Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty-Six (You've Got to Try Spelt Right Dough Grilled - The possibilities are endless!!) (VEGETARIAN!!! with the potential to be vegan)

Tonight's dinner was fun.  Tim and I were busy doing business stuff (what's new).  Spencer (almost 13) came upstairs and asked what he could do to help.  "Start slicing the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and other veggies for grilling, wouldja. And marinate them in garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper"  "OK, mom"   How cool is that having your 13 year old start dinner?  Then Emma (18) showed up with her two friends Emily and Shannon (Wow, unexpected playmates for Olivia (age 8)).  We somehow got all of the kids, guests included, involved in making dinner.   And, we gained a new hand model too (thanks, Emily, we dig the black nail polish).
Menu:  Gourmet Sandwiches made with grilled vegetables, goat cheese, baby spinach, hummus (thank you Emma)-recipe for another day, on grilled bread made with Spelt Right dough (thank you Charlie at Portland Whole Foods for explaining how this is made with our wonderful dough). Salad from the garden with homemade balsamic olive oil dressing.Check out Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-One for Salad Dressing Recipe

We are so psyched to have discovered a new way to use Spelt Right dough.....ohhh, the possibilities!

1 Eggplant - sliced in rounds
1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash - sliced in lengths
1 -2 onion cut in quarters
1 large red pepper - sliced in rounds
3-4 TBL extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
2-3 gloves of fresh garlic mashed with about 1 teaspoon salt in mortar and pestle
pepper to taste
1-2 Spelt Right Pizza Doughs (each dough cut in fours, made into rounds about 1/4-1/2 inch thick (not rolled out like pizza dough).  Let rise again.  Place on grill, both sides until done.  May need to finish bake in the toaster over.
Marinate all vegetables in olive oil mixture.  Place on grill until done.  Make sandwich with herb goat cheese, vegetables, hummus (I put this on the side).   Enjoy!!!

The kids loved the food.  Emily was psyched because she became vegetarian after seeing Food, Inc.  Shannon was not even hungry after just having dinner at home, but we convinced her to indulge in a half of sandwich.  Our kids, perfectly happy and satisfied.  Parents....relaxed.   The evening and dinner?  Two Thumbs up.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty-Five (Chipotle chicken Shish-Kabobers)

Tonight Beth was doing a full-tilt demo at Bow Street Market in Freeport (ME) and Emma was hard at work doing a demo at the Hingham (MA) Whole Foods, so I got down to work on the evening meal for the other two.  The kids were packing the makings for s'mores (all-natural marshmellows, organic Swiss chocolate and gluten-free graham crackers) and were anxious to eat dinner and get on with the backyard fire.  Here's what we made:

3/4 lb boneless chicken breast cut to bite-size
3-4 all natural chipotle chorizo chicken sausages, cut to bite-size
8 oz of giant steak-cut mushrooms cut in half
1 large green pepper cut to bite-size
1 large Vidalia onion cut to bite-size
handfull of fresh parsley, chopped
juice of 2 limes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
Sea Salt

Cut up the chicken breast and marinate in lime, EVOO, parsley, salt & pepper.
Skewer the marinated chicken, sausages, green pepper, mushrooms and onions.
Throw onto hot grill until done.  It was a beautiful night and we ate on the back deck.

Note: I grilled several of the steak mushrooms and onions separately and sprinkled over the top of the plate. I also kept the chicken breast separate from the sausages.  You, of course, can do it anyway you like, add other great ingredients to the mix and/or season with your favorite sauce.

Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with fresh cucumbers and local tomatoes. If I had been on the ball, I would have made some easy pita bread with Spelt Right pizza dough.  This meal is easy to store and reheat.

 P.S. When Beth got home (we managed to save her some), she was surprised that I served what she thought were hotdog shiskabobs.  Maybe she wasn't too far off, but chipotle chorizo chicken sausages sure sound cooler.  I added a side salad of our very own garden lettuce and the remaining tomato and cucumber.  On to the s'mores!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty-Four (NE Clam Chowder and Spelt Right Flat Bread)

