Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sue Gregg's German Chocolate Cake


This is the look I want.  Working on Shane's German Chocolate Cake today - substituting to make gluten free for me!  Sue Gregg's recipe.  Made last year... was amazing!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What to do with Dandelion Greens

Reading up at

There are also psychological issues here that hide the fact that most people find the raw greens bitter.
First, people who like the "prepared" dandelions they've eaten all their lives tend to sing their praises. So even though dandelions are quite changed by the time most people are eating them, they praise the plant. People who consume the leaves fresh hear these praises and wonder what they are missing.
This dandelion plant has gone to flower and seed, but the leaves are still workably bitter due to good shade, plenty of moisture, and rich soil, all of which promote continually growing new leaves
This dandelion plant has gone to flower and seed, but the leaves are still workably bitter due to good shade, plenty of moisture, and rich soil, all of which promote continually growing new leaves.
Second, when the inexperienced sample the much-hyped fresh dandelion leaves for the first time and don't like them, they imagine that they are not picking them early enough or otherwise doing something wrong. How could all these dandelion lovers be wrong about the flavor of such a hallowed plant? Some folks are afraid to admit that they cannot stand the flavor.
Third, there are many people today that believe that bitter is good for the liver and proper digestion and that dandelions are a healing food. So they learn over time to tolerate much more bitter than the rest of us. For many of these people bitter becomes an enjoyable flavor. They often describe dandelions as not being bitter....
...Okay, so enough about what I've seen and experienced, let's get on to the basic principles I've come up with that will help you enjoy dandelion greens.

Understanding the "bitter"

Dandelions are bitter because of a class of water soluble chemicals called sesquiterpenes. The key to enjoying dandelions is understanding how to work with these chemicals to minimize their impact on your taste buds.
Sesquiterpenes are part of the milky juice that runs throughout the dandelion plant. They are everywhere except for the non-green flower parts. Sesquiterpenes are less concentrated in rapidly growing leaves, hence the thinking that young leaves are not bitter. Well, in fact they are bitter, just less bitter than they could be.
There are great differences in people regarding the sensation of bitter. People like me, endowed with lots of extra taste buds in the bitter sensitive zones of the tongue, are super tasters for bitter. We can taste bitter a mile away and that taste lingers miserably for some time after the food has been swallowed.  ....

1. Dilution: This is where you mix your dandelions with something that dilutes the bitterness. This could include mixing it with milder greens (like miner's lettuce or chickweed) or putting in some dish with other ingredients so that the proportion of dandelion leaf is reduced relative to the overall food. One of the best ways to use fresh dandelions in a salad is to chop them into small pieces and sprinkle them over a mixed salad. The bitterness of the dandelions is lost, but the overall flavor of the salad is enhanced. The key to this is not making dandelions more than one-fifth the mass of the total salad and having the pieces be small enough so that they do not overwhelm the taste buds.
2. Masking: This is a taste bud thing. Fat is the main ingredient for doing this. This is why many of the old-timers (like the farmers mentioned earlier) poured bacon grease over their dandelions. My understanding is that fat, in the form of oils, butter, bacon grease, etc., cover taste bud receptors and reduce their sensitivity to the harshest forms of the bitterness. Fat also enhances the flavor of the greens.
A 'mess' of cooked dandelion greens drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with dandelion flower petals. Mmmm... wonderful flavor with no bitterness. These greens were cooked for five minutes in only one pot of water because the least bitter greens were selected for use.
A "mess" of cooked dandelion greens drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with dandelion flower petals. Mmmm... wonderful flavor with no bitterness. These greens were cooked for five minutes in only one pot of water because the least bitter greens were selected for use.
3. Distracting: Adding sugar, vinegar, or other impactful flavor to a salad causes your brain to have competing taste sensations to the bitter one. This makes the bitterness less prominent and sometimes lost in the other flavors.

4. Leaching: This is the process mentioned earlier of boiling out the water soluble sesquiterpenes, leaving a wonderfully rich flavor. In my experience, using fresh, rapidly growing greens, you only have to boil them once for three to five minutes for them to release most of their bitterness. I typically just adorn them with a little olive oil and I'm a happy camper. The technique of leaching goes like this: Start a pot of rapidly boiling water, chop up the greens to about one inch pieces, put them in the water, stir to keep them submerged. After 3 minutes, sample a small piece. If not bitter, remove the greens from the water and serve hot. If still bitter, leave the greens in the boiling water. Sample again after five minutes. If still bitter, consider transferring them into a second pot of boiling water for three to five minutes. In my opinion, if they need more cooking than that, they are too bitter.
Some people prefer diluting, masking, and distracting to leaching because they can still eat fresh uncooked leaves.

Dr. John Kallas is the owner of Wild Food Adventures, Institute for the Study of Edible Wild Plants and Other Foragables. He has been researching, teaching, and writing about wild foods for more than 25 years. For more information go to:

I'm going to try method one and  combine two and four by adding butter at the end.


Turned out great! A lot like spinach.  Had to do the extra 5 minutes of leaching, still has a bit of a mild bitter flavor as you chew.  Worth the nutrition for sure!
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Beautiful Quotes on Biblical Womanhood

“In contrast to the wise woman, the foolish woman is not content to be a keeper at home. She is not satisfied with where God has put her. One of the things the feminist movement has done so successfully is to stir up discontent in women with being homemakers and to convince them that other pursuits can increase their sense of self-worth… Fueling discontent and pushing women out of their homes in search of greater meaning and satisfaction has resulted in off-the-chart stress levels for many women who can no longer survive without pills and therapists… The greatest spiritual, moral, and emotional protection a woman will ever experience is found when she is content to stay within her God-appointed sphere. This does not mean that she never leaves her house, but rather that her heart is rooted in her home and that she puts her family’s needs above all other interests and pursuits.” ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“(Mothers), our daughters will be products of their theology. Their knowledge – or lack of knowledge – of who God is and what He has done for them will show up in every attitude, action, and relationship. Their worldview will be determined by their belief system. We must teach our daughters that their value and identity lie in the fact that they are image-bearers of the God of glory. This will protect them from seeking significance in the inconsequential shallowness of self-fulfillment, personal happiness, materialism, or others’ approval. Our daughters must know the wondrous truth that their overarching purpose in life is God’s glory.” ~Susan Hunt

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Wider Diameter of Light

"The wider a man's knowledge becomes, the deeper should be his humility; for the more he knows the more he sees of what remains unknown. The wider the diameter of light, the larger the circumference of darkness." Thomas Chalmers

"With every footstep of growing knowledge there ought to be a growing humility--that is the best guarantee both for a sound philosophy and a sound faith." Thomas Chalmers

Reposted from:

The Five Solas of the Reformation

The "Five Solas of the Reformation" are Latin slogans used by Protestant Reformers to summarize and proclaim the essential theological distinctives of the Biblical Gospel:
Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
Sola Fide, by faith alone.
Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
495 years ago in the little college town of Wittenberg, in Saxony, Martin Luther’s theology had not yet been sufficiently burnished in the furnace of conflict and affliction to produce such a succinct list.  Indeed, in the span of a single month—between the end of September and the end of October in 1517—Luther detailed two prodigious lists...

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Astrid's Shoes

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wisdom Tooth Pain Relief

"I have my top right wisdom tooth coming in and I was in excruciating pain and I couldn't sleep so what I did was squeezed some fresh lemon juice in a cup and added salt to make a paste and with a q tip placed it around my swollen gum area and where the tooth was extracting from and it kind of stung for like a second but after about a minute I felt NO PAIN at all it went away try it trust me it really works."

Another tip from  Love that site.

Shane used this pain reliever after he experienced sudden pain after eating some  shrimp kabobs with a sauce.  Since it was all over one side of his jaw, having just had a tooth come out yesterday, I said swish some salt water first.

He so sweetly thanked me for doctoring it. :)

Four Ways to Wear Head Scarves

I wear head-coverings, so this was neat! Also, posted R. C. Sproul's talk about the head- covering issue below.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Compare Grocery Store Prices Online
Grocery comparison diagram

YUM bars!!!,457,49.htm?e_cid=20121026_ISN_CCB3&utm_source=ISN&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121026_CCB3&utm_campaign=CassavaBars

I *love* my Produce Baskets

Annie's Buying Club Organic:  What's in This Weeks Shares?

Veggie/Berry $38- This is the SNEAK PEEK for Oct 22nd. 

Please note: NO Berries are available at all this week - this is an ALL Veg share this week and wow:
  • Sugar Pumpkin Pie Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Red Dandelion Greens
  • Green Chard
  • Curly Green Kale
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Baby Spinach
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Hass Avocados
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Sweet Mini Peppers
 Bolded what you need to use right away.