Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In the winter here in the Black Hills, we should be bundled up and trying to stay warm.  What  a "winter" this has been.  Yes, we've had some snow but nothing too crazy to speak of.  I'm actually looking forward to "when" winter will actually start.  Recently, we've been introduced to Bountiful Baskets and have been loving the fresh produce.  Local? Well no.  What we do local is eggs, milk at meat at Black Hills Milk and of course, beer at Crow Peak Brewery.  Alas, we await summer!

Friday, November 25, 2011

There is something so wonderful about farm-fresh eggs.  We get ours at Black Hills Milk which is located in the same lot as Crow Peak Brewing Company in Spearfish. The difference is clear.  All you need to do is compare the color of the yolks.  The yolk should be bright yellow or sometimes, even orange.  Now, open up the eggs you just bought from the stack of 100 dozen eggs at Safeway or Wal-mart and crack one open. Lemon yellow yolks will await you. 

You can find local eggs at your local farmer's market and if there isn't one open over the winter, ask around because there is probably someone that has eggs to sell.

For those of you in Spearfish, head over to Black Hills Milk and support this great local business.  They are open from Monday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm and offer grass fed / finished beef, raw milk, a great selection of cheeses, produce, homemade bakery items, jellies / jams and all sorts of good things. 

Shop local - it's a GREAT idea!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shopping locally is so important.  I'm continually reminded of the power each of us has when we choose to head downtown to buy a candle at an independently owned store instead of going to Wal-Mart or ordering something online.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, please remember your town's small businesses and really make an effort to shop there.  Yes, I understand that Wal-Mart and the like employ local people and offer cheap(er) products. I also understand that's it's really convenient to order online to get EXACTLY what you are looking for. However, every time you give your local businesses a shot at your business, you are providing a larger impact on your LOCAL economy.  We have the power to make or break a small business.  I say, let's try and make it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sturgis awarded $25,000 for recycling

Good news this morning that the city of Sturgis will receive $25,000 for larger scale recycling options.  Stated in an article in the Rapid City Journal today, Sturgis recycles old newsprint and corrugated cardboard and that these funds will allow for holding trailers and a larger baler for cardboard.  Instead of these usable materials heading to the landfill, they will be separated and taken to recyclers.  Good news!  Randy Nohava, Public Works Dept Director also notes that "a good 85% of that stuff is worth money".

Just today, we started our week of "tracking our trash".  It's really making me think about everything we thoughtlessly toss in the trash that will soon head to the Belle Fourche landfill.  Already, the orange plastic bag the RCJ came in this morning, a piece of saran wrap, an old receipt and even lint from the dryer.  And this just in the first 30 minutes of a Sunday!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Track your trash - recycle, reuse and be smart

Swirling trash in the ocean bums me out.

Do you ever think about the amount of trash your family creates every week?  It's probably more than you think.  And I'm not talking just plastic trash -- stuff that can be recycled or reused often gets thrown in the trash and then magically, the garbage man comes once a week and takes it all away leaving us a big, empty can to refill again. 

I can't remember the last time I went to a landfill or, as we called it when I was a kid, the dump.  The dump was always a fun trip with my dad.  We'd throw some branches, an old couch and a bunch of trash into the back of our light blue Ford pick-up and off we'd go to the dump.  My brother and I would love to poke around but never found anything good.  And there were always seagulls which was perplexing to me since I grew up in the middle of California, 150 miles from the ocean.

If each of us took more care to consider our trash, little by little, I think it would help the volume of swirling mess and maybe it would help us to consider that this earth is a living organism and it should be treated with respect. If we as individuals don't do something, who will?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gluten Free Pancakes back on the menu

This is a repeat recipe because I am making them this morning and pancakes just seem like a pre-fall sort of delicious breakfast.  Gluten free pancakes! After many, many attempts, the best gluten-soy-dairy free pancakes have emerged from our Spearfish kitchen.  Using coconut flour really makes a difference, as the little cakes are fluffier.  There is no hint of coconut flavor.

Here's the skinny:

Start with the Gluten free flour mix here pour a steaming, hot cup of rich coffee and do this:

1. Sift gluten free flour mix before measuring 1 cup of the mix and ½ cup coconut flour
2. Then re-sift with 1 TSP salt, 3 TBL sugar and 1-1/4 TSP baking powder
3. In a separate bowl, slightly beat 2 room temp eggs with 3 TBL melted coconut oil (make sure it's cool), 1-3/4 cup rice milk (not too cold - better room temp)
4. Then mix the liquid into the dry ingredients with a whisk.
5. Use coconut oil to grease a frying pan or griddle between batches and make sure it's hot (a few drops of water dance on the surface = ready). Use an 1/8 cup measuring cup to make small, 3-inch cakes. Watch the heat - I usually flux between medium high (to start) to medium on my electric stove.
6. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for oh so yummy pancakes.

I typically make two batches so I can freeze some for breakfasts during the week. They freeze great -- just lay them on parchment paper individually in the freezer.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

September in the Black Hills is made for outdoor fun -- hiking, gardening, outdoor lounging and of course bbqing!  I am the q'er in our household.  It's just not something my hub is interested in doing so I happily play my part as CEO of the grill.  My grill is a charcoal Weber with the propane igniter.  Charcoal is a must and you just can't beat the taste.   Our igniter stopped working this year so... it's now just a charcoal grill.

Anywho, because I don't use a charcoal chimney (but I might now), I've never known how much charcoal to use and oops!  I always based it on the amount of food I was planning to grill.  Here's a great short video from the smart people at ChowHound that show you that it's really the grill size and not the amount of food that matters when determining how much charcoal to use.

Makes me think of grilling ribs tonight. As you can see, we have a huge BBQ fan in our family!