Friday, February 3, 2012

Kitchen Adventures: Keeping it real.

I haven't blogged about food in a LONG time-but let's face it, I haven't blogged about anything in a LONG time. Life happens-and I'm ok with that. The blog serves its purpose of cataloguing those things I care to catalogue, and memorializing things that I want to memorialize. But I will say that I miss blogging about food. I love food. I love cooking and baking and eating (now I don't always like the result of all of this eating, but that is a different topic for a different day).

This year, I have been taking more steps to eat REAL food. What does that mean? For me it means making more of my food from scratch to eliminate preservatives and other stuff that I don't think my body really needs. I started small. One recipe here, another there. Pizza dough was one of the first that I tried. It was a HIT, so I have continued. Haven't bought it in almost 3 years. I also made my own granola-more for cost purposes than anything else. Since this adventure began, I have added recipes along the way. I make my own soups, pasta sauces, and hummus. I make the kids pancakes and freeze the extras.

But this year (so far) I have added bread and pasta.

 (I know this is more a pic of the soup than the bread-but both were great!)

I tried bread before, but the recipe wasn't great, so I was discouraged. Then a couple weeks ago, I was talking with my friend Lauren-at a knit circle-and she told me she made all of their bread. She is the mother to 3 boys under 5, so if she has time to do this, I figured I did too. She gave me her recipe and it has been AWESOME! It is honey wheat, and OH SO delicious.

The pasta was made purely because we had none and dinner was supposed to be spaghetti. I had no desire to do my homework, so I made pasta instead! It was really yummy. I did a whole wheat variety. We cut it thick and whipped up some marinara. The only thing is that I will use my mixer with the dough hook next time. My wrists can't handle all the kneading.

So here are the recipes:

Bread ala Lauren
3 cups flour (I use half white, half wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 packet (1 1/2 tsp yeast)
1 cup warm water
1 egg
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil

I throw it all in my mixer for 8 minutes. If you enjoy kneading or need the release, do that. Then let it rest for 1-2 hours. Form into a loaf and put it in a loaf pan. Let it rise a little more. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.

The pasta recipe is from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (my go-to for easy and usually good recipes). You can access it here. The only thing I did was use half whole wheat flour.

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