Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

I made 2 loaves of this yesterday and it is great!  Next time I will play around w/ the proportions and try more whole wheat flour and see what happens.  

1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) yeast
2 T. unsulpured molasses
1 T. honey
2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 T. butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 1/4 tsp. salt

in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups warm water, the yeast, molasses and honey. stir briefly, and then allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. add the flours, oats, and butter, and stir to mix (i used a whisk). the dough will look rough and shaggy. cover with a towel, and let stand for 30 minutes.

attach the bowl and bread hook to the mixer. add the salt, and mix on medium speed for 6 minutes. the dough should come together around the hook and slap around the sides of the bowl without sticking. (sprinkle 1-2 more tablespoons of flour down the sides of the bowl if dough is sticking.)

place dough in a greased bowl and let rise 1 hour. when dough has doubled in size, shape it in your hands and place in a greased loaf pan, seam side down, and press it gently into the corners of the pan. cover with a towel, and let rise again for about 1 hour. while it's rising preheat oven to 400 degrees. when dough has finished its second rise, bake for about 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. the loaf is ready when top and bottom crusts are nicely browned, and sounds hollow when thumped on top. remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting, so that the crumb has time to set.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

I made this yesterday and it was YUMMY!!  Very moist and lemony but not too sweet.

For the Loaf:
  1. 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  10. 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup:
  1. 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
  1. 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  2. 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
  7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
Yields: 1-9x5 loaf
  1. This recipe will also yield about 12 standard muffins or 36 miniature muffins, baking time adjusted.
  2. It could be doubled and baked in a well-greased and floured bundt pan, baking time adjusted.
  3. This recipe could also be baked in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round, to create a thin cake (approx. 1 1/2 inches tall), baking time adjusted.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bran flax seed muffins


 These taste fantastic and they get wonderfully nutritious flax seed into our bodies.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar (I cut way back on this - to about 1/2 cup and I added an extra egg)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup skim milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups shredded carrots
2 apples, peeled, shredded
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped mixed nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, flax seed, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the milk, eggs, vanilla and oil; mix until just blended. Stir in the carrots, apples, raisins and nuts. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
3. Bake at 350 F (175 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gingerbread in the fall - perfect!

It's fall.

The air feels clean and cool this morning.

And I found a gingerbread cake recipe in my email - perfect!

Grandmother’s Soft Gingerbread Cake 
(Serves twelve to sixteen)
from Daily Candy

Ingredients for the cake:

2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 c. dark molasses
1 c. vegetable oil
3 lg. eggs 1 c. boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch-round springform baking pan.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.
3. In a mixing bowl with electric beaters (or by hand with a whisk), beat together the sugar, molasses, oil, and eggs until well blended and smooth, 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended, scraping the bowl once or twice.
5. Add the boiling water and beat just until smooth. The batter should be thin. Don’t overmix or the cake will be tough.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and place on a baking sheet to catch drips.
7. Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50-55 minutes.
8. Let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before removing the pan sides.

For the whipped cream: 

1 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. sugar ½ tsp.
vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg

1. In a mixing bowl with electric beaters (or by hand with a whisk), whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla till soft peaks form.
2. Cut the cake into wedges. Transfer to dessert plates and put a dollop of whipped cream and a few sprinkles of nutmeg on top.

Adapted from The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook, available online at, $23.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

I used to make these all the time for Grandma (Barbara).  I forgot all about them until Jeane brought over some gorgeous huge peppers from the farmer's market.  They were a huge hit and the kids asked why we don't have these more often.  (I doubled this and it was plenty for our family plus leftovers for the next day).

2 large green peppers
3/4 lb ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
7.5 oz can petit diced tomatoes (small can)
1/3 cup uncooked rice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Halve peppers lengthwise, removing stem ends, seeds and membranes.  Immerse peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Sprinkle insides with salt and invert on paper towels to drain well.

In a skillet cook meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, uncooked rice, worcestershire, basil, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Bring to boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 15-18 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese.  Fill peppers with meat mixture.  Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

*This can be frozen in individual servings.

Easy Yummy Beef Stroganoff

We have very crazy Sunday mornings now.  John has High Council meetings starting very early and a lot of Sundays I have early meetings too.  This is a "just throw it all in and let it cook" recipe that I thought would be worth a try.  I am used to browning meat first so I was skeptical.   After letting it cook all day the meat was very tender and the flavor was great.   Definitely a keeper.

2-3 pounds stew meat (or a 3-pound chuck roast, cubed)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth or stock
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/3 cup flour
6-7 tablespoons apple juice or water
4-8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup light or regular sour cream

Place the stew meat, salt, pepper and onion in the slow cooker. Stir to distribute the seasonings and onion. In a small bowl, combine the garlic salt, Worcestershrie sauce, beef broth and ketchup. Pour over the meat. Cook for 7-9 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. About 30 minutes before serving, combine the flour and apple juice in a small bowl, whisking vigorously to combine well. The roux should be thick but still pourable so add a tablespoon of apple juice or water at a time to thin, if needed. Pour the flour mixture into the slow cooker, whisking quickly to mix in the roux with the stew meat and juices and to avoid lumps. Add the mushrooms and stir. Cook on high for 30 minutes. Stir in ½ cup sour cream right before serving. Serve over pasta, rice or baked potatoes.
*Freezable Meal: The leftovers of the stroganoff can be frozen. I store the leftovers in a freezer-safe container and then thaw in the refrigerator (usually takes about a day) and reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

Two olive oil cakes

 I just read my email from Daily Tip from Dr Weil.  It has a recipe for lemon olive oil cake.

