Yum Peaceful Cooking: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

WOW! Pineapple Zucchini Bread

I really feel silly. I mean.... borderline knucklehead material. Have you ever gotten an idea about how something would be, only to be completely wrong? (ya, it doesn't happen very often and we really shouldn't admit it.....so we'll just keep this on the down-low).

I remember the first time I heard about zucchini bread (years and years ago)...and I wasn't a huge fan of zucchini at the time and the idea of a bread made with the stuff just sounded, I dunno. Wrong!

Well, guess who was wrong in the end? (ssshhhh....no answers please, remember we're keeping this all hush-hush).

My beeps over in BakeSpace.com were talking about zucchini bread so I asked them if it tastes like zucchini. I was assured that it didn't. After some contemplation I asked for a recipe. My bud, Karen shared hers with me.....so I printed it out and set it on my desk.

Btw...I just have to say that this is not the first recipe I've gotten from Karen...and every one of them have been wonderful!! The link to the printable version below will take you to Karen's BakeSpace Kitchen where you can browse at your leisure (just click on her "screen name" and roam through her kitchen).

The recipe eventually found it's way to my kitchen counter and taunted me daily. I finally broke down and faced my unfounded fear and made it!

Guess what?! It doesn't taste like zucchini!!! It kinda reminds me of carrot cake...or a less dense banana bread (without the banana flavor)...i dunno....it's just really good! And moist! and Wonderfully yummy. And I bet it's really good for you too.

(just so you know....the number of zucchini in the picture is way overboard. You'll only need about 2 or 3 medium sized zucchinis)

Pineapple Zucchini Bread
Printable Version

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini (if you happen to shred more than you need....no worries, just make zucchini fritters for dinner or something)
1 20oz can crushed pineapple, well drained
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans like I did)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350'F, thoroughly grease a 5x9 loaf pan or a bundt pan

Whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla, in a good sized bowl

Stir in the remaining ingredients

Blend well

(mmmm...not so pretty yet, but it's promising. I mean....even banana bread never looks pretty at this stage, does it?)

Pour into your well greased loaf of bundt pan

Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Now doesn't that look incredible? Ya, I was pretty happy with it when I took it out of the oven. But I wasn't sure when to remove it from the pan. I turned it upside....and it didn't budge. I know I used LOTS of cooking spray and the pan is a nonstick jobber....so I let it sit for a while. Well, not too long of a while cuz I really wanted to give it a try...maybe 5 minutes? 10 minutes? I'm not sure. But I turned it upside down again and did a little shake and I felt a little budge...and out it came......sorta

Did I take it out too soon?

What do you think I did next?

What any good, respectable baker would do, of course....carefully picked out the pieces that were left behind and fitted them back into place....

and ended up with a loaf of zucchini bread with a really bad toupee.  

But it tasted fabulous! 

Thank you Karen!! As usual, you ROCK!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Okra Fritters

Folks....fried okra has just been taken to a whole new level.

And WOW!! I mean....serioulsy good stuff you guys. If you like fried okra, you're going to love this. If you hate the time it takes to make fried okra...you're REALLY going to love this!!

I found the recipe in Everyday Food...and I think all my years of subscribing to this little magazine is worth every penny I've spent, just for this one recipe.

Can you tell how thrilled I am here? Well, just in case you're a little dense.....lemme just say...

This shit is good!!!

Okra Fritters
Printable Version

2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt plus more for seasoning after cookied
 1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups sliced okra
1/2 cup onion, diced into small pieces
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk

Heat up the oil in a large skillet with a heavy bottom (cast iron is best) over medium heat.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Add in the okra and onion and toss until evenly coated.

Whisk together the egg and buttermilk in a small bowl then add it to the okra mixture. Stir together until well combined.

Working in batches, scoop 2 tablespoons fritter batter into the oil. Gently smash the mounds with the back of your spatula.

Fry until golden brown, turning once. The instructions said it would take about 4 minutes per side. That wasn't the case for me but maybe my oil was hotter than it should've been?

Drain on a paper towel and season with salt.

Serve warm and enjoy

This is my entry into Hearth and Soul this week.


For those of you who don't know, fried okra speaks to my soul in a very deep way. As in deep south. I was introduced to fried okra, as a small child, by my grandmother during my many visits to Alabama and I have loved it ever since. When I'm missing my family more than usual....I reach for the southern dishes to comfort my soul. And this is an awesome twist for an old favorite that speaks as clearly as the original.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sailing the Seas of Cheese...

