Monday, October 16, 2017

No-Knead Honey Whole Wheat Bread


 No-Knead Honey Whole Wheat Bread

When it comes to comfort food the most comforting of all is homemade bread. There is something warm and wonderful about the aroma as it bakes that makes you want to slow down and take the time to savor it. Baking bread can be time-intensive without a machine, and even then it can take longer than anyone wants to wait for fresh-baked bread. No-Knead bread is just as delicious as the kneaded kind and even the kids can handle this - making it just that much more enjoyable for parents.

No-Knead Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Serves: Makes 2 - 8 inch loaves

Ingredients:

3 cups warm water, 110 - 120 degrees F
2 packets instant dry yeast
1/4 cup honey - for vegan use agave nectar
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

1. Grease two 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch loaf pans or two 1.5 quart oven-proof bowls.
2. Combine warm water, yeast and honey. Stir to dissolve yeast.
3. In a large bowl, mix together flours and salt. Pour liquid into dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly - dough will be sticky.
4. Divid dough equally between pans. Let stand in a warm spot for 20 minutes until slightly risen.
5. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes. The bottom of the loaves will sound hollow when tapped.
6. Turn out of pans and cool on a rack.


Monday, October 09, 2017

Maple Glazed

I've heard tell of those who find the football game secondary to the tailgate party. I'm one of those people. Don't get me wrong; I love a good football game, but the fun had with others on a crisp fall day sharing our favorite hearty fall foods just can't be beat.

Most football get-togethers consist of fans of one single team with everyone rooting for the same side, but what happens when you have rivals in your midst? Ply them with good food. That being said, this time of year just begs for everything maple. These two recipes are so good, and so simple. Both have 3 ingredients or less and both are done in 30 minutes! Easy and delicious, my favorite.

Kielbasa in Maple and Beer



Kielbasa in Maple and Beer

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pound kielbasa, cut into 1" chunks
1 cup beer (any type)
1/2 cup real maple syrup

Directions:

Combine everything in a heavy bottomed sauce pot and simmer until sauce thickens and kielbasa starts to brown (about 30 minutes).



Maple Glazed Nuts


You can use any type of shelled nuts you like, raw or roasted, salted or not. I like to use roasted and salted nuts as we really like the salty-sweet combination. Please do use real maple syrup if you can, the flavor profile is different than using imitation syrup.

Maple Glazed Nuts

Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 cup nuts, any type (almonds are pictured)
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup

Directions:

1. Heat the nuts in a non-stick pan over medium heat for about 1 minute - just so they start getting warm.
2. Add maple syrup and toss the nuts quickly slowly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until the syrup starts to them. This happens quickly, only about 20 seconds. 
3. Moving quickly, remove from heat and spread out evenly on parchment paper or a greased baking sheet to cool. Try to spread them out so they are not touching and let them cool for 20 minutes. 
4. Once cooled, break apart any that are stuck together and serve. 

*Note: Once glazed, they don't store well as an humidity in the air will cause them to start sticking together.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Kentucky Butter Cake

Pumpkin Spice Kentucky Butter Cake


I am winding down here on my abilities to blog and ramping up on my school and children duties. This means I will have to cap myself at one recipe a week for at least the rest of this year. Once January comes I can reevaluate, but for now finishing my own college studies and helping one of the children with cyber school in addition to all the other mom duties going on is taking most of time. I'm sure we'll all live through this. 


Pumpkin Spice Kentucky Butter Cake


This recipe is a variation of one already on my blog. I shared JoAn Henry's recipe for Kentucky Butter Cake quite some time ago, but the notion of turning it seasonal hit me recently and this cake is just awesome. Make sure you mix the pie spice into the other dry ingredients first. I've made the mistake of adding it to wet ingredients and it just never distributes well that way. Once you've made this, sit down with a cup of something warm and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Kentucky Butter Cake
Makes one cake


1 cup butter - softened

1 cup pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar - lightly packed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
3/4 cup buttermilk

Cream 1 cup butter with sugars.  Blend in eggs and purée. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice and stir well so everything is distributed well. Combine and vanilla. Add milk and flour mixtures alternately to sugar mixture, ending with dry mixture. Mix well. Turn into greased and floured 10 inch bundt pan. Bake at 325° for 60 to 65 minutes.

Butter sauce:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 


Mis pie spice and sugar well, Put sugar, water and butter into a small saucepan. Heat until butter melts; add 1 tablespoon vanilla. Poke holes into top of cake with a fork or wooden skewer. Pour sauce slowly over cake while cake is in pan. Cool before removing from pan. 


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Veggie Wednesday: Last of the Harvest Salad


We are very much at the end of tomato season, and yet, with 90 degree days this week you'd think it was still mid-summer. Hot days don't match with apples and pumpkins and all things fall, so I went with my gut (no pun intended) and scrounged around for the makings of a beautiful salad.

Most people see purslane as a weed and, indeed, it does appear that way in the yard - tentacling out onto the sidewalk and looking like a general nuisance. However, purslane is somewhat of a wonder in that it contains more Omega 3s than any other leafy plant life. Have a look here to read more!

Also, marigolds are not just pretty, they are edible! Check this out for exactly how to deal with them.

Now, I am not going to give you a recipe as this should be self-explanatory. Tiny little heirloom tomatoes tossed with cucumber, purslane, and your favorite vinaigrette and topped with a beauty of a marigold makes for such a pretty plate. I wish these things were available in my yard all year long.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Beef and Cheese Crostata

Beef and Cheese Crostata



Crostata is usually a sweet dessert, but this savory preparation is a delicious and different dinner that disappears each time I make it. I make two of these as my kids are very hearty eaters. Change the onions to 1 teaspoon onion powder if you have picky eaters. Serve with a veggie and salad.

Beef and Cheese Crostata



Beef and Cheese Crostata

Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Yield: Serves 3 - 6

Ingredients:

1lb.  ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup prepared brown gravy
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 refrigerated pie crust

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and let come to room temperature before unrolling. Make sure crust is 12-inches in diameter. If not, roll until it measures correctly.
3. Place crust on an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Brown ground beef with onions and garlic and drain completely. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in gravy and spoon onto pie crust, leaving an edge of 1-inch.
6. Fold pie crust just over the edge of the meat mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
7. Add cheese to the top and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
8. Let cool for 5 minutes and cut into 6 wedges.