Thursday, April 28th, 2016

A Choice to Eat Home Cooked Meals. I Love Scratch Cooking.

by Kristen Suzanne in family, Kristen Suzanne

 

Fresh salad with homemade dressing.

A simple and fresh salad with homemade dressing. #scratchcook

I’m watching Cooked, the documentary series on Netflix featuring Michael Pollan, and I was inspired to share my life with respect to some of the ideas presented in the show.

Namely, home cooked meals.

My family eats most of our meals at home, and almost all of them are made from scratch.

Scratch cooking means the meals are made from fresh ingredients. Therefore, we don’t eat a lot of meals made from ingredients that are pre-cooked or processed, except a few (canned sardines/tuna, organic salsa, BBQ sauce, etc).

Sadly, it’s not what’s going on in most American homes anymore. Michael Pollan points out in Cooked that as the amount of time cooking went down, obesity went up. I’m not surprised.

Maybe I’m a bit strange, but I get such a rush from cooking this way. I think making meals from scratch is beautiful, especially when I’m connected to my food by knowing my farmer, fisherman, and rancher. When I cut into an orange that was grown in my mom’s yard, and the light hits it just right so I see the misty spray coming from the peel, and I smell the intense aroma… I get chills from the thrill.

In fact, my Amazon wish list is filled with pots, quality utensils, and other kitchen gadgets I want in my collection. When a birthday or holiday comes around, I ask for these things. Do I ask for clothes, purses, or shoes? No. I ask for a Le Creuset pot or a fancy ice cream machine or a beautiful salt collection.

I’ll admit not every meal I make is a success, in spite of the time I put into it. I also recognize that making all of these meals isn’t always easy. I experience a large part of my life in the kitchen preparing food, shopping for food, cleaning up after cooking (there are so many dishes to wash!). But… At least I know what’s in my food. I approve of the ingredients. I don’t have to wonder.

Scratch cooking, for me, was a process that occurred over the years as I learned more and became more confident in the kitchen. I took classes, I asked mom and dad questions, I read cookbooks, and I practiced. I didn’t read just any books on food though, I read books about how to shop for produce, what spices go well together, and the science behind cooking.

A few books in my collection.

A few books in my collection.

As a result, my comfort level in the kitchen has grown tremendously. For the most part, I can fix my messes, and if I can’t, I still know the meal was made with wholesome organic ingredients, which compensates for any culinary mishaps, at least in my opinion.

My meals are pure, organic, and prepared just the way I want. And, aside from the obvious nutrition reasons, it comes back to Chop Wood Carry Water for me. I enjoy the process. The kitchen draws me in… if I’m not making something I’ll find something to make.

Read More »

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Monday, April 25th, 2016

My Ebooks Are On SALE! 11 Raw Vegan Ebooks for 11 Bucks

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, raw recipes, recipe, vegan
11 ebooks for ONLY 11 bucks!

11 ebooks for ONLY 11 bucks!

I have great news!

I put my raw vegan ebooks on sale.

You can get your hands on over 600 raw vegan recipes with my ebooks for only $11.00.

You get the following 11 ebooks:

With this special bundle, you get ELEVEN of my EBOOKS. This is my best deal and it’s the ultimate way to have one of the world’s most complete raw food recipe libraries at your fingertips!

This bundle of PDF Ebooks is available exclusively from KristensRaw.com. There is no special bundle for print books, which are available through Amazon.com.

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Recipe: Michigan State Matcha Green Tea

by Kristen Suzanne in antioxidants, gluten free, Matcha, recipe
Vibrant matcha green tea for vibrant health.

Vibrant matcha green tea for vibrant health.

I grew up in the state of Michigan, and I was a University of Michigan fan all my life. As you might imagine, I also graduated from the University of Michigan, too. Go Blue!!

Well, we wolverines were rivals with Michigan State spartans… yes, indeed we were! Except, I liked Michigan State so long as they weren’t playing us. :)

Hey! Not cool! Grrrrrrrrr!!! Go BLUE!

Hey! Not cool! Grrrrrrrrr!!! Go BLUE! (image)

Well, in spite of that image above, I’m making a tea for Michigan State fans, because I thought them when I was mixing it together. It’s matcha green tea and white tea. Those are their colors: green and white. Nuff’ said.

Green n White for Michigan State

Green n White for Michigan State (image)

By the way, speaking of matcha green tea…

do you have a copy of my Kindle ebook Matcha Hacks?

It’s only $2.99 for over 50 great recipes

featuring health boosting matcha green tea powder!

