Monday, July 28, 2014

New Website!

I'm moving!!!  "Capall Equine Photography and Training" is soon to be no more.  I now have a real, honest-to-goodness website, which you can visit right here:  I have reposted my recipes there; be sure to check out some of the new features like easy-print recipe options, a pin-it button on every image, and a gallery of all my recipe categories on the recipe page!  As soon as the traffic gets redirected from this page to the new one, I will be deleting my Blogger blog, so you'll want to change your Pinterest links or create new ones.

Thanks for your support,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fresh Peach Ice Cream (E)

Oh yeah.  It's about time.
For those of you who don't know me, maybe I should tell you that my summer job for the past 4 years has been selling peaches at a roadside stand in Holmes County, OH.  Long story.  But I see more peaches in two weeks than most of you see in your lifetime.  Therefore, it is rather strange that I have like, no peach recipes on this blog.  Especially since I live in the highest peach-producing state in the nation (not Georgia, folks).
But here is a great way to use your fresh, juicy peaches!  Always buy Big Smile peaches (slightly kidding), and never store a ripening or firm peach in your refrigerator (fully serious).  Did you know that?  That's what we tell everyone at The Peach Barn.  Refrigerating a not-fully-ripened fruit kills it.  Let it set out at room temperature until fully ripe, then it will keep in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Pin it here.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream (E)

2 farm fresh egg whites or 1/3 cup pasteurized carton egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1.5 cups almond milk
Rounded 1/4 tsp. glucomannan
3.5 doonks THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
Pinch salt
1-2 ripe peaches, defrosted if frozen, cut into chunks

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to freezer to chill while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
In a blender, blend the cottage cheese, almond milk, glucomannan, stevia, vanilla, and salt.
Turn on your ice cream maker.  First, put in the chilled beaten egg whites.  Quickly add the blended mixture.  Last, add the peach chunks.  Churn according to manufacturer's directions and then freeze in the freezer for an hour or so until firm, if desired.  Serves 3-4.

-you could probably substitute other ripe fruit for the peaches.  Using berries, this recipe is a Fuel Pull!



To receive blog updates and other tidbits, like my Facebook page: Capall Equine Photography and Training.

Linked up with:
Today's Creative Blog
The Modest Mom

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Year of Healthy Eating

Here's a shocker: I don't even know exactly when I started my healthier way of eating.  I didn't take pictures, measurements, or anything.  But honestly, I've come to the point where I don't even care.  I just know that I have received so many benefits from this lifestyle, and it's something that I plan on continuing to implement for a long, long time.  What's a year in the grand scheme of things?
That being said, I've learned a lot in a year's time.

Quick background: I've always been tall and in decent shape, but over the past couple of years I had started accumulating an extra pound here and there that started adding up.  I didn't really care enough to do anything about it - until I started working a summer job last summer, ate a bunch of junk food thinking I was burning it off, and started growing out of all my clothes.  It was only an additional 5 pounds, but that 5 pounds was enough to throw me into a whole new wardrobe if I didn't do something about it.  My mom had just started Trim Healthy Mama, so I joined in.

Some things I've gained:
-knowledge about how food affects me
-a love for the cooking section of my library's nonfiction floor
-lots of experience in the kitchen
-a taste for strange things...maybe I already had that though
-a passion for ICE CREAM (how's that for irony)!
-a love for sardines
-a contentedness with how I look
-a thorough knowledge of bread-baking (I literally have 5 pages, front and back, of written notes on bread-making)
-a very messy desk and a notebook full of recipe ideas

Some things I've lost:
-pocket money due to seeing cool photo props at thrift stores
-my scales!
-time: spare time is now spent cooking stuff up in the kitchen, photographing said stuff, eating said stuff, editing said pictures, and blogging said recipes
-my concern for how I'm not as skinny as I'd like to be
-acne (unless I cheat, which is not an unheard of thing, and then my splurge is literally written all over my face)
-my new size large; I've gone back down to medium, which is my happy size.  :)

My tips:
1) Switch things up.  Don't always eat E for breakfast.  Your body starts to anticipate.
2) Exercise.  A good brisk exercise (we're talking just 20 minutes of torture, not 2 hours on the treadmill) can really get things going.
3) Watch the peanut butter and super-heavy S meals, but...
4) your good fats.  Coconut oil is your friend.
5) Eat plenty of E meals; two E meals back to back can really give your metabolism a boost.  Love me some healthy carbs!
6) Doing a Fuel Cycle for a week or so not only gives your metabolism a kick-start but also helps you better understand the plan and what really gets your body revved up.
7) Enjoy life, and enjoy food!  Don't beat yourself up for a splurge now and then.  You're in this for life.
8) Oh, and don't forget to eat protein with every meal.  Even just a spoon of Greek yogurt is great.

