Ginger Mushroom Stew

3/28/16

This is one of my favorite meals and a lot of people have asked for the recipe to Ginger Mushroom Stew, so I thought I'd share!


Ingredients: 
Three large Portabella mushrooms
Two cups of button mushrooms (You can't overdo these! Add more if you'd like!) 
Five cups of mushroom stock
Five oz fresh ginger root
Ten to fifeteen carrots
One red pepper
Four white potatoes
Half a head of cabbage
One head of broccoli 
One cup of flour
Four Garlic Cloves 
Salt+Pepper
One teaspoon of ground ginger
One Tablespoon of coconut oil


Mushrooms are so mysterious. They grow from the ground in the most curious of
locations and in the most intriguing directions. What’s more woodsy than topping stew with sliced mushrooms? This deep scent of ginger filling the kitchen. It’s root is deep and it centers the stews taste quite well. It offers a warmth that nourishes both body and mind. Fall in love with this process. Take your time cutting these vegetables and appreciate the colors, shapes, and patterns they emit. How can this cabbage even be so vibrant? It will simmer and float in this stew like lace. Coconut oil is incredible for increasing energy for your next adventure. It wards off bacterias and infections and fuels your gut like no other. Double this recipe for great go to leftovers for a warm, comforting lunch tomorrow.


For the most delightful Mushroom Ginger Stew, chop the cabbage, broccoli, red pepper into thicker chunks. The carrots should be sliced into small half circles. It's a stew so the spoonfuls will want to be more chunky and stocky and add depth to each bite. Boil the flour in two cups of water in a separate pan and add to pot. Simmer in coconut oil on low until vegetables have hints of caramelization and are slightly soft. Grate fresh ginger and simmer for 10-15 minutes on a low to medium heat. Slice up all mushrooms and set aside. Add in the ground ginger, garlic cloves, mushroom stock, add salt and pepper and simmer on medium for 10 minutes. Add in chopped mushrooms. Top with goat cheese and heavy amounts of black pepper.
Hope you enjoy! It's not quite consistently warm in Minnesota yet, so it's safe to hold on to a couple warm dishes. 






Maple Syrup Day with Luella

3/28/16




We went out to the Nature Center that isn't far from our house for their annual Maple Syrup Making Day. Luella had so much fun being in the forest and did not want to leave. She picked out our dresses and said over and over how happy she was to be on our way spending time together. I've been trying to keep up on small dates with Lue since Minoux has been born and I always can't believe how wonderful it feels to just be with just Lue again. Minoux and Max cozied at home while we adventured out. There are a lot of great tutorials on how to tap a Maple Tree for syrup, but this was one of the simplest that I found, here: You will not believe the taste between conventional maple syrup (which by the way, generally doesn't even have any real maple or sap process in it and is mostly corn syrup. What a rip off!) versus the real deal. It's insanely good. They were in process tapping while we visited but got to sample some of a past batch and it was sticky fingers, running down Luella's unicorn- good. It makes for an excellent maple syrup frosting to top cupcakes with. The amount of sap it takes to make maple syrup is insane and genuinely provokes such a gratitude for where good food comes from. 

Pure maple syrup is not only high in antioxidants, but every spoonful offers nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium,calcium and potassium. According to Helen Thomas of the New York State Maple Association, maple syrup has a higher concentration of minerals and antioxidants, yet fewer calories than honey. (source: here





Find a maple tree. The most important step in the process of tapping a tree for maple is finding just the right tree. Look for a maple tree that is at least 12 inches in diameter and has a lot of direct sunlight. Maple trees that give the most sap are of the sugar or black variety. Red and silver maple trees will also provide sap, but not as much as the other two species. One overlooked tree for sugary sap is the Black Walnut. Avoid unhealthy trees that have been damaged in the past. They will not provide as much sap as a big, strong, healthy tree. You can tap a single tree multiple times if it is large and healthy enough. For a tree 12-20 inches in diameter, a single tap is all that can be used. For a tree 21-27 inches wide, you can use up to two taps. A tree can have three taps if it is wider than 28 inches across. Trees with a larger crown - all the branches and leaves - typically give more sap than trees with a smaller crown.

Know when to tap. The best time to tap your tree depends on your location, but it generally ranges from mid-February to mid-March. It should be above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, and drop below freezing at night. The fluctuating temperatures cause the sap to flow, moving it from the tree trunk and branches to the roots below the ground. Sap flows for around 4-6 weeks, but this depends on the health of the tree and the environment. Generally, the best sap is gathered at the beginning of the flow.

