Monday, March 29, 2010

Please Visit Me At My Family Blog!

As much as I love this blog, I feel it would be better to concentrate my blogging efforts into one blog, our family blog. I will post recipes and the like there. I found that all my blogs have pretty much the same readership, so why put everything in different places? I guess it's just my collector-nature coming out-feeling like I have to classify everything! Please visit us often at: Thanks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Italian Bread

Finally~ Here is a hearty, crusty, Italian bread that you will be proud to serve! This is a two-day bread. It is very simple to make, but does require a day at home to allow for lengthy rising times. Plan to make this on a day when you will be home!:

1.Start the day before with a sponge : 2 cups bread flour, 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast, 1 Cup water at room temp. Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allowto sit out for three hours. Then place the sponge in the fridge over night.

2.For the dough: Allow the sponge to stand at room temperature while making the dough. In a large mixing bowl combine 3 cups bread flour, 1 tsp rapid rise yeast, and 1 1/3 C water(room temp). I "kneaded" with a wooden spoon, right in the bowl, gently for three minutes. If you have a bread mixer, use the dough hook on gentle speed for 3 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

3.Add sponge to large mixing bowl(with the dough), along with 2 tsp salt. Knead or stir gently ( you may need to use your hands to knead dough in the bowl at this point) for 5 minutes. Kids can be very helpful with this! Dough should form a cohesive ball.Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl,cover with plastic wrap(I sprayed the wrap w/ olive oil) and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

4.Turn the dough, right in the bowl, using a plastic bench scraper: Slide the scraper under one side of the dough, gently lift and fold a third of the dough toward the center. Repeat step one with the opposite side of the dough. Finally, fold the dough in half, perpendicular to th first folds. You should have a rough square of dough in your bowl.Allow to rise 1 hour.

5.Fold the dough again, using the same procedure, and allow to rise another hour!

6.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.Refuse the temptation to add lots of flour!!!Dough should be workable, but not dry! Shape in the following manner: Gently form dough into a 8 X 10 inch rectangle. Fold the top right corner, diagonally to the middle of the rectangle. Repeat with the top left corner. Begin to gently roll the dough from top to bottom. Continue rolling until the dough forms a rough log.Roll the dough onto its seam, and sliding your hands under each end, transfer the dough to an oiled baking sheet.Liberally dust the loaf with flour. Cover the loaf with oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour.

7. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to the lower middle position, and heat to 500 degrees.

8.When bread is done rising, use a sharp knife to cut a slit, 1/2 inch deep, down the length of the loaf. spray the loaf with ice water, and putinto oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400 degrees. Bak for about 30 more minutes, or until bread is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool for two hours before cutting. Enjoy!!!

The dangers of high fructose corn syrup - by Chris Dixon - Helium

Some readers wre wondering about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup. Here is something to read:The dangers of high fructose corn syrup - by Chris Dixon - Helium

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Busy Day BBQ

One of my most helpful cookbooks, Whole Foods For The Whole Family, has a recipe for fussy day bbq chicken. This recipe is a variation of that recipe! I start with our favorite BBQ sauce(of course, even better would be to have homemade on hand, but if not, this is a good substitue):

I then put a roast (I used a 3 lb rump roast) in a crock pot. Pour the sauce and 1/2 cup water over top, and cook on high 4 hours, or low 6-8 hours. Take out the BBQ, slice and serve on rolls. Mary Margaret said it was the best BBQ she ever had. I wouldn't go that far, but it's a tasty meal in a pinch. Just in case you are wondering, "Stubbs" contains no high-fructose corn syrup.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Monster Cookies For Your Little Monsters!

Making cookies doesn't get any easier. I use the one bowl, wooden spoon method.

Start by melting one stick of butter. I use the microwave. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the following ingredients: 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp light corn syrup, 1 & 1/2 Cups peanut butter, 2 tsp baking soda, 3 &1/2 cups oatmeal, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup m&m candies:

snitch some of the dough and make a guilty face:

Form the dough into round balls and place on cookie sheet:

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Do not overbake! I take them out when they look like they are not quite done. Then they cook on the sheet a little:



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pizza Party

From the back of one of my cookbooks: "The very act of breadbaking itself provides a welcome diversion from a computer screen or office- and a gratifying result, no matter one's other occupations." I think it's interesting that the book was published in 1995 when internet use was just catching on. Recipes From The Old Mill contains my favorite pizza dough recipe. Here it is (I triple or quadruple for our family of eleven):

1.Combine 1 scant TBS yeast (one packet, not rapid rise)and 1tsp sugar in 1 Cup warm water. Stir until dissolved:

Add 3/4 tsp salt, 2 TBS Olive oil, 1/2 C cornmeal, and 1 1/2 C all purpose flour(I like King Arthur brand). Add enough remaing flour (about 1 cup) to make a workable dough. At this point you can also add basil, italian herbs, garlic powder, etc.. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about five minutes:
Place in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled- @ 20-30 min. In the winter I turn my oven on 175 , let it heat and turn off. I then place the dough in the oven (cracked) to let the dough rise. When the dough is done rising, lightly grease your pizza pan or pizza stone(I hope to get one soon!) You can make individual pizzas or a large one, whatever your preference. Dough should be stretched on the thinner side, as it rises during baking. At this point preheat your oven to 400 (some cookbooks say 450- my oven tends to run hot). Prepare your pizza dough, then place desired toppings on. The kids had cheese. The older kids and I had onions, peppers, Arugula, and pineapple:

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Enjoy!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

All Wrapped Up

Let me introduce you to my new favorite meal! Start with these delicious low fat wraps. They are wholegrain and loaded with fiber- 12g per wrap! They are very tasty,too:

Then coat a frying pan with olive oil. I use Nature's Promise Organic Olive oil spray, but you could just put a little oil in the pan and coat the pan evenly. Choose a variety of fresh veggies. For today's wrap I used snap peas, red peppers, Arugula, red onions, and fresh Basil. Be creative! Saute the veggies, but not too long! I like to keep mine a little crisp. Make sure to add the greens and herbs last(Arugula, Spinach, etc...) so that they don't get too cooked. You could also sprinkle the veggies with cheese (Feta and Parmesan work well here) when they are done cooking:

Spread the veggie mixture evenly over the wrap:

Roll up, cut , and enjoy:

Other veggie possibilities: Asparagus, Eggplant, chopped Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms. some good additions to add to wraps on top of the cooked veggies would be: chopped cucumbers, sprouts, radishes, tomatoes, etc...
Wrap up and enjoy!