Strawberry Bruschetta

Spring time is in full force and summer is coming soon.  And when I think of summer, I think of ripe, delicious strawberries.  I made this last summer for a potluck and I think it was enjoyed all around.  Looking forward to when it makes an appearance this year!  Enjoy.  And thanks for reading.

Directions
1. Cut up one cup of strawberries.  Mix in one tablespoon of sugar, cover, and let sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

2. In the meantime, slice a long baguette on an angle to get about 12 slices.

3. Spread goat cheese on the top and then top with the strawberries.

4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Top with basil and pepper.

Source: The Curvy Carrot

Guess who loves springflowers?

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An Attempt at Pierogi’s

I saw this recipe a while ago and bookmarked it, thinking that it would be fun to try for an anniversary dinner.  It seemed like too much work for just one night, so I made the dough and the stuffing the night before I wanted to serve the dish.  Overall, we enjoyed it.   I thought it was a fun new recipe to try.   Since a certain someone can’t eat cheese, I had to leave the cheese out, but I would definitely recommend that you include it.   The next time I made them, I would also fry them in the pan for a little longer to get more of a golden brown color.  I think I was a tad too impatient.  Enjoy!  And thank you for reading.

Ingredients

Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4-6 tablespoons cold water
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, for frying the pierogi

Onions
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly

Stuffing
1 medium russet potato, peeled and sliced 3/4-inch thick
Salt
1/2 cup reserved caramelized onions, chopped
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Ground black pepper

1. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a food processor.  While it is running, add the whole egg, egg yolk and vegetable oil.  Combine well.

2. Also with the machine running, add the water (only about a tablespoon at a time), until a dough ball is formed.

3. Put the dough ball on a lightly floured counter and knead for about 2 minutes.  Wrap very well in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (I left mine overnight.  I let it come to room temperature before using it the next day).

4. I also made the stuffing and onions the day before I made the dish.  For the onions, start by melting the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  (You can also start step 7 at this time, as illustrated below).

5. Add the onions and salt and cook until the onions are brown and soft.  (About 15-20 minutes).  It will smell delicious.

6. When the onions are done, chop enough so that you have about 1/2 cup for the stuffing.

7. To make the rest of the stuffing, cover the chopped potato with salted water in a saucepan.

8. Boil the water and let simmer until the potato is tender.  (About 10-12 minutes).  Drain the water off in a colander and put the potato back in the pan.

9. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth.  Add the 1/2 cup of caramelized onions, cheese and butter and stir until well-combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  I refrigerated this stuffing overnight.

10.  When you are ready to make the dish, take the room-temperature dough and divide into two pieces.  Cover one piece with plastic wrap.

11. Roll the other piece out onto a lightly floured surface until it is very thin (about 1/16 an inch.  Although I never actually measure that.  Just make it thin).

12. With a round cutter, cut out 3 in. circles of dough and place onto a floured cookie sheet (or any large floured surface).  The dough was very springy and my circles were definitely not perfect circles.  Just do your best and stretch them out a little with your hands if needed.

13.  Repeat with the other piece of dough.

14.  When you have all your dough circles cut out, place about 1 tsp. of stuffing into the center of each circle.  With wet fingers (dip into a glass of water, you probably don’t want to lick them 😉 ), moisten the outer circle of the dough and fold over to make a half moon shape.  Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.

15.  Keep each filled piergoi most with a wet towel while you are filling the rest.  (If you want to freeze some, do so at this point).

16. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (like a large saucepan).  Add half of the filled pierogi and cook until al dente, about 5-6 minutes.

17. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander.  Repeat with the other half of pierogi’s.

18. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.  Add a small batch of the boiled pierogi.  Cook until golden brown on each side (about 1-2 minutes).  Repeat with entire batch.

19. To serve, sprinkle with the rest of the carmelized onions and sour cream (if wanted).

From the Curvy Carrot.  Originally slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated: The Best International Recipe.

 

Someone else was being very helpful during this process…..

Sally Lunn Bread

I have had this recipe saved for the longest time, but just hadn’t had the time to properly try it.  A few weeks ago, I found myself with a whole free Saturday morning, and I decided to give it a try.  The dough was not hard to put together, and it seemed to rise every time it was supposed to.  It was kind of an eggy bread, especially with the addition of an extra egg yolk.  I used it as an accompaniment to the asparagus soup, but I think it might also make a great french toast.  Enjoy!  And thank you for reading.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. table salt
1 1/8 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%, but it probably doesn’t matter much)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (save the white for an egg white omelet!)

Directions
1. Mix 3/4 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  At first I used an electric mixer, but it wasn’t necessary.  Mixing it all by hand is very easy enough.

2. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter (about 105 degree, not quite to a boil).  The butter might not melt all the way.  Gradually pour it into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, until well-combined.

3.  Add the whole egg and egg yolk and stir briefly.  Add another 1/2 cup of flour and stir again for a few minutes.

4. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir the whole mixture until smooth.

5. Make sure that the dough is in a little ball at the bottom of the bowl (scrape down the sides).  Cover the top with plastic wrap.  Let it rise for 1 hour.

6. Prepare a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan by buttering and flouring it.  When the dough has risen for 1 hour, scape it into the loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.  After the first 15 minutes, remove the plastic wrap.

7.  While it is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then cool on a rack.

Source: Smitten Kitchen (check out her recipe for salted and honeyed brown butter spread…looks amazing, but I haven’t had the chance to try it yet)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Some tasty cookies that were easy to make.  I brought them to a few meetings that I had in one week, and they seemed to go over well.  I even brought all my leftovers to work, and found the empty container in the copy room, so I would call that a success!  Enjoy.  And thanks for reading!

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking power
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light-brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the flour, oats, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until they become light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).  Add the vanilla and egg and mix to combine.

4. With the mixer slowly going, gradually add in the flour mixture until just combined.  With a wooden spoon, add in the chocolate chips.

5. Drop tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake cookies until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Halfway through, rotate the cookie sheets so that they bake evenly.  (funny story–my oven is too small to shut all the way when I have a cookie sheet in it.  I have to rotate the sheets several times.  Someday I will have a real oven!)

6. Transfer to wire rack to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: Martha Stewart Magazine (I had the recipe torn out, so I’m not sure what issue it is from).