Where I'm going from here:
I live a wonderfully full life.  There are always new things to be found around the riverbend, and while the blogging and such can sometimes be overwhelming (especially since I have OCD), I enjoy it and I have learned a lot through it.  I have tons of brainstorms for the next year or so (really, I have enough brainstorms for two lifetimes), and I'm excited to see where God is going to lead me.
I started Trim Healthy Mama, a low-glycemic approach to eating, about a year ago.  I shed some extra pounds, have toned up a lot, and I'm happy with my body.  I still have some weight I want to lose, but weight is no longer important to me.  I never thought I would be able to say that.  I used to weigh at least once a day, but a month or so ago I put my scales in a cupboard because I never used them and I kept tripping on them.  I pull them out every once in awhile to see what's going on, but I've learned that weight is not a very accurate representation of what's really happening in my body.  Looking at myself and judging by how I feel, I am coming closer and closer to goal, whatever that will end up being, every day.  It's not a diet, it's a way of life.
One other thing I feel I am gaining victory in is putting Trim Healthy Mama in its proper place.  When I do something, I like to do it completely, and especially once I started blogging, food became really important to me.  It still is, and I still love to eat and cook and blog, but I'm coming to the point where this eating lifestyle is not my whole life.  A healthy way of eating is great, but if you're not careful it can become too important.  God should permeate every aspect of your life, and that means that God should come before food, and spending time with God should come before spending time in the kitchen and/or eating ice cream.  That's a lesson I had to learn, but praise God, it's coming.  For all those of you who are overwhelmed by the amount of cooking you feel you have to do when starting to eat healthier: take heart!  It will get easier and easier the more you understand what you should eat and what you shouldn't, as well as what foods you should pair with each other.  Give yourself a couple months to adjust, grab a mentor to bombard with questions, and take it easy on yourself!  It'll come in time, and then  you'll wonder how you ever ate "normal food."
If any of you out there need help, feel free to e-mail me (brintraveler (at) gmail (dot) com).  I'd be happy to give you tips and suggestions or look over a meal plan or answer questions or share my favorite recipes.  The purpose of this blog is to help people.  If I've done that, I am satisfied.  I'm constantly overwhelmed by everyone's support and enjoyment of the recipes I post; thank y'all so much!

My Favorite Foods:
Breakfast: it's a toss-up right now among this chocolate overnight oatmeal recipe, leftover dessert from the previous day, or dessert scrambled eggs
Lunch: Buffalo Ranch Chef Salad
Snack: more dessert.  :P  Or a shake (see my favorite shake here).  Or Greek yogurt with THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder to sweeten and any number of extracts or toppings to make it S, E, or FP.
Supper: honestly, my favorite meal is probably a good juicy burger with the works, all wrapped up in half a Joseph's lavash wrap.  Rice and beans is also a current favorite.  My favorite side-dish right now is yellow summer squash tossed with olive oil, layered on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and garlic salt, and roasted at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
Favorite Dessert: I thought you'd never ask.  I have a recipe for S'mores Pie that I'm going to be posting in the next couple of weeks.  It's the best dessert I have ever tasted.  Other than ice cream of any sort.  Check out some of my many ice cream recipes on this page.
And of course, I'm always game for a good cup of Oolong tea sweetened with a sprinkle of THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder.

And now, since I know a Trimaversary post is not complete without before and after pictures, here you go!  :)  I didn't start with a lot to lose so a difference can be kind of hard to tell, especially in pictures, but I just wish I could share with you how different I feel.  Maybe you can tell a little of that in my face.

Before (these were actually taken before the extra 5-lb. weight gain):


I'm really bad at selfies - please excuse the soap bottle.
I think I can tell the most difference in my face.  I even got to keep my dimples.  ;)
Here's to another year of healthy eating!  And speaking of looking ahead, hopefully this blog will be getting a facelift in the next couple of months.  Stay tuned!
To receive blog updates and extra tidbits, like my Facebook page: Capall Equine Photography and Training.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Java Caramel Swirl Ice Cream (S)

I am not a picky eater.  You guys should know that by now from the stories of all the disgusting things I've eaten.  However, there is one thing I do not like and that thing is coffee.  Hot coffee is a waste of time, in my snarky opinion.  Give me my Oolong tea any day.
As a child, I didn't even like coffee flavored treats.  Iced coffee, frappes...even mocha ice cream!...were not high on my edible foods list if I ate them at all.  The older I get, the more coffee flavor I can enjoy, however.  And I know I have followers who love their coffee, so I've experimented with a few recipes (like this popular iced coffee recipe) for their sakes.  Feel special.  I've come to enjoy me some java flavor, though.  I really have.  And in ice cream, nearly anything is palatable (I'm opening a whole host of new ideas with that statement).
This particular ice cream recipe had the approval of two coffee snobs, so rest at ease.  Rarely do I rely solely on my own taste buds, which is probably a good thing.
In addition to the creamy coffee ice cream there is a caramel swirl.  Because plain coffee ice cream was just too mainstream.  If you're pressed for time, feel free to omit the caramel part, though.

Java Caramel Swirl Ice Cream (S)
1 farm fresh egg and 2 fresh egg yolks
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 tsp. glucomannan
2 T instant decaf coffee granules
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cold
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/8 tsp. salt
1 flat tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Caramel Swirl:
2 T butter
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. Truvia
In a blender, blend the egg and egg yolks, cottage cheese, glucomannan, decaf coffee granules, cold brewed coffee, and enough almond milk to get it to blend up well.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the blended mixture, the rest of the almond milk, cream, stevia, vanilla, salt, and cocoa powder.  Refrigerate mixture until ready to use or immediately freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the cream, vanilla, and Truvia and reduce until amber-colored and caramelized.  Stir often so it doesn't burn.  If the mixture separates, put it into a cold water bath and whisk.  Once the mixture has cooled down it will recombine.  Refrigerate the mixture to cool.
When the ice cream is churned, transfer to a freezer-safe container.  Using a fork, swirl the cooled caramel mixture through the ice cream.  The more you stir, the smaller pieces of caramel you will have.  If desired, freeze for an hour or so to firm up-or you could just eat it right away.  Serves 2-3.
-this is a great way to use up egg yolks.  If you don't have any on hand and don't feel like separating any eggs, you could probably substitute 2 large or 3 small farm fresh eggs.  The more yolks, the creamier it will be.
-as always, feel free to use more cream instead of almond milk if you want a really rich ice cream.  The amounts listed here make a very satisfying ice cream to my taste without needless calories.
-the caramel would make a great topping for a cheesecake.  Or plain ice cream.  Or to eat by itself.  Just sayin'.  It will show up again very soon in a S'mores Pie recipe I will be putting up in the next week or so.
-coffee beans would add a neat crunch to this ice cream.  Add toward the end of the churning cycle.





To receive blog updates and other tidbits, like my Facebook page: Capall Equine Photography and Training.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Probiotic Cabbage (lacto-fermentation for


 I admit to having strange tastebuds.

I freely admit to craving strange things and coming up with weird recipes that no-one wants to try.

But if you would've told me a year ago that I would not only know how to lacto-ferment vegetables but also enjoy the taste of them...

...I would've told you that you were dreaming.
Since the beginning of my trim and healthy way of eating, I have started experimenting with a lot of different things.  I've become addicted to trying new ways of doing things, and while I'm not into organic or non-GMO or anything, I do enjoy food prep, especially when that food prep makes my food healthier.  I enjoy looking at the "Cultured Foods" section of the book Trim Healthy Mama (you can order it here), and it's from there that I first got my exposure to lacto-fermentation.  Since then I've done some research, asked some questions...and then just started experimenting.  To my surprise, lacto-fermentation is not rocket science and it's very easy and the stuff actually tastes good.  That was a shocker.
What is lacto-fermentation?  To my very basic understanding, it's an old form of food preservation that is coming back into vogue.  It preserves nutrients in food (and is used by raw foodies) and adds healthful bacteria called probiotics which are great for your guts.  Yogurt also contains probiotics.  Cooking foods with probiotics kills the healthy bacteria, but you can add the juices from your lacto-fermented veggies to warm soups and sauces and still keep the health benefits.  Freezing probiotics puts them into a dormant state from which they reawaken when brought back to a warm temperature (like inside you).  If you freeze probiotic foods for extended periods of time, you can gradually lose some of the healthy bacteria.  I'm no expert on all this, so if anyone who has done a lot of study into the subject finds something wrong with what I've said here, please feel free to correct me.
To lacto-ferment veggies, you can use basically any kind of veggie.  I started out with cabbage since it seemed easy and normal (I was ready to start out with normal for a change) and we've been over-run with it in our garden.
Cut up your veggies, smash them into a quart-sized canning jar leaving a couple of inches of room on top, cover with pure water, add 2 tablespoons of whey saved from your Greek yogurt making, and add any other spices you wish.
Cover with a regular canning lid and let it set for a couple of days, three at the least.  I kept mine in our relatively cool basement and ended up fermenting it for 6.5 days because I wanted a fairly tangy flavor.  Then I stuck it in the fridge and ate on it for a week.  Good stuff.
I've heard conflicting reports on how long you should ferment things.  Some people say that sauerkraut has to be fermented for 30 days in order to give you its full health benefits.  Others say that 3 days is sufficient.  The way I look at it: taste as you go.  Eat it when you like it best, and if it's fermented at all, it will be better than what you were eating before.  If you're fermenting things for a long period of time, be sure to let the gases escape from your jar every once in awhile so the jar doesn't explode.  I haven't had a problem, but then I haven't fermented anything over a week.
This was the result of my first lacto-fermentation experiment.  I didn't fill my jar up nearly full enough with cabbage, but it still worked.  I added 1/2 T of salt, which was too much, 1 tsp. of black pepper, 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. of ground mustard, 1/2 tsp. of curry powder, 2 T of whey, and covered it all with water.
6.5 days later it smelled like a brewery but I stuck it in the fridge and have been eating on it for over a week.  I really enjoy it taste-wise, not just because it's healthy.
This is my second fermentation attempt.  More cabbage, but this time I cut it finer and used the handle of a wooden spoon to pack it tighter.  This gets the juices to flowing too, which is a great thing.  To this I added 2 T of whey, 2 T of juice from my previous sauerkraut, and 1 tsp. salt.  I decided to try a plain version.  I fermented it about 6 days as well, then stuck it in the fridge.  The flavors definitely develop in the fridge.  This batch needed a little more salt, so I just salt and pepper it when I eat it.  I'm thinking some horseradish would taste good with it too.  I like this plain version better than the spiced one.  In fact, I really, really, really like it, and it makes a great side dish with either an S or E meal.
You can see how the juices start to run after pounding it with a wooden spoon handle.
The finished product
This is easily the weirdest thing I have ever eaten.  They resemble bamboo shoots, and when my mom saw me eating them, she made the comment, "Well, you'll either die young or live forever."  I haven't died yet.  She also made mention that I would have no problem living in a foreign country with all the weird foods I eat.
These are asparagus stems.  Yes, the woody part of the stems.  My mom doesn't like to eat the bottom of asparagus spears (I usually just knaw my way through the entire thing), so when I was making asparagus for supper one night I decided to try to soften the stems up by fermenting them.  To this I added 2 T of whey, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 T Worcestorshire sauce, and 1/4 tsp. each of chili powder, ground mustard, ginger, and garlic powder.
I fermented the asparagus stems for 6 days.  I definitely like lacto-fermented cabbage better, but these are OK.  They definitely softened up to an edible state.  It was fun for exposure's sake, and I felt very frugal to not waste those stems.  I know they're healthy, so I feel good eating them.

If you use nonstarchy vegetables, these probiotic powerhouses can be used for S, E, and FP side dishes.
I'll be doing some more experimenting in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for chutneys, salsas, slaws, and maybe some wine if they end up fermenting too long.  :P
After the vegetables have fermented as long as you'd like, put them in the fridge and eat on them for a couple of weeks.  I haven't tasted any spoiled lacto-fermented vegetables, but I've heard that when they're spoiled, you'll know.  Do not can your fermented foods to preserve them because the heat will kill the probiotics.  I don't think freezing is ideal either, but if you have fermented foods that you can't use fast enough and you don't want them to go to waste, freezing would probably be a better option than either canning or just tossing the stuff.
I currently have some sauerkraut fermenting, and I'm going to try leaving it for a whole month this time to see if I like it better.
Stay tuned for a post on some blueberry puree I recently fermented.  It's probably my favorite ferment so far.
To receive blog updates, like my Facebook page: Capall Equine Photography and Training.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Butter Pecan Ice Cream (S)

