Sunday, May 31, 2015

Animal Bread

Tried a preschooler bread activity - let her make shapes which didn't go that well, but putting in raisins, chocolate and nuts for the face worked ok. With the dough XP thought it was like playdough so kept picking up the shapes after they were already made and squishing them. After baking, the raisins dried out a bit so might be better to soak them first or try a different dough recipe.
  • 1 c warm water
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 1/3 c bread flour
  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • Optional Decoration: raisins, chocolate chips, chopped almonds, peanuts, etc
  1. Make dough in bread machine (or by hand).
  2. Divide into 8 pieces. Cut further if necessary and shape into animals or faces.
  3. Add raisins, chocolate chips. sliced almonds for decoration. Cut dough with scissors to make pronounced designs (like for a turtle or hedgehog).
  4. Let rise 20-30 minutes (or 45...since time isn't always controllable with a preschooler).
  5. Brush with egg wash or butter.
  6. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
Animal Ideas
  • Raccoon
  • Hedgehog, porcupine
  • Turtle, alligator
  • Duck
  • Faces, Monsters
  • Rabbit
  • Bear
  • Snail

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bread Machine Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Got a new bread machine and made a sandwich ring this morning. In the evening tried my hand at a sweet bread fully made in the machine. On the way googled about Canadian vs American flour - there is a difference which would explain why all the flour recipes turn out so differently here. Turned out slightly too sweet for my taste - so I think next time reduce the brown sugar by half. It was also very light on the top - so maybe try the dark setting or 2 lb setting instead? Otherwise was good toasted for breakfast. *** (see other versions below)
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T butter (soft)
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 3 c bread flour
  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • 1 c raisins (optional: plumped)
  1. Put ingredients in order specified by bread machine, except raisins. For my Sunbeam it's wet, then dry, then yeast.
  2. Start machine on Sweet setting, 1.5 lb.
  3. When it beeps (after 20-30 min), slowly add in raisins during the 2nd kneading cycle.
  4. Remove from pan to let cool. Eat fresh, toasted or as french toast.
7/8/15 Made a ginger-raisin-bread. Like this one better. ****
Sept 2015 - made this again, with the super large raisins. They end up getting torn apart by the machine and end up in small pieces throughout the bread. 1.5 lb/dark
  • 1 c warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T oil
  • 2 T molasses
  • 3 c flour (bread or all purpose)
  • 3/4 t ginger
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 1.5 t yeast
  • up to 1 c raisins



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Egg Muffins

Made these this morning and brought them to the playground. Small size made them great for snacking while playing (on the swing, on a bench, at the table, in the sand). BT normally doesn't like eggs but had lots of these happily. I think it was because I called them a "muffin" (as opposed to mini fritata or mini-quiche). 

For variety I divided the tin into 4 rows where each row had a combo of 3 veggies (so each row missing one of the 4). Then in the 3 columns, I put one kind of cheese each. So each muffin came out differently.

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • frozen peas
  • fresh baby spinach
  • cheese: Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella, ...
  • home made salami, cut into small pieces
  • salt + pepper
  • herbs: rosemary + oregano
  1. Grease a 12 muffin tin (****). [Needs improving - see Notes]. UPDATE: Use silicone cups instead (*****).
  2. Grate the carrot over the tin directly.
  3. Grate the zucchini directly over the tin.
  4. Chop the spinach and sprinkle in cups.
  5. Add frozen peas to cups.
  6. Sprinkle some cheese and salami in each cup.
  7. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste (0 salt if doing BLW) as well as combination of herbs. Use a scoop to pour mixture into each tin.
  8. Bake 350 for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
  10. Eat immediately or freeze for later.
NOTES
Greasing the tin with butter was not sufficient. The eggs really stuck and were a pain to get out. Using a spray might work better (but I've never bought a spray in my life). Perhaps adding some oil to the mixture would help?

8/4/15 Used broccoli, carrot, peas, spinach, parmesan/mozzarella, rosemary, thyme. Poured into greased silicone cups - 6 regular and 4 large - could have used another egg.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Almond Raspberry Cheese Halves

Made some ARCH treats for work, aka sweet empanadas. I prefer a less crispy pastry so would decrease butter next time and increase liquid or add milk. Very tasty. One was made with 2 blueberries (could have used blackberries or strawberries, etc).

