More about . . .

Friday, January 28, 2011

Blender Pancakes

I love it when a wonderful recipe just falls into my lap.  My sister in law, Rochelle, emailed me this recipe one morning.  This is what she had to say about the recipe, "I was given this recipe a while ago and it has become a regular breakfast choice.  We like them so much that they are preferred above regular pancakes.  They are an easy way to use your food storage and get some grains in your diet." She's not kidding, this recipe uses a bunch of food storage ingredients, which is always a good thing.

Now I have to admit, I was skeptical.  My blender is not top of the line.  It works fine for making smoothies and such, but I was worried it would not be up to the task of grinding up hard red wheat kernels.  But I figured "what the heck, you only live once, right?" and gave it a try.  I am so glad that I did.  My blender was up to the task, and I discovered that this is a super easy recipe that is quick enough to whip up even on a busy school morning.

Blender Pancakes
1 ¼ cups water
1 cup whole wheat kernels
¼ cup powdered milk
1 egg
2 Tbs oil
1 Tbs honey or sugar
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder

Place water, wheat kernels, and dry milk in the blender and mix on high for 3 minutes. Add egg, oil, honey, and salt. Blend for 20 seconds. Add baking powder. Pulse three times, just enough to mix. Mixture should foam up and get very light.

Cook immediately on hot nonstick griddle.

Rochelle also added that if you do have an amazing blender like a vita mix or blend tech to not mix for the full 3 minutes or it will turn into bread dough.  Like I said, not a problem for my blender, I was just happy the wheat ground up at all :)

And if you really want to make them doubly delicious click here to make Vanilla Pancake Syrup to pour over the top!

Thanks for a great recipe Rochelle!!!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Wow, it's been a really long time!  Life is too busy.  I just finished making some AWESOME cookies from my fresh ground whole white wheat flour :)  So these are healthy right?!?!?!  They are definitely a delicious way to eat food storage.  I haven't told my family they are made from whole wheat flour - no need to get them all suspicious about eating them.  I left the "whole wheat" part out of the recipe title too.  So here we go -

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I ground white wheat for this recipe)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (I have cans of this in my food storage too!)
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar (part of my food storage :)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
6 oz white chocolate bar, chopped 1/2 inch pieces (or 1 cup chips)
6 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped 1/2 inch pieces (or 1 cup chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease (spray and wipe off) or line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

2. In a medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, soda, salt and cocoa with a wire whisk. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Stir in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Combine completely. While mixing add flour mixture 1/2 cup or so at a time.

3. Hand stir-in chopped chocolates. Drop by tablespoonsful onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks for cooling completely.  I usually like to eat my cookies warm, but I prefer these the next day after they have been stored tightly wrapped or in a ziplock - they get nice and fudgy.

Now I like to bake only a dozen cookies at a time - that way we don't eat too many! So after baking a dozen, I take the remainder of the dough and roll it up in plastic wrap in the shape of a tube (like you would find cookie dough in the grocery store). 

If I want to make it pretty, I wrap that in parchment paper. This dough can be refrigerated up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months. 

To bake just take it out of the refrigerator (frozen dough should be thawed in the refrigerator for 24 hours), cut 1/4 inch slices, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

And if you want to make bar cookies, lightly grease and spread dough into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Seriously.  Good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


We have access to a wonderful program called Bountiful Baskets in our area.  Every other week I get an opportunity to purchase a BIG basket of produce for a flat $15 fee.

They also offer great prices on boxes of peaches, pears, tomatoes, apples, etc. when they are in season.  This past order cycle they had peaches, and they were beautiful.  I ordered a 22 pound box, but then of course I needed to use or can them up quick.  This is what I was able to do with my box of peaches.

Canning peaches is really quite simple, although depending on how many peaches you have it can also be a bit time consuming.

Canning Peaches

Peaches (freestone so the pits come out easily)
Sterile canning jars
Canning lids
Water Bath Canner
Fruit Fresh

1.  First prepare your peaches by dipping them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately place in a sink full of ice water.  This will loosen the skins for easy peeling.

Blanched peaches
To remove the skins just use a paring knife to lift a corner of skin, and the rest should peel off easily.

Skins removed
Next, cut around the pit to create 2 halves.  Remove the pit and scrape the red fibers off the flesh of the peach.  Slice to whatever size you desire and place in a bowl filled with 1 quart water and 1 T. fruit fresh to prevent darkening.

Fill your jars.  I like to use a jar funnel to make this part easier.

OH so pretty peaches
Pour a light sugar syrup over the peaches to within 1 inch of the top of the jar.  You make the syrup by bringing 9 cups water and 2 1/2 cups sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves.

Once your jars are filled, run a knife along the inside of the jar to let any air bubbles escape.  Fit canning lids to jars and tighten.  Place in a boiling water canner and process quarts for 30 minutes.

Remove jars from canner and let cool.  Make sure your jars sealed before storing. Any unsealed jars can be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 weeks.

Here is a great link for advice on canning all kinds of fruits.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get Crackin' - Wheat

So you've got loads of hard wheat berries - how can you make this into a delicious and hearty hot breakfast cereal?  It's really quite simple, and it takes only one tool - a food processor or a blender (they work equally well).

Place 1/4 - 1/2 cup of wheat berries into your very dry food processor and process on high (or "liquefy" in a blender) for 30 seconds to a minute until the berries are all cracked up :)  I like to use the pulse feature to make sure all of the wheat berries encounter the spinning blades.

That's it.  The cracked berries will cook much faster than regular wheat, and will cook up in the same way that you cook rice on the stove or in the microwave. You can use cracked wheat to make hot cereal, add it into bread, or cook it up and use as a meat filler.  I even have a jell-o recipe that calls for cracked wheat.  I'll share that recipe soon.

Not that you need it, but here is a short video of wheat getting cracked.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Very Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Well, what does one do with a 25 pound bag of wheat?  A family staple at our house is homemade bread.  Seldom do I buy bread from the grocery store.  This recipe has just enough sweetness to entice my kids to like it, and oodles of whole grain nutrition.

I keep the wheat I use regularly in a 5 gallon bucket.  This is my bucket of hard white wheat.  I also use hard red wheat - just depends on the mood I'm in :)

I load about 6 cups of wheat berries into my NutriMill grinder and grind it on high. The FINE - COARSER dial I set so that the arrow is below the "N" in "FINE."

And I get this wonderful whole wheat flour.  It has a much richer flavor when you grind it fresh, and is undoubtedly more nutritious, but I don't tell my kids that!!

Then I use it to make bread, rolls, cookies, pancakes - pretty much any recipe that uses flour.  Here is my 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe.

Heidi's Hearty 100% Whole Wheat

3 1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs honey
1 1/2  Tbs yeast
3 Tbs butter, cut up
2 tsp salt
6 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbs dry milk powder
3 Tbs gluten
1 Tbs dough enhancer (optional, but it gives the bread great texture)

Place the warm water, sugar, honey, molasses, salt, yeast and butter in a large bowl.  Stir.  Add 2 cups of the flour, dry milk, gluten, and the dough enhancer.  Stir and let sit 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Turn out on floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Set in greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 - 2 hours or until double in bulk.  Punch down and form into bread or rolls.  Let rise again.   Bake at 350° for 35 minutes for bread, and 25 minutes for rolls.

Makes 2 large loaves.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What Do You Know About Wheat?

I came across this very informative website this morning published by the Wheat Foods Council.  Super informative, and what I really enjoyed was reading over some of the recipes and watching their "How Wheat Works - Harvest Videos"

I will share one of them here for your enjoyment, but be sure and check this site out!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dehydrated Bananas

I found bananas on sale this week for $0.33 pound.  So I purchased the above bananas for less than a dollar and decided to dehydrate them to make a great snack.

This is my trusty Magic Chef food dehydrator that I purchased about 15 years ago on sale for around $20.  It works great for drying fruit and vegetables and making fruit leather, but it is a little noisy as it runs.

First I slice up the bananas about 1/8- 1/4 inch thick.  It's important the pieces are uniform in thickness so that they dry at the same rate.

Then soak the sliced bananas in a mixture of 2 cups water with 1/2 T. Fruit Fresh dissolved in it.  This will help keep your bananas from turning too brown (although they will be brownish when done drying).

Lay the bananas out on the trays. My machine has 5 trays, which I like to spray with cooking spray to make removing the fruit when it's dry easier.

Stack the trays onto the dehydrator base and start it up.  Depending on the thickness of your fruit and how dry you want it, it will take anywhere from 8-15 hours to dehydrate them.  I prefer my bananas to have a little chew and pliability to them when they are done.  This batch took just 8 hours to dry.

Enjoy your chewy, nutritious, and delicious snack!