Big Fish on Tenkara Fly Rods

I hear people say all the time that “Tenkara fly rods are just for small fish”, I would have to disagree. There are some very super light weight rods that might not strong enough for large trout trout on a regular basis (such as Tenkara-Fishing rods, which I have one of and like on small rivers and have a very high sensitivity) but there are rods out there that can handle large trout on a regular basis. You might even be surprised how well a Tenkara rod handles and controls big trout.

This year I have caught a 20 inch rainbow and a 19 inch rainbow trout and my rod has handled them very easily.

big-fish-Springfield

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I am also getting much better at tying Tenkara flies also, here are some of my most recent creations:

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Fishing Tight Spots with Tenkara

One of the things that I think makes Tenkara a great fishing setup for survivalists is how it can easily fish tight spots, even 2 foot wide streams if needed, with a lot of control. That and the fact that it is super light weight, compacts down, and simple. Here is a video, from one of my recent fish outings, of a tight spot I was fishing and easily cast right to where I thought the fish were (caught the fish on only the second cast, and had a bit on the first cast).

Most Tenkara flies are really simple and they work great but with a little added detail the flies can work even better. I am still newer at tying my own flies and I am getting better but my friend at MoonlitFlyFishing.com shares some of his wonderful creations with me from time to time and they are great. Check out some of the flies he gave me the other day, I can’t wait to try them out.

Tenkara Fly Coachman style Kebari

Tenkara Fly

Tenkara Fly

My New Humidifier

I have owned many humidifiers in the past purchased from the big box stores and they have always been loud or not effective enough. Many of these humidifiers didn’t last long either, always had issues. I decided last winter that we needed to get a nice humidifier with more options. I had to wait a while to buy one because we had other needs for our money.

I was leaning toward the Humio Cool Mist Humidifier but the guys at Kitchen Kneads showed me the new Blue Rose Humidifier, and it was awesome for less. After seeing the Blue Rose in action, we decided to buy it. Kitchen Kneads sells both the Humio and Blue Rose Humidifiers if you are interested in either of them.

Blue Rose Ultrasonic Humidifier with cool mist

The Blue Rose Humidifier is also a cool mist humidifier, like the Humio, that uses ultrasonic technology to create the mist. This method takes very little power when compared to the warm mist humidifier, like the VICKS brand has, and other types of humidifiers.

Wide range of humidity settingsWhat impressed me the most about the Blue Rose is the wide range of humidity settings it has. Some humidifiers have these setting but they usually don’t work that well. The Blue Rose’s setting go from barely running to pumping out so much vapor that it looks like it is smoking big time, plus it does every setting in-between.

In the summer, we run the fan on our central air all the time to rotate the cool air from the basement to our main flour. Having the fan running continually seems to dry out the air so we decided to turn on the humidifier during the hot months also to keep our air from drying out. The Blue Rose is super quiet, even quieter than the Humio, so I don’t mind that it is running most of the time.

I really like that it doesn’t have any filters to change as these cost money and can mold. It is recommended, but not required, that you use distilled water in the Blue Rose Humidifier. I am currently using tap water but I plan on getting some distilled water to use for it instead.

whick-combo-packMy wife has recently gotten involved with essential oils with a near by neighbor and they seem to really help our son who has autism. The Blue Rose has a bottle with a wick, that inserts into the bottom of the humidifier, that you can add scented oils to. The Blue Rose pushes those scents into the air giving you the benefits of breathing them in and feeling better. This seems to work quite well. If you are considering using essential oils I think you will be happy with them.

The Blue Rose also has a mood light, which probably works better in the white model, that I find works well at night and late evening. The mood light is not that noticeable during the day but my kids still sit there and stare at it while it rotates colors.

I am very happy with the Blue Rose humidifier and I find that I use it more than our humidifiers of the past. I am sure that you couldn’t go wrong with the Humio humidifier either if that is the route you decide to go.

** Disclosure: I did receive a discount on the Blue Rose Humidifier for doing some product photos for Kitchen Kneads, such as the photos in this article. **

UPDATE January 13th 2014: We have been using this humidifier constantly this winter as we have had to kick the heater on. We keep it running 24 hours a day for the past 2 1/2 months and it is still running like a champ. We use the essential oil ONGAURD in this humidifier with the oil bottles and wicks, I would have to say that it has helped to keep our kids from being sick as much, and when they get sick they get over it much faster. I recently bought a second humidifier to go in our basement to help us cover the whole house. My in-laws also purchased 2 of these humidifiers for their home. Since we run the humidifier 24 hours a day, the auto shut off feature has been very nice; It has a red light that also signals that it ran out of water to help remind me to refill it. I am still loving this humidifier and highly recommend it to anyone.

Started Taking Coconut Oil Everyday

cold pressed coconut oilLast year, I started to stock up on coconut oil in my food storage because it keeps well for several years in its solid state (below 76 degrees). I started using my coconut oil in my cooking and baking to get a feel for how it works. One of the other reasons I stocked up on coconut oil is that many say it has incredible healing and health boosting abilities. I don’t always believe everything I read but I decided to put it to the test in my own life.

I started by taking 1 tablespoon all by itself right before I ate breakfast for one month. I then increased my dosage to 1 tablespoon before dinner also, that is a total of 2 tablespoons a day. I have been doing the 2 tablespoons a day routine for the past 3 months and it has improved my life.

Here is what I noticed it did for me:

  • Less headaches (and less severe when I actually do get one).
  • Easier to focus and remember things.
  • More energy throughout the day.
  • It seemed to curve my appetite so I don’t feel like pigging out every meal.
  • I lost about 10 pounds, I didn’t really need to loose 10 pounds but I didn’t mind.
  • Significantly less acne break outs, in-fact I hardly had any.

These were just some of the things I was able to notice it did for me. I hardly ever visit the doctor so I can’t tell you “medically speaking” how it has effected me but I feel great. I would highly recommend adding coconut oil to your food storage and your daily intake.

Type of Coconut Oil to Get:
Cold Pressed (check the back label), un-refined, organic, and virgin coconut oil.

I’m New to Tenkara Fishing, and I Love IT

My friend, Brandon Moon from Moonlitflyfishing.com, traded me a Tenkara fly fishing setup for some work I did for him. I have been out fishing 3 times now and it is so easy to learn and start catching fish. Recently I was at the local gravel pond just practicing with the Tenkara pole and I caught just under 20 fish in a short amount of time, I’m sure the other fisherman there were cussing under their breath every time I pulled one in. I need to take my camera next time.

I have always wanted to fly fish but have not had the money to get the gear or the time to develop the technique. A Tenkara rod costs a fraction of the price of a fly fishing rod plus it doesn’t have a reel to buy. The line ties to the end of the pole and to bring a fish in you just pull the rod behind you and grab the lined and yank it in. I never knew how much fun I was missing not fishing with flies, it is such a blast.

Tenkara fly fishing setup is perfect for a bug out bag because it collapses to 1 1/2 foot thin pole and the line and flies take up very little space. Plus, it seriously works great and is easy to use even in small creeks you might hike into.

some videos you might enjoy:

Now that I have had a some fun using Tenkara fishing, I really look forward to taking my daughter to catch some fish. I also want to take my scouts out for a fun day of fishing but I think I need another pole or 2 for them to share before I do.

UPDATE: I went Tenkara fishing at the pond 2 more times before I got a chance to publish this post and thought I would add a bit more here at the end. Saturday morning I went with Brandon Moon, who got me set up to Tenkara fly fish, and I caught 7 trout. I also went this morning, Monday, and caught 22 trout by 10am, I definitely out fished everyone else there combined. This just goes to show that Tenkara works on still water as well as streams, creeks, and rivers. I do look forward to fishing Tenkara on the river again though, I am officially addicted to Tenkara fly fishing now.

 

Spinach Artichoke Kamut Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with KAMUT Crust

Pizza Dough Rolled Out

Pizza Dough Rolled Out

Half-Baked Pizza Dough Topped

Half-Baked Dough Topped

One thing that I really enjoy using for pizza dough is KAMUT flour, it adds such a great taste. I commonly use a half KAMUT half white flour combo for a light textured crust with the wonderful flavor of KAMUT.

I could probably pull off a 100% KAMUT crust but I am not a purest and I like this recipe better right now. I based my recipe off of whole wheat pizza recipe I found from Donna Miller that I have been using for about a year now. I have altered this recipe several times now but the recipe below is what I like most.

KAMUT Pizza Crust

When I buy pizza, I really like Papa John’s Spinach Alfredo Pizza with bacon, spinach is a great pizza ingredient. Recently I found this recipe for Spinach Artichoke pizza that has just become my new favorite toppings. Combine the Spinach Artichoke with homemade KAMUT pizza crust and I am loving life, and so is whoever we invite over to share it with us.

On with the recipes…

Kamut Pizza Dough
 
Makes 2 large thick pizza crusts.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups hot tap water
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups KAMUT flour (freshly milled)
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • ½ teaspoon yeast
Instructions
  1. Start the night before and bake the next day for lunch or dinner.
  2. Add all ingredients into the mixer except for the all-purpose white flour and yeast.
  3. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the all-purpose what flour to mixer bowl and add yeast on top of the flour.
  5. Mix on medium speed for 3½ minutes, add a little more flour if you feel it is needed.
  6. Remove dough from mixer and place in a greased bowl that is 3 times the size of the dough.
  7. Cover bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let rise over night.
  8. The next morning, dust the counter top with some flour and dump the dough out onto the floured surface.
  9. Divide the dough in half.
  10. Form each piece into a ball by pushing the edges into the bottom center of the dough until the top is a smooth round shape.
  11. pinch the bottom together and place each dough ball into a separate zip-lock bag with some air in each bag.
  12. Placed bagged dough in the fridge for use later, at least 30 minutes.
  13. Remove dough from fridge and roll each out onto a piece of parchment paper, leaving the edge a little thicker than the rest.
  14. Place pizza stone in oven and pre-heat to 425 degrees.
  15. Let oven pre-heat for 30 minutes.
  16. Transfer parchment paper with rolled out dough into the oven (flat cookie sheet works well for this) and bake for 4 minutes, then remove from oven. Repeat this step for 2nd pizza dough.
  17. Top half-baked pizza crust with sauce, toppings and cheese.
  18. Bake for 8-12 more minutes, until bottom of crust is well browned but not burnt.

 
Spinach Artichoke Pizza Toppings
 
This makes enough sauce for about 2 large pizzas.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • ¾ cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons granular Parmesan, the stuff in the can (or use more Parmesan cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach leaves, chopped smaller
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and dried and chopped into 8ths
  • Dash Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • About 1½ cups mozzarella cheese to top pizza
Instructions
  1. Add butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese to a sauce pan and stir over low heat until fully melted.
  2. Add grated and granular Parmesan cheese to sauce pan.
  3. Stir together and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook spinach with 2 tablespoons water over medium low heat until wilted.
  5. Drain spinach and squeeze spinach dry in a few paper towels.
  6. Add spinach to sauce and stir well.
  7. Spread sauce over pizza crust and top with mozzarella cheese and artichoke.

 

Spinach artichoke pizza topping compliments whole wheat pizza crust quite well also, or any other pizza crust you want to put it on.

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Chocolate Pancakes using Spelt Four

Chocolate Spelt Pancakes

Comfort foods can help lighten our minds of the troubles we might go through if we ever had to use our food storage to get by. One thing my wife is addicted to, and most other women, is chocolate anything. Having this in mind, I decided to work up a chocolate pancake recipe for the current WonderMill Challenge that I am participating in (which I hope to get some cash from). I found a chocolate whole wheat pancake recipe on Food+Fun=Life blog that looked delicious.

After trying her recipe, I decided to make some I made some big changes. I added an egg, used spelt flour (freshly milled at a fine setting), and used a baking powder / baking soda combination instead of 4 teaspoons baking powder. I really liked the taste and texture that I got and I think the spelt flour tastes better than whole wheat flour with chocolate, plus spelt is better for you.

These pancakes disappeared super quick and are now our family favorite, it tastes a bit like chocolate cake. We have been topping them with a vanilla sauce found at the Food+Fun=Life blog, she also has a peanut butter sauce there that I would like to try also. Here is my pancake recipe below.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spelt Chocolate Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Makes about 12 small pancakes.
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat electric griddle to 375 degrees..
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  3. Add all wet ingredients to a 2nd mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add dry ingredient mix to wet ingredient mixing bowl and whisk till it just comes together.
  5. Lightly spray your hot griddle with cooking spray.
  6. Use a ¼ measuring cup to scoop the pancake batter onto the griddle.
  7. I cook my pancakes 1 minute 45 seconds on the first side and 2 minutes 15 seconds on the second side for perfect pancakes, this may vary on your griddle.

 

Chocolate-Pancakes-frosted

The photographs are courtesy of my wife, she is a great photographer.

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Whole Grain Spelt Chocolate Pancakes

No Yeast? No Problem! (+ Pizza)

sourdough starter

I have been seeing “sourdough” quite a bit lately on some of the food blogs I check up on. There are supposedly several benefits to using sourdough (aka natural yeast) rather than commercial yeast, I won’t get into these benefits but you can research them for yourself. Seeing all these sourdough posts got me thinking, WHAT IF I RAN OUT OF YEAST? What if I could not get any more yeast? What would I do? The answer is simple, I can capture my own wild yeast by creating a sourdough starter.

There are many sourdough starter methods out there but I found a simple one that just uses water and flour. You just mix flour with water, let it sit for 12 hours and feed it flour and water again. You keep feeding it flour and water every 12 hours and about 3 days in your starter will start getting bubbles in it, this is captured wild yeast. The method I used was from ebook “Sourdough from A to Z” which is similar the process in this video (click for video) but the ebook is much better in my opinion.

I decided I had to try this in-case I needed to do it. I used freshly ground whole wheat flour from my WonderMill grain mill and in about a week I had an active sourdough starter. The process was simple, the hard part was remembering to feed it every 12 hours or so. I also found that if you keep your sourdough well fed, it will not have a sour taste.

Our Little Pizza Princess

Our Little Pizza Princess

Last night, I added half of the starter to a pizza dough recipe I have used in the past. It took a little guessing to adjust the flour and water of the recipe for the addition of my sourdough starter since it was not a sourdough recipe. I let the dough rise overnight and baked pizza for lunch the next day. It worked wonderfully and tasted great.

I am definitely going to keep my sourdough starter going and use it in some other recipes for fun. The topping for this pizza was probably the best I have tried yet, Spinach Artichoke with a homemade sauce. I’ve mentioned before that I am an artichoke lover, and I am always on the lookout for a new artichoke recipe.

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

Several items I used in this post are things I store in my food storage such as canned artichoke, whole wheat, water, and shredded cheese. We have also started a vegetable garden this year and our spinach is already starting to grow. Just trying to keep true to “storing what I eat and eating what I store”.

And if you ever run out of yeast you now know you can capture your own. I suggest you give it a try and become familiar to the way mankind did before commercial yeast was available.

I also shared this post on Bake Your Own Bread linkup.

Artichoke Pasta Salad

Artichoke Pasta Salad

Artichoke is something I have fallen in love with ever since I ate at a local Greek restaurant. Ever since then I look for something with artichoke on the menu of restaurants. I recently started to look into canned artichoke in my kitchen and have been having a lot of fun, one day I plan on getting daring and use fresh artichoke. Canned artichoke keeps for about a year, a good item to store if you can rotate it into your regular recipes.

My wife used to make pasta salad from a box quite a bit, which tastes fine but it is nothing compared to this pasta salad. Needless to say, we don’t buy boxed pasta salads anymore. We make it fresh and we make enough to use for a couple days.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Artichoke Pasta Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups uncooked bow-tie pasta (or other pasta)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 2 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 3 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 1 small onion (red or yellow), diced
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • (optional) 1 Avocado diced
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, artichokes, avocado, olives, pepperoni, onion, Parmesan cheese, green pepper, and Italian dressing.
  3. Stir until well mixed.
  4. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water until pasta is chilled.
  5. Add chilled pasta to mixing bowl and toss together.
  6. Serve right away or cover and chill in the fridge till ready. I think it tastes better when it has chilled in the fridge for 30+ minutes, it seems to marinate a bit.

 

I usually use store bought Italian dressing because it is so cheap but you can even make your own Italian dressing dry mix if you want to store it long term. I make sure I have the spices and dry herbs to make the dry mix and put the recipe in my collection if I end up needing it.

Dry pasta is also a great item to have in your food storage, if stored properly it will keep for a really long time. I buy it in regular size packages and stuff the packages into a sealed 5 gallon bucket. Pasta does not have hardly any nutritional value, like white flour, but it is great for adding variety to your meals and it is easy to cook. My favorite pasta to use is the bow-tie pasta, it seems to be the easiest pasta for my toddler to eat by herself.

I store quite a bit of shredded cheese in my freezer which will keep it good for about 6 months or so, I haven’t fully tested this yet. I buy huge bags of shredded cheese at Costco and divide it up in freezer bags for convenience.

Onions and green pepper, as well as other vegetables you could substitute into this recipe, are easy to grow in your own garden. We started our first vegetable garden at our new house this year, hope all grows well. Even though onions and green peppers are cheap to buy I think it is a good thing for any prepper to grown there own.

Artichoke Pasta Salad

Spelt Wheat

Spelt Wheat

One of my goals in my food storage is to have, and learn to use, a wide variety of different whole grains in my food storage. I now have a few 5 gallon buckets of Spelt Wheat and baked quite a few recipes with it. So far I have found spelt wheat to work great for pancakes and cookies and I hope to explore some new foods this spring and summer with it.

Spelt is much lower in gluten than whole wheat and also much higher in protein and other nutrients. It is considered an ancient grain like KAMUT but it has a has quite a different taste and grinds up much finer than KAMUT wheat. Spelt wheat will store 30+ in good conditions, just like whole wheat.

Because spelt is lower in gluten than whole wheat it can be tougher to use for making yeast breads by itself, loaves may come out much denser than normal. The plus side to being lower in gluten is that spelt is easier on your tummy and many people who are gluten intolerant can eat spelt with out the side effects they get from other wheat products.

Spelt not only works great in non-yeast-ed baked goods by itself but it is also a great wheat to combine with other whole grain flours. Chef Brad created a whole grain flour mix called WonderFlour to replace all-purpose flour in most recipes. He sells pre-packaged WonderFlour but you can also make your own with a good grain mill, click here to see the video for making WonderFlour. I found out about WonderFlour while taking the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge and it was fun to play with.

Spelt Recipes to Try:

Spelt Pancakes

Spelt Pancakes

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Grain Peach Pancakes

Whole Grain Peach Pancakes

Spelt Gingerbread Pancakes

Spelt Gingerbread Pancakes

Ricotta Spelt Waffles

Ricotta Spelt Waffles