Wednesday, May 15, 2013
May has turned out to be one annoying month weather wise. We have slipped back into the cold wet temps that has left much of us expats who live here craving soups and stews again. I know parts of the U.S. have been dealing with snow on and off so I know I shouldn't complain about our weather..but I can't help myself. My skin coloring has taken on a shade of white that would have me being cast in the latest vampire movie. When the sun does come out, I find myself running to the window to soak up as much of it as I can.
Since I know that bbq weather will be here at some point (please come soon!) I have been trying out various recipes that will come in handy when I am able to flick the switch on the grill. These buns are one such recipe! These will go great with grilled burgers,chicken or even veggie burgers. They will add a little pizazz to your normal sandwiches and are great when stuffed with peppers and eggs for breakfast.
I made these buns by hand..meaning no mixer was used. I found the dough to be very wet and needed to add more flour to achieve a smooth eleastic dough when kneading. We loved everything about these buns and will be making them often! I left out the additional egg that is to be used as a wash before baking them. I'm a cheapo these days and hate using an egg when a milk wash works just aswell.
Jalapeno Cheddar Buns
3-1/4 cups All-purpose Four;plus more as needed
1-3/4 tsp. Instant Yeast
3 TBS Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
7 oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 Large Jalapenos(seeds and ribs removed),finely chopped
1 cup Warm Water (100-110 F)
2 TBS Canola Oil
2 Large Eggs,room temp
In a large bow,combine the flour,yeast,sugar,salt,cheese and jalapenos; stir to combine.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the warm water,oil and 1 of the eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. If you find the dough to be wet, add in a small amount of flour to bring it together.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic and adding in additional flour when needed( I made sure to leave my dough on the slight tacky side),about 10 minutes.
Coat a large bowl with oil and place the ball of dough inside,turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot until doubled,about 75-90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8-10 pieces and shape each one into a round ball. Place onto prepared pan and flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand.
Cover pan with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and allow to rise for 35 minutes.
In a small bowl,combine the egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the buns with the egg wash ( or put a small amount of milk into a bowl and brush the tops of the buns with that).
Bake 25 minutes, or until the tops of the buns are a deep golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 8-10 Buns
Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Monday, May 13, 2013
We are eating more and more vegetarian based meals in our house. I didn't actually plan it that way and it was something that just happened over time. I guess I'm becoming one of those people that questions where my food is coming from. There has always been meat scandals both here and in the U.S. We've had a horse meat scandal and that just bothers me more than I can say. It's one thing if you want to actually eat the horse meat but it's something else entirely when you put it into products that are clearily labeled "ground beef". I personally do not want to ever..EVER eat horse meat and thankfully I do not buy the prepackaged foods it was found in..it still makes me shudder. I realise the packaged ground beef is anything but stellar and thats another reason I have been sourcing alternative dinner ideas. Plus..the price of beef and poultry is crazy expensive now. We are still big meat eaters in our family but I'm happy to say that we are eating vegetarian around 4-5 times a week now!
We love this vegetarian filling and it can be changed up to use the ingredients you and your family like and it can be used in many different ways. We eat it as a burrito filling,quesadilla's, served over brown rice or quinoa,used as a crustless quiche filling, and as a quick taco salad.
I leave the salsa as an optional here only because we eat it without it. The salsa that is sold in the stores here is just plain gross. I plan on making my own this summer so if you have salsa that you like,use it..if not, leave it out and it's not something you will miss. The corn used in this recipe can be either frozen or from a can. I can't buy frozen corn here so I use canned when I have to and fresh when I can buy it at a resonable price ( 4 american dollars for two weenie corn on the cobs is NOT a reasonable price!).
2 Small Zucchini,Shredded
2 Medium Carrots, Shredded
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1 TBS Canola Oil
1 can (16 ounce) Kidney Beans,rinsed and drained
1 can (16 ounce) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups Frozen Corn,thawed
3/4 cups Salsa;optional
2 TBS or more Reduced-Sodium Taco Seasoning
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 cup (4 ounces) Shredded Cheese of choice
1/4 cup Minced Cilantro;optional
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the zucchini,carrots and onion in oil for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the beans,corn,salsa,taco seasoning and cumin. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and cilantro. Spoon into burritos,over rice,on bowls..eat it the way you want to!
