Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Pops

The strawberries we have been getting from our CSA are so delicious.  I probably eat a pint on the drive home!  Luckily, they are having a great year for strawberries and there are always plenty to go around.  
 I wanted to make some into frozen yogurt.  I didn’t really make a specific recipe.  I just put a bunch of strawberries into the blender with yogurt…
Blended it…
Poured it into the ice cream maker…
And froze it!
Unfortunately, I found it a little too icy for my taste.  I still wanted to eat it, though, so I let it melt in the fridge.
I poured the melted no-longer-fro-yo into ice pop molds and refroze it…. Perfect!  It was a great pre-work snack!


Sweet Potater-tots

MMmmmmmm…. Sweet potatoes!  I love ’em in any form, but this recipe was a new one for me.  Based upon this post at Fab Frugal Food, it is not only delicious, but also easy to make and freezer-friendly! 
I started out with 4 potatoes.  
 I sliced them up so they would fit into the food processor, but I didn’t peel them.  It is too much work and I kinda like the skins.  
Slowly, they were jammed into the food processor to be shredded.
FYI, I doubled the recipe right off the top.  It made for a LOT of shredded potatoes.  
Then, I baked the shreds in the oven to dry them out a bit.
While they baked, I gathered together some spices.  I also found some cornstarch and flour to help bind the lil’ tots together.  
When the shreds were a little drier, I threw them into a (much bigger!) bowl with the seasonings.  
John helped out by shaping the potato-spice mixture into little golf-ball sized tots.  We froze some just like that, and the rest we fried in coconut oil.  
Wow, wow, wow… and I am not talking about my lack of photography skills!  These little suckers were deeeeelish.  Bigger than traditional tater tots, and a bit sweet, these hit the spot.  Having a bunch ready to defrost and eat later is a bonus, too!

This post was featured on Tasty Tuesday at 33 Shades of Green!


Granola Update

Hello Again!  Happy Monday!!
I have posted about granola before.  I have been using the same recipe for quite a while, and although I love it, I have been feeling the need to experiment.  Last weekend, I took this recipe and ran with it. 
First, I melted down 1/2 a cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup home made peanut butter, and 1/4 cup coconut oil.  
While it melted, I mixed together 1/2 cup of coconut, 4 cups of oats, LOTS of cinnamon, and a few pinches of salt. 
Soon, the first pot was all melted.  I added in about 1 1/2 t of vanilla extract.  
 I mixed it allllll together and spread it out onto a silicone baking mat. 
Then, I baked it at 350* until it was light brown.  
It was really good!  I love the maple/salt combo.  This recipe gave me the confidence to experiment a bit more with my granola!

John keeps granola at work with him to eat for breakfast.  Every morning I pack him up with some raw milk and fruit and he is is set!

This post was featured on Let’s Do Brunch! with the life and times of the 21st century housewife!


Ginger Carrots

Another fermenting success!  YAYYY!!!!
I went on a bit of a fermenting spree last weekend.  The ginger carrots are first thing that was ready, so here they are!!
First, I shredded up a few carrots in my food processor.  
Then, I added 4 tablespoons of whey, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, and some ginger to the carrots.
I mixed it up, and then mashed it down to let the juices flow!
After it was stuffed into a jar…
I filled it nearly to the top with filtered water and let it sit for 3 days.  
Now, after 2 days, I noticed that there were quite a few bubbles.  By the third day, the the lid was starting to bulge up a little.  When I pressed on it, I could feel that there was a build up in pressure under it.  I knew it was ready at that point.  
 I didn’t know just HOW ready it really was!
It kept rising, spilling over the top of the jar!! I hope all my other things turn out this well!
Oh, by the way… Taste wise?  It is yummy!!

This post was featured on Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade!


Convenience Food Re-do: Chicken Nuggets!

I have mentioned a few convenience foods that I’ve re-done, and I thought it was time to share another.  I have been in dire need of convenience items lately because I have taken on a second full-time job.  I am now constantly on the go (leaving less time for poor little Crest Cottage Creations) and am finding myself with less and less time to create in the kitchen.  Luckily, I have little tricks like this up my sleeve!
I purchased a family pack of chicken thighs from Whole Foods… Not the best available (from local happy chickens), but better than conventionally raised chickens.  Compromise is the name of the game.  
I took those thighs (because they are cheaper and juicer than breasts) and cut them into equal-ish sized pieces.  
I threw a ton of flour into the bowl and mixed it up to coat it all. 
I added in a mixed up egg…
… and then my custom breadcrumb mix.  I took the plain breadcrumbs and added garlic powder, parsely, oregano, and salt.  
The coated up chicken was mixed up and then spread evenly on a baking sheet. 
I baked it up at 350* for about 15-20 minutes. At the end of the baking, they were perfect!!
They were so juicy!!!
Once cooled, the whole baking sheet went into the freezer.  After they were frozen, I stuck the chicken nuggets into a baggie and they are good to go!

This post was featured on Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, and  Pennywise Platter Thursday at the Nourishing Gourmet!

