Tag Archives: simple

Asiago garlic bread (loaf)

Since I had already tried making asiago bagels I decided to do something different this time, and bake a loaf of asiago cheese bread. I chose to add garlic to mine because that’s always a winning combination. The recipe calls for optional rosemary, which I think would be a great choice too. It should be noted that this recipe takes SO long for the dough to be ready to bake ~3 to 3.5 hours, with steps in between wait times. But let me just tell you that it was so worth it. This bread is light, cheesy and flavorful. It would’ve been crispier if I could’ve baked it a little longer but you may know by now that I get very paranoid about burning my baked goods.

Ingredients:

3-3.5 cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1.25 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of rosemary or thyme (optional) and/or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1.25 cups asiago cheese or other firm cheese, cubed (swiss, gruyere, etc.)
Cooking spray (like Pam)

Recipe:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1.5 cups flour, the sugar and yeast and mix. Add the 1.25 cups of warm water (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit) and stir until all combined into a ball. Let stand about 1 hour, until bubbly.

first

bubbly

2. Stir in the oil, rosemary (or other herb/garlic) and salt with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, easily leaves sides of bowl, and is easily handled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes.

handle that

3. Sprinkle flour on flat surface (counter or cutting board) and place dough. Knead the dough, pulling toward you, pressing away with your palm and rotating 1/4 each time between pressing. Sprinkle more flour if the dough sticks. Knead in 1 cup of the cheese. Spray a bowl with the cooking spray and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover and let rise 45-60 minutes, until about doubled in size.

cheesy

poof cheese

shiny

4. Deflate your dough with your fist. Spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray. Gently form your dough into a football shape, about 12 inches long. Coat loaf with flour. Let rise in a warm place, covered, another 45-60 minutes until about doubled in size.

dough ready!

5. Place an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan halfway filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. Heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Sprinkle or spray your loaf with water and sprinkle desired amount of flour. Cut a line in the middle of your bread lengthwise about 1/2 inch deep and fill with remaining cheese.

full of cheese

7. Place in oven on middle rack, above the water-filled pan’s rack. Bake about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake another 20-25 minutes, until browned and cheesy. At your own risk, bake a bit longer to get it really crusty. I was unable to do so, but this bread is still delicious and will get harder if left on the counter.

yum

8. Enjoy! Experiment with your own combination of spices, cheese, garlic, onions, whatever! I think this is a versatile recipe that you can easily customize. 🙂

cheese holes!

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Pizza dough (totally from scratch!)

If you’re a long-time blog reader (are there any of you out there?) you’ll know that the first summer of this blog’s existence we made grilled pizzas from scratch. But this is going to be like the one I made with store-bought dough, except I made it myself. 🙂

This post will include the recipe for the dough I made (which makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas) and the finished result of each pizza. The recipe claims this will make dough for 4 pizzas, but seriously unless you’re feeding children I’d say it makes 2 medium pizzas unless you like the crust super thin and then maybe it could make 4, but they won’t be substantial.

I used this recipe for the pizza dough, but used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Keep reading to see my results!

Ingredients:

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(desired pizza sauce, cheese, & toppings!)

Recipe:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

yeasty

2. Combine the flour and the salt in another bowl.  Add the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup of warm water and combine until it forms a dough ball. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead 2-3 minutes until smooth and firm.

dough ball

3. Cover dough with a clean, damp towel and let rise for about 2 hours. Divide into 2 equal dough balls and knead these 4-5 times each until smooth. Place under towel and again let rest for about an hour.

stored

covered

risen

4. Roll out your dough on a greased pizza pan, or press dough for a thicker crust.

pizza rolled

5. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings! Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (may take more or less time depending on thickness and toppings, and desired crispness of crust.)

pizza~

And here is my second pizza.

meaty

Dough will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store this way for up to a week.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Sweet potato chips take 2

I had some sweet potatoes left over from when I last made sweet potato chips, and I figured it was about time to use them. I decided to make sweet potato chips again, but to fry them this time. Here’s a recipe for some slightly BBQ-flavored fried sweet potato chips. You can also use regular potatoes, (I’d use yukon gold given the choice) but this is what I had to work with and they tasted great!

Ingredients:

2-3 medium sweet potatoes
Enough oil to cover the bottom of pan about 1 inch

For the seasoning (all can be adjusted to taste):
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Recipe:

1. Prepare your seasoning mix while you heat the oil over medium-high heat to about 350 degrees.

seasoned

2. Slice your sweet potatoes to desired chip thickness (if you have a mandolin or v-slicer that would be great too, but I just used a sharp kitchen knife.) You may peel them or not, just be sure to clean them well.

slices

3. Add sweet potatoes to oil in batches (careful not to splash hot oil!) and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cooked, carefully remove (I used a slotted spoon) and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Repeat in batches until all are cooked!

frying

chips

4. Add chips to bowl and toss with seasoning. Enjoy!

yum

Post & photos by: Melissa


Chicken Teriyaki

Here’s my attempt at chicken teriyaki. First attempt, so don’t judge too harshly! As an introduction to this post, let me say that chicken teriyaki is possibly my favorite food. I have 2 favorite restaurants to get it from, but I am very far from them, so I attempted to make some on my own. Let me very honestly admit that I couldn’t get it perfect, but that will not stop me from trying, and if you haven’t had the amazingness that I’ve experienced, this teriyaki may satisfy you just as much. Here is a picture of what I was attempting:

so perfect

This is the chicken and gyoza from Teriyaki Garden. I love this place. But enough about the inspiration. I used this recipe .

Ingredients:

Sauce (would also be good as a marinade)
1/3 cup mirin
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar

Chicken:
~1 lb. boneless chicken breast or thigh (If using breast, as I did, pound out with meat tenderizer or pan to flatten prior to using. Mine was also skinless, but chicken with skin would be crispier.)
Salt and pepper
Oil

Recipe:

1. Add all sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan, stir, and let come to a boil.

pan ingredients

2. Upon boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer until ingredients have thickened into a sauce. Remove from heat.

3. Heat large pan with oil to medium/high heat. Salt and pepper your chicken.

here's my chicken

4. Add chicken to pan. You’ll want to space it better than I did mine. I adjusted it after the picture.

chicken in the pan

5. Allow to cook ~3-4 minutes, browning on one side. Then flip.

so nicely browned

6. Once chicken has browned on both sides, remove from pan.

all cooked up

7. Slice chicken into strips and pour sauce over it. Serve with your choice of sides (I would’ve chosen rice and gyoza if available) and enjoy!

lovely teriyaki sauce

ready to eat!

Notes for recipe adjustments: Grilling may get your chicken closer to the texture I was trying to achieve, but I do not have a grill. The sauce was almost spot on,  I couldn’t tell if it was different because of the ingredients or because of the chicken not being similar enough itself. Chicken thighs may be more tender and produce a better result for the chicken overall, so I will try this in the future. This chicken was a bit drier than the restaurant chicken, and I will experiment with 1. chicken thighs and 2. grilling, when possible in the future.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Simple dinner: Spaghetti, chicken sausage & veggies

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I haven’t been cooking as much as I’d like, but I did make dinner tonight and it was super simple but still delicious (and really aren’t those the best dinners?) so I thought I would share it. The ingredient amounts are going to be what I used, when I cooked it for myself, so adjust accordingly.

Ingredients:

Spaghetti (or other pasta) noodles
Chicken sausage, full cooked (your desired amount, or 1 per person on average)
A handful or two of spinach leaves
A few cloves of garlic, minced
A few small grape tomatoes
A small amount of olive oil to sauté
Grated Parmesan cheese (desired amount)
A dash of pepper

(Optional: Add additional items like mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, etc.)

Recipe:

1. Cook your noodles.

boiling pasta

 

2. Chop your sausage, tomatoes, chicken sausage, and any other additional items that you’ve chosen.

3. Add your olive oil to a medium-heat pan and sauté garlic, then add your chopped chicken shortly after.

chicken sausage and garlic

 

4. Add your chopped grape tomatoes.

tiny tomatoes

 

with some little tomatoes

 

5. Add your spinach and some black pepper. Sauté until medium-green in color and soft.

spinachy

 

6. Stir to incorporate ingredients.

all together now

 

7. Add cheese and let it melt!

cheesy

 

Melty!

 

8. Add on top of your noodles and enjoy!

all done

 

yum!

 

I really liked my chicken sausage, and I thought I’d show you the brand that I bought, just in case you were interested:

chicken-y

 

I don’t usually eat chicken sausage but I never imagined it’d actually taste good. This dish is actually a variation on something I’ve done in the past, which was exactly this recipe but without the sausage and cheese and tomato, and with the addition of red pepper flakes. There are endless possibilities.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa