A College Girl's Guide to a Happy, Healthy Lifestyle!

Tag: cookbook

Our First Christmas Dinner | ONE COOK, TWO BOOKS | Greek Fava and Grape Salsa with Mint

When it comes to December, my family goes all out. Christmas music is always playing, Christmas decorations are everywhere, and we all wear Christmas-Themed clothing.   I had quite an exhausting day. When I did finally get home this night, I decided that it would […]

A Brief Photo Diary of Missed Recipes!

Well hello there viewers! Welcome back to my blog. Today I’m just writing a very brief post that I promised to write. Though I continued on my journey with the cook-through challenge, I began to post less and less. These following pictures are of recipes […]

The First was Burnt, the Second was Underdone | Tah-Dig with Pistachios, Apricots, and Caramelized Onions | One Cook, Two Books

Remember back when I made Mina Stone’s Potato Tah-Dig and failed miserably because I forgot I was cooking it and burned the entire potato bottom? Well, I told myself that today when I tried to cook her Tah-Dig with Pistachios, Apricots, and Caramelized Onions that I would have a successful dish that was not going to be burnt to a crisp.

 

Well… I surely did not burn it… Because I do not think I cooked it enough.

 

This recipe is rather similar to the first Tah-Dig that I made, only this time instead of it having a potato crust there is a mixture of caramelized onions, pistachios, and apricots not only baked through the dish, but topped as well.

 

I started with making that mixture. While the rice was cooking I think I might have eaten three or four spoonfuls of the mixture before even adding it to the rice. The sweetness from the apricots worked incredibly well with the toasty, saltiness from the onions. The pistachio added just the right crunch that was needed.

 

Anyways, I did not cook it long enough because… well… when I flipped it a bunch of plain old cooked white rice spilled everywhere. No crispy bottom.

I felt a little defeated at that moment so just decided to eat it the way it was. Even so, the flavour was so absolutely amazing that I plan on definitely trying this again.

Mina, I promise you this: I’m going to keep making this dish until I get it right!

I Semi-Hosted My First Dinner Party, and it was the Most Stressful but Amazing Experience

Today is the first time in my life that I made a dinner for a group of people. This dinner happened to be for our family of eight (out of towners and an extra guest), and I could not have been more overwhelmed.   I […]

CHEESE STRAWS | ONE COOK, ONE BOOK | LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.” -Anthony Bourdain   The first feeling that came over me when I realized I was going to be making cheese straws was not an enjoyable sensation. In fact, I was […]

Easiest White Bread | One Cook, One Book | Little Beach Street Bakery

The smell of fresh bread baking in the early hours of a spring morning is one of the most comforting smells. I woke up early this morning with the intentions of starting the first recipe of this challenge– Easiest White Bread– at 7:00 am… but didn’t start until around 9:00. That’s fine, no problem.

 

Jenny Colgan begins this recipe explaining that it’s great to try on a lazy Sunday, but I decided that I’m going to bake it on this lazy(ish) Saturday instead. She also explains that it’s an incredibly easy bread, and perfect for beginners.

 

Easiest bread I can ever make? Challenge accepted.

 

The first step made me curious… Her recipe explains to heat the bread flour in the microwave for about a minute. Heat the flour? Why?

 

I had to do some research for myself. I absolutely love learning food science-y things, and this was giving me an opportunity to do just that! Unfortunately, my first searches lead to dead ends. I couldn’t find much about why it’s good to heat the flour, but I found reasons as to why it’s good to toast flour… Toasting flour adds a nutty flavour to breads and pastas when used. Not only that, but it gives the bread a darker colour. I definitely think I’ll try this next time I make bread, just to see how it differs in taste and look!

 

I was still stumped, and really wanted to know the reason for warming the flour! I reached out to multiple social media sites to see if anyone had any idea what the purpose of warm water is. A woman named Debra reached back out to me:

 

“I’ve heard of it but not in a long time. Depending on where the flour was stored, it might be very cold. Warming it would keep the dough temperature even and not slow down the yeast or starter. You want to be careful that the temperature has fallen to under 90 before adding to your other ingredients so it doesn’t kill the yeast.”

 

That, being the only response I received, was enough of a reason for me!

 

So after letting the dough proof, I wasn’t sure which kind of loaf pan to use. I have multiple loaf pan sizes, and even have some aluminum round ones that would fit the entire loaf, but I decided to try out two different sizes of loaf pans to see which one works best with this amount of dough. Popped it in the oven, and not even ten minutes after it was in there I could already smell the yeasty scent I’ve been anxiously awaiting all morning!

 

Decisions Decisions! These are just two of my many different sized bread tins. Chose these two to work with for this recipe.

After anxiously waiting around 25 minutes… voila! My loaves of fresh white bread.

Completion!

I have to say that this bread was absolutely amazing. Like, seriously. Amaze-balls. I just need to work on my rolling technique (you can see that the top is super crinkly and not smooth) but besides that I believe it came out quite well! I definitely also came to the conclusion that the smaller of the two loaf pans worked better.

      
They taste absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself. I sliced into one and ate it just the way Polly, the main character from Little Beach Street Bakery would eat it… with some fresh honey.

 

Other loaf has made its way into the freezer fearing the warm weather and incredible amounts of bread I have at home, but I’m not sure it’s going to need to be in there long… The bread hasn’t even been out for 12 hours and it’s already almost gone!

 

Added Sunday, May 21st:

So, is this affordable to make?

Based on the ingredients I used at home:

  • King Arthur Flour: 1.53
  • Yeast: 31
  • Domino Sugar: .01
  • Morton Salt: .02

Total Price: It cost $1.87 to bake my own bread. Bread I can find in the store normally costs. Not only that, but I got two loaves of bread out of this recipe. That means each cost only $.94 to make. 

Compared to:

  • I usually purchase Arnold, Country Classic White: $3.39. A longish list of ingredients.
  • Wonder Classic White Bread: $3.38. On their list of ingredients is high fructose corn syrup…? Who needs that?

Definitely worth making for both health reasons and the price. I’ll take this high quality, low cost bread over store bought bread any day.

My First Creamery Experience: Working (Theoretically) with the MilkMaid! (Part 4)

Cheese, cheese, is good for your heart. Well… maybe it is. Actually, thinking about it… too much cheese is unfortunately not the best. But that never stops me! There was a heavy snowfall. My mother was on her break, and WestConn was closed due to […]