Tag Archives: sourdough


19 Nov

I made a couple of bready things — yes, with the sourdough starter — that I thought were worth sharing. The first were these adorable Sesame Bagels:

Aren’t they precious? I followed this recipe, though I halved it and skipped the egg or milk wash, so my sesame seeds didn’t stick very well. I used both the shaping methods. In the picture above, the rope ones are the back row, and the punch-a-hole-in-the-middle variety is in the front. Both were fun and tasted the same, but the latter method looks prettier. They were delicious topped with cream cheese and served alongside fresh orange juice and tea for a weekend brunch:

I also made burger buns, but I can’t for the life of me find the recipe! Aren’t they cute and puffy, though?

They made a perfect vehicle for a portobello sandwich:

Roasted portobello mushroom, mustard, cheese, avocado. Simple and tasty. The rolls were also great toasted with melted cheese on top:

I promise to share the recipe if I ever find it. This is exactly why I shouldn’t get so far behind on my posting!


Breakfast three ways

16 Oct

I tend to be in a breakfast rut of some kind or another, which you have definitely seen here (hello, a month or two of overnight oats). I’ve been mixing things up slightly of late, so I thought it would be fun to share three easy ways to get your mornings started off right. We have two different seasonally appropriate oats recipes and one savory pancake. Let’s start with the sweet stuff.

This week, I’m enjoying a new baked oatmeal recipe that I prefer to my old method. I present:

Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (generally two large or three medium bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon liquid coconut oil, optional
  • Handful of chopped pecans, optional
  • Handful of chopped chocolate, optional

Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease or spray an 8×8″ baking dish or pie plate. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, spices, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt. Now add the banana, vanilla, milk, and coconut oil if using and stir until combined. Fold in the pecans and chocolate (I used half a square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, chopped small, but feel free to use semisweet or chocolate chips or none, of course) if using. Spread in the prepared baking dish to fill the bottom. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top fairly evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then place the dish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to caramelize the sugar.

Serves 4.

This recipe is firmer and a little more cake-like than my pumpkin version, but it’s still best eaten with silverware. It isn’t overly sweet, so if you prefer a little more dolcezza in your mornings, feel free to up the sugar or drizzle a little honey or agave on your slice. I made this batch Sunday night and will eat it through Thursday morning. It reheats beautifully.

Here’s another seasonally appropriate oat recipe that serves one:

Butternut Squash Oats

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • A few pecan halves

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water, and butternut squash. Heat over medium-high until it reaches a boil, then add the oats and reduce to a simmer (low on my hot stove, medium-low on a normal one). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the oats reach your desired consistency, about six minutes. Right before they’re done, add the sugar and spice (everything nice). Serve topped with pecans.

Butternut — or really any kind of sweet winter squash — is very similar to pumpkin in flavor profile, so while it isn’t a typical oatmeal add-in, it doesn’t taste out of place at all. The spices and pecans make it a warming, wonderful breakfast. Plus, it’s a great use for leftover roasted squash that is too scant for a lunch or dinner recipe.

And finally, I offer a savory take on breakfast or brunch:

Zucchini Sourdough Pancakes with Tomato Sauce

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 3 pinches of salt, divided
  • 2 drizzles of olive oil, plus more for cooking pancakes
  • 1/3 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (blended if you prefer that texture)
  • Fresh or dried oregano, to taste (I used three sprigs of fresh, but 1/2 teaspoon dried would be great, too)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fresh hot pepper, minced or a pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter, freshly fed
  • 3/4 cup flour (I prefer white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Freshly ground pepper

Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred using a food processor if you have such fancy things or a cheese grater. Add to a bowl with one pinch of salt and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it’s softened. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, vinegar, pepper, and a pinch of salt and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce simmers and thickens, squeeze the moisture out of zucchini and add to a medium bowl. Combine with the sourdough starter, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt, and drizzle of olive oil just until mixed together. Now heat a skillet over medium or medium-low heat with a little oil. When hot, add 1/4 to 1/3 cupfuls of batter to the pan, careful not to overcrowd. (I did 1/3 cups and made two batches of three pancakes each. Sprinkle pepper over the top and let cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottom stops being batter.

Flip and cook another 2 minutes until set. I like to press down slightly after flipping. The pancakes are done when they firm and lightly golden.

Top with tomato sauce and eat immediately.

Serves 2.

These were a fun departure from normal pancakes, and they tasted especially delicious after my five-mile run Sunday morning. If you don’t have sourdough starter, you can also make them using your normal pancake base — just don’t add any sugar or sweet spices.

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe? Are you a savory or sweet fan? I like both, though I try not to add too much sugar to my sweeter breakfasts because then I crave it all day long. I like to use fruit to sweeten as much as I can.

This post has been linked up with In Her Chucks’ “What’s in the Box? #47”!

