Italian Stirato “Stretch” Bread Recipe

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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.

Enjoy!

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My Grandmother’s Applesauce Recipe

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Growing up, my favorite thing about fall was always my grandmother’s applesauce. With grocery store varieties containing ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and dyes, this recipe is great alternative with just two ingredients, apples and sugar. Here’s how to do it:

Peel core and slice 1/2 a peck of apples. (I get a mix from an orchard near my house) cut the slices into halves or thirds, and toss them into a stockpot or Dutch oven as you go. I turn the heat on low, and keep it on as I prep and add the apples. Now comes the sugar.(Just plain, white, natural sugar.) My grandmother always said there is no set amount, “you just go by gosh, and by golly.” I’ve come to fill a small tea cup (as you see in the picture) but you can always add a small amount, and more to taste as you go along.

There is no need to add any liquid, the apples will break down naturally, just keep them on low heat. At this point, I put a lid on the pot and let them cook, stirring occasionally. After about 30-45 minutes or so, (depending on how chunky you like your sauce) it is ready to enjoy. You can add a teaspoon of cinnamon if you’d like. My grandmother was never a big fan of that, and wanted to let us add our own cinnamon, only if we wanted to.

It will last about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, if you have any left by that time! If you want to make extra, it keeps very well in the freezer, and is sure to please adults and children alike!

 

(*I posted this previously on another blog for a school project, and wanted to post it again here.)

Sweet Onion, Mustard Seed and Dill Seasoned Rice

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Rice is one of my favorite side dishes because there are so many different things you can do with it, and not feel like you are just serving rice “again” if you make it a few times during the week. (It may wind up with it’s own section on this blog.)

Because cooking times and liquid measurements vary so much, use the package instructions as your guide.

This recipe is based on using 2 cups of dry rice.

Here’s What You Need:

Rice

Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock, or water. Any of the 3 will be delicious, I personally use chicken stock for a little extra savory flavor. You can also use half stock and half water.)

1 Vidalia (or other sweet variety) onion. If you really like onion, use a large one. If it’s not your favorite, use a small one.

A drizzle of olive (or canola) oil

1 tsp whole mustard seeds

1 bay leaf

Dried dill – enough to sprinkle on top (See the picture above)

Here’s What You Do:

Heat your oil on medium heat in a large sauce pan

Dice the onion and saute it in the oil until translucent (about 10 minutes should do it.) Add a sprinkle of salt, and if it starts to brown, reduce your heat.

Add your stock (or water) to the onions, and add the bay leaf with it. Bring it up to a boil, and add your rice.

Add the mustard seeds, cover, reduce heat, and cook according to the package instructions.

Sprinkle a little dried dill on top before serving, and enjoy!

Baked Zucchini Fries

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs (I prefer Panko)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 medium zucchini, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2-inch-long and 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or sub paprika if you don’t care for spicy food)

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and chipotle on a plate. Place the flour on another plate and the beaten eggs in a small bowl.
  • Dip the zucchini sticks first in the flour until lightly coated, and then in the eggs. Then roll them in the bread-crumb mix until they are well coated.
  • Place the zucchini pieces onto a baking sheet and bake until the zucchini is tender but the coating is crispy, about 20 minutes. You may want to flip them half way through. If you prefer to have them more crispy, give them a drizzle of olive oil at the halfway point.

Enjoy!

(*I posted this previously on another blog for a school project, but wanted to post it again here.)

You Say Potato, I Say Accordian Potatoes!

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Here’s another fun way to eat your vegetables! After seeing this recipe on French Cooking at Home, I had to make them! I used local redskin potatoes, but any small variety will work. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. After you wash the potatoes, slice them along one side, but not all the way through. place fresh herbs in a couple of the slots. I used sage, rosemary, marjoram and thyme, but use what you like! Give them a good drizzle of extra light olive oil. Feel free to drizzle them with melted butter, or canola oil etc. as well, but note that they will brown quicker with butter. Bake them at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or so, depending on how crisp you like them. They will fan out as they cook and take on the accordion look. Enjoy!

(*I posted this previously on another blog for a school project, but wanted to post it again here.)

No Mayo- Avocado, Bacon, Tomato, Chipotle & Chive Deviled Eggs Recipe

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This is my take on green eggs and ham, (or bacon.) It’s a fun and easy way to put a spin on a traditional side dish, and they are a big hit at picnics!

Here’s what you need:

12 eggs

2 ripe avocados

A splash of white wine (or lime juice)

6 slices of thick cut bacon

Grape or cherry tomatoes. (Enough for 12 slices.)

Fresh chives

a generous pinch (or two) of dried chipotle seasoning (or crushed red pepper flakes)

a pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

Hard boil the eggs (about 12 minutes) and fry the bacon until crispy. Set the bacon aside to cool. Peel the eggs and slice them in half long-wise. Remove the yolks and place them in a bowl. You can use a stand up mixer with whisk attachment, or a handheld mixer, or a wooden spoon if you are feeling strong. (I opt for the stand up mixer.)

Cut the avocados in half, carefully remove the pits and scrape them out of the skin. Add them to the egg yolks. Add a splash of white wine, or lime juice. (I use the wine because I am allergic to citrus, and it keeps the avocado from browning. I think the flavor is nice too.) Add the salt and chipotle or pepper seasoning.

Crumble 4 of the pieces of bacon into the mixture, and save the other two for garnish/topping for the eggs. Spoon the mixture evenly into the egg halves. (About a heaping teaspoonful for each.) Crumble the remaining bacon and sprinkle over the eggs.

Snip the chives into about 1 inch pieces, and stick 2 into each egg’s filling. Top with a tomato slice, and sprinkle a little extra chipotle on top if you’s like.

Enjoy!

Pop Overs Recipe

 

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a popover pan. A cupcake tray will work too, just use less batter and check them every 10 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. – When you check them, use the oven light, and do not open the oven until they are done to a golden brown. They will not rise well if you open the oven.

Here’s what you need:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 c all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 c milk (full fat works best, but skim will work too)

2 eggs

In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, milk, and oil. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and fold until blended. Divide the mixture evenly between 6 popover trays, or fill the cupcake tins about half way.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, but do not open the oven, just lower the heat. Cook for another 20 minutes. Then enjoy!