Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”


Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic


Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)




Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”







1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (I make my own)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground flax seed meal

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (grated sharp cheddar cheese)

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup ice cold water (add a couple of tablespoons at a time. You may not use all the water)


Put the flour, salt, and flax into the bowl and mix until the ingredients are well combined.

Add the cold butter cubes into the bowl and cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork until about the size of peas.

Mix in the grated cheese and mustard and cider vinegar. Mix in 3/4 cup ice-cold water a few tablespoons at a time and stop adding water when dough ball forms.

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight is best.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm enough to roll out but not as warm as room temperature.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Grab 1 ball of dough and put the other 3 back in the refrigerator.

Roll out 1 of the pieces of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/16 inch thick (the thinner the better I think).

Using a pizza wheel cutter cut out little cracker squares about 1 ½ inches square and put them on the prepared baking sheet.

GF Cheesy Snack Crackers
GF Cheesey Snack Crackers

Bake the crackers for 12 minutes, rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees in the oven. Bake until the crackers are firm to the touch and golden brown, another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven temp and the thickness and size of your crackers.

Remove from oven and let the crackers cool.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Store in an air tight container. I don’t know how long they will keep as they disappear within a couple of days!!!

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”





I wanted to make a Cornish dish called pasty the other day and after I chopped all the vegetables and mixed in the meat and seasoning, I found I didn’t have any vegetable shortening to make the pastry crust. I considered butter but thought that might make it a little too rich so I substituted coconut oil for shortening. I knew coconut oil melted easily since I use it on my skin so I chilled everything before I started and handled the dough as little as possible. The flavor was light and nutty and it had the most delicate flaky texture. THIS IS MY NEW GO TO RECIPE FOR ALL MY PASTRY CRUST NEEDS. Another Happy Accident!!!

Note: This pastry crust is vegan but the Cornish pasty filling is not, however you could leave the meat out of the filling and just fill with the veggies and a bit of vegan margarine.

Cornish Pasty
Cornish Pasty



1 cup organic unbleached flour

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (keep cool)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (Aluminum free)

1/4 cup non-chlorinated water (very cold)


First of all I chilled all of my bowls and utensils prior to starting my crust preparation. Sift together all dry ingredients then cut in coconut oil with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Add cold water and mix until it forms a ball. Split dough in half and dust with flour and knead slightly. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about an hour. Roll out each half on waxed paper to form desired size. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.

Makes 2 crusts.

Pasty Filling
Pasty Filling
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”




Organic Berry Rhubarb Muffins

One of my favorite things about simple livin’ is seasonal menus. I don’t have to spend a lot of time planning what I will make because when the pears are ripe we will have things made from pears, when the tomatoes are ripe we will have wonderful tomato dishes etc. Well it’s rhubarb season at the moment and after making the traditional rhubarb dishes like rhubarb pie and rhubarb jam, and tucking some away in the freezer for a mid-winter rhubarb fix, I decided to do some experimenting. I started out with a traditional muffin recipe but…well, I just can’t help myself. I tweaked and substituted my way into a completely different recipe and these breakfast muffins are scrumptious as well as healthy.


Berry Rhubarb Walnut Muffins


Organic Berry Rhubarb Muffins

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup organic ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups organic brown sugar (or partially substitute some stevia to reduce calories)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (melted but not hot)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups organic kefir or buttermilk

Fold in

  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh organic rhubarb
  • 1 cup diced fresh organic berries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with paper cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the brown sugar, coconut oil, egg, vanilla and kefir or buttermilk with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix by hand just until blended. Stir in the rhubarb, berries and walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling almost to the top. Sprinkle top of each muffin with raw sugar.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pans before removing.


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”




Breakfast Anyone?

Occasionally, folks will see me cook and be amazed that I seem to throw together ingredients together randomly and make something scrumptious. My secret? Making recipes with as few ingredients as possible and developing base recipes that can be adapted with 1 or 2 minor changes or additions. For instance, remembering my sourdough bread recipe is simple, it has flour, water, salt and sugar. It’s kind of hard to forget any of those ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with sourdough and trying to combine it with my love of breakfast muffins and healthier alternatives. If this statement sounds like I’m not willing to compromise on taste, health or ease of preparation, that’s because I’m not. By using “good” ingredients the end result is a rich and robust flavor. That said, I do use “sugar” in my recipes. Is sugar bad for you? My personal opinion is “yes” sugar standing on it’s own merit is probably a bad choice but adding fiber to slow the uptake helps make it not as bad. Using a sweetener that has vitamins like honey is better because honey had nutrients. I use sugar in my recipes but cut the amount and substitute part of the sugar with Stevia to reduce the calories.

This recipe is a base sourdough muffin recipe with different adaptions. Run with it and explore the possibilities. Let me know what combination you try!!! As I come up with different variation of this basic muffin recipe I will add notes to the bottom of this post.


Sourdough Berry Muffins



1 organic egg

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil

1/4  cup buttermilk or kefir or sour cream

1 cup unfed sourdough starter


2/3 cup unbleached flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour or bran flour if you are using raisins as fruit

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Stevia (natural zero calorie sweetner)


1 cup blueberries or blackberries or raspberries or raisins (or chopped peeled macintosh apples and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)


Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.

Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix.

Fold in fruit.

Prepare your muffin cups by greasing and flouring them.

Quickly spoon batter into your muffin cups.


Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. Cool. Enjoy. Makes 12 muffins.

*Note:  I tried a new twist on these today.  I substituted 2 large mashed bananas and 3/4 Cup chopped walnuts for the berries and added 1/3 cup additional flour to make up for the extra moisture.  Presto …  Banana Nut Muffins.  It yielded a bit more than a dozen muffins but I just put the extra batter in a greased and floured mini loaf pan and made a cute little miniature banana bread.

additional note: I modified this recipe again to make corn muffins by ommitting the fruit 1/4 cup sugar and vanillia and nuts and substituting the 1/3 Cup of Whole Wheat flour with 2/3 Cup Yellow cornmeal. Instead of greasing and flouring the muffin pans I only greased them. What a great side to go with a hot bowl of chili on a brisk Autumn Day! Enjoy!

additional note: Well, we’ve had our first hard frost and the winter apples are now ready. I peeled, diced, cooked and cooled about a cup of Winesap apples into a lumpy applesauce. I used this in place of the fruit and added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and a teaspoon of organic cinnamon. Once I filled the muffin tins I sprinkled the tops with a finely chopped walnut, brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and then baked them. I must say these are the best breakfast muffins EVER!



HELP My Sourdough and Kefir are Taking Over!!!

One thing about getting back to basics and getting your “ferment” on, is how so few ingredients can grow and grow and grow. I look around and there is sauerkraut and ginger bug fermenting on the counter, probiotic sodas fermenting in a shelf, sourdough fermenting on the baker’s rack, kefir fermenting……and on and on. They are all being carefully nurtured and cared for so that they can care for us. But they all do grow and multiply. Stalling them in the fridge is a temporary solution and does provide a bit of a break but there is only so much bread, waffles, pancakes, smoothies and yogurt 2 people can eat. So I set out to find new ways (at least new to me) to use some of these wonderful ferments. Today I’ll be documenting my first attempt at making a sourdough chocolate cake with a vanilla kefir frosting.

Here I go…wish me luck!

Figure 3 - Sourdough Chocolate Cake Serving

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

In a large bowl mix:

2 organic eggs

I Cup sugar

½ stick butter (softened)

2 Tablespoons grape seed oil

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

½ Cup sourdough starter

Sift into a medium bowl:

1 Cup unbleached organic flour

1/3 Cup organic cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Combine sifted ingredients with wet ingredients and mix well.  Pour into an 8 x 8 inch greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Figure 1 - Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Vanilla Kefir Frosting

In a medium bowl combine:

½ stick of butter (softened)

1 ½ Cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

2 Tablespoons Kefir

Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.

Figure 2 - Sourdough Chocolate Cake Frosted

I have to say this is SIMPLY delicious!


An Apple A Day …

Recently my Sister-in-law Mary, who is a fabulous cook, shared a recipe with me for an apple cake. Since harvest season is here and there is an abundance of produce (Apples being among them)I thought I’d use some of those Apples that were on the verge of becoming a casualty of the compost pile.  The recipe she sent made a 9 x 13 inch cake pan which is far too large for the 2 of us here so I’ve modified the recipe to be a single 8 x 8 cake. I’ve also changed up the ingredients from traditional to organic and substituted some of the ingredients for healthier versions.  This cake also works well substituting pears for apples.


Jewish Apple Cake.

First let me say that I don’t think any of my substitutions made this cake less acceptable to the Jewish community keeping in mind their religious dietary restrictions.




½ Cup Natural raw sugar granules

¼ Cup Stevia (Natural Zero calorie sweetener)

2 organic eggs

½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon organic cinnamon

½ teaspoon organic vanilla

½ Cup of organic grape seed oil (or any neutral flavored oil)

¾ Cup organic unbleached white flour

¼ Cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour

½ Cup of coarsely chopped walnuts (optional) raisins also work well.

2 large apples (peeled and chopped)

Figure 1 - Making Apple CakeFigure 2 - Apple Cake Mixed


¼ Cup finely chopped walnuts (oatmeal also works here)

¼ Cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon organic cinnamon

Figure 3 - Apple Cake Spread in PanFigure 4 - Apple Cake Topped


Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch glass cake pan.

In a large bowl mix sugar, stevia, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in oil and mix well. Add both kinds of flour and mix well. Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be very stiff. Scrape cake batter into greased and floured cake pan and spread evenly.


Make topping: In medium bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake batter.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Cake is done when inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Let cake cool.

Serve plain or top with powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Figure 5 - Apple Cake CooledFigure 6 - Apple Cake Served with Ice Cream