It's in the Bag, Gluten Free & The WoW Diet



Friday, December 17, 2010

CONTEST!


We're excited to announce our first contest! In honor of The Bag Lady becoming a Grand-puppy-parent, we are accepting suggestions for puppy names. The top 3 winners will win a book of their choice from The Bag Lady's collection. When the puppies are born, we'll post pictures for inspiration, until then here's the rules.

Rules:
1. Only one entry per person.
2. No duplicate entries.
3. Submissions will be accepted via blog comment, facebook, email, or messaging.
4. Winners will be announced in Feb.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pasteurizing Eggs

Ever wanted to make a recipe with raw eggs and you worried about getting sick? Maybe you have a thing for raw cookie dough, but your mother always warned you about bacteria? We have your solution.

Salmonella Entertidis is a bacteria that can infect chicken's ovaries. The bacteria gets "packaged" with the egg yolk when the white and shell form around it, making the egg contaminated before it is laid. About one egg in every 20,000 actually contains salmonella bacteria, but if it's there, it's dangerous. There are ways prevent illness. According to the FDA, refrigerating eggs below 40 degrees Fahrenheit limits Salmonella growth and fully cooking eggs destroys the bacteria.

I know what you're saying, "that's well and good, but I don't want to give up raw cookie dough!" (I know I don't) the good news is, you can pasteurize eggs at home, and it's easy too! Pasteurization is a process of heating a food to a specific temperature, for a specific amount of time, to kill specific bacteria. (My, my, what a specific process!) Salmonella bacteria are killed at a temperature of 140 degrees in about 3.5 minutes.

So, if a room temperature egg is held in a bowl of warm water--lets say 142 just to be safe--for 3.5 minutes, any salmonella bacteria will die. It takes 5 minutes for an extra large or jumbo egg.

Ready to try it yourself?

Place the room temperature eggs in a colander and lower them into a pan or bowl of 142 degree water. Put an instant read thermometer in the bowl to make sure you have a high enough temperature and that it remains constant. If your eggs are medium or large, leave them in the water for 3.5 minutes; for extra large or jumbo eggs, leave them in for 5 minutes. When the time is up, remove the eggs, dry them, and refrigerate them in a tightly covered container.

Viola! Now go enjoy that raw egg smoothie! I'll be sticking with cookie dough. ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Squash It!

Hello readers old and new! We're glad you're here. It's that time of the year, the brief space between the end of fall and the dawning of winter. There's been a few flurries in the air and hearts are full of thanks, which means...it time to SQUASH IT! So, for all of you wondering about the delicious and versatile gourd, here you have it: The Bag Lady on Squash.

Where can I purchase canned butternut squash for the butternut soup found on page 77 of It's in the Bag?

Bag Lady: I buy mine at Target.

What are your general thoughts on squash? Is it a food close to your heart?

Bag Lady: Squash to me is the perfect fresh food storage food because it will last from fall to spring if properly stored. There are also many different varieties and many ways to prepare it. We usually plant butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squash. We experimented with several other varieties and decided to save the seeds from the following store bought varieties: sweet meat, butter cup, sweet dumpling, stripetti, and swan white acorn.

What if I have limited garden space and don't want squash vines everywhere?

Bag Lady: This year we tried growing our squash up a trellis of sorts. We tied the vines onto the fencing using yarn scraps. To our surprise the squash grew all season without falling off of the vines. We did not even support them with slings etc. They just hung there and ripened.

When do I pick my squash?

Bag Lady: I was taught that you pick your winter squash just before the first frost. There has been some confusion as to the timing. I believe this stems from my recommendation of picking concord grapes after the first frost to ensure maximum sweetness. Just remember squash is before and concord grapes are after the first frost. If you are still confused, send in a picture and I will tell you if you have a squash or a grape. Ha, Ha!

How should I store my squash?

Bag Lady: Once you have your lovely squash harvested simply place them in a cool place i.e. root cellar. Remember to keep them off of the cement. We store ours in our unfinished basement where the temperature hovers around 40-60 degrees year round. I just lay wood boards on the cement floor and place the squash on the boards. Some people recommend hanging the squash in netting. I haven't found the need to do so.

Can I can squash?

Bag Lady: I have never canned squash because it's low acidity level lends itself to food borne illnesses such as botulism. I have frozen my winter squash and it becomes watery, so I use it for soups and sauces or pies.

The endless varieties of squash are so overwhelming! How do I find a variety I want to grow?

Bag Lady: If you find new varieties of squash in the store that you would like to try growing, simply scrape out the seeds and allow them to dry for two- four weeks on a paper plate. After they are dry, place the seeds in a cool dark place and they will be ready for next year's planting. You should never need to buy squash seeds again.

So, I've got a bunch of squash...now what?

Bag Lady: Try my delicious Butternut Squash Cheesecake!

Butternut Squash Cheesecake


1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
1/3 cup chopped nuts of choice
1/3 cup melted butter
2- 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup butternut squash puree
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup ground nutmeg

In a bowl, combine crumbs, nuts and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. In another bowl combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Remove 1 cup of the batter. Add remaining sugar, squash, and spices to remaining batter, mix well. Alternately layer squash and cream cheese batters in baked crust. Cut through the batters with a knife several times for a marbled effect. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Cool before removing pan collar. Serve chilled.

There you have it friends, the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the seeds and strings of squash! If you have any other questions (or are still trying to decide if you have a squash or a grape) send us a comment or email. You know we'll respond. Good luck with all your Thanksgiving preparations. If you're one of those that hates pumpkin pie (like myself) maybe you should give squash cheesecake a try!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PREVIEW: The W.O.W. Diet

Before The W.O.W. Diet


And now, a snippet from the author:

"I continue to experience the benefits of the enlightening W.O.W. Diet. My health has significantly improved. In 2005, my cholesterol was 235. Three months after being on the W.O.W. Diet my cholesterol dropped to 183 with an HDL (good cholesterol) of 73. I am wearing a size 9/10 (2010), down from a tight-fitting size 14 pant (Jan. 2007). When I began the W.O.W. Diet I weighed 186; presently, I weigh 148, a remarkable thirty-eight pound loss.
So far, after being on the W.O.W. Diet for twelve weeks, Trent has lost fourteen pounds and five inches from his waist. My mother, who is seventy two years old and who has suffered with IBS of the diarrheal variety for most of her life, has been on the W.O.W. Diet for three weeks. She has lost twelve pounds and four inches from her waist. And more importantly, she has not had any bouts of diarrhea since beginning the W.O.W. Diet. My step-father, age 71, is not as faithful to the W.O.W. Diet as my mother, and he’s still lost seven pounds in three weeks."

