Large Visitor Globe

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Making Sassafras Powder with Sassafras Leaves

   Sassafras is a really neat tree and is easily identifiable because of its distinct feature that every tree has 3 distinctly different leaves.

Creole cooking, how to make gumbo file', uses of Sassafras leaves,
The three distinct leaves of the Sassafras tree.

  Sassafras has long been known as a medicinal herb used by American Indians for hundreds of years.   The leaves, roots and oils of the Sassafras can all be used for a variety of conditions.  Today, I am going to cover one way we harvest and use the Sassafras leaves.  We turn them to powder and use it as many people do in Creole cooking.
     When Sassafras leaves are dried and ground up into powder, it is called file' or gumbo file' which is a thickener for soups and gumbos and to add flavor to them.  It adds a bit of a spicy flavor.  Just add it in once you begin to simmer your soup or gumbo.  It is best not to boil it but let the flavors emerge from simmering.
     To make the powder, just gather up a few handfuls of leaves and rinse them off.  Pat dry and lay them on them on your dehydrator trays.  Turn on the dehydrator and let the leaves dehydrate for about 4 hours.  Once they are dry, they crumble very easily.  Place them in a food processor or use a Magic Bullet (like I do) and pulse the leaves until they turn into a fine powder.  Pour into a mason jar and store the Sassafras powder until you are ready to use it.

Creole cooking, how to make gumbo file', uses of Sassafras leaves,
Sassafras powder (aka gumbo file')

Many of the links you see above lead to my "Amazon" store Countrified Hicks.  Ordering items from my store does not cost you a penny extra but I do receive a very small percentage as a bonus from Amazon for being an affiliate.  We appreciate your support.  It helps out our family more than you may know.


Follow me on Pinterest
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on g+
Follow us on linkedin
Follow our Youtube channel
Follow me on Instagram


This blog post was shared on the following blogs:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Surprise Ride Review

Surprise Ride is a great subscription service geared towards kids aged 6-11 years old.   Each month, Surprise Ride will send a box full of educational items that provide hours of hands-on learning fun.  It is a great way to foster imagination and creative play in your child.
Surprise ride
  Pictured above is a sample of what your kit may look like.  Pretty cool, huh?


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Making Spinach Powder

    Spinach is such a powerful and useful vegetable.  It has great nutritional value but it also can be used medicinally.  My problem is that I don't really care for the taste of spinach.  Spinach is easy to grow so we do grow it in our garden but then I dehydrate it and turn it into spinach powder to be used in soups, stews, smoothies, casseroles, stir-fry, sauces, or put it into a gel capsule and take as a vitamin.  Also, dehydrating and grinding spinach to power does not diminish its nutritional value at all.  :-)
Making spinach powder at home, how to dehydrate spinach, how to use spinach powder, preserving spinach
I love the color of the powder, don't you?

   To make spinach powder is quite easy.  First, rinse off your spinach leaves and lay the leaves on your dehydrator trays.
Making spinach powder at home, how to dehydrate spinach, how to use spinach powder, preserving spinach
  
Turn on your dehydrator and let the leaves dry for about 4-5 hours.  They are done when the leaves are brittle.  
Making spinach powder at home, how to dehydrate spinach, how to use spinach powder, preserving spinach

   Take the dried leaves and place them in your Magic Bullet or a blender and pulse until it turns into a fine powder.  You may have to strain the pieces through a sieve a few times to make sure the leaves are all ground up.
Making spinach powder at home, how to dehydrate spinach, how to use spinach powder, preserving spinach

   Store your powder in a mason jar.  When you want to use it, just add a tablespoon or two to your dish to add nutritional value, taste and color.  

Many of the links you see above lead to my "Amazon" store Countrified Hicks.  Ordering items from my store does not cost you a penny extra but I do receive a very small percentage as a bonus from Amazon for being an affiliate.  We appreciate your support.  It helps out our family more than you may know.




Follow me on Pinterest
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on g+
Follow us on linkedin

Monday, October 13, 2014

Complete Chicken Dinner in the Crock Pot

    I love using my crock pot.  Okay, let's be honest, I have two crock pots and I use them all the time, often both at the same time.  Cooking meals in a crock pot just makes sense.  Very little prep work; you don't heat up your house; you can put food on when you go to bed and it is ready for lunch the next day; or better yet, put a meal in the crock pot in the morning before work and come home to supper waiting on you.
      Meals in crockpots do not have to be elaborate.  Because the food slow cooks all day (or night) the flavors have a chance to "meld" together and comes out fantastic.  This is one of those meals.

Complete Chicken Dinner in the Crock Pot

 4 chicken quarters
1 stick of margarine
1 T. chopped onions
2 cans of green beans
4 potatoes (sliced or cubed)
water

    Place your potatoes into the crockpot.  Put the stick of margarine on top of the potatoes.

Complete meal in a crock pot; Complete chicken dinner recipe, Chicken recipes for slow cooker, southern dish recipe

  As you can tell, I used some of my dehydrated potatoes instead.  If you use them, you do not need to soak them first.  Put them in and they will soften and cook perfectly this way.

Drain the green beans and pour onto the potatoes.  

Complete meal in a crock pot; Complete chicken dinner recipe, Chicken recipes for slow cooker, southern dish recipe

  Pour enough water in the pot to cover the potatoes.  Place the chicken quarters in last and season them with a bit of poultry seasoning; put the lid on the crock pot and turn it on low. 

Complete meal in a crock pot; Complete chicken dinner recipe, Chicken recipes for slow cooker, southern dish recipe

 Let it cook 8 hours or overnight.  I have let it cook up to 14 hours and it was still perfect.                

Many of the links you see above lead to my "Amazon" store Countrified Hicks.  Ordering items from my store does not cost you a penny extra but I do receive a very small percentage as a bonus from Amazon for being an affiliate.  We appreciate your support.  It helps out our family more than you may know.

Follow me on Pinterest
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on g+
Follow us on linkedin
Follow our Youtube channel
Follow me on Instagram 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Making Tomato Powder

Making tomato powder at home, how to use tomato powder, preserving tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes
   We love growing tomatoes in our garden.  Tomatoes are one of the easiest things to grow, at least around here, and we always harvest so many of them.  I can a lot of them and I also make spaghetti sauce and extra hot salsa.  We eat fresh tomatoes with meals but there are still plenty left over.  This year, I decided to make Sun Dried Tomatoes to help preserve them so we have tomatoes through out the year.  They turned out beautifully. 
     I also decided to make up some tomato powder.  Tomato powder is pretty expensive to buy.  It runs about $8.00-$15.00 a pound but you can make it for free with your excess tomatoes.  If you have never used tomato powder, you are missing out.  Tomato powder really adds a lot of flavor to soups, stews, casseroles, etc.  If you need to add tomato paste or tomato sauce to a recipe, you can reconstitute the tomato powder and make your own paste or sauce.  If you need tomato paste, just add 1-2 parts water to 1 part paste.  For tomato sauce, use four parts water to one part tomato powder.
    One of the best things about tomato powder is it is a great way to preserve tomatoes, the nutritional value does not diminish and just a heaping tablespoon of tomato powder equals about a pint of fresh tomatoes (when it comes to adding taste and flavor to a dish).

    How to Make Tomato Powder
      Take fresh from the garden tomatoes or tomatoes you have purchased.  Cut off the ends of the tomato and using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice your tomatoes.  I like to slice my tomatoes fairly thick.  I found a bit thicker cut the tomatoes, the easier they are to remove off the trays.  If they are cut real thin, they have a tendency to stick to the tray.  I never spray my trays with cooking spray or oil because oil causes the fruit or vegetable to turn rancid.  
  
  Lay your sliced tomatoes onto your dehydrator tray.   


Making tomato powder at home, how to use tomato powder, preserving tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes


  Turn on your dehydrator and let the tomatoes dry until they are brittle and no moisture remains (anywhere from 12-18 hours).
Making tomato powder at home, how to use tomato powder, preserving tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes


   Now take the dried tomatoes and place in your Magic Bullet or spice grinder.  Turn it on and "pulse" the tomatoes until they turn into a fine powder.

Making tomato powder at home, how to use tomato powder, preserving tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes



 Store in a mason jar.  Kept in your pantry, they have a shelf life up to 15 years.


Making tomato powder at home, how to use tomato powder, preserving tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes
Many of the links you see above lead to my "Amazon" store Countrified Hicks.  Ordering items from my store does not cost you a penny extra but I do receive a very small percentage as a bonus from Amazon for being an affiliate.  We appreciate your support.  It helps out our family more than you may know.


Follow me on Pinterest
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on g+
Follow us on linkedin

Monday, October 6, 2014

Brieftons InstantVeg Spiralizer

 
 
Brieftons InstantVeg Spiralizer
 
    Brieftons InstantVeg Spiralizer is very cool.  I really wasn't too sure about it when I first heard about it but it is FUN to use and it is a great way to get my kids to eat more veggies.  It also makes meals fancier.  :-)
    It really is amazing how it turns plain vegetables into culinary spirals.  There are 4 different cutting widths and the handle is very easy to turn.  
    

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

MIRA Lunch jar

MIRA lunch jar
    MIRA lunch jars are a nice thing to have on hand.  These jars come in three different sizes and are a high quality insulated food jar.  They keep hot foods hot for 5 hours or can keep cool foods cool for up to 10 hours.  It is a great way to take your lunch with you. 
     Each jar is reusable and are BPA free.  I especially liked that the mouth of the jar is nice and wide so you can eat straight from the jar with no problem.    I really liked how versatile it is.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Blog Oklahoma
Blog Oklahoma
easy recipes