It's that time of year again! The kids are getting ready to head back to school, why not take a few courses yourself?  

I've just added a whole bunch of classes. In addition to  the usual ones-- like handmade soap, soy candles, sauerkraut, pickling and  kombucha-- I've added  2  brand new courses  that you've been asking for:
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First, there's  Sprouted Grain Bread.  Experienced whole meal  bread bakers who  want to go to the next level will love  this class. If you haven't yet taken my 100%  Whole Wheat Bread class, I highly recommend taking that one as an introduction before trying your hand at sprouted grains. I am teaching that intro class two times  before the  sprouted grain class happens on Sunday, Sept 18th.

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Second, there's my new Vegan Yogurt Making class. I've been experimenting with a few recipes to develop a yummy dairy-free yogurt. We'll try a couple in class, and we'll even make some home made muesli using fresh oats you'll roll in class.

Click  here   for course descriptions, dates, times  and registration.


Click  here  to see the classes in a calendar format. 

See you in class!
 
 

Countless workshops,  classes, and more!

We're finally installed in our new roost on Sunset Blvd, near Sunset Junction  in the heart of Silver Lake. It's a terrific spot-- a  warm and welcoming  environment with a teaching kitchen and creative workshop space.  Please come visit! We stock homesteading supplies  and the inspiration for D.I.Y. adventures of all sorts; plus we're thrilled to announce a mouth-watering schedule of new classes and workshops.
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Ever get the urge to make your own candles, soap, lip balm, body butter, or bath bombs ? How about ferment your own root beer, cider, ginger ale, kombucha, yogurt, vinegar, kefir, or home-brewed beer? Grow your own sprouts or mushrooms or sourdough starter? Pickle stuff? Make cheese? Tofu? Truffles? Keep bees, aquaponic gardens, or chickens in your yard? Mill, bake, and cook with whole grains? Design with succulent plants?  Concoct fancy cocktails? Upcycle old junk in creative ways?

We're now offering classes in all these luscious subjects... and more!  
Classes for adults meet on weekends and sometimes evenings during the week. 
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Our kids' workshop calendar has greatly expanded, as well!  We now provide after-school classes every week on a rotating schedule to make time for each kid's  busy schedule. Young folks can learn to cook (including lots of no-bake recipes), garden, and  recycle things to make cool new stuff and  creative gifts. Most classes are for children aged 6 and up, and parents are encouraged to drop off their kids, although sticking around to watch is always fine, too.

Visit our shop to pick up a calendar, or check out the listings  here.  We're always adding more, so check back regularly to see what's new.

We encourage pre-registration, as some classes fill up fast. Pop into the Roost to register. Tickets to all events and full course descriptions are also available in our online store  right here.

Don't forget! The gift of DIY makes a terrific present! We offer gift certificates for single workshops, series of classes, any item in our store, or  cash-value in any amount.

Thanks for your continued support, and see you soon at The Roost!
 
 
STOP THE PRESSES. This is breaking news. Did you know that January 21st is NATIONAL GRANOLA BAR DAY? Roostafarians, we cannot allow this day to go unheralded. Mark your calendars and come celebrate with us by stopping by The King's Roost from 5-7pm this Wednesday evening. Enjoy a sampling of various scrumptious, homemade granola bars (from our own fresh-rolled oats!) and top it off with an elegant champagne toast to granola.

But that's not all.  I, Roe Sie, master granola-barrister, will demonstrate how to flake oats-- rolling grains one handed while juggling granola bars. Best of all, I challenge YOU to show off your own granola-making prowess. You will be rewarded for your efforts and contributions! Bring samples of your own granola bars for us to try, and you will get a FREE pound of freshly rolled oats to make your next batch!

Need more inspiration? On Tuesday, I'll post a recipe for killer granola bars in this week's featured DIY project video. See you then!
 