I battened down the hatches...let out the mainsail and ran with the wind. 

Look out fromage...she's coming about!

I've tackled a new realm....an unknown. Set forth on a dream and followed the setting sun.

Ya, so I have no idea what I'm talking about really. But I do know that I've always wanted to try cheese. Well, not always but ever since I heard how easy it is. But check out that album ...errr...cd cover above... A big ole sea of cheese (and other weird things floating about). The band, Primus is really weird (a lot more weirder than I am....I swear!) and I can only tolerate a song or two of theirs. Sir Sportsalot is a huge fan though. But the title of this cd has always intrigued me. Sailing The Seas of Cheese. Where would such a sea exist? The moon perhaps? When I was a kid, I always heard that the moon was made of cheese. Which I thought was weird and unappetizing. But not as dumb as the "man on the moon". I'm sorry, but when I look at the moon, I don't see a face. I see cheese. Swiss cheese! 

hmm...sooo....where are all the cows on the moon?

Apparently they're all here on earth providing us with the milk needed to make cheese. And if we all get moving, we too can have a sea of cheese, right? 

A while back I saw that Heather over at Girlichef is into making cheeses. And I've been checking things out, taking it all in. Just waiting for the right time. The right kind of cheese, the right mood.....and most of all, the right frame of mind.  How does one know when there mind is in cheese mode? For starters, one begins to think of songs and cartoons that have to do with cheese (I know there's a cartoon out there, where some mice try to build a ladder or something, trying to reach the moon for endless supplies of cheese). Then one notices that during trips to various grocery stores, one finds one's self looking for cheese making ingredients....like rennet. And then one finds one's self spending a little more time than usual in the deli, admiring the various cheeses. (ok, I'm done talking about one's self in such a strange manner)

Now when it comes to cheese, I prefer the more mild versions. And I stay away....far far away....from the kinds that stink. Especially the kinds that smell like feet. Sorry folks....can't do it. I just can not get past the odor. 

I do not plan on playing with mold. I'll leave that up to the experts. I'm just having fun with the soft stuff. The super fresh stuff. 

When I saw Heather's recipe for Queso Blanco....and that the ingredients were pantry staples....I knew I had found my starting point and that it was time to set sail in the seas of cheese....

Queso Blanco

1 gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized) 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 or 3 tsp salt or to taste

That's it. Can you believe it? Are you excited? Oh come on.....this is cheese!! And you can make it all by yourself! That's exciting stuff, I tell ya. 

You will need some basic equipment as well (I'm sure you have most, if not all of this on hand as well)

Large heavy bottomed pot
Large slotted spoon
Large Bowl

Pour your milk into a large heavy bottomed pot.  Slowly heat to 180'F over a low heat, stirring frequently so that a skin doesn't develop and the bottom doesn't burn. Be prepared though....this is going to take a while. Like...an hour or so?

But it will get there. If the temperature stabilizes and has not reached the 180' mark...turn up the heat a tiny bit. 

Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to allow the curds and whey to separate. (Little Miss Muffet has nothing on us you guys!) Check out those beautiful curds! 

Fold the cheesecloth into 4 layers and place it into a sieve. Place the sieve over a very large bowl or another large pot and spoon your curds into the cheesecloth lined sieve.

What you will be left with is a big pot of whey. I used it in my bread dough, instead of water. I also cooked some rice with it....very good stuff. It gave the rice a hint of sweet. Which would be wonderful with sweet and sour chicken, dontcha think?

I put all this whey in ziplock baggies and put it in the fridge. I read somewhere that you treat it like milk as far as it's "shelf life".

As for those lovely, beautiful curds....the whole point of this voyage, I might add, fold the cheesecloth over the top of the curds to cover. Place a small plate on top and then weigh the whole thing down with something heavy (that's my marble mortar, upside down on top of it all) to help press out the remaining whey.  This whole contraption should then be placed over a small bowl and then moved to the refrigerator where it will just hang out for about 5 - 7 hours. 

Save the whey. From what I've heard, if you're wanting to make ricotta cheese...you'll need whey. Remove everything from the sieve.

