Really Good Raisin Bread


originally published 4/13/2011, adapted from Zojirushi BB-CEC20 instruction manual.  revised 2/24/19 with excellent refinements from the Kitch’n recipe (thanks Uncle Mark!).

yield: 2 pound loaf

1 1/3 cups water
2 cups (240 g) bread flour
1 1/4 cups (150 g) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons dry milk
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup raisins
egg wash:
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
cinnamon sugar:
1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Add all ingredients except raisins, egg wash and filling to bread machine per manufacturer’s instructions. Select dough setting. At the add-in beep, add the raisins. After rise, remove dough from bread machine and roll out to a rectangle about 9 x 15. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Roll up tightly, turning ends under. Place in greased loaf pan (note to self: do not use Dansk pan!) and let rise in a warm place until almost double. (I balance the pan in the bread machine and close the lid.) Bake at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes, loosely tenting with foil after 15-20 minutes if needed to keep the top crust from getting too dark. Remove from oven, leave in pan for about 15 minutes if you like a softer bottom and side crust. Cool completely on a wire rack.


Published in: on February 24, 2019 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just for fun: Disneyland & California Adventure Food Reviews

Grand Californian Hotel Storyteller Cafe Character Brunch
Can be a madhouse but lots of fun for kids and those who like to see the characters.  The lines can be long but the food variety and quality are good.

California Adventure:  Flo’s V-9 Cafe
Fin-Tastic Tuna Sandwich has onions mixed into the tuna which my son didn’t care for but I enjoyed it.

Ramone’s Low & Slow Club was tasty.

Sean enjoyed Flo’s Famous Fried Chicken.

California Adventure:  Pacific Wharf Cafe
Anna enjoyed her Loaded Baked Potato Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Turkey Pesto Club sandwich was great, and the sourdough bread was so fresh and delicious.

Order ahead on the app!

California Adventure:  Ghirardelli Soda Fountain
Same delicious quality as the original in San Francisco. You can’t go wrong here!

Disneyland:  Hungry Bear Cafe
Crispy Fish Sandwich was fantastic.  The House Slaw’s main ingredient is kale, and it was great on the sandwich.  Choose fries for your side.

Order ahead on the app!

Disneyland:  Blue Bayou
We splurged on dinner and I was completely blown away by how good the food was.

Fried Calamari is our family’s favorite appetizer and this one, while not the best we’ve ever had, was quite good.  The addition of Hen of the Woods Mushrooms was delicious.

Sean and Sam enjoyed the Bone-in Ribeye.

The Surf & Turf (petite filet with cabernet sauce, split lobster tail, spicy potatoes au gratin and green beans and zucchini) was excellent.  I didn’t bother eating the potatoes, which were nothing special, but everything else was spot on.

Nearby:  Marri’s Pizza & Pasta
1194 W. Katella Avenue
Good pizza, friendly staff.


Published in: on February 24, 2019 at 7:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Favorite Podcasts

This American Life

99% Invisible

The Memory Palace




In the Dark


Published in: on February 9, 2019 at 11:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Easy Ramen

Serves 6

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 Tablespoon pressed garlic
5 cups chicken broth
5 cups water
6 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
12 oz. dry udon noodles
2 cups slivered kale leaves
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup shaved cooked chicken

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium low heat.  Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant.  Add the broth and mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles, kale, carrot and green onions and cook until noodles are done to your liking.  Stir well.  Use tongs to portion out noodles, scoop out broth with a ladle and pour over noodles.  Fan chicken slices over noodles and serve.

Published in: on February 6, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Poached Frozen Salmon Fillets


Add water/court bouillon to a large pan and simmer

Rinse seafood under COLD water to remove any ice glaze

Turn off the heat and add seafood to liquid, skin side down

Return heat to a simmer – liquid should simmer, not boil

Once simmering, cover pan tightly and cook 4 to 5 minutes

Turn off the heat and let the seafood rest 5 minutes

Remove from heat just as soon as seafood is opaque throughout

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lime Cake with Blueberry Filling

2  1/2-pint baskets blueberries
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spoon lightly and level off)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 eggs at room temperature
1 1/3 cups lowfat buttermilk
zest of two limes

1 stick salted butter, softened
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one lime
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
3  1/2 cups powdered sugar, run through a sieve, 1 cup at a time
blueberry filling to reach desired color/flavor
up to 1 Tablespoon milk, cream or buttermilk to reach desired consistency

For the filling:
Combine berries, sugar, and lime juice in a small heavy saucepan.  Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally and mashing berries coarsely with a fork, about 15 minutes.  Chill filling uncovered until cold, about 30 minutes, or overnight.

