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Sourdough Einkorn Breakfast Bread

Sourdough Einkorn Breakfast Bread 1I love sourdough! A good sourdough starter is a masterpiece of living organisms. Recently I have been curious about working with Einkorn flour. I heard about all its wonderful health benefits so I started experimenting a bit.  I had some leftover starter from my bread baking and I thought I would make some sourdough waffles to stash in the freezer (our family loves them and they are much healthier than the commercial frozen waffles!). As I read the recipe, I thought it would make a great base for muffins and quick bread which we love for tea time and breakfast as well. A few friends had made quick breads with einkorn flour which looked amazing, so I thought why not try a sourdough quick bread! The sourdough process helps break down protein strands for easier digestion and is the precursor to commercial yeasts and baking powders that we now use to leaven baked goods with, I thought it would compliment the fact that Einkorn is an ancient grain. So after a little of this and a little of that…I bring you Sourdough Einkorn Breakfast bread!

The additions to the batter can vary. This time I used raisins, apples, orange oil, and slivered almonds; but the sky is the limit so feel free to be creative!


Sponge (feeding the starter)

1 cup sourdough starter, unfed

2 1/2 cups Einkorn Flour

2 TBS sugar (honey or maple syrup will work as well)

2 cups liquid (I used whole milk, but milk kefir, nut milks, or even water will do)

Mix ingredients together and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for about 8 hours. No more than 12. Einkorn sourdough “dies” quicker than regular wheat flour. Mine sat overnight. After everything is mixed, it is about the consistency of a thicker pancake batter. After 8 hours, you should see lots of surface bubbles. Don’t expect the starter to double in size or really “grow”.

The bread:20160208_162048

All of the Sponge

2/3 cup einkorn flour (I get mine here)

2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup raisins

1 apple, grated

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup melted butter

2 eggs

10 drops of Orange Essential Oil (I get mine here)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into 2 8X4 (medium sized) loaf pans that have been greased. Bake in a 350 oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You could also pour into prepared muffin tin and have muffins. Allow bread to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto cooling rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy plain or with some butter!

Sourdough Einkorn Breakfast Bread 2

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Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Turkey and Wild Rice SoupThanksgiving is over and Christmas holiday is officially upon us. What in the world are you going to do with leftover turkey? Your family will only endure wonderful turkey sandwiches on yummy sourdough for a couple of meals so now what?

Maybe there isn’t a whole lot of actual meat left after being carved and picked over….soup is one of the best ways to make the most of this!

The basic idea for this recipe came after a friend shared this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. It is a family favorite..hearty and full of flavor. So this year I decided instead of my usual Turkey Pot Pie, I would make soup (because I LOVE soup, its a favorite comfort food)


So let’s get started, shall we?

The Recipe and Prep

First I take all the turkey leftovers (wings, legs, pieces of meat and even skin) and toss them in my crockpot or stockpot with a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to make a quick Turkey Stock. Stock adds so much more flavor to soup than just plain water. Cook at a nice simmer overnight.  This will also help get some leftover meat of those wings and legs! You can read about the wonderful health benefits of bone broth here.

The next morning strain out the bones and get the meat off them. Set meat aside and discard bones.

In a crockpot add:

 1 onion diced

2 carrots diced

 2 ribs of celery finely chopped

 2 bay leaves,

1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning,

6 cups of the prepared stock and

2 cups water

1 cup Wild Rice

Cook on low for about 4-6 hours depending on your crock pot. The point here is to make sure your veggies and rice are completely cooked.  I add the turkey in last because it is already cooked and this way it will retain its shape and texture. 

Now time to make the “Creamy” part of the recipe. Although you could easily serve it as is for a nice soup as well!

In a separate pot on medium heat:

1)Melt 5 Tablespoons of butter/oil or a combination.

2) Add 1/2 cup all purpose flour and mix well, but don’t brown.

3)Add 2 cups of whole milk, SLOWLY!

