Friday, July 18, 2008

Is Your Kitchen Efficient?

I found this movie about an efficiently planned kitchen while reading Little Jenny Wren's blog. Some might laugh at it... but man, I wish my kitchen had been planned so efficiently! :o)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tammy's Strawberry Shortcake

Since Christmas 2007 I have only used white flour one time and that was recently to make some half wheat/half white tortillas. The reason we did that is that we have not found a ww tortilla recipe yet that will remain pliable and not be shoe leather to make enchiladas and burritos to freeze. I'm still working on that one.

Our adventures in whole grains for cooking have been mostly a success though, including desserts. Awhile back I had printed out Tammy's Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake recipe and had planned on making it July 4th. Well, we were a day late but it was good.

Because I had flour left over from making spelt bread, I made it with spelt. Spelt is sometimes a little tricky to substitute straight across as it generally does not tolerate as much mixing/kneading and requires less liquid than wheat. However, it has a delightful taste and is not quite as bitter as wheat sometimes can be. I ground the flour fine in my Nutrimill and used 150 grams for the one cup, which is the weight I was told to use for fresh ground wheat per cup, so I don't know if this is accurate. You can see that it looks nice.

I found it needed a little less time to cook in my oven. So I had to use a long serrated knife to cut off some of the bottom. This tasted a little like 'Nilla Wafers and my son ate it with some chocolate syrup on it! Ick! :o) I used two layer cake pans, but would probably consider using one cake pan and cutting it in half next time. I wasn't sure how much it would rise in the pan, having never made it before and did not want to have a Mt. Vesuvius disaster in my oven! LOL

The secret to the light texture of this, was beating the egg whites stiff. This was the first time I have used the plastic bowl and whips that came with my DLX mixer and it worked extremely well. The whites were very stiff and looked like stiff whipped cream! They are folded into the rest of the mix, which makes a foamy batter. The texture of the short cake is not like angel food or the fake chemical shortcakes you find packaged in the produce section with the strawberries. It was somewhere between that and a biscuit, more like a coarse cake. There was a faint vanilla flavor but it was mostly neutral so you could enjoy the whipped cream in the layer and on top, as well as the strawberries.

I highly recommend organic strawberries as I have read several places that strawberries can be washed 12 times and still have unacceptable levels of pesticide on them!

Here is a slice. The kids wanted it with chocolate sauce. We have been buying an organic chocolate syrup from Trader Joe's and they love it. Hubby and I did not like it with the chocolate and felt it interfered with the loveliness of the berries. In the future I would like to make this with mixed berries but the cost was prohibitive this time. I think it would taste great with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries along with the strawberries. If you want to be decadent, perhaps a little more whipped cream. I used 1 cup of heavy cream to whip and it was just right to get a great taste without going over the top!

Oh, what I forgot to say is that you could feed this to skeptics. My Hubby said he would not have known it was made with spelt if I had not told him! And though he has been a good sport in all our nutrition changes, he is much more picky about the taste and texture than I am, so I think this is an accurate statement. Let me know if you try it!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Facing The Past... Looking To The Future

Sorry for the poor quality of this picture. This is me summer 1988 - 20 years ago! There is something I have always liked about this picture in spite of the big '80s glasses! I still had hair and lots of it (it's pulled back, was down to shoulder blades), I had life struggles, but was still young, free and pure. That spring I had faced a lot of "issues" and I was able to lose a lot of weight. Recently I had begun working as a pediatric medical assistant after graduating from technical school and life was moving forward.

That summer things began to change. A Christian woman, who I thought I could trust, introduced me to a young Christian man to date. At 22 I had never dated and honestly, looking back, I wish I never had. My husband and I feel that we will pursue the idea of courtship, NOT dating for our own children. Old fashioned, yes. But we feel it is more in line with God's plan for His children than the world's. This man betrayed me, broke me and abused me in many senses of the word. Because of all kinds of circumstances, I felt very isolated from both friends and family and was unable to find balance. Shame forced me to work hard to solve the situation on my own. Some things are never meant to do in our own efforts. I needed my Heavenly Father's love and guidance but I was so busy trying to work it out on my own that I dug my own hole deeper.

Thank you Jesus, that you are so patient with me. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman who does not force us, but gently nudges us and encourages us to grow. It still brings up feelings of panic to write this and I do not write it as a "victim" or to dwell on the past or to play a sympathy card. I write this so that I can face FORWARD and continue on My Journey To Wholeness.

18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
Today I post this picture as a reminder, that God did not make me broken, fat, unhealthy and out of shape. My body will never be "perfect" this side of Heaven. However, this picture reminds me that when He and I work together, good things can happen.
For the last month or so I have been doing a lot of walking with Leslie Sansone and I have added an exercise section with links on the right hand side. I even joined her walk club for a year. It's a good deal for $29.99 you get the membership with all it's online benefits plus the Walk Away the Pounds Book with a walking DVD. Truthfully I would be losing weight faster if I was also dieting, but I have decided not to ever do that again. I am focusing on eating healthier and less, but not dieting. The walking is awesome. I am already feeling an underlying energy that I have not had in a long time and my body is missing it on the days I take a break!
With God all things are possible.
I will survive.
He is making me WHOLE!

Spelt Hamburger Buns

Marci said my hamburger buns were getting stale - a thinly veiled hint that I should update this blog! So today I want to report that I made the spelt bread recipe from Sue Gregg's yeast breads cookbook. I made one small loaf (1# 6.6oz) and 12 hamburger buns. The hamburger buns were a hit. I never add any dough enhancers even though Vit C powder was recommended in this recipe. It's really not needed - the texture was marvelous and they have a neutral taste, which is what I was looking for in a hamburger bun. A lot of people use their regular bread recipe, but I like to have a variety of flavor, something different than the usual.

So, next I need to find a recipe for whole grain onion rolls because that is Hubby's favorite. Any suggestions?