Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fresh Pita!

Making your own pita at home is very simple and it's comes out warm and fluffy... you'll never want to go back to store-bought! Originally discovered this recipe from FromMeToYou, a photographer who is also a fantastic cook.

Ingredients:3 cups flour
1 1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 packet of yeast
1 1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Mix all ingredients together except 1 Tbsp of the oil. Knead for about 10 minutes (I know... your hands are gonna get really tired by about 5 minutes). Cover and leave dough in the warmest spot in your kitchen to rise for 90 minutes. 

After dough has risen, cut into 8 pieces on a lightly floured surface. Roll each into a ball and lightly dust with flour.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 400° F, with a sheet pan or pizza stone preheating inside. Flatten balls to about 1/4" thickness. Put pita shaped dough onto heated sheet pan and bake for 5-10 minutes. That's it!

Warm Portobella and Pear Salad

This recipe is simple and elegant. Can be done on the grill or in the oven. Can be made vegan by omitting the cheese.

4 portobella mushrooms
2 pears
Feta and walnuts for garnish
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp orange or other citrus juice
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Slice pears in half and take out seeds and core. If using the oven, place pears cut-side-up and mushroom caps on a sheet pan.
Whisk olive oil, maple syrup and citrus together in a saucepan. Lightly brush the pears and mushrooms with the mixture. Put sheet pan in the oven and turn on broiler for about 5 minutes, or until just slightly browned. If using grill, grill pears and mushrooms until slightly browned or just softened. When finished, allow to cool slightly and slice.

Heat remaining marinade for about 5 minutes to reduce, stirring frequently.

Arrange mushrooms and pears and top with marinade. Sprinkle with feta and walnuts. If desired, serve on top of a bed of greens, rice or other grain.

Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake

This cake is amazing and super easy.  Recipe origin:

Cake Ingredients:1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

Chocolate Glaze:1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix dry ingredients together with a fork. Add all other cake ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into a springform or 8"x8" pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

When cake is finished, make chocolate glaze. For glaze, heat all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Stir often. Pour immediately over cake. Top with fresh fruit or sprinkles if desired!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strawberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars

Strawberries are cheap and local this time of year, so I modified a recipe from April's issue of Everyday Food. They taste like strawberry poptarts. Mmmmm. Not for the faint of calories. Can be made vegan by using Earth Balance instead of butter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Look at what I have createeeed!

This is what happens when I actually have two days off of work.

Visit. Share. Contribute. Eat and be merry, Tampa Bay.

No-knead Bread

I absolutely love fresh made bread. What I don't love is the 10 straight minutes of total arm muscle sacrifice it takes. Here is a delightful alternative... No-knead Bread. You only need about 6-8 hours rising time... perfect for throwing together before work and then finishing in the evening.

The first rendition was pretty tasty, but I would like to experiment using different flours. This one had a mild sourdough flavor, soft in the inside and completely crispy on the outside. Read more for photos and recipe.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pumpkin Risotto, Asparagus Spears and Layered Salad.

I've been trying to clean out the freezer and I still had some pumpkin left over from baking around halloween-time. So for dinner, I made it into a pumpkin risotto. I would suggest adding squash as well, though, because the texture was slightly stringy from the pumpkin. Never-the-less, it was tasty. The layered salad was made up of sweet ginger sauteed mushrooms, home-grown greens, local grapefruit and avocado. 

I'm posting the recipe I used for the pumpkin risotto, as well as some process photos. Risotto is somewhat time consuming, but not as bad as some other major culinary undertakings.

Mistress Mary, Quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

I had no garden last year. So I decided for sure I would at least have a small one this year. It's going great! Here are the seedlings soon after transplanting. I've got lettuce, spicy salad greens, basil, thyme, green onions, a few hot pepper plants, a strawberry plant and some flowers. I'm hoping to get in some lavender, oregano and maybe a few more veggies. 

Sushi Fest!

Phil and I have been absolutely hooked on making sushi lately (until I got sick from eating some dim sum... now we're on a bit of a hiatus). It seems intimidating, but it's incredibly simple.

Some ingredients we have tried that were delicious: carrot (peeled and cut into strips), cucumber (peeled, deseeded, cut into strips), mango, cream cheese, smoked salmon, crab stick (imitation crab meat) and avocado. I would suggest not using regular cooked fish and definitely don't use any fish raw you get from the grocery store. You must use sushi grade fish. This is also a very easy meal to make vegan.

Here are a few tips and photos of our efforts so far!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Carrot Veggie Burgers, Kale Chips and Peanut Soba Noodles.

Banana Cream Cake

This cake came out wonderful. It's a lot like a banana bread cake with a cream cheese pecan frosting. Read more for the recipe!

Brown Beech Mushrooms and Broccoli Carrot Stirfry

Easy stir-fry using some beautiful beech mushrooms from next door at Oceanic Market!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hoppin' John

This meal is easy and healthy! A new favorite in our household. 

Cook 1 cup brown rice according to directions. 

For greens, wash thoroughly and remove leaves from stem. Rough chop and saute 1 chopped clove garlic in a dash of olive oil in stock pot. Saute for 3 or 4 minutes, or until greens are just wilted. Add a dash of vinegar (any type) over greens and saute for additional minute. Add 2 cups water or more as needed (greens should be mostly submerged). Add bouillon cube to create broth for greens to cook in. Bring to a boil and then simmer until other parts are ready. 

Cook black eyed peas according to directions. Drain beans. Saute onion, garlic and vegan sausage (if desired) in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Create a rue on the side of the pan, by moving veggies to one side and combining 1 Tbsp butter/margarine and 1 Tbsp flour, being careful not to let flour burn. Add 1 cup broth from greens.

Season with a dash of cayenne and a heavy dash of paprika. Also season with salt and pepper. 

When all layers are finished cooking, layer in bowl... rice, greens, beans. 

The Easiest Chili You Will Ever Make

Easy and delicious chili. Also, cornbread!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fresh Market Breakfast

Greek yogurt with homemade granola and fresh figs

I love my new job! It has inspired me to get cooking again. (Finally!) This was breakfast this morning. Quick and tasty!