Congratulations to Cindy I., who won a copy of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast by Caleb Warnock & Melissa Richardson! If you are interested in baking with a starter, you should definitely pick up a copy of this book! You can buy The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast from Amazon. And if you missed it, read Melissa Richardson’s guest post about using natural yeast.
Archives for August 2012
I’d like to take a pause from our food-centered content for a moment to share with you my friend Tessa’s fabulous creations at Prettylicious. My kids have already started school & it’s the perfect time to get a few accessories in their school colors to show their school spirit.
Prettylicious specializes in rosette headbands ($7) and stamped metal necklaces ($15), both customizable in your own team’s colors (or if you don’t have a team, just choose the colors you want). The headbands feature two fabric rosettes attached to a black elastic headband that fits most older girls through adults.
My daughter has a super-cute blue & white headband (go BYU!) made by Prettylicious. It is just darling. My favorites are probably the navy & red one or the brown floral one (on sale for only $4 right now) below.
You want a Prettylicious headband or your own, don’t you? Well, through August 31, you can get in on a sweet deal for Rate the Plate Utah readers: buy 2 headbands, get 1 free! Just buy two headbands & mention in a comment to the seller which headband you would like for free. Not only that, but Prettylicious is also giving away a free headband of your choice to one of our lucky readers!
To Enter: Go check out Prettylicious’s etsy shop, then leave a comment on this post stating which color combination you’d like (if yours are not available, just state the colors you need…they will customize it just for you!). See the Rafflecopter form to enter and for details on additional entries.
Giveaway Closes: 12:01 am EST on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond. You must be at least 18 years old and have a US address. Good luck!
Free product was provided by Prettylicious for giveaway & review, but all opinions are 100% our own, honest review.
Are you a fan of the Food Network show Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives? I love it and was excited to try the host’s (Guy Fieri) restaurant Johnny Garlic’s while we were in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, and it’s not a diner, drive-in, or dive.
Johnny Garlic’s is an energetic place with a creative and diverse menu. The dining room is done in dark colors with dim lighting (which explains the poor picture quality), but it is a bit noisy. There were quite a few people both at the bar and waiting for a table, but we were seated within 15 minutes. The waiting area is quite small and was a bit crowded this evening, though it was a Thursday.
The menu features everything from burgers to changing game selections (bison tri-tip, the evening we were there). We were quite intrigued by several dishes, and I had a hard time deciding.
She first brought a basket of complimentary bread with olive oil. The bread was a garlic & herb focaccia that was pretty good. I always love a good bread dipped in oil!
We also ordered a Basket of Maui Onion Straws served with BBQ sauce ($6.95) as an appetizer. The onion straws were so thin that you just grab a mini-bundle of them and dip in the sauce before you eat them up. The sauce was nice and sweet and complimented the slightly salty onion straws.
I ordered the Volcano Chicken ($16.95), which was one of the server’s recommendations. It features two grilled chicken breasts topped with volcano sauce & Maui Onion straws served over Yukon gold mashed potatoes with pattypan squash (also called sunburst or scallop squash) on the side…plus a sweet purple orchid to decorate my plate. Loved that! That volcano sauce was quite flavorful and a medium-level spiciness. It was nice to have the mashed potatoes to temper the spiciness (plus, who doesn’t love a good mashed potato?). I love pattypan squash! They are just so cute and the little bitty ones don’t even need to be cut up. These were nice and tender & I loved them! Why don’t more places serve these?
Mr. Diner chose the Bourbon Buffalo Meatloaf ($19.50), which was topped with Bourbon BBQ sauce & Maui Onion straws and also served atop Yukon gold mashed potatoes with pattypan squash on the side (do you see a theme here?). Actually, as I looked over the menu, a lot of things were topped with the onion straws. If we had noticed, we would have ordered something else as an appetizer. The meatloaf was very flavorful, moist, and soft. It was delicious, but I think it would have been even better with a bit of a crust on the outside. If the menu hadn’t said BBQ sauce, I wouldn’t have guessed that it was BBQ…it was very rich, but it wasn’t as sweet as most BBQ sauces and actually had a Worcestershire undertone to it.
