Honey Whole Wheat Bread – 7 ingredients in all

homemadebread

Delicious and nutritious homemade bread

Well I did it, I made homemade bread, and it rocks! Here is the Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe I used from allrecipes.com. There are seven ingredients in this recipe and a majority of them I had on hand. I followed the recipe exactly, despite some of the reviews, and it turned out beautifully. I may remove it from the breadmaker about ten minutes earlier next time because the crust is a little tough. But the bread is so very delicious.

We had breakfast for lunch today with eggs, bacon, clementines, and homemade honey whole wheat bread. It made me so proud to serve something so yummy to my family, they have such low expectations when it comes to bread. It has been bothering me for a while that the bread was the hold up in enjoying the sandwiches I make. I spend a lot of time making sure to get the deli meat and cheeses with no additives, organic salad mix, and mayo, but then you eat the sandwich with crappy store-bought bread and it just makes you kind of sad. But no more! We’ll see how many times I actually get around to making the bread. Ahh, good intentions.

The breadmaker is the way to go, that thing is awesome. The one I got was donated from a close friend who no longer wanted it. The behemoth was manufactured about 100 years ago, okay not really, but I found the manual online and it looks old, but it works perfectly. I would ask your friends if they have one sitting around they don’t want before buying one, I’m sure there is sad little breadmaker out there, just waiting to be loved. The whole wheat breads take longer to cook for some reason, I think it has something to do with yeast rising in whole wheat flour, but it took 3 hours and 40 minutes to make ours. It makes a lot of bread, I think I could probably do it weekly and have just the right amount for my family. And final bonus of this whole project, making your own bread is SO CHEAP! You can buy crappy tasting bread for a lot of money, or make your own homemade for very little money. YAY!

Daggone good pot roast recipe

potroast

Delicious Pot Roast

I found this Many Meals Pot Roast recipe a couple of months ago on one of my favorite recipe websites, allrecipes.com, and we absolutely love it. I made it today and my youngest had three helpings. She doesn’t even weigh 20 pounds yet, so hopefully that tells you something about the deliciousness of the recipe. The recipe meets my criteria because it has few and simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry/fridge right now:

  • beef chuck roast
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • diced tomatoes
  • beef stock

This is actually a sponsored recipe so I was skeptical at first, as I am of all sponsored things online, but after reading the reviews, I decided to try it. I did make several changes including only using 1 pound of meat, half an onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery strips, one can of tomatoes and stock as needed. I cooked the meat in oil like the recipe says, pulled the meat out and put it in the crock pot, then added the veggies to the pan with tons of spices like basil, thyme garlic powder, and parsley, as well as the salt and pepper. I added the stock and tomatoes to get the yumminess off the bottom of the pan, brought the mixture to a boil then poured it all in the crock pot on top of the meat. I cooked it 3.5 hours on high, then cut it down to low for about 2.5 hours. So six hours total cook time in the crock pot. We serve this meal over egg noodles and have yet to have leftovers. I will have to double or triple the recipe next time so we can freeze some.

Photo thanks to allrecipes.com.

Shredded Wheat – a carcinogen?

I used to eat this lovely cereal almost daily, Post Shredded Wheat n Bran. I added some fruit, golden raisins, organic milk, and was just as happy as could be eating this every day. I was so proud of myself for having found this item that had ingredients I understood – 100% whole grain wheat and bran. I neglected to notice, or pay attention to, the wording underneath the ingredients, until I read this article online called 13 banned foods still allowed in the U.S. This list is nuts, but BHT jumped out at me, because I knew I had seen it somewhere. And then I walked to my pantry and found it. My beloved cereal had BHT added to the packaging to prevent the food from becoming rancid. Right. So, what does that mean? Well, I’ve listed the entire blurb from the website Shape.com below, but basically this BHA and BHT may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent. Now I know, it says MAY be, but really, are you willing to take that risk? I’m not. Call me chicken, but cancer runs in my family and I want to do everything humanly possible to avoid it. So, sad face, no more Shredded Wheat for me. Sorry Post, you might want to consider a different type of package.

Here is the information from shape.com’s website:

Ingredients: BHA and BHT
Found In: Cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer
Why the U.S. Allows It: “Made from petroleum [yummy!], these waxy solids act as preservatives to prevent food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors,” Calton says. A better solution may be natural rosemary and sage. In a 2006 study, some organic herbs and spices proved to be efficient at preventing oxidative decay in meat, which ultimately could improve the shelf-life of these products.
Health Hazards: California is the only state that recognizes the U.S. National Institute of Health’s report that BHA is may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent.

Check out the other banned items including food dye, oil, flour, etc. Yet another reason to eat whole foods!

