Category Archives: carbs

Baked Ziti!

HEY! So I graduated (hurray!) and will hopefully have a: a life, and b: time to blog.

Last night I made good housekeeping’s baked ziti, which I found via serious eats. It is SO GOOD and you bake it in the skillet that you sauté everything in, which is awesome. I didn’t use a skillet, however, because I don’t think mine can go into the oven. I’m too scared to try.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I used crushed – boyf and I are moving and that’s all we had in our extremely bare pantry-good housekeeping said to buy whole and chop yourself via food processor and WHO THE HELL has that time/desire to do so many dishes!?)

6 cloves of garlic: chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (you can adjust to your liking; this made it pretty spicy!)

1 box of ziti (I used penne which was 13.2 ounces (?) and partially whole wheat)

3 cups of water

parmesan cheese

4 ounces of mozzerella

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup fresh basil- chopped (I didn’t have any, so I used a smaller amount of dried)

Okay! Let’s go! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the olive oil in your skillet (or pot: I didn’t use a measurement because I think I ended up using more because I had a bigger surface area), using enough to coat the bottom on medium low heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute until it’s fragrant. Add the tomatoes and bring up to a boil- after it begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and add the 3 cups of water and the pasta.

Cook the pasta until it’s tender, about 10-15 minutes (depending on your type of pasta). Once that is tender, add the 1/2 cup of heavy cream and basil and stir very well. Once the cream is combined, add parmesan cheese (I only had the terrible canister kind because I was making risotto tonight and needed the fancy kind) to your liking and stir well.

Once that is done, add the mozzarella right on top and pop that baby into the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is browning and bubbly!

Enjoy this carby-cheesey delight! I know I did.

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Home-made PopTarts

Let’s make this a double whammy…

I’ve been having camera-phone issues, so this is the only picture I could salvage from my gallery of half-shots and complete darkness.

So when I get stressed, I bake, usually something complicated. Whats more complicated than individual pies painstakingly filled with just enough of a home-made fruit filling that has be labored over? Its like baking on steroids. Plus I know it will be delicious and I like giving these delicious things to people. One person, after eating my Pear Poptart, actually said “I want to be your child”.

So here goes:

Crust: Mostly any pie crust will do, I used one from a book that I have but I think the pie crust in Dr.Jekyll /Mr. Pie  would work great but instead of adding ice water, add cold milk. Refrigerate for at least 30 min but better, an hour. In the meantime, make the complicated filling

Now, any jams can be used, in fact, jam probably would have been easier, but I had some pears that were ripe all at once, and I wouldn’t eat them in time.

2 bartlett pears peeled and cored, sliced thin and halved width-wise
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp bourbon
1 tsp orange zest
and a dash of clove and cinnamon

Melt the butter, add the sugar, stir till it dissolves and boils. Add the pear, bourbon, vanilla, orange zest, spices and bring to a boil again. lower the heat and simmer until pears become translucent and begin to take on the sauce’s color. Turn off the heat and let it cool down while you prep the dough.

Make eggwash- 1 egg and 1 tbsp water- beat it- set aside

Roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thick,or a little less than half the size of a pie crust. Cut into rectangles that are about 2.5″ by 4″, put about a half tablespoon or so of the filling and carefully spread out to almost the edges (jam would have been easier here) and brush or finger-paint the edges (about 1/4″ to 1/2″ perimeter) of the rectangles with eggwash. Put another rectangle on top, gently press it down on the edges, crimp edges with a fork and poke holes in the top to release steam. Repeat..until you are dead…or you run out of crust or filling. If you have filling left over and not enough dough for a whole p-tart, consider making a tiny pie! you wont regret it.

Egg wash the whole bunch and stick them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 min, until they are golden brown on the edges. Let them cool and then you can either serve them plain or make a frosting..I would go with 1 c powdered sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, and 1 tsp or so of orange juice. Slather it on and let it set up. I went without.

Anyway, let cool and serve for breakfast deliciousness. Enjoy! Unless you don’t eat carbs! Then its gross and you shouldn’t eat it anyway.

-Stine

CRÊPES!

SO. You want to make crêpes, because you don’t want to go to the grocery store to get more eggs and you’re sick of pancakes. THAT IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA.

I love crêpes…but, fun fact: I’ve never had a crêpe outside of my own kitchen! So I hope this recipe is actually GOOD compared to real crêpes. I have adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vanilla-crepes/

But if you go to that link, you’ll see that it calls for A TON OF BUTTER…and EGG YOLKS? WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE WHITES? I clearly do not like egg white omelets since I usually eat sticks of butter for breakfast (kidding).

