Borscht, Vegetarian Style, w/Beets, Cabbage, Potato

This soup can now be found in my ebook, Soup’s On. Alas, I couldn’t post the duplicate content, even on my own webpage, so… I’ll just sum up the recipe for you here. For more details, maybe you can get the book?! :)

Authentic Borscht recipes might use rye flour to thicken the soup, or even “Kwas” (a fermented rye brew). For those used to fermenting foods, it’s nothing too tricky; after rye flour and water ferments for a few days, the water’s poured off. The water gets fermented some more, which gives the soup its twang.Bowl of Bright Red Russian SoupSauerkraut (homemade or store-bought) can sub for the Kwas; it will give the soup a tangy kick as well. If using store-bought sauerkraut, do NOT purchase the one in a can. It really smells like garbage, and then you’ll think you don’t like it. The one in the jar should say, “naturally fermented”; once the product gets canned though, I think it’s subjected to too much heat in processing, which ruins it…

Add beef broth (and/or chunks of beef) for a hearty soup, if you want. But it’s good vegetarian-style too!

To make the soup, just bake (or slow cook) some beets until tender. Or cook them the old-fashioned way, in water on the stove top. Any way you slice it, they get rather messy. Oh well! Set the cooked beets aside.

You’ll also want to cook up some diced potatoes and carrot, in water to cover (again, until tender).

Grill some cabbage in a bit of olive oil (or coconut oil). Add 1 tablespoon or so of rye flour (or sub white flour), plus some caraway seeds (toasted first to bring out flavor). Slowly add some of the cooking water from the potato/carrot pot, stirring until smooth.

At that point, everything can go into the potato pot, including the beets (sliced in thin strips), plus some salt to taste. Add that “Kwas”, or a half cup or so of sauerkraut, or a teaspoon of white vinegar.

Serve it with some sour cream (or a dollop of coconut cream), and maybe a sprinkle of dill weed. Pretty dang good!

Posted in 3. Soups, Recipes | Tagged , | 1 Response

The Phytate-Sphere: Soak Grains, Eat “Sensibly”, Don’t Worry

Foods High In PhytatesBran is not  as trendy as it was ten or twenty years ago. I remember the days- we used to stop by our favorite bakery and consume mass quantities of sugary, sweet bran muffins (probably loaded with unhealthy oils too). I was having a bran fest- I even added raw bran flakes to my cereal. All in the name of “FIBER”!

Was it any wonder that I had some serious anemia? Bran is particularly rich in phytates, which can bind with the iron and other minerals in our system, which can lead to that anemia. Who knows what other health issues might have been connected to my “bran diet”?!

Bran is quite high in phytates; phytates can also be found (in lesser quantities) in grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.  So I’m not a bran fiend anymore. And I do try to soak my grains. Or I ferment them–I’ve really been into homemade, whole-grain sourdough bread lately. (Now that I have a Vitamix that grinds my whole wheat berries into  fresh whole wheat flour…)

Not that I’m not going on a Phytate Rant here. Phytates can be good. Consuming them in our foods probably isn’t going to upset the average person’s health. One caveat: but it might.

Just as in the bran days of yore, any one food trend might lead to unbalance, as the misinformed attempt to overcompensate, adding too much of a good thing to their diets. One of the latest trends is the “Gluten-free” craze (and the GAPS diet). One catch: folks might start chowing down on that gluten-free cake, made with almond meal instead of flour, on a fairly regular basis, telling themselves that this will help them to avoid gluten and regain health. The cost might be a phytate overload…

That was me. After bran went out of style, I forgot about it and prided myself instead on eating “healthy” breakfasts of raw, soaked grains topped with nuts, cacao nibs, and coconut. Another vegetarian meal or two might follow, featuring beans and/or grains. A snack or dessert might include a treat high in cacao nibs and nuts. Ironically, that particular diet of “wholesome” whole foods might have been slightly unbalanced. (Ya think?!)

