Tag Archives: toasted

refreshing dinner on a hot day…

With this oppressive heatwave still upon us, there was no way I was turning on the range or even the grill for that matter! Instead I thought it best to make some fresh pesto and have a refreshing sandwich night full of yummy things.
After making the pesto, it was time to assemble these pockets of delight… A healthy spread of the pesto adorned the lightly toasted ciabatta, followed by some spicy arugula, slices of fresh mozz and of course some phenomenal prosciutto di parma!
With the lid closing down snuggly and making this vessel ready for the feeding, there was not much more to do than succumb to it’s will…
A slight bite from the arugula, saltiness from the prosciutto, creamy from the fresh mozz and just an overall freshness from the pesto made this sandwich the perfect compliment to an über hot July evening!

at a low simmer…
-R

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tasty balls’ on a bun…

So early this morning I woke to the craving of a meatball ‘parm’ sandwich… I, not shunning a good old fashioned pizzeria, decided that I would make a beautiful pot of sauce [enough to have leftovers for other occasions] and homemade meatballs!
A trip to the market yielded everything I needed to pull this home-run together…
While the sauce simmered away, I got cranking on my balls’… and I must admit I offer up some of the best tastin’ balls around!
To bring this whole story together and serve it up, I toasted some buttery brioche buns, sliced some fresh mozz [melted this of course] and capped these bad boys and began chomping!
Needless to say, one sandwich per person was no way enough…

at a low simmer…
-R

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no sour[dough] taste in my mouth…

Seems lately I’m on a baking mission… this go around was a chocolate sourdough loaf. Just like my earlier sourdough post, this required an equal rest and rising period… No complaints here as again this was worth every ounce of effort!
The flavors were intense, slightly tangy from the sourdough, while chocolatey and sinful from the chunks of chopped dark chocolate. Perfect toasted and with a cup of tea, or slathered with some creamy mascarpone for additional guilt…

at a low simmer…
-R

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who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

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light and filling…

As summer starts to dig its heels into long hot days, I thought a light dinner was in order. A simple, delicious mix of fresh multi-grain bread that I toasted was decorated with slivers of creamy avocado, sharp cheddar, sliced chicken breast, ripe red tomatoes and a touch of mayo. It may sound simplistic, but every last bite was filled with flavors that screamed summer is hear to stay… And you know what, I’m ok with that.

at a low simmer…
-R

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the best things since sliced bread… hey wait a minute!

With the baking bug still quite heavy in my heart, I decided that I’d crank out another beautiful loaf of bread… this time the loaf was a half white flour and half wholemeal! The half and half idea was a suggestion from a friend who lives in the UK, and boy was it a fantastic one at that… the completed flavors were intense and so well rounded! Slightly nutty, this wonderful loaf paired beautifully when sliced and toasted with a creamy, triple crème and fig jam… it’s a miracle that there is any left for breakfast in the morning!

at a low simmer…
-R

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the winter blues… turned vibrant green!

To move the focus off of this last [hopefully] winter storm that is upon us, I decided that something light, summery and refreshing was perfect for dinner…
After a quick dash to the market; fresh basil and pignoli nuts made their way into my bag, along with some cozy snow time treats.
Once home, I plucked the basil leaves from their stems, gave them a quick rinse under the tap and set everything aside to dry off a bit.
While the fragrant basil leaves were drying, into a food processor went some pecorino to get pulsed up until grated.
To bring everything together and make an amazing pesto, into my food processor went the basil leaves. Everything was pulsed up, along with a quite a few cloves of smashed garlic, the pignoli nuts [that I toasted lightly], some of the freshly grated pecorino, salt and pepper.
While pulsing everything, a steady drizzle of high quality olive oil really pulled [literally] everything together!
The vibrant green pesto was lovingly tossed with delicate tagliatelle and an extra sprinkle of the grated pecorino…
Each mouthful transported me from the cold and windy nonsense going on outside, to what summer has to offer us in the not so distant months to come!

at a low simmer…
-R

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sunday night sweet tooth!!

To end the weekend on a sweet note, I thought a luxurious, slightly dense cake was in order! This was not just any cake, but rather a family favorite and old recipe passed down…
The cake has an interesting array of ingredients, including both pineapple and bananas, and is filled in/topped off with a silky cream cheese frosting coated in toasted coconut that just exudes sensuality.
Once it was ready to slice into and eat, the vision of heaven glimmered across the plates! With each bite of the cake, the desire to eat more and more became apparent… this was not going to be just a single slice of heaven, but rather the following day… a whipping on the treadmill!

at a low simmer…
-R

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just feeling a little nutty…

Feeling in the mood for a snack, I thought what better to do than whip up some roasted nuts!
Cashews, pecans and almonds were tossed with some canola oil, brown sugar, karo syrup, spicy chili powder, salt and minced rosemary. [You can play with how savory, spicy or sweet works for you]
Everything went onto a baking sheet and into the oven for twenty minutes [tossing once while cooking].
Once cooled [ok hard to do] it was time to enjoy!

at a low simmer…
-R

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