Unwrap the ball of now smashed curds. Admire your fresh ball of Queso Blanco...with the sexy cheesecloth marks 

Now is when you use the salt to flavor your cheese. I just mixed it all up and then pressed my cheese into a container with a lid for easy storage. I used some of the cheese in a tomato sauce based casserole. It's not the melty kind...just so you know.  I think it would be great in lasagna...or any dish that requires a soft cheese. 

I also scooped up a cup of cheese and placed it in my mini food processor along with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a teaspoon of garlic powder and whipped it up into a fine smooth, incredibly tasty spread.

You just can't beat the fresh flavor. You get about a pound of cheese for the price of a gallon of milk. Not to mention all the whey that you now have to play with. 

Now that you see how easy it is, are you ready to come aboard and sail the seas of cheese?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peach Upside-Down Rum Cake

This may not come as a surprise to you, but the Food Section is my favorite section of the L.A. Times. Now, I'm not much of a newspaper person. I have a thing....against grey fingertips. It even bugs me when I buy a new paperback book and my fingertips get smudges on them.

But that's not really important, is it? What's important are the recipes in the Food Section...and the articles about food trends and cultural cuisines, etc etc. A while back there was an article (followed by a few recipes of course) on upside-down cakes. Until now, I've only been familiar with the legendary Pineapple Upside-Down Cake that probably adorned every dinning room table at some point in the 70's, with the cute little maraschino cherries in the center of each pineapple rings (that is if us the kids didn't pluck them out before being presented). I had no idea or even stretched my culinary imagination in the direction of using other fruits in place of pineapple. Well, thats exactly what a writer for the Times did....(man...I wish I had thought of this.)

***Breaking News***
I'm only sharing this with you because I'm pretty sure most of you...if not all of you can relate...

Timer's only work when you turn them on. NOT when you set them for 20 minutes only to turn them off after said 20 minutes and then decide that the food in the oven isn't quite ready and needs another few minutes but you fail to turn the timer back on. I mean...why bother, right? It's only a few minutes. Ya, right....25 minutes later you smell something that almost smells good...but you can't figure out why because dinner has already been cooked and served. Then the light goes on and you remember...


And now my little white loaf of artisan bread looks suspiciously like pumpernickel.

And is really super crunchy on the outside.


Dessert....lets get back to this lovely dessert. And quick. Because I think technically, peach season is over but there seems to be an abundance of them in the markets still...and at good prices too.

Peach Upside-Down Rum Cake
Printable Version

2 lbs of peeled peaches
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
9 tablespoons butter at room temperature, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup dark rum

To begin with, lets make it easy to peel them peaches by blanching 'em first. Get out a big pot of water and heat it to a boil on the stove. While you're waiting for that, get a big bowl out and fill it with water and ice cubes. Once the water boils, put the peaches in the boiling water for 40 - 60 seconds, depending on how ripe they are (the less ripe, the longer the boil). Remove the peaches and immediately put them in the ice water to stop the heat from cooking them further. This is called blanching.

Drain and dry the peaches. Make a criss-cross cut on the bottom of the peach and peel the skin off with your fingers or a pairing knife....the skin at this point should peel away nice and easy.

Cut the peaches into 1/2" slices and place them in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350' F.

In a large 10" oven proof skillet (cast iron is recommended) melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until smooth then stir in the honey.

Lower the heat and add the peaches. Stir until the peaches are a little soft and glossy. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread the peaches around so that you have an even layer up to the sides of the pan.

In a medium sized bowl sift together your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and the white sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at time, mixing in between. Then add the honey and beat until well combined.

Working in batches, alternately add the flour mixture and the rum to the butter mixture, starting with the flour mixture, stirring in between until just combined. Continue back and forth between the flour mixture and the rum until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Carefully spoon the batter onto the peaches in the skillet. Gently smooth it out as close to the sides of the pan as you can.

No need to get too OCD on this....it will rise and spread and all will be well in the end.

Bake in the 350'F preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out nice and clean.

Allow to cool in the skillet for about 10 minutes. Then....place a large plate, upside down over the skillet and veeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrry carefully flip the pan over.

Serve at room temperature

This was so fun to make and easy, aside from the messy peeling and slicing of the peaches. I don't think canned peaches would work as nicely as they might get a little on the mushy side. If you're not a rum fan, (and there is a nice strong rum flavor in the cake) then replace it with milk or even buttermilk. The cake isn't overly sweet and tastes incredible with a big ole scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Quickie

This is just a quick note to say that the VOTING poles have opened for round 1 of the Project Food Blog.

Not only will my 1st challenge entry be judged but it will be voted on... by you! You can vote by following the link to the right where my picture is, that says under it....Vote For Me. Or click here ---->Vote For Me<----

Thank you :-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Challenge #1 with a little Basmati Risotto

Everything looks better on a full stomach.

Why am I saying that? Well, I'm a little nervous, you see. I've entered a challenge on Foodbuzz.com called Project Food Blog.

There are 10 challenges to pass. Last I checked there were over 1,800 contestants and only 400 will advance to the 2nd Challenge. Grand prize is $10,000.00. (holy moly)

Nothing calms the nerves like good food. So lets start there, since that's what I'm all about.

During my resent visit to Alabama, we stayed a couple nights at my sister Jenifer's. This chick is on the go, non-stop. She has a husband, 2 young kids, a full-time job. Of course the kids have all there activities and school and church stuff....and you know, I can't figure out where she finds the time to breath, let alone make dinner. But she does. And she did while we were there.

Bless her heart. And man was it GOOD!! One of the dishes she served is called Basmati Rice Risotto. And you know what? This is perfect for her kind of household. When you think Risotto...you think, standing still and calming stirring for endless minutes....HA!!! As if thats going to happen and Jenifer's house! Nope....you mix it all together and plop it in the oven, turn on your timer and move on to the next thing.

That's how quickly things happen at her house. You blink an eye and you've missed a lot.

Did I mention there's also a dog? Ya...he's the baby of the family. His name is Bowden (yes, that name is football related.) and he's the cutest little...shoot....shit tzu? I can't remember. But I know that Jenifer saved this little guy's life. That's how much of a member he is to the family. Poor little Bowden had drown....who knows how long he'd been "gone", it had been several minutes.....but Jen, being the hero that she is, performed CPR on her children's beloved pet and rushed him to the vet. He survived and apparently is no worse for the wear. Well, there are some little things that make you wonder....is that normal? But then you remember who's house you're in and you realize.....there ain't nothin' normal goin' on, why should the dawg be any different?

Anyways...my point is, this risotto dish is fantastic. And it was introduced to me from a fantastic lady...my precious sister...."Flerd" (don't ask).

Basmati Rice Risotto (as printed on the back of Cache River Rice)
Printable Version

1 can Beef Consomme
1 dan French Onion Soup
1 4oz can sliced mushrooms
1 1/3 cup Basmati Rice
1/2 cup melted butter
2 Tablespoons (or more) grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat your oven to 350'F and grease a 2 1/2 qt casserole dish.
Mix all of the ingredients together, except for the cheese (although Jen mixed in a little extra cheese with these ingredients. I didn't) in a greased 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Stir and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese

Serve and enjoy all those fantastic flavors!! If you're lucky enough to have leftovers....enjoy it again. 

Ok..now that our tummies are full of some good food....let me tell you about this first challenge.

Ready, Set....BLOG!!!

This is where I tell you about myself and why I'd be a good candidate as the "Next Food Blog Star".

Do you know how hard it is to "sell yourself?" But that's what I'm here to do.

Food has been an important part of my family life since I can remember. Even back in the days when my food focus was what was advertised on the cereal box. I couldn't understand why the cereal I picked out didn't really include the strawberries that were shown. And did I really have to eat all of the cereal? Even though I picked all of the marshmallow shapes out of the box while watching Saturday morning cartoons?

Fast forward a few years...and there I am with my friends in the kitchen trying to "invent" a new candy. Mixing chocolate and peanut butter and whatever else was in the cupboard....sugar, syrup, honey.....anything sweet.

A couple more years later, and I remember being 14 yrs old and mom working part time a few days a week. I'd call her when I got home from school and she'd walk me through a recipe so that we'd  have dinner ready by the time she got home. Do you remember creamed tuna and peas served on toast? What about sweet and sour meatballs? Yep...that was the beginning of it all.

And of course there were the summers spent in Alabama with my grandparents where I learned the pride in making what one grew in the garden and seeing it prepared on the dinner table. Green beans, okra, creamed corn.

