Friday, May 19, 2017

Italian Bread

The smell of bread baking on a chilly Spring day is always welcome.  This is a great bread to make to serve with soups or dips or slice it and make garlic bread.

Italian Bread

2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil

Mix together warm water, honey, olive oil and yeast in a bowl and let it bloom for 10 minutes.  In your mixing bowl combine 2 cups of bread flour and the salt.  When the yeast mixture is ready, pour into the flour with the mixer with the dough hook on a low speed.  Let the dough come together and gradually add in the additional 1/4 cup of flour.  Increase speed to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the mixer and pour 1 tbsp. of olive oil in the bowl and turn the dough so it's covered on all sides.  Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour or until it has doubled.  Turn out and shape into a loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Allow the dough to rise again.  Cut 3 slits 1/4" deep into the top of the dough.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Grilled Apricot Chicken Skewers

Perfect grilling weather is here and I combined some chicken with fresh apricots and peppers for an easy outside dinner.

Grilled Apricot Chicken Skewers

1# chicken tenders (cut into small skewer size pieces)
2 apricots
red & orange peppers 
Salt & freshly ground pepper


2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. white wine
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/4 cup apricot preserves

Cut the chicken tenders, apricots and peppers into skewer size pieces.  Carefully thread onto the skewers and season.  Grill until nice grill marks appear and turn.  As the second side cooks, brush on the sauce.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Blueberry Lemon Cookies

Soft lemon cookies with bursts of blueberries make these cookies a light dessert or leave them without icing and you can convince yourself they are a great breakfast...yes, that happened.  I use frozen blueberries just so they keep their shape a little better.

Blueberry Lemon Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and lemon zest.  Alternate adding in the remainder of dry ingredients and milk.  Scoop out onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350°.  

Allow to cool before icing.  

Icing -

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 1 lemon