butter …

A few weeks ago I opened our refrigerator and found FOUR FULL GALLONS of fresh raw milk.  And there was NO way it would all stay fresh long enough for four of us to drink it.  I mean, the littles like milk, but to expect a two year old to drink a gallon in just a few days?  Not reality in our house.  Maybe if he was 15.  But I’m not ready to imagine his sweet little face a teenager …

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… You can’t make me.

So what to do with FOUR FULL GALLONS of fresh raw milk?

Besides ice cream?

And milk shakes?

And yogurt?

And kefir?

It seems so obvious.

Butter!

Cultured Raw Butter!

Why not?

I have a KitchenAid (affiliate link).

And a Food Processor.

I have access to the internet.

And by the way … Cultured Raw Butter is nutritious (a great source of vitamin E and Vitamin K, contains nutrients essential for childhood brain and nervous system development, saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties … for a great list of the benefits of raw butter, check out this link from body ecology.)

Anyway … I had enough milk that I tried TWO ways to make butter.

In the KitchenAid … which (despite the assertion by THIS blogger that it takes less than 10 minutes), this took about 45 minutes of serious whippage in a high powered stand mixer.

And in a Food Processor (which just about burned out the motor after an hour in our Cuisinart).  The motor and body of the machine was hot to the touch for nearly an hour after processing.

This is what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups room temperature fresh raw cream (NOTE: you can use pasteurized cream, but raw cultured cream has more nutrient availability and tastes pretty darn amazing)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

Put the cream in the stand mixer and turn it on (start at a low setting, make sure you either have a spray-shield or towel in place) and turn it up slowly so as not to spray your kitchen).  Leave it on the highest setting until the liquid separates from the butter (can be from 6 to 40 minutes)

Pour off the liquid, then take what’s left of the solid and strain it in a fine mesh strainer.  Press on the butter until no more liquid comes out.

Put the butter back in the mixer, add the sea salt and mix on high again.  If any more liquid comes out, discard it.  Do NOT add it to your buttermilk because it will be too salty and ruin the flavor of your buttermilk.  NOTE:  the more liquid you get out, the longer it will last in your fridge.

The yield, with 2 cups of cream, was about 4-6 oz. of butter and about a cup of buttermilk.

We made buttermilk sourdough pancakes with our first batch … and it was FANTASTIC.  So fun … so nutritious … and totally delicious.

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When I do it again (which is likely to be today or tomorrow, because I’ve got about 2 cups of heavy cream being wasted in the fridge and that just hurts), I’ll go the KitchenAid route.  And not just because of the 15 minutes, or because I don’t want to destroy the motor on the food processor … the results in the stand mixer were a clear winner:  better texture, better taste, and more usable buttermilk.

NOTE:  The main reason it was better buttermilk in the stand mixer is that I didn’t add the salt until after straining the buttermilk.  (Pathetic Confession: it wasn’t until I was bout to actually make butter that I realized buttermilk is the milk that skims from the cream when one makes butter … doh!)  As for texture and taste … the stand mixer made for an easier-to-spread tastier butter.  I can’t account for the difference in taste since I used cream from the same batches of milk.  It could just be that I had a pinch more salt in in the stand mixer … or adding the salt after skimming the buttermilk means more of it stays in the butter and less strains off into the buttermilk.  I’ll have to experiment more to figure this one out.

 

 

Happy Weekend

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For the first time in the history of mankind, I spent an hour this Saturday morning sitting by the fire eating waffles and watching a cooking show… BY MYSELF! I’m still not sure how it happened.

We’ve got some snow in the forecast, so we’re planning on bundling up and enjoying some pumpkin patches and hay mazes while we can.

As usual, we thought we’d wrap up the week with a recap what’s been happening. Admittedly, things were a little slow around here as Jeanne and I both had pretty demanding weeks.

Most Read: Running in the Winter (aka a giveaway from AT&T you won’t want to miss). We have about 48 hours left, and it’s super easy to enter.

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Most Pinned: Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.  Honestly, this is one of our most pinned recipes every week.  It’s Jeanne’s recipe, so I guess it’s about time I make some!

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Around the web: All about Gavin’s Nutrition from Chasing Rainbows.  I posted this on our Facebook page this week, but I think it’s worth sharing again.  I’ve been following Kate’s blog since the day she lost her 5 year old son, turned 43 and found out she was unexpectedly pregnant… all in one day.  Quite the day, huh?  She writes with such vulnerability, and I enjoy reading every post she writes.

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Featured:  Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  We shared these tasty treats over at Modern Alternative Kitchen this week.  Trust me… these are amazing!

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Just for fun: Idolizing Miley from Momastery. I’ve read a ton of great articles on protecting our kids from the over sexualization of our culture.  This one… might be the first one that makes me chuckle.

miley-cyrus-had-the-craziest-performance-of-the-vmasPhoto: Business Insider

Enjoy your weekend!!

weekend update

And the winner of our well-loved Ergo Standard Baby Carrier is …

LINDSEY MILLER!!!

