Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lamb and Chicken Meatballs

Below is the recipe that I prepared to go with the Gluten Free Tabbouleh from yesterday.  I personally cannot eat much meat and only had one, but the house critics consumed and enjoyed the rest, including our pickiest critic, so it was decided we would share.

Lamb and Chicken Meatballs

1 Lb Ground Lamb
1 Lb Ground Chicken
¼ cup Finely Crumbled Feta Cheese
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3-4 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary, chopped
3-4 Sprigs of Fresh Dill, chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Warm the olive oil in a skillet.  Combine all ingredients and mix together thoroughly.  Shape meat mixture into balls and brown in olive oil coated pan on all sides.  Remove from oil and place in 9x13 baking dish.  Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees for 25-40 minutes or until cooked through.  Serve with tzatziki sauce and enjoy!

Tzatziki Sauce:
Blend together: 16oz Greek Yogurt, 1 Seedless Cucumber, 4 Cloves of Garlic, Lemon Juice from 1/2 Lemon, Handful of Fresh Dill, Handful of Fresh Mint, 1 TB Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to Taste.  Best served chilled.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Hebrews 13:5

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tabbouleh– Gluten Free

I have entered a bit of a recipe rut lately and am often stuck as to what to make for dinner.  This morning I handed my husband, Bob, several of my many cooking magazines and told him, "Pick something, anything and I will make that tonight."  He thoughtfully and diligently flipped through the glossy pages and finally landed on a Greek Mini Meatloaf.  While I actually didn't follow the recipe at all (as I tend to not do lately), I did use that for a theme and made Lamb, Chicken and Feta Meatballs with tzatziki sauce, gluten free tabbouleh, rice pilaf and gluten free quinoa flat bread.  It was scrumptious, the kids and Bob loved it and well worth all the work.  Below is the recipe for the tabbouleh and I will add the meatballs shortly.  Enjoy!

Tabbouleh (Gluten Free)

2 Bunches of Italian Parsley
4 Cloves Garlic
3 Tomatoes
1 Seedless or Seeded Cucumber
2 Green Onions
Several Leaves Fresh Mint
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
¼ Cup Olive Oil
Juice from 1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Finely chop parsley, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, mint and green onions.  Combine with quinoa, olive oil and lemon.  Add salt and pepper to taste and combine thoroughly.  Enjoy with your favorite gluten free pita or wrap or just as is.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Walls Will Rise

Yesterday was cool, yet warm enough to continue construction.   The previous night's torrential rains created a very muddy work environment, but nothing we could not slosh through.  At the beginning of today's work we had nothing but a floor, 7 trusses and a lot of lumber but ended with 4 secure walls and most of a roof.  What an amazing feeling to have our minds and hands build and create a structure.  We are not builders by trade or nature, but we worked together and made it happen.  Now, all the details are yet to come...do chickens really need windows and a full roof?   I have never heard a chicken complain about the outside of the coop not being the proper color, have you?

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. - Ecclesiastes 4:9

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Rosemary Pork Loin

Warm days and busy evenings are in store for us as spring starts to take it's rightful place.  So, time to break out the slow cooker and prepare easy, home cooked meals for those time limited days.  

Slow Cooker Rosemary Pork Loin

  • 4-5lb Boneless Pork Loin
  • 10 Cloves Garlic
  • 7 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 C. Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Large Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Warm olive oil in a sautee pan.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut slits into pork loin and slip the garlic into the meat.
  3. Generously salt and pepper the pork loin and brown or sear on both sides in pan with oil.
  4. While pork is browning, chop onion and place on bottom of slow cooker along with extra garlic if desired.
  5. Place browned pork into crock pot along with vegetable broth and rosemary sprigs.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until pork is tender and cooked through.

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!  So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! -  Ephesians 5:11-17

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Construction Continues

10 Things I Learned While Building a Chicken Coop:

1. A jig is not just a dance anymore.  (jig - A device for guiding a tool or for holding machine work in place. )

Birds Mouth Cut
2. Birds Mouth is a type of cut used inmaking a roof, not just what a bird uses to eat.

3. Air compressors for an air nailer may not get enough current through a long extension cord and can waste a lot of time trying to figure out what is wrong.

4.  What looks square is not always square.

5. Measure twice, cut once.

6. When none of the power tools work, save time and ALWAYS check the circuit breaker first.

7. Desperation is going on the roof in search of a better extension cord.

8. Trusses are easier to buy then cut yourself, but don't tell an engineer that.

9. Time moves faster then a power drill, circular saw or a miter saw ever can.

10. Rome was not built in a day and neither is our chicken coop.  There is always next weekend....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ratatouille's Ratatouille

One of my favorite things to do is entertain and cook for friends. This has become even more enjoyable since my gluten free needs arose and eating anywhere but home can be a challenge and end in pain despite the best efforts.  A good friend of ours that knows my love of cooking, has been asking about ratatouille for quite some time and when he, his wife and their three kids came to visit this weekend I decided to prepare the dish he had built up in his mind for so long.  I had a feeling that he was not interested in the authentic dish, but rather the colorful pretty one that had been featured in Disney's movie Ratatouille that the family had watched and fell in love with. After some searching, I found a beautiful version created by Smitten Kitchen and with a few slight modifications our Ratatouille's ratatouille was prepared and graciously gobbled down by kids and adults alike (well, some kids).  Though it is not authentic, it is delicious and visually appealing and went wonderfully with the smoked chicken, roasted potatoes and wonderful company we shared.

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. - Proverbs 15:17

Ratatouille's Ratatouille
as adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped
3-4 Garlic Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 ½ cup Tomato Sauce or Puree
Olive Oil
1 Eggplant
1 Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
1 Red or Orange Bell Pepper
Italian Seasoning Blend (fresh herbs are best of course)
Salt and Pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

  • Spread tomato sauce in the bottom of a round or oval baking dish and add the onion and minced garlic.
  • Using a mandolin, slice the egg plant, zucchini, yellow squash and bell pepper in thin medallions.
  • Toss the vegetables in a large bowl with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Layer the vegetables in a pattern, circling the baking dish. 
  • Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 40min
  • Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle parmesan cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Construction Begins

This past weekend began work on our chicken coop.  I have been working on providing a cleaner diet and life for my family for awhile and fresh eggs are the next step on the list.  We are building an 8x12 coop and hope to house 10-12 chickens.  After a year of helping at the neighbors and being paid in fresh eggs, Abby is leading the chicken care and prep work.  Giddy with anticipation of our new feathered friends, Abby has been dancing around the house and spending free time reading all the books on chicken raising she can get her hands on.  The other kids are also excited, but Abby has been blessed with the gift of love for all animals and cannot wait to be able to care for some of God’s creatures in her own yard.

This coming weekend we hope to have walls and a roof and have already ordered the chicks to arrive soon.  Perhaps an omelet or quiche party this summer? 

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31