Dandelions revisited

In june I made a batch of dandelion liquer which I then proceeded to forget about and left to ferment. on getting back to uni we all decided to try it. it was a delicious very fruity liquer with a slight after taste for the alchohol.  I have been implored by my test subjects to make this again and will probably be giving away strained versions of the drink as gifts next year, a few of myfriends have suggested it had a mellow taste similiar to a sweet mead. however i have not tried mead so can’t compare the two.

I got the initial recipe from http://vallenuova.blogspot.it/2012/05/foraging-dandelion-liqueur.html

however the idea came from http://wildcraftvita.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/things-to-do-with-dandelions.html

the initial recipe You need:
100 dandelion flowers (collected when fully in bloom)
A syrup made with 250 g of water and 300 gr of sugar
2 whole lemons cut in pieces
Juice of 2 lemons
750 g of water
750 g of 95º alcohol
(you can use Vodka and reduce the amount of water accordingly)

English: Two dandelions side-by-side in some g...

English: Two dandelions side-by-side in some grass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make a syrup with 250 g of water and 300 g of sugar and let cool.

In a glass jar that you can close tightly put the flowers, lemons, lemon juice and syrup.
Close, store in a warm place and let rest for 1 week.
Add the 750g water and the alcohol and leave for about 3 months.
Filter and enjoy!

 

the adjustments i made was using honey instead of sugar and vodka instead of alcohol. only a tiny amount of vodka is needed however less than a teaspoon. the only other significant thing to note as i found with one of my earlier batches once open the mixture if not drunk within 3 or 4 days starts to go off. it would definitely be best to make this in smaller portions to avoid waste or invite friends round to help test each batch.

 

Kombucha continued

English: Mature Kombucha

English: Mature Kombucha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Hey again,

Last post I outlined the basics of Kombucha.  This time I am going to investigate  how to flavour the finished product.

 

 

Here is a video outlining the basics of how to start your own culture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z58FzJdliRE&feature=share&list=PLWzMfwDxBs_m9uVcO74d6KeRm8-eN6sGz

Once you have made your own Kombucha and got the hang of making plain batches you might want to have a go at flavouring.

Flavouring is done after the first fermentation. Once you have a batch of plain Kombucha you are happy with you can decant some of it into a separate Glass container (don’t forget to set aside some of your kombucha mix to start your next plain batch)  and then begin to experiment by adding the flavours of your choice. Bear in mind that Kombucha is a living substance so do not use chemicals to flavour it. Instead why not try adding fruit or fruit juice.

Once you have added the ingredients you are using to flavour the Kombucha then you have to re-cover it (still allowing it to breath) and leave it to re-ferment in a warmish (room temperature) place out of direct sunlight. After 5 to 14 days it will be ready to drink depending on your personal taste. Don’t forget to leave a comment on your own mixtures as it is always nice to find new flavours.

There is a fantastic video available on how to flavour Kombucha available here:

Kombucha – homemade mushroom tea

 

Kombucha culture fermenting in a jar

Kombucha culture fermenting in a jar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is Kombucha-  non-alcoholic fermented mushroom tea

I went out a few weeks ago to celebrate the end of the academic year with friends and as a last day out before everyone starts to leave. We dropped into our favourite health-food café and they had something new called kombucha on the menu, naturally I wanted to try this. It tasted like apple cider without the alcoholic content. When I got home I looked it up :Kombucha is a tea based drink with possible medicinal properties made from special fermented mushrooms. It has been suggested to help the liver and have a positive effect on people with chronic fatigue and ME. Although there is no medical evidence to prove or disprove the suggested properties of the drink.

I decided that I would love to have a go at making this tea and looked into how it was made. I discovered it was simple however you needed a starter batch of previously made kombucha to begin. My health food store didn’t have any but suggested checking online. I purchased the scoby starter mushrooms from ebay and will be having a go when they arrive. I will be posting more here as I go.

If you have any questions please leave feedback.

The recipe I am using is below. I don’t have a starter tea so will be replacing this with white vinegar as suggested.

Will let you know how i have got on in a few weeks.

How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home

Makes about 1 gallon

What You Need

Ingredients

3 1/2 quarts water
1 cup white sugar
8 bags black tea (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
2 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored) kombucha
1 scoby per fermentation jar
Optional flavoring extras for bottling: 1 to 2 cups chopped fruit, 2 to 3 cups fruit juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey), 1/4 cup honey, 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices

Equipment

Stock pot
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids, 6 swing-top bottles, or clean soda bottles

Instructions

Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.

1. Make the Tea Base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.

2. Add the Starter Tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)

3. Transfer to Jars and Add the Scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar (or divide between two 2-quart jars, in which case you’ll need 2 scobys) and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towels secured with a rubber band.

4. Ferment for 7 to 10 Days: Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically.

It’s not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it’s ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.

After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.

5. Remove the Scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick.

6. Bottle the Finished Kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle. (Alternatively, infuse the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another jar covered with cheesecloth, strain, and then bottle. This makes a cleaner kombucha without “stuff” in it.)

7. Carbonate and Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha: Store the bottled kombucha at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it’s helpful to keep it in plastic bottles; the kombucha is carbonated when the bottles feel rock solid. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.

8. Make a Fresh Batch of Kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.

Additional Notes:

Batch Size: To increase or decrease the amount of kombucha you make, maintain the basic ratio of 1 cup of sugar, 8 bags of tea, and 2 cups starter tea per gallon batch. One scoby will ferment any size batch, though larger batches may take longer.

Putting Kombucha on Pause: If you’ll be away for 3 weeks or less, just make a fresh batch and leave it on your counter. It will likely be too vinegary to drink by the time you get back, but the scoby will be fine. For longer breaks, store the scoby in a fresh batch of the tea base with starter tea in the fridge. Change out the tea for a fresh batch every 4 to 6 weeks.

Other Tea Options: Black tea tends to be the easiest and most reliable for the scoby to ferment into kombucha, but once your scoby is going strong, you can try branching out into other kinds. Green tea, white tea, oolong tea, or a even mix of these make especially good kombucha. Herbal teas are ok, but be sure to use at least a few bags of black tea in the mix to make sure the scoby is getting all the nutrients it needs. Avoid any teas that contain oils, like earl grey or flavored teas.

Avoid Prolonged Contact with Metal: Using metal utensils is generally fine, but avoid fermenting or bottling the kombucha in anything that brings them into contact with metal. Metals, especially reactive metals like aluminum, can give the kombucha a metallic flavor and weaken the scoby over time.

Troubleshooting Kombucha

• It is normal for the scoby to float on the top, bottom, or sideways in the jar. It is also normal for brown strings to form below the scoby or to collect on the bottom. If your scoby develops a hole, bumps, dried patches, darker brown patches, or clear jelly-like patches, it is still fine to use. Usually these are all indicative of changes in the environment of your kitchen and not a problem with the scoby itself.

• Kombucha will start off with a neutral aroma and then smell progressively more vinegary as brewing progresses. If it starts to smell cheesy, rotten, or otherwise unpleasant, this is a sign that something has gone wrong. If you see no signs of mold on the scoby, discard the liquid and begin again with fresh tea. If you do see signs of mold, discard both the scoby and the liquid and begin again with new ingredients.

• A scoby will last a very long time, but it’s not indestructible. If the scoby becomes black, that is a sign that it has passed its lifespan. If it develops green or black mold, it is has become infected. In both of these cases, throw away the scoby and begin again.

• To prolong the life and maintain the health of your scoby, stick to the ratio of sugar, tea, starter tea, and water outlined in the recipe. You should also peel off the bottom (oldest) layer every few batches. This can be discarded, composted, used to start a new batch of kombucha, or given to a friend to start their own.

