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  • "How to Make a Mouthwatering Fresh Jersey Peaches Compote?"

    It's summer in New Jersey! Finally, we have Jersey peaches, naturally sweet and delicious. Here is an easy, quick way to make fresh peaches into a dessert or sauce as a creative side companion to many dishes. Ingredients Two peaches sliced thinly and evenly 1 1/4 cups apple juice Pinch sea salt One Tbsp. Kuzu or arrowroot starch mix with two Tbsp. apple juice or water One Tbsp. Maple syrup (optional) makes it sweeter. Preparation Peel peaches if not organic. Slice thin. Bring juice and peaches to a near boil with a pinch of salt. Mix the starch with liquid to melt smoothly, with no lumps. Lower the flame, stir the starch slurry into the peaches, and keep going until smooth. Add the maple syrup. This dish keeps well in the fridge for many days. Allow cooling before refrigeration. The recipe makes approximately four servings.

  • "5 Reasons to Book Mary's Warm Residential Retreat for a Healthy Cooking Experience"

    Would you like to join Mary and her adorable dogs for a relaxing retreat by the shore? We're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the stunning Jersey beach and the calming ocean shores of Ocean City to Cape May. Enjoy the local area where you will find antique shops and the best of seashore restaurants from Asian, Italian and of course numerous seafood and outdoor choices. Come unwind in the tranquil atmosphere of this serene farming area, surrounded by lush trees, singing birds, and warm sunshine. Calm yourself on our front porch with its morning sunshine, and if you're looking for some shade, the umbrellas on our inviting back deck will protect you throughout the afternoon. Our garden is a magical oasis that's constantly changing, providing the perfect escape to breathe in the fresh ocean air and immerse yourself in the soothing sounds of nature. Wake up to a delightful breakfast with organic choices such as pancakes made with freshly ground whole corn, sweet rice mochi waffles, homemade breads, warm cereals, homemade granola, fresh fruit, sauces and much more. Our cozy retreat offers comfy private rooms, complete with organic bedding, shared indoor bathrooms, and an invigorating outdoor shower. Vegetarian/vegan cooking classes and meal options available. For more information and details: Contact us today!

  • "Delicious and Nutritious: How to Make Pinto Beans with Sautéed Onions & Corn Tortillas"

    INGREDIENTS 1 cup dried pinto beans 6 cups water 1-inch piece Kombu kelp 1 tsp. Sea salt ½ tsp. Soy sauce 1 small onion slivered or diced PREPARATION Wash the beans thoroughly. Put them in a bowl to soak, add water to two inches above the dried beans. Allow soaking until the beans are double in size. Lift the beans out of the bowl being sure not to get any grit on the bottom. Do not pour beans into the pot. Add the Kombu, beans, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, allow the foam to gather to the top. Skim off the foam with a strainer. Lower the flame, good to use a flame tamer under the pot to keep it from sticking. Cook until the beans are tender, add the salt. Cook for another 20 to30 minutes, add soy sauce at the end. Sauté onions in a little oil, a pinch of sea salt, simmer until transparent. Add to beans for more flavor. Options; Adding chili, spices, bay leaf. This is a basic way to cooking beans. Allow cooling, best to store in a glass container. Will keep it for the best of a week in the refrigerator.

  • "Exploring the Benefits and Culinary Versatility of Millet: A Master Grain"

    Millet is one of the most versatile and understated of all the grains. How to cook and use this remarkable tiny grain millet in so many ways from warm creamy porridge, fluffy main or side dish, nori wrapped appetizer, corn crusted tempura squares and easy preparations. Fluffy Cooked Millet One cup millet 2/3 tsp. sea salt Three cups water One-half-inch piece kombu Toasted Millet Wash millet, drain in a mesh strainer, allow it to dry. Warm up a cast iron skillet on a medium flame. Toast lightly the drying millet until lightly golden and smells wonderfully nutty, set aside. Bring water and kombu to a near boil, remove kombu, save for another use. Lower the flame to medium, pour in the millet and salt, stir to mix. 6. Place a flame tamer/diffuser under the pot. Cook for about 40 minutes Boiling Millet Cooked Millet After millet is cooked, you can place it in a dish to become firm and use it in many other ways. Flatten the top of the millet to be smooth and cover the top so it does not dry out. You can refrigerate to use later or when firm, you can use right away. Various Suggestions: Cut into tiny squares. Pan fry in a little oil, turn to be golden brown. Make a tempura batter, dip squares into batter and deep fry, serve immediately with a ginger soy dipping sauce or your own favorite. Firming of Millet Soft Creamy Millet Cereal To serve as a creamy warming cereal: Add sufficient water or favorite organic plant milk to mix with cooked millet. Warm up on a low flame until desired consistency. Add condiments such as toasted seeds, nuts, nori, gomashio, (sesame salt), wakame furikake, umeboshi, or a sweetener.

  • "Delicious and Easy Recipe for Homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce"

    Every year before Thanksgiving, I look for fresh organic cranberries, they are not always easy to find. More recently, I no longer have to hike to the distant only "health food store", for many organic items that once were scarce, are now available in our local super markets. Happily, my two daughters always want me to make enough of my cranberry sauce for them to serve during the holidays. This recipe can be adapted by just cutting the amounts in half. Cranberry sauce keeps very well in the refrigerator in a glass tight fitting container, for two weeks. It also can be frozen, however, the quality is not the same, still good though. Ingredients 4 cups fresh cranberries - one lb. 2 cups apple juice or unsweetened cranberry juice 1 Tbsp. agar / kanten flakes or one tsp. agar powder 1/2 to 3/4 cup maple syrup 2 Tbsp. kuzu root starch or arrowroot starch mixed with 2 Tbsp. juice 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cloves to your taste (start with 1/4) Pinch seasalt Orange zest and orange juice to taste(optional) Directions Place cranberries in a pot of fresh cold water, discard any berries that float to the top, use you hands and take out the cranberries to place in a strainer. Use your fingers to check and discard any more soft or damaged berries. Rinse the good berries once more under water. Set aside. Bring juice and agar to a boil, lower the flame and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Do not stir, strain the juice mixture to another pot. There will be a bit of sediment from the agar, thus the reason for straining it out. If you stir the liquid then it never separates. That's how I was taught and I'm sticking to it. You can stir if you want. Add the berries to the cooked liquid, allow them to cook until they begin to pop and swell up, lower the flame. Mix starch with juice until completely dissolved, slowly add to the sauce, stirring until thickened. Add the spices, be careful with cloves, make sure it is in powder form. I like to grind my own whole cloves, so I have to be sure to sift them. Turn the flame off. Add a little fresh squeezed orange juice and a little organic orange rind for extra zest. Hope your enjoy this recipe, please let me know.

  • "Exploring the Nutritional Benefits and Delicious Recipes of Natto: A Japanese Superfood"

