Category Archives: In the Kitchen

Blender soaked pancakes 

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I know I’m a little too excited about this,  But I’ve never really cared for the traditional pancake. They were just too cake -like for me.  Too soft and fluffy?! Has anyone actually ever made that complaint!?! I always liked waffles better; but not too crunchy. I like that this recipe has a bit of chew to it and its good for you! ! I’m sure it’d be great as waffles too!

These pancakes are made with whole, wheat berries! It seems easy enough to find a heritage organic variety. And since I don’t have a way to grind my own flour; this is awesome!!!


I saw a video done by Stacy @humoroushomemaking. (She blogs about homemaking.) She made the full recipe, including some cooking tips. She sent us over to visit http://www.melskitchencafe.com to find the recipe. The link to the original is HERE. I have gone ahead and tweaked mine with yogurt because I never have buttermilk on hand or the cows milk to make my own. So here is what I’ve done….

In the blender add…

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1 cup yogurt (plain or flavored. Greek or otherwise)

Blend for 3 minutes. Add…

  •  1/2 cup milk (any kind -I used vanilla almond milk)

Blend for 2 more minutes and then add…

  • 2 lrg eggs
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar (any sweetener should work)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 cup of melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp ground flax

Blend till smooth.

Fry in oiled skillet as usual. Enjoy

 

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OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN CAKE

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Be sure that the 2 1/2-quart souffle dish you plan to use will fit into your 5-quart slow cooker before proceeding.

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I use my frozen puree – thawed & drained)
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  12. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  13. 3/4 cup pecans *as mentioned above,  I used walnuts

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Blend well. Stir in the pecans. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2 quart round souffle dish. Carefully place the souffle dish in a 5 quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. (Do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time.)

Remove the lid and turn the cooker off. Leave the cake in the cooker until the dish is cool enough to handle. Remove from the cooker.

 

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How I bake in a crock pot

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I’ve been curious about using a crock pot to bake desserts for quite awhile now. BUT….

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I never quite knew how to make it work. Do I bake directly in the crock or do I need a special insert? Also the sizes of crock pots are confusing; so I just started going through the cupboard to make a match…and then hoped the batter didn’t over flow!

I found some really good looking recipes in a crock pot book I have and I knew I had to figure this out; because 

  • a) they sound easy and delicious
  • b) I have other multi tasking things I could be doing while it bakes
  • c)  we try to conserve propane as much as possible (an RV oven sucks a lot)

We now live in a place where it costs a LOT more to buy propane than at our old place, so we try to cook with our power appliances as much as possible. I have a turkey roaster that I can bake 3 loaves of bread in. I also do cookies and muffins in it but it is large and cumbersome. So the smaller crock pot and relaxed nature of slow cooking has been enjoyable for me. I’m addicted. These recipes keep turning out amazing. They are moist and tasty and never disappoint.


So… here is my solution. I put my old corning ware dish into the slow cooker. It sort of floats there and then I just use the crock pot lid. So far the 3 recipes that I made fit in the dish perfectly. I have ended up increasing the cook time just to be sure of a thorough bake.

I made sure to check the middle for doneness.  The edges got dark but this pumpkin cake was very moist! And as a side note… I used a fair amount of walnuts and they tasted better than usual! We are not huge walnut fans but even Mr. Evolving noticed the better flavor. I’m not sure if it was the increased time in the batter causing a bit of a soak?  If you try it, be sure to comment with your findings.

So play around with your dishes and see what fits. Hopefully it works for everyone!  I feel like I may have just gotten lucky? Hopefully you have the same luck.
I’m sharing the pumpkin recipe today but need to make the others and get some pictures. Okay here’s a teaser . .. Orange chocolate pudding cake ☺ and a cobbler! oh so good! Stay tuned!

 

OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN CAKE

Be sure that the 2 1/2-quart souffle dish you plan to use will fit into your 5-quart slow cooker before proceeding.

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I use my frozen puree – thawed & drained)
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  12. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  13. 3/4 cup pecans *as mentioned above,  I used walnuts

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Blend well. Stir in the pecans. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2 quart round souffle dish. Carefully place the souffle dish in a 5 quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. (Do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time.)

Remove the lid and turn the cooker off. Leave the cake in the cooker until the dish is cool enough to handle. Remove from the cooker.

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. To dress up this moist cake, reminiscent of a steamed Pudding, top slices with whipped cream flavored with a little orange zest or Grand Marnier. Or sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar before slicing.

Wonton Soup 

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Wonton Soup 

I’ve been making this soup for about 5 or 6 years now. A friend insisted I come over so she could show me how.  I wasn’t sure my family would be into this kind of food but it’s always good to expand your knowledge in the kitchen and keep food boredom at bay. SO, we made wontons.


It was a huge hit! And is still a family favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have any Chinese cabbage this time so I added broccoli and shredded carrots.  

Here is a picture of what I usually use…

WONTON SOUP 

For the wontons…

  1. 1-2 pounds of raw ground pork
  2. Minced water chestnuts (1/3 can)
  3. Minced shrimp (handful) note: I have never used shrimp
  4. 2 minced green onions
  5. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  6. 1 garlic clove (minced)
  7. 1 pkg wonton wrappers

Mix all together really well. Place 1/2-1 tsp of meat mixture on wrapper and close ends together. I just gather corners and pinch tight.

BROTH

Any type of broth is good. I prefer the tetra packs of chicken broth. It gives a nice clean consistent flavor.

Pour 1 carton of broth and about twice as much water into a large pot.

Note: if you use up all the pork and wrappers; you will have a lot of wontons. I have to use both of my large pots with double the broth to cook all wontons. Otherwise I just freeze the extra wontons.

  • Now add salt and pepper to taste. We ran into an older Asian man in the grocery store once and he suggested using white pepper. So if you have that on hand, this is a great time to use it!
  • Add 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
  • Bring to a boil and add chopped suey choy (Chinese cabbage), the rest of the can of water chestnuts(chopped) and the raw shrimp. If using precooked shrimp add them later with the wontons.
  • Cook for 10 minutes
  • Add wontons to boiling broth and cook until they float to the top. (cooking longer will result in soggy falling apart wrappers. and yes the meat is cooked!)
  • Remove from heat and serve as is or  add some chopped green onion and soya sauce to your bowl (we recommend fermented soy sauce. our favorite is kikkoman)

I added some of my “personal experience” notes because we had a lot of questions when first making this. Working with raw pork was new and seemed dangerous somehow. lol My husband is terrified of cross contamination and under cooked meat. (Ive rushed him to the hospital on account of his Bbq mishap involving chicken..food poisoning does not look pleasant! Even got pulled over for that one!)

SO, give this a go and let me know what you think.  You may want to invite people over …it makes a lot! And it’s ALWAYS nice to have extra wonton pinchers!

 

Update: I just made more soup. This time I used beef broth, the recommended cabbage and the frozen wontons. It turned out great. I made sure to cook the frozen wontons a little extra so that there was a good boil and I knew they were cooked.

Schnitz Pie

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Schnitz Pie

This apple pie is smothered in sour cream! Say what?! Yes. You read that right. I was skeptical but curious. And quite frankly,  a little afraid of the extra calories. After all, it is topped with sugar. BUT, I had to try it! Much to my delight, it was totally worth it. And not at all sour cream tasting. Oh and that crispy crunchy topping? mmm

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Here is the full excerpt of this recipe from the old recipe book. (From Prairie Kitchens by Emmie Oddie)-as shown here in a previous post about my love of old books.

SCHNITZ PIE (Pennsylvania Dutch)

In 1800 Mennonite families from Pennsylvania settled in the forest on the banks of Grand River, Waterloo County, Ontario. At that time dried apples were used in Schnitz pie but today fresh apples add a zesty appeal to this traditional dessert.

  • 1   9-inch (22.5 cm) pie shell, unbaked
  • 5  cups apples, peeled, quartered
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
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Apparently I missed the part about arranging them “attractively” hahaha And peeling! But those are crab apples….so… not gonna do it 🙂 It’s more rustic this way. I like it!

  1. Prepare pie shell.
  2. Arrange apples attractively in pie shell.
  3. Pour sour cream all over apples.
  4. Mix flour, butter, cinnamon; sprinkle over pie.
  5. Bake at 325 F (160 C) about 45 minutes until apples are cooked and custard is firm.
  6. Yield: 6 servings

Yes you read that right… it makes a custard!!

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Lacto-fermented Roasted-tomato Salsa

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Ingredients:

2 lbs. roma tomatoes (8-10) cut in 1/2

4 large garlic cloves-not peeled, smashed

1 medium onion-thick rings

2 jalapenos-whole

1 small bunch cilantro

2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ,Mexican oregano

pinch cayenne

1 tbsp. sea salt

4 tbsp. whey

  • Place tomatoes cut side up, along with other veggies on a baking tray.
  • Broil at 500 degrees and check every 5 minutes.
  • Put peppers in a Ziploc to “steam”. Peel skins and remove seeds.
  • Mince all veggies (peel garlic)

Add the rest of the ingredients and put into mason jars.

Leave on counter for 2 days. Eat it up, share with friends, and refrigerate any remaining. Salsa will continue to ferment slowly. It takes on a fizziness which you may like, or you may be calling everyone to the kitchen to help you eat it up.

Note: I do not care for cilantro, so I just leave it out.

Enjoy. It’s one of my favorites!

 

 

Whole Wheat Flax Bread

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A FAVORITE AMONG THE MASSES =45% whole wheat.

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This original recipe makes about 70% whole wheat. I decided to make it less; about 45%. This makes for a happy medium for everyone in the house.

My husband often goes for groceries without me. This last time, he brought home traditional yeast. So I add it to the warm water till frothy. I am going to type out the recipe as written, even though I have never added the yeast to flour. So please adjust to suit your preferences.

 

WHOLE WHEAT FLAX BREAD

MAKE 4 LOAVES       BAKE AT 375 FOR 25-30 MINUTES.

Put in large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve:

1/4 cup oil (canola, grapeseed or olive)

3 tsp. salt

1/4 cup sugar (white, brown or honey)

2 cups hot water

Add: 2 cups cold water to cool down mixture

Stir in:

4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flax

2 tbsp. yeast

Stir in: 2 cups whole wheat flour (this is where I just used white)

Then slowly work in: 3 cups white flour

Dough will be sticky.

Let rise  hour.

Punch down and let rise again.

Punch down and separate into 4 pieces.

Flatten dough into a rectangle and roll up into loaf shape.

Place in bread pan seam side down.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 min.

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Rich Beet Chocolate Cake

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I’m guessing a lot of you have fresh garden beets this time of year. I was given a sack of huge beets and needed to make something other than beet borscht. I found this simple cake from Anna Olson at the food network. Find the full recipe here.

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The cake calls for cooked shredded beets. So I shredded the beets on the small side of my box grater and then covered with water in a pot and boiled gently for awhile. I then strained the water in a measuring cup and added enough water to make the amount of water it called for. Then I measured out the beets I needed. I think thats why my cake has so much more color than hers. That is of course up to you. Maybe you already have cooked beets in the fridge. Then just shred them and use water like she says.

It bakes up fudgy and quite yummy. We added a thin layer of icing and topped it with cooked beets and coconut for color.

Enjoy. My family did.
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My daughter spreading the icing she made 🙂

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