Gather your supplies. To tap a maple tree, you will need a bucket with a cover (to keep things from falling in), a spile, and a drill. It may also be helpful to have a large clean trash can or similar vat to use as storage for all the sap you will tap. Thoroughly clean the spile, bucket, and cover with bleach and water. Make sure that they are completely dry before use. For your drill, you will need either a 7/16 or 5/16 drill bit.

Decide where to tap. Find the ideal place on the tree to tap. You want it to be convenient to reach in healthy wood. Tap the side of the tree that gets the most sun throughout the day, ideally the south side. If you can, it is best to tap above a large root or below a large branch. If the tree you are tapping has been tapped in the past, make sure that your new spile is inserted at least 6 inches away from the old hole. Place the tap in a healthy section of wood. If you drill and the shavings are light brown or tan, the wood is healthy. If you drill and the shavings are dark brown or chocolate-y colored, find a new place to tap. Drill on a sunny day when it is a bit warmer out to minimize the chance of splitting the wood.

Drill your hole. Hold the drill as an angle going slightly upwards to make sap flow easier. Drill in about 2.5 inches. To know how far to drill, you can tape around your drill bit 2.5 inches from the end prior to drilling. Use a sharp drill bit to avoid creating a rough hole, which can decrease the amount of sap that is released. Remove all wood shavings from the hole once you’ve finished drilling.
Put the spile in the tree. Tap it in using a rubber mallet or hammer to ensure it is sturdy enough that it cannot be pulled out easily by hand. Don’t hit the spile into the tree too hard, or else you run the risk of splitting the wood. If you do not want to buy a spile, you can make your own using ⅜” aluminum piping. Avoid using copper, as it is toxic to the tree. Widen one end so that it can be used as a spout to pour the sap into your bucket.

Hang your bucket. Attach it to the end of the spile, or if you made your own use a bit of wire to hook it to your spout. Make sure that the bucket is secure, so that it cannot accidentally be knocked off or blown off by the wind. Put the cover over the top of the bucket to prevent debris from entering your sap store.

Wait for your sap. Collect it daily in the afternoons when it is the warmest outside. If the weather is good, you will be able to collect sap for just over one month. A healthy tree can provide between 10–80 gallons (37.9–302.8 L) of sap, depending on environmental conditions. Sap will stop flowing if the daytime temperature does not rise above freezing, or if the nighttime temperature stays above freezing and becomes too warm. Collect all your sap into a large container, such as an empty (clean) trash can. Otherwise, you will have many full buckets taking up space. If the temperature rises above 45 °F (7 °C), the sap must be refrigerated. Otherwise, it will spoil and begin to grow bacteria.

Happy Maple Syrupping!




Wildflower Honeycomb Artichokes

3/28/16

Wildflower Honeycomb Artichokes


Two Artichokes 
1/4 cup of wildflower comb honey
1 Tbsp of Bee Pollen
1/2 Tbsp Pepper
1/2 Tbsp Salt 
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Himalayan Salt Cooking Block





Notice the folds of an Artichoke. It’s just like a flower with the most vibrant color, tone and texture. Paired with honey is a treat. The way your kitchen smells faintly of the sweet work of bees and the sound the mushrooms make while simmering on top of a salt cooking block will be the essence of this dreamy dish. Bee Pollen is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. Wildflower Comb Honey is a brightly flavored, intriguing and gorgeous source of fatty acids. Notice it’s hexagonal wax structure. It looks like a fairytale. Document patterns in nature. Appreciate them! 



Begin heating your Himalayan Salt Cooking Block. On a gas range, stack your grate double high or use a pastry ring or metal object to raise above the heat. Heat on low for 15 minutes, then turn up to medium/high heat for another 10 minutes. Wash artichokes thoroughly and cut off stem so they are able to stand with tops of them towards the sky. Pull apart mushrooms from stem to an individual mushroom. Begin simmering on heated salt block with a dash of Olive Oil. I hope you enjoy this sizzling noise.  Flip and let salt simmer away to the depths of each mushroom. Tuck and braid each mushroom into the folds of the artichoke. Experience this. Let them hang loose and wild as of you were designing a wreath made of blooms. Drizzle and tuck the wildflower comb honey in the folds of the artichoke. Sprinkle with bee pollen, salt, pepper. The goal is to encourage the artichoke leaves stay moist and soft. Steam in two cups of water in a covered pan on the stove on medium heat. Keep covered for 15 minutes to allow the steam to work it’s most moist magic. Serve and delight in. 

I made this for a friend and she commented on how it felt like a growing forest floor. I LOVE that. 


Delight. 
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