Congratulations, Lindsey!  Please email us your mailing address so we can send you your Ergo!

happy weekend 3I don’t know what happened to Fall, but it seems to have slipped out of the calendar this year.  Because just like THAT, it’s Winter here in Montana.

Which means we have to worry about snowsuits, snowshoes, hats and catching up to all those running noses … probably why our most PINNED and SHARED posts this week were …

6 natural ways to fight the flu

and

6 MORE natural ways to fight the flu

But our most read?  Our most read post was Abby’s first heartfelt story in her series …

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And one of our favorite (okay … it’s just the one that made us cry) post we read on the WWW this week is from Rage Against the Minivan … What I Want You to Know About Birth Mothers

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And then, of course, there’s the recipe by another blogger that we just can’t wait to attempt:  Nanaimo Bars … until we read Jody’s post we had no idea these even existed!

Jody (the incredible real food blogger from our home town of Bozeman) describes it this way: “It’s a dessert bar of Canadian oigin, consisting of a chocolate coconut cookie crumb crust, and vanilla custard filling, topped with a chocolate ganache. It really is…heaven in a bar.”

Ummmm … YES PLEASE!!!!  Count us in.

nanaimo1Hope you all have a wonderful weekend …

By the way, if you’ve got recipes you think we should try … add ’em to the comments of today’s post and we’ll post a little “contest” on Facebook.  We’ll make the one with the most likes and feature it right here!

xo,

Jeanne & Abby

happy weekend

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Admittedly, as a stay-at-home mom, most days seem the same, but just to make myself feel better I’ve decided to celebrate the fact that it’s Saturday.

For this wild and crazy celebration I thought I’d share the “best of the week”…. (If you don’t care about all that, promise me ((REALLY, PROMISE ME)) you will scroll to the bottom and watch the 18 minute video.)

First up, Most Pinned Post of the Week:
Sharpie Cups

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Has anyone else tried these?  Jeanne made these as party favors for her daughters’ birthday last spring, and ours are still going strong.  I’m wondering if this would work with mason jars?? Can they withstand the heat?

Next up, Most Read Post of the Week:
Homemade Nutella

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Organic hazelnuts aren’t the most budget friendly food item out there, but as a special treat from time to time… YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS! My pint sized mason jar lasted less than 24 hours, and I’m itching to make it again.

Favorite Post from the WWW:
Even Closer to Fine from Momastery

via www.momastery.com
via www.momastery.com

And finally, the most important part of this post!  This video from Robyn O’Brien that you I’m begging you to watch.

She gives an incredible 18 minutes TedX talk on what exactly GMO foods are, and how they are destroying the American food supply and subsequently, our health.  Please watch it and send to your friends and family! Sorry the formatting is off… I tried to fix it, but had no luck.

Check our her website HERE, or you can also follow her on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

summer natural remedy round up

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It’s easy to go broke buying over-the-counter meds for simple summer maladies.  To be honest, in our opinion, home remedies often work better, taste better, smell better, and are safer for the littles and the world.

And today, we’ve been invited by the editor at Modern Alternative Kitchen to guest post and share some of the home remedies that we use to beat the nagging summer ailments we’ve faced this year … things like sunburn, bug bites, swimmer’s ear, BBQ bloat (aka indigestion) and the dreaded summer cold.

Click here to read the full post!

NOTE:  Modern Alternative Kitchen is dedicated to real food and traditional cooking.  It’s a place you’ll find healthy recipes, tips on ingredients, basics on kitchen supplies and techniques, food science and research, eating real food on a budget, and more!

 

We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks

Putting real food to the test: Lime-Cilantro Quinoa Salad


Abby and I decided that we needed to branch out from our personal cooking ruts.

I mean … as good as Abby’s taquitos are … and they are THAT good … how many times a week can you eat them?.

And  we’ve been excited to realize how many real food bloggers there are (like The Nourishing Gourmet, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, This Chick Cooks, 100 Days of Real Food, to name just a few).

So we’ve decided to challenge ourselves … and the real food recipes we’ve been adding to our personal interest pages.

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We’ll be calling it “taste test”, and here’s how it works … we find a real food recipe that looks promising.  Make it (with or without modification … we’ll tell you if we make changes).  Feed our family.  Take a poll (or just see if the littles will eat it and/or want seconds) and tell you how it goes.

And for our first adventure … Lime-Cilantro Quinoa Salad from 100 Days of Real Food

I had a family dinner on Friday that required me to bring a vegetarian salad … one that could be substantial enough for the veggies in attendance to feel like they had a real meal, and light enough for the omnivores who wanted a tasty side dish for their burgers and steak.

quinoa salad

The basic ingredients for the salad:

  • Quinoa – superfood, high protein, totally substantial and nutritious.  (I used organic tricolor quinoa instead of the white that Lisa used.)
  • Dried fruit (I used un-sulfered apricots and dried cranberries)
  • Pine nuts – for an added crunch
  • Cilantro
  • Bell Pepper (I used a red one and a yellow one because I find the green ones a little over-powering … also I doubled the bell pepper because I doubled the recipe, since I was feeding 14 people)

For the dressing Lisa used a combination of:

  • lime juice
  • olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • garlic
  • salt

I cut back on the amount of dressing because, well, it just seemed a little excessive for my taste.  But I gotta tell you … SUCCESS!!!  It was a HUGE hit!

