Italian Stirato “Stretch” Bread Recipe


This is quite possibly the easiest and most delicious bread recipe I have at the moment. I use recycled parchment paper — My apologies for the blending of colors in the photo 😉 This is a “no knead” bread, and requires very little hands on time. Most stretch recipes need to proof for 12-18 hours. When I don’t have that kind of time, this recipe is a good compromise, as it has a 4 hour rise time. (Or you can certainly let it go longer if you want to — that won’t hurt anything!) Due to the shortened rise time, the loaf may be a little “flatter” – but I actually like this for sandwiches.

Here’s what you need:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp dry active yeast

1 1/2 c warm water

Here’s what you do:

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the water, and stir with a wooden spoon until dough becomes formed enough to mix by hand. Continue to work ingredients together until combined. The dough will be slightly sticky. Cover the dough in the mixing bowl, and let it rise for 4 hours. I cover mine with a tea towel, and place it in my oven with the oven light on to proof , as this creates a “just warm enough” area for the dough to rise. (Thanks Julia Child!)

After 4 hours, free hand the dough onto a parchment lined baking stone.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and cover the loaf with a tea towel until the oven is ready.

Once the oven has reached 450 degrees, remove the tea towel, and cover the loaf with an upside-down roasting pan — I’m actually not 100% sure why you are supposed to do this step, but- I do it because I’ve read that you “should.”

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the roasting pan and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown, and cooked through. You will know it is done if you tap it with your finger, and it sounds hollow.



Dairy Free Quiche Lorraine Inspired Sandwiches with Lightly Dressed Greens on Italian Stretch Bread


For these sammies, I’ve used a dairy free adaptation of Quiche Lorraine. You can freeze and re-heat the leftovers, (except for the greens.)

Here’s what you need for the “quiche”

1/2 lb thick sliced bacon cut it lardon style strips (or cubed)

1 medium yellow onion

6 eggs

1/2 cup chicken stock (or broth)

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Cook the bacon over medium heat, remove from pan once done

Dice the onion, and saute in leftover bacon grease, remove from pan once done.

Line an 8″ x 8″ square baking dish with parchment paper. (You can also use a pie pan if you’d like.)

Spread the bacon and onions over the parchment lined dish

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the bacon and onions.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the eggs are cooked through.

Cut into 6 portions, place on stretch bread (see Italian Stirato “stretch” bread recipe – or use whatever style roll/bread you prefer)

Top with greens, lightly dressed with the following:

Dressing for greens:

This is a slightly modified dressing recipe from Emeril Lagasse.

1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together and slowly add enough to lightly coat your favorite greens in a mixing bowl. Save reserve dressing for leftovers.

*Serving suggestion – I serve this with kettle style potato chips that I “dress up”  by adding about 2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp dried rosemary. I mix the chips in a large bowl by hand, being careful not to pulverize the chips in the process.


Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Glazed Devil’s Food Cake with Mocha Icing Recipe


Some people say less is more, but not me! I say more is more, and with this cake — you definitely want more!

Here’s what you need for the cake:

I mix the ingredients in my KitchenAid mixer with paddle attachment in this order: (Or you can do it by hand. — If using a mixer, you may want to stop from time to time in order to scrape down the sides of the bowl.)

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Canola oil (Or vegetable oil, or XLOO — Whatever you prefer.)

1 cup = 1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup brewed coffee — cooled.  (I brew extra in the morning and save it for the cake.)

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Once ingredients are mixed well, pour the batter into a lightly oiled 9″ round cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until you can poke the center with a toothpick, and have out come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Here’s what you need for the icing:

Combine in mixer with whisk attachment:

 1/4 cup brewed coffee – cooled

2 TBSP Meringue Powder (or powdered eggs – both are found in most grocery store baking aisles and are fairly inexpensive.)

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups powdered sugar

Once the cake has cooled, frost it accordingly. You may need to stir the icing again before hand, as it is a hard-set icing.

Here’s what you need for the caramel sauce:

Combine in small sauce pan on medium heat:

1/4 c brewed coffee

1 cup sugar

1 Tbsp bourbon

1 tsp vanilla

Simmer on medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

remove from heat and add:

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup milk. (I use skim, but use what you like.)

Once you have blended the cocoa and milk to the mixture, put it back on medium heat for about 2 more minutes. It will likely bubble a bit — this is fine, just be careful to stir it to avoid having it bubble over the pan.

Remove from the heat, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool and thicken.

Once it has cooled, drizzle the sauce over the top of the cake, and save the rest to drizzle over individual pieces.


Cherry Peach Cobbler with Pecan Biscuit Topping


Here’s what you need for the filling:

1/2 cups cherries (I used a 12 oz bag of frozen cherries, thawed.)

2 cups sliced peaches (I used a 16 oz bag of frozen peaches, thawed.)

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp Kirsch (Or any cherry flavored brandy)

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Here’s what you need for the biscuit topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans (sub for almonds if you’d like, or leave them out if you don’t want to include nuts)

2 Tbsp cornmeal

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup milk (I use skim)

2 – 4 Tbsp canola oil or XLOO. Use 2 tbsp if you like the topping more dense and biscuit like, use 4 if you prefer it to be more cookie like. — I’ve made this before without any oil, and it is a little crunchy, but still tastes great! Make it how you prefer it.

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place fruit in a medium sized mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine all other filling ingredients. Once blended, add the mixture to the fruit, and lightly stir to coat the fruit pieces.

Pour fruit mixture into an ungreased 8″ x  8″ square baking pan.

Make topping:

In medium mixing bowl combine all of the biscuit topping ingredients starting with a spoon or fork, and when a dough starts to form, finish mixing it by hand. Once the ingredients have formed a solid dough, break off “tablespoon-ish” size pieces, and place them on top of the fruit mixture. Do not cover the fruit completely. place on the middle rack of the oven.

Baking times will vary depending on the fruit. — If you use fresh, it should only take about 40 minutes to bake. If you are using frozen, for some reason, even when I think the fruit has thawed completely, it takes much longer to cook. Check the cobbler at 40 – 50 minutes. You may need to let it bake for 60 minutes. You will know the cobbler is done when you can lift a section of the biscuit topping slightly with a butter knife, and it does not still look doughy. Let it cook until the dough is thoroughly done, and the top is golden brown.

Top with strawberry ice cream (or any flavor you prefer.)


Dairy Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


*I am calling this recipe dairy free, although I did not factor in the chocolate chips which have a slight amount of dairy in the ingredients. However, you can substitute them for carob chips, or any type of “chips” you’d like.

This is a chewy-er cookie, especially for the dairy free recipes which sometimes can end up like hockey pucks (although the edges are crunchy- and delicious!) I recommend storing them in Tupperware to keep them on the softer side. The recipe will make about a dozen cookies, but can be easily doubled.

Here’s what you need:

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs canola oil or XLOO. (Extra light olive oil will give them more of a buttery flavor.

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

I use my KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment. However, you can mix the, by hand.

Some people are big advocates for mixing dry and wet ingredients separately. I don’t for this recipe, and I think the end result does not suffer. I add the ingredients in the order they are listed above, and mix until combined and smooth.

Drop heaping tablespoons (silverware tablespoons, not measuring tablespoons) onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, allowing some space for the cookies to expand during cooking, about an inch and a half should do. The picture above is an industrial sized tray that takes up the entire length of my oven, so you will want to put fewer cookies on a standard sized tray.

Bake for about 9 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers don’t deflate if you poke them with your finger. (Not an exact science, but — it works.) Let them sit on the tray for a couple minutes to solidify theor shape before transferring to a wire cooling rack