Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bran Enriched White Bread

Need a little fiber in your diet? Try this bread, it rises great, makes great toast and awesome sandwhiches. Its by far the best bread I have made so far, again from the book Artisian Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

Bran Bread
3 cups luke warm water
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
3/4 cup wheat bran
5 3/4 cup all purpose flour
Put the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl or lidded container. Mix the last 2 in another bowl. Add the flour mix slowly stirring well. When mixed cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp for 2 hours. Then refridgerate until ready to use, up to 14 days. On baking day dust dough with flour and cut off about half of it, adding more flour to ball and quickly shaping it into a ball by turning the sides under. Put it in a greased loaf pan and let it rise 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 and dust the top of the loaf with flour and cut slits in it. Bake for about 30 minutes until its browned on top and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chocolate Gravy

 Have you ever had chocolate gravy? Its like chocolate pudding without the eggs, in fact the leftovers can be eaten like pudding after being refridgerated. Growing up I didnt know that a lot of people never tried it or ate it on a regular basis. I was always kinda shocked when people said it sounded gross, I awlays say dont knock it until you try it. Even if it doesnt sound to appealing to you it is to kids. My boys love it.
 I wasnt always able to make gravy, I watched my Grema make it and she showed me an easy trick.  Heat the milk with the fat in the pan, then wisk in the dry ingredients and keep stirring until it gets thick. I consider this a family recipe, something that we all make and like. Whats your family recipe?

Chocolate Gravy
This is my Grema's version of the recipe
A heapin coffee cup of sugar (1 cup)
2 heapin tbsp coco powder (I use hersheys)
2 heapin tbsp flour
Fat (usually the grease of the meat your cooking, bacon, sausage, etc.)
Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl until it looks like sand, yes it will look like it. In your pan you just cooked the meat in drain all but about 2 tbsp of the grease, try to keep the small chunks in there too. Pour the milk in and let it heat up, wisk in the dry ingredients and stir until thick. When you get it thick enough turn the heat off and add a couple tbsp of butter and a few tsp of vanilla and stir. Be sure and save the leftovers for later and try not to worry about how unhealthy this sounds, just dont eat it every day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

Nothing like hot soup on a cold night. Today is cold, so I decided to make soup for dinner. I love this soup and so does my family.
Baked Potato Soup                       
bacon or bacon bits
oil or grease
To start out, peel some potatoes and dice them, how many you ask? I dont know I just peel enough that the pan is a little over half full. Cover these with water and let them boil away. Next, if you are going to use bacon instead of bacon bits, cook it until nice and crispy, reserving the grease for whats next. Dice an onion and get some garlic minced, put these in a skillet with a little olive oil and cook until the onions are see through. Its great to cook them in bacon grease if you have some available. Add some flour to this and make a rue and let this cook for a few minutes, like your making gravy. Next add some of the water from your now cooked potatoes until you have a creamy mixture that can pour easily, then pour your mixture into your pan with potatoes, stirring well. This should make a nice creamyish looking soup. Crush or cut up your bacon or open jar of bacon bits and add some of it to the soup and save the rest for toppings. When you serve the soup put some bacon and cheese in every bowl. My boys love bieng able to add how much they want and what they want. My oldest wants both cheese and bacon and my middle doesnt want any cheese at all. If you want to add a little greenage, you could dice up some celery and add it to the onions as they cook. I served this with the whole wheat bread I also made today, it was a very good dinner and we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Whole Wheat Bread

After looking around for a while to find the best wheat bread recipe, I decided to use the one in the book, Artisan bread in five minutes a day. Mostly I decided this because I found the right flour it says to use. I found it at walmart, I used Hodgson mills white wheat flour, its not a graham flour but made out of hard white wheat.

Here is the recipe:
Whole Wheat Bread
1 1/2 cups luke warm water
1 1/2 cups luke warm milk (I used canned milk)
1 1/2 tbsp yeast (2 packets)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
5 tbsp neutral tasting oil (I used olive oil)
6 2/3 cups whole wheat flour, not graham flour
In a large bowl or lidded container, mix the yeast, salt, honey, oil, milk and water. Stir it a bit, it will look like this.

 Add flour a little at a time until incorporated well. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise at room temperature until the dough rises and collapes or flattens on top.

