Monday, May 19, 2014

Friendship Bread

Welcome to your blob. This sweet bread starter is kept on your kitchen counter and resembles pancake batter. DO NOT use any type of metal for mixing. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. If the bag fills with air, vent it and reseal the bag. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment. Buy extra zip lock bags, and keep flour, sugar, and milk in stock. Prepare for day 10 with instant vanilla pudding and additional ingredients below. If you keep a starter for yourself you will be baking every 10 days (or so).

Day 1: Do nothing. This is either the day you received the batter (or go by date on the bag).

Day 2: Mush the bag. Squeeze, mash, roll the blob around. Have fun.

Day 3: Mush the bag. Repeat

Day 4: Mush the bag. Again.

Day 5: Mush the bag. Smile.

Day 6: Add 1.5 cup flour, 1.5 cup sugar, and 1.5 cup milk to the bag. Mush, mush, mush the bag. Mix it all together. Have kids help.

Day 7: Mush the bag. Hum a tune to your blob.

Day 8: Mush the bag. Do a little dance.

Day 9: Mush the bag. Sing a little song. Get down tonight.

Day 10: Follow instructions below.

1. Pour entire contents of bag into a large non-metallic bowl.

2. Add 1.5 cups flour, 1.5 cups sugar, and 1.5 cups milk. Mix.

3. In ziplock bags, measure out 4 separate 1 cup batters. Date the bags. These are starters, keep one for yourself, and you have three to give away.

4. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.

5. Grease and dust 2 glass loaf pans. A sweeter option, in place of flour, dust the pans with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1.5 tsp cinnamon.

6. To the remaining batter in the bowl add:
    3 eggs                         
    1.5 tsp baking powder
    1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil & 1/2 cup applesauce)  
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 cup milk                       
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup sugar                       
    2 cups flour
    2 tsp. cinnamon                    
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    I large box instant vanilla pudding

7. Optional additions which I recommend = a large handful of slivered almonds, a large handful shredded coconut, and a handful of raisins. Diced apple is also recommended, and I could see shredded carrot working as well.

8. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. If dusting with sugar, sprinkle a little more over the top.

9. Bake for at least 50 minutes (or more), until a toothpick comes out clean. I find the bread quite moist so I bake it for more like 60 to 70 minutes.

- Madeleine

Canellini Bean Salad with Avocado Dressing

This was hands down the best salad I have made in a while, and the dressing is so good and healthy, I have made the salad at least three times in the past month. I found the recipe originally on Pinterest, but the owner of the recipe is the lovely and talended Cozy Kitchen. .The recipe can be found HERE. Honestly, their picture is also so much better than mine - neat and clean before it is tossed with the dressing.
Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing //

3 cups arugula
1 (15-ounce) can of Cannelleni beans
3 tablespoons minced mint (about 5 leaves)
Small handful of Italian parsley (about 1/4 cup), roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, zested into the salad (using a Microplane is a good idea)
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup cubed feta (about 2 ounces)

Avocado Dressing:
1/2 large avocado (or one small avocado)
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 to 2 lemons, divided (and depending on taste)

1. In a medium bowl, toss all of the salad ingredients together, minus the feta (it’ll make a bit of a mess).
2. To a blender, add the avocado half, juice from 1 lemon and pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times, until the avocado is broken up. With the blender going, pour in the olive oil until the mixture begins to thicken and become smooth. Add a few tablespoons (I ended up needing about 4 tablespoons) of warm water to help with the smooth texture. I let the blender run for about 1 minute to achieve the super smooth texture. If you’re ok with tartness (I think this salad needs it because of the beans) squeeze in the remaining lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste. It may seem too tart right now, but I can assure you that when you toss it with the salad ingredients, it’ll be all good.
3. Add about half of the dressing and lightly toss the salad using your hands or a pair of tongs. Keep adding a bit of dressing as needed
4. Transfer to a serving plate, if you like, and top with the cubes of feta.
Serves 4 (as a salad appetizer)

Bacon Pancake Dippers

These were a genious idea for a yummy breakfast. For an awesome pancake batter recipe click HERE.

Greek Chicken Meatballs

 I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful. The best part was watching the kids take heaping portions of the chopped cucumber. I love eating healthy family dinners all together at the table especially when we have friends over. This recipe is from and the recipe can be found HERE. I highly recommend!

Sunday, May 11, 2014