Crusty bread in Fall

Homemade bread | mrscaseyannAfter a plethora of homebound days over the last few weeks, my inner baker has started to surface. The rainy forecast hasn’t helped. At this rate, our household will need an emergency juice fast before Thanksgiving. Until then, we march on!

I don’t have too much experience with the non-sweet breads. I’ve been coached a few times on Swiss Sunday bread (Zopf) and Sourdough. But come to think of it, that was before I had kids. So since I don’t really have the time for fermenting, leavening, or braiding these days, this no-knead recipe has been inspiringly easy.

Continue reading “Crusty bread in Fall”

The best chocolate chip cookies

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This is my absolute favorite cookie recipe. This is originally from here, but i’ve tweaked it just a bit. I cannot tell you ENOUGH how much amazing feedback I get on these. I can eat so many of them, it’s shameful, or impressive? But every school function, community event, bridal/baby shower, family party, YOU NAME IT, somebody is going to tell me that these cookies are their fave. And let me tell you, it’s not in the skill, this is all recipe.
To describe, they’re flavored perfectly, the right consistency of baked well on top and just enough soft inside. They have crunch in their nut, chips, raw sugar, sea salt mixture and there are so many leftovers.. somebody THOUGHT this through. So if you’re looking for a recipe to try, look no further, it’s a family heirloom now. Note, I never use a mixer on these anymore but did for years. It takes some muscle but I love them by hand the most.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup raw sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
(no milk or bar chocolate on hand? otherwise, 3 cups of chocolate chips)
1 cup rolled oats if desired
1 cup chopped nuts if desired
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. In a bowl, with an electric mixer (if possible), beat butter two minutes. Add sugars and beat two more minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Beat in vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together first five ingredients. Set aside. With the mixer on low, add in flour mixture just until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and use a wooden spoon to fold in chocolate and oats. Drop one to two inch round onto cookie sheets, an inch apart. Bake 7-10 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove and let sit on cooling rack. ENJOY.
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Harvest Chili

harvestchili.pngit’s harvest chili people! you know.. for eating after a long day at harvest. or in my case, eating after a long day at work and then congregating with a large mass of our favorite teenagers (here’s looking at you, dear youth group) while carving pumpkins and playing games and sweating. the sweating part is just me… however, you wouldn’t even begin to believe the amount of similarities a hormonal pregnant woman and a hormonal teenager share. let’s just say it reminds how i love them all the more. and let’s just agree that hormones are hard and suck!!

hearty harvest chili

to be prepared in le crock pot, or a pot and slow simmer for the entire day 🙂 adapted from this one. but i also like this one and this onemakes thirty (yes thirty!) servings

3.5 pounds ground turkey
6 (10.75 ounce) cans low sodium tomato soup
6 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 medium onions, chopped
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 pinches ground black pepper
3 pinches ground allspice
salt to taste

brownmeat and drain. coat the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray for good measure. then fill up the crock pot. it truly doesn’t matter the method as long as it all mixes up together. cook on high for 4 hours or cook on low for 8 hours.

enjoy with friends, and a little sour cream, cheese and green onion, mmm!

Lemon Aoili Potato Salad

any potato salad lovers out there?? i love potato salad. i love it when it’s bad for you (mayo city, my husband shudders at the sound) and i love it when it’s good for you (all the veggies). i love heaping it high on my plate at a barbecue and adding an extra dash when nobody’s looking. if it’s in my fridge, i love sneaking a huge spoonful. and so, i thought i’d do my part and take a whack at my own take on one of my favorite summer sides 🙂 i made a huge bowl of this on the fourth of july and had great feedback, people asking for a recipe believe it or not! i loved being able to say it was my own (not often that i get to say that!).

casey’s homemade potato salad
this makes a lot of potato salad. enough for 6 adults over two days of dinner, and two heaping servings for mahself in between. so let’s just say it’s enough to serve 15 people!

