Saturday, November 21, 2015

EASY fabulous white bread for your Breadmaker

After trying numerous white bread recipes- this is my favorite- and it's my own little mashup of the best bits of all the other recipes:

3 C flour
2 flat teaspoons yeast (I buy the giant, intimidating but cheap, brick from Costco, of active dry yeast)
1/8 C oil (I use Safflower)
1/8 C melted cooled butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 C warm (not hot!!!!) water (this water should feel mildly warm on the inside of your wrist)
3 Tbs sugar

Put all ingredients in bread maker for 2 lb loaf, select normal setting.  That's it!

If the top craters- you've got too much yeast action.  With some of the other recipes I got off the net, this happened to me.  So I reduced the water (to 1 C) and upped the salt (to 1 1/2 tsp).  I get a lovely, perfect loaf every time.  But if with this recipe, or any other, you get the dreaded "crater top loaf"- just know that you can lower the liquid or up the salt to stop that.  Salt retards yeast action- so that's a nice way to adjust your yeast growth.  Orange or lemon peel is a nice addition to this.  Pepper, seeds, poppy seeds, curry powder, and other spices, can also be added.  It's a fun, simple recipe to play with- and you can add spices to your bread that make a sandwich more special.  Chicken curry salad on a bread with a little curry in it is fabulous!  Or put a little dried dill in the bread, and serve a tuna sandwich on it!  So good!!! And so easy.

Crockpot or Slow Cooker Truffled Risotto

Easy, easy recipe!  Tasty and great for guests.
1 C Arborio rice - rinsed and drained
3 3/4 C broth (I use Trader Joe's organic chicken broth)
1/4 C wine
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup truffle oil (I use Urbani)
1/8 cup olive oil
3/4-1 C Parmesan cheese

Put all ingredients EXCEPT cheese, in crockpot.  Turn on high and leave for two hours.  When rice is soft (and crockpots differ- so cook rice until it is soft) stir in cheese until melted, and add 1/8 cup heavy cream or half and half.  Eat and enjoy.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Risotto, Rice pudding, Arborio rice entertainment!

I've been cooking a lot- but I've been very lazy about posting here.  And I've found some wonderful recipes, and modified them to suit myself, and my lazy ways- so let me share some fantastic crockpot or slow cooker ideas for rice, rice and more rice.  Our Grocery outlet had a fantastic deal on Italian Arborio rice- so I got a bunch, because we love risotto AND rice pudding.

Here's a super easy rice pudding recipe!
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
vanilla- 1 tsp
cinnamon (1/2 tsp), nutmeg (1/4 tsp), allspice (1/4 tsp)- or, you can use pumpkin spice, and Starbucks up your rice pudding
Sugar- 1/4-1/2 cup- depending on your taste (we like ours less sweet)
Possible additions- orange peel, coconut, chopped pecans, raisins,dried cranberries, or other dried fruits (apricots and pineapples are very nice when added together!  especially with coconut and pecans- so tasty)

Put milk and half and half in slow cooker for 2 hours on high.  Stir in sugar, vanilla, spices, coconut, chopped nuts or any other additions.  Pudding will thicken quite a bit.  If you like a more liquid pudding, add 1/4 cup more milk.

Slow Cooker Risotto

1 ¼ cup Arborio rice
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs dried chopped onion
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
3 ¾ cups broth (chicken or veggie)
1/8 cup olive oil or butter
¼ cup half and half (for richer risotto add heavy cream)

(options- to add dry white wine, reduce broth by 1/4 and add 1/4 cup wine.  Also, you can add just about any cheese you want to.  I change the broth to 2 cups crushed tomatoes, oregano, and 1 3/4 cups water, sometimes, and then add Parmesan cheese, at the end- voila, pizza risotto!  Blue cheese and white wine is wonderful.  Goat cheese is delicious, as is feta.  You can do just about anything you want with this easy, adaptable recipe.)

You add all ingredients, EXCEPT cheese, and cook 2 hours on high.  When the rice is tender, stir in cheese until fully melted.  Eat and enjoy.