Traditional Foods Tuesday: Peanut Butter Granola

This is a favorite recipe in our house. I have to make a double, triple and even quadruple batches of this recipe to keep it in the house for more than a meal.  We eat it as a snack by itself, over vanilla ice cream, or mixed in yogurt

Peanut Butter Granola

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (to make it nut free double the honey)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruits (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (if being used as a trail mix type of thing)

Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Begin by melting the butter and peanut butter together in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the honey, vanilla and salt. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and hot throughout. It doesn’t need to boil. Add the oats. Stir until the oats are completely coated with the sticky gooey peanut butter mixture. It will be chunky. Turn the mixture into an ungreased cookie sheet, or a large 9 by 13-inch pan. Spread the granola out evenly and bake it for 10 minutes.

It will be brown and crispy. Now remove it from the oven and allow it to cool right there in the pan. Break it up into pieces after it is cooled. Transfer the granola to a clean coffee can or sealed canister. Add the raisins, fruits and or chocolate chips if you are using them, when the granola is cool.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
St. Francis of Rome

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Sourdough Bread Killer

I admit I have a fermentation issues. I think I have killed them all: kombucha scobies, milk kefir grains, water kefir grains and sourdoughs. I can’t get them to go, or they go moldy on me. So I consider myself fermenationaly challenged.

Sourdoughs do not start in my house on their own. I don’t think there is enough wild yeasts in my home. But I love sourdough and I am going to try it once again.  This time I am going to start it with the horror of white flour and add a yeast to it, but I am going to use organic red grapes to provide the yeast.

I will use Nancy Silverton’s Grape Sourdough Starter. Once the starter is well established, I will start feeding it with whole wheat flour to have it transition to a whole wheat.

I will start it this weekend and report back next week how it fared and if it still lives.


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
St. Francis of Rome

Traditional Food Tuesday: Honey

I am slowly working my way back to the traditional food lifestyle. One of the first things I need to go is get the “whites” out of the diet. The white flour, white sugar, and white rice.

My family is BIG on sweets, we are definitely a dessert loving family. So right now I am researching alternatives to sugar and how to use them in the recipes we like. There are many good alternatives to white sugar that we can use. I am going to talk about probably one of the best out there: honey.

Honey has been collected for over 10,000 years. Can you imagine the first man that tried the honey and tried to get others to try it. I can just imagine that conversation. Humans began to keep bees sometime in Ancient Egypt. Honey is comprised of fructose and glucose. It also contains antioxidants, enzymes and trace minerals.

If you can find raw honey from a local source that is wonderful thing. It will contain pollens from your area and can work wonders on seasonal allergies since it will act as immune booster and reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms. You should start taking 2-3 spoonfuls day a few months before your seasonal allergy symptoms begin. Natural allergy shots!

Another interesting face is honey is the only food that never goes bad. Honey was found in an Egyptian tomb that was over 3,000 years old and it was still good. How is that for freshness!

Honey is sweeter than white sugar so you would use three quarters of cup for every one cup of sugar in a recipe. Since honey has so much moisture in it, you will need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe. A rule of thumb is use a quarter cup less liquid for every cup of honey. In addition honey can be acidic, so you will want to add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of honey used.,

Finally, honey can cause things to brown much faster because of the sugar content. You will want to reduce the temperature in the oven by 25 degrees.

I also love that you can get different flavors of honey depending on the the source of the pollen. Right now in my pantry I have wildflower, orange blossom, clover, strawberry and buckwheat. Sometimes I use honey to flavor the bread or muffin and then make a complimentary sauce, topping or glaze. It makes for a new depth flavor.

I would encourage you experiment with a trusted quick bread or muffin recipe and see if you can discover the joys of leaving the white sugar behind.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Traditional Foods Tuesday

I am doing it. I am getting back on the traditional food bandwagon. I feel better when I am following it. I have more energy and I am not so tired. So starting this week I am getting my menus together. I am pulling out the Back to Basics menu mailers from Cooking Traditional Foods. If you are interested in this you can purchase them as an ebook.

I will gather my things together and post some more later in the week to let you know the steps that will be happening here at the zoo.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Traditional Tuesday Restart

Now that summer has come and gone and my life appears to be heading back onto a “normal” path, I am returning to my traditional foods lifestyle. We slipped into the convenience of the traditional American diet with all the crises and chaos this year. I am noticing this change, some in the children’s behaviors and attitudes, some with my behavior and attitude and mostly in how I am feeling overall.

I am inviting you to join me in moving your diet to a healthier one. Do some research and see if this will work for your family. I didn’t think it would for mine, but now I can tell it did make a difference.

The premier book on this topic is Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. That book is packed with a lot of information and recipes. Another great is a Nina Planck’s Real Food: What to Eat and Why. I encourage you to pick up one of these books and read them with an open mind and see where can easily make changes and get started on the traditional foods lifestyle.

I would encourage you to join the Cooking Traditional Foods forum. This site contains a huge amount of information. The members are extremely helpful and friendly so don’t be afraid to jump in and ask questions. And if you are looking for some great traditional foods menus you can subscribe to the menu mailer. As a matter of fact if you are new to traditional foods now would be the perfect time to join since the mailer has started a Back to the Basics series to show you how to switch to a traditional foods lifestyle.

I look forward to seeing you all at Cooking Traditional Foods!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Traditional Tuesdays — November 3rd

Well today I am going to show my flop at sourdough bread. This was my 1st attempt with the starter I showed in the Kitchen Carnival. It rose some for the 1st rise, but didn’t to much of anything for the 2nd rise. I am going to use it for bread crumbs I think.

The 1st rise was about 12 hours, overnight. The 2nd rise was in an moist oven for 3 hours. It was only opened once to replace the hot water at about 1.5 hours.

1st try at sourdough bread

Another brick

At least the LOOK good. They taste ok, just VERY heavy. Maybe I should make more and build a house with them. Or sell them as the perfect murder weapon.

my first flop

I think I figured out my problem. I fed the starter and then pulled out the dough for the bread without giving it time to proof. Next time I will definitely feed it in the morning and make the dough in the evening and see if that improves the bread.

Any one else have any ideas why it didn’t work?

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Kitchens Gone Wild Carnival

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My friend over Life in Small Town, Wyoming has started a Carnival for all things that grow in our traditional foods kitchens. This is the first time I have been able to participate since everyone was ill in my house. So here is what I have running wild around here.

I have several recipes that call for buttermilk that I want to try so I am getting some ready to go.

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I started a sourdough starter about 2 weeks ago and it is starting to look good!

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Look at all those bubbles!

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And here is a dough setting for its first rise. We shall see how this turns out!

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And Sunday I started an Amish Friendship Bread starter. So it will be 10 days before I use this one.

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What’s growing in your kitchen?

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome