Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Red Quinoa, the Super Grain

Top of the Morning Breakfast Salad
My favorite Breakfast ever....

It cooks just like white rice.
     Perhaps my favorite grain is red quinoa. I remember the very first time I saw the grain. I actually cried for joy. I could not stop running my hands through it. It was love at first sight, and I still adore this amazing grain.

     Red Quinoa is an ancient grain that comes from South America. It is an amazing grain, in that it is a perfect protein grain. Meaning that it has all eight essential amino acids. There are only a hand full of grains that can say that. I call them the Super Grains.

     Red Quinoa is related to a large family of quinoa's. Black, white, milk, tri-colored, and a new one on the market Kaniwah. In the next few months I will be teaching you about all these wonderful grains, and just how to cook with them. I will share some of my favorite recipes with you. I think you will be amazed at how easy they are to use, and how much fun cooking with grains can be.

     Red Quinoa is amazing. It has the best nutty taste of all the grains. What I love about red quinoa is how easy it is to cook. It cooks just like white rice.  Stove top, 12 minutes or pressure cooker in 5 to 6 minutes.  

Uncooked Red Quinoa
     The best part about this amazing grain is just how versatile it is. It can be used in just about everything from; in a bowl cold for breakfast, to extending meat loaf. It is a great meat substitute for  things like tacos, or spaghetti sauces. It is a great addition in salads, from savory to sweet. There are many recipes on my web site at Red Quinoa is the perfect grain, and I always recommend it as the first grain someone tries who is just wanting to start cooking with grains. It's easy to cook and I recommend that you cook some up at the beginning of the week and placing it in the frig. That way you will have it on hand, to add to everything you cook all week long.

Cooked Red Quinoa

          I want to tell you that is the best way to get grains incorporated into your diet. Cook one and have it on hand. Red Quinoa is perfect for that because it taste so great. It really is a great tasting grain. Try cooking some up and having it for breakfast. It is good hot or cold, topped with fresh fruit, Xagave, and half and half or whatever milk you desire. I eat a bowl of that and my knees shake it is so great.

      My all time favorite is the Top of the Morning Breakfast Salad. It says breakfast, but this salad is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I love serving it with grilled chicken or salmon.

      Red Quinoa really is a great grain, one that you will enjoy and wonder how you ever lived with out it.  If fact, don't be surprised if it brings tears to your eyes. Enjoy.  Chef Brad ~ America's Grain Guy

Top of the Morning Fruit Salad

2 C Fresh Strawberries
3 gala apples
1 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 bananas, sliced 
1 pineapple fresh, cored and chopped
1 C pecans, lightly chopped or other nuts
2 C cooked red quinoa
 Toss ingredients in a large bowl and toss with Dressing
Breakfast Vinaigrette Dressing
½ cup Flax oil Barleans
½ cup Olive oil
½ cup Honey
2/3 cup Golden Balsamic Vinegar
Pineapple cores
Chunk of fresh ginger
Dash salt
Teaspoon nutmeg
Place all ingredients in blender and with a dash of salt, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and 1 tsp fresh grated ginger if not using fresh ginger.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whole Grain Snicker Doodles

Whole Grain Snicker Doodles

      I don't understand why people are afraid of using whole grains for baking. Ok, Yes I do.  I think it has to do with wheat. For years that is what we had, and we tried doing every thing with wheat, and to be perfectly honest, whole wheat cookies are horrible. I personally don't enjoy much that is made with whole wheat, except bread. I love using wheat with bread, but everything else I never use the stuff,  and have had great success.

     What I don't understand is the love affair with white flour. It's horrible, tasteless garbage for the most part. There are some uses for white flour, but mostly it is for yeasted breads. Outside of that, I have no use for white flour, and I only use bromaine free white flours, like Wheat Montana's Natural White, when baking yeasted products.

     We live in a great time for health and nutrition and let me tell you that healthy can taste great ,and if you do it right you don't have to sacrifice texture and flavor in making wonderful whole grain cookies.  I love good cookies, and I am known for my cookies. When I changed from white flour to whole grain, not wheat, they even got better. And I have to tell you I am a cookie snob. I love my cookies, and they have to be good. I tried to make them with whole wheat flour and I quit. I decided that it was to important to have a good cookie. The change came when I was told I could no longer eat wheat. At first I was devastated, until I started messing around with different flours for baking. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that I love whole grain cookies as long as it is not whole wheat. The best grain I discovered, that worked great for cookies, was spelt.

        Spelt is an ancient grain that has been grown for thousands of years. It is pure and hard. Hard is great because when you grind it up it is amazingly light and fluffy. I love spelt. It is great for baking and what I love about using whole grains is the flavor that comes out when you bake it. Nutty and wonderful. And on top of that you are adding nutrition to the cookies, and much needed fiber. Ok  there is still butter and sugar, but at least with the whole grain you feel better after eating them, and you get some nutrition from the cookie.

     Snicker Doodles never tasted better. I think you will never make a white flour one again.

Nothing like organic fresh eggs in whole grain cookies
Snicker Doodles

1 cup Butter
2 eggs
3 cups Fresh ground spelt flour or Wheat Montana's Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon cream of tarter

Cream butter and eggs together, mix all dry ingredients together and add to creamed shortening and egg mixture.  Scoop, roll in sugar and cinnamon and place on parchment paper and bake in a 400 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes.  

Cinnamon sugar mixture

1 cup sugar, I like the organic sugar or raw sugar works well.
2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Mix well.  Store in airtight container .


   Parchment paper is so great for baking cookies. I love how clean it keeps the pans and consider this, the longer the cookies stay on the pan the more they cook. With parchment paper you can slide the entire tray of cookies on a rack or counter at the same time and they cool faster and it frees up your cookies pan for more baking.


      You can see the whole grain goodness in these cookies.   After eating whole grain cookies, white flour taste pasty and flavorless. I love the whole grain nuttiness in a snicker doodle cookie.

     Notice the sparkle of the sugar. I use the organic sugar, it seems to be bigger and is less processed. But lets be real, sugar is sugar and in large amounts it is harmful to the body. I don't use a lot of sugar in my cooking, but sometimes we try to make it to healthy and it ruins the entire process. If you are going to eat a Snicker Doodle, eat it and enjoy it. If you cannot handle the sugar, eat something else.

      Whole Grains are wonderful. I will be adding more and more blogs on using them. Food is a wonderful gift, and from cookies, to Third Sunday Dinners, we can bless the lives of those around us. Remember my favorite Chef Brad Quote "No matter how healthy it is, if our families won't eat it, we have wasted our time". Somethings just are not meant to be totally healthy. But they can be made healthier, with the addition of whole grains.   Enjoy the Day.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I am a Chicken Farmer at Heart

Feeding time.

     In my heart I really am a chicken farmer. I love having chickens. I think it comes from growing up  and spending time at my Great Aunt and Uncles home in Claysprings Arizona. They had a huge chicken coop, and we had some fun times gathering the eggs and running from the Roosters.  Actually we were terrified of the Roosters and I still am. They are mean to the bone. I have been attacked by way to many Roosters in my day.  You will not find one in my coop.  The nice thing is you don't even need them unless you want chicks, and why go through the trouble of a Rooster when you can just order them online or go to the nearest feed store and get baby chicks without the hassle of a Rooster.  Someone needs to explain that to them,  maybe then they wouldn't be so cocky.

      We have owned chickens for years and we have had our ups and downs, but I cannot imagine life with out them. I love seeing them and hearing them.  It is a comfort thing for me.  I will often put a chair close by and read a book. I enjoy them.  I do have to confess that I don't think it cheaper to have chickens for just the eggs. But that is not the reason I have them. I do love the eggs, but I also love everything else about having chickens.  

      I think Chickens are a perfect pet for the children.  Our children spent hours holding and playing with baby chicks over the years.  And yes we had some tragic moments that taught our children just how fragile life can be.  They spent hours out in the coop holding and playing with them.  They were really attached to them and learn the lessons of feeding and taking care of animals.  Just how important water is in the heat and food to stay alive.   

