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Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Best Bread EVER!!! Easy, No Knead Crusty Bread!

Posted by reeeeeen on December 8, 2007

Cliff found this bread recipe  in Mother Earth News and wanted me to try it.  We’re big fans of the artisan style bread.  The kind with the crunchy browned crust and soft light center.  What do you need except that, some butter and maybe some garlic or roasted peppers for a good time?  Not a thing!

 So he asked me to try this recipe.  Now anyone who knows me know that I am NOT a baker.  I’m a home cook.  Need dinner — lead me to the fridge and I can whip up some kick ass chicken or pasta sauce or stew, need vegetarian?  Great! Lead me to the stove. 

But baking..ugh.  The exacting nature just bores and frustrates me.  The waiting for the final result frustrates me.

When I’m making dinner I can taste as I go…needs more salt?  Fix it!  Needs more spice?  Fix it!  With baking you just wait for that first post-baking bite to see if you accidentally confused the sugar and salt containers…

So I was skeptical and fully expected to end up with a large bread looking rock that we could keep by the door for self defense.  Hey nowadays, you can’t have enough heavy baking disasters within arm’s reach of the door, I guess.

Imagine my surprise when (after this super easy, essentially fool proof recipe) we ended up with a loaf of one of the best breads I’ve ever tasted!  I’m actually excited to try it again, adding some roasted garlic or oregano to the mix and see how it comes out.  I don’t have a picture (we tore into it as soon as it was cooled the required hour, and my camera’s flash is broken), but it came out almost exactly like the picture in the article in the link above, except the flour darkened to a beautiful honey brown color. 

Apparently (as I was researching whether 1/2 t yeast was a misprint or not — it’s not, the long rising time and the no knead recipe eliminates the need for the usual 2t or so), it’s become all the rage over the last year or so.   Just google ‘no knead bread’ and you’ll see what we’ve been missing!

 Try this recipe, I’d love to hear what the results were!  2 caveats — make sure to flour the dishtowels generously, many of the comments on the article indicated that it tended to stick.  If I hadn’t read the comments first, I have no doubt I’d have had the same problem.  And second, make sure you have a dutch oven that has an oven proof handle on top that can withstand the high heat.  Mine made it through with just a tiny crack but next time I’ll remove the handle and stick some tin foil in the hole instead or cover the whole thing with tin foil instead.  The pan has to be sealed tight for the humidity to crisp the crust up. 

No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread

1⁄4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1⁄2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1⁄2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Yield: One 1 1⁄2-pound loaf.
Adapted from The New York Times.



Posted in Bread Recipes, Food, Recipes, Tonight's Dinner, Vegetarian or Vegan Recipes | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Tonight’s Dinner – Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

Posted by reeeeeen on September 11, 2007

Makes 6 servings  POINTS® value | 1 per serving Ingredients

 2 pounds tomatoes, halved
• 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
• 6 peeled garlic cloves
• 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
• 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
• 2 cups no-salt, fat-free vegetable broth
• 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

2. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme on a large, rimmed baking sheet; roast until shriveled and starting to brown, about 45 minutes.  

3. Now you can either: 

Scrape everything from the baking sheet into a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; process until puréed.   Pour the contents of the food processor canister into a large saucepan


Scrape everything in 2 batches into a food mill (my preference) and process into a large saucepan. 

4. Stir in the broth, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Uncover & simmer 5 more minutes.   

Serving size: 1 cup

Posted in Food, Recipes, Soup Recipes, Tonight's Dinner, Vegetarian or Vegan Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Product review – Boca Meatless ‘Ground Beef’ – WW Friendly comfort food

Posted by reeeeeen on September 9, 2007

I made shepherd’s pie this weekend to have for lunch for a few days, instead of ground beef or chicken, I used that Boca Ground ‘Beef’.    It came 3 packets in a box, each packet was supposed to be equivalent to 2 servings aka ½ lb ground beef.  I figured the points on ALL 3 COMBINED to be 6 points. 
I put it in a saucepan with ½ water, a bouillon cube (which I actually may have been able to do without – but hey 0 points and I was worried it wouldn’t bear any resemblance to actual ground beef; next time I’ll skip that and just add salt I think)  and chopped up carrot (1), onion (1), and garlic (a couple cloves).  When the water was almost evaporated I added a little flour and put that in the bottom of a 2 qt casserole.  I topped that with ½ cup frozen corn and a 10 oz pkg. of frozen green beans.  Then I mashed up 3 med potatoes with a little ff milk, and spread it on top. 
I figured the whole thing as 4 generous servings (cause I’m a generous servings kind of gal) and – get this — at around 5.5 points per serving.   It’s not as much as it sounds, it made a small casserole and could have fit in a 1 ½ qt casserole easily, but since the veggies were frozen I was worried about boiling over.  I always put the veggies in frozen (as well as a little flour in the meat) if I’m not using actual gravy in the meat because the veggie liquid makes a nice gravy with the meat and onions.
Popped it in the oven today for lunch and cooked for about an hour at 350 (it was cold from the fridge so normally I don’t think it would take that long), it just has to heat through and brown on top.  The Boca Ground ‘Beef’ was surprisingly good. 
 I’d had high hopes since I LOVE the Boca Chick’n patties, but it surpassed my expectations.  The taste, the texture, it was everything I’d hoped it would be.  I bet if I served it to you, you wouldn’t notice anything unusual.   It was tasty, moist, filling.  A+ and this is definitely a keeper.
Shepherd’s pie is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods, and I’m thrilled I found a guilt-free way to work it into my repertoire. 


Posted in Food, Product Reviews, Vegetarian or Vegan Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Tonight’s Dinner – Spice Rubbed Baked Cod with Chunky Guacamole

Posted by reeeeeen on September 6, 2007

Spice Rubbed Baked Cod with Chunky Guacamole

This came out great.

The cod was rubbed with curry, Spanish smoked hot pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper. I let it sit overnight (not because I wanted to, but because I just didn’t have the motivation to make dinner last night) refrigerated until after I made the Guacamole (this one except with no sour cream, no chipotle, and a bit of chopped red onion instead of the scallions. SUBSTITUTIONS RULE! 🙂 ).   When the guac was done I broiled the cod until it was flaky and browned. 


Posted in Food, Mexican Recipes, pictures, Recipes, Seafood Recipes, Tonight's Dinner | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

awesome martini!

Posted by reeeeeen on September 2, 2007

OK, so I was wandering around foodie sites, mostly due to my recently listening to Anthony Bourdain‘s book ‘Kitchen Confidential’.  I surfed my way to the foodie mecca Egullet.

There’s a forum thread on infusing vodka.  I got inspired and did the following:

In a clean jar, I put: 

750ml (approx 3 cups) Luksosowa potato vodka
5 tea bags of Earl Grey tea

and let it sit for approx 5 hours. 

I removed the tea bags and let it chill.

To make the Martini,
3 parts tea-infused vodka
1 part Caravella Limoncello
1 slice lemon


1 part tea-infused vodka
3 parts lemonade 

For a lemonade-tea, yum for summer!

I’m not fond of mint but I bet a sprig of mint would be divine with this also.

Posted in Food, Potent Potables, Recipes | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »