Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cranberry Bread

Mark made this bread on the weekend before thanksgiving:

As good as it may look, I can't say it was a total success: the cranberries are so sour! However, sprinkling a bit of powdered sugar on top helps a lot. The bread itself was deliciously sweet. We will try it with some other fruit next time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nutty Bread

This bread was made by following a recipe for Pain aux Noix from The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making - the book Mark uses most often when not baking his own invention.

It's hearty, healthy, and nutty. In one word: delicious!
And it goes really well with Danish blue cheese.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Artichoke, roasted bell peppers, and goat cheese pizza

It's so nice that I can call home from work and ask Mark to make pizza! By the time I get home, the dough is rising. But we don't have tomato sauce, so he can't make his regular tomatoey-cheesy pizza, so I have to come up with one of my gross pizza toppings. We had goat cheese, so I image-googled "goat cheese pizza", and one of the more appealing pizza was topped with artichokes (we just got a couple!) and roasted bell pepper (we just had one in the garden that was of a reasonable size [=not ridiculously small])! The only problem was, these veggies were completely raw, and I had no idea how to prepare them. Thank god to web instructions! I successfully roasted the red bell pepper on our gas stove, and learned how to prepare the artichoke hearts following these useful videos.
Next I sliced the roasted pepper to strips, and cooked the artichoke hearts in water. I drizzled some olive and balsamic vinegar on the cooked artichoke hearts after thinly slicing them, spread some salt, and let them sit for a while and absorb the flavors.
I also also reduced some balsamic vinegar and drizzled it on top of the topped pizza, just to make it perfect. And perfect it was!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Falafel in Pita

Because that's the right way to eat it!

I didn't make the falafel from scratch, but used the excellent Tarazi falafel mix. The great thing about it, is that you can easily bake the falafel instead of frying them - it says so on the box! What it doesn't say is how long to bake and at what temperature, which I had to look for online. I found that 375 degrees F and 15 minutes work.

Besides the falafel, there's a simple cucumber-tomato salad (all from our garden!) dressed with some olive oil and lemon juice, homemade hummus*, and tahini.

The pitas were of course made from scratch! They are nothing like the store bought pitas. I'm always amazed at how bad pitas here are. Even when you buy them from middle eastern stores. Pitas in Israel (mostly those made by Palestinians) are so much better!! Well, by baking them yourself**, you can have a taste of real pitas.

*If you follow the hummus recipe, it's worthwhile reading the first comment, which is actually an update by the recipe author.

**There are a lot of pita recipes online, and they all look pretty much the same. Give one of them a try! Mark just mixed and matched recipes to the point he was comfortable with it. I like the directions in this recipe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Real Whole Wheat Bread

I think Mark was inspired by the sunflower bread* he made earlier when he decided to bake bread with wheat berries in it. He cooked the berries first, and mixed them into a whole wheat bread dough. The result? Delicious!

We topped these delectable slices with olive-walnut spread, Balsamic tomatoes, and fried eggs.

* I neglected to dedicate a post to the sunflower bread. Here's a picture:

Mmmm... sunflower seeds...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bread Soup

The cold days and nights that descended upon us in the past week have prompted me to desire a nice warm soup. I got a nice HOT soup! [Maybe I should have put slightly less crushed red peppers in it.]
I stumbled upon this recipe accidentally, and it fitted my plans for the cold night precisely. It is fairly easy to make, quite quick, too, and it is warm, delicious, and filling.
I made two separate batches, mine had fennel in it! From our garden! Mark didn't want fennel in his, because "it's gross". I had his version tonight, and indeed, both were good, even though both didn't have celery, and both were equally HOT.

My soup. Yes, the spinach is also fresh from the garden!

Mark's soup - sans fennel

I used the insides of the bread bowls Mark made ages ago, but any old bread will do, I believe.

Okay, here are the directions:

On medium-high heat with 1 T olive oil, saute:
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (optional)
When onion is translucent, add:
  • crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bulb of fennel, sliced (optional)
Saute for a few seconds, then add:
  • 4 c vegetable broth
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add:
  • cubed bread (about 1/2 of a small loaf)
  • a bunch of spinach, cut to manageable pieces
When bread is spongy and spinach is wilted, stir in:
  • 2 T Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
Serve immediately with some more cheese on top, if you wish, and enjoy!