I should have learned 15 years ago that I am a semi-ok "at home" mom.   I remember when I first met my friend Christina from Yarmouth 15 years ago at the Yarmouth library.  We both had our 3 year olds in tow as we were participating in pre-school reading hour.   Both of us had this uneasy, not-so-cheery expressions on our faces.  Somehow, we didn't quite fit in with the other cheerful moms.  We made some introduction and "so are you from away?  do you work?  how old is your beautiful child?"  Well, it turns out, we both are "from away."  It doesn't matter if you have lived in Maine for 100 years, if you weren't born and raised here, you are "from away".   We both lived in Mass, NYC, NH, and now Maine.  How cool was that?  And, then came the part of work. "Well....I am taking a little break from my profession, I am a lawyer, but I moved, took the bar and decided to take a break to spend time with my daughter....but, I dunno, I feel like maybe I should go back to work."  Christina's response, "You, too?  I am also trying to take a break from work, but I think I need a break from home."   Needless to say, we both eventually went back to the balancing act and have raised some pretty nice kids.

Fast forward 15 years.  Emma is off to college.  Billy too (the other three year old in the story).   I have an 8 year old (Christina chose not to have the third child).  So, I decided maybe this summer would be a good time to take off a little time (let others help with the bakery), stay home with the eight year old, do "fun stuff".   Well, umm, I realize "fun stuff" can be more easily found at summer camp rather than home where mom is pretending not to work, but where it just keeps sneaking in.   Is it me or is it the work?  We all know, it is me.

After a full day of camp searching with some work thrown in, we finally did some "fun stuff".  We headed down to the beach around 6:30 p.m., tossed a frisbee, played in the pleasantly not so cold Maine waters and didn't get home until 8:30pm.   And realized upon entering the house that we had no dinner.   Thank goodness for the cod in the freezer and the Spelt Right pizza dough thawing in the fridge.

Recipe - New England Clam Chowder
1 1b cod fish or haddock (fresh or frozen)
3 potatoes
1 onion
4-5 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
2-4 TBL extra virgin olive oil
16 ounces frozen organic corn
1 cup of water
4-6 cups of milk (more or less)
2TBL vita spelt flour
4TBL butter
salt, pepper, dried basil, dried tarragon to taste

Finely chop onions and garlic place in large stainless pot on stove top on medium heat with 2-3 TBL of olive oil.  Saute until brown.  Add chopped carrots and potatoes.   Keep sauteing.  Add cubes of fish.  Continue to saute.   Add about a cup of water.  Continue to cook.  As vegetables start to soften, add milk.   Continue to cook.   Add salt, pepper basil and tarragon to taste.   Make a rue in a separate pan with flour and butter (in a separate pan melt butter and flour together, mix to make a paste).  Add rue to mix to thicken.   Add corn all at once.   Continue to cook until done.

Quickly make Spelt Right pita bread or flat bread.  See recipe from Spelt Right pita dough directions Lunch Box Chronicle Day Thirty-Four (Note you can also make these in a 450 oven if you don't want to fire up the grill)

Serve to kids at 10pm in front of one of our favorite movies - "Horton Hears A Who"    Fall asleep on the couch.  Wake up when dad arrives home after an extra long day at work.  Go to sleep satisfied that I still have the ability in me to do some "fun stuff".

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty-Three (Red Lentil and Carrot Soup)

This little recipe is from my archives, because it was much too hot today to make soup.  I'm a little short on words as I am soooo tired.....This is a good recipe, though, so please enjoy!

2 cups red lentils
8 cups water
3-4 cloves of garlic (crush with mortal and pestle with a little salt).
1 teaspoon coriander
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
4Tablespoon EVOO
Cumin and crushed red pepper to taste
2TBL VITA spelt flour
4-5 carrots boiled until soft and then blended in a food processor

Clean lentils by rinsing to make sure to remove any stones.  Add to water and boil over low heat until cream.  Stirring occasionally so it does not burn.  Make a paste of the garlic, salt and coriander and saute in oil until golden brown.  Add to lentil mixture.  Add cooked and blended carrots.  Simmer for 1 hour, watching so not to burn.  You can thicken the soup with a little spelt flour and water paste.  Keep simmering until blended.  Serve with cumin and pepper to taste.   We had this with a mixed green salad and homemade balsamic and EVOO dressing. See Lunch Box Chronicle Day 51 for Balsamic EVOO dressing recipe

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty-Two (Spelt Right Focaccia topped with all the fixins')

A picture of these lovely creations will be posted once Cousin Lisa sends the photo.  So, we had our Shogry family reunion.  It was pretty amazing.  Seeing cousins after more than 20 years.  My mom was the oldest surviving relative, the matriarch who is quite able, but a little hearing challenged.  We had the first part of the reunion at the Pittsfield MA State Forest.  We topped it off by visiting my Cousin Donna's house.  I brought a big tray of focaccia.  You can always count on a Lebanese family having black olives, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, the works. 

Ingredients and directions: A sheet of Spelt Right rosemary focaccia, cut in half and sliced down the middle.  Black pitted olives (not from a can!), sliced onions, sliced fresh tomatoes, EVOO, sea salt, feta cheese.  Place all the fixins' on top of the focaccia, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle lightly with salt.  Bake at 375 until hot.  Slice in pieces.  Serve to the throng of cousins.  Comments, especially from the Southern Cousins.  "Cousin Beth, this is sooooo good.  When can we get it down South?"   Now, that's a good question y'all.  We are working on it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty-One (Breakfast Made the Night Before)

OK,  I am slightly overwhelmed, but I'm not going into details.   Though, I have to admit I had a nice day relaxing at the beach with my neighbors and kids.   Here is a power breakfast made the night before for those mornings that you know will be overwhelming - like making a 5 hour plus trek with 6 in the Honda Pilot to a family reunion in Western Mass.  

Ingredients: One Spelt Right Pizza Dough fully thawed and risen.   Scramble eggs to your liking (I used 5 eggs, milk, salt and pepper), grate cheese (your choice, I used orange cheddar from Wisconsin).   Make the eggs and cheese the way you like them (I like them fluffy and scrambled with cheese).  Make about 6-10 rounds out of the pizza dough.   Fill dough with egg mixture.  Make triangles.  Bake at 375-400 until golden brown.  Put in fridge until the next day (can be frozen).  Heat in toaster oven or microwave.  It's a great tasting power booster.

You can make a bunch of these and freeze them and take them out for those crazy mornings.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Sixty (S'Mores Spelt Right)

Spencer and Olivia had been asking for Spelt Right S'Mores for s'me time.  Well, s'mores are made with graham crackers (quite a surprising history behind graham crackers - go ahead research it.  I'm too bashful to fill in the details here), chocolate and marshmallow.  The problem is that our household has some significant food sensitivities (no common wheat here....I actually did make graham crackers with whole spelt once and they came out great).  Also, often the campfire marshmallows are usually loaded with artificial junk, so here we go improvising again.

Ingredients: One Spelt Right Pizza Dough (fully thawed and risen), one cup of Ghiradelli chocolate chips (we mixed milk and semi sweet chocolate bits) melted, and Natural Tiny Trapeze Marshmello Creme.

Instructions: Melt the chocolate on the stove top on low heat.  You can add a smidge of milk to the chocolate to loosen it a bit, but only a smidge.  Set aside.  Separate dough into 6 even balls (we used only two balls and used the remaining dough for some quick pizza).  Roll out dough until very thin, but not transparent.  Spread chocolate and marshmallow on the dough.  Roll (See photo).  Place on baking dish, bake at 350 until browned.  

These would have been good IF all of the goo inside did not ooze out.  You need to be sure to seal the edges and ends very carefully.   Proceed with caution.  Despite the mess, the kids enjoyed them.   I, on the other had, was a little grossed out....could it have been the little sticky fingers making the them or the oozing marshmallow and chocolate?  PS: We tried to seal the gaps with Cereal Os. 

Lunch Box Chronicles: Special Post about an Exceptional Child!

We love connecting with our Spelt Right customers.  And, yesterday, I heard from Linda, an on-line customer from NJ,  that her family is ready to place another "stock up" order until they make another trek north to Maine.   Several members in Linda's family have Lyme's disease and they have to be very careful about their diets as foods can either help or severely aggravate their symptoms.   Spelt is one of those special foods that this incredible family can eat.  Myles, their 10 year old, entered the MBL Jackie Robinson Breaking Barriers Essay Contest this year.  As a 4th grader, he won second place in a context with more than 9,000 applicants nationwide.  He wrote about the barriers he faces with Lyme's disease.

With the permission of his mother, I am reprinting his essay here.  I had my children read it.  It is moving and inspiring.  If your kids are like mine and complain about such things as not having enough t.v. time, have them read Myle's essay.  He has the perspective of one much older than his years. I've also linked one of the many articles that was written about Myles and his essay.  Enjoy and be inspired!

By Myles Hutcherson
4th Grade
Mrs. Corrynn Ross
West Freehold Elementary School
Freehold, NJ 07728

"My name is Myles Hutcherson and I am a ten year-old boy from Freehold, NJ.  I have faced many barriers in my short life just like Jackie Robinson.  The biggest barrier I have faced though is having Lyme Disease.  Lyme is a disease you get from being bit by a tick.  When my family lived in Massachusetts, I got Lyme.  My mom and brother have it too but I think I have it the worst of everyone.  Lyme affects your whole body and everyone reacts differently.  For me, Lyme has been really tough. It makes me really tired and weak.  Sometimes, I can barely even get out of bed.  It also, makes you ache all over.  My knees and arms always hurt.  Most of all for me, Lyme means I am restricted from eating certain foods.  If I eat regular sugar, flour, or other processed foods, I get really sick.  My body will break out in a rash, I have difficulty breathing and all of my symptoms get way worse.  This is really hard because when I am at school or at holidays and they have parties or celebrations I have to watch everyone else eat sweets, while all I can eat are the foods my parents make for me that don't make me sick.  I have been on a strict diet since I was four years old which is when I was diagnosed with Lyme.  My family has been really supportive of me.  My mom makes special foods for me so I can enjoy the parties like the other kids.  My dad is a really good cook and he learned to make all of our favorite foods with ingredients that I can eat so we can continue to enjoy all the great recipes the family likes.  Again, we will not let Lyme ruin our lives.  We will continue to persist, never give up and always keep a positive outlook.  Now that I know I have Lyme, I have to take lots of medicine everyday and every night.  It took a long time for doctors to know what was wrong with me.  Most doctors don't believe that Lyme Disease is even real or if they do, they think it is no big deal.  Because of this, they usually don't believe you when you say you are really sick. Sometimes my friends don't believe me either.  They think because you look healthy and don't have to be in the hospital that you aren't really sick.  Trust me, I am.  My mom works really hard to keep me healthy so she joined the board of the Lyme Disease Association.  Now she does lots of research to get a better understanding of what causes Lyme and how best to treat it.  I am really thankful for my family because they have kept me going through a really tough struggle.

My favorite sports are baseball and basketball.  I always work really hard to get better and try to participate as much as I can.  Unfortunately, it is really tough with Lyme because you get really tired and sick and sometimes I just can't go on.  Even though it is hard, I don't let it get me down.  I fight through the pain and sickness.  I won't ever let Lyme beat me.  During my baseball and basketball seasons, I have to take more breaks than the other kids.  Sometimes, I can't get to practice or the games because I am too sick.  Even though my teammates sometimes don't understand and think I am weak, I don't get mad at them because they just don't understand.  I keep a positive attitude and still try to endure the pain to help my teams win.  Our AAU basketball team is really good and I am committed to helping my team get to AAU Nationals.  Even if we never make it, being a good teammate, a good friend, and the best player I can be is motivation enough for me to keep working no matter what Lyme does to me.

In school, I have tried to take responsibility for helping others understand Lyme and what it can do to you.  I have talked to my teachers, classmates, and friends about Lyme Disease and what you have to do to avoid it.  Also, I have talked to everyone about good nutrition and what you should eat to keep your body healthy.  Since I have had to eat really healthy since I was a young boy, I now know a lot about foods, nutritional values and how to stay healthy.  I have tried to pass that on to everyone I know so they too can be as healthy and fit as possible.  I can tell you for sure, if you have Lyme and you don't eat well, you will definitely get worse.  Trust me, I know.

Recently, I was diagnosed with another tick borne illness called Babesiosis.  It is another infection you get from the tick bite.  I didn't know I had it until recently.  This infection makes parasites in your body that eat all the nutrients you have.  The thing about Babesiosis is it makes everything worse.  Any symptoms you have will be twice as bad if you have this infection.  When I found out that I had Babesiosis I was so sad.  I thought to myself, "not another thing!" I couldn't believe it.  More medicine, more doctor visits, more blood tests.  Ughh!  After a few days though, I decided that this was just another challenge I had to face.  I wiped my eyes and decided at that point, this would not beat me.  I would continue to work hard, do great in school, educate everyone I could about Lyme and good nutrition and keep being a happy kid.  Even though I can't do all the things other kids can do, I have learned to accept all the things that are good in my life.  I know I have to make sacrifices that will keep me healthy.  While I used to get upset and down, I now stay positive and just feel thankful that I have such a great family, friends and teammates.

