This recipe was super easy to make and as long as you follow the directions, you’re set. By that I mean, when Ree says to wait an hour before adding the yeast, she means it. If you don’t, you’ll kill the yeast and then have dough the texture of leather. Ahem. I was especially grateful that these buns turned out well, because they were the last thing I’ve been able to cook in my kitchen since Wednesday. My oven blew up on Saturday morning so we are now in the midst of the kitchen remodel that is happening about 6 months ahead of schedule. Which I suppose is better in the long run, who wants all that hassle with a new baby and a toddler? Right now, I just have to convince Liam that Daddy doesn’t really need his help.
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. Adobo paste (I used this instead of the Fresno chilies and Ancho Chilies, not really because I was trying to change his recipe, but as the title suggests, I live in Mansfield… we don’t have those specialty peppers in stock… ever.)
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
In a 2-quart saucepan, sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Add in a “three finger pinch” of kosher salt. Cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the adobo paste and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute or so before adding in the brown sugar, cumin, cinnamon stick, tomato paste, mustard and vinegar. Stir to combine and then let it cook for 10 minutes, watching so that it doesn’t splatter. In the first 5 minutes of cooking, add in 1 cup of water. Allow the sauce to combine and then add another cup. Wait about 15 minutes before adding a final cup of water. Stir so that the thick sauce from the bottom of the pan mixes in with the water. Cover and allow to simmer for 2 hours. Make sure you check the sauce and stir regularly during that time. At the end of 2 hours, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the cinnamon stick. You can either puree the mixture to get rid of the chunks of onion and garlic (and peppers if you choose to use them) or leave them in. I chose to leave them in because I loved the bits of onion on my fry! When the ketchup is completely cool, cover it and store in the fridge for up to a month.
Liam was convinced that the julienned potatoes were cheese and kept reaching for handfuls to try. I lost count of how many he sampled before get gave up and believed us that they were potatoes, not cheese. I had read a report once that the main “vegetable” consumption of children in Liam’s age group was the french fry. I have really tried hard to not let him have too many potatoes, but when it’s literally my favorite comfort food, regardless of preparation, I just felt bad. So, we’ve varied the preparations of potatoes in this house and Liam loves them all. These fries were the perfect size for his sweet little hands to grab hold of. Instead of throwing whole pieces of rosemary on the fries, I ground dried rosemary up and mixed it in with the salt. I made far too much of the salt mixture, but it was a hit with both of my boys, so I’ll keep it on hand and try it with other things.
Michael says that it’s best to fry the potatoes once at 275, drain, rinse, pat dry and fry again at 350. Perhaps this is something you do when you have time. Not only did I decide to do fries right before the chicken was done, I have a toddler. He wasn’t up for waiting for the second frying. However, they were shear perfection and regardless of how we chose to prepare our potatoes from now on, I’ll be adding some rosemary to the seasoning! Stay tuned tomorrow for my adaptation of his spicy ketchup!
Next year’s garden isn’t going to be very large considering I’m due right in the middle of the planting season and since we’ve been working on the house so much we haven’t even really talked about the actual site of our future garden. I think what will wind up happening is that I will plant a few things close to the house and then the kids and I will go up to the farmer’s market and purchase what I need to can. They provide me with the most beautiful tomatoes every year, so I shouldn’t have any trouble getting what I need. This upcoming season will teach me how to cooperate with my friends more than ever. Several of us are all having babies in the late spring and early summer, so I’m looking forward to getting together with our little ones and heating up that canner!
- 1lb bone-less, skin-less chicken breast (If you are using legs/thighs, use about 6 total.)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4-6 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
I made this cheese dip by making a quick roux out of butter, flour and milk. Then, I added 2 cups of freshly shredded mozzarella and provolone. I seasoned it quickly with pepper and smoked paprika. There are some leftovers, so I’m excited to use it tomorrow on cheese toasts to go with tomato soup!
- 1/2 bushel apples – use a variety so you can get lots of different flavors and colors. For this batch, I used Goldens, Jona-Golds, Macintosh, and a few sad-looking Honeycrisps.
Total I now have 18 pints and 5 quarts of applesauce to take us through the winter. I’m doubtful that it will actually last unless Liam decides that he’s found something else he’s in love with, but I know better for next year. Next year, I’ll have 2 babies… so maybe I’ll do 2 bushels?
My mother used to make her own pumpkin puree by halving the pumpkins, scooping out the seeds and roasting them until tender in a 350 degree oven. When they were cool enough to handle, she would scoop out the flesh and take it for a spin in the food processor before either baking it into something or freezing it. I must admit that when I first had my own home and did my baking, I just bought the cans from the supermarket… until I learned that those cans of “pumpkin” aren’t 100% pumpkin, but a mixture of squashes. Cue my obsession with hoarding pumpkins every Fall. This year, I tried a new method of handling the pumpkins and I think I’ll be repeating it yearly. I washed the pumpkins and then cut each one into 8 pieces. I then removed the seeds and placed the pieces in my crock pot. When the crock pot was full, I sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar over the top and then let them cook on low for about 2 hours or until I could pierce the shell with a fork. Then, I let them cool a bit before scooping out the flesh. This is where I had some fun. I chose to puree my pumpkin with an immersion blender. It worked out well for me this time around because I was still working on the pumpkins tonight after Liam went to bed and it’s so much quieter than any of my other options. Also, there was only 1 piece to clean up! I then froze the pumpkin in bags measured out to 2 cups. 2 cups seems to be about the norm for all my recipe requirements. I actually season the pumpkin once it’s in the batter for whatever I’m working on, but the sugar and cinnamon the pumpkin was baked with helps to soften and tenderize the pumpkin and I like it so much better this way! For reference, I got 7 2-cup bags of puree from 4 average sized pie pumpkins. That’s lot of baking potential!
Are your Fall weekends still nice? Mine are. The weather has been nice enough out that we could even still eat on the porch if we wanted. The trees are changing and I love being surrounded by color all the time. With the weather still like this and dozens of projects to do around the house, it’s nice to still be able to grill out. My husband is in charge of the grill. I also have given him charge of what goes on it. He saw an idea about cheese-stuffed burgers and after many attemps, has finally mastered it. So far, the favorite is a simple ground beef burger, stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped classically. I like it and it was Liam’s first burger. And now Liam loves burgers. He’s his father’s son.
After much trial and error, Matt has decided that the best method for making these burgers and not having a huge mess all over your grill is to make 2 separate beef patties, 3oz each. These are fairly thin patties, but once you add the cheese in the middle and they cook, they are the perfect size for a burger. In the center of 1 patty, place a piece of cheese, about 2 oz worth and big enough to fill the center of the patty. Top with the other patty and press the edges together. Don’t be slack in this step or you will have a very cheesy mess all over your grill. Finally, grill until they are the doneness you desire. Top as usual and enjoy this nifty change to your average cook out!
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
- 1lb fresh brussel sprouts
- 3-4 slices bacon
- 1 small onion
- salt and pepper to taste
Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook in a pan until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain. Leave the initial drippings in the pan, though. Quarter or slice the brussel sprouts and dice the onions. Carefully place them in the pan with the bacon grease, being sure not to splash yourself, and cook. You’ll need to stir them frequently so they don’t stick and burn to the bottom of the pan. I cooked mine until the onions were softened, but the sprouts where still slightly crisp and bright green in color. Toss the finished brussel sprouts and onions with the cooked bacon and season as you see fit with salt and pepper.