ginger, Chinese cooking

Fresh Ginger

Do you use fresh ginger in your cooking? When you purchase fresh ginger you usually buy a large section of root. However you may only need a small amount in your recipe. What do you do with the rest of the root? Years ago my mother took a Chinese cooking class, in the class she learned this wonderful tip for storing ginger and I’ve been using it ever since.

Peel the ginger root. Cut the root into smaller sections and place in a glass jar.

peeled ginger, storing ginger

Peeled ginger in a jar.

storing ginger, frugal tip

Peeled ginger








Pour sherry over the ginger until covered.

ginger, storing ginger, sherry, frugal tip

Pour sherry over the ginger.

Store in the refrigerator. The ginger will stay fresh until you have used it up and you can even use the flavored sherry in cooking if you like.

ginger in sherry

Ginger ready to be stored.



Frugal Tip Tuesday:

I’m sure many of you have fond memories of those delicious icebox cakes made with the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.

surprise cake, icebox cake

Surprise cake ingredients.

In all the years of enjoying them I never thought to make them as individual cakes. However I came across this recipe in a book called Cook What You Love by Bob and Melinda Blanchard. This recipe makes the most elegant but extremely simple dessert. You make it several hours ahead or even a day ahead so the cookies have time to soften and then serve as a fancy dessert the next night. Good enough for family or company!

1 ¼ cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee powder
24 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
Crushed Chocolate Wafers for garnish

Using an electric mixer beat the cream, sugar, vanilla and coffee together until the cream holds its shape.

whipped cream, dessert

Whipped cream with instant coffee

Spread about 1 Tbsp of the cream onto each wafer. Stack 6 wafers together for each serving, alternating the wafers with the cream and pressing slightly so they hold together.

cookies, prudent living

Wafers and whipped cream

Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the stacks to cover the wafers completely. I use a little wax paper under the first cookie to keep the plate clean.

Using wax paper to keep the plate clean.

Using wax paper to keep the plate clean.

Once the cookies are covered with cream I remove the wax paper.

Once covered, remove the wax paper.

Once covered, remove the wax paper.

Chill for 4-6 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with crushed cookie crumbs and serve.

Ready to serve.

Ready to serve.


Surprise Cake

Surprise Cake

Liked to: MeandMySweets, SaturdayDishes, FoodieFriendsFriday, Sweet2EatBaking, GooseberryPatch

Are you a dog lover? As we stock our pantries let’s not forget about our four legged friends!  We have two dogs in our household; Riley, a Boston Terrier:

Boston Terrier, dogs

Riley by the river.

Boston Terrier, dogs

Riley, the Boston Terrier










and Purtie, a pug.

Pugs, dogs

Purtie enjoying the sun

Pugs, dogs

Purtie, our pug

Neither of these dogs were ours to begin with but they have made their home with us. Purtie was originally our daughter Katie’s dog. However Katie settled on the west coast and Purtie didn’t. Riley belongs to our oldest daughter, Jessica. She and her husband moved to London for two years and Riley came to live with us. Both dogs love their treats. They will often go outside on the coldest nights just because they know they will get a treat when they come inside. With trying to get back to basics and have a healthier lifestyle I decided to look into recipes for dog biscuits. Figured it couldn’t be too difficult.  I found a very simple recipe and decided to give it a try.

They smelled delicious as they were baking!

4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups oatmeal
½ to ¾ cups chunky peanut butter
2 ½ cups water

Mix all the ingredients, adding more hot water if necessary.

homemade dog biscuits

Whole wheat, oats and peanut butter

Knead well.

homemade dog biscutis

Dough just about ready to roll out.

Roll out to ¼” thickness and cut into shapes with small cookie cutters.

cookie cutters, homemade dog biscuits

Dog biscuit cookie cutters.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

homemade dog biscuits

Biscuits ready to bake.

Turn off heat and let cool in the oven overnight.

I have to say they were a big success!

homemade dog biscuits, prudent pantry

Finished dog biscuits

A sad note: I made these dog biscuits last weekend with the thought of writing about them today. Purtie, our pug has had some health issues recently and yesterday she took a turn for the worse. We think she suffered some sort of stroke. She spent the day quietly in her bed and passed away late afternoon. So this post is in honor of Purtie, she was a wonderful addition to our family and will be greatly missed.

Pugs, dogs

Purtie 8/2/02-3/7/12

Linked to: NourishingTreasures, RealFoodForager, CallMePMC, GooseberryPatch

The Morristribe’s Homestead Blog Carnival #2

The Morris Tribe Blog Carnival

Last week I started my first batch of seeds. In just a matter of days there were green sprouts showing through the dirt!

Here are the onion seedlings:

seeds, vegetable gardening, seed sprouting

Onion seedlings

The broccoli seedlings:

seedlings, seed starting, prudent living

Broccoli sprouts

And the lettuce:

seedlings, seed starting

Head lettuce

Today I will start some more. Pretty soon my kitchen will be filled with flats of green growing plants! Just wanted to share the progress. for those of you that haven’t seen my little video clip for Prudent Living, I’ve attached that as well! There may be snow on the ground here in Vermont but spring is coming!

[hana-code-insert name=’Seed Starting’ /]

Staying healthy is important. We try to take precautions to stay healthy. We always tried to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office. Shortly after moving to Vermont a friend sent us the recipe for “The Master Tonic”. At first I was a bit skeptical but made a batch and figured whenever we started to feel under the weather we would take a dose. Whether or not it was a coincidence we managed to stay very healthy! I even had several friends who asked for the recipe! I share it with you today exactly as it was shared with me. Beware when you chop fresh horseradish the fumes are quite powerful and when you chop hot peppers DO NOT rub your eyes, and be sure to wear gloves! When you gargle and swallow with this tonic I swear you can feel fire coursing through your veins!

Master Tonic: A Natural Antibiotic

Pro biotic: antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitical.

Important note: As required by law, this information is provided by the right of free speech for educational purposes only, as natural or non-pharmaceutical remedies or therapies are in some nations today now often deemed illegal. We must therefore insist that if you are ill or have any disease or healthy problem that you contact a medical doctor immediately and ask their advice before trying any formulae, or suggestion given in this material.

This is a modern-day version of a recipe for an extremely powerful natural antibiotic originally used to fight infection like the Bubonic Plague that killed over a third of the world in the 1300’s. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics it fights both bacteria and viruses, and is effective against pathogens that have developed immunity to existing drugs.

hot peppers, horseradish, garlic, ginger, vinegar

Master Tonic Ingredients

Master Tonic:

1 part fresh chopped garlic cloves (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral anti-parasitical)

garlic, master tonic, prudent living

Chopped Garlic

1 part fresh chopped white onion, hottest onions available (similar properties to garlic)
1 part fresh gated ginger root (increases circulation to the extremities)

ginger, master tonic

Chopped Ginger

1 part fresh grated horseradish root (increases blood flow to the head)
1 part fresh chopped Cayenne Peppers, the hottest peppers available, i.e. Habanero, African Bird, or Scotch Bonnets etc. (A great blood stimulant)

hot peppers, master tonic

Hot Cherry Peppers

1 bottle raw, unfiltered, unbleached, non-distilled apple cider vinegar

Fill a large glass jar ¾ of the way full with equal parts of the above peeled, fresh, chopped or grated herbs.

garlic, onion, horseradish, ginger, hot peppers

Ingredients layered in a large glass jar.

I use a ½ gallon glass-canning jar and add a cup of each of the above ingredients. Then fill up the rest of the jar to the top with raw, unfiltered, unbleached, non-distilled apple cider vinegar. (It should look milky) shake jar at least once a day for two weeks, and then filter the mixture through a clean piece of cotton (an old t-shirt) or cheesecloth, then bottle and label. If possible make sure all the vegetables and herbs are fresh and organically grown if possible, use dried herbs only in an emergency.

natural antibiotic, master tonic

Master Tonic

This tonic stimulates maximum blood circulation while putting the best detoxifying herbs into the blood. It strengthens the good guys (probiotic) in your system that helps define against infection that broad-spectrum pharmaceutical antibiotics kill. This formula is not just for the sniffles; it has helped to turn around the deadliest of infections.

The dosage is ½ to 1 ounce, two or three times daily (1-2 Tbsps. a time), gargle and swallow. Don’t dilute with water. For ordinary infections, a dropperful taken 5-6 times a day will deal with most conditions. It can be used during pregnancies, is safe for children (use smaller doses) and as a food is completely non-toxic. Make up plenty; it does not need refrigeration and lasts indefinitely without any special conditions.

(I believe the friend that shared this with me got it from The University of Natural Healing, Dr. Richard Schultzs’ adaption of Dr. Christopher’s’ original anti-plague tonic)

Linked to: MindBodyandSole

This recipe is from a much-loved cookbook, which is my husband’s. He has owned this book since 1980 and we have enjoyed numerous recipes from it. The cookbook is called Pei Mei’s Chinese Cook Book Volume 1 and is very unique as one page is in Chinese and the other page is in English.

chinese cooking, Pei Mei

Our beloved cookbook.

Miss Fu Pei-Mei was a celebrated television chef in Taiwan and at the time the book was written had over fifteen years of experience demonstrating the art of Chinese cookery. This book is a collection of more than one hundred traditional dishes. We have made many of them and have never been disappointed. The book was originally published in 1969. You can still find used copies online. This recipe feeds about four and is easily doubled. It works equally well for pork, shrimp or fish.

1 lb of boneless chicken
2 peppers (sweet)
1 cup pineapple chunks

½  Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
1 egg yolk

Seasoning Sauce:
3 Tbsp Vinegar
4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp catsup
3 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil

In a medium size bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Slice chicken very thin. Best if done while the chicken is still fairly frozen as you can slice it thinner.

chicken, slicing chicken

Thinly sliced chicken.

Soak in marinade for at least ½ hour.

Cut peppers into halves, remove seeds and membranes, and cut into 1” squares. Set aside.

peppers, chinese cooking

Red and green sweet peppers.

In a small bowl, combine seasoning sauce ingredients. Stir and set aside.

Chinese cooking, seasoning sauce, prudent living

Seasoning sauce ingredients.

Heat a few teaspoons of peanut oil in your wok. I use a non-stick pan, shaped like a wok with a flat bottom. When the oil is hot, stir-fry the chicken until it just starts to brown.

chicken, cooked chicken, stir-fry

Sautéing chicken.

Remove to a bowl. Add peppers and pineapple to pan.

sweet peppers, pineapple

Peppers and pineapple are added to pan.

Stir constantly until just tender but not soft. Add seasoning sauce and chicken. Stir until thickened and serve immediately. Delicious served with rice.

Chinese cooking, prudent living, recipe box

Sweet and Sour Chicken


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