The best ice cream I have ever had was butter pecan.
A couple of summers ago, I was working for my grandparents at The Peach Barn in Holmes County, OH (far away from home).  It was hot and sticky, but I got to go driving around for the afternoon with my grandfather on business of some sort.  Our "business" led us to Walnut Creek Cheese, a huge "grocery store" of sorts in Walnut Creek, OH.  There my grandfather bought me an ice cream cone.
And let me tell you, this was an ice cream cone that spawns legends.
A huge waffle cone topped with homemade butter pecan ice cream.  The summer heat made it drip so fast that I could hardly catch up.  Up until that moment, I had scoffed at the idea of nuts in my ice cream.  But then I had that ice cream cone, and ever since, I have inherited my grandfather's love of butter pecan ice cream.  My love of ice cream really is hereditary.
I'll never forget the words of my grandfather regarding that ice cream cone: "It's an experience."
Fortunately, it's an experience that I can have at home as well.  Without damaging my waist-line.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream (S)
2 eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 tsp. glucomannan
1 T softened/melted butter
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1/4 cup cream
3-4 doonks THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder (Taste at 3 and add more if desired; remember that freezing will mask sweetness to some extent.  I like 3.5 doonks.)
2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch salt
2 tsp. butter flavoring
1 tsp. caramel flavoring
1/2 tsp. molasses (not technically part of the THM plan, but I personally don't mind using such a small amount)
Chopped or whole pecans
In a single-serving blender cup, blend the eggs, cottage cheese, glucomannan, butter, and enough of the almond milk to get it to blend well.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the blended mixture, the rest of the almond milk, cream, sweetener, vanilla, salt, flavorings, and molasses.  Either refrigerate until ready to make the ice cream or go ahead and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.  Add the pecans toward the end of the freezing time.  Serves 3-4 (makes approximately one pint of ice cream).
This is a quick and easy version of butter pecan ice cream.  It's a lot lighter than most ice creams out there, and I like it a lot, but feel free to experiment and substitute.  Here are some things you can do to make it even more of an "experience" (and someday I will probably post a more involved butter pecan recipe to try and do that cone justice):
Brown the nuts in the butter (or additional butter) to intensify the flavor.
Sub more cream for some of the almond milk (although that would make this a significantly heavier dessert).
Add protein powder if you wish to use this for a snack.
If you want to re-freeze leftover ice cream, a few drops of vegetable glycerin will help keep it soft.  Or you could just defrost it in the microwave.  Or just let it set out on the counter before you eat it.


To receive blog updates, like my Facebook page: Capall Equine Photography and Training.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Butterfinger Bars (S)

No, not the candy bar, but the cookie bar version.  This is a healthy recreation of something that our family has been making ever since I can remember.  Every time my sister made these for a social event or for those in my family who are not on THM, I thought, "I just have to find a way to recreate those."  They're some of my favorite bar cookies.  They might even make the top of the list.  Thankfully, a healthy version wasn't hard to make at all, and it came out shockingly close to the real thing.  That's always a plus.
This is the shredded coconut I used for this recipe.  It is actually a reduced-fat, finely shredded product.  The reduced-fat part is nice because you've already got a lot of butter, peanut butter, and coconut oil going on.  The fine shreds hold together well.  I'm sure you could substitute regular unsweetened coconut flakes, but your butterfinger bars might not hold together as well.

Important: here is this same recipe on my new site; pin it from there because I will be deleting this old site
Butterfinger Bars (S)
1.5 cups old-fashioned oats
2 sticks butter, melted
1 tsp. molasses
Sweetener equal to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
1.5 cups finely ground unsweetened coconut flakes (reduced-fat is great)
Mix together (with your hands or a pastry cutter) and press into a greased 9x13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.  Do not overbake.
Make a double batch of Skinny Chocolate from the book Trim Healthy Mama.  Add 3/4 cup of natural peanut butter, as creamy as possible.  Keep the chocolate in a liquid state.  When the bars have cooled, pour the chocolate over the top and then refrigerate until hard.  Cut into bars and store in the fridge.  Yields 15 servings (which keeps the carbs from the oats to under 5 grams/serving).
Note: You could try using just a single batch of Skinny Chocolate with 1/2 cup of peanut butter for the topping if you want to cut down on the richness of the bars.  Obviously they wouldn't be as good, but I don't see why cutting down on the chocolate layer wouldn't work.

Now you see it...
  you don't.
Le fin.
To receive blog updates, like my Facebook page: Capall Equine Photography and Training.