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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

I don’t know about you but when a recipe calls for a cup of pumpkin puree I think who are they fooling since it is impossible to measure out the correct amount of the slurry stuff.  I look at the can and it reads serving size ½ cup – contains 3.5 servings.  I fill my measuring cup and almost all of the can is gone.  So this time the light went on….hmmm what if I use my kitchen scale.  Bravo, shouts the crowd of four very happy mouths with squeals of make more now!  Since it was gone in less then 12 hours.

15 oz. can
425 grams
 1 ¾ cup // 122 grams
since I hate converting oz, cups, pounds etc and they always told in school the US was to going metric.  I opt for the easy conversion
1 cup = 244 grams

Pumpkin Bread
from  Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson
Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook

Makes 1 (9-inch) loaf

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t sea salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Scant 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
2/3 cup water

~ preheat the oven to 350°F
~ butter a 9-inch loaf pan
~ whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl
~ beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute
~ add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined
~ add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated
~ mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined
~ spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
~ let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes
~ remove from the pan and let cool completely

Onion Rosemary Rolls

Awe, the calm before the storm and time to breath again for a couple of days – three to be exact! 
A new favorite in our house, onion rosemary rolls.  These wonderful bites remind us of our most favorite bread in the world – Morton’s onion bread.  A recipe that has alluded me, although I search and search ((let me know if you have it! Please)) In the meantime, try your bread making skills with this recipe.  I am sure you will be pleased with the results.  Best of all only one rise!

Caramelizing the onions
Both plain yellow onions and sweet onions work

Bubbles happen or throw it out
Always check the temperature of your water


Onion and Rosemary Loaves
From Cathy Thomas
Mellssa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce

4 T unsalted butter
3 cups chopped yellow onions
2 ¼ t active dry yeast
2 t sugar
1 cup warm water, not over 95 degrees
5 cups all- purpose flour, divided use
1 ½ t sea salt
1 ½ T or more chopped fresh rosemary leaves
olive oil spray
2 T unsalted butter melted and mixed with ¼ t garlic salt

~ medium high heat melt butter in large cast iron skillet
~ add onions and stir occasionally until caramelized about 30 minutes, reduce heat if necessary to prevent burning
~ set aside and cool completely
~ in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle add yeast, sugar and water
~ allow yeast to bubble about 15 to 20 minutes
~ add half of the flour, salt and rosemary
~ mix on low
~ add caramelized onions with juices from skillet and a bit of the remaining flour
~ switch to dough hook and knead until smooth with a tiny bit of stickiness
~ add more flour as needed in small amounts
~ dough is ready when it springs back, is still a bit sticky and can form a window pane in the stretch test
~ ((my lazy ways)) tired of cleaning so many bowls I now just pull the dough out of the mixing bowl and spray the bowl with olive oil spray
~ I then form the dough into a large ball and put it back in the bowl rolling around to coat
~ cover with a clean damp cotton dish towel
~ allow to rise 1 hour or until double in size
~ preheat oven 400 with baking stone
~ punch dough down and cut into equal portions and flatten
~ allow to rest 10 minutes
~ shape into little balls
~ put corn meal onto baking stone to prevent sticking
~ place dough balls onto baking stone 2 inches apart
~ bake until golden brown 15 to 25 minutes
~ remove from oven and immediately brush with garlic butter mixture or omit they taste great either way

Friday, November 11, 2011

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion, Basil and Mint

A perfect recipe for having the girls over for a casual lunch or dinner.  Rather then opening a can of garbanzo beans, I opted to pressure cook dried beans.  The difference is amazing – give it a try.

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion, Basil and Mint
from Giada's Family Dinners
by Giada De Laurentiis

4  cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1½  cups orzo
1  (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed or see below for pressure recipe
1½  cups organic grape tomatoes, halved
¾  cup finely chopped red onion
½  cup chopped fresh basil
¼  cup chopped fresh mint
¾  cup red wine vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

~ bring the broth to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat
~ stir in the orzo
~ cover partially and cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes
~ drain the orzo through a strainer
~ transfer the orzo to a large, wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly
~ set aside to cool completely
~ toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat; you may not need all ¾ cup
~ season the salad to taste with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature

Pressure Cooked Garbanzo Beans

1 cup dried garbanzo beans
4 cups water
1t vegetable oil

~ add all ingredients to pressure cooker
~ secure lid and bring to high pressure
~ cook 30 to 40 minutes
~ quick release by putting cooker into sink and cool with cold water

Yes Christie, the pressure cooked garbanzo beans have a totally different flavor and texture.  They are firm and have more of a crunch but not really a crunch - they are not mushy and the flavor is not obstructed with the can salted preservative sauce.  I now try to pressure cook all of my beans.  Little time and amazing results in fact if you are a fan of Top Chef you are familiar with Michael Voltaggio, he is recently said, “I’m obsessed. I’m cooking all my sauces in it, I’m cooking seeds and nuts, pretty much anything I can put in there. You get such clean flavor so fast.”  Try it you'll like it...

I ammmmmmmmmmm back

crud crud crud...

way too much going on
as well as pure laziness
life is too short to pass up the chocolate.....or in my case bread

so much to do plant seeds for winter garden
...replace melted plastic covering on green house - darn 100 degree temps

Start cooking again!  so I have made a list and I will try to keep to it

from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

from Earth to Table by Jeff Crumb & Bettina Schormann
French Onion Soup

from Hudson Valley Mediterranean by Laura Pensiero
Hudson Valley Salad with Horseradish Dressing

from Whole Grains for Busy People by Lorne Sass
Farro Risotto with Winter Squash and Sage

from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson
Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb

from Bobby Flay's Burgers Fries and Shakes by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas & Sally Jackson
Salmon Burger with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

from Seven Fires by Franxis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky
Burnt Carrots with Goat Cheese & Arugula

from Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-fei Lo
A Simple Fried Rice

vStir by Barbara Lynch with Joanne Smart
Orecchiette with Cauliflower
Lamb Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Barley

from Mellssa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce by Cathy Thomas
Mediterranean Chopped
Onion and Rosemary Rolls
Rustic Mashed Potatoes
Jerked Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

from Harvey Steinman's California Kitchen
Spinach Pear Salad

from Giada's Family Dinners by Giada De Laurentiis
Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion, Basil and Mint
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