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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The english knows best!

I LOOOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEEEE the english muffin. From it's slightly crispy browned top, to it's moist, soft and holey texture to the cornmeal baked into the bottom of the muffin. So, I definitely couldn't resist when I found the recipe for English muffin batter bread from Baking Bites. Irresistable. I wish I had made 2 loaves but I cut the recipe in half and substituted soymilk instead of the milk to make it IBS friendly. I am thinking I'll make this recipe again.

Flaky Chocolate Deliciousness

Last week I attended Brandons (my husband) thesis presentation at 9am, and I was happy to feed some morning birds. So the day before the presentation, I made up some:

Yeasted whole grain puffy pastry from King Arthurs Whole Grain Baking

2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
3 C bread flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs nonfat dry milk
2 ts salt
1 1/2 ts instant yeast
1 large egg
1 1/2 C + 2 tbs water

Combine flours, sugar, dry milk, salt and yeast in a large bowl with paddle attachment.
Beat together egg and water and add to dry ibgredients on low speed. Mix till dough comes together and turn onto floured surface and knead lightly. Pat dough into 9 in square and wrap loosely in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.


2 C butter, softened but still cool to the touch
1/3 C whole wheat pastry flour

Mix butter and flour till smooth and blended. LIghtly flour plastic wrap, place butter/flour mixture on it and pat into 8 in square and cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a well floured surface, roll out dough to 20 x 10 inches and place butter/flour mixture onto the dough. (place so that the corners of the butter is in between the centers of the corners of the dough, like a diamond). Wet edges of dough with water and pinch seams of dough together to seal. Roll out to 20 x 10 in. Fold the bottom third up to the center and fold the top third over the bottom. Turn 90 degrees and wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Do this 3 more times. Allow dough to rest overnight.

Then I got up at 5:45 am, surprising more awake than when I have to get up for work at the same tim. :-) Ahh, perhaps this really means that culinary school might be for me. *fingers crossed*

I cut the dough into 2, then rolled each one into a 12 x 18 in rectangle. Cut in thirds lengthwise and across, to make nine 4 x 6 in rectangles.

Place 2 tbs of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks in the center of each and fold like a letter and press to seal the bottom. Grease a baking sheet and place on baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush tops of crossiants with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until golden brown 15 - 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.


1/4 C heavy cream
1 tbs light corn syrup
1/2 C chopped chocolate

Bring cream and syrup to simmer. Pour over chocolate and stir till smooth Drizzle glaze on cooled crossiants.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Granola and steak roll-ups

It's been tough trying to figure out what's good for me and what is not and although carbs work well for me, it is making me feel a little too groggy at times. So, I figured why not make something that has carbs but with a healthier twist and so I decided to whip up some homemade granola. I've been wanting to make granola for a long long time, but have been afriad since alot of granola you find in the stores are jam packed with fat and calories. So here is my version of a more sliming homemade granola.

3.5 C oatmeal
1/2 C chopped dried fruit ( I used cranberries, apricots and mangoes)
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs honey
2 ts vanilla
Grease a baking tray lightly with olive oil spray.
Put oatmeal in a medium sized bowl and mix in cinnamon and brown sugar.
Heat up olive oil, honey and vanilla in a saucepan and then mix it into the oatmeal/cinnamon/sugar mixture until combined.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, stir and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
Add in dried fruit and put back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until oats are golden brown. Serves great with yoghurt.

Originally I had decided to make a philly cheesesteak sandwich for Brandon for dinner one night but he didn't sound too thrilled at the idea, so instead I used the thinnly cut meat to grill up some steak roll-ups.

3 slices thinnly sliced steak
1/4 of a red pepper, sliced into strips
1/4 of a green pepper, sliced into strips
1/4 of an odwalla/sweet onion, sliced into strips
McCormicks Montreal steak seasoning

Sautee peppers and onions with some olive oil till almost cooked through.
Place some veges down the middle of the length of the each steak, roll up and secure with toothpicks. Rub steak with olive oil and use montreals seasoning and rub outside liberally with it.

Heat Grill and before placing steak roll-ups onto grill, oil the grill with a paper towel soaked with olive oil. (Use tongs to hold paper towel). Grill on each side until cooked through.

Serve on a bed of salad.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

MISSION: Dessert Deprivation Ahead

Here it is folks. After a weekend of drinking nasty grog at the Navy Dining Out on saturday, and of course recuperating today with overeating I have decided to embark on my new diet mission. The main goal is to not eat dessert, cause frankly I indulge in desserts daily and even though my IBS diet requries eating carbs, I think I use that to my advantage a little too much. I am a carb baby and I must put SOME carbs to the side. I am definitely not as toned as I should be considering I run all the time, and I know that it is cause I over indulge in carbs and sweets. So, tonight was my last delicious yummy rice dream ice cream. It was SOOOOO good, a ginger cookie chai rice dream drizzled with chocolate sauce and peanuts. Cheers to the new diet. I am going to keep track of all that I eat daily in an effort to stop my uncontrollable grazing throughout the day. Fingers crossed that I keep on track. To help me I have enlisted the support of Fitday.

