Taking a Break

Hi there!  Thank you for taking time to read 2Dogs.  We truly appreaciate your readership.

The boys and I haven’t been anywhere since the Butte Creek campout, and boy does that seem like it was a long time ago. In an ideal world we would be “out there”, but this is far from an ideal world and our adventures are on hold for now.

With the holidays coming up and everyone busier than busy it just seems like a little break is in order so I am putting the blog on hold until after the first of the year. I had several posts in mind regarding further rennovations done to Miss Freedom, just some little things,  but I am leaving those until 2017 and taking this hiatus.

I do want to leave you something, though, and this recipe using non-refrigerated ingredients fit the bill nicely. Quick, easy, and delish if you are allowed dairy in your diet. This simple recipe makes having sour cream a reality when you have little means of keeping things cold for long–or you can keep it on hand in your pantry at home; sometimes emergencies happen. A container of store-bought sour cream does not keep well in a cooler or even in a 12 volt fridge if you’re anywhere on the warmer side of temps so here’s the solution. Two ingredients are all you need and you can make it on demand.

MEDIA CREMA SOUR CREAM

1 8 oz can Media Crema (found in the Mexican food section in most grocery stores)

1 teaspoon of white vinegar. You could also use a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice in pinch, but it works best with the vinegar.

Shake the can of Media Crema (literally “half cream”), open, and pour into a plastic container with a lid.  Plastic because this is for travel, right? I am sure you can use glass with no ill effects. ;-).  Add the 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and mix it well.

Now there are two ways to proceed. Put the lid on the container and place in your fridge or cooler for half hour and it should thicken up. Stir and enjoy.  If it’s not thick enough, or you know from the get-go that you want it really thick, add another teaspoon of white vinegar, but don’t use more than 2 teaspoons.

Keep in cooler/refrigerator for just a day or two if you have any leftover. 

And there you have it. Sour cream with ingredients you can keep on hand in your RV or in the pantry at home for emergencies. Easy peasy.

fabulous-coffee

The boys and I wish you the very best of the coming holiday season: First, a spooky fun Halloween, a fabulous Thanksgiving, and the merriest Christmas ever.  See you next year.

Hugs, Shawna, Burger, Fries, and Charlie

 

 

 

 

Peach Cobbler

Hey there–today I have a tasty post; a solar cooker experiment that turned out really well. I wanted to try something sweet, but it still had to be diet friendly and delicious. This peach cobbler filled both those requirements.

First the recipe. It’s one from the McDougall cookbook so there’s no refined sugar in it and since I had an abundance of peaches from my tree this year (that’s only happened twice since I planted fruit trees 7 years ago.) I swapped out the blueberries called for in the recipe for these luscious peaches  I had on hand. Fruit is a crap shoot in Burney, California, and I won the jackpot this year.

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Peach Cobbler (or blueberry, or ?)

2/3 C whole wheat pastry flour        2/3 C vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder                       3 Tbs Honey

Pinch of salt (optional)                        2 C sliced peaches

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in “milk” and honey and mix until smooth. Pour batter into a dark non stick baking pan, 9 x 13, and sprinkle fruit over the top. You can sprinkle some cinnamon on top, too, if you like.  Place the pan inside a clear plastic bag, vented to let the moisture escape, and place in the solar cooker. Go do something fun.   ** If you’re cooking in a regular oven preheat to 350, use an 8″ square pan, and cook for 45 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

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With solar cooking there are some key points to remember:

  • You must use a dark pan … this pulls in the needed heat. Shiny will deflect the heat.
  • For baking, and best results, you need to keep the cooker facing the sun so this means turning the whole cooker every now and then. This is to keep the heat consistant.
  • Shallow pans are best, but if the batter is right near the rim you will have to use something to keep the plastic off the top of the cobbler so it will brown –otherwise you’re going to have soggy cobbler. I used a shallow pan for my first attempt and ended up having to use a glass jar to prop the plastic up.
  • It will take much longer to cook by solar than by convential means.  Probably 3 to 4 times longer. The nice thing is, other than turning the cooker, you don’t have to babysit it. It won’t burn!
  • Baking means venting. You will need to enclose your baking pan in a plastic bag to hold the heat in, but it will also need to be vented so moisture doesn’t build up.
  • The pan will be HOT. Use mitts or a towel any time you grab a pan in the cooker and wear sunglasses so the brightness of the cooker doesn’t blind you. 😉 Only half kidding about this. I have really sun sensitive eyes and I do wear sunglasses when solar cooking.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs. Hugs, Shawna  Life is uncertain

Time Slows Down

As in all things that we are looking forward to, it can never come fast enough. My dream of traveling the USA may be put off another year.  Many things are going on that may prevent my escape into a different way of living, but I won’t bore you with all that.  I will continue to move forward toward the goal, and since it’s all in God’s hands anyway, I relinquish my time table to his wisdom of when the dream should move forward …  the timing will be perfect.

To keep myself on track I have been scouring cookbooks and my recipe collection (which is infinitely smaller since I have gone through it and all but threw everything out) for meals that will dehydrate well.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not planning on eating nothing but dehydrated meals, but I do want to have a supply on hand for emergencies.  Not so different from being in a sticks and bricks is it? I believe we should be prepared for emergencies wherever we may be. And it’s also nice to have something available for a quick meal when you’ve returned from a long day of hiking, biking, or whatever you’ve been doing. Just adding some boiling water to a dehydrated meal would sound pretty good, wouldn’t it?

