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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Oct 23, 2013

Roasted Garlic Bread

Time for fall soups and what goes better with soup than fresh bread (except maybe toasted cheese made with fresh bread).  This bread has a great flavor (and nice kick, if you like peppers).

1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp dried red chili flakes (optional)
1/2 head garlic, roasted
4 ounces wheat flour
16 ounces bread flour
1/2 tsp black pepper

Bloom yeast in warm water, set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan.  When melted, stir in garlic, chili flakes and pepper.

Grease a large bowl and set aside.

Place flours in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook.  Add yeast and butter.  Stir on low for about 12 minutes until dough ball cleans the side of the bowl and does not stick to the bottom.  Dough should be relatively smooth.

Put dough into greased bowl.  Cover with a towel and let rise until double (about 1 hour).

While rising, place a large dutch oven with lid in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  When bread is doubled, place on a lightly floured surface and knead for about two minutes.  Shape into a ball, wrap loosely with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove dutch oven from oven.  Place dough in pot. 

Cover tightly and return to the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove lid, continue to bake until golden brown.

Remove from dutch oven to cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Oct 22, 2013

Fried Eggplant

Eggplant, coated in egg/pesto and breadcrumbs then fried equals a great lunch.

1 Small Eggplant
2 Large Eggs
2 Tbl Pesto
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 Tsp Pepper
2 Tsp Parmesan
1/2 Tsp Salt

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices, set aside.

In a flat bowl, whisk together eggs and pesto, set aside.

In another flat bowl, stir together bread crumbs, pepper, Parmesan and salt. 

Put a medium skillet over medium heat, put 1/8 to 1/4 inch of oil in the pan. 

Dip eggplant in egg mixture then bread crumbs, drop in oil.  Cook about 2 minutes per side until eggplant is soft. Remove from oil and enjoy.

Oct 16, 2013

Honeyed Fig Jam with Walnuts

Recently, a friend called to ask if I would like to go pick figs.  Always one for new things, I said 'Sure, Why Not?"  Next up, what to do with figs.  I never cooked with figs, so I tried several options.  First, I made a plain fig jam - Fruit, Pectin, Sugar - cook, stir, jar, boil, done.  It was good, kind of like Strawberry.  Next up, I made this.  Honeyed figs are good, add some finely chopped walnuts, voila, tasty jam.

You'll Need:

5 1/2 Cups Figs - I peeled and removed most pith, but that was personal preference
3 Cups Honey
3 Tbl Lime Juice
1 Pouch Liquid Pectin
1.5 Cups Finely Chopped Walnuts

In a large saucepan, combine figs, honey and lemon juice. 

Bring to a rolling boil.  Add pectin and boil one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, Stir in walnuts, cool for 10 minutes.  Stir to combine, ladle into jars.

Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (adjusting as necessary for altitude).

Oct 15, 2013

Apple Citrus Cake

Apples, apples, everywhere.  So far, we have made apple butter, apple sauce, apple pie - now it is time for Apple Cake.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a bundt pan, set aside.

5 Cups Diced Cooking Apples
5 Tbl Sugar
2 Tsp Cinnamon

Set Aside.

3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Mix together.  Add:
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Applesauce
1/2 Tsp Orange Extract
1/3 Cup Orange Juice

Blend with a mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  Increase speed to medium and mix for an additional 3 minutes.  Fold in Apples.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Move to a serving platter when cool.

When Cool, Combine:
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
3 Tbl Half and Half
3 Tbl Orange Juice

Spoon over cooled cake and enjoy!

Oct 14, 2013

Sufferin' Succotash

Tired of making zucchini bread?  Hiding zucchini on your neighbor's doorsteps when they are not looking?  How about something else to do with it.

2 Tbl Butter
2 Tsp Chopped Garlic
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
3 Cups Diced Zucchini
2 Cups Corn - fresh or thawed Frozen
1 Cup Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Tsp Fresh Pepper1/3 Cup Cream Cheese

Melt butter in a medium skillet.  Add garlic and thyme, cook until fragrant. 

Add zucchini and corn and cook until hot, tossing frequently. 

When almost soft, add tomatoes, peppers and cream cheese. 

Turn heat to low and stir until cheese is melted.  Enjoy.

Oct 8, 2013

Nutella Brownies

Love Nutella?  Whip up a batch of brownies.

You'll Need:

13 Ounces Nutella
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbl Sugar
Slivered Nuts - Hazelnuts if you can find them, almonds if you cannot.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour all cups in a mini muffin tin (24 cups)

In a medium bowl, whisk together Nutella and eggs until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. 

Add to the Nutella mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.  Divide among the 24 muffin cups.

Top with nuts.

Bake for about 20 minutes until done.  Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, remove and cool completely (if you can).

Oct 7, 2013

Toasted Cereal Bars

Toasted Marshmallows, toasted pecans, toasted coconut - OH MY.

8 Ounces Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 1/2 Cup Diced Pecans
14 Ounces Toasted Marshmallow Fluff
4 Tbl Butter
3 Cups Cornflakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Line a 9 inch pan and a cookie sheet with non stick foil.

On the cookie sheet, spread the coconut and pecans.  Put in oven in toast until lightly brown, stirring about every 60 to 90 seconds.

In a large nonstick pot, melt butter.  Add marshmallow fluff and stir until melted/very soft.  Stir in pecans, coconut and cereal until well coated then press into the cake pan.

Oct 3, 2013

Just Peachy Pork Chops

I love slow cooked recipes for two (or slightly more - leftovers for lunch the next day).  Paulus Orchard posted a similar recipe, I updated it for two.

2 Large Pork Chops - sprinkle with salt and pepper

2 cups Peach Slices - peeled and sliced
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Ketchup

Cook pork chops in a large skillet - browning on both sides. 

Put in a crock pot.  Top with peaches.

In pork chop pan, add water and deglaze the pan. 

Add brown sugar, cinnamon and ketchup to skillet, mix well. 

Add to the crock pot.

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

Oct 2, 2013

Spicy Grilled Salmon

Big Green Egg + Spicy Mix + Salmon Steaks = YUM  I used dried, jarred ginger, not fresh.

Two 6 Ounce Steaks

In a bag, combine the following:
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
2 Tbl Soy Sauce
2 Tbl Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tsp Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 Tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Place salmon in the bag, remove all air and marinade at least 4 hours.  Preheat grill. 

Remove fish from bag, spray both sides with cooking spray then place on the grill.  Cook about 5 minutes per side until salmon flakes easily and has a consistent texture.

Oct 1, 2013

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

Peppers from a CSA, ground beef and beef stock after purchasing a cow....what else to make other than soup.  I used Hungarian and bell peppers,  but you can use any peppers you like.

2 lb Lean Ground Beef
3 cups Chopped Green Peppers
32 ounces Beef Stock
29 ounces Tomato Sauce
1 Tbl Oregano
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic
1 tsp Black Pepper
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cup Rice, Cooked.

In a dutch oven, brown the ground beef. 

When cooked, remove and drain.  To the fat rendered from the beef, cook the spices until fragrant.  Add the peppers and saute until soft. 

Add beef, beef stock and tomato sauce, cook until heated.

Add the cooked rice and serve.