I love the different seasons. I especially love spring with the abundance of green everywhere and the fresh fruit, which starts to appear in the garden and at the farmers markets. Although it’s still a little early for strawberries in Vermont, this fresh spring salad with berries is perfect for that first dinner cooked on the grill. We ate this salad with grilled chicken the first night and the next night I served it with slices of grilled chicken on top of the salad. Both were delicious.
Fresh Raspberries and Blackberries
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
In a large bowl, combine the greens, berries and almonds. Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar and shake well. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
Leftover salad is wonderful with sliced chicken.
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A few weeks ago I shared my Amazing Sourdough Biscuit recipe, another favorite way to use my sourdough starter is making bread.
This recipe is very simple and you can add all sorts of things to the batter to change the taste. The recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on the King Arthur website.
Rustic Sourdough Bread
1 cup of fed sourdough starter
1 ½ cups of lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2 ½ tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2-3 Tbsp Tuscan Sunset seasoning from Penzey Spices
Combine all the ingredients and knead to form a smooth dough. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer. Place the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl and allow the dough to double in size, about 90 minutes.
Gently shape the dough into two logs about 10 inches long.
Place on a lightly greased parchment-lined baking sheet. I used my baguette pan.
Cover and let rise until very puffy, about one hour. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425. Spray the loaves with lukewarm water. Make two fairly deep diagonal slashes in each loaf. I made several slashes in the long loaves using a serrated bread knife.
Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes; until it’s a very deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Couldn’t wait, while it was still warm I enjoyed a slice with some butter! (Well perhaps too much butter!) Yum!
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The majority of the time I cook from scratch. However, some of my recipes use some pre-made ingredients. Like my chicken masala recipe. For those nights when I don’t have a lot of time and want to have a quick dinner on the table I use curry sauce from a jar! Never fear I make a few additions and the end result is very much like a dinner made from scratch and just as tasty.
Chicken Masala and Vegetables
1 pound of boneless chicken –cut into chunks, raw or can use leftover chicken
1 cup Zucchini – sliced
1 cup Carrots – peeled and sliced
Jar of Masala Sauce
Take a large pan and sauté the chicken chunks until done. Remove from pan and set aside.
Take sliced carrots and sauté in the same pan.
When almost done add the zucchini and continue cooking until vegetables are crisp tender.
Add the chicken to the pan and pour in the jar of sauce.
Use enough sauce to your liking. Heat through and serve immediately. Excellent served on rice.
Recently our oldest daughter was visiting us. While she was staying with us she made the most delicious batch of homemade graham crackers. They were so much better than store bought graham crackers. She found the recipe on the Weelicious.com website. They are so easy to make in just a short amount of time you can be enjoying a batch!
Homemade Graham Crackers
Adapted from weelicious.com
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup butter, chilled and cubed
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In your food processor or mixer combine the first six ingredients. Add the cubed and chilled butter to the mix and pulse/mix until it resembles coarse meal. Add the honey and water and continue to mix until it is well combined.
Remove and shape the dough by rolling it out until ¼ inch thick. Cut into crackers or shapes.
Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool and serve.
Store in an airtight container.
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This is my second month participating in the recipe swap. Each month I am pared up with another blogger who writes about cooking. My task is to pick a recipe off of her site, make it and then write a post about my outcome. For me it’s a win-win situation. I learn about a new blog and a new recipe and someone else learns about my blog! Last month I made Muffin Meat Loaf. This month I was pared up with a blog called Dessert Now, Dinner Later written by Amber. Amber is a young stay at home mom busy raising her darling children, a girl and a boy. She has all sorts of delicious sounding recipes on her blog, not only desserts but dinner ideas as well. It was hard to pick just one.
However since I’ve been participating in Spring Pantry Challenge and trying to use up items from my pantry and freezer I decided to make her Spiced Pumpkin Loaf with Cinnamon Brown Sugar. I love pumpkin bread and this sounded like an amazing recipe. I had some frozen pumpkin on hand in our freezer, which I put to good use. I was not disappointed; the bread came out moist and delicious. If you are a fan of pumpkin bread give this recipe a try!
Spiced Pumpkin Loaf with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 Tbsp butter (NOT margarine)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze:
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, & pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Using a stand mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl Add pumpkin puree and 2 eggs. Blend until combined. Slowly add flour mixture. Scrape bowl. Add 2/3 cup water until just incorporated.
Grease a 9-inch bread pan lined with parchment on the bottom, & pour mixture inside. Bake at 350 F for roughly 1 hour until done in the center.
Allow to cool in pan on a rack.
Prepare glaze by melting butter, brown sugar and milk in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds (cover bowl, in case it splatters.) Once butter is melted, whisk until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 cup powered sugar & cinnamon to taste and allow to cool to room temperature.
Pour glaze over pumpkin loaf once it has cooled down a bit.
Remove bread from pan once the glaze has solidified and the bread is completely cool. Peel off parchment paper from the bottom. Slice and serve.
Makes 12-14 slices.
If you would like to participate in the Surprise Recipe Swap just click on the button below which will take you to the sign up page.
I love biscuits, especially flaky homemade biscuits. We’ve been challenging ourselves to eat from the abundance we have on hand which includes homemade biscuits. I have a sourdough starter going all the time. It doesn’t take much time to maintain and I love sourdough biscuits.
This recipe makes about a dozen and I will usually keep four out for my husband and I and freeze the rest. That way I always have them on hand. This week I had to make a new batch. So despite the fact that we are eating from the freezer I am actually going to be putting a few biscuits back in the freezer!
Amazing Sourdough Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup cold butter
1 cup Sourdough Starter
½ cup buttermilk
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine Sourdough Starter and buttermilk, str into crumb mixture with a fork until the dough forms a ball.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Roll to ½ inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter.
Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
If desired you can brush them with melted butter at this point. Remove from the baking pan to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 1 dozen.
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