I like the idea of using healthy olive oil rather than butter - but how will it taste?

Then I remembered that my son and daughter in la, Reid and Lisa, make a delicious walnut olive oil cake. So I'll share both.

(Someone try the lemon cake and let us know how it tastes.)

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
True Food Kitchen restaurant exclusive! While you might be hesitant to use olive oil in a dessert recipe, such fears are groundless. Olive oil gives this cake a unique flavor and richness that is balanced out by a little sweetness and the light freshness of lemons. Hesitate no more!
Watch a video with chef Michael Stebner:How to Make Lemon Olive Oil Cake.
Food as Medicine
Compounds known as limonins in the cells of citrus fruits have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups evaporated cane sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
  1. Combine zest, juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
  2. In the mixer combine eggs & salt. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue to mix until pale and thickened.
  3. Turn mixer to low and slowly sift in the flour and baking powder, followed by the olive oil mixture. Do not over mix at this point; just incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Pour this mixture into a cake pan or muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for large cakes. Poke with a toothpick to check for doneness.
  5. Serve with Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries.

Walnut Orange Cake

(great with chocolate gelato)

1 ½ C chopped walnuts
1 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
4 eggs
1 ½ sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 orange (about ½ C juice)
½ olive oil
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat to 350 degrees.  Spray 9 inch spring form pan with oil
Place the walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground, almost to the consistency of bread crumbs.  In a bowl, combine the ground walnuts, flour, and baking powder.
Place the eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy.  Slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light, thick, and lemon colored.  Slowly add the walnut-flour mixture, beating continuously.  Then, with the mixer on low speed, add the orange zest and juice and the loive oil and mix until just combined.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 min.  Se the pan on a rack to cool.
Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a transportable serving platter.   Dust the top with powdered sugar, creating a decorative pattern if desired.  Serve at room temp, cut into wedges.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Healthy yummy cabbage soup

I made this for lunch yesterday and we had it again today - it was that good!

Country Cabbage Soup (from allrecipes)

2 pounds ground beef
2 (28 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
2 large onions, chopped
6 celery ribs, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, cabbage, onions and celery; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper.

I added some fresh Kale from my garden to make it even healthier.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Birthdays are fun

This is such a cute pictures of Henry (or is it James? - they are identical twins) helping Dad and Sister blow out candles on their birthday cake. I just had to share it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chocolate and potatoes are good for you?!

I know - they probably weren't talking about potato chips.

This is from Dr Weil's Weekly Bulletin:

Chocolate and Your Heart
The latest news about chocolate is encouraging: an analysis of several studies involving data on more than 100,000 people suggested that those who reported eating chocolate regularly lowered their risk of heart disease by more than one-third. That may be cause for celebration among chocolaholics, but of course, there's a catch to it: the studies involved were all observational - that is, they all looked at chocolate consumption and health as reported by participants. The analysis didn't directly compare those who ate a set amount of chocolate per week with those who consumed a placebo (in this case, a chocolate look-alike and taste-alike), as would be required in a clinical trial to investigate chocolate's effects on the heart. What's more, the studies included reports of consuming chocolate in all its forms - dark, milk, in drinks, cookies and desserts. And it didn't specify how much chocolate study participants ate. Still, if the analysis has any merit, people who eat lots of chocolate regularly may find that they have healthier hearts than those who don't. The analysis, from England's University of Cambridge, was published August 29 in BMJ online.

My take? Chocolate is a source of polyphenols (the same type of antioxidants found in red wine). Stearic acid, the fat it contains, doesn't affect cholesterol levels, and studies have shown that flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce the stickiness of platelets, cells that play an important role in blood clotting. As a result, blood takes longer to clot, reducing the danger of coronary artery blockages. Chocolate's polyphenols also appear to boost levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol) and lower LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), at least in the lab. I recommend consuming good-quality dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa as a healthy snack, as long as you don't go overboard. An ounce or two a few times a week is good for you.

Eating Potatoes Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Of course, the potatoes in question can't be French fries or chips or loaded with butter, cheese or all the other high calorie trimmings that sometimes come with spuds. But if you're partial to potatoes and enjoy eating them steamed or boiled, in moderation, they could be good for your blood pressure, even if you're already taking medication for hypertension. Researchers performing a small study (only 18 participants, mostly overweight or obese) at the University of Scranton reported the results of eating six to eight purple potatoes twice a day. After a month, average diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) among the study group dropped 4.3 percent while average systolic pressure (the top number) fell 3.5 percent. Researcher Joe Vinson, Ph.D., noted that plain potatoes are not particularly fattening (a single one contains about 110 calories), and they're loaded with beneficial phytonutrients, which may be responsible for the blood-pressure lowering effect seen in his study. In a statement he noted that earlier research showed that potatoes contain a substance similar to ACE inhibitors, a group of blood pressure drugs.