Category Archives: Bread

Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam

One of my first visits to the local Farmer’s market this year yielded a bunch of rhubarb. I do not often cook with rhubarb, but I like to buy a little bit of everything from the market to support the farmers. I remember growing up and having a small bunch of rhubarb growing in our small back yard, and I remember eating it raw, and recalling the tart flavor and the texture being somewhat similar to celery.  With that said, I wanted to use the rhubarb and pair it with a bunch of strawberries I had, and that’s when I thought of creating a jam.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam

The great thing, besides how awesome the flavor is, about this recipe is that it is so easy to make, and I did not find anyone that did not fall in love with it. It’s a great use of rhubarb during the late spring time.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, chopped, hulls removed
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested

Start by adding the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and water into a sauce pot on medium heat. Cook until the fruit begins to break down and all of the juices begin to extract from the fruit, about 25 minutes or so. Using a stick blender, blend the mixture. I like the stick blender because you do not have to strain anything or pour it into a blender.

rhubarb-strawberry-jam-ingredients

Once blended, reduce the heat, and add in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir. Continue to cook until the jam thickens. I typically measure the thickness by running a wood spoon in the jam and seeing how well it sticks to the spoon. Once thickened, remove the jam from the heat, and let cool on the stove.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam Recipe

Once cooled, pour into a large mason jar, and place in the refrigerator. My wife and kids loved this jam, and heck, so did I. I’m not much into sweet stuff, but this was a bit addicting. I should say my friends and neighbors loved the rhubarb and strawberry jam as well. You can can this if you are into canning, however I just placed in the mason jar. It lasted for several weeks.

One of the uses beyond spreading this on toast or peanut butter sandwiches was to spread it on some brie cheese and warm it in the oven until the cheese starts to melt. I served that with some chopped apples for an appetizer. It was heavenly. If you are looking for ways to use rhubarb, give this one a shot.

Loaded Breakfast Stromboli

This past week, a couple of my colleagues and I took a nice long walk to a local pizza place that we love near work. Sal’s Pizza to be exact. We typically head there for a slice (or two), but on occasion we will take on one of their stromboli’s. These things are awesome, and they make a really great stromboli. I’ll admit theirs can probably feed a family of three, and you can load it how you want it. The result is a perfectly crisp and garlic butter exterior, loaded with your favorite pizza toppings, and then a bowl of marinara served on the side. It’s genius, and I love them.  But that got me thinking, while conversing with my coworkers, and the topic came about regarding the endless stuffing’s you could come up with, and that led me to making a loaded breakfast stromboli.

Loaded Breakfast Stromboli

I’m a big fan of utilizing leftovers so this breakfast stromboli was right up my alley. You can use whatever ingredients you desire that you love for breakfast, but here was my take as I had plenty of things just laying around waiting on me.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Pizza Dough:

  • 3 3/4 cup of bread flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 plus a pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups of room temperature water

Make the dough by adding the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix. Add the water, and with your wooden spoons, or hands, mix until blended. I use my KitchenAid for this process to keep everything in the bowl during the rising process. Mix for about 30 seconds. The dough should be a bit stiff. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked steak, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole serrano chili, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked asparagus, chopped
  • 1 yukon gold potato, cubed, and cooked until tender
  • 1/2 cup corn, cooked
  • 1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara
  • Grated parmesan cheese, optional

Again, use what you want. Much of this was from the previous night’s dinner, with the exception of the potato and eggs, so it was pretty much a throw together for me.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, with pizza stone if you have one, otherwise a pizza pan, or cooking sheet.

Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Add in the oil, bring to temperature, then toss in the onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir, then toss in the mushrooms, potatoes, corn, asparagus, eggs, and steak. Season with the salt and pepper, add the cheese, and reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, just to warm things through.

How to make a loaded breakfast stromboli

Add the butter, and garlic powder to a small bowl. Heat until melted. Toss in the parsley and set aside.

Lightly sprinkle a work surface with some bread flour, or all purpose flour.

Next, take about half of the batch of pizza dough, and work your dough on the surface, making about a 12 inch diameter. Add the toppings onto the middle, and spread out a bit, only to leave some room for folding and sealing.  Seal all edges, slide onto the pizza stone, then liberally brush with the garlic butter.

Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, shower with parmesan cheese, and serve with a small bowl of marinara.

The result is awesome. This is a gut buster so be ready to share with hungry kids. You get the great smell off the bat from that garlic butter, and when sliced into you get all sorts of great textures from the soft potatoes to the slight bite from the peppers, steak, and onion. If you are looking for something new and fun to make for breakfast or brunch, give this a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Loaded Breakfast Stromboli
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the Pizza Dough:
  • 3¾ cup of bread flour
  • 2½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ tsp table salt
  • ¾ plus a pinch of sugar
  • 1⅓ cups of room temperature water
  • Ingredients for the stuffing:
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • ½ cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked steak, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole serrano chili, chopped
  • ½ cup cooked asparagus, chopped
  • 1 yukon gold potato, cubed, and cooked until tender
  • ½ cup corn, cooked
  • ½ cup of sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • ½ cup of your favorite marinara
  • Grated parmesan cheese, optional
Instructions
  1. Make the dough by adding the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix. Add the water, and with your wooden spoons, or hands, mix until blended. I use my KitchenAid for this process to keep everything in the bowl during the rising process. Mix for about 30 seconds. The dough should be a bit stiff. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  2. Again, use what you want. Much of this was from the previous night’s dinner, with the exception of the potato and eggs, so it was pretty much a throw together for me.
  3. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, with pizza stone if you have one, otherwise a pizza pan, or cooking sheet.
  4. Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Add in the oil, bring to temperature, then toss in the onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir, then toss in the mushrooms, potatoes, corn, asparagus, eggs, and steak. Season with the salt and pepper, add the cheese, and reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, just to warm things through.
  5. Add the butter, and garlic powder to a small bowl. Heat until melted. Toss in the parsley and set aside.
  6. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with some bread flour, or all purpose flour.
  7. Next, take about half of the batch of pizza dough, and work your dough on the surface, making about a 12 inch diameter. Add the toppings onto the middle, and spread out a bit, only to leave some room for folding and sealing. Seal all edges, slide onto the pizza stone, then liberally brush with the garlic butter.
  8. Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, shower with parmesan cheese, and serve with a small bowl of marinara.
  9. The result is awesome. This is a gut buster so be ready to share with hungry kids. You get the great smell off the bat from that garlic butter, and when sliced into you get all sorts of great textures from the soft potatoes to the slight bite from the peppers, steak, and onion. If you are looking for something new and fun to make for breakfast or brunch, give this a shot. Hope you enjoy!

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This past holiday break was well needed. I think that everyone in my house needed the break, and rest for that matter. With that said, I was off my normal morning routine for the most part in terms of breakfast. For the most part, I skipped breakfast which I normally never do. My normal routine typically consists of making a fruit filled smoothie consisting of a banana, lots of blueberries, a bit of yogurt, and some milk and juice. The bananas looked at me every morning, and began turning color and getting pretty darn ripe. When that occurs, I can only think of doing one thing, and that is making bread with it. It is one way I can get all of the kids eating bananas, yes, it’s that bad when it comes to the banana. My kids love banana bread, so I figured I would take a different approach, simplify my recipe, and add a bunch of chocolate chips. It could have been the best banana bread I’ve made thus far, and the kids would agree.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • bread pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To your mixer, add the bananas, sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix until everything is combined, then add in the baking soda, flour, salt, and chocolate chips.

How to make chocolate chip banana bread

Butter your bread or loaf pan, then pour in the mixture. Cook for roughly one hour, or until a butter knife runs clean when inserted in the middle.  Remove from the oven, and let cool, for about one more hour.

The end result is a super moist banana bread that is perfectly balanced with the chocolate, and who doesn’t love that?  I hope you enjoy.

Pizza Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I could go back and forth on the answer to the question ‘If you were stranded on a dessert island, what one food would you chose to eat every day?’. My answer is pretty much even, and that would probably be pizza or tacos. I am torn on both because both the taco, the shell for that matter, and pizza, the dough, for that matter, are great vehicles for endless possibilities and creations. Pizza is one of those things that I could probably eat every day. I love pizza. I mean, come on, the mozzarella cheese, and spicy pepperoni, or heck even a simple mushroom pizza, and I’m golden. It was not long ago when I had pizza on my mind, but I did not have any homemade dough on hand, nor did I have the time to make any, nor did I have any frozen slices. I did however, have all of the ingredients, and some homemade bread on hand, to make what I am calling the pizza style grilled cheese sandwich.

Pizza Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This pizza style grilled cheese sandwich has every everything you love in a pizza, but all tucked away and nestled into a sandwich. What doesn’t get better than that, right? The great thing about this style of grilled cheese sandwich, is that you can put whatever you want into it, much like you would if creating your own pizza.

Let’s get started.

  • 2 slices of quality bread, about 1″ thickness
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • Pepperoni slices
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce, warmed
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded

Start by adding the mushrooms, pepperoni, and onion to a small, non-stick skillet and bring to a medium heat. Cook for about 8 minutes or so to render some of the fat from the pepperoni. Add the mixture to a paper towel lined plate, then place the mixture into a small bowl.

Pizza Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Wipe out the skillet, and return to the stove. Butter each slice of the bread as you normally would when making a grilled cheese. Add one slice, butter side down into the skillet, and bring to a medium-low heat. Spread half of the warmed marinara sauce onto the bread, then top with the pepperoni mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the cheese, then add the remaining slice of bread, butter side up. Cook slowly, allowing for the cheese to fully melt, then flip, and continue cooking until you have a nice and crispy exterior, with a hot and cheesy interior.

Plate and serve.

Pizza Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This pizza style grilled cheese was hard to put down. It’s everything you want in a slice of pizza, as well as a grilled cheese. As soon as I finished it, I began thinking of what style of grilled cheese to make next. This one was a real winner. What are your thoughts? Pizza style grilled cheese right up your alley?

Pizza Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of quality bread, about 1" thickness
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • Pepperoni slices
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce, warmed
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the mushrooms, pepperoni, and onion to a small, non-stick skillet and bring to a medium heat. Cook for about 8 minutes or so to render some of the fat from the pepperoni. Add the mixture to a paper towel lined plate, then place the mixture into a small bowl.
  2. Wipe out the skillet, and return to the stove. Butter each slice of the bread as you normally would when making a grilled cheese. Add one slice, butter side down into the skillet, and bring to a medium-low heat. Spread half of the warmed marinara sauce onto the bread, then top with the pepperoni mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the cheese, then add the remaining slice of bread, butter side up. Cook slowly, allowing for the cheese to fully melt, then flip, and continue cooking until you have a nice and crispy exterior, with a hot and cheesy interior.
  3. Plate and serve.