Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Jackie McMuffins

When I was a kid, my dad used to make me Jackie McMuffins.  I hope we don’t get in trouble for calling them that, but it is what we named them. I was feeling sentimental and my parents gave us some English muffins, so I made them again.
First, I lightly cooked up 2 eggs.  I tried to make them perfect circles using mason jar rings, but it didn’t work.
While they cooked, I buttered up the muffins and toasted them.
When the eggs were done, I placed them on the muffins and topped them with some raw cheddar.  
They were a perfect start to the day!

This post was shared on the Hearth and Soul Hop and Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday!


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What To Do With Whey

After making ricotta cheese the other day, I was left with more than a quart of whey.  I wanted to use it, but I already had a plethora of lacto-fermented veggies, which is what I usually use it for.  After some extensive research (Google), I decided to try making bread with it.  I found a recipe that seemed hard to screw up, which was important to me after my last bread disaster. 
To start, I melted 5 T of butter in 1 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of whey. 
As it melted, I mixed together 5 cups of flour, 2 t salt, 1 T coconut palm sugar, and 4 1/2 t yeast.
When the butter was melted, I added it to the dry ingredients.
I used the stand mixer to knead it together for about 5 minutes.  Then, I shaped it into 2 funny-looking loaves.
I placed the loaves on the toaster oven, crossed my fingers, and hoped it would rise.  It did!
It baked in the oven 425* for about half an hour.  I would show you a picture, but John dug into it before I could.  It is a simple-tasting bread, but I like the idea that the whey added a little something extra.  Even if there is no nutritional value to it, I used a byproduct of cooking that would have otherwise gone to waste. 
Other things I used the whey for? 
Soaking Beans
Cooking Rice for this delish risotto!  I will share THAT with you next time.
This post was shared on Your Green Resource and Pennywise Platter Thursday!


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Most Complicated Raisin Bread. Ever.

I posted on Facebook about a month ago that I was attempting a complicated (for me) bread recipe.  I am finally recovered from that experience to write about it.  
Before I jump into the story, let me just say that I’m sure the original recipe is fine, and I don’t have the patience or the eye for detail to make it correctly.  
 I should have gotten the clue when I assembled the ingredients that I was out of my league. 
The recipe made 3 loaves-too much in my opinion. I decided to cut it in thirds.  Given the fact that original amounts were things like one and seven-eighths cups, it went against all common sense. But, I didn’t listen to common sense.  
I stayed on course, soaking the raisins to make them nice and plump.
Soaking the oatmeal…
Proofing the yeast…
and THAT was all before I even started the actual mixing!  Picture me, with my calculator, desperately attempting to make something happen.  I mixed the yeast together with the other ingredients.
Then, I added in the soaked oatmeal and kneaded it.
And kneaded it and kneaded it.
Have I ever mentioned that I am terrible at kneading?  I am terrible at kneading.  Anyway, I tried to mix in the raisins at this point.  Oh yeah, and the cinnamon, which I had forgotten about. 
Then, I let it rise… and rise… and rise.  Nothing really happened.  Let’s just say that it didn’t rise or look anything like the original photos. 
I baked it anyway, and it was dense, obviously.  I was also surprised by the dull flavoring.  For all the ingredients, math, and work, it was very blah.  
Lesson learned.  When a recipe is WAY TOO HARD, it is probably not worth it.  In my world, the recipes have to be user-friendly.


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Freezer Sandwich Bread

I’ve already shared a few bread recipes with you, but I have another one!  This one is meant to be frozen before it is baked, and then it can be defrosted and baked whenever.  This is perfect for crazy busy weeks when I still want home made bread.  
To make this bread, I started by heating up 4 cups of whole milk with 1/4 cup of butter.  The original recipe called for water and dry milk, but I am not a fan of dry milk.
While that heated up, I mixed together 4 packages worth of active dry yeast , 1/2 a cup of rapadura, and 4 t of salt.
Next, I stirred in 4 cups of flour.
Once the bowl was hooked up to the stand mixer, I slowly mixed in the milk/butter mixture. 
As the mixer turned, I stirred in more flour.  The recipe called for a total of 11.5-12.5 cups.  I think I used a total of 8 cups.  I knew it was done when it looked like, well, dough.  I let the stand mixer knead it for 10 more minutes.
It was a HUUUUGE chunk of dough.  This recipe is supposed to make 4 loaves of bread, so you can imagine how much dough this is.  
I kneaded it by hand for a few minutes, and then let it rest.  After 15 minutes, I split it into 4 equal pieces.
Then, I shaped each into a loaf, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and froze them.
I took one out this week and baked it (at 375 for about a half hour) after letting it defrost and rise.  What did we use it for?  You’ll just have to wait and see!


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Easter Eve Breakfast

In our house, I cook during the week (except for the nights I work late) and John cooks on the weekend.  He is especially good at whipping up weekend breakfasts.  That is a good thing, because by Saturday morning, I am too exhausted to even crack an egg.  This past weekend, he made a simple feast that was SO good I had to share.  
Runny fried eggs cooked in bacon grease, crusty bread toasted with sausage grease, bacon, and strawberries. 
I’ll tell you the secret ingredient to his yummy eggs, but you have to PROMISE not to tell!  He sprinkles the eggs with salt and CINNAMON!