• If you’re ever in doubt about whether there is a problem with your scoby, just continue brewing batches but discard the kombucha they make. If there’s a problem, it will get worse over time and become very apparent. If it’s just a natural aspect of the scoby, then it will stay consistent from batch to batch and the kombucha is fine for drinking.

 

Recipe taken from:http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-173858

 

Good place for more info http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-tea-frequently-asked-questions-faq

Another blogger who writes about their experience of kombucha: http://www.sarahbethrosa.com/2012/12/29/home-brew-kombucha-day-17-transfer-of-the-scoby/

http://www.commonsensehome.com/healthy-homebrew-kombucha/

 

Mango Madness

When I went to the shop they had mangoes reduced from £2 to 40p each. I love mango and at this point got carried away buying three instead of just one. So here is what I decided to do with my mango’s:Mango Madness 001

1)      I decided to have a go at making Aamras suggested by : http://karma-free-cooking.com/2010/06/29/incredible-india-all-over-again-%E2%80%93-sweets/ I got the recipe from http://www.spiceupthecurry.com/aamras-recipe-aamras-puripoori/.

Aamras is very easy to make you blend a mango, add the flavouring of your choice, mix together then chill in the fridge before eating with puri or rice. I am going to be trying mine with cinnamon and rice.

I found a recipe for puri here with pictures for anyone who wants to try making their own puri: http://www.rakskitchen.net/2012/06/puri-recipe-poori-recipe-breakfast.html

2)      Next I had a go at Mango curd suggested by http://www.seriouseats.com/user/profile/Saria recipe taken from http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/06/project-wedding-cake-mango-curd/. You add the fruit of one mango, 1/3 of a cup of sugar, 3 tbsp citrus juice and a pinch of salt to the food processor. Blend. Add 4 egg yolks ( I use the whites to make omelette). Blend again for about 15 seconds. Pour contents into a metal bowl. Place metal bowl above a saucepan of boiling water (not touching the water). Stir until mix starts to thicken. Take bowl off heat and mix in ¼ cup of butter. Then place in the fridge overnight. Once set it is ready to top toast or bind cakes.

Mango curd about to go in the fridge

Mango curd about to go in the fridge

You can find a video of my attempt here http://youtu.be/bjqdEzKnZ6E

 

3) Finally I made Chicken and mango curry. I used my final mango and 3 chicken breasts. Both sliced.  I cooked 1 sliced onion and my chicken in a wok then added the mango and a tin of tomatoes. I added a tiny bit of coconut some chilli, cardamom and a teaspoon of curry powder. Stirred everything together and cooked on a low heat whilst I made rice. Once the rice was cooked I served the curry and enjoyed. I hope you enjoy too.

Fruit leather

Preserving fruit for later may not save you much money (in season fruit is usually cheaper) but it is a lot of fun. There are many different methods for preserving fruit other than freezing or making jam. Here I explain how to make fruit leather.

 

Cheese making 004

 

I wanted to have a look at some of the different methods available for preserving fruit and try them out. So I Googled fruit preservation. I keep getting the suggestions of canning, dehydrating (or salting), pickling and freezing .

The first thing I decided to try was fruit leather. This is involves making fruit mush, boiling it down with water and honey before then allowing it to dry out at a very low temperature (about 50 degrees) in the oven. This can then be stored in an air-tight box for months (there has been suggestion of years). I got the recipe for this from: http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Make-Fruit-Leather.htm . My experience of having a go was fun. I cooked pears with cinnamon and honey before using my hand held processor to create a smooth mush. Unfortunately, I got halfway through the recipe before realising that we had run out of cling-film (obviously I should have learnt by now to check stock before I begin a recipe). It was an early closing day and the shops had already all shut but I had a pan of fruit puree ready to dehydrate. Instead of lining my baking tray I just poured it straight on and anxiously hoped for the best.

I placed this in the oven at 50 degrees with the door shut then waited. Checking every few hours to see what was happening.

Eventually, about eight hours later, the leather had dried out. It smelt wonderful and I had to resist the urge to eat it then and there. I scraped it off the tray using a metal spatula and folded it up so it would fit in a box. It is now stored in the fridge.

