Sisters and Sunday baking

Every year, we have a Birthday Sister celebration in or around February. 3 of the 5 sisters have Birthdays in February. Amie, Annie and myself! So the other two, Keri and Kim…always are sweet enough to plan and spoil us for our special days. They never tell us what they have planned, it’s always a secret until the we “get there”. They get pretty creative sometimes. They tell us what to pack and what type of clothing to wear… and give hints like “be sure to shave your legs” or “bring pepper spray”….you know….just casual things. It’s always been a favorite occasion!

This weekend was our sister birthday event! (Sadly Annie couldn’t make it this year and she was SORELY missed) It was lovely and it’s always cherished. We spent the night at Kim’s house, we baked pizzas on a pizza stone (sourdough crust of course!) we watched a movie, and stayed up late talking and giggling for hours. When we went to bed, on our pillow….Amie and I found a cute pair of socks tied with some “birthday money” for the next day! Still no idea what the plan was.

The next morning, Keri woke up with a headache…not sure why….ok…I do know…apparently it was my fault..I sleep with “white noise” and I guess it didn’t work out so great for her. I slept GREAT!! I SAID I WAS SORRY! lol

Kim’s husband made us all the most delicious birthday omelettes for breakfast. Delightful, full of veggies and cheese and yumminess. We got ready…and headed out the door for our big adventure! After almost dying on the freeway twice (Kim) we arrived to our destination….A DAY OF SHOPPING!!! At all of our favorite places. The first place we went to was a kitchen supply store. It was HEAVEN! We walked around browsed forever. And yes….I did need another set of measuring cups and spoons.

We left there and went book shopping…this was also enjoyable. We found a book for Annie that we felt we needed to add to her birthday sock/money that we would drop off to her on her way home. Can’t forget Annie!!

The next stop was a favorite! Redmonds! A small market…I would say they are best known for their salt… mined in Utah. Unrefined, unprocessed salt, full of minerals….I love it! I love cooking and baking with it. Salt from mine to table. You can decide for yourself here. (I don’t get paid for promoting them…I just really believe in their product) Actually, I love all of their products.

The best part of the day you ask??? LUNCH FOR SURE!! We went to a The Dodo and it was amazeballs. It was a hoppin place with a fun environment, and really good food. I had never been there before. Our lunches were perfect, delicious and we were stuffed. We spent our lunch planning our upcoming sister vacation in February 2022. It’s gonna be a big fat one!

I left that day feeling lighter, and with a soul that had been fed. So incredibly grateful for these sisters of mine. I truly love them!!

Today is Sunday! And that means it’s a baking day. Fernandough is working a full day!! Today is 2 loaves of artisan bread, and 2 loaves of sandwich bread…plus one batch of granola. I learned a thing today!!! So I will share….kneading with a wet surface rather that a floured surface is WAY easier. It kinda blew my mind!! This mainly applies for “brown” whole wheat recipes. In my sandwich bread recipe (the smooth dough below)…I use half white whole wheat and half brown whole wheat. But I LOVED LEARNING THAT! I think wheat and flour teach me something new every single day.

I use the terms “white” and “brown” flour just because all of the flour I use is whole wheat. I used to think that brown flour was the only kind of whole wheat flour. Whole wheat means that the WHOLE “kernal” or “berry” has been used when ground. The color differs by the type of wheat used. So there is both brown whole wheat and white whole wheat flours!

I’ll be posting on flour soon!! Simplifying all of the terms and types etc. RECIPES COMING SOON! (if you want something specific right now, please message me!) Have I mentioned I love wheat?


Me.

So me. I’m Kristi.
A girl with big dreams, big creativity, a big heart… just overall big. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life.. as long as I can remember I was always different physically from my 4 beautiful sisters. I never understood why. Until now.
I’ve tried SO many ways to be healthier and to lose weight… be “normal”… and until I surrendered to the fact that the earth… and my mind… provide everything I need to be healthy…. it wasn’t possible for me to achieve.
Had I not been “different” I would have never searched for these truths. I’ll never be “normal” and it might just be my best darn quality.


In my ever so humble opinion, no diet or food plan will ever work with restriction of natural foods from the earth. That is truth for me. For ME. Maybe not others. But for me.
I’ve spent a lot of time researching wheat. And I love what I see…and what I feel. Wheat is AMAZING! I think I love it. I’m certainly not an expert on the subject yet but I’m learning and it’s working.