 This takes about 2-3 hours. You can use it right away or store it covered in fridge for 5 days. When your ready to bake, grease your pan and using wet hands scoop out a cantaloupe size 1 1/2 pound portion of dough. Keep your hands wet and quickly shape in into a ball and elongate into an oval. Put it in the pan, it should fill it slightly more than half full. Let it rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes, flour the top and slash it with a serated knife. Preheat oven to 350 and put a pan on the bottom rack. When preheated put loaf in oven and 1 cup of hot water in the pan, quickly closing the door. Bake for 50 or 60 minutes until deeply browned and firm, allow to cool completely before slicing. Sorry I didnt get a picture of the finished product, we tore into it too fast, lol.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Im tired of the same old pinto beans and cornbread. I want something warm and filling with as little meat as possible, if any, and that kids will like. So I got some chickpeas, my oldest son loves hummus, so I thought why not try these. I started by looking onlune to find a recipe and couldnt find much, but one place stated that you may need to soak your peas and rub a skin off, but not all chickpeas have this. So I heated them on the stove for a few minutes, because I hate presoaking. After this I let them cool then I rubbed them between my hands to get skins off and rinsed them good then back they went into the pan. I wish, this is what was supossed to happen, of course it didnt. I rubbed them together and only had a few skins come off, I dont know if I didnt let them cook enough or what. So I put them back in the pan with skins and filled it back up with water and cooked them some more, lol. I added a small onion diced and some garlic. I cooked these for a few hours and they were very good. Im going to drain them today (the nexy day) and add olive oil and blend them up to make hummus, adding more garlic of course. What new food have you tried lately?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lactation Cookies

I got this recipe off of the peaceful parenting website. Here is the link http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html I used the first recipe listed on the page. I just got the brewers yeast in the mail yesterday, I looked all over town here and couldnt find it anywhere. In fact, in this town its hard to find a lot of things. So I ordered it from amazon and the shipping cost just as much as the product, go figure. I have to say this dough smelled so awesome I wanted to eat it before it was cooked. I didnt change her recipe too much, instead of nuts and almond butter, I used crunchy peanut butter.  I do believe next time I make these I will change the recipe a bit. They are light and tastey though.
Edited to add:
I added 3/4 tsp of salt instead of the full 1 tsp. I think this really helped. I am not a big fan of salt and could really taste it with these cookies. Now they truely rock. Also I used peanut butter and chocolate chips instead of plain chocolate chips. Wow, these are awesome cookies and really seem to help my supply.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deer meat crockpot tacos

I used to not be a big fan of deer meat, in fact, unless the meat is ground it upsets my stomach. Im not sure if its psychological or not, but we have a lot of deer meat so Im gonna cook it. Yesterday I came across a recipe for beef barbocas or something like that. Anyway, it sounded tastey and I forgot to save the recipe, so I made my own up.

Deer Meat Crockpot Tacos
Deer meat steaks
Fajita seasoning
Garlic powder
Onion powder
First I put the meat in a bowl and filled it with water then put some vinegar in it. This is supossed to help with the gamey flavor. Let that set a bit then rinse it off, I did this about 4 or 5 times, because I kept seeing blood.
  Next I put the seasonings on the meat, I dont know how much of each type, I just put some on then went to the next one. Dont freak out about the cinnamon it works, trust me. My Aunt Jenny showed me that trick when she cooked a brisket. Also the fajita seasoning is not something I can find around here, I got this from my Aunt in Texas. I stirred it up with my hand and made sure it was all coated.

Then I put it in crock pot, and added a can of rotel, mild, so the kids wouldnt cry that it was hot.

Next I added onion, sliced kinda big, and some more garlic (we like to keep vampires away from us, lol)

Next I put in chicken broth, (because I didnt have beef broth) and water until it was all covered. Cook it on high until the meat shreds easy. It took about 5 hours for mine to get like this.

