Whole Wheat Biscuits and Pot Pie Crust

These are really versitile. I usually don't roll them out, I just do drop biscuits and it works fine!
2 cups spring whole wheat flour (white whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk or heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/2 cup butter melted

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bag or bowl and shake well to combine. Add in the butter and cut well. Add in the milk or cream and blend until well combined...don't over mix. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Drop biscuits by the spoonful on stoneware or sil-pated bake sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

This also can be used for the pot pie crust. If that is the case, split the dough in 2 and roll out into 2 9.5 inch in diameter circles.

Chocolate Chip Cookies "Classic"

These are amazing...okay, well I think so:) They fall into the classic category, which means the flour isn't soaked, and they definitely contain more sugar etc. than I would recommend for an everyday item...but they are great on special occasions!

2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup evap. cane juice crystals
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups spring whole wheat flour (also known as White Wheat, I use Montana mills)
1 bag chocolate chips

The method is what gives these cookies their special trade-mark! Make sure your butter is room temp, Melted, runny butter just won't due! Place your room temperature butter in a kitchen aid mixing bowl. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
Add the brown and white sugars and continue to beat until well blended.
Add the eggs next. Put the beater on med-low speed. You don't want to whip the eggs into the batter or you will have an airy batter and dry cookies. Beat the eggs in until well blended and add the vanilla mix the batter until it has a consistent color.
Turn mixer off.
In a separate bag or bowl add all the dry ingredients together and shake until well blended. Turn the mixer on stir and slowly add the flour mixture which should contain the chips until well blended and moist.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet and cook in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 6-10 minutes until done. They should be an extremely light tan color! Don't over bake. Remove from the oven before they turn brownish in color. They are meant to be a soft chewy cookie.

A note on equipment: I highly recommend the sil-pat for baking cookies on. They allow you bake amazingly with really cheap pans! If you have them in your collection stoneware is also amazing for this recipe!

Gluten Allergies

Those of you who followed my other blog know that my son N is extremely allergic to Gluten, and most other grains! For those of you who are in this category, you are in luck. I am constantly trying to adjust and come up with new recipes that are gluten free!

No more looking at blog after blog or recipe site after recipe site only to find that 90% of the information on it doesn't apply to you.

You will notice that I use oats and barley in recipes. I know these are sensitive grains for some, and not others, if you need specific adjustments to a recipe listed with these flours b/c you can't have them, please leave a comment and I will try my best to adjust it for you (and for anyone else in the same situation) N fortunately can have both of these...

I have found success cooking with alternative grains by adjusting the cooking time to longer, adding 1 tsp baking powder per cup of alternative flour, and reducing the liquid in the recipe by almost a 1/4.

It is also important to mix your gluten free flours. Some gluten free options are "binding," and others are crumbly. You need to try to get a good mix of binding to sticky flours. The best written example of all these flours can be found at the Weston A Price Foundation website.

If you are in a boat where you happen to have a gluten, rice, and basic starch allergy...I can empathize. N's diet is there... To this you need to learn to adjust what you are looking for. There are some recipes that can be replaced with all Millet flour for example, but some just don't work. Check back and I will let you know which ones I have success with and which ones just didn't work.

Good luck!

Red Pepper Soup

So, we had a bunch of Red peppers hanging out in our freezer from out Porter Farms CSA share this summer. The red peppers where in abundance this year! I decided to give a soup recipe a go with the frozen peppers. It turned out good! I wouldn't recommend this one in the winter, though, if you don't have frozen peppers, red peppers are really expensive this time of year...well in the North East anyway!