I have had a few pieces and it is amazing. It is great to take out to munch on when busy, I just stick a bit in a food bag.

 

 

The whey to make your own cheese

I have always wanted to have a go at making my own cheese but have always been put off by my assumption of the need for complex ingredients and equipment. Then I found this recipe for Labneh a simple cheese that can in made in 24 to 48 hours.  http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Making-Labneh.htm. This inspired me to look for more easy cheese recipes.

I bought some whole milk, 500g of Greek yogurt, a pack of clean dishcloths to use as cheese cloths and some more honey.

Straining Yogurt

Straining Yogurt (Photo credit: eekim)

Making the Labneh was very simple. I mixed salt into the yogurt. I placed one of my clothes inside my colander covering the holes and then poured my salt yogurt mix into this. I brought the edges together ensuring none of the mix escaped and sealed it at the top with a food clip (the recipe suggested elastic or string but I used the first thing that came to hand). Then I left this mix to drip over a bowl for the next 24 hours.

Next, feeling a bit braver, I moved on to making my own curds and whey. I used the recipe from wiki how: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Cheese-at-Home to attempt this. I boiled two cups of milk. Then I turned the hob off and mixed in 4 teaspoons of vinegar leaving the pan on the hob. I left the pan for about seven minutes then strained the mixture through my substitute cheesecloth lined colander. I doubled up my cloths for the next bit just in case. I squeezed water (this is the whey) out of my curds and then skipped the option to add salt before hanging this next to my Labneh to drip. Next time I make this I will probably try adding herbs at the salt stage but this time I wanted to try the basic cheese before I began to experiment with the flavour.

3 hours later- checking on my curds and whey I found my small parcel solid enough to place in the fridge. My Labneh mix was still very soft I placed this in the fridge too. I tied both to the shelf above allowing them to continue to drip. I now had two cheese mixes which needed to be left a minimum of twenty four hours to mature.

24 hours later I decided to test the cheese.

The Labneh was still very soft but had formed into a delicious creamy cheese. I tested this on toast and would definitely make it again. It was so easy that I would try this recipe again with my three year old nephew who loves helping in the kitchen.

The Curds had hardened into a solid ball and on tasting had very little flavour reminding me and my friend of mozzarella. There was also a slightly vinegary taste around the edges. This may have been due to my adding slightly more vinegar than suggested to help the curds separate from the whey. If I made this again I would buy un-homogenised milk instead of the normal whole milk.  I would also add some basic herbs to change the taste or use it on pizza instead of eating the cheese cold.

The results- This was fantastic fun and I would try it again. When I have another go I would like to try making cheese using goat’s milk instead of cows. I would also like to test the fridge life of the cheese but this would involve leaving it long enough to go off (a difficult challenge in my house).

Once again thanks for reading. I hope this has been in some way helpful and don’t forget to share your own experience.

Best wishes

Rachael

 

P.S. Here are some picture of my cheese although forgot to take photo’s until after it had already been tasted so the recipes make more than seen.

 

Homemade Labneh (soft cheese) in blue cloth

Homemade Labneh (soft cheese) in blue cloth

Homemade hard cheese from curds and whey mix

Homemade hard cheese from curds and whey mix

May’s Jump Off The Ladder Challenge

Flickr today

Flickr today (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I found an amazing challenge that I am going to attempt to undertake. This involves jumping off the social ladder and then learning to live with just the things you need leading to less stress and commitment. More info can be found here: http://tshirtsandtwine.com/2013/04/08/jump-off-the-ladder-challenge/  according to

Today is the first day of the challenge as per the rules

I have to remember to check back on the website and record my updates four times:
~ Once during the week of May 12th-18th
~ Once during the week of the 19th-25th
~ Once during the week of the 26th-31st
~ Once on or after June 1st.

