Bread


It’s the third Monday in October.  While that may not mean much to many of you it means a lot to some of us.  It’s Group C Reveal Day for Secret Recipe Club.By this time each month many of us have browsed through our ‘assigned’ blog and chosen what recipe(s) we want to cook.  Some of us chose 1 or 2. I like to use three so I can get a full idea of what my Blogger is all about.

“I am on a never ending quest for healthier eating. Oh, I totally enjoy fries, and burgers and chocolate, but I try to make the majority of our meals as healthy and unprocessed as possible. Then, in moderation we can enjoy other things that we don’t have as often anymore. I’ve also learned how to tweak some of those old “favorites” to make them a bit healthier. “

So says Kirstin of Loving Life. I think that sums up Kirstin’s food philosophy.  It is a journal of her life and the recipes within it. Good days, bad days, but always great recipes.

I started out making Kirstin’s Cauliflower  Pizza Crust.  Like most of you I have seen a ton of recipes using a cauliflower crust for pizza and I have wanted to try it.  And there it was, right there on Kirstin’s blog.

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The crust is made from ‘riced’ cauliflower, eggs, cheese, and seasoning.  It gets nice and crispy around the edges.  I topped it with marinara, mushrooms, black olives and lots of cheese.   If you are looking for a gluten free alternative this is what you need to try.  It wasn’t bad.  But I think I will stick to my bread crust.  But that’s just me.

I make bread every week.  The Man eats sandwiches and store bought just isn’t right.  Too fluffy.  Too white.  So every week – Whole Wheat Bread.  This week when I needed bread I used Kirstin’s recipe for  Multigrain Bread.  

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It is very similar to the Whole Wheat Bread I make but has MORE!!  She adds sunflower seeds, 7 or 10 grain cereal and oatmeal.  The oatmeal is supposed to go ON the bread but when Kirstin said she had trouble keeping the oatmeal ON the bread I decided to put it IN the bread instead.  I also used 1/2 water and 1/2 milk instead of all water for cooking the cereal.  The Man really liked it.  Dense and moist.  Very healthy!   I think I will this bread from now on.  {Kirstin – used the bread machine to mix the dough but baked it free-form.  It worked just fine.  Next I will bake it in the machine as well.}

Ok.  One more.

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I made Kirstin’s Quinoa Squash Pilaf for lunch today.  Delicious!   This is the dish where she mentioned she wanted to make her meals healthier and less processed.  This one – perfect.  Just the right amount of seasoning and veggies added to the quinoa.  The only change I made – I added some sliced mushrooms.

    1 c. Quinoa rinsed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable broth {I used all broth so two cups of broth.}
    1/4 cup water {NOPE!}
    2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
    1 c. chopped leeks (white portions only)….I used onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 large tomato, chopped
    1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I left these out)
    2 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
    I cup sliced mushrooms {My addition}

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, toast the quinoa over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
In a small saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, leeks and garlic in oil until tender. Lower heat to medium low and stir in tomato, cilantro, seasonings and quinoa. Mix in the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

All in all I had a lovely visit with Kirstin. I have several more recipes I want to go back to. Thanks, Kirstin.

Want more “Seecret” goodies. Click the FROG!

It’s reveal day for Secret Recipe Club. The day we trot out the new recipes we have discovered on our ‘assigned’ foodie blog. The day we glorify the fun dishes we have made from someone else’s kitchen. This month I Homesteaded with April over at Angel’s Homestead.

April lives on three acres with her husband and lives by her definition of Homesteading:

    Engaging in a give-and-take relationship with the earth. Growing your own food, cooking from scratch, raising backyard livestock, collecting rainwater, simplifying your life, reducing your impact, and living in harmony with nature.

I discovered not only some easy and delicious recipes but some great ideas for the home as well. Like a great Emergency Substitution Chart when you run out of every day ingredients, Gardening 101 but since this is a COOKING Club…

If you been reading about my SRC adventures you KNOW I cannot make just one dish. I just find too many to decide on less than three. I mean it’s hard enough to narrow down to that let alone JUST ONE! I had decided to cook a roast for Sunday Dinner this month. That is something I don’t do often anymore for just the two of us. I remembered seeing that April had a Crock Pot Beef Roast on the blog so I used that one.