6-8 red pepper
2 med onions, peeled, chopped
4 Tbsp Butter or coconut oil
1 1/2 quarts Chicken Stock
1 Bunch Basil, about 1/2 cup or more if you like:)
1 cup yellow squash chopped (we had this in the freezer from the summer too!)
Cream fraiche for topping or a hint of cream (not ultra-pasteurized and not on the yeast diet)

In a stainless steel pot put the butter in and melt over med-high heat, add the onions, chopped red peppers, and squash. Saute until soft and fragrant. Add the stock slowly. Let boil until all is very soft. Use a hand held blend and puree it, or pass it through a food mill. Add in chopped basil. (I also hand-blended this in so the soup has a smoother texture, but for those of you who like chunks of chopped basil, omit)

I topped with cream fraiche! Yummy!

Millet Pancakes (overnight soak)

So, these were a hit with N and J, especially since both can't have wheat. We were impressed with how much they tasted like traditional "white" flour pancakes. Just don't try to keep them warm in the oven, they dry out incredibly fast! Eat right off the cast iron griddle! Yummy!
This made 16-20 silver dollar cakes
1 1/4 cup freshly ground millet
6 oz yogurt (or 6 oz water plus 1 tbsp lemon juice or whey)
1 egg lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp homemade baking powder (or commercial)
2 Tbsp Melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix millet with yogurt in a glass dish and let sit overnight in a warm place covered. Pre-heat cast iron skillet or griddle. To the mixture add one beaten egg, salt, bs, bp, melted butter and vanilla. You will need to add some water to thin the batter, and this is prefarance. I added 1/4 cup.
Drop onto preheated skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown. they will take a bit longer to cook than traditional pancakes, and they don't bubble up quite as much. I flipped when the edge batter looked set. The outsides are a bit crispy and the inside soft! Top with butter, Maple or Sorghum syrup, raw honey, apricot butter, or berry syrup.
I also like fresh fruit on top!

Basic Quinoa

We were introduced to Quinoa b/c of N's Allergies, and we have all come to love it. N even asks for "more quinoa please" not bad for a 2 year old. I personally prefer the red quinoa in flavor to the white, but both are nutritionally adequate.
1 cup quinoa
3 cups warm filtered water plus 2 tbsp whey, yogurt, or buttermilk
(if allergic to dairy use 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)

Soak Quinoa for 12 hours in a warm place. After soaking, drain and rinse the grain. Place in a stainless steal pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid boil, cover and reduce to a medium heat until cooked and water is gone. The little white insides will be exposed.

Vegetable Root Soup

3 Large Onions
4 Carrots, peeled and sliced
3 Turnips, peeled and sliced
3 Parsnips, Peeled and Sliced
4 Tbsp Butter
1 1/2 quarts Chicken Stock (maybe more depending on desired consistency)
1 large elephant garlic bulb, or 4 small cloves peeled and mashed
1 tsp or more dried thyme or fresh sprig of thyme
pinch Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt or Fish Sauce to season
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Pima Cream, or Creme Fraiche for topping

Melt butter in a large, stainless steel pot and add onions,carrots, turnips, and parsnips. Cover and cook about 1//2 hour over med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add stock, bring to a boil and skim. Add garlic, thyme and cayenne pepper. Simmer, covered for about 1/2 hour until soft.
Remove thyme sprig if used. Puree soup with a hand-held blender. Season to taste. If you want your soup thinner, add more water or stock. Place cultured cream on top when serving.

About Soaking

Why would anyone want to soak a grain overnight?

The answer is simple. Most grains, especially whole grains, contain a large amount of phytic acid, which the body is completley incapable of digesting. Phytic acid if consumed, won't kill you, but it does distrupt your body's ability to fully digest, or uptake all the nutrients from the grain.

What does soaking in a whey medium or acid medium overnight do? Simple it acts as a pre-digestor for the phytic acid, softens the grain, and overall makes all the nutrients contained within the grain more bio-available, meaning you will get all the vitamins, minerals, etc from the grain as humanly possible.

Soaking grains, if really simple, it just requires a thought shift. You need to plan ahead! I will have countless recipes here that will require soaked grains. Don't be scared, give them a try, you might be surprised how much more paletable whole grains taste once thoroughly soaked.
If you have a severe milk allergy you can replace the whey with equal parts lemon juice or vinegar.