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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Naan Flatbread

This is definitely the best of the three naan recipes I have used over the years.  I also made it better, not to brag, by adding garlic to the melted butter.  Go big or go home.

My son Brigham asks for naan every week.  And gets it about once a month, which is a win for all of us.  I'll have to post my favorite Instant Pot curry recipe next, because naan is best enjoyed when you are sopping up some flavorful, spicy curry and chicken.

Put the dough in a greased bowl
and let it rise in a warm oven.

Until it doubles in size . . . 

Turn out on a floured surface

Cut into twelve equal pieces,
then shape into balls and roll out

I like to use my griddle so I can do three or four at a time

It smells even better than it looks . . .

There are never leftovers, y'all

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Best Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe makes five. honkin'. LOAVES.  

I have a Bosch mixer, and I really recommend you don't try to make five loaves unless you also have a heavy-capacity mixer, because kneading bread is tough on those motors.

I originally got this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, which has never given me a bum steer, but I did tweak a couple things.  For starters, I used to use honey in this recipe . . . until my grocery budget went through the roof, because we ONLY eat this bread, and I make five loaves about every eight to ten days.  So I always use 2/3 cups sugar instead.   

After they have cooled, I freeze three loaves and get them out as I need them--since there are no preservatives in this bread, it gets moldy quicker than store bread.  I try to get them out the night before they are needed so they can come to room temperature on the counter, but sometimes most of the time I am sawing through frozen bread and toasting it . . .

Risen and ready.  I find I have good results when I put
them in a COLD oven, then turn the oven on
so they rise a teeny bit more before they bake.

Baked and ready for butter brushed on the top

My mother-in-law gave me two stonewear loaf pans from The Pampered Chef years ago--It was such a great gift!  I love how they bake so well that I have bought three more at thrift stores.  Actually, I have bought FIVE more over the years, but broke two of them . . . I am always on the lookout for more, so I have some ready for the next time I have a baking accident (just like on Into the Woods).  My loaf pans are so seasoned that the bread slides right out every time (but I DON'T recommend stonewear for any sweet bread [pumpkin, zucchini, Amish friendship, etc]--it sticks like crazy).

*Side note- I rarely buy bread unless I am:

  • making French toast
  • pregnant, and therefore too moody to make bread
  • deep in the summer of the COVID pandemic when even baking brought me no joy
I also always add a cup of 5-grain cereal that I buy in the bulk section at Winco.  It has rolled oats, rye, barley, triticale (triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye), and flax seed.  I like to add whole grains because it makes your body digest the bread more slowly--so that the bread is not turning straight into sugar in your bloodstream.  Plus I love the chewy little bits--it's such a good texture.

So here you go, my second recipe card in a lonnnnnng time, and the recipe that I bake the very most.

Bonus photo: Brigham came home from cross-country practice in his shorts that he nicknamed "Minty Magic" and said, "Yes!  I love coming home to bread!  It's my favorite thing to see!" and proceeded to eat half a loaf.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Rhubarb Cake

 Every single person who has tasted this has asked for the recipe.  I add 3 drops red food coloring to the rhubarb sauce right before serving.

You're welcome, world.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Gluten Freebies

The best gluten-free dessert money can buy you can make at home.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spicy Chickpea and Rice Soup

Allen made this soup for dinner last night.  And today, only one day later, I made a recipe card--because this is going to be a monthly staple at our house.  I don't know when I have tasted better soup.  It was so delicious and satisfying and flavorful and different.

This is why some people rhapsodize about soup!  It can be the best meal of your life!

It doesn't hurt that it's a pretty darn healthy vegetarian soup, either.

A couple things: we couldn't find any harissa paste, so we didn't use any.  The original recipe called for bulgur wheat instead of brown rice.  Again, none to be had in our small town.  And we used sour cream in place of creme fraiche.

So yummy.  I had a huge bowl for lunch today and wished there was more.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Coconut-Vegetable Curry (with optional shrimp)

This is a vegan recipe, and is also salt-free and contains only 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut oil, which is pretty much the healthiest fat in the world).  If you are not a vegan, you can add some protein and flavor by including shrimp--which always pairs well with coconut.

I prepared my brown rice in my rice cooker (3 cups brown rice + 5 cups water) with a whole tablespoon of Mrs. Dash (garlic and herb blend) and it was a lovely alternative to salt.  I prefer it, in fact--it made my house smell heavenly while it cooked.

The dish is aromatic, savory, and spicy (but not HOT spicy--just herb-spicy), and is very forgiving if you substitute whatever veg you have on hand.  The first time I made it, I used broccoli instead of red bell peppers, and it was delicious.

In addition to being absolutely yummy and satisfying, it's also ridiculously healthy.  Bonus.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

This is, hands-down, my favorite vegetarian meal.  It is hearty, filling, and every bite is delicious.  It also happens to be salt-free and oil-free, but is still super flavorful comfort food.  Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth is a must!  It gives the whole dish a much richer flavor.  

