Homemade Pizza

Weekly Menu Plan

Over the weekend we visited a local butcher shop and the Farmer’s Market to pick up some fresh produce. The local butcher shop was a carnivore’s dream come true and everything we have tried from there so far has been superior. We were excited to find a locally owned butcher shop that makes their own sausage, and their meat is a lot better than what’s in the grocery stores nowadays.

We also visited the Farmer’s Market to stock up on produce for the coming week. This time of year brings out the kale, Swiss chard, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, OH and the apples and pears. All such good foods.

Our weekly menu plan uses the goodies we bought on our shopping trips. A few new recipes and some favorites thrown in for good measure.

Here’s the Weekly Menu Plan:

Porter House Steaks, sausage mushroom appetizers, salad & roasted cauliflower (new recipe)
Homemade Pizza and salad
Minestrone (new recipe) and cheesy cornmeal muffins (from the freezer)

Cheesy Cornmeal Muffins

Cheesy Cornmeal Muffins

Pork Roast with vegetables
Open Night

Bread this week: Buttermilk Honey Bread (from the freezer)

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Dessert this week: Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites & Jam Blossoms (both new recipes)

What’s on your plan this week?

Cheers! Amy

Web Grazing

I had a few spare moments to do some Web Grazing over the last few days. I love to check out food trends and the latest goings on in the wonderful world of food. Some things just make you shake your head and wonder what these people are thinking. Others make you go I can’t wait to try that recipe.

As cooler temps have invaded us I look for recipes that will help us use produce we get at the local farmers market and stay creative with it. Nobody likes the same thing over and over again, time after time. After all, variety is the spice of life! Or at least so they say.

Here’s a few recipes I found of interest on my Web Grazing…

A new twist on chicken pot pie. I would probably try this as a one dish meal. I only have 3 10 ounce ramekins.

Tamale Chicken Potpies

They had fresh cauliflower at the Farmer’s Market yesterday and I can’t wait to try these.

Cauliflower Patties

This sounds like a good meatless lunch. I love cauliflower and provolone cheese.

Fried Cauliflower Sandwich

Brad & I eat mushrooms almost everyday. Sometimes multiple times per day. We love them and the various varieties there are. Yes, we love fungus. This recipe is different and I plan on making it soon or at least my take on the recipe. Yum!

Meatball Stuffed Mushrooms

Now that Fall is here are there any new recipes you are itching to try?

Cheers! Amy

Beef Goulash over Noodles

Beef Goulash Recipe

Beef Goulash Recipes, there are so many versions of this out there. I would love to sample recipes from around the globe. What’s not to love about meat, pasta, tomatoes and a rich sauce? It is virtually a one pot meal. (My kinda meal). Serve it with rice, golden egg noodles or some fancy swirled pasta or go all out and make your own pasta. A dollop (I love that word) of sour cream or Greek yogurt and a light sprinkle of dill weed to top everything off.

The American Version: My mother always browned ground beef, onions and mixed it with tomatoes and pasta topped off with a sprinkle of cheese. To this day this is still an all time favorite of mine to eat and enjoy.

I receive a lot of blog feeds in my email (what food blogger doesn’t) and voraciously read them all. Brad and I had watched a cooking show with someone (don’t remember who) making a beef goulash recipe and we both commented that we needed to try that. The next day my email had this Beef Goulash Recipe in it.

I read the recipe and drooled perused the recipe pictures. This was it, the Beef Goulash Recipe we had been looking for. I had everything to make it and so we did.

This recipe is a bit fussy (as in it is slightly time consuming) but if you have the time you NEED to make this recipe. The sauce is scrumptious. The caraway seeds are totally optional (I opted in, I have them on hand for some rye bread I had made). They add a depth and dimension to the stew that you just savor. The recipe makes a nice size pot. We ate it for a couple of days and froze part of it for another meal. We did notice that as it sat the caraway seeds mellowed out quite a bit.

