Thursday, May 30, 2013

diy thursday: refrigerator pickles

This the season for cucumbers. Our friends' gardens are starting to produce vegetables which is a true feat in the desert of Arizona in my opinion. We therefore received some cucumbers and I decided to make some refrigerator pickles.
My husband enjoys pickles so I buy them for him. This year I have tried to not buy items with high fructose corn syrup, which somehow sneaks into everything ... including pickles. Really? It is actually pretty hard to buy pickles that don't have high fructose corn syrup and when you do, it is more expensive. I have been buying some to be nice to Michael, but had decided that I needed to start making my own to save money. Pickling seems like a lot of work and you have to buy canning jars etc. Again, we are trying to save money, so I decided to make refrigerator pickles instead. Refrigerator pickles are super easy, quick and inexpensive to make. To make the project even cheaper, I used old glass jars I had recycled and removed the labels from.
Refrigerator Pickles
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups filtered water
4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
Include in each jar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Dill weed (even though fresh dill would be best)
Slice the cucumbers. I used a mandolin.

Stir the brine ingredients together in a bowl.
To each jar, add the garlic, pepper, mustard seeds, and dill. Add the cucumbers last and add a little more dill.
Fill each jar with the brine. Screw the lids on and let them sit in the refrigerator for at least four days.


Monday, May 27, 2013

milling mondays: spelt carrot waffles

I love breakfast. And I really like comfort foods such as waffles, french toast and pancakes. I don't eat that a lot for breakfast, but really enjoy it when I do. When I do splurge on this kind of breakfast I like to try different variations such as incorporating carrots into waffles. Since starting to mill my own flour I also like trying new kinds of flours other than just whole wheat flour. Being able to mill my own flour allows me to effortlessly mill different kinds of flours without the hassle of trying to track down a special kind of flour at the store and then in turn spending a bunch of money on those special flours. I keep several types of grains on hand and when a recipe calls for a certain kind of flour such as spelt, rice or oat, I can quickly grind those grains into flours and continue baking. This is a good reason to have your own mill. These waffles with carrots and spelt flour are yummy, not too sweet, just right.
Spelt Carrot Waffles
recipe modified from chocolatecoveredkatie
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp agave
1/2 cup shredded carrot (about two medium sized carrots)
2/3 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp
1 tsp vanilla extract
this recipe yields about 4 waffles; just double or triple the recipe to fit your needs

If you mill your own flour, mill about 1/2 cup spelt berries which should give you enough spelt flour for the recipe. I use my WonderMill.

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl (the first 5 ingredients) and then the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Then mix together the dry and wet ingredients.

Pour the waffle batter on the heated and greased waffle maker.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

diy thursday: getting rid of set-in grease stains

A week ago, my husband noticed a grease stain on his shirt. Ugh. I then used stain remover and assumed the stain would be gone after I washed and dried it. It wasn't. Great, now I had really set the stain after drying it!

 I then reached for dawn dishwashing soap which is known for it grease dissolving powers. I rubbed it into the set grease stain and put the shirt in the washing machine.  

And voila, the stain was gone.  Another shirt saved.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

wordless wednesday


Monday, May 20, 2013

milling mondays: homemade muesli

I love muesli. This is a great breakfast choice for me because it is filling (which is super important for me or I get hungry again 30 minutes after breakfast) and completely yummy. There is something perfect about the combination of oats, nuts and dried fruit topped with milk. Together they form an amazing taste in my mouth while providing important nutrients to start the day.

If you mill your own flour, this is also a great recipe to use the bran from your milling.

Homemade Muesli

1 lb rolled oats
1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup raisons
1/2 cup craisons
freshly ground flax seed
chia seeds
milk of choice
and whatever else sounds yummy to you!
When I feature dessert recipes on my blog, I often recommend sifting the freshly milled flour once or twice to get rid of some of the bran (to make the dessert less dense). This bran is FULL of nutrients so don't let it go to waste. This recipe provides a great way to use the bran.

Just sift your freshly milled flour and collect the bran left behind. Use a very fine sift to ensure the bran stays in the sift. I use this one.
Gather all of the yummy ingredients 
Mix all of the ingredients together EXCEPT the ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and milk.
Store them in a container and they are ready to use whenever you crave this yummy muesli.
When you are ready to eat the muesli, grind some flaxseeds (in order to get all the nutrients flax seeds have to offer - grind them right before you use them). Add the freshly ground flax seeds and chia seeds and your milk of choice.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

wordless wednesday


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

girls reunion 2013 cont: sedona

One day during our girls reunion we went to Sedona to explore some of the beautiful sites Arizona has to offer. We had a great time.
Thanks for making the trip out here. I look forward to the next reunion in 2015.