 

Michigan State Matcha Green Tea

Michigan State Matcha Green Tea

 

Recipe: Michigan State Matcha Green Tea

In a small pot, heat the water to 180 degrees F on your stove.

Using a French press, put the hot water along with the white tea leaves in it. Let them steep for 4 minutes. (If you have another way to brew loose tea leaves, then by all means do it how you like.)

While it’s steeping, sift the matcha green tea powder into a mug. Pour the now-brewed white tea into the mug and manually whisk (or use an electric whisk) until frothy.

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Friday, April 22nd, 2016

My 5 Year Old Teaching You How to Meditate

by Kristen Suzanne in kamea, kids, Meditation
My little girl. :)

My little girl. :)

My five year old daughter, Kamea, was visiting my mom for the night, and they surprised me with this video that she made about “how to meditate.” Glad to know that all of my meditating is rubbing off on her.


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Monday, April 18th, 2016

My New Kindle eBook – Matcha Hacks – 55 Recipes Using Matcha Green Tea Powder

by Kristen Suzanne in ebooks, gluten free, Kristen Suzanne, Matcha, recipe
My Newest Recipe eBook: Matcha Hacks!

My Newest Recipe eBook: Matcha Hacks!

I’m excited to share my newest Kindle ebook, Matcha Hacks, 55 Clever Recipes for Adding Matcha to Your Life for Energy, Health & Longevity.

As you know, I love matcha green tea powder.

We drink it because matcha green tea powder gives us a luscious energy and makes us feel so good. It makes us mentally alert, while feeling calm and chill at the same time. So good. It also has a powerful punch of nutritional benefits from being anti-viral to anti-cancer to being an overall kickin’ superfood. It gives that extra edge.

In my quest to inject more matcha into my life, I have taken matcha beyond its traditional role as merely a tea by creating these 55 recipes for adding matcha as an ingredient to all kinds of foods, including smoothies, soups, sides, salads, desserts, breakfast, snacks, condiments, beverages (tea and non-tea), and even beauty mask recipes!

To grab your copy, for only $2.99, visit Amazon here.

 

Vibrant matcha green tea for vibrant health.

Vibrant matcha green tea for vibrant health.


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Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Sourdough Bread Attempt #2 with Einkorn Flour. Why Einkorn Flour?

by Kristen Suzanne in sourdough
Einkorn sourdough bread - I'm still learning

Einkorn sourdough bread – I’m still learning

Here’s my second attempt at making sourdough bread at home. I made it with the einkorn mini-starter that I started, and I also used einkorn flour.

It’s pretty, I’ll say that much.

If you’re not familiar with einkorn flour, here’s Carla Bartolucci, einkorn expert, from her book, Einkorn. (I highly recommend this book for some beautiful recipes and information on einkorn wheat.)

  • Einkorn is the most ancient species of wheat and its husks protect the inner seeds from mycotoxins.
  • Einkorn has simple genetics, with fewer chromosomes than other wheat. Einkorn has never been hybridized.
  • Einkorn is more nutritious than modern wheat, with nearly 30 percent more protein and more antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals. It also has less starch, meaning fewer carbohydrates.
  • In genetic testing, einkorn was found to lack certain gluten proteins that people with wheat intolerances cannot digest. More specifically, neither of the two gluten-forming proteins behaves as it does in conventional wheat and so the gluten in einkorn can be tolerated by many people with sensitivity to wheat.
  • In German, einkorn means “one grain” because each grain is attached individually rather than in clusters, to the stalk.

So, you see it’s pretty amazing stuff if you don’t suffer from celiac disease. And, if you feel like you’re gluten intolerant, then you might not be with einkorn. As you can imagine, I figured that using einkorn, which is easier to digest… in the form of sourdough bread… well, that’s even easier to digest… sounds perfect.

Except, well, it wasn’t. (User error, to be sure.)

Read More »

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Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Sardines For Lunch As Penance For Pasta I’m Having At Dinner

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, gluten free, sardines
My daughter's #realfood lunch. #glutenfree

My daughter’s #realfood lunch. #glutenfree

This was my five year old daughter’s lunch.

  • Vital Choice Sardines with mustard
  • Kalamata black olives
  • Organic blackberries
  • Organic orange bell pepper

My lunch was the same, though my portion bigger. I opted for sardines at lunch as advanced penance for the pasta I plan to have at dinner. Mac-n-cheese to be exact (homemade at least, eh?).

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Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Walking. My New Thing. Here’s How I Make It Super Fun!

by Kristen Suzanne in arizona, Kristen Suzanne, movement, tao
I never would've seen this beauty if I hadn't started walking.

