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Monday, June 23, 2014

zucchini bread

The garden here is producing zucchini on overdrive.  I have more squash blossoms than I know what to do with.  We have summer squash and zucchini both.  What do you do when you still have 2 that are left from the store?  Make zucchini bread of course and hey let's dig in the fridge and throw in those blueberries that are about to go bad.  This is a super easy and moist bread.  You can also substitute your favorite GF Flour Blend.  I us Pamela's Artisan Blend when I am making GF.

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries (you can also use a pint of fresh blueberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease loaf pan or muffin tins.
Shred zucchini. Set aside. Once shredded, squeeze zucchini to remove excess water. Discard water.  I cheat and put mine through the food processor.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  If adding frozen fruit remember to coat lightly in flour.  I just tossed the fresh blueberries in.
Pour into greased tins or loaf pan.  Bake bread for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean. I baked the muffins for 17-20 minutes based on my oven.
Let cool 20 minutes and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

homemade fermented sauerkraut

Last month we enjoyed a great evening with our friends, and we had a a little domestic night.  “S” and “J” taught Mr. Miller and I to make Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut.  Being that I am married to a German he was all for this.  It turned out amazing.  So crisp and fresh, not to mention all the digestive benefits that fermented food has to offer.  Are you ready for the long list of ingredients?  Here is the cast of characters:


2 heads of cabbage and kosher salt


I love the fact that there is no vinegar.  In minutes I can put together a healthy side dish that 3 of the 4 members in my family will eat.  Cameron will succumb and join us at some point.  Henry loves it! 

Here is the skinny on making your own kraut.

First peel the outer leaves from your heads of cabbage.  I just discard them.  Next quarter your cabbage and remove the core.  I use my mandolin because Mr. Miller likes the uniformity of the shreds, for me it was that it was the quickest and easiest method.  I will let him think that I like the his reason best too, but really we all know it is my kitchen and my way. Tee Hee Hee.  Notice my favorite big green Pyrex bowl.  Isn’t she pretty.  I like how she matched the cabbage.


Next put 2 heaping tablespoons of salt over the cabbage.  Now “big greenie” could only hold one head at a time so I used 1 tbsp. per batch.


Let me jump back a step here.  Picking your cabbage.  Using organic cabbage is important as chemicals used on non-organic cabbage could inhibit the fermentation process.  Red or Green cabbage is fine.  Remember the fresher the better.  We decided we are definitely going to start growing our own here at Green Acres.

Now for the fun part.  Stress relief time!  Its summer and our lovely children are home with me all day being perfect angels, right?  Not ok well they are so bad but they can “grate” on each other and ultimately me by the end of each day.  Take you stress out on this lovely cabbage.  Go ahead show it who is boss.  It’s not going to complain.  Pound it, squeeze it or whatever it takes to get the job done.  You want to do this until liquid starts to form on the shreds and in your bowl.   Your amount of cabbage in the bowl will decrease.  Don’t be alarmed.



Once this has happened after about 8-10 minutes you can fill your container.  Our friends use a jar with a rubber gasket but I find canning jars do the trick just as well.  Add the cabbage to the jars by layers and pressing down in between.  We used the end of my bamboo spoon to do this.  Mr. Miller has already figured out that he needs a 1 1/2 inch dowel rod cut for the next time.  Who is this man I married?   Just kidding I love the fact that he wants to participate in my homemade Caroline Ingalls meets Olivia Walton adventures.  Never a dull moment around here.  Ok where was I?  Right the jars.  You will see juice above each layer as you compact.  Leave about 1-2 inches of space in the top of the jar.  Make sure the cabbage is below the liquid line.



Top with the lid loosely.  It’s important that the lid is not on too tightly as gas and bubbles will form during the fermentation process.  Remember they must be able to escape the jar, otherwise you could end up with a mess on your hands.  I also place ours on a towel incase we have any seepage from the top of the jar.  I set ours on the counter for 10-12 days.   You can cover them with a towels.  Feel free to start tasting as soon as 5 days.  Our perfect time was 11.


When it is right seal that puppy up and put in the fridge.  You will thank me just as we thank “S” and “J” for sharing the world of homemade fermented sauerkraut with us.  Now if I could just get my hands on a crock like my granny used to make hers in?  Hmmmm…. maybe time for some Urban Treasure Hunting.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

time moves on…



I can’t believe its been 7 months since my last post.  I guess you could say I just needed some time for me and all that I say yes to on a regular basis.   My Fall started excitedly with my endeavor into the Arbonne world.  That has been an amazing journey in and of itself.  Christmas came with a great trip to Georgia to see the Deacon and Pops.  In came 2014 with a “flurry” of fun and before we knew it  Spring Break was here.  I can’t believe that our school year ended Friday.  I am now the proud Mama of a Kindergartener and a 5th Grader.  Wow when did that happen? 

Cameron and Junior Mint are growing up so fast.  Cameron has embraced the game of golf and Henry is following in suit.  Mr. Miller is very excited.  I don’t play golf but am enjoying watching the 3 men in my life share in this pursuit.  We will be taking Private Lessons this summer, if you live in KC click on the private lessons link and give them a call.  Great people!  Cameron will be attending a weeklong Golf Camp in June.  We will have our last Webelos Camp at Camp Naish in July for Cam and Mr. Miller.  I can’t believe he will cross over into Boy Scouts this Fall.

As for Junior Mint, well…. he still follows big brother everywhere.  He loves to swing and garden.  He helped me harvest our first items out of the the Green Acres Garden.  I tripled the size of the garden this year.  I will be sharing more as the time moves on.  He LOVES to be read to and going to the library. I am trying to contain my excitement over this prospect right now.

Mr. Miller still works for the Big Green Tractor Company and will be celebrating 13 years this summer.  Wow!

As for Green Acres in the City….I am wanting to change things up a bit.  Would love suggestions from you, my readers.  I am looking for help in a new blog design as well.  I love the barter system.  BTW I am holding a contest over at my FB Page for Arbonne.  If you like my page you will be entered into to winning a free gift!

Can’t wait to see where time will take us, Green Acres in the City and how we will grow.  For now blessings and we will talk more this week!