I love the weekends. Saturday morning gym classes, trips to farmer's markets (or in the winter, the perimeter of Whole Foods), and uninterrupted time cooking. It's a chance to stockpile ketchup, try a new fermented food (fermented sweet potatoes, anyone??), or finally try those recipes I've been bookmarking.
I went to New York City this weekend to visit my younger sister, and had little hopes of cooking, but I was OK with that, as a weekend in NYC is worth it. However, as luck would have it, the weather was bad enough, and my mother convincing enough, that I stayed in Hanover and cooked for about seven hours straight. (If one could be addicted to cooking, I just might be...)
I've been enjoying Kimi Harris's site, The Nourishing Gourmet, and have looked at her "Mounds" candy bars almost daily since I discovered them last week. One brief glance at the picture and ingredient list, and Mom was very supportive of this endeavor. They came out great, and I'm excited to experiment with the flavors! (We substituted walnuts for the almonds, and omitted the almond extract.)
I was also blessed with a gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond (Thanks, Anne!) and purchased a coffee grinder to grind my grains in. When we hit the lottery and live in a place for longer than a year, I'll definitely invest in a quality grinder, but for now, my little coffee grinder is perfect. Today, I ground up hard winter wheat berries and made my first home ground whole wheat loaf! Lindsay of Passionate Homemaking had a whole wheat bread recipe that looked easy and delicious. Mine didn't come out quite like hers this first time, but it sure tastes good!
I also made my mom a meatloaf, and in my humble opinion, it was the bomb!
Brother Thomas ate the Trader Joe's pita crisps in about 30 seconds, and was looking for something else to munch on. I really wanted to try my hand at pita bread, so I offered to whip him up some pita crisps. The recipe was so easy it's almost sinful not to make them yourself! We did have the luxury of the bread machine though. Here is the recipe, adapted from one I found on allrecipes.com.
* 1 1/4 cups warm water
* 3 cups whole wheat flour
* 1 T salt
* pinch of sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1. Place all ingredients in bread pan of your bread machine, starting with water, and ending with the yeast. Let the machine do the kneading and rising, and remove dough when done rising. (~3 hours)
2. Roll and stretch dough into a 12 inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into about 10 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 to 7 inch circle. At this point, you should probably let them rise for another 10-20 minutes. The longer they sit, the more easily they'll puff.
3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Leave cookie sheet in the oven. When the oven is preheated, throw pitas on the baking sheet for about 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from oven and immediately place pitas in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft. Once pitas a softened, either cut in half or split top edge for half or whole pitas. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.
Yum! I'll be making more of these for Mark to dip in hummus so we don't have to keep buying crackers or pretzels. Next time I will add some more seasonings to split bread, and bake again til crisp. I'm also thinking these would be a great substitute for the yogurt dough in the empanada recipe (less work!)