Allen and I have been adhering to a (pretty much) vegan diet since January began (we have been having fish once a week, and eggs every Sunday morning).  It's been tough (especially the first two weeks), but food like this makes it easy!  I have made these stuffed peppers every single week, because it's a vegan meal that I could eat every night and never get tired of.  Cilantro and lime juice is my favorite topping, but spinach and salsa is also delectable.  The original recipe called for CANNED corn (gross), but it is an easy (and healthier, and cheaper, and delicious-er, I might add) fix to use a cup of frozen corn instead.

This is the first time I have ever used "nutritional yeast" in a recipe, and though the name is totally unlovely, it's a pretty delicious substitute for cheese.  From Wikipedia: 
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast . . . in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of cheese.
But you do not have to be a vegan to enjoy these scrumptious stuffed peppers!  However our diet changes in the future, this recipe is going to remain part of my weekly repertoire.
You can't really beat avocado and cilantro.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dr. Fuhrman's Walnut Vinaigrette

This is for YOU, my vegan friends!  No animal products dressing!  It's also gluten-free, oil-free, and salt-free.  I'm sorry if you have nut allergies--it's not nut-free, alas.  (***Sidenote: you can substitute almonds or cashews to taste, or if you have allergies to walnuts only***)
But let's say you are not a vegan, and you love creamy, zesty dressings on your salads and other foods . . . this dressing also happens to be utterly DELICIOUS.  And delicious is the number one requirement for a recipe to make it to this site.  The fact that it's totally healthy is just a really great bonus.

Raisins make it sweet, the walnuts make it--well, nutty, the balsamic vinegar gives it some bite, and the mustard and garlic smooth out the entire dressing and add a warm, mellow flavor.  An Italian seasoning blend works just fine in place of thyme.  
I store the dressing in an Adam's Peanut Butter
jar and keep it in the fridge.  It'll stay fresh for
a month in an airtight container.
It's January!  Back in the saddle!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Conference Crepes!

I make crepes three times a year: Christmas morning (continuing my dad's family tradition: he used to make them for our family of eight kids growing up--he was in the kitchen all Christmas morning), and during the April and October General Conference sessions.  I have been making these crepes long enough that it is time for me to retire the old recipe card.

Old recipe card / scroll down for new one
This is a pretty rich crepe batter. As far as my kids are concerned, crepes is the most special food I can possibly make, which is why I save them for special occasions.  They look forward to any time they get to indulge in this delicious French pastry.

My kids, April 2015 on Easter morning.  Mollie set up all her
Littlest Pet Shops, Calvin played with cars and trucks, and
Truman and Brigham organized Brigham's Harry Potter cards
while we listened to and watched the amazing conference addresses.
My favorite crepes from the April 2015 General Conference.
It was hard to choose favorites talks from this conference, but I
really loved "We'll Ascend Together" by Linda K. Burton, and

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies

Last year, Allen's parents stayed with us for Christmas, and his mom asked me before they arrived if I had molasses and ground ginger on hand.  I did.  But I never guessed that these two pungent ingredients could combine to make the most heavenly Christmas confection known to man.

They are beautiful and crackly and festive.  They are soft and rich.  They are so fragrant and chewy and sweet, with the perfect hint of spice.  They may have actually TIED WITH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (gasp!) as my favorite cookies of all time.  In fact, these ginger molasses cookies differ specifically from CCCs in that, once I have eaten one, all I can think about is having another.  I can limit other kinds of cookies to one or two, but I feel like I never want to stop eating these.

This particular holiday treat comes with a pretty sweet story, too.  My mother-in-law clipped this recipe from her local paper years ago and everyone raved about the cookies . . . but then she somehow lost the clipping. Years later (tortured years of pining for the most-perfect-holiday-cookie-ever, no doubt) she went to the library and used the microfilm machine to look through years' worth of the Northwest Arkansas Times until she found it again.  The librarian copied it for her, and the rest is Renfroe family holiday history!
I love how Mom wrote out the triple-batch
amount to the side, which is what I put on the
recipe card below.  Go big or go home, people.

Mollie and I had so much fun making the cookies with Mom last year, made more fun by the adorable, matching, chicken-print aprons she sewed for each of us as an early Christmas present.

She gave me the recipe while she stayed with us, but then history repeated itself and I misplaced it.  Fortunately, I didn't have to use a microfilm machine--Mom just used her telephonics machine (read: iPhone 6) to snap a picture of her well-used recipe and send it to me via electronic mail . . . all taking about three seconds and zero research trips to the library.

I have made this tripled-recipe twice this December and am going for a third time tomorrow.  If you're going to make 24 dozen of any cookie during Christmas, this is the one . . .

My cookie helpers!
Brer Rabbit never tasted so good . . .
I hope we'll have some left for Santa--he might have to settle
for Oreos if we scarf through all seven dozen in the next four
I wish I was kidding . . .
My house smells like Christmasy heaven . . .
Perfect cookies for large family / social / holiday functions!