So, here’s what I do:

1 1/4 cup milk, depending on what kind of milk you have. The less fat, the more liquid-y they get, so keep that in mind.

2 eggs (whole! who wants to separate anything?)

2 tablespoons vanilla extract (OMNOMNOM)

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

2-3 tablespoons of melted butter

Melt the butter! While that’s melting, mix your milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together. I then usually try and sift the flour/sugar/salt, but sometimes it’s hard in the morning. Add those ingredients to the wet and, if you didn’t sift, use a whisk to combine. Once the butter has cooled (not completely, but you don’t want to cook your eggs!) add the butter and whisk to combine.

In a large skillet (you do NOT need a crêpe pan!), spray pam/add melted butter all around it, and get it nice and hot on medium heat. This is where it gets tricky:

Measure out a 1/4 cup of batter and put it in the pan.

Pick up the pan and SWIRL the batter around, creating a thin, hopefully circular shape. These should be really thin, so they will also cook quickly. Usually the first side doesn’t get brown but you can tell that it has solidified and and the edges have started to curl and you can flip it. Keep an eye on these guys, because they really do cook quickly! I tend to put the completed crêpes on a plate and into a warm oven before we fill them. 

Once you’re ready to fill them, you can fill them with anything! These are sweet crêpes because of all the delicious vanilla, so we usually fill them with lemon curd, nutella, and any kind of jam we have floating around (usually homemade and canned from the summer!)

The rest is essentially assembling them like a burrito! Lay a delicious slather on one side and roll up. 

Before and after!

Alright. That’s all I’ve got for now!

–megz

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PIZZAPIZZAPIZZA

Hey guys,

It’s been kind of quiet around here! I know school has kicked back in, and that’s my main reason for not posting as frequently as I would like. Lately, my life has looked like this:

 So yeah. That’s my internship computer, filled with PDFs and highlighted text about….instant messaging. What is my life?

Anyway, so yeah, lately I’ve been eating things that I would totally be into blogging about, but realize mid-bite that I didn’t take ANY pictures and am too tired to blog. School be damned!

Here’s my pizza dough recipe. I wrote in my response to the survey that my favorite thing to make (or was it eat?) was pizza. HOLY CRAP I love pizza. This is based on joy the baker’s recipe (you guys also love her, right??), but I add more herbs and do more with the yeast.

1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast

1 cup of warm water

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (I’ve tried using more, but then the dough gets REALLY dense)

1 1/2 cups of AP flour

Honey

Olive Oil

Herbs! Crushed red pepper flakes! CURRY POWDER?

Put the teaspoon of yeast in the warm water and let sit while you put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. You could totally do this by hand, which is so bad-ass, but I have no idea how to do it without a mixer, so good luck.

I also, with the flours, add herbs. My boyfriend REALLY likes oregano, so I put a lot of that in there (probably 2 tablespoons), and then about a tablespoon of basil and two teaspoons of thyme. This is where you can get creative! Last week, I made a thai chicken pizza, so I put curry powder. I will often times put crushed red pepper flakes in, but it depends on what’s going to be on top.

I then add a squeeze full of honey. This is probably around a tablespoon, but it depends on how sweet of a crust you want.

I then add olive oil. I make sure to pour the olive oil (around 2 tablespoons) onto the dough hook so it doesn’t get stick.

Then, I add the water, and turn that baby on! The mixer that is, although the yeasty water should be nice and foamy. I let the mixer knead the dough until it forms a ball at the bottom of the bowl like this:

Then, I don’t bother kneading it again. I do touch it to make sure that it’s not too sticky. It should be sticky, but if it gets stuck to your hands, keep kneading it and you’ll have to add more flour. I usually add it by the 1/4 cup full, but it varies depending upon how much olive oil was used/how humid it is.

After it’s ready to go, not too sticky, etc, take out the hook and cover it/keep it in a nice warm spot for at least an hour. 

I keep mine on the stove because it’s an old school gas stove that always has an open flame. And will eventually explode from a gas leak or something. Yeeeeahhh…it’s the perfect place for the dough, since it’s nice and toasty!

After 45 minutes, I pre-heat my pizza stone. I throw it in the oven and put it up to 400 degrees. It’s super important to let your pizza stone come to temperature in the oven at a gradual pace so it doesn’t crack (which is my worst nightmare!). After 15 minutes, take the stone out, put some flour on it so the dough doesn’t stick, and punch down your dough (which is SO satisfying). I typically can stretch it out just using my hands, but sometimes I need to use a rolling pin. No big deal. Once it’s stretched onto the stone, top it with whatever you fancy! Tonight’s was sausage and pepper….mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Oh yeah. That’s nice! 

So that’s that. ❤ PIZZA ❤

–megz

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Oh hello, Sourdough! Part Deux

Before I begin writing and you being reading, I have to warn you: there are some SERIOUS carbs below..and I also just got back from the gym so my energy level is at a 9.

Its pretty amazing though that a food of sustenance can come from 5 major ingredients: flour, water, yeast-some wild (and crazy), sea salt, and if you want- some cooked grains. I had been keeping the starter, formally known as Souie, in the fridge to slow the yeast growth so that they had some fight left in them to contribute to dough proofing. About two days before I wanted to bake up some bread, I took the starter out of the fridge and left it in a warm place so the yeast could wake up and get cooking. The starter didn’t look the same as when I first made it and it started doing its thing, but it smelled like beer and I saw bubbles when I peeked into the kitchen each time, so I let it be.

Finally the time had come. It was Sunday, and I wanted to create yeasty magic. First thing’s first, you have to make what’s called a “sponge”. Take two cups of the starter, then two cups of lukewarm water (like a hot tub for the yeast!), 4 cups of flour, and if you want (and as the recipe called for) 2 cups of cooked grains. I bought some steel cut oats, cooked them to al-dente (because I like my bread to have that hearty feeling), let them cool, and added it to the mix. Stir, stir, stir, and let it sit in a warm place covered with a damp tea towel for…hm let’s see….8-24 HOURS!?! WTF? I can has sourdough? never? I imagined Alton Brown saying “your patience will be rewarded” so I pouted, walked away in a huff, and let it work.

You can almost hear the bubbles making an angsty bored teenager sound like "PUHHH"

After a few hours it will look like the bubbly picture above, and then you are ready to go! Can you see the light through the tunnel? YES I CAN! Add 4 more cups of flour and a teaspoon of sea salt and knead the crap out of it for 10 minutes. You have to work the gluten in the dough so it is springy. You know you are done when you go to poke the dough with your finger and it bounces back. I poked it a few times just to make sure..poke..poke.pokepokepoke.
Form it into a ball and put it in an oiled bowl to rise for an hour or so in a warm place and covered- this is key- by a tea towel damp with warm water. It sets the mood for rising.

After an hour or so when it has about doubled in size, you can punch it down, and form some loaves. Oil your cooking pans so they don’t stick and plop the dough in/on there. I only had one actual loaf pan, because usually I only make one at a time and I’m not Uncle Scrooge’in it in my vault, that one is from Williams Sonoma, and I only bought it because I felt particularly pressured by a nearby cookbook by Martha Stewart, and she gave me a look like “Its a good thing”. Damn you Martha. As you can see, I have thouroughly protected it. Anyway, Let’s just call the other one “rustic”.

sup loaves?

Let those proof it up for ANOTHER HOUR, covered by same warm damp towel. When they rise, put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 min, depending on your oven. It could be more. Then take them out and let them cool. You will know they are done when you can knock or tap on the loaf and it sounds hollow.

Awww YEEEAAAHHH

oh hello, you look like real bread!

I brought half of the rustic one to work with a jar of rhubarb ginger jam, and it killed.

Next time I’ll post more low-carb meals or treats.

-stine

101 Cookbooks Gougères Recipe

Hey guys! Do you like cheesey, beery, poofy bread things? Then I suggest you head over to http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/gougares-recipe.html to get the recipe. I literally followed it to a T, so I feel like it would be silly to re-write the entire thing. I did, however, make some small changes (okayokayokay, I didn’t follow it to a T, but VERY close).

Ooh, that cheese…

When looking at the recipe list and seeing that “ale” is listed, I asked my beer loving/brewing boyfriend, “WHAT IS ALE? DO WE HAVE ANY?” Turns out, his winter warmer (made with raisins!) is an ale, so I used that. I also didn’t put fennel seed in because, ew, licorice.

The finished product....and beer related stuff to be used for bottling his latest brew behind them! Beer things everywhere.

It was quite a process, but totally worth it. So delicious, and made a dozen. I’m currently storing them in a tupperware and plan on re-heating them in the oven. I served them with….

 

Roasted squash, bacon, and kale over spaghetti.

This recipe I got from thekitchn. Here’s the link: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-pasta-wi-1-15183. I changed a few things with this recipe as well and used acorn squash instead of delicata squash. These two things together made quite the evening for me. I roasted the squash while baking the gougères, and while those guys were doing their thing, caramelized the onions/cooked bacon (instead of pancetta), and got the pasta started. In the future, I probably will just cut slices of onion and let them roast with the squash. Before serving, I splashed some more balsamic vinegar on the spaghetti as I was tossing everything around. The pasta gets a little dry, so you may need to freshen up leftovers with some olive oil.

In conclusion, I like my carbs served with my carbs. With more carbs inside of said carbs. Both of these, while extremely time consuming, were awesome. I would highly recommend them. Thekitchn has been killing it lately with recipes that I WANT TO EAT and tomorrow I’ll be making a sautéed kale/chick pea in coconut milk dish that was on their site within this past week. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

 

–megz

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Oh hello, Sourdough! Part 1

Yesterday I got this cookbook called “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz from a friend of mine for a wedding present. Its all about cooking and fermentation, which kind of freaks me out because of the ailments that can come out of fermentation gone wrong, but poses itself as a challenge…which I can’t resist.

All you really need for this is flour, water, a Jar, some fabric or cheesecloth, and either a pinch of yeast or an organic fruit with “the chalky film of yeast (the bloom)”. Gross.

First, I measured the flour in. I have a mix of about 1/3 wheat and 2/3 all purpose. You need 2 cups for the formula. Perhaps you noticed that I spilled some flour. That’s where my handy dandy canning funnel came in. Then the water. She says its best to use starchy water from potatoes, pasta, or whatever, but since I’ve cut all starchy things out of my diet..mostly at least..I’m just using plain old tap.  So add the water, put on the lid and ring, Shake shake shake…ba-da-bahbahbah-bum..shake shake shake…make your slurry! That’s what its called right?

So there you have it, a slurry. It makes me think of concrete for some reason..Anyway..we read on..Now is when you add your fungus fruit..Oops, I mean organic fruit with “the bloom”. She also says you can sub with a pinch of yeast. Yep, that’s gonna be my route, thanks Fleischmann’s! Stir that in. After 3 or 4 DAYS, yeah this is not one of those instant gratification times, bubbles should appear. When you see this, add a tablespoon or two to “feed” the starter. Blah blah reading on, then I see, “or add a commercially available sourdough starter” WHHAAAATTTT?! I can buy this stuff? Thanks for printing that on a different page. If I die or get salmonella from this, I’m coming after you, lady. (If I’m dead someone else will, of course)

Ok well then you slap some fabric on it so it can breathe, umm, Its alive? And leave it in a warm place. I neglected to mention that it is about 7 degrees here, but it will warm up to a balmy 17, so I think we’re good here.

So here’s my new pet sourdough starter, named Souie (not like louie, more like sow as in a female pig). In a week we will see how Souie does, with regular feedings and being able to breathe warm air, hopefully he will make delicious bread.

I thought we could end with a little questionnaire, LiveJournal style, to get to know a little about us and our kitchens.

  1. My favorite things to make are:
    Anything complicated, mostly desserts, pastries, sauces, candies, anything canned or pickled, cheese, breads, pastas, or anything where I can tweak the recipe, I’m definitely a tweaker.
  2. My go-to recipes are found…
    either on the internets- seriouseats.com or in the Joy of Cooking.
  3. I would never use a recipe from…
    The back of a box of something or Paula Deen (“Hey y’all I got diabetes! Now let’s get to that deep fried sugary mac’n’cheese I was talkin about!”)
  4. What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?
    The food that comes out of it or has been made in it, at least what I cook, I can’t vouch for the hubz
  5. What is your least favorite thing about your kitchen?
    The complete and utter lack of counter space. You get creative when you have about 5 total linear feet of prep space in the kitchen.
  6. What is your proudest moment in your recent culinary history?
    Two things come to mind. I mastered Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse recipe in there with no motorized equipment to whip or stir and when I made Zucchini lasagna with Mozzerella and Tomato Sauce that we made ourselves. Could have grown the Zucchini if it was in season.
  7. What is the biggest upset in your recent culinary history?
    I made TWO different batches of Challah Bread for a pot luck, and NEITHER rose as it should have. Total. Buzzkill.
  8. What is your favorite item in your kitchen?
    Probably my balloon whisk. I bought it in undergrad when I needed to make something for a potluck. I used it to make chocolate covered cheesecake bites, they were deliciously successful. It didn’t fail me then and hasn’t failed me since.
  9. What is the oldest item in your kitchen?
    My grandfather’s ice cream scoop. It comes from one of my great grandfather’s pharmacies where they had a soda counter and Papa was a “Soda Jerk” as he said.
  10. What is the newest item in your kitchen?
    A set of new non-stick pans…so many new possibilities!
  11. What is your favorite thing about cooking?
    The ability to take a recipe and make it your own and also making things that are delicious, then seeing people enjoy and really appreciate them.

    Next Week: Souie becomes bread!
    -Stine

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