At Least Twice A Week

Archive for January 2010

I tried my had a bread again this weekend.  I am loving the excitment of watching the yeast foam and the anticipation of waiting for the dough to double in size and being able to knead it and really be a part of the process of what you are making.  It is an incredible experience.

This recipe came from the February issue of Martha Stewart Living.  And as I said before, my experience with bread has never had good results but this seemed pretty easy.  My only draw back was the pan that I used was longer than what is called for and the bread came out a little denser than what I though it should have but the taste was great.

Since I don’t know what normal bread making is all about, I will go through this one.  Mix two packets of dry, active yeast with 1/2 cup of water and a teaspoon of honey.  Stir to dissolve yeast.  In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt.  When the yeast foams, pour that along with the rest of the water,  3 more tablespoons of honey and some melted butter into your mixer with a dough hook. 

Add 3 cups of the flour mixture, then after that is incorporated add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time.  That is it.  Then you knead it for about 5 minutes, put it in a buttered bowl and let the dough do its thing. 

When it has doubled in size, flatten it out, cut it in half and put it in your bread pans and ‘paint’ with melted butter.  Let it rise again, then bake.

It really wasn’t a difficult thing to do and the house smelled fantastic from the yeast and the baking and everything.  I was so excited that it worked.

I had help in the ‘painting’ process.  You have to start teaching them young if you want them to enjoy it!

I am going to try the cinnamon raisin today.


Don’t roll your eyes, I have grilled chicken before but never have I ever considered using a mayonnaise based sauce.  I saw this one on ‘The Neely’s show’ on Food Network and it looked amazing.  And guess what, it is.

They call it ‘Grilled Chicken with Alabama White BBQ Sauce’ and I don’t remember how the Alabama played into it and really don’t care because everyone in my house loved it and asked when we are going to have it again.

The real difference in this sauce is that you use mayonnaise instead of ketchup as your base.  Everything else is in your basic bar b que sauce, cider vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, garlic power, onion power and cayenne.  We threw in a little paprika also since Hubby swears he heard them say they used smoke paprika in theirs. 

The grilling is normal just baste with the sauce and then dip the cooked chicken in some reserved sauce as you eat.

You gotta try this one.  It is awesome!

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I am now a blog junkie.  I subscribe, I read and some times I go back and read them again.  But the most important thing is I learn from them and I am trying the recipes and crafts that I see other blogger’s doing.  It’s a new dimension in my life.

Yesterday, Geneva and I made Focaccia.  I have always wanted to learn how to bake bread so I jumped right in.  I found this recipe on Alexis Stewart’s blog ‘Whatever’.  Yes, Martha Stewart’s daughter, she cooks too.  The recipe actually comes from Saveur.

I was amazed at how easy it was and I decided that all of my past failures with bread have to do with one little thing, water temperature.  I don’t think I ever checked the temperature of the water before mixing it with the yeast. Now I know.

Getting back to the bread….yeast, sugar and water mixed with flour, salt and sugar after it foams.  Add warm water and oil, knead and leave it alone to rise.  But it in a cast iron skillet to rise again.  The recipe calls for olives but Hubby isn’t a big fan so we substituted onions and I threw on some crumbled bacon with the halved cherry tomatoes.  I can’t tell you how much the bread lover in me liked this.

I joined a group called ‘Martha Mondays”.  I found it on the Martha and Me Blog.  It’s really great, kind of a Julia and Julie type thing.  Brette, the blog writer, spent a year doing Martha Stewart type activities, cooking, a little crafting, general organizing.  And if you are a Martha fan like I am you will enjoy reading her stuff.

Anyway…The group gets a new recipe or craft to work on for the week and post their results.  This is the first one I have been able to do but love that I can share it with everyone.

I haven’t ever thought of making granola before and had read the recipe in the February issue of Living before the ‘Martha Monday’ was announced so I was happy about it.  It’s very simple, oats, coconut chips (I left these out), brown sugar, maple syrup, pecans, raisins and I added dried cranberries.  The most labor intensive thing is having to stir in every 10 minutes for 40 minutes while it is in the oven, however, when you toss some in your mouth it tastes better than the bars you buy.

Hubby likes it and he usually doesn’t enjoy maple flavored anything and I’m thinking about pouring milk on it and eating  it like cereal.  I can see making this at Christmas time for gifts it was that good. This is definitely a keeper.

The weather is bad and neither Hubby nor I want to go out to the grill.  We took the next best alternative and turned on the oven.

I made this up as we went.  And after the smoke settled on – wrapping them in foil or not, we got things going.

I made a sauce with 1 1/2 cups of catsup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon honey,  1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce, 1/2 medium onion (diced small), and 3 gloves of garlic (diced).

Heat the oven to 350.  Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place on rack in a roasting pan.  Brush on sauce heavily.  Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours basting every 20 minutes or so.

They were pretty good.  Not the best but when you can’t get outside, they will do just fine.

This one also came from the January/February issue of Everyday Food.  I don’t think I will be making this one again though without some alterations.

You mix honey, vinegar and soy sauce.  Then it is a basic stir fry. Prep everything, brown your chicken. Remove it and put in your ginger and garlic.  Add peppers (I put some green peas in also) and soy mixture then put your chicken back in until cooked through.

Even with the ginger, garlic, soy and honey there wasn’t much flavor.  The chicken was bland that their just wasn’t much to it.  As I said earlier, I won’t make this one again without my own revision.

Live well, Love much, Laugh often!

This one is awesome.  The hubby couldn’t get enough and when  he took the left overs to work for our foodie friend, he loved them too.

It came from Guy Fieri on the Food Network website and this Philly Cheese Steak Egg Roll is worth the prep time.  I put my spin on it of course but here’s how it goes.

I used the minute steaks that you get in the freezer section but his recipe calls for roast beef.  I cooked the meat separately from the veggies which included mushrooms, one green, red and yellow bell pepper, and a small red onion.

Throw everything into the hot pan with the oil and sauté until soft.

Add the browned meat and you are ready to roll, which I had never done before so it took a bit of time.

Take an egg roll wrapper, add a spoon full of filling across the wrapper diagonally, leaving room to fold.  place cheese on top of the meat-veggie filling.  I used provolone on some and mozzarella on others.  And wrap (there are instructions on the package also.  Put egg wash on the last corner to seal.

Fry until browned.  I have a deep fryer.  Drop them in, wait about 4-5 minutes and you are done.  They can be fried in a pan, turning half way through.

I now realize that I should have broken one open to take a picture.  I know I will be making these again soon, so I will post one then.  You’ve gotta try these, they are great.

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