My life and challenges are similar to Jackie Robinson. Even though he had to endure racism, we are similar because we both wanted to do something we loved and there was something in our way trying to stop us.  Just like Jackie, I am not giving up.  He had to deal with people making fun of him, telling him he couldn't be successful and trying to keep him down.  Despite this, he kept a positive attitude, remained determined to be the best he could be, and never lost sight of his goals.  I use Jackie as a role model whenever I start to wonder if I can make it.  If he could, then I can too. 

Jackie also inspires me because I am a biracial boy who loves baseball and basketball.  I know that Jackie is the reason I can play sports.  His sacrifices and accomplishments have allowed me to be an athlete.  It motivates me to continue to work as hard as I can to achieve all of my goals.  I follow his example of being a great teammate, maintaining his commitment, remaining determined to achieve his goals, and showing courage to fight through whatever life put in front of him. 

My dad teaches me to live by the word P.R.I.D.E.  This word means, Positive mental attitude, Respect, Intelligent choices, Determination and Enthusiasm.  I use this as a reminder that "if you can see it, you can be it".  I bet Jackie did the same thing.

My name is Myles Hutcherson and I am a ten-year-old boy from Freehold, NJ.  Remember my name and remember my story.  I will never give up on my dreams and goals and I won't let Lyme Disease beat me." 

Below is an article in the June 3, 2010 of the Examiner in NJ
Article about Myles Hutcherson

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Nine Spelt Right Shrimp Patty (Guest Chronicler Daniel M.)

This recipe offers a great southern twist to Spelt Right dough.  Daniel, who hails from southern Georgia, brought us this treat in corn bread several years ago.  It has an amazing bite.   He decided to give the recipe a try with Spelt Right dough.  It was wonderful!

The slight problem is that Daniel provided us the ingredients without clear instructions as to how to actually make it.   You have to understand that Daniel is an incredibly talented artist and his hands just magically create wonders without needing a clear set of directions to follow. Most of us, on the other hand, are slightly creatively challenged and need a little more guidance. Here's a link to Daniel's website. Do yourself a treat and browse through it.  You will feel inspired.

Ingredients:  One Spelt Right Pizza Dough (fully thawed and risen).  And, Daniel's art inspired recipe "cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, hot peppers, red palm oil, and shrimp."  In an effort to try to 'frame' this work of art, our assumptions are that you chop and combine all of the ingredients (use reasonable amounts to taste) and saute in red palm oil.  Then place enough of the filling on a rolled out round of Spelt Right Pizza Dough and fold over, pinching the edges to prevent dripping.   Bake at 375-400 on baking sheet until browned.

REMEMBER, this recipe came from an intuitive artist with magical hands.  You may have to work in some of your own magic to reach the result you desire.

VOTE: DELICIOUS - two thumbs up.  Probably a recipe that best fits adults as the hot pepper gives it quite a kick.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Eight (Tuna Salad on Grilled Spelt Bread - Whole Foods Style)

Thank you Whole Foods, Portland (Maine, that is)!   I was on my way home but decided to take a quick detour to Whole Foods.  There was something wildly magnetic pulling me there.  Perhaps, my credit card?

I was getting some sliced turkey and the woman helping me asked me if I had a sister in Seattle.  "Nope, I said, but I betcha she is Lebanese."  There is a strong ethnic resemblance among many of us - relative or not.  Her co-worker then began assisting me and I said, "So, do I look like someone you know too?"  "Nope," he said, "but you do look familiar.  Do you work here?"  I explained that I am around a lot because I am "THE SPELT LADY".  "Ohhhh, the Spelt Lady?"  Well, he said, "I've got something to show you.  Check out these great sandwiches that we make with your Spelt Right pizza dough.  We take balls of the dough and grill them and make these great sandwiches."   The spelt sandwich of the day was tuna salad, baby spinach and tomato.  

Despite not needing dinner (Spencer was working on some tofu creation at home), I bought one for a photo op.  Glad I did.   One word?  Delicious!  One piece of advice?  Head out to Whole Foods - Portland, Maine and get yourself a sandwich made with grilled SPELT dough.  Second piece of advice?  Just buy a Spelt Right dough and try it at home - you might need a panini maker.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Seven (Reunion Fare-Peach Mango Fitayers)

What a week!  This was graduation week for Scarborough High School, event after event after event all starting at 7pm.  And, then there was that minor detail of Beth's college reunion, and speech to be given on Saturday, and Emma's actual graduation on Sunday.  And, the Farmer's Market we missed AGAIN, but we just couldn't swing it.  There truly are not enough hours in the day.

