I’m so sad to see the weekend leave, but Fritz and I had a great day–a lot of cooking and finishing the third season of LOST. It was a perfect day for it, because it was gray but not rainy so the windows were open and the cool air made making fall food finally feel appropriate. Which you know makes me happy.
The other day I made Overnight Oats, with a recipe I borrowed from this website (it’s a healthy eating blog that I recently started reading as I needed some inspiration for this blog…add it to your favorites! It’s a good one!). Anyway, I loved the idea of cold oatmeal in the morning (I add uncooked oatmeal to my Grape-nuts in the morning ’cause I like the texture), but I didn’t exactly love the way it turned out. Definitely good, very filling, but not perfect…yet. But it will be! And when I perfect a recipe, I’ll put it up. But in the meantime, I’d love some suggestions if you guys try your own versions.
On another note, I got two new cookbooks recently. Now, if you know me, you know I love cookbooks and kitchen gadgets, ever since I got some wooden spoons as a Christmas gift when I was seven(ish). So full of new possibilities! The next two recipes are from my two new books, One Pot and 100 Best Health Foods.
First, I decided to make Garlic and Sage Bread, mostly because I felt like using my mixer and I’ve been baking too many sweet things lately. I have sage in my herb garden and I rarely use it, but who would’ve known it’s one of 1oo best health foods. Sage, among other things, has strong antioxidant, antibacterial, and preservative effects. Cool. Also helps with symptoms of arthritis (Mom!).
Garlic and Sage Bread
- 1 3/4 C whole wheat bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 3 T chopped fresh sage
- 1 t sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 t honey
- 2/3 C lukewarm water
Set aside 1 t of the garlic, and the first four ingredients and the remaining garlic into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the honey and the water. Stir until the dough begins to come together, and then knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until elastic (or, use your mixer until smooth and elastic). Brush a bowl with oil and shape the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel to prevent drying out).
Brush a baking sheet with oil, punch down the dough, and shape into a ring. Place on the baking sheet, and place an oiled bowl in the center to prevent the circle from closing in while rising. Leave to rise for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the bowl from the center of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved garlic (I opted out of this part) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when the base is tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and cool, and spread slices with cream cheese (or not–tastes great without it!).
This bread was quick and easy to make, didn’t rise a huge amount, and makes the cutest little slices. It perfectly accompanied the next recipe, Cinnamon Lamb Stew.
Cinnamon Lamb Stew
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 2 lbs lean boneless lamb (I actually used bone-in stew meat, which I cooked whole and then cubed later)
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 lg onions, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 C red wine
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 12 0z canned diced tomatoes
- 1/3 C seedless raisins
- 1 T ground cinnamon
- pinch sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- plain greek yogurt and paprika to garnish
Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste, and flour the lamb (shake it up in a plastic bag!) and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions and garlic until soft, about five minutes. Add the lamb and cook over high heat until browned on all sides. Stir in the wine, vinegar, and tomatoes and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to low and add the raisins, cinnamon, sugar, and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the lamb is tender.
I served with barley and topped with a generous spoonful of plain greek yogurt (the recipe suggests adding garlic and salt to the yogurt, but I’m not a huge garlic fan so I stuck with plain). Discard the bay leaf and serve hot, dusted with paprika (like any good part-Hungarian would).
Now snuggle up with a movie and a blanket, and eat the first of many fall stews I hope you make!
Tomorrow Fritz is going on a fun adventure called “Looking At And Possibly Buying A Car”, which is an operation we’ve tried several times and have yet to call a success. Hopefully tomorrow will be better–a 2003 Nissan Sentra with 94,000 miles for $4,000. Sounds good, right? I’ll let you know how that goes…and don’t forget to try overnight oats!