Cheesy Tomato Basil Fish & Rice

I have tomatoes in abundance right now. And if I don’t use them up soon, they’ll be too ripe for anything other than sauces. So this is another one of those “gotta use it up!” recipes.

WARNING: I have changed this recipe slightly since I made it. The rice wasn’t done (I actually followed the rice directions from a recipe, too!), so I have adjusted the cooking time.

Whole Foods and Your Health, Part 4: Food Coloring

I finally got around to posting part 4. I have somewhere around 5 more posts to go in this series; I’ll get them all up eventually! Today’s post is about artificial food coloring.
       A. Additives
             1. MSG
             2. Preservatives
                 a. BHA and BHT
                 b. Aluminum
                 c. Nitrates and Nitrites
            3. Food Coloring

Food coloring: it’s so pretty. There’s nothing like baking at Christmas and using your reds and greens to dress up those desserts. And what about those birthday cakes? It’s even in some juice! Continue reading Whole Foods and Your Health, Part 4: Food Coloring

Making Chinese Dumplings

The wife of my church’s missionary to China taught my mom, sister, aunt, and me how to make dumplings yesterday. She made Danny, Bella, and me dumplings after I had Declan. They are delicious! She very kindly offered to teach us all-American cooks how to make a Chinese dish. I took (practically) billions of pictures and a few videos. And I’m still not so sure I can make them without her. Continue reading Making Chinese Dumplings

Seasoned Steak Fries

One of my favorite meals(notice I said one. I have many favorites.) is steak fries with cheese and salad. But it takes so long to cut the fries. And they’re never perfectly even, so they don’t all finish baking at the same time. But now we have a slicer!

Danny sliced the potatoes and I cut them into strips. So much easier than before! We shred cheese over our serving of fries right after they come out of the oven. There’s little better than cheesy fries with ketchup.

Continue reading Seasoned Steak Fries

Black Bean Quesadillas

Yesterday evening was an “oh-great-supper-needs-to-be-ready-soon-and-I-don’t-have-a-plan” night. I took a quick refrigerator, freezer, and pantry inventory. I had tomatoes from the garden that needed to be used, like, last week. I had a ton of tortillas from Friday’s crazy, “Hey! Why don’t I make fifty homemade tortillas in the two hours I have before supper?” I had frozen black beans in the freezer. And, as always, I had cheese. Logical conclusion? Black Bean Quesadillas!

Continue reading Black Bean Quesadillas

Grinding Grain with a Vita Mix

My mother bought a new Vita Mix a little over two years ago. I was in love. It’s like a blender on steroids! When I started grinding my own grain, I would go to her house and use her Vita Mix. I couldn’t afford one myself, nor could I afford a grain mill. But I was happy just having freshly ground flour.

On the way to the chiropractor one day, I stopped at a local thrift store. In the kitchen section was (gasp!) a Vita Mix! Not as new or as beautiful as my mothers, but  a Vita Mix nonetheless. It was priced at $18.

I didn’t have $18 with me. I knew it was worth that, so I asked the lady if she would hold it for me so I could run to the bank. There was an ATM about five minutes from the thrift store, so it wouldn’t have been a huge trip. She said no. She explained that they “didn’t hold things for customers anymore.” I drove to the ATM, praying the whole way that the Vita Mix would still be at the store when I returned. Ten minutes later, armed with cash, I walked back to the kitchen area of the thrift store. I’m sure I sighed audibly. The Vita Mix was right where I left it. Let’s just say I had quite the praise be to God session after leaving the store! Continue reading Grinding Grain with a Vita Mix

Soaked Flour Whole Wheat Bread (Recipe!)

The reason why I soak my grains is explained in “Is Your Flour Wet?” a free e-book available from Kitchen Stewardship.  I’m not going to take the time to re-write the whole explanation now. Suffice it to say that soaking your grains/flour begins the process of breaking them down so our bodies can better use the nutrients available in the grains.

When I make bread, I really make bread. I soak enough flour to make about 9-10 loaves at a time. My newest plan is soaking my flour, then separating 3 cup portions into individual loaf pans and freezing them.  Before, I made the dough into loaves after the first rising and froze those loaves before the second rising. When I want bread, I thaw one portion per loaf on the counter. I allow it to come to room temperature, then proceed with adding the yeast mixture.  I will first give the recipe that I follow. At the bottom of this post I will put a smaller recipe. The pictures show exactly how things should look. If you haven’t made bread before, DEFINITELY make the smaller recipe first!!! Continue reading Soaked Flour Whole Wheat Bread (Recipe!)