Saturday, June 02, 2007

June 2nd, 2007

This is the start of my food blog. Okay I admit it I am a foodie.... I live to eat. I love food. I enjoy eating and drinking for that matter. And no matter how hard I try, I can't stop. I don't want to stop. I enjoy it. I am not sure when it all started, possibly when I was a small child and my grandparents introduced me to some great home cooking. My Grandpa Deaver taught me to cook... the first thing I can remember cooking is fried potatoes. And I think from that point on I was hooked. I must have been around 7 at the time. I also remember Grandma Deaver baking cookies and cakes and rolling out noodles. They also started my passion I think for gardening, crafts and the love of animals. Grandpa even made home brew. It was always a fun time when he did. He would get all excited and get his crock of fowl smelling concoctions going, and would end up with lovely amber bottles of what he would think of as nectar. I never did get the chance to try any as I was way too young. I did however try his homemade saurkraut and to this day have only had one dish to rival it in taste and that was on the side of an Austrian moutain. I love the stuff. Over the years I have attempted to cook yummy dishes and create culinary masterpieces, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. I guess we all learn from our mistakes.
I love reading and collecting recipes and I even get around to trying a few sometimes. I have recently decided to start doing a few recipese that I have collected and actually follow them. I tend to be one of those types of cooks who likes to embellish things. It needs a bit of this and a bit of that. And sometimes the dishes all end up tasting the same. So I am going to try to simplify and see where that takes me. That and Hubby has decided that the Mediterranean diet is something he wants to give a try. So..... Here are a few recent attempts.

Oh before I go further I should explain.... I am getting a new stove/cooker!!!! It should be delivered sometime next week. In all my years of cooking this will be my very very first new stove!!!!! I am a bit excited about it and can't wait for it to be delivered. We did get the new exhaust hood already, and we both installed it ourselves!!! This was a bit of a chore to do. As the old exhaust was a little smaller than this one. I kept telling hubby that two intellegent people like ourselves could figure a way to install it and we finally managed after putting in a few holes of our own....and using our own nuts and bolts.
Now for the food...
A few years ago we got a breadmaker.... And since then we have maybe bought one or two loaves of bread just because we were in a hurry. This is one bit of cooking that Brian actually does. He can bake bread and rolls quite well. Must be the scientist in him. I have found that sometimes you can start the dough in the breadmaker and then finish in the oven... So one of my fav recipes is for Onion Rosemary and sage Focaccia. I have some rather huge rosemary plants and a sage plant that I love using for this recipe. It is very simple to do and takes all morning to do it. The smell of this baking will make anyones mouth water...

Onion and Herb Focaccia
210 ml warm water
15 ml olive oil
350g. strong white bread flour
2.5 ml salt
5 ml sugar
1 packet of yeast
Throw all this into the bread maker and put on the dough setting.
Once this is finished take out and knead with a little flour, about 3 tablespoons of chopped herbs(I use fresh rosemary and sage and a chopped finely clove of garlic) and 1/2 chopped onion. Once kneaded smooth, put into a well oiled cake tin I use a square one, but a round one would work. Pressing down. Lightly oil the top and cover to let rise about 30 minutes. Then the fun part of focaccia. Poking the indentations into it. With your fingers just poke the dough all over to get little dimples. Now drizzle olive oil over so some collects in the dimples. Sprinkle on top some thinly sliced onion(I use the other 1/2 for this) and some fresh sage and rosemary leaves. I also like to sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan over the top. Let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to rise a little. Preheat oven to 200c and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Enjoy!!!! Play around with the ingredients and try adding sundried tomatoes and different herbs. Hmmm wonder what it would taste like with chopped mushrooms kneaded into the dough...

Now for a modified recipe by one of my fav celebrity chefs... AWT. I don't know what it is, but I love his recipes. For some reason they tempt me and I want to taste what he is cooking or writing about. On my blog you can see where I attempted his yogurt cheese balls and they were very nice.... But I want to try a few changes with that soon. My step son is dairy intollerant so going to give it a go with some goats milk yogurt and see how that goes. Broadbeans seem to be in season at the supermarket at the moment, so I thought I would give them a go with one of

AWT's recipes. It was for a Broadbean and Brie salad.
You start by shelling and cooking the beans in some boiling water. I had a good couple of handfulls of beans. Then once boiled for just about 2 to 3 minutes you cool them off in cold water to stop the cooking and pop them out of their little skins. It really does seem alot of waste for just a handful of beans in the end. Put the beans in a bowl and drizzle over olive oil and some juice and zest from 1/2 lemon, some fresh ground black pepper and some fresh chopped parsley. Now this is where we differ...... Besides the amounts above(mine serves two adults as a side dish) I first lined a salad plate with some lettuce leaves, added a few halved cherry tomatoes to the beans and then sprinkled the beans over the lettuce reserving some of the beans and dressing. I then sliced some brie into chunks and placed them on the beans using some of the beans and dressing to go over the top of the brie. Very tasty, but not overly impressed with the broadbeans. They don't have much flavour on thier own. Wonder if you could use Edamame(green soya beans) in place of them.

Another Celebrity chef I like is Jamie Oliver. Here I tried his chicken in a packet recipe.
Make two packets using aluminum foil. In a bowl combine two chicken breasts, some dried mushrooms, some chopped fresh mushrooms, I added chopped onion and thyme. 1 cup of white wine and again I added a glug of sherry. Mix well and divide between the two packets. Seal and bake in a 200 C oven for about 30 to 35 minutes.
I served this with the above salad and focaccia and some new boiled baby potatoes drizzled in butter and some chopped parsley.

More fun food adventures to follow in the days ahead.... Especially when the new stove gets here!!!!!!!


wellunderstood said...

congratulations on starting your food blog! the fococcia looks lovely!


Pat said...

Thanks Wu!!! I do enjoy making it and eating it too!!!

Crafty Gardener said...

Wow, Pat your blogs are expanding and increasing. Your Onion and Herb Focaccia sounds delicious. I love cooking in packets ... we do lots of that on the bbq. The best part is there is very little washing up to do afterwards. :) I'll be back to check on the recipes.

Pat said...

Thanks Linda. I love your blog too. It is one I check out regularly. Only problem is my packet split, so there was still some washing up to do. :)