    Natto is made from cooked whole soybeans that have been fermented with koji spores. Once it is prepared, there is no need for further cooking. It is usually served as a side dish as an accompaniment with grains and noodles. It can be prepared by stirring it to bring out the stickiness, then adding different flavors, such as soy sauce, grated fresh ginger, daikon raddish, jinenjo mountain potato, mustard, horse raddish, chives, scallions, nori slivers, and other seasonings. It can be made at home with a bit of preparation and can be purchased in Asian markets or online. I find it is difficult to find Natto made with organic soybeans, so I am going to attempt to make it at home. I ordered the Kawashimayo Natto Starter Powder through Amazon, will update when I do it. I made it years ago with Sensei Muramoto, and remember that it was very different and more delicious than the frozen packages available. Natto has a distinctive smell and flavor that people either love it or hate it. I have heard that people who eat alot of dairy do not like it, I am not sure how true that is. The benefits to enjoying Natto are enormous. It is a super nutritious food. It is originated in Japan, where the cooked soybeans were wrapped in rice straw which naturally had the bacillus subtillis bacteria on its surface. This allowed the sugar in the beans to ferment creating Natto. Soybeans are a very hard bean. It takes a long time to cook them. Soybeans are a very important part of the vegetarian diet because they are a one of the highest quality sources of plant based protein, vitamins, minerals and isoflanones. They do contain anti-nutrients such as lectins, however, it has been studied that fermentation reduces the content by 95%. Ingredients One container of natto Two scallions chopped Grated ginger about one Tbsp. use the squeezed juice Soy sauce to taste. Stir the natto until the sticky sauce comes out. Add all the ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately. Goes well noodles dishes such as udon or soba, also with cooked grain, especially brown rice. Grated daikon raddish, grated raw apple, toasted sesame seeds and nori slivers are all great accompaniments.

  • "How to Create a Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder Using Fresh Corn Off the Cob"

    Here's a beautiful way to use fresh corn when it is available in the summer. When eight ears of fresh corn are sold for $2.00, it's time to produce creative ways to use them. With the summer ending and the season beginning to change, this is a great soup to enjoy on those rainy fall days. Ingredients Six cups water Four ears of corn with husk One-half whole onion diced One cup celery diced Two carrots diced (peel if needed) One cup soymilk One tsp. sea salt One Tbsp. white miso One tsp. non-toasted sesame oil One tsp. soy sauce Parsley, scallion garnish Fresh and dried thyme for taste Six baby tomatoes chopped Toasted croutons (optional) Recipe follows. Preparation Wash whole ears of corn and remove outer husks leaving the inner ones that are clean. Cut off both ends. Bring water and whole corn to a boil—cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove corn from stock water and skim or strain any silk left in the pot. When cooled, remove the husks, and discard them, hopefully to compost. Cut off the corn from the cob. Set it aside. Warm up a heavy pan, such as cast iron. Add the oil and diced onion with a dash of sea salt. When the onion turns transparent, add diced celery and carrot. Simmer together until tender. Add the vegetables to the corn stock. Spoon some of the stock onto the sauté pan to get all the remaining goodness and pour it into the soup pot. Add sea salt, tomatoes, and corn. Cook on medium-low for 20 minutes. Add soy milk. Melt the miso with a bit of stock to add and soy sauce to taste. Add fresh and or dried thyme. Simmer for another few minutes, do not boil at this stage to keep the enzymes alive in the miso and soy sauce. Add chopped parsley and scallion to garnish. When adding croutons, do it before serving to keep their crispness. This chowder can be kept well in the fridge, ensuring it is cooled. You can also add potatoes for a truer chowder, preferably organic. To make it creamier, blend part of it with an immersion blender.

  • Black Beans

    Ingredients Two cups of dried black beans 5-6 cups water 1-inch piece Kombu 1-2 bay leaf 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp soy sauce Preparation Wash beans with your hands in a bowl of water. Rinse well, lift them from the bowl of water with your palm into another medium pot. Check for any stones or unwanted debris. Add two cups of water to the pot and soak for about 8 hours or overnight. Add three cups more water to the pot and Kombu. Bring to a rolling boil, using a stainless-steel flat strainer, skim off any foam at the top. Keep boiling and skimming until all the thick foam is gone. Lower the flame to medium-low and cook down until the bean level has no more liquid on top, after approximately 1 hour. Currently, add bay leaf and two more cups of water, pouring to the side of the pot to not disturb the beans. Make sure the beans are soft and add salt. Cook on simmer for an additional ½ hour. Add soy sauce and any other herbs desired. Suitable to use a flame diffuser at the end of cooking, so the bean starch does not stick on the bottom. Beans contain lots of starch & will thicken when cooled. To make soup, add Water and seasoning as needed.

