Make Your Own Tender, Perfectly Puffed Pita Breads – for Pennies!

After reading about homemade pita bread on the King Arthur Flour blog, I was obsessed with making a batch from scratch. I love pita bread, but I was spoiled years ago by warm, fresh-from-the-oven pitas in Athens and have never found anything close here in Colorado. Even at one of Denver’s largest Middle Eastern grocery stores, the pitas are chewy and a bit cardboardy.

Using the King Arthur recipe as a guideline (and based on research that recommended a mix of no more than 33% whole wheat flour for reliable rising), I substituted 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of spelt flour for one cup of the all-purpose flour. I didn’t have any King Arthur’s Dough Improver so I added a pinch of baking powder. Once the dough was ready to bake, I divided it into 8 portions and flattened the first ball slightly with my fingers like this:

pita1

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Make Your Own Granola – Delicious, Healthy and Inexpensive!

Here’s a simple recipe that you can use to make your own healthy breakfast cereal. You can use organic and/or vegetarian ingredients if you wish, and substitute other goodies to suit your taste. Plus — with the cost of organic rolled oats at about $1 a pound — you can save tons of money by making your own!

 granola

Here’s the basic recipe for my favorite granola blend. I call it Oatmeal Cookie Granola and your kitchen will smell just like homemade oatmeal raisin cookies while you’re baking it!

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Culinary Glory During a Recession

I was perusing our cookbooks this morning hoping for some culinary inspiration, when I came across this volume gathering dust at the back of the very top shelf: Although it was published …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Homemade Hooch at the Urban Homestead

We’ve been harvesting currants here, and even the ripest berries are intensely, mouth-puckeringly tart. After scratching my head about how to best utilize the little red berries, I found a recipe for homemade cassis and knew we were in business. I love kir (a drink made with cassis and white wine) and its cousin kir royale (cassis and champagne). While crème de cassis is traditionally made with black currants, I learned that red currants can also be used.

This is a two-part recipe, and you can easily double this if you have a bounty of fresh currants.

Homemade Cassis

  • 3 to 4 cups ripe currants
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups vodka (or enough to cover the currants in the jar)
  • 1 pound sugar (more or less may be needed) 
  • 1 cup vodka (more or less may be needed)

Wash the currants, remove any stems and gently pour them in a one-quart Mason jar. Pour the vodka in the jar, almost to the top. Here’s how it looks at this stage:

 

 

 

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Easy, Slow-Cooked Caramelized Onions

I once read that you could make a batch of caramelized onions in the Crock Pot and freeze them, but I couldn’t find a recipe. So I decided to experiment and …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

The Best Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies on the Planet

  I woke up in a baking mood today, and decided to make some molasses ginger cookies. These are an adaptation of the “Elevator Lady Spice Cookies” from “The I Hate …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Better Butter

The new “spreadable” butters contain butter and canola oil, and promise “Soft Even When Cold!” “Low in saturated fats and cholesterol!” and “No transfatty acids!” At my local grocery store, …

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.