Sunday, February 27, 2011

we made our own double down

This post was timely.....4 or 5 months ago. You may remember the big fuss the KFC Double Down caused - the "sandwich" made with chicken in place of the bun?

I wanted to go and try one, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So instead we made our own.

I cut the chicken breasts in half through the middle, then dipped them in beaten egg while, then panko bread crumbs.  And then I baked 'em.

Meanwhile, I crisped some pancetta, and made a honey mustard sauce with honey, mustard and yogurt.  When the chicken was cooked we topped one piece with sauce, cheese (I think it was Swiss) and pancetta.  Then laid the second piece of chicken on top.
And here is the finished product.
The end result was good - the chicken was flavorful and crunchy. Pancetta is always tasty and the sauce was quite nice. It was fun to try but not something I'd make on a regular basis. How it would compare to an actual double down though, I guess I might never know.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cooking Book 5

Thai Chicken Wings, The Young Thailand Cookbook

Man I wish I owned this book.

Mango Chicken Salad, Martha Stewart

Delicious! I skipped the mango chutney in the salad and used lettuce instead of spinach. I would make this again. Recipe here.

Ham and Apple Wraps with Dip, you guessed it, Martha Stewart.

These were fine, nothing thrilling.  A little different.  I didn't love the dip though.  Recipe here.

Jicama Citrus Salad, Martha Stewart

I really liked this salad. Crunchy and...citrusy. I left out the cucumber. Recipe here.

I don't know what this is.

Or this.

Or this.

Bubble and Squeak, no recipe.

So easy. Mix leftover mashed potatos with leftover cooked carrots and brussel sprouts. Heat some olive oil and butter over medium high heat, spread the veggies in and cook until brown on both sides.


I do love to change my mind, abandon project etc, and I'm doing it again.  This will be it for now at least on Book 5.  It's too difficult to fit some of the recipes into our world full of kid, work, school etc.  There are still some I want to make, so the book will be back but now let's move on to a new one....Book 3!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bread Baking Babes 3 Year Babe-eversary!

3 years!

What lasts 3 years anymore? Not much.

What started for me 3 years ago with this baking group became something important and inspiring in my life. A group of ladies from different countries, different lives, different ages, different experience levels became Babes and friends and made a forum where we can talk and share both our triumphs and tragedies in bread and in life.

To celebrate our Third Anniversary of our group we decided to take a walk down memory lane. Bake a bread from our archives.

When we first made the decision, I thought I might made 3 breads, one from each year of Babe-hood, but man. I hate to say I don't have the time or energy right now. So I picked one I was most proud of the first time around.

I chose to make Gorel's Brunkans Langa bread again.

What I love about this bread is the color, the rustic shape of the loaf, the hearty and just slightly sour taste. I also love that although this is a bread that takes time (5 days), it is not a difficult bread. It's an easy bread when you want to bake but don't have a day or large chunk of a day to devote.

My beautiful Babes, past and present! I raise my glass to you. Thank you for the last 3 years. Thank you for your kindness and friendship and support and inspiration. I can't wait to see what we'll do next.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Waiter, there's goat cheese in my burrito!

The first time I saw this recipe it didn't appeal to me at all. Goat cheese and burritos don't seem like they could go together. But the idea grew on me and we gave it a try. Loved it. The tangy cheese is brilliant with the beans and tomatos.

This is a very fast and low maintenance recipe. Other than cooking some rice there's only a bit of chopping and less than 10 minutes of cooking.

I altered the original recipe slightly - I'd say you could get 4-6 nice sized burritos out of this.

Goat Cheese Burritos
adapted from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons

1 tb oil
1 bunch of green onions, washed well and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3 tomatos, chopped
2 cups cooked rice
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
soft goats cheese (2 or more tb per burrito)
flour tortillas
sour cream

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the green onions, garlic and cumin to the pan and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in another medium pan, heat the black beans and a couple of tablespoons of water over medium heat until hot. Drain off the water. Add the tomatos to the onion mixture and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the rice.

Spread the goats cheese on the tortillas. Spoon the rice mixture on top of the cheese and top with beans. Add salsa and sour cream if desired. Roll up and dig in.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Shortly after I wrote about gift ideas for parents of babies just starting to eat, I discovered a long forgotten piece of oil cloth in our storage closet. It definitely helps to keep the floor a bit cleaner during feeding time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SuperFoods for Babies and Children

If you have a kid, you gotta feed them. It can be stressful when you begin introducing solid food into your babies diet, worrying that you're choosing the right foods at the right time.

A great resource for starting out, or adding more variety to your child's diet is SuperFoods for Babies and Children, by Annabel Karmel.

SuperFoods covers nutrition from 6 months to 3+ years. And what is great about this book, among other things, is it holds the belief (as I do) that children shouldn't be fed separate meals from their parents, that everyone can and should eat the same things. Things like more fruits and vegetables and less foods that come out of cans. Annabel discusses Superfoods, foods by color categories (Red, Green, White, etc), and the ingredients of a proper diet. But this book isn't boring or preachy. The information is well laid out and informative.

