Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Make Overnight Sourdough

If you haven't tried making your own sourdough bread yet, now is your chance! Using basically flour, water, salt, and starter (but how do I make my own sourdough starter?) you can end up with something truly beautiful and delicious. There's kind of a wonderful magic to it all. It may seem scary, but once you perfect it, you'll be obsessed. I mean, look at it. All warm and toasty.

How to Make Overnight Sourdough
Excerpted from Homemade Sourdough by Ed Wood

To use your new starter, try this easy formula. You only need a small amount of starter and a few simple ingredients. Feed your sourdough starter in the morning so that by 7pm you can use it to make up this overnight dough. You will need 5 oz (140 g) of starter for this formula and there should be enough left over so you can feed it and put it away.


Bench blade
2 x 8-in bannetons
Peel for moving the dough
Lame or sharp knife
Spray bottle of water
Thick oven mitts
Cooling rack
Lid made from foil or a roasting pan lid
Bread thermometer (optional)


5 oz (140 g) vigorous starter
18 oz (510 g) water at room temperature
2 oz (55 g) wholewheat flour
19 oz (540 g) bread flour
1⁄2 oz (17 g) salt
8 oz (225 g) bread flour
Flour, for dusting
Dusting flour or cornmeal

Step 1
At 7pm, mix all of the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or dough trough to form ragged dough. Cover and leave to autolyse for one hour.

Step 2
At 8pm, add the salt, stir, and add the flour. Work the flour into the dough until well incorporated—this will take a bit of effort. Cover the dough tightly to prevent it drying out and leave to stand at room temperature overnight (you can cover the dough with oil to prevent drying), folding the dough once before you go to bed.

Step 3
The following morning, divide the dough into 2 and shape each piece into rounds/boules (do a preliminary shaping for both boules). Bench rest both boules for 20 minutes. Do a final shaping of the first boule, then 30 minutes later do a final shape for the second boule. That way the boules are staggered so they will be ready to bake at separate times. Place the dough, upside down, into floured bannetons. The dough will now proof until they are about one and a half times the size they started out. The dough will feel bouncy and bubbly when it is ready to bake and if you press your finger into the side of the dough, the indent will slowly fill back in. If the dough isn’t ready, the indent will bounce right back or it will not make an indent in the dough at all.

Depending on your starter’s vigor and the room temperature, it usually takes 3–4 hours for the dough to be ready or proofed (this dough is a bit on the slow side). However, it sometimes takes longer. To speed up the process, find a warm place around 80–85°F/ 26–29°C to proof your dough.

Step 4
Your oven and baking stone should be heated to 450ºF/232ºC for a full hour before baking. The baking stone should placed in the middle of the oven or one level under the middle. It can be tricky to decide when to start heating your oven and have it hot enough when the first loaf is ready to bake. If you are not sure when to start heating the oven, just turn it on after the dough has been proofing for one hour.

Five minutes before baking your first loaf, put the roasting lid or foil cover into the oven to preheat. Dust the loaf and the peel with flour or cornmeal and turn the dough out onto the peel. Or you can place the peel on top of the bannetons and turn them both over, allowing the dough to transfer to the peel. While the dough is on the peel, slash the top with the lame or sharp knife. With a quick jerk of the peel and some confidence, get the dough onto the baking stone. Then working quickly, spray the loaf all over its outer surface with water and place the hot foil or roasting lid over the dough. Close the oven and set
timer for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes is over, using mitts or kitchen gloves, carefully remove the lid. Place the hot lid on top of the oven to have it ready for the next loaf. Bake your loaf of sourdough for 10–15 more minutes until it is nicely brown and the interior of the loaf registers around 105–110°F on a food thermometer. Remove the loaf from the oven. Cool the loaf on a cooling rack. Place the roasting lid back into the oven and heat the oven for 5–10 minutes. Repeat the baking directions for the second loaf.


