Rosemary-Lemon No-Knead Bread with Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip

IMG_9326

 

2014 has started on a busy foot. I’ve been applying to jobs and working for free. If you’re thinking about going to law school, this is something to consider. Do it because you love it. Not because you think you’re going to get rich quick. I mean, maybe you will. But you probably won’t. It’s good that wasn’t ever my plan.

I’ve been counting my calories again, because I let myself go this last year and gained far too much weight. I’ve been indulging too much and not exercising at all. So 2014 that will change. It’s not a new year’s resolution. It’s just a new life resolution.

I like to indulge though, that’s the problem. One of my favorite things to indulge in is spinach dip. I am obsessed with the spinach dip that Safeway sells. In fact, just typing that makes me start salivating. It’s that good. I decided yesterday to make a homemade, way lower calorie spinach dip. It’s definitely different than what I get at the store, much less creamy, but delicious in its own right.

This dip is my entry to this month’s AlphaBakes challenge. The letter for January 2014 is Y. This dip is made with yogurt, cheese, spinach, and artichokes. The yogurt definitely makes it meet this challenge requirement!

AlphaBakes Logo

Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
(source)

Ingredients
6 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 oz plain yogurt
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 green onions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions

1. Combine all the ingredients together in a baking dish. Mix together well. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Voila!

Anyway, you can’t have spinach dip without having some delicious bread to dip in it. So I decided to participate in Cooking with Herbs and create a lemon-rosemary loaf. Karen asked for some citrus to be included with our herb cooking. The combination of lemon and rosemary was divine!

I followed a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. Additionally, a post at Serious Eats also really helped me with this loaf. The science behind this no-knead bread is fascinating. You let the dough sit for 12-18 hours and let the yeast do its business on kneading on its own. While this bread isn’t something you can whip up in a few hours, the amount of work to create a beautiful loaf of bread is minor.

I followed the Williams-Sonoma recipe, but I put the uncooked dough in the fridge for three days as per Serious Eats. I also determined when the loaf as done based on the temperature of the inside of the bread, which I also learned from Serious Eats.

This may have to be my go-to recipe. It’d be so easy to manipulate into many wonderful tasting breads.

Cooking-with-Herbs-300x252

If I can lose weight and eat bread and spinach dip, I think this will be a good year/life.

IMG_9322* Besides AlphaBakes and Cooking with Herbs, this delicious duo is also being shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Advertisements

Banana S’More Quick Bread

IMG_9239

 

Surfing the internet makes me drool sometimes. I’ll be looking from blog to blog and I’ll start feeling hungry. My mouth will start watering. I will browse my refrigerator to see if I can make the thing that made me drool. The answer is usually no. Then I bookmark it and I usually forget to actually make it.

This followed that same course, up until I actually went to the grocery store and bought what I needed to make the bread.

It’s been hot out. And despite feeling hot and sweaty, I made this in the kitchen and just got sweatier. That’s what happens when the oven’s on, obviously.

This bread was great. For as much sugary items are in it, I somehow wan’t overwhelmed by it being too sweet.

I think I’ll have a slice for breakfast.

I’m going to share this quick bread with Alpha Bake’s monthly challenge hosted by Ros and Caroline. This month’s letter is Q. I also plan on making a quiche later this month, but I figured I might as well share what I have!

AlphaBakes Logo

Banana S’More Quick Bread
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 baking pan and set aside.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs. Beat together until combined.

3. In a large bowl sift together the baking soda and flour. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, beating together.

4. With a wooden spoon, stir the mashed bananas, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips into the batter. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

5. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

* serves 8
* Besides AlphaBakes I’m sharing this with Mix It Up Monday

Chicken Stuffed Rolls

IMG_9009

This month for Pantry Party the theme is stuffed.  In March I did the breaded theme and got some great innovative takes on the theme. I decided that this month’s theme would once again go on the vague route, having stuffed be the theme. I feel like it could go in many different directions. So far there’s only one entry (besides my rolls). I’d love to see how else people decide to use their pantries to make something stuffed.

I decided to make bread and stuff them with curried chicken. I followed a recipe for the bread product and for the process of making the buns stuffed with meat. I don’t make yeast breads very often, but this is the perfect time of year foe me to make them because I can get the bread to rise perfectly. When it’s colder out my house just can’t get warm enough for the yeast to want to rise.

I should deem this the summer of breads and bar exam.

Chicken Stuffed Rolls
(source)

Ingredients

FOR THE BREAD:
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup milk
salt, to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg, beaten
white sesame seeds, for sprinkling

FOR THE FILLING:
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch ground cumin

Directions

1. In a small bowl combine the yeast, warm water, 1/2 tbsp of sugar, and 1/2 tbsp flour. Let sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.