     We have great stories.  If fact they are often told when we gather as a family.  From smashing the head to being attached there are plenty of stories in our home about chickens.   

     Over the years we have tried all breeds and all different ways of having them,  from ordering them to hatching our very own. Now that the children are older I have found the best way to do it.  I buy them ready to lay. The initial investment is more than buying a baby chick, but I have found that it really doesn't cost more. By the time I feed and care for them for six months or longer to get eggs it is cheaper to buy them ready to go. There are many places now that understand that and raise to sell.  

     One time I ordered 24 chicks only to discover six months to late they were all roosters. What a waste of time. I don't butcher my own. The company sent new ones free of charge, but they didn't compensate for my time. Another time a neighbors dog got in and killed all of them right before they started laying.  So yes, now I like to buy them ready to go.  

     About the butchering. I can't see me doing that. So what do you do with old chickens. Give them to the neighbors, thats if you have neighbors that do that sort of thing, or you can take them to the feed store,  they resell them to farmers for pest control. Usually chickens last a few years before they stop laying. 

Roasters ready for the feast.  We raised these in record time for a trek.
It's always fun to gather the eggs.

     Fresh eggs are wonderful to say the least. The yolk is solid and a wonderful color, the shells are thick and strong, which is a good sign the chickens are getting what they need.  And there is a wonderful flavor. You hear a lot about the conditions of chickens in the industry, and I believe that has a lot to do with the quality of the eggs. I read somewhere that eggs are empty of nutrition. The poor mistreated chickens have nothing to give, and so the eggs are void of nutrition compared with free range eggs or home grown chickens that lay. You can see the difference. Buy a store bought egg and get an egg from your Chicken Farmer Neighbor and crack them side by side and you will see the difference from the shell to the yolk.  

This is my hen house and small run.   Under the large tree keeps them cooler in the summer.
Mulching is a great way to use the droppings.


  I do a lot of gardening.  Chicken droppings are supposed  to be the best for gardening.  I compost them with all my leaves and trimmings in the yard. I keep my coop and run fresh with a layer of straw.  Every so often as need dictates, I rake it out and start fresh. The stuff I rake out goes into the mulch pile. I have a constant supply of rich droppings to keep my garden healthy.

Nice nest boxes.

      Nest boxes are great and important.  Chickens are creatures of habit and they like the same spot. They are also messy and they drop everywhere.  It's great to keep the eggs out of the line of fire. Once in a while you will get a chicken that eats eggs.  We always have brown or white wooden eggs in the boxes. A few pecks on these will cure them from eating eggs. It also reminds them where to lay.

They love to eat.

           I toss scrapes from the table and grains that get bugs in them to the chickens. I also use the trimmings from my garden.  They love green. I keep them out of the garden because they love green so much they will destroy a garden in moments.  The straw is also a great thing to do. It keeps them  busy scratching all day long.

I suspend the feeder in the air.

        Notice the feeder is up in the air.  I learned long ago to not keep the feed on the ground or in a ground level feeder.  They scratch it all over and my food bill was to high. I keep it just high enough they have to reach for the pellets.  I also keep the water high. They scratch all the dirt into it and have no water so I put it up on a brick. It keeps the water cleaner.

       Chickens are great fun to have. The eggs are wonderful.  But the best part is just the comfort of hearing them cluck away. I always laugh when you hear that excited cluck that announces that one of them just laid an egg. I guess I really am a chicken farmer.  Have a great day.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Deep Fried French Toast, A new Third Sunday Dinner Favorite

       Third Sunday Dinner is amazing. Here is a photo journey of this months dinner. Be sure and read below as I will explain what really happened. Each month brings new friends and fun. I love Third Sunday Dinner and all that happens when people meet around food. It amazes me each month the miracles that happen, and the biggest miracle that happens is in my own heart as I learn to love deeper and trust more in God, and have faith to do hard things. Third Sunday Dinner is not always easy, but the end results always out weighs the work and effort involved. Enjoy the pictures, and commentary  below.

It is great having the back yard filled with family, friends, and new friends.  
Making the Syrup

Having fun...

Oh my,  it is great.

Deep Fried French Toast

I am so glad you came.

Have you met......

The happy fryers.  

Deep Fried French Toast. 

Welcome everyone,  Are you ready to eat?

The line forms here. 

We fried over 300 of these. 

Topped with fresh fruit,  comfort food at it's best.

Come on in, there is still room and food.

Me and the boys,  I love these boys. And the boys love food.

My two new best friends,  David and Jay.  They fried for 2 hours.

     I will have to explain why I said that Third Sunday Dinners are not always easy. Sometimes there is so much going on that I feel overwhelmed. This month was one of those times. My son just returned from his mission, being gone for 2 years. So we had a big family weekend planned. I was ok Friday,  having been sick with that nasty cold bug going around.  I did my shopping and felt somewhat ready knowing that my home would be filled with people for the weekend.

     I could not sleep Friday night. Some family arrived and so I tried to sleep sitting up in a chair. Every time I tried to lay down I coughed. I got maybe three light hours of sleep. The rest of the family started to arrive at 5:00 am Saturday morning. It was great fun.  I fixed a big breakfast for everyone, and then we went to the farmers market. Later more family arrived and I fixed a big lunch. We all went to the mall and still more family arrived. That night we had a big pizza party for everyone. I put some pork in the smoker for Sunday lunch. We played late Saturday night, and I still could not sleep.

     Sunday morning we had breakfast, and off to church for the homecoming of my son. It was great.  More Family arrived for it, and we had a big lunch after church.  Lunch ended and the last of the family left about 3:00. I looked at my watch realizing that I had 2 hours to get ready for Third Sunday Dinner.  I said a silent prayer and jumped in to get ready. The 2 Justins arrived and my son and son-in-law set out the tables and chairs.

      We ran around and were perfectly ready at 5:00.  It was a great day. The food was amazing.  I only  did the French Toast and Buttermilk Syrup, with some fresh strawberries and pineapple. The rest of the food like magic showed up. I think we fried over 300 pieces of French Toast. It was great.

     I was exhausted before it started, but as people showed up my energy returned and I was able to enjoy the entire event.  That is what I have learned most about Third Sunday Dinner,  to serve others is not always easy, but the end result always makes up for any sacrifice and after all is said and done I always wonder why I stress.  It always turns out wonderful when people gather around food.

     The entire weekend was great, a lot of work, yes. Worth the work, YES.  The memories that are created around food are like no other memories.  Seeing the joy on faces as they eat and enjoy each others companionship is priceless. Is what I am trying to say is that no matter what goes on or how hectic life gets, when it is all said and done, the dishes put away, the house back to normal, a couple days of rest, then we start to see the picture clearly and we remember what it was all for and we are ready to start the entire process over again, and again, and again. I love food,  I love what food can do when we truly understand it's full purpose. Not only to strengthen the body, but to nourish and feed the  spirit.

     I hope you are making your own "Third Sunday Dinner Traditions" in your life.  Enjoy the adventure. It only gets better.


Buttermilk Syrup

     3/4 cup butter
     1 cup buttermilk
     3 cups sugar
     2 teaspoons vanilla
     2 teaspoons baking soda

In a large sauce pot melt butter, buttermilk, and sugar together.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda.  Whisk quickly,  it will bubble up to the top of the pan.  Serve warm.  This syrup reheats well and can be made with Xagave in place of sugar.  

Deep Fried French Toast

     6 eggs
     2 cups milk
     1/4 cup oil or melted butter
    3 teaspoons pumpkin spice or baking spice
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    White bread
    Oil for Frying.   

In blender place all ingredients except oil and bread.  Blend well.  Place mixture in bowl and dip bread quickly in batter.  Drop in hot oil and brown on both sides.  Serve with fresh fruit, syrup, and powdered sugar. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's time again for Third Sunday Dinner

The menu changes every month
      I cannot believe that it is already Third Sunday Dinner again. Time sure flies. The weather looks like it will be great and I love that. We can set up tables and chairs in the back yard and let the fun begin.

      Each month I start thinking about what we are going to serve about as soon as one ends. I decided in January that for February I would like to do my Grandpa's French Toast. He owned cafes for years in Gallop NM, and one of the things he served was deep fried French toast. It is amazing. I don't fry foods often, but sometimes we need a good warm memory day. When we are frying this, I will be thinking of my mother and my grandpa.

      The very first time I left home and had French toast I was sorely disappointed. It came pale and soggy, without flavor. I thought it was a mistake. After all, French Toast was supposed to be deep fried.  Today I cook mine like most Americans, on a cast iron griddle. But once in awhile I get the hankering for deep fried, and oh my it is great.

      I was thinking that fresh fruit will be great, and of course I will be making butter milk syrup to top the French toast. Lemons are in season so I will create some wonderful lemonade beverage. This is a simple one. Buy the bread, day old will be perfect. And is all I have to do on Sunday is slice the bread,  heat the oil, make the batter, I use a high tech blender for this, and make the drink. Easy, but the end result will be amazing.
The Ingle Family,  David comes early to help cook. Wow,  he is amazing in the kitchen.
      David will be coming early to help get the frying done. I have two boys, Justin and Justin, that come early to help cook and set up tables and chairs. So I am all set. No stress involved. Tuesday I will post the recipes and give you an update on what went down.
The line forms....Where?
      The little couple at the end, the Petersens, have moved away. I will miss his complaining about the food being to spicy. He is a darling man, but out spoken..  I informed him one Sunday that I could not design the entire menu around his diet and he should just behave and find what he could eat. His dear wife agreed with me. After all this is not a short order cafe. I will miss them. They are older and are moving to be closer to her family in Maricopa. Sometimes though, I have to set the rules. And the rules are really simple. Enjoy what we have, no complaining, and get to know others there. Quit simple.

     So I will be preparing for another Third Sunday Dinner experience. I look forward all month to Third Sunday Dinner, and the miracles that happen when we invite others into our home to enjoy food, fellowship, family, and friends.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love at First Bite

Nothing says love like a warm fresh baked cinnamon roll with added chocolate, WOW.

Fresh Baked Cinnamon Nut Rolls

Simple Cream Frosting
      A good cinnamon roll should be "Love at First Bite". How often have you looked at a cinnamon roll and tried it, to find was filled with disappointment. That happens far to often as far as I am concerned. They look great, and smell great, but are lacking in taste.
      Once in a while I even give in, and try one at the mall and I end up gaging. They are pretty, and make the mall smell great, but they are totally lacking in flavor. Other times someone will bake them and they use an old cinnamon and a powdered sugar glaze with out flavor.  How sad to go through so much work and have the final product end up flavorless.

      One thing I do want to make clear is that I do not believe in a healthy cinnamon roll. If you are going to eat a cinnamon roll, you should go all the way  There is a place for healthy, but not in a cinnamon roll. Call it something else, but don't defile the sacred name of "cinnamon roll" with the word healthy.

     When I do a cinnamon roll, I go all the way.  White flour, good white flour, sugar, butter, more butter, nuts, chocolate, heavy cream, and more butter. I like a cinnamon roll dripping with flavor and exploding with taste. The dough should be moist and light, and the glaze should be the crowning glory of the roll, and not some tasteless sugar topping that takes away from the absolute wonder of the roll.

     As a young boy my mother set the standard of a cinnamon roll. She made the rolls out of her "Good ole White Bread" recipe. They were amazing, she topped them with a wonderful maple glaze. They were dripping in goodness. She had a few tricks that I have never seen anyone else do. One of the tricks she had was when the dough was rolled out she sprayed the entire surface with water.  It made them moist and wonderful. As a young man I worked in a store bakery. The head baker was wonderful. But his rolls, I thought, were dry. I casually mentioned that to him one day with the remedy of how to fix it. Needless to say he was so mad. Imagine an 18 year old boy telling him how to bake.  His rolls continued to be dry and I didn't last there long.

     Over the years I have worked and worked on perfecting the recipe for cinnamon rolls. A few years ago I was asked to bake them for the wedding of a friend. I was worried and even took a cooking class in Phoenix. It was great. There is always something new to learn and I have discovered that we should never get to comfortable with what we are doing. There is always room for growth. My cinnamon rolls did get better after that class.  The teacher was amazing and she taught me some great tips.

Letting the Rolls Rise before baking.
   They turned out great for the wedding. I was so glad I went to learn more. The next weekend I went to a wedding that almost all the same people were attending and they were serving cinnamon rolls. I was a little nervous. It's an ego thing. But to my relief  they were good, but not a good as mine.  Ha Ha. Going to the class really put mine over the top. Cinnamon rolls are a little work, but it is worth the effort when you can make so many happy.

Fresh Baked Cinnamon Roll
3 cups warm butter milk
1 cups Chef Brad’s sour dough starter  You can order this at
½  cup sugar
½ cube melted butter
1 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
5-8 cups Hi-Gluten White Flour (to begin with)
2 ½ tablespoons yeast

Place ingredients into your Bosch, with yeast on top of the flour.  Turn on the Bosch, and add enough flour to clean the sides of the bowl. Mix for six minutes and than remove from bowl and place in oiled large bowl and let rise until double.  (Remember, a sticky dough makes the best rolls.)   Remove from bowl Divide into 4 equal pieces. placing one piece on rolling surface, roll dough out into a large semi circle..  Top with melted butter, than a cinnamon, and brown sugar mixture, sprinkle lightly with water.   Roll dough up starting from furthest away and roll towards you pulling the dough tight. When rolled tight, cut in half and than cut the halves in half and than cut each piece into 3 pieces.  You should end up with 12 rolls. Place rolls into pan sprayed with nonstick pan spray, leaving a small space in between each roll,  and let rise until double in size.  Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Do not over bake, this dries out the rolls.  

yield: 4-5 dozen
prep/cooking time: 2 hours

Maple Frosting

4 tablespoons melted butter
1 eight oz. package cream cheese, room temp.
1 tablespoon maple extract
Enough heavy cream to smooth frosting
8 cups powdered sugar

Whisk together in food processor until smooth and than spread on warm rolls

Love Love Love 
With or without frosting they should taste great.
     Cinnamon rolls really do say love and I love them. We don't eat them often, so when we do it is a real treat. My family loves them and I love making them. I have gotten up early at girls camp and scout trainings to make cinnamon rolls. Nothing is better than a warm cinnamon roll, dripping in butter and frosting and exploding with the flavor of cinnamon. Just a note, the right cinnamon does make a difference. Use a good quality one,  one that has been in your pantry for years is probably not the right choice. Penzeys has a great one, and you can order on ine.

A good cinnamon roll truly is "Love at First Bite".

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Fast Sunday Rolls" and family traditions.

Spelt Potato Rolls

      Food is a lot about traditions, and bread making is one that I love. Bread making has been a tradition in my family for years. I grew up in a home where bread making was just part of life.  As I have mentioned before, my mother had no idea she was establishing a tradition of bread making in our lives.   know my siblings bake bread on a regular basis, and I know it is because of my mothers effort to bake bread regularly. She was a wonderful bread maker ,and the memory of her bread is still burned into my mind and heart.

     In all the bread making growing up, I can'y remember my mother ever baking dinner rolls. We usually ate her sliced white bread with butter, Sorry it was not butter back then, it was margarine. So much cheaper than butter. Every meal there was bread and margarine. She did make cinnamon rolls with her dough and fry bread, but never dinner rolls that I can remember.

      My love of dinner rolls came later in life with the purchase of my first Bosch Mixer. As I started teaching classes I fell in love with dinner rolls. Since those days dinner rolls have become a tradition in our home. One of my families favorite traditions is "Fast Sunday Rolls".  In my faith we fast one Sunday a month, no food or drink for 2 meals, and donate the money we would have spent to the church to feed the elderly, homeless, struggling, etc. So after church on fast Sunday my family thinks they are starving to death. I treat them with what I call "Fast Sunday Rolls".

     "Fast Sunday Rolls" are special and over the years my goal has been to create rolls like my Aunt Mom's. Aunt Mom in really my moms sister  Jean Flake. I call her Aunt Mom because she has been like a mother to me for all my life. She makes the most amazing dinner rolls ever. She is famous for her rolls. So her rolls and the rolls of Mrs. Clarson who was the school cafeteria cook in my elementary school, are my standard. Mrs. Clarson's rolls like Aunt Moms are perfection, especially sliced hot and stuffed with butter. You have to let the butter melt and than it is like taking a bite of heaven. Oh my goodness, right now my mouth is watering. When I grew up I actually went to Jesse Clarson's home and thanked her for her wonderful rolls. I was so glad I was able to do that before she passed away.  I can picture her making teaching the angles in Heaven how to make them.

     I really learned the secret of roll making from my dear friend Jane Merrill. She wrote the "Set For Life" cookbooks. She is a master and she taught me one phrase that I teach everyone, when I am teaching about roll making. The Phase is "THE STICKER THE DOUGH, THE LIGHTER THE ROLL". That has been my guide in making all my rolls and my rolls are sometimes almost as good as Jesse Clarsons and Aunt Moms. That really is the trick. Keep the dough slightly sticky, it is a little harder to work with, but the end result are rolls that almost float. Even whole grain rolls are amazing when you follow that advise.

     So on fast Sunday's I am constantly experimenting on just how light I can make whole grain rolls.  Can they match up to the standard of Jesse Clarson or Aunt Mom. I sometimes fail, but when I have a winner my family is so happy. I decide that they all cannot be winners,  if they are all winners then the family gets to used to perfection and they just don't appreciate it as much. So once in awhile I mess up just so they can appreciate it when I have a winner. But this last Sunday. Oh my, I hit the jack pot.  My son had just returned from his mission and had missed out on "Fast Sunday Rolls" for two years.  I really wanted them to be perfect. I made spelt potato rolls. You will love the recipe. They are splendid in every way.

      So the Tradition continues in my home. "Fast Sunday Rolls" and bread making, do make memories that will last forever. I hope long after I am dead and gone my family talks about my rolls with fond memories.

Spelt Potato Rolls
This are the new favorite "Fast Sunday Roll"in my home.  Nothing makes a roll better than a cooked mashed potato.  Instant just are not the same.

1 large potato, peeled and cooked until tender
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar or Xagave
2 teaspoons salt
4 egg whites
2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 cups natural white flour
4 cups fresh ground spelt flour

In your Bosch mixer place cooked potato, butter, sugar, salt, egg whites, milk, and spelt flour.  On top of the spelt flour place yeast.  Turn on mixer and add natural white flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.    Continue to mix,  making sure the dough stays sticky.  After six minutes, remove from bowl on oiled surface.  Form into golf ball size segments.  Place on sprayed pan and let rise to double.  Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 t0 25 minutes or until done.

Basic Rolls
Jean Flake…Or Aunt Mom to Chef Brad.  This recipe was taught to her by her Mother, Chef Brad's Granny. Breadmaking is something Jean loves to do and she certainly does it to perfection.  She  is well known for her light wonderfully tasting rolls, and bread.  She shares this recipe with you.  Enjoy!

1 cup milk
¼ cup butter or oil
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
5-6 cups flour
1 Tablespoon yeast

Scald milk or use powdered milk mixed according to directions. 
Add butter, sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour.  Mix until smooth.  Beat in egg and 1 Tablespoon yeast.   Add flour to make soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  If using Bosch mixer add flour until dough barely cleans bowl.  Shape into rolls and place in greased pan barely touching each other.  Let raise until double in bulk.  If you are kneading by hand let dough come up once before shaping into rolls.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Can be used for cinnamon rolls or crescent rolls.

Fresh baked rolls turn any meal into a Gourmet Experience.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Lemon Cleanse Post 6

Before,, I hate this picture and there are more just like it.

     Do you ever look at pictures of yourself and wonder what happened. Some of the pictures of my in my chef cloths leave me feeling fat and uncomfortable. I love food, and I love to eat food. My life is all about food. I am constantly working on new recipes and tasting new foods. I discovered a couple of years ago that I had better make some changes or I would be in trouble. For me it was hard because food is such an important part of my life. My excuse was I have to eat,  I am a Chef. 

        I guess the big change came when I was able to see what I really looked like. More importantly  when I was able to be honest with myself and really fess up to being over weight and out of shape.  I had been using cooking as a crutch for my lack of self control.  I am not  an exercise person, but I do understand the value of it the the more I do it the more value I can see in doing something on a regular basis.  I really admire those totally dedicated persons who work so hard to look like I want to look, but so far have not been willing to pay the price, so I thought.  

      I had convinced myself that it was hard and useless, and no matter how hard I worked out I wouldn't get the results I wanted.  Wrong.  I have found that our bodies are amazing when we treat them right.  Not to say I adore working out, but I have found a great satisfaction from working out.  The secret to to find what you like and be consistent.  

     Ok, enough about working out. What I want to talk about is cleansing the body. It is as important as working out, especially in todays chemical filled world. Our bodies need to have a occasional oil change so to speak. I am talking about a good cleanse that will remove the toxins from the body and leave us feeling stronger and healthier, and the bonus is our bodies will respond better to exercise and eating the right foods, when it has a frequent cleanse.  

     Think of all the foods we eat, and all the garbage that is in the processed foods. Our bodies are toxic, and even if we are eating well, we live in a toxic environment. We know that to get optimal performance out of our cars, we need to change the oil on a regular basis. If we don't, the cars performance is compromised. Our bodies work the same way. We compromise the performance when we don't take the time to change the oil, cleanse.  

    Over the years I have done several, but this year was the best one I have found yet. It was doable and I really enjoyed the experience. My manager told me about it and I thought at the time no way. It sounded terrible. He said that he and his wife to it 2 to 3 times a year and they like it.  

     A couple months passed and I was feeling like I needed something of a cleanse after the holiday season. So I set out to the health food store to see what I could find.  he clerk recommended the same cleanse my Manager used. So it being lemon season I decided to do it myself.  I have to say I loved it.  Really,  I loved it.  I felt great every day and lost 14 lbs. and I felt like my oil had been changed.  What a great feeling. You have to be prepared mentally for any cleanse and especially when you go without food for an extended period of time.  

         You are wondering what did I do. I did the Lemon Juice, Cayenne Pepper, Maple Syrup Cleanse.  You can google it and read more about it, but it is basically drinking a mixture of 2-3 Tbls. lemon juice, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (more if you can handle it), and 2-3 Tbls. maple syrup, all mixed in 8-10oz water, all day long for as many days as you can do it.  It was amazing. I was not hungry at all,  did I mention that no food is allowed at all.  I enjoyed it and never felt hungry or tired or left out.  I did it for 10 days, that includes the couple days after you finish the cleanse when you slowly add foods back in. I loved the spicy lemonade and look forward to the next oil change.

       Being healthy is all about discipline and self control.  What I like about a good cleanse is that is helps with self control. I decided that if I can go without food that long I can do anything. The problem in today's world we want instant results,  and with our bodies, that is not going to happen. We fail to realize that after years of abuse it just might take some time for our bodies to get back into shape. A cleanse is a great place to jump start our determination to be healthier. I strongly recommend that if you are a coach potato, get up and start doing something. Tomorrow just might be to late. Enjoy your next oil change. It will put life back into your engine.  

After the cleanse. This is better.  It is amazing what a little self control will do.