Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Breadsticks and/or Pizza Dough

Breadsticks and Pizza Margarita (Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil) 
I love bread.  Bread can make a bad day good and calm an upset stomache.  I also feel it gets a bit of a bad name in the "health food" scene.  While it is no kale, it tastes good, is filling, is so cheap when homemade, and wonderful for your soul (or at least mine...) in moderation. Making bread is an art form, parts of which I am far from mastering (especially at 7900 feet).  This recipe for either breadsticks or pizza dough is one of the easiest yeast doughs to master. It is also quick (90 minutes until you have hot breadsticks). So make your bread and eat it too.

note: I often halve this recipe when I am making breadsticks for 2-3 people.

Adpated a little from Our Best Bites
  • 1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3-4 1/2 c. flour (I use 2 1/2 cups all purpose and about 1 1/2 cups whole wheat)

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
2. Add salt and stir. 
3. Add 2 c. flour and mix well on medium low speed with the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer. If you are using whole wheat flour, add all purpose flour first then whole wheat.
4. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.  Make sure flour completely incorporates into the dough.
5. Pull the dough away from the hook. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 
6. Gently pull dough out of bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Prepare a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Dough ready for shaping
for breadsticks
7. Gently pat into a rectangle and cut into about 20 pieces.
8. Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and twist the dough. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. 
9. Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes.
10. When there’s about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. When done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks, sprinkle with seasoning, or dip in sauce and soup.

for pizza dough (makes 2 small/medium pizzas)
7. Pre-heat oven to 500 with your pizza stone in the oven if you use one.
8. Cut the dough into two pieces for smaller pans/ovens, or shape into one large pizza. 
9. Gently pull the dough to the edge of the pan working to create an even layer.  
10. Arrange your choice of toppings.  (Pictured: marinara, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, mozzerella, chevre, finely chopped swiss chard, sea salt, and finished with basil after being removed from the oven)
11. Slide onto stone, or bake on sheet about 10 minutes until crust darkens and cheese begins to brown.  
12. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Links: Meyer Lemons

photo credit
Happy President's Weekend!  We have the honor of Michelle Obama and Joe Biden skiing our slopes this weekend, so naturally Steven and I will be avoiding paparazzi filled hill in favor of bowl hiking and other pursuits this weekend.  We are also excited to celebrate Valentine's Day (belated) tonight at Element 47, Aspen's newest fine dining.

Today's links honor one of America's last truly seasonal fruits.  While many of us know better, we still buy apples in March and Kale in August.  We keep encouraging the excessive use of resources for food transportation.  Meyer lemons are not in season in Aspen, nothing is, but they do represent a dying trend of produce you can only find once a year.  Also, they are delicious.  So buy seasonal and enjoy these lovely, sweet-tart, gems.

Meyer Lemon Loaf from Sprouted Kitchen
Note: I made the Meyer Lemon Loaf with AP flour and it was so good I am making another this weekend.

Cocktail Hour: Meyer Lemon Whisky Sour
First Course: Leafy Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing
Main Course: Sauteed Chicken with Meyer Lemon and Rosemary
With Afternoon Tea: Meyer Lemon Loaf (gluten-free or not)
After Dinner: Meyer Lemon Curd Tart

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ginger-Maple Glazed Carrots

While the days are getting longer, it is still the season where we eat dinner after dark with condensation around the windows and soft lights glowing.  We linger in conversation, knowing that little will happen between dinner and bedtime.  This is also the season where broccoli has a shocking price tag, and green beans shrivel.  Tired of kale as a side, the other night I made these tasty glazed carrots to accompany creamy polenta, and roasted squash.  It made for an orange meal, but was well worth it.

Ginger-Maple Glazed Carrots

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3-4 carrots, cut into 2 inch sticks
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground or fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet
  2. Add carrots in a single layer and sprinkle a little sea salt over the top
  3. Cook 20-30 minutes, turning once, until carrots begin to show some deep brown coloring and are almost fully cooked.
  4. Whisk together maple syrup, ginger and lemon zest, add to carrots and stir to coat sprinkle cayenne if using. 
     5. Cook another 5 minutes until a glaze forms.
     6. Finish with salt and black pepper to taste.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Links: Healthy Super Bowl Recipes

Photo Credit
I am not a football fan.  However, I do enjoy a good Super Bowl party with good eats and friends.  Snacks for this occasion always amaze me at the huge number of calories for a sedentary crowd.  The recipes below can help you reduce that calorie count significantly, especially if you are not actually playing any football. In addition, the white bean dip and sweet potato fries are both vegan.  Enjoy!

For the main course: Guilt Free Chicken Chili
For dipping the chips and veggies: White Bean and Herb Dip or a yogurt based Spinach Artichoke Dip
For snacking and the cute factor: Turkey Sliders
Fries to go with your sliders: Sweet Potato Oven Fries
For a sweet treat: no fuss Classic Brownies or Blueberry Bonanza Bars