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Monday, December 5, 2016

Recipe Review from 11/28/2016

It continues to be dreary and overcast - I think we're going on two weeks now of continuious cloud cover?  Might have had some sun last Saturday afternoon, but it was brief.  Snowed a bit Saturday into Sunday so at least it's not dreary brown any more. 

Pretty basic menu this week, nothing too exciting. 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) Leftover chili  (S)  Slow cooked corn chowder
Mon (yoga/bkgrp/legion mtgs)  out
Tues (field day)  tofu lomein
Wed - Pumpkin soup  pancakes
Thurs (yoga)  leftover lomein
Fri - leftovers
Sat (L)  out   (S)  leftover corn chowder and popovers.

Honey Whole Wheat Pull-apart buns (Ckng Lght Nov 2016)
These are definitely a plan ahead baked good, which I did not do and I kinda slammed these through at the last minute.  Which does not work in our cooler house.  Now there might have been some extenuating circumstances to the less than stellar performance of the dough:
  • My flour is old.  I hadn't realized how long it had been in the freezer and didn't think it would matter. 
  • My milk/butter were too warm even though I checked the temp and it was within an acceptable range.  
  • My house is just too cool for a traditional counter top rise even though I put the bread by a warm oven and a warm crockpot.  
First rise was less than stellar, but I went with it.  Second rise wasn't much better, but dough was rising.  Bread did poof more in the oven and actually made buns.  Overall flavor was good, texture and crumb were good, and I liked being able to use my spring-form pan for something other than the periodic cheesecake.  But there was something off with the dough itself.

I plan on making these again, but trying the orange/sage variation. 

photo from
1 pkg. dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)
3 tablespoons warm 1% low-fat milk (100°F to 110°F)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons honey 2 large eggs
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
4 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons water
1 large egg yolk
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter, honey, and 2 eggs to milk mixture; beat at low speed 1 minute or until combined. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and salt in a bowl. Add half of flour mixture to milk mixture; beat at low speed until combined, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula as needed. Remove paddle attachment; insert dough hook. Add remaining half of flour mixture; beat at medium-low speed 4 minutes or until combined.

  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead 5 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains, it has risen enough).

  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining pieces to avoid drying), gently roll into a smooth ball. Place rolls in a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, leaving space between rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour and 15 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  5. Combine 2 teaspoons water and egg yolk in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Brush rolls with egg mixture; discard remaining egg mixture. Bake 13 minutes or until golden. Place pan on a wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Remove sides from pan; cool completely.

Corn Chowder  (Slow Cooker Revolution)  gluten free, vegetarian option
I didn't see a previous post of this after a quick search on the blog, and I didn't have any notes in the cookbook indicating I've made this before.  I'm going on the assumption this is new, even though I have a feeling I've done it before.   I'm also going from memory as I type this, so I may have to come back and tweak the ingredients. 

This is pretty basic in taste, best with fresh corn but frozen works just dandy.  You can up the flavor factor by adding some shrimp toward the end of cooking and make it a shrimp-corn chowder.  This made enough for 4 lunches for one, and dinner for 2 so...roughly 6 servings. 

4 cups corn
1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped 
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme  
1/2 - 1 cup half n half 

1) Put everything in the slow cooker, cook on low 8 hour or high 4 hours (or to your slow cookers time/temps, they're all a bit different).   Using and immersion blender, puree to desired thickness.  You can skip blending if you like, it's entirely optional.  Add half and half to desired taste.  Serve.

Tofu and Vegetable LoMein  (Ckng Lght, Nov 2016)  vegetarian option**
Couple of items right of the top:  I cannot find "fresh linguine or Chinese egg noodles" where I live.  Does. Not. Exist.  This is not the first recipe I have gone in quest of said noodles, and I keep hoping someday they will miraculously appear, but in the mean time I continue to experiment with noodle substitutions.  This time it was udon noodles, cooked according to directions on the package.  They worked okay.

I have a love/hate relationship with tofu.  I like eating it, and the versitility it offers in dishes, but trying to get it to "brown"?  HA!  I've tried a dry pan, I've tried a lightly oiled pan, I've pressed the water out of the brick, nothing seems to work and I end up with tofu burnt to the bottom of my pan.  

I will also admit, I goofed up the recipe.  I forgot to add the stock and cornstarch mix.  I was getting ready to serve, I looked behind me on the counter and lo! there was my measuring cup with this lone ingredient.  So I tossed it on top and gave everything a good stir.  Cornstarch didn't have time to completely dissolve so the noodles were a bit...grainy.

By the time we had this as leftovers, it tasted much better.

photo from
8 cups water
6 ounces refrigerated fresh linguine or fresh Chinese egg noodles
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock or vegetable stock**
2 teaspoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
10 ounce shiitake mushroom caps, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (from 1 cabbage)
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

  1. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles; cook 3 minutes or until al dente. Drain; rinse under cold water. Drain.

  2. Combine stock and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tofu; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove tofu from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, mushrooms, and bell pepper to pan; cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage and soy sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add stock mixture and edamame to pan; cook 3 minutes. Add noodles and tofu; toss to combine. Divide tofu mixture among 4 shallow bowls.

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