According to the blog here is what you have to do:

  1. Enter the Jump Off the Ladder challenge by filling out the form at the top of the right sidebar before May 12th.
  2. Chronicle your progress by submitting updates once a week for the three-ish weeks of the challenge, and one final submission on or after June 1st to summarize your experience (for a total of four updates.)
  3. Win free stickers, and be entered in a drawing for a t-shirt!

How easy is that?! Now for some quick reminders about the criteria for the challenges.

Choose from one of the following “umbrella” categories:

  • Possessions
  • Time
  • Money

Design a personal challenge for your selected category. Some examples of personal challenges include not eating out (money), cutting all time commitments other than family and work/school (time), or living on only one or two pairs of shoes (possessions). Get creative, but remember that jumping off the ladder involves making a dramatic, scary, and possibly uncomfortable change for 20 days. If at the end of the 20 days you decide to go back to your status quo, that’s fine. Just be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by your success!

So there you have it. How easy is that? You can tailor the challenge to your own needs.

I am going to concentrate on Time and Money. I want to slow down and reclaim my time for myself. I also want to spend less money on processed food and supermarket shopping. Instead I want to use the few local shops more often and try making more food from basics.

I will update you on my progression. Support and feedback is as always appreciated. Why not  check it out for yourself at: http://tshirtsandtwine.com/category/blog/lifestyle/jump-off-the-ladder/

Homemade flour

After all the examining of back to basics I had a sudden inspiration. Could I make my own flour? Most of my favourite recipes involve some sort of flour but if I made my own would it be cheaper than buying it from the shop.

I decided to test this theory out. I have never made my own flour before so started by doing some research. I wanted to discover what flour could be made out of. Were there any ingredients I could forage for or anything lying in the back of my cupboard that could be used.

I found that often you don’t need specific flour for a recipe and can adapt the recipe to suit the flour.  One example, which shows how to use normal flour instead of self-raising and vice versa can be found here: http://southernfood.about.com/cs/breads/ht/self_rise_flour.htm

Then I remembered that acorns are sometimes used to make flour. There are no acorn trees near us but there is a recipe for acorn flour here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Acorn-Flour orhttp://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Making-Acorn-Flour.htm  Don’t forget to rinse out the acorn mush before drying to remove tannins (which are bitter and poisonous but thankfully water soluble)

Next I looked at rice flour: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Rice-Flour . However after reading reviews about white rice flour is mainly used for thickening soups, stocks and stews and not for baking. What I needed was an all -round multi-purpose flour that was inexpensive to produce.

 I found a handy list of different types of flours you can make and level of difficulty at: http://www.attunefoods.com/blog/2013/04/how-to-make-your-own-gluten-free-flours-in-3-minutes-or-less/

The two that appealed to me were rice and oats as I already had these in. I decided to make a small batch and see how I got on.

I made a batch of oat flour which was fantastic and my old blender processed in seconds. I now have a tub of oat flour which I will be using in my next bake session. Probably to make pasta or bread.

cooking attempts flour 003

However when it came to producing the rice flour I tried both blending it with water and blending it dry. Blending it with water slightly crushed the rice but that was all no sign of flour after a good ten Minuet’s of holding my hands over my ears to counter the noise made by the machine.

Rice flour wet blend

Rice flour wet blend

Blending the rice dry in an attempt to crush it was more effective with an obvious sign of flour. As you can see against the plastic of the tub. Unfortunately my poor old blender was not up to the challenge of totally crushing the grains. In the case of rice I think some kind of grinder definitely needs to be used.

Rice flour dry blend

Rice flour dry blend

Eventually after much searching of the web I found this awesome recipe for multipurpose gluten free flour and the importance of the ratio of different ingredient with suggestions and a how to video. Check it out at: http://glutenfreegirl.com/2012/07/how-to-make-a-gluten-free-all-purpose-flour-mix/ . This site was amazing as it showed how to balance my homemade flours to ensure that they could be used for most cooking just like normal flour. I didn’t intend to learn how to make gluten free flour when I set out but it was an added bonus as several of my friends are gluten intolerant (celiac). I will definitely be using some of these (easier to crush) combinations in future when we have a baking spree.

At Gluten-Free-Girl they suggest using 40% wholegrain flour to 60% white flour or starches and provide a list of examples for each category.

I have now learnt how to make my own flour and would love to make some acorn flour when I get a chance. However, I think for now I will be sticking with basic shop bought flour. For those of us who can get away with gluten flour it is still cheaper to buy it from the shops at 65p for 1.5kg of Sainsbury’s basic flour compared to 40p for 500g of basic rice. This can be made cheaper if you buy in bulk but not everyone has access to bulk-discount store and for this experiment I only wanted small amounts and had to rely on the local supermarket. However, for those who are intolerant to gluten making your own is a much cheaper alternative to the shop priced packs.

Related

http://www.forgivingmartha.com/ – a blog by a gluten free dairy free chef who cooks amazing masterpieces from her apartment.

http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/index.htm – website for anyone interested in foraging and recipe ideas.

https://frogandcount.wordpress.com/

Basic Pasta Variations

English: A plate of cellentani (also referred ...

English: A plate of cellentani (also referred to as cavatappi) pasta with pesto and tomatoes as prepared by the photographer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello and thanks for following my blog. Today I build on my earlier post and provide some ideas for variations to the basic pasta recipe. You can find the post here: https://frogandcount.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/basic-pasta/

If you take the basic recipe you can, in theory, add anything you want to change it to your taste. I usually stick to herbs and vegetables as it is easier to mix in and it has less effect on the cooking time than meat or dairy.

Choose what you would like to add and mix it (with a blender where possible) into the egg before adding to the flour.

Remember that if you add a more liquid substance then you will need to add less liquid later to make the dough stiff. It’s a case of experimenting and adding more flour or water until you get the ideal consistency.

Here are a few suggestions of things to add to your mix but don’t forget you can add your own.

Why not try:

Dandelion leaves

Spinach

Grated carrot

Fresh vegetarian pasta (2528005054)

Fresh vegetarian pasta (2528005054) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

½-1 tin of tomatoes (will need to blend this with egg to get a smooth paste)

Pesto (I prefer red, you can use shop bought or homemade)

Mixed herbs

 

Or for a less savoury alternative:

Grated orange zest

Cocoa powder

One sweet pasta recipe I would like to try next time I have friends for dinner is Bittersweet chocolate ravioli:  http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/36/Bittersweet_Chocolate_Ravioli44066.shtml

This shows that you can do whatever you like once you have mastered the basic recipe. Sweet or savoury budget and imagination are the only limits.

Good luck and please share your own unique pasta recipe alternatives.

Best wishes

Rachael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello

This is a week of firsts. I have had lots of new and exciting experiences. all of which were extremely cheep, if not free. I wanted to enjoy the sunshine that has suddenly appeared and i needed to do some gardening. I decided to dig out a few dandelions to make coffee and salad. Yet, with some help from my sister and a few recipe suggestions i managed to create: a jar of cough syrup, a jar of dandelion Liqueur which will be ready in 4 weeks (I will let you know when i try it), two frozen boxes of pasta, coffee for four and a very happy bunny. I dug up the plant including the roots and spent a very productive time in the kitchen doing some experimental cooking. However i fed my first batch of pasta to 4 of us and everyone enjoyed it.

I used the recipe from http://ediblewildplants.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/dandelion-pasta-and-garlic-mustard-pesto/
for the pasta but substituted my own sauce for the pesto. I used the dandelion stalks, garlic, red onion, chilli and oil to coat the pasta and make very happy students.

The other recipes were taken from http://wildcraftvita.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/things-to-do-with-dandelions.html
It was a fantastic day, I got to enjoy the sunshine, spend time in the garden and got plenty of exercise whilst weeding definitely preferable to the gym.

this is the first of what i hope will be many posts. My aim is to enjoy as much as possible for as little as possible. Anything free i want to try. making my last uni year more exciting without breaking the bank.

hope you have a fantastic week and i will let you know how i get on.
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