Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whole Wheat Flatbread.

OH HEY! Need a whole wheat flatbread recipe?

Lets get to it.

You'll need:
1+1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1+1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2+1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup of warm water*

*Warm water is not pictured because water is hard to take a picture of who cares its fine.

Add the white flour to a large mixing bowl, along with the yeast and salt. Make it look like a boob kindof. You're doing great!

Add the warm water and olive oil, then get to mixing.

You'll wonder why your dough isn't forming, so I want you to pay attention to the fact that you chose a dough hook attachment FOR MIXING PURPOSES. What an airhead.

I didn't feel like tracking down my paddle attachment, which is what you should use for that first mixing, so I grabbed a spatch and did it the old-fash way. Just like my mawmaw did.

In small batches, mix in the whole wheat flour. Halfway through you may realize you don't have the arm strength mawmaw had to mix by hand, but that is okay. Once you've incorporated some of the wheat flour and its not liquidy anymore, the dough hook will work just fine.

SO. Back to being lazy.

Don't be ashamed.

Once you've worked in all of the wheat flour and the dough has come together, knead it on a lightly flour surfaced for 5 minutes, then form it into a ball.

Throw it into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel for 30 minutes so it can rise.

After 30 minutes, cut in half. You've got yourself 2 flatbreads! Congratulations.

If you aren't planning on using these day of, this would be the time to stick them in the freezer. I used one for dinner and froze the other. NEEEOOOWWWW. When you're ready, just roll it on out.

Stick it on a pizza stone or greased cookie sheet or you know, whatever.

Get creative with your toppings. Follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Never give up.

I had chickens in my fridge.

So I cooked them. Then I sliced them.

I also had bacon. And pesto and tomatoes and parsley. And mozz. I went with it and I didn't look back.

You can bake your flatbread at 350, then crank up the broiler for a few seconds to get that crispy bottom. 

Sprinkle herbs and/or tomato (oooh avocado would be good, too) on once it comes out of the oven.

Enjoy! Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Black Beans 101.

Oh beans. You are so cheap in your dried form, yet so convenient in your canned form. I've had a canister of dry black beans for a couple of months now, yet any time I cook something that calls for black beans, I run to the store and buy a can. Why is this? Why must I be such a fool?

As of today I am still waiting for paperwork to go through so I can start my new job. I am nervous, I am excited, I am anxious, and I am excited.

I thought I should put that nervous/excited energy to use, so here is documentation that I didn't just sit around watching the Kardashian marathon, although YBYA I'll be watching that part 2 season premiere tonight. Last night's episode really had my heart racing. Kim's blonde hair, Khlo & Lam-Lam's drama, Kris & Bruce's separation announcement and how it clearly affected Kendall, gahhhhddddd it was so riveting. Had me on the edge of my SEAT. Similar to how this beans post probably has you feeling already.

Get yourself a nice pound bag of dry black beans. Get a medium size pot with a tight-fitting lid. Get some waters. Plenty of waters. Got those things? Great.

Let 6-8 cups of water begin coming to a boil. SPOILER ALERT: You're going to need the boiling water in a little bit to cover your beans for a quick soak before we get to cooking, so its good to get the heat cranked while you prep the beanz.

Go ahead and dump your pound-a-beans into a colander. Rinse with cold water, and check for any rejects that are either dumb-shaped, ugly, or discolored. Or broken. Also rocks. If there are any rocks, remove those. Obviously.

Remove the stupid beans. Point and laugh at them. Bully your beans. BULLY YOUR BEANS. Now throw them away, we hate them.

Put the good beans into a pot.

Cover with the boiling water. QUICK PUT THE LID ON.

Now. Let the beans soak with the lid on for one hour. The water doesn't need to continue to boil, so no need to turn on any heat under them at this point. Walk away from the kitchen for an hour. Thats long enough to put away 3 loads of laundry AND do private penance for the hasty words spoken to the reject beans just minutes prior. (In case you aren't sure, specifically, how to repent the sin that is bullying beans that don't meet your expectations, its gonna be 3 Our Fathers and 5 Hail Marys. I googled it.)

Now, after an hour has passed, you want to dump your beans back into the colander. No need to rinse, we are just changing out the water at this point. Pour the soaking water out, return beans to their pot, and cover with fresh warm water from the tap until beans are completely submerged.

Bring the water and beans to a steady simmer.

Let them go for about an hour and a half, adding water to the pot every 20 or so minutes as it gets low.

Taste the beans at this point, they may need to continue cooking for another 30 minutes to an hour.

Once they are tender, drain them, season them well, and serve them!

I didn't take pictures of the finished product because I'll wait to serve them tonight over quinoa with diced tomato, roasted corn, and avocado. They will store in the fridge in an airtight container for weeks. You can add them to salads. Throw them in with taco meat and spice up your tacos. Make burrito bowls by serving over brown rice with salsa, avocado, and cheese! Do whatever your heart is telling you to do with your beans. But don't forget to pat yourself on the back for saving a couple of dollars.

We did it, guys.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reheating Leftover Pizza.

Leftover pizza. Do you guys know you don't have to settle for pizza that tastes mehhh? My sister-in-law told me the other night she had a "thing" about leftover pizza and stuck her chicken/spinach/artichoke pieces in with our leftovers without second thought. She knew she wouldn't eat them the next day. I was happy to take it home and eat it any way I could, but Frank's is a really nice place that Matt and I seldom afford ourselves to eat at, so I decided to pull out the pizza stone and give this pizza the reheating experience it deserves.

There are several ways in which you can consume day old pizza. You can go the cold route. I'm a fan of this IF the toppings are basic. Pep, cheese, you know what I'm saying.

You can also, God forbid, put the cold pizza onto a plate and microwave it. (My dad does this and he's a pizza expert. But the man loves leftovers any way he can get em, what can you do?)

Or you can do what Matt typically does, which is plop the pizza straight out of the fridge onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake it at 350 for however many minutes. Not the worst. Certainly not as bad as the microwave option. But the pizza isn't as good as it COULD be.

If you've got the time, if you've got the care, if you've got the muscle to lift your pizza stone, follow my instructions on the best possible pizza reheating method. It really is magic. Things that should be crispy will crisp. Things that should be melty will melt! The toppings will come to life and honestly, you won't feel like you're eating leftovers.

Step 1: Place your pizza stone in the cold oven. I know its heavy. But do the right thing.

Step 2: Preheat your oven to 375. THREE SEVENTY-FIVE. NOT FOUR FIFTY. The box's instructions are a recipe for disappointment. Trust me.

Step 3: Pull your leftover pizza out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while your oven preheats.

Once your oven is preheated and the pizza no longer has a chill on it, place the pieces you wish to consume on the hot pizza stone in the oven. Shut your oven door. Magic will ensue.

Watch your pizza. It took no more than 12 minutes for these 3 slices to reach perfection. YOU GUYS. Its true, it IS more work and requires more attention and time to reheat pizza this way, but its so worth it.

The crust was perfect. The cheese was melty, but not in a congealed, half-ass way. But instead like in a fresh and stringy and hot and bubbly way. God, I love pizza.

One of my resolutions/goals for this year is to quit convincing myself I'm too busy for stuff that seems pointless. If it makes me happy and slows my roll for 20 minutes, its probably a good idea.

Don't let yourself believe you're too busy to reheat your pizza the right way. And don't think for a second that spending a leeeetle more time on something like your lunch isn't worth your time. You deserve it! Now get back to work.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Amazing Roasted Sweet Tates.

We need to have a discussion about sweet tates. I love them all year round. But I get pumped in mid-September because it means my nemesis (Summer) is getting ready to make its exit for a minute or two, and I can start making Thanksgivingy food and not have to feel weird about it.

I feel much better having had that discussion.

Start by peeling + dicing a couple of sweet potatoes. Grease a roasting pan and throw them in.

Scrounge up a tablespoon of butter. Then melt it. Grab your olive oil. Drizzle the butter atop the tates, then drizzle a little (like a tablespoon?) of the olive oil over that.
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (grind your own if poss!)

Add a pinch of sea salt. Use your index finger to combine. Other fingers will not work for this. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE OTHER FINGERS. 

Sprinkle this atop your buttered + oiled tates, then stir them around to combine. They'll look like this:

Roast these in a 350 degree oven for ohhhhhh I don't know, like 35-45 minutes. Pull them out after 20 or so minutes and give them a stir. Pull a bite out with a fork after 30 minutes to check. Your oven temps may vary. WHO KNOWS. Who knows. Ovens are unpredictable.

They will look beautiful and delicious when they're done.

 They'll blow your pants off. I swear.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Farewell, Summer.

I made an OFFICIAL icy cold get the hell out of here, Summer, drink yesterday. I walked outside and says to the summer heat, I says, "This is the last time I'm celebrating you, pal. You can't occupy every single month. Time to go. Get off my lawn." We'll see what happens.

This recipe came about yesterday after I'd decided I was going to make some homemade lemonade. I am not a big lemonade drinker, but my life companion, Matt, is. I originally set out to make blueberry lemonade, but I couldn't find blueberries at the grocery because I didn't look very hard, so I settled for raspberries, and they worked beautifully. I added ginger ale at the last minute to my buggy, because I like fizzy things and I also have a grocery shopping problem.

