Sunday, March 12, 2017

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes

2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 hard-boiled egg yolks, mashed
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and halved or quartered (depending on size)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Sift flour, 1/4 cup sugar and baking powder into bowl. Add chilled butter pieces. Using your fingertips, work butter quickly and lightly into flour until mixture is consistency of very fine crumbs of sand. Add cream and egg yolks and stir with fork until dough just comes together.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead briefly, just until smooth dough forms. Do not overwork. Pat or roll out dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Using floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 4 rounds of dough. Gather up dough scraps, reroll and cut out 2 more rounds.
Put rounds on lightly buttered baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake on middle rack of oven at 375 degrees until biscuits are golden brown and firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes.
Toss strawberries and sugar together in bowl. Whip cream several minutes until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate. Transfer biscuits to cooling rack and cool 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully split biscuits in half and set tops aside. Place bottom halves on dessert plates and heap strawberries onto them. Generously spoon whipped cream over strawberries and replace biscuit tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on side.
Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains about: 642 calories; 421 mg sodium; 208 mg cholesterol; 44 grams fat; 57 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.96 gram fiber.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fire Cider!!! Fight That Cold or Flu With This Fermented Tonic

After reading an interview with Rosemary Gladstar about her Fire Cider and its benefits to the circulatory and immune systems, I decided to try my hand at making my own cold and flu fighting remedy.  Traditionally, Fire Cider is a vinegar infused with spicy herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
Rosemary Gladstar first concocted Fire Cider at the California School of Herbal Studies in the early 1980's.  She used it as a way to introduce her students to part food/part medicine recipes they could use in their daily lives.  

As Rosemary herself put it, "the whole idea was to transform America ~ and our health care system ~ one kitchen at a time, through herbalism!"

With a base of apple cider vinegar which alone is one of the most useful remedies on earth, this cider is known for its ability to help fight off cold and flu symptoms during those cold months each year.  

The great thing about fire cider is that with the exception of a few key ingredients, you can change what goes into your tonic based on what you have readily available year to year.

Typically, fire cider includes a base of apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, fresh ginger, onion, garlic, and peppers.  I decided to use the following recipe:
  • ~1 cup horseradish
  • 1/2 cup ginger
  • 1/2 cup turmeric
  • 2-3 tsp black pepper seed
  • 2 oranges quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • Enough raw apple cider vinegar to cover

After combining your ingredients, your simply give it a good swirl and cap the jar.  Let the fire cider sit in this jar for about a month make sure to give the jar a good swirl each day.

Once a month has passed there are TONS of different ways for your to enjoy your fire cider vinegar and battle those cold month illnesses. One common practice is to take a couple of tablespoons daily throughout the colder months as a preventative measure, or even more often if you feel symptoms sneaking up on you.  

Other people use it in a tea, or mix it into other drinks/recipes.  A few common practices include using fire cider as salad dressing, on cooked veggies/rice, or even in a shot glass as a healthy shot to start the day :)

I have been enjoying this batch of fire cider for a few weeks now and LOVE the way it tastes.  I have been adding a tiny amount of honey to a 1 oz shot each morning, and have been feeling great!  I have my second batch going now with the addition of elderberries which are known for their beneficial activity for an extra immune boosting/heart healthy ingredient!