Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Speedy No-Knead Bread

This is an attempt to cut the start-to-finish time down to a few hours, rather than the original 14 to 20 hours' rising time.

Speedy No-Knead Bread

3 cups bread flour (13 oz)
1 packet (1/4 oz) instant yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Oil as needed

  1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.
  3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, ceramic or in our house the Pampered Chef Stoneware Deep Covered Baker) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

1 big loaf

New York Times Cooking

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

A copy-cat version of one of Panera's most-loved soups.

Chef Notes: Taking into account some of the comments, we made some revisions (reflected below) the first time out, and it turned out to be good ones. We did add mushrooms, but my daughter asked to remove them next time even though she likes mushrooms. She said it took away from being like Panera's soup which she loves!

6 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breast halves (boneless, cooked and shredded)
6-oz pkg long grain and wild rice blend, quick cooking version (Uncle Ben's)
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
3 cups half and half

  1. Open rice, pull out seasoning packet and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine pepper and flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery and onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in contents of seasoning packet and mushrooms if using, and continue cooking vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes more. Add seasoned flour gradually while constantly stirring, to form a roux. Sauté roux for 3-4 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
  5. Stir in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  6. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through and rice is done, 15-20 minutes.

6-8 servings


See Nutrition Facts at myfitnesspal

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Enjoyed a delicious lunch at Ruscello at Nordstrom Mayfair after shopping.

Margherita Pizza
Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mini Chocolate Tiramisu Cakes

Treat yourself with these decadent mini cakes which are paired with a melt-in-your-mouth filling for an impressive dessert.

Mini Chocolate Tiramisu Cakes

9 oz pkg devil's food cake mix
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 Tbsp water
1/4-1/3 cup coffee liqueur

Filling & Topping
1-1/2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
8 oz mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray cups of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray. For cakes, combine cake mix, sour cream, egg, coffee granules and water in Classic Batter Bowl; mix using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Divide batter evenly among cups of pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.
  2. Meanwhile, place whipped topping into large resealable plastic bag; secure and set aside. For filling, combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in clean batter bowl; mix until smooth using clean scraper. Place filling into an additional resealable plastic bag; secure and set aside.
  3. Remove pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Press tops of cakes with lightly floured Mini-Tart Shaper to make slight indentations; cool 2 minutes. Remove cakes from pan to cooling rack. Brush tops with coffee liqueur using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush; cool completely.
  4. Trim corners of both bags. Pipe filling over cakes. Pipe whipped topping over filling. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, if desired.

24 servings

Pampered Chef

Calories 120, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 12 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 105 mg, Fiber 0 g

cook's tips
If desired, 1-2/3 cups of devil's food cake mix from an 18.25-oz package can be used for this recipe.

To substitute coffee liqueur, combine 1/4 cup (50 mL) water, 1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) instant coffee granules and 1 tsp rum extract in Prep Bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved; cool.