Along that line of thinking I thought perhaps it would be a nice feature to add a recipe section to the 2Dogs blog, so I will be working on that as time allows. Between my transcription job, downsizing, and what seems like a continual stream of postings on the local swap and trade Facebook site and listings on eBay, I keep pretty darn busy.

My first attempt at dehydrating something with a lot of liquid in it is drying away as I write this;  What is left from my electric pressure cooker batch of Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup.  Might not sound good to some of you, but I assure you it is delicious.

Lastly, I would like to announce that the Kinship and Courage book series has been taken.  Enjoy Roberta, these books are very good reads.DSC_0249

 

YUMMY!

Hi there!  Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Spring is upon us in a big way and the The Chiweenie Brothers, Burger, and I are all enjoying it. 

The flowering quince is in full bloom

And the bleeding heart is beautiful this year. 

I have a recipe to share with you today — van dwellers don’t leave — that makes the possibility of roasted vegetables a reality in the hot days ahead when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.  Have been wanting to try  roasting some vegetables in my crock pot and since I had a sack of brussel sprouts in the fridge, I decided it was a good day to try this.  NOTE:  I am not a huge fan of brussel sprouts, but I have to admit the sauce in this recipe makes those little cabbages uber good, not to mention healthy. Those two words usually don’t go very well together!  Throwing in some carrots made the whole thing even better.  YUMMY!

SPICY ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS FOR THE CROCK POT  adapted from PureWow.com

Ingredients
1 1/2 Pounds brussel sprouts
1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup rice-wine vinegar  (I’ve used plain ol’ wine vinegar and it works just as well)
1/4 Cup honey
2 Tablespoons Siracha  (If you don’t like super spicy, cut this back to 1 tablespoon)
Salt and pepper to taste

Use some of the olive oil to coat the bottom of your crock pot. You don’t need a lot, just enough to keep the vegetable(s) from sticking. Turn your pot to high.

Trim the base away from the brussel sprouts and discard.  Cut the sprouts in half.  Put the sprouts in your crock pot and stir them around to lightly coat with the oil. Place a paper towel over your crock pot and place the lid on top.  The paper towel will absorb the extra moisture.  You may need to change it out once.  Cook for about 1/ 1/2  to 2 hours, maybe more.  It all depends on your crock pot and the size of the sprouts you are making. 

Once your brussel sprouts are tender, mix up the remaining oil with the rest of the ingredients and pour over the sprouts, mixing well.  Cook for another half hour or so.  Dig in!!

I made this with fewer brussel sprouts and added carrots (cut in small chunks).  You could use any assortment of vegetables that you normally roast in your oven and it would be wonderful; any of the root vegetables, sweet potatoes, onions, bell peppers, etc.  Use whatever you want, but I’d try it with the brussel sprouts first.  And I gobbled this up so fast I forgot to get a photo…..you will have to be content with the flowers.  Sorry! 

WHY I WANTED THE VAN DWELLERS TO STICK AROUND —–

As many of you van dwellers know — or maybe you don’t — they make a 12 volt crock pot that you can plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.  How cool is that?  It even comes with a cord to secure the lid.  One of these is on my wish list!!  So, if you are planning on changing camps, just going for a drive that may last an hour or two,  or travelling to another destination, make this recipe and let it cook while you are on the road.  And just think of all the other things you will be able to cook while you are driving down the road enjoying the scenery.

Next, I want to try roasting these little gems in a solar oven.  But that’s down the road.  Why?  Because I haven’t put one together yet.  It’s on my To-Do List 🙂 

Hugs to you,
Shawna

 

Recipe

Good morning!  So glad you could stop by today.  I don’t know if any of you are canners, but I wanted to share my Dilly Beans recipe with you in case you have a bumper crop of green beans or want to buy some from a local farmer’s market and can a few.  They are easy and delicious…………..and they are super to take along on a picnic, but they won’t last until next summer!  You can begin eating them after they have sat on the shelf for a couple of weeks to let the flavors develop.  Because of the high acidity of the vinegar, these beans can be safely processed in a boiling water bath  Hope you like them!

Dilly Green Beans

4 pounds whole green beans
1 3/4 t crushed dried hot red pepper
3 1/2 t dried dill seed, OR 7 fresh heads of dill
7 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, OR use equivalent in chopped garlic (you know, the kind in the jar 🙂
5 C apple cider vinegar
5 C water
1/2 C less 1 T pickling salt (non-iodized)

Wash beans thoroughly, remove stems and tips, and cut them as much as possible into uniform lengths to allow them to stand upright in 1-pint canning jars—  Or you can use 1/2 pints, just cut them shorter—-, coming to the shoulder of the jar.  Have jars clean and very hot, and lids and sealers ready in scalding water.  In each jar place 1/2 t dill seed (or one dill head), 1 garlic clove (or equivalent in chopped garlic), and 1/4 t crushed hot red pepper.  Pack beans upright in jars, leaving 1 inch of headroom.  Heat together the water, vinegar, and salt; when the mixture boils, pour it over the beans, filling each jar to 1/2 inch from the top.  Run a table knife down and around to remove trapped air, adjust lids, and process in a Boiling-Water Bath (212 F/100 C) for 10 minutes (or longer if you are above 3000 feet; check a reliable source for correct processing times) after the water in the canner returns to boiling.  Remove jars, complete seals if necessary.  Makes 7 pints.
PS If you substitute GROUND cayenne pepper for the CRUSHED hot red pepper be sure to halve the amount of cayene:  Use only 1/8 t of cayenne to each jar.  Wait at least two weeks for these beans to develop their flavor.

If you give this a try, please let me know how you like them. I would love to hear from you!!!!