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Grass-fed Butter Makes Everything Better

I was just about to buy some butter from Azure Standard. We typically buy Rumiano butter. It grassfedis grass fed with no hormones. It is fantastic! I have never tasted a better butter out there. I think it’s better than Kerrygold and far cheaper.  Well last month I bought some for $2.15/lb which is amazing for grass-fed butter. I wish I would have bought 3 cases. Alas, I did not and now the price shot up to $4.00/lb.  I was having a little sticker shock over here so I started shopping for more types of butter that Azure carried. Willow Maid is one that several other bloggers use. I started to research if it was grass-fed. Which I haven’t found any info on it yet. I did a pretty in depth web search (which means I spent more that 30 min on it.) to no avail. So I called Rumiano cause I found some website that said they maid it.

Yeah I called the company. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like making phone calls to strangers.  Well I got to talk to the guy who makes the actual Rumiano butter! (Wish I would have thought ahead to chat with him last month when we actually visited the Rumiano cheese factory in Crescent City, CA while on vacation with my kids to see the Redwoods.)  He was very nice and very helpful. I thought I’d pass on the information that he shared.

He said Rumiano packages the Willow Maid but it doesn’t come from their milk that makes the Rumiano butter.  So still don’t know where the milk comes from for WIllow Maid.  Rumiano butter is actually 84% butter fat. Typical butter is 80% butter fat. They also process their butter European style. Which makes it creamier with a better texture. (Boy is it!!)  Their cream comes from Jersey cows that are local to California and eat mostly grass all year round. They also purchased new equipment that has helped them have a superior product.   I asked him about the price going up and he said there is butter shortage going on, he didn’t know why and that dairy prices in general have been crazy lately. Which I have to agree with. Usually in spring the dairy prices go down but butter at Costco was almost $2.50/lb the other day.  Really the best prices I saw on butter was last November to December. I stocked up on Land O Lakes butter at $1.44/lb one day.  I bought a 20 lb case and about 1/2 way through learned it is produced by a Monsanto company! Ack! Well we finished the box but we won’t be buying that kind of butter anymore.

The only place I’ve found where you can get this fabulous butter is Azure Standard.  Buy it by the case of 15 lbs to get a better price. It freezes marvelously even just in the original packaging. When you open it you will see it’s very very yellow. Now when I have to buy store bought butter (gasp!) it is almost white in comparison.

That very yellow color comes from the cows eating grass which then makes CLA or conjugated lineolic acid, which has strong anticancer properties and it encourages build up of muscle and prevents weight gain(Nourishing Traditions, p 17). But this precious nutrient disappears when cows are fed even a little grain.

So how do I balance paying such a steep price for butter?

#1 Try to but it when the price goes down and stock up.

#2 Rotate using other healthy fats such as coconut oil, palm oil, homemade lard (cheapest).

#3 Because of the high butterfat content you don’t need as much. I find when we put this butter on popcorn we taste it better and we use less. It’s like buying concentrated butter.Kind of.

#4 When we ate popcorn with store bought butter (I was out and my azure order is due today.) I felt a little sick afterward. I don’t feel that way after eating popcorn with Rumiano butter on it.

So I really get no kickback or free anything from this post. Wish I did. But I don’t. Don’t know how to go about doing that. So if some company namely Rumiano wants to send me some free butter for advertising for them, feel free! I’ll tell you if they do.

Chicken Fricasse

I thought I took a picture of this but I can’t find it. Oh well, it didn’t look really pretty anyway.  This is an old family favorite that we made with evaporated milk and cream of mushroom soup. We no longer eat those things since they are processed and full of unnatural ingredients. I have really missed this comfort food so I finally tried it with whole foods and adding some veggies to make it more nutritious. I think it’s wonderful. My kids loved it. It doesn’t taste exactly like mom’s but it was good  and reminded me of home. Close enough!

Chicken Fricasse

1 onion, chopped
2 very small zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 T butter
2 T Dry Onion Soup mix (recipe from here)
6 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c shredded chicken
2 1/2 c short grained brown rice
1 1/2-2 c heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized)

Saute the veggies in the butter  till slightly browned in a large stock pot over high heat. Sprinkle the soup mix  & rice over the veggies. Pour the chicken broth in and reduce heat to medium to medium low.  Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until most of the broth is absorbed.  Add the chicken and cream right at the end and serve with green peas at the table.

This looked a little yellow because of the turmeric in the soup mix. If you don’t like that or are a member of my family and want to fool your kids that it’s the same old recipe, leave out the turmeric.

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

This is a soup that I have made for years and years! It’s always my go to soup to take to parties or for company because everyone loves it. I made a few additions this time for the heck of it and it turned out even better! You can leave out the ham & chard or add other veggies that you have. This was just a yummy addition that I really liked.  It also freezes well if you have extras.

