Oatmeal Crispy Cakes

They're not pancakes, and they aren't a porridge, I think they are better than either one! This morning during our getting-ready-for-school chaos, I pulled the cooked oatmeal out of the fridge thinking to heat up an easy breakfast for the little ones. I normally will make a large batch on Sunday, and keep it refrigerated for a quick meal. Today I felt like something different so as I stuck a spoon into the thickened creamy oat goodness, I knew what I wanted to do with it - something I'd never tried, and boy is that a risky thing on a school morning when we have only so much time and a breakfast rejection could ruin the morning schedule... but I took the chance, and glad I did! I scooped out a ball of oatmeal, dipped it into flour and gently pressed it into a patty. Yes, this would work! So I used the last 1/4 cup of flour I had to finish making the rest of the oatmeal into patties. Sorry, sourdough starter, you will have to eat tomorrow.

Oatmeal Crispy Cakes

2c. cooked cooled oatmeal (cooked with milk is best, don't forget the vanilla!)
1/4c. flour, any type would work
1/4c. coconut oil

Preheat a cast iron skillet with the coconut oil on med. high to high heat (will depend on your pan & range, you want it at the point just before it smokes)

Scoop out a walnut sized ball of oatmeal, roll it around in the flour and press into a patty. Repeat with the rest of the oatmeal. Place the patties in the hot pan and cook til deep golden brown on the bottom, then flip and brown the other side.

Serve with your choice of topping - we used maple syrup. If you make the patties thick, you will have soft porridge in the middle, if you make them thin you will have much less porridge and most of the patty will be crispy (the best part, we think).

Sprouted Wheat Salad: Version 2

This stuff is addictive! I am loving that I can make a hearty, nutritious side dish that we can eat cold. The summer heat makes eating a hot meal rather unappealing. Yesterday afternoon it got up to 88F in our house so we needed something cool and fresh.

This version of the sprouted wheat salad takes advantage of the tomatoes and corn coming out of the garden right now. We had a couple of ears of leftover corn on the cob the other evening, so I teamed them up with our tomatoes and made this sort of Mexican style salad. I intended to add a touch of the adobo sauce from a can of chipotles, but forgot. Next time, I guess! If you need to, you could use any other kind of bean, and I am sure canned or frozen corn would be just fine.

Sorry no pic of this one, it was hectic in the kitchen at the time between making this, a huge pot of ham & beans and chicken liver pate (with bacon and sauted mushrooms and caramelized onion...) and we ended up eating before I had a chance to grab the camera. Oh well, just imagine ripe sweet tomatoes and crisp corn on the cob, ok?

2 c. sprouted wheat, cooked and cooled
1 c. fresh corn, cut from the cob
1c. cooked black beans
1/2 c. minced cilantro
2 med. tomatoes, chopped
(optional) a quarter of a red onion, minced or, 1/4 c. minced chives
1 ripe avocado

Heat a cast iron skillet to almost smoking, with a touch of oil, and toss in the fresh corn. Allow the kernels to get a nice brown toasty spot, stir them around so they all get toasted.

Mix the wheat, beans, corn, tomatoes and cilantro together in a bowl. Add onion if desired. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and

make the dressing:

In a blender, place 1tsp. cumin seed or ground cumin, 1tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp. lime zest. If using cumin seed, blend these three ingredients to pulverize the cumin. Add 1/4c. cilantro, 8oz olive oil and 4oz apple cider vinegar. Blend thoroughly and taste, adjust seasonings as desired.

When ready to serve, dice the avocado and place into bowl with other ingredients. Dress the salad to taste. Serves 4-6.

Better Biscuits

I'm munching on a unique biscuit in between typing sentences - a wholegrain biscuit that is actually light and fluffy! I've tried subbing whole grain flour for all-purpose in my basic recipe before but have always been disappointed with the heavier texture and slightly bitter flavor. I solved the flavor problem by getting a grain mill and using fresh-ground flour instead of stale store-bought, but the texture was still an issue. Until today!

I decided to take Gnowfglin's Sourdough Ecourse and so I have just begun using my sourdough starter. Today I had increased my starter more than I ended up using for pancakes, so on a whim I decided to try biscuits. I had a recipe on my harddrive that I adapted a bit, and here are the results -

Quite light for a whole grain biscuit, I'm very pleased. You can see by the color they are whole grain, and the flavor is as robust. I used a blend of half and half hard and soft white wheat. I don't care for the stronger flavor of the more common red hard wheat. I sometimes use spelt as it is a milder, nutty flavor that I really like. I baked these in a cast iron skillet that I placed in the oven before preheating it. I baked them at 475F, a very hot oven, because I've found that with quick breads, a higher temp gives a better oven spring so the final product rises higher & fluffier. Yum!

I am so excited that finally I have a successful sourdough starter going, and that I have a way to make biscuits with my fresh whole grain flour that doesn't result in hockey pucks!!

Bean Bag Bonanza

Somehow, back at the beginning of the school year, I received the assignment to create a classroom's worth of beanbags for my son's Waldorf school. I guess cuz I admitted to owning a sewing machine? Oh well. Down to business, very... repetitive... business.

Step One: a)Buy fabric on sale for half price at JoAnne's which results in b) end up paying more for thread than for the fabric.

Step Two: Cut, cut, cut. Thank goodness for my rotary cutter. I promised it a new blade after this is done.

Step Three: Sew, and sew, and sew....

Step Four: Lentils!! Yep, the preferred filling for Waldorf beanbags is the humble lentil. Hm, makes me glad cooler weather is here so I can enjoy a big pot of lentils and ham hocks cooked in bone broth, with a side of gluten-free rosemary ciabatta slathered in pasture butter, while wearing corduroy... wait, scratch that last part.

Can you believe, I delivered the beanbags to the school, in an appropriate willow basket, and forgot to take a picture of them? All I have left are these three, which will go to my teen as a gift so that he can keep up on his juggling skills.