Family Centered Kitchen

{Family Centered Kitchen} | Sourdough for Breakfast

One of our family favourite dishes is sourdough pancakes.  Several years ago, I made my first batch of sourdough starter and was swiftly overrun.  I wasn’t, at that time, using as much bread as we do now.  Our family has expanded two-fold and grown older, with larger appetites.  In fact, I may have trouble keeping enough starter in the house now.

So if you are feeding a starter and haven’t anywhere to give away your extra, you can use your glut of starter to make a batch of the finest pancakes you will ever have the pleasure to eat.  And what is really neat is that YOUR sourdough will taste different to mine because our wild yeast strains are different.  There may also be seasonal differences in your yeast as most strains go dormant in winter, leaving fewer to grow.  And the more you bake, ferment, and soak whole, fresh foods, the more you build up the yeasts living inside your home.  When we first started, we had very little wild yeast and now the starter fairly comes alive as soon as we start mixing.

{Family Centered Kitchen} | Sourdough Breakfast

Sourdough Pancakes:

  • 1 c. of sourdough starter
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 ½ c. of flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of salt

Leave your starter out overnight for best results.  Alternately, take your starter out and allow it to come up to room temp.  Mix ingredients together and let sit for 10 minutes or more.  Drop onto a hot, oiled or buttered griddle and flip wen bubbles pop on the surface.  Serve with real maple syrup, molasses, honey, or jam.  Or serve with warm, stewed fruits.  Makes approximately 30 pancakes.

This afternoon, we will also be trying our hands at making sourdough bagels.  I’ll post a recipe if they turn out.

I’m looking forward to what sourdough will be like on the farm!

Sourdough starter instructions here.


Smoothie O’ the Day:: Apples and Oranges

Since the discovery that my sugar is a bit wonky, I have, at the advice of my most excellent midwife and second mother, taken to snacking in between {much smaller} meals.  This has proved a perfect opportunity to play with smoothies again. 🙂  You can do the same, or add this to your repertoire for a juice fast.  It is thick, creamy and delicious.  And it utilizes my two fave juicing/smoothie ingredients – avocado and Granny Smith apples.  Avocado is amazing for waking up the brain.  Never fails.

{Fit in 40} | Apples and Oranges Smoothie

Apples and Oranges Smoothie::

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 oranges (Valencias are perfect), peel one
  • 5 carrots
  • 2 avocados

Juice the apples, oranges and carrots.  Scoop the avocados into the blender with the juice and liquify.  Serve with an orange wedge.  Enjoy! Makes about one quart of smoothie goodness.



What’s on the menu this week::

As part of my return to a more organized way of life, I am keeping to a strict menu and shopping list.  It also helps me keep a lid on the grocery budget.  Many of the dishes can be made ahead and stored for meals during the week – if I were feeling inclined to marathon cooking.  But at 29 weeks pregnant, I am not.  The menu includes luncheons and dinners as well as a good selection of meatless meals so that we have plenty of Friday options.  It also leaves a little wiggle room to add to another meal if we should have extra friends at table.

Let me know in the comments below if you want recipes for anything you see, and I will post it here.

  • Green onion, feta turkey patties, salad
  • Beef Roast in red wine, buttered noodles, veg
  • Butternut squash risotto, salad
  • Kielbasa and cabbage
  • Pierogi and ham
  • Roasted chicken, red potates, veg
  • Meatloaf, mash and veg
  • Shepherds pie, veg
  • Hake, rice and salad
  • Eggplant parmesan, salad, bread
  • Elbows and sauce
  • Gandules con arroz
  • Fajitas
  • Tomato soup, grilled cheese
  • Black beans and rice
  • Baked macaroni and cheese, salad

Desserts and sweet treats will include chocolate cream pie, wacky cake, and some type of cookie.  We also have a Safari themed birthday coming up in the next week with its own special menu!

Now, if I can just get myself to bake a couple of loaves of bread this week…

What’s on your menu?



Farewell Dinner to 2012






No big excitement here at Chez Gadbois this {or any} New Year’s Eve.  Just a quiet dinner at home with our children.


The Menu:

Spiced Plum Glazed Pork Chops*

Long Grain and Wild Rice

Wilted Spinach with Garlic

French Carrot Salad

Bread Pudding with double cream*

Celebrating Every Day | New Year's Eve Dinner


Spiced Plum Glazed Pork Chops

  • 8 pork chops (pastured pork is nicest, boneless chops or pork medallions are also lovely)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • seasoned flour (GF AP flour works beautifully, as does potato starch)
  • 1 c. white or rosé wine
  • 1 pt. plum vanilla preserves
  • 1-2 T. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • oil and/or butter for browning and sautéeing

Sauté onions in a hot skillet until caramelized.  Remove to a bowl.  Dredge chops in seasoned flour and brown them in batches, adding more fat, if needed.  Return onions to the skillet, add  the remaining ingredients and return chops to the skillet.  Add water, if needed.  Liquid should come about halfway up the meat.  Bring liquid to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Arrange chops or pork medallions on a platter and ladle sauce over the top.  Garnish with fresh herbs if you’re feeling fancy. 🙂

Celebrating Every Day | New Year's Eve Dinner


Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf good, day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 qt whole milk or half-and-half
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. whiskey (or rum)
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1 1/2 c apples, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted

Heat whiskey and add raisins, allow to sit while mixing the rest of the pudding.  You can also allow them to plump overnight. Combine milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices in a large mixing bowl.  Add bread cubes, chopped apples, and plumped raisins (drain remaining liquor), allow to stand so that the bread can absorb the custard.  Brush melted butter over the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ pan, add pudding mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Serve with double (heavy) cream, hard sauce, or whipped cream.

If you haven’t any day-old bread, you can cube your bread and dry it out in a low oven before beginning.


Wishing you and yours a blessed 2013!


Sparkle Days




Sunlight shines on crystals white,

Sparkling shards twinkle and wink

Shadows softly rest on pristine blanket

Sighs of wonder from child’s lips ~NRG


Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Gingerbread Pancakes

  • 4 c. flour (GF AP flour mix will work perfectly)
  • 2T baking powder
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. light cream, sour cream, or plain yoghurt
  • 4 T (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Add to the dry and mix well.  Fry on a hot oiled or buttered skillet until bubbles appear and break on the surface, flip and fry on the other side until golden brown.  Spread with softened butter and keep warm.  Makes about 24 pancakes.

For lighter, fluffier pancakes, separate the eggs.  Add the yolks only to the wet ingredients.  Whip the eggs whites until soft peaks form and fold into the batter.

You can also use a sourdough pancake recipe and add the spices.  Fantastic!

Serve with whipped cream, real maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


White Hot Chocolate

  • 4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 gal. whole milk
  • 4 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Over medium heat, combine cream and milk.  When the milk mixture is hot, add chocolate chips and stir constantly until melted.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and bean paste.  Garnish with a peppermint stick, cinnamon, or cocoa powder.  Serves 8 in large mugs, 16 in smaller cups, or our family once around. 🙂

For a lighter version, substitute light cream or half-and-half for the heavy cream.  For a grown-up-only version, add a splash of peppermint or cinnamon schnapps, or coffee or chocolate liqueur.


Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days


The first real snowfall of winter still holds something magical for me.  And seeing it through the eyes of my children makes my heart overflow.


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