Monday, January 3, 2011

Simple supper-hillbilly haluski

This is one of my favorite dishes to make and one of the cheapest too. There are many variations of it out there and it is called many different things but the one I am most familiar with is haluski which is Eastern European /Polish in origin and it has tons and tons of butter. While it is lovely it is also not very healthy and not very economic in the modern world. Maybe back when we all owned a cow or two a pound of butter for a meal was budget minded. In today's world where I can only afford to keep a goat on the farm, it most certainly isn't. I am also a fan of one dish meals,while traditional haluski can be that, it is not all that balanced or healthy if made according to all the recipes I have found over the years.

I have taken it upon myself to adapt this recipe to my own taste buds and come up with something that still resembles haluski but is a bit healthier and is a much more nutritionally balanced one dish, simple, supper.

While the noodles can be store bought egg noodles, it tastes much better using your own noodles because the noodles for the recipe are actually more like a dumpling than a noodle. They are very simple to make and much cheaper too. There are egg noodles or potato noodles but I would be willing to say that squash could also be used in the potato noodle recipe and still taste good.

egg noodles
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
½ cup water

Mix all ingredients together and beat with a spoon. Drop batter by teaspoonful into boiling salted water. Cook about 5 minutes(they will float) drain; rinse in cold water and set aside. Drain well and set aside.

potato noodles
1 lb about 4 medium potatoes (cooked and smashed)
1/4 cup flour
2 egg yolks
Mix all ingredients and place dough on a floured board and form into a log. Cut into small pieces and drop in to boiling water until they float. Rinse with cool water, drain and set aside.

the cabbage
3 tbsp butter (olive oil can be substituted, adjust quantity as needed)
1 medium head cabbage - shredded
2 onions - diced
Melt butter in large skillet or pan. Coarsely shred cabbage with a knife. Dice the onions. Add salt and pepper to season. Stir well and cook covered over medium heat heat, stirring occasionally, for about a half hour. Add drained noodles and cook for 10 -15 minutes, stirring often.

For a plain haluski that is all that is added. I however like to add meat to the recipe. Chopped pork bits, bacon and breakfast or polish sausage are all good additions. I brown these in the same pan that I use for making the cabbage and then add the cabbage to it. I also like to add shredded carrots to the recipe. They add nutrition and add eye appeal to the dish. Add the carrot shreds when you add the cabbage. and increase the amount of butter by a tablespoon. I also like to add diced apple to the dish. I think it adds a nice flavor as well as the health benefits. I also like to add garlic at times or serve with green onions and sour cream as a garnish. Heck, I suppose one could also add in corn or other veggies too.

When made with a choice of meat, carrot and apple, this dish costs me approximately $1.50. If one had to buy all the ingredients it would cost 4-5 dollars depending on where you live and the time of year. This recipe will easily feed 6 adults as a main dish. When I do not add apple in to the dish itself I usually serve this meal along side applesauce.
(photo in post is not mine)

monday's mountain musings

Ahhhhhh, New week, new year, same stuff! Back to school today realizing that two weeks really flies by and that it did nothing for my state of mind. It is all good though, only 4 more weeks and I am done with this round of yukkiness and can move on to the next. How is that for new beginnings? In all honesty, I am ready to be back to school and it was very difficult to not open the "books" for the entire 14 day period. I even considered doing all my reading and note taking for one of the courses just to add some structure to my vacation time, but didn't.

Speaking of new beginnings... the goats look to be due quite soon. Chloe is now waddling around the pasture and Abbi is almost friendly. The only time she is ever almost friendly is near kidding time. No, I do not write down a breed date or possible breed dates, they either eventually produce a kid (or three) or don't and I can pretty much tell when they will be due without the use of a calendar to tell me. I am also home all the time to keep a close eye on what goes on and only have two goats to birth so I know I will not be overrun with kids when they do drop them . Another thing I do not do is make resolutions at the beginning of each new year. Just like rules, resolutions are made to be broken, so why make them to begin with. I do make goals for each year that I would like to accomplish, however, even those I do not keep track of to see how I am doing as I know they are all attainable if I simply apply myself. Some of my goals for this year are to keep up my A average in school, learn more on herbs and their uses and keep going down the path to self sufficiency. I would also like to build the goats an earth bag shed, set up a small aquaponic system, and take baby steps with some solar powered equipment purchases. I still have my "goal" from several years ago now of becoming freezer free although I am beginning to think that it would be easier to go without a refrigerator rather than the freezer.

The cabbage outside are still trudging along and I think still growing albeit slowly. We may have a nice spring harvest of them at this rate, which is all good with me. Most of the other outside stuff is pretty sorry looking right now but almost all of it looks like it may make it through the winter months and grow back. I am still picking some mesclun salad mix from outside as well as turnips, green onions ,carrots, and collards. In the GH things are still growing as well and providing us a meal or two of greens or salad a week. It is not much but it is nice to have them when we want them. It will be cole crop seeding time here in the next couple of weeks and I have some experimental potatoes chitting for a very early planting. It does not seem like it is already time to be thinking about gardens again.

I will be putting together my seed swapping list here in the next week or so and posting it for those interested. There are a few other projects in the works that I would love to tell ya'll about but have decided to wait and see how they progress before I write anything about them.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

ol fashioned carrot cake

I like recipes that I always have the ingredients on hand to make. I cannot stand finding recipes that sound good only to find that you need all sorts of fancy ingredients in order to make them. Rarely do I buy fancy ingredients for baking because there are plenty of wonderful recipes around that do not require them and when you are frugal minded, basic ingredients are much cheaper to purchase therefore you can make many more baked treats. I found a good carrot cake recipe a while back and tweaked it into something that had a bit less fat and was a bit more healthy. This is a very moist carrot cake that is quite tasty and is budget friendly.
ol fashioned carrot cake
4 eggs
2 cups sugar ( a 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup br sugar mix is nice too)
1/3 cup veg oil
2/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 WW and half white flour)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (2 tsp cinn with 1 tsp nutmeg is also nice)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups grated carrots

Mix all ingredients until well blended, fold in a cup of nuts if desired. Pour in to 9x13 cake pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool and frost if desired. (picture in post is not mine)