home renovations & recipes
We're no chip and joanna gaines, but we try our hand at diy home reno & cooking
When I first read that I needed to space out the dill seeds in my herb garden 16 inches apart and that hypothetically the dill would grow 18 inches tall, I scoffed. Yeah, right. This is an herb we're talking about.
Low and behold, I have a two-foot dill plant come early August, and more dill than I know what to do with.
So, I went scouring for recipes and stubbled upon dill potato salad, and man, was it delicious!
The best thing is, this is a super simple yet delicious recipe that does a great job using up lots of dill!
I picked 6 large springs of dill-- after I washed and chopped it, it came out to be about 4 tablespoons of dill total.
4 tablespoons of dill
5 medium-sized white potato, boiled and cooled with skin on (or off-- your preference)
1/2 a cup of mayo
1/2 a cup of sour cream
A teaspoon of lemon juice
A few pinches of salt, to taste
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 springs of scallion (I just tore off two springs off of my onion in the garden)
Once you boil and cool your potato, cut them into cubes and toss with the rest of the ingredients. I diced up the celery and rough-chopped the scallions. If you are eager to eat this, you can eat it lukewarm, but I think it tastes much better once it has cooled in the fridge. It didn't last three days in the fridge, but that's how long I'd suggest you keep it there before eating it all! Yum!
In case you were curious, dill has long been used in different cultures (particularly Asian cultures) for its various health benefits. Of course, many of these are not research-driven but purely anecdotal. Find out more here-- www.verywellfit.com/dill-benefits-side-effects-and-preparations-4243918
While this recipe won't fill the daily value of 2/3 cups of dill, it still is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, fiber, calcium, riboflavin, manganese, and iron.
Mid-July and our garden is producing lettuce, radish, and various other greens out the wazoo. Hubby and I are getting tired of salad, so I've been looking to find some recipes to jazz up our lettuce and various greens. With a bucketful of spinach and swiss chard fresh out of the garden, I decided to try ricotta and spinach stuffed crepes. What's not to like?
Not picture perfect, but these turned out amazing. I happened upon a video in Spanish on my Pinterest that mentioned spinach and ricotta crepes, so I thought I'd come up with some ingredients to make it. I didn't have milk for the crepes, so I used heavy cream instead, cutting it with a bit of water.
Here is the crepe recipe I used:
-A cup of flour
-A cup of heavy cream with about 1/4 cup water
-Pinch of salt
-Pinch of sugar
-Half a stick of melted butter
The batter was, of course, pretty thick, but still liquid enough to make crepes. I actually ended up making this same recipe with milk (1.25 cups), and I preferred the thicker crepes as they held together better with the ricotta inside. They still tasted crepe-like but held their structure beautifully compared to the milk version.
Here is what I used for the filling:
-One clove of garlic, minced
-Half an onion, chopped
-About two cups of spinach and swiss chard, torn into smaller pieces
-Tablespoon of olive oil
-A cup and a half of ricotta cheese
After frying up the garlic and onion with the oil in a pan (use a non-stick pan the size you want your crepes to be) until fragrant, I added the spinach and swiss chard, which quickly cooked down. I cooked at medium heat for about 3-4 minutes for the garlic and onion and an additional 3 minutes for the greens.
While the pan cooled down off the heat, I mixed in a separate bowl the egg and ricotta together. Once the pan cooled, I folded the mixtures together.
Adding three heaping tablespoons of filling per crepe, I then rolled them and placed them into a pan to place in the oven at 350 degrees.
On top, I added about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a drizzle of tomato sauce (I used marinara). This added some nice flavor and reminded me of lasagna a bit. I cooked the crepes in the oven just to heat the filling through again and melt the cheese, about 10 minutes. Yum!
Hubby and I ate this for dinner and had one serving left for leftovers the following day. I made the recipe again when a friend was over and we ate it all for lunch-- so, I'd say it is three servings total, but it really depends on how much you eat!
Seriously easy & Tasty Homemade bagel recipe
After perusing Pinterest for a good bagel recipe, I happened upon this one: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-bagels/.
I couldn't find a bagel recipe without "bread flour" in it, so I took a shot at the one in the URL above and made some adjustments to it. They turned out AMAZING! They are pillowy and doughy, bringing me back to my childhood in NY. Nostalgia and taste-- check and check! This recipe ended up making 6 bagels, 1 of which did not make it to the oven because I dropped it. Oh well.
I do think this recipe is much easier with a Kitchenaid mixer, but the original recipe called for the dough to be hand-kneaded because the dough was so thick. I did not find this to be the case-- I let the dough turn with the dough hook in the Kitchenaid for 5 minutes and it turned into a beautiful ball of dough that was slightly sticky!
2.5 teaspoons of dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
A teaspoon of olive oil
Egg wash-- 1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon water
2 quarts water and 1/4 cup of honey for water bath
Large surface area pot (you want the bagels to be able to move around in the water)
Pastry brush for egg wash
1. Pour the 1.5 cups of warm water into the Kitchenaid mixer, then pour the yeast package in. Let stand for 5 minutes (or, if you are like me and have an infant, 20 minutes). :)
2. Pour 4 cups of all-purpose flour into mixer, set to "stir" with dough hook, leave for 5 minutes.
3. Pull dough up (should be sticky) and roll into a ball (see above image). Cover bowl with cling-wrap (or tea towel) and let stand 90 minutes.