4)Constantly whisk together until you have a nice white sauce that is thickened.

5) Add to soup in crock pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bon appetit,

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Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange BreadWhat flavor enhancer would I be putting in my precious breads? I promise it is all natural and tastes wonderful when used in baking.  Give up guessing? It is Orange Essential Oil!

Orange oil has many uses around the house including uses for cleaning and aromatherapy. However one of my favorite uses is a flavor enhancer in baked treats. I feel confident baking with small amounts of Young Living Oils because they are high quality therapeutic grade. And while Cranberry Orange Bread often conjures images of holiday gatherings I love to enjoy it year round. This bread is very lightly sweetened and full of flavor and makes a mean French toast!

Recipe for Cranberry Orange Bread (makes 3 loaves)YLOrangeOil

1 cup warm orange juice
1 cup warm water
5 tsp. Active dry yeast (I use this one)
6 Tbs. Organic sugar (this is what I use)
1 stick of butter (the best) OR
1/2 cup coconut oil (my favorite)
2 tsp salt (you can find it here)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (find it here)
15 drops orange essential oil (I only recommend this brand and you can buy it here)
6 1/4 cups organic white flour (this is a good one)

In a large bowl or stand mixer combine liquids, sugar, and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes to proof yeast. Add butter, salt, and orange oil and then flour. Mix to form shaggy dough and add cranberries. Knead on lightly floured surface or in mixer until dough is smooth and elastic. In stand mixer it takes about 5 minutes, by hand almost 10. Let rise in a lightly greased bowl until double in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Divide into 3 loaves and let rise once again about 30-45 minutes. While waiting on second rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees. When bread has risen, bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Turn loaves out onto cooling rack and cool for at least 30-45 minutes before eating.

What is your favorite use for Orange oil? I’d love to know!

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Cranberry Orange Bread 2


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The Importance of Afternoon Tea with My Children

Afternoon Tea with ChildrenAfternoon tea commonly conjures images of Queen Elizabeth and Big Ben, for me at least. It is a very common English tradition that is not usually observed in the United States. However, I chose to introduce it to my children, and I think it has great benefit.

The Benefits of Observing Afternoon Tea

1) The consistency of ritual.

Children thrive on consistency. It helps them to feel safe and secure. Participating in ritual helps them to feel included and builds self confidence.

2) Teaching Etiquette.

I am using afternoon Tea to teach proper etiquette. Placing a napkin in the lap, eating with utensils, stirring without clanking spoons, not slurping hot tea- I believe these can be important skills for adult life.

 3) To Purposefully Take a Break and Be Together.

With ballet and other activities sometimes a family dinner isn’t always possible. However afternoon Tea allows me to sit down with my children and really focus on them and talk with them in a relaxed setting before the evening gets busy.

Tea Time collage

4) Introducing culture.

Tea is enjoyed as a beverage in many different cultures. Not to mention there are many different types of teas to try and enjoy. I love to hear my children comment on the flavors of Irish Tea with Milk and sugar, Jasmine green tea, chamomile with honey-the list can go on. It expands their knowledge of the world around them, much like trying new cuisine.

I love this little ritual with my children. While it’s relatively new for us, I above all enjoy the time it gives me to just sit and enjoy my children. The days are so busy with lessons and chores, and activities but this lets us take a short break and just be.

For some great tea recipes and ideas, check out some of these great articles from my friends:

Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate by Primally Inspired

The Art of Tea by Like a Normal Person

Look to Nettle Tea… by Life by Jeanie


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Afternoon Tea with Children 2


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The Easiest Sourdough Bread ever!

sourdough bread 1Do you have a sourdough starter ready to use but can’t find a simple recipe? Look no further. I have you covered!Last week I posted my how to make your starter and now we will use that starter to make delicious bread! Let’s get started.

