Recipe: Potstickers

I love potstickers. I like them fried, I like them steamed. I like them any way they can be served..but I especially like them homemade.

I first discovered potstickers in college at New Garden Restaurant, a little American Chinese place in Pullman, Washington that shared a parking lot with a sex shop. What’s not to love?

Since I recently¬† learned how to make Wonton wrappers, I thought I’d give this a go. If you need an excuse to justify the effort of making wonton wrappers, then make some Italian Nachos, too–both recipes use the wrappers and ground pork, but result in very different tastes.

This recipe is modified from a version at allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground pork

1/2 medium head cabbage, finely chopped

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 slices fresh ginger root, finely chopped

2 water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped…or just a can of sliced ones, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white sugar

1 tsp sesame seed oil

1 pkg of wonton wrappers–or–make your own!

5 Tbsps veg oil

3/4 cup water

SAUCE:

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1tsp minced scallion


Directions:

  1. Crumble pork into a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the pork, cabbage, green onion, ginger, water chestnuts, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Chill in the refrigerator 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. Place a tablespoon of the pork mixture into each of the wonton wrappers, straining out as much liquid as possible first.Fold the wrappers, push out as much air as possible and seal  by wetting one side and then closing with a moistened fork.
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place the pot stickers into the oil seam sides up. Heat 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. In a SECOND large skilled, heat water then place the just-fried potstickers in. Gently boil 7 to 8 minutes, until oil and water begins to sizzle, then add remaining oil to boiling water. DO NOT ADD WATER TO HOT OIL–it is dangerous and you could get burned. Do it the other way around.
  6. When the bottoms begin to brown, remove pot stickers from heat.
  7. In a small serving bowl, mix together the sauce, adjusting for taste.

Recipe: Wonton Wrappers

So recently it dawned on me that we live really far away from restaurants.

There isn’t a Starbucks for 50 miles.

Just don’t feel like cookin’ and wanna go out to eat? It is at least a 20 minute drive…and then you are stuck with a sorry little assortment of national chains and local chains, both of which are generally too-expensive or too-gross to eat at.

And so, that is how I came to the decision to make wonton wrappers. From scratch. Because it is a lot more effort to get in the car and drive to a restaurant than it is to whip out some flour, eggs, water and salt.

I mean, really.

Wonton wrappers can go in to a lot of different things: pot stickers, wonton soup, or even Italian Nachos. So why not make them from scratch? This is the rhetorical question I find myself asking, at least.

This recipe for the wrappers is from allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS:

1 egg

1/3 cup water

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Create a well in the center of the mixture and slowly pour in the egg and water. Mix well. If the mixture is too dry, increase the amount of water one teaspoon at a time until a pliable dough has formed.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until elastic. Cut dough into two separate balls. Cover the balls with a damp cloth for a minimum of 10 minutes, ideally 30 minutes.
  4. Cut each ball into four equal pieces. Roll the pieces into 10 1/2×10 1/2 inch squares. Cut the squares into 3 1/2×3 1/2 inch squares. Use in any recipe that calls for wonton wrappers.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies

This is everything.

Another time he caught a butterfly and we put it in a jar. It’s what we do.

Simple pleasures are the best pleasures.

Today I watched Logan chase (and catch) butterflies with a big butterfly net. In the hour or so he spent running, jumping and swinging around our little farm, he only caught one: a small, plain-looking yellow butterfly. We prompty put it in a mason jar with a matching yellow zinnia and a scrap of a wet paper towel so it had something to drink. We turned the jar upside down so we could watch the critter from all angles for the rest of the afternoon before opening the jar to set it free.

This is why we moved to the country. Simple, humble, joys. Being in the moment at its best.

While Logan was out releasing the butterfly, and wondering why the thing continued to cling to its flower instead of flying out of the open jar, I got to work making peanut butter cookies.

Actually, there isn’t any work in peanut butter cookies…they, too, are a simple, humble joy. The fewer ingredients, the better.

logan butterfly 3

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups natural peanut butter (the kind with the oil on top that you have to stir in. No hydrogenated BS)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (or a second cup white sugar if that is all you have)

1-2 eggs (if you’ve got two, use ‘em…if you only have one, that wont ruin the recipe)

2tsp baking powder (optional)

a pinch salt

1 tsp+ pure vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the peanut butter with the sugars. Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients, then add slowly making sure they are blended well. Add vanilla. Mix. Spoon in to balls, place on cookie sheet. Smash balls down and cross top with fork marks. Bake for 10-14 minutes, depending on size of balls and oven. Cool on a piece of butcher paper on top of a cooling rack–while the cookies are hot they are too fragile to place directly on a rack. Another option is to line a cookie sheet with foil before baking and move the entire piece of foil on to the rack to cool.

This recipe is modified from one at allrecipes.com

logan butterfly

Day 50 on the Farm: Pictures

Matt managed to solve the mystery of why my camera has been on strike, so today I present to you, oh faithful and patient readers and followers: pictures.

Perfect the Pygmy Goat…one guess who named him. Anyone? It was the same person who tried to name our dog “Uncle Evan’s Dirt Bike”…any takers out there?

This is “Perfect”. He does not live up to his name. In this picture I took tonight he is getting ready to jump in to his trough because he thinks I am going to feed him my camera. Why? Because he eats his food by standing on it, and because if I’m in the pasture it must be because I’m bringing him food…like a camera. Yum. Tastes Expensive.

Like I said, he doesn’t quite live up to his name. But that’s OK. Here at The Farm you don’t have to do much besides bring your weight in laughs–and Perfect certainly does.

…Remember when the well went dry right after we moved here? And remember how I was secretly excited that the men folk had to dig up the ground because it meant I could have a garden? Well GUESS WHAT!

Baby Acorn Squash

We have babies!

Is Baby Watermelon not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

Lots and Lots of Little Babies!

Baby Cantaloupe

Babies of all shapes and sizes…but only one color so far.

Baby Pumpkin

But soon enough they will be yellow, orange, red and…well, let’s be honest. Some of them will still be green. But we will love them anyway.

AFTER:…BAM! GARDEN! Want to talk about “Silver Linings”? Its that “long, skinny garden you always wanted”…

Neighbor Delford will be proud.

.

BEFORE: Um….yeah….well, at least we got a garden out of that.

…or maybe not “proud” in the usual sense of the word…but more like “not totally ashamed to call me his neighbor“.