My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Tried Something New – Ezekiel Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie?  Not me.  I love ’em!  What’s the problem?  There are very few redeeming qualities in chocolate chip cookies (other than that they’re delicious).  They’re not exactly health food, are they?  With the holiday weekend upon us, I decided to make some cookies, since everyone is home.  But I didn’t want to make the same, plain old chocolate chip cookies.  I decided to experiment with my Ezekiel mix and three different kinds of chocolate chips. (Not sure what Ezekiel Mix is? Read about it here and here.)  This is what I came up with.

 

Ezekiel Mix Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ezekiel Mix Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Ezekiel Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by Ghirardelli

 

1 cup salted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon molasses (you can substitute 3/4 cup of the sugar and the molasses for brown sugar. See how to make your own brown sugar here.)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract (real is better!)

2 large eggs

3 cups chocolate chips (I used an even mix of white chocolate, semi-sweet, and 60% cacao chips)

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Ezekiel flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugars, and molasses.  Stir on medium until creamy.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and mix on low until combined.  Add salt, baking soda, and flours.  Stir on low until flour is incorporated.  Then add chocolate chips and mix until the chips are evenly distributed in the dough.  Put cookie dough into refrigerator while preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  When oven is ready, remove cookie dough from oven, form cookies, and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until to desired doneness.  Allow to sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes after removing from the oven, then transfer to a cooling rack.

 

Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

All ingredients assembled, except for the real vanilla extract. Don't forget it! It makes these cookies extra delicious!

All ingredients assembled, except for the real vanilla extract. Don’t forget it! It makes these cookies extra delicious!

 

Mix together butter, sugar, and molasses. If you prefer, or if you don't have molasses, substitute 3/4 cup of the sugar and molasses for brown sugar. Basically, I'm making my own molasses, but I'm letting the mixer do the work. Want to learn how to make it yourself? Check out my tutorial here.

Mix together butter, sugar, and molasses. If you prefer, or if you don’t have molasses, substitute 3/4 cup of the sugar and molasses for brown sugar. Basically, I’m making my own molasses, but I’m letting the mixer do the work. Want to learn how to make it yourself? Check out my tutorial here.

 

Next. I added the eggs and vanilla extract.

Next. I added the eggs and vanilla extract, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

 

When the eggs and vanilla were incorporated, I added the salt, baking soda, all-purpose flour, and Ezekiel flour. You can see it on the right. It's a tad bit darker than the all-purpose flour.

When the eggs and vanilla were incorporated, I added the salt, baking soda, all-purpose flour, and Ezekiel flour. You can see it on the right. It’s a tad bit darker than the all-purpose flour.

 

Finally, I added the chocolate chips. I added about 1 cup of each kind of chocolate chips: white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips, and 60% cacao chips.

Finally, I added the chocolate chips. I added about 1 cup of each kind of chocolate chips: white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips, and 60% cacao chips.

 

When the chips were well combined with the dough, I removed the bowl from my mixer and popped it into the fridge while I preheated my oven. Could I have preheated my oven before I started making the cookies? Certainly! But I've found that refrigerating the dough just a bit before baking the cookies helps the cookies hold their shape better when baking them.

When the chips were well combined with the dough, I removed the bowl from my mixer and popped it into the fridge while I preheated my oven. Could I have preheated my oven before I started making the cookies? Certainly! But I’ve found that refrigerating the dough just a bit before baking the cookies helps the cookies hold their shape better when baking them.

 

When the oven was hot and ready, I used a 2 tablespoon scoop to form my cookies and placed them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Then I put them in the oven for about 9 minutes until they were done.

When the oven was hot and ready, I used a 2 tablespoon scoop to form my cookies and placed them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Then I put them in the oven for about 9 minutes until they were done.

 

I rotated the pan once during cooking to ensure the cookies baked evenly, and removed it when the cookies looked just a tad bit underdone. I left them on the cookie sheet to finish baking.

I rotated the pan once during cooking to ensure the cookies baked evenly, and removed it when the cookies looked just a tad bit underdone. I left them on the cookie sheet to finish baking.

 

This finished baking the cookies so they are just as I like them: chewy centers with crisp edges!

This finished baking the cookies so they are just as I like them: chewy centers with crisp edges!

 

These were a bit hit! My kids (who are notoriously picky when it comes to asking them to eat "healthier" food) loved them. They said they couldn't taste the Ezekiel flour. I could, and I liked it. It added a little more depth to the flavor. Next time, I may back off the sugar just a bit, because I think the beans in the Ezekiel mix add a certain sweetness making some of the sugar unnecessary.

These were a bit hit! My kids (who are notoriously picky when it comes to asking them to eat “healthier” food) loved them. They said they couldn’t taste the Ezekiel flour. I could, and I liked it. It added a little more depth to the flavor. Next time, I may back off the sugar just a bit, because I think the beans in the Ezekiel mix add a certain sweetness making some of the sugar unnecessary.

 

So I made my cookies a tad bit healthier with some Ezekiel flour, and my kids loved them.  Win-win for me and my family!

 

How do you make unhealthy treats a little (or a lot) healthier?

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA

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Well, I Made It – Ezekiel Bread – And Even Michael Liked It!

If you’ve been reading my blog the past couple of days, you’ve “heard” me mention Ezekiel Mix and Ezekiel Bread.  I repacked it for long term storage here and ground it into flour here. Some of my readers have asked what it is, because they had never heard of it before.  Ezekiel Mix (which is used to make Ezekiel Bread) is made from a recipe found in Ezekiel 4:9 in the Old Testament in The Bible.  It is made from a mixture of grains and legumes that form a complete protein.  The scripture giving the recipe reads: “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles [lentils], and millet, and fitches [spelt], and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof.”

 

One very interesting fact about Ezekiel bread (and mix) is that the ingredients form a complete protein.  As any vegetarian and vegan knows, you must be careful in your food choices to ensure you not only get enough protein, but that you get complete proteins.  Ezekiel mix is not the only way to do it, but it is an easy way.  You can use it in a variety of dishes, but the most common is bread or as a flour in baked goods.

 

Last night, I attempted Ezekiel bread for the first time.  Before I started, I found two different types of recipes: quick breads and traditional bread that needs to rise.  I opted to make a quick bread for my first foray into Ezekiel bread. 

 

Ezekiel Quick Bread - Yummy!

Ezekiel Quick Bread – Yummy!

 

Ezekiel Quick Bread

Adapted from a recipe from Rainy Day Foods

 

4 cups warm water

1 cup honey (or molasses)

1 stick butter, salted

2 tablespoons yeast

5 cups Ezekiel Mix Flour

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons dough enhancer

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

(You may replace the dough enhancer and vital wheat gluten with another 1/4 cup Ezekiel flour.)

1-2 tablespoons melted butter

 

Preheat oven to the lowest possible temperature (170 degrees Fahrenheit).  In a large bowl, mix together warm water, honey, and yeast.  Let sit for 5 minutes until it begins to bubble and appears “frothy.”  Add remaining ingredients (flour, enhancer, vital wheat gluten, and salt) and stir until well combined and the dough is stretchy and elastic.  As this is a quick bread, it will not form a ball, but will remain a wet batter.

 

Pour batter into three greased bread pans, evenly distributing it between the pans.  Place into the preheated oven (170 degrees) and let sit for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough is about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan.  Do not let it rise any higher, or you will have a BIG mess in your oven.  Once the batter has risen, turn the oven up to 350 degrees WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN DOOR!  If you open the oven door, your bread will fall.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until it is nicely browned.  Remove from oven and frush the top of the loaves with melted butter (1-2 tablespoons).  Let cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let it cool the rest of the way before cutting the bread.

 

Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

Ingredients assembled...

Ingredients assembled…

 

First, I put 4 cups of warm water in my mixing bowl, then I added 1 cup of raw honey and 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast. After 5 minutes, it was bubbly and ready to go.

First, I put 4 cups of warm water in my mixing bowl, then I added 1 cup of raw honey and 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast. After 5 minutes, it was bubbly and ready to go.

 

I added the remaining ingredients (vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer, salt, and Ezekiel flour).

I added the remaining ingredients (vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer, salt, and Ezekiel flour).

 

I let the mixer go for several minutes until it was well combined. In retrospect, I think I should have used my paddle attachment rather than my dough hook.

I let the mixer go for several minutes until it was well combined. In retrospect, I think I should have used my paddle attachment rather than my dough hook.

 

I distributed the batter evenly between my three greased bread pans and popped it in a 170 degree oven. After 20 minutes, the dough was about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan, so, without opening the oven door, I turned the oven temperature up to 350 degrees. Then I let it bake for 30 minutes.

I distributed the batter evenly between my three greased bread pans and popped it in a 170 degree oven. After 20 minutes, the dough was about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan, so, without opening the oven door, I turned the oven temperature up to 350 degrees. Then I let it bake for 30 minutes.

 

At the 30 minute point, the bread was not super brown on the top, although the edges were browning. So, I checked it with a toothpick, it came out clean, and I removed it from the oven.

At the 30 minute point, the bread was not super brown on the top, although the edges were browning.  I checked it with a toothpick, it came out clean, so I removed it from the oven and immediately brushed the top of the loaves with 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter.

 

The bread did not rise quite the way I thought it would, so I was a bit worried the bread would be dense.

The bread did not rise quite the way I thought it would.  I was worried the bread would be dense, so I cut a loaf while still hot…

 

Not a good idea if you want pretty slices. It tasted wonderful, but the slices weren't that attractive.

Not a good idea if you want pretty slices. It tasted wonderful, but the slices weren’t that attractive.

 

It cut much easier after letting the loaves cool completely.

It cut much easier after letting the loaves cool completely.