Not to sound the alarm. There is a plus side to ingesting those phytates. Yes, they are enzyme inhibitors, but also: They can bind to excess minerals in our system. This is a valuable service, considering that excess iron generates free radicals in our bodies. So, while excess phytates might be a problem for an anemic person (like I’m prone to be), they would help someone else who was prone to an excess of iron.

Also, phytates act as antioxidants. They can even fight the proliferation of cancer cells, and improve cardiovascular health. One other feature: They might lower a food’s glycemic load, for the very reason that they slow digestion.

In conclusion: Moderation is our friend. We might consider reducing a potential overload of phytates by soaking some of our grains, beans, seeds and nuts (this will break down phytates, allowing for easier digestion). We might make bread (the yeast/fermentation process decreases phytates), and we might toast some grains, seeds (which also decreases them).

But, unless you’re going off the deep end (like I’ve often done), you can probably just adhere to this simple rule: Eat a sensible diet, be aware of the danger of raw nuts, grains, and seeds consumed in excess, and then… don’t worry about it!

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Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs, Deviled Eggs, and Easy Peeling

My friend asked me to post my secret for perfect hard-boiled eggs, so I thought I’d share how we do that at The New Deli. We’ve learned a thing or two in thirty-plus years in the business- we boil about fifteen dozen eggs a week. So take it from us!

Easy-Peel Eggs for Deviled Eggs, Etc.

It is quite common to put eggs into a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. (Then, eggs are removed from the heat to sit for 10 minutes. After that, the hot water is poured off and the pot’s refilled with cold water to cool them.)

The above method might work all right, but it’s not fool-proof. A fellow co-worker tried that method last week, and said peeling them was torture. I think the reason’s because the eggs take longer to get up to a boil if you start with cold water, and the eggs closest to the burner get too hot (becoming overcooked and rubbery).

Instead, at the deli, we bring a separate pot of water to a boil first. We pour the boiling water over a pot of eggs… see the full method below.

If you’re thinking of doing some Fourth of July deviled eggs, you can let the eggs sit in a mix of food-coloring and water for two hours, to color the outsides in a festive, patriotic way! Also, there’s this recipe for “No Mayo Deviled Eggs”, using avocado and such.

Oh, and for Easter, the egg coloring companies aren’t joking when they tell you to use cooled-off eggs. I tried using very freshly boiled, slightly warm eggs one year, thinking it would help the colors to stick better, but they don’t!

Deviled Eggs (& Hard-Boiled Eggs)

We often make a tray of deviled eggs for church events, so some of the ladies wondered how to do that. Deviled eggs are easiest to make right after cooking the eggs; the yolks mash up best while slightly warm, making creamy eggs. Makes 24 eggs.


  • 12 eggs, boiled
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 TBS. sweet relish
  • 2 tsp. mustard (hot and spicy is nice)
  • For garnishing: Paprika and parsley
  • Optional: Capers (for garnish)


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and pour over another pot filled with: > 12 eggs

 2. Bring pot of eggs and boiling water back up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low for 4 minutes.

3. Turn burner off; let eggs finish cooking as they sit it the hot water for 20 more minutes. (They can sit up to an hour).

4. Pour off the hot water, toss the pot of eggs around so that shells will crack. Fill pot with cold water, and peel eggs under water.

5. Cut each egg in half by scoring around the egg, not cutting through the yolk. This way, the two halves of egg whites can be turned to separate them, and the yolk can pop out whole.

6. To make filling, mash yolks (best done before chilling). Use potato masher if available (or a fork), then add remaining ingredients to taste: > 1/2 c. mayonnaise > 2 TBS. sweet relish > 2 tsp. mustard (hot and spicy is nice)

4. Put deviled egg yolk mixture into zip-lock (or other) bag. Cut tip off and pipe filling into whites. Sprinkle w/ paprika, garnish w/dill. Optional: Add a sprinkling of capers.


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Veggie Tray w/ Ranch Dip

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The Veggie Tray with Ranch Dressing is a healthy recipe to serve at parties. The homemade Ranch Dressing below improves on the grocery store version, flavorful and chemical-free. Salad dressing recipes made from scratch are bound to be healthier than store-bought.

For extra color, hollow out a red cabbage to serve the dip in. The leftover cabbage can be sliced up and mixed with any leftover Ranch Dip for a great side dish the next day. The Ranch Dressing recipe makes enough to serve a large crowd, with plenty of veggies on the side. Or use it in salads; it will keep weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 1 quart, serves 35-45.

Red Peppers, Carrot, Broccoli, plus Ranch Dip in Cabbage Bowl


  • 2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 pt. sour cream
  • 1 TBS. dill weed
  • 1 TBS. rubbed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 TBS. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 TBS. VegeSal (found at health food stores)
  • 2 TBS. sugar
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Green leaf lettuce (to line veggie tray)
  • 2 lb. or so carrots (approx. 6 large)
  • 1 lb. or so broccoli crowns
  • 1-2 cucumbers
  • 1 lb. or so red peppers (approx. 3 large)
  • 1 red cabbage for holding the dressing


1. Mix the following in a bowl: > 2 c. mayonnaise > 1 pt. sour cream > 1 TBS. dill weed > 1 TBS. rubbed Italian herbs > 1/2 TBS. black pepper > 1 1/2 TBS. “VegeSal” (found at health food stores) > 2 TBS. sugar > 1/4 c. lemon juice

2. To assemble veggie tray, line a platter with some green-leaf lettuce (or ornamental kale). Set the hollowed-out cabbage in the center, filling with the dip just before serving, if transporting the tray. Arrange the following veggies on the platter. The broccoli looks especially appetizing added last, nestled around the edge of the cabbage-dip-bowl.

Use the following:

> Carrots: Peel, slice, and add to a jar, with a splash of white vinegar and salt. Shake thoroughly, drain. You can prep the carrots the day before, draining the vinegar mix off and refrigerating until ready to assemble. This process really brings out the color, avoiding the “dry look”.

> Broccoli: Rub the tops in a bit of olive oil. Again, this brings out the color, tastes great, and is easier than blanching them. Also, they won’t have that dry look. (Steam as mentioned for Green Beans below, if desired.)

> Green Beans/Asparagus/Etc.: Get a big (preferably iron) pan very hot. Add prepped veggies and steam quickly by adding a splash of water and a lid. Broccoli and asparagus will only take a minute or two like this, then cool off quickly by spreading on a cookie sheet and refrigerating. Their color will be bright and the flavor will be fresh.

> Cucumbers: Score lengthwise with tines of a fork; cut into 1/4″ thick slices.

> Red peppers and any other favorite veggies: Cut into strips, to add color to the tray.

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Lavender Orange Shortbread (w/Virgin Olive Oil)- Tea Party!

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Here’s a streamlined shortbread recipe, unique and full of flavor. Change it up by using toasted fennel seeds in place of the lavender flowers, or dip half the cookie into melted chocolate…

Makes almost 2 dozen cookies.



  • 1 stick butter (1/2 c.), room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, as desired (especially if using unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 c. virgin olive oil (“blood orange-infused”, if you have it)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. orange extract
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 TBS. dried lavender flowers*
  • zest of one orange (blood orange if available)


1. Beat the first five ingredients until light and creamy: > 1 stick butter > 1/4 tsp. salt > 1/4 c. virgin olive oil > 1/4 c. sugar > 1/2 tsp. orange extract

2. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring together until just blended: > 2 c. flour > 1 TBS. dried lavender flowers* > zest of one orange

3. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 6” log or square-shaped cylinder; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap and cut each log into 1/4″ to 1/3” thick slices. Place on baking sheet, bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes or so. Let cool, serve with coffee or tea!

* Make your own “dried lavender flowers” by removing blossoms from some fresh lavender. Set on paper towel and microwave on lowest power setting, for a few minutes, until dry. Or, wrap string around a lavender bouquet, hanging upside-down for a few days to air-dry, removing dried blossoms afterward.

Posted in 8. Desserts, Recipes, Video Recipes | Tagged , | 4 Responses

Tomato Tart: Skip Mayo, Make w/Real Ingredients!

I had an exceptional tomato tart at a friend’s house. It was such a treat. I suspected it had mayo in it- when my friend told me it was a Paula Deen recipe, I knew I was right! But I wanted to make something like it for a tea party in the garden. I skipped the mayo. They were really good!

Make these tomato tarts using olive oil, cream, and egg in place of the mayonnaise that’s often used. For simplicity, Parmesan is handy- it’s already grated! But other cheeses could be substituted. Makes 24 tartlets, for 8-12 servings.

Tomato Tartlets w/No Mayo!INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 2/3 cold butter, sliced into pieces
  • 2-3 TBS. cold water
  • 1 pt. pear cherry tomatoes
  • 1 c. Parmesan
  • 1/4 c.  olive oil
  • 1/4 c. cream
  • 1 scant tsp. salt
  • 1 egg


1. For dough, process the following in a food processor just until crumbly: > 1 1/2 c. flour > 2/3 c. cold butter, sliced into pieces

2. With motor running, quickly add, mixing just until blended: > 2-3 TBS. cold water

3. Let tartlet dough “rest” in refrigerator for an hour or so for easier handling, then press into tart pans.

4. After pressing into tart pans, freeze for up to a week if necessary. Or just refrigerate 20 minutes or so, before baking. Bake empty shells at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (Frozen shells may take a bit longer.) Let cool.

5. Put a dab of Dijon mustard in bottom of each baked crust. Use: > Scant 1 TBS. Dijon

6. Slice a small bit off top and bottom of pear cherry tomatoes (so they’ll lay in tart shell); cut each tomato in half. Add one piece of the tomato to each tart shell. Use: > 12 pear cherry tomatoes

7. Mix together until smooth: > 1 c. Parmesan > 1/4 c.  olive oil > 1/4 c. cream > scant 1 tsp. salt > 1 egg

8. Add a dollop of the egg mix on top of the tomatoes in each shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. When cool enough to handle, remove from tart pans and serve warm or room temperature.

Posted in 4. Appetizers, Featured, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 6 Responses

Grin & Bear It (Proudly) w/Natural Dental Care & Toothpaste

Maybe our teeth are the “tip of the iceberg”, reflecting health (or lack of it). My story seems to suggest that!

Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Toothpaste

Over ten years ago, in my forties, my body was slowing falling apart (undiagnosed hypothyroid). I didn’t know what was wrong, but I had a list of what wasn’t right. Now my mouth was going to join that list of bodily woes–my gums were falling apart.

My dentist had filled a cavity that had appeared on the side of my tooth, near the gum. A short time later, that area of my gum started blistering (bleeding and pus included, ew). The dentist sent me to a gum specialist, who told me she needed to remove the filling I’d just gotten, so that she could perform some thousands-o-dollars gum surgery.

THIS was being told to the small business owner who had no dental insurance, and who was not making a whole lotta money! I did not like that idea.

THEN I found out about the hypothyroid. I started taking Armor Thyroid, and suddenly felt better than I’d felt in years (like, thirty!). Before taking the thyroid supplement, I had been thinking this was just what getting old felt like. Once my thyroid started working again, I discovered what feeling normal was like, and it was WAY better feeling than I’d felt in years.

So… I suspected that the gum issue was just another part of the whole thyroid problem. I suspected that my gums might start healing naturally, now that I’d begun to address (not the symptom) the CAUSE of my troubles.

I was right! My gums got WAY better. And now, I’m determined to keep ‘em that way. I’m using a little activated charcoal to brighten my teeth on occasion, and I’m brushing with homemade toothpaste (see easy recipe below).

I worked up the recipe below after reading Denise Minger’s article about her experiences. A long-term raw vegan diet gave her horrible dental problems. Because of the acidity of her mouth and body on that diet, the health of her teeth and gums suffered.It makes sense that the toothpaste below (and the activated charcoal), in causing a more alkaline condition, would be ideal for dental health.

Homemade Toothpaste


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. baking soda
  • 20 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops myrrh extract (if available)

Ideally, coconut oil should be warm enough to stir- not too solid, but not all melted either (or the baking soda will just sink to the bottom). Mix the other ingredients into the oil, stirring with a fork. Add everything to a jar; use a small amount to brush teeth. Cheaper, better, more natural!

Posted in 9. Crafts & Such, Blog, Featured, Recipes | Tagged , , | 4 Responses

Granola: Not Just for Hippies (Make Granola Bars too!)

1975- Young Hippies!We were hippies, I suppose. I was only 17 back in 1975, when I first met my husband. His super-cool older sister was turning us on to hummus and herbal teas. And I got so inspired when we walked into a health food store in Big Sur on our honeymoon (1976)- at that point, there were no such granola shacks in OUR town, back in Michigan! It didn’t take long before I was exploring granola recipes myself. By the time we opened The New Deli (in 1985), I had come up with a pretty tasty granola that we packaged up for our morning crowd. And, for us, of course!

Use a skillet for this recipe- it’s easier to stir half-way through the baking time. If you want, heat the pan on the stove, stirring the granola mix constantly over medium high heat for 5 minutes or so, until it’s golden. But I prefer putting the skillet in the oven- it gets more evenly baked to perfect crunchiness. Granola in a Skillet!

Some of the granola can be used to make “Super Easy Granola Bars” (see recipe, bottom of page). We find those more convenient to eat, since we usually don’t have milk in the house for a bowlful of granola!

Most granola recipes use quite a bit more fat (either olive oil, butter, coconut oil, or more nuts), but I discovered that eating that much oil was unbalancing my Omega 3/6 ratio- in other words, contributing to inflammation and such. So I find this granola to be just right. But you can add more oil if you want!

Also, not everyone includes molasses in their granola recipe. But it’s a great way to get a lot of extra minerals and nutrients. I sub molasses for honey, although I add raw honey to the granola bars instead. It has more enzymes and nutrients that way, when it hasn’t been heated. There’s been quite a stir about grocery-store “honey” not being all it’s cracked up to be (study found here). I think it’s because honey is often super-heated and processed. So I get higher quality raw honey. And then I don’t want to ruin it by heating it myself (hence adding it to granola bars instead). That’s my story. My long story about granola…

This makes about 6 c. of granola- 12 servings (or several batches of Granola Bars).


  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c.  molasses
  • 1/4 c. palm sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. dates, chopped (about 4 oz.)
  • 4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. nuts of choice, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • Optional: 1/2 c. raisins


1. Mix together: > 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted  > 1/4 c.  molasses  > 1/4 c. palm sugar  > 1 tsp. vanilla  > 1 tsp. almond extract  > 1/2 tsp. salt  > 1 c. dates, chopped (about 4 oz.) > 1/2 c. nuts of choice, chopped > Optional: 1/2 c. sunflower seeds 2. To the above mixture, stir in: > 4 c. rolled oats 3. Mixture will be dry (use hands to mix, if necessary). Turn out into two iron skillets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 4. Remove granola from oven, stir, then bake once more, about 10 more minutes. Let cool. If desired, add last: > 1/2 c. raisins Use the granola in the recipe below, if desired:

Super Easy Granola Bars

This makes about 14 Granola Bars.


