Summer Sous Vide Cooking

Hi friends! How is your summer going? If it’s been anything like mine it’s been crazy busy and crazy fun too!

The weather here has been just perfect as far as I’m concerned. Not too hot and just enough rain between warm days to keep everything green and less dusty. Which is perfect for camping, atv riding, and even just playing in the backyard, and dinner on the patio.

I have found a new kitchen gadget that has become my most used appliance in my kitchen and I wanted to share it with you!

I had heard of sous vide cooking before but hadn’t given it a lot of thought until I watched a show on America’s Test Kitchen about it. I was enthralled and needed to own one!!

One day my husband came and home and surprised me with one! I was so excited! I immediately used it to make chicken breast and I was hooked!

I have made leg of lamb, pork tenderloin, steaks, pork chops, beef roast, chicken hindquarters and of course chicken breasts. Nothing has been less than amazing. Everything has been perfectly cooked, not the least bit dry (notice I didn’t use that word no one likes! ) tender and super flavorful. The thing I like the most about it, well……besides that everything turns out perfectly every time, is that I can put whatever I am making in the sous vide several hours before it needs to be done and it will be done and perfect when all the rest of dinner is ready. I don’t have to try to worry about the chicken being done when the broccoli is done! It IS done and it’s not getting over done! I can spend my time making creative side dishes or just save myself some time and hassle at dinner time. Plus, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen at all! You can briefly finish on the BBQ and feel like you have done something super “summery’!

This is a busy person’s kitchen miracle!

I have the Anova Nano. It connects to an app. The app shows current temperature, target temperature and time remaining. The same info is visible on the Sous Vide itself as well. The app includes thousands of recipes and cooking guides.

We purchased ours at Target for $79. I believe it was on sale. You can spend a lot of money on them but I don’t think it is necessary.

If you would like to learn more about Sous Vide Cooking I will link this article, “Sous vide basics with America’s Test Kitchen” It has some really good basic info.

If you are really into the science and all the techy stuff about Sous Vide, here is something you will enjoy! “Testing Sous Vide Machines”

Finally, here is the America’s Test Kitchen episode I watched that got me hooked on Sous Vide Cooking! Enjoy!

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Have fun looking into Sous Vide cooking so you can take it easy and spend more time with family and friends this summer!

Cheers! From my Family to Yours!

Wine is divine

I wanted to incorporate wine in my food blog because, well…. wine is divine! Two of my daughters and I absolutely love wine!

My oldest daughter and my husband love good beer… not cheap beer, good beer. They love the local crafted beers and we have plenty of those near here!

The whole family enjoys a good cider now and then. We prefer them on the dry side. Not too sweet.

I will be sharing about all of those things we love, wines, beers and ciders, along with mixed drinks, liquors and even bubbles with you!

I am in no way a connoisseur of wine, I just like to drink it! Nor am I an expert on craft beer and I am not a bartender. I just wanted a way to share the wines and drinks that we love with others and have a way to keep track of them as well!

Today I want to share a wine with you that we have enjoyed for a few years now. My husband and I went to a local restaurant called The Porch for a date night dinner a few years ago. We ordered a bottle of wine at the suggestion of the server. We were NOT disappointed! It was a Townshend Red Blend, T3. Oh WOW! It was incredible!

As soon as we were done with dinner we went directly to the grocery store to purchase another bottle. We were unable to find the same one but found this one. Townshend Vortex Red. It is amazing as well!

Townshend Vortex Red, Red Wine

It is a $15 bottle, which I feel is pretty reasonable, especially given how wonderfully rich and deep and smooth this wine is. We buy it often for a nice dinner on the weekend.

I did just check on Townshend’s website and they are sold out! It is really that good!!

Townshend is a Washington Winery, not far from us, established in 1998. Their tasting room is in Green Bluff. If you are local then you know what that is! It is a huge area of growers of pretty much everything. It is a super fun place to go to pick your own fruits and veggies and pumpkins and even get your Christmas tree! Green Bluff turns pumpkin and apple picking into a party and makes memories that will last forever!

Click here to check out Green Bluff and all the exciting events they have coming up this year!

By the way, Townshend not only grows grapes, they grow Christmas trees too! You could pick out and cut down a Christmas tree and do a little wine tasting before heading home! Sounds like a tradition I could get behind!

Check out their website and all their wines here.

I haven’t been to their tasting room yet but that is going to change this year for sure!

Cheers!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Best Banana Bread Muffins!

Ahhhhh….It’s Spring in North Idaho, which means sunshine, rain, hail, snow, more rain, and a teensy bit more sun, all in one day! Never a dull moment!

This week has been particularly rainy and dreary so I decided to do a movie day with my daycare littles. While they were occupied with “Angelina Ballerina”, I decided to do a bit of baking!

I had four slightly over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl so I decided to make banana bread. I got that started and then reached for my loaf pans, but then thought of the beautiful giant mini muffin pan my sister in law gave to me for Christmas!

Giant Mini Muffin Pan…. isn’t that an oxymoron?! It is a beauty though!

Change of plans! I am making banana muffins! I made 60 banana muffins while the kids were lying on the floor in a heap of blankets and pillows, having popcorn and thoroughly enjoying their morning!

