Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January Third Sunday Dinner Report

I missed December.  We did do dinner, but I was so buried that I didn't even take one picture.  We did a mashed potato bar.  It was really really fun.  Heaping roaster pans full of potatoes and wonderful toppings.  Everyone loved it.    December was crazy.  So many events and traveling and a son's wedding.  That was great, adding a new daughter to the family.  She is wonderful and we are thrilled to have her in our family.  

January is already here and I cannot believe how fast the months go. I love almost one month.  I was really sick and was forced to slow down.  I hate that, but when all is said and done one is left feeling blessed and happy for all we have and enjoy. 

I hope this year finds you creating opportunies to share your life and talents with others.  For me  I have found just how powerful food can be and really encourage you to open up your hearts and home and watch the miracles happen.  It has been eight years since I started Third Sunday Dinner and I have to say I would not trade all the wonderful things that have happened for anything.  Indeed it has often been hard, but the hard is alway worth it when we take the time to see what happens when we open up our hearts and homes to others.  

One thought I want to share.  Everyone, no matter where we think they are in the journey needs to be lifted and loved and encouraged in some way.  When we open up our hearts and homes, we never understand the huge impact it can have.  Often times we don't see it and when we do it may come years later.   It is the small and simple things in life that make the most profound changes.  That simply is why I love Third Sunday Dinner.  It is simple in the concept, hard to do sometimes, but lives are changed and hearts are healed and in the process those who particpate are lifted.    

I hope your year is filled with opportunties to lift others.  I promise in the process your the one who is lifted the most.  

Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

I think the bunnies were a hit.  One of the young women in the neighborhood
decided the children would love them and she was right.  This is my
Granddaughter.  She totally loved them.  
I love this family. And there are more but not in the picture.  The mother is amazing.  Just joined our church and we
have all loved watching her grow as she gains confidence and responds to the love given.  This family is a Third Sunday Dinner miracle.  
I love this picture.  I could and do hug every person.   The young man in the white shirt is a young upcoming baker.  He
loves sourdough and loves taking the time to bake them the long way.  We have some great times talking and sharing.

A few years ago a young man brought this family to dinner.  Talk about miracles.  

Happy friends. 

So happy, the man in the beard totally lifted a burden from me.  I will be traveling a lot this year
and was worried about Third Sunday Dinner.  He has open his home up to host them when I am gone.
It was literally an answer to my fervent prayers.  

This young lady is now a family friend. She said she would walk by and wonder what
was going on in my back yard.  The missionaries invited her to dinner.  The rest is history.

Nice fire to warm the evening.  Just the smell of a fire
warms the heart. 

Longest attending Third Sunday Dinner guest.  I saw Jacob at  church
over eight years ago.  New to the congregation.   I thought he looked lonely and
might not feel welcome. So I invited him to dinner.  He is really like my son.  We love him, his wife, his baby,
his wifes parents and siblings.  All of these people are a wonderful and important part of our lives now, and it all started with a simple invitation to dinner. 

The Twins.  Wow I Love these boys.  One is my neighbor next door.  I love that they come and
feel so welcome.   Without asking they stood there and served every single person beans and cheese.

Nothing like a selfie.  

Lots of great food.  I always get asked, "How do you know how much to cook?" I never know , I just listen to the
spirit and trust.  It always works out.  

Happy faces.  

More happy faces.

Perfect day for a party.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I am a Flour Snob, Flax Bread

Ok,  I am a flour snob,  Probably to the level of obnoxious.  I cannot eat anything if I am uncertain of the flour.  For example,  hamburger buns are one of the worst things out there.  I don’t eat fast food burgers for that reason alone.  They are filled with so many chemicals that they never go bad.  Think about it,  you can have a bag of them sitting on the counter for ages and they never go bad.  Can that be good for your bodies?  Absolutely not.  If it will keep that long, what are all those chemicals going to do to our bodies?  

I used to go to those cookie exchanges for the holiday season,  but I just cannot do it.  All the cookies were made with junk flour filled with chemicals.   I am sure they tasted great, but I feel it when I eat them.  And my wife knows right away.  I will come home and she will say, “What have you been eating, your itching?”

It hits me about 5 minutes after I eat anything made with poor quality flour.  I start to itch and I itch and itch.  So I am careful about the flour I use in cooking.  

Let explain one other clear fact about my philosophy in life.  White flour is toxic when you use the garbage stuff, but white flour does have it’s place in our life.  I love breads made with white flour and there are some things that just require white flour.  Usually I add grains and for most of my baking that does not use yeast I will use whole grains, but when baking yeasted products, I do love to use white flour.  Having said that, I will again refer to my being a flour snob.  I use only flours that are chemical free and  bromine free.  

My favorite flours to use are Honeyville’s Flours.  All of their flours fit into my snobbery.   They are perfectly clean and they work perfectly.  The great news out is that they are packaging more and more of their amazing flour for the retail consumer.  That would be you and me.  I adore each one of them and over the next few months I will be blogging about each one them with recipes and ideas for how to use them.  They are available on line and in the stores.  

So join me as I take you on a flour adventure the will change your life as much as it has changed mine.  Baking should be fun, exciting, healthy, and not filled with toxic chemicals.  Thank you Honeyville for providing yet another reason for me to love what you do.  

Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy 

French Flax Bread

2 cups hot water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup soaked whole flax seed,  Soak overnight 
1 cup fresh ground spelt flour
3 cups Honeyville Artisan Flour
3 tablespoons yeast
Egg wash

Place water, sugar, salt, soaked flax, and fresh ground spelt in Wondermix bowl with yeast on top.  Turn on mixer and add Artisan white flour until dough cleans sides of the bowl. Mix for 6 minutes.  Remove from pan and form into loaves and place on a parchment paper to rise.  Let rise until double and wash with egg wash.  Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven on a pizza stone if you have one  for 25 to 30 minutes or until center of the bread reaches 210 degrees.