Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Making Dinner With A Little Vitamin Beer

A friend of mine and I have taken up home brewing, because science. It’s a long story that I’ll blog about later, but suffice it to say that we recently finished our first batch and it was, shall we say, suboptimally carbonated. Tasted quite good for a first batch, if I do say so myself, but one can only drink so much undercarbonated beer, so I came up with the idea that I should look up some recipes for things you can make with beer, because beer. And I came up with the following, all of which tasted pretty darned good, if I do say so myself!

Swiss Cheese Beer Bread:

Swiss Cheese Beer Bread

This was really quick to make and really tasty, if you are in the mood for a dense bread. I had read the comments on the recipe before I made this and noted that someone had commented that it didn’t take nearly as long as to bake as the 50-60 minutes stated in the recipe, so I made sure to check on it early and it ended up only taking about 35 minutes to bake!

Savory Beer Pork Chops:

Savory Beer Pork Chops

These pork chops were also pretty delicious. As well, when I put the brown sugar into the beer to make the marinade, the beer foamed up and looked like real beer!

Homebrewed Beer

Potato Beer Cheese Soup:

Potato Beer Cheese Soup

This was a pretty good soup – and I generally don’t even like soup!

And so I was 3 for 3 on delicious tasting recipes. Can’t say that this was the healthiest meal I’ve ever eaten – pro tip: when you meal is all beige, something is drastically wrong in the nutrition department.

In addition to finding a way to not waste beer1 and making a delcious dinner, I also managed to bring the number of new food items I’ve made this year to 10 and so I’ve officially completed 67% of my goal to make 15 new food items in 2015 and it’s only February!

  1. Which I’m relatively certain is at least a misdemeanour, if not a full out crime. []

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Cheese and Herb Bread

I had to do a bunch of stuff around the house today – since I’ve decided to do my hot yoga in the mornings before work, I need to be uber organized! – so I decided that since I was going to be home for a chunk of the day (in between morning yoga and night time hockey game, that is), I should probably bake some bread. Because most of the “baking of bread” is actually just letting it rise. Honestly, it takes about 10 minutes of actual work, but then 1.5-2 hours of rising time and 0.5 hr of baking time, during which you don’t actually need to do anything other than be present so as not to let the house burn down. And this time, I decided to add some cheese and herbs1 to the mix.  So my place smelled like herbs as it baked. And it’s sooo tasty!  Omg, so tasty!  Good thing I’m doing all the yoga – need to burn off all the bread calories!

Here is my taste-tastic cheese and herb bread:

Cheese & herb bread

Looks pretty good, eh? The other side, however, not quite as pretty:

Cheese & herb bread

Turns out that I made the dough a little light and given that I was letting it rise on my stove, which is not perfectly even2, it sort of spilled over the one edge and started dripping down that side. I pushed it up as much as I could before I put it in the oven, but it dripped down again in the oven before the baking took. Tastes pretty damn good, though, so I’m not complaining!

In related news, one of my coworkers has offered to pay me to make lunches for her. I think there’s about a 50% chance that she’s kidding.

  1. specifically, rosemary and thyme []
  2. which totally drives me nuts when I’m cooking on my stovetop []

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Giant Fruits and Veggies and Freshly Baked Bread

I was in the mood to cook something exciting for dinner tonight, but I couldn’t seem to find any recipes that got me jazzed up, so instead I decided to channel my creative cooking energy into baking some bread. I baked some last week, but it turned out too dry, so I went in search of a different recipe, which I ended up getting from Rebecca.

Before I embarked on the baking, I went to the produce store so I’d have something to cook to go with the bread1 At said produce store I came across what seemed to me to be the biggest plums I’ve ever seen:

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And then I saw this potato, which is about the size of my head!

Day 43Tomorrow I shall turn this into the biggest French fries you’ve ever seen!

I also came across these two strange looking things:

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which were labeled only as “Assorted Indian vegetables.” Anyone have any idea what they are?

Also, do not fear, the door in the produce store is never far away:

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After my produce store run, it was time to bake some bread!

First up was “foaming” the yeast. This is where you mix together active dry yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water. The yeast will start to eat the sugar, resulting in this bubbly looking fluid:

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Once that was sufficiently foamed, I added the rest of the ingredients and then kneaded the dough2. The dough had to rise for 1.5 hrs, which gave me enough time to putter around and then go for a run. When I got back from my run, I discovered this:

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Apparently when they say that the dough will double in size, that’s your cue to put the dough in a bowl that is double the size! D’oh! 3

Next up was punching down the dough, splitting it into two and putting it into the loaf pan and allowing it to rise again.  Now, I only seem to have one loaf pan4, so I made one traditional loaf:

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And used the rest of the dough to make some buns and some other bread shapes:

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And then baked to perfection:

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Thanks for the recipe, Rebecca!

  1. for the record, I made teriyaki stirfry with a bunch of veggies with Beefless Tips from Gardein. So. Yummy. []
  2. and why I say that “I” kneaded the dough, I mean “I” kneaded the dough by attaching the dough hook to my Kitchen-Aide mixer and let it do the heavy lifting []
  3. In truth, I knew the dough would rise about the top of the bowl. I just didn’t think it would be quite this much above the top of the bowl! []
  4. could have sworn I had two []