Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Recipe: Foodie's Summer Pasta Salad

Enjoy this recipe for a cold pasta salad during the heat of summer.

When the heat of summer finally comes, my meal choices get a bit lighter, and where summer meals are concerned, this is one of my favorites. This salad helps to capture the flavors of a backyard garden by incorporating ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. Lastly, to make it a bit more filling, feel free to add some grilled chicken breast!

What you'll need:

  • 12 ounces favorite pasta (I recommend bowtie, rotelle or penne)
  • 2 lbs of multicolored tomatoes (I used the small pre-packaged tomatoes, but heirloom will also work)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil (plus a little extra to garnish)
  • 4 oz chopped fresh mozzarella (1/2 large mozzarella ball)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan (plus extra for topping)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

How to Make Sourdough Bread

Here are some easy directions for making a delicious and gorgeous loaf of sourdough bread. Do you want to learn how to make sourdough from somebody who isn't a professional? Then you've found the right blog.

Why I Started Making Sourdough Bread

When #COVID first hit, my local store was out of a LOT of things. There were few fruits/veggies. The fresh meat section was empty. Milk was non existent. The bread aisle was decimated, and the baking aisle was COMPLETELY out of Instant Rise Yeast.

It was at this point that I realized I'd begin working on a Sourdough Starter. It took me a couple of months to try, but after a week, I had an active starter that was ready for bread.
All Four Attempts

Then the baking learning curve would begin. And as this image shows, it took FOUR attempts and two different recipes before I got something that both looked and tasted delicious.

What You'll Need To Make Sourdough Bread

  • Two bowls, large and medium for mixing
  • A large (3-4 quart) oven-safe pot or dutch oven.
  • 3 2/3 cups (518g) Unbleached Flour plus extra for kneading. I recommend a bread flour if possible. But, since my store is STILL out of it 3 months later, All Purpose will do. So far, my best result has been with King Arthur All Purpose Flour. It's got a LOT of protein which makes amazing gluten.
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 4 teaspoons (356g) water, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (85g) mature sourdough starter
Ok, now that you've got all that together, let's start making some bread.

Monday, June 8, 2020

What to do With Discarded Sourdough Starter

Fried sourdough starter.

In my previous blog post I discussed making a sourdough starter. And when you make and keep maintaining a sourdough starter, you'll have to discard a LOT of it. Literally pouring potential bread down the drain. 😭

If you're like me, you find this very wasteful.

So, what should you do with all that discarded dough? Here's my answer: fry it up!