This post was featured on “Let’s Do Brunch” with the 21st century housewife and The Pennywise Platter with the Nourishing Gourmet!


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Home Made Tortillas

My cooking goal right now is to make as many things as possible from scratch.  The next project I’m sharing is a home made tortilla.  I have made them in the past, and they are fun and easy.  
I pretty much use the recipe from this site, with a few minor tweaks.  
First, I mixed the dry ingredients together (2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 t of baking powder, and 1.5 t of salt) with 2 t of coconut oil.
Then, I added in 3/4 cup of warmed raw milk.  It didn’t check a thermometer, but it felt warm to the touch.  
Once it was mixed in, I kneaded it until it formed a loose ball and let it rest about 20 minutes.  Then, I separated it into 8 smaller balls and let them rest for about 10 minutes.  
From there, I rolled each one out into a rough circle.  
To cook them, I just stuck them on a small dry skillet for less than a minute per side.  
They are done when they are speckled with brown spots. 
Now, I make them a little before I plan on using them, and store them in the fridge.  When it is time to use them, I throw them back in the warm skillet to soften them back up.  
They are so tasty, use so few ingredients, and are easy to make!

This post was featured on Pennywise Platter and Make Your Own Monday!


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Sandwich Bread

We love bread over here at Crest Cottage.  I have a great Crusty Bread recipe that I love, but I was still searching for a sandwich bread recipe.  This one is definitely a contender!
This is made with white flour, not whole wheat flour.  I know, I know, you would think that I would be all “Only whole wheat!!  No White Flour!!”  I’m not.  While I would LOVE to find a good whole wheat sandwich bread recipe, but I haven’t yet, and there is no shame in that.  This bread was delicious and home made with pretty darn good ingredients.  That is good enough for me. 
The great thing about this recipe is that I was able to use up the last little bit of less than fresh raw milk that John doesn’t really like to drink straight.  I started by warming 1 cup of it to about 105*
Then, I stirred it into 2 1/4 t of active dry yeast and 1 T Rapadura.
Since the recipe called for skim milk (yuck!) and I used whole milk, I wasn’t sure about adding in the tablespoon of melted butter that the recipe called for.  I added it anyway. 
Then, I added in 3 cups of flour and some salt. 
Here comes the hardest part.  I didn’t do this in the stand mixer.  I thought I would be fun to knead it by hand.  HA!   I had to keep adding water because it was too dry.  I couldn’t even get it to combine.  Once it was the right consistency, though, it was great!

I covered it and let it rise for what seemed like forever.  In reality it was probably 3 hours.  Our house is really cold.  

Once it was doubled in size, I punched it down and let it rest for a few minutes.  Then, I rolled it out.  
Next, I rolled it up into a loaf and stuck it in a loaf pan.  !
Then, THAT had to rise.  
Just before I stuck it in the oven, I brushed it with more butter. 
Baked at 400* for about a half hour?
This is DEFINITELY going into our standard rotation!


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Burger Pockets

John invented the coolest thing ever!!  I am calling them burger pockets, but if anyone has a better idea for a name, let me know in the comments.  
First, he took some grassfed ground beef, formed it into burgers, and seared them on the grill pan.  
 While they were cooking, he rolled out my home made pizza dough and added a layer of grassfed raw milk cheddar cheese.  
When the burgers were seared on the outside (but really raw on the inside), he took them out of the pan. 
Then, they went onto the dough.  
He rolled it up, sealed it, and put it in the oven.  
He baked it for 350* for about 10 minutes.
It was so delish!
Check out the side of saurkraut!


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Updates!

I thought it was about time to take a break and bring you up-to-date on some of our ongoing projects. 
1.  Shave Oil– Since I last posted, I got my hands on some essential oils and started experimenting.  I used:
  • Tea Tree Oil- Chosen for its antibacterial properties.  The goal of tea tree oil is to prevent anything that gets into the open, fresh skin from causing or exacerbating breakouts. 
  • Chamomile- Chosen for its soothing properties.  The oil is still on the skin after the razor passes over it, and the chamomile is ready to soothe it. 
  • Lavender- Also chosen for its soothing properties.  Skin that just had a layer taken off by a metal blade needs all the help it can get!
  • Peppermint- Cooling, and makes his skin feel better.   
  • Jojoba Oil- Known to be good and nourishing for the skin, so I added in a bit as another carrier oil.
The verdict?  He loves it!  He has had way less inflammation, and less breakouts on his neck.  In his words, “The best shave EVER!”  Sometime he doesn’t even need to use any aftershave (which is good, because I haven’t managed to make that at home, yet!)

2.  Hot Dog Bun Disaster– I wish I could say that I made them again and they were wonderful.  I didn’t.  I didn’t do anything like that.  But, I did turn them into breadcrumbs.  So, win.  
3.  Saurkraut–  WAS A SUCCESS!!!   Finally, I was able to lacto-ferment something!  Check out the bubbles!
It was so tasty!!! Even John liked it!!!!

This post was featured on Fight Back Friday at Food Renegades and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS!