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Archive for Recipes Bread recipe
August 30, 2007 @ 6:30 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog If only I’d remembered to take my benadryl last night, I would have slept great, ’cause Dan turned off the AC! As it was, I woke up at 6:30, wide awake, but because the room was so nice and quiet I was able to go back to semi-sleep till after 8am! Last week I got a book called “No Need to Knead” from the library and it taught me how to make fantastic Italian-style bread. You really and truly don’t need to knead if you make a nice wet dough and let it sit around for a while. And the bread has a fantastic texture, light and chewy with a perfect crumb and crust. Here’s the basic idea, my own slight variation that creates a loaf just the right size for my family to eat in one day: Take a cup and a half of warm water. Whisk in a package of yeast. Stir in almost three cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt. This will make a very sticky wet dough that will just barely want to creep away from the edges of the bowl and almost form a ball. It’s completely un-kneadable, so don’t even try. You don’t have to! Now, cover the bowl with a plate and refrigerate overnight or leave it alone for an hour or two on the counter. With the fridge method, take the dough out in the morning and let it come to room temperature. Smack the dough with the back of a spoon till it deflates somewhat, then let it rise again. After the dough has again risen in its bowl for a while, pre-heat the oven to 500F and then pour the dough into some kind of pan (I use my smaller cast-iron skillet, greased). You don’t have to worry about forming the dough in any particular way, just glop it gently into your pan and pop it into the oven. Turn the oven down to 450F and bake until the bread smells heavenly. Sorry, I don’t know how long, maybe half an hour or so. But check it when it starts to smell really good. The crust should be golden brown. Take it out of the oven, turn it out of the pan, and let it cool before cutting. Don’t give in to temptation! You really do need to wait or it’ll be a gummy mess.

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I prefer the rise-on-the-counter method. I mix up the dough in the morning and bake it in the early afternoon. The fridge method lets the yeast develop a bit more of a tangy flavor. Try it both ways and see which you prefer! I have baked a lot of bread in my life, but never never never have I made anything this good with so little work. It’s just as good as the fancy Italian bread from Trader Joe’s! You can learn lots more variations and techniques from the book, so run out and beg/borrow/buy a copy right now! Permalink Comments (13)

Soup
July 31, 2007 @ 6:50 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog We don’t have much food left in the house (must grocery shop soon!) so I made a things-we-still-had-hanging-around soup: Put a half-cup of rice on to boil in a pot with a few cups of water (this gives the rice a head start). I used Trader Joe’s brown rice/barley/radish seed medley. Dice three very small russet potatoes and a handful of baby carrots. Put them in a big stock pot with some vegetable oil and saute for a while. Then add a tetra container of vegetable broth and about 3 cups of water. By now the rice should be softening, so drain and add it to the soup. Cook until the veggies are almost soft. Add one can of black beans, drained, and one can of roma tomatoes plus their juice. Chop them up a bit. Cook a little more, add salt and pepper and a handful of rotelli pasta. Don’t get carried away with the pasta — add too much and your soup will become thick and gluey. Keep stirring while the pasta cooks, and add a little more water if it seems to be absorbing all the broth. When the pasta is juuuuust al dente, turn off the heat and eat with some freshly grated parmesan on top. Yum!
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I would have added an onion or two along with the potatoes and carrots if I’d had one. Permalink Comments (3)

Really Good Soup
January 12, 2007 @ 1:52 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog I made Really Good Soup for dinner last night. I always crave soup when it’s cold. I usually improvise soup, but this one turned out so good I decided to write it down: Chop up an onion and cook it slowly in a big stock pot in a nice lump of butter and a bit of olive oil, until it is soft. Add three diced potatoes (Russets, of course) and a couple of stalks of celery, chopped. Cook everything around in the butter for a while, and then add water or broth. I used frozen turkey broth that I made from our Christmas turkey — about 1.5 quarts, I think. Open a big can of Italian tomatoes and add them and their juice, and chop up the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Add a bit of salt and pepper and paprika. Cover and cook slowly until the potatoes are soft enough. Drain a can of kidney beans and add them to the soup. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream stirred in. Oh LORD it’s good. Permalink Comments (2)

Homemade Salsa
November 13, 2006 @ 1:10 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog I started making my own salsa recently. It’s so good — I’ll never buy ready-made salsa again. We don’t like spicy things, so if this salsa seems bland to you, add some hot peppers or something :) You need: Fresh cilantro fresh ripe tomatoes an onion (you only need a little bit) a lime or a lemon dash of salt Mince up a bit of onion, very fine. Separate the leaves and tender upper stems of cilantro from the tough bottom stems (throw the bottom stems out). Chop coarsely. Chop a bunch of tomatoes. Mix all this together in a bowl or an empty cottage cheese container or something. Add a good squeeze of lime or lemon, and salt to taste. If it needs more of something, add more of something :) So good, so good. I keep a container of this salsa in the fridge at all times. Permalink Comments

Kara’s Lasagna
November 11, 2006 @ 1:00 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog By popular demand - my lasagna recipe! Warning: this is a Kara-style, why-bother-to-measure, improvisational recipe. Find some other recipe that

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gives explicit instructions if you’re a new or nervous cook, and then come back and try this one when you’re ready :) You’ll use raw noodles and spinach in this recipe but don’t worry — it’ll all turn out ok! ******************* Kara’s Lasagna Ingredients: Dry lasagna noodles in a box. Not fresh, not pre-cooked — just regular. A 15-oz tub of ricotta cheese. This will make a generous family-size dish. Use two tubs if you want a mega-lasagna with leftovers for days. a bag of fresh, clean, salad-style spinach (you won’t need the whole bag, so you can make a nice spinach salad to go with your lasagna) a bag of grated mozarella cheese, or grate your own. a tub of nice fresh grated parmesan cheese, or grate your own. Please don’t use the sawdust in the green can! about 2 jars of good pasta sauce. You might not need it all, but better too much than not enough. You’ll probably need a third jar if you’re making a mega-lasagna. When I use a can of Roma tomatoes for some other recipe, I save the thick juice to make the sauce go further when I make a lasagna. an egg or two salt Italian herbs — basil, oregano, whatever you’ve got handy an onion, chopped several cloves of garlic, chopped Assorted fresh vegetables: red and/or green bell pepper, fresh mushrooms, zucchini, sliced carrots, whatever you like. I use a box of fresh mushrooms and a red bell pepper as a start, and add other things if I feel like it. The more you use, the bigger your lasagna will be, obviously. Chop everything into appropriately-sized chunks. ENTIRELY OPTIONAL: some kind of meat. I used uncooked sweet Italian sausage once, cut into chunks and cooked with the veggies. It was great! You could use ground beef or turkey, or chunks of chicken, or whatever. Just make sure your meat is thoroughly cooked before you assemble the lasagna. Ok! Heat up some olive oil in a nice big pan. Cook your onion and garlic for a little while, until it starts to get slightly soft. Add the rest of the veggies (hard/solid things like carrots should be added before soft/quick-cooking things like zucchini). Add meat, if you’ve got meat. Add herbs, generously. Cook until it’s all done and smells most sentimental. It’s better if the veggies don’t turn to mush, of course. But make sure that meat is done. It’ll cook more in the oven but why take a chance? Dump your ricotta into a big huge bowl. Add several handfuls of raw spinach and mix it around with a wooden spoon. Remember that the spinach will shrink a lot, so why not add some more? Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan. Dump in the cooked veggie mixture and mix it all around. Taste, and see if needs salt. I usually add several good shakes. Add an egg or two. Ok now get your pan. I use a deep 9″x9″ casserole dish with a lid for family-size lasagna, and a 10″x14″ pan for mega-lasagna. Put a layer of RAW lasagna noodles in the bottom. Dump in about half (or a third, depending on how much you made) of your cheese/vegetable mixture. You want a nice even layer. Sprinkle on a generous layer of mozarella and a few spoonfuls of parmesan, and then a good thick layer of sauce. This is no time to be stingy! Repeat these layers until you run out of stuff. End with sauce. You want a LOT of sauce. Cover and bake (preheat the oven!) at 350 degrees fahrenheit for an hour. Let it rest for 10 minutes or so

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before you serve. YUM! **************** I love this recipe. The noodles turn out perfectly al dente and absorb all the extra liquid, so you don’t get that yucky runny juice in the bottom of the pan. And you don’t have to fiddle around with slimy half-boiled lasagna noodles and big gobs of cooked spinach oozing all over the cutting board. Freeze the leftovers. They reheat deliciously. Let me know if you come up with an awesome new ingredient or variation! Permalink Comments (4)

Stuffed Peppers
November 2, 2006 @ 1:50 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog I made Stuffed Peppers last night for dinner, and Dan loved them. I kinda made up the recipe, so I’d better write it down: Stuffed Peppers 1 Package (a pound?) fresh ground turkey 2 cups cooked brown rice An onion, chopped 2 stalks of celery, chopped two or three tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon paprika 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp dijon mustard 4 to 6 red bell peppers, depending on size Heat a little oil in a nice big pan. Cook the onion and celery until it starts to soften, then add the turkey. Cook until the turkey is done, then add the rice, seasonings, and tomatoes and cook everything a little while longer. Cut your peppers in half lengthwise, scrape out the seedy parts, and cram them full of the mixture. Bake in a tightly-covered baking dish for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt. Yum! Permalink Comments (2)