Today:


Picture courtesy of Deseret News. Article by Valerie Phillips, Photo by Tom Smart

Get excited friends, this book is going to be big! Remember you can pre-order your copy today through the link at the top of the page.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Daily Herald

If you missed seeing The Bag Lady in the Provo Daily Herald, here's your chance to check it out! Utah County fans, don't forget to come see her demonstration at the Provo Library on Nov. 4!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Fast Food"--Part II

Day 3: We've been running for two full days. The night we camped in the field of daises we were safe. Our theory worked, the zombies stayed at the edges of the field. They were repulsed by the beauty and freshness of flowers. By the time morning came our foes had taken refuge from the sun and we managed to escape into the hills. We haven't seen any members of the village since we left. Hopefully they are still content with their dried wheat.

Yesterday, before we started our trek we had a breakfast of rye pancakes and bottled sausage. It was certainly a cheery way to start the morning. Had we not known about the pursuing threat, one could have been convinced that we were merely having a morning picnic.

I've realized yet another virtue of the bag meal system. The morning of our pancakes, the smoke from our fire seemed to attract the zombies, and they began making their way towards our camp. Luckily the sun was coming up and it slowed their pursuit allowing us time to get away. Not only were the bag meals light, which aided a quick escape, but they were already self contained. There was no need to repack our backpacks.

The last rays of precious sunlight are beginning to fade. Luckily the bag meals can be eaten cold, because a fire is out of the question. We can't risk a zombie encounter in the night, especially since we don't have a field of daises. We picked some and have been scattering them around our camp, but they are beginning to dry and wilt. Certainly a dead flower will have no protection against the living dead. I sit here, finishing my mexican soup, which isn't half bad cold, and hoping that we will still be here when the sun rises. Soon we will have to make a stand. The zombie invasion has gone on long enough!

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Fast Food, or Running for your Life with Bag Meals"--Part I

Day 1: We heard that they are coming. Coming. Coming in the night. We know that we'll be safe as long as the sun shines, they don't like the sunlight. Yesterday we began the evacuation to the northlands. We can only take as much as we can carry. The village decided there would be a greater possibility of repopulating the earth if we split up (yes, our village is concerned about the world at large-we even recycle.) If we were caught as a group, it would be total annihilation. I worry about the provisions some of our people took. The neighbors had to sacrifice their 50 gallon water drum...it was impossible to carry. The five gallon buckets of wheat and dried beans will provide sustenance, but I suspect it will be like eating cardboard after a few days. Perhaps the creamed corn will add some variety.

It makes me glad that we gave up on bulk food storage some time ago. I never realized just how valuable the bag meal system was until we had to pack up on a moments notice. Our family of 4 was able to evacuate with 4 bags each-2 in each hand, we even strapped one to the dog. Since each meal feeds 6-8 people, we should be able to feed at least 30 if we meet up with camp. On our own, we'll survive comfortably for some days...if they don't trace us by the smell of our flesh.

At least this day we should be safe. We've covered sufficient ground and found harbor in a field of daisies. Hopefully the bright colors and happiness will deter them. For now I take solace in this Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pasta. The creamy sauce and zesty basil are a taste of the comforting fires of home. The chicken will give us protein to continue our march tomorrow. Yes, at this time I can rest, but lurking at the edges of my awareness is the knowledge that we're being tracked. They are coming. The zombies are COMING!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review

The book is making the rounds in the cyber world! I didn't even know the Mormon Times existed, it's a product of the Deseret News, so it was a pleasant surprise when we discovered this review. Check it out here!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Deseret News

Did you see The Bag Lady in the Deseret News? If not check it out here. If you already saw the article, click the link anyways and relive the magic. :D

Friday, August 27, 2010

Q & A: Meats

First off, kudos for following the blog. We realize that we've been a bit slow in our posting, but we haven't forgotten about you! By now you've probably read through the book and come up with some questions. Today we bring you a special Q&A with our friend Wendy. Wendy comes from West Hills, CA (we're thrilled with the growing CA following!)

Wendy: Do you brown your meat or pack it raw?

Bag Lady: It depends on the meat I am canning.
I always brown my hamburger, sausage links, and patties before canning.

Wendy: Do you add water?

Bag Lady: You only add water if the meat has been cooked prior to bottling. When I have done this I used broth and it is yummy! But I usually raw pack most things and sprinkle with seasons if I am not using it for multiple dishes. i.e. Sunday roast always gets seasoned before I place it in the jar.


Wendy:I canned hamburger, but the recipe said to add water to the top, then put the lid on. I've used it, but it's always a little scary when I look at it.

Bag Lady: I never add water to my hamburger. Make sure you do NOT cook it thoroughly. Only cook it until the outside turns that gray color then spoon into prepared jars. You are only cooking it a little so that it doesn't come out the texture of canned dog food. If you cook it completely it will be dry and have an odd taste after processing.

Wendy:
Do you think stew meat would work in canning?

Bag Lady: Yes. I can steak, stew meat and roasts as well as other meats and fish.

Wendy:
When you use [bottled meat] in a recipe, is it already cooked from the pressure canning?

Bag Lady: Yes! You can eat it cold from the jar and be fine. However, make sure your bottles are properly sealed. To insure this I never leave my rings on after the initial 24 hours. I do this so that any gasses can easily pop the lid off if it is improperly sealed. If the bottle IS properly sealed, it will make that vacuum sound when I take the lid off. If there is no vacuum sound, I know the bottle was not sealed and the contents are bad.

There you have it folks! Don't waste another minute, canning your own meat "can" be easy and fun! If you hit any snags, shoot us a message.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kitchen Mill Winner!

We all waited with baited breath as brother dipped his hand into the bag. He swirled it around and finally emerged with our winner!

GRACE JANKO!!


Congratulations Grace, you are the proud owner of a brand new Blendtech Kitchen Mill. Give us a holler and we'll get you your prize.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fan Mail!

Hello! We've been hearing all sorts of good things from "baggers" around the country. Here's some of the blips!

