Sourdough Bread



Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread

The toughest part of bread making, in my opinion, is working out the timing throughout the day.  For this recipe, the sponge can be made the night before and set on the counter until the following mid-day when the dough can be made, (optionally, be left to rise for another 2-4 hours), then shaped and left to rise 2 hours before baking 25 minutes for dinner.

1 cup sourdough starter

1 1/2 cups warm water

5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

cornmeal or polenta to sprinkle on pans

boiling water for oven

Make the Sponge:  Mix well your sourdough starter and pour one cup into a large mixing bowl.  (With the remaining starter, add one cup flour and one cup water to replenish it.)   To the one cup of starter, add 1 1/2 cups of warm water and 3 cups of flour.  Mix.  Cover the bowl with a towel.  It will come to life as it sits on the kitchen counter 2-24 hours.

Making the Dough (& an Optional Rise:  Blend salt, sugar, & baking soda into 2 cups of flour.  Mix this into the sponge.When the dough begins to hold together, turn it out onto a floured board and knead for 3-4 minutes.  Add flour as needed to make a fairly stiff dough.  When you have accomplished that, give the dough a rest while you clean out the bowl and grease it.  Transfer the dough to the greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth, & let it sit on the counter to rise for 2-4 hours.  This rise is optional.  However, adding it will create a more sour flavor in your bread.

Shaping:  Punch down the risen dough and shape it into two long (or round) loaves.  Place them on a baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet sprinkled with cornmeal or polenta.  Let the shaped loaves rise on their pans for about 2 hours.  Towards the end of the rising period, place a deep dish baking pan on the bottom rack and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Baking:  Just before it is time to bake, use a sharp knife to make a few diagonal slashes, a few inches long and 1/4 inch deep, in the top of each loaf.  Brush each loaf with cold water. Pour 2-3 cups of water in the hot pan on the bottom rack of the oven and put the loaves in the steamy oven on a rack just above the steam.  Bake for about 25 minutes.  When you remove the loaves from the oven, the crusts will be very hard.  Soon, they will be soft and chewy, and a pleasure to eat with fresh butter.

Recipe from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook

Sourdough Bread


Garden Sunflowers

Fermented Foods


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Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa Recipe

Tomatoes, peaches, onions, tomatillos, cilantro, salt. ūüćī

Fermented Foods

Prepare:  To prepare produce for fermenting, first chop &/or grate produce, throwing it all in a large bowl about the capacity of the jar in which it will ferment.  Sprinkle salt on the chopped pieces of food in the bowl, mixing with your hands.  As you add more food, sprinkle more salt and continue to coat & mix.  The general rule of thumb is to use 1-3 tablespoons of salt to one quart of food to create a brine.  As the salt sits on the food, it brings out the juices and the bowl will have extra liquid in the bottom by the time you are finished.

Pack:  Be sure to add this liquid to the fermenting jar, pack the food in your jar, and top off the liquid by adding water until the water line is above the salted food packed in the jar.  I started fermenting with a one quart Mason Jar, but I use a two quart Mason jar now that my family eats fermented vegetables regularly.  Kraut Source makes a fermenting lid that will foolproof the fermenting process, ensuring a safely fermented jar of food for consumption.  I always use one of their lids on my ferment jars.

Ferment:  Fermenting jars of food can sit out on your kitchen counter for a few days to a week or two.  Salsa ferments in two days, but I let kraut sit a week or two.  It is completely fine to taste it, or eat it, at any time.  Your goal is a salty mixture with a subtle fizzy tang.

Eat:  Once your fermented food reaches a taste you like, store it in the refrigerator and eat it at you leisure.  There are many recipes floating around Instagram, but I tend to use produce from my weekly Farm Box delivery, fresh, in-season produce.  I have seen herbs added to ferment jars, as well.  I eat it straight from the jar, in sandwich wraps, and on salads.  Have fun & enjoy this extra healthy way to consume local fruits & vegetables.

Apple Kraut Recipe

Cabbage, apple, onion, cucumber, carrot, salt. ūüćī

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes Recipe

Green tomatoes, nectarines, Walla Walla onions, salt. ūüćī

Classic Glo Bar


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Classic Glo Bar ~ Travel & Camping Snack

Classic Glo Bar

When Angela Liddon, author of The Oh She Glows Cookbook, made these bars and posted them on social media nearly ten years ago, they were an instant viral recipe sensation.  She found herself making 500 bars a week in her home kitchen to sell and has, more recently, shared the recipe in her cookbook as a thank you to her followers.  “Thank you, Angela Lidden, for a superior bar recipe.”  These are my new homemade go-to bar for travel & camping, and I am grateful.

