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.