Monday, November 4, 2013

No Kneed Bread

This recipe is AMAZING!  I've made 2 loaves this week...and another to share with the neighbor.  So easy and so yummy.

Tonight's loaf I added rosemary to it and topped with olive oil.
I saw a version with cranberries and orange zest.  I also want to try cinnamon raisin.

This is tonight's loaf getting ready to go in the oven:

Ready to eat...the cut piece is buttered...the picture makes it look greasy

Basic No-Knead Bread

6 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface  (I used all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups cool water

* In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
* Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.

* Generously dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises; place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Cover with the edges or a second cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
* After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove top towel from dough and slide your hand under the bottom towel; flip the dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

* Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep chestnut brown. 

* Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chinese Style Steamed Chicken

Chalk this one up as super easy, super quick, and super yummy! 

 I did this in my rice cooker with the steamer basket, but a steamer basket in a pot with boiling water would work as well. 

Chinese Style Steamed Chicken (South Beach Diet Cookbook)
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger (fresh or powdered)
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups broccoli florets

Fill bottom of steamer bowl with an inch of water and bring to a boil.  Combine chicken with garlic, ginger, soy sauce & red pepper flakes.  If you have time, let marinate for 30 minutes or longer.  Place chicken in steamer basket, pour remaining soy sauce over the chicken, close the lid and let cook for 5-7 minutes (the breasts I used were about 6 oz each and they took closer to 7 mins a side). 

Turn the chicken, add the broccoli, and steam for another 5-7 minutes.  Definitely use a meat thermometer if you can, the chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees. 

The chicken turned out super moist and yummy, I was amazed at how easy this was!  Maybe next time I'll try steaming some rice at the same time....  as you turn the chicken and add the broccoli, leave the lid closed as much as possible so the heat does not escape.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

S'mores Bars

Sadie wanted S'mores for her birthday, so rather than making those and a cake, I made this instead.  I didn't take a picture of the actual bars, so you get a picture of Chad enjoying one!

Recipe adapted from:

S'more Bar Base

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and mix on low until it resembles course meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the liquids. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough barely comes together. Pour the dough out onto plastic wrap and form it into a one inch thick rectangle.

Press the dough into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish (that is either oiled or lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and semi firm to the touch. Cooking times will vary greatly depending on thickness, ovens, and pans used. (I baked mine for 20 minutes and it was about a minute or two too long)

Once the bar base is out of the oven, spread 2 jars of marshmallow cream over it.  You can warm the cream a little to make it easier to spread, or do it while the graham base is still hot.  

Let cool in the freezer for 20 minutes.

S'more Bar Chocolate Glaze

1 package semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter
2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl combine chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup. Microwave in 20 second increments on power level 7-8, stirring between each time until smooth. Do not overcook. 

Pour over marshmallow layer. Using a spatula spread the chocolate into a thin layer.

Allow to set for a few hours in the fridge. Cut up and enjoy!

Ok, now for what I would do differently next time:
I'll split the graham base into two and put half on bottom and half on top.  Or, just halve the recipe and use it on the bottom only.  In any case, as written, it was too thick of a base.  I made my chocolate glaze with milk chocolate chips (since the Hersheys bar you would use in a s'mores bar are milk chocolate), but with the added corn syrup, I think it would be better to use the semisweet chips.  Another thought I had was to use chocolate frosting instead.  I'm all about making things easier on myself!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Breakfast Cookies

I've been looking for a recipe like this for a while now. Most that I had found were nothing more than glorified chocolate chip cookies.  Now, I found one that I can feel good about giving to my kids for breakfast or a mid-morning snack!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup finely shredded carrots (2 medium)
1/2 cup raisins

6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside
In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, sugars, and egg.  Slowly add carrots and raisins, then the flour mixture.
Drop dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake each sheet for 10-12 minutes (for me it took 15 minutes) until the cookies begin to brown.  Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet, then remove to cool on a wire rack.
For filling, in a small bowl mix cream cheese and maple syrup.  Spread 1 Tbsp between 2 cookies to make sandwiches.

I didn't make the filling, so I don't know how it turns out with it.  I would probably substitute honey for the maple syrup since I'm cheap :)  My batch made 24 cookies, they are about 100 calories each this way.  I didn't try it, but I'm sure you could substitute apple sauce for the oil.  They freeze wonderfully!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

 I got this recipe from my friend, Tia, and finally tried it today.  It was super yummy, and the kids loved it!  I tweaked her original recipe just a bit...

Baked Oatmeal
3 cups quick-cooking oats (I used regular rolled and it worked fine)
3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whatever yummy ingredient(s) you want to put in it (raisins, dried fruits, fresh fruits, chocolate chips, etc.)

My "yummy ingredients" were (all mixed together):
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup Pear Cider from Trader Joe's (though you could use apple juice or anything else.  This helps keep the apples from drying out).

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix milk, butter, eggs and vanilla together and add to dry ingredients. Stir until just incoprorated. Pour into a greased 9x13" pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes. 

If you don't end up doing the apples with cinnamon, etc, I would suggest adding some cinnamon to the oatmeal mixture to help it taste a little less bland :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Ham & Rice Casserole

Chicken, Ham & Rice Casserole:
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cubed ham (cooked)
2 cups cubed chicken (cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream (can use low fat)
1- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup bread crumbs

Combine all ingredients except the bread crumbs.  Spread in a 9x13 inch pan.  Top with bread crumbs.  You can either mix the bread crumbs with melted butter, or I just prefer to spray them with cooking spray after I've put them over the casserole.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.  Sometimes I mix in peas or broccoli as well.

We love this one!

Spinach Balls

I was leery at first since I am not a big fan of cooked spinach, but these were really yummy!  A great way to get your kids to eat some spinach :)  I got this recipe from my friend, Amanda.

Spinach Balls: 
2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix (or panko bread crumbs with some Italian seasoning mixed in)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup minced onion
2 eggs
2 - 10oz packages frozen spinach - thawed and drained
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt (you can leave this out if you use the stuffing mix)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or some fresh, minced garlic)
1/4 butter, melted

Combine stuffing, onion, cheese and seasonings.  Beat eggs well.  Mix together eggs, spinach and stuffing mixture.  Pour the melted butter over it; mix well.  Chill thoroughly.  Roll into 1 inch balls (or use a small ice cream scooper).

Bake at 350* for 15 minutes on parchment lined baking sheet. Super yummy!