Meanwhile, here is the transformation of our baby Zoe:

Here is Zoe the first day we got her

Here is Zoe just earlier this week enjoying her rawhide bone with her huge paws

Chewing on her bone from a different angle

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I couldn't ask for a more relaxing day off. Here I am, at 1:11pm blogging while watching "One tree hill," I know I know. I must be wanting to relive my younger years or something with 80% more drama than in reality. The matcha zucchinni bread is baking in the oven. It should be done by 2 pm. I've already worked out with a 50 minute run, ab exercises and did some legs, I've read my bible and started baking. Ahhh...

As I stare at the mixing bowl, now almost glistening clean, I realise that I have licked a little more of the remaining batter than I should have. I don't know what my problem is (Zoe our rottie pup just cried cause she is biting her own foot) but I always do it even though right after I feel so nasty. I guess I'm a sucker for batter. Blah.

French bread and my carb obsession

I seriously really LOVE my days off. It's time for myself and time to do what makes my day so satisfying - BAKING! I love it. It's relaxing and that results (when they turn out right) make up for the time consuming, fingernail biting, anxious rising time. It's like watching Zoe grow daily, I can't help but peek under the towel to see how much the dough has risen. Sometimes I think I drive myself crazy cause I wake up thinking about bread and go to bed thinking of what I can bake on my day off. This is why, if I were ever to go on a diet, the carb diet would NEVER work for me. The result would only be an even fiestier and moodier wife, friend, daughter and co-worker. I would probably be the most annoying person to be around. lol.

Anyways, the other day though I felt very lazy I finally decided to suck it up and start on making some french bread. This recipe takes SO long but it turned out so well every time I've made it that it's so worthwhile in the end.

by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast ( I used instant yeast)
1 2/3 C water
3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Since I used instant yeast, I did not use the sponge method *. Instead I mixed the yeast in with the flour and salt in a bowl and added 1 C warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon and add more water by the tablespoon if more water is needed, until a soft dough is formed. I find the easiest once I have added a fair amount of water to just pour the dough (while it isn't all thoroughly wet) onto the counter and knead it by hand. It is much more efficient and helps me by preventing the addition of too much water.
Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and put dough into a big lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down, cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
Punch down again, cover and let rise another 45 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 and shape into baguettes. I made mine fatter since I wanted more of a sandwich type bread for Brandon. Cover and let rise for 50 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and slash the top of the bread a few times before popping into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Emm....carbs.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cream cheese filled pumpkin muffins

Sometimes I don't know why I buy the things I do when I go grocery shopping. I hardly ever use cream cheese and the only time I would ever use it is if Brandon wanted cheesecake but I only brought 1 8oz package instead of the usual 3 packages I use. I must've been in a fog or something. Anyways, I thought I would make some pumkin muffins with some cream cheese filling. Cream cheese muffins remind me of Kings Gardens back when we lived in New Zealand and I was like 14 or so. The nursery had an amazingly yummy cafe in the middle of it and the owner was SO nice. He had the BEST cream cheese filled muffins too. Boy, I really wish I could go back and see how different things are now. I might be disappointed though.
So I made this for Brandon.

PUMPKIN LOAF/MUFFINS by Jasmine Plantation Bed & Breakfast Inn
1 C water
1 C oil
1 C pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/3 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 C sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix water, oil, pumpkin, vanilla and eggs together. In a separate bowl, sift flour, bp, salt, and soda together. Add sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add dry to liquid ingredients.
Then I put filled 1/4 of the muffin tin with the batter, then added a tbs cream cheese filling (I just added 2 tbs sugar and 1 egg to room temperature cream cheese) and then topped it off with more batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Fried rice with a twist!

Well tonight, I did not feel like infesting the house with the smell of chinese food since the fans just don't suck up the smell from stove very well at all. So, I used some left over rice, added some sauteed red and green peppers with onions and mixed that with a beaten egg and some panko. Then I shaped it into patties and chilled it for 20 minutes. Then I just put it on the griddle to cook it till crispy. I also made some dumplings too. Not very inventive but hey, that's what you get when the day is 81 degrees. Plus, sometimes I just get lazy. lol.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

For the love of oatmeal

I came across a very well liked foodblog lately and have been so thrilled with the recipes that Peabody posts. They all look so delicious and the photography makes me drool. So when I saw her Peabody's Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread, I just HAD to make it. It looked so moist and I am a huge fan of oatmeal. The only thing was I didn't have whole wheat flour since I can't have whole wheat with IBS, so without thinking I had added the same amount of liquid called for even though I used white flour, so obviously I had to add another cup of flour before it formed into a ball. I'm such a scatterbrain sometimes. Naturally I had more dough than I needed for the loaf, so I was able to make 4 rolls out of it for Brandons dinner. :-) Hey, it worked out well!

Isn't weird how taste buds change as you grow? I used to hate oatmeal as a child and now I eat it every other night for dinner. Likewise the things I loved when I was young, just do not sound appealing anymore. So is life I suppose.
* I did subsitute the buttermilk for soymilk mixed with apple cider.

Look who's a big girl now!

Zoe had another vet trip yesterday and she has doubled in weight since her last visit 3 weeks ago! She is now 23 lbs 9 oz! She is getting heavy! No wonder it is getting harder and harder to carry her upstairs to her crate.
She also got microchipped, her nails trimmed, a distemper shot and a rabies shot, plus 6 months supply of heartworm and flea solution, along with a poop sample...and it came down to almost $200.00. How is a dog more high maintanence than me? lol. She does have a cute cute girly face.