3/30/20

Everything But The Bagel And Herbaceous No Knead Bread


Guess what!? I baked another no knead loaf last week. Don't worry: I did not eat all of it. I sliced more than half and froze it.


Everything But The Bagel And Herbaceous No Knead Bread

This time, I used my standard Le Creuset recipe, but added two things:

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs: a combination of rosemary, thyme, and parsley
2 tablespoons everything but the bagel spice mix

I also increased the amount of salt to about 2 teaspoons in the dough itself.

The result looked and smelled amazing. I need to work on my lame skills, and actually ordered a professional lame tool to make the scoring of the unbaked bread easier and more precise.

This bread is best when toasted. 

For other flavor ideas, check out my za'atar and Parmesan loaf and turmeric and black pepper loaf

3/27/20

Friday Flower Love: Weekend Inspirations


Mood boosters:
a walk outside
a thoughtfully prepared meal
a spoon of Nutella
Facetime with friends and family
yoga
Fleabag

How are you all doing in this new temporary (I HOPE) reality?

Yesterday I picked up roses and tulips at the grocery store and paired them with yellow mums from a few weeks ago to arrange my birthday from-me-to-me flowers. 

I'm planning on celebrating on Sunday by making a mini brownie cake, a batch of Russian potato salad, and facetiming with my family.

TGIF.

3/23/20

Vegan Overnight Oats


Week 2 of telework. Decided to keep some sense of normalcy in the days of Corona isolation by setting up overnight oats Sunday night to eat for breakfast Monday through Thursday.

Given that I'm eating breakfasts at home now instead of in my cubicle, I thought using an actual bowl (I actually made this one in a pottery class years ago) was in order.

Vegan Overnight Oats
Serves 1
1/2 cup oats
3/4 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 kiwi, peeled, sliced
1 banana, peeled, sliced
handful blackberries

The night before, add oats, almond milk, and chia seeds into a container with a lid.

The morning of your breakfast, pour the oatmeal into a bowl and top with kiwis, bananas, and blackberries.

Clearly you can use any fruit or berries you like as well as nuts.

Feel free to drizzle syrup on top if you want something sweet.

3/16/20

No Knead Za'atar And Parmesan Bread


Oh what a time...things are closing down, we are told to stay away from others, grocery stores are running out of staples...what to do?

Netlix, plant care, facetime, but also, BAKE BREAD!!

If you have yeast and flour, you are basically a few hours away from a loaf of no knead bread!

Once again I used this recipe from Le Creuset, but added a few tablespoons of za'atar during the first step and about a cup of shredded Parmesan during the last step of the process.


I am still playing around with the amount of salt (it definitely needs more), but toasted, this loaf was awesome.

PRO TIP: instead of spraying or brushing the bottom and sides of the Le Creuset or whichever Dutch oven you are using with oil, I decided to use parchment paper. This way, you'll not have to clean caked on oil residue!

3/11/20

Chocolate Pecan Babka



For years I've wanted to make babka, a dessert made from an egg yolk rich yeasty dough with a chocolate filling, but every time I looked at a recipe, I decided it was too complicated.

It all changed this past weekend when I played a sous baker (is that a thing) and learned how to make a Chocolate Pecan Babka using Peter Reinhart's recipe in the Artisan Breads Every Day. You can see the recipe here

Yes, there were quite a few steps in this recipe and some waiting time, but overall it was pretty straight forward.

The one mishap involved going back to the grocery store to pick up all purpose flour because the accidentally purchased bread flour would not have worked.

I wish you could smell the dough! It had a sweet aroma even before the addition of the semisweet chocolate.

The recipe called for cinnamon, but if you know me, you know how I feel about it. Instead, I suggest using chopped pecans. You can of course use both.


The dough was incredibly easy to roll out. 

Don't skip the streusel topping made from flour, butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. It added an extra crunch to the final product (not pictured below).


I think the babka tasted better the next day after all the flavors had a chance to mingle together. It would be fun to add orange zest to either the dough or the filling because orange and chocolate play well together!

3/2/20

Meatless Monday: Aloo Gobi


This week's Meal Prep is entirely inspired by my friend Sangeetha who posted a picture of her aloo gobi on insta story.

Aloo Gobi is a combination of potatoes, cauliflower, and peas with Indian spices. After eating steak a few days in a row, I thought a bright and colorful vegetarian dish would be quite fitting for my meal prep.

I cooked "rice" made from lentils to go with this and packed lunches for the next 3 days.

NOTE: this is my version of the dish. After cooking potatoes and cauliflower directly in the pan, adding spices, and peas, I found my vegetables were under cooked and had to cook them further. The version of the recipe below is how I recommend you cook it instead.

Aloo Gobi
Ingredients
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, diced into bite-size pieces
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
olive oil
1-2" piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
salt to taste
2 cups defrosted peas

Directions
1. Parboil potatoes and cauliflower (in salted water) separately until each is nearly tender.
2. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Heat.
3. Add potatoes and cauliflower to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add fresh ginger and all of the spices and saute until the spices become fragrant.
5. Add defrosted peas and heat through. Make sure potatoes and cauliflower are cooked through.

Optional: top with fresh chiles and cilantro.