Rice Rice Baby…ba bump, ba bump, ba da bum bump

Remember that time I started a blog, while on a diet…then gave up on my diet because of my blog… then gave of on my blog because I was super tired from eating junk???!!.

yeah…well…i do.

SWEET KRYPTONITE strikes again!

I may be terrible at blogging, but I’m good at cooking, so here goes another recipe…a healthier one ūüėČ It’s my take¬†on Persian Style Rice, not using any fancy, over priced rice, but run of the mill, cheap-o rice, made quite amazing by a few techniques that’ll up your rice game.

Here’s what I did…

get your rice...I used standard medium grain rice (the cheapest one in the store ;)

get your rice…I used standard medium grain rice (the cheapest one in the store ūüėČ

cover with cold water and let it soak.

cover with cold water and let it soak.

this rice has sat for 1 hour...look at those starches!

this rice has sat for 1 hour…look at those starches!

rinse the rest if the starch away

rinse the rest if the starch away

meanwhile, boil enough water, veggie stock or chicken stock needed to cover the rice...i used about 4 cups. Once boiling add the rice.

meanwhile, boil enough water, veggie stock or chicken stock needed to cover the rice…i used about 4 cups. Once boiling add the rice.

boil for 2 minutes. This will cook the outside of each rice kernel so they won't stick together.

boil for 2 minutes. This will cook the outside of each rice kernel so they won’t stick together.

drain the rice again. Do not rinse!

drain the rice again. Do not rinse!

put the pot back on the stove and add some oil, then plop the rice back in.

put the pot back on the stove and add some oil, then plop the rice back in.

mound it up like so

mound it up like so

grab a stick and poke a bunch of holes in the little rice mountain.

grab a stick and poke a bunch of holes in the little rice mountain.

this will allow steam to get through

this will allow steam to get through

without catching your towel on fire...place a towel over the top and cover with a lid...beware of fire! ok...just turn it off for this step.

without catching your towel on fire…place a towel over the top and cover with a lid…beware of fire! ok…just turn it off for this step.

pull the edged of the towel up over the top so they don't catch on fire...turn your heat back on low to cook the rice mountain slowly for another hour.

pull the edged of the towel up over the top so they don’t catch on fire…turn your heat back on low to cook the rice mountain slowly for another hour.

behold...the best textured and most beautiful rice as well as incredibly flavorful!

behold…the best textured and most beautiful rice as well as incredibly flavorful!

each grain fully cooked and not sticking to another.

each grain fully cooked and not sticking to another.

What you’ll need…

Rice (4 servings)

2 Cups Rice

Cold water for soaking

4 Cups Chicken Broth, boiling

salt/pepper

parsley/seasoning of choice (for boiling water)

olive oil

pot with lid / strainer

1) soak rice in water for 1 hr and rinse thouroughly

2) boil for 2 minutes in chicken stock or stock of your choice

3) drain excess liquid then return to oiled hot pot

4) cover with towel and lid, securing towel so it is nowhere near the flame to avoid fire

5) cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour on low, without lifting the lid at all

enjoy!

(note that the rice at the bottom of the pan will be extra crunchy and can be considered the most desirable portion. You did not make a mistake if you have crunchy rice on the bottom! If you don’t like the crunchy bits, just avoid that bottom row of rice while serving)

Sriracha Coleslaw

It just so happened, my local grocery store¬†had a sale on beef brisket, that I could not refuse. I love brisket and my husband loves it even more, and sadly, when shopping on a budget, it’s not a regular item on our shopping list. However, on those rare occasions when it’s on sale, I snatch it up. Fast.

Sorry to tell you, I did not post a recipe and how-to on smoking beef brisket. Another time, I promise. It was so last minute, that I had to prep the meat, literally 10 minutes before picking my kids up from school. Only to spend the rest of my afternoon, babysitting The Big Green Egg turned smoker on my back patio, making sure my¬†fire was hovering at 250¬ļ. Distraction would have equaled disaster. So again, maybe next time.

Fortunately, I did remember to make a recipe for the sriracha coleslaw that was a welcome accompaniment to the lush shredded smoked meat. It’s got enough tang and heat to cut through the smoky beef intensity and just enough sweetness to balance all the savory.

Here’s what I did…

chopped my cabbage

chopped my cabbage

chopped carrots, finely

chopped carrots, finely

chopped celery

chopped celery

chopped red onion

chopped red onion

added salt

and some sugar

and some sugar

fresh cracked pepper

fresh cracked pepper

a few splashes of apple cider vinegar

a few splashes of apple cider vinegar

sriracha mustard...shazam!

sriracha mustard…shazam!

add the mayo

add the mayo

after tasting I added a bit more sugar and a smidgen more mayo

after tasting I added a bit more sugar and a smidgen more mayo

so pretty

so pretty

Now, while this little bowl of goodness took a break in the fridge, I got busy prepping my smoked brisket for sandwiches!!

