Passionate Homemaking’s Soaked Whole Grain Bread. (The one.)

Okay, I’ve got another bread recipe.  I think this is THE ONE.  (I always say that, but I think it’s for real this time.)  It’s from Lindsay’s Passionate Homemaking blog.  And, can I say how impressed I’ve been with Lindsay? She is this young mom that just seems to have it all together!  I’ve read her blog for about a year now, and this 40-something has gleaned a wealth of information and recipes from that 20-something!  (at least she looks 20-something–not sure of her age!)  Everything from coconut oil uses to homemade cleaning products and many, many recipes, her blog has it all.

This bread is soaked overnight, preferably for 24 hours since it uses oatmeal, making it NT-friendly and ultra-nourishing! I love using oatmeal in bread, since we eat very little oatmeal for breakfast, and I know it’s so good for us.  I substitute a little molasses for some of the honey because I like molasses and because of its beneficial nutrients.  I don’t add all the seeds that she does because I don’t happen to have them, but I would if I did :). Also, I made it today without any dough enhancer, and it turned out fine!  You can see her recipe here.  I am going to write my version of it here, but if you want all the details of how to do it, please visit her site.  (But please visit her blog anyway; it’s pretty incredible.)  I split Lindsay’s recipe in half, by the way, since that’s all my KitchenAid will hold.

Soaked Whole Grain Bread

Mix well together in bowl:

  • 5 1/2 c. fresh ground whole wheat flour (I use hard red)
  • 1/2 c. kefir
  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. honey (I don’t fill it full, then add molasses to the top, maybe 1-2 Tbls.)
  • 6 Tbls. butter or coconut oil, melted

Cover and let sit on counter 12-24 hours.  Then get your yeast going by mixing together the following and let sit for 5 minutes til bubbly:

  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbls + 1/4 3/4 tsp. yeast [later realized I had divided wrong, but it worked anyway!]

Add the mixture to the dough, and add:

  • 2 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Mix all this together and knead as normal.  You will probably need to use some more flour–between 1/2 and 3/4 cup–but don’t add any more than it takes to make the dough clean the bowl.  Let rise till double, punch down, let rise again, punch down and put in pans.  Rise once more, then bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Yes, I know I didn’t add much detail on the process.  It’s a trick to get you over to Lindsay’s!

Until I can get my sourdough bread to come out right, this is the bread I will be making.


Menu Plan Monday (3-1-10)


  • Prep-Beef/lamb bone broth, soak bread dough


  • D-Embarrassingly bad lamb kidney soup, biscuits w/butter & honey


  • B-LO biscuits, basted eggs, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L- Beef bone broth, PB sandwich
  • D-Roast beef black bean chile, cheese & onion cornbread
  • Prep-Soak waffle batter


  • B-Waffles, fried eggs, bone broth
  • L-Cheesy popcorn, kefir
  • D-Salmon fillets, sautéed chard, LO cornbread
  • Prep-Thaw pate


  • B- Fried eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, fruit smoothie
  • L-Liver pate & veggie sandwich
  • D-LO chile on baked potato


  • B-Spinach scramble, toast, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L-Salmon patties, tartar sauce, green salad
  • D-LO salmon patties, sautéed veggies, bread
  • Prep-Thaw tomato puree


  • B-Fried eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, smoothie
  • L-Homemade tomato soup, bread

For more menu ideas, visit

How not to make soup. (Don’t try this at home.)

I finally made something that Hubby didn’t like. And wouldn’t eat. Okay, there was the Thai Green Curry that was too hot, but that’s understandable, right? And lest anyone is critical of someone who is just too picky, I have to say that my Hubby HATES to waste food.  He’ll eat things that are past their prime, just so they don’t go to waste.  I have learned to use up my leftovers long before this happens, because  A) I can’t stand to see him eat something gross; B) I see it as a challenge to use everything up, due to my limited food budget; and C) because he’s drilled it into me that wasting food is…a waste.

So I had this package of lamb kidneys in the freezer, just waiting for me to do something with.  And I really needed to make some bone broth out of a bunch of lamb bones (and a couple beef bones), so I decided to combine my efforts–make the broth, cook the kidney in the broth, remove from broth and cut up, then make a soup from the broth, kidney pieces and some veggies.  Sound good so far, right? (other than the run-on sentence!)

