Saturday, August 13, 2016

Pane Bianco

I recently received an email from King Arthur Flour announcing their new monthly Bakealong Challenge each month they release a new recipe and encourage everyone to try it out and post their results.  The first entry is Pane Bianco (italian for White Bread)...In place of the sun dried tomatoes i roasted some cherry tomatoes from the garden with a little balsamic vinegar and the rest follows the recipe as provided.  I do enjoy baking, and nothing makes the house smell better than bread in the oven...I made two loaves was split between some neighbors and another went to my parents to go with a lasagna dinner.  I asked my little taste tester next door if he liked it and he said no..he loved it, so if it gets his stamp of approval you know it has to be good.

I look forward to what they have in store for next month.

4 types of cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

All dough ingredients go into the mixer at the same time....

letting the gluten rest a bit before rolling it out.....

rolled out to the proper dimensions....

add the fillings....

roll, seal, slice, fold.....

and success!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Part 2.....

So I finally got around to getting the pictures off my old phone!

This will probably be my shortest post, because if you have leftover risotto turning it into arancini is a really simple process.  What you end up with is a classic Sicilian street food.

Here is what you need to do...

Take the cold risotto and scoop it out into balls

Grab 2 the first beat up a few eggs and in the second add some bread crumbs

Next, roll the risotto balls in the egg, then roll in the bread crumbs

Put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool

While they are cooling heat up some oil...either in a dutch oven or a deep fryer to 375.

Drop the risotto balls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown

Place on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt

Now all that's left to do is eat them!

Thursday, June 9, 2016


This will be part 1 of 3 posts...each leading into the other

I recently picked up a Fagor Lux Multi-cooker which I will discuss more about in part 3.  The first dish I prepared with the Multi-cooker is a risotto which takes roughly 12 minutes

8 ingredients is all that stands between you and a nice creamy risotto

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot diced
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced parsley

When using the Multi-cooker you just use the saute setting to brown the rice and onion, then toss the rest of the ingredients in the pot, lock the lid, set the timer and walk away for 7 minutes, once it's done you open the lid, stir in the cheese and parsley and you are done!

In part 2....I will cover Arancini 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I'm always checking out recipes for homemade versions of the boxed and processed meals that come from the grocery store that are easy to make and use real food ingredients!  I'm sure almost everyone at one time or another has had Hamburger Helper...the most popular and my favorite was always the Cheeseburger Macaroni.  So here is a good tasting version that takes about the same amount of time to make the boxed counterpart.

12 ingredients is all you need....the milk didn't show up for the photo op!

Brown the beef...

Add Milk, spices and dried pasta....

Cover and simmer until pasta is tender....

All that is left to do is eat!!

Here is what you'll need
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (93/7 works well)
  • 1/2 of a small onion diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayeene (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups uncooked large elbow macaroni
  • 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded)

And this is how you make it all come together...
  • Large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, brown the beef, onion, paprika, parsley, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • Add the milk, beef broth, macaroni and tomato sauce and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover until pasta is tender...usually about 10-12 minutes (be sure to stir is occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan)
  • Stir in the shredded cheese until melted

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Chicken and Dumplings

Now that the garden is all in it's time for me to get back into the swing of things and start posting again.  I have a few things I've made over the last month or so that have been sitting on the camera so I should be able to have a good stream of posts coming out.

First up is Chicken and Dumplings!

Chicken and dumplings is one of those classic comfort food dishes we all grew up eating at least one version of.  This recipe go together quickly with the help of a rotisserie chicken, some stores even save you the trouble of picking it off the bone which saves even more time!

Start off with some carrots and onions, and celery if you like it

Adding in some chicken stock and flour to help thicken the sauce up a bit

Add your shredded chicken and frozen peas

Mix up your dumpling dough

Drop spoon fulls of the dumpling mix into the chicken mixture

Stick it in the oven for 15 minutes

All that is left to do now is eat it up!

Here is the recipe....

This is what is in the chicken mix
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Half of an onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots diced
  • 3/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery diced (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons AP flour
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix up this stuff in a bowl until just combines to make your dumplings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk

Here is what you are gonna want to do with all that stuff:
  • Get a large skillet and heat up the oil over medium high heat
  • Add carrots, onion and celery if you are using it and cook until veggies are tender
  • Whisk the flour into the cold stock and then add it to the skillet, stir to prevent lumps
  • Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens
  • Add chicken, peas, salt and pepper, stir it up
  • Pour everything into an oven safe dish
  • Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into your oven safe dish
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Farm to Table Dinner Gentle Breeze Honey

On Saturday I joined some friends for a dinner event in Mt. Horeb at Campo di Bella Winery.  The theme for the dinner was honey from Gentle Breeze.

Here is a run down of the 5 courses we were served....

Round 1 was a honey tasting plate feature 3 types of honey.  Spun (my favorite), Honey comb and wild flower honey

Round 2 was a family recipe Pasta e Prosciutto, an Emilia-Romagna classic with a little Tuscan flair.  This is a dish that I will most certainly work on recreating...fresh pasta, ham, cheese and a nice parmesan cream sauce....its the type of stuff dreams are made of!

