quelle est une doorknob?

the joke is. a girl is like a doorknob. at one point or another in her life, everybody gets a turn at her.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

16 days later...

better late than never right? i was in love with this whole idea of using herbs for the challenge. however, when it came down to it, i couldn't think of anything to save my life....preoccupied with this and that. i thought i'd just throw something together with a few ingredients that i really love. i chose basil because it is my favorite. i grow it every year in my backyard....for cooking and just because i love to smell it.

i made up this little pizza with pre-made dough (i can hear the whispers), mozz cheese, garlic, evoo, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. i spread the evoo on the dough and on the edges. then i crushed garlic and spread that on top of the oil. next came the mozz cheese. i sliced up the sun-dried tomatoes and tore the basil cause Grandpa Emanuel says basil bruises if you cut it. i layered those around the pie and stuck it in the oven for 10-ish minutes.

the result? i really liked it....and then it hit me...i forgot my spinach. i think that would have added another level of taste,but either way, i really gobbled it up and so did matt. it had a fresh, light, taste that you can't get at pizza hut. i'm just sayin'....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lavender Lament

it's just been one of those months. it's been rainy and dreary, sapping one of their energy and in my case, inspiration. Spring should be a time of rejuvenation, not lackluster, half hearted attempts in the kitchen. plus, my challenge for this month is awesome: using herbage. spring herbage at that.

i chose to use lavender, which incidentally is now going to be my color for the summer. i've played with lavender before, liking the fresh earthy taste. it's not as awesome as thyme but i do like it alot.

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this past month i've made 3 loaves of bread. one recipe was actually for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread that a fellow twi-friend shared with me. it did come out well but i forgot to take pictures. next, i used a romantic rosemary bread recipe, substituting lavender. the first go, i brought half the loaf into work. the second half i breaded for another food challenge. today's loaf will go towards a panzanella salad for dinner. i'm thinking the floral scent will add a lovely spring taste to it. :)

Romantic Lavender Bread
from recipezaar

3 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (120F)
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh rosemary or fresh lavender blossoms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon salt
6 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
yellow cornmeal, as needed
coarse salt, for sprinkling on loaves (optional)
spray bottle filled with cold water, for spritzing loaves

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Combine yeast and lukewarm water until well blended and let sit about 10 minutes- it should look foamy and thick (if your water was too hot or your yeast is bad, it will not get foamy and you'll need to start over).

Combine buttermilk, oil, rosemary (or lavender), 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt in a mixer bowl, then add the yeast mixture and combine well.
Add flour gradually, beating slowly until enough flour has been added to form a dough ball that leaves the sides of the bowl in one mass.

Dump any remaining flour onto a flat surface, dump dough onto that surface, and with floured hands knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.

Set dough into a large greased bowl, flip dough over to grease both sides, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk- about 1 1/2 hours.

On dough has risen, place dough onto a floured surface and cut into equal halves and form each half into a round loaf shape.
Set loaves onto a large greased baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.
Cover with a clean, slightly damp towel and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a serrated knife, slash the top of each loaf with an asterisk (*) pattern and sprinkle each with a little coarse salt (optional).
Bake in center of the preheated oven for 15 minutes, spritzing occasionally (at least 2-3 times).

Continue baking another 45-55 minutes (no more spritzing) or until the loaves sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom and they appear golden brown.

Let cool on racks completely.

lavender bread

til next time, keep your kitchen clean. seriously, you don't want mice up in there.