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What have you cooked lately?


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#1 Nick

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:52 AM

I figured I'd start a thread for some new dishes we've tried lately--hey, we do it for books and DVDs, why not?  ;)

Last night I made my first ever beef bourguignon (a.k.a. beef burgundy) and I was very pleased with the results.  It's one of the classic beef stews that nearly every culture has some variation of.  I loosely followed this recipe.  Points I deviated on:

-After browning all the beef in butter and setting the meat in the baking dish (I used a cast iron dutch oven instead of a casserole), I deglazed the pan I used for browning with about a cup of the red wine called for in the recipe, then poured it over the meat.  I probably went a little too heavy with the "light coating" of flour on the beef, so by the time I was done browning the meat, the remaining butter and flour in the pan was essentially a roux.  This contributed greatly to the wonderful texture of the final product I ended up with.

-I'm not a fan of most canned vegetables, and while I bought a small can of mushrooms as the recipe called for, when I opened it, I really didn't like the look, taste or texture of the canned mushrooms, so I added fresh mushrooms instead--roughly half of a container of baby-bellas/crimini's I had on hand, and sauteed them with the other veggies.

-I have no idea what the recipe means when it calls for "canned onions."  I assume this means little white pearl onions, but the only ones I could find were in jars with water, sugar, salt and vinegar.  Rather than worry that I might ruin the dish by adding something pickled, I just added a little more chopped fresh onion instead.

-Baby carrots instead of sliced, mainly just for convenience and presentation

-My dinner guest has poor time management skills and wound up being more than an hour late.  Since the beef bourguignon was ready at 7:30, I wound up pulling it from the oven and holding it on the stove with a burner on the lowest setting.  I added about a cup of beef stock to compensate for the extra moisture loss, and to keep the velvety consistency I had.

The end result was one of the best beef-stew-esque dishes I've ever made.  I served it over egg noodles, but it would also be great over mashed potatoes or in a bowl by itself.

#2 Nikcara

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:06 PM

Last night, to celebrate spring, I made dinner for a bunch of friends.  I made pesto roasted chicken which they said was quite good (I'm vegetarian, so I didn't eat it).  I also made mashed potatoes, gravy, and a really tasty mushroom-chestnut dish.  It had a bunch of shallots and some garlic in addition to mushrooms and chestnuts and I cooked it in a sherry-cream sauce.  It was quite filling and there was a ton of it, but it turned out really well
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#3 UoR11

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

The other night I made Jambalaya, which came out pretty good. Tonight's attempt at cooking went, far, far worse, with corn and sausage burning.
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#4 Appreciate

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:56 PM

Wanted a quick light dinner tonight, so sauteed mushrooms, garlic, and tomatoes and then added eggs, basil, salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese for a scramble.  Cleaned fresh organic strawberries and blueberries, and toasted California complete protein bread to go with it.  Fast and yummy.

Nick, next time you make that beef, I want an invite--yum!  And I never EVER use canned veggies except very occasionally tomatoes.  Hate cans.
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#5 tallulah

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:03 AM

I made dinner for my Dad tonight:  Grilled veal chops with grilled potato slices (w/garlic and rosemary) and saute spinach with mushrooms and raisins.  The spinach dish is one of my standards that I go to when I have no ideas, no time, or no inclination to be creative, and it is always good.  (olive oil in pan, saute mushrooms a bit, spice with salt, pepper and garlic; add spinach and add spices as desired; add raisins and saute for a bit to plump them up if they are a bit dry; add a bit of nutmeg and serve.  If you want to get even crazier, add almonds, too.)

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#6 Nick

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:07 PM

View PostAppreciate, on Mar 22 2010, 12:56 AM, said:

Nick, next time you make that beef, I want an invite--yum!  And I never EVER use canned veggies except very occasionally tomatoes.  Hate cans.

Don't knock all canned veggies.  Some are actually better than the fresh alternatives, tomatoes being a good example.  I can't usually get good enough fresh tomatoes to make a decent sauce unless I grow my own.  And I love canned new potatoes.  So much better than fresh potatoes for certain uses (shish kabobs come to mind . . . yum).  Other canned veggies I like:

-Beans (the kinds that otherwise come dried in bags.  Much easier to make use of than soaking and boiling dried)
-Sauerkraut - looses some nutritional value, but it's pickled cabbage at the end of the day, and tastes largely the same whether you get the bags / jars in the refrigerated cases.  And if you're going to cook it with something, the extra vitamins and probiotics in refrigerated kraut get destroyed anyway.
-Baby Corn -- I've never even seen fresh baby corn available
-Artichoke hearts, I like fresh artichokes, but I consider the canned hearts something entirely different--akin to cucumbers vs. pickles.
-Black Olives.  LOOOOOOVE me some black olives!

And for everything else, I'll often choose frozen over fresh.  Fresh produce tends to suck, imo.  Leafy greens, apples, and root vegetables are some obvious exceptions.

#7 Nonny

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 20 2010, 06:52 AM, said:

I figured I'd start a thread for some new dishes we've tried lately--hey, we do it for books and DVDs, why not?  ;)

Last night I made my first ever beef bourguignon (a.k.a. beef burgundy) and I was very pleased with the results.  It's one of the classic beef stews that nearly every culture has some variation of.  I loosely followed this recipe.  Points I deviated on:

-After browning all the beef in butter and setting the meat in the baking dish (I used a cast iron dutch oven instead of a casserole), I deglazed the pan I used for browning with about a cup of the red wine called for in the recipe, then poured it over the meat.  I probably went a little too heavy with the "light coating" of flour on the beef, so by the time I was done browning the meat, the remaining butter and flour in the pan was essentially a roux.  This contributed greatly to the wonderful texture of the final product I ended up with.

-I'm not a fan of most canned vegetables, and while I bought a small can of mushrooms as the recipe called for, when I opened it, I really didn't like the look, taste or texture of the canned mushrooms, so I added fresh mushrooms instead--roughly half of a container of baby-bellas/crimini's I had on hand, and sauteed them with the other veggies.

-I have no idea what the recipe means when it calls for "canned onions."  I assume this means little white pearl onions, but the only ones I could find were in jars with water, sugar, salt and vinegar.  Rather than worry that I might ruin the dish by adding something pickled, I just added a little more chopped fresh onion instead.

-Baby carrots instead of sliced, mainly just for convenience and presentation

-My dinner guest has poor time management skills and wound up being more than an hour late.  Since the beef bourguignon was ready at 7:30, I wound up pulling it from the oven and holding it on the stove with a burner on the lowest setting.  I added about a cup of beef stock to compensate for the extra moisture loss, and to keep the velvety consistency I had.

The end result was one of the best beef-stew-esque dishes I've ever made.  I served it over egg noodles, but it would also be great over mashed potatoes or in a bowl by itself.
I like your variations.   :)

View PostAppreciate, on Mar 21 2010, 09:56 PM, said:

Nick, next time you make that beef, I want an invite--yum!
Oh yeah!  Me too!     :D
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#8 Nick

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:14 PM

Tonight's dinner will be simple and healthy and needs minimal cooking--A cup of greek yogurt, the remaining half-bag of baby carrots from the beef bourguignon (raw) and a pan seared Tuna steak w/ just a little olive oil & emeril's fish seasoning.

I usually keep some tuna steaks on hand in the freezer for lazy days like this.  They're quick and easy to cook, low fat, low calorie, low carb, insanely high in protein (50 grams in a 6 oz steak).

The ones I get from my local supermarket (Publix) come two to a package, individually vacuum sealed in plastic.  I thaw under running water for 15 minutes, season (I'm just using some Emeril's fish rub I found in the cupboard), then cook in a lightly oiled grill pan for about 4 minutes per side.  They really only need 2-3 minutes per side, but I like mine a little more on the medium-well side.

I also have a New York strip that was staring at me in the freezer, but I resisted its siren call . . . I'm past my red meat allowance for the week. ;)

Edited by Nick, 24 March 2010 - 08:15 PM.


#9 Alica

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 12:09 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 22 2010, 09:07 PM, said:

-Baby Corn -- I've never even seen fresh baby corn available

Seriously? You can usually get it in any major supermarket over here in the UK. I'm not sure how good it is, as it's not something I tend to eat, it just surprised me is all.

I'm not much one for the savoury cooking. The bf is awesome at stirfry so I leave that to him. I'm extremely well versed in the fine art of chopping though! :wink: I've just about perfected my cottage pie recipe, which I'm happy about. I can cook basic things like bolognese, egg fried rice, toad in the hole etc (you can tell up until recently I was a student). I prefer baking by far though! Most recent experiment is gingerbread muffins, I'll let you know how they taste :)
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#10 Nikcara

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:11 PM

This weekend I'm planning on making another fun dinner: stuffed artichokes, polenta with leeks and Gorgonzola, and poached pears for dessert.  

It makes me happy that I'm dating a guy more than willing to eat my food experiments.  It's also kinda fun that he's never had most of the stuff I typically make - he grew up on very typical American foods (meatloaf, hamburgers, tuna casserole - that kind of thing).  I grew up on recipes from Julia Child, Bon Appetie, and from a wide range of different ethnicities/cultures (neither of my parents are particularly fond of American cooking.  I think I was in high school when I had my first bite of meatloaf).  So he never knows what to expect from my cooking.  If I still ate meat I would have fed him more things by now - to date he's never tried duck, lamb, goose, venison, cornish game hen, and a wide range of seafood.  It's enough to make the food lover in me a little sad, even though I don't still eat that stuff.

My plotting menus for him will serve to keep me amused for ages :devil:

then again, he gets fresh home cooked food, so it's not like he complains.  He even insists on doing the dishes!  It's awesome
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#11 GiGi

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:57 PM

Tonight I made a super quick meal that was great! Several things came from my garden (but if you are close to Trader Joe's everything should be there)

I swear it took about the same time as it would to make as Kraft macaroni and cheese, but sooooo much better.

1) Boil a pan of water (large pan with salted water for pasta)

2) While that is coming to a boil cut up some of your favorite veggies. I had mushrooms, onion and snap peas (from the garden) I chopped up parsley (from the garden) and garlic (not yet from my garden but it is growing out there) and put aside.

3) put pasta in the water, I used Angel hair (organic if TJ's has it) because it only takes a few minutes to cook

4) heat up a frying pan on a med. temp. Melt a small amount of butter and put in a generous amount of olive oil. Put in the onion and mushrooms. Add salt (sea salt is best) and paprika. Sauté until soft, add the peas and garlic and fresh ground pepper. Cook a couple of minutes, the pasta should be done, drain it. Add the parsley to the veggies, cook briefly, then add the pasta and mix well.

5) Plate the pasta/veggies, squeeze a generous amount of fresh lemon on it (I have lemons growing in the garden) then freshly grate parmesan cheese on top. Toss a little, adjust the salt and pepper (add a little more olive oil/cheese if needed).

It must have taken less than ten minutes to make, a very fast, tasty and healthy meal. I put whatever I have in hand on the pasta, sometimes I crumble gorgonzola cheese on and add chopped walnuts. If there is basil in the garden, then fresh basil, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts are added instead.  Or fresh oregano and marjoram (I am never without fresh herbs in the garden, they can be grown in pots too)

Basically lemon, garlic, parsley and fresh herbs and veggies are things I use almost daily.

Tomorrow I am making rosemary focaccia bread. Another recipe that is fail proof, fairly quick and tasty, oh, and cheap. Bread prices here are out of this world, so I am getting back into baking. Will post again after I make it.

Edited by GiGi, 25 March 2010 - 10:59 PM.

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#12 Nonny

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 24 2010, 06:14 PM, said:

I also have a New York strip that was staring at me in the freezer, but I resisted its siren call . . . I'm past my red meat allowance for the week. ;)
I'm getting better at resisting that call too.  Lately I've taken to bison, which I can get vacuum sealed at the commissary or fresh at Henry's Market.  I made bison stew and cabbage for St Patrick's Day, and plan to make it again soon.  

I've been getting ground turkey too, and last week happened to try the ground turkey breast.  I knew it would be no good for burgers, unless I added stuff, but I browned it for taco seasonings and found it good, then fried some up plain to experiment with it.  Yowsa!  Seared in a tiny bit of oil, it turns into this clotted mass, ready to be turned into anything tasty by way of seasonings!  I'm trying sausage next.    :)
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#13 Nonny

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:48 PM

View PostGiGi, on Mar 25 2010, 08:57 PM, said:

Tomorrow I am making rosemary focaccia bread. Another recipe that is fail proof, fairly quick and tasty, oh, and cheap. Bread prices here are out of this world, so I am getting back into baking. Will post again after I make it.
I've been meaning to get back into baking to have bread more to my taste.  Too much salt!  And what happened to serious whole grain bread anyway?  I miss the dense bread with the strong wheat taste.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#14 Chakoteya

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:50 PM

The stroganoff is in the oven as we speak. Strips of lean beef, mushrooms cooking in a paprika sauce. The low fat creme fraiche goes in shortly and the rice and green beans will be done then too.
Hubby is drooling over the aroma.
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#15 gsmonks

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:59 PM

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#16 GiGi

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:05 PM

View PostNonny, on Mar 27 2010, 10:48 AM, said:

I've been meaning to get back into baking to have bread more to my taste.  Too much salt!  And what happened to serious whole grain bread anyway?  I miss the dense bread with the strong wheat taste.
I made the Focaccia yesterday. This is the recipe I used:

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (used just over 2 cups white and almost 1 cup of whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
coarse salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, and let sit 10 minutes until bubbly.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, Ts. of salt, yeast mixture and remaining water.
Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and then your hands. Add in the chopped rosemary.
Transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few minutes or until smooth.
Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet, forming into an oval or circle.
Dimple the top surface with your finger tips, and then drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden.

It is nice and wheaty for sure! I think I need more water, I even used a whole cup, but the whole wheat flour is dense, so next time I will add more water. I think also I will let it rise once more before I put on the olive oil and bake it, I like bread a little lighter. But right out of the oven it was so good, I didn't bother to let it cool.

Nonny, this recipe doesn't taste salty, in fact it was a good thing there was a bit more salt on the top, so it will be easy to adjust to how salty you like it.
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#17 D.Rabbit

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 09:21 PM

A true disaster!
I needed a shot for, "got some big trouble," so the steaming hot, malleable, mozzarella culinary, with half the crust  stuck in a vented pan, would have been an interesting shot!

Then again, I think I have a more lascivious antidote for that line brewing!
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#18 Nick

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 11:03 PM

GiGi, you're making me jealous! ;)

Garden snap peas are some of my favorite things ever (I should grow some this season, I suppose . . . not sure if the heat is too much for them, but it's worth looking in to).  And I sorely miss having a lemon tree in my back yard--had one at the old house, not at the current one.  I actually had the whole family in the back yard when I lived there--oranges, grapefruit, limes & lemons . . . sigh.  Next place I live better have them! ;)

As for the bread, I have a bread machine which I got ridiculously cheaply due to a perfect storm of sales and coupons (I think I paid all of $50 out of pocket), so I should do a little more breadmaking.  I'm not a huge fan of letting the machine do the whole process--I much prefer letting it do all the mixing and kneading and just handling the dough from there, so perhaps I'll try a nice focaccia.  Gotta be mindful of high-carb foods tho.

#19 Nonny

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 08:50 AM

View PostGiGi, on Mar 27 2010, 03:05 PM, said:

View PostNonny, on Mar 27 2010, 10:48 AM, said:

I've been meaning to get back into baking to have bread more to my taste.  Too much salt!  And what happened to serious whole grain bread anyway?  I miss the dense bread with the strong wheat taste.
I made the Focaccia yesterday. This is the recipe I used:

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (used just over 2 cups white and almost 1 cup of whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
coarse salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, and let sit 10 minutes until bubbly.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, Ts. of salt, yeast mixture and remaining water.
Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and then your hands. Add in the chopped rosemary.
Transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few minutes or until smooth.
Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet, forming into an oval or circle.
Dimple the top surface with your finger tips, and then drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden.

It is nice and wheaty for sure! I think I need more water, I even used a whole cup, but the whole wheat flour is dense, so next time I will add more water. I think also I will let it rise once more before I put on the olive oil and bake it, I like bread a little lighter. But right out of the oven it was so good, I didn't bother to let it cool.

Nonny, this recipe doesn't taste salty, in fact it was a good thing there was a bit more salt on the top, so it will be easy to adjust to how salty you like it.
Thanks!  Lately I haven't seen coarse salt on focaccia at all, which is probably why I suddenly like it.  The recipe looks doable.  Did you use whole wheat pastry flour?
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#20 GiGi

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:27 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 27 2010, 09:03 PM, said:

GiGi, you're making me jealous! ;)

Garden snap peas are some of my favorite things ever (I should grow some this season, I suppose . . . not sure if the heat is too much for them, but it's worth looking in to).  And I sorely miss having a lemon tree in my back yard--had one at the old house, not at the current one.  I actually had the whole family in the back yard when I lived there--oranges, grapefruit, limes & lemons . . . sigh.  Next place I live better have them! ;)

As for the bread, I have a bread machine which I got ridiculously cheaply due to a perfect storm of sales and coupons (I think I paid all of $50 out of pocket), so I should do a little more breadmaking.  I'm not a huge fan of letting the machine do the whole process--I much prefer letting it do all the mixing and kneading and just handling the dough from there, so perhaps I'll try a nice focaccia.  Gotta be mindful of high-carb foods tho.
I would think Florida would be warm for snap peas, but they can take higher temps than snow peas. I used to live closer to the beach and there were a lot of tall trees around so my yard was a lot cooler. This yard is south facing and by the river, much warmer, much less fog, so I need to put the next round of snap peas on the west side of the house, where it is more shaded and cool.

I had a huge Meyer lemon at my old house, I had bought another and kept it in a pot because I realized I would be moving and couldn't take the old one (at least not without killing it) This house had a very old lemon tree (regular not Meyer) but in horrible shape. I have nursed it back to health and it looks like there are now flowers on it. My new Meyer got put into the ground last fall and is now big and starting to set flowers. (luckily I had a friend bring me lemons from her tree during my dry spell!)

We also put in an orange and a lime tree, the orange is showing its first flowers, we got a couple of limes off the lime (both it and the orange are quite small more like bushes) We have an apple, a peach and two avos. All too young to bear yet. My apricot tree didn't make the winter, so I got another, I got the last bare root at the nursery. It is a tri-graft of three apricot varieties, I have been digging a hole for it all day, have to get it into the ground!  We are in a flood zone and the yard looks like a rice paddy in the winter, so I have to dig deep and put in drainage rock and build up a mound so I don't lose this one too!!!

We inherited a bread machine, but I couldn't figure out how to work it, so I gave it to Goodwill. The focaccia doesn't get kneaded a lot and I am also learning how to make no knead bread. We eat a lot of bread so I want good whole grain bread.

View PostNonny, on Mar 28 2010, 06:50 AM, said:

Thanks!  Lately I haven't seen coarse salt on focaccia at all, which is probably why I suddenly like it.  The recipe looks doable.  Did you use whole wheat pastry flour?
The salt is certainly optional, but without it the bread is a little bland, you may want to adjust the salt that goes into it just a little bit. The last time I made it I used whole wheat pastry flour, this time just regular whole wheat flour. It was better last time so I will go back to using the ww pastry flour.

Edited by GiGi, 28 March 2010 - 09:29 PM.

"Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do all creatures." -- HH The Dalai Lama


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