Carrielynn’s Mum’s Rhubarb Crisp

Carrielynn is an exceptional young woman.  An accomplished singer and rap artist, fearless activist for her community and nation and super-great culturally astute mother, she offered this great recipe to celebrate the first rhubarb of the season. I really like the suggestion to toss in a little chopped apple… think I’ll also try a handful or two of blueberries from my freezer, the flavor goes so well with rhubarb.  Then, as Carrielynn says … BOOM!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Carrielynn’s Mum’s Rhubarb Crisp

12X12 pan, lightly greased
Oven pre-heated to 350 F

Crumble – mix into coarse crumbs with a fork or pastry blender: 
1C flour (gluten free or regular or whatever you like)
1C 9 Grain Oats
¼ C Real Butter
¼ C firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tsp of cinnamon

Custard (separate bowl) –  whisk together until creamy: 
1 egg
Splash of cream
1/4 to 3/4 C raw cane sugar

10-15 Big stalks of rhubarb, coarsely chopped
(you can add a tart apple to mix it up)

Mix dry ingredients, melt butter and add in while stirring with hands until the consistency is even and crumbly
Chop the rhubarb small and place in the pan, pour in the custard and lightly mix with hands, press down the rhubarb so its even
Spread on the dry crumble and press down so no rhubarb is exposed

Place in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, let the custard set for at least 20 minutes before eating.

BOOM!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Hint: Carrielynn says that tossing some crushed almonds into the crumble makes it extra good!
Tip: For diabetics, you can replace the sugar with stevia sweetener.

Home Made Soft Drinks

Home Made Soft Drinks

The urge to share some delicious, simple and easy recipes for soft drinks came the same way most of my recipes do these days… My newest project is to make my own versions of popular convenience products, because the price of them is so much more than I want to pay… and the prices are getting higher and higher!

“Healthy” soft drinks are now sold everywhere, from green tea blends and vitamin water to fruit drinks with just enough “natural” content to justify the label ‘contains real fruit juice’ and charge $2 to $4 per can or bottle. Think about it, they’re all mostly water. YOU can do better than that, save a pile of money and impress (or attract!) your loved ones.

Below you’ll find out how to make a few of the more popular recipes I’ve been testing out on family and friends. After some started telling me that they started making their own, I knew it was a “Rough Times” worthy concept.

I store mine in recycled glass bottles (plastic can make things taste funny). As always, feel free to use whatever you have hanging around your kitchen and your imagination… enjoy!

Good Clean Food for Everyone!

Gramma Willi

Ginseng-Green Tea Energizing Soft Drink

Makes about 2 quarts.

Ingredients

* 2 quarts boiled water

* 2 bags or 1 tsp. dried green tea (or mix green tea with mint, clover, fruit/herbal tea blends)

* 3 tsp. Honey

* 1 tsp. or 1 vial ginseng extract or 1 packet of ginseng tea or ½ cup ginseng root infusion (½ in. piece of ginseng root simmered in ½ cup water 15-20 min.

* ¼ tsp. Citric acid (for a nice tart flavor and added vitamin C – don’t add too much or it will be too sour)

* extra sweetener to taste (raw/brown/white sugar, stevia, rice or maple syrup, etc.)

Preparation

Bring the water to a boil in a metal, enamel or ceramic pot big enough to hold the water, turn the heat to low. Add the green tea, ginseng, your choice of spices, juices and herbs and let simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a little and add citric acid, honey and sweetener to taste. Drink hot or cold.

If you’re using herbal teas only, add 1 tea bag for each 2 cups of water; other than that, balance the fruit, juices, sweeteners etc. that you add to make a delicious drink… it’s okay to taste it as you go along!

You can make your soft drinks as simple or as complicated as you like; reading the labels on ‘store-bought’ drinks will give you pretty good recipe ideas and the knowledge that you don’t need much to make a really great drink yourself. It’s a great way to use all those forgotten herbal teas in the back of your cupboard!

** NOTE: I avoid aluminum and ‘non-stick’ cookware; to me, they make things taste weird.

A few suggested soft drink mixtures

Cranberry – Apple:

Some like it hot! A batch of hot apple or cranberry flavored drink is delicious, welcome and warming on a cold or damp day; I like it cold too.

This recipe is really good served simmering hot into cups from a pot with a few cinnamon sticks and ginger floating in the drink… a real winter warmer!

Ingredients: Use herbal tea already flavored with these fruits, add citric acid and sweetener, and add or substitute:

– cranberry and apple juice or – make your own ‘juice’: boil a chopped, skin-on apple and a handful of cranberries (or dried fruits) for 30-60 minutes before straining it and adding with your other ingredients). (Yes, you can eat the leftover fruit… or put mash it and put it on ice cream or toast.)

– add spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon) and sweetener to taste

Lemon-Mint: A cool, refreshing drink on a hot summer day – simmer herbs together lemon balm, lemon peel, lemon juice, garden sorrel, and dried or fresh mint (a can of frozen lemonade will do for a base if that’s what you have). Sweeten to taste. Ginger and honey are really nice additions to this drink blend. Dress up with sprigs of fresh mint, thin slices of fruit for a gourmet touch!

Jordan’s Amazing Spicy Chai Soft Drink: (adapted from Gramma Willi’s early recipes):

1or 2 chai tea bags (or loose chai tea blend, or make your own!), 1 or 2 bags/pouches Ginger tea mix (or 1 tbsp. chopped or grated fresh ginger), cinnamon powder, grape jelly 2 tsp, 1 can of frozen cranberry juice. Add everything but the grape jelly in one big pot to 2 quarts of boiling water and simmer, stirring constantly until everything’s dissolved. Add 2 tbsp. grape jelly and/or mango chutney. Sweeten to taste. Enjoy hot or cold. This is amazingly delicious both hot and cold, I plan on making it for winter holiday drinks!

Wild Women’s Nourishment in a Glass: Use ½ cup of the most nourishing herbs in your cupboard or straight out of your garden – approximately flowers, leaves and fruits of raspberry, strawberry, lemon balm, mint, nettles, red clover, sweet fern, violet, yarrow, dandelion, motherwort. Sweeten to taste, bottle and keep at the front of the fridge.

P.S. Check your herb books for healing combinations, which can probably all be made into delicious recipes.

(Safety alert! Remember that herbs should only be used fresh or completely dried, not half way dried.)

Options:

Instead of separate ingredients, combine a bag or two or a few teaspoons of your favorite herbal teas… or use up some that’s been hanging around your cupboard waiting for you…

No fresh fruit in the house? Use a few tablespoons of fruit jam, frozen fruit, a can of frozen lemonade or fruit drink and mix half-half with your herbal tea. Simmer dried apricots, cranberries, blueberries in water to make a flavored drink, go ahead, make your day… be creative!

Want a home made vitamin drink?

You can use your blender or the back of a spoon in a bowl and blend mild tasting vitamins like, chewable vitamin C, calcium and raw food supplements like kelp, beet and seaweed powder and green food supplements. Mix these well with a little liquid (water, herbal tea, etc.) before adding it to your soft drink recipe.

If you’ve already used citric acid in your soft drink, remember that it contributes to your vitamin C intake… you might want extra vitamin C if you’re fighting or nursing a cold.

How to Make Plain Black Teas Into Specialty teas!

Strawberry tea – plain black tea, add a spoonful of strawberry jam, strain into cups (or not), and milk and sugar to taste. Substitute apricot, blackcurrant or peach jam, or make combinations, use your imagination! How about s spiced fruit tea? Add marmalade with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg? Make a batch of your own iced tea with plain black tea and a little lemon, sweetener and other flavors?

Hints and Tips:

Citric acid can be found in the baking section of your supermarket or bulk foods store (and some drug stores). I pre-ordered a large quantity from my bulk food supplier for the same price as one of those little bottles – if kept dry in storage, that’s enough for years!

For less mess serving loose teas, use a tea ball, recycled cloth tea bag (make your own with a bit of organic cotton and string), a few layers of cheesecloth… or a fine strainer. Toss any bits in the bottom of your cup into the compost… or around outdoor plants… what a treat for the Earth!

Save travel containers for taking your own soft drinks with you instead of buying them on the road. Fill a small cooler with your own recycled bottles, travel cups, an ice pack, use a thermos for hot drinks… over a year you will find yourself saving hundreds of dollars!