2. Boil the milk in a pot. Let cool down to room temperature. Add the oil, salt, and the remaining sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add a cup of flour and mix into a smooth paste.

3. Add the egg and the yeast to the flour paste. Mix well. Add the remaining flour and stir together until a soft dough forms.

4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let sit in a warm place for an hour, letting the dough double in size.

5. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic, until fragrant. Add the chicken, chili paste, and the remaining spices. Cook together for about 5 minutes.

6. After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.

7. Flatten each portion with the palm of your hand. Place 1/12 of the chicken filling in the flat dough circle. Shape the dough into a ball, with the chicken filling in the middle.

8. Let sit on a baking sheet for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.

9. Bake the rolls 12 minutes.

smaller

* Besides Pantry Party, this dish is being shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Christmas Dinner 2012

IMG_8396

Every year at Christmas we try to do something different. Last year for Christmas we had a German-inspired meal. We always have several dishes that require more effort than a normal night’s dinner. My mom and I spend most of the day and most of Christmas Eve preparing for the meal. It’s small, just the nuclear family (though we typically have an honorary guest, this year a dear friend of mine from childhood who happened to be in the area, my dad’s cousin, and his girlfriend.) But the reason we do it small, is because we typically like to do something more intensive than what you could easily serve a bigger group.

I posted the Christmas Dinner Menu earlier this month. The only changes to that menu were that instead of the breaded Brussels sprouts we had balsamic glazed Brussels, we switched crown roast recipes though the concept was essentially the same, and instead of the mixed berry sauce on top of the panna cotta, there was a cranberry sauce instead.

I’m not sharing all of the recipes, I’m only sharing the recipes that I personally cooked or was involved because they’re the ones I know the changes we might have made. All the dishes are shown though, because you need to see the meal!

IMG_8398

The star of our meal was the Crown Roast of Pork with Apple and Hazelnut Stuffing. Our crown wasn’t the prettiest crown there is, because there are definitely better butchered crowns, but given the store didn’t charge more for it than the cost of the pork chops individually, it’s hard to complain.

The brine called for a lot of salt, which we ended up halving because the recipe called for 9 cups of salt which is a lot. The problem was that even then, the salt didn’t all dissolve into the water, and frankly, all the seasonings in the brine really didn’t come through in the meat at all. All in all though, the stuffing was a show stopper and was delicious. The pork was really just pork chops, but they were perfectly cooked and yummy. I’m not going to share this recipe besides giving the link to the recipe we followed because my mom made some changes, but I am unsure what she did. I was in charge of the stuffing portion which we followed absolutely to the recipe.

IMG_8394

We also had a side of Burgundy Mushrooms from the Pioneer Woman. My mom had seen this recipe and was very excited to make it. The flavor of the mushrooms was divine. The only problem is that the bouillon contains so much salt and my family doesn’t really eat much salt, so we couldn’t eat very many mushrooms without needing to drown in a glass of water. But the flavors of the wine, butter, and mushrooms was great. I’m also not sharing this recipe because it wasn’t made by me.

IMG_8401

I promise, this isn’t just a picture post. I made sweet potato rolls. Mine didn’t come out quite as beautiful as those on Food Done Light, but the flavor was perfect. The oven I was using is a little cool I think, so I had to bake them longer than the recipe said. The flavor of the sweet potato is extremely mild in these rolls. In fact, if I hadn’t told you there was sweet potato in it, you probably wouldn’t know. The rolls were soft and even two days later haven’t gone stale (we finished them off tonight with a spaghetti squash casserole.)

Sweet Potato Rolls

Ingredients
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, divided
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups to 2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

1. In a large pot boil water over high heat. Add the sweet potato for about 20 minutes, until soft. Once the sweet potato is soft, remove from the water and smash. Place in the freezer until needed.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, yogurt, salt, 1 egg, dry milk, and whole wheat flour. Beat with the paddle attachment, mixing on low speed until the dough starts to hold together. Add 1 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour and mix more. Slowly add more all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a soft dough that is not sticky.

3. Replace the paddle attachment for the bread hook and use the bread hook on the dough for 6 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for about an hour.

5. Deflate the dough. Tear the dough into 16 equal pieces. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Cover the rolls with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

6. Beat the other egg and spread the egg mixture lightly over the rolls.

7. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes at 375. Allow to cool.

* makes 16 rolls

IMG_8402

Like I said above, instead of breaded Brussels like we had originally discussed at the last minute we decided there was a lot of bread going on, so we decided to make a simple balsamic vinegar sauce, roast the Brussels sprouts, and throw in some dried cranberries. It was a yummy addition to our meal. I would give you a recipe, but there isn’t one.

