"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pizza, breadsticks, and pot roast

Some more recent recipes.

Pizza and breadsticks- I used Judy's recipe from Judy's Kitchen this time. Judy is going to be competing in a recipe contest this weekend so keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she makes her way to Branson, MO.

Earlier, I did some posts about whether garlic will inhibit the yeast action when added to pizza dough, here and here. I did add four cloves of minced garlic, and substituted 1/2 cup of semolina and a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the bread flour. I saw in the comment section of her blog that someone had suggested replacing 1/2 cup of the bread flour with semolina flour.

As you can see from this photo taken of the dough after the second rise, I got an excellent rise with the addition of the garlic.

I used half the dough to make a pizza the other half I made breadsticks out of using the method that Rosie Hawthorne had suggested in one of her posts on homemade pizza

I topped the pizza with pepperoni and some breakfast sausage that I browned up earlier and packaged for the freezer. I want to try this again without the whole wheat flour and see how that comes out. Mr. Hairball liked this a lot.

Cola-Braised Pot Roast- The recipe calls for fresh rosemary but, I didn't have that so I substituted some fresh basil from our aerogarden.

I keep forgetting to talk about the aerogarden. We currently have nothing but basil growing as Mr. Hairball is looking forward to fresh pesto and emjoys adding fresh basil leaves to his salads.

Then I peeled a head of garlic and put the cloves, the basil, salt, and some olive oil in my mini chopper and buzzed it up until the garlic was finely minced and inserted this mixture INto the slits in the roasts. I used two smaller roasts because it's just the two of us and that way I have another roast for another day. After the second roast was cooked, and had cooled for an hour, I packaged it up and put it INto the freezer.

Garlic basil mixture stuffed INTo the slits. It's hard to not get the mixture on the surface while doing the stuffing.

The recipe calls for a dutch oven which I don't have so I used my cast iron skillet for browning the meat and making the gravy and cooked the roasts in the oven in a 9x13 Pyrex dish.

Browning the roasts before they go INto the oven

Making the gravy

If you are a diehard foodie you probably shouldn't read this next bit.

*spoiler space*

Last time I made mashed potatoes I based them on Anne Burrell's recipe. I had some leftover from that meal, so I froze them for another day. Now, when you defrost mashed potatoes they are going to be a bit watery so, I mixed in some instant potato flakes to thicken them back up. Instant potato flakes are a good thickener for stuff like that so I like to keep some on hand.

About to mix in the instant potatoes...

Mr. Hairball really liked this and talked about it for days. He even said he liked it better than his Grandmother's pot roast which is very high praise as she is an excellent cook.

Pie, cookies, and bread

Here's a quick post about some things I've made recently.

Lemon Pie-

I made a graham cracker crust and a double batch of Alton Brown's Lemon Curd and poured it IN to the crust and stuck it in the fridge.

Then later I made up some whipped cream and served it with the pie. It's not the prettiest pie but, if you like lemon then you will really enjoy the taste.

"Peppermint Bark" Chocolate Cookies- I first made these back in January and Mr. Hairball and his co-workers loved them. I made the softer version where you use all brown sugar instead of a 50/50 blend of white and brown. Follow the link to see the recipe and some pictures.

Bread- I make all of the sandwich type bread for my household in my bread machine. Here's the recipe I'm currently using in case anybody else wants an 100% whole wheat bread that works well for sandwiches. The recipe also has instructions for making it by hand, or in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Just click the picture to enlarge so you see the text.

For those of you in drier climates, be prepared to increase the amount of water. I've added as much as 1/2 cup of extra water on days when the daytime humidity here in Hairballville is in the single digits. I suggest cutting this bread on the thin side as it will really fill you up!

Update to Gagastic email part VI

In reading over the comments I got on this post, I think I need to clarify something. I was poking fun at myself and my older fictional recipient by using terms like "Epic Fail" or "The Internets". I'm 40, I know that I'm not up on the latest stuff that is going around and for me, that's part of the joke. *laughs* I saw a rerun of Frasier the other night, and the term 'buzz kill' was used on the show. My first thought was to wonder if anyone under 30 uses that term anymore.

I admit that I do get tickled at older people I know who say stuff like "so and so is in the jail", "I bought this at the Wal-Marts", "I'm afraid of the Internets", etc... I even have a relative who refuses to get an ATM card because he is afraid of computer viruses.

To these people, I'm young, hip, and tech savvy which is completely hysterical to me because I'm well aware that I am not on top of the trends of ANYTHING! Well, unless everybody starts yelling Whoot! and dancing in their kitchens, that is.*grins*

Live long and prosper,

Hairball T. Hairball