Garlic Bread (with a Twist)

 

Last night, I was in the mood for garlic. I mean, REALLY in the mood for garlic. I love the stuff. So I decided to make some garlic bread.

Trouble was, I had no suitable bread. I’d have to bake some. And since I was already going to have to make the dough, rise it, bake it, and so on, I thought: why not bake the garlic right in?

So. I whipped up a large batch of French bread dough by kneading together 2 cups bread flour, four cups all-purpose flour, two packets (4.5 tsp) of active dry yeast, one tablespoon kosher salt, one tablespoon dried herbs, one teaspoon of sugar and two and a half cups of warm water (the water, sugar and yeast hung out in a measuring cup to get foamy before being added to the dry stuff). Let that rise for about an hour till it doubled.

In the meantime, I melted about a stick of salted butter and threw in just about a whole head’s worth of garlic cloves and cooked them till they looked like this: Continue reading “Garlic Bread (with a Twist)”

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Baking, Sewing, and the Constant Need to Create

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For a while now, I’ve been baking like a maniac. It started because I was auditioning to be a contestant on a competitive baking show. I’m still not supposed to tell you which one or any details (reality TV is über secretive) but I will tell you that while I made it through several levels of casting, I was not selected. Continue reading “Baking, Sewing, and the Constant Need to Create”

It’s Hot Out, but I’m Freezing

Whisking

Do you ever wonder who uses their oven in the summer?

Also, what has two thumbs and a batch of cookies in the oven?

This girl. (You’ll have to imagine me in my Minnie Mouse apron, pointing to myself with my thumbs.)

Okay, to be fair, we have heat pumps, which is kind of like air conditioning. Plus it’s actually kind of mild today–only 74. But that really isn’t the point.

You see, I’m going to have a baby in four-and-a-half months. If you’ve never had a baby before, let me tell you: the last thing I’m going to want to do after pushing a seven-to-ten pound human out of me is cook. And if I do want to cook, about two minutes on the hard kitchen tile will remind me that I’m not yet in the condition to stand on tile floors. I’ll have my husband and mother for a little while, but not for long, and if I manage to work out the whole breastfeeding/pumping thing, I will be hungry. As I recall, pregnancy hunger is nothing compared with nursing hunger. So I should probably have some healthy options on hand. Maybe a few tasty treats, too.

So now I’m experimenting with freezability, which means baking and roasting in the middle of summer. Today, for example, I tried a cookie recipe from The Joy of Cooking. Basic butter wafers. They strike me as too delicate for the freezer. So much so that I’m not going to try. But that’s why we test things. How upsetting if I’d frozen the batter and then gotten awful cookies out of it later.

I already have a few recipes I know work. Lasagna and shepherd’s pie freeze beautifully, as do pound cakes and chocolate chip cookie dough. I’ve got some pot pies in the freezer that I’ll thaw soon to see if the dough kept. Chili and marinara do okay for short bursts (I’ll be freezing those this fall), so I thought I’d try freezing ratatouille, too.

I realize that there are whole cookbooks dedicated to freezer recipes, but as we see from my butter cookies, not every recipe is perfect for every occasion. So I thought I’d ask: do you have any favorite freezer recipes? I’ve been thinking of doing chicken strips and burritos. What else?