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted kidney, much less lamb kidney, so I took one out and bit into it, for research’s sake (yes, after it was cooked!).  Very liver-y, and with a little center fatty-looking part.  I wasn’t too excited to make liver soup, but I was too committed at that point to change courses, so I trudged ahead (mistake #1) and cut them all in tiny dice.  My thought was that if the broth and veggies were tasty enough, we wouldn’t notice the liver-y kidneys too much.

I put them in a soup pot with a bunch of veggies: onion, celery, carrots, turnips and cabbage.  Added a bunch of the bone broth from the crock pot and set it to cook.  Tasted the soup occasionally (well, just the broth really), and it was okay, sort of blah, but doable.  I added some of my frozen herb butter at the end because it needed a punch of flavor.

Well, to make a long story short, the soup was definitely not a hit.  I served it (mistake #2) with homemade biscuits. Hubby said the soup smelled like a cow barn.  He tried it, pushed it away and ate a biscuit with honey instead.  Tried the soup again a few minutes later and again pushed it aside.  I did manage to eat it but tried not to think of the flavor in my mouth. Instead, I concentrated on the yummy biscuit with lots of butter and honey.

Now, please, no comments on rudeness here!  This is the ONLY time, except for the too hot Thai food, that he’s ever not eaten something I made.  He even eats things he really doesn’t like too much, like fruit on green salads. (He faithfully ate them for several years before telling me I had traumatized him with strawberries in the salad!)

Oh, and by the way, Little Boy LOVED the soup.  Picked the kidney meat out and ate it piece by piece.  Ate every little bit of that soup.

Menu Plan Monday (2-21-10)


  • Prep-Beef/lamb bone broth, bread dough, sauerkraut, ketchup, thaw beans & rice


  • D-Roast chicken, potatoes, creamed spinach, PB cookies


  • B-Ham & cheese omelet, toast, kefir
  • L- Beef bone broth, cheesy bread
  • D-Fried smelt, tartar sauce, coleslaw, home fries
  • Prep-Boil & pickle eggs


  • B-Fried eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut fruit smoothie
  • L-Tuna cream cheese dip w/carrots, celery & green olives, apples
  • D-Chicken cabbage rice casserole, salad
  • Prep-Make PB dip, get crock pot stew ready


  • B- Cheesy scrambled eggs, toast, kefir
  • L-PB honey coconut oil dip, carrot & celery sticks, bread
  • D-Beef stew w/potatoes, turnips, carrots


  • B-Ham spinach scramble, toast, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L-LO stew
  • D-Bean tostadas, Spanish rice


  • B-Fried eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, smoothie
  • L-Red beet eggs, cheesy bread

For more menu ideas, visit

Menu Plan Monday (2-15-10)


  • D-Out to Dinner


  • B-Basted eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L-Beef bone broth, apples with PB/honey/coconut oil dip
  • D- Salmon patties, tartar sauce, green salad, pumpkin casserole


  • B-Fried eggs, toast, fruit smoothie
  • L-LO salmon patty sandwich
  • D-Lamb chops, green salad


  • B- Cheesy scrambled eggs, home fries, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L- Sardine dip, carrot sticks, bread/butter
  • D-Cheeseburgers, lettuce, tomatoes, home made French fries


  • B-Spinach quiche, toast, kefir
  • L-LO quiche, apples, carrot sticks
  • D-Black bean soup, bread


  • B-Fried eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, smoothie
  • L-Cheesy bread, fruit

For more menu ideas, visit

Menu Plan Monday (2-8-10)


  • D-Gyro meatballs, pita, tzatziki sauce, lettuce/tomatoes


  • B-Basted eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L-LOs or PB sandwich, pears
  • D- Navy bean soup from freezer
  • Prep-Thaw short ribs, thaw pumpkin


  • B-Fried eggs, toast, fruit smoothie
  • L-LO Salmon patties, bread, lettuce, tomato
  • D- Salmon patties, tartar sauce, green salad


