Garlic Aioli

Friday, February 3, 2012 0 comments
This recipe goes great with falafel, or even just as a sandwich spread.


3 cloves garlic
1 c mayonnaise
1/2 T lemon juice
1/4 t salt


Crush the garlic cloves with the flat of a knife, and remove the skin. Then mince the garlic very fine. Add a pinch of salt, and using the flat of the knife again, scrap and press the garlic against the cutting surface to make a very smooth paste. It's making this paste from the fresh garlic that gives aioli its intense garlic flavor.

Add garlic to small bowl and whisk with remaining ingredients. Chill in refrigerator at least 30 min prior to serving.

Pita Bread: Bread Machine

Since we're back in the States I am thoroughly enjoying having access once again to my bread machine. Except lately I'm only using the dough cycle. It seems to be a good compromise: perfect, well-risen, easy, convenient dough, but the desired shape that comes from baking in the oven. I have also found lately that the "secret" (for me anyway) for getting the second rise seems to be covering the dough with cling wrap, then a clean dish towel, and putting it on top of the warm oven.

I found a pretty good pita dough recipe adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe for the dough cycle of the machine.

Makes 8 pitas.


1 1/2 c warm water
1 t olive oil
3 1/2 c bread flour
1 t sugar
1 t salt
2 1/4 t bread machine yeast


Place ingredients in order given (or order instructed by your bread machine manual!) in bread machine pan. Select dough cycle (2 lb).

Toward end of dough cycle, preheat oven to 500 F, and place pizza stone in oven.

When dough is ready, punch it down and divide into 8 balls, keeping all lightly floured and covered.
Rest covered balls for 15 minutes.

Roll the rested dough balls into flat, 8 inch, smooth rounds. Keep covered and do not stack.

Put 2 pita rounds on pizza stone for 4-5 minutes and watch carefully, until they're puffed and a pale golden color. They cook quickly.

Cool on rack. They will naturally deflate, leaving a pocket in the center.

Wrap in a clean kitchen towel to keep them soft.

I have used these for falafel as well as for pizza crusts. I like to brush the top with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and heat right before serving.

Basic Spaghetti Sauce

Thursday, January 26, 2012 0 comments
I love Simply Recipes.  Follow this link for their basic spaghetti sauce recipe.
For mine, I used a can of crushed tomatoes with basil, grated onion and grated carrot, garlic powder, basil, and some tomato sauce. Really simple, easy, and didn't require many ingredients!

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add grated onion (1/2 onion) and carrot (1) and saute. Then add one chopped clove garlic, cook about 30 more seconds. Add 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (mine had added basil, yum!), extra dried basil, garlic powder, and a little tomato sauce or paste. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer.

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 0 comments
So, so good. Andy doesn't like that most sweet potato recipes are sweet. I found this recipe, which has no sugar or maple added, and it is delicious! I love sugar and maple in my sweet potatoes, but I love this one too. We added the chicken stock and it gives it so much more flavor!

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash: (serves 4)


4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 T butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
chicken stock


Boil the sweet potato cubes until soft. Drain. In pan, add butter and saute garlic until lightly browned. Return sweet potatoes to the pan with the butter and mash. Add salt and pepper to taste. To get a nice puree, mash in blender, adding chicken stock for the liquid. Add to taste!

Dehydrator Homemade Granola

Oh my goodness. My mom gave us her old dehydrator, and we have already used it in the past couple days to make 2 delicious batches of homemade granola. It is so easy that way! Found a recipe on Amateur Gourmet, and adapted it for us. If you want the original recipe (that uses the oven) just click the link.


2 cups oats (I like using the quick oats)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
3 T plus 1 t vegetable oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 c slivered almonds
1/3 c shredded coconut

(You can add dried fruit or other nuts as you want!)


So simple with the dehydrator. Just mix the oats, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients. Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oat mixture is combined with the honey mixture. Now add your additional toppings like almonds and coconut, mix in as well.

Spread evenly on the dehydrator sheets. We leave it in overnight or longer, till it seems dried and crunchy. So delicious with natural vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries!

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Sunday, September 4, 2011 0 comments

Ok, let me just say these are delicious! I would actually either make them smaller than the recipe suggests, or put only 4 on a tray so they have plenty of room to spread. It's amazing how few ingredients these cookies need to be so yummy! I got this recipe from Rhythm of the Home, but they are by Jules Clancy from The Stone Soup.

(makes about 10 huge cookies)
5 oz (150 g) unsalted butter, softened
9 oz (250 g) light brown sugar
1 egg
8 oz (225 g) plain all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
225-285 g (8-10 oz) dark chocolate
Whizz butter and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and mix until well combined.
Add 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda to the flour and mix to combine.
Fold butter mixture into the flour until only just combined.
Chop chocolate into chunks and add to the dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 72 hours.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 180 C /350 F. Line two baking sheets or trays with parchment paper.
Scoop 1/3 cup balls of dough and place on the prepared trays. Allow plenty of room for them to spread. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt flakes. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until cookies are golden. The bottom tray may need a little longer. Cool on the tray.

Pita Bread

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 0 comments

I was surprised at how easy this recipe was, and how great it turned out. The first time around, we never got to using the pita for falafel or anything else I had planned it for, because we just snacked on them. In South Africa things like pita bread and tortillas are expensive, otherwise I never would have thought to have tried this on my own. The recipe is from The Fresh Loaf, and it's worth checking out the link because there is a lot of great info there about pita and bread baking techniques.


3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 t salt
1 T sugar or honey
2 t yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c water, roughly at room temperature
2 T oil or shortening or butter


If using active dry yeast, follow the packet directions to activate. Otherwise, if using instant, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add oil and water and stir with wooden spoon. All the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick, add more water.

Place ball of dough on clean surface and knead with your hands or mix in a mixer on low for 10 minutes.
Place the kneaded dough in a bowl lightly coated in oil. Roll the ball around till it has been coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or damp dish towel. Set aside in draft-free place, about 90 minutes, till it has doubled in size.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down, divide into 8 pieces (or however many good size pita balls you can make - I made more than 8). Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp dish towel, and let rest 20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, preheat oven to 400 F (204 C). Preheat a baking stone or upside down cookie sheet on middle oven rack, that you will back the pita on.

After the dough has rested, take each ball and roll to 1/8-1/4 inches thick on a lightly floured surface.
Put as many pitas as you can on the preheated tray in the oven. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes.