Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Take A Peek Wednesday: The Last of The Sunflowers

                   
                                     


                                                

                 Growing sunflowers turned out to be a huge success! I am still getting new blooms everyday but my favorites are fading away. I will be growing them again next year for sure!















Monday, September 21, 2015

Sweet Potato Focaccia

                  
               Time is flying by! I can not believe we are almost towards the end of September! I am getting the non stop warnings on my Facebook about how many days are left until Christmas..94 in case you are wondering. I already feel behind!!! I had hopes of posting more on a regular basis but it's just not happening yet and I need to get back into the swing of things a bit more. I blame it on almost being 41 and going through some weird sort of brain fog.

So lets talk sweet potatoes. I love them. They are easier to find over here and I replace all my pumpkin recipes with sweet potatoes. The problem I have though is that I associate all sweet potatoes as being in the sweet category. I blame it on the fact that I bake muffins and cookies and bundt cakes and pies with them. So when I come across a bread recipe that uses them in a more savory fashion..well..my brain doesn't translate the message very well and I end up sitting there wishing I had made it more sweet.

So that's the problem I had with this recipe. I kept wanting to taste to cinnamon in there somewhere. Needless to say, I will be baking these again and turning them more into a sweet potato focaccia with a cinnamon sugar topping.

I needed way more flour than the recipe stated so no worries if you need a cup or 3 to bring it all together. Cut these into whatever shape you want and in whatever size you like. You could split though in half and make to large focaccia's if you like.

Sweet Potato Focaccia

4-4-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
2-1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1-1/4 cups Warm Water ( 110-115 degrees)
1-1/4 tsp. Salt
3 TBS Olive Oil
1-1/3 cups Cooked Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Topping:
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp. Rosemary,chopped
3/4-1 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook,add in your flour. Make a well in the center and sprinkle in the yeast. Pour the water on top and allow it to sit for about 5 mins or so. Add in your remaining ingredients and knead the dough on speed 2 for 10 minutes, adding in additional flour, one tablespoon at a time until a smooth and satiny dough is achieved. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl,turning once to coat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and gently press the dough out into a little over an inch thick with your hands. Cut the dough into 12 or more 3x3 inch squares or in into whatever shape you like. Place onto prepared pan,cover and allow to rise until doubled in size..30 mins to 1 hour..depends on the warmth of your kitchen.

Preheat oven to 375 or 190. Gently poke holes into the tops of the dough with a wooden handle. In a small bowl,combine the olive oil and rosemary. Brush the mixture onto the tops of the mini focaccia breads and then sprinkle the sea salt on top evenly.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 mins or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on wire racks. Eat.

Yield: 12 or more depending on the size you cut them
Source: Recipe,Food and Cooking            










Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Take a Peek Wednesday: Sunflowers and Rainbow Carrots


                
                 My sunflowers are super late with their blooming..I still have around 25 that need to show their beautiful faces and this is our last week with warmish weather. I've got a few that have reached over 6 feet tall and the last few days they have slowly started to open :)

My small bounty of rainbow carrots finally came in. I could have left them in longer but I was to impatient and in need of a veggie for dinner..They were sweet and delicious! 














Monday, September 7, 2015

No-knead Green Chili and Cheese Bread

         
                   I'm actually here posting a recipe!!! Better late than never,right? Lets hope my mojo for blogging will stick around this time. I have so many things to blog about but ever since I hit 40 the life force has been sucked out of me.

So lets chat about no-knead breads. They really aren't my favorites. I actually love the kneading process. If I don't feel like kneading by hand then I let me kitchen aid do the work for me so there is really no need for a no-knead recipe. But I understand that not everyone is like me so here is a quick,practically hands off recipe for you to give a try! I pulled the recipe off of a you-tube channel. I am kinda addicted to you-tube channels at the moment. I don't know what took me so long to get on there but..wow. I am zooming around and watching homesteaders,bread bakers,tiny house living, urban homesteading..my eyeballs were about to pop out at one point. I walked away feeling like I need to be slightly more motivated when it comes to..well..everything! darn you-tubers.

I used green chilies in here but you can use jalapeno's if you like..I just happened to have those on hand. 

No-knead Green Chili and Cheese Bread

3 cups Bread Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Instant Yeast
1 cup ( 4 ounces) Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3-4 Green Chilies deseed and finely chopped
1 TBS Olive Oil
12 oz Lukewarm Water

In a medium to large mixing bowl,combine the flour,salt and yeast-mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the cheese and green chilies. Add in the oil and water and mix with a wooden spoon until combined..this should only take about 1 minute. 
    Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on your counter,preferably over night for 8 hour - 12 hours.

Spray an 8-1/2 x 4 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Dust the counter top with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and quickly shape the dough into a semi flat shape..almost like you would if you were going to roll up a regular loaf of bread. Using a dough scraper, if you have on,start flipping/rolling the dough up until you reach the end. You want the seam side down so roll it over if you need to. Tuck the ends under and quickly place the loaf,seam side down into the loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Bake loaf until golden brown and sounds hollow when taped on the bottom,about 25-30 mins...During the last 15 minutes sprinkle the top with additional cheese if you like!

** Some tips..if you don't have a dough scraper then go ahead and just fold the dough up like a letter..fold half way and bring the top part down to meet it. Flip it over,tuck the ends under and plop it into the loaf pan. You can't really mess this bread up...just make sure you have enough flour on the counter and on your hands. It can be sticky depending on your weather**

Cool on wire rack..This is so good toasted and then made into an egg sandwich or make an epic grilled cheese with it or stuff it with meats and cheeses

Yield: 1 loaf
Source: Artisan Bread with Steve