"Finally! After pre-ordering your book and waiting, and then checking on the order only to have to reorder, I finally have it! It is wonderful!...My attempts at food storage in the past have been, well, sad to say the least. I tried to stock items that we use frequently, but then I just ended up with an over stuffed pantry full of food that won't go together to make a meal. With J. going away to college next year how easy will it be to send supplies back with her to make sure she eats right while she is on her own. I will just grab a few bags and she will be set! Awesome! Thank you for sharing your wisdom in a way that is so accessible. I can't wait to try all of the recipes."
-Nancy, Redding CA

"I just received my book in today's mail and I love it!!!"
-Susan, Rockwall TX

"I love the book! I bought it a week ago here in Sacramento and I have been gathering supplies for the last week and today will start assembling the bag meals. I'm very excited!"
-Sandie, Orangevale CA

"I went through and read about Michelle's new and very smart way of doing food storage. I was going to give this book to my good friend who is our Emergency Preparedness and Canning Specialist in my ward, but I believe I will keep it and have my two caregivers (who are both LDS) help me prepare a week or two of meals based on this simple and easy way...I thought this would be a great way to prepare meals ahead of time for me...I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to cook or that has a very busy schedule. The family's input [will] make it fun and educational. It is more economical in the end."
-Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri Rodeman, Benton City WA
Read the full review here

Drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you too!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Howdy Y'All


That's right folks! We're headed to the Utah State Fair! Here's the low down:

Michelle and Trent Snow authors of "It's in the Bag: a New, Easy, Affordable, and Doable Approach to Food Storage" will be sharing their skills and knowledge at the Utah State Fair on September 9th and 17th.

Septemeber 9th:
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Michelle will demonstrate the revolutionary method of food storage bag meals and home canning sausage, beef, and chicken.

2:30- 3:30 p.m. Trent will demonstrate how to build a sprouter, a hands free emergency washing station, and a how to make a homemade cheese press.

Please join Michelle and Trent next door at the country store for a book signing immediately following each demonstration.

September 17th:
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Michelle will demonstrate the revolutionary food storage method of bag meals and how to make delicious and inexpensive homemade yogurt and soft cheese.

2:30- 3:30 p.m. Trent will demonstrate how to build a sprouter, a hands free emergency washing station, and how to make a homemade cheese press.

Please join Michelle and Trent next door at the country store for a book signing immediately following each demonstration.

Grab yer boots and we'll see ya there!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guest "Bagger!"

Hello readers! I realize that I took a bit of a blogging sabbatical, but I'm back in full force today with a guest reader. This is Sandie.


Sandie hails from Northern California and we're thrilled to have her on the blog today. (Think of this post as a cyber interview)

Sandie: Can you substitute dehydrated meat for bottled?

The Bag Lady: Yes, you can use dehydrated meats; however, you will need to increase the amount of bottled water in each bag meal. I don't use dehydrated foods because we actually eat our bag meals for most breakfasts and dinners.

Sandie: Where did you find canned ham and bags?

The Bag Lady: I could only find the ham at Walmart. And as far as the bags go, I purchased mine at Xpedex and got a deal because I bought 500 of them. I asked if I bought 500 bags would they discount the price and they did. I ended up paying 0.18 cents/bag which is good because the original price was 0.25/bag.

Sandie: Where do I find canned cheese and butter?

The Bag Lady: I tried different butters and cheeses and decided on Bega brand for the cheese. To me it tastes less salty. I would definitely taste test before you spend money on a case. It is manufactured in Austrailia. I like the Red Feather brand of butter. It is manufactured in New Zealand. You can buy these from emergency preparedness stores or on-line but would suggest comparing prices as it is spendy. Because of the long shelf life I take the canned butter and cheese out of the bag meal that I am preparing and recycle it back into a newly made bag meal rather than use it. After all, we aren't in a crisis so why not use the fresh and save money too!

And Finally, Sandie's Testimonial:

Today I put together nine bag meals. It was so fun. I need to run back to Winco to get more canned roast beef and Costco to get more canned chicken. Also, I went ahead and ordered bags online from Uline in Los Angeles. I had to get a case of 250 and they came out to 22 cents each.
This is the coolest idea, the bag meals. Without a basement I'm having to convert linen closet space, etc. but it wil be so great to have these meals ready to go and I'm very excited about the idea of rotating the storage. Here's one of our family favorite recipes that I converted into a bag meal by substituting real chicken breasts for canned chicken:

Sandie's South of the Border Chicken

2 cans chicken meat
1 can black beans
1 jar/can picante sauce

Seasoning Packet:
1 cup instant rice
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Pantry Item:
grated cheddar cheese

Drain black beans and corn. Mix all ingredients together in saucepan on stove until hot. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min. until bubbly.

We would love to feature more of our readers on the blog! If any of you have questions, comments, stories, or recipes (We LOVE recipes), please send them to m_snow61@hotmail.com We would also appreciate a picture!
Happy Bagging!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Snow Vineyard

Does anybody know what time it is? It's jelly time! Now, I know what you're thinking, "Bagette, you're mistaken. Everyone knows you make jelly in the fall, when the FRUIT is on." The masses may make jelly in the fall, but around here that's not how we roll. The explanation is simple. By the time traditional jelly time rolls around, The Bag Lady is tired from canning everything she can get her hands on (we've had to rescue the cat a few times.) So, in a miraculous feat of defying mother nature, AND rotating our food storage, we jelly-ize in the early summer.

You see, jams are made with fresh or frozen fruits, but jellies are made from juice. Hence, you can make jelly whenever the mood strikes. In our humble backyard, we have a small vineyard. "Snow Vineyard" consists of 7 vines. We have Concord, Zinfandel, and lovely little white grapes. The juice from the white grapes has a pink blush to it, and is our favorite to drink, it's not as sweet as the Concord. Sadly, we've all forgotten the name. If you're interested in starting your own vineyard, leave a comment and we'll do some research. Our vines grow up the fence, so they don't take much space. The first year yields no harvest. You have to pluck the baby grapes off, or the weight will break the vine. Juice output increases each year. Last year our vines were 4 years old and we averaged 11 quarts of juice per vine.

"Snow Vineyard"

Awww, how cute! This bunch of baby grapes is about 2 inches long.