Food has always been the center of my family get togethers. Holidays and birthdays consisted of home cooked food, prepared by all and enjoyed. Picking and tasting as it cooked...being shooed out of the kitchen....a playful slap on the hand as it came out of pan with a tasty morsel.

There was no formal training for me. Just the hands-on, trial and error, determined to do as well as my mom and grandmothers did kind of learning.

I remember before I had children, when my dogs were my "kids".....they weren't allowed in the kitchen when I cooked so they'd sit there, at the kitchen entry (drooling and quivering) and watch me cook. I gave them lessons. What else could I do? I drank my little glasses of sherry while I made meatballs and sweet and sour sauce and explained to my eager doggy students each and every step....in my best Julia Child's voice. (gotta love that sherry for loosening the tongue and the inhibitions).

Not long ago I read the book, The Julie and Julia Project....thus being inspired to start my own food blog. You can't imagine how thrilled I was when the book was made into a movie and I won tickets to the premier in Hollywood!

My blog started off being a therapy of sorts. And it still is....but it's grown into something more meaningful to me. I try to make it enjoyable to read and to reflect a little bit of me...in a silly way. I've been described (in the food section of a little newspaper in Maine) as having an acerbic sense of humor. But it's more than just a place to share my thoughts, my recipes and focus on something other than what's going on in the "real world". My blog has become something I hope to be useful to others. Now and in the future.

Not only do I cook and bake some very basic, tasty dishes....but I'm willing to try all things new.... challenging recipes that I use to be afraid of. I like to show others who are just starting out in the cooking world that it can be done. If you can read and follow directions, you can do it. My bread may not be the prettiest....but I did it. And it's good. I can't ice a cake for the life of me....but that doesn't stop me from trying. If you have the desire, and the time....I know you can do it too.

And I'm not just talking to who ever happens to stumble upon my kitchen creations....I'm talking to my daughters, who will one day be on there own and will be relied upon to provide good meals for their own families. And here they have all the recipes they grew up with....which include step-by-step instructions and most often, photos to assist them.

I think of my blog as the modern day, modern way of handing down the family experiences in the kitchen. Everything at their fingertips. Of course I expect a phone call or two (or way more)...but it's always here when they need it.

So...this blog isn't just about me. It's about sharing, teaching and connecting. It's about food, family, friends and most of all....good times.

So here's to now....and to the future!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apple Streusel Focaccia made with Maple Oatmeal Bread

Yum. Delish....great for breakfast or dessert. Might be considered on the healthy side even. (if that's your thing. I'm trying to get there....)

This started as a wonderfully smelling incredible dough from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day called Maple Oatmeal Bread. The other part of our Sept. 15th assignment from Michelle at BigBlackDogs.net, the fearless, incredibly knowledgeable, and wonderfully sweet leader of HBin5 Bread Braid.

Soo....this dough smelled like a bowl of fresh oatmeal. I just wanted to stand there and sniff it while it rose. It of course contained rolled oats and maple but it also had cinnamon and buttermilk (everything baked with buttermilk seems to be better). I added 1/2 tsp barley malt syrup per cup of flour. (I am totally in love with that stuff!). I could've made a simple loaf and enjoyed it...and I do plan on making a few bagels this weekend but I wanted to make something different. Something to highlight the maple and oatmeal flavor. Btw....you can find the dough recipe on pgs 145-146 of the HBin5 cookbook by Jeff Hertzberg and Joe Francois. If you would love to make homemade bread but are afraid of yeast...I highly....HIGHLY recommend their books. Face your fear. Confront the yeast!

Of course you can use any dough you'd like just start off with a grapefruit sized ball (about a pound) of dough (after it's initial rise) and do what I did....

Apple Streusel Focaccia (Inspired by Quaker Caramel Apple Flatbread)
Printable Version

1 lb Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Dough (or your choice of dough)
1 medium sized apple, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon or so of cinnamon sugar (or to taste)
3/4 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup greek plain yoghurt
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Divide the dough in half and roll out into equally sized rectangles. Place a rectangle on a greased cookie sheet and spread the apples up to 1" from the edges. Sprinkle with your favorite cinnamon sugar mixture.

(ok, so my rectangles aren't equal in size....but it worked anyway..a little nudge here and a tuck there.)

Gently take the "empty" rectangle and place it on top of the apple covered rectangle and pinch the edges together to seal in all that yumminess

Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes or so.

