Oct 04 2011

A few things going on in my kitchen

Lately I’ve been inspired to put my kitchen appliances to work. Today, I have a loaf of bread baking in my bread machine. I love when loaves turn out well. It takes maybe 7 minutes for me to measure everything and plop it in the machine. Four-ish hours later, and a yummy loaf is ready for us. I picked up 50 pounds of organic whole wheat flour for $20 from a nearby health food store, but I’ve realized it’s not the type of flour suitable for bread.

The stuff doesn’t rise. In today’s loaf, I have added gluten. If it doesn’t work out today I will put a combo of bread flour/wheat flour. The flour should still be good for quick breads and such. I hope. I still have a lot to learn about bread and baking.

I’m using my crock pot for the first time in many months. I have a whole chicken in there. I rinsed it and seasoned it and I’ll see it again later this evening. I don’t like cutting up raw chicken, especially when it’s from a whole chicken so I like that I can just cook the whole bird and use the meat in a variety of ways.

We’ll eat some of the chicken for dinner tonight along with rice and some greens. I’ll portion out the rest of the meat and use it in soup, maybe a casserole, and maybe tacos or a chicken salad. I’ll save the bones and use those to make stock. My $4.36 chicken from Trader Joe’s can go a long way!

(Related: See Laura’s post on how to stretch a chicken to make six meals)

Finally in my kitchen today, I’m soaking raw sunflower seeds in saltwater. They’ll soak for quite a few hours (7+) and then I’ll put them in my dehydrator. Haven’t used that contraption in a long time, either.

(Related: See The Nourishing Gourmet’s post on soaking nuts and seeds)

Apparently, soaking and then dehydrating the seeds/nuts helps with our own digestion. Makes sense. A seed, by design, is meant to sprout and grow into another plant. So it has enzymes or something to protect it in it’s seedy state. Those enzymes are a challenge to digest, so by soaking ’em and dehydrating them, we help make them more digestible. Or something. This is the first time I’m doing this. Either way, it only took a minute of my time to prepare the seeds right now and it’ll just take a few more minutes to put them in the dehydrator.

I enjoy working in the kitchen and trying new recipes and methods of food prep. I especially enjoy it when I can use a helpful appliance to do most of the work for me!

6 Responses to “A few things going on in my kitchen”

  1. Whole chickens in the crockpot are the best- for us, they stretch to 4+ meals. We’ve been getting a lot of use out of our crockpot lately, since my husband discovered he can put a hunk of meat in there with cream soup during E’s morning nap and it become dinner by the time I’m home. I’m delighted by the discovery, too.

  2. My first time posting. I love your blog.

    Just a thought here, maybe it is your yeast making your bread not rise. If the yeast is old, it won’t rise. Before you give up on the flour, try buying some new yeast.

    Mom to a 7 year old, 6 year old and 2 1/2 year old.

  3. Hey Lisa! Thanks for commenting and for reading here.

    I thought I’d give this loaf one chance and if it again flopped with the addition of gluten, then yep replacing the yeast would be the next step.

    But today’s loaf rose and rose some more. Almost burst out of my machine. Whoops. So next time I will scale back the amount of gluten until I find the perfect blend.

  4. When I started making bread I produced 3 loaves of bricks. Then I finally found out from a nice lady at church that even the lowest setting on my oven was too hot to allow the yeast to rise before baking. I was killing the yeast! Now I always put a pot of just boiled water in the oven with my dough and shut the door for an hour! Works like a charm! Glad you figured it out with the gluten!

  5. I like the tip on the sunflower seeds. My 8 year old loves sunflowers and we have planned to plant a couple dozen in the yard next spring with the intent of harvesting the heads for the seeds in the fall. I was thinking I just needed to hang them and let them air dry, but soaking them and dehydrating makes sense. Thanks for the tip.

  6. Whole chicken in the crockpot is the best, and extending to foods + 7. Recently we have been using the crockpot a lot, because my husband, where you can find large pieces of meat, cream of soup from a morning nap in the E, was done, I home to dinner. I am very happy to find, but also

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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