  • NABEMONO or NABE One Pot Cooking

    How to make a one pot stew or "Hot Pot" meal using just vegetables, rice and noodles. Nabe Mono, as is called in Japan, translates to "pot thing" or things in a pot. There are so many variations to this wonderful dish, it is endless to the different ingredients you can use, making it new every time. It is considered one of the most versatile home-cooked dishes and social party food. It can be cooked at the center of the table with a cooking component. Enjoy yourself with your friends and family surrounded by the table with all the ingredients raw and cooked to go into the pot, so much fun. This is such a social time to share conversation and expression because you are ALL eating from the same pot, it makes for easier mingling, talking, Nabe Pot and enjoying each other; as a great social gathering and dinner party. How to Prepare Nabe / Nabe Mono Gather the ingredients you plan to use, include an assortment of vegetables, tofu, and noodles, or serve over rice. I made a video posted on You Tube with Sheri Di Maris on Nabe Cooking, where we demonstrated how to use a variety of ingredients. It was outside at a winery and we both had wind-blown hair. Many chefs make Dashi broth first as the foundation liquid base to the Nabe. This can be achieved by using a combination of Kombu Kelp Sea vegetable and Bonita flakes. Variations of Kombu Dashi recipes will be included, including suggestions for vegans who do not want to use the fish flakes. This Nabe recipe can be for two to four people, depending on if you want to have leftovers. Kombu Dashi There is so much information about the new 100+year taste Umani, which is the fifth taste, created through making Dashi, the broth using kombu and katsu Bushi. I won't spend too much time on Umani because there is so much information on the internet about this savory taste. You can take the time to learn all about it. When I worked with Sensei N. Muramoto, he claimed there is another taste, a sixth taste, a combination of green tea and dried persimmons. I did experience this taste and I agree it is a taste I have never tasted before and nothing quite like it. Back on the subject, this flavor and taste of umami is fundamental as a base to so many dishes. It is a simple broth to make yet very exact in the preparation. It is important to follow the guidelines accordingly. Clockwise: Tofu, Napa Cabbage, Soy Sauce, Dried Shitake Mushrooms (Dongo), Carrots. Green Onions, Daikon Radish, Peeled Fresh Ginger, Dried Kombu, Udon Noodles List of Ingredients Four cups water or Dashi broth Two inches Kombu piece Two carrots (optional peeled) One cup of napa cabbage or any cabbage Four inches daikon radish 6 Shitake dry mushrooms One half tub tofu (soft or firm) Udon Noodles (one sleeve) One half onion Green onion/scallions for garnish Grated ginger, toasted sesame seeds, and nori for extra garnishes Shoyu / Soy Sauce, Miso, or Tamari for seasoning to taste Cooked Udon Noodles and Soaked & Cut Shitake Mushrooms Preparation Once you have decided what you want to put in your hot pot, begin by washing all the vegetables. Dried mushrooms need to be washed and soaked in fresh cold water until soft. Cut each vegetable to comparable size, not too thick, not too thin. You want them to cook uniformly being done at the same time. Make Kombu Dashi broth. Set it aside. Trim off the stem of the mushroom, use later for stock. Cut the mushroom cap with a decorative slit on top and into halves or quarters or leave whole. They are easier to eat if cut. Cook the noodles as on the package, rinse, set aside, cover with a damp cloth so they do not dry out. Make separate piles of each ingredient to be used on a tray. Get all your condiments together in bowls, including your soy sauce, grated ginger, slivered scallions, toasted sesame seeds, nori slivers, and whatever else you want to serve. Get creative. Notice the hole in the top on the left pot, steam will start to come out, which will indicate the cooking time is done. Is that not cool or what, no guessing, the pot knows. These pots need particular care in working with them. Real TLC. I got this beautiful genuine Japanese Nabe Pot from Miyacompany.com They have a variety of beautiful Japanese tableware and gifts. Donabe means clay pot in Japanese. A do nabe is one of Japan's oldest cooking vessels. Originating in Japan's lga province, the pots are made from clay and are ideal for handling elevated temperatures. They can even be over an open flame or an oven. The clay is super porous, which means it builds up heat slowly, but it maintains heat once it's at peak temperature. The hole in the top starts to emit steam and tells you the pot is done. Pot knows. Now that is a smart pot. Basic tips to follow to care for your Donabe pot: Before using your newly bought donabe, fill the pot with water about three quarters full and about a cup of leftover cooked rice or 1/4 cup of rice. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 to 60 minutes. Stop cooking, allow it to cool. Discard the rice and rinse the donabe well. Dry with a clean cloth and air dry to well before storing. Always make sure the bottom of the donabe is dry before using it. Do not put on high heat, always start on low heat. After using the donabe, let it cool before cleaning. Never soak it. Always hand wash, do not put it in the dishwasher. Dry it upside down overnight, the clay absorbs water, so it takes time for it to dry out. Make sure you never cook in it without some sort of moisture in it, oil for sauteing or broth. Eventually, hairline cracks may surface. Best to re-season with rice porridge, the starch will fill the cracks. Sadly, if the pot starts to leak through the clay, then it can be a pot for decoration in some creative way, its life as a cooking vessel is over. Time to get a new one. SOOO, take care of your donabe because they are expensive.

