Thursday, April 26, 2012

Italian Sandwich

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet.  This is our go-to meal now.  I love it (and so do Brody and Lainee.  Charlotte will at least eat the turkey part).

8 hoagies/ larger sandwich rolls
1/2 jar of pesto sauce
1 lb deli turkey
1/2 provolone cheese

So you cut the rolls in half (like you're making a sandwich, people).
Spread about a tablespoon of pesto on one side of each roll.
Add a couple pieces of turkey.
Add a piece of cheese.

Wrap in foil and bake on 450 for about 10 minutes.  We sometimes skip the foil and broil for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot.  We add nacho doritos and apple slices to the side.  This works great as a picnic item.  You can wrap them in foil and throw them on a grill, or heat them before hand and stick in a cooler (which, in this case, isn't so much a cooler as it is a keep-warmer).  If you use the cooler, please note that it will not keep cold things cold and hot things hot if you put cold things and hot things in the cooler at the same time.  (thanks Sven and Ole for that life lesson.  Some things are best learned through other's experiences and not your own).

These work well as leftovers too.

Aaron's Honey Oat Bread the Real Way

Anyone who ever follows someone else's bread recipe eventually finds that the person who wrote it gave you absolutes instead of telling you all the places where it might vary day to day. Oh, and that they left out a few ingredients. Here is Aaron's recipe the way he actually makes it (now that I have failed at it twice and now went through the whole process with him).

Dump some honey in the bowl. It took about four seconds for the right amount to come out of the bottle.
Put just under 3 cups of your hottest tap water in there with the honey.
Put two heaping quarter cups of both bread flour and wheat flour in with it. Stir it up with bread hook. Add 2 not flattened teaspoons of yeast and mix it a tiny bit. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

It should get bubbly. Add half bread flour and half wheat flour a heaping quarter cup at a time (mixing once in a while) until it is no longer liquidy but does not stand up. Then let it rest 10-20 minutes. If the yeast did not seem very active at the beginning of this step, use more bread flour than wheat to compensate.

After this, add half and half wheat and bread flour in heaping quarter cupfuls while mixing until the dough is formed to the right bread dough consistency. If you do not know what this is, find a friend who knows and have them show you. It really cannot be described properly. If you really want me to try, I will say it is soft and pliable but not sticky. Do not put too much in or it will bra brick after you bake it, but if you do not put enough in you will not get it out of the bowl and into your greased bowl easily and it will be too sticky to pan properly later. Read Aaron's recipe for my notes on how to finish this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


8 oz cream cheese
1 avocado
juice from one lime
salsa to taste

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add avocado and blend until combined. Add lime juice and salsa. Repeatedly test to make sure it's right, even if that means consuming half of the bowl before it gets to the table.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nancy's Pizza

I invented a recipe. It was sort of a Pinterest-inspired amalgam of all my favorite things. Well, all my favorite non-dessert things. Minus potatoes. You get the picture. Speaking of pictures: I took one. Because I made it once and it was so good that I made it again just so I could take a picture (and then eat it again).

Pizza Crust
Philadelphia Cream cheese cooking cream (italian herbs)
Asparagus spears
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese

OK, for the pizza crust, I just used the jiffy mix that costs 58 cents a box. You could use a real recipe if you want. Or the wal-mart mix costs 50 cents and is pretty much the same as the jiffy, so you are saving 8 cents.

I like the "just add water"-ness of the jiff/walmart mix. But I am morally opposed to walmart, so I feel ok about spending 8 cents more on the jiffy.

Make it up according to the box directions. Bake your pizza crust (whether jiffy or walmart or overly ambitious) for 5-6 minutes, then pull it out to top it.

Spread a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking cream on top. This works as your pizza sauce. You could totally use one of the other flavors of cooking cream if you want, they are all really good. But the italian herbs version reminds me of one of my favorite french cheeses called Boursin.

Slice tomatoes and asparagus. The first time, I didn't feel as though I had enough tomatoes on it. But then, I really love tomatoes. You can either trim up the asparagus so it is thin enough to chew and swallow, OR you can shred it onto the pizza using a potato peeler. I thought it tasted fine both ways. The potato peeler method makes it easier to deal with if you have children, but the slicing method makes it look prettier. (see picture above)

Lightly salt and pepper. (This does make a big difference. I generally don't advocate using pepper, but in this case, it really gives it a nice flavor)

Sprinkle the parmesan accross the top. Now here's a confession. I used the gross fake processed can of parmesan powder that mysteriously exists in my fridge due to the cheese transgression of a past roommate. I did it because I wanted a white cheese like substance to sort of seal in some moisture and it seemed sort of appropriate. I did it the first time because I knew I would be refining the recipe if I ever chose to post it. I did it the second time because I didn't totally hate it the first time, in fact, I might have sort of liked it.

So there.

Don't tell any French or Italian people you know if you choose this step. In fact, don't tell any French or Italian people you know that I did it. I already feel as though I should go to confession over this.

SO now tht your pizza is topped, you can bake it for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden-y. (If you used the fake powder parmesan, don't rely on it "melting". It won't)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fruit Moose, or is that Mousse?

Yet another recipe from Our Best Bites. It is becoming a mild obsession around here. (And, by "around here," I mean all of the Waseca Branch and any missionaries who pass through it.)

I made this for the Easter Egg Hunt, but due to an abundance of candy and other desserts that were more familiar to the kids, not a lot got eaten. So, we brought it to Tom's family the next day.

It was supposed to be for dessert. But, a good portion of it was missing before dinner was over. At dessert time, it went quick. Even my own kids, who had snubbed it the day before, devored it. (And then declared how cruel it was that we never made it at home.)

Here's the very complicated recipe:

1 large package or two small ones of jello
2 cups of boiling water

Throw those in a blender together. (The blender really does work best.)

Add 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Fold in 8 oz of cool-whip. (According to the OBB site, cool whip is really ideal here. Don't decide to be fancy and make your own whipped cream on this one.)

That's it. Pour it in something and let it sit for 3 hours. I did this a few times to make layers. You can do individual servings cups, layers, etc.

I topped mine with the remaining cool-whip. You can get fancier than that, but I liked it that way.