When the meat was done I took it out and shredded it. I then added brown rice to the liquid left in the crock pot. It was the cooks in 10 minutes kind. It ended up being watery, but I was going to save the leftovers to make soup with the next day, except that I left it on the stove all night! Ugh Im so mad at myself, I left it there to cool and forgot it. Anyway, I served this with black beans and choice of corn or flour tortillas. Toppings were sour cream, cheese and salsa. It was excellent and I mixed the leftover meat and beans in the rice leftovers and would have added a can of corn and maybe some taco seasoning to make the soup with the next day. Let me know if you make this and how it turned out, or if you changed the recipe.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Homemade pizza

My family loves pizza, I dont know many kids that dont. Instead of spending all that money on delivery pizza and wasting my time waiting on it, we make this. I usually have the boys put on the tomato sauce and spices and toppings. We have had some occasions where there are blobs of seasonings that kinda make your eyes water, but we make great memories when we make this pizza. It tastes awesome, and again the recipe is off the back of a package. I always check the back for recipes now. This is off Hodgson mill whole wheat flour. I make this two times in seperate bowls because we love pizza. It makes a cookie sheet sized pizza each time. You can also divide it up to make smaller pizzas.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 pkg dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in water and let sit for about 5 min. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in yeast water mix. Stir well, it gets a little dry and you have to knead in the last bit of flour. Let the dough rest for 15 min in a greased bowl be sure and flip it so its coated. Spray your pan and press dough in it. If you get tears in it its easy to fix them just press the dough back together.
Now I finish the dough by poking lots of little holes in it with a fork so it doesnt get bubbles and push your toppings out of the pan while its cooking. Then I spoon on and spread around tomato sauce. Then we sprinkle on garlic powder, onion powder, and italian seasoning. (which is just herbs) Then we sprinkle on cheese, however much you want, and add assorted toppings. You cook this at about 400 to 425 until the edges of the crust is just browning and it starts to seperate from the pan.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Making suet blocks

I made a suet block for my chickens today, you could use the same process for birds though. I started with an empty milk container.

I then cut the bottom off, making about an inch or so deep so it will fit in a suet hanger.

Then I made my mix. Like the post on chicken treats I started with a fat. I again had sausage grease and some bacon grease. I melted them together and added sunflower seeds, crushed egg shells, scratch, meal worms, some leftover banana from breakfast that I cut up and some pancakes that I also cut up. I then added corn meal until it became pastey and thick. For birds I would use the particular seed for what ever bird you are attracting.

Then I put it in the box.

I had some extra so I put it in ice cube trays. Then you freeze it for a bit until it sets up nice and put it in a zip lock bag. These come in super handy when you need to put the chickens up early and keep them occupied. Im gonna hang this block in the pen next time I need to go somewhere and leave them in the coop. Do you have any special treats you give your chickens?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Homemade goodies for sale

Ok so I am making a list of things I can make and sell. Ill update this periodically and if you dont see something but want it let me know and I will check into the price.

Gluten Free Items:
Cinnamon rolls     $6
Bread, plain          $5

Gluten Filled Items:
Cinnamon rolls    $6
Bread, white        $5
Cinnamon raisin bread $6
Mini loaves of bread $3.50
Cookies most kinds $5

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chicken treats with added protein

My chickens love thier treats, especially now that the bugs and green grass are dying out. So to make up for the lack of protein in thier diet I make treats. I started by keeping some fat from stuff I used, I had sausage grease leftover, but you could use any fat available. I would use a used fat so you dont waste any, like mine was a by product of cooking the sausage. I also had some butter I had put in the microwave to melt for a recipe and forgot about over night, Im smooth I know. I melted the two fats together and ended up with a fair amount.

Next I added some freeze dried meal worms that I got at tractor supply

Is it odd that I think they smell kinda good? Next I added scratch

I also added some sunflower seeds too. The sunflower seeds and the meal worms say on the package that they have 15 percent and 56.58 percent crude protein respectively. You could also add diced meats that you have left over as long as its not rancid. I then added cornmeal until it got grainy looking, and I didnt get a picture taken because I had to take care of Levi. When I came back to the kitchen maybe 30 minutes later it was already setting up, so I figured I had enough cornmeal in it. I then put it in ice cube trays and placed it in the freezer.

I put these in a ziplock bag and keep them in the freezer. My chickens went nuts over these and have layed more eggs since I have upped the protein they get. I have live meal worms that I keep specifically for my turtle and the chickens, but I thought it would be really horrible to put them in this then freeze them, plus what if the crawled out of the tray before they froze? So thats why I used already freeze dried ones. You could also add crushed egg shells in this. I keep my chickens egg shells, not store bought egg shells. If you rinse them out after you use them and let them dry completely you can crush them and feed them back to the chicken for calcium. The store bought eggs have who knows what on the shell so I dont use them.