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Archive for December, 2008

12-20-08n41

With this little mix of spices you can create your own bulk Italian sausage. Perfect for pizza or any place sweet Italian sausage is called for.

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:: Sweet Italian Sausage Spice Blend ::

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork (ground beef may be substituted, but the flavor and texture will not be the same)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Directions:

Combine the spices in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly with ground pork. Cook as directed by recipe.

P.S. It’s Kitchen Tip Tuesday…

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Our Christmas Brunch

:: Menu ::

Savory

Fried Eggs

Sautéed Vegetables

Sausages

Sweet

Stollen

Poppy seed Cake

Rommegrot

Beverages

Eggnogg

Coffee

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

We sautéed mushrooms, onions, and green peppers to go with our eggs and sausages.

Every year on Christmas Eve, our Grandma sends home a loaf of her homemade Stollen. We like to toast it and smother it in butter.

I was browsing around, trying to find something utterly scrumptious to make, and found this recipe.

My litte neice enjoyed her first Christmas.

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Homemade Pizza Sauce

Sauce is so important to a homemade pizza. I’m sure you could buy a very good bottled sauce. But why not make your own and control what goes into it?

This recipe makes a slightly sweet pizza sauce. The maple syrup helps to balance the acidity of the tomato paste. If you would like a less sweet version, simply decrease the amount of maple syrup.

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:: Quick Homemade Pizza Sauce ::

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

1-2 tablespoons red cooking wine (optional but very good)

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Whisk together until well combined. Place over low heat and cook until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Makes about 3/4 cup, or enough for two large pizzas

P.S. It’s Kitchen Tip Tuesday…


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closewithcup

This Wednesday was Dad’s birthday. Finding I didn’t have a present, I decided to bake him some biscotti. I was a little concerned he wouldn’t like them. Twice before I have made biscotti – and failed miserably. However, this batch turned our quite well (perhaps due to the fact that I actually followed the recipe).

“Those were good,” he said the next day. “Those are good.”

I am pleased and satisfied.

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:: Chocolate & Almond Biscotti ::

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons softened butter, divided
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (120z) bag of chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup of butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture with the mixer on low and beat until well combined. Stir in the almonds. If the dough is too wet to handle, stir in an additional 1/2 cup of flour.

3) Butter 2 large baking sheets. Divide the dough into 3-4 portions and shape into long, flattened logs on the baking sheets, about 5 inches wide and 5/8 inches thick.

4) Bake the logs in preheated oven for 27-30 minutes, or until firm and slightly browned. Transfer logs one at a time to a cutting board and cut diaganally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange sliced back on the baking sheets and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5) Line two large baking sheets with wax paper. Melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter in a double boiler. Place in a rectangular baking pan and dip the bottoms of the biscotti in the chocolate. Place the dipped biscotti onto the wax paper lined baking sheets and place in the freezer to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

alone2

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P.S. This is my entry for Eat Christmas Cookies 2. Stop by and see the roundup of delicious Christmas cookies!

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Gifts from the Kitchen 2008

————~:: Make It ::~————

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cranberry

Apple & Cranberry Chutney

blueberry Blueberry Syrup

muffin

Jam Jar Muffins

cookiescone

Cookie Scones

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies

————~:: Wrap It ::~————

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Goodie Bags

Gift Adornments

Cookie Compotes

Quick Bread Wraping

Printable Gift Tags(pdf)

Cookie Gift Sleeves

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Yeast Spotting

To my surprise and delight, my 100% Whole Wheat Bread has been featured on Yeast Spotting, a weekly showcase of yeasted baked goods. Stop by, and you might find something you can’t resist making…

Green Tea and Red Rice Swirl Bread from Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté

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We discovered what we consider to be the best all-purpose bread recipe. We try other bread recipes, but we always return to this one.

The original recipe included walnuts and sunflower seeds, but after protests from certain parties, we omitted them. The recipe also called for over 1/4 cup of sweetener per loaf. This produces a very sweet loaf, so I reduced this amount to 2 tablespoons. I also added 2 tablespoons flax meal, which gives a more rustic look. For an extra special touch, I like to brush the top with milk and sprinkle with oatmeal.

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:: 100% Whole Wheat Bread ::

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Note: This recipe makes a very large loaf. I usually double the recipe and make three 9×5 inch loaves.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey, molasses or maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups (18 3/8 oz) Hard Red (traditional) or Hard White (17.5 oz) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal, optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast


To prepare the dough:

(Hand Method) Combine all of the ingredients, and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes, then knead till  smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.

(Mixer Method) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, then knead by machine until fairly smooth, about 10 minutes. Allow dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.

(Bread Machine Method) Place all ingredients in bread machine pan and set to dough cycle.

To Shape the Loaves

After the dough has risen, gently deflate the dough, shape it into a log, and place it in a lightly greased large (9×5 inch) bread pan or two small bread pans. Cover the pan with a towel or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes-1 hour, till it’s crowned about 2 inches over the rim of the pan. Preheat your oven to 350°F about halfway through the rising time.

To Bake the Loaves

If desired, brush top of loaf with milk or egg white and sprinkle with oatmeal, poppy seeds, nuts, etc. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until it turns a deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Yield: 1 large or 2 small loaves.


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