I never would’ve seen this beauty if I hadn’t started walking.

I’ve been walking lately. A lot. And, it’s so fun.

My draw to walking came as the result of some life changes I’m making:

  • To chill out.
  • Hear and follow my intuition. (Like, wow, it’s amazing what happens when I listen to my intuition after quieting down my friggin’ cray-cray mind.)
  • Overall, do fewer things in my day. (Fewer things on the schedule, go with the flow.)

One of my favorite quotes in Taoism is…

To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

 

My intuition told me to walk, which would help me do less of other things, because walking a great distance takes time. My intuition told me I needed it. I’ll be honest… It helps me clear my mind, and a clear mind is a powerful mind.

So, I started walking. And, I walked a lot.

I found that being out in nature, especially during the season of spring was extra special, and I couldn’t help but stop to notice and feel all of the colors and life surrounding me outside in nature.

I found myself looking at plants as they were about to blossom, excited to come back the next day and see the full bloom. Tracking the progress with pictures became an adventure.

Hello, pretty.

(day 1) Hello, pretty.

 

"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful then the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin

(day 2) “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful then the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

Read More »

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Friday, April 8th, 2016

Sourdough Starter Mini-Me With Einkorn Flour. Oh, and Sourdough Rye Crackers

by Kristen Suzanne in sourdough
Sourdough starter fed einkorn flour.

Mini sourdough starter fed einkorn flour.

As I mentioned before, when researching sourdough bread making and sourdough starters, there are a lot of variances in directions.

One gal I saw, Wardee, mentioned that she keeps her starter active on her counter by having a small amount of starter to which it’s fed a tablespoon of flour (or two) and a tablespoon of water twice a day. Sometimes three times a day. She said that if you keep a cup or less of starter then a maintenance feeding is all you need. She detailed it specifically in this podcast. She writes…

Only feed it what you need to build it up for when you need it. If you are going to bake something that requires a bit more, feed it a bit more on that occasion. This way, you’ll nearly always have enough, and usually not ever too much. (Of course, adjustment is needed to account for your family’s baking goals.)

What is a maintenance amount? A tablespoon or 2.

Every morning: I feed my starter 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour, plus some water (a bit less than the flour). Same thing each evening.

Every 2nd or 3rd day, I have enough starter to bake our favorite bread — the no-knead artisan einkorn loaf. 

And, she has a recipe for No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread which I plan to try as I’d love to use einkorn exclusively for health reasons. Her recipe calls for 1/4 cup (60 grams) of the sourdough starter so I know she at least needs the starter to be of that quantity. After weighing what is in the picture above, it’s about 46 grams.

The sourdough starter maintenance recipe by Ken Forkish is a lot more flour being used than a tablespoon, and is probably for people making multiple loaves of bread a week. Not exactly sure yet.

Lastly, Cultures for Health recommends that whatever amount you are doing, be sure that the weights (using a scale) are equal amounts of weight of the starter, water and flour. For example, 50 grams of starter, 50 grams of water, 50 grams of flour.

Anyway, I was intrigued by this small active sourdough starter thing that Wardee discussed, and decided to try it.

Read More »

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Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Sourdough Thoughts On My Failed Sourdough Bread

by Kristen Suzanne in sourdough
I think I can do better. #SourdoughBreadFail

I think I can do better. #SourdoughBreadFail

As you saw yesterday, I made my first loaf of sourdough bread.

Um… it wasn’t a total success.

That said, upon using all my strength to break a loaf in half, I found it kind of pretty inside and a bit tasty, too. I am jokingly telling people that at least I know a good sourdough bread crouton recipe.

I mentioned a couple of things that might have contributed to it, at least in part:

Sourdough that stuck to my bannetons.

Sourdough that stuck to my bannetons.

1) Something went wrong with my banneton proofing baskets. I floured them a good degree, or so I thought. Yet, there was quite a bit that stuck.

2) I’m not sure I proofed them long enough as the dough was quite gooey. I’m not an expert baker so I have no idea, but I can’t help but think that.

3) I also had trouble shaping the dough prior to putting them in the baskets but I have no guesses as to why that is.

I plan on another go at making sourdough bread but I’ll try a different recipe.

I will also try using this jovial linen couche. Jovial is the company who makes the einkorn flour I bought, too. The linen couche is supposed to be AWESOME in such a way that the bread doesn’t stick. I will use it in the colander method as shown below in her second example.

Check it out…

 

And, here’s Wardee telling you more details about a linen couche.


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