Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Questions Answered on the Bagel Recipe


I had a couple of questions on the bagel recipe after I posted it..


One was from Halflinger:

I guess I don't quite understand bake and boil?


After the bagels have risen once you then boil each one according to the recipe and then lay them back on your cookie sheet and bake them in the oven.


Another question was from Anonymous

Crystal, when do you add the cinn/raisins to the bagels?


I did not give that option on the original recipe but will do that now!


When you add the flour add 2 t. cinnamon and right before you start kneading add ½ to ¾ cup raisins.


Continue on with the recipe as stated. 



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Total Momsense :)

My girls found this on someone’s blog (sorry they can’t remember who’s blog it was!)…  But it was just too good not to share..

Feeding a Group of People


I mentioned in an earlier blog posting that I would share about feeding a large group of people... Well at least a larger than normal group..   That is what I was doing when my son (an Army eating machine.. LOL..) and then a few days later my sil and niece were here (and a visit from other family for one night)..  and I have fed larger groups in the past for a few days at a time


One of the most important things to do is PLAN!!  I had menus worked out for all the meals.  I also chose foods that I could easily double or triple in order to make plenty.


For this particular visit I first planned ahead on breakfast.  Most all breakfast mornings were ‘continental’ meals.  Meaning I had no cooking to do in the mornings.  I was able to enjoy the visit time and not spend all my time in the kitchen.


Before they arrived I made a quadruple batch of my granola.  That filled 4 one gallon jars.  Then I made 3 dozen bagels (half cinnamon raisin, half plain) – recipe is below.  I bought plenty of good quality yogurt and had fresh fruit available.  I just laid all this out with cream cheese and homemade blackberry jam for everyone to help themselves. We did have one big pancake breakfast during their stay.


Lunches were either leftovers from the dinner the night before or sandwiches or wraps (made with organic whole wheat tortillas).  I made lots of bread ahead of time and put that in the freezer to insure we would not run out.


Dinners were planned and I knew what I needed to do each evening to prepare for the next days meal, such as meat to pull out or beans to get ready for the next day, etc..


Here are a few of the meals I made:


Stuffed Shells (similar to lasagna, only I used whole wheat pasta shells)

Italian Beef (crockpot meal) served over brown rice

Homemade Pizza and Buffalo Wings, salad

Orange Chicken – Chinese noodles

Chili – homemade, tortilla chips and salsa


On the night that I had extra company I made shish-ka-bobs, potato salad (I made a HUGE bowl of potato salad that we ate on for the next couple of days), deviled eggs, chips and salsa, and a fruit salad made with cantaloupe, pineapple and watermelon.


The second BBQ I served steak, bratwurst, macaroni salad, homemade baked beans, and watermelon.


The third was hamburgers with all the trimmings..


Each meal usually had a green salad along with it.


All in all, as with all meals, I think of what I can make that will stretch the farthest, be filling (with good quality foods.) and to try and be cost effective.


As for staying on a budget when feeding extra people, I budget in the extra $$’s needed.  Really most of what I feed a large crowd is what I feed my own family.. just maybe a little more added to the meal or more quantity made.  I basically already feed a crowd every day!!  ~smile~  


Here is my favorite bagel recipe (in fact I want to make more this week):


Delicious Bagels

Crystal Miller


2 c warm water

1 T yeast

2 T honey

2 T molasses

1 t. coconut oil

2 t. salt

4 c whole wheat bread flour

1 to 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour

1 T Sucanat or cane juice crystals



I use my Bosch to make these in, but a Kitchen Aid will do the trick as well.  In the bowl of your mixer combine water and yeast.  Let sit a minute or two and add honey, molasses, coconut oil and salt.  Stir this up a little.  Now add 4 cups of the whole wheat bread flour and knead.  It will be sticky and you will need to add the unbleached white flour a little at a time while the mixer is kneading.  Knead and add flour until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. 


At this point, knead for another 4 to 7 minutes (the longer time with the Kitchen Aid).  Cover the mixing bowl with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes. 


Turn on the mixer and punch it down.  Divide the dough into 16 small pieces.  Form each piece into a bagel.  The way I do this is as follows:  Roll the dough into a small circle.  Flatten it between my hands.  Roll the outer edge of the dough under to make a nice round shape and at the same time use your thumbs to push through the center.  It takes a little time and practice to get this down, but before you know it.. your dough will actually look like a bagel! 


Lay each bagel on a cookie tray that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  I use two cookie trays.  Cover with a towel and let rise until double in bulk.  This will take about 20 to 30 minutes. 


Preheat oven to 400.


When the bagels have risen get a sauce pan and fill it about half way with water and add the 1T of Sucanat.  Bring to a boil. 



Carefully lift each bagel from the tray and set it in the boiling water.  I use a spatula to do this.   Cover the pan and let it boil for 20 seconds.  Uncover and turn the bagel, cover with the lid and boil for another 20 seconds.  Remove from pan and place back on cookie tray.  Repeat this for all bagels.


After the first tray has been boiled, put them in the preheated oven and bake for about 23 to 25 minutes.  You don’t want them too dark or they will be to crusty on the outside and that does not make for very enjoyable eating! 


While those are baking, do the second tray of bagels and just let them sit on the counter until the first tray is done.  Then bake the second tray.


