Okay guys we are really excited about this new thing we’ll be doing on the blog.    It’s EPIC (that’s a hint), get excited, because…

Chef Tess will be guest posting for us from time to time! 

For the lucky ones that were able to see and learn from her in Salt Lake during the Emergency Fair or if you’ve been to her classes in Chandler you know that she is AWESOME!  So without further ado, take it away Chef Tess!!

I am so very excited to be able to be a guest blogger with the Cookin’ Cousins! I have adored Honeyville for many years. When they approached me about trying some of the 4 grain cereal mix that would be coming out to the Honeyville retail stores in bulk bags and asked if I could come up with some delightful recipes I started to squeal. Yeah, that’s not normal. Just so you know. I may be a little too enthusiastic about grain. I’ve been accused of being somewhat of a grain geek. I prefer the term “master grain geek-o-glory” if you want to call me a geek to my face, at least make sure you add the “o-glory” phrase. At any rate. I bet you want to pick my giant grain er…um…brain. Let’s talk. Here’s what I’ve discovered in my chef-like play-fest in the kitchen about the 4 grain mix.

 Oats, Barley, Rye and Wheat are an amazing quartet of harmonizing rich nutty flavors in this cereal blend. I could just stop right there and ask my in-home barbershop quartet dressed as giant pieces of grain to start singing “Down By The Old Mill Stream”. However, I don’t think you’d really hear them.  Plus, if anyone rich and nutty is in my house singing I’m not typing…I’m squealing like a teenage girl and chasing them with a pen asking for an autograph. Now there’s a visual. I know. I shouldn’t run with a pen. Back to the  giant grain.

Honeyville 4 Grain Cereal Mix is a quick “rolled cereal” that can be used anywhere one would use quick oats but would like to add the nutrition of barley, rye and wheat as well. It has a mildly nutty flavor and lends itself nicely to sweet and savory baking. It’s also a wonderful addition to long term food storage. You may however find yourself so addicted to it’s nutty rich flavor that sings to your culinary soul, that you use it every day. 
Here’s how you can use it:

  •  It’s perfect for hot porridge and cold breakfast cereals like homemade granola.
  • Try it in apple and fruit crisp dishes. 
  • Replace 1/5th of flour in your favorite bread with the uncooked 4 grain cereal mix for a nice  chew and texture. 
  • It’s delightful in muffins and cookies.
  •  4 Grain cereal mix is also exceptional in meatloaf, meatballs and as a new delicious taste and texture in soups and stews.
Now. Admittedly the soup and stew idea may seem a little “far out there”. Am I right? Well…look.  It’s one of the most comforting and amazing soups I make. The secret is toasting the grain in a little oil in the first step. This makes the grain starches stick together and lend an almost meaty texture to the light broth. Plus, it’s loaded with happy dancing vegetables that also will sing to your soul. Oh have mercy when the grains and vegetables get together and sing. Nobody start running with pens.
Chef Tess’ 4 Grain soup

3 T butter or olive oil
1 onion, minced fine (about 3/4 cup)
1 carrot, minced
1 stock celery, minced
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 cup Honeyville 4 grain cereal mix
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp Chef Tess all purpose seasoning
1/2 tsp dry tarragon
3 T chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh spinach

Combine the butter, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and oats in a one gallon pot. Cook until grains are toasted and vegetables sweat, about 5 minutes. Add stock, seasoning, parsley and spinach. Simmer 3-4 minutes until grains are tender.
Serves four generous portions. The grains take on a nice nutty flavor and texture. I love it. 

Now, a more conventional recipe. 

Chef Tess Bakeresse’ Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snap-Crisp Mix

This is an apple crisp that’s loaded with whole grain nutrition, crunchy toasted nuts and a kiss of exotic spice with just a hint of lemon. It’s buttery and divine on fruit…but especially gorgeous on Apples! The apples are drizzled with a Honeyville jam and baked to a golden bubbly perfection! I must confess. I’ve made it with the Honeyville caramel honey sauce and almost passed out from total peace and happiness. It was probably a sin. I’m pretty sure hiding in the closet with the caramel honey sauce was something I should never admit to doing…wait…I…am not admitting anything…ever.
It’s Christmas time. Go crazy!   Give the Apple-snap-crisp mix in a baggie tied with rafia or funky ribbon and nestle it next to a jar of freeze dried apples and it makes an amazingly thoughtful and personal gift!  Do. I mean it. DO top that gorgeous sweet and nutty fruity confection with some caramel cashew ice cream…Ready? Go!

For the Crisp Mix combine well:
4 cups Honeyville 4 Grain cereal
2 cups brown sugar
1T Chef Tess Bakeresse Wise Woman of The East Spice Blend
1 tsp nutmeg (ground)
2 tsp ginger (ground)
2 cups toasted sliced almonds or chopped pistachio
1T dry lemon zest (or 2T Honeyville Lemonade Powder)
1T salt
Combine all ingredients. Divide into 2 1/2 cup portions in wide mouth pint jars or zip-sealing sandwich baggies (yield 4 mixes).
To prepare ONE crisp you will need:
4 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried apples (hydrated with 4 cups hot water 10 minutes and drained well)
1/2 cup Honeville Jam (any flavor)
Combine hydrated apples and jam and place in an 8 inch by 8 inch casserole.
Combine the Apple-ginger-snap crisp mix with 1/4 cup water. Mix until well crumbly. Spread over the top of the apples mixture.. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes until apples are tender.
Serve with ice cream if desired.
Gift Basket Idea:
In a basket or using an 8 inch by 8 inch pan as your gift box base:
1 crisp mix in a gift baggie tied with raffia
1 quart size mason jar with Freeze dried apples
1 jar Jam
Attach a gift tag with the following directions:
Combine Ginger-Apple-Snap Crisp mix with 1/3 cup water in a bowl. Pour 4 cups boiling water into the quart jar of apples. Allow to hydrate 10 minutes. Drain well. Pour apples into an 8in by 8 inch casserole and coat apples with ½ cup Honeyville jam. Top Apple Mixture with the crisp mixture. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream if desired.

Now. Here’s a killer variation. Prepare to be dazzled (insert mental picture Chef Tess making jazz hands and sportin’ a giant cheeeesy grin). No, I’m not going to tap dance. Stop asking. I will however show you this amazing piece of divinity. I made this crisp recipe (above) but used 1 cup of the Honeyville freeze dried blackberries in place of one of the cups of apple. Then I drizzled it with the Devil Sauce Honeyville Chocolate Buzz sauce. Yeah…it’s totally evil.

I probably shouldn’t have shown you that picture huh? You know what else? I shouldn’t type this small and unwittingly cause you to put your cute face so close to the computer screen so you can lick the picture. Right? Why are you reading this?!

Next I would like to bring to your attention the fact that you can use cereal as cereal. There’s a no-brainer. Seriously though. I know a lot of folks who spend way too much money on hot cereal packets. My very own darling father couldn’t figure out how his mother, my grandmother, could ever eat hot cereal for breakfast ever single day of her ever-lovin’-life. Yet she did. I say he couldn’t understand. He does now. I, Chef Tess, have officially pushed my father into the Land of Happy Porridge (It’s a real place I swear!). There are singing grains and dancing fruit…crazy chefs. I got my darling dad to start making these homemade gourmet instant cereal packets. Yes, and the 4 grain cereal mix has been the star! {More jazz hands.} Homemade packets aren’t brain surgery. Grain surgery maybe.  As a random side note, did you know that I teach grain surgery classes for Honeyville?  You know I’m getting a T-shirt made that says,”What’s a little grain surgery among friends?” It will hang in my closet next to my hot pink shirt that says, ” Use your Giant Grain!”  We need a grain fashion line. Do you think the grain quartet would sing for the commercials? I know they’re singing in my breakfast bowl!

Honestly though. I have some hearty eaters in my family who want whole grain breakfast with the added benefits of fiber! This is a sure fire way to add some nutrition and also have a quick grab-n-go breakfast! I put each of my cereal mixes in snack size zip-sealing baggies. Two baggies will fit in a pint jar for longer term storage. One serving stored in a half pint jar is perfect for when I want to have breakfast in a convenient container ready to add boiling water and enjoy! It’s like the “oatmeal on the go” canister…but it’s a lot more cost effective, nutritious and outstandingly tasty!

One plain packet you need:
1/3 Honeyville 4 Grain cereal mix
1T Honeyville Oat bran or Flax seed
To prepare: Add 1/2 Cup boiling water and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes. Use more or less water depending on how thick or thin you like you cereal.
Flavor-Add-In Variations for each plain packet
Berries and Bavarian-lemon cream 4 Grain cereal packets:
add 3T freeze dried berries of your choice (I crush them up a bit before I measure them)
To prepare the berries and cream cereal: add 2/3 cup boiling water and allow to sit for 3-4 min.
Spiced Peaches and Cream Cobbler 4 grain cereal Packets:
To Prepare the Spiced Peaches and Cream Cobbler Cereal: add 2/3 cups boiling water and let it sit for 3-4 minutes.
Maple-Cranberry Pecan 4 grain cereal Packet:
2T Honeyville dehydrated honey,
¼ tsp Mix-a-Meal powdered maple flavor,
3T chopped toasted pecans,
2T Honeyville dried cranberries
To Prepare: Add 1/2 cup boiling water and allow to sit 3-4 minutes.
Spiced vanilla-orange roll Oatmeal Packet:
1T Honeyville granulated honey
1/2 tsp dry orange zest (or 1/4 Mix-a-Meal powdered orange flavor)
To Prepare: Add 1/2 Cup boiling water and allow to sit 3-4 minute.
Banana-nut Bread 4 grain cereal packet:
3T Honeyville dehydrated honey
1 tsp Mix-a-Meal butterscotch powder
1T toasted chopped walnuts (optional)
To Prepare: Add 2/3 cup boiling water to contents and let sit 3-4 minutes.
Tropical White Chocolate Macadamia Nut 4 Grain Cereal Packet:
1T white chocolate chips
1 T chopped Macadamia nuts
To prepare: Add ½ cup boiling water to contents and let sit 3-4 minutes.

For my final magic trick recipe, I want to share something classic. Cookies for breakfast. I’m the coolest mom on earth times infinity-google-plex. My son said so.

I grew up with breakfast cookie-muffins! A cookie-muffin is basically a muffin top. It’s a muffin batter made using a little less liquid and a great low fat alternative to a traditional cookie! I must share the joy and convenience of these little love buttons. Mmmm. Love buttons. These are moist and chewy. They’re loaded with wholesome goodness and you’ll be the hero for making cookies for breakfast! We keep these in our cookie tin and the kids grab them as a snack. I don’t feel guilty serving these low fat goodies!
Chef Tess’ Jam-Filled 4 grain Buttermilk Cookie-Muffins
1 cup Honeyville buttermilk pancake mix
2 cups Honeyville 4 grain cereal
2 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup Honeyville dehydrated honey
2/3 cup water or reconstituted buttermilk powder
Honeyville jam or apple butter of your choice (amazing with choke cherry…you name it!)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Directions: Combine all ingredients except jam until just mixed. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick coating. scoop 1/3 cup cookie batter onto cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart in a mound. With your finger, hallow out a hole in the center, being careful not to go all the way through the dough. Dot a tsp or two of jam in the hole. Continue until all the piles of dough have a dot of jam in the middle. Bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown.

Well. That’s it. The singing grain quartet decided run out. I need to go pick them up. In my mind, I’m totally normal. Really. Thank you for joining me in Happy Porridge Land! 

Here is the link to the printable recipes for the apple crisp mix, gourmet hot cereal packets and the cookie-muffins. 

Attachment: 4graincerealmix.recipecards (1).pdf
Attachment: 4graincerealmix.recipes (4).pdf

There you go. “There you go” is Chef Tess code for…”Now it’s your turn! Go make something magnificent.” Seriously…why am I typing this so small? Hey. Are you really reading it? Wow…That’s nuts. I’m making a T-shirt for you that says, “I read all the fine print with my Giant Grain.” Ha! 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thanks Chef Tess for joining us on the blog today!  We can’t wait to try all of the deliciousness you just served up. The 4 Grain Cereal Mix is on sale in the retail stores (brick and mortar locations) until the December 17th and it comes in a 25 lb bag.  But don’t be afraid of the size–did you see all those fabulous things you can do with it? 

Happy Eating and Learning Everyone!