Items You Will Need:

A large non-metal bowl preferably glass or ceramic (like this one)
Organic Flour (find some here)
Sea Salt ( like this one)
Your sourdough starter ( get my recipe here or purchase one here)
2 medium loaf pans (these are perfect)
Non-metal spoon (like these)

The Sponge:

The first step in making most sourdough recipes is to use your starter to create what is commonly called the Sponge. Next to the starter, the Sponge will have the longest wait time, but is very critical to the process and benefits of sourdough.

You will Need:

1/4 c. Sourdough starter
1 c. Water
1 3/4c flour

  1. In a bowl, put starter and water and mix well to saturate starter.
  2. Add flour and mix very well.
  3. Then knead for a couple minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be kind of heavy and slightly tacky. You can also put everything in a stand mixer with your dough hook and knead until you have a nice ball.
  4. Put in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap.
  5. Let sit undisturbed for 12 hours. This maximizes the health benefits and really helps to develop the characteristic sourdough flavor. Don’t lessen the wait time!

The Sourdough Bread Recipe:

After all the waiting you are complaining there. This process is most like standard bread baking for those who have made homemade bread.

You will need:

4 1/2 c. Flour
1 3/4 c. Water
2 1/2 t. Sea Salt
Your Sourdough Sponge

  1. In stand mixer bowl (or large bowl), combine sponge and water. Saturate the sponge.
  2. Add salt and flour.
  3. Mix until you have a soft ball forming.
  4. Knead. If using a stand mixer, knead for about 2-3 minutes. Kneading helps activate the gluten to give you a beautiful rise and texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 7-8 minutes. The dough should be soft, pliable, and just a little tacky.
  5. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Depending on warmth of your kitchen and humidity, this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
  6. After the dough has risen, separate into 2 equal portions.
  7. Shape into loaves and place loaves into loaf pans that have been dusted with flour.
  8. Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until doubled. This usually takes 45-90 minutes.
  9. Finally, when loaves are risen, bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Take bread out of loaf pans. Thump the bottom of the loaf (its done if it sounds hollow).
  11. Cool on a cooling rack for at least one hour. If you eat it fresh out often oven which you will tempted to do, it will taste very bland.

Congratulations! You have made sourdough bread! Other than some patience, it’s very simple and nutritious! Enjoy and let me know how yours turned out!

For more recipes, information, and ideas about sourdough check out these articles from my blogging friends:

Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas by Prairie Homestead

Tips for Using and Maintaining a Sourdough Starter by Our Heritage of Health

Another Sourdough Bread Recipe by Our Small Hours

Pumpkin Nut Sourdough Muffins by Reformation Acres

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins by Fancy Nonsense

Sourdough English Muffins by Life From the Ground Up



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sourdough bread 2

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How to Raise a Mother Sourdough Starter

Mother Sourdough StarterI have always enjoyed sourdough. It is one of the easiest and simplest bread recipes. Many find the starter to be rather intimidating and I agree, it can be. I just wanted to share the starter and method that I have been most successful with and how it works.  I obtained the method from the baker Peter Reinhart after I was given one of his books as a gift, and it is a little different because after you establish the starter through a seven day fermentation process, you create a mother starter. I did do a little tweaking on his method and included a few tips and tricks that worked much better for me. While Reinhart’s method is the inspiration, I did make this method my own. If I totally lost you, it’s OK. Sourdough is a process that I feel confident with and I plan to help you through each step. First you will need a few items

A quart glass jar (like this one here)

Good quality organic flour (find a good one here)

Water (I prefer filtered, click here if you need a good water filter)

A non-metal spoon ( like this one here)

Coffee filters (these will do nicely)

Rubber band

A bowl with a lid (like this one)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Successful Mother Sourdough Starter:


1. Don’t put an airtight lid on it in the first 7 days.

2. Don’t let the starter come into contact with metal.

3. Don’t forget to feed it.


1. Feed and water it regularly.

2. Keep it in a warm location.

3. Enjoy it often 🙂

Now let’s get down to creating this little mother sourdough starter, shall we?