But, one of my all time favorite people in the world, college roommate, confidant, cheerleader, lifetime friend, and my conscious (do I hear Jiminy Cricket?) Sue P., showed up to join me for reunion.   The family was out and we got to sit down to a rare quiet dinner san food fights, kids clamoring for attention, or glasses of milk being spilled.  It was simply divine!

Dinner:  Lime marinaded chicken, (for recipe, see Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty Four) Jasmine rice, salad with homemade balsamic vinegar dressing (for recipe, see Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-One (Balsamic EVOO dressing) and Fitayers stuffed with Mango and Peaches for dessert (recipe below).

Recipe for Mango and Peach Fitayer:
One Spelt Right Pizza Dough - fully thawed in risen.
One bag frozen peaches (we used Whole Foods 365 brand)
One bag frozen mango (we used Whole Foods 365 brand)
VITA spelt flour
Organic sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.   Cut dough into 8 rounds.  Roll so that dough is even.    Mix chunks of fruit with sugar (be generous with the sugar) and a dusting of flour.   Place fruit in center of dough and make triangles.   Bake until brown.  The consensus from all (the peanut gallery did show up for a tasting and comments after the moms enjoyed their quiet dinner) was that the recipe needed MORE SUGAR.
And, the above was our kid-less dinner, cloth napkins, red wine, and all.  (Too bad Tim wasn't around to take the pictures....he does a better job, but if Tim had been there, so would have the kids.....I'll take the washed out photos!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Six (Focaccia Heaven)

I am doing several posts today because I have had absolutely no time in my day to update recently.  Still feeding the family, but this blogging thing takes a little extra time.

Although I am not a beef eater, my kids are.   Here is a great burger made with Cold Spring grass fed beef from Maine, tomato, Cabot sliced cheddar, onion, lettuce on a very delicious ROSEMARY focaccia rolls made by Spelt Right.   We do not yet sell these buns on our website.   Are there any votes for us out there for having these "focaccia rolls" available to the public?
According to Spencer, this meal was beyond awesome.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Five (Vita Spelt Pasta with Homemade Cheese Sauce)

Ingredients:  Two 8 ounces Boxes of Vita Spelt Penne.  This stuff is AWESOME and is far better than any rice pasta out there.   Check out your local health food store or supermarket for VITA SPELT pasta.  If they don't carry it, ask them to do so!!  Prepare according to instructions.

Cheese Sauce Recipe:  4 TBL butter, 4 TBL VITA SPELT FLOUR, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dash black pepper, 3 cups milk, 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups of grated cheddar cheese (we used a yellow Wisconsin cheese).   In a saucepan, melt the butter and flour together. Add the milk and seasonings. Cook on low heat and stir until thick and bubbly.  Add cheese and mix until fully blended.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta.  Toss lightly.  Garnish with parsley.

Family comments.  Spencer "It was like gourmet macaroni and cheese you get at a restaurant."   Olivia, "amazing."  Tim, who usually is the optimist and cheerleader said "it was great for macaroni and cheese, but I don't really like macaroni and cheese."  For me, it hit the spot.   It would have been great to serve in a Thermos for lunch, but there was not a drop left for the next day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Four (Lime Marinaded Chicken Skewers)

We were making and baking for a frenzied 12 hours before the first of 50+ guests arrived for Emma's graduation party.  One minor complication was the bagel pizza dough order at the bakery and the untimely but good demo the day before.  Solution?  Make in advance.


Ingredients and Directions for a crowd:  Five lbs chicken breasts (we buy the Whole Foods Amish Family Farm variety), cut into skewer size chunks, 3-4 limes, 1/4+- EVOO, 5 cloves of garlic (mashed with a mortar and pestle with salt), salt and pepper to taste.  Wooden Skewers.  Zip Lock or other variety sealed plastic bags.  Vegetables for grilling (we used red peppers, onions, and asparagus)

Anytime I get chicken from the market, I clean it with a ton of salt and then rinse off all of the salt.  I learned this from my grandmother and it is a way to kill bacteria.   Visitors are always a little freaked out when they see me pour a half of box of salt on a few pounds of chicken.  I do this in a clean sink then rinse thoroughly.  Inevitably, there is some salt residue so I add less salt to the recipe.

In a large casserole dish, combine and mix all marinade ingredients.  Add chicken.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Put in fridge.   Cut veggies to that they are able to be put on wooden skewers.   Remove chicken from fridge and start making Kabobs.  I alternate chicken with veggies.  Leave a little room so that meat can cook thoroughly on the grill.  You can grill these right away OR for EXTRA TENDER chicken, you can then take the uncooked kabobs and place in large Zip Lock bags with extra marinade.  Sit over night in fridge (in dish so they don't leak).   Grill the next day.

I have only the pictures of the uncooked product, because our family and guests ate these so quickly there was no time to take a picture.  The chicken marinaded overnight was unbelievably tender and tasty.  We would have used the leftovers for lunch, but there were no leftovers.   We served with Spelt Right rosemary focaccia crisps. (Spelt Right focaccia, cut in slices, placed on baking sheet, drizzled with EVOO, baked at 450 until crisp). 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Three (Simple Pleasures)

OK, it has been much too busy this week, even for me.  Tho' I should not complain when orders are on the rise.  Just have to figure out how to balance it all.  20 some-thousand bagel order.  All day demo at Hannaford Kennebunk Saturday.  A gazillion guests coming for Emma's graduation/birthday party Sunday.  Figuring out a business model that works.  Feeding the little kids dinner, and worrying about big kids out on prom night.  Reading the little one a bedtime story.  And, then there is the logistical stuff (like how do I figure out to how to log on as a vendor for a major grocery chain).  But before I do that, I might need some serious anti-inflammatory meds for my very stiff neck.  "Beth, why is your neck stiff?"  "Gee, I can't imagine, what could IT be?"

In any event, my quick solution for relieving some stress.   Break out the Spelt Right Pizza Dough, and look in the fridge and pantry for ideas.  (I am getting a little loopy here - probably a glass of pinot gris would work better).

The result?  Some quick dessert mini fitayers.

Three varieties:  Trader Joe's Applesauce, Teddie Natural Peanut Butter and Natural Tiny Trapeze Marshmello Creme, and Croft's Four Fruit Spread

Ingredients and Directions:  One Spelt Right Pizza Dough fully thawed and risen.  The ingredients listed above.  This can make at least 10.  Preheat oven to 400-450.  Shape dough in 10 small rounds.   Place what ever ingredients you think might be tasty inside and make a triangle.  BE SURE TO SEAL ALL GAPS or the ingredients will come oozing out during the bake.

Olivia loved all of these, but I definitely overbaked the one with Mello Creme - it nearly exploded.  Check out the pictures.  They are more helpful than my description.   Next time, I am going to try the Mello Creme with chocolate....a variation on a s'more.   Next post - healthier - I promise.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-Two (Olivia's Mezze of Perfection)

Ever since giving birth to Emma 18 years ago, I have had a nagging sense that neither kid nor career received the kind of attention either deserved.  Having Emma 2 weeks after graduating from law school and 6 weeks before the bar exam might have been a contributing factor to the pull.  Do you think? The balancing act began.   Now, it is 18 years later, and Emma is on her way to college, but her 8 year old clone, Olivia, reminds me that the balancing act continues.   After going AWOL from my law career about a year ago (not sure this is permanent), I experience as much or perhaps more balancing with the building of the Spelt Right business as I did practicing law, but somehow, the "business" is so much more palpable (or should I say palatable) and inclusive of the kids, especially at dinner time.   "Hey, kids, who is doing the Lunch Box Chronicle tonight?  Mom, needs help, and you all have to help at the bakery tomorrow."   Perhaps, a form of homeschooling in its own right.  A usually bored Olivia perks up, "I know, I will do a mezze plate!!"  She scrambled to the fridge and started digging in.  A half an hour later, a work of art emerged.

Here is her poem (aka recipe), entitled "THE MEZZE OF PERFECTION!" and a photo of the work of art. "If you like mezze plates, listen to me.  It has crackers, focaccia, olives, peaches and oranges too!! It's a plate with tons of yummy food! Yum. Yum. Whoo Hoo!"

Thank you, Olivia!  Vote from mom?  Two Thumbs up.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty-One (Sloppy Joe's Take Two, Salad with homemade balsamic dressing)

Garlic is an obsession in this house.   It is really a miracle food,, and much like spelt, is one of the oldest cultivated foods.  We know from bakery experience that garlic is an antibacterial.  Have you ever noticed that garlic is never mixed right in with bread, but instead is drizzled in through a slice or sprinkled on top?  The reason is that garlic's antibacterial properties will kill the yeast or sour dough.  We once had to throw away an entire batch of bagels after trying to mix the garlic in the dough.  Never did that again.

We have been very busy in the bakery for the past week and it will last for a few more weeks (hopefully forever).  In the meantime, I had to resort to some easy home recipes.  Good thing Whole Foods is just 20 minutes away.

Tonight's dinner:  Sloppy Joe's laced with garlic made with Grass Fed Beef from Cold Spring Ranch Farm in New Portland, Maine.   Greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with very garlicy homemade balsamic dressing.  The Grass Fed Beef from Cold Spring Ranch really the best and when I can get it, the only beef I will serve my kids.  It is run by Gabe Clark, a fellow Bates College alum (tho' many years younger than I).  

Ingredients - Sloppy Joe - Take Two: 
One Spelt Right Pizza Dough, fully thawed and risen. 
One Pound Grass Fed Ground Beef from Cold Spring Ranch Farm
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion
2-3 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pasta or pizza sauce (homemade or jarred)
grated pizza cheese (we used a mozzarella provolone mix)

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 450 F.  In a large skillet, saute chopped onions and chopped garlic in EVOO.  After onions brown slightly, add beef cook until brown.   Add tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Divide dough into 8-10 even dough balls, stretch or roll out until thin, but not transparent.  Cover the dough with the grated cheese, then add meat mixture.  Make triangles as shown in the photos.   We did this on a pizza peel covered with corn meal, and put it directly on the hot pizza stone, but you can do this directly on a lightly oil baking pan.

Ingredients and Directions - Salad with garlicy balsamic vinegar.   Make a salad of your choice, we used organic green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, topped with chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and chevre.   For the dressing,  I put 3 large garlic cubes in blender, then added balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, dried basil and dill, all to taste (sorry I did absolutely no measuring with this one).  I then blended dressing ingredients together until frothy.  It was amazing, but you have to do this to taste.

Tim and the kids loved the Sloppy Joe's (I don't eat red meat so I didn't have one).  We all devoured the salad.  Nothing was left for the lunch boxes tomorrow.  TWO THUMBS UP.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Fifty (Dinner Out at the Pepper Club!)

I had every intention of making some great meal today for my family with Spelt Right Pizza dough.   Only there were a few stumbling blocks - or perhaps, a few thousand stumbling blocks (or bagels that is) that needed to be made and packaged (thank you Kip and crew).  Also, it didn't help that I forgot to thaw out a pizza dough.

My bi-weekly delivery of Everything Emma bagels to the Pepper Club in Portland, Maine gave me a novel idea.  Eat at the Pepper Club and give yourself a break.  What a great place, incredible food, and a wonderful deal. $21 price fixed for appetizer, salad, entree and dessert.  Everything at the Pepper Club is made with the best ingredients and with such care under the supervision of the owners Mary and Eddie.

Appetizer: Carrot and almond (??) soup.  Can't remember the details, but it was DELICIOUS. 

Entree: Almond encrusted salmon, brown rice, mesclun greens, and house made dressing (EXCELLENT, and I was even kind enough to save some for the kids whom we left at home :)!)

Dessert: House Made Key Lime Pie (Need I say more??)  This fine dessert was devoured on site and none made it home to the kids.

My review?  Five Stars.

Tomorrow night back home to the dough.

Kids are responsible for the recipe though as Mom will be back to her stumbling blocks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day Forty-Nine (Shrimp wrapped in Spelt Dough)

This is not one of my favorite recipes, but I think there is hope and will try it again with fresher shrimp.  We sauteed some frozen Maine shrimp with garlic, EVOO, white wine, salt and pepper.   Something about the shrimp simply wasn't flavorful.  Perhaps, the shrimp had been thawed and refrozen one too many times.   We added cranberries and a little bit of tomato sauce to try to sweeten it up.   We then wrapped the shrimp, cranberry mixture with Spelt Right dough.  I'm not going to give all of the instructions because there are much better recipes in this blog than this one.  Result: Thumbs down from Beth, but the comments from the Peanut Gallery (Tim that is) are that "I thought it was pretty good.  It aged well.  I ate one when I got home and it was good!"  I looked at him and said "You must have been pretty hungry when you got home."  His response, "I was."  I love Tim for always being the optimist.  My recommendation simply is don't try this one at home.