Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Busy Bee

So I've been a busy bee this past week.  Between making bread, recipe hunting, freezing fruits and vegetables for the winter, freezing more fruits and vegetables for the winter, drying herbs and taking care of my son, I've been remiss in posting.  Sorry!  I have a lot to share though so keep with me. 

This post is going to be kinda random.  I am going to post links to some of my favorite sites/recipes that I've come to love and rely on since on this diet.

Here is the recipe I used for homemade vanilla extract.  I highly recommend beanilla.com for buying the premium Madagascar vanilla beans.  However, after reading their reviews I bought my jars off of amazon.com.  I saved more on them, they came unbroken, dark in color and perfect size.  Here are the links for all three:

So I said I've been freezing lots of vegetables for the winter.  I found the best book ever.  Not only does it tell you how to prep and freeze all vegetables, but it usually tells you how long you can freeze them for and also how you can use them once thawed (ie: baked goods only, cooked only).  This book also includes recipes and tells you how much each vegetable yields in pounds, pints, bushels, cups, etc.  I've found this extremely helpful in comparing prices from grocery store vs. farmers markets/orchards.  And yes...you can also find most of this info via the internet these days, but now I have all the info I need in one spot and don't have to Google each vegetable every time I need to freeze. 
Let's talk bread.  I've tried the bread machine route and every recipe I've tried was a brick or nasty.  Giving up hope on the bread machine I turned to Google for a non-bread machine recipe.  I have to say, for someone who hates working with yeast, this is the BEST recipe ever!  When it says you can use any kind of flour you really can.  I've done it with King Arthur's 100% white whole wheat flour and King Arthur's whole wheat flour.  I also use organic non salted butter in the recipe and it tastes delicious.  Tip: I usually make 4 loaves at a time because they freeze really well, they are ridiculously fast to make, you can put 2 in the oven at a time, and 1 egg for the egg wash easily can be brushed on all 4 loaves without running out of egg wash and without wasting the egg on just one loaf.  I just bought 2 more bread pans and plan to make 5 at a time now!  Also I use butter to prepare the pans. 

    (can you tell I forgot the egg wash on one loaf...but I would have had enough egg wash with just 1 egg!)

Now for the good stuff....DESSERT!  For our anniversary, my husband and I were looking for a new, fun, quick and easy recipe.  Thanks to Food Network and Alton Brown we found an excellent recipe.  Individual portions of peach upside-down cake.  So the only catch is that you have to watch his 3 min video and pause it as you cook in order to get the recipe.  He measures his flour on a scale as well...but don't worry I researched it and his measurement equals 9 tablespoons of flour.  I made 8 of these the first time and I'm so glad I did.  Yummo!  Also, I used 7oz ramekins not 6oz. 

Ok today I got a little risky and tried a new recipe for Panini bread (yes I feel more confident working with yeast).  I have to admit that I didn't even see the pictures all the way at the bottom and my bread still turned out PERFECTLY!  This is the best recipe ever!  I used Bob's Red Mill 100% organic white flour. You will want to make this recipe tomorrow!
(easiest bread ever to make!)

Ok I think that is enough for now.  None of these sites paid me for passing on their recipes or their info.  I just want to share what has been helpful to me. 


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