Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adventures in lamb

Greek *inspired oven roasted spring lamb

*meaning I have no idea what actually would have been on Greek lamb LOL

  • 1-2 racks of lamb - or pork would be good too
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • basil
  • parsley
  • rosemarie
  • ground black pepper
  • ground sea salt (or reg salt)
  • honey
  • one eager toddler

  • Take your meat and place it in a pan for marinating
  • In a bowl mix a few tablespoons of EVOO and honey in equal parts
  • Add in your spices - I like to grind mine together first but your choice
Or call in your eager Toddler to smash them to bits in the mortar and pestle

  • "Paint" your meat with the spice mixture

Again an eager toddler helps :)
  • Let meat marinate in the fridge for a few hours. Mine was in there about 6 or so. About 10ish minutes before cooking bring out of fridge and let the meat get to room temperature

  • In an oven safe pan heat a few tablespoons of EVOO - When the pan is HOT .. (touch one side of meat to pan and if it sizzles its nice and hot and read) drop in meat. Let sear on both sides until it is nice and caramelized and browned.

  • Place pan in a preheated 450 oven

  • Cooking time with vary depending on the meat you used but for this I kept it at 450 for about 10 minutes then turned it down to 375 for another 15ish or until the juices ran fairly clear. I like my meat med-well so you can cook it less if you want it more pink
  • Remove from oven and let meat 'rest' for about 5-10 minutes
  • Cut and EAT :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bread baking

I did not use my own recipe for this so I am just going to do a link to the site. I added raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar to the one after I rolled it flat then rolled it up and baked (before the second rising)

Honey Whole Wheat bread

Here is how mine turned out

Monday, September 27, 2010

School days again ~ Granola bars

Homemade granola bars

I love these because they are FILLING - not full of puffed rice like the ones in the stores and not $4 a box .. I have never calculated what they cost me but I would say $1-2 dollars for 12 if I had to guess. Oh and my kids LOVE them.. I have to hide them or they will eat the whole pan in a day LOL

- I like to do two batches at once so just start with two bowls. If you notice my photos seem to swap out ingredients that is why. I made a raisin chocolate chip batch and a peanut butter chocolate chip batch at the same time.

4 cups oats - mine were honestly no-name quick oats (yeup I am a mom on a budget)
1 cup flour
1tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brownsugar
1/2 cup honey (or corn syrup works too)

2.5 cups 'other ingredients' - these are the fun stuff. You can be creative and add what you like. Here are some ideas: Raisins, chocolate chips, craisons, nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter (don't use a whole 2.5 cups only like 1 cup max), dried fruit.

  • Add all dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add butter and mix (with hands works best) until completely blended.

  • Add in your "extras" and honey and mix again. I usually use a spoon then finish it again with my hands because I hate being sticky.

  • Press mixture into lightly buttered pan

  • Bake in 375 oven for 10 minutes then pull out and using a spatula press firmly down into the pan. I cannot stress this part enough because your bars WILL puff up when you bake and if you want them to stay together you need to squish them down.
This is before I pressed them down completely, see how puffed up it is.
I had pressed half of the raisin ones down you can see how much flatter the top half the pan is.

  • After pressing down return to oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and once more press down as hard as you can with the spatula.

  • Let cool for 20 minutes then slice in the pan. Once sliced leave them to cool completely before removing. Two hours or so.

NOTES: I think in my new oven I would cut the baking time down to 7 and 7 minutes since they got a bit browner then I like but still good!

Autumn favorites - apple crisp

One thing I LOVE about this time of year are BIN APPLES! So cheap and perfect for making apple crisp. I bought a huge bag the other day for $2 so figured it was a good time to test run my new stove with a baking day.

3 cups oats
1.5 cups flour ( separated into 1 cup and .5 cup amounts)
2 cups brown sugar ( separated into 1.5 cup and .5 cup amounts)
1.5 cup butter
10-11 good sized apples - peeled, cored, sliced thin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • Peel, core, slice apples

EEP Naked apples!
  • Sprinkle apples with: .5 cups of flour, all spices and .5 cups of brown sugar (you can add more if you want it sweeter but I like my apples a bit tart)
  • Stir and set aside
  • In second large bowl add all dry ingredients and mix
  • Add butter then mix well. I use my hands to get it good and mixed, it should be course crumbs no big lumps.
  • Once its good and mixed spread 1/2 of bowl into a lightly buttered dish. I use a large lasagna style dish because it has nice high sides.
  • Flatten crust into pan firmly
  • Top with apple and spice mixture
  • Dot top of apples with a few teaspoons of butter
  • Add rest of the crumb mixture on top of apples and press down lightly, a bit more firmly around the edges. You don't want to crush the apples but want it a bit flattened.
  • Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour - 1:20ish or until apples are soft but not mushy.
  • Serve warm with cream or ice cream

Friday, August 27, 2010

Slow cooker shredded chipotle beef w/ cornmeal flat bread

This is my first official blog recipe. Hope you all enjoy and please do give feed back on how the photos (thanks Sean!) look and any changes to the recipe you would make. I have never made this before so here is crossing the fingers it turns out! Just add -ish to all the measurements because I don't really measure the ingredients so play with them if you want, I do.

Step one.. appropriate cooking music. In this case it was Pink Floyd: The Wall on vinyl

Slow cooker beef

1 good sized beef roast (mine is a Sirloin tip)
1 diced onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1.5 cups water
1 cup ketchup
2-3 tablespoons Asian hot pepper/garlic sauce (I used asian bbq sauce I got on clearance but the pepper sauce will work too and is easier to find) *see pic
1/2 cup soya sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
3-4 good sized chipolti peppers canned in adobo sauce *see pic

  • Throw roast, garlic, onion in crock pot on low.
  • Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over roast
  • Cook until roast is done enough to shred (4-5 hours on high 6-7 on low or depending on size of roast) - I recommend investing in a meat thermometer so you don't overcook it. Beef just needs to be falling apart.
  • Remove roast and pull apart with two forks on a cutting board.
  • I usually remove the sauce from the slow cooker at the same time, pouring it through a wire strainer into a measuring cup. Then I dice up the onions, garlic from the sauce with some more chipotle peppers for topping for people who like it extra spicy.
  • Add beef back into crock pot and pour on just enough sauce to coat but not make too soggy.
  • Turn to 'warm' setting or low if you have no warm and let sit until your flat bread is ready.

Flat bread (This I do measure)

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 4.5 flour
  • .5 cups flour (for flouring your counter)
  • 1/3 cups corn meal
  • 4 dashes cumin
  • 2 dashes chili powder
  • 2 dashes paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt + 1 dash
  • 1 dash fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-2 cups grated cheese (I used aged cheddar but use what you like)

  • Add water to a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top then give a quick stir. Let stand until yeast is dissolved completely (5ish minutes)

  • Mix cumin, chili powder, paprika, 1 dash of salt, pepper together. Mix well.

  • Add 4 (of the 4.5 cups) flour, cornmeal, remaining salt, and half the spice mixture to your yeast and water.

  • Mix until well combined then add remaining .5 cup flour. Kneed until flour is mixed in completely. Then turn onto a lightly floured counter (using part of the .5 cup) and kneed until smooth and stretchy (about 5 - 7 minutes) and forms a ball easily.

  • Pour a 1-2 tablespoons of oil into metal bowl. Drop in your dough ball and roll around to coat well. Cover and place where its warm (I heat my oven on lowest setting then turn it off and place the bowl in there).

  • Let dough rise for 1-1.5 hours (until roughly doubled in size)

  • Lightly coat baking sheet with more oil. Turn dough onto counter and punch down. Using your fingers press onto the pan until desired size.

  • Return to warm place to rise again for 30 minutes
  • Push down lightly once more into pan, poke holes (I used a chopstick)
  • Lightly brush with oil, sprinkle on cheese and dust with remaining spice mixture.
  • Bake until flat bread is browned every slightly on the bottoms and still soft.
  • Stuff meat mixture in flat bread and fold around like a taco. Top with chipotle, onion, garlic mixture if you wish and sour cream and top with more cheese if you like too. I wanted lettuce with mine we didn't have any. Oh well next time!
Done :) mmmmm