Buy from an Online Retailer

Start, grow, and bake your own delicious, homemade sourdough bread, with or without commercial yeast!

Homemade Sourdough is the ultimate guide to creating your own sourdough bread. Learn sourdough formulas and recipes and follow along as the author explains the science behind sourdough and provides a guide to the world of starters, wild yeasts, proofing, pre-ferments, and motherdough.

Homemade Sourdough provides dozens of recipes, not just for bread but for other baked goods, from muffins to pizza crust to chocolate cake. Sourdough is especially attractive to anyone who is aiming for a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle and also those who want the health benefits of bread made through fermentation. Sourdough rises through the action of lactic acid, so it doesn't require storebought yeast ”but the sourdough starter method works beautifully with either commercial yeast or wild yeast.

For those interested in lowering their intake of gluten, sourdough preparations can produce lively, tasty loaves with lower amounts of gluten than other methods.

There is no better way to embrace heritage flavors and time-tested bread-baking techniques than with sourdough. Foodies, farmers, DIYers, and locavores will want to devour this book.
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Father’s Day Tie Treats

Celebrate Father's Day weekend with this family-friendly crispy rice treat that is perfect for dads, papas, grandpas, and more. And go ahead and eat a few yourself. They're better for you than cake and just as delicious.

Happy almost weekend!

Father’s Day Tie Treats
Excerpted from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Whipple

Everyone will have fun decorating these Father’s Day ties, and Dad will certainly enjoy eating them. Personalize them with the man of honor’s favorite candies or colors to show how much you care.

Yield: 8 ties
Time: 30 minutes cooking time, plus decorating time
Difficulty level: Intermediate


3 tbsp margarine
1 10-ounce (280 g) bag mini marshmallows
6 cups (150 g) crisp rice cereal
2 cups (250 g) Buttercream Frosting, tinted color of choice
Assorted small candies
Equipment: 5-inch (12.75 cm) long tie cookie cutter

Melt margarine in a 5-quart or larger saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows, and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Stir in crisp rice cereal until covered with marshmallow. Turn out onto a greased baking sheet. With greased hands, press down into a ½-inch (1.25 cm) thick layer. Let cool completely. Then cut ties with cookie cutter.

Spread a layer of frosting over the treats and decorate with candies.

Tip Treat:
Some decorating ideas you might want to try include using candy polka dots, making stripes with licorice string, or writing a personal message with a gel writer.


Super Cute Crispy Treats

A healthier alternative to traditional desserts, moms and kids alike will love creating these incredible, no-bake recipes featuring your favorite cereal treats.

In Super Cute Crispy Treats, food crafting expert Ashley Fox Whipple will show you over 100 ways to make an extraordinary crispy treat. Experiment with all new flavors like Caramel and Sea Salt, Kool-Aid, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Pretzel and Chocolate. For parties, go beyond the ordinary square with 3D sculptures like apple-shaped crispy treats, ice cream cone treats, topiary treats, crispy donut treats, and more. Try your hand at Crispy Treat Pops and even Crispy Treat Layer and Wedding Cakes.

With a special chapter on gluten-free and low-sugar crispy treats, there is a recipe in here for everyone, and you'll be inspired to whip up a quick batch of Super Cute Crispy Treats today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kiwi Sorbet

I've been eying the kiwis in my local grocery store every time I'm there. They're not something I buy every time, but rather a special treat that I hoard all for myself. Silly, I know. My husband tells me that kiwis taste like big grapes. I'm not so sure about that one. What I am sure about is that taking a big bite of kiwi makes me think of hot weather, sunshine, and relaxing.

Kiwi Sorbet just makes sense to me as one of those ideal summer indulgences that you enjoy on the patio, porch, deck, or by the pool. Go ahead and try the recipe. It's easier than you think. It's also something you'll savor every bite of. Don't share it with anyone. Unless they're really nice to you.

