Month: January 2008

The Cookie

The Cookie

Growing up is hard to do. I am still growing up, and now I watch the struggles my kids go through. Simply put, life is hard. However, our struggles and stresses in life can always be removed by certain things. I know many who will…

Mac-n-Cheese

Mac-n-Cheese

A colleague and I had a recent discussion on velveeta cheese. Let’s face it, a block of velveeta is funky, but overall, truly tasteful in dishes like queso or macaroni and cheese. Now I have made several batches of mac-n-cheese over the course of my…

Foccacia Bread

Foccacia Bread

Foccacia BreadAs many of you know, I have been experimenting with baking breads. I have been nearly successful in many of the cases, however, this time around I went with Foccacia bread. Why foccacia? Because the ingredients can be as diverse as you want, once you get the dough made. The process of making the dough is also extremely easy. The total process time of making the dough, to getting it out of the oven was literally only one hour and thirty minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Nearly 3 cups of all purpose flour; 2 3/4 for dough, 1/4 cup for removal and kneading
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of white sugar
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 TB of olive oil
  • 1 cup of luke warm water
  • 1 TB of vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 TB of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Other topics can include olives, tomatoes, jalapeños, or however you like your foccacia bread.

Foccacia BreadIn a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, thyme, basil, oregano, and black pepper. To this add the vegetable oil and your water. Mix this together so the dough starts to combine and pull from the edges of the bowl. Put a bit of flour on a dough board, and with floured hands, knead the dough. Add some olive oil to another bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl, tossing to coat the ball with oil. Cover this bowl with a warm towel, and let it rest for 30-45 minutes. The dough should rise abit.

Now, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In the meantime, grease a baking pan, or as I did, a deep pie pan. Add the dough and shape it a bit, pressing down to a bit with your fingers, then with a fork, prick the entire top. Now, top with your cheeses and bake in the oven for nearly 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven). The bread should be a light golden brown.

I served this with roasted turkey yesterday. Everyone loved it. I will definitely be making this again and again. Enjoy.

The Onion Ring

The Onion Ring

This is not your Aunt Jemima talking. Is it? No. It is a fan of the Green Bay Packers though, and just in time for the NFC Championship comes another fried goodie. I was never a true fan of the onion ring, for whatever reasons.…

The Puffy Taco

The Puffy Taco

As many of you might know by now, I typically make my own corn tortillas, due to the freshness and flavor. I make them when making regular tacos, empanadas, or chips. Simply put, they are so easy to make and taste so much better. A…

Beef Broth and Vegetable Soup

Beef Broth and Vegetable Soup

Beef BrothYou got a day? Good because when you have that day, this one is a must make. It is the process of making rich beef broth. Once you have the broth, use it how you would like, in my case I created my mom’s vegetable soup, however you could use it for the french onion soup as well. This recipe is extremely easy to make, however the only factor is time, and when I say time, I mean 8-12 hours. The broth literally takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and the rest of the time is letting it cook on the stove. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Large Soup Pot to hold everything listed below
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 4 Large Tomatoes
  • Bag of Celery, cleaned and base removed
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 bag of carrots, washed
  • Beef bones
  • Package of short ribs (I used boneless beef ribs as I wanted more meat)
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Water

Vegetable SoupStart by rinsing your tomatoes, carrots, and celery. In your large soup pot, add everything. You do not have to cut up anything, nor do you have to remove the skin from the onion or garlic. Fill the pot with water and put it on the stove on medium heat. Once the soup has came to a boil, put it on medium-low heat, covered, and let this simmer for eight hours or more. Once the broth has cooked, strain the meat and the vegetables. I used a large spoon strainer for this process, making sure to get the bone out of the meat. I let this cool outside as it is cold in Wisconsin right now. In the morning, I took the solidified fat and threw it out.

This creates your beef broth.

For the vegetable soup, I brought the broth to a rolling boil, and then brought it back to simmer. During this time, I added the following ingredients for the soup, and stemmed away from my mom’s recipe as she does like adding corn or potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 pound of chopped, fresh green beans
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Add these ingredients and let cook for an hour or so. I left the soup pot on simmer all day and fed many people, including myself several times over. This is an excellent soup and could be eaten with some great crusty bread, by itself, or with the pepperoni rolls. Enjoy.