greek lamb sausage

We were fortunate enough to be able to buy 2 spring lambs from one of our farmer friends, and after making chops, ribs and roasts for the freezer, we had enough bits to either make a lot of stew, or grind it for this fabulous sausage recipe.
Sausage is a favourite go-to meal in our house, so now my freezer is full and happy!

If you only have a few pounds of lamb, cut the recipe in half. 

Greek Lamb Sausage

8 lbs lamb
2 lbs lamb fat
1/4 cup course salt
2 Tbsp sugar or honey
1/3 cup cumin
2 Tbsp whole black pepper
3/8 cup dried oregano
2 Tbsp allspice
1/3 cup hot paprika
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup red wine
sausage casings (if desired)

Chill the meat and fat in the freezer for about 15 minutes to make it easier to cut.
Mix the spices, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the meat and fat into 1" cubes and mix with the spices. Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
Grind the meat mixture using a medium die on your meat grinder. If your room is warm, put a bowl of ice under the bowl you are grinding into. Add the red wine vinegar and red wine and mix very, very well.
Test the seasonings by frying up a couple of small sausage paddies. (my favourite step!) If it's too course, you can put it through the grinder a second time, but be careful not to lose the wonderful texture.
Put the sausage back into the fridge while you set up the sausage stuffer. Cut your sausage casings into manageable lengths. I do about 1 meter at a time. Soak the sausage casings in hot water. Run a bit of hot water through the casings to remove the salt.
Stuff the casings and pinch and twist every 4-5 inches to make links.
I usually also put a couple pounds of sausage meat into the freezer with no casings to use in recipes.
Freeze whatever you are not going to use in the next day.

GF Granola

Get your hippy gear out of storage! Peace and Love, man!
After a ton of research and gathering of the ingredients, we are very happy with this recipe for granola!
Use your own imagination and create a different treat by using a variety dried fruits or nuts even chocolate chunks can be added after the granola has cooled.

1 cup walnuts pieces
1/2 cup pecans pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup coconut chips (or flakes)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg white, whisked (omit for vegan option)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. line cookie tray with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients: nuts, seeds, flakes, raisins and coconut, in large bowl.
Combine coconut oil & maple syrup in a pan over low heat until melted. Add salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over nut mixture and combine well. Add egg white and combine, making sure everything is coated.
Transfer granola to the cookie sheet in one even layer. Bake 20 minute. Stir. Bake another 5 - 10 minutes. Don't let it burn, but you want it to be crisp and golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into chunks and store in an airtight container. Best eaten within a couple weeks! Sprinkle on yogurt, serve with berries for breakfast or just eat it like a snack.

Gluten Free Chinese Style Vermicelli

Amazing brown rice vermicelli noodles we found in the local Safeway have widened our scope of gluten free cooking once again. The brand is Peacock and they are just delicious.

3/4 lbs coho salmon, boned & cut into 1/2 x 3" slices
2 Tbsp GF oyster sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp GF soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice bran oil, or other cooking oil
1 sweet orange pepper cut in strips
2 hot Thai peppers (remove 1/2 of the seeds)
1 cubic inch of fresh ginger, julienne
4 drops sesame oil
1 tsp galangal dried (a very nice spice)
1 package Peacock brown rice vermicelli
1/2 boiling water or broth
Put the brown rice vermicelli in room temperature water to soften while you prepare everything else.
Put the salmon in a bowl and pour the ginger, thai pepper, galangal, oyster sauce & soy sauce over it. let sit a bit.
Warm the oil in a large pan or wok with lid. Saute the peppers briefly. Add the salmon & it's sauce and stir well. Add vermicelli (drained) and stir well. (optional: add chopped cilantro)
Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over the noodles and put the lid on the pan for a couple minutes to steam while you set the table.
Serve right away.

PB & J cookies

"Deliciously, crazily good cookies"
"Nutritional snacking cookie that tastes good"
"Peanut butter power house"
"Breakfast of champions"
"We be jammin'"

These are a few comments we have had about these original Gluten-Free cookies. My friend David is going to take a batch when he goes on his Vancouver Island tour with his bicycle.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone tray liners. Pour boiling water over currants if they seem dry. Let stand a few minutes and then drain well.

2 cups quinoa flakes
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup millet flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 1/2 cups currants (soaked and drained if dry)

1 cup homemade strawberry jam**

Mix the dry ingredient in a bowl and set aside.

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Stir in dry ingredients and then stir in the currants.
Form the cookie dough into 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" balls and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Carefully make a small depression in the middle of each cookie. My grandson loves to do this with his thumb, being careful not to push all the way through the cookie.
Spoon about 1/2 tsp of strawberry jam into the hollow.
**Yes you can make your own strawberry jam... it's the easiest! 
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 12 - 14 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet a few minutes (so they stay moist) and then cool completely on wire racks.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.