Deep Dish Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Despite my best efforts, I lose a majority of scraps of paper that I commit very important information on. This has led me to ditching random scraps and jotting everything down in notebooks. Since this recipe still only exists in scrap paper form, I’m adding it here so that I can’t possibly lose it. I’ve hung onto the printed off email for 11 years now but my lucky streak could end at any moment. I know my limitations.

This recipe was emailed to my husband by his mum, at his request, when we first got married. I’ve pretty much used it ever since. We have some amazing rhubarb plants that provide us with lots of organic rhubarb year after year with zero effort or cost to us. They are givers and we are grateful receivers. I use the rhubarb to make pie, bread, and an altered version to apple cripple top. It’s all good, all the time.

Farmer Miranda with the rhubarb harvest, August 2017

Deep Dish Rhubarb Single Crust Pie

Preheat oven to 400F

Prepare filling and then the pastry.

Filling
9-11 cups 1-inch sliced rhubarb
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 grated orange peel
8 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold shortening (can use part butter, part shortening, if preferred)
4-5 Tbsp very cold water

Washed stalks then chopped and ready for pie.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all pie filling ingredients well. Transfer into a deep dish (When I don’t draw a blank and screw it up, I use a 5-qt cast iron dutch oven, without the lid).

Roll out your pastry large enough to lay on top of the rhubarb flat to the sides of the pan and up slightly over the top edge of the pan. Crimp to hold the pastry to the lip of the pan as the rhubarb cooks down. Using a sharp knife, slice a few vents into the pastry.

Bake at 400F for 40-60 minutes (depending on how “done” you like your pastry.

Enjoy!

Notes: Combine all pastry ingredients (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer) until a dough forms. Having chunks of butter or shortening in the dough is perfectly fine and in some cases preferable, as it will help to create a bit of ‘flake’ in your crust. Roll out about 1-inch larger than the circumstance of the pan you are using so that it will sink with the filling as it bakes.

For a regular pie, reduce your filling ingredients to:
3 cups rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
3 Tbsp flour
dash of salt

For a double crust pie, double your pastry ingredients and use a traditional pie plate.

 

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich Bread – Recipe

This past holiday season, I rediscovered my passion for baking bread and NOT spending money on chemical-laden, mass-produced, over-priced bread at the grocery store. So, in a nutshell, I rediscovered my intense carb-addition and my frugal grooviness at the same time, and I found them both at Wal-Mart. That place really does have everything. Um, or maybe not.

Anyway, I have not taken step-by-step pictures of this recipe, but it’s pretty straight forward and forgiving (I mean, it forgives me constantly), so we should be good to go with just the recipe, straight up. I’ll do my best to answer any questions that come up though, just leave your question in the comments. ???? I will tell you that I do all of my mixing and most of my kneading using my KitchenAid stand mixer and dough hook. I’m just a wimp that way. Also, I do not have a record of where I first found this recipe, but I’ve changed it a bit here and there over time to make it work better for me.

Now get into my tummy before I switch back to a raw foods diet again. Nom, nom, nom.

Now get into my tummy before I switch back to a raw foods diet again. Nom, nom, nom.

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich Bread (makes 2 scrumptious loaves)

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups of warm water (110 – 115F)
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled (can substitute coconut or other oil for the butter)
4 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp yeast (or two of those little packages of yeast, which makes 1Tbsp + 1/2tsp)
2 1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste, but do leave some salt in the recipe, the yeast needs it)
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (give or take).