IMG_8395

I’ve never made or heard of creamed onions before making this menu plan. I’m not really sure what inspired them or how I happened across the recipe. But I am convinced that this dish was the star of the meal. The onions get really sweet when you cook them as long as you need to in this dish, and how can you say no to sweet, creamy onions?

I’m not sharing this recipe since I hardly had a hand in it, but click that link above for a great recipe.

IMG_8403

To end this meal we had panna cotta. For as simple as this recipe was I was incredibly intimidated by it and was convinced the whole thing was going to fall flat on its face. Luckily I was incredibly wrong. The panna cotta was delicious. But really, the process of making it was full of fail.

I made them Christmas Eve since they had to set in the fridge. I had sprinkled the gelatin in the bowl. As I went to go get water to add to the gelatin, I go back to find my bowl gone. My mom had loaded it into the dishwasher. Luckily I had more gelatin left. When boiling the cream, I turned my back for a second and the whole thing boiled over. Without me realizing it, it had also boiled over so much it had put the flame out. I didn’t realize for a few minutes and then had to resimmer the entire thing. I got everything into the molds and was sure it had failed.

Christmas Day I was surprised to see the panna cotta had set. When it became time to make the sauce I learned that all the blackberries we had bought to make the sauce with were disgustingly moldy. After scrambling around the kitchen I made the cranberry sauce with blood orange juice and honey. In retrospect I think I should have just served the panna cotta plain. The flavor of the cream was great on its own and didn’t need to be weighed down by any sauce. Also the cranberries were kind of tangy, so there’s that too.

Panna Cotta

Ingredients
2 tsp plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 cups cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 piece of vanilla bean 1 1/2 inches long, split

Directions

1. In a small bowl combine the gelatin and water. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat, combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add the gelatin to the mixture. Mix well until the gelatin has completely dissolved.

4. Pour into 6 1/2 cup molds or ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

5. To remove the panna cotta from the ramekins, run a sharp knife around the sides and then flip upside down. Top with a fruit sauce (or not.)

* makes 6

What did you have for Christmas dinner this year?

* shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Party, and Linkin’ up Thursday

 

 

Mocha Zucchini Bread

This has been a horribly rough week. Last Monday I found my cat bleeding from the stomach. After taking him to the emergency vest and having him undergo surgery, he died on Wednesday October 10th in the early morning. It’s been emotionally tolling. And it’s even harder because while grieving, I till have to go to school and work. I’ve really just been not having the best of semesters, with the ankle sprain and now my kitty . . . Law school on top of my personal life is proving to be torturous.

When I get stressed, I bake. I always have. So to cope with the loss of my little cat I made zucchini bread.

It was a nice way to keep me distracted, to keep me from crying, and it’s made some good breakfasts.

Mocha Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
1 zucchini
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp cocoa
1 packet Starbucks’s mocha Via
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 inch baking dish. Set aside.

2. Place the grating attachment into your food processor. Grate the zucchini. Place the grated zucchini between two paper towels and squeeze out the excess water.

3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, cocoa, mocha Via, salt, and baking soda. Beat until combined.

4. By hand, stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Then add in the flour until moistened. Do not over mix.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

* Shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Fish Stew and Flat Bread

Despite my difficult making Congolese food last week, I was very happy with my kitchen’s trip to Algeria this week.

This week my kitchen teleported itself to Northern Africa. I made a fish stew, which while simple was packed with delicious, comforting flavors. I also made a flat bread. In the past, I have tried to make naan. Naan is my only experience with unleavened bread and while the naan was tasty, I just couldn’t get it right. Now, I don’t know if this Algerian flat bread is right. But it definitely was flatter than the flat bread I’ve made in the past. It also was full of flavor (thank you turmeric.)

For as much as I love turmeric, I think I need to be more careful using it because my fingernails are kind of stained yellow because of it.

The combination of the flavors of the soup and the bread was excellent, making a wonderful pair. It was a yummy trip this week. As I say every week, I am sure this is not even close to what authentic Algerian food is like. But it’s good nonetheless!

Fish Stew

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 0z canned whole, peeled tomatoes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large potato, cubed
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 tilapia fillets, cut into pieces

Directions

 1. In a pot heat the olive oil. Fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes, and simmer until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. Add the paprika, potato, celery, and broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the fish and cook for 10 more minutes.

* serves 2
* 350 calories per serving
* This soup is being shared with Kahakai Kitchen‘s Souper Sundays and KB and Whitesnake‘s Simply Delish Saturdays.
* Recipe came from here, with few alterations.

Flat Bread

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric

Directions

 1. Stir together the flour, salt, and 2 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Slowly stir in the water until a soft dough is formed. Knead the dough on a slightly floured surface for approximately 15 minutes.

2. Form the dough into a ball and coat with 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand for an hour.

3. Stir together cumin, paprika, turmeric, and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.

4. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, keeping the pieces you are not currently working with covered with plastic. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 9-inch circle, getting it as thin as you can. Spread 1 tsp of the spiced oil on the dough with a pastry brush. Roll the dough up like a straw and then create a spiral with the dough.

5. Place your dough spiral between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten with the rolling pin, so that the dough is 6-inches.

6. Place a dry skillet over heat. Once hot place the flat bread in the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the bread starts to puff up. Flip and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.

7. Continue until all the dough is used.

* makes about 12 pieces of flat bread
* 183 calories per piece of bread
* I followed the recipe here for how to make the bread.

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Lentil Chicken Soup and Spinach Pinwheels

I’ve written about this before, but I’ll mention it again since it’s relevant right now because of the dish I’m posting. I’ve lost about 50 pounds since August of 2010. This has all been thanks to the website myfitnesspal. Besides the wonderful calorie database, it also has a great community of other individuals also losing weight. I’m part of a group over there called RECIPE SWAP. Each week two members of the group share a recipe for everyone else to cook.

Last week nattiec21 shared this recipe with the group. It definitely pushed me outside of my “normal” ingredients. I have never cooked with kale before and really, I’m not even sure if I’d ever eaten it before. Also, I had an unopened package of lentils in my cabinet, but I had never used them before. The nice thing about the group is I get stuck on the same flavors sometimes, the same ingredients, and the same dishes. This allows me try things I just wouldn’t otherwise.

I made this dish with those cute spinach pinwheels in the picture. They worked similar to croutons and were very delicious. Overall, I’d rank this dish high on the recipe chain and I would make it again.

Lentil Chicken Soup

Ingredients
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tbsp fresh basil
2 cups coarsely chopped kale
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup dry brown lentils

Directions

1. Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Preheat the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the heated saucepan. Cook and cover for 5-7 minutes, allowing the vegetables to begin to tenderize, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and the dried lentils. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the chicken, tomato, and basil. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.

* serves 3
* 228 calories per serving
* shared to be by nattiec21

Spinach Pinwheels

Ingredients
1 8-oz package refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls
2 wedges Laughing Cow creamy Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
several handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped (I didn’t measure this)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Split the crescent dough in half along the center to form a rectangle. Press the perforated edges of the dough together with your fingers.

3. Spread each rectangle with one block of the creamy Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder and spinach.

4. Starting on the long side of the dough, roll together as if you were rolling a cinnamon rolls. Cut into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Continue until you have used up all of the crescent roll dough.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

* makes 10 servings
* 3 pinwheels per serving
* 165 calories per serving

Bierocks

I love German food. But I know that every time I make some sort of food that is “ethnic” in the least, my food does not compare to whatever cuisine it is that I’m cooking. But that doesn’t stop me, because even though I’m sure these dishes are inherently “wrong,” they still force me to use flavor combinations I otherwise never would have known about or thought to try.

With that being said, there isn’t anything that intriguing about ground turkey and cabbage together, except that it tastes good. But I mean, there isn’t any exciting new flavor combination that I have never heard of before or anything.

BUT in this meal you stuff the yummies inside of bread and bake it!

Baking bread is actually one of my favorite things ever. I find the process to be so stress relieving. The kneading, the punching, seeing the dough slowly rise.. The whole process is so good to me and can make a bad day feel better. On top of that, the smell of freshly cooked bread is to die for and can make my stressed out self feel content with life.

Law school should definitely be leading to a ton of baked bread. I need to get on it.
I will be making this dish again, that’s for sure. I could stuff it with just about anything.

-edit- It turns out Cooking Light misled me! These aren’t exactly German, but rather, are German-inspired.

Bierocks

Ingredients

FILLING:
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt

DOUGH:
1/4 cup sugar
1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups flour, divided

1. To prepare the filling cook the onion and turkey over medium-high heat until the turkey is browned. Add the cabbage and cook until it wilts. Stir in pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and set aside.

2. To prepare the dough let the sugar and yeast dissolve in the warm water in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Stir in milk, oil, the rest of the salt, and eggs. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Add 3 1/2 cups flour to yeast mixture and stir to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. If necessary, add the remaining flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for an hour. The dough should have doubled in size. Punch the dough down. Cover and let rise for 5 more minutes.

4. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 10 1/2 x 7 inch square. Cut each rectangle into 6 smaller rectangles. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling into the center of each smaller rectangle. Bring 2 opposite corners to the center, pinching the points to seal.  Pinch all four edges together to seal. Place the bierocks seam-side down on a large baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 375.

6. Uncover bierocks. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, until browned on the bottom.

* serves 12
* 3 bierocks per serving
* 276 calories per serving