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"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."
Proverbs 31:15

I love to cook from scratch.  Finding new recipes or ways to stretch the grocery budget are always fun.  Recently, I began eating a  vegetarian diet.  This helped significantly with relieving my chronic pain. I eat the typical vegetables, fruits, raw foods, but also include dairy and eggs.  Abbie has lactose intolerance, and so she eats thesame things that I do but without the dairy.  Joe still eats meat.  Sounds confusing?  It isn't really.  Joe made it simple when he asked that I just make my & Abbie's meals with alittle meat on the side for him.  In addition to the bread recipes that I have here, I will be adding some of our favorite vegetarian & vegan recipes.


Whole Wheat Bread

2 Tbsp. dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
12 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten, optional
4 Tbsp. ground flax seed, optional
2 Tbsp. salt
5 cups hot water, from tap
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses

Mix together in a small bowl the yeast, 1/2 cup water, and sugar. Set aside until mixture has turned to foam, about 15 minutes.

While yeast is activating, in a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Make a "well" in the center. Pour in the hot water, olive oil, honey, molasses, and yeast mixture. Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Dough will be abit sticky.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Start kneading the dough, adding more flour alittle at a lime, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once to oil the top, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch the dough down and divide into 4 equal parts. Shape each part into a loaf and place the loaf into an oiled bread pan. Cover and set the bread to rise a 2nd time.

Once risen, bake the bread at 350* for about 40 minutes. Bread is finished baking when the crust is golden in color and the bread slips easily out of the pan.

Makes 4 large loaves.

Salsa Corn Chowder

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups whole corn
2 cups salsa, your heat choice
1 can chicken broth (13 oz)
1 (4 oz. jar) pimiento, drained & chopped
1 (8-oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Saute' onion in butter in a large sauce pan. Stir in flour, chili powder & cumin. Add corn, salsa, broth & pimiento. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the broth to the cream cheese in a bowl, mixing until well blended. Once the cream cheese mixture is smooth, stir it into the chowder. Heat until thoroughly heated through, but do not allow to boil after the cream cheese mixture as been added.

Yields: 6-8 servings

* I usually double the recipe and freeze the left overs. Also, you can make this in the morning, then put into a slow cooker to simmer on the lowest setting all day.

Pancake Mix

This is a family favorite! Very fast & easy to make, with a much better flavor than any boxed mixes!

1 1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, olive oil and enough milk to get the desired consistancy.

Bake the pancakes on a hot griddle until lightly golden, turning once.

*Makes about 8 large pancakes.

Baby Teething Cookies

This is the recipe that I use for our daughter. It makes a wonderfully crumb-proof cookie. The recipe makes about 1 dozen cookies.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 - 2 1/2 cups flour

Cream eggs & sugar. Add enough flour for a stiff dough. Roll out the dough about 1/2" - 3/4" thick. Cut out into shapes. I use a doughnut cutter, the hole in the center of the cookie makes it easier for little hands to hold them.
Lay the cookies out on a greased cookie sheet. Cover with waxed paper loosely and refrigerate overnight (12 hours).
Preheat over to 325*. Uncover the cookies and bake until hard and slightly browned. Baking time will depend on the thickness of the cookie.

Black Bean Burgers

Joe had these while in the Navy and loved them.  Even Abbie eats these really well.  They are quickly becoming a favorite!
 
2 cups of cooked black beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy flour ***
Salt & Pepper to taste
 
Beans should be cooked until very soft.  Drain & rinse the beans.  Using a mixer, mash the beans until very smooth, similar to mashed potatoes.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Shape the mixture into 1/2" thick patties.  Wrap each in waxed paper, then put into a freezer container.  These freeze very well. 
 
To use:  thaw the burgers.  In a skillet, put alittle Olive Oil.  Cook the burgers until lightly browned on both sides and completely heated through.
 
** Instead of soy flour, I use Vital Wheat Gluten.  Either will add protein to the recipe.  You could also use any other flour of your choice.
 
Another addition that I have made is to use BBQ sauce. I add about 1/4 cup, then add alittle more flour to compensate for the additional liquid.
 
 

Veggie Fries

These are a wonderful snack or side dish.  I make these now when Abbie and I will be away from home.  It makes the long trips to town alot easier since there are very few vegetarian options for a quick meal.  Best part is that you can customize the recipe with the veggies you enjoy!
 
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
about 5 oz. milk
alittle Olive Oil
1/2 cup corn
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2  red bell pepper, celery or other veggies, finely diced
seasoning to taste
 
Mix seasoning into the flour.  Make a well in the center.  Gradually mix in egg, milk and oil.  Batter should be similar to a thick pancake batter.  Stir in diced vegetables.
 
Heat oil in pan.  Add spoonful of batter at a time and fry like a pancake, browning each side.
 
Drain on paper towels.  Let cool completely, then pack loosely in a container.

Mock Popcorn Chicken

 

Tofu is something that I am beginning to use very often.  This recipe is one that we enjoy.  I make this using a no-salt vegan vegetable bouillon, but you can substitute it with chicken bouillon.

 

1 pkg. Extra firm tofu

egg

flour

bread or cracker crumbs

vegetable bouillon

 

Prepare the tofu by pressing the water from it and then cut into bite size cubes.

Next, set up 3 bowls.  Put some flour in the first, beaten egg in the second, and the breadcrumbs in the third.  Mix a bouillon cube or it’s equivalent into the breadcrumbs. 

Coat the tofu first with flour, then egg, and lastly with the breadcrumb mixture.  Place the coated tofu onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Once all the tofu is coated, bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 15 minutes or until the coating is crispy.

 

These are good by themselves or with a dipping sauce.