Kiwi Sorbet
Excerpted from The Art of Making Gelato by Morgan Morano

The kiwi is one of my favorite fruits, and in a sorbet, it’s almost irresistible to me. As one close friend has put it: “When eating this Kiwi sorbet, you can almost taste the fuzz of the skin of the fruit.” Seriously. Try it! Kiwi will become your fruit sorbet of choice, and it’s perfect on a hot summer day. When it comes to choosing kiwis, size doesn’t matter. Just look for fruits that are unblemished and give a little when you press the outside. Rock-hard kiwis are not ready to eat or to make into strong-flavored sorbet. Kiwis sweeten as they ripen, so make sure they’ve had plenty of time on your kitchen
counter. The kiwi is a staple in my kitchen, so it’s no wonder that I’m partial to its frozen form.

Kiwi sorbet is versatile, just like many of the other sorbets, and delicious all by itself. Try adding a scoop to your yogurt in the morning. It’s also great midday snack and can help elevate a dessert course at a dinner party. Add a little dark chocolate gelato, and you’ll have one of my favorite combinations.

Yield: About 1 quart / 950 milliliters

16.9 ounces / 479 grams kiwi, peeled, ends removed, and diced (about 8 kiwis)
1.95 ounces / 55 grams cold water
13.95 ounces / 395 grams sorbet syrup (see page 162), cooled and whisked prior to measuring
0.07 ounce / 2 grams fresh-squeezed lemon juice (optional)


1. Place the kiwi, water, sorbet syrup, and lemon juice, if using, in a small bowl.

2. Blend well with an immersion blender, making sure to incorporate all the kiwi pieces into the liquid.


3. Pour the mixture into the bowl of the gelato machine and churn the sorbet according to the manufacturer’s directions. The sorbet will expand and should spin until thick but still soft enough to scoop into a storage container, about 30 to 55 minutes.

4. Using a rubber spatula, scoop the sorbet into a storage container.

5. Press a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the sorbet, seal the container with an airtight lid, and put it in the freezer.

6. Freeze at least 4 to 6 hours. When ready, the sorbet should be firm enough to scoop but soft in texture.


7. Enjoy the fresh sorbet as soon as possible. If using the next day or after, allow at least 10 to 20 minutes for the sorbet to soften outside of the freezer before eating.

As with other fruits, it’s important to use the best possible kiwis and allow them to fully ripen to maximize their flavor potential prior to turning them into a sorbet. Make sure, however, that the kiwis still have some tang and firmness to them and aren’t too soft or mushy. I encourage you to taste the fruit, and if you find it a little on the sweeter side, you can add a little lemon juice to help round out the flavor. Otherwise, if you prefer a sweet kiwi sorbet or believe the kiwis to be just right, follow the recipe as is. Enjoy!

Did You know?
After China, Italy is the second largest producer of kiwi in the world. The Lazio region, home to Rome, exports the most of this fruit. It’s no wonder Kiwi sorbet is everywhere in Italy!


The Art of Making Gelato 

Forget ice cream. Impress your dinner guests with unique flavors and indulge in fabulous recipes that you can make at home with The Art of Making Gelato. Discover the techniques and tools that you need to make this delicious treat at home.

Gelato is churned more slowly and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. The slow churning incorporates less air, so the gelato is denser. The higher freezing temperature means that the gelato stays silkier and softer. Dairy-free and egg-free, sorbets are made from whole fruit and a simple syrup. They're extremely flavorful and churned like ice cream to give them a soft texture.

Join Chef and Gelato aficionado Morgan Morano as she shares 50 recipes for gelato and sorbetto. Enjoy traditional chocolate, sweet milk and strawberry, to Torta della Mimosa, Bombolone, Biscoff, and Acero - even Avocado gelato!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Strawberry Patch Jelly Shots

I'll admit it. When I first think about strawberries, shots do not come to mind. That being said, strawberries are in season now and I see no better time to try my hand at these clever and adorable jelly shots from the amazing Michelle Cordero of That's So Michelle.

Whether you're throwing a backyard bash or just want to "get fancy" at home, these sweet, vodka-infused bites are sure to impress everyone ... likely even you.

Strawberry Patch Jelly Shots
Excerpted from Jelly Shots by Michelle Cordero

I came up with these shots when I was trying to find a fruit other than maraschino cherries to use in a recipe. These are easy to make and easy to pick up. Try making them with blue Jell-O for a 4th of July party

Makes 20 shots

2 cups (480 mL) water, divided
2 x 3-ounce (85 g) box strawberry Jell-O, divided
2 x ¼-ounce (7 g) packet Knox gelatin
2 cups (480 mL) strawberry- or whipped cream–flavored vodka, divided
20 medium or large strawberries with stems, halved horizontally


1. Add 1 cup (240 mL) water and 1 box strawberry Jell-O to a medium saucepan and whisk until powder dissolves. Sprinkle in 1 packet gelatin and let it sit for 1 minute, letting the gelatin activate. Place saucepan over medium heat, whisking until gelatin dissolves. Bring to a light simmer, then
remove from heat. Add 1 cup (240 mL) vodka.

2. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Refrigerate for 30–60 minutes, or until sticky and slightly set but not firm.

3. Repeat step 1. Let mixture come to room temperature.

4. Pour mixture on top of first layer. Place strawberry halves with stems in rows—with enough room to cut circles around them—in the mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm.

5. Carefully cut out shots around the strawberries with the rim of a shot glass or a mini circleshaped
cookie or fondant cutter and remove from pan. Refrigerate until serving.


Jelly Shots A Rainbow of 70 Boozy Recipes 

Ditch those boring wine glasses and clunky beer mugs, and serve up these deliciously fun jelly shots at your next party! Jelly Shots is a colorful collection of inventive shots that transforms the shoddy plastic shot glass into a stunningly beautiful party treat. From Birthday Cake and Gummy Bear shots to Cucumber Mint Juleps and Lemon Drops, there's a boozy treat in here for every holiday and occasion all year round.

Featuring 70 easy-to-follow recipes using simple ingredients, this is the must-have shot companion for anyone who loves throwing a good party and concocting signature drinks. Using the step-by-step instructions, you'll learn to make innovative shots, including S'mores, Strawberry Margaritas, Peach & Vanilla Champagne, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and dozens more. Shots never looked this good!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Coconut Milk –Braised Bison Short Ribs

Looking for a new take on "meat and potatoes" night? How about bison? Less fatty that beef and with lots of health benefits, bison is a great way to go. And may we recommend this recipe from 12 Bones' new cookbook? We think it's likely to become your new "go-to" option.

Coconut Milk –Braised Bison Short Ribs
Excerpted from 12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ Cookbook

This recipe came about when we had a local bison farmer stop by with some bison short ribs to try. We were impressed because, unlike beef short ribs, they aren’t covered in fat. The downside of that is that they can quickly become tough as nails. To work on improving that texture, and to bring out the rich flavor in these cuts, we experimented with marinades to help break down the meat. In this recipe, the acid in the coconut milk does the trick, helping to reduce the cooking time as well.

Note: You can substitute beef short ribs in this recipe. They are usually smaller, and tend to have a thick layer of fat on top and in the center of the rib. For best results, remove the top layer before marinating. Beef ribs also have a tendency to fall apart when cooking. We bind the meat tight to the rib with butcher’s twine before braising.

Yield: 6 servings

4 pounds bison short ribs, about 8 pieces
2 (14-ounce) cans of coconut milk
1 (29-ounce) can of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 cup 12 Bones Roasted Garlic (recipe follows - or, in a pinch, regular garlic), minced
One Thai chili pepper, split (optional)
1 cup coconut water

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with foil and spray it with nonstick spray.

