Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garlic Bread Sticks

Yes..... well..... ahem...... these look a bit rude, don't they?
They were really just supposed to look like a bread stick; the phallic resemblance was completely unintentional.

I'm even a bit embarrassed looking at that top photo. Let's just move on to photos of dough. 
Yes, innocent looking dough..... much better!

Anyways...... these breadsticks were inspired by a Glee eposide via the Food Network.
Apparently somewhere in the show the winners of a duet competition get a dinner at a fictional place called BreadstiX where, ironically (not), the breadsticks, much like these ones, are bottomless.

I can't say that I care very much about Glee, but I do care about bread.
I care deeply about bread.

Especially bread that is soft, chewy, garlicky and accidentally inappropriately shaped.

These were really great fresh out of the oven but didn't keep well. By the next day they were getting a bit dry. In the future, I might try freezing them in dough sticks then taking them out to rise just before I bake them.
Don't worry, if you don't know anything about Glee (like me) you can still enjoy these yummy breadsticks.

Garlic Bread Sticks
Source: Food Network
Makes: 12

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and/or oregano), for sprinkling


Put 3/4 cup warm water in a food processor. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until dissolved. Add the flour, olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter and pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Continue to process with the motor running until smooth, about 2 more minutes.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; brush with olive oil. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide into 12 pieces, then roll each piece into a 12-to-16-inch rope. Arrange the ropes 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, rolling them to coat with the oil. Cover each baking sheet with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place until the breadsticks double in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the garlic in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Brush the breadsticks with the garlic butter; sprinkle with herbs and salt. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookies

These cookies have a little bit of everything in them.
Dried cranberries, toasted pecans, oats and chocolate chips.

Normally, I'm just a straight-up, no frills chocolate chip cookie kind of girl but occasionally, very occasionally, I get a hankering for something a little bit more interesting.

Given that yesterday the skies decided to open up and release an ocean of rain on Revelstoke, it seemed like a good day to turn on the oven to restock my cookie supply. 
Yes, I am amply supplied with cookies at all times. 

I had seen a recipe for John's Kitchen Sink Cookies from Martha Stewart that piqued my interest but when I checked it out it had corn syrup in it. I don't know why but it doesn't seem right to put corn syrup in cookies so instead, I settled on this recipe from the Food Network magazine and made a few changes (as always).

Make these with whatever's in your cupboard, raisins, toffee chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, you name it! Sandwich them between vanilla ice cream for a quick and delicious summer dessert.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Makes about 20
Adapted from the Food Network

¾ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt 
½ cup butter
1 egg
1 ½ cup rolled oats
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted, chopped pecans
½ cup chocolate chips

1Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and light brown, dark brown and granulated sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix on low speed until incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture, oats, dried cranberries, pecans and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. With wet hands, make 20 balls from the dough and put on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Press down on the dough balls with the palm of your hand to make flat circles.
4. Bake the cookies until golden and still a bit tender in the center, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Quinoa Salad

It seems that I have a crush on quinoa.
Breakfast Quinoa.
Crunchy Quinoa.
Mango Chicken Curry Quinoa Salad.

It's just fun to say: keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah...........keen-wah.

Actually, I like that it's so versatile.
You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and even dessert.

Unlike a lot of other foods, I find the leftovers really easy to use up. You can throw leftover quinoa in soup, smoothies (yes, blended up!), chocolate cake (you heard me) and of course salad like, conveniently, the one I have right here.

This salad is a mixture of chicken, raw veggies, quinoa and feta in a lemony vinaigrette. The recipe for the dressing is a bit rough so if you make it you'll have to adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Try it out and bring it to your next picnic.
Hope you like it.

Summer Quinoa Salad
Jesse's Kitchen Creation
Makes about 4 cups

For the salad:
2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
½ head broccoli, diced
1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup crumbled feta

For the dressing:
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup 
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced parsley.
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl combine together all the salad ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve chilled. (Doesn't keep well).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Raw Lemon Chews

Wow! It's like a trillion degrees here. No joke.
I just think about going outside and I get a sunburn.

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that I couldn't wait for winter and I was bombarded with hate mail.
Can you believe that? I even got a buh humbug.
Who cares that we only get 2 months of summer here compared to 8 months of heavy snow; the summer heat is oppressive!

I consider myself too much of a lady to sweat like this.

Since I can't turn my oven on for fear that my house will burst into flames with the temperature rise, I made these cool, somewhat refreshing lemony treats. 

They're not hot, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies but they do fill a certain void for sweetness in my life. 

The date, almond, lemon mixture is so sweet that I'm pretty sure my one year old thinks they're candy. She steals them from the fridge and hides in the corner in fear that I'm going to take them away.

Of course, I think it's great that she likes them and even considers them a treat.

So if you're feeling the need for a sweet baked good without the baking, try out these babies. I know you'll love them.

Raw Lemon Chews
Makes an 8'' x 8'' pan
Bar: Jesse's Kitchen original recipe
Icing: Recipe based on the Rawtarian

For the bar:
1 cup whole, raw almonds
¾ cup dried dates
1 lemon (preferably organic)

For the icing (optional):
½ cup dried dates
¼ + ⅛ cups water
¼ cup coconut butter
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Use your food processor to grind up the almonds into a coarse meal. Set almonds aside and grind dates as fine as you can. Add the zest and juice of one whole lemon and continue to process. Add the almonds and process for a few minutes until the mixture sticks together. Press the mixture into an 8'' x 8'' pan.
2. To make the icing, soak the dates in the water for about 15 minutes. Blend all of the icing ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth (mine didn't really get that smooth). Start on a low speed and gradually work your way up.
3. Spread the icing over the bar and refrigerate until firm. Cut into square or use a biscuit cutter to make pretty little rounds.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tomato Ricotta Tart

Sometimes when I cook I pretend I'm working in a restaurant being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

I show Guy Fieri how I make my signature dish from scratch.
Of course, I always make a point of telling him that I only use fresh, local ingredients and organic whenever possible. (Liar!!)

During the cooking process, he's constantly stealing bits of cheese and herbs to 'taste test'.

When the finished product comes out of the oven he raves about the complexity of flavors in my dish and then gives me a fist bump and a good work to end the show.

Like the show, my dishes are always delicious and unlike anything else he's ever tried at the one million other restaurants he's been to. (HA!)

Although that last statement is dripping with skepticism (or at least it was when I said it in my head), I do think this tart would meet that criteria.

It kind of reminds me of a quiche but without the eggy texture. It's really perfect for brunch or lunch and is packed with flavor which is a bit surprising given how few ingredients it uses. 

This tart will probably never make it's debut on Triple D.....
But it'll always be a star in my kitchen.

Tomato Ricotta Tart
Makes 1 x 9'' tart
Slightly Adapted from: Martha Stewart (who else?)

2 cups fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup olive oil plus more for brushing
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (basil, rosemary etc.)
¼ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1 large tomato


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a 9-inch springform pan, toss breadcrumbs with olive oil; press evenly into bottom.
  2. In a bowl, whisk ricotta with Parmesan, eggs, and herbs; season generously with salt and pepper. Spread over crust; arrange tomatoes on top. Brush with olive oil.
  3. Bake until tomatoes are almost dry, 35 to 45 minutes; let cool. Unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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