ImmuniTea

Think delicious first then immunity booster.
  • 1/2 cup dried astragalus root pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 1/2 cup dried rose hips
  • 1/2 cup dried whole hibiscus flowers (1/4 cup pieces)
  • 1/3 cup dried ginger root (not powder) OR fresh ginger slices added when preparing
  • Honey or your preferred sweetener (or not)
  • Fresh orange slice or a squeeze of any citrus

Mix the dry ingredients & store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. For a cup of tea, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 4 tablespoons of dry mix & fresh ginger to taste. Ginger adds heat so temper to your taste. Simmer, think teeny bubble, for 15 minutes. Strain. Add honey. Pour into your favorite cup. Add citrus.

I think this is MY find recipe for January 2021. Check my blogs for Immunity Soup https://chamberslife.com/2020/03/15/beauty-your-immunity-soup/ & Winter Proofing https://chamberslife.com/2019/10/31/winter-proof-you/.

Next blog — SUPPLEMENTS for Immunity & Brain wellness.

Ginger-Scented Pecans

I have to give these away immediately TO MY FAVORITE FRIENDS because I will eat them all!
This is Martha Stewart’s recipe with more pecans & ginger.
  • 7 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons (or more) ground dry ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 325°F. Place the nuts on a parchment-lined full sheet pan (26×18) & roast for 12 minutes; stirring & turning the pan after 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Line a second full sheet pan with parchment paper & set aside. Just before the nuts are done, in a large skillet heat the honey, oil & water. Immediately add the hot pecans to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated (3-5 minutes). Add the dry ingredients & coat all the pecans. Pour the nuts onto the second sheet pan to cool.

When they are room temperature, eat them all. HAHAHA. Store in an airtight container. Thank you Martha for this recipe, one of my favorites.

Oysters Rockefeller

I love OYSTERS. I eat them at least once a week. My test recipe for this classic is delicious & easy.

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

  • 36 clean oyster shells &
  • 2 pints of fresh east coast (USA) oysters, drained OR 36 fresh oysters, popped open
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter (+ 1 tablespoon for topping)
  • 1 medium clove of organic garlic, pressed or teeny minced
  • 1/3 cup minced organic shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced organic shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 ounces chopped, frozen or fresh, organic spinach (For fresh, blanch & set aside.)
  • 1/2 cup organic cream
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup grated Italian Parmigiano Reggiano (+ 3 tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon +/- Pernod Absinthe (A very gentle anise flavor, barely detectable is desired.)
  • 1 tablespoon +/- organic lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper
  • Topping: 1 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmigiano
  • Sea salt – maybe

About 2 hours before you want to serve your Oysters Rockefeller, prepare the spinach mixture. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan. Add shallots & garlic & cook 3 minutes until just they are clear. Add the mushrooms & cook 3 minutes. Add the spinach & cook until the moisture evaporates. Cool to room temperature. Add cream, 1/3 cup Parmigiano, 1 teaspoon Pernod, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 t black pepper. Mix until just combined. TASTE! Adjust seasoning to your preference.

I love sea salt but I found this recipe didn’t need it, but that depends a lot on your cheese’s saltiness.

Refrigerate for 2 hours. This helps the mixture to mound well on the oysters.

Prepare the topping by melting the butter, adding the bread crumbs and cooking just until bread crumbs turn golden. Remember they’ll continue to crisp on the oysters. Stir in the Parmigiano.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the drained oysters on paper towels. Then place 1, 2 or 3 oysters in each of the shells. Arrange on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. If using fresh oysters, gently pour off any liquid, & arrange them on a baking sheet.

Top the oysters with about 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle generously with the bread crumb topping.

Slice some lemons & BE READY!

Bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them because the size of the oysters will effect the cooking time. When they are bubbly and just golden brown, they’re done.

FEAST!

Saffron Cauliflower Pilaf

The Healthy Mind Cookbook by Rebecca Katz, inspired this delicious dish.

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, softened in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup minced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (iodized, preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups of riced cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon chicken or no-chicken bullion (I like Better than Bullion Organic.)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • walnuts or nuts of your choice

This is truly one of my FAVORITE dishes.

In a skillet large enough to hold all of the ingredients, heat the ghee or oil. Add the onion, carrot, fennel, celery, garlic, salt & pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower & sauté 3 minutes. Stir the bullion into the 1/4 cup water & add to the vegetables, along with the saffron, lemon zest & lemon peel. Cook 2 minutes; the cauliflower should be crisp. Avoid overcooking because it will be mushy. (Most things continue to cook for a bit even after they are removed from heat.) Stir in the parsley.

With the addition of a few nuts, you’ll have complete meal. It’s a great side dish & a perfect base for a breakfast egg. ENJOY!

Poultry Bone Broth & Food Safety

This year’s turkey was a 12 pound, free-range, organic bird from Trader Joe’s that cooked perfectly. After our table feast, I immediately prepare the turkey for the refrigerator & the carcass for bone broth.

Poultry Bone Broth

  • Roasted Turkey (or other poultry) carcass broken into pieces with a meat cleaver to release minerals from the bones. Include the herbs and vegetables you roasted with the turkey & any extra gravy.
  • 2 large carrots, cleaned but unpeeled, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 5 large stalks of green celery cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1 leek, green and white chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 6 whole alspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 5 large springs parsley
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon iodized sea salt
  • Filtered water

Place bones in a large stock pot. Add water to about 4 inches above the bones. Add all remaining ingredients. Check water level to be sure it’s at least 2 inches above the ingredients. Over high heat, bring to a boil quickly, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to a barely visible simmer. This take a bit of checking to get the temperature exact. It is IMPORTANT to check and be sure it is always simmering to insure this food’s safety.

Simmer, uncovered, 24 hours. Yep 24 hours. While I am awake, I stir the broth occasionally & check to insure I have a teeny bubble simmer & that the water level is still about 2 inches above the ingredients. So by the time I go to sleep I am sure the cooking temperature is accurate. Broth making for smaller birds works well in a crock pot or an instant pot.

MY SERVSAFE FOOD PROCTOR SAFETY NOTE: Poultry broths should be kept HOT (=/+165°F) or COLD (=/- 39°F/Refrigerator Temperature) for optimum safety. So preparing properly for freezing or refrigeration is critically important.

After 24 hours, I bring the broth back to a rolling boil for about 2 minutes. Then I remove the pot from the heat & immediately cool.

Although the official “safety timeline” is cool soup from 140°F to 70°F in 2 hours & from 70°F to 40°F in no more than 4 hours, I work fast after my broth is ready to store by straining out the ingredients & spreading them out in a large baking pan & setting them aside to cool for my https://compostnow.org bin & treats for Lucy, my dog. (I’ll sort carrots & meat bits for Lucy or if the bones are totally soft, I’ll Blendtec the whole mess once it cools for her to enjoy as “Lucy Goo.” I take the same care in freezing Lucy’s Goo as I do for the bone broth.)

I use one of three methods to cool the broth. 1) Preferred — I pour the remaining hot broth into stainless steel bowls & set these into larger stainless steel bowls filled with ice & water. I stir these until the broth has cooled to about 65°F (room temperature or cooler). This takes about 30 minutes. 2) or I spread the soup into a very large shallow pan to cool. 3) or I add ice directly to the broth to cool or use an ice wand (on Amazon) to stir the broth cool. Or some combination of the above.

Then I divide the soup into straight sided ball jars, leaving 1″ of head room. I freeze or refrigerate the jars of broth without lids as the condensation in a closed container may also encourage bacteria*. I label the lids with “Turkey (or whatever) Broth” & the date & close the jars as soon as they are 40°F or frozen.

NEVER place hot broth in the fridge or freezer as it will raise the temperature of the appliance; the broth will cool from the outside edges to the center, causing opportunity for bacteria to grow in the warm center. AND the warm broth will raise the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer causing potential for bacterial growth in your other foods.

*When you receive take out food that is hot – immediately remove the lid as condensation may reach the perfect temperature encourage bacterial growth. Also, be sure to cool that food, using the above guidelines for broth, before putting it in the fridge.

All foods require careful temperature control. One that surprised me — RICE is very often a culprit for bacterial growth.

The process for bone broth is WORTH the steps. Enjoy!

Thankful Soup

While the turkey is a tradition – the broth makes the best meals. Just saying.

TURKEY SOUP Think about changing the shapes of your ingredients to give your soup a little visual appeal. Soup should be served HOT as it cools fast.

  • 1 quart turkey bone broth (next blog)
  • 1 cup sliced celery – crescents
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks – circles
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots – circles or half circles or flowers
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms cut in random sized pieces (I used chanterelles.)
  • 2 cups romaine, butter or iceberg lettuce, chopped or chiffonade cut
  • 1 cup cooked turkey or other poultry chunks OPTIONAL
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (from Italy) your choice. Keep hot. (See below.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (1 to heat turkey/2 for soup garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (to heat turkey)
  • Garnish with poultry seasoning https://chamberslife.com/2018/11/16/seasonal-seasoning/ infused butter & a parsley sprig

Bring the broth to a simmer. Add celery; simmer 10 minutes. Add leeks; simmer 5 minutes. Add carrots; simmer 10 minutes. Add mushrooms; simmer 5 minutes. Prepare turkey.

While soup cooks, in a small skillet heat your cooked turkey chunks in a little butter, olive oil and poultry seasoning.

Just before serving add lettuce into simmering HOT soup.

TO SERVE: Be sure all of your ingredients are HOT! Preheat the soup bowl by filling with boiling water. Keep the noodles hot in a colander set over a simmering pot of water. Keep the turkey on low heat.

Empty the boiling water from the bowls. Working quickly, add noodles to each bowl, top with turkey & then ladel the soup over the noodles & turkey. Top with about 1 teaspoon of seasoned butter, a few grinding of black pepper & a parsley leaf.

At my chef school (William Angliss, Australia) Richard, my amazing teacher, said, “The smaller the garnish the more expensive the restaurant.”

Turkey Bone Broth is the next blog up.

Funghi Marinati

A Great Appetizer & Healthy Snack – MARINATED MUSHROOMS

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of 2 lemons (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large garlic cloves (crushed and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 pound button mushrooms (small or cut to same bite size)

In an enamel or stainless saucepan, combine ingredients except mushrooms & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms & simmer 5 minutes, stirring gently.

Let the mushrooms cool in the marinade. Serve at room temperature. Store in a Ball jar, or other glass container, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Delicious snack! You can also add them to other dishes for texture & zing.

Chocolate Heaven Hearts & Popsicles

1/2 avocado (1/2 cup)

1/2 banana (1/3 cup)

1 peeled naval orange (1 cup)

1/4 cup peeled & seeded cucumber

6 dates

2 Brazil nuts

1 Shiitake mushroom (that has a tan*)

1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk

2 tablespoons dry coconut milk

3 tablespoons hemp seed

1 healing tablespoon cocoa powder (or more)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs (or more)

1 tablespoon reishi mushroom powder

1/2 teaspoon Penzey’s double strength vanilla

Dash of sea salt

Dash of fresh ground black pepper (or one peppercorn)

Blend until creamy smooth. Enjoy on the spot or freeze in heart shaped molds or make popsicles. The hearts make a delightful little surprise – just set them out about 20 minutes before serving. Add whatever makes you smile.

Irresistible Scallion Blinis

Inspired by two HUGE bunches of Raleigh City Farm green onions, I spent Friday in the test kitchen. This recipe is a keeper! Served here with an Asian dipping sauce, they are also delicious topped with caramelized onions & scallions infused with Cooper & Thief oak barrel aged red wine & topped with cashew triple cream (nut cheese). Have a party. Serve these.