So far we've made 4 dishes from the book, out of the 1-2 Years chapter:

Easy Salmon Croquettes (pg 106)

This one was for Scott and Paxton as I don't like salmon. It uses a can of salmon and was incredibly easy to make (4 ingredients) and they both loved it. Scott said it would really only be as good as your salmon is, so use as good a quality as you can afford.

Oven Fried Root Vegetables (pg 107)

My favorite of the 4. Roasted potatos, yams and carrots with a dip of cream cheese and ketchup and green onions. I must admit I didn't think the dip would be very good but it was. A good way to sneak in some extra calcium.

Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce (pg 102)

Meatballs made with ground beef, onion and apple in a sauce with tomatos, bell peppers and a bit of sugar. A little finicky to make, but delicious.

Cheese and Zucchini Sausages (pg 100)

Meatless sausages made with cheese and zucchini and bread. You definitely want to make these ahead and chill them in the fridge so they hold together during cooking. Paxton really liked these alot, all 3 of us did.

My one quibble with this book has to do with the last 2 recipes above; both used bread or bread crumbs, and both recipes called for white bread or bread crumbs. I found this a little surprising in a book about eating well and teaching children good nutritional habits. I used whole wheat bread and crumbs in both recipes. I don't know. Why wouldn't you?

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone with a small child. We all gotta eat and it might as well be good, fun healthy food, right?

Thanks, Simon and Schuster!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Momofuku's Ginger Scallion Noodles

Momofuku - pretty excellent book. Pretty excellent noodles.

Ginger Scallion Noodles.

Make the pickles and cauliflower too. Fo sho.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Wine and Dine 2011 is almost over

Every year during Wine and Dine I vow to tell you about it and I never do. At the beginning of every year restaurants in the area create special menus at special prices ($15, 25, 35) for a couple of weeks. The first year we were out here we went to 3 or 4 restaurants; last year and this year we've gotten to one, which is better than none.

Last night we went to Storms Restaurant for dinner. I chose the $15 menu and for $15 I had:

Appetizer - a bowl of the most incredible cream based soup with turkey, spinach and red bell pepper.
Entree - delicious pork schnitzel with a mushroom sauce, mashed potatos, and fabulous mixed veggies.
Dessert - a nice lemon tart.

For $15! A helluva good deal.

If you're in the area and have no plans tonight or tomorrow night, visit the Wine and Dine website and find a restaurant to visit.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Spam Fried Rice

Scott is a fan of canned meat, so when I mentioned I saw a recipe for Spam Fried Rice he was super excited and made sure it found its way onto this week's menu list.

I am not so much a fan of canned meat, but I have to admit this was really good. I may have even had seconds.

Next time I make it I'm going to add peas. And Scott will think he's died and gone to heaven.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bread Baking Babes 3 year Babe-eversary....coming soon

Us Babes are celebrating 3 years together.  3 years of bread, 3 years of friendship, 3 years of rude talk, scotch talk, helpful advice, shoulders to cry on. 

To celebrate, we are looking back at what we've accomplished together:

BBB Breads 2008
2008 (from left to right)  February: Karen Royal  Crown Tortano (in Dutch) and in English:
March: Lien Coccodrillo 
May:  Sher  - Poilane-Style  Miche
July: - in memory of Sher who  passed away July 20 2008;  this month we made something from her blog,  something that reminded us of the warm and witty personality Sher was. The news  of her passing shocked us. She is our Angel Babe.
August: Ilva Whole  Wheat Pita
September : Monique Sûkerbôlle
October : Sara Challah
November: Görel The  Rosendal Crisp Bread
December: Lynn Yule  Wreath
In our second year, the loaves of 2009;
BBB Breads 2009
2009 (from left to right):  January Katie Croissants
February Tanna Pane  ai Cinque Cereali con Nod (Five-Grain Bread with Walnuts)
March Sara Pane  Francese
April Mary Ethiopian  Injera
May Ilva Pane  di Pasta Tenera Condita (Italian Knot Bread)
June Lien  Asparagus  Bread (in English and Dutch)
July Natashya Sukkar  bi Tahin (Beirut Tahini Swirls)
August Görel Russian  Black Bread
October Gretchen Tanta  Wawa (Peruvian Bread Babies)
November Monique Brioche  Mousseline
December Katie Viennese  Striesel
And our third year 2010;
BBB Breads 2010
2010 (from left to right)  January Lynn Curried  Naan
February Karen Ensaimada
June Lien Korni  (in English and Dutch)
September Görel Brunkans  Långa
October Elizabeth Broa: Portuguese Corn Bread
November Susan Cornucopia
December Ilva Taralli  Pugliesi

How gorgeous is that?

Come back and visit us on the 16th to see our celebration!