Turnip, Caribou, Squash Stew Recipe

Right now we are living in a primitive dry cabin.  It does have electric, but no sink set up.  Most dry cabins have a bucket to empty beneath an unplumbed sink, and a spigot tank on top to use as a faucet.  Since we don’t have even a basic sink set up, or a stove, or an oven, I have to change gears when thinking of making a meal!  A small toaster oven, a single element pot and a crock pot are my main resources.

Living this way really brings to surface how AWESOME crock pots are!  With very little mess or prep I’m able to make a whole lot of good healthy food.

Fortunately we have a great u-pick farm nearby, and though I was a bit late in the season for picking, I still got some great local farm fresh AK produce.  In addition, my boyfriend got a caribou this season, which we just finished processing. There’s meat in the freezer!  Yippee!!  So, as always, this recipe is a result of some goods I had on hand.  Enjoy!

Crock pot on High for first 1-2 hrs, then Low until you are ready to eat.

(Can be ready within a few hours, but some veggies like turnip may still be a bit firm)

Process:

Water- 2 in.

1 turnip diced

1 crushed beef ramen w/ seasoning

1 caribou roast chunk

(place turnip, and ramen in crock pot with a few inches of water, then I stand the roast up in the middle and put future ingredients around it)

1 radish diced

1 carrot (rounds)

1 turnip diced (2nd one)

1 crushed chicken ramen noodle and seasoning

1 diced apple

3-4 C summer squash cubed (and rind & seeds removed)

Add all this to the crock,

then add:

White wine and Kombucha for some more taste sensation (fill to level of veggies, above for more soup like, less if more stew like)

On top of everything:

I added ground mustard, oil from marinated artichokes, some marinated artichokes, and roasted garlic.

And of course, taste as you go, adding whatever other spices you feel like!

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Personally I was happy to drain the juices off and make a little cherry juice/ fireball cocktail to drink while I was baking.

I have never made cupcakes before… which I decided after having made these is a true shame.  Cupcakes are so awesome and that paper cup is such a perfect vessel to get the chocolatey goodness to school or work without a mess.

We luckily still have some cherries in the freezer from our picking spree in Montana this fall, and I pulled out a bag to make a cherry pie.  But I also wanted to make an easy treat to share with our neighbors who helped dislodge my car from the snowbank the other morning!  So with the left over cherries I decided to make some cherry chocolate cupcakes.  My mom has a recipe I used last time I tried to make cherry chocolate cake, but we weren’t thrilled with the results. So this time I decided to try another recipe I like and just give it a cherry/ chocolate chip twist and see what would happen.  I also happened to have bought the cutest cupcake paper cups at the craft store (which is so unlike me that if my friends read this they will probably think I’ve been abducted).  So I decided CUPCAKES!

I didn’t want the cherries to burn, so I poured each cup half full of batter, threw in 2-4 pitted cherries and a few choc. chips. Then I put in more batter to fill the cup 3/4th fill and added a few more chocolate chips on top.

They are disappearing fast, but here’s how I made them:

Quick Chocolate Cake:

Mix dry ingredients:

3 C flour       2t baking soda       1 t salt     1C sugar     1C brown sugar    1/2C cocoa powder

Add:

1t vanilla     3/4C coconut oil      2C cold water

blend well and then see above (below the pictures) to add cherries and chocolate chips into the batter in muffin cups to prevent burning.  I was using frozen cherries, so I drained off all the juices after they thawed, and again after pitting.  I’m not sure how differently this recipe would behave if you tried to use all the juices as well.  Personally I was happy to drain the juices off and make a little cherry juice/ fireball cocktail to drink while I was baking.

Voila, enjoy!

 

 

Pesto Mozzarella Eggplant Fold-overs Recipe

These are so easy (10 minutes start to table) and cheap to make, yet so tasty everyone will want more.  This is a great treat to make as an appetizer/starter dish or a main meal.  Also works great as an easy vegetarian dish.  But not vegan.

You Need:

Lg Eggplant- thin sliced lengthwise (1/2 of one eggplant fed 2 people dinner, but we weren’t starving)

olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt

Cookie pan (prefer with raised edge) covered in foil

Oven with broil setting

Tomatoes- thin sliced

Smoked Mozzarella cheese (or Mozz with liquid smoke)- shredded or sliced

pesto or basil

( I cut up half an eggplant for a first round and we were so full after one pan that we saved the other half an eggplant to cook a few nights later. Delicious both times.)

How to:

Turn on oven to broil.

Slice a large eggplant lengthwise with a good knife so each slice is uniform width about 1/4 in. or less.

Cover 1-3 baking sheets with foil, dependent on how many you want done at a time. each pan will hold about 3 large or 4 small. Lay eggplant strips on foil til sheet filled, do not overlap.  Then grind some salt lightly onto each piece, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic oil and rub into surface til some is all over.  Flip the strips over and do the same on the other side. Put in the oven on a med. high shelf.

Broil flat until eggplant starts to look translucent. (7-10 min, keep an eye on them)

I usually shred my mozz and slice toms while the eggplant is broiling. Easy to do in those 7-10 minutes and then also easy to keep an eye on the eggplant cooking progression if this is your first rodeo.

Then remove from oven, add a spread of  pesto, mozzarella and thin sliced tomato to middle third of eggplant. (You could easily play with this combo by changing up the cheese or veggie rolled inside).  Then fold the sides up over the filling and stick with a toothpick to hold them closed.  Or you can flip the whole thing over once it’s folded to have gravity hold the flaps under.

Sometimes I just call it good and let the heat of the eggplant melt the cheese if the strips are already very translucent.  If the strips are still whitish in patches I put them back in for a minute or two.

Viola.  Enjoy.

** later….Remove foil from pan, clean up complete.