Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The times, they are a changin'

Old Man Winter has arrived in Northeastern Ohio! Someone forgot to tell the trees...they're still hanging on to their leaves like it's their job.

I came home late Monday night during a beautiful first snow of the season. I love snow! If it's gonna be cold outside, it may as well be snowing! Dress appropriately and don't act like you hate it...cuz you know you think it's beautiful.

I may or may not have an addiction to buying cookbooks. Is there a 12-step program for that? This is my newest addition. I have goal for 2014 to only buy ingredients from the grocery or more premade anything. I've always loved to cook and cooking from scratch lets you know exactly what you're eating. Don't be scared! It's not that hard. I shared a simple veggie burger recipe last week. Have you tried it yet? So much better than the store bought brands and super easy! You can modify the ingredients to what you have in your kitchen or to make allowances for food allergies or dislikes. Try it - you'll like it!

So back to this cookbook....
I'm just gonna say it. There's not much better than homemade bread. Your house/apartment will smell amazing. The premise of this book is that you DON'T have to mix and knead and rise and punch down and rise again in order to get delicious (nutritious) homemade bread EVERYDAY!

I enlisted a chef friend of mine and he hooked me up with a nice round, food grade plastic bucket with a lid. Thanks Ernie!

Water, salt and yeast in the bucket. Stir. Add your flour all at once. Stir. Leave it on the counter for 2 hours or so, then put it in the refrigerator. This took about 3 minutes to measure and mix. I did it yesterday.

This morning I used my kitchen shears to cut off a piece about the size of a grapefruit, pulled that into fourths (with floured hands), let rise for 20 minutes on parchment, cut the tops (to allow for expansion while baking), brushed with some olive oil and baked for 18 minutes.

Crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Mmmm....breakfast! Along with some delicious blueberry-thyme jam (also from Ernie) I ate three of them. Ooops!

But I want YOU to see how easy it is. I have dough in my fridge for fresh bread and it will stay good for up to 2 weeks. As it ages, the flavor of your bread will change like a good sourdough. I'm amazed and delighted!

This also happened yesterday...
Homemade chili. A jar of home canned whole tomatoes with garlic, some home canned marinated hot peppers, lentils (instead of meat), beans and spices (cumin, oregano and chili powder). Add some vegetable stock or water and let simmer for an hour or two. I chopped and roasted a sweet potato and added it to my bowl for lunch. Sooo good!

I hope the cold doesn't get you down! Make some's like an oven full of happiness!