  • Our Daily Bread and the Fruits of Our Labors

    Grain & Bread connect to so many sayings: "Bread is the staff of life", "Home is where the heart is", "With a grain of salt", "Give us our daily bread this day", "One grain ten thousand grains". Our human history begins around gathering wild grasses, grains, & around the hearth and baking bread. Go ahead & take the dive into bread making - you won't be disappointed! Many ovens have a proof function which is great, if not set your oven for the lowest temperature, when it reaches 110° (F) turn the oven off, the goal is around 75 to 85 degrees keep the door closed. Yeast dies at 138° (F). TIP: A great resource for information about flours, measuring, etc. visit: The Spruce Eats.com Variety of Ways to Bake and Serve Breads Pumpkin Bread Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread Raisin Bran Muffins French Toast and Maple Syrup Toasted Garlic Bread Tempeh Sandwich & Pickles A grain grinder is a great investment to bring into your kitchen. The Komo is a stone grinder, it has many levels of texture from gritty to fine flours. It makes such a difference to be able to have freshly ground food from a whole grain, seed, and beans. The nutrition is certainly at peak best and the avoidance of rancidity is an added benefit. I love my grinder, it opens up my imagination for so many ways to utilize texture.

  • Corn Bread

    Preheat oven at 350° for approx. 35 to 40 minutes INGREDIENTS Two cups cornmeal (best freshly ground dried whole organic corn) One cup water 1 1/2 cups Pastry or Un bromated all-natural white flour 1 tsp sea salt 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch 1/3 cup excellent quality oil One cup of plant milk 3 tbsp maple or rice syrup ½ tsp vanilla 2 Tbsp baking powder mix with 2 Tbsp. plant milk PREPARATION Mix the corn flour with one cup of water. Set aside for 1 hour to moisten the corn. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients together, except the baking powder. Whip the oil and sweetener together. Add the rest of the liquid. and mix into the dry ingredients. Mix the baking powder thoroughly with milk until foamy. Fold into the batter. Pour into lightly oiled pans and bake. Enjoy the wonderful smell in your kitchen as the bread is baking. I like to use small pans, suitable for gifts and storing. Bake for about 40 minutes; check to be done at 180 to 190 degrees. This amount makes three small three by 6-inch pans. Allow it to cool; keep it well in plastic wrap and the refrigerator. Warm the slices up on a cast-iron skillet with a lid on the lowest flame, turn once. Great with beans, soups, tea, and jam.

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