2019 - Our Sunday Cafe
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So, let me tell you where I have been!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. 

It has been a long time since I have been able to spend much time here, on the blog. And as it turns out, there are several reasons for this, and I would like to share them all with you. Retirement brought about many changes for us. It also taught me, that I was NOT ready to move to a small community in a beach town and begin the rest of my life....

After a couple of years, there was a void in my life because I had worked full time from the age of 15, and honestly, I never learned not to work. So we sold the beach house and became full-time volunteers for the National Parks System. This self-selected assignment was just what the doctor ordered. We worked hard, felt accomplished and got to see some amazing parts of the USA. Life doesn't really get much better, but then you see, I began to miss the rest of my family...


Which meant it was time to reassess, reorganize and have no regrets in the process. At that point, we offered to partner up with our kids and we would all invest in a small homestead. A place for a garden, a few chickens and a home base for us. And once it was up and running, we (my husband and I) could start traveling again. And so, that is what we are doing. Let me tell you, selling our home here and buying a parcel of land there is a full-time job!

We have decided that Montana is our destination and look forward to the day that this portion of our homestead project, is completed! I will say that even as full-time RV travelers and volunteers, I continued to cook from scratch, using mostly organic and whole foods. It was interesting to go from a full sized kitchen with every modern convenience I had room for, to a counter only four feet in length with a three burner gas stovetop! But not only did I accomplish this change, I also had a good time in the process.


Many of our meals were quite simple yet it was fun to share them via Facebook at RVKitchen. I also became an expert at using leftovers and cooking meals with supplies, from rural grocery stores with limited inventory. And you know what? We enjoyed each and every meal because it is just as much who you get to eat with, as it is the food you get to eat. If nothing else, I got to see my food philosophy in action, and that really was heartwarming.

All this is being shared because I want you to know that I never once even thought about not blogging, but I have been a bit busy with life. And of course, the other factor was a decided absence of internet connection. There were so many things I wanted to share, but without the internet it was impossible. But here are a few, I would like to share now...


We were six miles north of the international border with Mexico, in the middle of the desert, when the government shut down occurred. We had very little, but fortunately, as volunteers, we were not dependent upon a paycheck to survive.

This really surprised me, the alluring sound of coyotes talking to each other as the sun goes down. I am sorry not to have a photo of the coyotes spotted out and about during the day, but they really are a private group, and once noticed, they find something to place distance between you and them.



Celebrating Christmas near a tiny town, where even the cactus are decorated!


Learning 100 years of history about cattle ranching in the desert, while just the desert on its own, is a fascinating place of survival.


And most importantly becoming comfortable with retirement and knowing where I belong in the scheme of it all! Along the way in my volunteerism, I returned to knitting and learned new techniques and challenged myself to learn a new knitting skill with each piece. I took this time to make afghans and reading shawls to gift to many of the park staff, as a way of letting them know, how much I appreciated their friendship. I let my hair return to my most natural style, which is to let it grow long. The above-knitted piece is a messy bun hat, that I whipped up for myself.

But one thing is clear, I missed cooking for my family, and of course all of you!


So, I hope you bear with me as we complete this process of buying land for our homestead and the move to Montana. We (my daughter and I) have plans for more blogging and maybe a few videos for homemade household products that will be used in our homes. And food, of course! Homemade, whole food recipes to nourish and enjoy.

In the meantime I  hope you continue to view the archives for our tried and true recipes and if you have a question or might need help finding a recipe you want to try, please drop me a line. I would enjoy that tremendously! If you would like to stay up to date on our journey, I invite you to follow along on Facebook.

As always, thanks for dropping by today, I appreciate it more than you know!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for 
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the 
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Crunchy Tangy Jicama Waldorf Salad

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

During our year of volunteering with the National Park Service, we often found ourselves far from the convenience of a large grocery store. Which meant that while there was good (and delicious!) produce, it was understocked by comparison to what you will find in the stores in larger communities. But, honestly, it was the perfect time to get creative and produce another delicious meal to enjoy.

Now to be honest when I first threw this together, I really didn't know if it was going to be good or not. But I also knew that the sum of the parts would not go to waste, even if I had to eat it all myself in order not to waste any food.

