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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spice of Life Vegetables!

I was cleaning my pantry and wanted to reclaim some space for other foods. I had almost and entire shelf dedicated to small spices. I was going to purchase a pre-made rack to insert on the shelf until my husband reminded me the one that I loved on the Kitchen Cousins! Beautiful reclaimed wood spice rack. So here we go:
We decided to hang an anchor board on the wall so we would have less nails going through the drywall. We attached the anchor board with screws to the studs as seen above:
After Hurricane Ike in 2008 destroyed our pitiful privacy fence we kept a portion of it. Chris dismantles it and removed all nails. I washed all the boards with an old toothbrush to be thourogh!

Now we had to think of the shelves. We went with a tankless hot water heater years ago and we had left over copper pipe 3/4". I purchased some 90 degree copper elbows and 1x3" cedar planks and also 3/4" dowel rod. Measure how long you want your shelves by placing the spices on the board. Also we shaved off an inch or less of dowel to nail (wire nail) the dowel to where you want your copper rod to fit on the shelf board, not sure if you can see them on the photo with the clamp.... The elbows are hollow and fit sunuggly on the dowel rod, this stables your copper railing. this is important! make sure you get a wide enough shelf board that includes the depth of your copper rod railing! I did not and Chris improvised by setting the shelf a little further from the wall so my spices and the copper railing both fit. Ends up, I prefer this way!

Pick out your favorite pieces of wood and cut. Then go nail them to your anchor board. You are nearly there!
Start hanging those shelves with L brackets!

Admire! You may notice once side of my spice rack is butted up against a wall and the other is staggered and uneven looking. This was done purposefully. You can do yours anyway you want :).

Using the Spice rack! I needed my Turmeric, Celery Seed, and Mustard Seed and didn't have to go digging in the pantry anymore. Best feeling! I made these snack veggies for when I feel like I need a pickle. But these are made with very little salt:
Cider mix:
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup wholsome organic sugar
dash of : mustard seed, celery seed, salt, and turmeric
1/2 cup water

Sliced Veggies:
English cucumber, onion, carrot and radish (all organic)

Heat the water, sugar, cider, salt, and spices together until it comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved.
Place sliced veggies in a mason,ball, kerr jar or any container that can be sealed and placed in the refrigerator. Pour the boiled cider mix over the veggies and cover, place in refrigerator immediately!. (You can process in a water bath too, not sure about the water/vinegar ratio on this to process tho) wait 12 hours before you eat any. tastes better that way ;) This is low in sodium, but it does have calories!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feed the need!

I had the need for some Greek food. I never know what restaurant kitchens put into their food, always weary of ingredients people might add unknowingly that is full of sodium.  To the avg joe, just cutting table salt is a huge step in the right direction but so many pre made items are full of sodium that really add up for and individual that can consume only 1200-1600mgs/day like myself..
I had a good friend bring me to one of her favorite haunts called Zoe's Kitchen. Great food and to my surprise it wasn't as bad as many restaurants are when it comes to counting Na! It is a big haul to her side of town and I decided I needed more yogurt sauce based things in my life!

Every week I make fresh homemade bread using my bread machine.I was getting tired of the same ol' fair, sandwich rolls. So this time I made flatbread using the same sandwich roll recipe. It turned out to be a very useful shape, especially for my yogurt sauce kick this week. Here is the recipe for our families favorite bread with directions for sandwich rolls and flatbread:
 Everyday Bread:*low sodium
1 Cup warm water
2 tblsp olive oil
.25 tsp salt (yes a little bit)
1 egg
 1 tblsp sugar
3.25 cups bread flour
1 tblsp yeast ( i use active dry yeast or bread machine yeast)

1. Place ingredients in bread machine in order (accept for the yeast). mound your flour and place a finger in the center to create a hole for the yeast. the yeast must not touch the warm ingredients. like a bread flour volcano :)
2. Place on dough setting.
3. Remove and place on floured surface to punch down. pinch off 12 pieces and roll into balls with palms of your hands.
4. Lightly press the balls of dough flat on a greased cookie sheet to let rise 45 mins. Then place in oven at preheated 375 degrees  for 12 mins. or cooked to desired.
OR For a flat bread roll each ball into a circle by starting from the middle pressing down and working out each side. place these flat dough circles on greased cookie sheets and let rise for 45 mins. Cook these on a hot pan or griddle! Be careful not to handle too much or it will punch down.

Greek-ish Shrimp Salad:* low sodium
All these ingredients are roughly chopped and pat dry with paper towel
half green bell pepper
half red bell pepper
1 roma tomato
half red onion
half english cucumber
half avocado
8oz small salad shrimp (cooked, then cooled) *do not chop these
4 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 branches dill (torn)
2 branches mint (torn)
6oz Chobani yogurt plain
juice of 1 small lime

mix sauce and add to chopped ingredients and shrimp dash with fresh cracked pepper to taste. put in closed container in frig. at least an hour for flavors to marinate!
Have fun with this! add a few things take out a few things. add a jalapeno to spice it up! the choice is yours. no rules just fun. Oh, and add salt if you want ;)

No knitting this time. I promise to have a free pattern next time With cookie recipes!