Here’s what I did to put it all together…

on a toasted onion roll, on went some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce

on a toasted onion roll, on went some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce

Next, a hefty helping of shredded Smoked Beef Brisket

Next, a hefty helping of shredded Smoked Beef Brisket…forgive the messy plate juices

On top of the beef,  a generous portion of coleslaw

On top of the beef, a generous portion of coleslaw…

To slathered the top bun with horseradish sour cream

 slathered the top bun with horseradish sour cream and snuck in some lettuce on top of everything

topped and ready to eat

topped and ready to eat

yes, my heart is complete! Beef Brisket sandwich showin me some love.

yes, my heart is complete! Beef Brisket sandwich showin me some love.

Sriracha Coleslaw

2 1/3 C cabbage

1/3 C carrots chopped

1/2 stick celery diced

1/3 onion, sliced thin, then roughly chopped

1/3 C mayo

2 tsp. sriracha mustard

1/4 C. sugar

2 tsp. vinegar

1 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

ENJOY!

Challah Bread…a new recipe!

I love some good Challah Bread. It’s airy, soft, eggy, slightly sweet, and so shiny! Perfect to use for¬†bread pudding, french toast, cheeseburger buns, or toasted with Nutella. My original recipe doesn’t turn¬†out quite as¬†amazing as I’d like, so I’m on the hunt for the ultimate Challah recipe. Today’s recipe comes from my friend Connie H., in NJ, who makes an absolutely beautiful loaf of braided Challah bread.

Here’s what I did…

I whisked the eggs and milk together

I whisked the eggs and oil together, then added the very warm water

in a separate bowl I sifted in the flour...

in a separate bowl I sifted in the flour…

the salt...

the salt…

 the sugar...

the sugar…

and the yeast...

and the yeast…

mixed it all together until it became a smooth and soft dough, then let it rest for 20mins under cover in greased bowl

mixed it all together until it became a smooth and soft dough, then let it rest for 20mins under cover in greased bowl

once it was rested, I rolled into a log, so i could portion out 4 pieces accurately

once it was rested, I rolled into a log, so i could portion out 4 pieces accurately

rolled each portion into even lengths, about 12" long

rolled each portion into even lengths, about 12″ long

Pinch all pieces together at the top

Pinch all pieces together at the top

step 2: cross the centers and go under the outer left and over the outer right

step 2: cross the centers and go under the outer left and over the outer right

step 3: cross the original outer right over the original  outer left.

step 3: cross the original outer right over the original outer left.

step 4: take new outer right and cross over, take new outer right and cross under

step 4: take new outer right and cross over, take new outer right and cross under

step 5: repeat until there is no more space, pinching the bottoms together to seal it and prevent separation.

step 5: repeat until there is no more space, pinching the bottoms together to seal it and prevent separation.

i reserved some of my dough to make burger buns....my favorite!!

i reserved some of my dough to make burger buns….my favorite!!

covered with oil sprayed plastic, and let rise a few hours

covered with oil sprayed plastic, and let rise a few hours

while the oven heated, I brushed the loaf gently with egg wash  and sprinkled with seeds

while the oven heated, I brushed the loaf gently with egg wash and sprinkled with seeds

Viola! I big loaf for french toast and buns for burgers.

Viola! I big loaf for french toast and buns for burgers.

Here’s Connie’s Recipe…

Connie’s Challah Bread

Connie's recipe

Connie’s recipe…enjoy!

Garlic Knots

What’s a girl gonna do with oodles of pizza dough? Make garlic knots of course! Making homemade pizza dough is way easier than it seems. Not as easy as buying from the freezer section of the store, but definitely¬†more rewarding. We eat a lot of pizza (a whole lot) so I figured out a few recipes to incorporate the extra dough, and here is one of them.

Garlic Knots. Bitesize. Addictive. Irresistable.

Here’s what I did…

I combined the yeast, warm water,  and a bit of sugar

I combined the yeast, warm water, and a bit of sugar

I added salt, oil, sugar and 1 cup of flour to make a slurry...the yeast is getting happy

I added salt, oil, sugar and 1 cup of flour to make a slurry…the yeast is getting happy

added the rest of the flour slowly

added the rest of the flour slowly

until it looked like this, just pulled together into a sticky ball

until it looked like this, just pulled together into a sticky ball

consistency of dough should be very "squishy"

consistency of dough should be very “squishy”

after kneading about 5-10 minutes, with lots of throwing it down on the work surface, the dough gets smooth and is still very tender

after kneading about 5-10 minutes, with lots of throwing it down on the work surface, the dough gets smooth and is still very tender

cover and let rise in warm area

cover and let rise in warm area

it grew rapidly

it grew rapidly

and kept growing after I punched it down

and kept growing after I punched it down

the dough...soft as a pillow after rising an hour or more

the dough…soft as a pillow after rising an hour or more

roll out as long as your hand breadth

roll out as long as your hand breadth

tie in a knot

tie in a knot

 a great way to keep little hands busy

a great way to keep little hands busy

ready to go

ready to go

while the knots are cooking, I pull out my olive oil that's been marinating minced garlic

while the knots are cooking, I pull out my olive oil that’s been marinating minced garlic

add some fresh herbs, slat pepper, and more garlic

add some fresh herbs, salt,  pepper, and more garlic

once cooked, they can be dumped in a big bowl

once cooked, they can be dumped in a big bowl

toss them in A LOT of garlic Olive Oil.... A LOT I SAID!

toss them in A LOT of garlic Olive Oil…. A LOT I SAID!

cook for another couple of minutes before eaten so they are fragrant and watm

cook for another couple of minutes before eaten so they are fragrant and watm

Here’s what you’ll need

Garlic Knots

1 c. lukewarm water

1 package fast acting yeast

1 tsp.+  salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 c. (whole wheat flour optional for this 1 cup)

 1.5 Р2 c. flour additional

1/4 c. “good”¬†Olive Oil

8 heads of Garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried parsley

s/p to taste

bake knots at 425¬ļ for 5-10 mins

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Dough for Raviolis

As I was cleaning my kitchen today, and taking stock of the gazillion bags of flour on the shelf, I discovered a small bag of Whole Wheat flour that expires….AHHHH…04.30.2015….That’s next week!!!! Gotta use that puppers up so I figured this week I’d make lots of bread and doughs.

First on the list, pasta dough. “Homemade pastaaaa”…(said in my best Homer Simpson drooly voice) is such a treat to have. My kids are also a big fan of it to. Win. Win.

Here’s what I did…

take all the ingredients and combine in the stand mixer

take all the ingredients and combine in the stand mixer

add some water to bring  it together

add some water to bring it together

mix until its one big lump

mix until its one big lump

knead until smooth and divide into smaller portions to wrap up and let rest

knead until smooth and divide into smaller portions to wrap up and let rest

added the  pasta attachment to the mixer... I'm so spoiled

added the pasta attachment to the mixer… I’m so spoiled

Sorry about not having pictures of rolling out the pasta into sheets, but I hand both hands on deck for that and I could guarantee some epic fails if I tried to get an action shot of that process.

after running the dough through the pasta machine until it reached number 7 (very thin) I lay it on the ravioli form

after running the dough through the pasta machine until it reached number 7 (very thin) I lay it on the ravioli form

brushed the edges with egg wash

brushed the edges with egg wash

fill each section with a 1/2 to 1 tsp. filling...or go for the gold... try tablespoon!

fill each section with a 1/2 to 1 tsp. filling…or go for the gold… try tablespoon!

place another layer of pasta on top

place another layer of pasta on top

use a rolling pin to seal the two layers together and form the individual raviolis

use a rolling pin to seal the two layers together and form the individual raviolis

all pressed together

all pressed together

remove the excess pasta from edges

remove the excess pasta from edges

turn out the raviolis and put in the fridge until ready to cook

turn out the raviolis and put in the fridge until ready to cook

if you run out of filling, like I did, you can use the rest of the pasta dough to make spaghetti. These are dry and bunched in little nests for easy storage until I can cook them.

if you run out of filling, like I did, you can use the rest of the pasta dough to make spaghetti. These are dry and bunched in little nests for easy storage until I can cook them.

At this point you’re free to boil them, or even deep fry them for a different approach. I had so many, I ended up freezing had of them for another time. However you utilize this process, your with whatever you fill them, I hope you enjoy the wonderful texture of homemade pasta, and revel in the fact that you just made that! From scratch!

Here’s what you’ll need…

Homemade Wheat Pasta

2 C. whole wheat flour + some for dusting work surface

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

3 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash

1/4 cup (approximately) water….start with less and add slowly

Combine flour, oil, salt and eggs. slowly add in water until it just pulls it all together. Knead by hand about 10 mins until smooth. Wrap in plastic and let rest at least 1 hr. before rolling out. Keep covered to avoid drying out

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatloaf

I’m a big fan of classic home cooked meals. And, somewhere in the middle of my comfort food heart, sits a little plate (or big one) set aside for meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Mr. Meatloaf was tugging at my heartstrings yesterday morning, (because crazy person that I am,¬†as soon as breakfast is finished, I’m thinking up dinner) so guess what was for dinner….meatloaf and potatoes. Well, turkey meatloaf because we were out of beef, and pierogis because we were out of potatoes. So, turkey meatloaf and pierogis….well, wheat/gluten free meatloaf because I’m following my “limited bread” diet…kinda, and dairy-free because my oldest son has a milk allergy. Whatever kind of dinner I ended up with, it was home cooked, comfort-licious!

Here’s what I did….

meat, eggs, almond milk, oats, onions, savory, parsley, salt and pepper  (pay no attention to the oil and garlic salt...they snuck in without asking)

meat, eggs, almond milk, oats, onions, savory, parsley, salt and pepper
(pay no attention to the oil and garlic salt…they snuck in without asking)

stir the eggs

stir the eggs

add 3/4 cup milk

add 3/4 cup milk

add 3/4 cups oats

add 3/4 cups oats

add some salt

add some salt

add 1/2 teaspoon savory

add 1/2 teaspoon savory

a good bit of parsley, fresh is SO good in this recipe but if all you have is dried, thats ok

a good bit of parsley, fresh is SO good in this recipe but if all you have is dried, thats ok

I had some leftover onions from our cheeseburger dinner...

I had some leftover onions from our cheeseburger dinner…

chopped em up and tossed them in

chopped em up and tossed them in

once all the other ingredients were mixed in, I added the ground turkey

once all the other ingredients were mixed in, I added the ground turkey

plop

plop

so that's what it looks like...kinda...eeew

so that’s what it looks like…kinda…eeew

didn't want to wash another dish so this one's getting some foil

didn’t want to wash another dish so this one’s getting some foil

small loaf pan covered in foil and trimmed up nice

small loaf pan covered in foil and trimmed up nice

sprayed with oil to prevent sticking

sprayed with oil to prevent sticking

rub that baby down

rub that baby down

preheat the oven to 350¬ļF and let it cook for 50 mins.

preheat the oven to 350¬ļF and let it cook for 50 mins.

add a spoonful of the meatloaf mixture to pan with 4 tablespoons of butter....the gravy is not dairy free

add a spoonful of the meatloaf mixture to pan with 4 tablespoons of butter….the gravy is not dairy free

add 4 Tablespoons of flour......and it's not gluten free either

add 4 Tablespoons of flour……and it’s not gluten free either

Cook, while stirring, until bubbling

Cook, while stirring, until bubbling

add some Heavy Cream...definitely not dairy free

add some Heavy Cream…definitely not dairy free

add beef stock or beef bullion and water

add beef stock or beef bullion and water

slice the meatloaf when cool enough to handle

slice the meatloaf when cool enough to handle

quickly grill the slices on a hot griddle, coated in Olive Oil, to bring out flavor and color

quickly grill the slices on a hot griddle, coated in Olive Oil, to bring out flavor and color

the grand finale.....Delicious Gluten-free, Dairy-free meatloaf with gravy.

the grand finale…..Delicious Gluten-free, Dairy-free meatloaf with gravy, which is loaded with dairy and gluten. Options people, Options.

Here’s what you’ll need…

Grain-free, Dairy-freeTurkey Meatloaf Recipe

(Adapted from my good friend Kathleen’s recipe)

1 lb ground turkey

2 eggs

3/4 cup almond milk

3/4 cup oats

1/2 teaspoon savory

1 teaspoon dried parsley (use double if using fresh parsley)

1/2 cup onions chopped

1/2 Tablespoon salt

 a few cracks of Black pepper

Gravy Recipe

1 Tablespoon meatloaf mix

4 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup of beef stock OR 1 cup water and bullion

Homemade Tarter Sauce

Yesterday was a brute.

Laundry up to my ears, a pretty chaotic couple of kids, and i headache that just kept nagging at me. So when dinner time rolled around, I was not at all ready to be creative with it. It was a fish sticks and frozen veggies kind of night.

But, you can’t have fish sticks without tarter sauce. Fortunately, it’s ingredients are always on hand and super quick to make. It can literally be whipped up while the deathly hot fish sticks are cooling to a safe consumption temperature.

This is what I used…

Simple Tarter Sauce

1/4 Cup Mayonaise

3 dill pickle slices, chopped

salt/pepper

lemon juice

start with 1/4 cup mayo

start with 1/4 cup mayo

I chopped up 3 dill pickles slices in liue of relish

I chopped up 3 dill pickles slices in liue of relish

add a few cracks of pepper, a pinch of salt and a 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

add a few cracks of pepper, a pinch of salt and a 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Viola...baked fish and tarter sauce

Viola…baked fish and tarter sauce