Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Kitchen Kneads in Ogden, UT has wheat grinders for a GREAT deal! They have a few that were slightly damaged for $200!!! They still have a FULL warranty! There are also some with only damaged boxes, and I believe those are only $240!!! They are normally 259.99. There are only a few left. Remember...they all come with a complete warranty!!!

See what I'm making to celebrate the holiday!!! Isn't it cute...and healthier than most desserts. I am going to make the Rich, Delicious Chocolate Cake tonight, let it cool, cover it and save it until tomorrow...believe it or not it will be just as good!!! So, tomorrow, since we are actually celebrating our holiday on the 3rd this year, I'll whip up my buttercream frosting and frost it. Then place the blueberries and strawberries on it about five minutes before serving (or the juices will run onto the cake and make it ugly). If you are doing your festivities on the 4th, just make the cake tomorrow and do the rest on Sunday. This is SO CUTE and SO DELICIOUS!!!

This cake is truly fantastic. I have made it for so many people and not ONE person could tell there was wheat. I have then had friends make it for people and not ONE person that my friends made it for could tell there was wheat in it. I will NEVER use another chocolate cake mix again, when this one is SO AWESOME and SO MUCH HEALTHIER!!! (until you add the frosting!!!)

Rich, Delicious Chocolate Cake

1 C buttermilk
½ C vegetable oil
2 C sugar
½ C applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1¾ C whole wheat flour
¾ C cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 C boiling water

Preheat oven to 315 degrees. Grease and flour 9X13 pan. Mix buttermilk, oil, sugar, applesauce and vanilla. Add eggs and mix until well blended. Mix together, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients. Bring 1 C water to a boil and stir into the cake mix. Mix for 1 ½ minutes until well-blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. When cool, frost with Fluffy White, Buttercream Frosting. Five minutes before serving line up 48 blueberries in rows 8 on the top, 6 down. Then slice the strawberries in half and line them up end to end to make the stripes (make sure they are all facing the same way). SO CUTE!!!

Fluffy, White Buttercream Frosting

5 sticks butter
9 C powdered sugar
3 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Two hours before preparing frosting, get 5 sticks of butter out of refrigerator. Whip butter for several minutes until creamy and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 C at a time, beating the entire time. Keep beating until frosting is very thick. Add milk and vanilla and beat.
Note: If frosting seems too thick, add an additional tablespoon of milk.

As for the suckers...well, there is no wheat, they are just cute. Since I usually post something fun to do with your kids on Fridays, I thought I would post this as an option for kids to make if you are having a 4th of July party at your house or going to a big get-together where there will be lots of children. Kids LOVE making these are they are easy and fun!!!

Fourth of July Suckers

Jolly rancher candies
Sucker sticks
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put three jolly ranchers in a vertical line, touching each other. (You can do this as many as will fit AS LONG AS YOU HAVE ROOM TO PUT THE SUCKER STICKS IN THE BOTTOM!!!) Melt in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and press sucker stick into the bottom of the sucker (you want at least ¾ -1 in of sucker stick inside the sucker). Roll the sucker stick completely around until the whole stick is coated in melted sucker. Add sprinkles or colored sugars while still hot. Let cool until solid (at least 10 minutes). We then wrap them in sucker bags and tie them with ribbon. Kids LOVE these and they can do ALMOST all of it by themselves!!!

FYI...this dessert is great for Memorial Day, Labor Day, Flag Day, or if you live in Utah the 2
4th of July. You could also make the Ooey Gooey Not-So-Wheaty Brownies instead of chocolate cake (it is in the dessert segment of my blog)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Whole Wheat Cornbread

I LOVE cornbread and this cornbread is delicious! The whole pan was devoured in about 45 minutes. I actually had to swat the kids away from it just to save a piece for my husband. The great thing about it is...of is 100% whole wheat. I used to feel like cornbread was like "healthy" cake, until I actually made it and realized it wasn't even "healthy" cake. It was just "cake" that we call "bread" to make us feel better about eating it with our beans and soups. Now, however, although there is a fair amount of sugar in this cornbread, I feel that the whole wheat aspect somewhat levels out the sugar aspect. So, anyway, enough babbling about is the recipe. This is a recipe found in my cookbook...which is temporarily out of stock, but should be back in stock in a few days.

Whole Wheat Cornbread

13⁄4 C whole wheat flour (freshly ground or sifted if previously ground)

3⁄4 C corn meal

1 T baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/3 C butter, softened

3⁄4 C sugar

1 C milk

1⁄2 C buttermilk

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, corn meal, baking powder, and salt together. Cream butter and sugar. Add milk, buttermilk, eggs and yolk to wet ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in dry ingredients and beat for about 1 minute on medium speed until well-mixed. Pour into a greased 9X9 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Rub butter all over the hot cornbread.

Fun cornbread tips:

If you don't have cornmeal in your cupboard, which happens to me can actually grind unpopped popcorn in your wheat grinder and you have the perfect cornmeal!!!

If you are out of buttermilk, simply put 1/2 C milk and 1/2 T white vinegar in a cup. Mix them and set them aside for about 5 minutes. Add this in place of the buttermilk.

I did both of these last night when making my cornbread and it was fabulous!

The cheapest, simplest and one of the healthiest meals around...

