Friday: Egg in a hole

The days when we start a little slower, we often turn to eggs. This little mess is good and yummy for a day starting slowly...

Take a little pat of butter and melt it in a small frying pan. Drop in a mini bagel half. Crack an egg over the hole, sprinkle in some freshly ground pepper. When it is set, flip it over and grate some lovely hot pepper cheese (not too much) on top. Chop up some fancy little bits of french salami and cook until melted. A lot of decadence in one little plate, but sometimes you just have to do it!

That is all there is to it.


Thursday: Bread, homemade

Bread bread bread. The staff of life or the "pain" in my life...(very tiny french joke)../ I love it. with a passion. And it makes me sick. So when I do inbibe as I have said this week already once before, I do it with something really good. Like homemade good. I have been making bread for 30 years or more and love to make it, love to feel the dough on my hands and the satisfying goal of a perfectly lovely loaf at the end. Don't be intimidated- just do it!

This is a recipe which always works, is great tasting and lovely smelling while it is baking.
Get on it now with this recipe!
Take out a large mixing bowl and put into it:

4 cups of bread flour, white or white wheat
1 tablespoon of seasalt
2 tablespoons of baking yeast
Stir these up!

Add to it:
1 cup of very warm water - almost so hot you can't touch it but you still can
inside the cup of water add 1/3 cup honey
Mix this into the flour mixture
Add to this one more cup of flour and pour it out onto a floured surface.
Knead the bread for about 9 minutes, in a lazy rhythmic fashion. Folding over, pushing down, keeping it in a ball like shape as much as possible. Add more flour if it is too wet, or add a little more water if it is too dry. You can also add a handful of oatmeal if you wish. It's not an exact science, you really have to feel it as you go. Be brave!

Once the dough develops soft wrinkles on the surface it is ready to rest and rise.
Put it back into the bowl you originally mixed in -- but first -- add some olive oil around the bowl to keep it from sticking. Cover the bowl with a damp warm tea towel and set to rise in a draft free warm spot. This might be:
On top of your fridge, inside your oven, on the counter in the sun, or in another room!
After the dough doubles or more in bulk or you push your finger into it and it doesn't fill up again, it's ready to be punched down and kneaded again.

Knead it again, and at this time if you want to get fancy -- you can add to the kneading process:
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
or 1/2 cup raisins and cinnamon
or sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds
or dried onion flakes and basil flakes

or keep it as it is! At this time you can shape it into a loaf or small rolls and place it onto a greased cookie sheet. I also like to whip up another egg and brush it over the top of the loaf or rolls and sprinkle seeds on the top, or not.

Let these raise up again for about an hour or two to size with a greased wax paper sheet on top and then pop into a preheated 350F oven and bake for about 20 -30 minutes or until the loaf makes a nice deep "thump" sound when tapped on the bottom. Some ovens take longer than others so 40 minutes might not be out of the question. Check it out!

Let cool if you can possibly manage it, then slice into amazing pieces of heaven. Butter a must!

Wednesday: Chicken bites

Organically grown, free range chicken is the order of the day here! We loves our little bites and so bite away we must ... I personally can live without meat and did so for a very long time, but Chloe loves her meats so we must accommodate. Today a recipe for a little chicken bite.

Take two organic chicken breasts and cut them into similar size chunks.

In a bowl:
mix up one egg and one cup of water until foamy
add in the juice of one half of a lemon

In another bowl:
mix up:
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (or not if you haven't a problem with gluten!)
1/4 cup organic cornmeal
2 tablespoons crushed rosemary
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon of salt
much freshly ground pepper.

Dredge the chicken in the water/egg mixture then coat with the breadcrumb mix and set aside until they are all done.
Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan until hot. Place each bite into the pan and cook on one side until brown and flip. Drain on paper towels and eat immediately!
Dipping sauces:
mix up a tablespoon of orange marmalade with some organic dijon mustard
or simply use one of the following:
hot mustard
organic ketchup


Tuesday: Datenut Bread

AH bread. My favorite food, which doesn't like me much. I found that I am slightly gluten intolerant. Ah well, sometimes it's ok.... and if we make it from scratch, well, then I have to indulge a bit. But only a bit. But you can indulge all you want! Here's how for my date nut bread.

1 cup dates, pitted and chopped (we love medjool dates, if you please)
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour and 1/4 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts, chopped - I love to use pecans or english walnuts

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl, cover and let cool then grease a loaf pan.

Sift dry ingredients together without the sugar - then beat sugar and egg together and add to dates, alternatively with the sifted ingredients. Chop the nuts and stir into batter. Pour into prepared pan, let rise for 20 minutes. While batter is rising, preheat oven to 325°F. Bake for about an hour, check at 50 minutes with a toothpick
Turn out onto cooling rack to cool. This is so good and can be used for a dessert or if you are feeling exceptionally decadent spread with the below after you have sliced it very thinly. Sandwiches with tea!
Take a small package of cream cheese and bring to room temperature. Mash it with a fork and add to it:
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Mix and mash this all together well with a little zest of lemon and spread it on that lovely thin sliced bread.


Monday: from scratch: Vegetable Stock

Oh hello Monday! Last week was eventful with a huge wind storm, loss of power, vacationing, and fun times all mixed up together...
But I digress, as soon as we got power back I hit the stove with to make this lovely broth or stock from some great vegetables. Make this up to drink when you are feeling like you need a boost, or as a base for lovely soups of all sorts!

Get out a big pot and put in to it 3 quarts of filtered water. Add to this water:

4 carrots cut in half
1 cut up rutabaga
1 head of chopped kale
2 peeled and quartered onions
4 cloves whole garlic
2 inches of peeled ginger
4 inches of rosemary twig
2 quartered potatoes medium sized
2 cups of butternut squash chopped up
2 teaspoons of sea salt

Boil the entire contents for 10 minutes then set to simmer for 3 hours. Keep the lid on the pot tightly and add more filtered water if there is too much evaporation. Taste it and adjust salt if necessary. At the end of the three hours, pour it through a colander into a heatproof container. Discard the vegetables and store in the refrigerator or proceed with a soup recipe. I love this broth as it is - heated up for a mid afternoon snack or lunch.