ginger beer & a calzone

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We've gone on crazy in our house making new foods from scratch. But, according to Jon, he has no desire to ever make his own honey! We'll be sticking to the store-bought honey and avoiding bee stings for sure.

First up, Jon has been experimenting with making Ginger Beer. After testing quite a few brands that we've found locally, our favorite store-bought Ginger Beer is Sioux City Ginger Beer (is this really famous in Iowa?). In an effort to save money on our ginger beer habit and experiment in the kitchen, I found this recipe on and Jon attempted the recipe twice. The first batch seemed more like a light ginger water. We're thinking that the water temperature the yeast was resting in was too high and the recipe didn't work quite right. Also, we think the honey used in the first batch didn't react as well with the yeast as the sugar we used the second time around did. The second batch came out great, though. It's so amazing that you can add some yeast, ginger and sugar to water and get a carbonated beverage after 24 hours! The ginger beer gets a little more yeasty tasting each day, so it's best drunk in about 24-48 hours.

And, I've tried the Light Wheat and Olive Oil bread recipes from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I stepped up the original bread recipe and made this delicious Spinach and Ricotta Calzone last weekend. This recipe is definitely a keeper! But, then again, cheese will make any vegetable taste better, right?!

Next up, I'd like to make some of my own granola. I found a couple recipes in The Joy of Cooking, but do you have any recipes that you'd recommend? We like dried fruit, nuts, and grains, so anything is fair game for the recipe!

And, thanks to Priscilla and Cami for nominating me for a You Make My Day Award! I hate having to choose great blogs because I read so many each day and they are all so inspiring, but I guess I'll have to list a couple. So here are a few of my new favorites (my sidebar has the rest):

The Long Thread

Betty Ninja

If Sew


  1. oh, I just made granola today! it's easy, easy, easy.
    my recipe is:
    8 cups old fashioned oats
    2-3 cups goodies (nuts, coconut, etc. don't add the fruit here)
    mix together in a large bowl

  2. Wow! Thanks for nominating me for the make my day award, you just made my day! :)
    And, weird, I just made my favorite granola today, its super easy and I got the recipe from the Baby Bistro cookbook.
    2 C Rolled Oats
    2 C of any combination of nuts, coconut, crisped rice, sunflower seeds, etc. (I like to use 1 C brown rice krispies and 1/2 each of coconut and slivered almonds.
    1/2 C maple syrup
    2 T oil
    Stir it all up and spread out on a baking sheet, bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.
    That calzone looks great!

  3. here's my favorite granola recipe:
    my favorite part is the puffed wheat which makes it lighter and less tooth-breaking than most granolas.
    your calzone looks super yummy!

  4. Oh I saw a great granola recipe here:
    Her blog is amazing and she has tons of yummy recipes!!

  5. That calzone looks wonderful. Cheese can make just about anything taste better!

  6. every time some dear friends of ours visit from Bermuda they bring us a pack of ginger beer. that stuff is SOOO good, we should just learn to make it from scratch. maybe you can share your perfected recipe?? also, the calzone looks AMAZING. i have to try the olive oil bread still, but i was very happy with the light whole wheat! and i'm enjoying the granola recipes being shared! i use on from Heidi's book (of 101 cookbooks) and i really like it (don't have the book with me or i would type it up for you!)

  7. I've never had ginger beer but my friend swears by it.

  8. I love Ginger Beer, too. I think the one that I like is by Stuart. It has a spicy kick.
    That clazones look yummy.

  9. i grew up an hour from Sioux City, IA. I remember the Sioux City Sarsaparilla which is a root beer. not too familiar with the alcohol since i left when I was 18 and didn't do much drinking before age 21 (misspent youth obviously). i'll have to check on the Ginger Beer!

  10. Hmmm, I've never had ginger beer, I must try it sometime. I'll look for the brand that you mentioned the next time I'm in the store.

  11. Thanks for linking to my blog!
    Your culinary delights look great. My husband has bought the equipment to make home brew beer, which seems like such an ordeal, but I can't complain with all my crafting stuff taking over the house.
    I have been meaning to make some granola too. My mom used to make it for us as kids. Maybe I'll try some soon!

  12. That Spinach and Ricotta Calzone looks amazing!!!! I will definitely be trying it on the weekend. Thanks for the recipe!


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