Sourdough Cornbread

This Texas girl grew up on good southern cornbread. It was a staple alongside a big pot of pinto beans.

Since I’ve been doing sourdough a lot lately, I thought I’d give sourdough cornbread a try. This is based on my grandmother’s cornbread recipe with a few tweaks. It’s delicious and moist, not grainy at all. You should all try it.

Sourdough Cornbread:

1 cup cold sourdough starter

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

2 tbls honey

1/4 cup oil

2 eggs

Mix all the above ingredients together. Then add…

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 whole wheat

3/4 cup corn meal

1 tbls baking powder

Mix and pour in a greased cast iron skillet 8×8 casserole dish.

Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Dehydrated Jalepenos

Might sound weird, but this is a great way to preserve your peppers whether spicy jalepenos or some other pepper.

Simply slice, spread out on a dehydrator tray, and dry at 125 degrees for about 12 hours or until crispy.

They are great sprinkled on pizza, Mexican food, or anything you want to add a little crunch to. And let me tell you, in my opinion, these are far superior to canned or picked jalapeños.

After they are dry, store in a jar until needed. I’ll tell you, I can’t grow peppers where I live, but I will buy jalapeños in bulk just so I can try them. Give it a try.

Vegetarian (or not) Instant Pot Ramen

Similar to my IP Lo Mein of recipe, this is a vegetarian recipe but can easily be served with leftover meat if desired.

This can also easily be a one pot meal if you sauté the veggies in the IP liner before and remove them before cooking the noodles. If you are short on time though, set the noodles to cook in the broth and sauté the veggies on the stovetop to mix in once the noodles are done.

Vegetarian Instant Pot Ramen:

If you want a one pot meal, start by sautéing the vegetables of your choice. Today I used the ones listed below. This is a great recipe to use up little bits of a variety of vegetables that need to be eaten.

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup chard or celery stems, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1 cup diced mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic, diced

4 cups chopped kale or chard

Sauté veggies in the liner of the IP and remove before adding noodles. Or sauté in a separate pan on the stovetop.

After the veggies have been removed if you sautés them in the IP liner, add….

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos

8 cups of chicken or beef broth, or 8 homemade bullion cubes and 8 cups of water (the liquid should come a little less than halfway up the sides of the pot)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds thin spaghetti (I used regular spaghetti noodles the day I made this and took the pictures as I didn’t have think spaghetti on hand.)

Break the noodles in half alternating directions. The noodles don’t have to all be completely covered by the liquid but they should all be moistened. Do not stir or compress the uncooked noodles.

Lock the lid on the pot and seal the pressure valve. Cook on High Pressure, Warm setting OFF, for 3 minutes. Quick Release.

Immediately stir the noodles and add in the cooked veggies. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the past to absorb some more of the liquid.

Add meat if desired. We like to serve this with chicken strips on the side.

Iced Chai Tea

Though rare for me, I found that I wasn’t in the mood for coffee one day this week. But I wanted something cold, bold, and flavorful. This glass hit the spot.

Iced Chai:

Start with 8 ounces of cold water in a sauce pan and add…

3 tsp loos leaf black tea

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 knob or 1 tbls fresh ginger

3 cardamom pods

5 black peppercorns

2 tbls brown sugar

Simmer on high for 10 minutes. You want to the liquid to reduce slightly making a strong infusion. Let it cool completely.

Pour through a mesh or cloth strainer into your glass filling 2/3 full.

Add some cold milk or dairy substitute to fill the glass and enjoy!

Homemade Dehydrated Refried Beans

May seem counterintuitive to go to the trouble to go to the trouble of making refried beans only to dehydrate them, but this makes a great, shelf-stable convenience food, or is excellent lightweight, easy to carry, protein packed food for a backpacking or camping trip.

I used to buy the Santa Fe dehydrated refried beans for many years. I would use them when I needed a quick lunch. But prices went up and we couldn’t afford them any more. So, I had to figure out how to make my own.

If you’re going to make these, you might as well make a lot. You can presoak and cook the beans on the stovetop, but cooking dried beans in my Instant Pot is one of my favorite uses for that appliance.

Cooking Dried Beans in the Instant Pot:

Sort 2 pounds of dried pinto beans.

Add the beans to the IP along with 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 8 cups of water.

Lock the lid and set the valve to the sealed position.

Set the Instant Pot for Pressure Cook, High Pressure, 48 minutes, Warm setting OFF.

Quick release the pressure and stir the beans.

Mash the beans using your potato masher until they are the desired texture.

Drying in the Dehydrator:

Spread them evenly on dehydrator trays as thin as possible, about 1/4” thick.

Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 12-24 hours until they are completely dry and will crumble to a powder.

Drying in the Oven:

Alternatively you could spread these on parchment paper and dry on cookie sheets in your oven on the lowest heat setting. Aim for no warmer than 150-170 degrees. You want them completely dry with no moisture left. They should crumble to a powder

Storage:

You can store in portion sizes appropriate to your family size in plastic zip-lock bags or in glass jars. 1 cup = about 2 servings.

To rehydrate:

To rehydrate the beans for a meal, add 1 cup of dehydrated beans to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer about 5 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Estimate about a 1/2 cup dried beans per serving per person.

Do not use a bag or jar of beans if you open them and they have a strong musty smell. If this happens it is likely that all the moisture was not dehydrated out of them and that they have spoiled.

Fried Rice Skillet Dinner

This meal works best with cold leftover rice. If you don’t have leftover rice make your rice a few hours in advance and let it cool to room temperature.

Leftover Fried Rice:

3 cups cooked and cooked brown or white rice

Start by chopping the following…

1 cup chopped onion

4 cloves minced garlic

4-5 peeled and chopped carrots

Heat a skillet until hot. Add 4 tbls of olive oil. Sauté the onions and carrots in the skillet until the onions are soft and the edges are beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add…

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Stir in the cooked rice until it is incorporated and coated with the oil. Add a little more oil if needed.

Now add…

Frozen peas

Frozen corn

And any other veggies of choice such as chopped kale, mushrooms, etc. Cook until everything is incorporated and heated through.

Make a well in center and add 4 egg yolks if desired scrambling until cooked. (Optional)

Make another well in the center and add 1/4 cup honey and 3 tbls of soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos.

Stir util combined.

Add cooked meat of choice like leftover chicken or beef. This would option if you prefer to this dish to be vegetarian.

Apple Gingerbread Sourdough Batter Bread

This bread is moist and flavorful and a great way to use up lots of immature sourdough starter.

Apple Gingerbread Sourdough Batter Bread:

3 cups of sourdough starter (for a less sour flavor use activated starter, for more sour use unfed starter)

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

2 cups water

3 cups peels and chopped apples

Mix all of the above together. Then add….

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tbls cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

2 tsp baking soda

Add whole wheat or spelt flour until the texture of the dough is like a stiff buttercream frosting.

Grease your loaf pans, and pour the batter into the pans filling them 2/3 full. Cover and let the loaves rise until it almost reaches the top.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Spice Tooth Powder

This couldn’t be easier to mix and is a great option for people that can’t use regular toothpastes due to ingredients like vegetable glycerin which can be a problem for people with coconut allergies. Ready for the recipe? Here you go….

Cinnamon Spice Tooth Powder:

In a small jar mix the following…

2 tbls Bentonite clay

2 tbls cinnamon oowder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cloves

I put them all my little jar and shake, shake, shake to mix.

I have tried many versions of this recipe over the years, from powders to pastes, but this has been our go tooth powder for the last several years. As long as it is kept dry, it’s shelf life is indefinite. And I find it very effective. The Bentonite clay pulls toxins, cinnamon and clove add flavor and disinfect, and the salt adds to the disinfecting properties as well.

Apply to your toothbrush using a popsicle stick or tiny measuring spoon for best results.

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup

This can be a one pot meal if you want it to be. If you’re short on time, get this beans cooking and brown the ground beef in a skillet.

Tortilla Soup

In the Instant Pot (or skillet), cook 1 lb of hamburger until browned.

To the meat add…

1 tsp salt

5 shakes of black pepper

1 tbls chili powder

1 tbls + 1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tbls cumin

1 tsp onion powder

Stir to combine the spices a little water to help them dissolve if needed.

If cooked in the IP, remove the meat and set aside.

Add 1 lb of sorter, dried pinto beans to the Instant Pot.

Cook in IP with ½ tsp salt, 10 bullion cubes, 10 cups of water, high pressure, 48 minutes. Quick release. (If you don’t have homemade bullion cubes, just use 10 cups of chicken broth, either store bought or homemade.

Add the following…

1 cup frozen corn

Chopped celery or chard stems

Chopped kale

Reserved hamburger meat

Turn Saute setting on for 10 minutes to heat the final ingredients. 

Serve with tortilla chips. Or add cut up flour tortillas with when you add the chopped and frozen vegetables. The flour tortillas balloon up almost like dumplings.

Variations:

Use pre-cooked chicken instead of the hamburger. Use black beans (cook on HP, 35 minutes, QR) instead of pinto.

Black Nettle Vanilla Chai Tea

Want something new for your morning cup. This is a light pleasant Chai tea that is satisfying, but not overpowering like the strong flavors of Chai sometimes are. The nettle adds some vital nutrients, and it has about half the caffeine of regular chai. So, it gives you a little boost to keep you going, but not too much.

You can make this one cup at a time or in big batches. See recipes for both below.

Black Nettle Vanilla Chai Tea:

For a single cup combine the following in a sauce pan with 8 ounces of water.

1/2 tsp loose leaf black tea

1/2 tsp nettle leaf

1/4 cinnamon stick

1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled

1/8 tsp dried orange or lemon peel (4-5 little pieces)

3 whole black peppercorns

Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain into a mug. Add 1 drop of vanilla extract. Add a bit of brown sugar and cream if desired.

Large Batch:

1 cup loose leaf black tea

1 cup nettle leaf

4 cinnamon sticks, crushed into small pieces

2 tbls fresh grated ginger (spread on a plate to dry before mixing with dried tea)

2 tsp dried orange or lemon peel

1/4 tsp dried black peppercorns

1 tsp vanilla extract sprinkled over dried tea and stirred in.

Store in a sealed container. To brew, add 2 tsp to 8 ounces of water and simmer. Strain and serve. Or add brown sugar and cream if desired.

Posted in Tea

Lemon Raspberry Sourdough Scones

These are a tasty treat for your week.

In a large bowl combine the following…

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat or spelt flour

1 tsp salt

2 tbls baking powder

3/4 cups brown sugar

Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in…

4 tbls cold butter (until pea size or smaller)

Then add…

6 oz. fresh raspberries (approximately 1 cup, frozen can be used also)

Zest of 2 lemons

3/4 cup sourdough starter (can be fed or unfed)

2 cups of milk, reserve 1/3 cup

Mix everything but the 1/3 cup of the milk. You want a very wet dough that just holds together or your scones will be dry. Add the remainder of the milk 2 tbls at a time if needed.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently press into a rough rectangle. Flour the top. Lift the dough and fold it in half over on itself. Press it out into a rectangle again. Flour the top. Lift it up and fold it in half again. Repeat this process 3 more times. This is called laminating the dough. It adds layers which result in a fluffier, flakier end product. After the last lamination, press the dough into a rough rectangle again until it is about 1 inch thick. Cut out your scones with a biscuit cutter, pizza cutter, or knife.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Instant Pot Spaghetti

This is one of our go-to weeknight dinners. It’s a super easy, one-pot meal. Pay attention to the tips for keeping the burn setting from kicking in.

This recipe is written for an 8 quart Instant Pot. It makes enough for a dinner for a family of six with leftovers. If you have a smaller Instant Pot, or just don’t want that much food, cut the recipe in half.

Saute 2 pounds of ground beef on the Saute setting until browned.

Add 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.

Add chopped onions and garlic if desired.

Once the beef is browned, gather 3 – 24 oz. jars of your favorite pasta sauce. Add one jar and stir to mix with the ground beef. Add the 2 remaining jars but do NOT stir.

Next add 2 pounds of spaghetti to the Instant Pot. Take the spaghetti from the box in small handfuls, breaking the pasta in half lengthwise and alternating directions as you lay them in. For example, lay one handful in one direction, and lay the next handful in the other direction so that they are crossing alternating perpendicular to each other. DO NOT STIR the spaghetti into the pasta sauce. You want the spaghetti to be on top, and the sauce on the bottom so that the pasta does not stick and activate the Burn setting.

At this point you could also add in chopped vegetables, like carrots or bell peppers, on top of the noodles if you wanted more of a Ragu sauce.

Next fill your 3 spaghetti sauce jars with water, and shake to loosen all the extra sauce on the sides, and pour the 3 jars of water over the pasta. The pasta does not have to be submerged in the liquid, but it is a good idea to try to moisten all of it as you pour the water over it. Once again DO NOT STIR.

Lock the lid on the pot, seal the valve, and set for High Pressure for 2 minutes. Quick release, and stir to mix.

Enjoy your one pot meal!