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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crusty Baguette with Herb Oil

I found the recipe for this bread on Pinterest a couple weeks ago, and its possibly one of the best ones I've found on there yet! It's super easy and delicious. I made some for a holiday party at work a few weeks ago, and literally, it was gone within 15 minutes of me bringing it in. It was a huge hit, and lucky for me, I saved a loaf at home so I got to eat more later!

Funny story though, in the recipe, she mentions to keep adding flour until the dough is elastic and smooth, and I doubled the recipe, but then forgot I had doubled it, so when I had added 2 extra cups of flour and still had watery dough, I was starting to worry! But then I remembered I doubled it, so it was ok!

This is a perfect Holiday recipe! It would be great as an appetizer or as part of a meal.

Crusty Baguette
From Brooke McClay on Babble Blogs
This lovely picture was taken on my phone. ha

2 c warm water
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 c flour

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set the bowl on top of the preheating oven for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the salt and add the flour 1/2 c at a time, until the dough becomes soft, but not sticky. Knead until elastic(or let your KitchenAid knead it until its elastic :) ).
4. Cut the dough into four even pieces. Roll each of the into 4 long, thin ropes. Twist together 2 of the ropes to form one loaf. Twist the other two to form a second loaf. Transfer both onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake the loaf right away, or allow to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of the heated oven.
6. Place your pans in the oven, then fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice. Toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven, and quickly shut the door. This acts as a steamer and helps create the crispiness on the bread.
7. Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
8. Serve with Herb Oil(recipe below).

Herb Oil
From CD Kitchen

1 tsp each of:
crushed red pepper
ground black pepper
dried oregano
dried rosemary
dried basil
dried parsley
garlic powder
sea salt

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the spices, and pour the oil over when ready to serve.

This is my Culinary Arts final. I was in a group with 3 other awesome girls all semester, and we got to cook stuff together every week. For our final, we were assigned specific foods and cooking methods, so we made green beans wrapped in bacon, poached salmon covered in a tomato basil sauce with mushrooms, potatoes duchesse, and candied rutabaga and carrots. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Recipes

Here's a list of some of the best holiday recipes from my blog. Enjoy!

Cheesy Italian Wheat Thins
Pistachio Mango Salsa
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Vegetable Dip
Stuffed Mushrooms & Jalapenos

Hearty Breakfast Bars
Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
Oreo Waffles
Raspberry Cinnamon Rolls
Sausage Asparagus Quiche

Raspberry Filled Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Coconut Pound Cake
French Toast Cupcakes
Pistachio Cupcakes
Cake Batter Frosting
Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cake
Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Fondue

Main Dishes
Savory Acorn Squash
Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups
Pesto Chicken Pizza
Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I made this. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hey all!
We just found out last night that we're moving to California next semester! We are SO excited! But we are moving in 2 weeks, so I have to first finish off my finals, then pack, clean, and get all our stuff in a storage unit, sooooo the posts might be a little bit short in supply :) I'll be back posting soon though!
Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stuffed Crust

Maybe you already know this, but stuffed crust pizza is SO easy to make!

All you have to do is roll the pizza dough about 1-1 1/2 in wider than your pizza pan, unwrap some cheese sticks and line them around the perimeter of the pan, and then fold the excess dough over the top. Then do everything else the way you normally would, bake your pizza, and you'll end up with a super cheesy, yummy crust!

I'm curious to know-how many of your knew that you could do this? Am I repeating something you already knew, or giving you a new discovery? 

PS Happy Hump Day! I know I'm excited to have made it halfway through the week! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Monday!

I don't have any new recipes today, but right now, I am cooking a turkey for the first time in my entire life! So here is to hoping it turns out alright! I'll be sure to keep you updated.

I also made a spin off of this cake yesterday. I switched up the frosting quite a bit, and my colors were bit lighter, but it turned out to be such a delicious cake! I made it for my sister in law's b-day. and I'd say it was a success!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Living: Post 3

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here:

One of the (many) great things about Greek culture is their focus on using fresh ingredients. I mentioned this a little bit in my last good living post, where I talked about processed foods. So many of the food options we have these days are processed, but we still have many healthy options too! 

As much as possible, it's important to implement fresh foods into our diets. 

Over the summer, we went to a Greek restaurant and got gyros. It was the first time in my life that I ever had one! I loved the meat because it was so tender and perfectly seasoned, but it wouldn't have even been half as good if it weren't for the crunch of the tomato and lettuce, and the creaminess of the tzatzki. 

Maybe you've noticed this too, but I've discovered that processed foods make me feel sick. The more chemicals and things that are added to a product, the more "fake," it tastes. When you're eating fresh foods, they are so much tastier! 

This doesn't apply just to fruits and vegetables, although those are important. 

Have you ever had fresh mozzarella cheese? It's seriously 50x better than the prepackaged stuff. 

Homemade bread? Still extremely fresh, and delicious!

Farm fresh eggs? You can taste the difference!

You'd be surprised at what things are hidden in your foods. My friend did a presentation about processed foods, and she showed us that a fast food strawberry shake has over 50 ingredients, none of which are "strawberries!" 

My mom has always told me when grocery shopping, to stay on the perimeter of the store. This is where all the fresh foods are located! She's also reminded me a lot that no matter what your grocery budget is, you can still find room in there for at least a few fresh items. 

If you haven't ever tasted Greek yogurt, you need too. Fage is the creamiest brand that I have found, and I love it. I bought Fage 0% recently, and topped it with honey and chia seeds, and it was such a perfect breakfast, and the yogurt was fat free. It was also really easy to prepare! 

Sometimes, time constraints cause us to turn to processed foods, but you can quickly throw together a salad, a bowl of Greek yogurt, or whip up some scrambled eggs. 

Food influences our bodies in so many ways. When you eat heavily processed foods, it makes you tired because your body has to work hard to break down all those foreign ingredients. 

With fresh foods, you have more energy, your digestive tract stays clear, and you have many other benefits from the natural vitamins and minerals that they contain. 

Processed foods are not all bad. I use them, but the key is to include fresh ingredients with your processed ones to create balance. If you decide to make macaroni and cheese for dinner, you can easily throw in some chopped tomatoes, and right away, you've added freshness and the health benefits that tomatoes bring. 

It's easy to have "good living," in your life through the choices you make with your food. By avoiding processed foods, and including lots of fresh foods in your diet, I personally know that you will feel better and be happy!

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