When I dished up my serving at dinner time...as it turned out, I only wished I could have gotten the chance to eat it all, because it was crisp, delicious and refreshing! 

Because jicama takes the place of apples, if you prefer a sweeter traditional salad, feel free to use two tablespoons of sugar. I hope you give this Crunchy Tangy Jicama Waldorf Salad, a try. 

Crunchy Tangy Jicama Waldorf Salad! Creative and delicious.

Crunchy, Tangy Jicama Waldorf Salad 
by the seat of my pants!

1 generous c of diced jicama
2 ribs celery, diced
2 T mayonnaise of choice
1 T apple cider vinegar
1-2 T sugar ( I used 1 T, your family may prefer it a bit sweeter)
A fist full of pecans or walnuts, broken and set aside


Stir all ingredients together, except the pecans/walnuts.


Let rest at room temperature until meal time, up to 2 hours. 

Scatter the broken nut pieces over top of salad right before serving.

Serves 2 or 3.


Enjoy!


Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for 
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also, enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
modest monday
2

A baker's dozen of Salad Dressings!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

I love sharing collections! It is a fun way to share lots of great recipes, of a specific genre. With the weather changing quickly, salads and dressings seem like the best choice. After all, everyone agrees, "let's eat more vegetables!" This collection will help with that!



Casey's House Dressing, A blue Cheese Vinaigrette. This dressing is a family favorite, served at the restaurant of a family member, who was a great cook..., you won't be disappointed.



The Finest Salad Dressing. A unique dressing with a dash of Angostura Bitters, different and delicious.

Simple Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing.

Simple Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing. Just like the same says, simple, sweet and sour, and super easy to make!

Parsley Buttermilk and Parmesan Cheese Salad Dressing.

Parsley Buttermilk and Parmesan Cheese Salad Dressing. Don't let the name fool you, this is so good!

Creamy Paprika Salad Dressing.

Creamy Paprika Salad Dressing. Basic ingredients from your pantry, who could ask for more in a dressing?

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing. Carrots and ginger are a great flavor pair.

Tangy Cranberry and Thyme Vinaigrette.

Tangy Cranberry with Thyme Vinaigrette.  Unusual ingredients can also make a great vinaigrette. This one is no exception.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. Perfect over salad greens, or chilled roasted vegetables.

Parsley Lemon and Mustard Salad Dressing.

Parsley Lemon and Mustard Salad Dressing. If you enjoy lemon, you will like this one.

Maple Balasmic Vinaigrette.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. Always a pleaser, at our house.


Smoke Paprika Vinaigrette.

Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette.  This complex dressing is good over everything!


Roasted Lemon and Basil Salad Dressing.

Roasted Lemon and Basil Salad Dressing. Roasting lemon halves on the grill will add wonderful flavor.

Everyday Vinaigrette

Everyday Vinaigrette. I keep some in the fridge, most of the time.

I hope you found one (or more!) to try at your house.

Enjoy!


Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for 
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also, enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
modest monday
0

A Delicious Dozen, No Lettuce Salads!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

For so many years salad meant tossed greens and a creamy dressing. And while I still love a crisp bowl of hearty salad greens and a rich and creamy dressing, I have come to view salads in a different light. Salads are the perfect way to eat more vegetables, of all kinds! Cooked, roasted and raw, they all make wonderful salads. This offered selection is just a few of our favorite salads, we hope you find one or more to enjoy!

This salad is earthy while still being light enough to serve with most dinners or for lunch as a whole meal with whole grain bread. Beets are a particular favorite of ours.

Looking to eat more vegetables, enjoy a no lettuce salad!

 Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette.


This salad was put together from simple ingredients on hand that day. And being offered to show how easy it is to cook with what you have!

Adding more vegetables to your meals is easy with these no lettuce salads.

 Avocado Caprese Salad .


Root vegetables are good keepers, making them perfect for spur of the moments salads. This one is very good, you can adjust the level of sweet to please your hungry eaters.

Up your vegetable game, eat more salads!

 Celery Root Carrot and Apple Slaw.


Raw beets are very interesting in a salad, they have a special sweetness of their own to enjoy. They pair beautifully with citrus and berries.

Raw beet salads are delicious!

 Fresh Beet Salad with Ruby Grapefruit Vinaigrette Feta and Avocado .


This salad is a bit unusual, but you will be sorry if pass it by. Plus it is perfect for making ahead to ease the last minute chores of any gathering!
 
Tired of the same bowl of tossed greens with ranch? Look at these no lettuce salads to enjoy.

 Roasted Carrot and Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and Feta.


 Green bean salad are so good and fortunately green beans are loved by almost everyone!

Green beans in a salad, yes!

 Fresh Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes Feta and Toasted Walnuts.


 This fresh beet salad is delicious with avocado or even pear. Give them both a try!

A fresh beet salad is so refreshing, and so good for you!


A fresh beet salad is so refreshing, and so good for you!

 Fresh Beet Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette.


This beauty started with frozen peas...need we say more? Easy and delicious!

One of the best pea salads out there!

 Winter Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Cashews.


Celery is perfect as the salad!

Celery is perfect AS the salad, this salad is proof!
 Root and Stem Salad.


Another green bean salad of a completely different personality!

Blistered Green Beans make a stunning presentation as salad, delicious also!
Blistered Green Bean Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette Feta and Chopped Almonds.


Parsley is the most overlooked powerhouse of nutrition in the produce section...

Parsley is a super food, and so tasty as a salad, give it a try!

Simple Parsley Salad.


If you do not use a spiralizer, not to worry. This tastes just as delicious when grated!

Fruit and vegetables pair up nicely for a fresh salad to enjoy!

 Celery Root Asian Pear Waldorf Salad.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

shared with:
modest monday
2

Bohemian Kimchi

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

I have been working on ways to add probiotic foods to our daily meals, beyond beverages and yogurt. Fermented vegetables eaten as a relish or side dish are the perfect answer. While I have made sauerkraut in the past, I have always served it hot (cooked, thereby eliminating many of the good bacteria). 

I came across this fun recipe for kimchi and quickly made some up. And we gobbled it down! This is our second batch and fortunately, I did remember to document the process along the way. If you are not a water Keifer family (first, why not?!), and do not want to become one, I am afraid I do not have a substitute...but would encourage you to try water Keifer because it is good not only as a beverage but in many recipes as well. 
Currently, we are using it for homemade jello recipes, which we really enjoy. But that my friends, is a different blog post..... 

For now, let's get busy with this kimchi!

Super easy to make Kimchei using your Water Keifer, easy and delicious!
Bohemian Kimchi, so good for you!
Bohemian Kimchi
Adapted from:  fitlife

1 medium (on the large size) head of cabbage or Nappa cabbage
2 T salt

1 bunch (about 12) green onions
4 medium-sized carrots

1 (rounded) T finely chopped fresh ginger
1 t crushed pepper flakes
2-3 cloves garlic minced or equivalent dried

1/3 c – ½ c water Keifer from the first ferment

Chop cabbage, mix with salt, squeezing between hands until volume reduces by half and water pools up in the bottom of the bowl.

Make Kimchi using your Water Keifer, easy and delicious!


Let sit, while preparing the following vegetables:

Fermented vegetables that are easy to make, and easier to enjoy!

Peel and grate the carrots,
Clean the green onions, leaving as much of the green ends as possible, cut  into ½ inch pieces,
Peel and finely chop enough ginger for a rounded 1 T measure
Clean and mince garlic, if able to use fresh

Make Kimchi using your Water Keifer, easy and delicious!


Stir the vegetables into the cabbage, mixing well. 
Add the water Keifer, mix well. 
Pack into a large jar, (I am using a wide mouth ½ gallon jar for this batch), pressing down until water comes up above the top of the vegetables. 
Cover with a weight*, so that the vegetables will remain beneath the top of the liquid. then cap lightly for gas to escape, but for pests to keep out!

Make Kimchi using Water Keifer, easy and delicious!


Let rest on the countertop for 3 to 7 days. Begin tasting after 3 days, when sour-hot-spicy to your liking, place in the refrigerator.

You won’t need to worry about how long this will keep, because it will not last that long! We had our first batch gone in 3 days….


* If you do not have a glass weight for fermenting, feel free to use a large piece of the outside leaf of cabbage, cut to fit the top of the inside of the jar. Fill a small jar (a spice jar works well) with water and use that as a weight to push down the contents in the jar and keep them below the surface of the water. As long as the cabbage leaf is under the brine, it will not mold or rot. 

Easiest kimchi ever!

Now on to the cleanup!

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

shared with:
modest monday
2

Casey's House Dressing a Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, a restaurant favorite, now made at home.

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

It started many years ago in a small family run Italian restaurant in sunny California. Pasta covered with fresh homemade sauce, and always a salad of tossed greens. The house dressing was a Blue Cheese Vinaigrette.

To this day it is my favorite, a creamy blue cheese dressing and a tangy vinaigrette combined to make the best dressing ever. The first time I had a salad with this dressing I knew it was a winning way to serve salad greens. Casey had his own "secret" way to make this dressing, but I think I can get close, real close. Trade secrets, they are everything in the restaurant business!

Let's talk salads, shall we? For me a salad needs to be tossed with the dressing, before it is served. A bowl of greens with dressing over the top, is difficult to eat with enjoyment. Usually the dressing is eaten up with the top layer of the salad, leaving naked lettuce and not much excitement at the bottom of the salad bowl.

To my way of thinking, a richly flavored dressing, tossed with the greens, then served up is so much more appealing. Also you don't need to drench your greens in a dressing, when a dressing starts out fresh, vibrant and well flavored, you automatically use less.

Casey's House Dressing, a creamy blue cheese restaurant style vinaigrette
Casey's House Dressing

Casey's House Dressing
by the seat of my pants
makes approximately 3 cups dressing

1/3 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 t garlic salt
fresh ground pepper
2 T fresh minced parsley or 1 T dried
1/2 t sugar
1/2 mayonnaise
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c blue cheese crumbles

Combine all ingredients except cheese crumbles.

Casey's House Dressing, a delicious blue cheese vinaigrette.

Whisk all ingredients except blue cheese until smooth. Add blue cheese, and using a "mashing" motion work cheese into the mixture to break apart some of the pieces.


Decant into a storage jar. Refrigerate.

Casey's House Dressing, a creamy blue cheese restaurant style vinaigrette

To serve, toss with fresh greens of choice.

This dressing is also delicious spooned over a platter of prepared crisp vegetables presented as a composed salad for a sit-down dinner, and everyone can help themselves.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for 
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!


10

The Finest Salad Dressing...

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Life is a bit crazy right now, what with 2 houses and jobs and laundry and well you get the picture.


This weekend has been painting and pruning and then tomorrow it is a return to "work" which will be nice, a bit of a rest actually!

But we still must eat and I found this salad dressing recipe in one of my books, it caught my eye because of two ingredients: bay leaves and bitters. I have a fondness for unusual ingredients and bitters really fills that bill. If you have made my version of Penzy's  Bay Leaf Seasoning. you could substitute 1/2 t for the crumbled bay leaves.


The Finest Salad Dressing
adapted from:  The Melting Pot, Food From Many Lands
Height Cooperative Nursery School, November 1961


Combine all ingredients and shake well:


1 c oil
1/4 c vinegar
2 T mayonnaise
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t MSG - I did not use
2 bay leaves gently crushed
1/8 - 1/4 t garlic powder - I used 1/8 t
pinch of oregano
dash of Augostra Bitters


Truth in blogging:  next time I will blend the mayo with a touch of the oil so it is lump free.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for 
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

6

Simple, Sweet and Sour, Salad Dressing

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…


Frugal and cooking with what you have go hand in hand, no doubt about it. Use it up or do without also go hand in hand, however often times that is not possible in the kitchen. Keeping a well-stocked pantry is the key to being frugal and it offers the freedom to step into the kitchen to cook, without the interruption of going to the store.


Speaking for myself, once home from work, I do not want to leave the house for something like a missing ingredient. After all, I just got home and home is where I want to be after working and commuting all day.


So let's make a simple, sweet and sour, salad dressing. Keep it ready to drizzle on sliced tomatoes and cucumbers for a quick side dish to round out the meal. Or toss salad greens and top with sliced almonds, or you decide, it is your kitchen!

Sweet and Sour Dressing
adapted from:  Desperation Dinners!
makes about 2/3 c

3 T rice wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
3 T soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1 T ketchup
1 T sugar
1/2 t grated ginger
1/2 t minced garlic

Put it all in a screw-top jar, shake and then drizzle!


Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for 
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!


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