Salsa Roja

Prep Time:               10 minutes

Cook Time:               15 minutes

Servings:          5 (serving size is ¼ cup) 



  • 1 Lbs Tomatoes
  • ½ Med White Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 Serrano Chiles
  • 8 sprigs Cilantro
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cumin   


Remove the seeds and veins from the chiles (Leave them in if you want a hotter salsa)

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, chiles and cilantro

Add the chopped vegetables, garlic and cumin to your blender (Do not add extra water unless needed and then add a couple tablespoons at a time)

Add ½ teaspoon salt

Blend the salsa until it has a coarse texture

Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan

Pour the blended salsa in the hot oil

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low

Simmer for 15 minutes

Adjust the salt if needed

Nutrition Facts

5 Servings

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories     81.6
  • Total Fat     6.0 g
  • Saturated Fat   0.9 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat   1.0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat   4.1 g
  • Cholesterol     0.0 mg
  • Sodium     243.3 mg
  • Potassium     301.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate    7.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber     1.6 g
  • Sugars       1.4 g
  • Protein      1.4 g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Sourdough Waffles

Prep Time:               8 hours

Cook Time:               10 minutes

Servings:          8 waffles



Overnight Sponge

  • 2 C Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 2 Tbs Sugar

  • 2 C Buttermilk

  • 1 C Sourdough Starter, unfed

Waffle Batter

  • 2 lrg Eggs

  • ¼ C Canola Oil

  • ¾ tsp Sea Salt

  • 1 tsp Baking Soda  


  1. To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk.

  1. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.

  1. In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.

  1. Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.

  1. Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Extra-Sourdough Bread

Prep Time:               24 hours          

Cook Time:               25 – 30 minutes

Servings:          10 Slices


  • 1 C                  “Fed” Sourdough Starter
  • 1 ½ C              Lukewarm Water, use more if needed to make a smooth dough
  • 5 C                 Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1Tbs              Sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp          Sea Salt
  • ½ – 5/8 tsp   Sour Salt (citric acid), optional, for extra-sour bread            


Combine the starter, water, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat vigorously for 1 minute. Cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight, for about 12 hours.

Add the remaining ingredients: 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and sour salt, if you’re using it. Knead to form a smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise in a covered bowl until it’s relaxed, smoothed out, and risen. Depending on the vigor of your starter, it may become REALLY puffy; or it may just rise a bit. This can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.

Understand this: sourdough bread (especially sourdough without added yeast) is as much art as science; everyone’s timetable will be different. So please allow yourself to go with the flow, and not treat this as an exact, to-the-minute process. Gently divide the dough in half. Gently shape the dough into two oval loaves, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 2 to 4 hours. The longer you let it rise the more tangy the bread becomes.Don’t worry if the loaves spread more than they rise; they’ll pick up once they hit the oven’s heat.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray the loaves with lukewarm water. Make two fairly deep horizontal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here. Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s a very deep golden brown. With 5 minutes remaining, brush the top with melted butter. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Chunky Sweet Garden Marinara Sauce




Prep Time:               1.5 hour

Cook Time:               2.5 hours

Servings:          4+ quarts



  • 8 lbs Fresh Tomatoes, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 2 med Yellow Onions, diced
  • 1 med Red Onion, diced
  • 10 clove Garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 C Tomato Paste, to taste*
  • 1 C Red Wine, See Tips **
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • ¼ C Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • ¼ C Fresh Basil, chopped
  • ¼ C Lavender, chopped
  • ¼ C Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ C Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Thyme, optional
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Chives, chopped
  • 1 Tbs Ground Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 med Zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 Celery Ribs, sliced
  • 3 large Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbs Sea Salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Parsley, chopped                      




Preheat oven to 350˚

This is a sweet sauce with an earthy flavor. It does not need any extra sugar. You can spice up to your own desires. Lynda and I like to leave it sweet and contrast the flavor with spicy meat when we serve it. You can also thicken the sauce with tomato paste.

Give the tomatoes a cool bath in the kitchen sink, core and then crowded them onto two cookie sheets, popped them into a 350˚ F oven and bake them for about 45 – 60 minutes. Skins just beginning to split, they were soft and juicy. DO NOT turn the oven off, you will be using it later. After letting them cool a bit, quickly peeled them and pulsed them in the food processor in batches, being careful to leave enough chunks to add texture to my sauce. *** There will be liquid left over in the pan from roasting the tomatoes. You can reserve to use to thin the sauce – my experience is that you will not need it *** Roasting the tomatoes gives this satiny sauce depth of flavor and natural sweetness.

In a large Dutch Oven sauté yellow onion and ½ of the garlic in oil and butter, over medium heat, until softened. Add tomatoes, ½ the garlic, red onion, wine, the herbs and spices, salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.

Transfer full Dutch Oven to the preheated 350˚ oven cook for 2 hours, until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is deep red. Add parsley and simmer for 20 minutes more.

Serve over pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese. You can also add your browned meat to the sauce, if you desire.

**If you are not going to use the entire recipe for the evening meal, fill 4 quart canning jars, there will be enough for 4 servings left over, then proceed to the canning process.




  • Fresh Romas are ideal cooking tomatoes as they’re fleshy, thick-walled and contain fewer seeds. However, any tomato can be used as long as it’s ripe and flavorful.
  • Choose ripe tomatoes. Leave the green ones to ripen on the windowsill.
  • If tomatoes are very seedy, squeeze out most of seeds before blending and compensate by adding an extra pound of tomatoes to the pot.
  • Don’t be afraid to cook with anchovies. The hairy little fish will melt away without a trace and give your sauce amazing flavor.
  • **Substitute chicken broth or water for the red wine in the recipe.
  • Use fresh or dried basil and oregano.
  • If your tomatoes are very acidic, try oven roasting the onions to sweeten the sauce even more. Ground beef or pork, browned and added to the sauce, will also help round out flavors.
  • Since tomatoes vary in sweetness, it’s important to taste the sauce as it simmers. After about an hour, the sauce will reduce and you can begin to sample it. Add more tomato paste for rich flavor and deeper color, more liquid if sauce is too thick, sugar if too sour or bitter. Add more herbs and spices according to preference.
  • Simmer sauce for at least two hours, if possible. Make the sauce a day or two in advance and it will be even tastier once flavors marry.

Sourdough Pancakes


I made these this morning August 6, 2017. Lynda advised me that this recipe is going to replace our old standby, Buttermilk Pancakes. They are light and airy; with wonderful flavor. It is a must try for every kitchen.

Prep Time:               5 minutes

Cook Time:               10 minutes

Servings:          8 large pancakes



  • 2 C         Sourdough Starter, room temperature*

  • 2 Tbs     Sugar

  • 1             Egg

  • 4 Tbs     Olive Oil

  • ½ tsp     Sea Salt

  • 1 tsp      Baking Soda

  • 1 Tbs     Warm Water      


In a large bowl, add sourdough starter, sugar, egg, olive oil, and salt; mix well; set aside.

In a small bowl, dilute 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 tablespoon of warm water; set aside until ready to bake your pancakes.

Important When Making Sourdough Pancakes :

Only add the baking soda/water mixture to the pancake batter just before you are ready to cook the pancakes.  Make certain everything is ready to go, the griddle hot, so the sourdough can be cooked while the air is still working in the batter.  This will produce light sourdough pancakes that melt in your mouth.

When ready to cook your sourdough pancakes, fold the baking soda/water mixture gently into the prepared pancake batter (do not beat).  This will cause a gentle foaming and rising action in the batter.  Let the mixture bubble and foam a minute or two before using.

Heat up a lightly-greased griddle (I like to use my cast-iron skillet griddle) until fairly hot; then pour the sourdough pancake batter onto the griddle.  For each pancake, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup sourdough pancake batter onto hot griddle.  I find that using my soup ladle makes the perfect size pancakes.

If you do not presently have a sourdough starter, either make your own sourdough starter or purchase Packaged Sourdough Starter Mix by mail-order.  See our Blog for how to make your own starter. The night before using your sourdough starter, remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Then feed the starter with flour and water.  Let this sit eight (8) hours or preferably overnight.  It is now ready to use in your sourdough pancakes!  Learn how to feed and maintain your Sourdough Starter.

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Gluten — The Scapegoat

What happened to lead me to this revelation? I am a huge fan of Sourdough Bread; being that I grew up within 100 miles of San Francisco, CA. Well my sourdough starter died and I went on a quest on how to make my own starter. I visited many sites and reviewed many recipes. And, the recipe I used failed. So I went on further research and found that it was the ingredients I used and not the recipe: bleached flour and tap water. I found that our modern preparations for everything from flour, to bread and even the water we drink from the tap (due to additives to make it safe to drink) have caused a lot of food born allergies and intolerance. I found the best starter at Once I have successfully got my new starter completed, I will publish the recipe; because I am sure that there will be a few modifications along the way; as is my nature with the ART of cooking. This site lead me to an article at Mother Jones blog. This article at, was very enlightening. I felt it was worthwhile to re-blog it here.

****All credit for this article goes to Mother Jones Blog****

“Considering that you can now find gluten-free everything, from Bisquick to bagels, it seems remarkable that our national obsession with the wheat protein that gives bread its elasticity is only about a decade old. Doctors have long known about a relatively rare condition called celiac disease, in which gluten damages the small intestine. But in recent years, best-selling books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain have popularized the notion that gluten is the hidden culprit behind a host of hard-to-diagnose health problems, from indigestion to fatigue. Once you excise bread and other wheat products from your diet, the books claim, you’ll be on the path to everything from top mental performance to a svelte figure.’

‘The message has been quite lucrative, and not just for publishers. According to the market research firm Mintel, sales of foods labeled “gluten-free” surged 44 percent between 2011 and 2013, reaching an estimated $10.5 billion. TGI Friday’s now offers an entire menu to the category, complete with a burger served in a “gluten-sensitive bun.” Crave mac and cheese but avoiding gluten? Annie’s has you covered. Oreos? Boulder, Colorado-based Glutino offers a gluten-free knockoff (along with everything from breadcrumbs to Pop-Tart facsimiles).’

‘Yet people have been growing, grinding, leavening, and baking wheat since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago. It remains the globe’s most widely planted crop, serving as the main staple for a third of humanity. Is it really conceivable that it could have been slowly killing us all along?’

‘Wheat Belly‘s author, cardiologist William Davis, claims that modern agricultural breeding has changed the nature of gluten, turning it toxic. He argues that wheat varieties developed in the 1960s and ’70s introduced a novel protein called gliadin that has led to all manner of chronic problems, including obesity and diabetes. Yet Davis’ claims have been roundly criticized by grain scientists. For that matter, there’s no scientific consensus on how prevalent gluten sensitivity is, what triggers it, or even if it exists at all.’

‘Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder at Washington State University, suspects that we’ve been scapegoating the grain when we should be blaming the oven. Before I explain why, let me make clear that Jones is no apologist for Big Wheat. Back in 2003, the industry-dominated Washington Grain Commission threatened to stop funding his program after he refused to work with genetically modified varieties owned by the agrichemical giant BASF. He eschews conventional breeding—which he believes is all about generating bland strains tailored to the needs of corporate producers—for his own method, which prioritizes flavor.’

‘Even so, Jones doesn’t buy the notion that the modern breeding he shuns is causing bad reactions to bread. “It’s not wheat itself,” he says, pointing to a 2013 study by the US Department of Agriculture that found “no evidence” of increasing levels of gluten in wheat over the decades. Rather, Jones believes that the true problem with bread is how we make it. In commercial bakeries, rising time has been winnowed from hours or even days down to mere minutes, thanks to fast-acting yeasts and additives. By contrast, the team in Jones’ laboratory, located in a rural stretch along Puget Sound, lets dough rise for as long as 12 hours—and they’ve found that the longer it rises, the less potent the gluten that remains in the finished bread.’

***In commercial bakeries, rising time has been winnowed from hours or even days down to mere minutes, thanks to fast-acting yeasts and additives.***

‘What’s more, Jones points out, commercial bakers add a lot of extra gluten to their products. Read the label on any supermarket sliced bread—especially a whole-wheat one—and you’ll likely find “vital wheat gluten” among the top four ingredients. Because whole-wheat flour has a lower gluten density than white flour, industrial bakeries add extra gluten to make the bread more elastic, like white bread.’

‘As whole-wheat bread has grown in popularity, so has vital wheat gluten use. US gluten imports—mostly from Australia, Canada, China, and Europe—more than doubled between 1997 and 2007, reaching 386 million pounds, and most of that went into baking. Donald Kasarda, a scientist with the USDA, estimates that our annual vital gluten intake per capita has tripled since 1977, from 0.3 pounds to 0.9 pounds—and Jones speculates that people who eat lots of commercially baked whole-wheat products may be getting more than their fair share.’

‘Jones’ conjecture—that modern baking, not modern breeding, is responsible for the mysterious rise in gluten-related troubles—has not been proved correct. But then again, neither has any other explanation. Jones plans to continue his research, but in the meantime, with a test population of one, I conducted my own experiments with Jones’ method. I had drifted away from bread in recent years; it made me feel uncomfortably full. But when I made slow-fermented whole-wheat bread with a sourdough starter from Jones’ lab, I felt great—as I do when I eat loaves made by the increasing number of bakeries that use traditional methods and shun additives. No offense, but that sure beats the gluten-free menu.”




For a number of reasons, I really prefer using sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast for baking bread, crackers, rolls, pizza, and other baked goods. Here are just a few of those reasons (I’ll have to write more on this later because there are many more reasons):


According to Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder at Washington State University, it’s not the gluten, it’s the way we make the bread that is causing all the gluten intolerance: source, see Mother Jones Blog Article above.


Wheat flour contains inulin and oligosaccharides, known as prebiotics. Prebiotics feed the probiotics, or good bacteria in your gut, and aid digestion. In addition to wheat, prebiotics are also found in breast milk, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, burdock root, asparagus, garlic, onion, leek, banana, wheat, barley and rye (gluten-containing grains) are excellent sources of food for the good bacteria in the intestinal tract.


Sourdough starter is much more efficient about fermenting the flour and breaking down the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. When you eat wheat, if the phytates are not properly broken down, the phytic acid blocks mineral absorption. Sourdough fermentation breaks down the phytic acid, and as a result, you


Sourdough fermentation makes bread more nutritious as it makes vitamins and minerals more bioavailable.


How to Make Sourdough Starter from Scratch

Easy Lemon Zest Cookies


Prep Time:               5 minutes.

Cook Time:               10 minutes

Servings:          1 dozen cookies



  • 1 Lemon Cake Mix (15.25 oz package with pudding in the mix)
  • 2 C Whipped Cream
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • ½ C Confectioners Sugar               




Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine cake mix, Cool Whip, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Stir until completely combined.

Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Use a cookie scoop to scoop cookie dough. Drop cookie dough into the powdered sugar and roll to thoroughly coat. Place on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for several minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container.