Friday, June 21, 2013

milling mondays: whole wheat mango cake


This is a great recipe to adjust to include whatever fruit that may be in season. My parents have a mango tree and they have LOTS of mangos. They make mango everything ... including mango cake. I like mangos and the freshness of this cake so I got a hold of this recipe from my mom. This cake tastes light and airy and making it whole wheat doesn't change the taste at all and instead just packs in extra nutrition.
Whole Wheat Mango Cake (or other fruit)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 pound mangoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (1/3 hard wheat berries and 2/3 soft wheat berries)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Cut up the mangoes and  squeeze half the lemon juice over the mangos and set aside.
If you mill your own flour, mill 1 cup soft wheat berries and 1/2 cup hard wheat berries. I use the pastry setting on my WonderMill.  Since this is a dessert dough, sift the flour twice removing some of the bran in order to make it less dense.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a different bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar together on medium until light and fluffy (for about 3 minutes).
Then beat the eggs in one at a time.
Add the vanilla.
Finally add the flour mixture to the bowl  and mix on low until the batter just comes together.

Grease or use parchment paper in a 9x13 pan and spread the batter in the pan.
Wrap it and let it chill for at least 20 minutes.
While it is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Once the batter is chilled, arrange the mangoes over the batter.
Squeeze the remaining lemon juice evenly over the mangos.
In a bowl, mix the cinnamon with 1 Tbs sugar and then sprinkle it over the mangos.
 Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is set.
Cool the cake on a cooling rack.
Enjoy! Remember you can substitute the mangos for another fruit if you prefer. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

diy thursday: baking soda dishwasher bombs

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I clean my dishwashing machine about once a month to avoid dirty residue on dishes. Many bloggers also recommend running a cycle with baking soda. I didn't like having to run two cycles without dishes, so when I came across how to clean your dishwasher with a baking-soda bomb on Pinterest, I thought I would give it a try. This way I can clean my dishwasher with both vinegar and baking soda in one cycle.  This project is super easy, inexpensive and completely natural.
2 cups baking soda
3 TBS hydrogen peroxide
15-20 drops essential oil (I used lemon)

Combine the ingredients and mix together until it has the consistency of wet sand.

Use an ice cream scooper (or large spoon) to mold the baking soda bombs. Gently release them onto a piece of parchment paper.

Let them dry overnight and they are ready to use. I store mine in some recycled glass jars.
When you are ready to clean your dishwasher, simply place 2 cups of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher as described in this post and then add one baking soda dishwashing bomb on the bottom rack. Run one dishwashing cycle (without any dishes) and then your dishwasher should be completely sparkling clean and ready to use, leaving no dirty residue on your dishes.
The reason this combination works so well is because, as I have mentioned before, white vinegar is a great cleaning agent as it breaks down bacteria and dirt while also killing mold and mildew. Baking soda neutralizes odors and is a gentle scouring agent.  Likewise, hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial and antifungal and is also a great bleaching agent. The essential oil gives a fresh scent and lemon is of course known to also kill bacteria. Together these non-toxic cleaning agents clean super well.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

wordless wednesday


Monday, June 17, 2013

milling mondays: my favorite homemade pizza

I love dried figs and goat cheese. They are so yummy. So it is no wonder that they made it onto my homemade pizza. I absolutely love the taste of this pizza. The combination of red onion (I'm not even a big onion fan), spinach, dried fig and goat cheese creates such a wonderful taste on a freshly milled whole wheat crust. YUMM.
Finding the perfect homemade pizza crust can be difficult (at least I have found that to be true). Often homemade pizza dough can become very sticky and hard to manage (which equals lots of frustration by me and my lack of patience). But I found a great recipe from a fellow Grain Mill Wagon blogger for Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. 
My Favorite Homemade Pizza
Pizza dough
Check out the whole wheat pizza dough ingredients here.
The only change I made to the ingredients was using coconut sugar instead of evaporated cane crystals (and I am sure you can use brown sugar as well). And I use onion powder instead of onion salt. Also, if you don't mill your own flour yet, you can use whole wheat flour.
yields two pizza crusts
Toppings (for one pizza)
1/2 medium size red onion (or a whole if you love onion:)
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh organic baby spinach
5-7 dried frigs
Goat Cheese
I use the mixer method described in the recipe. In a bowl I mix the freshly milled flour ground in my WonderMill with the yeast. I add the rest of the ingredients in my KitchenAid mixer. Once it is mixed together I add one cup of the flour mixture in at a time.
It takes my dough about an hour to double in size when covered and put in a warm place. When it is done rising, split the dough in half since it yields two pizza crusts. One pizza is enough for Michael and I, so I usually freeze half the dough. This dough freezes really well. I usually wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then in foil before putting it in a freezer safe zip top bag. When I am ready to use the frozen dough I just take it out of the freezer and let it defrost and then it is as good as freshly made.
The great thing about this pizza crust dough is that it is very pliable. You don't even need a rolling pin. You can just use your hands to stretch out the dough on your pizza stone/pan. I use my beloved pampered chef pizza stone. I sprinkle a little corn meal on the stone to make sure the dough doesn't stick. Using a fork, prick the dough to enable the steam to escape while baking (and not end up with a lovely pizza wart).
Pre-heat the oven to 450F.
While the oven is preheating go ahead and place the naked pizza crust in the oven to blind bake it. The crust takes longer to bake than the toppings so this gives it a head start.
Meanwhile cut up the onion and sauté over medium high heat until translucent. Then add some balsamic vinegar to taste and stir, cooking it another 3-5 minutes.
Slice the dried figs into smaller pieces.

Once the oven is pre-heated the crust is probably done pre baking. Remove it from the oven. Once the onions are done cooking spread them over the pizza crust.
Then add the spinach on top, then the figs, and finally sprinkle on the goat cheese.
Let the pizza bake for about 10 minutes.
And voila! It is ready to eat. So yummy.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

happy father's day

happy father's day, far!
thank you for being such an incredible far.
i am so thankful for you and love you very much.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

diy thursday: homemade natural soft scrub cleaner

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I clean my top loading washing machine monthly to kill bacteria growing in there. It is pretty gross that the machine that is supposed to wash our clothes and make them clean harbors so much dirt itself. Yuck. Even with the bleach and vinegar cycles, dirt it still left behind (see pictures below). It is pretty gross. The dirt had become ingrained in the white plastic. Not cool.
To fix the problem I decided to make my own natural soft scrub cleaner to remove this dirt. The cleaner works like magic! I had tried using an all purpose cleaner (after already putting it through a bleach and vinegar cycle) and it didn't work. But this concoction worked immediately. I could just wipe it off with a damp rag and it was gone ... like magic. It is super easy and inexpensive to make.
6 T Baking Soda
2 T Pure Castile Soap
1 1/2 t water

Mix all of the ingredients together into a paste.
Rub the paste on the dirty area and wipe off with a damp sponge/rag.
And voila! The dirt is gone.

You can of course use this natural soft scrub to clean many things in your home.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

wordless wednesday


Monday, June 10, 2013

milling mondays: whole wheat carrot cake

As you may have noticed, I like carrots and try to incorporate these veggies into desserts. And this refreshing moist carroty cake gives evidence why I like the combination.
Whole Wheat Carrot Cake 
recipe modified from

1 cup whole wheat flour (2/3 soft wheat berries and 1/3 hard wheat berries)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes


Preheat the oven to 350F.
If you mill your own flour, grind 2/3 soft wheat berries and 1/3 hard wheat berries. I use the pastry setting on my WonderMill. Sift the flour once to make the cake less dense.
In a bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, oil and eggs. I use my KitchenAid with the paddle attachment on setting 2.
Mix in the dry ingredients
Fold in the carrots and coconut.

Pour the batter into a 9x13 parchment lined (or greased) cake pan.

Bake the cake for about 35 minutes.

Let the cake cool. Add your favorite frosting. I prefer a cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

happy birthday caleb

happy birthday caleb! we can't believe you are six already!
thanks for coming to visit us a couple of months ago:)
love, uncle buck and auntie signe

Monday, June 3, 2013

milling mondays: danish rye bread with dried fruit, seeds and nuts

As mentioned in my previous post about Danish rye bread (or as we call it, rugbroed), Danish rye bread is a Danish food stable. Most Danes will eat Danish rye bread for lunch (and sometimes for dinner too). Most Danes can't imagine a life without rye bread:) That being said, there are many types of Danish rye bread. I already featured a traditional Danish rye bread recipe on this blog, but here is a more adventurous version of Danish rye bread, which includes dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Another wonderful aspect of this recipe is that the sourdough starter only takes 3 hours instead of 3 days to make. This is great if you haven't planned ahead (or if you don't already have a sourdough starter ready waiting for you from the last time you made rye bread). Since most Danes eat rye bread everyday, it is always nice to have different types of rye breads in your arsenal to spice things up. I am sure this wont be my last rye bread recipe on this blog.
Danish Rye Bread with Dried Fruit, Seeds and Nuts (Rugbroed)
Sourdough Starter
15g yeast
1 dl lukewarm water
2dl plain yogurt
200g whole wheat flour (hard wheat berries)
Rye Bread
Sourdough starter
9 dl lukewarm water
3 Tbsp salt
200g whole wheat flour (hard wheat berries)
400g rye flour (rye berries)
550g cracked rye berries
1 bottle dark beer
1 Tbsp honey
300g flax seeds, roughly ground
200g sunflower seeds
250g dates, roughly chopped
200g raisons
150g blanched almonds, roughly chopped or slivered
yields 2-4 loaves depending on size
Sourdough Starter
As I mentioned above, the wonderful thing about this recipe is that the sourdough starter only takes 3 hours.
If you mill your own flour, grind the hard wheat berries (to save time you can go ahead and mill enough hard wheat berries for both the sourdough starter and the rye bread, i.e. 400g). I use my WonderMill.
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and then mix in the yogurt and flour.
Let the sourdough starter rest in a warm place for about 3 hours until it starts to bubble a little.
Rye Bread
Once the sourdough starter is ready, it is time to combine the rye bread ingredients needed for day 1.
If you mill your own flour, grind 400g rye berries.
Next, combine the freshly milled rye flour and whole wheat flour, lukewarm water, 2 Tbsp salt, 350g cracked rye berries and the sourdough starter.
Once everything is combined, let the rye bread dough rise for 24 hours. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Pour the beer over the rye bread dough from day 1. Let it soak into the dough
Mix the dough and beer together.
Grind the flax seeds a little bit. In order to get the full nutritional benefits of the flax seeds, grind them right before you need them. This rye bread recipe does play on the different textures, so don't completely pulverize the flaxseeds when you grind them.

Add the dates, raisons, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and 200g cracked rye berries, plus 1 Tbsp salt and honey and  mix it all together.
Remove about 300g of the rye bread dough and set aside to use as the sourdough starter the next time you make this recipe. Store it in the fridge in a closed container. Note, this means you don't have to make the sourdough starter from scratch the next time.
Pour the rye bread dough into 2-4 bread pans (depending on the size).
Let the rye bread rise for at least 5 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 395F.
Bake the rye bread for about 1 1/2  hours.
Danish rye bread is dense and its crust can become quite hard. In order to remedy this, take the warm bread and wrap it in a kitchen towel and place it in a bpa free plastic bag/zip top bag.
Let the bread cool in the bag while the moisture softens the crust.
Let the bread sit in the bag overnight before you cut it.
Enjoy this lovely twist on the traditional Danish rye bread recipe. Add the typical wonderful toppings