Category Archives: Bread Making

Weekly Meal Roundup

Homemade bread topped with AR  butter & homemade strawberry jam. With a side of homegrown duck eggs.

Homemade bread topped with AR butter & homemade strawberry jam. With a side of homegrown duck eggs.

Homemade spinach, egg & tofu soup made with our duck eggs.

Homemade spinach, egg & tofu soup made with our duck eggs.

Paris the Chicken & Soophie the Duck. It's been so cold that the girls have been hanging out in front of our back door.

Weekly Meal Roundup is back! One of the reasons that it’s back is because I have to keep a food journal to manage my migraine. Well, as long as I have to keep a food journal, I figured why not share how I eat locally on the blog?

Eating locally can be tough this time of the year. With farmers markets closed, it’s hard to get hold of fresh, locally grown food. Eddy and I buy from Arkansas Sustainability Network’s Local Food Club, but even online food clubs see a decline in availability of fresh produce this time of the year.

That’s why I can’t stress enough the importance of harvest preservation if you want to eat locally throughout the year. This week, I made eggplant casserole using tomatoes and eggplant that I froze in this summer. They helped bring back a bit of summer in a frigid week!

How do you eat locally this time of the year? Enjoying any preserved harvest? Leave a comment!

And now, here is the roundup for this past week.

Sunday

Breakfast – organic mochi in kelp soup, home roasted coffee

Lunch – organic mochi in kelp soup, daikon & carrots slaw, mashed Asian sweet potatoes with chestnuts, black beans, burdock roots with sesame seeds

Dinner – homemade chili made with AR ground buffalo, tomatoes, corn & peppers, homemade cornbread made with War Eagle Mill cornmeal

Monday

Breakfast – organic War Eagle Mill (WEM) oatmeal with WEM flax and AR honey & bee pollen, half a grapefruit, home roasted coffee

Lunch – homemade chili, cornbread

Dinner – at friend’s (Thanks, David!)

Tuesday

Breakfast – organic WEM oatmeal with WEM flax and AR honey & bee pollen, half a grapefruit, home roasted coffee

Lunch – homemade chili, cornbread, AR grape tomatoes

Dinner – at Vino’s with friends

Wednesday

Breakfast – AR rice with natto (fermented soy beans), AR grape tomatoes, half a grapefruit, home roasted coffee

Lunch – at Vino’s with colleagues

Dinner – homemade chili, pecan mashed sweet potatoes made with AR sweet potatoes & pecans, AR turnips in mustard sauce made with homemade mustard, eggplant casserole made with AR eggplant, tomatoes & jalapeno cheddar, homegrown eggs & homemade cornbread made with WEM cornmeal & homegrown eggs, home brewed beer

Thursday

Breakfast – organic WEM oatmeal with WEM flax and AR honey & bee pollen, half a grapefruit, home roasted coffee

Lunch – homemade chili, pecan mashed sweet potatoes, AR turnips in mustard sauce

Dinner – homemade shrimp fried rice made with SC shrimp (Christmas present from Eddy’s parents who live in Charleston), homegrown eggs & AR rice, carrots & peppers, AR broccoli in oyster sauce, spinach, egg & tofu soup made with homegrown eggs, AR mixed greens salad topped with homemade miso vinaigrette

Friday

Breakfast – homemade bread made with WEM flour topped with homemade strawberry jam made with AR strawberries, homegrown eggs, home roasted coffee

Lunch – homemade shrimp fried rice, spinach, egg & tofu soup, AR broccoli in oyster sauce

Dinner – at Masala Grill & Teahouse

Saturday

Brunch – homemade French toast made with homemade bread, homegrown eggs, topped with AR honey, half a grapefruit, home roasted coffee

Dinner – at a taqueria in Hot Springs

Green Your Party: Bake Own Bread!

dsc00239Next time you host or attend a party, bake bread! Baking bread is so easy with the New York Times’ No-Knead Bread recipe. It’s so easy that Eddy and I haven’t bought a loaf of bread for over two years. We love to serve our bread with homemade chèvre. YUM!

Eddy and I love to bake bread because homemade bread tastes great, and it comes with no packaging. Baking bread also helps you save money, too!

So, this holiday season, green your party by baking bread!