  • B- Cheesy scrambled eggs, home fries, sauerkraut, kefir
  • L- Sardine dip, carrot sticks, bread/butter
  • D-Beef short ribs, greens, pumpkin casserole,


  • B-Spinach quiche, toast, kefir
  • L-Yogurt, fruit
  • D-Poached salmon, sweet potato, zucchini, salad


  • B-Fried eggs, hash browns, sauerkraut, smoothie
  • L-Cheesy bread, fruit

For more menu ideas, visit

Going with the flow. (Milk Based Soup)

Warm, gooey, melty, cheesy, bacony Cream of Potato Soup

It seems like every time I make a menu and then post it, I later have to modify it. Several times I’ve planned a tuna casserole, forgetting I had no tuna (and forgetting to buy it).  This time I forgot to buy canned salmon for the patties.  Must be the mommy brain.  As I was thinking this morning about having Hubby go to the store for salmon, I had a brain flash: “How ’bout using those leftover herb-baked potatoes from last night to make a wonderful soup?” Tonight’s menu features homemade pizza, which I’ve not been able to get excited about yet, probably because I was too tired yesterday to get the crust made, and tomorrow’s has the salmon patties.  So, what to do… I’ll make the pizza crust today, the soup for tonight, and do the pizza tomorrow night.  That will give me pizza leftovers for Thursday lunch, which will be great, because I will have worked an overnight shift Wednesday night and won’t have to cook lunch on Thursday.  (I probably will be in some sort of comatose at noon on Thursday.)  Confused? It’s called “going with the flow.”

Now, for those readers who read the Broth Based Soup post, you get to expand your soup-making repertoire and learn how to make a cream (or milk) based soup.  From scratch.

As I’m beginning this post, I have not started the soup, but I have an idea of what it will be like because I have some key ingredients waiting for me in the fridge.  First let’s talk about cream soups.  We’ll start with a deconstruction, like we did before.

Milk Based Soup Deconstruction

  • Base – Think of Cream of Whatever soups.  Basically, a broth or meat flavored white sauce, thinned down to soup consistency.  We’ll do this from scratch, of course, with my Grandma’s gravy ratio for fat, flour and liquid.  You need to consider fat to be part of the base.  You could go with just butter, which is of course yummy!  I often use a combo of fats to make the sauce with, because that’s what I have and that’s what I love! (Imagine the flavor of a sauce made with butter, bacon grease and beef tallow!)
  • Basic flavor veggies – As always, I begin with my flavor veggies, my “mirepoix”–onion, celery & carrot. These will heavily flavor your soup base, yet remain in the background to allow the stars of the show to shine through!  You’ll want approximately equal amounts of these veggies, cut up as small as possible (in fact, I often just grate the carrot, and you could do the same with the onion and celery too).
  • Meat/protein – This differs from the broth based soup.  You don’t necessarily need meat for a cream soup, which is why I often make them for my non-meat meals.  The milk in the base (plus possibly cheese added later) will give you lots of protein.  If you have some leftover meat and want to put it in, go ahead!  You could make a cream of chicken soup with leftover chicken from the night before.  I usually make more of a cream of veggie soup, heavily flavored with some sort of meat fat. If I have a few slices of bacon hanging out in the fridge or freezer (which is rare), I’ll crumble that up and throw in the pot.
  • Starch– This depends on what you’re going for here.  Obviously, a potato soup will have potatoes for the starch.  You don’t really need any noodles or other starchy things.  Look in your fridge for inspiration here–what do have sitting in there, begging to be used? Maybe some leftover rice?  I just looked in the fridge, and I saw a tiny bit of leftover pasta, so I’ll put that in the pot too, along with my baked potatoes.
  • Extra/signature vegetables – What kind of soup do you want?  Cream of broccoli?  Cream of mushroom?  Or a mixture of veggies?  You’ll usually want to cook the veggies first, instead of putting them in raw.  (They would eventually cook, of course, but I like to make things as quick and easy as possible.  I can usually get a soup done from start to finish in about a half hour.)  Today, I think I’ll use a mix of veggies in addition to the potatoes–probably some zucchini and red bell pepper.
  • And then there’s the cheese.  I am all about the cheese!  I should belong to Cheeselovers Anonymous, because there’s not a day goes by without me throwing it in something!  It just makes life better.  I’m going to use some cream cheese and some cheddar cheese.