TAGS

soft drink, ginseng, tea, Ginseng Green Tea Energizing Soft Drink, chai, budget, saving money, home made, vitamin C, seaweed, green food supplement, green food, beet greens, dandelion, convenience food, fruit drink, spice drink, cookware, aluminum, plastic, root, herb, ginger, cinnamon, green tea, Gramma Willi, Rough Times Cooking, recipe, hot drinks, apricot, cranberry, apple, blackcurrant, peach, lemon, stevia, raw sugar, brown sugar, honey, apricot, kelp, herbal tea, raspberry, strawberry, lemon balm, mint, nettles, red clover, sweet fern, violet, yarrow, motherwort, vitamin drink, vitamins, healing, holiday drink, recipes

……

as published 1Nov2012

Home Made Soft Drinks

The urge to share some delicious, simple and easy recipes for soft drinks came the same way most of my recipes do these days… My newest project is to make my own versions of popular convenience products, because the price of them is so much more than I want to pay… and the prices are getting higher and higher!

“Healthy” soft drinks are now sold everywhere, from green tea blends and vitamin water to fruit drinks with just enough “natural” content to justify the label ‘contains real fruit juice’ and charge $2 to $4 per can or bottle. Think about it, they’re all mostly water. YOU can do better than that, save a pile of money and impress (or attract!) your loved ones.

Below you’ll find out how to make a few of the more popular recipes I’ve been testing out on family and friends. After some started telling me that they started making their own, I knew it was a “Rough Times” worthy concept.

I store mine in recycled glass bottles (plastic can make things taste funny). As always, feel free to use whatever you have hanging around your kitchen and your imagination… enjoy!

Good Clean Food for Everyone!

Gramma Willi

Ginseng-Green Tea Energizing Soft Drink

Makes about 2 quarts.

Ingredients

* 2 quarts boiled water

* 2 bags or 1 tsp. dried green tea (or mix green tea with mint, clover, fruit/herbal tea blends)

* 3 tsp. Honey

* 1 tsp. or 1 vial ginseng extract or 1 packet of ginseng tea or ½ cup ginseng root infusion (½ in. piece of chopped ginseng root simmered in ½ cup water 15-20 min.

* ¼ tsp. Citric acid (for a nice tart flavor and added vitamin C – don’t add too much or it will be too sour)

* extra sweetener to taste (raw, brown or white sugar, stevia, rice or maple syrup, etc.)

Preparation

Bring the water to a boil in a metal, enamel or ceramic pot big enough to hold the water, turn the heat to low. Add the green tea, ginseng, your choice of spices, juices and herbs and let simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a little and add citric acid, honey and sweetener to taste. Drink hot, warm or cold.

If you’re using herbal teas only, add 1 tea bag for each 2 cups of water; other than that, balance the fruit, juices, sweeteners etc. that you add to make a delicious drink… it’s okay to taste it as you go along!

You can make your soft drinks as simple or as complicated as you like; reading the labels on ‘store-bought’ drinks will give you pretty good recipe ideas and the knowledge that you don’t need much to make a really great drink yourself. It’s a great way to use all those forgotten herbal teas in the back of your cupboard!

** NOTE: I avoid plastic, aluminum and ‘non-stick’ cookware; to me, they make things taste weird.

A few suggested soft drink mixtures

Cranberry – Apple:

Some like it hot! A batch of hot apple or cranberry flavored drink is delicious, welcome and warming on a cold or damp day; I like it cold too.

This recipe is really good served simmering hot into cups from a pot with cinnamon sticks and ginger floating on top… a real winter warmer!

Ingredients: Use herbal tea already flavored with these fruits, add citric acid and sweetener, and add or substitute:

– cranberry and apple juice or – make your own ‘juice’: boil a chopped, skin-on apple and a handful of cranberries (or dried fruits) for 30-60 minutes before straining it and adding with your other ingredients). (Yes, you can eat the leftover fruit… or put mash it and put it on ice cream or toast… or back in your cup with a spoon.)

– add spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon) and sweetener to taste

Lemon-Mint: A cool, refreshing drink on a hot summer day – simmer herbs together lemon balm, lemon peel, lemon juice, garden sorrel, and dried or fresh mint (a can of frozen lemonade will do for a base if that’s what you have). Sweeten to taste. Ginger and honey are really nice additions to this drink blend. Dress up with sprigs of fresh mint, thin slices of fruit for a gourmet touch!

