Sunday, November 30, 2014

So tired these days....

It has been a week now since we returned from Europe. I am still so exhausted and just constantly have been sleeping. Yesterday I think I went to bed at 8. I worked right away and I think that is why I am so tired. There was so much laundry to do. Then we had Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I still have a lot of things to sort out. We also got our Christmas tree so we'll be setting that up today.  Thankfully I am only working a half day tomorrow!  

I'll post about my trip stuff in the near future!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

We bought all these sweet and shishito peppers thinking that they would not be hot since previously purchasing them were pretty sweet.  Boy, that was quite a kicker for they were HOT STUFF!  Now we have all these hot peppers.  We roasted some a couple of days ago and I used the rest of them and more to make this Jalapeno Cheese Bread.

Add less jalapeno pepper if you want a milder flavor. I used a combination of all sorts of peppers. You can really add any kind of cheese you like as well.  I used a combination of cheddar, londoner, babybel, whatever I had on hand. They can be in chunks as well.  For the dinner rolls, I put chunks of swiss cheese in the center so you get a cheesy surprise.  It also helps to balance out the hot peppers. All-purpose flour is okay to use instead of bread flour.  I just like to use bread flour because it results in better texture and chew consistency. I was really happy with how this turned out.  Texture wise it is soft, but not too fluffy, and has a light dense consistency.  Give it a try. In the future, I may try different variations for variety.

This recipe yields about 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 6 dinner rolls or 12-15 dinner rolls.  You can also get one large loaf or a loaf like the size of french bread.  I like to use an egg wash before baking and once it comes out of the oven, I like to brush it with some melted butter.

Jalepeno Cheese Bread Print
Yields: 2 (9X5”) loaves (or 1 loaf and 6 dinner rolls)
1-1/3 cup warm water
2 ¼ tsp yeast
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 cups bread flour
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup minced jalapeño peppers
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 egg + 1 tsp water (for egg wash)
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Combine warm water, yeast, butter, and honey in a pyrex measuring bowl and stir.  Let sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. Using a stand mixer bowl, add bread flour, salt, jalapeño peppers, and 1 cup of cheese.  Quickly mix together and add activated yeast mixture.
3. Using the dough hook attachment; knead the dough for 8 minutes on setting 6-8 (Start off slowly so you don’t get a flour cloud).  Then add the rest of the cheese and knead for 2 minutes or until the dough forms a ball.
4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough is nice and smooth.
5. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in the greased bowl, forming the dough into the shape of a ball.  Coat the top with some oil to prevent getting a film on top of the dough.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free spot and let rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size. Punch down dough to release some air.  
7. Grease pans with some oil and set aside.
8. Divide the dough into two portions. Form the dough into a loaf by rolling out the dough into an 8X8 and rolling it like a jellyroll.  Pinch the seams together and place it in the greased loaf pan seam side down.  Repeat with the other portion of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise for another hour or until it doubles in size.  (For dinner rolls, use the other portion of the dough and divide it into 6 equal portions.  Roll each piece into the shape of a ball and pinch the seams together and place it in the greased pan seam side down.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise for another hour or until it doubles in size.)
9. Lightly brush the top with an egg wash.
10. Preheat oven to 350 degree and bake loaves for about 40 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Rotate halfway through and if the bread starts to brown before it is done, loosely cover it with foil. Bake dinner rolls for 30 minutes.  Brush with melted butter for a soft top or leave as is if you prefer a harder crust.  Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Of recent, I have been making my own pumpkin puree because Frank likes that in his morning oatmeal.  He also likes to buy sugar pumpkins since they are in season being that Fall and Halloween is amongst us.

I roasted these babies up over the weekend so I have the pumpkin puree for the week.  It is really easy to make.  Heat up your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook them for 40 minutes.  Make sure you take out the pumpkin seeds and just lay the halves face down.  Stick a knife through them and it will make taking off the skin much easier.  Then you can simply puree it through a food processor or mash it with a fork or a potato masher.  I wash and let the pumpkin seeds dry and roast them the next day and get roasted pumpkin seeds.  It's a superfood, ya know?

Since I had to roast two pumpkins this week, I had some excess and decided to make some pumpkin pie.  I made a basic pie crust using Laura in the Kitchen's recipe.  The pumpkin pie filling recipe I used came from Chef John from Food Wishes.  I actually only used half of the pie crust that I made and tweaked the filling recipe.  Rather, I used 2 eggs, and pretty much halved everything else for the most part.  If I am so inclined, I might write it up and post it later.  But you can tell, I been kinda getting lazy these days.  Sorry for that!  I ended up with about 12 mini pies and a bonus with the extra filling that I baked in a ramekin and got an extra little treat.  I baked them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for another 20 minutes.
Mini Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Custard
I was rather pleased with how these turned out.  They aren't too sweet nor are they over seasoned.  It has just the right consistency.