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It was nice not having to worry about the cooking. And fragrance of that roast cooking wafted through the house all day.

To go with the roast that night I made her…

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So good! I usually just cut the butternut in half, deseed it, and then nuke it adding cinnamon sugar after the fact. THIS was so much better!!! And so simple!!

    1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups, cubed)
    2 tablespoons pure olive oil
    2 tablespoons Organic Coconut Sugar I used Turbinado instead.
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place squash cubes into a large bowl, along with the olive oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt and toss together until the squash is well coated.
Spread the squash into one layer on a large foil covered baking sheet that has been lightly greased. Don’t crowd them or the pieces won’t brown.
Roast squash for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on your oven, turning the squash over and rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, until the edges are browned and centers are tender.

Not wanting to stop there I made the dinner complete with her Fluffy Dinner Rolls.

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If you need some rolls in about an hour or less THESE are the ones you need to make. These were the best rolls I have ever made. And I have made a lot of rolls!!!

It won’t be long before I go back and make her Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, Pecan Pie Muffins, or her Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits.

Thanks April for some great EATS!

You can check out the other Secret Assignments by clicking below

A NEW HOUSE!

    HOW EXCITING IS THAT?

      TO BUY A NEW HOUSE!.

Your friends come and celebrate all the work you have to do to get it just right. They bring food. They bring gifts. Appropriate gifts for a new home. But IS there an appropriate gift? Maybe we should ask about TRADITIONAL Housewarming gifts.

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And since Grace over at Happa Mama just remodeled her house and it’s almost like a new one, we are celebrating.
In the US, traditionally we give:

    Salt: Given with the message “That life may always have flavor”, can also represent added luxury or flavor to life
    Wine: Symbolizes the hope “That joy and prosperity may reign forever”…or…”That your family will never be thirsty”…or…”So you will always be of good cheer”
    Bread: So that this house may never know hunger…or…So your cupboards will always be full

I cannot make salt. I don’t know how to make wine – although my Dad made some Elderberry Wine once.
But I can make bread. And since tradition doesn’t say what kind of bread to include who says it has to be a LOAF of bread.

So, how about a nice Flatbread? With Olive Oil. And Rosemary. Like this Pizza Bianca from Jim Lahey.

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This is some kind of good bread. Puffy, crunchy, chewy the way good bread should be. Just out of the oven it was perfect.

Ingredients:

    400 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
    4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) fine sea salt
    4 grams (3/4 teaspoon) sugar
    175 grams (3/4 cup) cool water, plus more if needed
    3 sprigs rosemary leaves
    4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) coarse sea salt

In a medium bowl, mix flour, yeast, fine sea salt, and sugar. {In the book the salt and sugar were left out of the “Mix flour, etc..” so after the fact I googled it and add the salt and sugar late to the mix after I had already mixed in the water. Worked just fine.} Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix for at least 30 seconds, until you have a soft, somewhat sticky, loose dough. If it seems too dry, you can add up to 2 Tbl safely.

Scoop the dough into a 2nd bowl coated with Olive Oil and cover. It should sit for a minimum of 9 hours and up to 12 hours at room temperature (about 72°F), until doubled in size. This is a short rise compared to some of Lahey’s bread – up to 18 hours. {Mine only rose for about 7 hours because I was running out of time. Worked just fine.}

Scrape the dough onto a generously flour dusted work surface. Fold the dough over itself 2 or 3 times until it forms a rather loose ball. Sprinkle it with the coarse sea salt and some Olive Oil. Put the dough in a cozy, draft-free spot and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.

30 minutes before the end of the second rise, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F.

Scoop the dough onto a well dusted peel sprinkle with olive oil and spread the dough out making dimples as you spread into a surface about 12″ in diameter. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves.

With quick, jerking motions, slide the dough from the peel onto the baking stone {I recently broke my stone so I used an upside down baking sheet. Worked just fine.} If it’s sticking to the peel, gently lift it around the edges, adding more flour to the peel. Bake about 12 – 15 minutes until nice and bubbly and golden.

Slide the peel under the pizza and transfer the pizza to a rack. Allow to cool for a minute or two, if you CAN, before slicing and serving.

The dough was smooth and silky and very elastic. So easy to work with. AND you don’t knead it!!