What a great way to spend a rainy April morning!



Best Banana Bread (or Muffins) Ever !

Best Banana Bread Ever

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

by Elizabeth

3-4 very ripe bananas
4 eggs
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup broken walnuts or Pecans (opt)
brown sugar
cinnamon
sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Grease 3 small loaf pans or 2 small loaf pans and a muffin pan, or one giant muffin pan! . Sprinkle the bottom of the pans with brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon.
In a blender, puree bananas, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat shortening and gradually add sugars. Stir in banana mixture. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt blend into batter. Add walnuts if desired. Divide between the prepared pans. Sprinkle the tops with more brown sugar, cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Muffins, depending on size will bake 40-50 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness. Mini Muffins will bake 25-30 minutes. Makes approximately 60 mini muffins.


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Welcome to Wine Food and Family!

Hi! I am so glad you are here! I have wanted for so long to be able to share my passion for food and love of family with you! I am excited to finally be able to do that. I hope that you enjoy the stories, food and wine recommendations I have for you.

I love my family. I love spending time with my family! One of the best ways to bring my family together is food! I don’t know about your family but mine likes good food! Which is handy because I love to cook. I am terrible about writing down my recipes, however. My kids having been nagging me for years to get my recipes written down so that they can make them as well. What better way to do that than with a blog?! I get to share my recipes with my kids and with you and hopefully bring other families together over some great food and drinks.

I live in North Idaho. It is a beautiful little piece of heaven. (Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone! We are trying to keep it a secret!) My parents, my girls, grand-kids and my siblings all live near by.

Home Sweet Home

Last weekend, my granddaughter had an ice skating competition in Missoula, Montana. My husband, my two oldest daughters, my granddaughter and myself made the short road trip to watch her and spent the weekend there.

She is seriously so adorable and an excellent skater! She placed 4th in both of her events. She was up against some really good competition this year!

While we there we stopped at the Wheat Montana Bakery to buy flour. They sell flour, cereals, baked goods, sandwiches and salads. All the flour and baked goods are made from their locally grown wheat. I use their flour exclusively for for all my baking. We make special trips to Montana to buy it by the 50 pound bag. It is high quality flour and it is Non-GMO.
If you ever find yourself in Missoula Montana stop into their cute little bakery and have some of their delicious goodies!

I have always enjoyed cooking but didn’t do a lot of baking. I knew how. Just wasn’t my thing…. until I tried bread making. My mother used to make eight loaves of bread every single Saturday! Warm bread on Saturday afternoon was my favorite! I loved it! I also didn’t want to do it. She did it all by hand and I had no desire to do such a thing.

Along came my beautiful pink Kitchen Aid mixer. Isn’t she beautiful?! This is a super old picture back when she was pretty new. I believe I’ve had it for about twelve years now.

Early picture of my pink Kitchen Aid, a gift from my hubby!

Of course, I wanted to try everything in it! That is when I discovered bread making with the Kitchen Aid! It was so much fun! Pretty soon I was adjusting recipes and making all kinds of breads for family and friends. After a few years I began to worry I was wearing my kitchen aid out making bread in it so often. I don’t think it was meant for what I was doing to it!

I switched to making my loaves of bread using the dough cycle of my bread machine and then taking it out and baking it in the oven. This seems to work well and my kitchen aid is happy and healthy making cookies, cakes, whipped cream and all kinds of other wonderful things.

This is my favorite go to bread. It is the perfect mixture of wheat and white flour so that it is not too heavy. You can mix up the grain blends, flax seeds and hemp hearts and use what ever suits your fancy just keep the measurements the same.

I have all my dry ingredients in canisters in this order in my cabinet and I can throw a loaf in the machine in five minutes. If you make bread often, that is a really convenient way to do it!

My Momma taught me well!


Three tips for slicing bread

My Mom taught me these great tips! I hope with a little practice they help you too!

  • Look at the bread not the knife. In other words, keep your focus on the slice staying the same thickness, not focusing on keeping the knife straight. It works!
  • Use an electric knife if possible, if not, use a good serrated knife.
  • It is best to let the bread cool completely before cutting it.

While this is ideal…. good luck, because there is nothing better than warm bread with butter on it, especially on Saturday afternoon.

Healthy Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 cupWheat Montana All-purpose white flour
1 cupWheat Montana Prairie Gold whole wheat flour
1/4 cupmulti-grain cereal or super grain blend of choice
1/4 cuphemp hearts
1/4 cupraw organic flax seed
1/4 cupvital wheat gluten
1/3 cuporganic sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1/4 cupinstant potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
1 tablespooninstant yeast
2 tablespoonsinstant dry milk powder
1 teaspoonsalt
1 1/4 cupwarm water
1 tablespoonbutter or olive oil
1 tablespoonwhite vinegar
butter for top

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Put warm water, butter and, vinegar in bread machine pan. Dump in dry ingredient on top. Start the bread machine on the “Dough” cycle. When done kneading and rising, work the dough a bit to get out air bubbles, shape into a loaf and put into greased/sprayed loaf pan. Heat oven to 375* and let the loaf rise to about double. Bake for 27 minutes, turn pan around and bake for 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and brush with butter. Let cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of loaf pan onto a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in a ziplock bag.