How to Make Buttermilk (sour milk)

Picture this… you find a recipe you want to make… something that requires buttermilk… for example:

And you happen to be fresh out of buttermilk… or better yet, you have never bought buttermilk in your life. It happens to the best of us! But… what you may not know is making buttermilk (aka sour milk) is super simple and you probably have the ingredients for that!

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream; (more…)

How to Make Simple Syrup

What is Simple Syrup? Easy answer… it is a sweetener.

Easier answer: how to make it…

How to Make Simple Syrup

Use equal parts granulated sugar to water. It is a 1:1 ratio.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1 cup sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow the sugar to dissolve in the water. Place in a storage container in your refrigerator for up to 1 month, or use right away. (more…)

How to Freeze Okra

When I decided to start and plant my garden this spring, I asked my family what they would like to see planted. I mean, after all, they were going to be reaping the rewards too. At that point in the day, I think that we were eating lunch (or dinner… but we were definitely eating) and the oldest and my husband had fried okra. They both immediately chimed in and said, Okra.

Okra… um… okay. I know nothing about making fried okra, but okay, I’ll figure it out. Oh wait, you mean you can eat okra that isn’t fried. Okay, I’ll learn about that too while I’m at it. Because, why not. (more…)

How to Can Peaches

It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.

I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.

A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.

Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Peaches

Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.

Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go. (more…)

Mother’s Day – Coronavirus Style

If there is one thing this Coronavirus season has brought… it has brought a lot of people staying in and staying away. But… it has brought a lot of people wanting to get out into the great outdoors. Us included. Even though I’ve spent a lot of time outside.

And for some reason, we thought it would be fun to take up hiking. Yup, you read that correctly. Why not? I have been working my butt off here lately outdoors (which when hubby isn’t working his real job, it’s made him work outside too, plus our little. She’s great). So we thought it would be fun to take a break. And you know, go hiking. Something we’ve never really done… but my little has been wanting to do things like that so now is the perfect time.

Happy Mother’s Day to me :). (more…)

I made Homemade Pretzels… Coronavirus Day 18

I really think I should start calling it social distancing or homebound or something other than coronavirus. Ugh!

Earlier this year I went on the Keto Diet. Right now, I say screw that. We’re really supposed to stay home and out of stores, etc. So buying all the extra, special items to make Keto meals seems silly, plus I just want a little comfort. I love to bake and cook. And truthfully, while I tend to be a homebody, I’m sick of this staying home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Frozen 2. Not as many as Frozen (the original), but pretty darn close. Although I have to say I think I like the original Frozen better. My little thinks that they are going to do a Frozen 3. I’m not sure. It’ll sure be interesting, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I think I totally digressed. That’s where my brain is these days. Half the time I really have to think about what day it is. The little’s dance classes have moved to online. Last week, we missed 2 of the 3. I just plum forgot. So my goal for this week is to make all 3. I made yesterday’s and today’s, so that’s 2 of 3. Now just 1 more to go. I’ll let you know how I do. It’s the little things in life. (more…)

Keto Diet, month 1

Now… let’s put this out here first… My husband and I are doing Keto. No, I don’t need you telling me we’re stupid. I don’t need judgment. I just don’t. We did research and are doing with a doctor’s supervision so please don’t judge, yell, or tell me we’re stupid. 

Now that we have that out of the way… let’s proceed on. We are doing Keto. A lot of people are. It’s probably one of those fad diets honestly. So it’s a high fat, medium protein, no/low carb. That kills me. Quite almost literally. I love my breads and pastas. I’m not a huge dessert or candy fan and gosh I want those too. Really, I am a savory person, but right now I want sweets so bad sort of. 

So your carb intake is based on net carbs. So you take the carbs in your food, subtract out fiber and alcohol sugars, and that gives you the net carbs. You have to eat less than 25 net carbs per day. I’ve also read 20. Either way, 5 doesn’t really make you or break you. 2 days per week you are supposed to bump that up to 50 carbs to help avoid health problems you hear about. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE PASTA? That’s totally random at this point but I can’t help myself. (more…)

4th of July Photo Journal – Dive Club

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day saying something to the effect, 4th of July is over, it’s now time to get your Halloween costumes, your Thanksgiving menu, Christmas Presents, and we’re basically at the New Year, Happy 2020. Truthfully I might have giggled a little too much because… the way this year has been flying by, that almost seems real! Here we are 5 days past the 4th of July. Hello, July 9. We’re quickly approaching the dawg days of summer. It is finally getting hot and humid in Missouri. Yes, we have humidity. Yes, it’s horrible. You walk out of your house and feel like you’ve just walked out of the shower. It’s nuts.

Spring has been crazy around here. Tornadoes on top of tornadoes. Rain and flooding. Cooler temperatures… you name it, we’ve probably seen it. Except for a Hurricane. If we see a hurricane in Missouri, we have real problems. Did you know I’m only just a few hours away from the dead middle point of the U.S.? It’s up on the Kansas border near Nebraska. I’ve never been there although that’s on my list of things to do someday. Why not… 

I actually live in a part of Missouri where within 30 minutes you can be further into Missouri, into Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas. And there is a point over near here where you can be standing on the border of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 3 states in one swoop. Honestly, I’ve never been there either although I’ve always been within a mile or so of it. Why I never stop I have no idea.

This year because the 4th of July fell when it did, we got to celebrate twice. Once with our diver friends and again with my husband’s extended family. I overheard that some people think the 4th of July is only about bbq’s, fireworks, and spending time with family. That’s totally inaccurate. It’s about the birthday of our country. On July 4th, 1776 our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence freeing us from British control. It was only after a horrific battle called the Revolutionary War was fought and won. Just thought I’d throw that very broad, basic explanation out there for anyone who might be confused. Do they not teach that in schools anymore? Although the person who made the previous claim is closer to my age than not. I’m really confused.

4th of July

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Pigu {Italian Gougères}

Here while back, I came across a recipe for Pigu. What the heck is Pigu I wondered? Well, basically it is a little dough like thing filled with romano cheese. You start out by making the dough much like noodles, but I almost think it comes out tasting more like bread than a noodle dough. Basically, it is like an Italian Gougères.

Okay, I’ll bite (for you)… what is a Gougères? It is a choux pastry flavored with cheese (usually Gruyère), then usually filled with a savory filling.

So, we have dough, check.

We have cheese, check.

Well, it’s like an Italian Gougères, correct? We’re going to go with it and run! (more…)

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Over the weekend I found myself in Gravette, Arkansas. We were at a BBQ Smoking contest called Smoke on the Border. I’ll delve into that more in another post, but… as Hubby and Jared were moving stuff down on Friday afternoon, I found myself in the kitchen. I had it in my head I wanted to make something on the sweeter side, simply because of all that savory food I knew we were going to be eating over the weekend. That’s when I decided on Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites. Still a little savory from the dough, but that sweet side from the sugar and the heat from the cinnamon. Just seemed like the perfect combination.

Handheld little bites of yumminess. Although as you can see on my hand above, being in a zip lock bag, I brought some of that topping out on my hand for a nice dose of stickiness too. Hey… you win some… you lose some… and in this case, I’m pretty sure I won because hello YUM! (more…)