Delicious Navels

navelorange

Delicious winter find

I discovered that navel oranges are delicious right now. I mean to say, go to the store and buy some today and eat one immediately. I’m not sure what it is about the middle of winter that makes oranges taste so good, but I’ll have two. Plus, they are a whole food, so bonus! They are so juicy and orange-like. Winter time – get some navel oranges. I don’t know why I associate oranges with summer, but I’m never happy with them in the summer.

A new foodie friend and I went for a killer 5 mile run yesterday. It was killer mostly because I was pushing both of my kids in the double joggy stroller, plus the hills. If you think you are a strong runner, grab a double joggy and add 50 pounds to it and see how strong you are. I’m sure it would break most people. I like to call myself hard-core, even if sometimes I have to walk up the hills. But yesterday, I did not walk, and was barely breathing up the hills, but I did it. This chick was fast, and I’m nothing if not competitive. It really is ridiculous when I’m competitive, random Tuesday run – competitive, race day – depends. Anyway, it felt so very fantastic last night to be post-run, basking in the glow of physical tiredness. I haven’t pushed my body like that in a long time and it reminded me that I need to do it more often. Push yourself today, go for a long walk, or swim, bike, or run if that is what you are interested in. Your body will thank you.

Accidental stock

I needed to cook some chicken today for a Thai recipe so I decided to try something new, boiling chicken. Allrecipes.com has a Boiled Chicken recipe with very few ingredients, mainly water, vegetables, and spices. SCORE! I love when I want to make something and I actually end up having all the ingredients on hand. It’s like the stars align, okay not really that intense. Anyway, I started cooking and when the chicken was done, I pulled it out of the water, and I had stock. It was so easy. The stock is in my freezer right now in ice-cube trays, and I’ll be transferring them to a plastic freezer bag in the morning. I can just pull out the 1 ounce stock cubes whenever I’m making something that calls for stock. How amazing to have my own homemade stock on hand, with no preservatives, or fillers. I’m so proud!

Making your own stock is a real money saver, if you have the time, since the basic recipe is chicken, water, spices and veggies. I added some minced garlic and sauteed the veggies in oil before adding the chicken and water. Spices were salt, pepper, rosemary, and oregano. And bonus –  I used some celery, onion, and carrots that needed to be used or composted today. A smart cookie/good friend recommended saving celery and carrot ends when you chop up veggies, as well as any leftover fresh herbs you don’t need, and freeze them for the next time you make stock. Good luck if you decide to make your own, it is so simple and worth it, just do it, right now, go do it.

Rib Rub Spices

ribrub

Recycled glass container stores delicious rub

One of my good friends shared a country-style pork rib recipe a couple of years ago. The meat ends up really tender and delicious, mostly because you cook it so long, but also because you put a rub on it at the beginning. The ribs are so good, you will want to slap your mama! (I don’t know where that phrase comes from but it always makes me laugh.)

I use this rub on every single bit of pork that makes its way through my kitchen. We had a cookout recently and my husband used all of the rub on a couple of Boston Butts that he grilled for hours. The meat was ridiculously good, and my rub was all gone. So I had to make some more today, and realized you guys might be interested in having this on hand.  In the picture to the right I halved the recipe and used a recycled jelly jar to store the rub. I love how the mixture layered in the jar, and its so easy to shake out this way, just like the fancy spice bottles! I’m a nerd, I know.

Recipe:
4 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cayenne
2 1/2 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp salt
1 1/4 tbsp oregano
1 1/4 tbsp thyme

Enjoy! Oh, and if you have kids, you might want to reduce the cayenne, it is quite spicy.

Easy Red Lentil Dhal recipe

I made this recipe tonight, from Pinch of Yum’s website, and it was awesome. This is one of the coolest blogs I’ve seen, they have fantastic photos, and a cool section called “Making Money from a Food Blog” that walks you through the steps of monetizing your blog, as well as offering great insider information. If you are looking for whole food recipes, or potentially starting your own blog, check them out.

I love learning new recipes, but Indian always surprises me at how simple it is. Okay, honestly I’ve made Indian food like three times, and I always choose recipes with a short ingredient list, so maybe I’m judging this food without really knowing. But anyway, the husband and I loved the Dhal recipe. The kids are going to have to have it about 9 more times before they fully adopt it. There is this saying about kids having to try things 10 times before they like it, and I’m a full believer in that theory, at least with my youngest. I’ve had to offer food to her over and over, and it seems like she has to learn the flavor and texture before she will accept the food. She even spit out the icing on her cake. She quickly picked up more and tried again, never looking back, but at first she was uninterested.

Anyway, if you like Indian food, have some time this weekend, and can find red lentils at the store, try this recipe. Happy Friday ya’ll!