Monday, May 13, 2013

milling mondays: coconut chocolate chip oatmeal cookies


For our 2013 girls reunion, I wanted to make some yummy cookies, but at the same time wanted to be sensitive to the wheat allergy one of the girls has. This crunchy delicious cookie with a hint of coconut and chocolate is made with oat flour making it friendly for my wheat free friend:) (we did find out however that she is able to eat my freshly milled whole wheat bread without a reaction ... makes you wonder what is in store bought flour ...)
Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
 recipe modified from around my family table
3/4 cup oat flour (steel cut oats)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350F.
If you mill your own flour, grind steel cut oats to make oat flour. I use my WonderMill (do not grind rolled oats in this mill).

Combine oat flour, oats, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine butter and sugars.
Add in egg and vanilla and mix together.
Add this mixture to the oat mixture and stir until combined

Finally stir in chocolate chips and coconut.
Scoop the cookie dough onto the cookie baking stone (or cookie sheet).
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes until golden brown edges.
Let the cookies cool on a rack.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy mother's day


thank you for being such an amazing and wonderful mor. i love you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

milling mondays: multigrain breakfast buns (rundstykker)

This is a multigrain version of Danish breakfast buns (rundstykker) I grew up eating in Denmark. Rundstykker literally means round pieces in Danish. We don't try to trick you; as you can see they are in fact round pieces;) Every bakery in Denmark have rundstykker ... and they are yummy. Many danes will get up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and walk or bike to the nearest bakery to buy some just baked, warm rundstykker for breakfast. YUMMM. I miss Danish bakeries. Since I don't have a Danish bakery around the corner I have opted to adopt my mother's multigrain rundstykke recipe.
Danish Breakfast Buns (Rundstykker)


1/4 cup boiling water
1/8 cup rye grains
1/8 cup barley grains
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour (about 2 cups hard white wheat berries)
1/4 cup dry milk
1 packet active dry yeast (2 ½ tsp instant yeast)
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup ground flax seeds
1/8 cup ground hemp seeds
4 Tbsp applesauce
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp diastatic malt (for how to make malt check out my post)
1 cup lukewarm water
 Poppy seeds

This recipe yields 10-12 breakfast buns


Day 1

Combine rye grains, barley grains, and sunflower seeds in a pot. Cover grains/seeds with 1/4 cup boiling water and let it soak over night.

Day 2

Grind about 2 cups of hard white wheat berries. This should yield around 3 ½ cups of whole wheat flour.  I use my WonderMill.

In a glass or small bowl mix yeast with 2 Tbsp lukewarm water and add a little honey to feed/activate the yeast.  Let it sit and work while adding the other ingredients together.
Mix 2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour together with the dry milk.  The rest of the flour will be added later.

Grind and add the flax and hemp seeds (I use my magic bullet, don't use the electrical WonderMill for this).
Then add the apple sauce, honey, salt, and malt.  To read my blog post about how to make diastatic malt please go here.  Malt helps the buns rise, give a great texture, and brown the crust.

Add the soaked grains/seeds from day 1.
Add the proofed yeast to the mixture.
Use the same container the yeast was mixed in to collect the water needed for the recipe. This trick will help include the remaining yeast left on the sides of the container. Add the water to the mixture.
 Mix all the ingredients together. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer.  Once all the ingredients are in the mixer I mix them together using the dough hook on setting 2.  Slowly add the remaining flour if needed until the dough gets the right consistency. You want the dough to be wet, but at the same time you want to use enough flour to allow the dough to come together. Let the mixer mix for about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover it. Let it rise until it is puffy but no more than doubled in bulk. For me that is about 1 hour – but don’t let it rise for more than 2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface and divide and shape the dough into 10-12 buns. Place the buns on a greased cookie sheet and cover. Allow the buns to rise 30 minutes.
Towards the end of the rising time, pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Once the buns are done rising, but before they go in the oven, brush a little water, egg whites or cold coffee on the top of the buns to moisten them and add poppy seeds (they will stick better if the top of the buns are a little moist).  
Bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes.  The finished buns should be about 190F inside.

When the Danish breakfast buns are done remove them from the cookie sheet and let them cool on a rack.

These Danish breakfast buns/rundstykker are moist and delicious AND nutritious. Cut them in half and enjoy them with your favorite topping. Some of my favorite toppings are honey, Nutella, cheese, and jam. YUMM. They are also good as an afternoon snack:) Enjoy!

part of this recipe is loosely based on the whole wheat bread recipe found at King Arthur Flour

girls reunion 2013

As I mentioned in a previous post, I meet up with five of my close college girlfriends every other year to catch up on life and enjoy each other's company. Kids and husbands are left behind and serious girl time is had. We usually meet up where one of us lives, and this year I hosted here in Phoenix. It was fun to have everyone here to see where I live and for them to meet Michael for the first time (Michael even moved out for the extended weekend to give space for the girl invasion:))
I am so thankful for these sweet girls and their friendship. It is great to have honest down-to-earth friends that understand you and care for you.