what to buy or find in your garden:
25 fingerling potatoes
6 hardboiled eggs
2 large avocado
1 bunch of celery
1 bundle of carrots
1 bundle green onions
1 bundle of fresh dill
1 bundle of basil
1 medium sized jar of lemon aioli or lemonaise
how to prepare:
clean + cut up your potatoes and put them in a roasting dish with your favorite spices and a little olive oil (not too much is needed). bake them in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400°. next time, i’ll probably let mine go a little crispier, although they were still delicious at this point.

meanwhile, begin boiling your eggs. my rule of thumb (after many many fails.. i mean how hard could hard-boiled eggs be?! yup.. that hard for moi 😉 is 15-17 minutes at a nice medium boil. as they’re boiling, chop up all your fresh herbs (dill + basil), green onions, carrots, celery and put them in a bowl together. add your favorite spices (i choose salt, pepper + tj’s everyday seasoning).

remove your hardboiled eggs and get them in some cold water and once cool, peel them in the water. it’s so much easier this and goes so fast (have you heard of this??). slice them up into smaller but chunky pieces and set aside. once the potatoes are to your desired crisp, i dabbed them (for any excessive oil) and let them cool for a bit. while cooling, add your lemon aioli or lemonaise to your bowl full of veggies and mix it all up. little by little, begin to add your potatoes, stirring or using your hands to make sure they all get a little lemonaise love. add your egg chunks. add some spice to taste.

once everything seems to be nicely mixed, you are ready to serve! slice up some avocado to use as garnish. i had my avocado in the main mix but noticed it doesn’t let it keep well (avocado starts to brown). however that didn’t stop us from eating it for the next few days 🙂 i’d say if you have enough people to eat through the whole batch, you could include your avocado in the main mix and the color will remain just fine. enjoy!

Cinque Pi (Italian pasta dish)

This is one of my favorite dishes that I ate experienced in Switzerland, and oh boy it is so delicious {and simple}! It is called “cinque pi” which basically mean five ingredients and is pronounced “chin-queh-pay” or something like that, heh. It was so simple and we made it for sixty people with about an hour of time. YES. That is easy.
Here is the basic recipe {or rezept} we used, and in our American measurements..
Cinque Pi//
+2 cups cream
+4 generous tablespoons of tomato paste
+1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
+freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
+5 cups al dente pasta {we used an Italian macaroni but you can use anything!}
Okay, that’s it! Put the first four ingredients into the pot on medium heat until it’s a light red color, add extra ingredients as desired. Cook your pasta separately. Serve pasta on plate and pour sauce over. Generously add more parmigiana and enjoy!!
Thank you to the very Swiss-Italian family who taught me this recipe last week!!

Chicken Parmesan

after a long [way too stinking long] monday, James and I cozied up for dinner and a movie, interrupted by a short what-the-heck-i-forgot-to-pay-a-bill-moment in which we jammed out of the house in a big flurry. i grabbed my macbook and zoomed down to our local coffee house to swindle and barter with the one-love hippie barista to let me use the wifi. i, just a little frantic, demanded slash politely requested the password to which she replied in a long drawn out santa cruz drawl (like, yeah, brah, for sure my man, like totally epic kind of voice) our wireless is for, like, customers only though. okay friend, give me two vegan-free, sugar-free, taste-free FIVE DOLLAR a piece cookies…thank you. mission accomplished, but i never paid so much for two minutes of wireless in my life. oh and for the record, the password is doublemocha. Did i mention our dinner was delicious?? we soaked those hockey puck dunkers in some milk after to top it all off..
our chicken parmesan

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed completely
1 box of panko crumbs
1 egg
1 cup of unbleached flour
marianara sauce
2 cups kale
1 cup quinoa

Slice your chicken breasts lengthwise and then in half. Dip in egg, then flour, and shake on your panko crumbs. We cooked ours with a little coconut oil in a cast-iron pan and put the lid on. Either use prepared marinara or cook up some up like we do (this is a close recipe). Meanwhile, cook up your quinoa and throw your kale in the pan and cook it up with any spices you prefer- we actually eat it with just a little garlic olive oil and it has enough flavor with that alone!

Makes enough for two. Husband approved serving sizes 🙂