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Monday, August 8, 2011

Oatmeal bread with Cinnamon, without Raisins

I haven't been baking or blogging much lately.  I have too many balls up in the air, and the heaviest is grad school.  What does it say when you would rather bake bread than work on your papers?  Anyway, people were excited when I pulled out my scale last night.  

There are several delicious loaves for August's Mellow Baker's Challenge.  There are two Oatmeal Breads, one with cinnamon and raisins, one without.  I opted to make the cinnamon version but without the raisins since no one in my house likes their raisins cooked. 

It is an easy loaf.  Oatmeal is soaked in water and then high gluten flour, whole wheat flour, milk, honey, vegetable oil, salt, yeast and cinnamon are added.  The dough fermented over night, was shaped and baked.  Joe came down when the morning house was filled with aromas and the bread was still in the oven and wanted to know how long it had to cool. 

I love breads with oats.  I can't wait to try the non cinnamon version but this one is a keeper..

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cooking with Joe

Joe is home for ten days.  He has moved into an apartment in Pittsburgh with his brother.  They plan on installing an air conditioner in one of the windows but the kitchen is hot and will remain hot.  Until winter comes, and then it will be the place to be.  With thoughts of keeping the place cool, I thought we would try out some crock pot recipes this week and some old favorites

I've ordered another cook book.  If there is an intervention available for people who have too many cook books send it my way.  I really enjoy the slow cooker.  My husband cooks a meal at least once a week using it.  So, when I saw some reviews for Michele Scicolone's  The Italian Slow Cooker, I had to buy it. 

I can't wait for it to come.

Until it comes, we will have to try some other recipes.  So we started with Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork from NPR's web site.  Disclaimer, this is not really pulled pork, no crunchy outside, no vinegar mop.  But it makes for some good sanwiches.

Joe made an easy basic dry rub.

1/4 cup paprika
2 T kosher salt
2 T ground pepper
1 T garlic powder
1T dry mustard

He cut a 6 pound boneless Boston butt into 3" chunks.  Rubbed the meat with 1/4 cup of the rub.  Put it in the crock pot and added 1/2 cup liquid smoke.  It cooked on low for 5 - 6 hours or on high for 10 - 12 hours.  Pull the meat apart and serve on buns with your favorite barbeque sauce.

Did you know that you could cook potatoes in the crock pot?   3 pounds of small new potatoes simmered in 1/2 cup of water for on high for three hours.  We covered them with butter, salt and pepper and some herbs. 

We made perhaps the best enchiladas.  I'll post that later.

Simple Slow Roasted Tomatoes = FFWD

This Friday's French Fridays with Dorie was a very easy recipe.  Cherry tomatoes were cut in half, sprinkled with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Garlic and herbs were added and they were roasted in a 225 degree oven for three hours.  I have a similar recipe that we serve with goat cheese and baguettes.

This method brings out a sweetness in the tomatoes.  I mixed mine with some cannelloni beans, red onions and a vinaigrette for a salad for lunch.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Salads

It has been over 100 here in Texas for more days than I can remember.  Our back lawn is dead, our front lawn is dying.  Water once a week really isn't working for the plants.

Salads are the way to go.  I love the coleslaw salad with broccoli flowerettes, cranberries, nuts, bacon, shredded cabbage.  Make a dressing out of mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, diced onions and sugar.

Whenever we have ripe avocados I make this, sometimes as a side, sometimes with tortilla chips. 

Black beans, red onions, avocado, cilantro, lime juice and s&P.  Quick, easy and delicious.