So let’s get cooking!  As before, I’m not going to give exact amounts.  I will be making the soup in my 2 quart pot, to give you an idea of the finished amount.

Milk Based Soup

  1. If your extra/signature veggies need cooking first, do it now  (Broccoli or cauliflower, etc.).  I wanted to put in some crumbled bacon, so I fried the bacon while I was chopping veggies.  Since I had another good fat to use, I decided to save the bacon grease for other uses, but still take advantage of the flavor of the bacon itself. However, often I will use bacon grease to saute my veggies in.  Not very NT, but a yummy compromise!
  2. Finely chop equal portions of onion, celery and carrot. Let’s say a large

    Basic flavor veggies, ready to saute

    handful of each, give or take. Heat up your pan and put some fat in it.  I have a mix of beef tallow, coconut oil and olive oil leftover from frying some potato chips the other night, so I’ll use some of that.  At least a couple tablespoonsful. When that is melted and hot, put your flavor veggies in it and let them cook over medium-high heat til tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. While those are cooking, chop any other veggies to go in later.  I’m

    Zucchini & red bell pepper, ready to add to the basic flavor veggies. Potatoes to go in later.

    using zucchini and a little red bell pepper.  Those will go in the pot towards the end of cooking the onion mixture, since they won’t take that long to get done.  I also chopped my potatoes.  I had some leftover baked potatoes from last night that I had dipped in herb butter before baking, so I used those.

  4. You’re going to have to look at your veggies and consider how quick-cooking they are.  I really can’t tell you when to add them to the pot, but you definitely don’t want to add something like tiny chopped zucchini or thin sliced mushrooms at the beginning.  Just take a guess and add them later, so they get done approximately all together.  Don’t worry too much about this–just do it!  Since my potatoes are already cooked, I’m not going to add them til after the sauce part is done.
  5. Now, this can be done different ways, but often I think it’s just easier to

    All my veggies, removed from the pot temporarily

    throw all these veggies (once they’re all done) onto a plate, so I can use the same pot to make the sauce in.  You add the veggies back into the pot later. Professional chefs probably don’t do it this way, but oh well. Works for me!

  6. Make your white sauce.  My grandmother used the rule “2+2+1” for sauces/gravies.  It means 2 Tbls. fat + 2 Tbls. flour + 1 cup of liquid. You can adjust this accordingly if you want a thinner or thicker sauce. I’m thinking my sauce here should be slightly thinner because of all the potatoes, so I’ll do maybe 1+1+1.  I don’t measure it, but that’s basically the ratio of how I do this.  For fat, I’m going to use butter.  For liquid, I’m going to use milk and frozen chicken bone broth.  So, for my 2 quart soup pot with a ton o’ veggies in it, I’m thinking I’ll need about 3-4 cups of sauce.  I put 1/2 stick of butter in the pan and when it’s

    Whisking the butter and flour, ready to add liquid

    melted, add about the same of flour, stirring with a whisk til it’s all incorporated and then a bit more.  Stirring constantly with the whisk, add maybe a cup of milk at a time until it thickens, then add more.  I want to use some bone broth, so once I have several cups of milk in and it’s looking like a

    See how it's thickened, but not as thick as gravy

    thick sauce, I add frozen bone broth til the sauce thins out to my liking.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

  7. Add the cooked veggies back in and taste for seasoning.  I also threw in my potatoes and a handful of cooked pasta here. I wanted this to be a very CREAMY soup, so I added maybe a 1/4 cup cream cheese and a big handful of cheddar cheese and stir til melted.
  8. Since the veggies are so flavorful, I often don’t add any seasoning except salt and pepper, but I happened to have some frozen herb butter on hand, so I put that on top for the photo then stirred it in. Simply marvelous!  Give yourself a high five.
  9. If the soup is too thick, add some milk.  Usually I have to do this to the leftovers, as it thickens when refrigerated.  If it’s too thin, you could try putting a couple ladles of it in the blender for a minute, then add back to the pot.

Frozen herb butter (rosemary, basil & oregano), ready to be stirred in

This post is part of Tuesday Twister Blog Carnival.