Friday, September 18, 2015

Spice Basil Cookies

The Wondermill and Wondermix.  My new favorite Mixer.  I love it.

      Recently I was hired on to be the National Spokes Person for the Wondermill Company.  It's so far has been a great experience.  In the process of becoming a spokes person for this amazing company,  I am also writing a new cookbook for  the Wondermill and Wondermix.  I love doing cookbooks.  It's the process of creating new recipes that I enjoy.  Researching recipes and ingredients are one of the best things of life.  The next best thing is tasting the recipes when there are finally right.  So over the next couple of months I will be posting teasers for the new book.   Oh,  did I tell you it's a dual cookbook, meaning it will have a great recipe on one page and on the next page it will have the gluten free version.  How cool is that.  

     This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Nathan Botts.  We cook together when we can find the time and we enjoy each others knowledge of foods.  We combine what we both know and love and create some really great dishes.  Recently I was over at his home with his family cooking Indian Food.  It was amazing.  I love the profound and deep flavors of India.  India's spices make the taste buds dance with excitement.   Nathan created a great cookie that night.  I really have to give him credit for this recipe.  The only complaint I had was the use of white flour in the recipe.    I really don't like white flour cookies.  I ate my share I have to admit even though they were white flour,  that is a true testament to how good they were. 

     As soon as I could I made the recipe,  actually Nathan cooks like me,  no recipes.  So I created a recipe and this time I used my Wonderflour blend.  Wow,  what was good before was absolutely one of the best cookies I have eaten.  I love cookies and this is now one of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  

This is the finished cookie.  So pretty.  It is almost like a really over the top Ginger Snap.  

Fresh Chopped Basil is one of the key ingredients.

I place the eggs and basil in the Wondermix Blender to chop the Basil.  

Garam Masala  is a wonderful blend of spices.  Penzey's always comes to the rescue.

Wonderflour is a blend of whole grain Spelt, Brown Rice, and Pearled Barley
I mix the whole grains up in equal portions in a large bowl and grind them on the 
finest setting in the Wondermill.  Just so you know,  the name of the Wonderflour came way
before I worked for them and before they started calling thier products Wonder.  I 
used the name because it is a wonderful flour.  It just works out great that we combined forces.
Wonderflour made in the Wondermill.

Scoop the dough out on parchment paper. 

I love parchment paper.  It allows me to pull them off the cookie sheet
to cook quickly so I can bake some more.

Nothing like fresh baked cookies

Basil Spice Cookies 
Big Batch
1 lb. butter
2 cups sugar or coconut sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped basil  (place eggs and basil in blender and pulse until chopped)
1 tablespoon vanilla
9 cups fresh ground Wonderflour

Place soft butter  and sugars in mixer bowl with cookie paddles.  Place eggs and basil in the blender and mix until basil is chopped.  Pour into the better and sugar mixture.  Whip  again.  Using dough hooks,   add salt, garam masala,  and soda with flour.  Mix well and add chips and or nuts if desired.  
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 13 minutes or until light brown.  Do not over bake,  cookies are better slightly undercooked and cooled to remain soft.  

Makes about 6 dozen.  Dough can be made and kept in the refrigerator for quick cooking.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Deep Fried Sour Cream Potatoes

     I love potatoes.  They are wonderful and you can do anything with a potato.  Years ago there was this restaurant I worked at in Chandler.  It was great,  they had the best food and they served this amazing augratin potato topped with bread crumbs and served in a oven proof baking dish.  There was sour cream and onion and it was baked to perfection.   Later I was doing a consultant job and remember those amazing potatoes, but wanted to do something off the charts.  So I created this recipe for deep fried sour cream augratin potatoes.  They were well received,  baking them was wonderful, but breaded and deep fried put them over the top.

     Recently I was doing and  I found the old recipe and revived it.  Everyone loved them.  So here is the recipe,  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Deep Fried Sour Cream Augratin Potatoes


8 oz. cream cheese
2 ½ cups sour cream
1 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cups grated romaine cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1  tablespoons white pepper
1 tablespoons garlic powder
1  tablespoons salt
1/2 cup whole grain flour
4 pounds peeled and diced baked potatoes

Whip cream cheese and sour cream together.  Add rest of ingredients—mix well and add potatoes.  Mix well and scoop into ball.  Roll in cracker crumbs.   Deep fry in hot oil.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Oat Pan Butter Bread

    Nothing smells better in the world then fresh baked bread.  I love baking and bread is my favorite thing to bake.  I love sharing what I bake.  People don't often get fresh baked bread these days and it is really a treat when you show up with a fresh baked loaf of bread.
     With today's mixers and grinders, bread making has never been faster or easier with better results.  I am old enough to remember bread before mixers.  I personally love the Wondermix, by Wondermill.  It is the best mixer ever.  White bread was amazing, but I don't ever remember receiving a loaf of whole wheat bread that I really liked,  most had a brick like texture and were dry and crumbly.   
      My moms white bread on the other hand was amazing.  Bread straight from heaven.  We loved it and I don't think a single piece ever went to waste.  Bread in those days was sliced and served every meal with butter,  really, not butter,  I hate to admit it was margarine.  That was all we could afford and actually I loved it at the time.  It was all we knew.  And I cannot remember eating store bought bread ever,   Mom baked every Monday.   When I look back I am amazed at all she got done.  All the bottling and canning, cooking and baking, and working.   She was amazing.  Because of her I have a deep love for fresh baked bread and hardly a week goes by that I haven't baked, at least once, often more.  
     Whole grain breads are easy and light.   With the mixers we have today there is no excuse for not baking and when we bake we should always try to add a whole grain.  It adds to the flavor and nutrition of the breads.  Fresh baked breads could be a foundation for health in your home.  

     This recipes is simple and yet with the butter, not margarine on the top, it is distinct and lovely.  The picture show the steps, and the recipe is posted at the bottom of the blog.  

The bread is in the loaf pans waiting to be baked.

A slice in the top of the bread before it rises creates a place to place butter and adds to the beauty of the end loaf.

I add an good amount of butter in the slit to allow the flavor to melt into the bread.

As the dough rises the  butter starts to melt and the cut gets wider and wider.

You can see the flaky texture the butter gives the loaf and the unique texture the slit gives the loaf,  

3 cups hot water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
3 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
5 to 7 cups natural white flour,  Wheat Montana's
2 tablespoons Saf instant yeast

Place hot water in your mixer, add oats, sugar, butter, salt,  and whole wheat flour.  Place yeast on top of flour and turn on mixer.  Add white flour until dough cleans the sides of the bowl.  Knead for six minutes.  Divide into loaves and place in pans to rise.  Slit top and fill with butter.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven at 350 degrees until done,  about 25 to 30 minutes.