You'll need sugar and water to make simple syrup, lemons, 6 oz. of raspberries, and ginger ale. Also a fine mesh strainer. If you don't already have one of these, I'd recommend taking the FMS plunge. I've used mine 4x since I got it less than 2 weeks ago. UPDATE: Just said "Damn, mesh, you fine!" out loud and rammed my leg into a chair, so it is with a heavy heart and bruised knee that I continue this post.

Start by heating 2/3 cup sugar + 1 cup water over medium heat. Dissolve the sugar, then remove from heat and allow to just chill out while you gut your lemons.

Go ahead and juice 1+1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (for me, that was 10 lemons). Use your FMS to remove seedsies and pulpsies.

Do you have one of these small blenders? They're for, like, sportsball athletes who make protein shakes on-the-go or for girls like me who are trying to puree just a handful of berries. Only one or the other, though. It literally won't turn on if you're using it for any other purpose. You can, of course, use any size blender to totally obliterate your berries.

Run that raspberry puree through your FMS. You'll need a spoon this time to help the juices out.

In a pitcher combine your simple syrup, lemon juice, and strained raspberry juice. Allow to sit in fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.

Once it has cooled, or you've decided to quit waiting, pour some ice in a glass, fill it 3/4 with raspberry lemonade, and top with ginger ale. Drop (or throw from a distance) a couple of berries on top.

The perfect late summer afternoon beverage. If you're feeling fun as heck, you could splash in some Pimm's or vodka. What a treat! Hope you make this tasty bev!

Monday, June 24, 2013

No Pants Lunch

Sunday I was hungry around lunch time.

I didn't want to go the grocery because I didn't want to put on pants.

I didn't want to go pick something up know, the pants thing.

I raided my fridge and pantry to see what I had on hand.

Here's what I found:
  • 7 sprigs of asparagus left out from a tilapia + veg dinner I'd made several nights prior
  • Half of a small bag of fettucini noodles
  • 1/4 jar of pesto from a previous pizza night
  • Half container of crumbled goat cheese because I'm fancy and buy goat cheese dammit

So I washed and chopped my asparagus. Threw that and the noodles into the same pot of salted boiling water. Heated up my pesto and goat cheese to melt it all together.

When the noodles and asparagus were done, I drained + threw them into the melty pesto goat cheese combo. Stirred it around. Added a little salt & pep and lemon juice.

Sprinkled some cilantro on top. What do you care?

You don't have to feel screwed if you realize you are hungry, don't have a meal planned for that day, and don't want to put on pants. TRUST ME. Just go be creative with whatever you have on hand.

Pants suck. Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Avocado + Bacon Toast

As of late I've been extremely into simple dinners. I suppose even if I wasn't "into" them I'd be partaking in them because I seem to always be working these days. I still like to cook any night I have off, but I just haven't wanted to exert all of my energy in the kitchen. 

This avocado + bacon toast recipe is one I've been eating variations of for years now. Naturally I felt robbed when I saw it pinned from someone else's blog on pinterest, but after months of intensive psychotherapy I came around to the understanding that maybe I didn't invent the wheel. The wheel in this case, of course, being avocado toast. FUCK YES I DID. Nope. No I didn't. 

Step one is to get yourself a nice loaf of hearty multigrain bread. Also grab your serrated knife.

You'll know its good if the inside of the bread loaf looks like bird feeder was baked right in.

Cut some slices. NOW!

Oh yeah, throw some thick-cut bacon into a 375 degree oven.

Grab your olive oil, salt & pepper. Its important to note that for this recipe sea salt is best. Table salt is too salty. I don't know if thats true but invest in some sea salt. It looks like snow on your food and I can't stress enough how important that is.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on your bread slices. In a zig zag or you're a square.

Olive oil side down, grill them.

Lop your avocado in half. Sorry this picture looks like the damn sun is shining in your eyes. I don't have a grownup camera yet so I have to rely on my phone and God knows I can't NOT filter my photos. I mean I've got like 5 filter apps, so I'd be an idiot not to right? Again. SORRY THIS PICTURE IS SO BRIGHT.

Smash it up with a fork. 

Lime. Or the sun pt. 2. Who can tell the difference?

Flip your bread. Once its brown and crusty on both sides, pull it off. Duh.

Put some bacon on top!

Put your avocado on top, then squeeze some of that lime juice on it. Also a sprinky dinky of salt & pep.

This totally simple dinner is seriously right up my alley. I could eat this kind of thing every single night. Also morning. I am a huge fan of avocado in the am. Try it. Add whatever you want. Tomato slices on top would be so good. A fried egg if you're into that kinda thing. Make it your own.