Meet Local Green Peeps!

nonewcoalChances are, if you are reading this, you support green causes. You go to meetings, you visit local farmers’ markets, and soon you start running into familiar faces. You know their names, but have you ever wondered what they do to be ? Well, Meet Local Green Peeps! hopes to satisfy your curiosity about area green people and what they do to be GreenAR in the Natural State. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Vital Statistics (Name & Location): Leah Hennings, Little Rock

What Do You Do?: I am a citizen activist always and a veterinarian/ scientist during the work week.

Steps Taken to be GreenAR:

I believe that the easiest way to be green is to simplify.  My family and I have made the choice to decrease our total consumption.  That one step allows us to make less garbage, use less energy, and walk more lightly on Earth.  The first step we really took as a family was to go almost 100% vegetarian.  Decreasing meat consumption is among the most ‘green’ lifestyle changes a person can make.  In order to decrease our garbage, we recycle everything possible, buy food items in the largest possible package, and I make our bread and sauces from scratch.   We also compost, and that hasn’t been too difficult for us because we use the simplest possible method.  We keep our thermostat at almost painfully low temperature in the winter and equally painfully high temperature in the summer, and we open the windows whenever possible.  My daughter and I buy only used clothing (obviously there are some things one really should purchase new, like socks), and we get great bargains and nice-looking clothes from our favorite resale shops.   We buy used furniture or  scavenge whenever possible. We buy fair-trade products, especially coffee.  I use biodegradable and natural cleaning products around the house.  I believe that local economies are the greenest, so we try to purchase everything from small, local businesses.  My rule of thumb is that any business with greater than 3 franchises outside Little Rock is too big.  And fast food of any kind is right out.  We buy local foods whenever possible, and I preserve local foods for winter use.

Of course, just walking the walk isn’t enough.  I believe that being green also means speaking up for the environment and social justice.  I volunteer with local organizations like Arkansas Earth Day Foundation, Arkansas Earth Institute, Basket-A-Month CSA Program, and Arkansas Sustainability Network.  I also manage a blog (www.citizensdailylobby.com) whose purpose is to empower Arkansans to make a difference in government.  My mission is to encourage everyone to “talk the talk” to those in power.

Hard-to-Take Steps: I really would like to ride the bus, but so far haven’t found enough hours in my day to dawdle at  bus stops with the Central Arkansas Transit system’s rather dismal schedule.  I would like to make cheese and yogurt, but I’m finding it hard to get going.

Future Steps to be GreenAR: There are some energy efficiency steps we need to take in the house, but those involve rather high start-up costs, and we haven’t been able to take those steps yet.  I would like to have a produce garden of my own.  I am also planning to start making more of our household cleaners from scratch.

Favorite AR Produce, Groups & Businesses: There are so many!  I would have to say that my favorite produce comes from Arkansas Natural Produce, followed at a close second by Willow Springs Market Garden.  It just wouldn’t be politic to pick a favorite group or green business, but I am so proud of everyone who has started/will soon start local green businesses.

If You Can Do One Thing to Make the Natural State Even More Natural, What Would You Do? I would keep coal plants and coal mines out of our state.  There is a big movement in Arkansas to encourage the mining of lignite coal, and that has to stop!

Know a green Arkie? Leave a comment and let me know how I can get in touch with him or her.

Weekly Meal Roundup

dsc00779dsc00147Cold spell is back, and so are the hot pots. Eddy and I love to make kimchee hot pots when the weather gets cold. They are easy to make, you can eat LOTS of veggies, and you start sweating in no time.

This week we made a hot pot using kimchee made right here in Little Rock. The ladies at the Sam’s Oriental Store make them every week, and they are FANTASTIC!!! An added bonus – they reuse the glass jars that kimchee come in. Simply wash and return to the store after you finish eating. Isn’t it great?

We also thew in pork from the Petit Jean Farm, Napa cabbage and green onions from the Armstead Mountain Farm, and shiitake mushrooms from the Arkansas Natural Produce. YUM, YUM!!! The next day we used the leftover soup to make kimchee udon. Mmm…. we were in heaven!

Friday Eddy and I hosted the Arkansas Earth Institute Discussion Course After Party. Recently we finished taking the Voluntary Simplicity course, and we decided to celebrate the great time that we had by throwing a party. Thanks, everyone, for coming! Since we still have TONS of Arkansas strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, we decided to make mixed berry ice cream using the stored berries as well as our chickens’ eggs. It turned out great! We also made orange pecans using Arkansas pecans that we stored last fall. They were yummy as well!

What have you been eating lately? Share by leaving a comment! And now, here is the roundup for this past week.

Sunday

Breakfast – homemade whole wheat & rye pancakes made with homegrown eggs & AR pecans, topped with AR honey, homegrown eggs, AR sausage, home roasted coffee

Lunch – organic bow-tie pasta with homemade pesto made with AR basil & garlic

Dinner – homemade minestrone with Swiss chard & beans made with AR tomatoes & Swiss chard, pecan mashed sweet potatoes made with AR sweet potatoes & pecans, sauteed asparagus

Monday

Breakfast – organic War Eagle Mill (WEM) oatmeal with WEM flax and AR pecans, honey & honeybee pollen, banana, home roasted coffee

Lunch – organic udon with AR kale, homemade miso soup

Dinner – homemade stir-fried Asian vegetables made with AR cabbage, shiitake mushrooms & Napa cabbage, organic AR rice, homemade miso soup, home brewed beer

Tuesday

Breakfast – organic WEM oatmeal with WEM flax and AR pecans, honey & honeybee pollen, banana, home roasted coffee

Lunch – organic bow-tie pasta with homemade pesto made with AR basil & garlic

Dinner – dinner at Bosco’s (Thanks, Leah & Jason!)

Wednesday

Breakfast – organic WEM oatmeal with WEM flax and AR pecans, honey & honeybee pollen, banana, home roasted coffee

Lunch – homemade mustard green gratin, pecan mashed sweet potatoes made with AR sweet potatoes & pecans, arugula & radish salad made with AR arugula

Dinner – Mexican at El Dorado

Thursday

Breakfast – organic WEM oatmeal with WEM flax and AR pecans, honey & honeybee pollen, banana, home roasted coffee

Lunch – at Master Gardener’s class

Dinner – homemade Korean kimchee hot pot made with locally-made kimchee and AR pork, Napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms & green onions, homemade miso soup, organic AR rice, mixed green salad made with AR greens, topped with homemade miso vinaigrette, home brewed beer

Friday

Breakfast – homemade whole wheat & rye pancakes made with homegrown eggs & AR pecans, topped with AR honey, banana, AR sausage, home roasted coffee

Lunch – organic udon with leftover Korean kimchee soup, veggie dumplings

Dinner – homemade hummus, mixed berry ice cream made with homegrown eggs and AR milk, strawberries, blueberries & blackberries, orange pecans made with AR pecans, homemade goat cheese made with AR goat milk, homemade bread, Boulevard 8-grain bread, crackers, tofu spread from The Station, olives, Blueberry Hill cheese, taro chips, cookies, home brewed beer, wine, home roasted coffee, tea (Thanks, everyone, for coming and bringing stuff!)

Saturday

Breakfast – homemade French toast made with homemade bread, homegrown eggs, topped with AR honey, home roasted coffee

Lunch – pork ribs at the Storm on the Water Barbecue Contest at the Clinton Library (Thanks, Adam, for treating us!)

Dinner – too full from the barbecue contest to eat 🙂

Go Green & Opt Out of the System!

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One of the reasons why I like to cook from scratch is so that I don’t support companies that I disagree with unknowingly. Did you know that Phillip Morris owns Kraft Foods? I don’t care what other people do. If you choose to smoke, fine with me. Just don’t smoke around me. If you buy Kraft Foods products, go for it. But I choose not to support Kraft Foods because I don’t like smoking. I have no need for its products anyway. I make almost everything from scratch. 

Recently I added Barnes & Noble to the list of companies I refuse to support. Why? Because Barnes & Noble sponsors The Rush Limbaugh Show. The same show that has been broadcasting “Barack the Magic Negro” song since this past June. I find the song and any talk radio show that finds humor in airing the song to be racist. And I refuse to support any business that sponsors such shows. Barnes & Noble has responded to the public outcry, defending its sponsorship by saying it makes no political judgment about the books it carries, and it extends the same stance to the radio programs that it sponsors. “As we carry both conservative and liberal authors, we are on programs that reach both audience,” says Suzanne Peterson, Barnes & Noble’s Customer Relations Advocate. Now since when did all conservatives become racists? I dated a Republican for 4 years, and he and I were in an interracial relationship. Maybe I was asleep during the relationship. Besides, is racism a political issue? I thought it was an ethical issue. Perhaps I didn’t get the memo that conservatives have officially incorporated racism as part of their political platform. 

I don’t care how others feel about Barnes & Noble, but I sure won’t be supporting it anymore. I rarely go there anyway. I borrow books from the library, and if I can’t find a copy of the book I want at the library, I buy it used or request it from PaperBackSwap. By going green, I’ve opted out of the system that includes companies like Barnes & Noble and Phillip Morris. Oh, I’ve also opted out of Wal-Mart, Tyson, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and The Gap. Quite frankly, I don’t miss a thing!

Every dollar you spend affects the world you live in, so spend it wisely. Go green and opt out of the system!

It’s Freakin’…

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COLD!!! I did a post about Sierra Club’s monthly meeting, but I’m not sure if it’s happening (Glen, what say you?). On days like this, how do you keep warm? Some of the things Eddy and I do to keep us warm include: 

  • Layers, layers, and more layers – Today I have on a long-sleeved shirt, fleece jacket, fleece pants, and two pairs of socks. Recently I started knitting, and I plan to knit a pair of fingerless gloves so that my hands won’t be cold when typing. Growing up my mother knitted all kinds of stuff, including a wool underwear to wear on top of my underwear. It used to embarrass me when I was in kindergarten, but now I’m seriously considering knitting one for my cold booty. 
  • Slippers – Recently I bought a pair of slippers for $10, and boy, it was the best $10 I have ever spent. They keep my feet very warm. 
  • Blankets, blankets, and more blankets – Right now, in addition to all the clothes, I have a fleece blanket wrapped around my waist. I look silly, but at least I’m warm. During the day I am never without my blanket; it goes wherever I go. At night I sleep under three blankets. 
  • Cats – They keep our bed warm by spending pretty much all day on top of it. Other times they keep my lap warm, but they seem to prefer the bed over my lap. At night they snuggle up to us to keep them as well as us warm. They do not appreciate, however, when I pick them up and wrap them around my neck. 
  • Move my body –  I garden, clean, chase chickens and ducks, and generally move around so that my blood keeps going, and my body would be warm. 
  • Bake, bake, bake – Today we plan to bake New York Times No-Knead Bread and pumpkin bread as well as make granola and roast peanuts to make peanut butter. A slice of warm pumpkin bread topped with homemade peanut butter…YUM!
  • Hot drinks – Hot chocolate, tea, and coffee keep me going on cold days. They also keep my partner going to the bathroom at night. Too much liquid? 
  • Soup, soup, and more soup – I love all kinds of soup – butternut squash soup, lentil soup, spinach, tofu, and egg soup… the list goes on!
  • Let sun do the work – I keep blinds open during the day to let in sunshine. At night I close them to keep in heat. Our house is insulated, and we have double-pane windows, which help. 
  • Use heat only when necessary – During the day we set out thermostat at 60. At night we kill the heat because I get a sore throat when I sleep with the heat on, thanks to dry air. When out and about, we kill the heat. Some times one of us brings up the cats as the excuse to leave the heat on, but the other always rejects the idea, saying, “Cats have fur, right?”

In addition to what we do, I’ve been trying to talk Eddy into putting plastic on windows. I also want to install a wood stove, but that would require renovating the house. Oh, well. I guess I’ll go make another cup of hot chocolate!

How do you keep warm on cold days? Share your ideas by leaving a comment!

Every Knead for No Knead Bread

dsc00239Several weeks ago I wrote about how Eddy and I throw away trash once every 6 weeks. I’ve had so many people ask how we do it. Well, one of the ways we reduce trash is by cooking from scratch. We make tomato sauce from scratch, using local tomatoes that we froze. We make mozzarella, ricotta, and yogurt from scratch, eliminating plastic containers. We don’t buy bread; we bake bread, thus no packaging.

Baking bread is so easy with the New York Times’ No-Knead Bread recipe. I uploaded the recipe to the Recipes section, so check it out! You may find it hard to raise dough during the winter. If this is the case, place the dough in a warmer spot such as the top of your refrigerator. After we experienced difficulty raising dough, we put it on top of the water heater, and it rose wonderfully.

So, this Thanksgiving, how about baking a bread and eliminating packaging?