Anyways, back to how we make jelly in the early summer. After the first fall frost, we harvest the grapes and The Bag Lady begins juicing. Through the winter and spring, we have a good stock of red juice for cooking (it's a good substitute for red wine) and white juice for drinking (thank you little mystery grape.) Come March-May, The Bag Lady bottles rhubarb, and makes strawberry freezer jam. Most people would then come to a canning lull. How does one fill this lull? Grape jelly.

The Bag Lady launches into grape jelly, with the juice that was canned last fall. It's super quick and easy, about 20 minutes a batch. I believe we're on batch 12 today, and she's only been at it for 1.5 hours yesterday and 4.5 today. The house is filled with the rich, luxurious, robust, earthy aroma of simmering juice. The jelly is lovely as well, in fact, it seems to stimulate the appetite.

Summer Grape Jelly
3 1/2 cup grape juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package MCP powdered pectin (the pectin camp is fiercely divided between MCP and Sure Gel, but we fall in the MCP camp)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon butter (This is TOP SECRET. It cuts down on the foam, besides, butter makes everything better)
5 1/3 cup sugar

In a stainless steel stock pot, combine everything EXCEPT sugar. On high heat, whisk continuously until boiling. Add sugar. Continue whisking, when the mixture comes to a full boil whisk another 2 minutes. Pour the boiling mixture directly into prepared canning jars. Wipe lip of jar clean, and secure with lid and ring. Now, the USDA extension service suggests a boiling water bath to seal jars...However, sources we will not mention simply tip the jars over (lid side down) for 5 minutes, then right the jar, and allow to cool. The heat from the boiling jelly should seal the jar. You'll hear a nice little "ping" when the jar seals. Be sure to check your lids and make sure the lid does not compress. If it does, the jar is not sealed, and it should be refrigerated and eaten. Oh darn. Label your jars and store!

"Would you like to come to my quarters for some toast?"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

French Bread


Hello friends! Sorry it's been awhile since the last post. I've been running around San Francisco eating sourdough bread and award winning Japanese cream puffs. I also saw the sights. Now I'm back and you are first on my priority list. As you've been reading It's In the Bag, you've probably noticed a lack of recipes for breads or desserts, this was due to a limited page allotment. Today we are remedying the problem!

The Bag Lady's french bread is absolutely superb. The perfectly crisp crust is complimented by the chewy inside. Hot from the oven, slathered with butter, creamy swiss, or dipped in balsamic vinegar and oil--it is heavenly. Bread probably shouldn't be the main focus of a meal, but this tends to be the show stopper. The biggest perk? It's amazingly simple to make. The recipe makes 2 loaves. We usually eat a whole loaf the first day, and use the 2nd to make bruschetta when it gets a little drier.

French Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teas salt
1 Tbl sugar
2 1/4 teas (1 packet) yeast
3-4 cups flour

Combine warm water, salt, and sugar, stir until dissolved. Add yeast and give it a stir. Stir in 3 cups of flour. Gradually add more flour until the dough is no longer sticky, but remains soft and pliable. Do not add too much flour.

Knead for 3 minutes on a lightly floured counter. Place dough in an oiled bowl and roll it about until lightly covered. Seal bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise for approximately 1-1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. Remove dough from bowl and shape into loaves. Place in a french bread pan, or on a cookie sheet dusted with corn meal. If you desire decorative cuts, lightly score top of loaf with a sharp knife/razor blade. Allow loaves to rise for another 30 minutes.

Place an empty metal pie pan on the bottom oven rack. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place pan with loaves on middle rack and pour one cup of boiling water into the pie pan(good steam clouds produce a crisp crust.) Bake for 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when golden brown and produces a hollow sound when thumped. Let loaves cool 20-30 minutes before slicing.

Don't forget, if you're in Provo/Orem this week stop by and see us at Barnes & Noble or Costco! Please see the side bar for exact times and addresses.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lemon Sour Cream Pie


The Bag Lady has been baking up a storm this week. Sunday was her dad's b-day, so we all made the journey for a surprise party. It was fun, this surprise actually worked, he jumped about a foot in the air! The Bag Lady's papa is a master baker, well known throughout the baking industry, so when we were asked to bring dessert it was no small task. Ironically enough, Grampy doesn't eat sweets, but he does enjoy tart flavors.

This pie is delectable. The sour cream makes it smooth and creamy without being heavy. It's a custardy delight with a satin finish. The lemon gives a refreshing zing, perfect for a spring or summer gathering. In fact, it was so good, that Grampy had TWO slices. Now that's saying something.

Lemon Sour Cream Pie

One pre-baked pie crust
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbl corn starch
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup sour cream

In a medium sauce pan mix sugar and corn starch. Add milk and stir until smooth. Add egg yolks and whisk over medium heat, bringing to a slow boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and lemon. Cool to room temperature. When cool stir in sour cream. Pour custard into baked pie shell and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Debut Report

A big THANK YOU to all of the friends, family, and passersby that stopped by the bookstore last Saturday! It was a joy to see you there. We would also like to thank the wonderful manager and the staff of Deseret Book in Bountiful. The book debut was a huge success! Upon entering the store, you were greeted not only by the classic scent of Lion House Rolls, but also Caribbean Chicken, Garbanzo Beans in Coconut Milk, and MUFFINS! Radiating charm, The Bag Lady roamed the floor, disbursing bag meal knowledge, and signing copies of her book. Father and myself manned the tasting table, where we were able to help over 100 people have a yummier afternoon. The air was a buzz with excitement. Shoppers sat at tables to taste the food as they perused the recipes and tips in the book, excitedly sharing their new-found treasure. Oh, and don't forget the giveaway! The first round of entries is in (the mill won't be given away until the end of the book tour in Aug.) It was a fun afternoon, in fact, it can be summed up in a few words: "Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy, Super FABULOSO!"

The Bag Lady in all her glory.

Awww, isn't he cute in his apron?

Working the tasting table.

Smile! You're on Bag Meal Camera!

The Bag Lady in action!
If you missed the book debut, we would still love to see you at a later signing. Please check the side bar for The Bag Lady's touring schedule.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Suburban Chicken Coop Design

Suburban Chicken Coop Designs, "It's in the Bag-A New, Easy, Affordable, and Doable Approach to Food Storage" By Michelle and Trent Snow. Copyright Cedar Fort Publishing May 8th, 2010. Images, pg. 186-189, reproduced with permission of Cedar Fort, Inc.

Side-West


Side-South

Side-East

Top-East

South West

North

North East

Interior

Bottom South West

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Debut and Samples too!

Just a reminder friends, join us this Saturday at the Bountiful Deseret Book (directions linked on sidebar) from 2-4 pm! The Bag Lady will be debuting her book and gracing us with her samples! If you need further enticement, here's the menu of the yummies: Garbanzo Beans in Coconut Milk, Caribbean Chicken and Rice, Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip and Crumb Muffins. You'll also have the opportunity to enter to win the shiny new Blendtec Kitchen Mill. In addition to The Bag Lady, Trent Snow, co-author of the book and designer of the suburban chicken coop will be making a guest appearance. You may even cross paths with yours truly. (I'll probably be hanging out by the muffins) So come on down and get your book autographed! We'd love to see you there!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

GIVE-AWAY!!







The Bag Lady has partnered with Blendtec, the makers of K-tec Blenders and Kitchen Mills, to bring you the opportunity of a lifetime! Here's the history behind the magical partnership. The Bag Lady has 2 different mills. Her very first mill is a stone mill that runs off electricity or a hand crank. She thought this was the best mill to ever grace the earth, however, it weighs as much as an elephant and we are all suspicious that father herniated his back moving it. One day, she asked him to move the mill upstairs once again. He said he couldn't at the moment and asked if she could wait. A few days later, in fit of romanticism the likes of which Casanova could not compete, he presented her with a package. What do you think was in that fine package? A glorious Blendtec Kitchen Mill. It is light enough for a child to carry, has stainless steel blades, and can produce coarse to super fine flours. It's versatile too. The Bag Lady grinds grains, beans, and lentils in her mill. From her first grinding she dreamed of spreading this good news to foodies and fellow grinders around the world. This dream eventually led to her team up with Blendtec, and YOUR opportunity of a lifetime.

If you come to any of The Bag Lady's book signings AND say "Hello," you'll have the rare opportunity to enter to win a shiny new Blendtec Kitchen Mill ($299.00 value)--ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

Details:

1. Enter drawing at any of Michelle’s It’s in the Bag book signings.

2. No purchase necessary to enter.

3. Must be at least 18 years old to enter.

4. One entry per person.

5. Contact information will not be sold or shared.

6. Drawing will be held on August 15, 2010.

7. Winner’s name will be posted on:

www.bagmealtestkitchen.blogspot.com & www.Michelle-Snow.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cherry Rickey

Quote from The Bag Lady, "If there's one thing I love more than a good Coke, it's a Cherry Rickey..." This recipe is a blog exclusive, and cannot be found in the upcoming book. Think of it as a spring gift for all you faithful readers.


Cherry Rickey
2-3 Tbl Cherry Syrup*
1 Cup Sprite
1/4 Lime
Maraschino Cherries
Ice

Fill glass with ice and 1/2 cup of Sprite. Add syrup (2 Tbl is normal, 3 if you've had a REALLY rough day.) Add remaining Sprite, squeeze in 1/4 of lime and give it a swirl with a swizzle stick, knife, straw, bamboo skewer, long teaspoon, bent coat hanger, anything with stirring capabilities will do. Drop in your squeezed lime rind and a maraschino cherry for garnish.

*Mere mortals get their cherry syrup at the local grocery for around $3/cup. However YOU can buy assorted gourmet syrups and flavorings at DaVinci Gourmet. That's where we get our syrups, the average price is $7 for 3 cups.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Trivia!

Last post we told you the saga of cooking for the cover, but there's more to the story. If you look at the far right picture, you'll see The Bag Lady's vegetarian chili. Notice the tureen it's in. The tureen is practically an antique! It's at least as old as The Bag Lady herself! As a little girl, she remembers her mother taking it to "Dime a Dip" dinners at the church. Back in the good old days, the church would get together for fund raising dinners. Everyone would bring a dish and you would go around paying a dime for each scoop of your dinner. Now the tureen has been passed down to The Bag Lady. It's only fitting that it appears in her book. It's a symbol of her heritage. Her food, preparedness, and "other cool stuff your mama never told you" heritage.

Look to the left of the chili, see the hot cereal? Isn't it in a nifty bowl? That bowl, came from China. I know, I know, I'm sure you have lots of dishes that were made in China. That's not what I mean. This bowl literally CAME from China. I spent a brief stint teaching English in China with my best friend. Both of our mothers like dishes, so being dutiful daughters, we set out to bring them home some authentic china. The problem came when we left the school and traveled through the country on our own. We had the option of shipping our bags ahead, but if you think the baggage handlers in America are rough, try a freight train. By the time my shipped suitcase and I reunited, it was missing a handle and several wheels, think what would have happened to dishes. Knowing this, the only logical solution was to pack our dishes across the country, ON OUR BACKS. We had a good 50 lbs of china, easy. By bus, by train, by three wheeled death car we journeyed! Across cities and down country sides we sojourned! Many days and several nights our dishes traveled! Braving jostling crowds of sardine packed people, rocking train cars, squatty potties, and pick pockets we made it to the airport. Where we finally checked our china...as a carry on. Eventually we made it home, unpacked tenderly, and presented our gifts. Every piece was perfectly intact.

Now direct your gaze to the beautiful pink pancake and blue tortilla plates. One can only imagine all that those dishes mean, the places they've been, the people they've seen. You see, we found those beauties at Deseret Industries--our local thrift store. They were the $1 special.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Cover!

Annd now, for your viewing pleasure! (Please click on thumbnail for the full effect)


What do you think? We in The Bag Lady's kitchen are quite pleased. The cover has come a long way from the first designs. I even have an insider secret for you, and I can tell you this because I was there. See those 4 delicious pictures at the bottom? Those are actual recipes from the book, cooked by The Bag Lady herself, in her very own test kitchen. Lots of times when you look at a cook book you wonder if the luscious pics are really made by the cook, if it was the work of a food stylist, or if it's even real food (we've all heard that's it's actually glue, not milk being poured in cereal commercials.) Let me tell ya, on this baby, that's the 100% genuine article. Here's the story.

First off, these mouth watering results could never have happened without the work of our photographer. Although primarily specializing in photographing people, we were able to get one of the finest photographers in Utah county, Stacey Pointer, to join us for a foodie photo shoot. She does amazing work. Notice the incredible depth of field in the Sweet Roast Tortillas, how the light plays on the toasted Coconut Pancakes, the artistic and tantalizing cropping of the Cracked Wheat Breakfast Cereal, and the casually natural and inviting pose of the Vegetarian Chili. Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. We really can't sing her praises enough. To check out her work with subjects of the human variety, click here. Stacey works primarily in UT, but is open to travel.

It was a wild day. In addition to the works on the cover, we made Shrimp Soup, Caribbean Chicken and Rice (our photographer's favorite, nicknamed "Heaven in a Pan") Pad Thai, and Chocolate Chip Muffins. When you get your copy of It's in the Bag, look for these other photos. One of my favorite pics is the muffin, look at it carefully and see if you can tell why. It was completely unintentional. :)

Work started nice and early so that we could use natural light. Spoons whirled through the air! Sauces bubbled! Flour dangerously spewed across the kitchen (protective eye wear probably would have been a good idea!) Pots and pans clanged together and tension ran high as we engaged in a carefully choreographed dance across the kitchen! Breathlessly I dodged a collision with a pot of soup in transit. The Bag Lady plated and garnished with a flourish worthy of Iron Chef. The photographer tragically burned her tongue while conducting field research! Several fingers were nearly severed! Then TRAGEDY struck!!! We had no sour cream for the vegetarian chili garnish. Oh, woe unimaginable! Madly I rummaged through the fridge looking for something, anything! Then, I saw it. The last pint of homemade yogurt. Thick, creamy, delicious, and looking just enough like sour cream to fool the camera! Ha! HA! Deftly dolloping some "imitation" Daisy, we triumphed! A pinch of parsley and it was complete. Tragedy had been averted and 8 different dishes emerged from their bags into full meal glory! Action, adventure, dueling, magic, deceit, true love (well, at least FOOD love), this tale has it all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

It would not be an exaggeration to say that this recipe changed my life. Throughout my youth, I have been adamantly opposed to breakfast, especially if it came in pancake or waffle form. We don't even talk about french toast. For a long time I thought that I didn't like the pancake/waffle/toast, but then I had an eye opening experience. It was maple syrup that I couldn't handle. I began to eat plain pancakes, but that got old very quickly. Jam was justifiable and peanut butter was palatable, but nothing made me request pancakes or waffles. I ate them, but it was nothing more than toleration...and the lack of cold pizza. Cold, cruel, heartless years passed, and then it happened. One fine day the heavens opened, the breakfast gods smiled upon us, and lo and behold, SALVATION!



This is a recipe from The Bag Lady's book, but I want you to experience it sooner. Think of it as a personal spring gift from me to you. I love buttermilk syrup. I now look forward to pancakes and waffles. I no longer shudder at the thought and cringe to eat a dry pancake. This syrup is thick, rich, and warm. It's liquid love. Sweet and buttery folds envelope pancakes and gently fill the craters of waiting waffles. It is a perfect pairing with wheat,rye, buttermilk, or just a spoon. Even more amazing--it makes french toast bearable. Try it, try it today! Have breakfast for dinner and you too can taste the wonder!

Buttermilk Syrup Recipe

1 cup granulated white sugar

½ cup canned butter

½ cup buttermilk

1 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil except vanilla extract.

Boil for 2-7 minutes, until desired color/consistency is reached (the syrup darkens to a caramel color and thickens, the longer it boils.) Remove from burner and stir in vanilla extract. Stir until foam dissipates.

Refrigerate extra syrup in a closed container. Syrup will solidify as it chills, simply warm in the microwave or stove top to return to liquid state.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

Need a dinner idea? This seems to be one of the no-fail recipes at our house. In fact, it's my brother's favorite bag meal. It's super easy and delicious, so give it a try!


Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

(Original recipe from the kitchen of Belinda Craft)

8 oz. of penne pasta

4 cups water

1-14.5 oz. can Italian diced tomatoes

1-12 oz. can evaporated milk

1-13 oz. can chicken meat, including broth or 1 pint home canned chicken breast

1 tablespoon canned butter

Re-closable bag:

1 chicken bouillon cube

1½ tablespoons dried basil

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add pasta to boiling water and stir gently. Return to boil and cook 6 to 7 minutes or according to desired pasta tenderness. Remove from heat and drain. In a medium sauce pan, combine remaining ingredients. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes. To serve, gently toss sun dried tomato sauce and pasta until pasta is thoroughly coated.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Ultimate After-School Snack

Let's play a game, shall we? Can you guess what this delicious little zoomed in nibblet belongs too? I'll give you a hint, most kids have cookies and milk after school, but this was my yummy today.


Another hint perhaps? It's pretty much happiness in a mouthful. We've been eating it 2-3 times a week for the past month, and I'm not sick of it. Not even close. I had 3 today. Why yes, I am a piggly wiggly. Alright, I'll tell you. It's not too complicated. A few slices of french bread, some butter, a little garden fresh tomato and basil, the secret ingredients (soon to be revealed) and voila! Culinary paradise.
It's BRUSCHETTA!!!

The Bag Lady makes 2 loaves of fresh, warm, delicious, chewy french bread every Monday. We can usually take care of a loaf in 1-2 days, but that leaves one left. Wrapped in a plastic shopping bag in the cupboard, the loaf naturally begins to dry out. By Thursday it's perfect for making bruschetta--firm and dry, but still soft enough that you won't feed it to the ducks. From there it's just a chop, dice, sizzle, and swoosh to delicious.

Some people like to use olive oil when they make bruschetta, but I'll tell you where it's really at. BUTTER. Butter those puppies up and the yum factor increases a hundred fold. In a buttered pan, brown your bread until golden. Put your golden slices on a plate and top them off with fresh tomato, basil, and a bit of salt. Don't stop there, contrary to Kung Fu Panda belief, there IS a secret ingredient. It's balsamic vinegar. Splash a dash of it on top and garnish with some coarse grated parmesan cheese. True joy really is as simple as that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yogurt

Hello blog readers!

First off, a big apology for my slackerly blogging as of late. I have several excuses I could give, but that's not why you read this blog. I'll make it up to you with a recipe instead.

