Friday, January 27, 2012

Foodie Friday - 1/27/12

Here's an end-of-the-week peek at what's been happening in my kitchen lately, and what's coming up!

1. Last week I made my first attempt at chicken gyros, and they very well may be making it into my rotation of regular dinners! I used Christy's recipe for the chicken and tzatziki sauce, and Annie's take on homemade pita bread (she also has a whole wheat version here.) The pitas turned out soft and lovely, the chicken was wonderfully tender and seasoned, and the creamy sauce was fantastic. I went grocery shopping this morning and am feeling a little bit sad that I don't have gyros on the menu again for this next week! Soon. Very soon...

2. Our small group meets every other week and we always begin by sharing a meal together. With twelve adults and 14 children in attendance, it's a little chaotic. But very fun. My friend Jen was in charge of food assignments for our meeting last weekend and when she requested "that homemade bread you make" and also asked if I'd bring the recipe along, I knew she was talking about the bread I brought them when they had their third baby girl last summer.

This is as close to a no-fail bread recipe as I've found. And I'm not an expert bread-baker. I love the combination of half white flour and half whole wheat. It makes for a rich, nutty flavor while still maintaining an ultra-soft texture. And the touch of honey adds just enough sweetness. This is my go-to recipe for when I know I want a guaranteed perfect loaf of bread to serve with dinner.

Honey Wheat Bread

1 cup very warm water
1 T. milk
2 T. oil
2 1/2 T. honey
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. fast active dry yeast

Combine water, milk, oil, honey, brown sugar, and salt and mix well. Add flours & yeast and knead about 10 minutes, until smooth. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down, knead for a minute or so, and form into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan, cover (or don't cover...I usually just stick it in a slightly warm oven uncovered for the second rise), and let rise about 30 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack & serve warm.

3. Coming up this week: Dinners on my menu plan include homemade pizza (I use Ree's recipe for crust and let the kids pile on their toppings (pepperoni for both, with pineapple on Maya's and mushrooms heaped on Noah's; as well as a new recipe from Taste of Home for an easy Chicken Cordon Bleu wrapped in puff pastry. On Monday night when Maya has dance and dinner has to be something quick and easy, I'll shred up a pre-made pot roast and serve it on tortillas with cheese, tomato, avocado, sauteed onion, and rice on the side.

4. Last but CERTAINLY not least, I have two occasions this weekend for which snack-type desserts are in order. So I've baked up something baaaaaaad. Various forms of this recipe are floating around on food blogs, but I'm not a huge fan of box mixes, so I haven't been convinced. Browsing around Foodgawker, however, I noticed that Gaby has come to the rescue, with this recipe that uses her favorite from-scratch brownie recipe as the top layer. The name she's given them is also hilariously appropriate, because OH MY GOODNESS at the naughty!


Happy Weekend!

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vegetable image:

Michelle Meiklejohn /

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