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Rainbow Salad

I’m a bit short on time right now, so I am just throwing a gorgeous salad your way!
I started out with some super colorful kale.  
It was thrown in a bowl and massaged with 3 parts Olive Oil to 1.5 parts Apple Cider Vinegar and some sea salt.  
To make it super awesome, I made sure I had EVERY color on the rainbow…
Orange- Carrots
Yellow- Peppers
Green- Scallions
Blue- Blueberries
Purple- Kale 
Super easy, pretty, and delicious!!

This post was featured on Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance!


Apple Chips

We were recently gifted with a ton of apples.  No, not really a TON, but lots of apples!  Now, we love apples, but after a week or so, we realized that they wouldn’t all be eaten fresh before they went bad.  I decided to try drying them.
Now, in a perfect world, I would have a dehydrator.  Or an oven that went below 170*.  And maybe one of these:
Alas, I have none.  I wasn’t about to let that stop me, no siree!  I started with 9 apples and went to town.
Coring them…
Peeling them…
Yes, I know I could leave the peels on.  I don’t care for the taste of the peels on the dried apples.  Don’t worry, I saved them for something, you’ll see!
 Finally, I chopped them into pieces that were small enough to fit into the food processor and then sliced them thin with the machine.
Onto the baking sheets they went.  It took 4 huge sheets to fit them all!
I set the oven to the lowest temperature I have (170*) and went to town.  Whenever I had to leave, I just shut the oven.  I took them out whenever I had to cook something else.  I taste tested throughout the process.  Once they were crunchy and dry, I decided they were done.  
I stuck them in a jar, and have been snacking on them.  They went into yogurt, onto peanut butter sandwiches, and straight into my mouth.

This post was featured on Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Mondays, Healthy Kids Meals at Creating Nirvana, and Tuesday Twister at GNOWFGLINS!


Pepperoni Bread

When I made the large batch of pizza dough to freeze, I saved one set to make pepperoni bread.  This recipe is something that my mom has always made for Christmas Eve.  It was steeped in tradition, not for any reason other then my obsession with tradition.  A few years ago I began to make it myself.  It was always delicious, and interesting.  If you followed Munching Madness, you may have read about it there.  If not, here’s a photo from one super fun attempt.
(Yes.  It’s green.  Adding coloring to the eggwash will make that happen.  Just so ya know!)
This was my first attempt at a Real Food version of Pepperoni Bread.  The cheese was raw mozzarella from grassfed cows.  We used pepperoni that was nitrite/nitrate free and organic.  Could we have gone full throttle and gotten it from a farm, yes.  We didn’t.  Moderation, people.  Moderation.
Once the dough finished all of its rising, I cut it in half so I could make 2 breads.  One was for eating and the other for freezing.  The dough then was rolled out on a silicone baking sheet to it wouldn’t stick to anything.
It was covered with pepperoni and cheese!
Once it was rolled up, it went into the oven at 350* until it was done.  I think it took about 40 minutes since it was a small loaf.
Check it out!


Peanuty Popcorn

In addition to the Infused Oils shared yesterday, we also made some Peanuty Popcorn as a gift.  This was a gift for a certain honey-and-peanut butter addict.  We typically give him some of our home made peanut butter sweetened with honey, but it was time to change it up.  When I saw this recipe, I was sold.  We changed up the proportions a bit after the first batch.  
Yes.  We had to make a few batches because our “taste tests” somehow made the entire first batch disappear.  
I’ll let you check the recipe out yourself and make your own tweaks.  Here are the photos, though!
Assemble ingredients.
Melt ingredients.
Mix ingredients.
Pop popcorn.
Pour topping over popcorn.
Allow to dry and DEVOUR.  Or story.  Whatever.
This post was featured on Tuesday Twister at GNOWFGLINS!


Cheesy Balls of Heaven

On the weekends, John gets a chance to cook more.  He is much more of an original and experimental cook than I, and that usually leads to some yumminess.  This weekend was no exception.  He invented…..
No joke.  They are that good.  
He shredded up a chunk of raw cheddar cheese.  The quality of the cheese you use will impact the finished product.  
He rolled the cheese into little bite sized balls.
In 1 bowl he mixed together raw whole milk and pastured eggs.
In the other, breadcrumbs and some seasonings.  He used 1/2 panko and 1/2 whole wheat breadcrumbs.
In a small pot, he heated up some virgin coconut oil as his frying medium of choice.
As it heated, he rolled each cheesy ball in the egg/milk and then the breadcrumb mixture.
Once the coconut oil was hot, he dropped them in a few at time.
When they were brown enough, they drained.
Let me tell you.  It sounds easy (and it is, really) and boring, but this was AMAZING.  I took a bit of one and said, “WHOA!!! Little cheesy balls of HEAVEN!”  Really.  It takes a lot for me to say that.  Or say anything while shoveling food into my face, for that matter. 
Make this.  NOW.

This post was featured on Vegetarian Foodie Fridays at Breastfeeding Mom’s Unite!