We enjoyed the flavors in our dishes and would love to try some additional entrees at Johnny Garlic’s. Just wish there was a bit more variety in the way the dishes are served. I love Maui Onion Straws, but wow…there sure were a lot at our table!
Entrée Price: $$$
Average Fork Rating: 4.5
Mr. Diner: 5
Mrs. Diner: 4
|Photo courtesy of Tax Credits.|
Our latest feature at Rate the Plate Utah is here! We’re starting today with a list of current dining deals & restaurant coupons that will we constantly updated. We’re separating it into three categories: Deal Vouchers, National & Local Utah deals and each list will be sorted alphabetically. Come by and click on “Dining Deals” in our header to take you to this list.
In addition to keeping it updated, we will also repost once a month so you can get a reminder of the great current deals through your subscription. We hope this will be an easy place to come & check for a discount before you head out to your favorite restaurants. Please shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you know of a great discount that is missing from our list.
- Amazon Locals: Local deals including restaurants
- City Deals (Utah): A large variety of discounted local restaurant certificates, in addition to other categories.
- Deal Dragon (Utah): Discounted local restaurant certificates and printable free coupons. The majority of offers are in Utah County.
- Deal Pickle – Limited number of dining certificates available to local restaurants
- Entertainment Book – Various national & local coupons for dining & entertainment. Requires purchase of Entertainment Book.
- Groupon: There is usually at least one discounted restaurant offer.
- HubZub (Utah): Daily deals including restaurants.
- Kostizi (Utah) – Discounted local restaurant certificates.
- KSL Daily Deal (Utah): Discounted local restaurant certificates.
- Living Social: Buy discounted vouchers for dining & entertainment, frequently at 50% off.
- Restaurant.com: Purchase discounted certificates for local Restaurants. Be sure to read the terms of the certificate. Most require a minimum purchase and some may be redeemed only on weekdays.
- ValPak – Enter your zip code to fine local printable restaurant coupons.
- Arby’s – Free Turkey Roasters sandwich on Sept. 6, 2012 from 11 am – 1 pm, no coupon & no purchase necessary (call to confirm your location is participating).
- Blimpie – Buy 1 6” Sub & a 22 oz. drink, Get 1 6” Sub Free – Must like them on Facebook to get the coupon.
- Boston Market – 50% off any family meal on Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2012, only.
- Buca di Beppo – $10 off 2 entrees (dine-in) or $30 order (to-go) (expires 9/3/2012).
- Burger King – 12 oz. smoothies for $1, no coupon needed (good 8/31/2012-9/3/2012).
- Carls Jr. – Free Small Hash Brown Nuggets and Coffee with purchase of a Bacon Bacon Biscuit (expires 9/15/2012)
- Carrabba’s – But 1 entrée, get one $10 off (expires 9/30/2012).
- Chipotle – Buy a kids meal Aug. 24-31 & bring your receipt back in September to get a FREE Chipotle kids’ meal!
- Corner Bakery – Free Sweet with purchase of an Entree (expires 9/4/2012)
- Del Taco – Buy one Premium Shake, Get one free (good 8/31/2012-9/3/2012).
- Del Taco – Buy a Drink, Get a Free Carnitas del Carbon – Must like them on Facebook to get the coupon.
- Del Taco – Buy an Orange Juice, Get a Free Breakfast Burrito – Must like them on Facebook to get the coupon.
- Denny’s – 20% off your entire check (expires 9/5/2012).
- Denny’s – Free ‘Nana Bread Pancake Puppies with any Entrée Purchase of $2.50 ore more (expires 9/8/2012).
- Einstein Bros. Bagels – $4 off any Dozen Bagel Bucket – includes 13 bagels & 2 Cream Cheese Schmears (expires 9/10/2012).
- Hardees – Free Small Hash Browns and Coffee with purchase of a Bacon Bacon Biscuit (expires 9/15/2012)
- Honey Baked Ham – Various Coupons.
- KFC – Various Coupons.
- Maggie Moo’s – Half off any Single Serve Item, Valid Monday-Friday, Noon – 2 pm only – Must like on Facebook to get coupon.
- Marble Slab Creamery – Half off any Single Serve Item, Valid Monday-Friday, Noon – 2 pm only – Must like on Facebook to get coupon.