 

Now, this bread must be good, because my son, Michael, who is a very particular eater, loved it!  He generally hates all whole grain everything, so this is a miracle, indeed.  I am going to make the traditional rise bread recipe next week, and I think I’ll play around with cookies, replacing some of the regular flour with Ezekiel flour.  This has opened a whole new world of possibilities to me!

 

What do you think about this? 

And do you have any “healthy” recipes that your family doesn’t gawk at?

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA


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A Family Favorite – Funeral Potatoes – Made With Food Storage

Funeral Potatoes, sometimes called Utah Potato Casserole, are delicious!  I love them!  Creamy, potato-y, cheesy, with some crunch on top.  Perfecto!

 

Funeral Potatoes, aka Utah Potato Casserole, made with Emergency Essentials Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes

Funeral Potatoes, aka Utah Potato Casserole, made with Emergency Essentials Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes

 

You know what is not a favorite thing of mine?  Prepping the potatoes for this dish.  I hate the cooking and shredding (or chopping), so I don’t make these as often as I’d like.  Also, we’re not big baked potato eaters, so when the craving for these hits, I rarely have potatoes on hand.  Yes, it’s a first world problem, so I’m not complaining too loudly about it.

 

When I received the prize for this month’s giveaway (enter here!), I realized that the shredded hash browns could be used in all sorts of recipes and not only for traditional hash browns.  As soon as I opened the package Emergency Essentials gave to me to test, I realized that these were absolutely *PERFECT* for Funeral Potatoes.  I resolved to make them asap and did last night.  Let me begin with my recipe.

 

Delicious Funeral Potatoes - Fresh From The Oven!

Delicious Funeral Potatoes – Fresh From The Oven!

 

Funeral Potatoes

Adapted from a recipe in The Essential Mormon Cookbook

 

4 cups dehydrated hash browns (or one 32-oz package frozen shredded hash browns)

2 cans cream of chicken soup (10 1/2 oz cans), or your favorite cream soup

2 cups sour cream

1 cup grated cheddar (I used sharp cheddar, you can use freeze-dried without reconstituting it)

1/2 cup butter, melted (salted or unsalted, your choice)

2 tablespoons dried onion (or 1/3 cup chopped onion)

2 cups crushed corn flakes or corn chex cereal

2 tablespoons butter melted

 

Rehydrate potatoes according to the directions on the package (for mine, I put 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials’ Hash Browns into 16 cups of salted boiling water and let it simmer for 7 minutes).  Drain hash browns and transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish.  (If using frozen hash browns, it works best if you let them thaw a bit before putting them in the casserole dish, but they do not need to be heated through.)

 

In a mixing bowl, mix together soup, sour cream, cheese, 1/2 cup melted butter and dried onion until well combined.  Pour over potatoes in casserole dish and stir until the soup mixture is evenly distributed among the potatoes.  Set aside.  Mix together crushed corn cereal and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Spread over top of potato mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly along the edges and the corn cereal is slightly brown.  Serve warm.

 

Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

 

Before I assembled my ingredients, I boiled some water, added a touch of salt, and added 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials Hash Brown Potatoes.

Before I assembled my ingredients, I boiled some water, added a touch of salt, and added 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials Hash Brown Potatoes.

 

 

While the potatoes were cooking, I assembled my ingredients.

While the potatoes were cooking, I assembled my ingredients.

 

I mixed the soup and sour cream together, then I added the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

I mixed the soup and sour cream together, then I added the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

 

Next, I added dried onion. Personally, I prefer fresh onion, but my kids don't like the "crunch" of fresh onion, so we compromise and I use dried onion.

Next, I added dried onion. Personally, I prefer fresh onion, but my kids don’t like the “crunch” of fresh onion, so we compromise and I use dried onion.

 

Next, I added the melted butter (I used salted butter), and stirred well to combine.

Next, I added the melted butter (I used salted butter), and stirred well to combine.

 

After 7 minutes, the potatoes were re-hydrated and ready to use. I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9x13 casserole dish.

After 7 minutes, the potatoes were re-hydrated and ready to use.

 

I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9x13 casserole dish.

I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9×13 casserole dish.

 

Next, I poured the soup mixture over the potatoes and stirred until the potatoes and soup were well combined.

Next, I poured the soup mixture over the potatoes and stirred until the potatoes and soup were well combined.

 

I crushed my corn chex cereal with my rolling pin...

I crushed my corn chex cereal with my rolling pin.  (You know, I love using corn chex in my chex crispy treats.  See my super easy recipe here.)

 

Then, I mixed it with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Then, I mixed it with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

 

Finally, I topped the potato mixture with the corn cereal/butter mixture and popped the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Finally, I topped the potato mixture with the corn cereal/butter mixture and popped the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

30 short minutes later, I had delicious Funeral Potatoes!

30 short minutes later, I had delicious Funeral Potatoes!

 

Don't those look good?

Don’t those look good?

 

Now, I’ve showed you three different ways to use dehydrated hash brown potatoes. 

Can you think of another way to use them in your every day cooking?

 

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA