Cranberry Salsa- Versions 1 and 2 and ideas for serving

Linda's_Cranberry_Salsa_0929©_2015_Copyright_Linda_Enger_Photography

Linda’s tart, flavorful, spicy and a tad sweetened cranberry salsa

l-12oz bag of fresh whole cranberries

1/8 cup Raw honey

5 drops Stevia

1 tsp Xylitol

3- drops Wild Orange Doterra Essential Oil

1-Serrano hot Pepper

( Or other pepper of your choice, but if you leave this out it is more like the original Chutney)

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine orange, apples, and cranberries into a food processor.

Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped.

2. Pour ingredients into large bowl. Add sweeteners

3. Add 3 drops Wild Orange essential oil. Stir to combine.

4. Put salsa into airtight container and let it rest in the fridge for 1-4 hours.

Note:My orange and pepper were organic and home grown .

I made this recipe for Thanksgiving 2015= ,RAVE reviews ! This was in place of traditional Cranberry sauce ( canned or home made) served with Turkey and the Vegetarians loved it too !

FYI- I started with the Cranberry Chutney Recipe from Doterra essential oils , and as always played with my food, less sugar , less sweet, more healthy!

Version #2 – spicier

Skip the orange but add 5 drops Doterra Wild Orange oil not 3

Add 2 or more hot peppers not one

WONDERFUL DESERT IDEAS:

Serve as parfait layered with Easy Coconut Maple  Whipped Cream or NO sugar Coconut Ice Cream…( will post my recipes ) and home made granola ( I will post my recipe for that as well ).

You may already know about me:

I like to play with my food . I do not always follow directions so well to the T. I do not believe that our taste buds or bodies were meant to be bombarded by sugar or heavy sweets of any kind. Therefore I am always working on making recipes that suit that way of life. Especially when someone has Diabetes , or any inflammatory health issues and wants natural healthy eating!

Recipe by : DirttoDelicious.net  Linda Enger December 3, 2015

Quail recipe revisited

While watering the veggies this morning I realized my quail recipe I considered a few weeks ago was best that it had not been executed. It appears that the fat yummy quail I had been considering for dinner… must have been pregnant because as I walked up to one of the raised beds a family of baby quail went running out of cover of the cinder blocks that were protecting them( silly kids)  , with their mom yelling at them  ( and me ) from nearby. No photos . Wondering where the nest had been .

What subject (s) of this blog site are most relevant to you?

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I was wondering, as my  blogging continues what posts are of most interest to those who come here . The whole thing is an experiment to see how I can take my fusion cooking style and bring it into my blog site. SOOOOO, could you  please take the time to check out the varied categories  let me know what you would like to see and read more about . Thanks!

if only Scottsdale’s February could be all year round

priorities, we all have them .

It is now 940 am on a “work ” day and it is already so hot and dry this week that painting outdoors, gardening, photographing nature as it is bloooming and office work are all colliding in time. And people wonder why I like to get up at 430 am and take a mid day meditation siesta?  No brainer.

Which makes me feel worse? The wheat or the concern about the wheat?

Seems like all the nutritional and health gurus are agreeing that ALL of us do not belong eating wheat anymore. No new news for me and I certainly try to cut back on the grains and breads etc…. but totally out of the diet for 3 weeks trial is torture. I know cause I have tried many times over many decades. Yes, I feel better… and miserable at the same time. SO, in my childlike way of ignoring my adult’s voice inside of me what do I do? Of course ….I create a recipe for  wheat challah that seems to have all my taste testers VERY  excited about. Consistent with my curious/diy  nature I took several recipes  and made one of my own without ever trying them as they were written ! Sign up with your email and  comment below  if you want me to send you a copy of the recipe … I am testing to see which one of my hand written versions is the one that turned out so great  🙂 Yep, I kind of keep working it . So much for the gluten free wagon. I just fell off again and it rolled back and forth over me !

 

YummyLinda's_whole_wheat_challah_recipe_1968Linda_Enger__©_2014

The night shade question continues

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Maybe it is the midwestern girl in me that finds great emotional  satisfaction of really great home grown organic heirloom tomatoes. You know , the ones that actually taste like a tomato. Food elimination is tough stuff. I  know if I experiment with eliminating ALL the night shades  from my diet I can see if it is true that any signs of arthritis, inflammation, and muscle stiffness will improve as I have so often read. But that means eliminating so many yummy dishes that I love . I think I could live without eggplant, I have tuned down my personal consumption of sweet and hot peppers, white potatoes are more of a treat than a regular diet. BUT honesly… it needs to be consistent for 3 months  to really see the effects. I am wondering who out there can say they have been really consistent and can swear by the positive results.  I ask myself and you the reader … what in life are we willing to give up for if we KNOW the outcome vs we hope the outcome and is the outcome bigger than a bread box  ? Yep, gluten pun was intentional.

 

YUK to yummy… and coping with unwanted guests

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Seems like this winter after srting with varied types and brands of Kale seeds the Lake Valley Organics brand  of Red Russian Kale is the only one that has really taken off . This time only in pots that are strategically placed in various sub climates on the property. As always there tends to be a consistently inconsistent issue I have encountered. In some of the pots , glad to say not all yet 🙂  little buggers  have moved in when they know I am not looking.

When gardening I TRY to spray them off with  the jet setting on my hose but often that is temp fix. I know there is always input I get on how other gardeners deal with this from my friends at http://www.vpaaz.org that has a wonderful permaculture forum and from whom I have learned SOOOO much. I know I can always plug in a search name and find great information to help me. And now  I have been finding more like minded gardening peeps on Desert Gardeners of Maricopa County facebook group as well. I will share more another time on dealing in the garden with these pests but for now I want to talk about eating and food prep .

YUK ! Now some of the die hard , back to the earth type may  these guys are not going to hurt you and very high in protein.  And of course some foodies out there are really tapping into what some other cultures have incorporated for oh so long…..you know the chocolate covered beetles concept…..DOUBLE YUK.

If you are kosher, or other wise NOT interested at all in eating these guys and you want to enjoy your harvest ( which I am one of ) …. here is what I do and recommend.

Disclaimer… this does take some time and focused eyes,  but I really take personal issue with going out and BUYING what I know I have already GROWN!!!

Soak your leaves in bowls of salt water. I use the cheapest kind of sea salt for this ( I get mine at Trader Joes or Costco) . I do MULTIPLE baths. I examine each leaf and make sure I rinse well in clear water after each bath.  Put in my trusty salad spinner ( what did we do before them ). By the way my favorite after trying MANY is the OXObrand which is still going strong after I can not begin to imagine how many hundreds of times it has been spun! Wrap those leaves in paper towels and put in ziplock bags. SO I will not forget about the rotation of my produce I like to mark the date with a Sharpe marker.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gardening analogy – one of many, lemons and my life.

lemon line up #2 web © 2014 LindaEngerPhoto

 

I keep experimenting to see what REALLY works for me in life. Been doing it as long as I can remember.

When I see what works for someone else I can not help but wonder if it will work for me too.

I plant and see what happens.

I get caught in the process when I am really into it and loose track of time.

I keep working on  growing deep roots

I am so grateful when the results I am working for actually happen

I keep trying

I guess I am too foolish and  obstinate to know when to give up. More on that later.

Despite how much certain aspects of the work seem to be hard on me or/ and for me … I keep trying a way to either ignore it, find a work around, or just keep complaining about the pain and keep doing the work … right and not just find someone  to pay to do it!

I know if I have all these thoughts…. others do as well.

These lemons are just a few of oh so many I have harvested from our neighbor’s tree . Really not the best image for this analogy?

Thanks to our dear neighbors there has been lots  of lemonade, and varied dishes using the lemons….  and art as often as I can think to take the time.

Wondering when the lemon tree we planted last winter will bear fruit. Just covered the ground with more home grown compost and lama dung. ( another post), and free wood chips before the big rain hits.

OK- photographically…. I found that workflow for  this image  in Light Room  to On ONE did not give me the quick and easy results I had hoped for where LR to Photoshop  worked much faster for the clean up .

Peppering my thoughts.

5_green_sweet_peppers2014__©_Linda_Enger_PhotographyLinda_Enger_It has taken me many attempts at growing green peppers from seeds to get a few decent size organic peppers home grown … dare I try again?  It is that time of year. I missed starting  seeds inside in  pots but I have 2 sweet peppers and 2 hot pepper plants in pots outside that have survived our Scottsdale frosts. I will see what happens in the next few months.

Yep, I love multi tasking my chakra series of paintings as back grounds.