Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pickled Lemon Spelt Bread Post 3

Pickled Lemon Spelt Bread

Topped with a Pickled Lemon Glaze
      Now that you know about Pickled lemons,  I thought I would treat you to a few recipes about what to do with them.  This is a wonderful recipe that is delightfully lemony. The pickled lemons give it a stronger lemon taste than zest or lemon juice would do. Pickled lemons can be added to muffins, cakes, pancakes, etc. With this recipe and others, I would recommend blending the lemons. It does amazing things when it is blended with the other ingredients.

     In this recipe I used spelt flour. You could use gluten free flours, and have great success also. WonderFlour would work great. Traditionally lemon bread is yellow and lighter in color. Using whole grains makes it darker, but does not change the delightful texture, and it gives it a richer flavor.  The way I always judge if I succeed with a new recipe, is how fast it is eaten up. If it goes fast I know I did the right thing. If it sets on the counter for hours and hours, I know I have done something wrong. This bread disappeared very quickly. It is easy to make, and other than the sugar glaze, it is a healthy choice for a dessert or snack.

Looks good enough to eat.  It is~ believe me.
The Recipe

Spelt Pickled Lemon Bread

     3.5 cups fresh ground spelt flour
     2 cups organic sugar or 1.5 cups Xagave
     1 tablespoon baking powder
     1 teaspoon salt
     4 large eggs
     1 can evaporated canned milk  Hold back 1/4 cup for glaze
     2/3 cups vegetable oil or coconut oil
     4 sections Pickled Lemons

     2 teaspoons vanilla 

In large bowl place dry ingredients and mix well. In a blender add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and lemons.
Blend well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place in 2 large sprayed loaf pans and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack and let cool before glazing.  

     1/4 cup evaporated canned milk
      2 teaspoons vanilla
      1 pickled lemon
      3 generous cups of powdered sugar
      2 tablespoons coconut oil

Place lemon, milk, vanilla, and coconut oil in a Blender. Mix until lemon is smooth. Add sugar and blend until glaze is smooth. Place breads on a rack and glaze. Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pickled Lemons, Sour in a Jar Post 2

     You are probably wondering what a pickled lemon is. Great thing to wonder about. Pickled Lemons and preserving lemons date back hundreds of years. In fact where ever citrus is grown, man has managed to preserve them. And of course this is done for cooking. I am amazed at the endless possibilities of food. Just when you think you are getting a grasp on it, new windows open up and new taste adventures await.

     I discovered Pickled Lemons years ago and have found that it is one of the easiest things do preserve.  And since I have an over abundance of lemons,  I enjoy preserving them. I just love to bottle things.  It is an amazing feeling of achievement to me.  I love to look loving at the finished bottles of anything I put in them.  That is one of the reasons I garden is to bottle.  And bottling lemons is the best.
     The first thing you need to do is clean the bottles. I like smaller ones for lemons, because I can go through it faster.
And of course you need lemons.

     Wash the lemons and cut them in wedges.  There are several different ways to cut them, but I like wedges.  Next you will need salt. I love the Redmond's Kosher found at Whole Food Style stores. Place the lemons in the jar, filling the jar half way and add a tablespoon of salt.  Place more lemons packing them in and top them of with another tablespoon of salt.  Place the clean lids on top. Then do a water bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Make sure the jar seals before storing them.  They will store well for months and months.

      I love how pretty they look. You can also add herbs to the jars before you place the lid on for added flavor. Some suggestions would be chiles, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mace, etc. I love the look of herbs in my jars.  These don't have herb, but my next batch will. The herbs will add more flavor to the foods you cook. I like having both.  The plain can go with anything, while using herbs limits you a small bit, but not much.  Some even add vinegar to the lemons,  a good white vinegar is what I would recommend. Don't just use distilled, it would be to harsh. A good white wine vinegar or white balsamic would be perfect. Just pour the vinegar over the lemons, not adding as many, just before sealing the jars.