- Mimi’s Café – $10 off any lunch or dinner check of $30 or more (expires 9/3/2012).
- On the Border – Free Chips & Queso when you order at least one entrée (expires 9/8/2012).
- Outback Steakhouse – 4-course meal for $15, no coupon needed (limited time, call to verify participation).
- Papa John’s – 50% off your entire order when you use the code SPORTS50 (expires 9/4/2012).
- Papa John’s – If you are a member of Papa Rewards, you can get a 1-topping large pizza for just 15 points when you use the code 15PIZZA for a limited time.
- Planet Hollywood – $5 off a purchase of $20 or more (expires 2/28/2013).
- PF Chang’s – Free Starter with the purchase of an entrée (expires 9/30/2012) – Must be claimed on Facebook, then you will receive a printable email.
- PF Chang’s – Get 20% off your online order when you use the code RELAX (good 9/2/2012-9/3/2012).
- Quiznos – Buy Any Sub at Regular Price Get 1 Small Sub for $1 (expires 9/3/2012)
- Red Mango – $2 off a $6 purchase – must provide information & then it is emailed to you.
- Red Robin – $5 off a $20 purchase – Must be claimed on Facebook, then you will receive a printable email (expires 9/3/2012).
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entrée (expires 9/3/2012) – Must like them on Facebook to get the coupon.
- Rumbi Island Grill – Buy 1 Menu Item, Get 1 Free (expires 9/30/2012)
- Smashburger – Play the Burger Smasher Game and you will be rewarded with a printable coupon a free side with purchase of an entree.
- Starbucks – Buy 4 drinks, get one free – must be purchased all at once (expires 9/30/2012).
- TGI Friday’s – Get $5 off a purchase of $15 or more (expires 9/10/2012).
- Togo’s – Save $1 off any regular sandwich 6″ or larger when you order online & use the code BACK2SCHOOL (expires 9/5/2012).
- Waffle House – Free Waffle (expires 10/31/2012)
- Iggy’s Sports Grill – Get a Free Chocolate Sundae with the purchase of 2 Entrees (limited time only).
- Gastronomy Frequent Diner’s Program – Members receive a $25 certificate for every 350 points earned at Gastronomy restaurants (Market Street Grill, Market Street Oyster Bar, Market Street Broiler, Market Street Fresh Fish Markets, and The New Yorker). Membership is $15 but you’ll receive a $20 certificate just for signing up!
- Mi Ranchito (Spanish Fork location only) – $10 off a purchase of $30 or more – Must claim on Facebook (expires 9/3/2012).
- Red Robin Dinner & a Movie Deal – Pay $33.99 for a $20 Red Robin Gift Card, a FREE Cheese Stick Appetizer ($5.95 value) and 2 Movie Ticket vouchers. It’s like getting the 2 movie tickets for $4 each. Pick these up at the participating Red Robin restaurants (Layton Hills, The District, or Provo Towne Center).
- Wendy’s – $1 off any combo (expires 11/15/2012), valid only at six recently remodeled Utah locations – see coupon for details.
I have driven by this little place hundreds of times and never stopped there. Last week Mr. Diner and I finally stopped by to give it a try (without the little diners). The Great Steak Sandwich Co. (aka The Steak & Everything Grill) is a little hole-in-the-wall place on Provo’s Center Street just west of I-15 that’s known for it’s billboard, which frequently features reads “Welcome Home Elder….” or “Happy Birthday……”.
It’s a really casual place where you walk in, say hello, and seat yourself. The server was friendly and recommended some of the most popular sandwiches – the Steak & Everything sandwich and the Turkey Bacon Avocado Melt. Their menu features grilled sandwiches and burgers with ice cream floats, shakes, & sundaes. We split a Steak & Everything combo, which was the special of the day for $6.49. It included a Steak & Everything sandwich (thin-sliced steak with provolone, mushrooms, onions, peppers, & tomatoes) and really fresh, hot fries. We added a side of onion rings and two drinks. Splitting a combo is a great way to go, as we had plenty of food. After ordering, I discovered the dessert menu, though, and wished I had room for some of their delicious-sounding ice cream creations (Butter Beer Float with vanilla ice cream, butterscotch syrup, & cream soda, anyone?).
The sandwich was good with all the flavors melted together, but I think I would have liked more cheese. Mr. Diner thought it was really good as it was; then again, he’s not a huge cheese fan. The fries and onion rings were both good and served with bottles of ketchup & fry sauce. I would go back, but mostly to try the drinks. And guess what? They operate a drive-through window for those of us who want to get something quickly on the way home. Love that!
Steak & Philly
Steak & Cheese
Update 8/20/2012: We took the whole family to The Great Steak for dinner. They do have a kids menu item with the choice of a hamburger, chicken nuggets, or grilled cheese with fries & a small drink for $3.49, but my kids wanted the steak sandwiches (who can blame them?). Mr. Diner, Amazing, & Little Diner ordered a French Dip ($6.49), which the two little ones split, which is easy to do with the sandwiches already sliced in two. The French Dips had a generous amount of steak and a fabulous au jus sauce. Sweet Diner ordered the Steak & Cheese ($6.49), which had lots of steak, but not as much provolone cheese as she would have liked. I tried out the Steak & Philly ($5.49), which is basically like a Steak & Everything sandwich, but with cream cheese instead of provolone. I thought it had too much cream cheese & really recommend sticking with the provolone. The battered onion rings once again were fantastic.
Entree Price: $
Average Fork Rating: 3.8
Mr. Diner: 4
Mrs. Diner: 3
Amazing Diner: 5
Sweet Diner: 4
Little Diner: 3
Ratings updated 8/20/2012.
I received a box of fabulous snacks in my mailbox…those are the happy mail days, when I get a little something extra & fun in my box instead of bills & junk. This package was from Nature Box as part of an event hosted by Shy Babies & Little Inspiration and sponsored by Nature Box.
Nature Box sends a selection of healthful snacks to each of its subscribers for $19.95 a month (including shipping). Their snacks are generally an assortment of nuts, dried fruits, & grain mixes (such as granola) that never include anything with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, or artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.
My box arrived with five fabulous snacks: Zesta Fiesta Mix, Sunny Trails, Lemon Pucker Pistachios, Garden Tomato Crunchies, & Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels. All the snacks were good, but the all-star favorites at our house were the Lemon Pucker Pistachios (fresh, tart, & wonderful) and Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels (BBQ is always a hit here & there were just what we expected & fabulously addictive). The Garden Tomato Crunchies were toasted slivered almonds covered in a sweet-savory tomato seasoning. Sunny Trails features small pieces of diced fruits intermingled with raw almonds. The Zesta Fiesta Mix was a snack mix of nuts and cracker-like crunchy bits seasoned with zesty spices (cilantro, paprika, garlic, & chili powder). All these snacks would quickly disappear around my house.
We used some of our sunflower kernels to bake up a little something to share with you. Check out more recipes (and enter more giveaways) using Nature Box snacks as you hop around this Food Fun Hop event (see the linky at the bottom)!
Barbecue Sunflower Seed Cornbread
1 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1 c. milk
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. corn (fresh, defrosted frozen, or drained from a can)
1/4 – 1/2 c. Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients except for sunflower kernels. Mix well.
- Pour into a greased 8” x 8” baking dish. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
Notes: This is a more savory cornbread. If you have a cast iron skillet, that would be a top choice for baking your cornbread in, but you may have to adjust the bake time.
Do you want to win a Nature Box? One reader will will one future box (it will have different snacks than were in my box) sent directly to their house. If you’d like to order your own Nature Box, use the promo code REFER25 to get 25% off your first box!
To Enter: Like Nature Box on Facebook. See the Rafflecopter form to enter and for details on additional entries.
Giveaway Closes: 12:01 am EST on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond. You must be at least 18 years old and have a US address. Good luck!
How about more Nature Box recipes?
Nature Box was received in order to facilitate this review and giveaway, but all opinions are 100% my own.
What do you do when you’re on a trip and looking for a good place to eat? I usually turn to blog review or to Urbanspoon (check out Rate the Plate Utah’s Urbanspoon profile) to see what other people are saying about some places nearby. And that’s exactly what I did when we stayed a night in Reno, Nevada a couple weeks ago. We turned to my Urbanspoon app on my phone and searched for some “Bargain Gems” that were nearby. There was a pizza place that was getting rave reviews about a quarter mile from our hotel, so we decided to walk there to check it out.
The listed name of the place was Pie-Face Pizza Co. (PFPCo., for short). We set out for our walk from our downtown Reno hotel. And kept walking…the neighborhood got a little shadier as we got farther from our hotel and we started to wonder if we were going in the right direction and if we should turn back. But just when we were about to head back, we saw the sign, but it also said “Noble Pie” on the window, too. We learned that because of a dispute over the name, they recently changed their name to Noble Pie Parlor.
Noble Pie Parlor is located in the historic El Cortez Hotel, which has a fabulous history, and uses Nevada’s oldest continuously-operating kitchen. The place has a quaint, local feel to it. We took our little diners in to eat there and they were welcome, but it has more of a pub or sports bar feeling to it and there’s no kids menu. It’s a small joint, too, and features local art on the walls.
They sell pizzas by the pie or by the slice, in addition to salads, wings, fries, & stromboli. The specialty pizzas and stromboli sounded fabulous with unique ingredients, which they say are of the highest quality and locally-sourced when possible. They also make as much as possible from scratch right there all the way down to their dressings. I’m a big fan of that!
Mr. Diner ordered pizza by the slice ($3.50 plus toppings, cheese already included) with their hand-crafted sausage, green onions, & pine nuts. The pizza had a thin crust that was really good and a layer of sauce that wasn’t overwhelming to the thin sauce. The green onions were thinly sliced, which I thought was excellent for a pizza. The sausage was also really good.
I wanted to order a slice of specialty pizza, but they only sell those by the whole pie. So I turned to the stromboli menu and wanted to order their Fig Me? Fig You! stromboli (peppered turkey, brie, pecorino, golden raisins, fig chutney, granny smith apples, spring mix, red onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, & mayonnaise…sounds unique, right?), but they were sold out. So I asked for the Brick House Classic stromboli (capicola, pepperoni, sopressata, prosciutto, ham, goat cheese, provolone, marinated artichoke hearts, basil, grape tomatoes, onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, & sun-dried tomato spread), but that was not available, either. Finally, I found one I could order: The Yonker. To be fair, the stromboli menu does say “limited supply,” but still…
The Yonker ($8.00) has rotisserie chicken, pepperoni, havarti, & red onion “melted together,” then “topped with” spring mix, grape tomato, pesto mayonnaise, & BBQ sauce. Sounded good, but when my stromboli had been delivered (well after everyone’s pizza had been delivered and almost completely devoured), I was a bit disappointed. The stromboli is served with a side salad or chips (I chose the salad) and a pickle. The side salad was excellent with grape tomatoes, red onion, & olives over fresh, dark greens with an excellent balsamic dressing…loved it! The pickle was pretty typical. But the main event, the stromboli, was weak. It had all the ingredients that were supposed to be “melted together”, but I didn’t see any of the “topped with” ingredients…no spring mix or grape tomatoes (except in my salad) and no trace of the pesto mayonnaise or BBQ sauce. Those were what I think would have made this stromboli good, but they were non-existent. The outside bread-like layer was more like a thin wrap. I would have asked about it, but since everyone else was done with their food, I didn’t want to make them wait any longer.
The little diners ordered slices of pizza topped with pepperoni. These slices are nice and big…easy to share if you so desire. Seriously, the pictures don’t do the slices justice…they were literally wider than Sweet Diner’s entire head! They enjoyed them. Little Diner ate almost a whole piece, himself…and that’s saying something! I snuck a bite and found the pepperoni to be excellent and the pleasant flavor of the sauce really came through on the pepperoni slices.
If you decide to go to Noble Pie Parlor, I’d recommend sticking to the pizza. The ingredients are good, but the place wasn’t the best for families, so we probably wouldn’t go back. We weren’t as impressed as most of the reviewers. You can also get take-out or have pizza to delivered within a limited area.
Updated 5/3/2013: Noble Pie Parlor does have small kids-size sodas with lids available upon request. They will also cut a slice of pizza in half to make it easier to handle. The spring mix has been removed from The Yonker stromboli and all other toppings are included inside the stromboli.
Entrée Price: $
Average Fork Rating: 3.2
Mr. Diner: 3
Mrs. Diner: 4
Amazing Diner: 3
Sweet Diner: 2
Little Diner: 4
One of my kids’ favorite Chinese dishes is to order when we go out is Orange Chicken. Though I love making Chinese food at home, I’ve never attempted Orange Chicken before until I saw this great-looking recipe on Blog Chef.
I loved the way it turned out. Frequently I find the batter in Orange Chicken and similar dishes to be too heavy, but the batter on this chicken turned out light and didn’t overtake the chicken. The sauce, made with a combination of orange and lemon juices, was bright and flavorful. And my kids liked it just as much as the restaurant version, if not more.
Orange Chicken from Blog Chef
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2” cubes
1 ½ c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
Oil (for frying)
1 ½ c. water
2 T. orange juice
¼ c. lemon juice
1/3 c. rice vinegar
2 ½ T. soy sauce
1 T. orange zest, grated
1 c. brown sugar, packed
½ tsp. ginger root, minced
½ tsp. garlic, minced
2 T. green onion, chopped
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.
- Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.
Average Fork Rating: 4.2
Mr. Diner: 4
Mrs. Diner: 4
Amazing Diner: 5
Sweet Diner: 5
Little Diner: 3
I’m really excited about this new cookbook! I grew up with sourdough pancakes as a special breakfast treat, but haven’t had any other experience with using natural yeast. The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson starts with the all the basics and then progresses into recipes for everything from basic to artisan breads and sweet treats!
I’m really excited to try out a bunch of recipes in the book, but for now, I’m getting my starter going strong and trying to acquire another one (I want both a mild and sour starter). Meanwhile, I’m also enjoying reading over all the information on the benefits of using natural yeast, the ins-and-outs of using and maintaining starters, and pouring over the whole beautiful book. It’s all in color and has lots and lots of pictures, which I think should be required of all cookbooks.
I will have more of a review coming after I’ve tried out a few recipes, but I have three fun things for you right here, right now in this post.
- Classes by the Authors of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast
- Guest Post by Melissa Richardson (one of the authors)
- Giveaway of this fabulous book!
First, check out the launch event with three great classes. I would love to go to the baking one, especially!
The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast
Saturday, August 18
Sandy Bosch Store
8940 S. 700 E.
Call Ahead to Reserve a Spot: (801) 562-1212
12:00-12:40 Wheat: Why it’s making us sick (the answer will surprise you)
20 minute break: Signings and Q&A
1:00-1:40 Natural yeast: Prevention and cure
20 minute break: Signings and Q&A
2:00-3:00 Baking with Natural Yeast (Breads, waffles, and crepes)
3:00-4:00 Final giveaway, signings, Q&A
From Melissa Richardson:
The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast: Whole Wheat Baking for Health and Healing
I started baking bread to shave pennies off my food budget. I read books and scalped recipes to learn the art of baking with whole wheat. Not only was I pinching pennies, I was doing so in a way that was healthier for my small family.
That’s when I came across a news snippet claiming that people who ate whole wheat bread were more prone to digestive illnesses like celiac disease. The reporter listed multiple negative side effects found in people consuming a 100 percent whole wheat diet, stating that whole wheat products were “proven” to cause inflammation, to aggravate our digestive systems, to “steal” vitamins and minerals from us, or cause one of many diseases or disorders.
I immediately got to work researching in defense of my beloved whole wheat loaves. But the more I read, the guiltier my loaves looked.
The answer turned out to be not in the wheat, but in the yeast.
For six thousand years, people made bread using natural yeast. The process required a longer rising period and more planning. Without commercial yeast, they had no choice. What they didn’t know was that these longer rise periods (also known as a pre-ferment, sponge, or pre-digestion) were protecting them from the harmful enzymes causing all the trouble mentioned in the research I had found. Natural yeasts created a soil-like acidity in dough that broke down gluten to safe levels and turned nutrient-leeching phytic acid into a cancer-fighting anti-oxidant.
Maximum nutrition without the nasty side effects, just as God intended.
What had seemed like a time-consuming chore was really the key to whole grain health. So what happened? Yeast had gone industrial, commercial, and synthetic in the span of a few short decades. Bread could be made with chemical yeast instead of natural yeast and bakers could make more bread in less time than ever before in history.
