Finished loaves 2 & 3

Artisan Bread Recipe

Everyone that reads Brad and Amy’s Kitchen regularly knows that we bake our own bread regularly. I am always on the lookout for a new recipe. Don’t get me wrong I still have my tried and true favorites that I will always go back to.

But you know, sometimes you just want to shake things up. Besides, who knew there were so many variations on flour, water, and yeast and that each one produces different results. Amazing! I love chemistry in the kitchen.

For quite a while I have been eyeing the Artisan Bread in Five recipes. I mean if you bake bread you cannot have heard about this Basic Dough Recipe. I was skeptical, but the website was making me curious. I had some time on Saturday and we desperately needed bread (yes, I was shucking my bread baking duties). The recipe states that it is best to let it sit in the fridge for several hours. It makes it easier to handle. So I mixed it up Saturday evening let is sit at room temperature for 2 hours and then placed it in the fridge. (Use a very large container for this). I knew I would be baking on Sunday.

This bread turned out very well. I will add it to my bread rotation. We both enjoyed it as a sandwich with some roasted turkey breast. The crumb is light and airy and very similar to a really good rustic loaf of bread. I did like that the loaves are smaller and perfect for the 2 of us. I will freeze two of them for later in the week.

I pulled the dough out of the fridge on Sunday morning after brunch.

 

Artisan Dough fresh out of fridge

Artisan Dough fresh out of fridge

Prepared my board.

Cornmeal covered board for bread

Cornmeal covered board for bread

Pulled my first dough ball off and placed it on the cornmeal covered pizza peel. (I love the pizza peel. It was a good buy and we use it regularly).

#1 Dough Ball

#1 Dough Ball

Once the stone and oven were heated to 450 degrees Brad helped me get the first dough ball on the hot stone in the oven. He has become a pro at sliding dough off the peel onto the stone.  (Notice the well used stone)

Oven Set Up

Oven Set Up

Here’s the other two loaves resting, waiting to be baked.

Resting loaves

Resting loaves

Bake for 30 minutes and here is the 1st loaf.

Baked First Loaf Artisan in 5

Baked First Loaf Artisan in 5

Sample time.

Finished Loaf

Finished Loaf

Cheers! Amy

 

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Weekly Menu Plan 9/7/2014

This weekly menu plan will be another from the pantry challenge. Can we do it? The challenge is going to be interesting.  As stated in last week’s menu plan we had planned to go on our big grocery trip this coming week. Our schedule is pretty well jam packed and it is just not going to happen.

Over our second cup of Gevalia Signature Blend fresh ground coffee this morning Brad and I sat down and using our freezer and pantry list figured out the menu plan for the week. On weeks like this it does take a bit more effort on our part and of course a little more planning ahead.

I spent Sunday baking for the week. Some new recipes. I will be posting about them later this week. The snack and break pantry is running a little low so I baked some cookies, brownies and 3 loaves of bread. The bread was a new recipe I have had my eye on for a while now. I will blog about it later this week and whether or not it was a success.

We ate out twice last week so a few items are being carried over to this week. We ended up having errands and appointments that lasted longer then we thought and we did not want to eat at 9 pm on those nights. We usually try to eat by at least 7 pm each night. I go to bed pretty early since I have to rise early for work.

The Weekly Menu Plan:

Tortellini with meat sauce and spinach salad
Cheese burgers with Brad’s potato wedges (recipe coming soon)
BBQ chicken, pasta salad
 Beef Roast with Vegetables
Beef stroganoff using left over beef roast with noodles
⊂ Cabbage Rolls from a previous freezer cooking session
Open Night

Bread of the week: Artisan Bread (a new recipe) more on this later this week

Desserts of the week: Dark Chocolate Brownies & Walnut Sandwich Cookies (new recipe)

What’s on your menu this week?

Cheers! Amy

 

Homemade Biscuits

Homemade Biscuit Recipe

I am sharing our Homemade Biscuit Recipe with everyone due to September being National Biscuit Month. Who knew: biscuits have their own month?

Brad is an avid Sunday morning biscuit eater. I admit that until recently I used a biscuit mix (gasp!) I know, I know not good. It was one of the few mixes that still graced our kitchen cabinets. We ran out and the particular mix we buy and it is getting more and more difficult to find. We had been talking for a  few months now that it was time to find an alternative.

I searched my mother’s old recipes and found this one. I’ll be honest here; I have never had good luck making homemade biscuits (can you say hockey pucks?). While making this recipe I prayed to the cooking powers that be please let this recipe turn out well. I knew it was a good recipe, I used to eat them regularly when my mom made them.

Well, the cooking powers that be listened to me and these biscuits turned out very good. Brad and I decided to ditch the mix and use this recipe going forward. Nothing beats an old fashioned homemade biscuit, warm, slathered with butter and honey, fresh from the oven! Good Stuff!

Homemade Biscuit Recipe
Homemade Biscuit Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix dry ingredient well in a bowl.
  2. Cut in shortening until mixture becomes crumbly. Stir in almost all of the milk. If dough does not seem pliable add additional milk until easy to roll out.
  3. Scrape dough onto floured board. Knead about 30 seconds. Do not over knead. Handle gently. Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with floured biscuit cutter.
  4. For soft crust place slightly touching. For crispy crust place about an 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Place on middle rack in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
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Cheers! Amy

Pork Roast with Veggies

Weekly Menu Plan 8/31/2014

Is it me or does it seem like this year is flying by?  I cannot believe it is Labor Day Weekend. Summer is winding down, cooler weather and those gorgeous fall colors will be making their grand appearance very soon. Brad and I have been busier than usual and there does not seem to be any downtime on the horizon.

This week’s weekly menu plan is from the pantry and freezer. We will be doing our monthly grocery shopping trip in a couple of weeks. This week and part of next we are going to try dwindle down some items in the pantry and freezer that need to be used up. Pantry challenge weeks like this one challenge Brad and I to think outside the box a bit on cooking and get creative. This is a good thing, we have been so busy lately and are getting stuck in the same ole, same ole routine in the kitchen. Time to shake things up a bit.  Good times!

Weekly Menu Plan

> Tenderloin Steak, twice baked potatoes, spinach salad
> Pork Roast, carrots, celery, onion and corn on the cob
> BBQ chicken thighs, pasta salad, baked beans
> Portobella mushroom ravioli casserole with meat sauce
> Shrimp fajitas, Spanish Rice
> Cheeseburgers, leftover pasta salad
> Open Night

What’s on your weekly menu plan this week?

Cheers! Amy

Baklava Cups

Baklava Cups Recipe

Baklava; the word alone evokes thoughts of warm, gooey honey drizzled over roasted nuts enveloped in a flaky, crisp, delicate layered crust. <sigh> I am a fan and have made it a time or two here in the kitchen the traditional way. It is time consuming but worth the extra effort it takes to make it.

When I came across this Baklava Cups Recipe I knew I had to try it.  Same concept only a lot easier. It took me 15 minutes from start to finish. I halved the recipe, since there are only 2 of us and made 8 of the Baklava Cups. Needless to say these tasty little cups of yum disappeared in no time flat. They were a sinful, decadent end to a very good dinner. They will make regular appearances at our dessert table. I can also see these little honey drizzled cups of roasted nuts making rounds at our holiday gatherings this year too.

I used a mixture of unsalted slivered almonds, pecans and walnuts. I did not change anything about the recipe other than to cut it in half. Next time I may try adding some melted drizzled chocolate over the top of the honey.

Cheers! Amy

Pork Schnitzel and Spaetzle

Weekly Menu Plan 8/10/2014

As the seasons change so does our Weekly Menu Plan. The last few days here have been cooler and rainy. Brad and I have enjoyed the cooler weather and the less humid days.  We are both anticipating Fall, our favorite time of year. Vacation time is approaching in a few weeks and we are both exited and looking forward to enjoying some outings and trying some new experiments in the kitchen. Generally we take vacation in September-October when cooler weather starts and the crowds are not as big.

There are a few new recipes on the menu this week and of course some old favorites. We travel to a few other countries with a few of our recipes and throw in some comforting casseroles with this Weekly Menu Plan.

Brad has a brew day planned on Monday so I plan on fixing the Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Cobbler on Sunday and we can have leftovers on Brew Day. This particular recipe has been on the top of my to try pile for a while and since cooler weather is here and it’s rainy, now is a good time to make it. Plus I have part of a roasted chicken that needs to be used up. I will post pics and update on how the recipe turned out this week.

Here is the Weekly Menu Plan for this week:

Stuffed Shells with salad (we are going to use ground chicken breast and make some homemade Italian Chicken Sausage to use in these)

Chicken, Mushroom, Leek Cobbler NEW Recipe

Seafood, baked potatoes, salad

Cheeseburgers, Brad’s Potato Wedges

Pork Schnitzel with dill sauce , Homemade Spaetzle with gravy and sauteed kale

Leftovers

Open night

What’s on your menu plan this week?

Cheers! Amy

A Peek into our Week

We have been busy doing our thing. Here’s a peek into our week.

Brad’s brewing and making pizza.

Pizza Dough on Pizza Peel

Pizza Dough on Pizza Peel

Brad rolling out homemade pizza dough

Brad rolling out homemade pizza dough

We’re both trying out new beers and ales. This one is a Wild Wheat Ale with Passion-fruit and Hibiscus. It was like a Rose` wine and quite nice with a funky after taste. Brad’s Blackberry Saison should be done later this week and and I’m looking forward to trying this new style brew of his.

Wild Wheat Ale

Wild Wheat Ale

Brad is brewing me a Pine Fruit Riwaka Pale Ale (Pine Fruit a new experimental hop and the Riwaka is a New Zealand Hop). I am excited and will keep you updated on the progress of my pale ale.

We continue to visit the local farmers market and stock the freezer for the upcoming months. This weekend I froze 25 lbs of tomatoes and a ton of colored sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange, purple). Isn’t that purple pepper in the picture below beautiful! It looks almost black. We bought several of them and what we did not eat as is, we froze in our color mix of peppers for stir fries, omelets, fajitas, etc.

82014 Produce 2

82014 Produce 2

72014 Produce

 

These little baby potatoes are about the size of golf balls and make the best herbed sauteed potatoes. Love fresh potatoes!

Baby Potatoes

Baby Potatoes

Are you enjoying the bountiful produce this time of year brings? What is your favorite fresh vegetable or fruit for this time of year?

Cheers! Amy