Preheat your oven to 400'F.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and yoghurt. Mix well. Once the dough has finished resting and hopefully rose a bit, spread the yoghurt mixture on top. You might not need all of it....that's ok. Don't force it. It will depend on how big your focaccia ends up being (yours might end up being bigger than mine and I didn't use all of the topping). Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the topping.
Bake for about 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

It's kinda like a fancy apple turnover. Or....apple oatmeal on bread. What ever it is....it's good! And it's making me a promise that fall is just around the corner.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

HBin5 Greek Bruschetta on Quinoa Bread

I just realized it's been a while since I made a new bread recipe for the HBin5 bread baking group

If by chance this is the first time you've heard of HBin5 (or you have a memory like me and have forgotten)...it's a fabulous online bread baking group with a ton of very awesome members ranging in bread baking experience from novice to expert and everywhere in between. We are baking our way though Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. Awesome book!!! Incredible recipes....and the this whole group is lead by Michelle over at BigBlackDogs.net. If you'd like to check out what some of the other members did with their assignments  (and I highly recommend that you do) you can go to this assignments post 19th HBin5 Bread Braid

And one more shoutout....BakeSpace.com. We have cooking challenges once a month or so. For the month of September our challenge happened to be quinoa. Any form, any recipe. Just make something with it. When I realized that both assignments coincided, boy was I excited! If you wanna see what everyone on BakeSpace did with quinoa click ----->HERE<------

Ooook, lets get on with business. Now...because we're (HBin5) are baking our way through the actual book, we are not allowed to give out the recipe because when all's said and done, we will have basically re-published the whole cookbook. Which isn't really cool to the authors, ya know? But I can tell you that the main recipe for the Quinoa Bread is found on page 132. I did make a few alterations. Instead of using the full amount of white whole wheat flour, I cut it in half, increasing the all purpose for what was lacking in the white whole wheat. It's easier on the taste buds for me.

The other alteration I made was something new to me. I'd heard about it. I'd read about it and finally I decided to play with it.

Barley Malt Syrup.

For every cup of flour that is used in a recipe, I added 1/2 tsp of Barley Malt Syrup. This was the first time I used it...and I loved it!!!! It adds a fantastic flavor...although mild....it alters the color of the bread to a light caramel color and it enhances the yeast growth.

I am sold on this stuff....hook, line and sinker! This particular bottle was purchased at a health food store. Although I believe many of the main stream grocery stores carry it.

This was my very first experience with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) ever.

I'd never seen nor tasted this grain. It's high in protein and is great for those with a sensitivity to gluten. It's been around since early times (like...back in the days of the Incas) and has recently experienced a come-back.

And is great in bread!!!

I mixed together all the dry ingredients (including the quinoa) and then combined the wet ingredients, with the Barley Malt Syrup so that the syrup would dissolve before adding it to the flour combo.

After the first rise (of 2 hours on the counter) and an over-nighter in the fridge, I formed the dough into baguettes.

My initial rise (90 minutes) was great!!! I don't think I got any over spring. But that's ok. I mean, look at this crumb....

This baguette had the pleasure of being used for a bruschetta. Greek style

Greek Bruschetta
Printable Version

1/4 cup finely chopped olives (whatever is your favorite)
1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped artichoke hearts
1 garlic clove, minced
handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
drizzle of olive oil
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 baguette, sliced diagonally and brushed with a butter / olive oil combo...(maybe even infused with garlic) and toasted (400'F oven for about 10 minutes on each side until golden brown)

Combine all ingredients except for the feta cheese (and baguette). Although that doesn't really matter since the cheese wont really melt when placed on top. So go ahead and add that too and spoon onto the sliced baguettes.

Place in a 400' F oven for about 10 minutes, or until nice and warm and almost melty cheese.

When I first added the quinoa to the dough mixture, it sorta felt like I'd just dumped a bunch of bird seed in there. (Ya...I have weird thoughts...sometimes often)

This bread was fantastic!!! The quinoa that remained on the bread surface reminded me of sesame seeds. those that were engulfed in the dough just became part of the dough and was fabulously wonderful. The greek version of these baguettes were incredibly tasty and most popular in my household. When I went to bed that night, I put several of them in the fridge. The girls weren't home for dinner...therefore I was very much looking forward to leftovers the next night. Only to come home to none. Apparently the girls had enjoyed them for leftovers for lunch.