Real Food Kitchen Tour: Artistta

Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week we’re featuring Therese Asmus, author of the Artistta blog.

Real Food Kitchen Tour: Artistta

Hi, everybody! I’m sorry I’m late with this week’s Real Food Kitchen Tour! This past week has been a bit crazy what with the Rawesome raw milk raid, our first open house (we’re moving to Las Vegas), and I spent all weekend at a homeschooling conference up in Sacramento. Needless to say, I’m pooped! Now on to the kitchen tour…

Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week we’re featuring Therese Asmus, author of the Artistta blog.

What’s a Real Foodie?

A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.

We don’t use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.

We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer’s markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.

This Week’s Real Food Kitchen Tour: Therese Asmus, Artistta

This week I’m featuring Therese Asmus, author of the Artistta blog. Therese lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and two small children.

Doting Mom to two wonderful children
Doting Mom to two wonderful children

Blog Name: Artistta
Blog Author: Therese Asmus
How Long Blogging: 18 months
Location: Golden Valley, MN (Minneapolis)
House or Apartment: Townhome
Size of Kitchen: 13″ x 7″

Things You Love About Your Kitchen: The huge window and all of the natural light. During the very long winters here, there is nothing more refreshing than sitting in the sun streaming through the window on a freezing cold day. It’s also the perfect location to ferment foods and grow a couple of herbs year round.

Things You Would Change: Probably everything but the window. Is that bad? We rent and have very little control over our kitchen and quite a few things are broken. Now if I was going to change a couple of main things… I’d make the kitchen much larger. I spend a ton of time in this space, actually the whole family does. My husband and I both love to cook and our two little toddlers often want to be where we are at. It would be nice to not feel as if we are always tripping over one another. I would also have a gas stove and a place for a wood burning stove (for my own personal goals of a more off-grid lifestyle) and maybe even easy access to a root cellar.

Favorite Tools & Gadgets: Our two Wüsthof cook knives, hands down the most used and most important tools in our kitchen. Having a couple of really good, sharp knives is really essential. I can’t afford to purchase a lot of gadgets and so as I’ve built my collection of kitchen tools, I started simple, but with the best and things I knew would work. A good knife can do almost anything anything an electric appliance (made for ease) can do and often with a lot less mess. A couple of the gadgets I use very regularly and really love are my food scale, grain mill and submersion blender. I also just received an Excalibur dehydrator and know that I’m going to love having it. One other must in my kitchen is our water purifier. My parents gave my husband and me the 14 stage water purifier from Radiant Life. It’s probably the gift I’ve been most thankful to have, especially given the state of the drinking water today.

Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food:  I think my biggest challenge is getting used to an entirely different way of thinking about food. Like with lacto-fermenting and learning how to not refrigerate everything. It amazes me how quickly we lost our ability to save/store and prepare food without the use of refrigerators. It hasn’t even been a hundred years since the first refrigerators started entering American homes. Learning to trust your senses and no longer need a “sell by” date to let you know when food is good or bad is fun to learn, but also needs a learning curve. When I first started on the real food path, the whole process was overwhelming. It seemed like so much work. However, as I’ve been doing it now for about 4 years, what I’ve realized is it’s a process. You start with one addition to your routine like making sauerkraut or another fermented veggie. Once you are comfortable with the first step and realize it’s not a big deal, then you can add another step. In the end, the starting out is the most difficult part. Once you get going and find a new rhythm and routine you begin to see just how much of what you do works together. If you are just starting out, don’t get overwhelmed with all the bloggers and what we share. You don’t have to do it all on at once. Feel it out, find out what works for your family and learn. Some will be able to make the changes more quickly, others not and that fine.

Current Family Favorite Meal: We have a lot of different favorites. Right now I’m on a curry kick as I investigate how to add more variety to our diet, especially in the realm of spices. I want my kids to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and become accustomed to eating things they aren’t familiar with. A family favorite right now is Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s a full flavor dish, but not overly spicy, so the kids really enjoy it. We serve it up with some plain, homemade yogurt and fresh made Indian flat bread. Another meal we love is one Diana, from Spain in Iowa, shared last winter. It’s frijoles rancheros. I do my own spin on it and cook the beans in chicken broth and mix in fresh wilted greens. We top the beans off with homemade sour cream, avocado or asparagus guacamole, cheese and canned jalapenos from last fall and then I make some homemade tortillas (which are basically just flour and lard.) This meal is easy to prepare and I always make plenty so we can have leftovers for lunch during the week.

Favorite Cookbooks: I have a new found addiction to biking to our local library, letting the kiddos pick out some books and then taking about 10 minutes (about as long as the kids will let me before they start pulling all the books off the shelves and start running through the isles!) to peruse all the fantastic cookbooks the library has to offer. At the moment I’ve really been enjoying Curry Cuisine by various contributors and The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia. While I’m not a vegetarian, I think vegetarian cookbooks can be an awesome route to find new ways to incorporate vegetables into the diet. Just make sure to look for cookbooks that only use whole, real food. I will always love Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon-Morell as well. It’s a wonderful guide and an excellent starting point for so many real foods. It’s one of those “must haves” for any real food kitchen.

Here are some photos of Therese’s kitchen:

Artistta: My Kitchen
My kitchen

Wow! That’s a lot of yogurt!

Artistta: Kitchen with a view
Kitchen with a view

I love the idea of having a kitchen window that looks out into the backyard. I hope I have one in my new house so I can watch the kid(s) playing while I cook.

Artistta: Spice of Life
Spice of Life

I love that you are cooking with lots of spices. I totally agree, it’s good to get kids used to new flavors.

Delectable Combination
Delectable Combination

Yum! That looks delicious! Therese, can you tell us what it is?

Artistta: Cooking Resources
Cooking Inspirations
Artistta: Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala

One of my favorites! I love Indian food.

Artistta: Garam Masala
Garam Masala

Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts

Real Food Kitchen Tour: Nourished & Nurtured
Real Food Kitchen Tour: May All Seasons Be Sweet to Thee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Horting Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Hybrid Rasta Mama
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Granola Mom 4 God
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Devotee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Forager
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Leftover Queen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Health Home & Happiness

Let Us Tour Your Kitchen

Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you’d like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?

Please email me at annmarie AT realfoodmedia dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they’re too small, I can’t use them.

Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).

As much as I’d love to include all the photos I receive, I can’t guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I’m looking for creative, good quality photos.

Some ideas for photos:

  • Show us what’s in your fridge or what’s fermenting on your counter
  • Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
  • Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
  • How about a lovely herb garden?
  • Kids or pets are always cute!
  • Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen

And no, you don’t have to have a blog to be included in the tour.