easy wheat bread

Just a slight variation on the easy white bread. It probably should have just made 1 big loaf, but 2 little loaves were fun and made cute little sandwiches.

4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups wheat flour
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bread flour

Combine yeast, water, and sugar. Allow to sit 5 minutes or until yeast blooms.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine yeast mixture, butter, salt, and whole wheat flour. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Mix in bread flour 1/4 cup at a time. Mix 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch down dough and form into 2 loaves.

Grease 2 bread pans. Place loaves in, seam side down. Allow to rise 40-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes more or until brown and botttom sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove loaves from pan. Place on rack and let cool completely.

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curried yogurt chicken salad

This was yum-my. Next time I’ll add the cashews per serving when eating. They got a little soggy. Not yum-my.

2 chicken breasts, shredded
1 onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1 cup grapes, halved
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp dried mustard
3 tsp curry powder

Combine chicken, onion, apple, grapes and cashews.

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mustard, and curry powder.

Fold sauce into chicken mixture. Refrigerate overnight to combine flavors.

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lemony spinach pasta bake

This was the perfect night-before-a race fuel for Miranda’s first race!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup white wine
1/2-3/4 cup water
1 lb twisted pasta (we used rotini)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup grated parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper
cooking spray
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.

In a deep skillet, melt olive oil and butter. Add onion and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add flour and garlic and cook 1 minute, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon or knife. Gradually add milk and wine, stirring constantly. Add water if necessary. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.

While thickening the sauce, cook pasta according to package directions. Stir in spinach during the last 2 minutes. Drain well.

Add 3/4 cup of the cheese, the lemon juice, salt and pepper to the sauce. Combine pasta and sauce. Stir to coat.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon pasta into dish. Top with breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Serves 8.

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cheese-its

There are few things I love more than a cheesy cracker. But I have such a hard time eating them because of all the un-pronounceable ingredients.

No more, my friends.

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
4-5 tbsp cold water

Combine all ingredients except water in your food processor. Pulse until crumbly and well combined. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it comes together as a dough. You may not use all of the water. (I only used 4 tbsp)>

Shape dough into a disk. wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll to 1/8 inch thickness. Carefully peel off top layer. Using a pizza cutter, trim dough into 2-inch squares. Transfer onto baking sheets. Use a toothpick to poke an indention in th middle of each. Sprinke with coarse salt.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until slightly browned and crisp. Test one after cooling and return to oven a few minutes longer if not done. Store in an airtight container.

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shrimp etouffe

Wasn’t Fat Tuesday like months and months ago?

*hangs head in shame*

4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 green peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
1 tbsp dried minced garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Old Bay
1 tsp cayenne pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add flour. Stir to create a roux, adding chicken broth as necessary.

Add peppers and onions. Stir until coated with roux. Add all remaining ingredients except shrimp. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook until opaque. Serve with rice or pasta.

Serves 6.

Nutritional info (without rice): 175 calories; 8.7g fat; 17.7g carb; 2.8g fiber; 7.5g protein.

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olive nut spread

I remember a trip to the beach where we ate this almost every day for lunch. It’s just an easy lunch sandwich spread. And so tasty.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 medium jar of olives
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Add cream cheese to a medium bowl. Slice olives and add to cream cheese. Add about 2 tbsp of the brine. Add walnuts. Stir well.

Serve as a sandwich spread or with crackers.

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homemade mayo

I don’t like mayo. At all. But for chicken salad, it’s a necessary evil. And I feel better about it if I make it myself.

2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp dried mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil

In a tall cup, comgine all ingredients except for oil. Blend with an immersion blender. Continue to blend while drizzling in the oil. The mixture whould thicken in a minute or two. Add salt and pepper.

Makes about 1 cup.

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