4. Punch dough down, dust a plate with flour, and divide the dough into six sections.
5. Make a small ball out of each section, make a hole with your thumb in the middle, and work into a one-inch hole. Mine were a bit shy of this so they ended up not having a huge hole but were still delish.
6. Boil the 2 quarts of water with the 1/4 cup honey. I used wildflower honey. I ended up skimming some sugar foam off the top as the water began to boil before dropping the bagels in two at a time.
7. Making sure there is plenty of space for the bagels to float, boil bagels 1 minute on each side. Take out right away and dab dry with paper towel.
8. Add olive oil to an oven tray, preheat oven to 425 degrees, and lay bagels in, not touching.
9. Brush the top and sides of the bagel with egg wash.
10. Cook for 10 minutes. Rotate pan. Cook for another 12-15 minutes.
The major differences from the original recipe were:
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This is our fur baby Chevy. He's a shelter dog that we rescued when he was 2 months old in Florida. After a canine DNA test, we found out he had a purebred Pyranees line in him in addition to a mix of Lab and Rottie.
Chevy (ironically now we own a Ford truck, not a Silverado) started having stomach issues around two years old, although he was always sensitive to food changes. While he was eating 4Health kibble the first two years of his life, he happily chowed down on his food. We even had to get one of those plastic "slow down" bones for his food bowl because he ate so fast! See the bottom of this post for products listed here.
We're really not quite sure what happened at two years old-- we had moved up to Maine from Florida when he was one and a half, and he went from apartment living to having an acre and a half to run on. He loves the snow too! However, he started having issues eating. At first, we thought he had eaten something outside when we weren't looking. He'd wake up in the morning and throw up exactly three times, each time bringing up bile. This continued on and off for weeks. Each time, yellow bile. Each time, he'd still eat his food afterwards as if he had purged his stomach.
We started troubleshooting after three weeks. Were his two daily meals too big? Too small? Too far apart? Too close together? I had tab after tab open on my computer looking up dog stomach issues. Oddly, he was still acting like the happy-go-lucky goof he always had been-- just add a side of puke almost every morning.
We changed kibble flavors, then tried the more expensive sensitive stomach kibble. He'd go a few days without vomiting-- we'd get excited. Then-- nope. Still vomiting, now refusing to eat afterwards. There were days he'd go without eating at all, even his beloved frozen broccoli treats. When he would eat, it seemed out of necessity. Gone were the days of happily gobbling up his food.
The vet was as stumped as we were. By that point I was keeping track daily of what he ate, when he puked, etc. His poop would be fine, but sometimes it would reflect his stomach issues-- runny and unhealthy. As far as the vet was concerned, though, after a full battery of tests, he was a super healthy dog.
After almost six months battling this unknown illness (I'm still convinced he has the dog version on IBS), we realized something. Every time Chevy would vomit, we'd give him chicken and rice afterwards. We'd boil a chicken breast plain, and add a plain cup and a half of rice, This was the only food he'd actually finish. We'd both sit on the couch and watch his eat all of his food, happy to know that at least he wouldn't starve.
Eddie suggested we try to feed him chicken and rice for a few days, to settle his stomach. That turned into a week. No puke! Happily gobbling down food like a pup again! We knew that chicken and rice wasn't going to cut it nutritionally, but we decided then and there that our (spoiled) fur baby would be getting home cooked meals. After okaying this plan with our vet, we started researching the best foods to introduce to Chevy. Below are his breakfast and dinner recipes, Now, this didn't completely heal his stomach-- he still has days, usually once a month now, where he will have an upset stomach. But, he finishes his food each time now, hungrily paces outside the kitchen every time we make it, and is maintaining healthy skin, teeth, etc.
We tried the BARF diet and other various raw food diets but those didn't work for Chevy. All of his food is cooked. He also vomited after getting doggie vitamins, so we stopped giving those as well.
In addition to these meals, we give him marrow bones a few times a week and various healthy snacks from the kitchen, like broccoli, celery, and the occasional small piece of apple. A note about marrow bones-- don't cook them. Give them raw, and supervise the first few times, as some dogs can break their teeth or naw off large chunks. Chevy likes to nibble on the bone then lick out the marrow. It doubles as entertainment when I'm busy with the baby!
Of course, like with anything, check with your vet first if you want to try this food out with your doggo!
We also add "treats" to his food, usually about once a week. Since we meal prep human food on Sundays, Eddie usually brings home the "Chevy meat" from Cosco on Wednesdays and spends about 50 minutes cooking and storing the food.
His "treats," which we add usually at least once a week, include:
-peanut butter, no xylitol (only after bath time)
-Greek yogurt (about half a cup)
-frozen squash (cut into thumbnail-sized cubes)
-frozen broccoli florets
-pumpkin (cooked at 425 degrees with olive oil for 45 minutes, sometimes replaces sweet potato in meals)
-celery (one stalk, in pieces)
-cabbage (thumbnail-sized chunk, usually raw)
-lettuce leaves (usually leftovers that didn't make it into our salads)
In total, we usually spend about $80 a month on his food, buying in bulk from Cosco. We are hoping to lower this cost by growing some food for him in our garden in 2019! We usually spent about $60 in kibble a month, $70 with the sensitive formula, so the extra ten bucks has been well worth seeing him eat with fervor again. He's been on this diet for a little over half a year now, and he is maintaining his healthy coat, weight, and demeanor (minus the constant puking)!