March 31, 2011

European Peasant Bread

Excellent bread...I can't believe I made it myself! It tastes like one from an artisan bakery. Great crispy crust and slightly chewy inside and it was super easy to make. I made the full recipe, but only cut it into 2 loaves; if I would have made 4 loaves the bread would have been overcooked in the recommended baking time. Enjoy!

March 30, 2011

Lentil Sausage Soup

I am so sorry to say that I will likely not be trying many of Ina Garten's recipes anymore. I have tried quite a few, yet they are alway disappointing...lacking in flavor. This soup was the same; I even added a lot more cumin and it was still quite boring.

Of all things, my husband added BBQ sauce to the soup in an attempt to kick it up a bit and he said it really helped. I have yet to try it, but will in hopes that it makes it more interesting.


March 29, 2011

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon and Basil Salmon

Good and easy, but nothing special. The next day I added lemon juice and broccoli and it was a lot better. If I make it again I will definitely add more veggies and lemon (zest and juice) to the pasta and season the salmon...maybe breadcrumbs with lemon zest?!

March 28, 2011

Deli-Style Rye Bread

After recently taking a bread baking class I have really been into making my own bread (I even bought a 25 lb bag of bread flour!). Its really inexpensive, you know exactly what is going into it and its soooo easy to make.

This recipe is for a no-knead rye bread. It has a great rye flavor and the heavy texture that is typical of a whole grain bread. I recommend baking the bread for a shorter period of time than recommended or at least checking it before the end of the baking time. Don't skip the steaming step; it give the crust a great texture. Enjoy!

March 27, 2011

Kanpai - Bend, OR

Unique sushi rolls and nice atmosphere. However, the sashimi was quite lacking, especially for the price. Also, we were about the only table in there yet our orders took longer than expected to arrive (thanks goodness for the edamame!).  Many folks have raved about this place, but we will try someplace else in town before going back here.

Kanpai on Urbanspoon

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Delicious!  I have made this a few times on a Sunday and then take it to work during the week. Its super easy, healthy, and tasty. I typically make a half batch, but add extra spices, cilantro, red bell pepper and black beans to taste. Prior to trying this recipe I was not a big fan of quinoa, but now I love it. Enjoy!

March 26, 2011

Barley Brown's Brew Pub - Baker City, OR

Great beer!  Food for the most part is typical "bar" food, but they have some unique and very good items including the Kobe Burger (get the sauce on the side so you can dip your fries in it too!) and Bram's Chicken Pasta. I stay in Baker City frequently and this is my favorite spot to go. Definitely worth the stop if you are in the area, even if its just for a beer. Enjoy!

Barley Brown's Brew Pub on Urbanspoon

Made-Over Deep-Dish Brownies

I am not sure if I did something wrong with these, but I have had better tasting brownies out of a box. The chocolate flavor was very mild and they didn't have the slightly fudgy texture that I enjoy. So much for "healthier" brownies...I will take the real thing please ;-)

If anyone else tries them please let me know how you like them or if you made any adjustments to the recipe.

March 19, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe by Anne Burrell has a delicate hazelnut flavor and is a nice change from the standard chocolate frosting, but the cream cheese was a bit overpowering and actually made the frosting a bit bitter. Next time I would add more sugar or less cream cheese to balance the flavors out a bit better. 

·         8 ounces cream cheese, softened
·         1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         3 cups powdered sugar

Add the cream cheese, chocolate hazelnut spread and vanilla extract to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, scraping down sides of the bowl, as needed, until the frosting is smooth.

March 18, 2011

Chicken Tagine with Lemons and Olives

Great flavor!  I wasn't sure that the lemon and green olives would be a flavor combo, but it was very good. I used boneless skinless chicken breast so I cooked it for less time. Enjoy!

March 17, 2011

Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone

Very good, easy and healthy. Next time I would add ditalini or elbow pasta to make it more like the minestrones I am familiar with, otherwise I wouldn't change a thing. Enjoy!

March 16, 2011

Kale and Potato Soup with Turkey Sausage

Yummy, easy, and healthy. I used pre-cooked turkey sausage, which I would not recommend in this recipe. It didn't give the soup a nice sausage flavor as a crumbled sausage would have. I also substituted swiss chard for the kale since that's what I had on hand; this didn't seem to made a significant difference in taste. Enjoy!

Kafta Burgers

Very good for something different. I only used beef since that's what I had on hand and we still really enjoyed them. We served them with roasted sweet potatoes and yams; the sweetness complimented the spices in the burgers very nicely. Enjoy!

March 15, 2011

Tomato Soup with Pancetta

My friend has made this recipe multiple times and really likes it. She even preparing it for a church group, but I was not impressed when I made it. I am wondering if I did something wrong in my preparation. I would recommend reading the reviews and following the suggestions of others.

March 14, 2011

Spiced Salmon with Lime Citrus Salsa

Delicious, easy, and quick!  My husband is not a big fan of salmon, but loved this recipe. The spice mix on the salmon is a great compliment to the citrus salsa. Enjoy!

March 13, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

These cookies from Martha Stewart are delicious!  A colleague brought these into the office, luckily he didn't bring too many as I could have eat a dozen. If you like coconut, nuts (walnuts or almonds can work in place of the pecans), and chocolate these are the cookies for you. Enjoy!


March 12, 2011

Grilled Tofu and Chicken Pad Thai

This recipe by Bobby Flay (Food Network) was terrible!  Asian food is definitely not his forte. The massive amount of tamarind that was called for made the dish bitter and overpowered all the other flavors which I enjoy in Pad Thai. It also called for too many noodles, that is unless you are just wanting tamarind flavored rice noodles!

March 11, 2011

Spicy Bean Soup

This recipe by Giada (Food Network) was not what I expected at all. Really spicy, so much so that the chili powder overpowered any other flavors. I would make it again, but try it with a lot less chili powder