Scallion Blinis

  • 1/3 c almond flour
  • 1/3 c regular flour or gluten free
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t black pepper
  • 1 t psyllium husks
  • 1 t sesame seeds
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t onion powder (optional)
  • 1/2 c scallion, white to about 1″ of green, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T melted ghee
  • 1 T pumpkin puree (or applesauce or potato or sweet potato puree)
  • 1T Avocado oil & 1 t ghee for frying

Prepare dipping sauce (recipe follows) so the flavors meld.

Combine the dry ingredients & scallions in one bowl & combine the wet ingredients in another — excluding the avocado oil & ghee for frying. Add the wet combo to the dry & stir well. The batter should be relatively moist & hold its shape in a teaspoon.

In a flat pan or griddle, heat the avocado oil & ghee to medium (375°F). Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the heated surface, shaping them a bit with the back of a small spoon dipped in water. When the blini looses its gloss, flip it and cook the other side until brown.

Place cooked blinis on a paper towel lined wire rack for a bit. Serve immediately; keep them warm in a 200°F oven; or serve at room temperature. They reheat very well after refrigerated by pan frying again. Makes about 24 blinis.

Asian Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T mirin
  • 1 T agave or honey or maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove (pressed or hyper-minced)
  • 1 t ginger hyper-minced
  • Heat – your choice – a dash cayenne or a bit of chili garlic paste
  • 2 T very thinly sliced scallion (green part)

Mix all ingredients & let stand for an hour. Serve. Refrigerate to store.

Cooper & Thief Caramelized Onions & Scallions

  • 1 c yellow onion cut into crescents
  • 6 scallions, white part only, cut into 1/4 inch diagonal slices
  • 1 t butter
  • 1 t avocado oil
  • 1/4 c Cooper & Thief red wine blend
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a small skillet heat the butter & oil. Add the onions & scallions & salt & pepper. Cook stirring constantly until the alliums are translucent & start to turn golden. Add wine, salt & pepper. Cook until all liquids evaporate.

Top blinis with caramelized onions & bits of triple cream (or brie). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thank you Raleigh City Farm!

ENJOY! Alliums are HUGE immunity boosters!

My Fresh Farm Breakfast — Vege Tartine

I am so amazingly fortunate to have my own community farm www.raleighcityfarm. Gracing my plate & my health this morning — food that is locally & sustainably grown; is pesticide & herbicide free & tended by passionate professional Farmer Josh Sattin.
My harvest is pictured here. A quick zip up to Raleigh City Farm’s COVID smart Farmstand thrills me. First I get to see the plots of gorgeous vegetables & herbs organized as a work of art. Then I easily order my produce, flowers, bird house, bird feeder, even micro greens with a sprouting young farmer John (pun intended) NEW this week.

The recipe — VEGE TARTINE

  • 1 slice rustic sourdough, toasted
  • 1/4 avocado or smashed great northern beans or refried beans
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t Greek herbs (or your favorite herb/spice blend or salt & pepper)
  • 1 pattypan (scallop) squash or other summer squash, sliced
  • 1 large green onion, white & a bit of green cut in long strips. Green tops: chopped & saved for garnish
  • 1 carrot (enough for 8 diagonal carrot slices or more)
  • 1 French radish sliced
  • 1 handful of Russian Kale torn
  • Fresh micro sprouts (garnish & health!)
  • 1 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T pickled onions or your favorite zing (capers, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, lemon peel, sriracha, salsa)
  • 1 t (or more) hemp seeds (so healthy)
  • Fresh coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F (convection speeds roasting time). Hand rub the veggies with 1 T (more if needed) olive oil & herbs. Place in specific vegetable type groups on roasting pan in case one cooks faster than another so they’re easy to take out. Bake about 10 minutes, checking after 5 (removing kale) until the veggies are done to your preference.

Meanwhile toast the bread & smash the avocado on it. Drizzle with oil. Layer the veggies on the toast. Drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with pickled onions, hemp hearts & black pepper.

Garnish with sprouts.

TRIPLE THE ROASTED VEGES — They’ll be delicious later!

See you next Wednesday at Raleigh City Farm 4-7. Check the site for each week’s harvest. https://raleighcityfarm.org/farmstand