There are days when I know we are going to be gone most of the day. These "busy" days require a meal that is quick and easy and requires VERY little preparation. For these days, my "go-to" recipe is Ham and Pinto Bean Soup. Sounds plain, I know, and it is, but delicious. It has very few calories and is loaded with fiber! It has only 5 ingredients and requires maybe 5 minutes of preparation time. However, I've never made this bean soup without rave reviews.

One thing contributing to the ease of this meal is the fact that the meat is previously cooked and chopped. After major holiday dinners, I have A LOT of leftover ham. I cut up the ham and then freeze it. When I decide to make my bean soup, I simply pull out as much ham as I want and throw it frozen into the pot with my beans. It was by this method that I found the secret ingredient that makes this bean soup so delicious. I used a Honeybaked Ham. I know, I know, Honeybaked Ham is expensive, but I didn't purchase it. Well, this type of ham made the best bean soup ever...why???...this is the secret ingredient...brown sugar. I don't know why the brown sugar alights every flavor in the soup, but it perfectly enhances the flavor of the beans and spices to give it the most wonderful taste.

Okay, so now I have to add that I don't have a "real" recipe for this soup, but I have definite guidelines for you to follow. Here they are:

Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

5 C pinto beans (rinsed and drained)

Place the pinto beans in a large crockpot. Fill the crockpot with water (you may have to add more later, but if you fill it to about 1 1/2 in. from the top you should be okay)

1/4 C brown sugar
garlic salt
onion powder (or do onion salt and don't add much salt later)
ham (cut into bite-sized pieces)
salt to taste (just keep on trying until it is right)

So, here are the directions. Add pinto beans, water, brown sugar, garlic salt (about 4-5 shakes or so) and the same amount of onion salt and as much ham as you would like to a crockpot. Turn it on low and let it cook all day (about 6-8 hours). When you return from your day full of craziness, check on your beans. Taste will probably need to add a few more shakes of garlic salt and onion salt and taste it again. You will know when you have just the right amount because the flavor will "pop".

With can serve my Whole Wheat Cornbread...which is exactly what we had for dinner last night.

I'll give out my cornbread recipe with some tips in my next post. Until then, go buy some beans and ham get ready for the easiest meal you've ever made.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another 100% HEALTHY hot cereal

Now that we know a lot of those "healthy" hot cereals out there are a bit less than "healthy", we need more choices for breakfast. Remember my dear sweet friend, the Nine-Grain Cereal...well this fabulously nutritious cereal is very easy to make and yummy, too. My children literally devoured it and loved every bite of it. You can see the many types of grains in this picture. The nine grains are: red wheat, white wheat, rye, barley, steel-cut oats, corn, millet, flaxseed and buckwheat. You can't beat that combination for a whole-grain start to your morning!!! It is prepared in exactly the same manner as the Hot, Creamy Ground Wheat Cereal.

Hot, Creamy Ground Nine-Grain Cereal

1 C coarsely ground nine-grain cereal flour

4 C water

Pinch of salt

Grind 1 C wheat in a coffee grinder (so it is coarser) on one of the coarsest settings until evenly ground. Mix one cup of ground wheat flour and 2 ½ C water in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly and adding 1/2 C water every couple of minutes. Makes 5 C of creamy cereal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's in your "Healthy" hot cereals???

If you are like me and had very well-meaning, concerned mothers, you ate a lot of "healthy" hot cereal as a child. Hmmm...what was really in that hot cereal? Let's examine that. I'll try not to name names, but the hot cereals I ate, advertised right on the front of the box an ingredient called "enriched farina". First, lets discuss farina...what is it? Farina is made from some of the germ and endosperm of the wheat. Hmmm...what is missing? Well, the rest of the germ and the bran!!! Some of these cereals even BLEACH the farina!!! So, why are the germ and bran so important? Well, here is a simple little tutorial on wheat...

The wheat kernal is composed of three main parts.

The germ is the smallest part of the wheat kernal. It is removed to create white flour. It contains: B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

The endosperm is the biggest part of the wheat kernal. It has the most protein and contains complex carbohydrates and B vitamins.

The bran is the outside of the kernel and contains almost all of the fiber. It contains magnesium, B vitamins, iron and zinc.

Whole wheat products leave both the bran and the germ in tact. The bran and the germ are removed while processing flour to make it white.

So, in those "healthy" cereals...we have eliminated many B vitamins, iron, and fiber. So, what do companies do to remedy this problem? They "enrich" it by artificially adding back some of those nutrients. So, if our parents fed us these cereals, believing they were filling our little bellies with whole grain cereals, how can we avoid being duped with our own kids? First of all, make sure the first ingredient is WHOLE wheat flour. If it says enriched wheat flour, bleached wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour...chances are it is NOT WHOLE wheat. Its tricky, I know, but just make sure it is WHOLE wheat. It will usually advertise on the front when it is 100% whole wheat.

OR...YOU COULD JUST MAKE IT AT HOME!!! This is a recipe that will be in my next cookbook. I made it this morning and it is DELICIOUS and has ALL parts of the wheat kernal. Oh, and only 77 calories per cup!!!

Hot, Creamy Ground Wheat Cereal

1 C coarsely ground whole wheat flour

4 C water

Pinch of salt

Grind 1 C wheat in a coffee grinder on one of the coarsest settings until evenly ground. Mix one cup of ground wheat flour and 2 ½ C water in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly and adding 1/2 C water every couple of minutes. Makes 5 C of creamy cereal.