Sunday, November 22, 2009

My favorite bread recipe

Homemade french bread--so quick and easy.  Try this even if you've never baked bread before.
I also use the dough for all kinds of things--recently I made pepperoni roll ups--spread cream cheese mixed with italian seasoning on rolled-out dough, then sprinkle with pepperoni and mozzerella cheese and roll up and slice (jelly-roll style) let rise and bake until nice and puffy and browned. 

French baguettes for bread n00bs

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Manly food

When I lived at home, every year for deer season my mom, gramma and great-aunt would make food to send with "the guys" to camp for hunting season.  I remember meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, cookies and peach pies being particular favorites.  Now I have my own set of guys to cook for (usually every third week or so all winter for Steelers games when the rotation falls to our house) and this weekend they are headed to camp for NY rifle season (or the end of archery. Or both.  I'm not sure.)  I made a pan of scalloped potatoes and ham, a self-invented casserole using bacon ends from the butcher shop where I work, sauerkraut, spiral noodles, garlic, scallions and a can of cream of chicken soup.  And, Pumpkin Spice Muffins that my friend (and step-cousin and favoritest hairstylist EVER) gave me the recipe for:
Pumpkin Bread 
(or muffins) 
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 + 1/8 kosher salt

1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" loaf pan. 
Sift together first 5 ingredients; stir in kosher salt.

Combine sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until smooth.  Add egg, beating until well blended.  Gradually add dry ingredients, beating at low speed until blended.  Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5 mins or until loaf is golden and toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 mins before removing from pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

p.s.  Bake 27 mins for one dozen muffins  :)

My notes:  I didn't have ground cloves or ginger, so I subbed Pumpkin Pie Spice, and also added some chopped walnut and chocolate and white chocolate chips.  YUM.  

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Got an elk roast in the pressure cooker right now--planning on chilling overnight and taking to work to slice tomorrow for (elk) ox roast.  This will be my second elk experiment (the first was meatballs and they were fabulous).

Tonight it's Beechwood for dinner!

P.S.  The elk ox roast was devine--here's what I did:  Rub roast all over with 'beef rub' that I get from work (some kind of au jus mix, I'm sure the stuff from the store would be fine) and let sit in fridge for 8 hours or so.  Throw roast in pressure cooker with some water, beef boullion and garlic and cook for 20 min for approx 2 lb roast.  Refrigerate overnight and slice cold so you can get *really* thin slices.  Warm up in cooking liquid and serve on fresh rolls.  For super special sandwiches, spread rolls with butter and garlic and grill, cut side down, until lightly browned.  Spread meat with horseradish, top with provolone or swiss cheese, broil until cheese gets bubbly and serve with lots of au jus for dipping.    

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bread Machine

Dug out my bread machine yesterday but I don't have any favorite recipes for it.  I'd love to find a recipe (machine or by hand) for the bread they used to serve at Spinner McGee's Steakhouse in Erie.  It was dark brown (between rye and pumpernickel) and had grated veggies and herbs in it.  I've tried many times to duplicate it but never succeeded.  I'd also like to find a good sweet bread (something with fruit or choc chips, maybe?) to put in the machine at night and have ready in the morning for breakfast.

Here's one I have bookmarked to try...I think it needs some shredded cheddar, though...

Baked Potato Bread (bread machine) (2000)
1 1/2 Pound Loaf

3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons bacon bits
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons potato flakes
3 tablespoons chives, freeze-dried
2 teaspoons yeast -- fast rise
3 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add ingredients according to particular bread machine. Bake using the white or rapid bake cycles.

This dough can be very dry so resist the urge to add water.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Potatoes

My dad, for health reasons, grows a HUGE totally organic garden every year.  My littly puny garden is also organic, but will take years to produce as well as his does.  I raided his this week, and one of my treasures was a basket of new red potatoes.  I combined two internet recipes, came up with this, and it was AWESOME.  The potatoes come out so creamy you would swear they were drowned in butter.

New Potatoes with Garlic, Herbs and Parmesean
About 2 cups unpeeled red potatoes, halved if necessary
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (do not omit!)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Fresh or dried herbs (I used a sprinkling each of fresh rosemary, thyme and chives)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place potatoes in pressure cooker. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, herbs and garlic; add 1 cup water, sugar and salt. Close cover securely; place pressure regulator on vent pipe. Bring cooker to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook for 6 minutes. (Pressure regulator should maintain a slow steady rocking motion; adjust heat if needed.)
Remove from the heat; immediately cool according to manufacturer's directions until pressure is completely reduced.  Drain and add a little butter if desired.