GoooooOOD MORNING!!!!!!!
(say this in an imitation voice like Robin Williams, and you will get my jist)
It just might be another good morning for a cup of coffee, double strength.
August2012 396
(lentils, popcorn and rice)
Because I am about to overload you with recipes today and tomorrow on how to use your dried foods that you have been having a ball dehydrating the last couple days!
(onion rings in the dehydrator)
 I have been having a blast around here trying to get good pics,
(l-r clockwise, peas, navy beans and pinto beans)
 playing with my food,
(dried eggplant slices in a smiley face just for you)
writing things down…finally,
researching methods and recipes……
(a couple shelves in my dehydrated foods cupboard)
And I think I finally have a good amount of stuff for you to copy, paste and/or save to your binder. 🙂
It has been a rather busy week around here otherwise as we have started school full time, I am trying to keep up with the garden that decided to go bonkers on me, clean a house and set it up for fall/winter, finish certain house projects that have needed to be done, etc.
So sorry for all of you who anxiously awaited yesterday for these posts, because as hard as I tried, each time I would sit down to do this, something else would interrupt.
For example, a stray dog entering the yard and going after the rabbits in their cages. Eeek……..
Or how about a toddler falling out of bed during nap, onto the floor/ceiling right above my head?
The twin who spilled an entire cup of milk down the front of me while I was trying to finish a recipe, causing me to hit the delete button and erase two hours worth of flitting back and forth to the computer.
Welcome to my life.
this version of this post is better,
so she ended up getting a cookie and a hug.
 I so so SO hope that you enjoy this, start learning how to dehydrate foods, and get into using them in your cooking and baking each and every day.
 I am covering using dried fruits and veggies today, and using dried meats and herbs tomorrow (yes the post is already written, so hang in there! It WILL be here tomorrow!)
I hope you enjoy it!
Many  Blessings to you and yours,
mint tea leaves from the garden……..
Using Dried Fruits:
** Dried Apple Pie Bars:Take 3 1/2 cups dried apples, 2 cups of water, put in a heavy saucepan, and cook until tender.To this mix add 1/2 cup brown sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and cinnamon, 1 TBS of corn starch, mixed with 1/2 TBS lemon juice. Spray or grease pan, mix all ingredients, smooth into pan, top with a streusel that has 3/4 c oats, 1/4 c Whole Wheat flour, 1/2 c brown sugar, 4 Tbs butter, and cinnamon.
              Bake 350* for 35-45 minutes until bubbly around edges and topping is browned.
**Dried Cherry Berry Pie: Combine 2 cups dried cherries, 1 cup dried blueberries, or blackberries (or other berries), plus 3 cups water in a heavy saucepan. Simmer on stove until tender, then whisk in 2TBS cornstarch, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp almond extract. I whisk the dry ingredients together, put in the liquids (to the fruit),  and then add the sugar/cornstarch combo to the fruit. Prepare double pie crust.Bottom crust, fill pie with this mixture, place top crust, brush top crust with water and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
                                                      Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.
**Cranberry Cherry Sweet Bread: In a large bowl combine the following: 1 cup All purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 cup dried cranberries, 3/4 cup dried sweet cherries, 2 eggs, 1 cup orange juice, and 1/2 cup coconut oil or other oil. I “plump” the fruit ahead of time by adding to a separate bowl and then covering with boiling water. You will have 1 1/2 cups fruit, so cover with 2 cup boiling water, and cover bowl with a plate. Drain and throw fruit into the dry ingredients before you add the wet ingredients, such as the eggs or juice. This will help the fruit stay suspended through the batter while cooking.
                             Bake at 350* for one hour or until done in the middle.
(Sweet Bread  will spring back when touched, or the toothpick will be clean when inserted and removed from the middle)
** Mulberry Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Struesel:  In a large bowl, combine the following, whisking together: one cup Whole Wheat flour, one cup Kamut wheat flour (or all purpose flour), 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar or 1/2 cup golden molasses, then adding 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup milk (or reconstituted dry milk). Take 1 1/2 cups dried mulberries or other berry, and place in bowl, pour boiling water over and let sit for 10 minutes. Fold these into the batter, and top with a mix of 2 Tbs Flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, combined with 1 tsp cinnamon, and then creamed with 2 Tbs butter. Sprinkle this on top of the filled and greased muffin tins, and bake for 20 minutes at 350*.
**Fall Harvest Pie: In a large sauce pan combine 1 1/2 cup dried apple slices, 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour boiling water over and let simmer on low heat until tender. Add in 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp Apple Pie Spice Mix, and 2 Tbs cornstarch (I take out a little of the liquid in pan, whisk it together and then add it back in). Meanwhile, make pie crust but roll it out in a mix of equal parts flour and cinnamon sugar. Put in bottom crust, place filling in, place four thin pats of butter on top, add top crust with apple or pumpkin cutouts, flute edges to seal, and bake in a 350* oven for one hour, or until bubbly. Serve with cinnamon ice cream, or serve with whipped cream that has been made with apple pie spice.
**Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Cookies: In a large mixing bowl cream 1/3 cup butter or semi solid coconut oil with 2/3 cup dark brown sugar or honey. When light and fluffy, add 1 egg, 1/2 cup of water and 4 TBS Dried Pumpkin powder (pumpkin that you pureed and dried in one TBS amounts as fruit leathers, then powdered in a coffee grinder), 1 tsp vanilla,  and 1 1/2  tsp pumpkin pie spice mix. To this add 1 1/4 cups Whole wheat flour and 1 cup rolled oats that you have whizzed through the blender. (otherwise you run the risk of the cookies falling apart due to the large oats). Bake at 375* for 6-10 minutes, cookies will seem soft, but will flatten and harden when taken out and placed on a cookie rack. Remove after 3 minutes on the tray to another cookie rack, and try to eat only one. Makes 2 dozen cookies (small) or 1 dozen (Welcoming House size–LOL).
 ** And just remember, you can cut up or powder any fruit and add it into sauces, baked goods, or even into ice cream or drinks. 🙂
Using Dried Vegetables: 
**“Leatherbritches” Casserole: In a pan, place 4 cups dried green beans (Leatherbritches) and cover with 6 cups boiling hot water. You can either let this sit for 45 minutes, or you can simmer on low for around 30 minutes until the green beans are mostly rehydrated. Meanwhile, in a greased 9X13 pan, make a single layer of 3/4 cup hamburger combined with 2 cups cooked brown rice, that has all been seasoned with basil and oregano, salt and pepper. Place the rehydrated green beans on the meat/rice layer, top with 1/2 onion. minced, and cover with  4 cups of white sauce (Magic Mix). Top with homemade Whole Wheat bread crumbs and bake for 45 minutes at 350*. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to top and put back in for a remaining 15 minutes, then serve. Just a tip, almost all of this can be made from dried ingredients: the burger, the rice can be cooked ahead of time and dried for “minute rice” (and then placed with rehydrated meat as is, it will rehydrate during the baking time). You can use herbs dried from your own garden, onion you minced and dried, bread crumbs from your own bread you dried, etc. And it is TASTY! 🙂
**Veggie Comfort Soup:  In a large stock pot combine the following: 10 cups chicken stock or veggie stock, 8 cups water, 1/2 cup zucchini chips, 1/2 cup cherry tomato halves, 1 cup dried onion dices, 1 cup potato dices, 1/2 cup carrot slices, 1/4 cup sweet red pepper dices, 1/2 cup celery dices, and 1/2 cup dried peas. Throw in 2 tsp each of lemon basil, tarragon, and thyme…..then 2 tsp of garlic salt, and 2 garlic cloves, as well as 2 small dried hot chili peppers. Put lid on and simmer for 35-40 minutes. This is intensely flavored and so so good when served with biscuits. You can also make this in the crockpot overnight and let it sit… just gets better with time.
**Dried Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie: grease a 9X13 pan, and in the bottom, place a layer of sausage that has been cooked until no longer pink and crumbled. I always stretch ours with oatmeal or rice, but that is just how we do things around here. 🙂 I season it with sage and oregano while cooking it up. Then top with a layer of dried corn that you have rehydrated with hot water, or frozen corn. Then in a sauce pan, combine 1 cup sweet potato powder with 2 cups of hot water, and stir until rehydrated into mashed sweet potatoes (make it thicker or thinner as you want). Spread these on top of the other layers, top the potatoes with a little nutmeg and salt, and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350*.
**Slow Cooker Sweet Corn: In a slow cooker (crock pot), combine 4 cups dried sweet corn and 6 cups water. Place on low for 4 hours, season with basil and thyme, top with pats of butter the last hour. Add water as needed (some crock pots heat faster and hotter than others and this will burn if it runs out of water). Serve as a side dish.
**Dried Eggplant Parmesan: I gave you the recipe for this right here, but you just rehydrate the eggplant overnight in a bowl of hot water before assembling it. Click (((here))) for the other recipe.
** Zucchini and Veggie Pizza:  Every year I save out a couple of the monster zucchini for this recipe, and dry them in slices because my family loves this pizza. They fit wonderfully in a wide mouth quart jar, and you can get enough for three pizzas in one jar, so it is very economical. I place them in hot water overnight, and let them plump up by mid-afternoon the following day when I assemble the pizza. On a single prepared pizza crust add one cup spaghetti sauce/pizza sauce, then cover with a layer of zucchini slices, top with cheese, add onion, olives, shredded carrots, sprinkle a little more cheese, then top the pizza with crumbled bacon pieces and black or green olive slices. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes, then serve. One great way to get veggies into kids. If you have super picky kids who wont eat a lot of veggies, puree up those zucchini into the spaghetti sauce and add a dose of spinach flakes to the pizza crust and tell them its seasoning. 🙂

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