Simple Bites spring produce

Spring produce and Cheesy Ramp Pull-Apart Bread

Yesterday, a glance at the weather for the remainder of the week convincedΒ me to abandon the dishes and the laundry and head outdoors. If I was to get only one day of sunshine, I’d better make the most of it.

Today there is a slight stiffness to my shoulders from the garden work and my fingernails need attention, but the raised beds are half planted. The roots of the small seedlings will be kept damp with the coming rain and that is one less chore for me. It feels good to be a step ahead of things, at least in the gardening department. Let’s not speak of the state of my house. The kitchen alone is shell-shocked from Danny preparing two meals on Mother’s Day, bless his heart.

While I worked around our homestead and Clara amused herself by poking grass (and the occasional stick, yikes!) into the chicken coop, I kept a bowl handy to collect edibles. Salad ingredients don’t always show themselves as lettuce leaves and cucumber slices; sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

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Skillet Amaranth Cornbread (gluten free recipe)

Sometimes a recipe crosses my path and makes it onto my table that is so good, I feel a moral responsibility to share it with the world.

A few weeks ago, my mom showed up to Sunday dinner with this Skillet Amaranth Cornbread and I knew, I really knew, that this recipe needed to be made again and again and shared as widely as possible. It is just that good.

This whole grain bread is a far cry from the spongy yellow cafeteria impostor that posed as cornbread on my childhood school lunch tray. For years, as a result of said sponge bread, I thought I didn’t even like cornbread.

This delicious gluten free bread, however, stole the Sunday dinner show and over shadowed even my favorite chili recipe.

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homemade whole wheat hotdog buns

How to make soft whole wheat hot dog buns

June is the month when we air out our camping gear and study the calendar for the perfect weekend to pack up and spend a few days in nature.

Whether you are pitching a tent in the backyard or camping on a pebbly lake shore, cooking over an open fire is such a fun family experience. We generally stick to real food camping meals, but once in a while it’s fun to roast a sausage on a stick and wrap it in a soft bun. For our (mostly) whole foods family, this takes a bit of planning, but here’s how I prep for a cook-out.

We’ll go to a nearby farm we know of that sells lamb sausage, or we’ll pick up organic, all-beef hot dogs at our local market for the excursion, so finding whole-food sausage is fairly easily done. But then there is the problem of the buns, as I refuse to buy pasty, all-white buns that are filled with sugar and who knows what else. I’ll consume these at the occasional hockey game, but I sure am not stocking up on them for a camping trip.

Homemade Whole Wheat Hotdog Buns on Simple Bites | www.simplebites.net

Our local health food store sells some decent unprocessed hot dog buns, but they cost a pretty penny, and around here we’re all about eating well and spending less. In fact, it’s my theme for this post, along with summer food to go.

So, for the past two summers I’ve been making my hot-dog buns and they are so, so great. A bit of butter and an egg in the dough keeps them soft, buttermilk gives the buns a nice tangy flavor,Β  and the whole wheat flour makes for a substantial roll that can hold up to the heftiest sausage.

Read on for the recipe and more suggestions for fireside meals.

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strawberry banana bread-1 edit

Whole Grain Strawberry Banana Bread

The one thing I’ve always been able to count on is Grandma Dorothy’s homemade bread. I don’t think I have ever crossed the threshold of her cozy kitchen, in all my thirty-one years, without a slice of bread finding its way into my hands.

The most incredible thing about Grandma Dorothy’s everlasting bread trick is that she is mother to eleven kids. Eleven! And she has enough grandchildren and great-grandchildren to populate a not so small town with only her own kin.

I can’t compete with Eleven kids, but I just doubled my brood overnight. Six kids!

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Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread: Tackling the lunchbox

Wheat-Bread-Shaina-Olmanson-foodformyfamilyWritten by Shaina of Food for My Family.

I can still hear the tin of my Voltron lunchbox echo as I swung it up onto the long, laminated tables and plopped down on the long blue bench. Carefully I would pull out the packaged contents of my lunch: peanut butter and honey or ham and Swiss on wheat. A random mix of fruit and vegetables accompanied them, but each day my mom would press fillings between two soft pieces of bread, tuck them into a red Tupperware container with a white lid and slide it into my lunch box.

My children don’t often have sandwiches tucked into their lunchbox. This is not because they don’t fancy two slices of bread filled with a variety of meat and cheeses, spread, lettuce, and a pickle spear side. It is more due to the fact that I have not been good at baking sandwich breads that fit my sandwich bread needs: soft, evenly shaped for slicing, not too dense, nor too sweet.

Instead, I buy them infrequently when I find myself near a suitable bakery, and in between I stuff their sacks with alternative items: Frittatas, soups, fried rice, pasta salads, tortilla wraps, and baked oatmeal.
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