Carrots You’ll Want to Eat

Back in early April, Jessa decided to grow carrots in her section of the garden.
IMG_2994This week, she was able to harvest a large bunch of them.
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IMG_3513One little carrot in particular made us chuckle…
IMG_3519Looks a little like a leg model, eh?

While she originally planned to just feed them to the horse, we thought we’d try them out too.  Now, this family doesn’t love carrots.  But, here’s a recipe that I’ve found works for everyone’s tastebuds and keeps them from turning up their noses at this vegetable.
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Sweet and Savory Carrots

1-2 c of carrots sliced thin
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Place sliced carrots in pot and just barely cover them with water.  Add butter, sugar, and salt to pot and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and reduce to a simmer.  Cook the carrots about 7 or 8 minutes then remove the lid and raise the heat a little.  Let the water reduce until it almost evaporates.  This takes a few minutes and creates a delicious sauce for the carrots.  Check your seasonings and adjust if necessary.

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Ahh Nuts!

We really enjoy trying new recipes, but when we find something we like we tend to make it…a lot.  It’s not necessarily a rut because whatever it is we really enjoy, it always tastes delicious, and it just seems to get better with each appearance in our cooking repertoire.  Lately, we have been on the look out for fun and interesting things to try that challenge our culinary talents.  This week’s choice is homemade NUT BUTTER!

I can’t even begin to describe how phenomenally fantastic and fresh this nut butter tastes.  Jiff ain’t got nut-nut-nuttin’ on the Fetch clan’s stuff!  Check out how ridiculously easy this is…..4 ingredients and a food processor are all you need.

Maple Roasted Almond Butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 c almonds (we used sliced almonds)
1-2 teaspoons nut oil (we had peanut oil on hand)*
pinch of kosher salt

Spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 325 for about 10 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.

Once done, allow them to cool then add them to the food processor.  Add in the maple syrup.  (1 Tbsp was enough for our taste…if you’d like it sweeter, just add more syrup!)  Turn the processor on and let ‘er rip.  Let it go for about a minute then scrape down the sides, replace the lid, and rev up the processor again.  Keep scraping down the sides as needed.

If necessary, add a little oil (see note below*).  After spinning in the processor for a good while (5 minutes at the very least), do a taste test!  (Some recipes call for a 15-20 minute run of the processor with breaks in between to avoid overheating….it didn’t take ours nearly this long.)  If you want, add a pinch of salt.  We found a little salt to be quite pleasing.

*Please note, you may not need any oil.  It depends on how much moisture is in your nuts.  Ours needed a little so we drizzled it in about a teaspoon at a time.  Without it, our nut butter stayed fairly dry and just didn’t get creamy enough.   When your nut butter reaches a creamy consistency, it’s done!  Some recipes recommend keeping it in the fridge so that’s we did.

We spread our trial-run version on a slice of homemade whole wheat bread.  Holy nut butter!!  It is simply ahh-mazing!!

Here’s what really happened…

  • The recipe we followed said to add the syrup to the nuts before roasting them.  Well, sugar tends to burn…quickly.  So while the recipe said to bake for 15-20 minutes, we discovered that even at 10 minutes they were a little crispy burnt.  We scoured the pan for the handful that had gotten a tad too toasty and tossed them in the trash.  We added the remainder to the food processor.
  • My sweet husband has quite a sweet tooth and decided to add a little more syrup during our trial run before gettin’ the spin on.
  • We did have to add some oil as the nuts were pretty thick and chunky and not much like a spreadable butter.
  • After being churned into butter, the final product seemed a little skimpy.  We agreed to increase the amount of nuts the next time.  The recipe above reflects the changes that worked for us.
  • We made a second batch with the necessary changes and decided to combine batch #1 with batch #2.

This is a good method to follow for making your own nut butter.  Taste test it along the way and make changes that suit you.   You could certainly experiment with different nuts and flavors.  I’ve been daydreaming of different flavors to try!  Please let us know if you create something fantastically nutty that we should know about.

Perfect Pancake

I guess I’ve gotten behind on my recipe posts and somehow this one slipped through the cracks!  I was reminiscing about how good it is while flipping through some photos today.  You must try this recipe!  Whip it up on a weekend morning for your love or impress your house guests!  Dust a little flour on your cheek and they’ll think you’ve been slaving away for them.  Or just make one for yourself and devour the whole thing.

This pancake is not a traditional fluffy pancake that you’d flip on a griddle.  No ma’am.  You make this one in a pan in the oven!  The sides of the pancake sort of creep up the sides of the pan and get a little crunchy around the edges.  Heaven in a pan.  Okay, here’s the deal:

PERFECT PANCAKE

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (whole probably works best, but we used skim)
2 eggs lightly beaten
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons butter
powdered sugar

Heat oven to 425.  Mix together flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg, leaving batter a little lumpy.  Melt butter in skillet on stovetop.  When it gets really hot (but not brown) pour in batter.  Transfer skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This was our first attempt.  The sides didn’t really “creep” like they were supposed to but it was tasty nonetheless.

We topped ours with fresh blueberries heated on the stove with a little butter and sugar.  The kids like a few chocolate chips.  You could use any topping you like…a little squeeze of fresh lemon tastes great too!  This would also make a great dessert.  It’s very light and a little savory.

No matter how you top it, I guarantee you’ll end up with an empty plate!