Enjoy these delicious bagels with cream cheese and honey or fruit sweetened jam!  Yum!! 


NOTE: I have used half wheat and half kamut flour in place of the all whole wheat flour and found them equally delicious! 




Sunday, June 24, 2007

What the World Eats.. a Photo Essay


This link was posted by one of my moderators on my board and my girls and I found it fascinating…..  And I was kind of shocked to see all the junk food people eat in countries where I would not have expected it.  We have ordered the book from the library to read more.,29307,1626519,00.html


This Week's Menu




French bread or garlic toast



Nacho’s for a Crowd





Hamburgers on the grill

w/all the trimmings



Ranch House Chicken Casserole




Crab Alfredo over penne pasta




Chinese Chicken Salad

Egg rolls (homemade)



Pot roast in crockpot

Garlic potatoes

Carrot raisin salad


I will try and post recipes through the week! 

Friday, June 22, 2007

Spicy Beef and Beans over Brown Rice

I came up with this meal on a whim.  Was not sure what I was going to make for dinner tonight.  I first started by getting some rice on to soak this morning.  Then pulled out 1 lb. of beef stew meat to start defrosting.


Later the meal idea hit me.. LOL..  I put 2 cups of pinto beans into a soup pot, added the stew meat, 8 cups of water and 1T salt.  I put this on to boil for 2 ½ hours.


About an hour before dinner I started cooking the brown rice.  Then I finished up the beef and beans.  I served the beef/bean mixture over the brown rice.  It was fantastic.  To go along with our dinner Emily cut up some cantaloupe, we had some salad left over from last night’s dinner and we had Cowboy Cookies for dessert that Sierra had made yesterday.


Here is the recipe:


2 cups dry pinto beans

1lb. beef stew meat

8 cups water

1 T salt

1 onion, chopped

Jalapeno peppers (fresh or from a jar), chopped (as many as you like..  the more you add the spicier it will be)

Olive oil

1 cup of your favorite salsa

Cooked Brown Rice (see brown rice cooking information here:  )


In a large stock pot combine pinto beans, stew meat, water and salt.  Let cook and simmer for 2 ½ hours or until beans are soft and meat is tender. 


After  beans and meat have finished cooking heat a frying pan and add olive oil, chopped onions and peppers.  Cook until onion is soft.  Add this to the bean/beef mix.  Add salsa and mix and let sit for a little bit so flavors can blend.


Serve this over brown rice for a yummy and easy dinner!



Emily’s Graduation


Emily received her GED this spring and the local community college that gives the GED prep classes gave a graduation ceremony for those that had received this.  In the past my other children never really felt the desire to attend this, they were happy with their achievement.. it was enough for them.  But Emily had wanted to attend.  So we did..


Here she is in her cap and gown..




And here is a pic of all the grads.. it was a larger turnout than I had thought it would be!



I had an anonymous commenter say they had some questions about the GED..  so if you are reading this, ask away and I will try and answer them. 

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday on the Homestead and Wedding Pics!


Our family has gone home now and we are getting back into the swing of life again. The last two days my kids have had end of the year testing done (CAT testing) and Jacob and Leanne have a few more math lessons to finish up and they will be done for the school year.


Today it is time to go to the feed store and then to Costco for groceries.  I also have to take care of a few misc things in prep for my girls mission trip to Mexico, which is coming up very quickly! 


The weather in the last few days has been so nice..  sunny and warm.   Today will be a bit cooler so that should be nice for a day in town.


I will try and get back this week to post some great recipes and talk about how I fed a house full of hungry people for several days!! 


Before I end this post, I thought I would share a few pics of my bil’s wedding.  It was such a nice wedding! 


My BIL and new SIL and more family (my son in uniform, my FIL, my SIL and niece and Sierra the flower girl)



Here they are cutting the cake




Here is a pic of my daughters and my niece



Sunday, June 17, 2007

Long Time! :)

It has been so long since I sat to blog!!  My life has been a whirlwind of activity in this month.  Yesterday my hubby and I took our son to the airport after spending a little over 2 weeks with him.  It was a wonderful visit and we so enjoyed just soaking up the family time with him.  It was a little sad to hug good bye.. 


My sister in law is still here visiting with us along with my niece.  We are loving their visit!!  They will be leaving tomorrow and I know it will be another sad hug goodbye..  but we are all left with wonderful memories of time spent together.


My bil was married last Saturday in a beautiful wedding ceremony.  It was touching and sweet.  My son was the best man and looked so handsome in his military dress uniform. 


We also attended my daughter Emily’s GED graduation ceremony on Saturday morning and then made a mad rush to the church for the wedding right afterwards…  talk about a very full day!


So if you were wondering what happened to me..  now you can see why I have not been on here!    My life has been very full.  My sil and niece leave tomorrow and then it is time to get my house back in order and get life back in order.


Here are a few pics to share..


Seven of my 8 kids ..  this was taken on a trip to the Oregon coast



My son Richard and daughter Hannah:



My niece Allison and my daughters Emily and Hannah:



Friday, June 1, 2007

Crystal's Country Store Soap Special! :)


Right now for the month of June I am running a little special.

~~Buy 3 bars of soap (any type) and you will receive a 4th bar (my choice) free!~~