This delicious bread is a combination of the master recipe of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and a focaccia idea from Martha Stewart! So good!
At some point we all get tired of the same old starches and grains. Potatoes, rice, pasta. Let's get a little experimental and find out some of the secrets that other cultures have known for centuries!
Discard and resolve to do better nest week.
Bearnaise is just a tarted up Hollandaise really. But it can elevate meats and fish to an astonishing new level!
Spring is a time for asparagus. Wizened winter asparagus is better than no asparagus, but spring asparagus - oh my!
Thoughts about Late Onset Attention Deficit Disorder and the need to slow it down! Read Proust! Make Madeleines!
A lovely memory of my childhood was of Mother's Pot Roast done with her terrifying, death defying pressure cooker! These days, however, we can recreate the deliciousness without the anxiety!
Although I made this recipe in the Instant Pot, it would, of course, be easily adapted to a slow cooker or oven.
A rather negative take on Christmas perhaps - too much Pumpkin Pie Spice and too many goodies!
The national dish of Poland, this dish, or variations thereof, are the comfort food of many slavic folk - or so I'm told.
This is a very official version. I use whatever rub is handy, and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. Personally. And these ribs are great!
Rumour is afoot that Nutella is changing their time-honoured recipe!
Canadian comfort food - either KD or real Mac & Cheese, stovetop or baked
If you are a Halloween person, you may already have a favourite fake blood recipe....
When it comes to breakfast, there's no place like home!
A reflection on the changing world and the part Julia Child played in all our lives. And now the Instant Pot!
A trip down memory lane and a reflection of the evolution of "gassy vegetables".
Chimichurri Sauce and a reflection on the glories of green sauces in general!
This is a recipe for Peach Basil ice cream which will probably not be a favourite with the kids. Pistachio is delicious. Maybe chocolate to start.... Just saying.
Reflections on living life by the rules and daring to, occasionally, colour outside the lines!
Burgers with traditional Canadian ingredients to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday!
Children have a complex and conflicted relationship with vegetables. Take kohlrabi, for example...
Baking eggs for a crowd! This is a nifty idea for serving a lot of fried eggs without having to stand by the stove while your guests enjoy breakfast!
A reflection on taking time out of a busy day of irritations and stresses to enjoy the simple task of preparing dinner.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin wrapped in bacon brightens up a dull late winter day! Oh and Pimento Cheese for a touch of the South.
Let's resolve to deal with the chaos that is the freezer - to preserve peace of mind!
The story that began with going to camp and ended with a passion for Belgian endives!
"Learning is fun!"
Not true. Learning is frustrating, exasperating and painful! Knowing! That's the fun part!
A good resolution to start the new year, is to inspect the ingredients in your kitchen for freshness!
Food magazines struggle to fine their target audience. This is an even greater problem as they try to reinvent the classic turkey dinner!
This is a bit of a trick because it takes a lot of whisking and maneuvering, but it is really worth the fussing! I like to add raspberries to the whipped cream filling and for garnish.
Thoughts about the many uses of parchment paper and a nice recipe for gougeres (small bites of cheesy creampuff)
At our house, we refer to this dish as "Victoire" because it was the great favourite of my husband, Victor. It has been tweaked over the years to suit his taste.
Bolognese Sauce, Canadian style. If every Italian can have their own version of Bolognese sauce, why can't we?
The best laid plans for a smooth dinner party can run amok when last minute requests have to be accommodated!
A stroll down memory land when Father always knew best, and Mother made casseroles...
This is a post about how globalization takes the fun out of travel and other things.
This is a column about people with food aversions (not allergies or sensitivities) and how a hostess can navigate these waters.
With apologies to all my gardening friends who actually know what they're doing!
We wear approximately 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. And in our kitchens...
This post is a reflection on the fun of fresh fruits and vegetables in the spring, complete with a recipe, or rather a technique, for Frittata.
At last! The secret to the perfect poached egg! Try it! Seriously! It's magic!
Some reminiscences and a fact or two about my home town of New Ulm, Minnesota. Also included, Mother's excellent German Potato Salad, creamy, warm.
Meatballs for fifty recipe. This is a reflection on how we can use a label maker and a vacuum packer to create order from the chaos of our freezers and therefore lead a calmer and less harried life!
This is one of those recipes that just sort of evolves. Sweet corn, Asiago Cheese, melted butter, eggs, Bisquick. Hot pepper flakes. A bit of salt.
Click on "Read More" for the entire journey that became these waffles!
This is a reflection on how the movies we see can have a lifelong effect on our lives and menus!
This is a rant about folks complaining that fresh vegetables are too expensive in winter - culminating in a recipe for pea soup.
This is a story about how Mother accepted a dare from her friend Alice, that she could get the three of us to love any vegetable. She chose spinach!
There was, apparently, a narrowly averted disaster at the high school recently. Seems the Internet was down. Panicked teachers commiserated with each other all over Facebook. Now, I’m certainly all for the marvellous advantages that the internet has brought to education in the years since I was an old bore, but I was a bit shocked at the level of distress. They didn’t seem to have a fall back. I thought, all you really need, when push comes to shove, is chalk, a blackboard and something to say. But they don’t have chalk anymore. Or blackboards. They have smart boards – that need wifi to go. Well then, read something wonderful. Discuss. But they might need iPads to access reading material.
I exaggerate, of course, and do the fabulous, innovative teachers in my wake a disservice, but, noting their distress, I suspect that there is a grain, at least, of truth. We feel it every time the power goes out at home. We suddenly go all turtle on its back and can’t seem to manage even the simplest tasks. We flounder around in search of those fancy candles we bought once for a dinner party that never got off the ground. We stare woefully at our electric toothbrush wondering what’s to do!
We come to terms with the fact that we are dependent on technology at every turn.
Advertising exploits this dependency. Buy this stove and your every culinary effort will be a success! Guaranteed! Buy that pasta pot with the fancy built in strainer holes, and your every Italian style meal will garner raves! If you have to squeeze a lemon without a lemon squeezer, you’re out there, living on the edge, taking chances!
Don’t get me wrong. I cherish my heavy duty kitchen appliances, my gadgets and gizmos a-plenty, but it saddens me to hear, when people see my array of equipment, “I wish I had all this and that so I could cook and bake up a storm!”. Because nice as it all is, almost none of it is necessary.
All you need is a good, sharp knife. You don’t even need a rolling pin, if you have a wine bottle. Some pots and pans, and your hands, and away you go!
Pasta is an egg and 100 grams of all-purpose flour kneaded together. Although I’ll grant you, rolling it very thin with only a rolling pin, or the aforementioned wine bottle is, though doable in a war, rather more than any of us would like to take on, on a whim.
But bread? That’s another matter entirely! We’ve talked about this before.
Grab a container of some sort.
Mix together with a fork until all the flour is mixed in.
Cover (not tightly) and let sit for two hours until it doubles in bulk.
At this point, it has the potential to turn into bread. You can use it straight away, or pop it into the fridge with a loose lid, for days. Up to two weeks actually.
Note, so far, only a container, measuring devices and a fork have come into play. Also note that this took only a couple of minutes of actual heave ho.
To convert it into bread, get a rimmed cookie sheet or some sort of baking pan with edges.
Turn on the oven to 450.
Spray that pan with non-stick spray. Not essential.
Put a good lot of olive oil into the pan.
Plop roughly half of your dough onto the pan and flatten it out a bit.
Press some fresh seedless red grapes into the dough.
Fold the dough over and pinch the seam closed. Flatten it out a bit.
Place thin wedges of Brie cheese down the centre top.
Press some more grapes firmly onto the dough.
Sprinkle over top with coarse sugar or wherever sugar you have. Not essential but adds a level of taste sophistication.
Sprinkle amply with fresh rosemary.
Drizzle with even more olive oil. Don’t worry. It’ll be fine.
Pop into that hot oven for fifteen minutes or so until it is golden. Slide into a cooling rack when it’s done. You can, of course, do the same thing with olives and tomato slices. Perhaps some goat cheese.
Once you get the hang of it, you can dream up endless variations including full-on calzones.
The bottom line, though, is that you can create lovely loaves of fresh, delicious bread with only a few simple tools: a container, a few measuring device, a fork, a baking pan and an oven.
And yes, by the way. This is pizza dough. Press it out on the oily pan, put pizza toppings on it and off you go. Peasant food, rustic and delicious.
So enjoy the fancy appliances, gadgets and gizmos, but don’t lose those basic skills in the fun. A lot can be accomplished in a classroom with chalk, a blackboard and a little imagination. The same simplicity is true in the kitchen. Do you doubt me? Just google it!
The freshest and best of ingredients combined with a willingness to take the time and effort required for a great product are both essential to making good food at home!