 
Happy holidays, everyone! Our kids are out of school for roughly seven thousand years-- how about yours? So this week, we turned DIY Tuesday over to them, since they had some extra time on their hands. Our 11-year-old, Walter, is a master cookie maker, and he took the reins in order to bring you one of his very best recipes-- apricot cherry white chocolate oatmeal cookies, made from scratch. He even mills his own wheat berries and rolls his own oats, although you can certainly buy yours at the store, instead.

It's ridiculous how fast, fun, and affordable it is for kids to make treats for eating and sharing. And sure, these cookies contain butter and sugar and whatnot, but using 100% whole meal and fresh live grains makes you feel much better about letting the wee ones pig out on a decadent and delicious snack.

Here are the simple ingredients to make 36-48 cookies:

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
¾ cup granulated raw sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried cherries
½ cup white chocolate chips

To find out how Walter works his baking alchemy to turn these ingredients into terrific cookies, watch this video!


 
 
Making my own flour from whole wheat berries was an eye-opener for me about seven years ago. I had been bitten by the bread-baking bug, and was using high-quality store bought whole wheat flour in my recipes. When some friends turned me on to the idea of grinding my own grains, it took me a few minutes to get over the fact that they sounded like fringe health-nut purists at first. But as the idea sank in, the whole thing began to make a lot of sense. 

The taste and nutritional value of whole grains is indescribably superior to stale, processed, store-bought grain products. Even the "100% whole wheat flour" you see in stores has had much of the oil and germ removed to preserve shelf life, since grains begin to oxidize and go bad the minute you open them. Many people find their food sensitivities go away when they stop using prepared flour and instead mill their own whole, live grains. Plus, whole grains are affordable, they stay fresh indefinitely, and there is virtually no maintenance or clean-up with a grain mill. It's even easier and less messy than grinding your own coffee beans.

Can you tell I'm a zealot about this? My grain mill has been my constant companion for seven years now. It's paved the way to a whole new way of thinking about food, cooking, and the adventurous world of DIY. Our family uses our mill on a daily basis for everything from oatmeal to cornbread to tortillas to granola bars to birthday cakes. Want to see one in action? Come get a demo at the shop!

Meantime, here's a look at how to grind grains, and why you should consider doing it in the first place:

 
 
Of all the nerdy DIY gadgets we have at home, our oat roller might just be the family favorite. It's so user-friendly and fast, and the kids are big fans of oatmeal, granola bars, cookies, various baked goods, and muesli-- all of which taste so much better with fresh-rolled oats. Oat groats (or oat berries) are the whole-grain kernels which can be stored for up to twenty years and still stay alive and "fresh." But the minute you split, cut, or roll oats, they begin to oxidize and go rancid. All the germ and good oil that's been sealed inside the husk becomes quite unstable when exposed to air. That's why rolled oats from the store shelf taste different than oats that have just been rolled or cut. That said, muesli can still be delicious with store-bought rolled oats. And no matter how you come by your oats, homemade muesli is a much better value, far more customizable and nutritious than most store-bought breakfast cereal. The flavor combinations are endless; there's a muesli for everyone. It's a well-kept secret we're letting out of the bag because it's simply too fast, easy, and scrumptious not to try.
 
 
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I'm fully aware that to many people, milling your own grains sounds pretty crazy and over the top. I certainly thought so when my friends Karyn and Jason first tried to convince me of the benefits. I honestly figured they were becoming new-age hippie fringe lunatics with too much time on their hands. 

But humor me for one minute. When you stop and think about it, how is milling grains any weirder than grinding your own coffee beans? Lots of us do that. And this is pretty much the same thing-- but even MORE crucial for flavor and freshness. It only takes a few seconds to make your own wholesome flour, and you get countless nutritional benefits, terrific taste, and NONE of the bitter flavor we often associate with whole wheat.  

Today, I made the kids' favorite: Dutch-style breakfast crepes, using my Mom's recipe. I modified it for whole grains, and it tastes great. Less than 30 minutes from wheat berries to the breakfast table. Makes me so happy to see my kids enjoying good, simple food. So basic, only a few key ingredients. Give it a shot! 

And of course, a giant thank-you to Jason and Karyn, for turning me on to cooking with whole grains in the first place. 

 

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