Sunday, November 30, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread

It not very often that I get excited about my "Baking Day" this time I could not wait. I went to the Amish store and got my first 50 lb. bag of Prarie Gold whole wheat berries. I had an audience for the grinding process. Everyone including me wanted to see if my Thriftily found Grainmaster would put on a good show ...and it did. I put my wheat berries in a large plastic tub, and the kids couldnt help but to sink their hands deep into the pile as I would ask them to scoop some out. It just feels so good, so natural, so raw, so right. After I ground the wheat I couldnt help but to feel it myself, it felt warm and alive and the bread that it produced was a testament to that. It rose higher and tasted fresher........

Favorite Cookbooks

These are two of my favorite cookbooks. The Ideals whole grain cookbook was my Grandmothers and I use it for alot of my basic "sweet tooth" recipes. My chocolate chip recipe below is from this book. It is packed with great recipes as well as poetry and proverbs!
The " 500 fat free recipes" I borrowed from the local library and could not give it up so I bought one used on The recipes are delicious!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hearty Granola

I try to get all of my baking done in one day. And granola is on my list. This recipe is a little chewy, I am sure that it would taste better with some extra suger and butter, but I am trying to keep these to a minimal. In July of this year my husband faced the dilema of High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, and was diagnosed as Pre- diabetic. Instead of putting him on more medicines, and because he is only 40 I decided to make some drastic changes in our diet. We were already eating pretty healthy, but obviously something more needed to be done. So I have systematically eliminated all of the unhealthy stuff from my home and my recipes. Is it worth it? You bet. At my husbands last Dr. appointment they were amazed at his improvements, his triglycerides went down - to the point that they took him off of the medicine, his blood pressure has gone down, and his cholesterol looked great. The granola must be good, as I am constantly making more.......... here is my recipe. I do change and tweek it depending on what is on hand.

Hearty Granola

1/2 - cup raisins
1/4 - cup chopped dates
1/4 - cup dried chopped
1/4 - cup dried cranberries
1/4 - cup dried apples
1/2 - cup sliced/flaked almonds
1/2 - cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 - cup non-fat dried milk
2 - TBSP. shredded unsweetend coconut
3 - cups rolled oats
1+1/2 - cups unsweeted puffed rice cereal
4 - TBSP. honey
1 - tsp. cinnamon or more
1 - cup hot water
1/4 - cup ground flax seed

Mix together the honey and hot water then add raisins and dates. While these are soaking mix together all other ingredients. Slowly pour water mixure in with the other ingredients while stirring. Mix well. I use my dehydrator for about 6 hours, but you can do it in the oven at 25o for about an hour. use as a snack or with milk

Healthy Substitutes

I use bananas and applesauce as a substitute for butter, margerine or oil in recipes. I make the applesuace with no added suger and freeze it in muffin tins. I buy the banana on sale in the reduces section and freeze them. The bananas do leave a strong flavor in whatever you cook, so just make sure it is a compatable flavor, like chocolate brownies. Yum

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my families favorite cookie recipe. I use applesauce instead of butter or margerine to cut down on the fat. You could also use banana instead of applesauce, I have tried bananas in my brownie recipe and it is delicious. Now keep in mind that this will not taste anything like a sticky sweet white flour choco-chip cookie. BUT if eating healthy is your goal then this is the cookie for you. I prefer to put them in the freezer as soon as they cool to keep them fresh, we don't even thaw them to eat them they are delicious right out of the freezer. A silicone baking sheet is a great tool to have on hand, I don't have to grease it and my cookies never stick.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Wow! did being thrifty pay off for me today. I don't normally go shopping on Sunday's (its my official-nap after church day) but I needed a few things and I could not resist checking out the Volunteers of America thrift shop while I was out. As I was walking around, I spotted this wheat grinder. I immediatly went into slow motion, as I got closer everything outside of my direct view blurred. I had visions of someone getting closer than I and taking it home to be thier treasure. The price said $4.99 and I looked around expecting there to be a crowd, someone I would have to compete with. But there was no one......Hooray......but me stairing dreamily as I embraced this chunk if plastic. My husband and I have been on the look out for a good used grinder, but this far exceeds anything I could have dreamed of, we had done our homework and Wheat grinders are expensive $250.00 for a good quality one new. I paid for my grinder and took it to my car, my daughter did not know what to think when I put a seatbelt around it for safe transport! I do not believe in luck, I believe in Divine Placement ;) and giving credit where credit is do. hmm what is that verse about Him knowing our wants and needs ?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Polka Dot Cupcakes

My daughter has a thing for Polka Dots. Not wanting to dissapoint her I explored "simple"ways to put them on cup cakes. Merckens wafers and chocolate chips turned upside down worked great. Hooray for Simple!

Grandma'a Aprons

I came across these photo's this morning on my computer. These were my Grandmother's aprons. It caused me to reminisce. I miss her, even though she is still alive, but suffering from Alzhiemers. I remember going to her house as a little girl. Seeing her in the kitchen with one of these aprons on, Spatula in hand, making a cake for someone. Sometimes we would be fortunate enough to arrive while she was in her garden, I can see her smiling at me,apron on, with a basket full of veggies, eating peas as she coaxes me along to enjoy the fruits of her labor with her. My Grandmother was crafty to be sure, she could cook,crochet and sew among other things. But the most creative thing she did was share Love. No matter what she did with us, she did it with love. Making sure everyone was happy, she saw the value in a smile. And found simple ways to make it appear. When we were angry, she would open up the closet door and step inside to show us how to get rid of it. We would all take turns stepping inside, closing the door and screaming at the top of our lungs. We would all giggle when Grandma did it, of coarse she wasnt angry, but she sure could scream. She made every thing non confrontational, it was an artform that I have yet to master. I miss those days, I miss her. I can only hope that I learn to be half the master of creativity that she is. Grandma Stefan here is a smile for you :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Theraputic Scarf

My husband had surgery on his neck this past spring. Now that the weather is getting cold he is really feeling uncomfortable. I am hoping this will do the trick, I made a short scarf (he is not the scarf wearing kind of man) and stitched a pocket onto it so he can insert a disposable heat pack when he is out in the cold for long periods of time. I also made a small rice filled pack that he can place on the heat vent in his vehicle and put in the scarf pocket.