This modern method of bread making bypasses a process designed and used over thousands of years to keep us healthy and thriving. Natural yeasts create a soil-like acidity in dough that break down gluten to safe levels and turns nutrient-leeching phytic acid into a cancer-fighting anti-oxidant. Maximum nutrition without the nasty side effects, just as God intended.
Lucky for us, it’s not too late to learn the skills perfected by our ancestors. Yes, it takes more time than a jog to the corner grocery, but I’d much rather spend that time in my kitchen surrounded by family than in the doctor’s office, wouldn’t you?
Natural yeast starters can be easily ordered by mail or shared among friends in a community. Once you have a starter, it will provide yeast for you and your family for as many generations as you are willing to keep and care for it. And because of your starter, those generations to come will enjoy a healthier, happier life.
I have now been baking with natural yeast for 3 years, and the benefits have reached beyond the borders of my own little family. My friend and co-author Caleb Warnock lost 48 pounds and cured his acid reflux by eating naturally yeasted bread. People who have attended our classes and read our book have emailed us with stories of health and healing.
There is still so much to learn, and so many more recipes to create, but I am excited to share everything I have learned so far. You will find that as you learn this art and provide nutrition for the ones you love, you will enjoy the dietary self-reliance you have brought into your home. Good luck, and have fun!
Melissa Richardson is a mother of 3 and co-author of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast (available for purchase on Amazon). You can follow her adventures in bread at thebreadgeek.blogspot.com, or follow The Bread Geek on Facebook.
Would you like to win a copy of her book?
To Enter: Leave a comment on this post of your experience with natural yeast or why you are interested in baking with it. See the Rafflecopter form to enter and for details on additional entries.
Giveaway Closes: 12:01 am EST on Monday, August 20, 2012. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond. You must be at least 18 years old and have a US address. Good luck!
Complimentary copies of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast were provided for this review and giveaway, but all opinions are our own honest review.
Who out there is an IKEA fan? I know there are a bunch of you!
IKEA in Draper, Utah treated my kids and I along with dozens of other Utah bloggers (I think there were 75 bloggers there…and a whole lot of kids!) to breakfast in their restaurant and a mini shopping spree. I’ll show you some of my finds at the end of this post, but since we like to talk about food here at Rate the Plate Utah, I’ve just got to tell you about our breakfast first.
My three kiddos each ordered a Big Breakfast Plate with French toast sticks ($1.99), scrambled eggs, bacon, & potatoes. They sat right down in the kid-size chairs at the kid-size tables in front of the TV showing kids shows and enjoyed themselves.
I opted for some Swedish pancakes with lingonberries ($1.99) along with a plate of potatoes and sausage ($0.99) on the side.
As you can see, IKEA serves up a really inexpensive breakfast. It’s great way to start your morning shopping, but the food isn’t anything spectacular. The potatoes were on the dry side, but if you like a tart berry, go for the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. They are tasty and something different than you’ll get at other breakfast stops.
Oh! And, yes, this was breakfast, but I can’t mention IKEA’s restaurant without telling you about my favorite sweet treat there: the Tarta Chokladkrokant ($1.99): an almond cake with chocolate, butter cream, & butterscotch. It reminds me of a toffee & cream cake…love it! They didn’t offer it for breakfast, though.
Now for the shopping part! I love browsing IKEA! The store gave us a sneak peek of their new 2013 catalog! I found a bunch of things I would have loved to take home including:
I guess I was in the mood for stripes & throws, huh? Check out the cute red, white, & blue kitchen! Nice and fresh, but bold. Fun!
What I brought home with me were:
Branas Rattan Baskets ($12.99) to store my piano music in.
IKEA 365+ 3-Tier Glass Serving Platter ($14.99) for storing produce on my counter and serving up almost anything (cupcakes, vegetables & dip, fruit & chocolate, and more).
Rationell Variera Shelf Insert ($5.99) for organizing under my kitchen sink, but it would be great for creating a second shelf for dishes or pantry items, too.
IKEA has so many fabulous things for organizing and decorating at affordable prizes. Check out some of my fellow bloggers’ creativity with their IKEA finds!
Complimentary breakfast & $25 shopping spree was given to me by IKEA of Draper, but all opinions in this review are my own.