Posted in Recipes

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

With Thanksgiving and Harvest Dinners right around the corner, I thought I’d share my favorite cranberry sauce that’s easy and delicious. Just set it and forget it!

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce: Makes 1 – 1 1/2 Quarts

  • 2 (12 ounce) bags fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 clementines (or mandarin oranges), zested
  • 1 cup water (or orange juice)
  1. Add all ingredients in a crockpot and put on low for 6-8 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency. Just set it and forget it, stirring occasionally to check the consistency!

Tip: If you’d like to fully utilize the zested mandarins, peel the remaining peel off, and blend the pieces with the water to use for the cooking liquid! (Or you can just eat them for snacks, live your life!)

Posted in Recipes

Lazy Day Ramen Broth

Not every meal can be a scratch made masterpiece of cookery, especially if you’re running low on spoons (thanks chronic illness, you’re a real gem) and finding it difficult to get through the day.

This is an easy recipe that I like to make myself when I’m feeling blue or overwhelmed, comfort in a bowl. You can make this just for the broth, can boil some noodles in it, or sometimes I like to simmer dumplings in it.

Lazy Day Ramen Broth: Makes 2 Cups

  • 2 tsp chicken base (I use the Better than Bouillon Reduced Sodium)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Korean red chili flake (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (I mince all my ginger at one time and freeze in an ice cube tray)
  • 1 cup milk (I use almond milk)
  • 1 cup water

Simply blend all of your ingredients together in a blender and simmer on the stove. Cook some ramen noodles in this, simmer some dumplings, or just drink as is. Try adding it to other recipes as well! (It makes for some really good rice.)

If you’d like to make a bigger batch and freeze some for another day, go for it! And remember, fed is best.

Posted in Recipes

Crockpot Beef Stewp

Mack… What in the higgity heck is a stewp? I’m so glad you asked, imaginary other half of this conversation! Stewp is a very technical professional culinary term for something not quite a stew, and not quite a soup. Therefore, stewp. Tell your friends.

I needed something easy and hands off to feed a crowd, the crockpot came through for dinner while we were out adventuring in an apple orchard.

Crockpot Beef Stewp: Feeds 6

  • 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into chunks of desired
  • 6 baby red potatoes, chunked
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp worsterchire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 quarts stock (use whatever you like! Beef is obviously traditional, but I had chicken stock on hand that I needed to use up)
  1. Add in all of your vegetables (minus the garlic) to the bottom of a large crockpot.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, dry seasonings, worsterchire, and enough stock to thin the mixture to a ketchup like texture.
  3. Slather your seasoning paste on your chuck roast, and place the chuck roast on top of your vegetables.
  4. Tuck your bay leaves into the crockpot, and add enough stock to come halfway up the meat, and set your crockpot to low.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and shreds easily.
  6. Stir thoroughly, adjust seasonings as necessary, and enjoy while hot!

Try this recipe over rice, cooked pasta, or with some crusty garlic bread! It’s great for warming the bones after an autumn adventure.

Posted in Recipes

Fresh Pasta

There’s a million recipes for fresh pasta, all slightly different. I use a few myself, but this one is definitely in my top 3! Let me know how you like the video!

If you’re vegan, use an egg replacement like Simply Eggless or Just Egg to your dough. I’ve tried it with both products, and it worked great each time!

Posted in Recipes

Chewy Chestnut Brownies

I’ve been craving chocolate and had some chestnut pieces I had to use up from syrup making, why not use the two together?

Chewy Chestnut Brownies: Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup butter (we used avocado butter)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate (we used vegan dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla or chestnut syrup
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used all purpose you could also use whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup roasted chestnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. To a microwave safe bowl, add your butter and chocolate. Microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. For my microwave, it took about 3 – 30 second bursts.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in your sugars thoroughly.
  4. Mix in your vanilla, and 1 egg, mixing completely before adding the next egg and mixing until well combined.
  5. Add in your flour, mixing until just combined.
  6. Fold in your chestnut pieces gently.
  7. Grease a 9×9 square pan well (or a muffin tin) and add in your batter. If using the muffin tin, add about 2 oz of batter per cup.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through to promote even baking.
  9. Allow to cool, then enjoy!
  10. Try topped with whipped cream or even with edible cookie dough!

Posted in Recipes

Berry Hibiscus Refresher

I’m not quite ready to let summer go just yet, so I whipped this up for a little taste of sunshine on this rainy day. This drink makes both a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail and a nice sunny pick-me-up.

Berry Hibiscus Refresher: Makes 1

  1. Muddle your sugar cube in a dash of hot water, and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add in your strawberry shrub, lemonade, and tea.
  3. Stir, then top with sparkling water.
  4. Carefully add in your frozen berries, stir once, and enjoy!
Posted in Recipes

Granola Cups

A great meal prep breakfast for the kids, and a great non-traditional way to enjoy granola!

Granola Cups: Makes about 15

  • 3 cups of your favorite Mack’s granola (Fruit Cave is really good for this. If you can’t use our granola, just find a looser granola at the store, steer away from granola clusters.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup applesauce of choice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup apples, diced (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F, and grease 2 muffins pans. Set aside.

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla, and applesauce until thoroughly combined.
  3. If using, add your chopped apples to the wet mixture.
  4. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Using a 2 oz scoop (or 1/4 cup measure), add a scoop of the batter to each muffin cup. Your batter will probably look quite loose, don’t panic! Your granola will absorb everything.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating your pans at the 15 minute mark to promote even baking.
  7. Once fully baked, allow them to cool completely at room temperature.
  8. Meal prep them out into containers or add to an airtight container and store.
  9. Enjoy!
Posted in Recipes

No-Churn Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream

‘Tis the season! This is a super easy recipe, no ice cream maker needed! You can do this by hand, but an electric mixer will make this easier on you.

Pumpkin Ice Cream: Makes 1 Quart

  • 2 cups milk of choice (we used cashew milk)
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can of coconut whipping cream (we used the Nature’s Charm brand – but really you can just make a cans worth of your favorite coconut whipped cream recipe and use that)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp of your favorite pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup of canned 100% pumpkin – NOT canned pumpkin pie filling
  • 3/4 – 1 cup sugar
  1. Add your whipping cream to a large bowl and beat on high for 3 minutes. (Or if you’re using pre-made whip, just add it to the bowl.)
  2. Add in your sugar and beat until just combined.
  3. Add in your remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Pour your ice cream base into a freezer safe container and freeze for 2-3 hours. (Tip: Don’t throw your bowl or mixer in the sink! You’ll need it again in a few hours.)
  5. Remove your partially frozen ice cream and return to the bowl. Mix again for 2-3 minutes until completely mixed and creamy.
  6. Add your ice cream to a freezer safe container (feel free to use the same one if it works for you) and freeze for another 1-2 hours, or until frozen through.
  7. Scoop, top with your favorite ice cream toppings, and enjoy! You can also blend this with coffee for a delicious pumpkiny morning boost!
Posted in Recipes

BBQ Sausage

Juicy, delicious, sweet and savory! If you don’t want to make stuffed sausage, feel free to make the mix and use it as a ground sausage!

BBQ Sausage: Makes 5 Pounds

  • 5 pounds ground chicken or pork
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ rub
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (try our recipe!)

If making stuffed sausage, you’ll also need hog casings (read your sausage stuffers recommended size) and a sausage stuffer.

  1. Mix together your BBQ sauce, BBQ rub, and ground meat thoroughly, and allow the flavors to marry overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. The next day, assemble your stuffer according to manufacturers instructions.
  3. Soak your casing in cold running water for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Place your meat into the chamber of the stuffer, trying to get as little air into the chamber as possible.
  5. Giving yourself plenty of space, wet the stuffing tube and feed the casing onto the tube.
  6. Carefully press out any air that may have built up in the tube,then knot the end of your casing.
  7. Gently crank or push your stuffer to fill the casing with your sausage, you want them to be roughly 2 fingers thick in diameter, but play it by eye and make sure you don’t overfill the casing. Leave a little room for the change in pressure while twisting links.
  8. Add casings or meat as necessary for your machine.
  9. Once you’ve cased all of your sausage, twist into your desired length of links by pinching either end of your link and gently twirling in one direction. I generally make mine the length from my extended thumb to the tip of my pinky. (Think of the ASL sign for ‘Y’)
  10. At this point, you can carefully snip your sausage links apart.
  11. You can freeze your sausages to cook another time, or bake, grill, or pan sear them! Just remember to cook them to a minimum temperature of 165F.

Enjoy! I hope to have a video tutorial of sausage up soon, in the meantime there are many wonderful resources to learn the process of sausage making on the interwebs.

Posted in Recipes

BBQ Sauce

Slather on anything and everything!

Ribs, chicken, vegetables, your neighbor, beans, a flip flop, etc!*

It’s generally advised to only put on things that are safe/Legal to eat. Try not to torment your neighbors.

BBQ Sauce: Makes 2 Cups

  • ¼ cup BBQ rub (see bonus recipe)
  • ¼ cup Stock ( I use vegetable)
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 cups ketchup
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan, simmer over medium low/low heat for about 30 minutes, or until it reaches your desired thickness.