Directions:

  1. Combine one cup of the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a mixer.
  2. Add warm water, honey and butter/oil. Mix on low-speed until combined. The on medium speed for about three minutes.
  3. Add the remaining two cups of whole wheat flour and the all-purpose flour (a cup at a time) and mix, using your dough hook attachment, until the dough is no longer sticky – when it comes away from the sides of the bowl cleanly, you’re good. Knead in the mixer until smooth and elastic – about five minutes or so.
  4. Take out the dough hook and cover the dough, in the bowl with a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes (an hour if your house, like mine, is chilly).
  5. Punch the dough down, divide it in half and roll each half out into a rectangular shape. Roll each half of the dough up and place in a well-greased 9×5 inch bread pan. Rolling the dough will give your bread a nicer crumb, better structure and make your loaves look purty.
  6. Cover the loaves with a damp tea towel (again) and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes (or 45 minutes in a chilly place), or until doubled.
  7. Bake in your preheated (because you read ahead – aha!) oven (350F) for 30 minutes. Since tapping the bottom of loaves baking in a bread pan is cumbersome and dare I say it, impossible, you could use an instant read thermometer into the long side of the loaves. Fully baked bread should be 205F. Turn out of the pans and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve!
Freshly sliced bread. This is only half a loaf though, since the other half was quickly and savagely consumed.

Freshly sliced bread. This is only half a loaf though, since the other half was quickly and savagely consumed.

P.S. My spellcheck is acting up again. I’m not entirely sure why, but it wants you to use a ‘doe hook’ to mix your bread. But I said, “No way, screw you, Spellcheck. We are NOT using a ‘doe hook’ on this blog. Not today!” So now I’m not sure if my spellcheck is a carb hater or an animal hater, but either way, it looks like I will need to remain vigilant about monitoring any and all changes and dropping the hammer liberally on the pro-offered suggestions. Never trust your spellcheck. I’m fairly certain it’s just out to get you and will mess up everything you type. Probably on purpose.

~A.

A surprisingly scrumptious and easy breakfast cookie recipe

Since I’ve had a few people request the recipe for the Breakfast Cookies that I baked for the teachers this past week I thought that it would be a good idea to post the recipe on the blog  and not flake out and just do a quicky Facebook post (this also ensures that if I lose my copy that I have another one to refer to!).

IMG_5965Breakfast Cookies (baking notes to follow at the end of the recipe)

Makes 36 cookies

Preheat oven 325°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Ingredients

1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt (see end note)
¾ cups lightly packed brown sugar
½ cup softened butter
¼ cup canola or coconut oil (can use vegetable oil) (see end note)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup flax seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2½ cups 9-grain cereal (see end note)
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, etc)

Directions

Combine the first four ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and oils until smooth. Beat in eggs, seeds and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Stir in cereal, coconut and dried fruit.

Drop by tablespoon, 2 inches apart. Flatten with the back of a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until starting to brown. Allow to sit on cookie sheet to cool for 10 minutes then remove and finish cooling on the cooling rack.

Notes

* Omit salt if using salted butter.
* Can omit the ¼ cup of coconut or canola oil with little-to-no effect on the finished product.    Can also replace it with applesauce if desired.
*  9-grain cereal – I use 1¾ – 2 cups of oats and ¾-½ cup of wheat bran. Others making these cookies have used a granola cereal like Quaker Harvest Crunch, but be aware that this option increases caloric, sugar and fat content exponentially, and depending on the granola cereal you choose, may no longer be nut-free / school-safe (although it will taste divine!).
*  These freeze well, so bake them up, throw them in a ziplock and enjoy breakfast cookies for a week. Also, if I don’t freeze them, they won’t survive two days around here!)

IMG_5965

 

Upside-Down Pizza Casserole – Recipe

I have to share this one. It is simple, it is fast, and it is totally and completely delicious (if you like pizza, that is. And, if you do not like pizza, then I am sorry but this is not your tribe). I made this for my smalls this week and they went nuts for it. It immediately moved right up the list of Mason’s favourite foods to secure the #2 spot (meatloaf appears to be immovable from the top position) and the rest of the kids declared it “The BEST! I don’t just like it, I LOVE IT!” So, with those rave reviews, it warrants a share.

Quick note: You can use store-bought/pre-made pizza dough (not the pizza crusts, the dough!) or you can whip up a quick batch at home. I’ll include my quick and dirty pizza dough recipe here at the end, just in case you want to try it. ALSO, this is meant to be eaten with your fingers. It is not a dignified meal, and that is probably another reason why my children loved it so.

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Ingredients:
Pizza toppings – pepperoni, onions, peppers, whatever you normally put on your pizza
Mozzarella cheese, grated, approximately 300g
Italian salad dressing OR Pizza Sauce
One recipe OR one bag of store-bought pizza dough

Directions:
1. Prepare the dough (either make some up or pull the store-bought one from the fridge)
2. Preheat oven to 425°F
3. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13 glass casserole dish
4.Chop up and prepare your toppings.
5. Layer toppings in the casserole dish

My kids are not big "toppings" people. They are boring pizza eaters. But I love them anyway.

My kids are not big “toppings” people. They are boring pizza eaters. But I love them anyway.

6. Cover toppings with excessive amounts of mozzarella cheese

They are, however, all about the cheese. So they redeem themselves. Slightly.

They are, however, all about the cheese. So they redeem themselves. Slightly.

7. Add sauce over the cheese, if using salad dressing, just a quick “Z” shape across the dish should be enough. But, the choice, as with everything else in the this recipe, is yours 😉

We like it nice and saucy, but some people, eh, not so much.

We like it nice and saucy, but some people, eh, not so much.

8. Roll little balls of dough and place them fairly close together in the dish. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese if you like. The dough balls should be between the size of a superball and a ping-pong ball (if they’re too big, you won’t have enough to cover the whole dish, and that could lead to sadness or having to locate more dough).

The first time I made this, it lead to a bit of sadness. This time, while it looks like chaos, there were enough to go around.

The first time I made this, it led to a bit of sadness. Made the dough balls too big. This time, while it looks like chaos, there were enough to go around.

9. Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the dough sounds hollow when you tap on it and you see sauce or cheese bubbling away.
10. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Do not place the glass dish directly on a countertop or solid surface, the shock could cause the dish to break. And that would result in no pizza casserole. And that can only lead to more sadness. (Or, it could cause injury. Either way, we don’t want either of those things ruining a happy pizza experience).
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11. Now, this is where it could get tricky, but since I’m adverse to tricky, I ignore this step, but if you wanted to, you could try to “flip” the casserole out of the pan and onto some other dish so that it was right-side up again, but I haven’t seen this done, haven’t tried it and so cannot endorse it. I cut around the dough in collections of two to four balls and scoop them out with a serving spoon. THIS IS FINGER FOOD. It will be nearly impossible to eat in a civilized way, but it’s so gooey and delicious, that really doesn’t matter, does it?

12. Enjoy!

Here it is again represented in one picture:
image

Quick and Dirty Go-to Pizza Dough Recipe

1 package or 2¼ tsp yeast
1 cup warm (105°F – 115°F) water (takes about 45 seconds in my microwave)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
2½ cups flour (All purpose, whole wheat or a combination thereof)

Directions:
Mix together yeast, water, oil, sugar and salt in a large bowl. (I use my Kitchenaid mixer because, well, LAZY). Let sit for five or so minutes, until the yeast starts to grow a bit and it looks a bit foamy. Add flour and mix in thoroughly, if mixing by hand, 20-30 good turns should do it. If using a mixer, until it forms into a ball, maybe two or so minutes. The dough shouldn’t be too wet and sticky. If it is, add a bit more flour and work in.

This dough is versatile. You can either use it right away, or you can cover it with a clean dish towel for a half hour or so and let it rise a bit then punch it down and use. The benefit to letting it have a bit of rise time is a lighter dough, but I’ve noticed no real difference in the taste.

Roll it out, build your pizza. Bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness after 20 minutes and reducing heat to 350°F for the last five minutes.

School-safe Protein-packed Granola Bar Recipe

A while back, I published a post about becoming an Epicure Selections consultant. Since then, I have been busy trying as many Epicure products as possible (and no, I don’t love everything they put out there, but I do love many of their products 🙂 ). Including their silicone bakeware, and I have to admit, I am now completely sold on the Perfect Petites Silicone pan (only $23 Cdn. Lol!).

So far, I’ve made both regular and Summer Berry versions of banana bread and these School-safe Granola Bars (a few times each) and it’s been a breeze each time. Clean up hasn’t been tedious and the end product has been a hit with my smalls.

A few tips when using the Perfect Petites pan:

1. Always use it on top of a metal baking/cookie sheet for stability
2. NEVER use cooking spray on this or any other silicone cookware
3. Lightly oil the pan with Canola or other oil, but, see point number 2 and remember NO cooking spray
4. If something is a little difficult to remove (I haven’t run into this issue yet), pop the pan in the freezer for about 20 or so minutes. Whatever you’ve baked should pop right out after that.
5. You can pretty much take any quick bread, muffin, cake, cookie recipe and use the Petites pan, just reduce your baking time – if a recipe calls for 30 minutes at 325°C, I start checking after 15 minutes.

General Notes about the recipe – I wanted a quick snack that would provide my children with a hit of protein, not merely fibre/carbs/sugar but that was also school-safe (e.g. completely nut-free) and this fits the bill perfectly. As a bonus, it is also an incredibly adaptable recipe. Use gluten-free flour and voila! GF School safe granola bars. Kids don’t like raisins? Don’t use them! They love Craisins? Use ’em! Dried anything (naturally or chopped up small) will work 🙂 Be adventurous, see what ya’ll like and what you don’t. I’m trying them out using coconut oil next, I’m sure it will work just fine though. 😉

Now, for the promised recipe

SCHOOL-SAFE AND PROTEIN-PACKED GRANOLA BARS

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rolled oats (quick are fine, but not instant)             1/2 cup honey
1 cup whole wheat flour                                                      1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)                                            1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar                                                            2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt (optional
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup mixture of shredded unsweetened coconut, raw & shelled sunflower seeds, raw & shelled pumpkin seeds (I keep this mixture in equal parts in a Mason jar in my pantry for snacking and baking).

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325° C. Lightly oil your Perfect Petites pan or your 9×13″ pan. Alternatively, lay down parchment paper so that it covers the bottom and sides of your pan (9×13 only, not the P.P. pan!)

2. Mix together the first eight ingredients (left-hand column). Make a well in the centre and add four last ingredients (right-hand column). This is easy to mix by hand (so even I don’t bother firing up the KitchenAid mixer 😉 ).

3. If using the Perfect Petites pan, fill and smooth each cell with your granola mix. It will be a wet and sticky batter. For chewier bars, fill each cell more, for crunchier bars, fill each cell with less batter. Maximum capacity for the pan is 2 tablespoons per cell. If using a 9×13 pan, pour the batter in and smooth out.

4. Bake and start checking or doneness after approximately 15 minutes for the Perfect Petites pan or 30 minutes for a 9×13. The bars are done when the edges start to brown lightly.

5. Remove from oven, let cool in the pan on the rack for around 20 minutes. Less time is needed if you’re using the P.P. pan, those you can pop right out of the pan as soon as they are cool enough to touch. If using a 9×13 pan, let them cool, but remove from the pan and cut into bars before completely cold. This will make cutting them easier.

6. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy!

I am in love with this pan - makes more that my regular mini-muffin tin (30 vs. 24) and they are the perfect size for all of us to enjoy a REASONABLE portion of a treat - LOL!

I am in love with this pan – makes more that my regular mini-muffin tin (30 vs. 24) and they are the perfect size for all of us to enjoy a REASONABLE portion of a treat – LOL!

Banana Crumble Cake a.k.a. Wear-Your-Big-Pants Cake

I have no idea where I found this recipe or why it took so long for me to try it but OMG, this is like banana bread and cake rolled up into one thigh thundering mass of yumminess. Miss Miranda and I adapted the recipe we had and baked this recipe recently and I posted a picture on the Keswick Blog’s Facebook page with the hashtags #curvygirl #lovescake. Never were these hashtags truer than after tasting this tasty little toodle.

The Ultimate Non-crummy Banana Crumb Cake to end all Banana cakes

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Cake Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed banana (approx 3-4 large bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (DIY: 1 cup of milk minus 2 tbsp plus 2 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice, let sit 5 minutes then use as directed)

Crumb Topping Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake: Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until well-incorporated. Stir in mashed banana, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Stir in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix just until there are no streaks of dry ingredients remaining. (I highly recommend taking your time and doing the additions in stages, as stated above – I usually just throw it all together, but slowing down actually did give me a better result 😉 )

Pour batter into the prepared pan.

For the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add in softened butter, mashed banana and vanilla and blend ingredients in (with a pastry cutter or a couple of forks) until mixture is moist and sandy. It should stick together in clumps when you squeeze it between your fingers. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the cake (there will be a lot of it and it will cover the entire surface).

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

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Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into delicious, scrumptious squares of delight. Share this or keep it all for yourself. If the people in your life don’t understand, are they really the right people to keep around? If you’re so inclined, this cake will keep very well in an airtight sealed container for a few days. But beware of thieves. They can be crafty fuckers when it comes to cake.

Spicy HOT Chicken wings that will kill you slower than bar wings

I know, I know.  I do not usually do recipe posts.  I always forget to take pictures at relevant times or I’m too busy trying to put out fires and forget all about blogging (e gads, no!) But this time, I remembered.  And I was calm, cool and collected.  And I did not drop, break, burn or forget anything.  So, I feel that this is as a good time to share a recipe with you as there will ever be.

Now, I must preface this with telling you that I do not eat chicken wings.  It’s far too much like work and when I eat, I’m not looking to work hard.  I don’t like trying to fight my food off the bone.  I want it well cooked, yummy, and pretty much leaping from my plate into my mouth.  No work involved over and above lifting my utensils.  Yes, I’m a lazy eater. BUT, Mr. K.B. and one of my smalls LOVE chicken wings.  And since discovering that the ones I make are even better than the best ones we’ve ordered in restaurants, I make them, when asked.

I started off oven baking them (deep fryers scare me. Clumsy girls and deep fryers are a recipe for a big fucking mess), but then Mr. K.B. had to go gluten-free for a long while and the oven wings were just missing some of the magic he found in the restaurant-prepared wings, you know, the wings that he could no longer eat. So, in the name of love, I learned how to make chicken wings from scratch using a deep fryer and a prayer.  I purposely blocked out all of my fears about serving deep fried food and what that meant of my nutritional morals.  Denial is a wonderful tool under certain circumstances. But then, after a long spell, Mr. K.B. was much improved and could be reunited with gluten.  But then grease became an issue, so back to oven wings we went.  And this time, they were better.  This time they were “as good” as the wings cooked in the deep fryer.  Chicken wings will never be considered a ‘healthy choice’ but these oven-baked chicken wings are a healthier bad choice. First, I mix up a batch of the coating.  When going gluten-free, I used rice flour for the base and other than costing a bit more, there was no discernible difference.  So now I use whatever flour I have on hand, gluten or non-gluten.

So, without further ado, first, the recipe in pictures and then the details, all laboriously written out at the end. Just because I wanna.

Before: The split and naked wings, waiting to be infused with spicy goodness.

Before: The split and naked wings, waiting to be infused with spicy goodness.

The magic mix - this is where the road to greatness starts.

The magic mix – this is where the road to greatness starts.

 

Tossed wings, waiting to be laid out in nice, orderly rows on a foil lined cookie sheet.

Tossed wings, not to be confused with tossed salad, waiting to be laid out in nice, orderly rows on a foil lined cookie sheet.

Dry-coated wings, chilling out in the fridge for an hour or so before heading for the tanning bed, um, oven.

Dry-coated wings, chilling out in the fridge for an hour or so before heading for the tanning bed, um, oven.

Moments before the wings hit the hot oven. It's go time!

Moments before the wings hit the hot oven. It’s go time!

Tossed in the sauce and thrown on a plate. They are ready to eat.

Tossed in the sauce and thrown on a plate. They are ready to eat.

After - Naked wings, once again, after having been relieved of their spicy goodness.

After – Naked wings, once again, after having been relieved of their spicy goodness.

Baked, not Fried Spicy Hot Chicken Wings
20-30 split chicken wings

Dry Mix Ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
3 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Sauce:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce, such as Frank’s, but any will do.

Directions:

1.Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray.

2. Prepare the dry mix and store in a air-tight container. Split, wash and dry the wings and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle dry mixture and toss wings until completely coated. Store the unused dry mix in the air-tight container in the refrigerator for next time.

3. Place the coated wings on the previously prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4.  Preheat oven to 400F.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly. (My crew likes the wings crispy, so I usually leave them in for 60 minutes, turning once).

6. Toward the end of the baking time, combine the sauce ingredients in a large, clean bowl.

7. Remove wings from the oven and immediately toss them in the prepared wing sauce until thoroughly sauced. Discard any unused sauce.

Serve immediately with carrot and celery sticks and choice of Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing. Fries are optional, but word to the wise: if you pair the wings up with a pizza, you’ll have covered off all your food groups in one meal. 😉

 

 

One-hour French Bread recipe. No really! It only takes one hour from start to finish.

I have found my new go-to bread for those days that I’ve run out of time to make my usual bread and those nights I’m serving pasta and need bread to convert into garlic bread.  This bread was incredible fast and easy to make, not to mention inexpensive (frugal bread – yippppeee!) and delicious.  I cannot for the life of me remember where I got this recipe.  I do not know why it took me so long to try it either.  It would seem that I do not know very much.  But I am a certified hardcore carb junky, so I know good bread when I inhale it. 😉

I would also call this a no-to-little knead bread.  I made it entirely in my KitchenAid mixer using the dough hook and a spoon (to scrape the sides of the bowl) and shaped the bread in directly on the baking sheet.

Without further ado then:

One-hour French Bread

Makes one loaf of yummy.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups warm water (no warmer than 120°F)
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast ( that’s 1 tbsp, plus 1 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 – 4 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 3 cups of all-purpose, but this is only a matter of preference, so use what your family will enjoy)

Directions

Add the warm water, yeast, honey and salt to your mixing bowl.  In five to ten minutes, it will be foamy and puffy (we want that).  Add your flour, slowly, a cup at a time and mix until the dough is no longer sticky.  This step took me approximately 8 minutes.  If you need to add a little extra flour, no harm, but too much will make the loaf heavy.  Shape the dough, by hand, into a 14 inch loaf (this will not work in a bread pan), and cover with a warm, damp tea towel for 20 minutes while your oven pre-heats to 375°C.  Just prior to baking, using a very sharp knife or (clean!!) razor blade, cut a couple of 1/2 deep slits in the top of the loaf.

Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes and remove to a cooling rack once baking is complete.

Never spending $3.49 and more for 'last-minute-forgot-the-bread-for-dinner' bread again!

 

 

Finally! A Caesar dressing worthy of the name (Otherwise called The first salad dressing that makes this fat ‘wick chick a genuine fan of salad)

It is not a secret.  I do not live a secret double life as a runway model is Paris.  If I’m going to eat salad, a plain lettuce leave with a spritz of over-priced olive oil and balsamic vinegar is NOT going to cut it, and will likely make this not-a-size-zero momma very cranky.  But give me a creamy, delicious, garlicky Caesar dressing and not only will I eat that salad, I will lick my plate clean.

But really good, tasty Caesar dressings have proved difficult to find.  Renee’s is creamy but the flavour falls flat and there is something in it that leaves a nasty aftertaste in my mouth.  Kraft’s version is quasi-creamy, lower in fat and has more peppery bite, but not being able to pronounce or identify 80% of the ingredients on the label, coupled with the plasticky appearance of the dressing has really curbed my enthusiasm for the Kraft Calorie-Wise line.  The yogurt-based Cesar dressings I have tried have been disappointing and more yogurt-like than I care for.

When Mr. K.B. and I go out to eat, if the menu offers a Chicken Caesar Wrap, that’s what I order.  And more often than not, I love it.  Of course, that could have something to do with not having to prepare the meal or clean up after it, but it also it also has something to do with the dressing they used.  And like with most things, we have figured out that just about anything we eat in a restaurant is something that we can make better and less expensively at home.  So why should this be any different?

It’s not.  So therein began my quest to find, make, discover, uncover, and prepare the best Caesar dressing recipe.  I wanted to make it for less than a bottle would cost at the store and have it be so yummy that I would be tempted, against house rules, to totally lick my plate when it is gone.  Mission accomplished.

Homemade Kick-Ass Caesar Dressing

adapted from thefoodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons garlic cloves, mashed and minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons olive oil (or olive/canola mix)
Salt – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Lemon juice – to taste, I use about 1 1/2 tsp)
Minced anchovy fillets (optional – I haven’t added these yet, but once I get some anchovy paste, I do plan on trying a smidgen)

Directions: 

Combine garlic, Dijon mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise, oil.  Using a hand/stick blender, blend until the oil is well incorporated. Scrape dressing with spatula into a bowl and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Blend again.  If desired, add anchovy to the dressing to create a deeper, saltier taste.

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Notes:

As written, this recipe makes approximately 1/2 cup of dressing, or eight 1 Tablespoon each servings.  A little goes a long way.  Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  I do not know how long it is safe to eat, a batch has not lasted longer than 48 hours in my house *grin*

I serve it on baby spinach and romaine, with home-made bacon bits and Parmesan cheese.

Next quest – Delicious not dried-out and dusty croutons! Once I have mastered them, I will share the secret with you 🙂

Yes, yes, I really am THAT fancy. And we have playdoh – do you?

I don’t like to brag or anything, but this morning I made our own PLAYDOH.  And it was amazing, so by extension, I am amazing.  And I made it smell pretty by adding some peppermint extract (my house, sadly, was devoid of glitter this morning, but next time we’re adding some for sure!).  And that makes me brilliant and amazing.  Yes actually, I do think that this achievement is on par with (wo)man inventing fire.  It feels fiercely impressive to make a batch of playdoh that actually turns out.  But I can only take partial credit, because I think that this recipe is idiot (read KB) proof 😉

But because I’m the sharing type, I’m going to let you all in on the recipe for the Best Ever, Super-dee-duper’dist, Play-Doh in the history of me saying ‘super-dee-duper’ like some 90’s Barney reject.

This is fantastically easy to make and very inexpensive.  The most expensive part is the cream of tartar, but it totally makes this recipe magical.  *Jazz fingers*  *Jazz fingers*

Yes, I do know that my mental illness runs deep.  I’m okay with it, so you should be too.

F.A.N.C.Y.

ANYWAY – now for the recipe:

Ingredients

1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt (dear Lord, please don’t eat this shit.  Your sodium levels will go through the roof.  Oh, and don’t let your pets eat it, this much salt could kill ’em and that would make your kids feel sad, and NOT happy, which is the purpose of playdoh – duh.)
2 Tbsp cream of tartar powder (this is NOT tartar sauce as I have heard of some people trying to use – yuck!)
1 Tbsp oil (because I’m fancy, I used and olive/canola mix, but any oil other than motor, will do)
1 cup boiling water
food colouring – your choice or the kids.  I’ll leave this up to ya’ll to figure out.
Peppermint extract to make it smell nice and help preserve it a bit longer.

Directions

Mix it all together (I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer) until it comes together.  I don’t recommend using your hands for the first while because that boiling water is not fooling around.  It is hot as a mo-fo.

Start playing, but play nice and share.  Then take a picture and email it to your friends and family.  Then sit back and wait for the intervention.

When the fun is over and the kids are a crying mess and you’re ready to start drinking (again) in the morning, gather up all of your playdoh and store it in a Ziploc bag.  You know, so you can have all that fun again tomorrow 🙂

Happy doh doh’ing!