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

6 c whole milk
6 T flour (I use soft white wheat and I can’t tell the difference over white)
6 T butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 c cheddar cheese
1 T dijon mustard
2 c shredded carrots (I really didn’t measure I just threw in what I had)
1-1 1/2 c chopped ham
2 c chard, chopped small ( threw in what I had again, so it could have been less)
2-3 bunches broccoli, chopped small

Throw chopped veggies into a large stock pot and barely cover with water. Cook till barely tender about 10 minutes.  While veggies are cooking blend the butter, flour, milk, salt & pepper in a blender. When veggies are ready add the blender contents to the pan and stir with a wisk until the butter melts.  Cook until thickened over medium heat. Add the mustard and cheese and cook until cheese is melted. Serve!

Marinara Sauce

English: Ravioli Marinara (Mangia Trattoria)

English: Ravioli Marinara (Mangia Trattoria) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh I just have to share that I don’t like spaghetti and sauce. I am extremely picky when it comes to red sauces. I’ve made one with meat and canned it even for years. But it never seems to be sweet enough for me.  I even learned a trick of sticking a whole carrot into the sauce as it cooks and it soaks up acidity.  Yesterday I wanted to make a quick dinner. I had bought some premade tortellini from Costco thinking it would be fast. Well I just didn’t want to open a can of red sauce I decided to make my own and try a different simple recipe.  I even made a white sauce to go with it thinking I would at least be able to mix the two and I would like it better. Well I have to say the red sauce was fantastic. I’m so excited about it!! By the way it’s super easy!

Marinara Sauce (Meatless)

Brown 1 med. onion in 1 T olive oil
Add:
3 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cans water
1 can pumpkin (this is what sweetens it and adds another veggie for picky kids)
3-4 cloves garlic
3 tsp Italian spices
salt & pepper to taste

Simmer as long as you can. I only had 1 hour and it was still great.  This made a large batch. Enough for 2-3 meals. Freeze the leftovers.

Hamburger Buns

Hamburger buns are one of those things that intimidate people to make from scratch, I think. The buns in the store all have HFCS and other additives in them.  If you find one that is semi decent they are ridiculously expensive. These buns are easier than making bread.

I love these whole wheat hamburger buns. Been making them for years and I always forget how fast and easy they are for being a bread.  They are so fabulous warm that I can’t stop eating them but they freeze wonderfully as well.  My kids cut them in half and make mini pizzas out of them for lunch too.  Hope you like them as much as my family.

Quick Hamburger Buns

3 1/2 c warm water
6 T yeast
1 c oil or butter ( I use coconut oil but have used butter)
3/4 c sugar or sucanat or 1/2 c. honey
Mix the above ingredients and rest 15 min. It will make lots of bubbles.
Add:
1 T salt
3 eggs
10 1/2 c whole wheat flour
Mix well. Sometimes I let it knead for 2-3 min. but I’m usually in a hurry and they are great if I don’t knead. Roll out thick (1/2″ or  more). Cut into circles and put on cookies sheets that are greased or with parchment paper. Raise 10 min. Bake @ 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes til lightly golden brown. Makes 40 buns. 

It’s Leap Day!! & Salmon Chowder

I made a goal for our family when we were first married that every leap year day we would eat a special meal and use our china. So even if we never did during the year (which we do) we would have a chance to teach our children about manners and make it a special day at least every four years. I thought it was a cool idea.

Well it’s our 3rd leap day and I am on the couch with a cold and my horrible back that I’ve been down with for 2 months and I wondered how I was going to pull off a nice dinner when we’ve been surviving on freezer meals for weeks.  Well first I had to really lower my expectations and realize my children ages 11, 8, & 4 probably don’t remember the last leap year day. So I settled on a salmon chowder and I even used canned salmon!! Heaven forbid! I just couldn’t pull myself off the couch to thaw and then cook the salmon.  I already had celery and onions chopped and frozen in the freezer so all I really had to do for prep was chop 2 potatoes and make the white sauce. And I have to say that this will be a staple in our house. It turned out fantastic. I even took a picture we’ll see if i can get it uploaded. I still don’t know how. Anyone out there know?

Salmon Chowder

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans salmon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 c. whole milk

Directions

  1. Melt 2 T butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic  until onions are tender. Stir in potatoes,water salt, pepper, dill & the salmon juice in the cans. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are barely tender.
  2. Meanwhile put 6 T butter, the flour, milk and heavy cream in a blender and blend till butter is chopped and incorporated about 10 seconds. This is your white sauce.
  3. Stir in salmon, white sauce, corn, and cheese. Cook until thickened & heated through stirring constantly.

Pizza Crust

I love homemade pizza. I’ve tried several different crusts but none works as well as this one.  I like to double or triple it and make several smaller crusts for personal pizzas then partake them for 5 min. Then cool and freeze. Then when my kids are begging for pizza I just whip these out cover them in toppings and bake another 5 min or until all the cheese is melted.  WE like thin crust in our house so the dough goes farther for us. It’s really great on a pizza stone if you have one.

Pizza Crust

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Add the honey to the water and yeast and let sit for 10 min.  Then add the butter and salt and turn on your mixer and add the flour. Knead for 5 min. Then let it rise for 30 min.  Roll out or place on a greased cookie sheet and pat it out with your hands till it’s the thickness you like.  Put on your toppings and bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 min.