 Round 3..the main course was Chicken Picatta with Agrodolce Onions and Radicchio

 Round 4, our cheese course was Baked Brie with clover honey and almonds on a homemade rustic crostini...Brie cheese isn't something lots of people enjoy, but when done right it's awesome.

Round 5..our dessert.  Clover honey ice cream with caramelized walnuts and a pizzelle cookie.  This was certainly a fitting end to a great meal highlighting some excellent local sourced products.

I strongly encourage everyone to go check out one of their dinner events.
Campo di Bella - Winery

Also check out the Madison farmers market and several local stores to pick up some of the fine local honey from the family run Gentle Breeze Honey

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shrimp Pasta Primavera

It's spring break this week so why not try out some lighter entrees.  This take on pasta Primavera  comes together in a half hour so it is quick enough for a weeknight.

Here are your ingredients;

  • 1 box of pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 head of broccoli chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil (drained, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup peas

And here is how you put the dish together:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions (reserve about a half cup of the pasta water)
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat add butter, garlic and onion for about a minute
  3. Add shrimp, broccoli, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  4. Cook for 3 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and pink
  5. In a small bowl whisk milk and flour and add to skillet along with the cheese, stir to combine
  6. Add sundried tomatoes and peas continue cooking until sauce thickens (about 3 minutes)
  7. If you skillet isn't large enough transfer everything to a large mixing bowl, add pasta and stir.
  8. If sauce is too thick just add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up a bit

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ultra Easy Mac&Cheese

Another quick vacation is over and now I'm heading back into the kitchen with everyone's favorite Mac&Cheese!  Mac&Cheese is the ultimate comfort food but anything from a box contains a bunch of processed items that we can all do without.  So here comes a great tasting recipe that uses real food.

There you have it...6 ingredients is all that you need!!

Simmer the milk and noodles until tender

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and you are done.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 cups dry pasta
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (do not use pre-shredded cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Here is what you are gonna do with that stuff:

  • Add milk and pasta to a sauce pan over medium heat until milk simmers (not boiling)
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is tender (mine took 12 minutes) - stir frequently
  • Turn off heat and stir in rest of ingredients until cheese is melted.
  • Add additional milk until you reach your desired level of creaminess 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Equipment Talk: Ice Cream Maker

As the weather gets warmer it's a perfect time to talk about another piece of kitchen equipment that I use...and this one actually gets used a Cuisinart Ice Cream, Sorbet, Frozen yogurt maker.  Sure its easy to just swing by the store and pick up some ice cream, but there is also something to be said for making it yourself so that you know exactly what is going into the stuff that you eat and feed your family.  The process is pretty simple, you just store the cylinder in your freezer so that its ready whenever the urge to make up a batch of ice cream hits.  You start with a base mix that consists of Milk, Cream, Sugar, Salt and Vanilla (extract or bean), you chill that for a few hours or overnight and you are then all set to make plain vanilla ice cream.  if you want something a little different you just add it to the mix...fresh berries...chocolate....butter toasted pecans, the possibilities are pretty limitless, I have also make a moscato sorbet.  Making frozen yogurt is much the same process, but you swap in yogurt and you are set.  The churning process takes about 20 minutes and you get a soft serve consistency...if you want it firmer, just pop the mix into the freezer for a few hours.

I store my ice cream in these little containers from Tovolo that I picked up at my favorite toy store Sur La Table for around $8...each one holds just under a full batch, the little extra i just toss into a small twist lock container.

So there it is, if you want more control over the ingredients and the freshness of your ice cream then I recommend getting yourself one.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Glazed Salmon

I'm not the biggest fan of salmon, but I certainly did enjoy this version.  A nice sweet glaze with Asian flavors.  I chose to pair it with some simple couscous.

Here is all it takes:

For the Glaze...mix all of the following in a bowl:

  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon grated ginger (fresh ginger if you can)
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste
Now do this....
  • Line a baking dish with foil and place 4 5 ounce portions of Salmon on foil skin side down
  • Brush Salmon with glaze and cover dish with foil
  • Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes
  • Remove foil and brush glaze on Salmon again, place under broiler for 3-4 minutes or just until the edges start to char up a bit
  • Top with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro if you'd like...but perfectly fine without

Monday, January 25, 2016

Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pizza

My favorite pizza is plain old cheese and pepperoni but from time to time I like to change it up and go with something a little different.  This is one that I really enjoyed.  The dough recipe will be enough for 2 or 3 pizzas depending on what size you prefer.

Here is what you will need:

Pizza Dough -

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced or shredded chicken cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Lemon Artichoke sauce - 
  • 6.5-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
and now its time to cook....

1. in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast and salt.  Add water and oil and mix at medium speed.  continue adding the rest of the flour until you have a smooth dough, knead for 5 minutes

2. place dough in a covered oiled bowl for about 45 minutes so it can double in size.

3. while the dough is proofing place all the artichoke sauce ingredients in a food process and pulse until smooth and blended.

4.  once dough has doubled punch it down and move to a lightly floured surface.

5. cut dough into 2 or 3 pieces and form into balls and cover for 5 minutes

6. flatten and shape the dough into a circle, spread desired amount of sauce on the dough, top with chicken and cheese.

7. bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (a pizza stone works best, if you don't have one...get one!)

8. let pizza rest for 3 minutes, top with parsley, cut and eat!