Classic Glo Bar Recipe

1 1/2 cups oats

1 1/4 crisp rice cereal (make sure it is “crisp”)

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup seeds (sunflower, pepita)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/4 cup nut butter (peanut, cashew, sunflower seed, almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Line a square cake pan with parchment paper hanging over the edge.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, crisp rice cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt.

In a saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and nut butter.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture heats, softens, & bubbles.

Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Pour the warm mixture over the dry mixture in the bowl and mix well.  Fold the chocolate chips in if you are adding them.

Transfer to the parchment paper in the pan and spread around, pressing in all corners.

Place pan in freezer to let it set for 10 minutes.  Remove and cut into bars with a pizza slicer, wrap indivually in wax paper and return to freezer to fully set and store.

Camping at San Simeon State Park, California





Cornbread Recipe

1 cup white flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup milk

1 can kernel corn

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, & salt.  Stir in the corn.

In a separate, small bowl beat the egg, honey, & milk.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture & mix thoroughly.

Spread in an 8×8 baking pan or muffin tins and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Recipe inspired by “Picnic! ¬†Recipes and Menus for Outdoor Enjoyment” by Edith Stovel

Looking through the front window at a lunch buffet, including Posole, Cornbread, Peach Salsa Ferment, Oranges, & Tostadas.

Posole {Mexican Stew}


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Posole {Mexican Stew}

Posole {Mexican Stew}

Posole  Mix:  Thoroughly mix the following ingredients.

1 oz. chili powder (of your choice.  I used Chili California because I was looking for something not spicy.)

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup flour

3 tsp cumin

2 tablespoons salt

6 teaspoons oregano

In the bottom of a large soup pot, add a large splash of olive oil and brown two large chicken breast, cubed.

Add one large chopped onion and three minced garlic cloves.

Add the Posole Mix and stir in to the pot so the meat is fragrant.

Add 28 oz. of chicken broth & a small can of tomato paste.

Add one regular can of pinto beans & one large can of hominy.

Add chopped cilantro and chopped tomatillo to your liking.

Simmer for about 30 minutes & add water to make the dish as soupy as you would like to eat it.  Serve with tortillas, cornbread, or rice.  Our favorite way to eat Posole is layer a piece of cornbread, pour Posole over it, add a layer of shredded cheddar cheese, and top with fermented Peach Salsa.


Local Mexican Market.

Ozark Peach Pie 



Peach Pie

Peach Pie

I wrote this recipe, sent from my mom, Robyn at Plum Cove Cottage, exactly as I made the pie, because this was the best pie I have ever made.  Perhaps it was the process, but also likely that it was because the ingredients were high quality. There are very few ingredients in a Peach Pie, so if the peaches are sourced well and the butter is pure, the pie will not need sugar.  Rather, the peaches, stacked densely in its crust, will give you a superior pie, ready to eat from the oven on the kitchen counter as soon as it cools from the oven.

Ozark Peach Pie from Plum Cove Cottage

Crust: Combine 4 c flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 ¬Ĺ c butter

Work butter in to flour with hands to resemble coarse meal

Gradually pour ¬Ĺ c cold milk or cream

Press into pie pan, reserving 1/4 dough for the top

Pre bake the crust in an oven preheated to 375 until the crust starts to brown.

Fill:  Slice peaches and gently mix in a bowl with enough flour to lightly coat the fruit and a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg.

Roll & slice dough in strips or cut shapes to lay over top of pie.

Bake 375 degrees for one hour with foil or a baking sheet on the rack under the pie


Avila Valley Barn | San Luis Obispo, California

Peaches, stacked in their crust, ready for a top crust & bake.

Peach Pie from the oven. 

Mole Negro, Oaxacan Black Mole



Mole Negro Oaxacan Black Mole from Ashley, Meta Street Cafe

I have the benefit of living in Southern California and near an excellent Mexican Market. ¬†Filled with fresh produce and authentic ingredients, my best find during the Saturday grocery shop was fresh Mole Negro paste sitting on the butcher counter. ¬†Mole Paste is one ingredient in Mole,¬†a Oaxacan Black Sauce commonly eaten in Mexico and poured over poultry. ¬†I have a recipe for the paste, but I am somewhat intimidated by it, so I bought the paste from Red Barn Market and used it to make Mole Sauce¬†from A Cook’s Tour of Mexico Authentic Recipes from the Country’s Best Open-Air Markets, City Fondas and Home Kitchens. ¬†I hope¬†to¬†master the paste in the near future, so check back for a post¬†describing Mole Negro Paste.

Mole Negro Sauce Recipe

12 tomatillos

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups Mole paste

1 1/2 quarts chicken broth

4 1/2 oz. Mexican chocolate

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

salt to taste

sesame seeds for garnish

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Remove tomatillo husks, put in boiling water, and boil for 15 minutes.  Drain & cool.  Put tomatillos in a blender or food processor and make a puree.
  2. Heat olive oil in a deep pot and add tomatillo puree. Add Mole paste and stir.  Stir in chicken broth slowly.  Add chocolate, sugar, bread crumbs, and salt.
  3. Simmer & stir for 30 minutes.
  4. Use poured over cooked poultry and freeze leftovers.

Waiting with the groceries at the Mexican Market.

Strawberry Tabbouleh


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Strawberry Tabbouleh ready for a potluck.

Strawberry Tabbouleh from Ashley, Meta Street Cafe

Bringing a dish was optional at yesterday’s backyard birthday party, but offers option after option for Farmer’s Market-based meals that ¬†inspire one to share. ¬†This salad is sweet and savory, a favorite of Love & Lemons from her favorite spring cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon: Simple and Inspired Whole Foods Recipes to Savor and Share. ¬†Needless to say, I need a bigger shelf for cookbooks in my kitchen.

Strawberry Tabbouleh Recipe

¬ĺ cup cooked bulgur wheat

1 clove minced garlic

3 whole green onions

1 pint strawberries

3 small cucumbers

‚Öď cup finely chopped mint leaves

¬ľ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Zest and juice of 1 small lemon

¬Ĺ to ¬ĺ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¬Ĺ cup crumbled feta cheese

Dice the green onions and add them to a large mixing bowl.

Finely dice the strawberries and cucumbers and add them to the bowl.

Add the cooled bulgur, mint, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and feta and, very gently, stir everything to mix well.

The tabbouleh will keep covered, in the fridge for 3 days but it’s best the day it’s made.

Recipe from


Checking out the van tent at a backyard birthday party.

Chard Wraps with Carrot Hummus


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Chard Wraps with Carrot Hummus

Chard Wraps with Carrot Hummus from Ashley, Meta Street Cafe

Kitchen gardens have been supplying fresh food to kitchens in the U.S. for centuries.  Just outside a home, the kitchen garden may include herbs, fruits & flowers, as well as vegetables.  My kitchen garden grows in place of a front lawn I tore out a few years ago.  Having an edible/usable yard was a very positive change.  To walk out the front to pick basil for pasta sauce, kale for a smoothie, flowers for a birthday, blackberries for breakfast is so satisfying.
This recipe was written by Love & Lemons, inspired by, for Collard Wraps.  I have chard in my garden, so it was made with chard during a day with friends in Another Kitchen Cooking Club.  The technique described for charring the garlic with carrots brings the hummus flavor up a notch.

Chard in the Kitchen Garden

Make the Carrot Hummus

¬Ĺ teaspoon coconut oil

3 small carrots

2 medium garlic cloves

2 teaspoons ground harissa, or another chili, seasoning

1 cup chickpeas (cooked and drained)

juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

juice of ¬Ĺ an orange (about 2 tablespoons)

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

salt, to taste

Carrot Hummus Directions

Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet, add carrots, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt.

Cook until the outsides begin to char, about 10 minutes.

Remove the garlic if it starts to burn.

Add the chili seasoning and let the carrots cook for just a minute longer.

Remove from pan and let cool slightly.

Peel the garlic

Chop carrots into 1-inch pieces.

Add the carrots, garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice and orange juice to a blender or food processor.

Puree, drizzling in the olive oil as you blend.

Prepare Wraps

Tim the stems from the chard

Assemble with the ingredients listed below & eat like a taco.

carrot hummus

1 cup cooked millet

¬Ĺ cup chickpeas

2 grated carrots

sliced avocado

sliced red cabbage

sprinkle of hemp seeds


Roses from the garden in an old family vase.

Sourdough Biscuits



Sourdough biscuits fresh from the oven.

Sourdough Biscuits from Robyn, Plum Cove Cottage

If you think ahead and have your sourdough starter ready to go, these biscuits are embarrassingly easy to make, and come out perfectly.

Sourdough Biscuits Recipe

Sift 2 cups flour, 1 tbl sugar, 1 tbl baking powder, ¬ĺ tsp salt

Pour in 2 cups sourdough starter

Knead and let rise in greased bowl till double

Pinch dough and roll into 18 balls and place in large greased iron skillet

Bake 400 degs for 30 mins


Sourdough Biscuits


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