My changes and additions to the recipe:

  • I used homemade vegetable broth in place of the chicken and been broth
  • White mushrooms were added at the same time as the peppers (and were divine)
  • Next time I will only add 1 tsp of caraway seeds.
  • I served it over yolkless noodles with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of dill.

This recipe will become a regular in our winter rotation. It is definitely a Fall/Winter recipe. Served with a good crusty bread to sop (another good word) up the savory sauce. Heavy comfort food that tastes like it came from a gourmet kitchen. Lovely aroma fills the house as it simmers in the oven. Loved this recipe!

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash

Cheers! Amy

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Honey Bread Recipe

Each week I bake bread for Brad and I to eat through out the week. We began baking our own bread a couple years ago to avoid the heavily processed bread you usually find in the store. If life has been busy we will occasionally buy a loaf or two of bread from one of the local bakeries to tide us over until I can bake some.

For the last several months I have been wanting to take my bread baking to the next level. I think at this point, I have moved on to the intermediate stage and am fairly comfortable with baking terms and techniques.

Being the foodie that I am and admittedly I have a large collection of recipes. I still love to browse new cookbooks. For several months now I have been eyeing The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. It’s a collection of 300 of her best and most favorite recipes. I was browsing e books for my Kindle and low and behold this particular book went on sale for $2.51 and I was all over it (like the floured hand prints on my behind when I am baking and dust my hands off on my black yoga pants). I voraciously devoured (yes that’s the way I read, with speed and totally absorbed). Loved it and could not wait to try some of these recipes and take my bread baking to the next notch. {{Happy Dance}}} New kitchen chemistry to try out!

The Honey Buttermilk Bread Recipe was the first one that tickled my fancy. This recipe was a a little more fussy to make but we both loved the slight tang from the buttermilk and the taste of the honey that came through. I used pure raw honey, which has a stronger flavor than most honey. It toasts beautifully and it good just warm with some melted butter. I can see using this for sandwiches and toast. I froze one loaf for later and we’re nibbling our way through the other one.

Here’s the recipe.

Buttermilk Honey Bread
Recipe source: The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger
3/4c. warm water (105 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 T. active dry yeast
1 1/2c. buttermilk, warmed just to take off the chill
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
3 T. honey
1 T. salt
6- 6 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour (mine took closer to 6 1/2 cups)
Pour the warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the surface of the water. Stir to combine and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, using a whisk, or in the work bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine buttermilk, butter, honey, and yeast mixture. [I used my kitchen aid mixer] Add the salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until hard to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating with a wooden spoon (or in the electric mixer) after each addition, until a shaggy dough is formed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and satiny, dusting with flour only 1 T. at a time as needed to prevent sticking.
*If kneading in the mixer, switch from the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 3-4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy and springs back when pressed. If desired, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly by hand.* [I used my kitchen aid]
Place the dough in a greased bowl. Turn the dough once to grease the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 -1 1/4 hours.
Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Grease two 9×5″ loaf pans or a cookie sheet. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Form the portions into standard loaves or 2 round loaves and place in the prepared pan(s). [I have one cookie sheet and it was being used. So I greased a covered 1.5 qt casserole dish and the insert to the 3qt crock pot and used those to bake the bread in] Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, 30-45 minutes.
Buttermilk Honey Bread Dough Rising

Buttermilk Honey Bread Dough Rising

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake on the center rack of the oven about 40-45 minutes, or until nicely browned, pulls away from the sides and has a hollow sound when tapped with your fingers.
Remove the loaves immediately to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Cheers! Amy 

White Bundt Cake w/ Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

White Bundt Cake Recipe

Everyone needs a good white cake recipe in their arsenal. Since we have tried to eliminate processed items from our kitchen I have tried too many white cake recipes to count. Most of them are just so so and some are just downright awful. So I keep trying, I mean seriously there has to be one out there that is superb.

Brad asked if I could make a white bundt cake with white icing for dessert this week. I sighed, knowing this was more difficult than it should be. Being the sweet person (batting eyes) I am, I responded “Sure, why not. Sounds good.”  Inwardly cringing knowing this was no small task. I searched and came upon a white layer cake on Epicurious that had good reviews and printed it off. Now to find an icing recipe that did not need refrigeration. Yes, I know this sounds petty, but, there are other items taking up space in the fridge and no extra room for a large cake holder full of cake. Found one, good reviews. We’re rocking cooking now.

The cake reviews stated that it tasted like a bakery white cake and that sounds good to me. I whipped, beat, poured, stirred and measured everything exactly as the recipe stated. My butter and eggs were cool, but at room temperature. I cracked the 6 eggs separating out the whites (and saving the yolks for a breakfast omelet). The only changes I made were to cut the sugar back by 1/2 cup and instead of baking as a layer cake I used my old bundt pan and baked it for 39 minutes.

Sheer Perfection! We both thoroughly enjoyed the cake and it will be come my go to white cake. In the future i would like to play around with adding orange, lemon or coconut flavoring in place of the almond. Maybe some zest to go with it. OH MY!

Here’s the link for the cake: White Bundt Cake Recipe

The frosting recipe that I used was a Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe that did not need any refrigeration. Also, a perfect recipe that will go in frosting keeper recipe collection.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Cheers! Amy

Cabbage Rolls (Dinner)

Weekly Menu Plan 10/12/2014

Brad and I are loving the cooler weather.  The leaves are starting to change in our neck of the woods and it’s just a gorgeous time of year.  We enjoyed our weekly morning together this morning eating a big breakfast and talking about our day ahead. As breakfast wound down and we were enjoying our second cup of java we made the weekly menu plan. Brad is brewing on Monday so we have to plan for that or we’ll end up grabbing take out.

It is almost time for a our monthly grocery trip. So we are pulling meals from the freezer and using various nibbles and bits up for our menu for this week.

This weekly menu plan does not include any new recipes, but some oldies from the favorite pile.

Weekly Menu Plan 10/12/2014

Cabbage Rolls- from the freezer
Stromboli and salad (making an extra one for the freezer)
Steak & Shrimp Quesadillas and Spanish Rice
Grilled Chicken and Vegetables
Homemade Burgers and Baked Fries
Pork Chops, Herbed Potatoes and Sauteed Kale
Open Night

Bread of the week: Honey Buttermilk Bread (recipe this week)

Dessert of the week: Homemade White Cake with Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

What’s on your menu plan this week?

Cheers! Amy

Apple Muffins

Menu Plan 10/5/2014

We woke this morning to very cool temperatures and a 59 degree house. Brad and I donned our flannel house pants and enjoyed a leisurely brunch (yes, we slept in this morning). After brunch we discussed the menu plan for the week. Fall brings forth the need for comforting casseroles, warming soups, heavier foods.

My last morning on vacation. (sigh) It’s been a grand 10 days off and I have enjoyed the mind clearing, relaxing, time that I had off. Brad and enjoyed some quality couple time. The weather today was a big change from a few days ago. I absolutely love this time of year. Cooler temps, the colors (sigh) just gorgeous and the foods. Don’t get me wrong Spring brings forth all kinds of yummy goodness we have done without over the cold winter months. However, Fall brings pumpkins. winter squash, apples, sweet potatoes and the list goes on and on.

This is a big week here at Brad & Amy’s Kitchen. On 10/6/2014 we celebrate our 1 year blogiversary. It’s hard to believe this brain child of mine has been hanging on for a whole year.

Enough of my babbling on and on. Here’s out menu plan for the week.

  • Traditional Hungarian Beef Goulash with noodles (recipe coming soon)
  • Leftover Goulash
  • Skirt Steak Fajitas and Spanish Rice

Steak Tacos with Spanish Rice

  • Cube Steak, Russian Perogies (from the European Deli), Salad
  • Creamy Chicken & Squash Bake
  • Baked Chicken, Herbed Potatoes and Swiss chard saute`
  • Open Night

Nibbles and Noshes - Apple Muffins (I used dried blueberries and added flax seeds)

What’s on your menu this week?

Cheers! Amy