Sunday, September 14, 2014

Extra Tangy Sourdough Bread

I recently started a new sourdough starter, and after feeding it a couple of times, I decided it was time to test out a yeast-free sourdough bread. Of course I headed straight to my trusted baking source: King Arthur Flour, and found a recipe for extra-tangy sourdough bread.

I have to admit to not having ample planning time, and cutting some of the suggested rising times down quite a bit, but I was confident in my starter, and the rising power didn't disappoint. This bread took a bit of planning (and next time I may really plan ahead to meet all that rise time), but the results were fantastic.

The crust was crispy, the inside chewy, the smell perfectly sour, and the taste was fairly tangy! The bake time was spot-on, and the first loaf was almost devoured straight from the oven. The kids loved this stuff, and we enjoyed it smeared with hummus tonight. I can't wait for buttered toast tomorrow!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala

I'm not usually a lover of chicken, but for some reason I've been wanting to make chicken tikka masala for a few days now. This meal is a bit involved, so a weekend day with D home gave me the perfect excuse.

I used a new recipe for chicken tikka masala, and I am SO very glad that I gave it a try! I stayed fairly close to the recipe, although I replaced one of the cups of cream with milk, so it wasn't quite so rich. I also added about 3 cups of cauliflower florets when I added the chicken. The cauliflower was a perfect addition, giving a wonderful textural mix-up to the dish. In addition, D grilled the chicken to give it a bit of a charred flavor, and it was just perfect. The sauce was rich, but not overly so, sweet, tangy, and a touch spicy all at the same time. D and I spent the entire meal joking that we didn't need any Indian restaurants around if I could cook like this, but it certainly took a bit of effort. Yum!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vanilla Lime Frozen Yogurt

Adapted from Bon Appetit

2 c plain Greek yogurt
1 c simple syrup (1 c water to 1 c sugar)
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1 tbs vanilla bean paste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk until smooth.  Process in an ice cream machine until fro-yo consistency. Enjoy!

I cannot believe that tomorrow we officially have a kindergartener! In celebration, I decided to literally throw this frozen yogurt treat together for a special dessert. I mixed the ingredients while making dinner, and then had the ice cream maker churning throughout our meal. I simply scooped some fresh and perfectly frozen yogurt-consistency treats in the perfect time for dessert. This frozen yogurt is tart, smooth, and amazingly refreshing. Yum, yum!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homemade Ricotta Ravioli and Sautéed Veggies

Ricotta Ravioli

1 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 c fresh spinach, chopped
1 egg
1/8 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
wonton wrappers

Place ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until mixed.  Spoon about 1tbs of cheese filling into the center of a wonton wrapper, and wrap.  Chill in freezer for about 15 minutes. Cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling water, in small batches. The raviolis are finished when they rise to the surface of the water.

Things have been busy around the house lately. D is working really hard, and we are enjoying the very last few moments of summer before school begins this week! I cannot believe that we have a kindergartener in our midst! Time really flies.

But, we still have time for some good homemade food. This week the kids got into the kitchen with me to make these homemade raviolis. We skipped out on making the ravioli dough (using wonton wrappers in a MAJOR time saver), but the kids still loved folding up the little packages of goodness, and they also enjoyed eating them;)

I served this fresh and hearty pasta dish with sautéed farm share Swiss chard, summer squash, and fresh corn. Yum, yum, and yum!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Approximately 8 lbs of mixed fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbs chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Place the olive oil into a large dutch oven, and heat.  Add the onion and sauté until slightly translucent.  Add garlic, and sauté for another minute. Add the tomatoes, and dried spices, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have released their juices and start to break apart. Stir in fresh basil, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for a few more minutes. Remove from heat, and puree with an immersion blender. Pass sauce through Chinois to remove skins/seeds. Reheat on stove if necessary.

Believe it or not (it actually surprised me!), I've never attempted to make a traditional tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes! With an abundance of fresh tomatoes (cherries, and larger) from our CSA this week, and a flood of rain, it seemed like the perfect day to give this sauce a go! I am SO happy that I forayed into the world of fresh tomato sauce. This sauce is rather orange in color, but that's largely due to the sun gold cherry tomatoes that I added, but the flavor is spot-on! Just sweet enough, full of yummy basil, and totally delicious and perfect for pasta. A complete success!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Creamy Cucumber Soup

J likes to make special dinner requests. Sometimes these requests go even beyond pizza and pasta! This week's request was "cucumber soup". "Cucumber soup?", I thought to myself, but low and behold, this soup was actually amazing! I found a recipe for creamy cucumber soup, which could be enjoyed warm or cold, and with an abundance of farm share cucumbers, I set to work. This soup was sinfully easy to make, and I subbed the parsley topping with some farm-fresh basil. Yum! A perfectly refreshing summer soup, and a new take on the old cucumber.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Tomato and Spicy Pine Nut Pasta, and CSA Squash and Greens

Last night's dinner was another easy one staring fresh veggies from our CSA. I sautéed patty pan squash in olive oil with fresh lemon zest, and served it on top of fresh farm share lettuce. No dressing needed, and amazingly delicious!

Next, I made a sauce for some spinach spaghetti, using pine nuts simmered in a few tbs of olive oil and sprinkled generously with red chili flakes. Once the pine nuts were browned, I added some whole cherry tomatoes, and sautéed those until they were easy to crush gently. I finished the "sauce" with a bit of pasta cooking liquid and grated parmesan cheese. The finished product was topped with fresh basil from our patio garden. Totally fresh and delicious!