Days One and Two:

  • First you will take your jar and mix 1/8 cup (3 1/2 TBS)  flour with 1/4 water.
  • Stir it well and put a coffee filter over the top and secure it with a rubber band.
  • Let it sit in a warm place for 48 hours. I stir it once or twice a day to help activate it. On day two you may start to see some bubbles forming.

A little note about the flour that you should use to start your mother sourdough starter, I personally have had the best success with organic rye flour. I have also had luck with white and whole wheat, but rye started the best and it’s what I recommend.

Days Two through Seven:

  • Feed your starter with 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water once per day.
  • Stir well every time.
  • The mixture should be thick and bubbly (shows life).

A little note about the flour you use to feed your mother sourdough starter, I alternate feeding my starter. By this I mean that one time I feed it with rye flour and the next organic white flour. This has produced the most activity for me.

On Day Eight:

Now you should have a nice bubbly and active starter. It will smell yeasty. The air in your home will greatly affect the smell of your starter. It’s kind of cool. Mine have smelled like beer or wine or just yeasty bread. Time of the year and weather conditions really affect the ferment. Now you are ready to turn your starter into a mother starter.

Here is how to create your Mother Sourdough Starter:

  • Take the existing starter and put 3/4 cup into a mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer).
  • Add 1 cup water and 2 3/4 cup flour (depending on what I have on hand I may use white or whole wheat, but usually white flour because it produces a much lighter end product).
  • Combine the ingredients and knead for a couple of minutes to activate the gluten.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and cover (you can use a lid or plastic wrap).
  • Let sit on the counter for at least 12 hours. The mother sourdough starter will actually bubble and rise so make sure there is room in the bowl or you will have a mess (yes, I am speaking from experience)
  • After 12 hours de-gas the starter by giving it a good stir and then cover it with a lid and put it into the refrigerator.

This is your mother sourdough starter that you will make all sorts of concoctions from (and yes, I will be helping you with recipes also). It will need to be fed about every four to five days, but honestly I have let mine sit a week and used it with success and not had to “wake it up” like with other starters. See it wasn’t that hard at all, was it? Tell me about how your experience making this starter was, I’d love to hear all about it!

Coming Soon: Next in this series will be How to Use a Mother Sourdough Starter.

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Mother Sourdough Starter 2

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Luscious Probiotic Lemonade

Luscious Probiotic Lemonade fbLuscious Probiotic Lemonade the name conjures warm summer afternoons on the veranda. But wait it’s a little early to talk about lemonade, it’s the middle of winter. Some of us have snow on the ground.  However, I love lemonade year round.  Lemons in sugar water is very satisfying and thirst quenching. So when I saw that I could take lemonade and kick it up a notch and make a drink that not only was thirst quenching and satisfying, but also good for your overall health, I was totally on board. Enter Luscious Probiotic Lemonade. It’s simple, satisfying and good for you. The probiotics in the lemonade help the digestive system. By aiding and supporting the digestive system with good bacteria, it changes the overall health of your body. People have reported that fermented beverages have helped with joint pain, weight control, their immune system and several other health benefits. To read more about the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet read here. The lemons in lemonade also help detox your system and quench thirst better than water alone. Because of the fermentation process, much of the sugar is absorbed leaving you with an effervescent slightly sweetened lemon water beverage. Much more thirst quenching than a syrupy lemonade.

So does this sound a little intimidating? It is so super easy you won’t believe it! You need a gallon sized jar, a measuring cup, and a wooden spoon.  I used an old glass pickle jar. Pretty basic stuff, I think.

Recipe for Luscious Probiotic Lemonade:

10-12 lemons, you want good-sized juicy ones, peeled and juiced

1-1 1/2 cups sugar

1 c. whey

about 1 gal. of filtered water

Heat 1 c. of water and the sugar. Make sure the sugar is well dissolved and let cool a bit. You don’t have to boil the water. After it has cooled to about room temp put it in the jar and add the filtered water. You want to make sure to use un-chlorinated water. Bottled water, filtered tap water, or you can take a pitcher of tap water and sit it uncovered on your counter for 24 hours. Chlorine can affect your ferment so this is critical. Once the water is added you want to make sure that the water is about room temperature. Add the whey and lemon juice. Give it a good stir and put a good tight lid on it. Let it sit on your countertop for 2-3 days and then enjoy.

See it’s super easy!  I hope you enjoy this easy recipe and introduction into fermenting beverages as much as I have.

Please Note: I have had several questions about whey. Basically whey is the liquid by product of cheese making or straining yogurt. You can learn to make your own here. I purchase mine from a local dairy farm that makes cheese and yogurt for our food co-op. If you don’t have that kind of access you can purchase it here. Unfortunately powdered whey protein is not a good substitute. Thanks for all the great questions!

For more information and recipes regarding fermented beverages, check out some of these great resources:

How to Make Homemade Ginger Ale by The Nourishing Cook

Fermented Orange Juice by Oh Lardy!

Fermented Apple Juice by The Homemade Mommy

Elderflower Soda by And Here We Are

What is Rejuvelac? by The Nourishing Cook

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Luscious Probiotic Lemonade | Naturally Persnickety Mom

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Cranberry Orange Relish-A Persnickety Family Tradition

Cranberry Orange Relish | Naturally Persnickety MomWhen I was growing up every Christmas my dad and I made Cranberry Orange Relish. It became our ritual and our tradition. It was the only thing we ever used our meat grinder for and it gave it the best texture. I wish I still had that meat grinder. While it works fine in other kitchen essentials such as this one or this , that old meat grinder was the best!A funny story about this dish- I took it to the first holiday gathering when Mr. Persnickety and I were newly married.  Like I said this is my favorite holiday dish and such a family tradition that I wanted to share it with my new family. They took one look at it and asked me -what is it-and what do we do with it?! I didn’t realize that not everyone ate it! It is a family joke now, and honestly they don’t love it as much as I do, but that’s okay. I think it is the memories of making cranberry orange relish with my dad more than the dish itself that makes me love it so. Cranberry orange relish is actually a pretty good alternative to the canned stuff .Cranberry Orange Relish Prep | Naturally Persnickety Mom

There are a couple of  tricks to this dish:

1)Slightly freeze the cranberries so they don’t turn to mush in the food processor.

2)Use thin skinned oranges, not Navel variety.

3)It really needs to sit overnight in the fridge to let flavors mellow and to gauge how much sugar is needed.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine has. It is a great recipe to make with kids too. They love to help!

Cranberry Orange Relish-A Persnickety Family Tradition


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, washed and sliced
  • 1 apple, washed, cored, and sliced
  • organic sugar to taste, I start with 1/2 cup


  1. Place fruits in food processor or food grinder and process. Relish should be a little chunky. Stir in sugar and refrigerate overnight. Test for sweetness the next morning. Add sugar if needed and let sit until ready to serve. It is okay to even make this dish 2-3 days ahead of time to get the perfect blend of sweet/tart flavor. I have read where some people like to add pecans to this dish, but I like it just plain.

Do you have a favorite holiday traditional dish that you make whether it is a favorite or not? Please share and tell me about it in the comments below 🙂

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Cranberry Orange Relish Title | Naturally Persnickety Mom

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Homemade Bread-Why It Should Be the Only Kind You Eat

homemadewholewheatbreadBy now ya’ll know that I love to bake bread. For me it is therapeutic. The act of kneading dough is a great stress reliever and the smell of it baking in the oven is the best aromatherapy ever! It’s relaxing to me, that when I am busy running around and chasing kids that I can go into the kitchen and create something that has been made for thousands of years. In this day of gluten free and paleo diets and the whole low carb craze, bread often gets a bum wrap. However, many people in the past survived on bread. Yes, I believe it was very different from what we have now in many cases, but it was a household staple.