The vegetarians LOVED that it was substantial and tasty.  The omnivores went back for seconds.  And the kiddos were excited to find little bits of dried fruit … it was like a treasure hunt for them.  I will definitely make this again and again.

We’re linked up:
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks
The Nourishing Gourmet

 

reads we dig: #3

Every once in a while we bring you a few of the reads we’ve discovered in our web-surfing (because sadly, we probably spend too much time surfing… if you could see me, you’d notice I’m smirking right now).

Sometimes it’s about homeschool (like the first article this week by Kathleen Berchelmann).

Sometimes it’s about real food (see the second article).

Sometimes gardening.

It may even be a recipe that we’ve been wanting to try from someone else’s blog.

And sometimes it’s just great writing that we want to share … that pulls at our heart strings or reminds us of the best of humanity.

We hope you’ll click on the links, read the articles … and then turn around and share some of YOUR favorite reads with us.  Just add the URL into a comment and we’ll be sure to check it out.  As we build the O’Mamas community, we want to know what you all are reading!

So without further ado …

reads we dig

18 Reasons Why Doctors and Lawyers Homeschool Their Children by Kathleen Berchelmann, M.D.

I’m going public today with a secret I’ve kept for a year—my husband and I are homeschooling our children.  I never dream ed we would become homeschoolers.  I wanted my kids integrated and socialized.  I wanted their eyes opened to the realities of the world.  I wanted the values we taught at home put to the test in the real world.  But necessity drove me to consider homeschooling for my 2nd and 4th graders, and so I timidly attended a home school parent meeting last spring.  Surprisingly it was full of doctors, lawyers, former public school teachers, and other professionals.  These were not the stay-at-home-moms in long skirts that I expected.   The face of homeschooling is changing.  We are not all religious extremists or farmers, and our kids are not all overachieving academic nerds without social skills.  Keep reading…

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Read Your Labels:  Top 10 Additives to Avoid from Citizens for Health

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been blogging about the Citizens For Health selections of the top ten food additives to avoid in the “Read Your Labels” campaign. In case you missed any of the actors in this rogue’s gallery of unnecessary and health-damaging ingredients that turn up in so many products, here’s a recap of what they are, where you’re most likely to find them, and why you should keep them out of your diet.  As the high point of this campaign, Citizens for Health has declared Thursday, April 11 to be  “Read Your Labels Day.”  Keep Reading …

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24 Reasons to Eat More Coconut Oil from Don’t Waste the Crumbs

Have you ever tried chewing tapioca pudding?  It’s kinda like that, but thicker.  A very strange texture in my mouth that I wasn’t hoping to repeat.

Thankfully I found great success with melting it and making seed salad, which is still one of my all time favorite ways of eating this awesome fat (besides baking with it, of course).

A few days later, my good friend Google clued me in that coconut oil was supposed to be solid.  However, it wasn’t until I read Nourishing Traditions that I figured out why:  it’s 92% saturated fat!

Remember that saturated fat is the good fat.  It’s the type of fat that contains the strong bonds that are resistant to higher temperatures, making them safer to cook and bake with and less likely to attract free radicals.  Keep Reading …

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A Letter to Young Mothers from Cheetos for Breakfast

I had my first child in 1990. Back then I was faced with a few choices: Natural childbirth vs. intervention, breast vs. bottle, stay-at-home vs. work, and cloth vs. disposable. That was it. For me, the choices were easy. There were not categories and subcategories and sub-subcategories. There was no internet to tell you the pros and cons of each decision you made. You just did life. You just lived.   Keep Reading… 

A quick read we can all benefit from!

A week or so ago, I came across THIS BLOG  that had me at hello.

Bridget writes mainly about family and fashion and food, but I just discovered THIS old guest post from her mother that I think is a gem!

Every now and then you come across a simple, thorough explanation of living a healthy lifestyle that seems to cover all the basics…

She says…

Health and all things relating to health became my passion when I was pregnant with my first — who will soon turn 40!!  I was a pretty sick kid and began questioning if there was a better way.   And so it began.  We went the route of natural childbirth.  My husband was in the delivery room — the first one ever in our local hospital.  Breastfeeding came next.  That was a no brainer.  Transitioning onto solid foods really got my attention.  That demanded so much more thought.  I needed to really start reading. I soon realized the importance and the impact of the choices we make on our overall health and well being.  And so it continues.  I read and enjoy anything and everything on the subject of health.  Except for a few official courses along the way plus age and some wisdom — I have no real credentials!!  I’m here to say that a healthy life style is worth any sacrifice (real or imagined) that is required.  Where are we without our health?  Every ‘body’ is different.  But to the degree that we can influence our health — why wouldn’t we?  KEEP READING…

And what’s a post without a picture (even if it’s an old one)… we’re itching for warm weather again here in Montana!

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Hope you find a few minutes to read!
-Abby