       Ok, now you know how to pickle a lemon. What do you do with a pickled lemon is the next big question. Here are some suggestions.
     Add chopped to salsa.
     Great with seafood.
     Slice and serve with Ice cream.
     Great addition to savory dishes, chopped.
     Use in Ceviches.
     Use in any dish where lemons are required.
     Great is savory sauces and gravies.
     Add to salad dressings.
     Great in marinades.
     Great for rubs on meats and poultry.
     Google search recipes, Moroccan food is famous for pickle        lemons. Let your imagination be your guide,  Pickled Lemons are wonderful and if you have a lemon tree,  I suggest you start pickling. Did I mention,  what a great gift idea? Who would not enjoy a jar of Pickled Lemons.

Pickled lemons used to marinate shrimp before grilling is amazing.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

When Life Give You Lemons, Make Everything~Two Week Series on Lemons Post 1

My Lemon Tree is Loaded

     It's lemon Season in Arizona. I love fresh lemons ,and my two trees are loaded. I keep picking them, and don't even make a dent in the fruit I have. Lemons come at just the right time of the year, when we need the vitamins they provide, and the feeling of freshness. Since I have two lemon trees, I am becoming creative in how to use the lemons.

      This post is the beginning of a 2 week series on Lemons. In each post I will cover what do do with lemons, from cooking to pickling, facials to body cleanses. I am excited to share with you just how wonderful lemons are. I would recommend if you live near someone with a lemon tree, knock on the door and ask for some. Most people that have a lemon tree, have more then enough and are willing to share. Remember to ask, don't just pick. That drives me crazy when cars pull up in front of my house and someone starts picking lemons. I gladly share with anyone who asks, but to just pick is stealing.  That really gets me.

     So join this series on lemons. I think you are going to enjoy all you learn about lemons.  If you have different ideas, please post them so others can enjoy.

    Tomorrow I will be posting on the use of lemons with herbs and spices.
    Today, take a brief look at just how amazing lemons are.

Vitamin C

A whole lemon contains 30.7 mg of vitamin C, or about 25 to 30 percent of your recommended intake. Males and females who smoke need 125 and 110 mg per day, respectively, while nonsmoking males and females need 90 and 75 mg, respectively. Vitamin C is an important, water-soluble vitamin that assists in forming collagen in your cartilage, bone and blood vessels. Additionally, vitamin C, because it is an antioxidant, gives your body protection from free radicals, which damage your body and contribute to diseases. Vitamin C also helps strengthen your immune system.


Lemons contain 15 mg of calcium, 80 mg of potassium and 5 mg of magnesium. Your body needs between 1000 and 1200 mg of calcium daily, and a lemon gives you a little over 1 percent of your daily requirement. When you eat a low-sodium diet and have an adequate intake of potassium, you may see a reduction in your blood pressure. You need 4700 mg of potassium per day. Magnesium helps your body with energy transportation, protein production and muscle function. A lemon gives you about 1 percent of your magnesium requirement.


An entire lemon has just 17 calories, and the juice of a single lemon has 11 calories, making it a low-calorie way to flavor drinks and water. Adding lemon juice to vegetables gives you flavor with few calories, and grated lemon peel enhances the flavors of banana or bran muffins. You may add some juice from a fresh lemon to a glass of water as a mild diuretic. This diuretic effect may help relieve feelings of bloating or fluid retention. 

A Few More Health benefits of lemon

  • Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is low in calories, 29 calories per 100 g, one of the lowest among the citrus groups. 
  • It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber (7.36% of RDA). Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits.
  • Its acidic taste is due to citric acid. Citric acid is present up to 8% in its juice. Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids digestion. Studies found that citric acid helps dissolve kidney stones.
  • Lemons, like other fellow citrus fruits, are an excellent source of ascorbic acid (provides about 88% of DRI). Ascorbic acid or vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin is helpful in preventing scurvy. Besides, consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
  • Lemons, like oranges, contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoid glycosides commonly found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in the cells in-vitro studies.
  • They also contain a small level of vitamin A, and other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as α, and ß-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Total ORAC value, which measures the anti-oxidant strength of 100 g of fresh lemon juice is 1225 µmol TE (Trolex equivalents).
  • The fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
  • Further, they contain a healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January Third Sunday Dinner

10 lbs. of Pinto Beans

     Third Sunday Dinner was wonderful this month. The Indian Fry bread was a huge success.  It is my favorite meal ever  to prepare for a Third Sunday Dinner or any large eating event. It is easy, and great on a budget. Flour is cheap and beans cost next to nothing. To be able to feed that many people with small cost, is amazing and to have everyone stuffed and happy is the best. As promised, I will fill you in on all the details of this months dinner.  
A couple lbs. of bacon.
      On Saturday I purchased the beans and flour. I also bought some fresh greens for the salsa and 10 pounds of ground beef.  
I had some bacon in the freezer that needed to be used up so I chopped it up and fried it until crispy.  

