Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Flowers

Today, I was going to tell you about kale chips. You are going to want to eat kale chips all week after a long weekend of BBQ, beer, chips and lounging.

Today, I was going to tell you about dark chocolate chip cookies that are made with 100% whole wheat flour. They are amazing. Period.

Today, I wanted to tell you about the easiest pasta sauce I have ever made. It might be the best pasta sauce I have ever made.

This is going to have to wait for the coming week, see today is Memorial Day.

Today, let us remember and honor those who have so bravely served this country and those who have fought for our freedom.

Here are some pictures from a recent gallivant to Dayton, Washington. I went in search of new trails and found snow, hail and wind.

I was rewarded with beautiful flowers at the Patit Creek Restaurant.

Have a wonderful day and we will chat later this week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bread Baking Babes May Stromboli

It is that time of the month again, Bread Baking Babes takes on stromboli for the month of May.

A rather simple bread that can be easily adapted to what ever puts wind up your skirt.

A perfect picnic food, easily transportable, tote it to your favorite outdoor secret summer spot, slice and you have a sandwich.

You totally want to know what I put in mine, what puts wind up my skirt?

Lots of cheese and fresh herbs, light on the meat.  Fresh cracked pepper of course.

Follow directions and poke holes in the rolled dough prior to baking, this will make a nice tight roll, one that looks a lot better than mine.

Learn from mistakes. I will read directions. I will read directions. I will read directions.

 Next time.

You really don't want it to look like this.

Make sure you have plenty of people to feed when you make this, it is a foot long sandwich monster.

Adapt. Use the huge gaping hole in the bread to fry an egg in.

Stomboli cradled eggs. Can you imagine?

Problem solved!


Source - adapted from Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno

2 tsp. dry yeast (1 packet dry yeast...I used fast acting) (7 grams)
1 ¼ c. water (268 grams)
3 ½ c. unbleached flour (470 grams)
1 ½ tsp. salt (11 grams)
3 Tbs. olive oil (38 grams)

For the filling and topping:

8 oz. smoked swiss cheese (226 grams)
3 cloves garlic, minced 8 oz. Prosciutto, sliced thin (226 grams)
4 oz. pepperoni, sliced thin (113 grams)
Handful of fresh basil leaves
~1 tsp. coarse salt
3 sprigs rosemary, stems removed
~1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle yeast into 1 c. of the water, in small bowl. Leave for 5 minutes to then stir to dissolve.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center and pour in dissolved yeast and the oil. Mix in flour from sides of well. Stir in reserved water, as needed, to form a soft, sticky dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, silky, and elastic...~10 mins. Pour dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 hours.

Punch down and chafe* for 5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.

Shape into a 14" x 8" rectangle. Cover w/ clean towel and let rest another 10 minutes.

Spread your cheeses, meats, garlic and basil evenly over dough. (You can use your own combination of meats and cheeses, or roasted veggies and garlic or whatever you like for filling.) Roll up the dough like a swiss roll, starting at one of the shorter sides, but without rolling too tightly.

Place on oiled baking sheet. Use a skewer or a carving fork to pierce several holes through the dough to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of olive oil, salt, rosemary and pepper.
Bake in preheated (400 degrees F) oven for 1 hour, until golden. Drizzle remaining olive oil over top. Slice and serve!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Silky Lemon Olive Oil Cake

 Hello my friends! I am full of great information today - you are lucky.

 Like this bit of worldy knowledge:

If you really want to do something sweet, bake a cake for someone.

Make it a super simple cake, like this one, requiring little time, everyday ingredients and relies on fresh fruit for flavor.  It is summer and you have things to do other than keep warm in the kitchen like you have been doing all winter. People to save, galaxies to discover, weeds to pull.

Next time you smell the sweet aroma of a BBQ, you know what to do. I am providing you with the tools to make your summer very successful. Bake a cake and go make new friends. Life is going to be easy! You are also going to want to tuck a bottle of this wonderful Washington wine under your other arm. Bernard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese wins awards and will please everyone.

Rose and lemon cake..... it will work, promise.

You know it is summer, there are plenty of parties where you want to show up with something sweet, not from the deli counter. Considered yourself prepared and stop all the fussing.

Everyone loves gifts and presents that are edible, you just win every time. Make a cake with bright fresh fruit that pops with color and brighten every one's day.

When J had a birthday on Monday I knew that he would not be into something overly sweet and totally turned off by elaborate, honestly he didn't even want cake. I wanted cake. I wanted a silky smooth bright cake. I knew he would love this simple loaf that packs the flavorful in full force with out gagging on sugar. If fruit was in season I would have spiked it with some berries. Don't fuss that there is no berries in season or that the last of the frozen blueberries went into last week's smoothie, the lemon cake can pull it's own weight.

You are going to be okay, you have a perfect summer time cake.

Silky Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen and adapted loosely from Ina Garten,

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and olive oil.

Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.


This cake is wonderful the first day when there is a paper thin shell of sugar coating over the top of the cake.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipes

 It is Monday - Meatless Monday.

What better time than the beginning of Spring to dive into a day filled with fresh vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts..... you get my drift. Eating plant based for one day is super easy.

 Don't believe me yet...... just look at what I have to offer:

Ribboned Aspagus Salad 

Living in the fertile heartland of Washington State, early Spring is a robust time to capture the first harvest of a long and fruitful growing season of the Pacific Northwest. The first substantial crop that appears are tender spears of fresh asparagus. Raw crisp asparagus is a gem this time of year, providing a wholesome crisp flavorful awakening from Winter's long battle. A bright combination of lemon, rice vinegar and oil dresses raw ribboned asparagus in a way that celebrates the coming bounty that awaits the patent.

Carmalized Onion Hummus spread over hearty oatmeal crackers

We all need to snack, make it healthy and packed full of protein and fiber to keep you happy and full of energy to conquer the world.

Stove Top baked Beans

White beans are so creamy and rich you will never notice that there is not pork in the dish. My Texan agrees and that there is proof if you still had doubts that beans and bacon must be side by side.

French Onion Soup

An dish that has complex flavors with ingredients that you most likely have on hand.

Sweet Roasted Garlic Soup

One last appearance of the root vegetables while we patently wait for the bounty of Summer to roll on in.

My Texan's Birthday

My Texan has a birthday today.

Happy Birthday Red Beard.

My Texan obviously has a red beard and the biggest biceps possible. It might be all the spinach he eats. Spinach will not make you grow a red beard but may increase the size of your muscles.  

He is kind of my hero. He makes sure I don't run off to the funny farm to run barefoot in the ferns.

He takes really good care of me.

Protects me from evil does with machetes...

Moves mountains.... No big deal really.

Mushy. Mushy.

I love him with every fiber of my body. We kind of have something going on, it is for real.

Like we have lived through like a bazillion cluster fucks.

I am the jelly - he is the peanut butter. We are like that, different but better together.

Today is his birthday. He is going to ride his bike, probably climb if he could.

Not a day goes by when I'm not thankful for my red bearded Texan. He's taught me how to stay calm when I feel upset and how to just. let. go. of things.
He also taught me how to ride a bike like a pro, rock climb like a ninja and is trying really hard to get me to throw a Frisbee in his general direction.
J says:

Be a better person.
Keep trying.
Make good friends. 
Work harder.
Stay out of your head.
Just go play outside already.

Happy birthday to the man of my life, dreams and my future.

 We are totally going to go run away to mountains together.

 I love his $5 leather gloves.

Swing set skills...

Happy Birthday love!
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