Friday, June 5, 2015

Food on Friday

After a fairly hot, dry start to the week, our weather started rockin' and rollin' on Wednesday night.  Last night was even worse - enveloped in lightening and thunder.  Alternating down pours of rain and hail.  Fun stuff.  I'll be heading to the basement after this to clean up.  Should we have to retire down there later, I at least want to be comfortable and not be stepping on Legos, trains and cars, along with all the paraphernalia waiting to be put away from grad parties and piles of stuff that wintered in the boat.

This is our first weekend with everyone out of school.  No planning.  No parties, though my daughter will be saying good-bye to one friend from her close-knit school family as he heads off to basic training with the Marines.  It will be hard for her, but she has a half marathon to focus on later this weekend.  We'll be out there to support her, and my sister, in their run.  I believe it will be the last, until October when our daughter runs the Colfax half, unless she finds another.

This Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock recipe had me at "no skimming."  Rotisserie chickens, chopped and frozen in two cup portions, from Costco are part of my freezer staples, because the cost of raw roasters is the same as the cooked ones.  Every time I toss the bones, I think, "I need to make stock," which I've done, but frankly, it's such a pain and my end product is pretty bland, it makes the effort so not worth it. Enter this head slapping, why-didn't-I-think-of-this recipe.  I put it to work with the bones from the last supply of Costco chickens.  The recipe calls for two pounds, I didn't weigh mine, but I had two chickens and that's what I used.  I loved it!  Easy to pull together; I had everything on hand.  I set it to cook overnight and woke up to the comforting smell of chicken stock - something my other method never produced.  I froze the stock in two-cup batches.  I believe I can scratch another pantry staple off my buying list and add it to my homemade list.

For me cherries and chocolate are a perfect marriage.  Therefore, this Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake was just screaming my name.  It was so good.  Sweet cherries (some day I will attempt the homemade version of maraschinos) and a ribbon of chocolate.  I didn't have baking chocolate, so I used semi-sweet chocolate.  Worked for me!  I contemplated serving it with chocolate sauce, but opted for just straight up cake.

I had a couple sandwiches on my menu this week because it was supposed to be hot.  One of them, Hearty Turkey & Feta Sandwich, called for hummus.  Hummus is too easy to make to buy - plus no preservatives.  So I whipped up this Roasted Garlic Hummus which was spread on one side of the sandwich.  Because I was using it as a spread, I added the pepper flakes and parsley to the hummus.  It should stand for a bit to kind of meld the flavors.

I have definitely become more comfortable in the homemade bread world.  I'm breaking away from the bread machine for dough, as well.  I make our sandwich bread (and even have an adaptation that includes wheat flour.)  I made the french loaf for the Turkey sandwich above.  I make our hamburger buns and pizza dough.  And now I can add Hoagie Rolls to my repertoire.  The recipe requires an overnight rest for the starter, but it's so easy, the extra time is no big thing.   The dough comes together easily and the buns were so good hubby didn't believe that I made them!  

Tornado warnings are being issued and the skies are now quite grey.  It's time to go clean up, but first a pit stop in the kitchen to pull together tonight's dessert.  Whatever that may be.

Happy Friday,

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