So I know we are only a few days into the new year, but as I had mentioned I am a very regimented person. I love making schedules, I love abiding by schedules, I love writing plans down for future schedules, I love it all. When I have it written, it makes me feel like I have something important to abide by. My new years resolution is no different, although it does not affect anyone else, well, not as much as it affects me, I love that I have something to follow.
I’ve used my “rules” as being the holy word this week. I’ve been making meals for lunch and dinner and as of Saturday I intend to start making big full breakfasts once again, the past couple months I’ve simply been eating cereal and yoghurt, needless to say I’m at the point where I don’t want to see another tub of yoghurt or another box of cereal. I’ve already saved many oatmeal recipes, fruit recipes and some breakfast sandwiches, it’s not that I can’t create/think of them for myself, but again, this allows me to write it into my journal and plan my groceries and everything else instead of just going about it on a whim. With that being said, be on the look out for new breakfast ideas within the next little while.
Every single say this week I have woken up and been excited for the day. I’d love to say that it’s been like that forever, but I’ve been struggling with that for a while now. However, with my resolution it’s made me look at food differently as to how I have in the past while (which… in time I feel as though I will be able to discuss it with you all).
As I mentioned I want to incorporate more bread into my diet. Not only because it tastes’ absolutely delicious, but I can’t really eat store-bought bread so the past year unless I’ve made bread I’ve pretty much been deprived. However, this week having bread at my disposal has given me so much more opportunity with food. I can now make sandwiches, omelet’s with toast on the side, grilled cheeses’, eat it just as toast with butter and brown sugar brushed atop, oh the possibilities!
I’ve been in absolute heaven, I mean… I may be almost going on the deep end, but I love everything about it, the smell, the taste, the feeling I get when I eat it. So, I want to become better at making bread (not that I’m horrid at it, but I’d love to make more difficult breads).
I finished my French Onion Bread yesterday and I knew that I would want some sort of sandwich today so I went through my library of bookmarked bread pages and seeked what my palette wanted. I didn’t find anything, so I went to the Internet. I searched V8 breads. I made one… and, unfortunately I ate the whole loaf (I told you, I really went overboard). It was good, but it wasn’t sandwich bread, it was more of a chunky loaf than a hearty sandwich bread. I remembered seeing a recipe recently for a white sandwich bread loaf so I went back to Tastespotting and looked it up.
I found the recipe and then headed for the kitchen. This was a super fun bread to make. The reason I say this is that I’ve never made sandwich bread so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had to add flour because I found the bread way too sticky, however, I was kind of afraid of doing so because I had read on another loaf bread recipe “LADIES, it’s going to be sticky but whatever you do DO NOT add more flour” (something along those lines), therefore I was afraid it would apply to this recipe too. However, to my luck it did not!
The bread turned out beautifully. It rose. It smelt like heaven. The butter brushed on top turned a golden yellow colour. It was sponge-like, and it was certainly sandwich making bread. It was so hard last night when I took the bread out of the oven at around 10:45 pm to not cut into it right away, but I had already eaten the whole loaf of V8 bread so I knew it wouldn’t be a wise decision and I would simply have to wait for lunch to enjoy it.
White Sandwich Bread
Recipe taken from here
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (about 105 degrees F)
- 1 heaping tbsp honey
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp soft butter
- 4 cups (17 ounces) AP Flour + 1/2-3/4 cup (since I used milk instead of milk granules)
- 1 1/2 cup Vanilla Fortified Soy milk
Mix all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand or regular mixer with the flat paddle. Scrap off the sides, if necessary. Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or via a dough hook. Oil lightly a big bowl or use the same stand mixer bowl with a bit of oil in it (that's what I do!). Roll the bread around in the oil, and cover it with a towel or a shower cap. Allow dough to double in size for 60 to 90 minutes in a warm area.
While the dough is rising, butter a loaf pan (my addition). Once the dough has risen, roll the dough out into a thick, rectangular shape on a pastry mat, Silpat, or wax paper. Roll the dough into a tight log the same length as the loaf pan you're using.
Place the rolled log of dough into the loaf pan, cover it with a towel or shower cap, and allow it to rise 1 to 1 1/2 inches over the loaf pan in about 60 minutes. During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the dough has risen high enough, bake the bread for about 20 minutes. If it starts to get too brown on top, place foil over it and bake it for 10 more minutes. (So, a total of 30 minutes). The temperature of the dough should be between 195 and 200 degrees F.
Avocado and Lemon Toast
So wait I did. However, at 1:00pm I decided I had waited long enough. As much as I wanted a sandwich (which honestly for me is REALLY unusual… I’m not a sandwich person by all means. Honestly, sandwiches kind of creep me out. But, I think because I haven’t any “sandwich” bread in over a year I’ve just been going ravage for sandwiches). Today I decided to use up the avocado I bought on the weekend, which had finally softened. I added lemon juice, then topped it with sea salt and pepper. It was such an incredibly easy lunch to make (less than two minutes) and tasted like heaven. I’m really not an avocado person, I really only eat it if I have it in my sushi or the Crab and Avocado Salad however, seeing as I want to put on weight, it is perfect since it is high in polyunsaturated fats and is very healthy.
The simple union of the above-mentioned ingredients made this weird textured fruit incredibly tasty and making me wanting to come back for more. Each bite, with the delicious flavours and the amazing bread made this simple “sandwich” (which I added with more food don’t worry) was an absolutely fantastic lunch. I would definitely make this again, despite my lack of love for avocado.
- 2 slices of bread
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
Toast your bread. While the bread is toasting, slice your avocados. When the bread has done toasting, spread the avocados on the toast and sprinkle the sea salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Eat up and enjoy!
In my last post, I believe I mentioned how I had given brussels sprouts another chance while at my dads girlfriends house for Christmas dinner. Since I had shared this knowledge with my mother she thought it would be nice to buy two very large packs of Brussels sprouts, so the other night I made Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Mushrooms and last night I searched for a recipe that would spark my attention, which I definitely found. After having my amazing lunch I was looking even more forward to dinner now.
When five o’clock rolled around (I know, I ate lunch at 1 and was already eating at 5, I don’t space out my meals by much, but I like it better this way because then in the evening I drink a lot more lemon water to cleanse myself from the day… which I’m currently doing as I write this).
I made the Brussels and holy moly were they ever good. I was seriously popping them like candy. Thinking back to the first time I had Brussels sprouts I didn’t think I would ever use the statement “like candy” and Brussels sprouts in the same sentence, but these were so good! I used Panko breadcrumbs, much more lemon zest than stated, also less Parmesan than stated and it was absolutely brilliant. I love this. I’ve never had Brussels sprouts in the pan either (… not like I am a hero with this vegetable since this was only my forth time, yes so few times that I can actually recall how many times I’ve had it) but it was only my forth time, but this was by far my favourite.
Having it made this way is definitely going to be my go-to method for when I make them in the future. I loved them, I couldn’t get enough of them, and hope that you will try them out, if not this than hopefully one of the above recipes!
Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Parmesan and Lemon Zest
Recipe taken from hereIngredients:
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 3 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs (instructions below)
- 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp butter
To make breadcrumbs: Use the remains of an old baguette. Chop or break into pieces with a sharp knife. Process in the food processor until you have the texture of breadcrumb you desire. To toast them you can either use a toaster oven at 300 degrees until golden brown (this should only take a few minutes), or brown them in a pan. If using a pan, stir frequently so that they don’t burn.
Rinse Brussels sprouts. Remove stems and slice each Brussels sprout in half lengthwise.
Warm a skillet over a medium flame. Melt the butter for a minute or two in the pan. When everything is nice and hot, add the Brussels sprouts. Stir to coat them evenly with butter, then turn all of them so that the cut side is facing down. You will want to cook them for about twenty minutes, and as long as your heat is not too high, you will only need to stir them about three times. When you do stir them, turn down any that are facing up after stirring.
While the Brussels sprouts are browning, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper with a fork. Add the lemon zest last – it may clump a little, so break it up with the fork if necessary.
When the Brussels sprouts are cooked – tender, with a darker shade of green and nicely caramelized edges – transfer them to a glass bowl. Toss them in the breadcrumb mixture and stir to coat.