Thursday, January 28, 2010

Updated Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

OK, so I've been doing some tweaking with my whole wheat bread recipe, and I think I've finally found the perfect variation of the recipe. I've had consistent results and honestly this is THE best bread I have ever tasted. Try it and you'll be amazed :-)

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

(for soaking)
5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup buttermilk (you could also use kefir, yogurt)
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Put all the ingredients listed above in a bowl and mix together with a sturdy wooden spoon. Let it soak for 12-24 hours in a warm spot- preferably the oven with the oven light left on.

After soaking, activate the yeast by combining:
1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 tsp honey

After activating the yeast, combine it with the soaked flour and add the rest of the ingredients:
1 Tbsp sea salt
1/2 to 1 cup more of flour to make the dough kneadable
*you could also add dough enhancer at this time, if you use that. However I really don't think that this recipe needs it, so I don't add it.

Knead dough for about 10-12 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and divide into two loaves. Place into greased bread pans(I use coconut oil to grease the pans) and spread a generous amount of butter on top of loaves. Let them rise a second time until doubled, about 30-45 minutes (the best place is in the oven.. I turn the oven on the lowest temp for a few min and then turn it off, prior to putting the dough in). After second rise, turn the oven on to 375 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes. Bread is done with its fully browned on all sides. Its best to let the bread rest in the pans for a few minutes, then you can take it out and let it cool on cooling racks. Its always best to let the bread cool on the racks, but you probably won't be able to resist the incredible aroma that the bread is giving off so you'll cut into the bread.... and if you do that, PLEASE be sure to put a VERY generous helping of butter on it, ok? You will not regret it! :-)

I found this video VERY helpful in instructing the perfect way to shape loaves as to not get tearing on the sides of loaves

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Buying Food... REAL Food

Here are a few rules of thumb that Mr. Pollan gives in his book for how to buy/eat food. I have found them very inspiring and helpful. So here they are;

Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar, B) unpronounceable, C) more than five in number, or that include C) high fructose corn syrup.

Avoid food products that make health claims.

Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.

Get out of the supermarket whenever possible.

Friday, January 22, 2010

In Defense of Food

I've been reading this book over the past week and am loving it. I wanted to share with you my favorite quote from it, so far.

No doubt we can look forward to a qualified health claim for high-fructose corn syrup, a tablespoon of which probably does contribute to your health- as long as it replaces a comparable amount of, say, poison in your diet and doesn't increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.

Thank you Michael Pollan for your honesty, and giving me a great laugh! :-)
If you are interested in food, how it is produced, marketed, etc then you will love this book. If you are skeptical about lipid hypothesis and the western low-fat diet then I really encourage you to read it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Whole Wheat Tortillas

3 cups wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry, and whole wheat flour)
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
If you would like to take advantage of the benefits of soaking, start with step 1, otherwise start with step 2.
1. Soaking Step: Combine all flour, water, oil and 1 Tbsp of acid medium (buttermilk, whey, kefir, etc). Soak 12-24 hours. Proceed to step 3.
2. Measure liquid ingredients into a mixing bowl.
3. Add baking powder and salt, kneading in the flour until the dough is workable but not too stiff. Add more flour if you need to. Let stand 10 minutes.
4. Shape into 8 – 10 balls and let stand 10 more minutes. Roll to form a 10 inch circle or use a tortilla press. The thicker the better, otherwise it starts to fall apart!

I got this recipe from:
Speaking of which, you should go read her blog today because she has a phenomenal post on it! Do it! :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baked Salmon With Butter Sauce

I know I know... posts without pictures are indeed boring. HOWEVER these two recipes are amazing so it doesn't matter that there aren't photos. OK? Made this for dinner last night and it was SO yummy! Both recipes can be found in Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon.

Baked Salmon
serves 4

11/2 pounds wild salmon filet
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp unbleached white flour (all I had was whole wheat pastry flour- so I used that instead and it worked perfectly)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt

Set salmon, skin side down in a buttered pyrex baking dish. Squeeze on lemon juice, then brush generously with butter. Sprinkle on flour and spread with your fingers to make a thin even coat. Sprinkle on paprika and sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until salmon is almost, but not quite, cooked through. Place under broiler for about 1 minute until flour coating becomes browned. Serve plain or with butter sauce.

Butter Sauce
aka Beurre Blanc
Makes 1/2 cup

6 tbsp shallots, minced
6 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
pinch of sea salt and pepper

This is a classic French sauce for fish.
Place shallots, wine and lemon juice in a small pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to about 2 tbsp. Strain into a small bowl. Place bowl in a pan of hot water over a low flame and add the butter piece by piece, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Sauce should become frothy and slightly thick. As soon as butter is amalgamated, remove from heat and season to taste. Serve immediately.

Hope you're staying warm and dry on this rainy day. Sending smiles your way.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

some changes that we've made

Because it’s a new year… because its January… I’ve been thinking a lot about last year and all the changes that we have made. So I thought I’d try to make a list to give me an idea of the progress we made. Here it is;

1. Making all of my own cleaning products (still working on laundry and dish soap recipes)
2. Making & using homemade deodorant and lotion
3. Making MOST recipes healthful and by scratch
4. Only using whole grains
5. Making all of our bread by hand. Here is my Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe:
6. Using the soaking method on most of my grains and beans
7. Buying mostly organic and the important things like; milk, eggs, etc. Eventually I’d like to buy raw milk and grass-fed meat.
8. Taking probiotics and vitamins every day.
9. Trying to buy in bulk when I can (coconut oil, flour, etc)
10. Get up early every morning to spend time with the Lord.

Thats about all I could come up with for now. If I think of any more then I will add them :-) All in all, I think we've made some progress. If it wasn't for the Lord, we really wouldn't have been able to do any of it. So ALL the thanks goes to him! There is still many changes I'd like to make, and Lord willing we will accomplish them this year.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

dazzling date night

Last night dave and I went on such a fun date! The plan was to go to a fancy dinner at Gallettos, then for some tea, and then come home and watch LOST. Here was the problem, as is always the problem for any girl about to go on a date: I have a full closet but nothing to wear. hehe! Anyway, I was in luck, because my bestie stopped by and picked out three outfits and had me try them on. If it wasn't for her help I'm sure I would've gone crazy! Then she even did my hair- in curls! It was really a fun girly time! hehe! So the date when as planned... dinner was perfection! I had THE most amazing steak I have ever eaten in my ENTIRE life! Seriously, it was like melt-in-your-mouth-tender!!!! Dave had lasagna, and he said it was tasty. After dinner we went to Queen Bean and just sipped tea and hung out there for a bit. Next we came home and watched a couple episodes of LOST season 5 (we're trying to refresh our memories of the show before season 6 starts in February). We had a fabulous night! I am SO thankful for a sweet and thoughtful husband who takes me out on dates... does dishes... does things around the house.... prays for me... is a great spiritual leader and man of God that I respect..... I just feel so blessed :-)

Anyway here is a few pics of dave and I before we went on our date :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

pleasures forever more

I've been reading a lot from John Piper lately. Right now I'm reading "When I don't desire God: How to fight for joy"... actually I've been reading it for like 5 years, but just recently really started getting into it. I think my faith has matured a little in the last 5 years, so what used to seem like a pain in the butt to read, now is a joy. Anyway, I just wanted to share a few quotes from the book, in an attempt to convince you to read it :-)

" Nothing- nothing in this world- can surpass in value and depth and height and durability the pleasure that God promises."

-John Piper

Than he goes on, and shares these verses;

"Blessed (happy!) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" Matthew 5:8

"How precious is your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light." Psalm 36:7-9 (Piper only shows the second part of verse 8, but I really like vs. 7-9 so I shared them!)

" In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more." Psalm 16:11

"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. " Psalm 4:7

" Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven." Luke 6:23

" We are utterly dependent on the Spirit to make the promises of God more desirable to us than the promises of sin. And for that vital eye-opening, heart-changing work we pray every day."

-John Piper

Friday, January 8, 2010

time for some new recipes

Lately, I have really been enjoying reading;

The next 3 recipes I will share with you all came from her. Reasons why I love them... 1) they are fairly healthy 2) you make them from scratch and 3) they are simple, and don't take too much time to make. You seriously need to try them, and let me know what you think! The Garlic Chicken Pasta is really creamy... it seriously tastes like there is heavy cream in it! The zucchini boats are a great way to mix meat and veg- really easy! And what can I say about the breakfast cake?.... its tasty and moist- I loved the oats in it!

Breakfast Cake
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
¾ cup honey
2 eggs
1 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips or other dried fruit
Stir together butter, buttermilk, flour and oats in a glass bowl. Cover with a cloth and allow the grains to soak on your counter overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Stir in honey, eggs, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Fold in raisins, chocolate chips or dried fruit. Pour into a buttered 9×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Garlic Chicken Pasta
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (great way to use up leftover chicken)
1 clove garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or more if you like lots of garlic)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta
3 cups whole milk
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 t. sea salt
grated parmesan cheese
In a skillet, saute chicken and garlic in olive oil. Turn to low heat to keep warm. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a big pot with the milk, butter and salt. Stir almost constantly, especially as the pasta is becoming tender and the milk is beginning to boil. Cook and stir over medium heat until pasta is tender and the starch from the pasta has thickened the milk, creating a creamy sauce. Stir in the chicken and serve immediately…sprinkling parmesan cheese on each serving.

Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats
3 small zucchini
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped tiny
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. chili powder
sea salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (I used medium cheddar)
Cut off the ends of the zucchini and boil them for about 10 minutes. In the meantime brown hamburger meat, onion, garlic powder and chili powder. Salt to taste.Slice cooked zucchini lengthwise. Use a fork and spoon to scrape out the middle of the zucchini and add it to cooked hamburger meat. Scoop equal amounts of hamburger mixture into each “boat”. Top with shredded cheese.Put in oven broiler for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted then serve right away.

I recently just got this cook book;

I tried this recipe for pancakes and they turned out AMAZING!! THE BEST pancakes I've ever had- for real.

makes 16-20
2 cups spelt, kamut, or whole wheat flour (I used half spelt and the other half whole wheat)
2 cups buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt (I used buttermilk)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons melted butter
Soak flour in buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt in a warm place for 12-24 hours. (Those with milk allergies may use 2 cups filtered water plus 2 tbsp whey, lemon juice or vinegar in place of undiluted buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt.) Stir in other ingredients (after you've soaked the flour for the 12-24 hours) and thin to desired consistency with water. Cook on a hot, oiled griddle or in a cast iron skillet. These pancakes cook more slowly than either unsoaked whole grain flour or white flour pancakes.

For more info on why soaking your grains is important, go read this blog entry;

Wishing you a happy, healthy home!
God bless!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

new recipes

so I just wanted to tell you that I have been trying a lot of new recipes lately, and I'm hoping to post them sometime within the next few days. keep checking back here, okay?