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place oven rack in the center position.

Spray two 9″ cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment circles.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Cream the butter, canola oil, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl.

Add the lime zest.  Alternate flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 stages each, mixing just until combined.  Scrape down the bowl.  Divide batter evenly between pans, tap pans firmly on the counter to remove air bubbles.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter on it (crumbs are okay).

Place cake in pans on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Turn out of pans and cool right side up on wire racks.

For the frosting:
Cream the butter until smooth.  Add the lime juice, lime zest and salt and beat thoroughly on low.  Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Add blueberry filling, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, as needed to achieve desired color.  Add more milk, cream or buttermilk, 1 teaspoon at a time, as needed to achieve a soft and spreadable consistency.

Assemble the cake:
Place one cake layer right side up on your cake stand or cake plate.  Spread half the frosting over the layer, letting it stick out past the edges a bit.  Spread the filling over the frosting. Place the second layer on top, right side up, centering it over the first layer.  Frost with the remaining frosting.

Store covered at cool room temperature for up to three days.  Refrigerate for longer storage.

Published in: on December 26, 2018 at 6:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Christmas 2018


Breakfast for 7:
grapefruit supremes (3 grapefruit)
hot chocolate (2 cups)
tangerine juice
scrambled eggs (3 no-salt, 12 regular)
turkey bacon (lower sodium than regular bacon)
chicken sausage links (4)
Morningstar Farms strips & links
breakfast potatoes (3 medium potatoes, made without salt)
wheat, white toast
buttermilk pancakes (single recipe)
Log Cabin
maple syrup tasting
cranberry applesauce muffins


Dinner for 5:
Onion Dip with potato chips (part with no salt)
Carrot Sticks

Spaghetti & Splendid Meatballs
– Sprouts Marinara with no added salt for mom
– Meatballs with no salt or cheese for mom

Blueberry Lime Cake
Homemade vanilla ice cream
Christmas cookies



Published in: on December 24, 2018 at 8:11 am  Comments (2)  

Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Dill

For Swedish Christmas Eve Smorgasbord

3 pounds white rose or Yukon Gold potatoes

3/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dill
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt

Place the potatoes in a big pot with enough water to cover by 1 inch.  Season with salt and bring to boil.  Cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain and return to the uncovered pot, off the heat, to remove excess water.  Let them sit until almost room temperature.  In a large bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust as needed.  When the potatoes are cool enough to handle easily, peel them and cut into 1/2″ dice, adding them to the bowl as you go.  Stir gently with a large rubber spatula to combine.

Published in: on December 24, 2018 at 7:07 am  Comments (3)  

Headache Relief Roller

10 drops peppermint
10 drops eucalyptus
10 drops lavender
20 drops rosemary
top off with fractionated coconut oil

Published in: on December 22, 2018 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bulghur Salad with Corn, Zucchini, and Shredded Basil

From Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

Serves 4 as a main course

1.5 cups coarse-grain red bulghur
1.5 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup small-diced tomato
1 cup very thinly sliced zucchini rounds, cut into sixths (I cut the zucchini into sixths lengthwise and then bunched the pieces together and sliced thinly)
3 Tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
1/4 cup thinly slivered red onion
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
lettuce leaves, for garnish

Place the bughur in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over it to cover by 2 inches. Let soak 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove all of the soaking liquid by placing the bulghur, in batches, in cheesecloth or a cotton towel and squeezing it dry.  Or place it in a strainer and press out the liquid with the back of a large spoon.  (I used this method.)  Place the strained bulghur in a large serving bowl.

Stir in the corn, tomato, zucchini, basic and onion.  In a separate bowl, beat together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour it over the salad and mix well.  Let sit 30 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 24 hours, then bring to room temperature before serving.  Place lettuce leaves on individual plates and spoon the salad on top.

Published in: on October 27, 2018 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment