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Cooking up a Storm

July 28th, 2012

There’s not much I enjoy more than spending a day in the kitchen cooking up all kinds of goodness. Since there are only 2 of us in the house and we don’t eat lots of sweets or grain items, it doesn’t take much time to prepare the food we eat. I’m always happy when there’s a party invite or some other event that allows me to spend the day baking/cooking.

Today my good friend and neighbor is heading over to Washington D.C. for the Stop the Frack Attack Rally. She invited me to go, but as an introvert and highly sensitive person, a trip like this on a bus would nearly kill me. I offered to bake up a bunch of snacks instead.

Yesterday morning was spent baking both sweet and savory goodies. I made one of my specialties, molasses caramel corn. Head on over to Eat Outside the Bag for my recipe.

A big batch of maple walnut granola was also whipped up, along with a batch of cheddar cheese straws. The cheddar cheese straw recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. Of course I tweaked it a bit by using local raw milk cheddar cheese and freshly ground sprouted spelt flour.

When it comes to snacks, I’m not much for sweets or grains, give me olives, cheese, jerky, hard boiled eggs, yogurt or custard. I must admit though, the cheese straws are FANTASTIC, I’ll definitely be baking up a few batches to snack on during our long drive up to Maine mid-September.

What’s your favorite traveling snack?

20 Comments to “Cooking up a Storm”
  1. Andrea Duke on July 28, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I must try the cheese straws. I went to the link for them and she wrote that they tasted like Cheez-Its, which I don’t care for, but my husband really does and I would love to find something to make from scratch to replace those. One less artificial thing this household buys is a great thing!

    Thanks…

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

      These are great – you won’t be disappointed. I swapped out some of the flour in them for freshly ground whole grain spelt. I’m not much for Cheez-Its either, but these are good. Might make to make these in cracker shape soon. I recommend doubling the batch!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Melissa on July 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Sounds yummy! I know what you mean about spending the day in the kitchen (much to my dishwashing husband’s dismay ;). I cooked for 3 1/2 hours for dinner yesterday. We had out of town guests and I fixed duck for the first time from the ones we raised- It was delicious! have to admit I was a bit nervous cooking something like that for the first time for company!

    On another note–do you know of a good resource for learning about sprouted grains? I’m kinda interested but don’t know where to start.

    Reply to Melissa's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Sprouting grains is pretty easy, just like growing sprouts. I use the method from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

      Essentially put 2 cups of grain in a half gallon mason jar. Cover with water, let soak for a few hours, strain out water. Cover jar opening with a breathable fabric or a screen. Rinse grain/beans several times a day until they sprout, usually from 24 hrs to a few days. This is also a great way to test & see if the products you’re using are fresh. If you have a batch that doesn’t sprout that means the seeds were either heat treated or are old and aren’t fit for eating.

      For grains, once they sprout I put mine in the oven on low (100 to 120 degrees) until they’re dry, usually 6-8 hours. You can also use a dehydrator. Store in freezer and grind or use as needed.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Bethany on July 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

        I’ve been trying this lately, and I have a clarifying question about storage. Do you store the sprouted dried grain or the milled grain in the freezer? I like the convenience of having grain ready to go, but wasn’t sure if it would be better to store the wheatberries whole. Thanks,

        Bethany

        to Bethany's comment

      • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

        I usually store the sprouted grain whole (after it’s been dried) in a jar in the freezer. I like to grind it fresh the day I use it. However you can grind it and store the ground flour in the freezer. If you’re storing the flour in the freezer it doesn’t go rancid like it would if you kept it at room temp. I occasionally will grind extra and throw it in the freezer if I know I’ll be using it within the week, though I just like to grind enough for each recipe when I need it.

        to Susy's comment

      • Melissa on July 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        Thanks! That’ll help me get started! We’ve got a great grain seller around here- Anson Mills so I think I may give it a go!
        Melissa´s last post ..Baby Ducklings!

        to Melissa's comment

  3. angie h. on July 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Everything looks yummy…really looking forward to visiting you in Maine!!! I am going to have to try those cheese straws. Brian is wanting munchy food and I have tried to stop buying that stuff, he is polishing off the last of the chips from his daughter’s grad party. He would love these!

    My favorite travelling food has got to be sunflower seeds with the shell. They keep me occupied/distracted- I really don’t like highway/expressways even as a passenger, especially with big semi traffic. Brian does all the driving, but he can be in a hurry sometimes, if you know what I mean!

    Sprouting grains is on my list. Have you ever tried einkorn (sp?) grain? I was just reading about it and it sounds good. Do you get your grain from Local Roots or direct from the farmer?

    Reply to angie h.'s comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I do sometimes buy grains at Local Roots but I also get them from Stutzman’s Farm down in Millersburg.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Bethany on July 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I also thought I’d mention that when you move out to Maine, if you can’t find grain closer, Western Massachusetts has a great grain CSA. You can order online and pick up everything once the harvest is over.

    http://www.localgrain.org/

    Reply to Bethany's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Thanks for the info!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. stefaneener on July 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Smitten Kitchen is often my go-to blog for good eats. Nice shout-out. I can’t make much because I have a hard time keeping MY hands out of the goodies. Definitely a sweet tooth. I am, however, baking for a bake sale today!
    stefaneener´s last post ..Peter Pepper’s got nothing on me

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

  6. Beegirl on July 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I made your cheese straws after reading this today…DE-LISH!! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      I’m looking forward to experimenting with different kinds of cheese, how about goat cheese & chives?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. jennifer fisk on July 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    You are about 6 weeks from your new home. This is exciting.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      I KNOW, I KNOW! Super exciting!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Maybelline on July 29, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Pretzels.
    Maybelline´s last post ..Patience is a Peachy Virtue

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  9. jules on August 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    What’s your granola recipe? I’ve been wanting to make some for ages.

    Thanks!

    Reply to jules's comment

  10. whit on August 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Have you read the book Quiet by Susan Cain? I found a listing for it in our homeschool convention material. Was intrigued to give it a read when i saw this on the front cover “The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”
    whit´s last post ..Rodent Rooter

    Reply to whit's comment

    • Susy on August 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      I haven’t read that book but I will!

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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