Daily Archives: February 21, 2013

Specialty Flour: Prairie Gold

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On a whim, I bought a specialty flour. It’s called Prairie Gold, it’s a white, whole wheat flour – the wheat itself if golden, not the darker brown of traditional wheat, so it’s buttery colored instead of the deeper brown.

It’s organic, grown in high altitude and has a high protein content. I was not expecting it to make any noticeable difference, but it did offer a way to make fluffier whole wheat baked goods, so I was on board. It didn’t hurt that is wasn’t that much more expensive than my plain old unbleached flour.

Was I in for a surprise. The biscuits I made were practically creamy. It’s hard to explain the texture, but it was light for whole wheat, creamy and still fluffy – not like white Pillsbury biscuit fluffy, but darn good. The flavor is slightly nutty and it gave the biscuits a richer flavor.

I’ll be using this a lot more.

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Sweet Cinnamon Biscuits

What goes great with a nice beef stew? How about cinnamon biscuits for dessert with some good coffee.

Originally posted 1/2011

For something a bit different, these are lightly sweet biscuits. Go really good with a spicy or savory dish. I like it with beef stew.  Or on a cold morning with coffee.

Sweet Cinnamon Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or butter
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

bowl & 9” round baking pan, greased

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, & buttermilk powder in bowl, mix well. Stir in vegetable oil. Add water and stir until just blended. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out into a 15×8” rectangle. Spread with butter, mix cinnamon & sugar and sprinkle evenly over butter. Roll up dough in jelly roll fashion. Pinch to seal seam. Cut roll into 1-½ “ slices. Arrange slices, cut side up in baking pan. Bake at 425° until lightly browned, approx. 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

EDIT:  I keep buttermilk powder on hand in the pantry.  But if you want to use fresh buttermilk, use 3/4 cup and skip the water.

Beef Stew in Wine: Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Methods

We had a bit of snow last night and there’s a chill in the air. When I was at the market I found a nice cut of chuck and decided I wanted to make stew for dinner. It was about 4 pm, so it was time to break out the pressure cooker. In 30 minutes I had a great stew that tasted like it was cooked all day in the slow-cooker. Below is the recipe, you can use in with both.

Originally posted 1/2012

Temperature is supposed to drop by 50 degrees between today’s high and tomorrow’s high. Seemed like a good time to break out the slow-cooker.  I’ve also included a variation of the instructions for a pressure cooker, in case my gadget post made you decide to dig yours out of storage.

We’ve done beef stew before here, this is just a variation on the basic recipe.

The thing to know about beef stew is the flavors really come from the meat and vegetables.  Seasoning is better if kept light for the best experience.

Beef Stew in Wine

  • 1 lb lean stew meat
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4-6 small potatoes, quartered
  • 8 oz baby carrots, halved
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 button mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • pinch of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp ea. salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 3 tbsp flour as needed

slowcooker, skillet

In skillet, heat oil.  Add salt and pepper to flour, dredge meat in flour and add to hot oil.  Cook until evenly brown.

Place meat, onion, vegetables & spices into the slowcooker, add 5 cups water and wine,  cook according to slowcooker directions, (usually 8 to 10 hours on low).

I like my stew thick, so about 2o minutes before serving, I turn the slow-cooker heat to high, bringing stew to a boil, mix 1 cup water and flour completely, add to stew, stirring constantly (works best with a fork), and cook until thickened, reduce heat and let simmer additional 20 minutes.

For Pressure Cooker:

Heat oil in pressure cooker.  Dredge meat in flour, salt & pepper mixture and cook in oil until evenly brown.  Add onions and sweat for a minute.  Add vegetables, spices, 5 cups of water and wine to pressure cooker, cover and bring to pressure.  Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn heat off and let depressurize naturally (as opposed to the cold water method).  For a thicker stew follow directions above.

Watching Deer

DSC_3364 [1600x1200]The nasty weather they were predicting came along and has us pretty well housebound.  We’ve had sleet and rain and freezing rain and snow.  The last hour or so we’ve been watching a group of whitetails playing grab-ass in the back yard.  Really the only way to describe it in just a few words.  Mrs J has put out extra corn for them.  Katie has been hiding since the weather turned but we got a good breakfast into her this morning.DSC_3366 [1600x1200]

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