Source: Taste of Home
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
This is by far, one of the biggest breads I have ever baked. The first thing my husband said to me when I took it out was that it looked like a giant bagel. To be fair..it does like a ginormous bagel.
This baby measures 11 inches across and is about 2 and a half inches tall. I fell in love with it and didn't want to eat it. Kolach is a Bugarian bread that is usally baked for religious celebrations and family feasts and the name comes from Kolo,wich means circle.
It has a golden crust sprinkled with poppy seeds and has a moist crumb and can be smeared with cream cheese aswell as eaten with your favorite cuts of meats and cheeses. We loved it and it will be baked often.
It's a very easy bread to bake without any tricky steps or shapes. You will shape the dough into a 10 inch circle and mine seemed to close up during the rising time. I'm not complaining though because that gave us more bread instead of circle..more bread is always good!
6 cups White Bread Flour
2 tsp. Salt
2-1/2 tsp. Instant Dried Yeast
1/2 cup Lukewarm Milk
1 tsp. Honey
2/3 cup Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Butter,melted
Beaten Egg for Glazing
Poppy Seeds,for sprinkling
In a large mixing bowl,sift the flour and salt together and make a well in the centre.
In a medium bowl,mix the milk,yeast and honey together. Add to the center of the flour along with the eggs,yogurt and melted butter. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a firm dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes,until smooth and elastic. Form dough into a bowl and place in a lightly oiled bowl,turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a wamr spot,for 1-1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
Knock back (punch down) the dough and turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly and shape into a ball. Place seam side down and make a hole in the centre with your fingers. Gradually enlarge the cavity,turning the dough to make a 10 inch circle. Transfer to a baking sheet thats been lined with parchment paper and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place,for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Brush the loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Bake for 35 minutes,or until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: One ginormous loaf
Source: The Bread Bible by Christine Ingram
Monday, May 6, 2013
The beautiful weather has finally decided to pay us a visit :) it's a welcome visit for sure. I'm about to head out with the family for a nice long walk but wanted to get these muffins posted.
Muffins are of course a staple in our house. We grab them while on the go,with a cup of coffee,for snack,as a quick breakfast or just because..I enjoy the just because moments the most.
These muffins are really delicious. I added cinnamon to mine and I'm really glad I did. I went ahead and left one without anything in it to make sure my hunch was correct..and it was. If you don't add some sort of spice or some chocolate chips these guys are going to be slightly on the boring side. So add your spice of choice along with some chocolate chips..or leave the chips out..we did and loved them.
Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins
1-1/2 cups Quick Cooking Oats
1-1/2 cups Buttermilk
3/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/2 cup Applesauce
2 tsp. Vanilla
1-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour ( I added half whole wheat)
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon or spice of choice
1/2 tsp. Salt
Handful of chocolate chips;optional
Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius( I did 375 or 190 celcius instead). Grease a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with muffin cups.
In a large bowl, soak oats in buttermilk for 15 minutes. Stir in eggs,sugar,oil,applesauce and vanilla.
In a medium bowl,whisk together the flour,baking powder, baking soda,cinnamon and salt; stir into oat mixture just until moitstened. Fill prepared muffin tin three-fourths full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 16 Muffins
Source: Blissfully Delicious
Friday, May 3, 2013
Smoothies are a big thing in our house..espically when the weather gets warmer..Not that we've hit that part yet,but it's good to be prepared!
Yesterday I spotted this recipe and quickly walked into the kitchen to whip it up for the boys and I. We loved it and I will be making it often. I used all low fat ingredients but feel free to use whatever you like. I also imagine you could switch the extract up aswell..instead of vanilla maybe try a small amount of banana or coconut. You could also toss in frozen bananas or blueberries!
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal Smoothie
1 cup Frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Quick Cooking Oats
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. It might take a few tries to get it all whizzed up and you might need to stir a few times to make sure the frozen strawberries and oatmeal are completely blended and smooth.
Yield: 2 big servings or 3 smaller
Source: The Kitchen Paper