Jordan’s Amazing Spicy Chai Soft Drink: (adapted from Gramma Willi’s early recipes):

1 to 2 chai tea bags (or loose chai tea blend, or make your own!), 1 or 2 bags/pouches Ginger tea mix (or 1 tbsp. fresh ginger), cinnamon powder, grape jelly 2 tsp, 1 can of frozen cranberry juice. Add everything but the grape jelly in one big pot to 2 quarts of boiling water and simmer, stirring constantly until everything’s dissolved. Add 2 tbsp. grape jelly and/or mango chutney. Sweeten to taste. Enjoy hot or cold. This is amazingly delicious both hot and cold, I plan on making it for winter holiday drinks!

Wild Women’s Nourishment in a Glass: Use ½ cup of the most nourishing herbs in your cupboard or straight out of your garden – approximately flowers, leaves and fruits of raspberry, strawberry, lemon balm, mint, nettles, red clover, sweet fern, violet, yarrow, dandelion, motherwort. Sweeten to taste, bottle and keep at the front of the fridge.

P.S. Check your herb books for healing combinations, which can probably all be made into delicious recipes… if you haven’t already, try Gramma Willi’s Ginger Drink.

(Safety alert! Remember that herbs should only be used fresh or completely dried, not half way dried.)

Options:

Instead of separate ingredients, combine a few bags or teaspoons of your favorite herbal teas… or use up some that’s been hanging around your cupboard waiting for you…

No fresh fruit in the house? Use a few tablespoons of fruit jam, frozen fruit, a can of frozen lemonade or fruit drink and mix half-half with your herbal tea. Simmer dried apricots, cranberries, blueberries in water to make a flavored drink, go ahead, make your day… be creative!

Want a home made vitamin drink?

You can use your blender or the back of a spoon in a bowl and blend mild tasting vitamins like, chewable vitamin C, calcium and raw food supplements like kelp, beet and seaweed powder and green food supplements. Mix these well with a little liquid (water, herbal tea, etc.) before adding it to your soft drink recipe.

If you’ve already used citric acid in your soft drink, remember that it contributes to your vitamin C intake… you might want extra vitamin C if you’re fighting or nursing a cold.

How to Make Plain Black Teas Into Specialty teas!

Strawberry tea – plain black tea, add a spoonful of strawberry jam, strain into cups (or not), and milk and sugar to taste. Substitute apricot, blackcurrant or peach jam, or make combinations, use your imagination! How about s spiced fruit tea? Add marmalade with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg? Make a batch of your own iced tea with plain black tea and a little lemon, sweetener and other flavors?

Hints and Tips:

* Citric acid can be found in the baking section of your supermarket or bulk foods store (and some drug stores). I pre-ordered a large quantity from my bulk food supplier for the same price as one of those little bottles – if kept dry in storage, that’s enough for years!

* For less mess serving loose teas, use a tea ball, recycled cloth tea bag (make your own with a bit of organic cotton and string), a few layers of cheesecloth… or a fine strainer. Toss any bits in the bottom of your cup into the compost… or around outdoor plants… what a treat for the Earth!

Save travel containers for taking your own soft drinks with you instead of buying them on the road. Fill a small cooler with your own recycled bottles, travel cups, an ice pack, use a thermos for hot drinks… over a year you will find yourself saving hundreds of dollars!

Good Clean Food For Everyone!

Magic Muffins

This is a great quick recipe, perfect for those times when you’re being careful with your money or don’t feel like shopping, but need to satisfy a craving for something a little sweet. I give recipes like this the name “magic” because they can be made with a wide variety of ingredients (Magical Options) and they come out a little different every time, depending on what you have in the kitchen…. they’re a nice dessert, a great snack, a quick breakfast and a super gift for friends and neighbours… enjoy!

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

2-3 Cups Muffin mix and a few Magical Options (see below)

Wet ingredients:

1 C water, 1-2 T cooking oil (or melted margaine or butter) and an extra cup of water

Mix your wet and dry ingredients separately, then make a ‘well’ in the middle of the dry. Add the wet mix to the well, stir it through to coat the dry mix; keep adding water a little at a time until the mixture is moistened all the way through, but not too stiff to stir. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease your muffin tins well. Fill to 3/4 full of muffin batter, bake for 20-28 minutes or until they spring back to the touch and smell just right.

Magical Options (pick a nice combination from below and use your imagination!):

1/2 cup shredded coconut 1/2 C raisins or currants, chopped dates, dried cranberries, papaya, apricots…

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, almonds, walnut or pecans

1 tsp. powdered ginger 1 tsp. cinnamon powder

1 plain chocolate bar, chopped (or 1/2 C chocolate chips, or 2-4 T. cocoa

1 small apple, chopped or 1/2 C blueberries, strawberries

Muffin Mix

1) Store bought mix: you can find cake or muffin mix on sale and add “Magical” stuff from your kitchen

2) Homemade mix: 3 cups flour (or 2 Cups flour and 1 cup oats) 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 3/4 C of sugar, or more or less to taste

Suggestions

Fruit Filling: Fill each muffin tin half-way and add 1/2 tsp jam, jelly or soft fruit in the middle. Fill the cups 3/4 full with the muffin batter and bake!

Time Savers:

1) Keep half of the batter in a clean jar in the fridge to make fresh muffins quickly anytime; the batter will keep for 4-7 days.

2) Make a big batch of dry muffin mix and keep it in the freezer – When you’re ready to make muffins, shale out what you need into a big bowl, add your wet ingredients and magical options and bake.

Sweet combinations:

“Fruity” explosion: Add chopped apple and a few raisins and berries to the dry mix; put a spoonful of jam in the middle of 2 layers of batter.

Ambrosia: Add coconut, ginger, cinnamon, almonds and orange essence, diced orange rind or mashed banana.

Gourmet ideas: You can blend a whole orange with the seeds removed into the wet mix, add some chocolate chips or cocoa to the dry and make a nice chocolate orange muffin!) How about lemon, poppy seed and cornmeal?

Savory Combinations: Leave out the sugar and add one or a combination of: Shredded cheese, chopped sundried tomatoes, cooked beans, diced carrot, fried minced onion, celery

Add herbs and spices – chili powder, oregano, rosemary, parsley , olive oil

Rough Times Bacon ‘n’ Egg Muffin: (you’ll never want to stop at a fast food place for breakfast once you’ve tasted these! ) Put a small piece of cooked bacon (vegetarians can use soy bacon), a bit of grated cheese and a spoonful of stirred raw egg in the middle of each muffin, fill the muffin cup with no-sugar batter (you can add a few herbs too!) and add a little grated cheese on top. Bake as usual.

Tip: Don’t have a muffin tin? Well, use a cake pan, a frying pan with a heatproof handle, small tart or other baking dishes – or get to the second hand store and find a nice muffin tin… it’s still probably cheaper than buying those store-bought muffins.

Much Love, Gramma Willi

Good Clean Food for Everyone!

Apple Crumble

Rough Times Cookbook Recipes

This dessert smells and tastes like apple pie, but is a lot quicker and easier to make. It’s one of my standard contributions to pot luck dinners and “emergency” fancy dinners when unexpected hungry guests drop in.


Filling:
5-6 large apples, washed, cored and diced or thinly sliced
cinnamon and brown sugar to taste

Crumb topping mixture:
2 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. rolled oats
1-2 tsp. cinnamon, to taste
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4-1 1/2 C. brown sugar (depends on sweetness of the apples and your taste)
3/4-1 C margarine or butter

Lightly grease a regular sized cake pan or small casserole dish.
Mix the dry crumb topping ingredients really well with a fork in a large bowl. Cut in the margarine or butter with the fork and mix until crumbs are even sizes, not too large. Spread 1/3 of the crumb topping mixture on the bottom of the pan, press down with the fork; top with the chopped/sliced apples and sprinkle them lightly with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
Add the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the apples, pressing lightly with the fork, especially in corners. Bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes to 1 hour (until it smells just right the apples are nice and soft and the topping is golden brown).
Serve as is or with whipped, thick or ice cream (Maritimers will probably enjoy a little canned milk on top.)

Hints: You can use white sugar if you have no brown; add a little extra cinnamon to improve the flavor… this makes a great breakfast in a bowl topped with yogurt or heated with warm milk. A great way to use up apples that are past their prime; no one will notice wrinkled skins or little bruises once the apples are all baked and smelling soooo good – I promise! This recipe is easy to double or triple.
Variations: You can vary this recipe by adding dried raisins, currants, fresh or dried cranberries, even frozen fruit like strawberries to the filling. Add flaked coconut, sunflower seeds or other nuts to the crumble topping for a nice texture, flavor and extra protein.