Great Weekend
October 8, 2006 @ 9:08 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog It’s Sunday night now. I’m really tired, but I had a great weekend! Henry stayed with us all weekend, which was really nice. Yesterday we played quite a bit of WoW together, questing in Ferelas, and cleaned up the back yard too. I took a dustpan and scooped up all of Sally’s dog’s disgusting cow-bones. UGH. And we swept up and threw away trash and all kinds of junk. It was nice to have the energy to do that! And I finished “Second Honeymoon”. So good, so good. Last night I made chicken parmesan for dinner, which both guys love like crazy. Here’s how: Put one slice of dry bread in the blender and make it into crumbs. You can do this with fresh bread if you
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didn’t plan ahead. Mix the crumbs with a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese, some salt and pepper and whatever good herbs you have around. I usually throw in some basil and oregano. Mince a couple of cloves of garlic and mix with some olive oil in a different bowl. Dip chicken breasts in the olive oil/garlic and then coat with the crumbs/cheese mixture. Put the chicken in a baking pan and dump the leftover crumb mixture on top. Lay some slices of cheese on top — munster is nice — or a couple handfuls of grated mozerella. Or both. Dump a jar of good spaghetti sauce on top. Bake at, um, 375 for about 45 minutes. Make sure the chicken is done before you serve it. Cook some pasta (I like Trader Joe’s spinach & chive fettucini) and serve the chicken and sauce on top. Even Henry asks for seconds! Today I got lots of librivox work done and even some recording. Hugh pointed us to http://dailylit.com and while I was poking around there I discovered a book called “Poems Every Child Should Know” and signed up to have it delivered into my inbox in tiny sections each day (which is what dailylit does). Then I realized that those ready-made tiny sections would be ever so convenient for recording. So I recorded a few of the sections, enjoyed them ever so much, and decided to read the whole book as a solo project. Got five sections done already (they’re only 5-6 minutes long). Fae is proof-listening for me. (You can get a sneak preview here) And I also recorded chapter 4 of Wives and Daughters while Henry and Dan were out getting the car washed. They took Henry’s handwriting book along and Dan helped him with it. Henry and I dashed to the library when they opened this afternoon at 1 and I found another book by Susan Phillips and another by Joanna Trollope. I was happy to see about 6 Trollope books on the shelf but I only took one, gotta space them out so I don’t run out too soon. Now Dan and I are on the couch watching The Odd Couple (movie, not sitcom). But it’s 9 already so we’ll probably go to bed soon. Yawn. Permalink Comments

Apple Cake
October 5, 2006 @ 10:14 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog Henry’s dad dropped him off after his early-morning dental appointment so Henry and Sally could go bicycling together. They ran off to Guajome Park for an adventure, and I recorded the chorus of The Furies. Eventually, a few other women will read the Chorus too, and then a clever editor will overdub us so we sound like a proper Greek chorus. Neato! Henry went back to his dad’s house in the afternoon, and we played WoW together. Took our Tauren Hunters to Silverpine. I had a bowl of mushy apples hanging around, so I baked an Apple Cake for dinner, and it turned out great. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com, Amazing Apple Cake, but here it is again: 1 1/4 cups white sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup chopped walnuts 5 1/2 cups chopped apples 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the eggs, oil and

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vanilla, mix well. Add the nuts and apple, mix until all of the apples are evenly coated. Pour into a 9×9 inch pan. 3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve warm or cool. I baked mine at 300 degrees for about 65 minutes, because I used a glass pan. Also I skipped the nuts. Nuts are yuck. The batter is shockingly dry, so dry it doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to incorporate the apples, but just work at it a bit. The finished cake is moist and yummy! We’ve already eaten half of it. Tonight Dan and I watched last night’s South Park episode, which featured the boys playing World of Warcraft and eventually defeating an in-game bully. They used screenshots of real WoW characters and locations. It was hilarious, the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long long time. Hearing Cartman’s and Kyle’s and Stan’s and Kenny’s voices coming out of WoW characters was marvelous. Good job, Matt and Trey! Oh there was a mention on boingboing, here. Omg here you can watch it online, until it gets yanked down: http://www.younewb.com/index.php/2006/10/05/full-video-of-new-wow-south-park-episode/ So good, so good. Permalink Comments (4)

Nervous
September 19, 2006 @ 5:50 pm · Filed under Recipes, Blog I feel nervous and jumpy today, for no reason. Very annoying. I’m cooking dinner right now, just taking a little break while the pasta sauce cooks (one red bell pepper, diced, some chopped green onions, two crumbled-up hamburger patties, half a jar of marinara sauce). I’ll serve that over 4-color vegetable radiatore (a.k.a Brain Pasta) with chard sauted with garlic and chicken broth. I may be nervous and jumpy but I can still cook a nice dinner. Permalink Comments (1)

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