Dough

  • 3 c flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 sticks butter (8 oz/225 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-5 T cold water
Filling
  • 10 oz cream cheese (~1.2 packages), softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 12 oz raspberries (2 small punnets or 1 extra long one)
Assembly
  • 1 egg, separated
  1. For the dough, combine the flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Cut the butter in (or coarsely grate). Stir.
  3. Add the eggs and water, and mix until combined but still clumpy.
  4. Roll into 2 balls. Flatten each and refrigerate for at least 30 min.
  5. For the filling, mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and zest.
  6. Roll the dough flat. Cut out small circles. (Refrigerate as you go, and roll out the circles if they shrink.)
  7. Put a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the middle. Top with 2-3 raspberries (or whatever will fit), and a sprinkling of almonds.
  8. Moisten the edges of the pastry with egg white and fold in half and seal the edges.
  9. Brush on the yolk and immediately top with more slice almonds (so they stick).
  10. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  11. Poke holes with a toothpick or slice the tops with a knife, to let the moisture escape while baking (and prevent explosions).
  12. Bake at 375 for 20-55 min. (Original directions said 20-25, but I had to keep them in for a long time before they were browned).
Related

Friday, May 8, 2015

Savoury Empanadas

I've cut out onions from my diet for years and have benefited. But it means there are a lot of foods I have to avoid or suffer the consequences. My friend makes a wonderfully delicious empanada, but I was suffering more and more each time I ate them. So I decided to try my own hand at them - but onion free. I made them too spicy for XT to eat, but I think it is a great starting point. They were lots of fun to make, so I look forward to perfecting the filling. I also bought the olives ahead of time and forgot I was going to slice them for this recipe - I had used them all to make an olive pesto. So I just spread the pesto on the empanadas instead. Still worked out!
Dec 2015: Made a double batch of dough and separated into balls and then rolled into circles (instead of rolling and cutting out circles). Worked out faster. Put them in fridge overnight and then filled the next day. 

Dough
  • 3 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c butter (one stick), chilled or frozen
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 c warm milk
Beef Filling
  • 1 lb beef
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 heaping t minced garlic
  • 2 T hot spanish paprika (reduce for less spicy)
  • 1 T hot mexican chili (or less)
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 3 eggs
  • olives or olive pesto
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
Assembly
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. 
  2. Coarsely grate in the butter (or cut into slices). Stir.
  3. Add the egg yolk and milk in small amounts. Mix until clumpy and combined.
  4. Make 2 balls. Flatten slightly and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Hard boil the eggs (Place in pot, cover with cold water, bring to boil, cover and turn off heat - leave to sit for 12 minutes. Remove from pot and run under cold water to stop cooking.)
  6. Mix the beef with the paprika, chili and cumin. Set aside.
  7. Saute the garlic in the butter.
  8. Add the beef mixture, until cooked through.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in oregano. Let cool.
  10. Peel and slice the eggs. Slice the olives (if using whole).
  11. UPDATED: Cut each dough ball into 5 pieces (or more for smaller empanadas). Roll each piece into a ball, and then into a circle. [This way is much faster and cleaner]
    ORIGINAL: Roll one dough ball very thin. Cut out circular shapes (use 4" for small, 5-6" for large).
  12. Optional: Dough circles may be refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
  13. Fill each circle with a spoonful of meat, slice of egg and slices/spread of olive.
  14. Fold in half, sealing edges with egg white. Optional: Press down with decorative fork imprints.
  15. Brush with egg yolk (this will give a nice golden brown color during baking).
  16. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  17. Bake at 400F for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  18. Cool on rack. Eat fresh or chill for later.

Spinach Cheese Filling
6/2/15 Used the dough recipe above but made a vegetarian filling. Baked for 35 min, plus another 5 for the bigger ones. XP enjoyed one warm as snack (I had 2). Delicious!
Feb 2016 Used fresh spinach and added ham.
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (10 oz)
  • 2-3 t minced garlic
  • olive oil/safflower oil/butter
  • 1 c ricotta
  • salt + pepper
  • nutmeg
  • thyme
  1. Defrost spinach in pan over low heat. Press liquid out to make as dry as possible.
  2. Push spinach to the side and heat oil in pan. Add garlic and saute.
  3. Stir garlic with spinach until thoroughly combined.
  4. Stir in ricotta. 
  5. Season with salt+pepper, a dash of nutmeg and a sprinkling of thyme, to taste.