This was housewarming twice because the baking bread warmed up the kitchen and the fragrance warmed up the house while it was baking. Recipe is from Lahey’s my bread {page 137} but I found it online HERE and HERE but they are from my pizza and slightly different.

Grace Hwang Lynch (HapaMama) selected our theme this month: HOUSEWARMING? Check out the other goodies at:

BTW #LetsLunch is a twitter based cooking club. Every month a theme is chosen then we get to interpret that theme with FOOD. IT’s an international group of bloggers and awesome cooks with wonderful stories to tell. Search #LetsLunch for more on Twitter.

Okay. I did what she said. I got off the couch. And I cooked!!!

And cooked. And cooked some more.

Why, you ask? Because it was my JOB!! At least this month…It was my job to read through Sashi’s wonderful blog – Get Off the Couch and Cook and find something, anything, to cook. NOT an easy job. Her blog is “…not a health food site but the recipes are not bad for you.” Don’t you love that? I like foods that aren’t bad for me. But still delicious. And there is plenty of that here.

Sashi was my ‘assignment’ for March’s Secret Recipe Club and I had to pick at least one recipe.

But if you follow along each month you know I am not in the habit of just choosing ONE recipe. I started out with her lovely soft…

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These are very similar to the bread I make from KAF, where she originally got the recipe, but softer than my bread. They were perfect with burgers, pulled pork, and meatballs. What makes these really nice is that the dough is ‘worked’ in a bread machine then hand rolled and baked. You can make round buns or long hot-dog style. These were supposed to be long hot-dog but my shaping skills are a little rusty.

With the sandwiches I had to have a side…

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YES!, I did say bacon and cheese. Think of these as deconstructed baked potatoes with sour cream, butter AND the bacon and cheese. Without the skin.

    6 slices of bacon
    6 medium Russet potatoes, washed but not peeled
    4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    ¾ c sour cream
    4 Tbsp buttermilk (or regular milk)
    1 tsp kosher salt
    ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 c (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook your bacon in a large skillet over med heat until crispy, 5-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drain on paper towels then crumble. Set aside.
Cut the potatoes into 3/4″ to 1″ pieces and boil until just soft – about 10 minutes. You want them to easily fall apart.
Mix the butter, sour cream, buttermilk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Drain the potatoes then add them to the bowl with the butter/sour cream mix.
Smash the potatoes into the butter and sour cream, stirring slightly while mashing the potatoes until just combined, leaving chunky bits.
Using a large spoon, fold in the bacon pieces and half the cheese.
Sprinkle with remaining, or more, cheese and let melt before serving.

Good stuff.

I thought about making one of her desserts, like her Lemon Blueberry Cake, or the Dutch Apple Pie, or some Chocolate Bacon BarkYUM!! but in the end, since I still had cake and ice cream in the house, I went with another savory – Baked Pork Egg Rolls

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I just happened to have some roast pork so these seemed a perfect way to use up some left overs. Stuffed with pork, carrots, cabbage, mixed with honey, peanut butter, mirin, chili sauce and sesame oil these tasty eggrolls were not fried as we are used to but rather, baked. So pretty healthy and not at all bad for me. Just like Sashi advertised for her recipes.

I am definitely going back for more recipes from Sashi. They are easy, fresh, delicious, and not at all bad for me!!!

NOw that my job is done….why don’t you head on over to Secret Recipe Club and sign up to join in the fun.

But between now and then check out the other goodies from the other members. See how much fun they had with their ‘assignments’ this month.

It is THAT time of year. FALL!! Time for pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries. And just in time for the holiday season we have these sweet and tasty rolls.

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A basket of these sweet and spicy pumpkin cranberry rolls perched beside the turkey and dressing seems just perfect. The recipe calls for crystallized ginger, which I left out, and dried cranberries as well as your usual pumpkin pie spices: cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. I only made 1/2 a batch because I wasn’t sure how the family would like them. Guess I will need to make more before Thanksgiving, and probably Christmas. The recipe calls for using a muffin tin to help keep their round shape but I think they would make great pull apart dinner rolls or loaves. With lots of melting butter!

The recipe is from King Arthur Flour

The round-up of the Avid Bakers’ Rolls can be found on Avid Baker’s Challenge after 3 November.

    Stop by and enjoy!!

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    Today is Monday, you know what that means!
    It’s time for fun with Annie, fun with Annie, baking with Annie is fun.

Okay, if you were a Micky Mouse Club Fan you know I changed the words just a smidgeon. Fun with Music just didn’t fit, but I had fun with Annie these last few weeks. Annie is the writer, baker, recipe developer,and photographer behind Annie’s Noms!which I was lucky enough to be assigned for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. And when she says Baker she means BAKER!! So many wonderfully luscious treats to be had and me trying not to eat sweets. But I did manage to find some recipes that fit in with our weekly menu and gave me some tasty dishes to add to the regular lineup. Thanks, Annie!!

I found a recipe for Chicken Bacon Pot Pie and Chicken Cobbler and I couldn’t decide which one to make – so I made both – Kinda sorta. I put the two recipes together and came up with the best Chicken Pot Pie I have made in a long time. Creamy, with a cheesy biscuit on top!

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BACON!! How can you go wrong with adding that to just about anything? Let’s call this one Chicken Bacon Cobbler.

    1 tbsp oil
    1 Tbl butter
    2 boneless chicken thighs, sliced into small chunks
    1 onion, sliced thinly
    3 slices of bacon, diced
    2 heaping tbsp chicken gravy granules {Like Annie I didn’t have time to make gravy so I used part of a packet of gravy mix.}
    2 tbsp cream
    1 carrot, thinly sliced
    1 cup frozen peas
    Water, added to the consistency you want your gravy
    salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a large saucepan or wok heat up the butter and oil. Add the bacon and fry until almost crisp. Add the onion and cook until soft stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon and onion and set aside.
Add the chicken to the pot and stir, allowing the chicken to brown. Add the bacon and chicken back to the pot.
Add in the gravy granules and water til you get a gravy consistency.
Add the cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until gravy thickens, about 10 minutes.
Mix in carrot and peas.
Place mixture in small 10 oz cups or bowls.
Top with a cheesy biscuit and bake until biscuit is nicely browned. {I used my regular biscuit recipe but Annie has one on the Cobbler recipe.}

I did relent and make something sweet. How could I resist with all the lovely sweet treats on Annie’s blog?

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Honey Madeleines

I love making Madeleines. {After my first batch with TWD turned out like BLOBS I bought a pan and it doesn’t stay in the cabinet long.} It’s a cookie/cake and so versatile. Annie’s had plenty of honey and were the perfect dessert.

I did make Annie’s

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Wholemeal Oat Bread

which was great for toast. We always need bread and I try to make only whole wheat these days. The only change – I added some 7 grain cereal we picked up earlier this year.

I had fun going through Annie’s lovely treats and now I will have to go back and try out her:

Notice they are all sweet treats, but then, that’s what Annie is all about!!

You can see what the other SRC members made by visiting the links below.

This week we are making Bread with Nigel Slater. I used a bread recipe of his earlier this year hen we went on a group picnic. I decided to use the same recipe again but to make something different with it. So go back and pick up the recipe and then make these…

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    Maple Syrup walnut Pecan Buns.

I have been making cinnamon rolls for a long time – always trying to make them as delicious as my Mom-in-Law’s – but I would not have thought to make them without cinnamon. These use Maple syrup instead which is poured over the buns after they are baked. I like this idea because I never really cared for the powdered sugar drizzle. The syrup works its way down to the bottom of the pan and then is soaked up into the buns – a good reason to maybe DOUBLE the amount of syrup. I used pecans because we are not walnut fans and I ALWAYS have pecans in the freezer {friends with trees}.

I made 1/2 of the dough recipe and it was more than enough. I had enough left over to make some plain bread rolls.

Spread the dough with a mix of:

    7 Tbl butter (100g), softened
    1/2 cup pecans {65g}
    grated zest of an orange
    raisins 75g {I Left these out but thought about using dried cranberries.}

When baked and still hot pour 1/2 cup maple syrup {100ml} over them. Oh Yeah!!

These were so good with the orange zest mixed into the butter with the pecans. {I would add more pecans next time.}

They didn’t last long.

What BREAD did the other members of I Heart Cooking Club make? Check out their posts.

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