Rinse the short ribs thoroughly under cold water to remove any bone fragments. This can be tedious; sometimes the bone fragments are forced into the meat and fat during the packing process. Next, drain the ribs and pat them dry. With a sharp knife, preferably a boning knife, remove the tough silverskin from the top of the ribs, exposing the meat. Silverskin is connective tissue that can keep seasonings from penetrating the meat. It’s also not excellent for eating. You may get ribs without this membrane, but if your ribs do have silverskin, removing it isn’t a problem. Use a boning or paring knife to pull up a corner of the silverskin. You’ll probably be able to pull it off the rest of the way with your fingers.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and the tomato sauce. Using your hands, roll each rib portion in the mixture, one at a time, wiping the excess back into the bowl. Season each rib portion with 1 teaspoon of salt and then stand the ribs, meat-side up, on the prepared cookie sheet, without overcrowding them. This can be a little tricky, as the ribs would rather fall on their sides than stand at attention. Reserve the coconut-tomato mixture.

Roast the ribs, uncovered in the oven, until the outside of the meat begins to caramelize. This should take 30 minutes, but check them after about 20. While the ribs are roasting, whisk the remaining ingredients—the 1 teaspoon of salt, the garlic, cardamom, chili pepper, and the reserved coconut water—into the coconut-tomato mixture to make a braising liquid. Pour half of the liquid into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish or roasting pan.

Once the ribs are caramelized, remove them from the oven. Using a pair of tongs, stand ribs, meat side up, in the braising liquid in the casserole dish, and then pour the remaining half of braising liquid over the top of the ribs. Wrap the pan with aluminum foil. Wrap tightly at the edges of the pan, but tent the foil in the middle so that it does not touch the meat.

Place the ribs in the oven, and then reduce the heat to 325°F. Bake until spoon-tender, which should take about 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven and, using tongs, transfer them to a large platter. Skim off the fat from the sauce with a large spoon, stir, and pour the skimmed sauce over the ribs.

12 Bones Roasted Garlic

Yield: 4 cups

2 cups whole, peeled garlic cloves
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300°F. Stir together all ingredients in an oven-safe pan. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Store in airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.


12 Bones Smokehouse

Buy from an Online Retailer

For lovers of the 12 Bones restaurant as well as fans of progressive 'cue, 12 Bones Smokehouse includes signature recipes and techniques for ribs, pulled pork, and all the fixin's.

When 12 Bones Smokehouse opened in Asheville, North Carolina, many doubted that it would succeed. From a squat building in a flood plain, the owners were serving up creative barbecue that wasn't 100-percent true to any single region. Yet a decade later, 12 Bones is a local institution that rivals the Biltmore Estate in popularity. (In fact, it's 12 Bones alone that has been on President Obama's itinerary all three times he's passed through Asheville.)

The 12 Bones Smokehouse book is true to the spirit of the place. Everything is made from scratch--and cornbread is not optional. Inside you'll find all the classics: from the famous ribs to smoky pork, turkey, and chicken. And just like the restaurant, the bookis uniquely vegetarian-friendly by barbecue standards. From tangy Pickled Okra Salad to savory Jalapeno Cheese Grits, everyone will find something to love. Addictive desserts and flavor-packed rubs and sauces--including the famous Blueberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce--are all here, too. So if you can't make it to 12 Bones this week, now you have the next best thing.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monnica’s Marvelous Medicine—Raspberry Vinegar

I don't know about you, but I feel like I've had a sore throat for months. Although my typical go-to home remedy is always hot buttered rum, I thought I would also share this recipe for raspberry vinegar. This easy recipe is a great way to soothe sore throats. It also makes a delicious salad dressing. Perfect for summer and right in time for raspberry season.

Monnica’s Marvelous Medicine—Raspberry Vinegar
Excerpted from Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith

One summer’s day, Monnica, one of my mature students, turned up to an Italian lesson with a small bottle bearing the words “Raspberry vinegar.” She recommended it as a condiment, a refreshing summer drink, and a soothing potion for a sore throat. This was something new. I unscrewed the cap and breathed in the wonderful perfume of fresh raspberries. I poured a little into a glass, added water and was thrilled by the reviving sweet-and-sour flavor. Soon I was using it in salad dressing, drizzling a few drops onto steak and adding it to fruit salad. Start by making half the quantity to see if you like it as much as I do.

Makes 1 quart
14 oz (about 3 heaped cups) ripe raspberries
1 3/4 cups good-quality vinegar; cider vinegar is best
2 cups granulated sugar
4 x 8 fl oz bottles, washed in hot soapy water, with screwcaps (sterile bottles are not necessary where

vinegar is concerned)

Carefully rinse the raspberries, drain, and leave to dry on a clean cloth (see pic 1). Once dry, put them into a large bowl, add the vinegar (see pic 2), and mash the fruit with the back of a wooden spoon to break it up (see pic 3). Cover with a cloth and leave for 3 or 4 days, mashing and stirring once a day. After this time, strain the mixture into a saucepan (see pic 4), add the sugar, heat, and simmer briefly to dissolve the sugar (see pic 5). Leave to cool.

When ready to bottle, rinse out the bottles with warm water, fill with the raspberry vinegar using a funnel, leaving a small gap of ¾ inch between the top of the vinegar and the top of the bottle (see pic 6). Screw the cap down firmly.

Making & keeping: Make in the summer. Will keep indefinitely at room temperature.


Artisan Drinks Delicious alcoholic and soft drinks to make at home

Buy from an Online Retailer

Re-discover artisanal techniques that were once second nature to past generations and learn to appreciate the pleasure of working within the seasons and collecting natural produce. Artisan Drinks guides you through the methodology of drinks, divided into different types of beverages that all take their basis from fresh natural ingredients that can be sourced locally. There is a huge pleasure in celebrating the outdoors, of becoming intimate with the seasons and the plants, fruits and flowers that grow around you. Preserve every seasonal flavor to enjoy all winter long by creating all of the recipes created by Lindy Wildsmith. Enjoy creating original drinks, giving them as gifts, sharing them with friends and family, and the simple and wholesome pleasures of drinking! Relish the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself. From organic and nourishing fruit syrups and cordials to sparkling celebratory drinks such as mocktails and summer cups, you will find a wide variety of drinks to make, savor and enjoy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

National Donut Day - Our Favorite Donut Recipes

June 5th has finally come. It's National Donut Day! Whether you've already had one or two (thanks Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme) or plan to make a batch tonight to last you throughout the weekend, we hope you're celebrating this honored day with a sweet treat. After all, it's Friday. TGIF, right?

Donuts can come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Some can even be good for you! So we thought that we would do a recipe roundup today to showcase some of our favorite donut recipes.

Crispy Rice Cereal Donut Treats
Excerpted from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Fox Whipple

When guests first lay their eyes on these treats, they’ll find it hard to believe that they aren’t actual donuts. The delicious buttercream frosting and sprinkles go a long way toward pulling off the disguise.

Red Bean Filled Baked Donuts
Excerpted from The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester

Not only does the batter have red bean paste, but if you make the mini muffins you also add a dollop right in the center. Red bean paste is made from adzuki beans and used in many Asian desserts.

Apple Fritter Donuts
Excerpted from Baked Doughnuts for Everyone by Ashley McLaughlin

While you may be thinking an apple fritter just has to be fried, you will definitely think otherwise after trying this doughnut. Brushing the doughnuts with butter, coating them with cinnamon sugar, and placing them under the broiler is the trick to achieving a crunchy fried-like outer shell, making them the closest thing to a fried doughnut you will ever create without actually pulling out a fryer. They firm when cooled and remind me of the elephant ears I used to obsess over at summer carnivals growing up—so good!