and shortening in double boiler over hot water.
Remove from heat and stir in sugar.Cool five minutes.
Stir eggs and vanilla into butterscotch mixture to blend thoroughly.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Blend into batter. Stir in nuts if using.  Spread in greased 13X9X2 an and bake in moderate oven (350) about 25 minutes.  Set pan on rack. Spread chocolate chips over the top while still hot so they melt.  Cool. cut into squares.

Adapted from a recipe in this cookbook:

Makes about 2 dozen.

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Please ignore my dirty oven.

combine in a large bowl
3 cups powdered milk
6 cups very,very hot water (I used the water from tea-ready hot-water spout)

Stir well.  Add 1 2/3 cup of pasteurized milk*

Stir well.

Remove a cup of milk from the bowl and whisk into that cup 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with active cultures.  Whisk until smooth, then return to the large bowl and whisk again.
Pour this into clean jars. Put lids on the jars. Otherwise yogurt can absorb flavors from the oven and surrounding air, and may also gain the wrong sort of microbial action.
 Put in the oven with the pilot light and/or the oven light on and leave there overnight. You may warm the oven ever so slightly (the rack should still be comfortable to touch barehanded), and turn it off before putting the jars in the oven.

Refrigerate in the morning, or after at least six hours.  Makes 2 quarts.

You can set aside half a cup of this to make another batch, and so on for several rounds. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your yogurt starter with some from the store.

*You are supposed to scald the whole milk, and if you use raw milk you should certainly do this.  I used the too hot water for the powdered milk so that the temperature of the whole, pasteurized (store-bought) milk I used would basically equal out to the right temperature without having to mess with heating the milk back up and dirtying an extra pan.

Incidentally, I haven’t made yogurt in a very long time, and I just did this batch a few minutes ago. You should not try this recipe until I report back with the results.=)
It worked!  The only thing I would do differently is put lids on the jars while they ‘yohg.’  It is ever so slightly thinner than storebought yogurt, but it’s still clearly yogurt.  Like most things from scratch, there is a slight flavor and texture difference compared to the storebought version, but I think it’s a bad thing when the storebought version becomes the standard.

Recipe adapted from the More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook)

Things to do with yogurt that doesn’t ‘yohg:’

Use it in breads, biscuits, in place of milk in pancakes and other quickbreads.
Dissolve an envelope of gelatin into 1/4 cup very hot water, and stir this into 1 quart of yogurt.  Chill. This should save a liquidy batch of yogurt.
Stir it into your oats.
Make smoothies.

Other methods of incubating: Some people make yogurt in the crockpot. This has never worked for me.
I have wrapped my jars in towels and left them sitting out overnight on a heating pad on low.
You can also fill an ice-chest with warm water and put the sealed jars in the water, put the lid on the ice chest.
You can keep them in a pan of warm water during the day and periodically replace the water with more warm water to maintain the temperature.

I prefer the overnight in the oven method because for me, it requires the least effort, the least extra fuel source and thus least cost to my utility bill,  and the fewest dirty dishes.

Posted in condiments and substitutions, dairy, frugal | 5 Responses

Cottage Cheese Dill Bread

As good as it looks.  I forgot to take a picture until I’d already started slicing it, though.  This makes a soft bread, good with butter or cream cheese.  It’s also fairly easy to make for a yeast bread.

2 Tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup of warm water
2 cups (16 oz container) cottage cheese
4 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons minced onion
2 tablesoons butter
4 teaspoons dill
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
5-6 cups of flour
olive or other oil

Soften the yeast in the warm water. Put the cottage cheese, honey, onions, butter, dill together and warm.  Combine in bowl with the yeast and water mixture, soda, and egg. Mix lightly.  Add flour until you have a stiffish dough (softer than I usually make whole wheat bread, but when your hands are well oiled it should not be sticky).

Let rise in warm lace about 30-40 minutes.  I preheat my oven to 200, turn it off, crack the door a moment or two, then put the bowl in the oven and shut the door.

Punch dough down.  Shape into two large balls and put into a well greased pie pan.  slash an X in the top.  Let rise again for 30 minutes (I put it in the warm oven again, and leave the light on).

Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can spread butter over the top of the loaf and sprinkle with salt after removing from oven, but I didn’t.

Recipe adapted from the Dill Bread Recipe on page 496 of the 1977 edition of Stocking Up: How to Preserve the Foods You Grow, Naturally (Deluxe Edition)

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Serbian Style Beef and Potatoes

Serbian Style Beef and Potatoes

Adapted from this recipe
Serves 12 20

• 3 pounds ground beef
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or other fat) May need more
• 1 bag frozen peppers and onion mix
• 3 carrots, grated, or about a cup of grated sweet potato
• 6 celery stalks, chopped, or use roughly 2-3 cups of any combination of fennel, cabbage, and celery. Fennel takes longer to cook, so saute it first.
• 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2-1/4 teaspoons black pepper
• 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 3 pinches ground cinnamon
• 3 pinches ground cloves
• 3/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons red wine
• 3 cubes beef bouillon, or 3 tablespoons beef broth powder, or use a cup of beef broth instead of the red wine and water.
• 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons half-and-half or cream (whipping cream if you’re buying yours from the store)
• 9 red potatoes, peeled and sliced, (Use six potatoes if you’re using russets, and whatever you use, put immediately in ice water once sliced*, so they don’t turn gray)

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large and deep casserole dish (the white one, or two 9 X 13 dishes)

Grate your carrot or sweet potato, set aside.You can just set them on a bit of waxed paper, saran wrap, or your cutting board.
Chop the celery (and fennel and cabbage, if using), set aside as above.
Scrub potatoes, put through the food processor on the thin slice blade. Set the bowl of the food processor near your other vegetables, and fill it with enough ice water to cover the potatoes. This is to keep them crisp and to stop the oxidization that turns them grey.

• In a deep pan brown the ground beef over medium heat, sprinkling lightly with a bit of onion powder and pepper.You might need to add some oil if your beef is grass fed. Remove beef from pan, and set aside. Leave any fat from the beef in the pan. Mix in the coconut oil, and saute the peppers, onion, carrot, and celery until crisp-tender and shiny. If you’re using fennel, add the fennel and onion first, then after about a minute or two, add the carrot, and after another minute add the remaining vegetables.
• Return beef to the pan, and stir in the spices and herbs. Stir in the water and red wine or broth until heated through. Dissolve the beef bouillon cube or broth powder into the mixture if you used red wine instead of broth. Remove skillet from heat, and mix in the half-and-half or cream. Mixture should not be too watery or too dry.=)
• Cover the bottom of the oiled casserole pans with a layer of sliced potatoes. Spread the beef and vegetable mixture over the potatoes, and top with remaining potatoes. If there aren’t enough sliced potatoes left to cover the top, slice some more. Dot the potatoes with a bit of butter or ghee, sprinkle with paprika.Cover pan with foil, or put a cookie sheet over it for a lid.
• Cook, covered, 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove foil, bake another ten minutes or so, just until the potatoes are golden around the edges.

Serve with a leafy salad, applesauce or canned pears, and a hearty pumpernickel bread.

(we made two large pans of this, served 11 adults healthy servings,including seconds and thirds for a couple of them, and had a full pan leftover. It isn’t pretty, but it is tasty.

We served it with a salad made of fennel, snow peas, and an oil and lemon juice dressing, home-made cottage cheese dill bread, pickles and olives.

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Beef Florentine Pinwheel

Recipe: Florentine Beef Pinwheel

This freezes well, and I have also made miniature versions to go in the Headmaster’s lunches.

It’s basically a glorified meatloaf, but it can look quite elegant, and you can vary the filling for a wide variety of flavors.

1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (beef, venison, turkey, etc)
3/4 cup crumbs – or ground pork rinds
1 egg
salt to taste
1/8 tsp of pepper

OR: your usual meatloaf recipe.

10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I squeeze a thawed package out like a sponge, squeezing the liquid into a jar and then using that liquid as the base for a light spinach soup)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
a teaspoon or two of Italian herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme)
garlic powder to taste
3 tablespoons ketchup

Directions: combine meet, egg, about a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly/ or make you usual meatloaf and mix the meat well.

Combine the drained spinach, 1/2 cup of mozarella, parmesan cheese, a little more salt, Italian spices, and and the garlic powder.

 Spread beef mixture on waxed paper or parchment paper and pat into 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread spinach mixture over beef to 3/4-inch of edge on all sides.

In this example we used cheddar cheese because we did not have mozzarella, and we spread it far too close to the edges.

 Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, starting at the long end furthest from you. I start here because I am rolling to the edge of the counter, where I will be able to just sort of gently slide the roll into my baking pan. It will tear, but I can push the torn edges back together in the pan. The waxed paper will also tear- that doesn’t mean you did something wrong.

Press beef mixture over spinach filling at both ends to seal. Place loaf, seam side down,

on rack in open roasting pan.

Or you can wrap it in foil put it in a pan to keep the bottom flat and level, and freeze it at this point.

If you are baking it now, bake for forty-five minutes to an  hour. It depends on how thin you pressed the meat to begin with.  Spread ketchup over loaf if desired; continue baking 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over loaf. Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning, if desired.

We did not do any of that. We just baked it along with some small red potatoes (to use oven heat more efficiently) and then we pulled it from the oven and ate it.  My husband declares it the best meatloaf he’s ever had.

This serves six, or perhaps four if you have a teen-aged boy or two. You can divide the meat mixture into four sections and make four mini meatloaves. They only need to bake about 20 minutes each, and they also freeze well.

You can vary the fillings- mushrooms, mashed potatoes, swiss cheese and chard.  You should dice the onions much smaller than we did.=)

Leftovers, if you have any, are tasty in sandwiches.

Posted in frugal, meat | 2 Responses