I love to cook….I always have. I have very early memories making cream puffs out of the Betty Crocker cookbook with homemade pastry cream….. and they were good! I would read the cookbooks from cover to cover (I still do) and I always wanted Julia Child to be my best friend. I’ve always been a “foodie”. I’m drawn to foods, I serve others with food, I love to gather with food. I watch a crap ton of food shows, there isn’t a recipe out there that I won’t try and I love to learn about unusual foods and cultures. Always try something you’ve never tried before. You never know what you’re missing out on!!

The difference for me right now is that everything I am cooking is with “earth” foods. Foods from the earth! Grains, fruits, veggies, meat, dairy, eggs, spices….All of it! I am checking ingredients more….making “good, better, best” decisions on what I am choosing and every single weekend I am filling my freezer with sourdough bread, muffins, english muffins and usually a batch of granola. (Most of it goes elsewhere!)

I hope you enjoy what I share. I’m always up for suggestions. The focus for my blog will be:

  • Health- It’s always the quest right?
  • Recipes- ALL SORTS! I love trying new things, easy and hard!
  • Videos- I’m a visual person. When I see someone do something, then I can do it! Maybe you are too?
  • Information- Why do we do the things we do? Because of information we have! You don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Happiness- It’s the key to surviving for me. A grateful, happy heart solves everything.
  • Humor- I think I’m hilarious

Things I don’t love…..blogs that make you read the “reason” behind the recipe. Before you can see the recipe. Just give me the flippin’ recipe! I don’t wanna read about Nana’s trip from the motherland and the recipe was passed down through the decks of the Titanic….I mean I love your Nana…..but sometimes a girl just needs to quickly see what ingredients she needs ok? So I promise my recipes will just be recipes. Nana free.

One more thing you should probably know about me…from a cooking perspective it doesn’t make much sense…but I guess it makes me, me? Kristi can’t handle any type of wood products. There it is. My kryptonite. Wood. I’ll run from you. I don’t use a wooden rolling pin. (I have one that is wooden but it has plastic handles) Toothpicks? Nope. Skewers? Boo. I struggle with envelopes and I get sweaty and lightheaded when I get a paper cut. I DO have some bamboo spoons but they have a paint coating on the handle. I also have one knife passed down to me from my Aunt Cleo that I cherish…it has a wooden handle but for some reason I can handle that one. It’s really smooth I guess. I get gifts of wooden spoons or cutting boards all the time and I try really really hard to use them. But in the end….it’s a no from me dawg.

Things I LOVE!! I love to travel, I love football, I love my tiny dog Frank, I love music, I love where I live, I love my job, I love snow, I love freedom, I love Jesus, I love clean sheets and the smell of fresh pine trees, I love spending time with my children, with my 4 best friend sisters and my amazing parents. I’ll introduce you to them next!!


My FAMILY

I love my family.

I have been SUPER blessed with an amazing support system in my life. My parents gave me a stable, happy childhood with a lot of love and the choice to be happy or not. I’m so incredibly grateful to them for teaching me how to dig deep and showing me what real love is.

They gifted me with 4 sisters. We shared ONE bathroom. So you can imagine the cat fights and hair pulling. Today they are my best friends and we literally communicate daily and try to get together monthly. I crave time with them. They fill my heart. Each one of them mean so very much to me.

I was blessed to have 2 children (and soon 1 son in law)…they have brought me the most joy of anything I’ve ever done. We have been through a lot together and we are close. I’m so proud and lucky to be their mom. I love watching them create strength, seeing them fly and building their own lives!! They are amazing, kind humans.

I’m sure throughout the life of this blog, there will be many childhood stories and memories shared, current happenings and future adventures. During sister time someone usually pees their pants, and during children time we usually laugh until we cry. I’m hoping they decide to let me showcase them all, in videos and recipes etc. Maybe even a guest post!!? The majority of my sisters are on the “sourdough” bus with me. It’s been super fun to share all of the experiments and I love it when they send me pictures of their creations…and even pictures of their creations in the trash. I giggle because I’ve been there. Let’s be honest…I’m still there some days.

My little Frank. He’s the cutest naughtiest puppy I’ve ever had. Like EVER. He’s so stubborn and I’m pretty sure he loves it when he gets in trouble. But…he has also been my little protector and best friend for the last 2 years. He’s very spoiled. I’m not even sorry about it. He get’s fresh food daily. He LOVES fresh crunchy vegetables and refuses anything mushy. He’s my little man.

I feel so blessed with this family of mine. I love loving them, and serving them and getting the benefits of just knowing them. You can rest assured I am very aware of how lucky I am. Maybe if you don’t have a family, sisters, kids, a dog….you can share mine with me!! They will be a large part of this blog…they are a huge part of my life and why I do what I do!


FERNANDOUGH

He’s basically the star of the show right now. I wish I was joking when I said we are in a relationship… it’s pretty serious. I love checking on him every morning….”look at you sir!!” “you are so bubbly and happy this morning!” “you’re doing such a good job… all rising and stuff!!” “you smell terrific!!”

I’m so proud of him. He is strong, active and reliable. He’s a workhorse really…. I get great results with him. We get each other….when I am consistent with him…and he is consistent for me. He lives in my microwave, this is a safe space for him. Draft free and consistent temperatures. I feed him daily. Some people keep theirs in their fridge…and feed less. And that works too! It’s all about what you want!

What even is sourdough starter? Basically it’s a natural leavening (yeast) made from fermented flour and water. It’s been used for centuries to make bread. But it has been found to be SO HEALTHY….and can do SO MUCH MORE! It’s quite the adventure.

I started this sourdough journey this past year right after COVID hit. Trying to be self sufficient and also working on my own gut health. This is where the path started. I created Fernandough from scratch on my own….it wasn’t pretty. It was hell if I’m honest. I didn’t know what I was doing and MANY times I thought I had killed it or I “wasn’t doing it right”….nothing was happening!! The truth of what I have learned so far is that there’s no right way to do sourdough. There’s just YOUR WAY.

Natural “wild” yeast is found all around us. In our environment. And basically, we trap it in a jar. That in itself is fascinating to me. So your starter won’t be the same as mine. Even if I sent you some Fernandough…(which I can do!) it would adapt to your environment and become YOUR starter. My humidity level is different than yours, my water is different than yours, our flour is most likely different. It’s ALL different. So yours is perfect for you and mine is perfect for me. So no starter envy ok?

I have posted “how to make a starter” videos on Instagram and Facebook, (I will post videos here eventually) that take you step by step for the first few days and then everyday after… after you see bubbles… is basically the same to care for it daily. Unless you’re building your starter amount up for baking days. I’m trying my best to keep things simple and easy to understand…which is what I wanted when I started. So hopefully it doesn’t feel overwhelming….because it can easily feel that way. I promise….overall it’s very simple. Sometimes….it’s time consuming and messy… sometimes what I make ends up in the trash. But keep trying! Eventually you get something that comes out of the oven that blows your own mind! I MADE THAT!

Not everything on this blog will be made using sourdough starter….I love cooking with all the earthy things!! But lets just clear up one thing… shall we? Sourdough starter…isn’t sour. When people hear the word “sourdough” they think of the typical sourdough bread with a sour twang….that is not sourdough starter. (there are ways to make it twangy if you want) I actually prefer the term “natural yeast” and use that frequently…just because it gives the correct context of what we are using. It’s fermented yeast that has been used for centuries to make bread! It can be used it SO many things! Any recipe that calls for flour and water can have natural yeast added to it!

Just a few health benefits from using natural yeast:

  • It breaks down enzymes in grains and maximizes natural vitamins, minerals and fiber…all while converting the grain into an easily digestible food.
  • Reduces blood sugar spikes
  • It’s both a pre-biotic and a pro-biotic (there is 5 billion pro-biotic cultures in 1 teaspoon!)
  • Natural yeast slows digestion so you feel fuller longer
  • It lowers your glycemic response to carbs
  • It can help reduce heartburn and reflux
  • It can reduce inflammation in the gut
  • And so many other health benefits!

Creating and keeping a natural yeast starter is time consuming…..it’s messy….it’s not convenient…it’s a commitment….but aren’t you worth all of that? I think so.

I have SO enjoyed getting back to the basics of cooking, of creating and SLOWING THINGS DOWN. It was what I needed at that time…and it awakened me in ways I didn’t even know existed. All day to make bread? Why is this fun?

The truth of the matter is that out of the hours it takes to make 2 loaves of bread….you are literally only hands on for maybe just a few minutes of that time. You are letting the yeast do it’s job and allowing the magic to happen within your creation. So timing really is everything. On work days…I wake up early and it takes MAYBE 10 minutes to get an english muffin dough or Everything muffin batter going. I head out the door and 8-10 hours later it’s ready to go! On my bread baking days… usually Sunday…. I get one batch of dough going in the morning…..and then 2 hours later I get another batch going. That will give me 4 staggered loaves for the day. Its basically just a little preparing the day before to build up your starter….and then cooking day I set a bunch of timers because I’m old and I forget what I’m doing. Where am I?

p.s. If you want some Fernandough…I have learned how to dehydrate him and send him safely to your house! For $10, it comes with 3 Tbsp of Fernandough flakes, directions for how to revive him, some of my favorite recipes….and a whole lotta love. You can contact me at kristis.kitchen5@gmail.com or on any of my social media accounts. My social media links are here —–> Facebook or Instagram.