Friday, June 3, 2011

Hamburger Buns

I made buns to go with our burgers for dinner last night using this recipe from King Arthur Flour.  Amazing!  I was seriously impressed.  I made the recipe as written this time, but next time I'm going to use at least half whole wheat (which others have had success with based on the recipe comments).

Here's a link to their blog post about the recipe.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filling, yet still delicious.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

Cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, stirring as you go.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I grind my own wheat, and for this recipe, I make sure it's ground really, really fine. It keeps the cookies light.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This thing still on?

Hey anyone who still checks this blog. I made the most delicious gyros (my whole household, toddler included, gobbled them up)the other day and they were so simple to make, I had to share. Here's the link or I will paste the directions below as well. Two notes: Rather than make my own wraps I just used the Pita Bread from Trader Joe's. Excellent. I also saved some time using Greek yogurt--do it. You won't be sorry. Enjoy!

Chicken Gyros
*Note: Keep in mind this recipe requires straining yogurt which may take overnight and marinating chicken which will take 1-2 hours so plan ahead!
*Makes enough chicken and tzatziki for approximately 4-6 gyros.
For the tzatziki sauce:
16 oz. plain yogurt (not fat free unless it is Oikos or Fage or another Greek-type yogurt)
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded (she used 1/2 of an English cucumber, I used two mini peruvian seedless)
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
For the chicken:
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
To assemble:
Soft wrap bread (or pita bread)
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin
To make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible. (You won't believe how much liquid drains from the yogurt - it makes the yogurt much thicker and creamier. If you want to splurge on Greek yogurt, like Oikos or Fage, you won't need to strain it like this.)
Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. (I sauted them in a hot skillet.) Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

This bread comes out just perfect - easy to slice, even in thin pieces, and holds together really well. It is so delicious!

Recipe from my dear friend, Jennie Christopherson (who has an amazing craft/food/etc. blog HERE that you should totally check out).

2.5 c hot water (around 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
1.25 T yeast
2 t sugar
1 T salt
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c sugar (or 1/3 c honey)
1.25 T bottled lemon juice
1/3 c flax seed
1/3 c gluten
5.5 - 6 c whole wheat flour

- Mix together the yeast, water, and 2 t. sugar and let rise about 10 minutes (should puff up).
- Mix the salt, oil, sugar, and lemon juice together in a mixer with a dough hook.
- Add the yeast mixture and mix.
- Blend the flax seed in a blender or food processor until broken apart and fluffy.
- Add the flax plus enough whole wheat flour to equal 3.5 cups to the mixer.
- Add the gluten and mix.
- Continue adding an additional 2-2.5 cups of flour until the dough comes cleanly off the sides of the bowl as you knead it with the dough hook. Knead in the mixer about 10 minutes. The dough will be very soft, but will be elastic when pulled apart.
- Preheat the oven for a few minutes to lukewarm and turn off.
- Turn dough onto oiled counter top, divide, shape into loaves, and place in oiled pans.
- Let rise in warm oven 30-45 minutes until the dough fills in and reaches the top of the pans.
- Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes.
- Let cool 10 minutes in pans, then remove from pans.

Yields 2 large or 3 small loaves.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These things are amazing. They might be my new favorite cookies!

Adapted slightly from just cook already.

For the cookies:
2 sticks butter (1 cup), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (can do half white, half wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the rolling sugar:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1. In a large bowl, cream butter with the sugar in an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time until incorporated.
3. Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Mix rolling sugar in a small bowl.
5. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbsp.) or a large spoon to scoop out dough and roll into balls. Use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they’re coated really well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a nice, flat bottom to dip in sugar and flatten the balls until about 1 cm thick.
6. Bake at 350°F for 9 to 12 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets for 3-4 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: About 3 dozen

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wild butternut sausage soup

This soup was amazing! So so yummy. It's basically THIS recipe, but I made it like this:
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • + 1 cup water + 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 7 oz sausage, kielbasa, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pep to taste
  • 1/2 cup half n half

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Cut the butternut squash in half. Lie cut side down and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Put wild rice + 1 cup water + 1 cup broth in rice cooker and cook it.
Get out your big soup pot and turn up the heat (med-hi), brown sausage. Add olive oil, celery and frozen corn + 1 cup broth. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
When the squash is done, peel and cube (or scoop it out if it's soft enough) and put it in the blender, puree with 2 cups broth.
Add squash puree, wild rice, and the remaining 1 cup broth to the soup pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and let cool for 1 minute. Add the half n half and stir.
PS it does thicken up quite a bit, so don't hesitate to add 1 more cup of water/broth. It just depends on how you like it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spatchcocked Chicken With Potatoes

I'm starting to really love this method of cooking a whole chicken.  Maybe some of you already do it, but it's pretty new to me.  It's awesome because it takes a lot less time to cook than a whole roasted chicken.

The original recipe was found here, but I made a couple of minor changes which are what I'm posting here.

Basic Spatchcocking Method:
Any pan will do. For these recipes, you can use a roasting pan or a large cast-iron or heavy skillet.
1. Place 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds), breast side down, on a work surface.
2. Starting at the thigh end, cut along one side of backbone with kitchen shears.
3. Turn chicken around; cut along other side. Discard or save backbone for stock.
4. Flip chicken over and open it like a book. Press firmly on breastbone to flatten.

Spatchcocked Chicken With Potatoes
Serves 4

whole chicken (3-4 lbs)
coarse salt
ground pepper
4 thin lemon slices
4 sprigs fresh rosemary (the original calls for thyme)
1/2 lb quartered new potatoes (I estimated the amount needed for my family and used a mix of red and Yukon gold potatoes from the garden)
1 yellow onion
2 tsp. olive oil (I used Canola)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Season spatchcocked chicken with coarse salt and ground pepper.
2. Using your fingers, loosen skin from breast meat; tuck 4 thin lemon slices and 2 sprigs rosemary between skin and meat.
3. Place chicken, breast side up, in a pan. In a bowl, toss potatoes, 1 yellow onion, cut into 8
wedges, and 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stem, with two teaspoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Add to pan.
4. Roast chicken until juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer
should read 165-degrees when inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), about 30-minutes. Let rest 5-minutes before carving.

(My chicken was over 6 lbs. so it wasn't done after 30 minutes.  I put a piece of foil over the breast portion, which was browning nicely, and left the legs exposed so they would brown more.  I didn't time how much longer I cooked it.  15-20 minutes maybe?  It could have been longer.  In any case, it was in and out of the oven in at least half the time it would have taken to roast it whole.  And who couldn't love a 30-minute roast chicken dinner?)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Butternut Bisque

So So So So SOOOOOOOO yummy.
(Source: Everyday Food)

3 T. butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 t. cayenne pepper (to taste)
coarse salt
1-2 large butternut squashes (totaling 4 lbs.) peeled, seeded and cubed
1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 c. half-and-half

1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is softened, 5-7 minutes.

2. Add squash, broth and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Working in batches (or with a stick blender), puree until smooth. Stir in half-and-half, season with salt.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

butternut squash bisque

- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 4 cups cooked butternut squash (about 2 whole squash, or is it squashES?)
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Ground nutmeg to taste
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1/4 cup water + more if you want a thinner bisque.

1. Preheat over to 375. Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds. Lay cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. After squash is cool, cut up into small cubes, yield about 4 cups.
3. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and squash into the pot, saute for a minute or two. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).
4. Put water and squash mixture in a blender or food processor and puree until nice and smooth. Add the cream at the end. Push that puree button a few more times to mix in cream and return to pot to keep warm.
Serve with a dash of nutmeg, and turkey and cranberry sandwiches, or a grilled cheese sandwich. And don't be offended if your husband says, "this reminds me of when you would make baby food." It's really delicious, promise.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

fruity trifle

What you need:
  • Betty Crocker Angel Food cake mix + water, baked according to directions and cooled
  • 1 package of vanilla pudding + 3 cups of milk, prepared according to directions
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 12oz of cool whip / or heavy whipping cream, whipped
What you do:
Layer all the goodness: cake, pudding, strawberries, bananas, blueberries. Repeat. Top with whipped cream.