Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Go Go Gadget Tuesday

Today is gadget Tuesday.  I want to introduce you to a gadget that I have had since the year 2000.  In all these years this gadget has never let me down.  This wonderful gadget is my ‘Whisper Mill Grain Mill’.   At the beginning of every week I grind flour from my bucket of hard red or hard white wheat.  With this freshly ground, unprocessed flour I make my own sandwich rolls, buns, cookies, and breads for the week. 
Why do I grind my own flour and make my breads?  Well, I started this process for health reasons (I have IBS and items made from processed flour cause stomach upsets).  Now after all these years I would not change back to name brand processed breads – they have no taste and the texture is like eating cotton. 
Wheat grains and freshly ground flour
The source for my Whisper Mill, buckets of grain, and other supplies I use are from a family owned business named ‘Bread Beckers’.  Bread Beckers provides all the things you would need from the buckets of wheat and the grain mills, to salt and local honey.  Their store is just fun to explore.  Go to their web site ( for their location, retail & on-line store, video demonstrations, and calendar of classes.  If you have ever wanted to try the process of grinding your own flour; taking a class at Bread Beckers is a great place to start.
Chocolate Chip Muffins (made with soft white wheat)

fresh bread dough ready to make into sandwich rolls

sandwich rolls ready for the oven
Sandwich rolls fresh from the oven
There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven, or the taste of a warm muffin right out of the oven.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Fast & Easy (Spin on the Classic Burger)

 Keeping It: Fast, Easy, & Fun

There is just something fun about grilling out on a sunny day.   After a long Monday, no one wants to be inside, cooking over a hot stove. especially if it's beautiful outside - even thinking about it is, well, depressing.  Grilling is the answer – it just brings fun to a meal (and of course you have eat 'Al fresco'.

With that thought let’s put a spin on the classic burger and give it an Italian flair.  Mixing a pound of ground beef with a pound of ground (mild or spicy; your choice) Italian sausage.  Using marinara instead of ketchup; and provolone or mozzarella cheese slices instead of American cheese; throw a little basil on top for extra flavor.  It's wonderful!
Here is a fast and easy meal that is not only delicious, but fun.  
 Yes, it's Monday, but - I hope you have time to enjoy the day.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Fast and Easy Recipes (Pasta)

This sweet little guys face says it all – Yes, it’s Monday.

No Matter how you Monday is going; I have 2 fast and easy pasta recipes for you.  the both include either of the following - (the type of pasta is your choice) - angel hair, white sweet potato noodles, or spaghetti squash.  What makes them different is the sauce you create.  Both sauces take about 30 minutes or less.

 (1) Tomato/Basil Sauce with lemon & Parmesan 

*1 tablespoon olive oil
*2 cloves of garlic (minced)
*1/2 cup of white wine
*2 chopped roma tomatoes (seeded removed) or 2 (14.5
  oz.cans) of diced tomatoes (drained and rinsed)
*1 lemon (juiced)
*1 Tablespoon of lemon zest
*salt and pepper to taste
*2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
*pasta or noodles of your choice (if using angel hair - prepare 
  while making sauce)

1. In a pan over medium high heat; saute minced garlic in olive oil (just until it is slightly golden).

2. Pour into same pan the white wine.  Heat for about 2 minutes, or until wine has been reduced by about half.  

3.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped tomatoes (or the drained and rinsed canned tomatoes).  Let these combine with the garlic and wine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour this sauce over the prepared pasta or noodles of choice.

5. Add/mix together the sauce, pasta, and 1/4 cup of
    Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons of fresh basil.  
(also, you can never have enough Parmesan - after the pasta has been served; grate a little extra Parmesan on top.)  

(2) Roasted Tomato & Garlic with Shrimp
(The key to making this recipe simple is buying shrimp that has already been cooked.)

*2 (28 oz.) cans of roasted tomatoes (undrained)
*3 cloves of garlic (minced)
*salt and pepper to taste 
*2 Tablespoons of freshly chopped basil
*1 lb. of fresh cooked shrimp (I purchased mine at Whole
  Foods - it was cooked, peeled, and deveined; can't get any
*freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)

1. Pour the 2 cans of undrained roasted tomatoes in a pan over
     medium high heat.
2.  Stir in fresh minced garlic; salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Heat to boiling; turn down to a simmer.  Let this 
     mixture simmer to thicken (about 25 minutes or the
     amount of time it takes for the thickness you desire.)
4.  When the sauce is to the thickness you like- stir in the basil.
      Let cook for 1 minute to combine.
5.  Next add in the shrimp (stir to combine and let the shrimp
     warm in the sauce).  This will only take about 3 to 5
     minutes.  Do not over heat; shrimp will become tough.
6.  Add the sauce to pasta or noodles of your choice
7.  Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Enjoy! Hope you have a perfect Monday!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Go Go Gadget Tuesday (with a recipe)

I realize that this is gadget Tuesday, but I am running a day behind.  And I really want to tell you about the cookbook from the blog post (best veggie slicer).

And I have said is before – ‘I Love Cookbooks’.  I not only use the recipes; I read the story inside (why this chef/cook decided to write this book – was it for the love of whatever the theme is of the book; or was it deeper.  Well, I am here to tell you that Danielle Walker’s reason was a deep reason.  Daniella, at the early age of 23 years, was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease.  She was at war with her body.  When it came down to the worst possible scenario Danielle did much research and made changes in her diet.  The results were significant. 
I read her story and because I have IBS it made me wonder if I could get some relief from changes in my diet.  So, I came home with “Against all Grain”.  I am hoping you will love this book as much as I do.  The recipes are easy; with ingredients that you can get at the grocery store.

Below is one of my favorite recipes (Pesto Pasta with Scallops).  I copied this from the book because I wanted you to see how she presents the recipes.  There are icons that let you know if the recipe is dairy free, gluten free, free of nightshade plants (these are particularly hard on someone with an autoimmune disorder). I am hoping this will to give you a taste of what you will find inside this really good cookbook.

 Pesto Pasta with Scallops

 Recipe for the pesto sauce is:

1/3 cup pine nuts*
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
*for nut-free, she says to substitute raw sunflower seed kernels or 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. 

1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat for
    5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to make sure
    they do not burn.

2. Place all of the ingredients except the oil in a small food
    processor.  Pulse a few times to chop the contents.

3. Slowly incorporate the oil while the food processor is 
    running, until a paste has formed.  Continue blending for
    15 seconds until the sauce is smooth.
(This can be made ahead, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Add a thin layer of olive oil on top before covering to keep the Pesto fresh.  Stir to incorporate the oil before using.)

The end result is delicious.  Hope you try it.


Happy Thanksgiving

  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Many Blessings and Love to All