Almost No-Knead Bread

My first post of the new year is for something I made before…sort of. I made a no-knead bread recipe from America’s Test Kitchen over four years ago, but I believe it was a different recipe. Certain parts seemed different. And, I noticeably lacked success the first time. The first time was affected by our chilly house. We used to keep the house less heated when it was just the two of us. Now, we keep the house more comfortable year-round. I believe the temperature affected the rise of the bread last time. Whatever the difference, it turned out perfectly the first time I did the recipe below and not perfect but still very good the second time. The un-cut pictures you see below are the first time making it. The sliced pictures are from the second time I made it.

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The reason?

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Homemade Mayonnaise

That’s right. I finally made it. After literally years of thinking about it and wondering, I finally made mayo. It was so much easier than I expected, although having an immersion blender is probably the main reason? I have no idea on how to make it without one, so sorry…can’t help you there. I can say that this method has worked for me multiple times.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Breakfast Skillet Ideas

This wasn’t the perfect breakfast skillet, but I can let you know what YOU should do to make a better skillet dish, so I am sharing it with you today. Happy Tuesday! Unless you’re reading this on some other day. And then…Happy Day That Isn’t Tuesday!

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Skillet Roasted Chicken Thighs and Stuffing

You will notice the pictures are from two different occasions. The first time, I followed the original recipe but wasn’t completely happy with it. I wanted more vegetables and an easier chicken experience…carving chickens are “meh” but eating chicken thighs are easy. So, I added more vegetables (yummy carrots!) and switched to thighs. I also used my Dutch oven to give myself a little more room for those vegetables. That part mattered less, but I do recommend adding what tastes good to you.

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Asparagus, Fennel, and Pea Risotto

This is actually from the meal we had for Easter. I decided since we would be staying in to make a more complicated dinner. It ended up being really tasty and everyone was a fan. I will share the chicken recipe soon. For now, enjoy this risotto with lots of vegetables and warm weather flavors. If you are anxious about the fennel, well, I was, too. I have never cooked with it before, or even bought it before. I was worried it would be a strong flavor that we wouldn’t like, but we all did! On its own I think I would not be a big fan, but in the dish it worked perfectly. As for how to prepare it, read ahead.

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I like that this dish is both a starchy course and full of our vegetables all in one. The Fudgelet did well picking up the little pieces to feed himself (he still prefers fingers mostly over utensils).

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Homemade Paneer (and a Ricotta Cameo)

When I first received Pomegranates and Pine Nuts, I saw there was a recipe for making paneer which was so much simpler than I expected. I didn’t want to risk making it at the time, though, since I was pregnant and didn’t want to risk messing something up. Then, after I had the Fudgelet, I totally forgot about it. I was making some Indian food and was excited to remake this dish with paneer, as it was intended.

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Ground Beef Rice Bake

How is your luck with baking rice? I usually have poor results when there is a recipe that calls for cooking rice in the oven. I do a great job in a rice cooker or on the stovetop, but not so well with the oven. Who knows, maybe the recipes were not good? Regardless, it makes me nervous to try recipes that include that step. This one had that step, and also called for half-and-half (I hate buying it, especially for such a small amount, since I rarely use it). And then there is the bratwurst idea. I liked it, it was supposed to be the meat in the dish…but it meant going to a separate grocery store (there is a local brand of sausage I like a lot, and it’s not carried at my main store). It also meant that the Fudgelet might not like it. As it was, he decided to not eat much of the ground beef (fickle toddler), but I actually really like it with the beef. I always have some in the freezer and so I just swapped it in. No big deal. Whole milk seemed just fine in place of the half-and-half. I bet you could just use more chicken broth instead, if you didn’t want to use milk. Maybe add a bit of butter to up the richness if you do that?

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