This is actually a sneak recipe from The Bag Lady's book (I can feel you forgiving me already.) Yogurt is a wonder-food. It aides digestion by restoring normal flora, provides calcium and vitamins, is light and refreshing, can be topped with jam, fruit, chocolate, granola, rice crispies, anything really. You can also use it to make parfait. Everybody likes parfait, I mean have you ever been out with a group of friends and said "lets get some parfait!" and they say "I don't like no parfait!" (Name that movie) Of course NOT! That never happens. Everybody, likes parfait.

I've traveled enough that I realize sometimes you don't want to know what you're eating, but when you're at home and you can't even pronounce what's written on your food label... Enough said. So without further ado, I present, drum roll please, The Bag Lady's own yogurt. This yogurt is amazing. It's easy to make, preservative free, smooth on the tongue and the tummy. Besides, there is something deliciously satisfying about popping the top off a pint jar and eating out of it with a spoon.

Yogurt

(Makes 1 gallon)

1 gallon 2% or whole milk*

5 tablespoons powdered milk

1 cup plain yogurt

Sweetener of choice**

Directions

Preheat oven on warm setting. Place milk and powdered milk* in a large thick bottomed stainless steel pot and heat milk to 180°F, stirring often. Turn off oven and turn on oven light. Once the milk has reached 180°, cool to 125-110°F. I place the pot in a sink full of ice water; within 5 to 10 minutes the milk cools between 125-110°F. Stir in yogurt and sweetener.** Pour into pint sized canning jars and cover with a canning lid and ring or aluminum foil. Place filled jars in oven and allow ripening in oven to desired consistency. I ripen mine 4-6 hours. Place yogurt in refrigerator.

Yogurt will keep in refrigerator for a good 4 weeks. Remember to save 1 cup of your homemade yogurt as a starter for your next batch

*Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk or yogurt will not set.

**I sweeten my yogurt by adding ¾ cup organic fructose to 1 gallon of milk. You may choose to add more or less sweetener depending on your preferences. I add the fructose with the powdered milk.





Fruit, jam, or other toppings should only be added when the yogurt is served, or it will not set up properly.

If you are interested in adding probiotics to your yogurt, make sure that you add them when the milk has cooled to below 120F. Hotter temperatures will kill the bacteria.

Remember how Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey? Your yogurt will probably develop some whey, it's a yellow tinged liquid that results when the milk separates. If you don't mind your yogurt a bit runny, just mix it back in. If that completely grosses you out, drain it off the top and proceed with breakfast. Personally, I always drain it off, because I like my yogurt thicker, so no shame if you're a drainer too, no shame.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fruit Basket

No, this is not about the party game where everyone is assigned to be a different fruit and some poor soul is trapped in the middle of the circle. A blog a few down from mine is discussing that. This post is literally about fruit...and a few veggies. I have spent an entire lifetime grocery shopping with The Bag Lady-- Riding in the cart, riding ON the cart, tipping over the cart, distractedly ramming The Bag Lady with the cart (this is always met with choice words and my "driving privileges" being revoked.) I never realized the great wealth of knowledge I gathered on these trips. I grew oblivious to the stares of our fellow shoppers. You see, The Bag Lady is an expert produce picker. Many times a lost and wobegotten soul has plucked up the courage and asked her advice on the perfect melon, pear, or rutabaga. Just as each fruit has it's own flavor, shape, and identity, the method of selecting a ripe specimen varies from fruit to fruit. Allow me to share The Bag Lady's knowledge--no cart collision required.

MELONS

First off, we need to get over the idea that all melons can be thumped. The only melons you should be thumping are watermelons. They're still kind of touchy, but the ones with a slight indentation where the stem connects are usually sweeter.

Cantaloupe-Smell where the stem connects to the melon. It should be sweet and cantaloupy.

Honey Dew-You'll get stared at with this one, but it works. Shake the honey dew next to your ear (don't hit yourself in the head), you should hear the seeds rattle. This works for crenshaw melons as well.

CITRUS FRUIT
Grapefruits, lemons, oranges, tangerines-Look for fruits with a thin, soft skin. If it's thin and hard, it's old.

Pears
Nothing is quite as lovely as a perfectly ripe pear. Lots of people complain that they don't like pears because they are mushy. Guess what, mushy pears are overripe. A ripe pear should be firm, yet giving and juicy, NOT woody. To pick a pear, hold it upright and gently press the flesh closest to the stem.
Like so:


If it gives slightly it is at the peak of ripeness.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers should not be mushy. That's just gross. Gently squeeze the ends of the cuke, it should be firm. Cucumbers age from the ends to the center. If your tips are mushy it's only a matter of time before your core spoils.



Cilantro
Don't sniff the leaves of the cilantro! Instead, smell the cut ends. It should be strong and pungent.

Pineapple

If you go to the Dole plantation in Hawaii, they will tell you that you don't need to worry about selecting a ripe pineapple. All Dole pineapples are fresh and ripe on the shelf. However, should you have to buy a different brand of pineapple, smell the bottom. It ought to be sweet and pineapply. If it has even the slightest scent of mold or fermentation--drop it like it's hot. Well, unless you're planning on making pineapple liqueur. If your pineapple has uniform eyes, it indicates that it's had sufficient and even watering. Pulling out a leaf is a wives tale.

Happy shopping!

Oh and rutabagas should be firm. Just FYI. ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chinese New Year!!

Hello All! For those of you not so sweet on Valentine's Day, there's good news: It falls on Chinese New Year! Rwawr! It's the year of the tiger. It's going to be a good year, I'm a tiger. We tigers are brave, loyal, fierce, intelligent, charismatic, good looking, and apparently very humble...or so the Chinese zodiac says. I've been getting my Asian groove on for a few weeks now. It started with The Bag Lady's Szechuan Veggie Stir fry.


It's a sweet on impact, blend of crisp veggies, with an Asian chili after-burn. The rice neutralizes the chili nicely. Besides, I like eating food that makes my lips tingle.

I contributed with some delectable Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

The Vietnamese version is different from some of it's Asian cousins. Rather than being fried, it's wrapped in a soft rice wrapper. They can be a little sticky to work with, but they have a fun texture to eat, and are healthier than their fried friends. The only down side is that the left overs don't keep well. What a shame. ;)

My celebrations didn't stop there. My best friend makes the world's best egg rolls, hands down, no contest. So of course, we had to have an eggroll and steamed dumpling party. We've experimented over the years with baking our eggrolls. There was a short stint one semester when we were making them almost weekly and needed a "healthy alternative." We tried phyllo dough. That was a messy disaster, the details of which I do not care to repeat. We tried regular wrappers baked in various ways-brushed with egg, sprayed with Pam, plain, etc. After much scientific testing we've come to the conclusion: Eggrolls must be FRIED! You just don't mess with perfection

So, what does one have as a "healthy dish?" Steamed dumplings of course. Today I am of the opinion that along with a set of quality knives, every kitchen should have 2 things: a garlic press, and a bamboo steamer. If you've tried steaming dumplings before, you'll have noticed the ever constant problem of "stickage." "Stickage" is the technical term for when your beautiful, heavenly, perfect dumplings stick to the steamer and forcefully have their fillings ripped out of their wrappers when you try to remove them. It's a tragedy. Oiling your steamer yields a slight improvement, but it's not the ultimate remedy. We have found the answer. It's amazing how simple it is. If you remember nothing from this post, remember this: Line your steamer with lettuce leaves (napa cabbage works well too as long as you don't use the thick heavy bottom portion of the leaf). The lettuce is delicate enough to let the steam through, turns slick to release your dumplings, and doesn't flavor the food it's resting on! EUREKA!
In my dumplings I like:
Ground pork
Ginger
Black pepper
Sesame oil
Crushed garlic
Asian Seasoning Sauce or soy sauce
Green onion
Napa cabbage
Water Chestnuts

Finely chop the veggies and mix with the ground pork. I add soy sauce and sesame oil until it smells good. Mix it up and fold your dumplings, sealing the edges with water. Steam for about 8 minutes in bamboo steamer.

You can also use
Spicy pork sausage (Jimmy Dean works well)
Green onion
Water chestnuts

This way you don't have to mess with seasoning and you get a zippy dumpling.

Chicken must be cooked before you use it.

If you're vegetarian, any veggie mix would work well.
Napa cabbage
Carrots
Mushrooms
Green onion
Water chestnuts
Crushed garlic
Pepper
Soy sauce
Or anything else!

The combinations are endless! Forget Valentine's Day! Celebrate Chinese New Year! Grrrrrr! It's the YEAR OF THE TIGER!! (sing to "Eye of the Tiger tune)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wheat Berries


Now what exactly is a "wheat berry" you may ask? It is quite simply, an uncracked whole wheat kernel. I'm pondering what would happen if I put these little beauties in a popcorn popper, it probably wouldn't be pretty (besides, who wants to eat popped wheat at the movies? Or caramel pop-wheat-balls on Halloween?), here's a tried and true recipe instead.

Wheat Berry Cereal


2 cup wheat berries*
5 cup water
Selected toppings: nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar, honey, berries, milk, etc.
*yields 4-5 cups of cereal

Now comes the fun part...alternative cooking styles.

Option 1-The Pot Method (no, this is not derived from my time in Yellow Springs)
Combine wheat and water in a large pot with a tight lid, cook on medium heat, simmering for 30-45 minutes, until desired softness is reached(we like it chewy.) Garnish as desired.

Option 2-The Preferred Method
Before going to bed, combine wheat and water in crock pot. Set to low heat. Cereal will be ready in the morning. Garnish as desired.

Option 3-The "OH NO! I forgot to turn the crock pot on!" Method

Before going to bed, combine wheat and water in crock pot. The phone rings, your kids start crying, the house catches fire, your mother-in-law comes unannounced, or what have you. In the end, you forget to turn the crock pot on. Set to low heat when you get up in the morning. Cereal will be done in approximately 4 hours. Soaking it overnight cuts the crock time in half. Garnish as desired.

Options yet to be Fine Tuned
Stewing in a conch shell over a hot rock.
Boiling in a hubcap balanced on a radiator.
Wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a volcano.
Vote for your preferred method, or feel free to add your own creative ways!

The cereal comes out chewy, yet tender. Being an unrefined wheat kernel, it still has plenty of fiber and really sticks to your ribs. We think it's heartier than oatmeal. It's happy! It's healthy! It's wheaty! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog's Day! In honor of the most important day of the year (according to some folks), we give you:

Rustic Stewed Groundhog and Wild Rice

3 groundhogs*, fresh or frozen (depending on how harsh the winter was)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1 sweet onion
3 TBL quality soil
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp sage
3 TBL chili powder
3 cups melted snow

Place groundhogs in a large stock pot. If they poke their heads out and do not see their shadow, give them the rice and set them free. Spring is on it's way and they've done their job well. Cheers all you rodent weather predictors.

*Do NOT substitute road hogs, phone hogs, or bed hogs. If unable to procure your own groundhog, try the "Road Kill" section of your local butcher shop.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rye Pancakes

When one hears the phrase, "Rye Pancakes" it does not typically stir feelings of gustatory delight. The usual reaction is, "Yuck." In fact, at one of The Bag Lady's recent demos, it was an audible "YUCK! WE HATE RYE!" that resounded from an unguarded tongue. However, these puppies changed the tune of those unbelievers.


Stereotypical rye products are often paired with molasses and caraway seeds. Sadly, many individuals are repulsed by these pungent flavors. Defying stereotypes, The Bag Lady's rye pancakes contain neither molasses or caraway. These flapjacks have a nutty earthy flavor, and are hearty without being heavy and drab. They are porous enough to be nicely infused with syrup, jam, peanut butter or what have you.

Obviously, since it's a bag meal, it is super easy and user friendly. You may be one of those "convenience dry mix users" (I myself have been guilty of such effrontery when away from home), but take a few minutes to whip up a couple bagged rye mixes and you're ready for a major upgrade in your breakfast life for the same amount of time. On top of the ease, you feel "oh so healthy" as you eat them and the staying power is well beyond that of those nasty, spongy, soggy, mix produced things. Our family is definitely a fan, give it a whirl. Join the RYE-volution! I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.



Rye Pancakes
1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons water
Re-closable bag:
2¼ cups rye flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar*
4 tablespoons powdered eggs

Directions
In a large bowl stir all ingredients until batter is smooth. Ladle pancake batter onto a hot oiled griddle. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear and edges are golden brown.

*Be sure to combine brown sugar with other ingredients when you bag your mix or you will have a hard lump of brown sugar as time passes.