No-Knead Garlic Boule Bread

October 20, 2016

I had read about no-knead bread in several different places over the past few years. You need a Dutch oven or something similar to bake the bread, which I didn’t have until we received one as a wedding present. What I love about this recipe is that you can do some quick mixing in the morning and head off on whatever adventure you have planned. Then when you get home, you only have a few steps before you end up with bread that is deliciously crispy on the outside and full of airy goodness on the inside. The first week I tried this, we made it twice…so good!


You will need:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 c all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1½ cups warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees F)
 Then you will…
  1. In a large bowl (recommend plastic or glass), mix together the yeast, flour, garlic powder and salt. until well mixed.
  2. Stir in the warm water and stir until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and set in a warm place for 8 to 18 hours. Dough should rise up and then flatten on the top.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place a 4 or 6-quart Dutch oven in the oven with its lid and allow to preheat in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, generously flour a piece of parchment paper and your hands.
  6. Transfer the down to the parchment and shape into a ball. Place the dough on the parchment paper, and then transfer the parchment paper in a medium bowl. (You could skip the bowl if you want, but I found it helped the dough hold its shape better).
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or so.
  8. Remove your Dutch oven from the oven.
  9. Remove the plastic wrap from your dough and transfer it to your Dutch oven with the parchment paper. (Careful! The Dutch oven will be extremely hot). Cover with the lid.
  10. Bake 30-40 minutes covered until the boule is baked through and golden brown on top. It should sound hollow if you tap the bottom.
  11. Cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before slicing.



Mushroom Hand Pies

October 4, 2016

We love portable dinner. It is perfect for the beach, a picnic, or for eating one-handed while entertaining a baby. These are hearty and full of earthy mushrooms. We loved adding crispy bacon, but you could leave it out for a vegetarian version.

You will need:

  • 4 oz bacon
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 4 oz shredded Gruyere or swiss
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  2. Remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Once cool, crumble the bacon. Set aside.
  4. Dispose of all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat.
  5. Saute the mushrooms in the rendered bacon fat until most of their liquid is cooked off.
  6. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the wine and saute until it is cooked off.
  8. Stir in the cream and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens. You want it to resemble a thick gravy.
  9. Stir in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Roll out the puff pastry until each sheet is roughly square.
  12. Cut each sheet into 4 squares.
  13. Place a spoonful of mushroom filling a little to one side of the middle of each square. You will want roughly a 1/2 inch margin of dough on the edges.
  14. Sprinkle with some of the bacon.
  15. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash.
  16. Brush the edges of the dough lightly with the egg wash.
  17. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, either in squares or triangles (or both).
  18. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry shut.
  19. Place the pastries on the prepared baking sheets.
  20. Brush the tops with the egg wash.
  21. Lightly sprinkle with pepper.
  22. Cut three small slits in the top of each pastry to allow steam to escape.
  23. Bake 20-30 minutes or until the pastries are golden and baked through.
  24. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack at least 15 minutes before serving.




Fig and Pepper Bread

September 28, 2016

I love baking bread. There is  something very satisfying about mixing all the ingredients, kneading them into a smooth dough, and then allowing the bread to slowly fill your house with all sorts of comforting scents. I always have difficulty waiting until fresh bread cools enough to eat. This recipe is no exception. I recommend it warm with some creamy goat cheese, prosciutto and a little honey.


You will need:

  • 2 1/4 t (1 packet) dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 c warm water
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 c coarsely chopped figs (I used a package of dried, but fresh figs would be a light and fresh option)

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Allow to proof for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the olive oil, flours, salt and pepper until the dough starts to come away from the sides.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Oil a large bowl, place the dough inside and turn to coat lightly.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, roughly 1 hour.
  6. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  7. Gently knead the figs into the dough, a handful at a time to get an even distribution.
  8. Form the dough into a loaf (roughly 10 inches long by 4 inches wide).
  9. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Slice three lines diagonally into the top.
  11. Allow to rise in a warm place, another 15-30 minutes.
  12. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Bake the bread for 45-55 minutes, or until it is lightly golden and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Slow Cooked Chicken Enchilada Casserole

September 20, 2016

As fall kicks off, who else is reminded of all the deliciousness you can make with your crockpot? I am starting my transition back to work full time after 5 glorious months of maternity leave, and my husband and I plan to put our slow cooker to good use. After all, what beats extra cuddle time earned by having dinner ready to go when you get home from work?

This is an enchilada-inspired casserole that is a hearty dinner option. It is chock full of chicken, black beans and mushrooms, but you could swap or add other veggies to suit your fancy.

You will need:

  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14 oz) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 32 oz enchilada sauce
  • 12-16 soft corn tortillas, cut into 4 strips each
  • 4 c shredded cheese (recommended: Mexican blend, cheddar, or Monterey Jack)
  • 2 c sour cream

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute the chicken breast  until cooked through and golden, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  4. Shred with two forks and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss with the cumin.
  5. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet. Saute until the mushrooms give off their liquids and start to turn golden.
  7. Stir in the scallions and black beans. Remove from heat.
  8. Pour enough enchilada sauce in the crockpot to lightly cover the bottom (~ 1/2 cup).
  9. Layer 1/4 of the tortilla strips, the remaining sauce, and the sour cream.
  10. Layer 1/3 of the veggie mixture and the chicken.
  11. Layer 1/4 of the shredded cheese.
  12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 two more times.
  13. Then repeat step 9 one final time to finish the casserole.
  14. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
  15. Serve by scooping down to get some of all the layers. Recommend having some extra sour cream and salsa on the side for those who want it!

20160907 Enchilada 01.JPG


Parmesan Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

September 14, 2016

20160903 Parmesan Pasta 03

This quadruple “p” dinner is a luscious comfort dish: the Parmesan adds creaminess, the prosciutto adds a yummy saltiness, the peas add a hint of sunshine and spring, and pasta is a favorite of D’s.

You will need:

  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 4-6 oz prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 T fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T fresh basil, chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, grated

Then you will…

  1. Salt a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions, stopping 1-2 minutes shy of al dente. Save 1 cup of the cooking water when you drain the pasta.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat.
  3. Add the prosciutto and onion and saute until starting to turn golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the frozen peas and allow to saute another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream, mint, basil, and red pepper.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta.
  7. Stir in the lemon zest and season with the pepper.
  8. Mix in the Parmesan, thinning the sauce with some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed.

Baked Ricotta Parmesan Dip

September 6, 2016

This is an easy to pull together appetizer or party snack. It is deliciously cheesy, and the lemon and herbs help lighten it as a dish. We served it with some grilled bread, but it would just as good with some crackers. Be creative!

You will need:

  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 T fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 t fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Spread into a small baking dish, ideally about 9-inches wide.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
  5. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

20160817 Ricotta 01


Santorini Shrimp

August 31, 2016

20160814 Shrimp 01

This shrimp dish is inspired from a memorable vacation my mom and I took to Greece. We island hopping and feasted on fish fresh from the sea. This recipe pulls from the deliciousness of feta and other Mediterranean flavors and goes well with couscous or some fresh crusty bread and a crisp green salad.

You will need:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 T capers, chopped
  • 2 t oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (feel free to leave the tails on if you want)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c feta, crumbled

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, capers, oregano and red pepper flakes. Saute another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the feta. Cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes on each side.
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