  • 2 c. Granola (recipe above)
  • 2 c. cashews
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 TBS. cinnamon
  • `1/2 tsp. salt
  • Optional: 1 TBS. bee pollen


1. Process into a nut butter, in blender or processor: > 2 c. cashews (or other favorite)

2. Add to nut butter in blender/processor, mix some more: > 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted > 1/4 c. honey > 1 TBS. cinnamon > 1/2 tsp. salt > Optional: 1 TBS. bee pollen

3. Turn nut butter mixture out into a bowl. Process granola until fairly fine (in blender or processor): > 2 c. granola 4. Mix all the ingredients together (“knead” with hands, as dough will be stiff). Press into wax-paper-lined 7″ loaf pan (the smaller size one, if you have it). Chill and least an hour, then cut and wrap pieces in wax paper, storing bars in refrigerator. Super Easy Granola Bars (Bee Bars)

Posted in 2. Bars, Bread & Breakfast, Recipes | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Papaya Salsa w/Grilled Fish: Tropical Flavors, Healthy Style

A bit of Papaya Salsa can dress up a fish fillet, or get tossed into rice; add a side green salad topped with chopped Macadamias, in keeping with the tropical theme. Delicious!

Healthy Topping for Fish, Tropical FlavorMexican papayas are becoming easier to find. They aren’t quite as sweet as Hawaiian papayas, but they’re also less likely to be genetically modified. They might be a little uglier on the outside too- often a mottled brown/green/orange color. But this colorful fruit is especially healthy, fighting inflammation, promoting heart health, and aiding digestion.
Limes go especially well with papayas, but lemons can substitute. This salsa is the perfect summer topping for grilled fish, or even over some greens as a salad. Serves 6-8.


  • Half of one large Mexican papaya (about 3-4 c.)
  • Half of a Red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or to taste)
  • Half a bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 c.)
  • Optional: Spearmint or parsley
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Juice from 1-2 limes


1. Mix in medium bowl: > Half of a red onion, chopped fine > 2 cloves garlic, minced > 1 Jalapeno pepper (or to taste), chopped > Half a bunch cilantro (about 1/2 c.), chopped > 1/4 c. olive oil > 1 tsp. salt

2. After mixture’s coated with oil, add and mix again: > Juice of 1-2 limes > Half a papaya (about 3-4 c.), chopped

3. Serve this salsa as a topping over fish or other favorites. Add fresh spearmint for variety, if desired. Substitute pineapple for the papaya, if papaya isn’t available.

Posted in 6. Sides, Sauces, & Such, Featured, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Energy Bars, Granola Flavor (Fight Allergies, Alzheimer’s?!)

These energy bars are made with ground, raw oatmeal, which is roasted in a skillet until golden. For another version that uses granola, see this recipe.

Raw honey (local if possible), plus the bee pollen, can help allergy sufferers approach symptoms nutritionally- the extra nutrients and enzymes in pollen can really help! Cinnamon helps insulin to work better (good for diabetics, and others). And cinnamon and coconut oil both have shown some potential in addressing Alzheimer’s. So I figure they’re perfect (and healthy) for husbands, kids, and others to munch on as needed! Makes 12 servings or so.

Cashews, oats, cinnamon, bee pollen... ENERGY BARS!


  • 1 1/2 c. raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 c. oatmeal (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 TBS. bee pollen


1. Process the oatmeal into flour in a blender (or food processor). Use: > 1 1/2 c. oatmeal

2. In a hot, dry skillet, toast the oatmeal until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly.

3. Set toasted oat flour aside in separate bowl. On medium heat, toast cashews in iron skillet, until golden, stirring often. (Or toast in oven.) Use: > 1 1/2 c. raw cashews

4. Add cashews to a Vitamix (or other blender); process until fairly smooth. Add: > 1/4 c. coconut oil > 1/3 c. honey > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. vanilla > 1 tsp. almond extract > 2 tsp. cinnamon

5. Mix the following in bowl, kneading some with hands to mix, as the dough will be very stiff. Use: > Toasted oat flour > 1 TBS. bee pollen > Blended ingredients

6. Press into loaf pan lined with wax paper, and chill until firm (about an hour) before cutting. Slice and wrap in wax paper; store in jar in fridge.

Posted in 2. Bars, Bread & Breakfast, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 4 Responses

Irish Scones w/Golden Raisins and Caraway Seeds

I was craving some Irish Soda Bread from a local bakery. Alas- too far away. Plus, we needed scones for a tea we were hosting at The New Deli. Result: This recipe, which can be varied in many ways to suit your mood or tastes!

The raisins in these scones add extra sweetness, and the caraway adds a perfect complementary flavor. For variety, substitute dried cranberries for the raisins, and 1/2 c. chopped walnuts in place of the caraway seeds. Orange or lemon zest is another nice addition!

Tips for Great Scones Included!


  • 2 c. flour (or use part fine corn meal for more texture)
  • 2 TBS. sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • grated peel of 1 lemon (or orange)
  • 1/2 c. cold butter, sliced
  • 1/2 c. raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. caraway seed (or substitute 1/2 c. chopped walnuts)
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk (plus extra for sprinkling on top)


1. Process in food processor until mixed: > 2 c. flour (or use part fine corn meal for more texture) > 2 TBS. sugar > 2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt > grated peel of 1 lemon (or orange)

2. Add, then process in food processor until it resembles coarse meal: > 1/2 c. cold butter, sliced

3. Last, add and pulse-mix just until blended: > 1/2 c. raisins (or dried cranberries) > Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. caraway seed (or substitute 1/2 c. chopped walnuts) > 3/4 c. buttermilk

4. Roll out (or pat out), on floured board, into approximately a 9 x 13″ rectangle (about 3/4″ thick). Spread lightly with extra buttermilk; sprinkle w/ about 2 TBS. sugar. Cut  into 6 squares, cutting through squares to make triangles. Bake on greased sheet, 1″ apart. Bake 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees. Makes 12 scones.


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Rock n’ Roll: U Think Kombucha Rocks (Or You Roll Your Eyes)

Kombucha Hotel- Layers for Backup!Some of us are cheering the benefits of Kombucha, but others are screaming. Apparently, it’s quite controversial, raising the hairs on some folks’ backs (Andrew Weil’s, for one). Kombucha seems to be eliciting gut feelings not necessarily founded by reason. On both sides of the fence!

If it works for you (like it does for me), great. I ferment my Kombucha long enough to convert most all of the sugar that was originally in it, and it’s done wonders. I haven’t been prone to colds and such all year! And I suspect it helped me lose the ten pounds I couldn’t shake for a few years, since it has been part of my new regimen.

On the other hand, I have a friend who can not tolerate the stuff, so it really isn’t for her. Try it and see?

If you do a word search, you’ll find many arguments on both sides. Some have found relief from Candida (even if they did experience some initial symptoms from “Candida Die-Off”). Other folks have found no such relief. Some claim it’s helped them “detox”, helping their bodies to get rid of toxic metals and such. Researcher Diann Dirks says it is “anti-aging, immune boosting, detoxifying, anti-cancer, liver cleansing… to name but a few properties.” Others cry, “blasphemy!”

There have been some technical glitches as to Kombucha’s exact biological makeup (they thought it contained one thing, because of the effect it had; then they realized it didn’t actually contain the thing they thought it did, etc.). I’m not sure it matters if the exact chemical makeup is completely accurate, so long as the results are! Eileen from Phoenix Helix dispels many of the myths, and cites plenty of sources in this article. Also, Jim of Culinary Tidbits explains that the saccharic acid in Kombucha helps the liver bind toxins to glucuronic acid (rendering the toxins harmless).

If you’re adventurous enough to try it, I’ve shared my own Kombucha Recipe, Easy-Style. I was able to get my starter from a friend, although you can even start some by brewing a quart or so, using an unpasteurized, store-bought bottle of Kombucha. (You can also buy a great SCOBY for making your own Kombucha, on Amazon, here.)

I was skeptical at first; I was so pleased with how my Kefir-brewing had been going. But my friend had a lot of positive feedback about her venture into making Kombucha, so I gave it a try. Now I’M sold!


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