Pita Bread

Hummus and pita go hand in hand. Right? Thanks for agreeing with me.

A good mama friend of mine made these a few weeks ago with her littles. I have seen them all over Pinterest for months dying to try them.

Homemade pita bread

For some reason they simply haven’t surfaced on the list of things I needed or wanted to make. Now you can add them to the list of things I will NEVER buy from a store again.

Pitas to me have always been these overly dry tasteless things that you get at the store in a bag. Occasionally at a restaurant you get really good soft and fluffy ones but they aren’t the pocket type pitas. I didn’t even know that pocket pita could be synonymous with soft and fluffy. Delicious.

Homemade pita bread

Easy peasy bread that you kinda throw together and then leave on the counter. Want to know a secret? I forgot about mine and what was supposed to be 1 hour rise turned into I think three. I can’t remember. The recipe called for throwing it in the fridge- I did none of that. Who has the patience?!

And I baked mine in the oven for only three minutes on my pizza stone. All an absolute utter breeze. Have I stressed the fact enough yet that these were delicious? Often homemade things are pretty good but store bought can be passable. This is not one of them. Two different worlds. Go make your own!

Homemade pita bread

One year ago today: Apple Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Pita Bread (makes 8-12)
From Smitten Kitchen

3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed just until all the flour is moistened, about 20 seconds. Change to the dough hook, raise the speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary.

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-quart or larger dough-rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press the dough down and lightly spray or oil the top of it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Let rise for about an hour and a half. Proceed to shaping or place in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 475°F one hour before. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone, cast-iron skillet, or baking sheet on it before preheating. Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick.

Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or in the skillet or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. How well the pita will puff depends on how much moisture is in the dough. The more moist the better the puff. Allow to cool then enjoy.

Homemade pita bread

Fresh Spinach Pasta

Sometimes I do things in what feels like a cheater way.

Homemade pasta has been finicky. Sometimes it comes out right, sometimes it frustrates the living daylights out of me.  I truly love it but I often find it daunting because. Cracking eggs into a pile of flour on my counter stresses.me.out. A lot.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

And yes I have had my beautifully crafted well break and have egg spill all over my counter. I don’t do messes. Much less egg and flour messes on my counter.

But I wanted spinach pasta. I just had no idea how to get there without making an even bigger mess. So I avoided it for far too long.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

That is till I learned you can make (and should!) make spinach pasta in your food processor. Throw ingredients in bowl, whir, dump on counter, kneed, done. Totally makes me feel like a cheater cheater.

I love it.

Our little family cannot put away an entire batch of homemade pasta in one sitting though. We have dried pasta before and it has been quite successful but it’s just… Augh. It’s a thing. And pasta hangs out on your counter for what feels like forever. And it breaks SO easy.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

The solution? Freeze it! I take the pasta after running it through the cutting roller, toss it with flour, and then put it in single serving piles on a baking sheet. Once frozen I toss them in a ziplock bag. When we want fresh pasta it is just as easy as grabbing a pile/nest per person and tossing them in boiling water. Where has this trick been my entire life?

So I’m a convert. Next time I make regular pasta I’m going to try the food processor too. And freeze it. Because we rock like that.

Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

One year ago today: Homemade Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Fresh Spinach Pasta (makes a bit more than a pound)
From Food Network/ Emeril Lagasse 

5 ounces fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
1 pound all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
6 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and blanched spinach. Process to mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes.

Dump the dough on to the counter and kneed till elastic and cohesive (about 5 minutes). Let rest covered in plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes. Roll out each dough ball into desired shape in a pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and serve with desired sauce.

(This particular batch was cut into small sheets for cannelloni)

IMG_2063Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta

Homemade Corn Dogs and Red Duck Ketchup

Proof we are not 100% healthy eaters around here.

I am not kidding about these corn dogs. These are genuine dipped in batter fried in oil deliciousness.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Sure. Ok. Fine. It is organic non gmo masa and cornmeal. And the hot dogs are locally made from ethically raised meat. And the oil is cold press canola. BUT it is still battered and fried food. A true scarcity around here.

What prompted this? Ketchup. Wonderful local craft ketchup.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Nathan has been working with a super cool founders group and Red Duck  just happens to be part of the same group. Red Duck is a brilliant group of entrepreneurs who tired of the boring ketchup fare offered locally. They took to their kitchen to create something delicious and over 30 flavor combinations later three tasty flavors emerged- classic, curry, and spicy.

I had the privilege of tasting all the flavors at a local expo. Who knew ketchup could be so good? I feel this is the point in time where I need to admit I don’t really like ketchup. Well  I guess I should say I don’t like commercially available ketchup. This stuff? This stuff I will eat by the spoonful.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

And guess what!?! You will get to too! Red Duck gifted me with two jars to taste and cook with at home (I did promise I would tell you about it) and then has offered to ship a 3 pack gift set to one lucky lucky reader.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Can we talk about this ketchup for a second? First off it is organic. Secondly it has none of the odd ingredients found in mass market ketchup such as high fructose ketchup or stabilizers. Thirdly it is local to my area. Love me some local businesses.

I highly recommend if you do win this ketchup that you make these corn dogs to go with. Seriously easy as all your are doing is mixing up a batter, dipping, then frying. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool. Dipping them in cool ketchup helps. Trust me.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

How to enter this give away:

There are three ways to get an entry.

1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what’s your favorite thing to put ketchup on.

2. Go like Red Duck Ketchup on Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

3. Share this post on your Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

Entries close Friday, February 28th at 8 am. I will draw and and announce a winner on Friday.

Luck!

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

One year ago today: Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Corn Dogs (we made them mini so it made 24)
From How to Cook With Vesna

Pack of hot dogs, the very best all-beef ones you can find
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup masa harina
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
Bamboo skewers
2-4 cups of oil for frying

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet indregients (start with 1/2 cup buttermilk) and stir well. You are looking for the consistency of thick pancake batter. Skewer a hot dog and test dip in the batter. If it coats easily then you are ready to go. If it is too think then add some more buttermilk. Pour the batter into a tall cup. Pour the oil in a heavy duty pan (cast iron is best) and bring to about 375 F. A small dap of batter dropped int he oil should sizzle nicely. Skewer the hot dogs (or in our case 1/4 of the hot dog pieces) then dip in the batter. Put immediately in the pan and cook till golden then flip. Once the second side is golden remove to a paper towel to drain. Allow to cool slightly then enjoy dipped in the very best ketchup around.

(And Red Duck does have a fan in this little picky eater. The curry one specifically. Who needs corn dogs when you can just eat it with your hands!?)

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

 

Chocolate Roulade

When it has come to this family’s foray into cake baking it has largely been my task.

Except for roulades. Nathan got a wild hair years ago and churned out a couple of these with varying degrees of success. Well success as far presentation was concerned. Taste wise they were absolute winners each and every time.

chocolate roulade

He even went so far as to actually ensure we had a great jelly roll pan just for making roulades. Then they ceased. Loss of interest? Moved on to other baking ventures? I can’t remember why but we haven’t had one in the house for years.

In planning a birthday cake for my lovely friend Bev, Nathan suggested making a roulade again. I wasn’t convinced. I hummed and hawed about it and finally decided to give it a shot. It’s just the idea of rolling a cake was stressing me out.

chocolate roulade

I knew there was a recipe in my Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and what finally sold me on the idea that I COULD roll a cake was her technique. You roll the cake in a towel while still hot. You read that right- the cake comes out of the oven straight onto a cocoa powder dusted towel and rolled. It is then cooled completely wrapped up.

I am not going to lie and say that then filling the roulade wasn’t stressful but it was easier than I had anticipated. I would recommend liberally dusting the towel with the cocoa powder. It stuck in a couple of places because I was stingy.  Eh… it wasn’t that bad but perfectionist me was annoyed.

chocolate roulade

Also I didn’t have the time or patience that day to make the fancy chocolate mouse filling and opted instead to fill it is a kahlua spiked whipped cream. It was a stroke of brilliance really because the desert ended up being light and perfect. A cake you could easily eat half of and not realize it.

And eat it we did. The whole thing was put away at Tuesday night pizza and beer with no protests from anyone.

chocolate roulade

One year ago today: Granola Clusters and Easy Veggie Curry

Chocolate Roulade (serves 10-12)
From Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1/4 all purpose flour
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
6 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. Coat a 12 x 17 inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray; line with parchment. Coat lining with cooking spray. Dust with cocoa; tap out excess. Sift cocoa, flour into a bowl. Set aside. Dissolve coffee into hot water. Set aside. Separate eggs. Beat egg yolks until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites frothy. Then add the sugar and beat on medium high heat until soft peaks form. Gently fold in egg whites to egg yolk mixture. Carefully then add the coffee and flour mixtures. Pour batter into pan and smooth out carefully. Bake until cake pulls away from sides of pan and is springy to the touch. About 10-12 minutes. Run a thin knife around cake. Invert onto a clean kitchen towel dusted generously with cocoa; peel off parchment. Starting from one short end, roll cake, using towel to guide into a log (you are rolling the towel INTO the cake). Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Meanwhile beat the whipping cream, kahlua, and sugar in a bowl till set.

When cooled, unroll cake. Spread with whipped cream, leaving a small border. Roll up again, removing the kitchen towel as you go. Carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate. Dust generously with cocoa powder. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

chocolate roulade

Homemade Marshmallows

These have been a long time coming.

Homemade marshmallows

I got on a marshmallow kick eons ago. I have this absurd love for baking deliciousness to enter into our local county fair. I noticed there was a marshmallow category and couldn’t resist. I made vanilla and strawberry ones leading up to the fair then made the grave mistake of making a new (never tested) chocolate batch to enter.

They never set up. It was also blistering hot in August so that didn’t help much at all. I did get a ribbon but I think it was for the lack of entries in that category more than the quality of my candies.

Homemade marshmallows

The chocolate marshmallows were so incredibly delicious despite how soft they were. They tasted like hot cocoa all by themselves (mental note: go find that recipe…)

However, given the awful cold snap we have been having around here these past few days, homemade marshmallows to go in our homemade hot cocoa were completely in order.

Homemade marshmallows

How do you feel about candy making? There is very little candy making I actually embark in. Marshmallows and caramels are about where I draw the line. it is incredibly intimidating to me. My dad loves divinity so I might attempt that this year? Who knows. Marshmallows however are quite easy.

Homemade marshmallows

And how can you resist this little marshmallow fiend?

He was totally over the moon. He is reaching that super exciting/maddening age where he wants to help with E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. ” I do it myself mama” is uttered about every other minute around here. Mercifully he was entertained while I was making these but he was quick to the kitchen as I was finishing up. “I need a taaaaaaaaste.” And I obliged. Maybe three times. I plead the fifth.

Homemade marshmallows

This recipe makes a great big batch and if you cut them up small you wind up with lots and lots. I think these would make sweet presents tucked into a basket of Christmas goodies.

Or just eat them out of hand. Like we have been doing a lot of.

Homemade marshmallows

Don’t judge.

Homemade marshmallows

One year ago today: Sugar cookies

Homemade Marshmallows (makes 1 9×13 pan)
From Food Network

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a well oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Homemade marshmallows

 

Homemade yogurt

I feel like I am late to this party.

Homemade yogurt has come up in conversation a few times over the past couple of months. We have been getting incredible raw milk from a local far and I know several of the mamas have made yogurt with the milk as it was just turning sour (a great alternative versus pitching it).

Homemade Yogurt

I however have pitched the little bits of milk here and there that have soured on me. This past weekend I had three extra quarts of milk and I knew the time had finally come to make my own yogurt.

Why on earth did I wait so so so long!?

Homemade Yogurt

The process was absurdly easy. Milk, sauce pan, heat, allow to cool slightly, add a little bit of yogurt with live cultures, let sit. The result? The most amazing rich and thick yogurt ever. I am beyond impressed.

Add yogurt to the incredibly long list of things I never ever want to buy again. Also I can’t believe it is cheaper than store bought yogurt. The stuff we get from Trader Joes is $2.50 per quart and this came out to right around $1.75 per quart. Plus I know the cow it came from.

Homemade Yogurt

What do you think? Is making your own yogurt for you? I promise you that you wont be disappointed…. Now I just need to get around to making some granola….

(Oh! You know what else you can do when you have three quarts of yogurt in your fridge? Make frozen yogurt. Coming next week!)

Homemade Yogurt

One year ago today: Cherry Pie

Homemade Yogurt (makes 1 quart)
From David Lebovitz

1 quart whole milk (I used raw)
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt

Sanitize a clean a 1 quart jar by pouring boiling water in it and letting it stand 5 minutes. Drain the water (carefully, as the water and the jar will be hot), and let the jar dry.

Heat the milk in a saucepan fitted with a thermometer, or use an instant read thermometer, until the milk reaches 180 F. Remove from heat. When the temperature drops to 115 F (This took about a half an hour), stir in the 1/4 cup of yogurt, then pour the mixture into the jar and cover it. Put the yogurt in a slightly warm place, and leave it undisturbed for 10 to 12 hours. The longer fermentation will yield a more tart yogurt. Chill the yogurt thoroughly, at least three hours. The yogurt will thicken up once cool.

Two notes: First- I simply tripled the batch and made all three quarts at the same time with great success. So double and triple with confidence. Second- make sure the yogurt you add to the warm milk is yogurt that has live active cultures. Just read the label. It will tell you.

Homemade Yogurt

Strawberry Jam

The last three post have been about strawberries. Four if you count this one.

The next post after this one- also strawberries. Do you still love me?

I can’t help but just be totally head over heels in love with this fabulous season we are having. The berries are incredible and plentiful this year.

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

The past couple of posts have been using up last years jam. This one is all about the fresh berries. Well it is about how to keep the fresh berries around all winter.

The summer I got married I had a friend take me under her wing and teach me to can. We didn’t do any jam but we put up lots of peaches, cherries, green beans, corn, and applesauce. I loved it. My pantry looked so beautiful with all those jars I had loving taken the time to prepare.

It took me a couple of years of canning with her before I was willing to branch out on my own. Now my house is where my friends and family come to can. When my sister got married I bought her cases of jars and promised to teach her.

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

I love canning. I love the community aspect it is here at my house where I am not only putting up food for myself but food to share too. I don’t think I have ever canned alone and these past few years my sister Tiffany has always been in the kitchen with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tiffany was actually the inspiration for branching out our canning last year. We added peach jam (the best ever) and pickles to our repertoire. This year we are talking about pickling green beans and carrots too in addition to the usual suspects- green beans, peaches, jam and more jam, dill pickles, and applesauce.

In case you are wondering tomatoes aren’t on that list because I freeze mine.

So strawberry jam. We went berry picking on Saturday morning. Little ate more berries than was probably prudent. We went home with about 12 quarts of berries total. We froze a few, used a few for pie, and then made five batches of jam. All in all 28 pint jars full..

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

Don’t let the quantity I can in deter you. You can do a much smaller batch or just enough for your little family.

Ok on that note I have something to make clear to you. I do NOT want to be your authority on canning. Not here on the blog not in person. I consult my books and read read read every time I can. Canning is serious business to get right because not doing it right is downright dangerous. My resource is my Ball Blue Book. Also our local extension service is a great place to call and ask questions. They have master preservers on hand to take your calls. Lastly, as a brief overview into the world of canning this post at Crackers on the Couch is a great place to start.

Just go get yourself a Blue Book and come over and can with me. That is really probably the easiest way. Plus it is fun. Loads. I promise.

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

One year ago today: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Strawberry Jam (makes 5 1/2 pints aprox.)
from the label on the Ball Real Fruit Pectin Bottle

6 2/3 cups mashed strawberries
7 1/2 tablespoons Ball Real Fruit Pectin Flex Batch Classic
5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon butter

First read all the directions on the bottle.

Put a small ceramic plate in the freezer. Place the mashed berries in a large pan over medium high heat. Stir in the pectin. Bring to a boil. Add the butter. All at once add the sugar and stir well. Bring back to a boil. Once at a full rolling boil set timer for 1 minute. Once time is up turn the heat off and skim off any foam. Take the plate out of the freezer and spoon a bit of jam on to it. You are checking that the jam will jell. Run your finger through the jam and if it doesn’t run then you have perfect jam! Ladle the hot jam into hot jars (I keep my washed and still wet jars in the oven set to 180 F). Wipe the rim of the jar, place a lid on, then gently screw on the band. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes as a boil. Remove to a towel on the counter. Allow to sit on the counter till complete cool. Store in a cool dry place.

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade pasta

Homemade pasta and I have had a love hate relationship.

The first time I made it it came out beautifully.

Homemade pasta

The second time I was extremely pregnant and attempting to make homemade lasagna noodles. The afternoon ended with me going to the grocery store covered head to toe in flour to buy noodles because the lasagna HAD to be made and we couldn’t get the homemade version to cooperate. While at the store I also picked up ice cream. So, while covered in flour, in yoga pants, extremely pregnant, and holding ONLY lasagna noodles and ice cream, I ran in to my boss. That wasn’t awkward or anything.

Homemade pasta

Since that incident the pasta roller has mostly been in the closet. Recently I pulled it out to make my first batch of homemade pasta with duck eggs. Again it was a disaster and I think that is putting it kindly. What the hell was I doing wrong?

Homemade pasta

However, last week I was gifted with two dozen duck eggs. Albeit delicious fried or great for baking I so wanted to try my hand at pasta again. So the day after the humongous party I did what any sensible person would do- I made homemade bolognese sauce and homemade pasta.

Guess what? I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Maybe my wine to food ratio that afternoon helped me not stress out so much or maybe I just finally figured it out. Either way I am now convinced making homemade pasta is easy peasy.

The trick? Don’t force it. Trust it! The flour we are using is a bit on the spendy side so I was determined to not waste any (you need super fine “00” flour- don’t skimp on this). Big mistake. Let the dough take the flour it needs and the second it comes together enough to be able to kneed it get rid of the rest. It’s ok. Err on the side of too little flour. This is how much I threw away when I made this batch- a little more than 1/4 cup.

Homemade pasta

So what is the deal with the duck eggs? You are more than welcome to use chicken eggs but I have just had access lately to some duck eggs and had heard what great great pasta they make. The yolks in duck eggs are much bigger and tad richer. The final pasta is so yellow and when cooked has a more toothsome al dente texture. I am quite pleased.

I hope you make homemade pasta. If not come on over I’ll make another batch for you. Seriously. Just bring the wine.

Homemade pasta

Homemade Pasta (serves 4)
Adapted from about 6 different recipes

2 duck eggs (or three chicken eggs)
2 1/2 cups “00” flour
1 big pinch of salt

Mix the flour and salt together then place in a pile on the counter. Carefully make a well. Crack the eggs in to the well. Gently take a fork and start mixing the eggs. Use one hand to whisk and the other to carefully keep the well together. As you mix pull flour in from the sides. Slowly it will come together into a dough ball. As soon as the dough ball starts to form stop whisking and use your hands to kneed it. Once you have a kneedable ball remove the rest of the flour. Kneed on the counter for 4-6 minutes or until elastic and smooth. Allow to rest on the counter for at least an hour before rolling. Roll with a pasta roller and then cut into your desired shape (we did tagliatelle) making sure to add lots of flour to keep pieces from sticking. Carefully drop into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Homemade pasta

Spanish Tortilla

I may or may not have bitten off more than I can chew with this upcoming shindig.

There are about four or five lists on four or five different pieces of paper floating around my kitchen right now. It is the only way I am managing to keep myself organized. In the midst of all this crazy I don’t want to neglect sharing recipes with you.

Spanish Tortilla. Yum, yum, yum.

Problem is I am making recipes that you have already seen. And the recipe I made on Sunday to share with you didn’t quite turn out. Lets just say I am glad that day is over.

In my mania this week all I want is comfort food. I will be doing lots of recipe reading over the coming days as I make recipe after tasty recipe for you to come enjoy on Saturday. Right now I want the dinner to come together all on its own with no effort.

Spanish Tortilla. Yum, yum, yum.

And so that was how we came to have tortilla for dinner on Monday. Having grown up in Spain this is the definition of comfort food for me. Spanish tortilla is sometimes likened to a fritatta which irritates me. I believe it can be compared to nothing except perfection. It is that good. Simply put it is potatoes, onion, and eggs. Yum.

There is something so comforting not only about the taste but about making it. In reality there is something comforting about making anything by feel and memory. I hope the recipe I am giving you makes sense because honestly I have never used a recipe to make this. It was a recipe I learned by watching- watching my mom, watching my adopted spanish mom, and by watching myself (trial and error).

Spanish Tortilla. Yum, yum, yum.

Whenever I make tortilla I feel a bit like a hero. It took me many many tries to get the flipping motion down correctly. I love the rush I get when I go to flip it. But mostly I feel like a hero because of the look my family and friends give me when I tell them I am making it.

Utter joy.

Spanish Tortilla. Yum, yum, yum.

That is honestly how good it is.

What are your go to throw dinner together comfort food dishes you make from memory?

Spanish Tortilla. Yum, yum, yum.

Spanish Tortilla (makes 1 small tortilla)
Mine

2 medium sized russet potatoes
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 onion
6 eggs
Salt

Chop the potatoes in half. Take each half and slice in half again then finely slice being careful to keep the pieces as uniform as possible. Finely dice the onion. Place the oil in a pan over medium high heat. When the oil sizzle when you drop a piece of potato in add all the potatoes and onion. Salt generously then fry till soft (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and scoop the potatoes and onion out of the pan into a colander to drain.

While the potatoes are cooling break the eggs into a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. Add the potatoes and mix. Salt well. Heat a 8 inch non stick frying pan over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil and tilt the pan to coat the entire surface. Add the entire egg and potato mixture. Cook on one side for about 5 minutes over medium to medium low heat. Once the sides are mostly set place a plate over the pan. Place one hand firmly on the plate and with the other hold the pan. In one decisive, fluid, quick motion flip the whole thing upside down so the plate is down and the pan up. Lift off the pan (if you greased well nothing should have stuck) and return it to the burner. Gently slide the tortilla raw side down back in to the pan. Continue cooking till cooked through- another 5-8 minutes. Serve warm.

Leftover are great eaten in a sandwich our out of hand in your jammies before bed.

Spanish Tortilla. Yum, yum, yum.

Homemade Butter

Don’t make this.

After one taste of homemade butter on fresh out of the oven artisan bread I am ruined for life. You have no idea how good this is. Unless you have made your own butter in which case you do.

Homemade butter

I recently have had the privilege to purchase some raw milk directly from a local farmer. She has just one sweet Jersey cow who produces the most amazing milk. I skimmed the cream off the first gallon I purchased and made ice cream. The last time I got milk from her she also happened to have an extra quart of cream. Um. Yes please. I knew it was destined for butter.

Problem is I had no idea how to make butter. I asked my husband and brother in law if they had made butter before both of whom replied with “yes but only on accident.”

Homemade butter

I too have whipped cream too long on accident but never have I made real butter. What I learned in making butter this week is that getting from the whipped just a bit too long to actual butter take a LONG time.

Butter, I have decided, is best made when you have other things to do. That is if you have a stand mixer. Just pour it in and walk away. I suspect that if you have a smaller amount of cream it wont take nearly as long but whipping the whole quart in to almost butter took nearly 15 minutes plus then there was draining and mixing more after that. I spent a lot of time staring at the mixer waiting and waiting.

It was totally worth the wait and effort. At first I thought “I’ll never do this again” and grumbled but one taste, yes straight plain off the knife, and I was hooked.

Homemade butter

And the color! It is so incredibly yellow. For comparison here is my butter next to store bought Tillamook. I have always thought Tillamook was SO yellow. Not anymore! Granted I used raw grass fed cream so I’m sure that helps….

Get your hands on some really really good cream and whip it in to butter. You wont regret it.

You might have to buy the next size up in pants but it will be worth it..

Homemade butter

Homemade Butter (makes 8 oz of butter)
Followed the directions from Joy the Baker

1 quart of cream (you can make it with less)
1/4 tsp salt.

Place the butter in your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn on to a medium speed and whip it. First you will get silky whipped cream (below). Keep going.

Homemade butter

Then it will start to break.

And finally it will separate after about 10-15 minutes.

Homemade butter

Drain off the buttermilk (save for pancakes!) then return the butter to the mixer and whisk again.

Homemade butter

Drain one more time and return to the mixer.

Homemade butter

Add about 1/4 cup of ice cold water and whisk for a minute.  This is called washing the butter and will help it last longer. Drain the water and repeat. After the second washing press out all the water you can out of the butter. Kneed in the salt. Store covered.

Best eaten on homemade bread. Yum

 Homemade butter