Friday, 18 December 2009

Gingerbread Cookies

Yesterday morning I made gingerbread cookies. Then last night I made deviled eggs. And today I have beans soaking and a ham bone so I'm going to make a crock pot full of beans for dinner. My boyfriend isn't a fan of beans, so I think he plans to make stuffed grape leaves.

I thought I'd share the cookie photos. I love to bake, don't you? I got the scotty dog cookie cutter at a junk shop in Quartzsite AZ. It seems we had one as a kid so I had to have it.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A Boy and His Dog

Today I made some gingerbread boys and gingerbread Scotty dogs. The house smells wonderful.

Tonight I'm going to make deviled eggs. But I'm taking a cookie break.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Calzones for a Crowd

Calzones for a Crowd

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I wanted to try making some Calzones for dinner using the pizza dough recipe in my bread machine. So I needed a little help and found this recipe. I want to freeze some for later too.

Friday, 6 November 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed

I don't want to give the impression that I'm the perfect cook and everything comes out great. Such is the case with my bread. Everything was picture perfect until the last rise. The directions said to form a loaf, put it on a cookie sheet, and let it rise from 1 to 3 hours. Well, after 4 hours, it still hadn't risen and I had no idea why.

Also, I was supposed to sprinkle corn meal on the pan first. I thought we had some but we didn't. So I used flour.
I brushed the top of the loaf with water. I put the bread in the oven after 4 hours. I checked the thermometer and it was 400 degrees spot on. I baked the bread 20 minutes and it wasn't even browning. So I left it in another 5. Still no browning. Left it in another 5. It was a little brown but I was afraid to overbake it so I took it out. I let it cool half an hour as per the directions. Then I tried to pry it off the pan. It has become one with the pan. I cut off/pulled off 3 slices. Later I tried to get the rest unstuck and broke the spatula trying. It was my boyfriend's grandmother's spatula.

Anyway, the bread did taste good. It tasted like sourdough and the inner bread was perfect. My teeth aren't the greatest so I didn't even try to eat the tougher parts of the crust. I'm sure it would be fine dipped into vegetable soup or spaghetti sauce.

At any rate, I fed my starter again, and maybe I'll try again. If the second attempt doesn't rise, I guess I should toss the starter.

Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Sourdough Bread Project

I've been working on the sourdough bread all day. It's doing the last rise now. It's in loaf form and has to rise until double it's size, which will be from 1 to 3 hours. I hope it's 1, because it's already 8:43 PM. Then 30 minutes baking time at 400 degrees. Then 30 minutes of cooling time. Next time I won't try to do it all in one day. I'll let it rise in the refrigerator and bake it the next day.
I'm having fun though, and that's what counts. Anticipation is a big part of breadmaking.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Greenman Cooking: Vegetable/Spinach/Shrimp/Water Chestnut Dip

Greenman Cooking: Vegetable/Spinach/Shrimp/Water Chestnut Dip

Sourdough Bread

I had to postpone my cooking projects for a while because of preparing for a craft sale and making a business trip. So now I'm home again, somewhat caught up on my sleep, and ready to dive back in. Or at least wade back in.

I took the sourdough starter out of the fridge. I'm going to let it warm up, feed it, and then hopefully make my first loaf of sourdough bread.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Five Minute Artisan Bread and Naan

At the archery gathering yesterday Diane told me about Five Minute Artisan Bread. So I found the recipe here: She also said she has some sourdough starter that has been around since making it to the west in a covered wagon, and she promised to share some at our next meeting. The Artisan bread info also tells how to make Naan, one of my favorite breads that you can even make on a camp-out. So I can't wait to try that too.

The photo is of Diane beading a necklace. She's camera shy.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Tostadas for a Quick Dinner

When I want a meal in a hurry I go with Tostadas.

Ingredients: Flour or Corn Tortillas
1 small can of refried beans
1/2 C grated cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1 C of lettuce mix
1 small diced tomato
Season salt

Serves 1 or 2 adults

First grate the cheese and dice the tomato. Put the beans in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water and heat up slowly, stirring from time to time so they don't burn to the bottom.

Fry the tortillas flat in a bit of cooking oil. Drain on paper towels. I like mine crispy.

Smooth the beans over the tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese so that it melts a bit over the hot beans. Add some lettuce mix and the tomatoes. Serve while warm. Salt to taste.

Optional: Salsa and/or Cilantro and/or sour cream
Optional: Pre-cooked ground beef

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sourdough Starter

I decided it was about time I made some sourdough starter. I'm going to use these excellent directions for sourdough. My boyfriend made some a few years back but we lost it when we moved. So now it's my turn to give it a go. I'm excited.

Day 2: So far my starter seems to be doing what it's supposed to be doing...expanding, bubbly, and so forth. This photo was from last night right before I moved it to a bigger jar.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Apple Turnovers

For today I wanted to use up my leftover Fillo Dough and my Gaia apples so I found this recipe on for Apple Turnovers.
Since I was using already cut sheets of dough I had to approximate the way they said to fold it, but it came out fine. The recipe calls for Granny Smith Apples, so if you are making a trip to the store get those instead.
After I cut the apples, I asked my boyfriend if I could use one of the lemons he bought last time we went to the market and he said no. He was just about to use it for some Stuffed Grape Leaves (which turned out wonderful). So I had to walk to the store to get a lemon. Actually, I got a tablespoon of lemon out of just half the lemon. But I was also able to get some milk to go with the apple turnovers. So Yay!

The one thing that is not in that recipe is the Powdered Sugar Glaze. Put about 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a small bowl, and add literally a few drops of water at a time and stir, until you get the consistancy you want. Let the apple turnovers cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the glaze over them. Also, I sprayed the pan with ordinary cooking spray, but used melted butter brushed on with a pastry brush between the layers and also on top.

Friday, 2 October 2009


About a month ago, I wanted to make pita pockets with falafel for my boyfriend. But much to my surprise the markets I go to no longer carry either one, much less Tahini sauce. Then tonight my boyfriend wanted to go to a market we've never been to called Super King. He wanted to get supplies to make pickles and we hadn't found pickling cucumbers anywhere either. Well, happily, they had his cucumbers, and while we were wandering about, I spotted some powdered falafel mix. It had no directions on it though. But later I turned around and saw not just one brand of falafel mix, but several. Yes! Of course then I had to go back to the very front corner of the store again to look for pita pocket bread. Well, they had that too. And I was trying to remember what goes into a falafel when I remembered the Tahini sauce. So I told my boyfriend, "Where would I look for Tahini sauce." And he said, "Right behind you."

He's a little nervous though. He's not a fan of beans and falafels are made from garbonzo beans and seasoning. I hope he will give it a fair chance.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

We had leftover roasted chicken so I decided to try out the Foreman grill someone gave us by making a sandwich. So I took some wheat bread and buttered the outsides. For the filling I used breast meat, tomato slices from my garden, mozerella and feta cheese, and a bit of cilantro. I wanted cranberry sauce on it but was afraid that wouldn't work in the grill so I put the cranberry sauce on the side. It was yummy but next time I'll put some mayo on it before grilling.

Fayme's Super Easy Cherry Tarts

1 can of cherry pie filling
1 Package of fillo dough
1/3 cube of butter (melted)
2 Tbsp water
1/4 C powdered sugar
Makes 24 tarts

To make these I sprayed a cupcake pan with cooking spray. Then I cut some Fillo dough into squares and tucked about 6-9 squares into each cup. I carefully brushed each 'cup' with melted butter to keep it from shifting. Then I added a spoonful of canned cherries like you put in pies into each cup. Then I added a few more layers to cover and brushed with butter again. I baked for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  I took a little bowl and while they were baking I stirred about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tbsp. of water to make a glaze.  After I took the tarts out, I let them cool a minute then drizzled glaze on each one. I popped them out with a fork and we ate them while they were still warm. One can will make 24 tarts. I only made half today. I'll make the other half in a day or two.

Cherry Tarts

For lunch I made a really cool sandwich in the George Foreman grill someone gave us. And now I'm going to make cherry tarts with the Filo pastry. I was going to make them earlier today but I forgot the Filo takes 5 hours to thaw. I wish I hadn't put it in the freezer when we got home from the market on Sunday.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

First Post and Why I Made This Blog

After writing about cooking and recipes randomly in my other blogs I finally decided to give my cooking skills a place to park. I guess I've always taken cooking for granted. But judging by all the people I meet that don't cook at all, or who can pretty much burn boiled water, I guess I should be glad someone taught me to cook.

My boyfriend just made some sauerkraut, and posted it to his blog here:sauerkraut When I told him I decided to make a cooking blog he laughed. I don't know why he laughed. I know he fancies himself a better cook than I am. I told him I raised two kids and never poisoned either, so he needs to at least respect my cooking. He's really good at cooking meat, but I'm better at baking and cooking within a budget. My mom had 5 kids to feed so we weren't exactly buying 2" steaks.

I think between my boyfriend and I we have some pretty amazing recipes. And we never lack for variety in our meals. We just need a bigger kitchen, that's all.