Open Door Wheat Bread

I make mostly sourdough French batons for our “daily bread”, but once in a while I get a hankerin’ for plain ol’ whole wheat bread to have for morning toast.

This loaf came out perfectly, if a bit dense.  I allowed the bread machine to do the baking this time, so it looks a little compressed around the edges and bottom to me, but the taste is wonderful.

I have three slices left, so am plotting my next adventure into whole wheat territory.  I think there will be cracked rye in the next loaf.

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Tomato Ears

All the flap about the “ears” on the new iPhone X screen made me think of this photo that I took a while ago.  These lovely tomatoes on the vine are back at the grocery store – finally – at a price that is doable.  We look forward to tomato and red pepper season.

Hopefully those delicious red peppers aren’t far behind.  I hauled a bag of roasted peppers out of the freezer from last year’s crop, and they tasted really good after something of a hiatus from them.  Can’t wait to fill my oven again this year.

I didn’t take a picture yesterday, but the peppers perfectly topped a lovely cheeseburger with grilled onions and a big salad of Romaine and green leaf lettuces, and chopped tomatoes.

For a “new” salad dressing, I combined a bit of pickle relish with catsup, and then mixed in some refrigerated bottled dressing that says “white balsamic shallot” on the label.  WOW – what a great combination.  We put it on the burgers (a new secret sauce!), and then onto our salads.  It improved both dishes.  Just a dab of sharpness that really heightened the salad, while adding some pizazz to the burger and onions.

It is really fun to make these little dabs of things to excite our taste buds.  I keep reading that old people (that’s us!) can lose their desire to eat because food loses its appeal.  That surely isn’t the case in this household!  We totally look forward to every meal, and are constantly amazed at the incredible variety of foods that we have our choice of in the grocery stores.

I am a very lucky girl to have a nice kitchen with good tools, and storage space for foods.  It really makes staying as healthy as possible a joy to do.

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Chicken and Sausage Soup

This was the end of the line for several dinners and lunches. I kept adding this and that to the soup, and each iteration seemed more delicious than the last.

The focaccia was the star of this show, though, smartly cut into diamond shapes.

There was a Romaine and Red Lettuce salad that went along with this, but it managed to scoot out of the picture before I got the shot.

I put a short addition on the Animals Spotted Page about a week ago, but forgot to announce it.

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One Potato

Now that’s what I call a LOADED baked potato.  Lunch was really late this day, so dinnertime rolled around, and neither of us was really hungry.  I had put six large-ish baking potatoes in the Crock-Pot, just to have on hand, but one potato each turned out to be just enough food for the occasion.  I had some already-roasted pasilla peppers, and other colors of bell peppers, plus some soft cheddar cheese with herbs dip and Thai curry sauce on top.  All that went on, with a dollop of sour cream and a tiny little grape tomato as a finial.

Just the right amount for a late, light supper!

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Pasta Pasilla

You probably can’t tell from this picture, but this is a tiny little dish – about the size you would eat a small portion of ice cream out of.  This was an emergency grab of a picture of this delicious meal.  Had to use this tiny plate because the piggies had eaten nearly everything else in sight.

I sautéed some fresh sweet onions and pasilla peppers, along with some of the tiny multi-colored peppers that are available right now.  There was broccoli left over, and the linguini was from the night before, when we had had a similar meal.  It was SO good on Tuesday night, that a slight variation was absolutely mandatory on Wednesday night.

The last iteration had steak, spinach, and mushrooms, so this time I used Italian sausage, always a big hit.  I just searched for a picture of it with the steak, but alas . . .

It’s hard to see in the picture, but this time there are blobs of fresh mozzarella cheese melted into the melange of veggies and pasta.  That stuff is just magic.  If you see it on sale, grab it and experiment!

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Overnight Boule

Boule, from the French for “ball”, is a traditional shape of French bread, resembling a squashed ball. It is a rustic loaf shape that can be made of any type of flour. A boule can be leavened with commercial yeast, chemical leavening, or even wild yeast sourdough. The name of this bread is the reason a bread baker is referred to as a “boulanger” in French, and a bread bakery a “boulangerie.”

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This is one of those loaves that is stirred up in about 90 seconds, covered with plastic wrap, and put down for the night.  Then the next day you heat a casserole dish and plop in the dough.  Forty-two minutes later, this beautiful thing graces your table, but it is best to wait (if at all possible!) about an hour before diving at it with a sharp knife.

Breakfast got later and later this morning, so we settled on a Saturday mini-brunch, so as not to interfere with our usual Sunday MEGA-brunch!

This frittata helped me clean out the refrigerator – spinach, mushrooms, red, yellow, orange mini peppers, onions, home-roasted pasilla peppers, store-roasted Hatch chiles, and two eggs (one with two yolks), all held together with some extra sharp Cheddar cheese, made a superb meal.  A little tomatillo salsa and sour cream on the side. YUM!

These pictures and words do not do any sort of justice to how magnificently delicious this bit o’ bread is.  Or was . . . soon it will have entirely vanished, not unlike the Cheshire Cat, leaving only that same smile on our faces!  ;->

 

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Provolone Pizza

 

That bruschetta is pure gold for turning something ordinary into something that really sings!

A slice of provolone on each piece of leftover pizza, topped with a generous amount of the bruschetta, provided a wonderful lunch the next day.  Every bite was glorious!

I had some Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuce, so the addition of some chopped tomatoes and cucumbers to the greens made a delicious salad to accompany the pizza.

There were already many toppings on the pizza under the extra cheese, but I think I should have added some more olives.  It would have made it more attractive, yah?

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