During the 1900s our country commercialized bread. We started ingesting bread that was made by machines and with GMO grains that were chemically bleached and enriched. The bread that was once a healthy staple in our homes quickly became a very unhealthy one. As the obesity epidemic continues in our country I sometimes wonder how.  Most people I know eat whole grain breads that they buy from the grocery store. Some restaurants offer whole grain buns and breads instead of white flour. Several people I know eat the low calorie, low carb,  whole grain breads on the grocery store shelves. What gives? They still battle their weight and they aren’t all that healthy. My theory- it’s the commercial process of baking bread. Even the “good” breads last way too long on the shelf. I don’t see that as a good sign.  When I bake homemade bread I am lucky if it lasts 1 week without spoiling.  I have had commercial bread (whole grain, reputable brands) last weeks in the pantry!

When I make sourdough bread at home there are 4 ingredients I starter, Flour, water, and salt. The ingredients in commercial sourdough breads is usually many more. For example here is the ingredient list for a popular brand of sourdough bread taken from that brand’s website :



High Fructose Corn Syrup? Tapioca starch? soybean oil? Why? Because how else would it last through cross country transportation? Gone are the times where there is a neighborhood bakery. Most bakeries in my area specialize in cakes and cupcakes. Beautiful and yummy, but not for everyday consumption.

I have to say that since I have been making my own breads, I have less digestive issues than with commercial breads. Personally I feel it’s because I focus on buying organic flours from reputable companies that don’t contain GMO grains. I don’t have any scientific proof, but believe it is because my body isn’t stressed by processing unnecessary chemicals and toxins on top of the bread. My husband says there is nothing quite like coming home to the smell of fresh baked bread. He says if I could bake bread around the clock for the aroma he would probably never want to leave. I take it as a compliment. Of course he doesn’t mind eating the bread either 🙂 Bread is a labor of love. There is the mixing and the kneading and the waiting for it to rise, but the reward is great. Nice beautiful wholesome bread for a fraction of the cost of store bought.

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Homemade “Pickled” Cucumbers

HomemadePickledCucumbersI love traditional foods from other countries.  There is something about trying a dish from another country that just makes me feel good inside.  This fabulous “pickle” recipe is no exception.  I have a lovely friend that is from Russia.  I find it fascinating to talk to her and listen to her experiences because they are at times very different from mine.  She has been so kind as to tell me about some of her favorite dishes from Russia.  If she doesn’t give me the recipe, I usually search it out.  One thing I really enjoy about the recipes she has shared with me so far is how nutritious and economical they are.  For instance this recipe only has a few ingredients-cucumbers, fresh dill, and fresh garlic.  Those are pretty inexpensive this time of year.  You may even have them growing in your garden.  My friend calls them pickles, but they aren’t prepared like we are accustomed to with vinegar, but with salt water.  Anyway here is this simple recipe.

Recipe for Homemade “Pickled” Cucumbers:

2 lbs pickling cucumbers. Use the Persian variety that are more like the European ones or slice a European one.  I sliced my cucumbers and cut them into spears because they were too long to fit into the jars.

1 good handful of fresh dill

6 garlic cloves sliced or more to taste

4 cups of water

3 Tablespoons of salt

Cut the cucumbers as you would like. Layer cucumbers, dill, and garlic in jars.  Dissolve salt in the water and pour over cucumbers.  Seal and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  These “pickles” are crisp and tender and the perfect accompaniment to a main dish  They have a wonderful flavor, but are not what we Americans generally think of when we hear dill pickles.  These are completely different! I truly hope you try this fabulous recipe and let me know how you like it!  Also please share any traditional recipes from your family.  I would love to try them 🙂

GoodTastesTuesdayFeaturedButtonBarn-HopThis recipe also seen in Kelly the Kitchen Kops’ Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival