Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Salad

Mark Bittman inspired me to make a delicious salad. His article in the nytimes is fabulous. We have been trying more and more to eliminate processed foods. The salad article is a great way to make new things with fruit, veggies and even fish. I have book club tonight, and we are having it on the beach, so I thought a fresh salad would be great.

1 cucumber
2 tomatoes
small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon-for the juice
1/4 cup kalamata olives
olive oil
feta cheese
salt and pepper

This is very simple, chop everything up and mix it well. One thing I learned from Mark Bittman, when making a salad dressing you just need a fat and a acid and a flavor. For this I used olive oil, lemon and garlic.

I enjoyed taking pictures of the delicious ingredients as much as I did making the salad.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brioche Buns

Chris and I have been wanting to try our hand at making homemade hamburger buns. We have researched a few here and there, but then we saw an article in the NY Times about a Brioche Hamburger bun. We knew that we had to give it a whirl. We both love Brioche and recently had a great brioche BLT at a new restaurant called Nightwood. Whenever we make new things, I always get nervous. I am never really sure if it's going to turn out or not, but when it does it is such a good feeling!

3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeat
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour- we used regualr flour and they turned out fine.
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.

In a glass bowl combine 1 cup water, milk, yeast and sugar. Mix this up and then let it stand for about 5 minutes. It should get foamy. This way you know that the yeast is active. While you are waiting you can beat 1 egg in a small dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Then you can add in the butter. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your hands. It should get crumbly. Mix in the yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Mix until it forms a dough. My dough was very sticky and elastic. I had a hard time kneading it. I think next time I might add a little more flour. The original recipe says to knead for 8-10 minutes on an unfloured board. I knew if I did this, my dough would be stuck everywhere. I kneaded in the bowl and proceeded to shape it into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for about 1 hour, it could take 2. You want the dough to double in size.

Once it has doubled open it up and divide it into 8 equal parts and place them on a parchment lined pan. Place the buns about 2-3 inches apart. Lightly cover with a dish cloth and set aside. Let them rise for 1-2 hours. They should double again. Mine didn't get every big in height but they did get wider. I lightly reformed them into ball shapes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place a shallow pan of water on the bottom. Before baking, beat another egg and use a brush to put a little on each bun. Also, if you want sesame seeds on your buns, you can sprinkle a few on now. Then place in the oven and bake for about
12 minutes, rotating the pan once. Cook till lightly golden.

We made burgers with the buns the first night and they were delicious. This past week I have been making PB&J with them for lunch....yummy! and last night we made BLT's with delicious. I think I want to start making these every week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

Ok, so sorry that it has been so long since our last post. The month of June flew by. I was traveling a lot for work. I think I went to 5 cities in 2 weeks. Also Chris and I went camping with our friends Brian and Tara. It was a lot of fun. Tara is a great camping cook. She made french toast and breakfast burritos, I think she should write a camping cookbook. About a year ago, Chris and I went to my friend Margo's Birthday party. At the party, Megan made these delicious cookies. Chris was raving about them. I asked her for the recipe and we have been meaning to make it since. One of the ingredients is arrowroot, so it took us awhile to get that. The original recipe is vegan, but we didn't stick to that. But you can always make it the original vegan way.


2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons water
3 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
12 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything in a bowl except the milk and the chocolate chips. The batter gets really thick. Just keep stirring along. Once it is all combined. Add in the milk, you may want to add in a little at a time. Mix it well till it resembles normal cookie dough. If you taste it, I think it tastes like a butterfinger, so delicious.

Then you can add in the chocolate chips. I use a 1/4 measuring cup and I scoop up some dough and then divide that into 2 cookies. With a few batches we flattened the tops of the cookies with a fork. Both ways turned out great. Give it a try. Bake them for about 12 minutes.