      On Sunday Morning I place 10 pounds of beans in the large roasting pan and added water, bacon, and salt. I also used a little Mesquite seasoning. I cook the beans on high for about an hour and made sure there was enough water.  I turned down the heat and let them simmer until dinner time. They were perfect and cooked just enough.  

      I browned the ground beef with taco seasoning ,and cooked up 8 cups of oat groats in beef stock. After the oat groats were cooked, just like white rice, I added them to the cooked beef and place it in the roaster pan. That I placed that in the oven to stay warm until dinner time.  

       I made two pans of brownies and fresh salsa, and I had ready to go to church.  After church I pulled out the tables with some help from my son-in-law and 2 young men that come every Third Sunday Dinner to help out.  They chopped the lettuce, mixed the beverages, and got everything organized while I set up the propane tank and dutch ovens for frying the fry bread. We were ready to go.                                                                       

Our Fearless Leader
The Happy Crew making the dough,
10 of the 15 lbs. of Flour used.

      At about 4:00 Bernadine arrived. She is the neighborhood authority on making Indian Fry Bread.  She has been making Fry Bread since she was 10 years old, and what I love is she has passed down the skill to her daughters. They are always willing to share their knowledge and skills with others.

     The rest of the crew arrives and the fun begins. Making Fry Bread is really a community event. The more hands involved, the better it is.

     Bernadine is really particular about the flour used. We used Blue Bird Flour for most of the Fry Bread. Ten pounds was not enough so we used up another five pounds of the white flour I use. All of it turned out great. It was a new experience for Bernadine to use the Bosch Mixer, but to make all the batches we needed, we had to use the Bosch Mixer. I think Bernadine wants one now. Once we got the hang of it, the dough was perfection.

The recipe is simple. 10 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon Salt, 4 tablespoons Rumfords Baking Powder. And enough water to make it soft. Place all the dry ingredients in the mixer and warm water until a nice dough forms and mix for about 4 minutes. Remove and form balls. Let the balls rest before patting them out into disks.
Our Amazing Leader takes a break
Messy Kitchen and amazing dough.
Let the Frying Begin.

  She deserved a big break. Teaching all of us how to mix, divide the dough, pat and fry it, is hard work.  But oh so enjoyable when you get to eat the results of our labor.

The balls of dough ready to take outside to fry up.  There was flour everywhere.  I loved it. It really looked like we were hard at it, and having a great time.

We put the men to work frying and patting. I think they fried about 150 in about one and a half hours. It was great so see everyone gathered around watching and enjoying. The smell was wonderful. Frying outside is great, no mess in the kitchen, and lots of room.

The Spread.

 The Spread in the House. Cheese, sour cream, salsa, beans, and seasoned meat with the oat groats. The desserts are on top of the washer and dryer. Perfect place.


This is my back yard filled with tables and chairs. We had to add more tables and chairs after we started. The table cloths my wife made out of some material she bought.  It is the kind that you just throw in the washer, no ironing, no fuss.  I have a shed were we keep them the tables and chairs.  The tables fold up and roll right into the shed, and the chairs stack.

During.  Sorry it's a little blurred.  
    I love the back yard filled with people.  So much fun.  I think we had about 80 to 90 people. So much fun. Third Sunday Dinners are work, but I just keep the big picture in mind remembering it's the little things that bring about miracles. And every time you get a group of people together to fellowship and eat great food, miracles do happen. I see them every Third Sunday and every other time I am surrounded by family, friends, and great food. Don't worry about the mess, don't worry about how much room you have, don't worry about anything, just open your door, open your heart, and let the adventure begin.

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's time again. Third Sunday Dinner Time.

Typical Third Sunday Dinner in my back yard when the weather is great.
The Roaster is the perfect for big groups

     How quickly the month goes by.  I am amazed at how fast time flies.  It just seems like last weekend it was Third Sunday Dinner.

     Part of the purpose of the Third Sunday Dinner Blog is teach and inspire others how easy it is to open your home to others, to celebrate life through food and friendship. I will be posting each month what I do to prepare for Third Sunday Dinner.

     I usually start thinking seriously about Third Sunday Dinner a couple of days before. No reason to stress all month about it. I will during the month think about the food, but preparation does not start until Friday or Saturday, and yes sometimes early Sunday morning.  Those are the hard ones, because I don't shop on Sundays, it requires me to raid the cupboards and freezer.  Those are the days when I will fix some type of pasta dish, and turn the rest over to the Lord.

     This Sunday I have already planned what I am
Is the food good?
 going to fix.  The weather is warm so we will be cooking partly out side.  January is traditionally Indian Fry Bread Month.  I love it.  Easy, fits in the budget (don't have one but it sounds good to say it). And everyone loves it.

     To prepare I will buy the Flour, it is a certain one that the neighbor who teaches us, insists is the best one.  I will post the recipe on Monday.  The neighbor that helps is a Native American that is a single mom raising 4 kids be herself.  She spends most of her time being a single working mom, with little time to socialize.  This is a great event for her.  She gets out of the house and shares her talent with others, leaving all fed emotionally and physically.
A really large pot is also perfect for groups.

      Other things I will pick up include, Mexican Cool aid from the Mexican market. It is great stuff. The mango is the bomb.  I will also get some cheese, beans for the topping, and make some homemade salsa. Dessert always magically appears, from friends that come. I will also check my supply of paper goods.  I have a lot of leftover Christmas cups to use up. No problem that Christmas is over, I don't want to store them for the rest of the year. And who cares anyway if the cups are all holly berries style. Sometimes we sweat the little things that really don't matter. That is the one thing I have learned above all else,.  don't worry about details. When you bring people together, it's not about how much room you have, where you live, or what you serve on. No one really cares and if they do, to bad. Most are there to enjoy good food and friends. And with that, I never stress over the food. Simple is always excepted as you will see this year, when you follow the Third Sunday Dinner Blog.

     So there you have it.  I will get up early on Sunday
The house does get crowded .
 and put on the beans, the salsa I will make on
 Saturday. The rest will come together after Church
on Sunday. A couple of young men will come over and help get things together at about 3:30 and by 5:00 we will be ready for the fun to begin.
I look forward every month for Third Sunday Dinner. In fact, it is probably the most fun I ever have. It is easy, no not always, but I have learned the benefit that comes when family, friends, and often strangers meet, out weigh any effort on my part.

     I encourage you to join the fun and create traditional food event in your home. Let the fun begin.

I love big happy groups of people eating.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To Toss or not To Toss That is the Question....

First roll out the dough.
      Have you ever wondered why they toss the pizza dough in the pizza shops.  There is a perfectly logical reason other then looking cool. And it does look really cool to see them toss the pizza dough high up into the air. Just a few words of friendly advice before you start tossing the dough at home in front of your children to look cool. Because it could turn out bad if you don't follow this advice.  The picture of dough on top of your head or on the floor is a picture you don't want them to have in their minds forever more, not to mention the stories they will tell. And the truth is, even if you do it perfect after that, they will never remember the good tosses. The one they will talk about is the one that landed perfectly on your head.
Gently toss in the air making sure to use closed hands.
Give it a little twist.


  Before I explain why they toss the dough, let me teach you how to go about it at home. First make a batch of pizza dough. I would recommend doing this practice run when you know that you are home alone. After you make the dough, roll it out, again make sure you are home alone, pick up the dough and start practicing.   It's a twist, toss into the air, and catch with fists. Start out with little tosses until you get the hang of it. Don't worry about messing up, remember you are alone in the house. Practice makes perfect.  Twist, turn, toss, catch with fists, start again with a little harder toss, twist, turn, catch. It does not take long to get the hang of it.

Make sure to catch it with closed fists and start again.

           Over the years as I would teach pizza classes I would be asked to toss the dough. I never would, knowing that it would land on my head.  So one night when the family was gone I made a batch of dough.  Feeling very confident after tossing a few I went to the back yard and tossed the dough. It was amazing. It went about ten feet up and floated down like a cloud. I was feeling super. Anxiously reached up to catch the dough with all fingers sticking straight out.  What a toss and what a catch. I caught the dough, and it had ten large holes in it. I was so glad that I was alone, and my family never witnessed my first attempts at tossing dough.  When I finally did make my debut in tossing dough, I left an image of perfection in their minds.  They thought I was so cool.  I never told them the hours I practiced alone. They didn't need to know that.  Is all they needed to know is that Dad was cool. He could toss dough.

     So why do they toss the dough. It does help the dough relax. If you are having trouble rolling out the dough,  give it a couple of tosses in the air and it will roll out better. It also stretches the dough, making it larger.

      But I think the real reason is, it looks cool. So whip up some dough and start practicing. Become the cool pizza tosser in your family. That is a memory they will love and cherish forever. So my recommendation is Toss the Dough, but practice first.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting in Shape After the Holiday Season

Quick take the picture before I drop these.

20 Lbs. That's more like it.

I will never be able to lift this.
      I didn't do to bad during the holiday season this year.  I have learned long ago the trick is to prepare before the season starts.  The hard part for me this year was that my knee was out, and I was not able to make it to the Gym on a regular schedule.

     Sometimes, working out is the hardest thing for me to do, but I love the way it makes me feel. I have learned that even three days a week makes a huge difference in how I feel, and how my body responds to the foods I eat.

     I have tried many different exercises over the years, and have not found many that I enjoy.  Running leaves me hurting all over.  Lifting weights is not really my favorite thing. I get bored with the workout machines at the Gym.  I try all these things because others tell me they work for them, but I get discourage when I try and have no results.  I mean lets get real,  who wants to suffer for a hour or more a day, without results. I don't.

     I have finally learned not to listen to others, but to listen to what my body likes and responds to. It is not what most others like, but I love what I do and actually find going to the Gym enjoyable and refreshing.  I have learned that all of our bodies are different so they respond to different types of physical exercise.  What works for some, does not work for others.  And the amazing thing is how quickly our bodies respond when we do what works for us.

     The most important thing, is that we do something on a regular basis.  Find out what you like and do it often.  Better yet, find a few things and change it around so you don't get bored.  I have found that I actually like boxing and jumping rope.  The rope jumping is where I get my laughs.  I watch the young perfectly in shape rope jumpers, making it look so easy and graceful, and I do it and stumble and trip and look like an idiot.  I provide entertainment for the younger group.  I can just hear them telling their friends "You should have seen the old man at the gym today trying to jump rope".  It's a service I provide, gym comedy.

     I had to get over how stupid I looked, trying to keep up with the fit and trim.  Instead I concentrate on being the best I can, and enjoying the time I spend at the gym.

     When getting back in shape, start out small and add on as you go.  Being consistent is the most important part. As we are consistent it actually gets easier and more enjoyable.  It does not have to be anything hard or long, just consistent. Whatever you do, don't compare yourself to the ultra fit men and women that you see in the gym.  I think they have been doing it longer, and some are just born that way.  I keep in mind that every thing I do helps me personally and is not a waste of time. I will probably never look like them, but that's okay. I workout for me, because I am healthier and happier when I do.  I get more done, and am adding quality to my life.

Trying something new.
     While exercise is very important, equally important is our diet.  I am not a fanatical about what we eat, but there are some simple rules we need to follow.  High fiber, low sugar.

     High fiber is so important to our diets.  That is why I love grains.  The more whole grains we eat, the better we feel, and the easier it is to keep off weight. High fiber keeps the colon clean and helps the body get rid of the bad fats we eat.  Eating foods that are not processed and filled with junk is so important.  We need 50 plus grams of fiber each day.  The average American gets about 4 grams of fiber each day. Fiber comes from whole grains and fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods are devoid of fiber and totally are the cause of staying and being out of shape/ Sugars include processed foods, and white flour garbage.  Sugars in moderation with high fiber is the secret to success.

     Does it take work to get in shape and stay in shape?  Absolutely.  Is it worth the effort?  ABSOLUTELY.

      Life is sweeter and more enjoyable when our bodies are in shape.  Being in shape is different for each person.  Find out what it means to you, and then do something about it.  How ever small or simple, every little bit we do helps us out.  Just make sure to be consistent  and listen to you body.  When we do that, the holidays don't have to be feared and we can enjoy them without the huge weight gain and guilt. Start now to prepare for the next holiday season.  I prepare all year, and because I prepared I can really enjoy the season.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Redefining Pancakes

Whole Grain Pancakes cooked on a cast iron griddle.

Whole Grain Pancakes 
     I am a pancake fanatic.  I love them and eat them often at home.  I say at home because I hate white flour pancakes and refuse to eat them, especially when I am traveling or out for breakfast.

     I do have to admit, they are pretty and tempting.  A while ago I was traveling with one of my best friends. , and we went to a breakfast place to eat.  We did not order pancakes, but they came with the order.  We both looked at them, and they looked great.  So at the same time we took a bite, and then choked.  It was NASTY.  Pasty, heavy, and lacking in flavor, except for the butter and syrup.  Needless to say we left the remainder untouched.

     America's standard is light fluffy pancakes. I love that standard, and have proved that you can get the same with whole grain. There are a few tricks I have learned over the years, to accomplish that.  

      One of my favorite tricks I have used for years to achieve the perfect pancake, is Rumfords baking powder.  It is amazing.  The trick is adding the Rumfords last. After you whisk it into the batter, don't mix again before gently ladling the batter unto your griddle.  It works great,  especially with whole grains.

     The second trick is that amazing Xagave brand agave.  It is high in insulin, that gives it extra fluff power.

     The third trick is WonderFlour.  This is my blend of grains that makes perfect pancakes.  However, you can use almost any whole grain for
great pancakes.

My Secrets to Great tasting Whole Grain Pancakes

     What I love about whole grain pancakes it the flavor.  They are nutty, and depending on the grain you use, they have different distinct flavors.  The best thing I love about whole grain pancakes is how you feel after eating them.  You don't feel bloated and heavy, in fact you feel full, but it is a good full. You feel good knowing that the whole grain will help keep things moving,  and not just back up your system like white flour pancakes do.

     Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you put into your body to start the day, really makes a difference in how the day goes.

     I have more energy, feel better, and get more done when I start the day out with whole grains.

     Pancakes should be light and fluffy,  they should be filled with flavor, and most important they should add nutrition to the body, strengthen our bodies, and give us the much needed fiber to keep our bodies clean and toxin free.  Throw out the bags of white flour garbage, and join the whole grain pancake revolution.

Chef Brad's Whole Grain Pancakes

4 eggs
3 tablespoons oil, coconut is great
3 tablespoons Xagave
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups buttermilk, you can use almond, soy, rice, or what ever you like
3 cups WonderFlour or any fresh ground flour,  Spelt  and Kamut are amazing.
1 tablespoon Rumfords baking powder

In large bowl whisk eggs and add oil, Xagave, vanilla, salt, and buttermilk.  Whisk well  and add flour, whisk well again.  Add Rumfords and whisk well, making sure after you have whisked well to remove the whisk and do not stir again.   Gently ladle batter onto a hot oiled griddle.  Flip, and enjoy.

One more very important thought.  After all the trouble of making healthy great tasting pancakes, why do we top it with store bought maple syrup.  For a healthy alternative I purchase an extra small bottle of Xagave and open it up and add a teaspoon of Pure Maple Extract.  Give it a good shake and I have the healthiest syrup ever.  I have changed it up with Almond extract, orange extract, etc.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Getting Creative with Gluten Free

Gluten Free Pancake Egg Cheese Sandwich
     I am getting creative with gluten free.  It is my new life,  creating great gluten free recipes.  I am working on mixes that are whole grain mixes.  In my search for gluten free, I have found that most gluten free is filled with WHITE.  Meaning, filled with processed rice and a multitude of other ingredients that are not good for you.

Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
     Those of you that eat gluten free know just what I mean.  The other problem is lack of flavor.  We ignore that because we are desperate for something to eat that reminds us of real food that we cannot eat.

     I am on a mission to create Gluten Free Healthy Foods that taste great.

     This picture is a loaf of gluten free whole grain bread.  It was amazing.  It still needs work, but I am making great progress.  This is a new mix I am working on that you just add water and eggs and mix, rise, and bake.  It has been fun working on new recipes.  The taste response has been great.

     I am working on a brownie mix, cornbread, pancake, and waffle mix, pie dough, pizza dough, and much much more. I am determined to create whole grain recipes that not only taste great, but are so good for you.  It is not only possible, it is happening in my kitchen.  Each day my family test recipes and love the results. They are not even gluten free people.  So follow me in this great adventure.  I will be posting results and recipes in the near future.

     Gluten free people, the wait is almost over.  The foods you dreamed of, are on the horizon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Are You a Recipe Hoarder?

Chocolate Cake
       I am not a big cake eater, my wife on the other hand is a huge cake eater.  It is her favorite food.  She especially loves chocolate cake.  My problem with cake is all the white flour, and most cakes although they look great, are dry and tasteless.  My standard for a chocolate cake came years ago in a family owned restaurant chain in Arizona called Guggy's. They were really popular in the 80's.  It was a coffee shop style restaurant.  I was a waiter there for a couple of years and I tell you they had the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten.  It was four or more layer with a chocolate frosting and almonds.  The cake was so moist and tender.  When I bake a cake that is my standard.
      I tried to get the recipe from them years after the restaurant closed, but they would not part with the recipe.   I have thought a lot about that over the years and wondered why.  I have come up with a couple of reasons why they would not share the recipe.

     #1  It was a box recipe and they were to embarrassed to tell me that.
     #2  They lost the recipe and didn't want to tell me.
     #3  They used a frozen cake made by another company and didn't want to tell me.
     #4   Or they are just heartless stingy people that don't understand the importance of sharing recipes.

     I understand when someone has a recipe that they use to make a living on.  Such as a speciality shop or cafe, etc.  But to just not share a recipe is downright wrong.  I don't believe in recipe hoarders.  Life is to short to keep cooking secrets.

     Our family learned that lesson the hard way.  My grandmother was a wonderful cook and a recipe hoarder.  She never would share her recipes with anyone.  They were guarded secrets never to be revealed.  She told us that we would get them after she died,  that was her legacy to her family.  We all anxiously waited for her to die.  JUST KIDDING.  But when she did die I approached her husband, my evil (not kidding) step grandfather for her recipes.  He for a few dollars had sold them to a neighbor of theirs.  I was shocked.  How could he do that?  Anyway, I approached the neighbor lady and asked her for the recipes.  She informed me that she had bought them fair and square and they belonged to her.  She even refused to give me copies.

      I have long since forgiven her and my grandfather picturing in my mind my Grandmother beating them up on the other side.  That has given me great comfort over the years.  But the lesson was learned, share now the recipes you have with those you love and whoever asks.  What a great complement when someone asks you for a recipe for food you prepared.

     When I eat food prepared from a recipe from a friend or family member I think of them.  We did have some recipes of my Grandmothers and each time I eat or taste food made from those recipes I think of my Grandmother.  Nothing like food has the power to bring up cherished memories.

     That is why I feel so strongly about sharing recipes. They are like strands of love that connect us to each other. It can build and strengthen family ties and friendships like nothing else can.

Wheat Free Chocolate Cake with Almond Frosting


         I hope you are not a  recipe hoarder.  Remember that when you share a recipe you are sharing part of your heart with someone.  Sharing a recipe is like saying "I love you".

Spelt Chocolate Layer Cake 
(Wheat Free)

This recipe is wonderful, it dates back 40 years or more. It was found in a collection of recipes from a man who had died, but spent his youth working in a bakery. This recipe had "good" written across the bottom of the page. It really is good, and also makes great cupcakes.

Step one: Cream following ingredients together until light.

4 oz. WonderFlour or fresh ground spelt flour
4 oz. sugar
3/4 pounds white sugar
9 oz. butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda, baking
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of cinnamon

Step two: Whip following ingredient into step one.

6 large eggs

Step three: whip in 1 1/2 cups of butter milk into step one and two.

Step four: Whisk together following ingredients and add to step one, two, and three. Beat until smooth.

12 oz. WonderFlour or fresh ground spelt flour
4 oz. powdered sugar
2 oz. cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Fill three round 9in cake pans 3/4 full and bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-26 minutes (Poke a toothpick in the center to see if it's done) This recipe could also be used for cupcakes.

Top with buttercream frosting and enjoy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Joy of Baking Bread

Fresh Baked Bread

Mixing the Dough in my Bosch Mixer
      My favorite passion in life is baking bread.  I love it,. I love the process of mixing the dough, forming the loaves, letting it rise, baking it, and especially the smell as it bakes in the oven.  I think I might even enjoy the smell more than the taste. Although I love the taste of warm bread dripping in butter, the smell is the most comforting smell on earth.

     It, to me, smells like home, and I feel safe and happy when I smell fresh baked bread. Every child should grow up with that smell in the home.  It is like an anchor to home, and mom or dad, whoever is the baker.  It really does not matter who bakes the bread, as long as it happens.  

     Let me share with you something I learned a long time ago.  Bread making can be fast and easy and anyone can bake wonderful bread with the right ingredients and the right equipment. In fact with the right equipment, a person can have 5 loaves out of the oven in one hour and 15 minutes from start to finish.  Amazing.  And that is only a few minutes of hands on, the rest of the time is rising and baking time.  So the excuse we don't have the time, no longer flies.  

      The right equipment of course would be the Bosch Kitchen Machine.  I  remember well my pre Bosch days, bread making was an all day experience for me. I made great bread, even whole wheat bread by hand, but it took the entire day.  Three risings to get the perfect dough, and it still didn't compare to what the Bosch does in 6 minutes.

You can make any kind of bread in a Bosch Mixer,  Braided Egg Bread

Cracked Wheat Feather Bread
      I still remember when I bought my first Bosch. My grandfather had given me some money, and I was terrified that I had made a mistake.  It was almost $500.00 back then which was a lot of money.  They assured me that I would not have to let the bread rise three times.  I was cautious, to say the least.  My bread was great and I knew that to have great bread you had to let it rise three time.  I told the sales person I would try it once.

      So home I went, worried that I had just made a huge mistake in spending so much money on a mixer. I mixed the dough as instructed and to my great amazement and wonder, it was the best bread I had ever made.  I have never gone back.  I love all my Bosch machines.  Yes I have six in all.  I've grow so attached I cannot part with them.  I use all of them from the compact to my Stainless steel version, oh I forgot,  I have a built in one in the closet that I will set up some day.

     I don't know what I love more,  my mixers or the bread it makes.  I guess it's an equal love.  The mixer allows me to make the great bread quickly, and the great bread makes me love my mixers even more.

     Life is great, especially when there is fresh baked bread, and when we have the tools to make bread that creates "Fond Food Memories" in the lives of our family and friends.

Happy baking.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cooking with Children, What A Joy

They are adorable.  

I love being an Uncle and I am favorite Uncle "Chef" Brad

Hard at work

Most of my favorite cooking memories have to deal with children.  They are the most fun and willing to learn.  I had the best time taking a cooking day with the second generation nieces and nephews on my wife's side of the family this last year.

We did an all day cooking class and it was amazing.  This group of children are some of the best behaved, well trained, children I have ever cooked with. At the very start of the class one of them raised his hand and asked if I would prefer them raising their hands when they had a question.  I said yes and the rest of the day they raised their hands  if they had a question.

Time for a lunch break.
Normally nine children is a little large for a hands on, all day class.  But it worked perfectly.  They were so respectful and helpful to me and to each other. The cousin bond was strong between them, and I was delighted to see how they protected and helped each other. Talking down, or making fun, was not permitted. I didn't have to even make the rule, they already had it down.

We made pretzels, cookies, pizza, and for lunch they made from scratch, Alfredo sauce with pasta.  They had a contest boys against girls, and boy was it fun to see them work.  The pasta sauce was perfect, and they were delighted to eat the labor of their own hands.

Most Children love to cook, and oh my are they smart.  We have a lecture to start the day about grains, health and nutrition, and ingredients.  They didn't miss a beat.

It was a pleasure to spend the day with such delightful children, I loved seeing their passion for what they were doing.  We ended the day with pizza that they were able to take home for dinner.  The pizza dough they made in a bag, the recipe is on my site at  I have used that recipe often when cooking with children.  It is easy and clean.

Pretzel making has never been better.
Is this how you do it Uncle "Chef" Brad

All the Fun is WORTH  the mess.
Just a note about the mess.  Often times we don't do events like cooking with our children, or have parties because we don't want to deal with the mess.  I have learned long ago that what happens during the event out weighs the time spent cleaning up.  In fact as I am cleaning up I think about what just happened, the memories that were made, the bonds of friendship that were strengthened, the love that was deepened, and suddenly cleaning up is not so bad.  In fact cleaning up is my best time as I think about the joy that comes from serving others.