• Blue Cornmeal Pancakes

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    We have the great luxury of living near the War Eagle Mill. They have a fabulous selection of organic whole grains. This past weekend we took the kids there to see the operating water powered grist mill, which they were fascinated by. We bought a whole bunch of the grains. We are also super lucky that since it’s local, even Walmart carries much of their grains, but the Mill has a huge selection.

    We bought some blue cornmeal , and right on the sack of cornmeal is a recipe for Blue Cornmeal Pancakes, and they were delicious!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. blue cornmeal
    • 1/2 c. flour or whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 1/4 c. milk
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 1 + tsp. vegetable oil
    • Butter and Syrup

    Directions:

    1. In a medium size bowl, mix dry ingredients together; stir in egg, 1 TBSP oil, and milk.
    2. Preheat griddle on medium heat, coat with 1 tsp. oil. Pour out batter by 1/4 cupfuls to make a small griddle cake. Flip when edges are dry and cakes are bubbly.
    3. Serve with butter and syrup.

    Blue Cornmeal Pancakes:

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  • Challah: Take 2

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    Yes, I’ve made challah before, and now I’ve finally come to a recipe and process that is to all of our liking.  This recipe yields 2 loaves…use one and freeze the other for next week!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. lukewarm water
    • 3 envelopes yeast (totaling 2 TBSP + 3/4 tsp. yeast) (I like the Rapid Rise yeast)
    • 3/4 c. sugar
    • 1 1/4 c. lukewarm water
    • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
    • 1 TBSP salt
    • 3 large eggs
    • 8-10 c. bread flour
    • 1 egg for egg wash

    Directions:

    1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast in 1 c. water. Make sure the water is warm–not cold or hot. This allows the yeast to work properly–you’ll know it’s working of you see little bubbles on the surface. (If no bubbles, don’t worry, just continue.) Set aside.
    2. Combine sugar, 1 1/4 c. water, oil, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs. Then add the eggs to the sugar mixture.
    3. Add the yeast to the sugar mixture.
    4. Add 4 or 5 cups of flour and mix well. Gradually add 4 or 5 more cups of flour. By the time you add 6 to 7 cups of flour, it’s easier to mix the remaining flour into the dough if you put the dough on a floured surface. By judging the feel you will know how much more to add–if the mixture is sticky, add more flour; if it’s dry and stringy, add a little water. (The amount of flour you’ll need will vary every time, depending on things like the air temperature and humidity, so don’t worry about an exact amount of flour.)
    5. Knead your dough on a floured surface for 7 to 10 minutes…I only lasted 7 minutes. Add more flour to your surface as needed.
    6. Put some vegetable oil on a paper towel and wipe it around the inside of a large clean bowl. Put the dough in the oiled bowl, and flip the dough over so both sides get a little bit of oil on them. Then lay a piece of wax paper over the bowl and then place a dish towel on top of that. Let the dough rise for an hour, and it should double in size. (If your dough doesn’t rise much don’t worry, and continue on–trust me.)
    7. Punch down the dough to deflate it, and knead again for a few minutes to work out any excess air bubbles. Put the dough back into the bowl, and cover with wax paper and towel, and let rise for another half hour.
    8. Now you’re ready to braid. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 2; working with one half at a time, divide the half into 4 equal chunks.  Roll the four pieces into snakes about 12 to 16 inches long. The length doesn’t matter, just make sure all 4 are the same length. I have found that if your snakes are too thick, the challah will be too thick and it won’t cook in the center, so it’s better to have longer thinner snakes than shorter fatter ones.
    9. Lay the 4 snakes on your work surface and pinch the ends together. Take the piece on the left and weave it over the roll of dough next to it, then under the next roll, and finally over the last roll, so that it finishes on the far right. Next take the piece that is now on the far left, and again, weave over, under, and over until it finishes on the far right. Continue to weave the left-hand piece until the pieces are too short to weave. Then pinch the ends together and tuck them under the loaf. Repeat with the second half.
    10. Step by step:

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    Step 1: 4 equal snakes

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    Step 2: Pinch ends together

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    Step 3: Take far left snake and weave over, under then over the snakes to the right

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    Step 4: Take the new far left snake and weave over, under and over the snakes to the right. Repeat.

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    Step 5: Finished braided Challah and pinch the other ends together and tuck under the loaf

    10. Place parchment paper on each cookie sheet and put one loaf on each cookie sheet and place a dishtowel over the loaves and let rest for 10 minutes.

    11. Prepare egg wash–don’t dilute it with water! Brush the egg wash onto each loaf.

    12. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Mine was done at 40 minutes, so I’d start checking at 35.

    Challah:

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  • Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls

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    This recipe is from the Jan/Feb issue of Cooking Light. I was very intrigued by the flavors, so I made them this afternoon. First off, the last few times of made breads, I’ve been having trouble getting the dough to rise, and this time was no exception. The dough rises twice in this recipe, and it barely rose each time when it was supposed to double. Strangely it did rise when it was cooking, and that’s what has happened before with the other doughs I’ve made recently. Next time I make a bread dough, I’m going to try a different yeast and use bottled water (maybe there’s something in the tap water that’s effecting the rising capabilities). Anyway, the rolls turned out good, but not great.

    Ingredients:

    DOUGH:

    • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
    • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
    • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces), divided
    • Cooking spray

    FILLING:

    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
    • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

    GLAZE:

    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    Directions:

    1. To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
    2. Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture. Lightly spoon 2 1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour to sour cream mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.
    3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).
    4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
    5. To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, rind, and cardamom.
    6. Divide dough into two equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a 12 x 10–inch rectangle; brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle half of filling over dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Repeat procedure with remaining dough, 1 tablespoon butter, and filling. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
    7. Preheat oven to 350°.
    8. Uncover dough. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack.
    9. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

    Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls:

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  • Hashbrowns: Smothered and Peppered

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    We love our hashbrowns smothered (with onions) and peppered (with jalapenos).  Last night we had breakfast for dinner, and I made my smothered and peppered hashbrowns, and they were delicious!

    Ingredients:

    • Olive oil
    • 1 onion, sliced thinly
    • 1/4 c. sliced pickled jalapenos (you can chop them up if you like)
    • Frozen hashbrown potatoes (the kind that have not been fried or cooked yet–just frozen potato shreds)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. In a nonstick skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, and stir them occasionally, but let them caramelize.  Once the onions are caramelized, add the jalapenos and cook a few minutes longer.
    2. In another nonstick skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the frozen potatoes.  Add salt and pepper.  Don’t fiddle with the potatoes.  Let them set and get crispy golden on the bottom side.  Once crispy and golden, flip the potatoes to cook the other side, and add some salt and pepper.  This process can take 15-20 minutes.  Just be patient, it’s worth it.
    3. To serve: put hashbrowns on your plate and top with the onion jalapeno mixture.

    Smothered and Peppered Hashbrowns:

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