This is an energizing infusion. It works on the adrenals to build energy and stamina. Conversely, with strengthened adrenal function you can expect to rest better and to experience less anxiety.
Stinging Nettles Infusion
Four to five quarts of nettle infusion weekly can yield results in 3 to 6 weeks. That’s right. Three to six weeks. True health is not a pill that you take. You didn’t run yourself down in one day. It takes time to return your body to balance. But return it will.
Nourishing infusions ensure that your body stays in tip-top shape. Once you’ve achieved a balance, a quart a week should be sufficient. Using nourishing infusions becomes part of your daily lifestyle. As far as I know there are no contraindications to stinging nettle infusion. However, you may experience side effects such as thicker hair, softer skin, stronger veins, an uptick in your enjoyment of life.
- 1 oz of dried nettle herb
- 1 quart boiling water
- Salt optional
Place the herbs in a glass quart jar. Fill the jar with boiling water.
Steep for at least four hours; More is fine. Overnight is fine.
Strain herb from the water with a cheesecloth. (You can use an old white T-shirt as well.) Add salt if desired.
Compost the herbs and drink the infusion. Refrigerating and then drinking cold is great but finish it within a day or two lest it ferment.
This traditional lasagna is stacked high, with three full layers of pasta filled with sauce, ricotta, Italian sausage and ground beef , then plenty of mozzarella and Parmesan. Finally, one last layer of pasta gets added, topped with a sprinkling of more cheese and some sauce.
It’s decadent and delicious.
Best Lasagna Ever
It takes a little work, but it is worth it.
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 6-oz can tomato paste
- 2 6.5-oz can canned tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons basil dried
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Noodles and Cheese Layers
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese sliced
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Noodles and Cheese Layers
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
While noodles are boiling, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl.
Assembly and Baking
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 ½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking dish. In layers, arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with ½ of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with one third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 ½ cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
6. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Making ghee is a process I enjoy, and it yields a wonderful cooking medium. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, ghee is an unsalted butter that has had the milk solids removed after separating from the butterfat, resulting in beautiful, golden, pure fat with an unusually high smoking point. This means ghee (and its cousin, clarified butter) is remarkably stable, even at higher temperatures. The process for making clarified butter is similar to that of making ghee, ghee is simply cooked longer and has more contact with the browning milk solids, in turn lending a different flavor profile.
Tips for Cooking with Ghee
1. Use less. If you’ve never cooked with ghee before, just go easy to start. I’ve found that I typically need less throughout the process compared with, say, olive oil.
2. Wok cooking or stir-fry is an exercise in high-temperature intensity. Which can be hard on oils, and you end up having the oils break down, and not in a good way. So, ghee is a good option, as long as it works for the flavors you are cooking. I don’t think it works alongside soy sauce, for example, but a quick vegetable stir-fry is a winner
3. In my opinion, the best ghee comes from homemade butter. Meaning, you first make butter from fresh cream you got from your herd share. Then you turn that butter into ghee. You might try making cultured butter and turning that into ghee.
4. Ghee can be stored, unopened, in a cool, dark, place for 9 months. Once opened, a jar can be kept on your counter top for 3 months. Beyond that, the open jar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. How’s that for shelf life.
- 2 pounds unsalted butter I’ve used salted as well
- Pinch of salt optional
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low. It will start to bubble and separate. The whey will float to the surface creating foam. Skim the whey foam as it arises. Continue to cook the butter until it turns clear and the milk solids sink to the bottom. This is clarified butter. (You could actually stop here.)
Continue to cook your butter until the milk solids brown (lightly) on the bottom of the pan. It will smell like popcorn butter.
Remove skillet from heat, add salt (optional); cool for about 2 minutes.
Pour ghee through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in tightly sealed mason jars or refrigerator.
Use it in place of almost any cooking oil. It will add butter flavor without burning.
• If butter turns dark brown or black, you’ve burned it and you will need to start over.
Easter is fast approaching. Come see us at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market and pick up some Easter lamb. We have bone-in legs, boneless shoulder roasts, and ground lamb. Choose a free recipe card with your purchase. I have Greek Meatballs for Easter, Easter Leg of Lamb and Southwestern Shoulder Roast.
Easter Leg of Lamb
On Easter, lamb may be what's on the menu for your big family dinner. It's a tradition that goes back to ancient times.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
- 1 leg of lamb bone-in (6-7 lbs)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbl fresh rosemary leaves chopped (or 3 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh herbs combination of rosemary, chives, and parsley
- 2 cups onions diced
- 2 cups lamb stock or chicken stock
- 1 cup red wine
Preheat oven to 400 F. Rub lamb all over with lemon juice. Pat garlic and rosemary evenly over the surface of the lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan in oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 F and continue cooking for approximately 1 hour for medium-rare, or until thermometer registers 145-150 F (don't touch the bone with thermometer.)
Remove roast from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
Position roasting pan over stove burners. Add mixed herbs and onions to pan. Stir to combine with pan drippings. Add stock and wine to deglaze the pan. Reduce over high heat until it becomes a sauce consistency (approximately 20 min).
Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top. Reduction sauce may sound complicated, but I guarantee you that if you give it a try, you will see just how easy it is to make. You’ll be off and running in a lot of other areas with that new skill.
Reduction sauce may sound complicated, but I guarantee you that if you give it a try, you will see just how easy it is to make. You’ll be off and running in a lot of other areas with that new skill.
Around here we are just waiting for the asparagus to peak its head up from the ground. Yes, it’s that time of year. From about April through June an abundance of fresh asparagus is available. Check out your local farmer’s market.
Cheesy Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Take advantage of your seasonal asparagus. This dish is easy to make and low carb and keto-friendly. Use a cast iron skillet or perhaps a baking dish handed down from your grandmother. It should be large enough for the asparagus trimmed of the woody stem to lay flat.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4 people
- 1 pound asparagus spears woody ends removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly grease your baking dish.
Arrange asparagus on baking sheet. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil mixture over the asparagus and toss to evenly coat.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until vibrant and just beginning to get tender.
Remove from oven and top with the mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden (about 4-5 minutes).
If you’re going to enjoy cheese, I can think of no better way than melted on some toasted bread slathered with butter. A grilled cheese sandwich is simple to make but improvements can always be made. This recipe will give you the confidence to make your grilled cheese sandwich spectacular. Here are some tips for making that perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
4 Tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Tip #1: Use a really great bread. I have some great bread recipes that will be coming along shortly. For now, you might want to visit your local farmer’s market. I don’t think I’ve seen one in a long time that didn’t have some local lady making some awesome bread. You can experiment with whole grain varieties, sourdough, or pumpernickel. Experiment to your hearts content. Just make sure its not sliced too thick and doesn’t have a lot of holes. Other wise you either don’t have enough cheese to bread ratio or the cheese leaks out. Yikes.
Tip #2: Using butter is great but have you tried mayo? Usually we use butter on the outsides for sure. Sometimes we butter the insides as well. But what if we used mayo on the outside and butter on the inside – or vise versa? Mayo is basically oil, eggs, and a splash of vinegar. The oil browns the bread really nicely when used on the outside and the vinegar adds a bit of tang.
Tip #3: Use the right cheese. American cheese melts really well, but man o man is it boring compared to other choices. You definitely want a cheese that melts well. Just about any aged cheese will work well, with the exception of really hard cheeses like parmesan. So, gouda, cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and so on. Look for availability of our Clau d’ ville Aged Cheddar, Ararat Legend washed-curd cheese and Pinnacle alpine-style cheeses this summer at the Farmer’s market in Wytheville.
Tip #4: Cook it slow. Keep the heat in the medium to medium-low range. You want the bread to toast at the same rate the cheese melts. You definitely don’t want to burn the bread before the cheese is fully melted. Press is firmly with a spatula. You can even put a heavy pan on top of it while it cooks. That pressure is going to give you that super crispy crust.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 1/3 cup (3 oz) cheese per sandwich sliced or grated
- 2 slices bread of your choice per sandwich
- 1 tablespoon butter per sandwich
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise per sandwich
Apply butter or mayo to one side of the bread. Flip it over and apply butter or mayo to the other side. Lay it on a plate. Lay the cheese on top of the bread. Apply butter and mayo in the same way on the second slice of bread. Lay it on top to complete the sandwich. Repeat to assemble all sandwiches.
Heat your grill or frying pan to medium-low. You can raise the temperature to medium if your cheese is melting rapidly enough.
Place the sandwiches in the pan. Grill until lightly browned and flip over. Continue grilling until cheese is melted and bread is browned on the second side. Press down with a spatula to get a crispy panini bread crust.