Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Move over Banana Bread, helloooo Banana Soft Serve!

Who needs banana bread when you can make this with ripe bananas?

And all you need are frozen banana pieces and a food processor! That's right, it's 100% fruit.

Well, I actually don't have a food processor so I made it with a KitchenAid blender, on the lowest speed stopping to stir the mix when it got stuck. The blender complained a bit by giving off a light burned motor smell, but the blender survived and I will be trying this again. You will be tempted to add a liquid, but don't. Serve immediately (or after freezing for five minutes). Of course, piping it out is optional.

But if my explanation seems too simple, you can get the recipe on Hillbilly Housewife or anywhere else your search engine takes you. And the search engine will take you to a bunch of variations, such as peanut butter, cocoa or berries...

Need I say that it's perfect for people who cannot have milk or dairy products? Well, I just did.

Until next time...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Thought I'd poke my head out a bit and share a recipe I developed a few years ago. I finally got around to typing it up, so the blog also serves as a place for safe keeping. I have made it in the bread machine (on the whole wheat cycle), but a mixer or by hand will work as long as you know the procedure.

Renata’s 100% Whole Wheat Honey Bread

1 cup water (maybe an additional tablespoon more)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 - 1 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds, walnuts, raisins, etc (optional)

I'm sorry I don't have specific directions. Just make the dough as you would any other bread. If you're new to baking bread, King Arthur Flour has a great set of online videos of the bread making process here. Here's also instructions on making dough in a Kitchen Aid mixer (but keep the dough on speed 2. Any higher than that can damage the motor)

If you have a recipe you like, but just want to tweak it a bit, this link about dough enhancers is really helpful. That's how I ended up with an egg in my recipe.

Try it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dentacoys... Revealed

OK, I know you are dying to know what dentacoys are, so here is my daughter's description:

"It's what's in your eyes. It's kind of sweet. That's why I eat them. I wait for them every day, but you can't taste anything if you don't chop them."

So the answer is B: gound (a.k.a. "sleep", "crusties", or "eye boogers" found in the corner of your eyes when you wake up.)

I think "dentacoys" sounds better, don't you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Poll: Dentacoys

It's been a while since I have posted anything, so I thought instead of just telling you a cute story about my daughter, I would make it more interesting by conducting a poll.

She is never at a loss for words. She simply makes a word up if she doesn't know what it is. She's very creative.

Earlier this month, she informed me about dentacoys.Here are your choices:

Dentacoys are:
a) almonds
b) gound
c) uvula
d) autumn leaves

In case you are reading this post in a reader, the poll is on my blog site in the right hand column. Go there and vote. You can also suggest any definitions, as long as it's appropriate for a 5 year old to hear it.

I'll reveal the answer on Nov 1st.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pizza Dough

I have made this dough by hand, bread machine (dough cycle) and the mixer. The secret to getting a good crust is to let it rest for 10 minutes before shaping onto the pan and baking it at 500 degrees F. I don't use a pizza stone, but baking the pizza on the bottom rack makes a crispier crust. You can freeze the dough, or even assemble the pizza, then freeze. Then pull out of freezer and bake as usual give or take a couple of minutes. Reynold's nonstick foil is a major timesaver.

Pizza Dough

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence (my notes in italics)
Show: Food 911

Serves: 3 pizza crusts


  • 1 package active dry yeast (or 1 1/2 tablespoon instant/rapid rise yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or less. If you don't have kosher salt, 1 tsp table salt will be enough)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting (I use bread or AP flour, I haven't come across 00 flour in the stores)


In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pizza for the Freezer

Pizza's ready!
This is the way I freeze homemade pizza that is ready to go in the oven and makes efficient space in your freezer (especially if you have one of those side to side units that is too narrow to fit a regular pizza size). Two of these pizzas will fit on a half sheet pan (about 13x18 inches) for baking. You can tweak this for cookie pans too.

What you need*:
9x13 inch rectangular baking pan (additional pans are good)
Nonstick foil or parchment paper
Freezer Paper (or parchment again, but I haven't tried)
Jumbo 2.5 gallon storage bags
Pizza dough and toppings

Turn the 9x13 pan upside down and line with foil. Shape your dough along the bottom of a 9x13 pan. This helps keep the crusts at a uniform size.
Remove crust with foil from pan and add toppings (this works well as an assembly line). Place a sheet of freezer paper over the pizza, fold up the foil over the top and set pizza packet aside
Repeat the process and stack the assembled pizza packets in a 9x13 pan (the pan is right way up). Depending on the thickness of your crust, you can fit about 4 pizzas per pan. Place pan in the storage bag and freeze. Stacking in the pan keeps the pizzas sturdy and tidy before they freeze, unless you like wavy pizzas :-) Remove the pan from the storage bag after the pizzas have frozen.

To Bake:

You can bake the pizza straight from the freezer. Remove freezer paper (keep foil or parchment on) and bake as you normally would bake your pizza. You might have to add a few minutes to baking time. Just check to see if the pizza is done and make note of the added time. Serve immediately.

I should add that parchment paper doesn't hold up to the high temperature that I bake my pizzas in, so check your recipe first. Removing the parchment works too. Just make sure your pan is greased so it won't stick. The nonstick foil is my favorite kitchen assistant as it reduces clean up time, wipes clean easily and can be reused.

Frozen pizzas ready for the oven

 *links to products are for your convenience. Use whatever works for you

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Grain Granola

Last Sunday, my 8 year old presented me with his Mother's Day Mix for breakfast. I think he intended it to be added to cereal, but I think it could be eaten as is, especially if you miss granola but can't have the grains.

No Grain Granola (a.k.a. Mother's Day Mix)

Coarsely ground pecans (he didn't toast them, but toasted would be good)
Raisins or dried cranberries
Cinnamon, to taste
Sugar or another sweetener, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and add milk.