What I Ate Wednesday

19 Sep

I decided to give this trend a go roughly 10 years late to the party. I’m like that with every trend. I ignore until it’s been around so long that it isn’t a trend any more, and then I’m ready to jump on board.

Apparently part of WIAW is writing a little about the month’s theme, and September’s is “fall into good habits.” Since August, my goal has been cooking with the veggies I receive in my CSA share each week and only eating out once per week. It’s going well, though there have been a few hiccups along the way, so recommitting to my plan is still on the list for September. My non-food goals include budgeting (ugh), getting out of the house more (kind of a conundrum when we’re also trying to spend less), and doing creative projects. Someday I’ll have to do a post about my clothing makeovers, if that would interest you.

And now, food. We are covering Monday here, and once again I started the week off with overnight oats:

It was about 1/2 cup of oats soaked in enough almond milk to cover overnight, plus vanilla and cinnamon. In the morning, I add peanut butter — currently obsessed with this one — and cut up banana. Not terribly exciting or photogenic, but I love it.

I was running around on my “lunch hour” (in quote marks because I’m salaried and, therefore, don’t really have a lunch hour — and it was also 2:00) doing errands, so I grabbed a bag of Pop Chips, which I forgot to photograph. They were the jalapeno flavor, my favorites.

Back at the office, I ate my quinoa salad:

I will share a recipe tomorrow. It turned out really good — basic, but tasty.

Towards the end of the day, one of my employees was putting out snacks for a training that evening. I couldn’t resist a handful of these ridiculous Flipsides Pretzel Crackers:

Then I made the long drive home to enjoy dinner with my insanely cute husband.

It was a simple meal of soup and bread, but it was made 1,000 times fancier by our . . . NEW TABLE! Here is the meal all plated (well, bowled) and displayed:

The table is not actually new, just new to us, and we can’t say THANK YOU enough to Chris and Jessica, our friends from Bakersfield, who gave the set to us. We feel like real grown-ups now.

Back to the meal. The soup was inspired by this stew, but I switched it up a lot by throwing together things in the pantry and the fridge. It ended up being a really nice taste of summer.

To make it, I added one can of fire-roasted tomatoes, half a chopped onion, four minced cloves of garlic, two chopped yellow squashes, half a container of chopped cremini mushrooms, leftover cooked garbanzo and black beans (maybe 3 cups total), the remnants of a bag of barley (probably 1/4 cup), three hot peppers, and spices (salt, pepper, thyme, and herbes de Provence) to the crock pot and put it in the fridge. We then cooked it on low for about eight hours the next day. When I got home, I stirred it, added about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and one bunch of chopped parsley, and then let it simmer while I reheated the focaccia in the oven:

We each had seconds on the soup (X another full bowl, me a half bowl). We also realized the pickles I mentioned two weeks ago were ready.

I had one bite since I’m not a pickle eater, but he ate several.

The verdict is that they are very good! We will try making them spicy next time, just for fun.

Dessert was the last of the watermelon (this x2):

That was my Monday in food. I will be back tomorrow with some recipes. Tonight I’m attempting to make a kale salad that will be filling enough, so we’ll see how it goes.

Piece de resistance . . . is futile

4 Sep

Friends, I interrupt my regularly scheduled post on what I ate over Labor Day weekend to bring you, instead, the greatest thing I’ve ever created in the kitchen. Excuse me, make that my tour de force, my magnum opus, my piece de resistance . . . is futile.

Yep, it’s a pizza.

But it’s not just a pizza. It’s a symphony featuring a homemade crust, homemade sauce, and a medley of veggies grown right here in the LA area.

I’ve become totally obsessed with my sourdough starter (mentioned here originally). With the plethora of veggies — especially squash — quite literally spilling out of my fridge (and trying to take out a shelf with them), I thought a pizza topped with some of them would be tasty, so I did some investigating on a sourdough crust. I found this one and thought it seemed doable on my Monday off. The only alterations I made to the recipe were using white whole wheat flour instead of unbleached white, and I used about a tablespoon of oregano instead of the “pizza dough flavor.” While kneading it in my mixer, I had to add more liquid (a little over a half cup total) and then a little bit more flour (not exactly sure the amount — a couple of tablespoons maybe) to get the right consistency. It depends on your starter, though, so start with the base recipe and then add what you need to make it smooth and a little sticky.

Then it rose for about three hours, though it was actually usable after about two. I should have taken a picture of it in the bowl, but I didn’t think of it at the time. It looked so happy and sweet. Then I spread it out onto a 12″x17″ cookie sheet with sides:

It rose again for about an hour while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. I sliced and salted the small-ish zucchini and large-ish Japanese eggplant and then threw together the Roasted Tomato Sauce:

I tweaked my original recipe by using a splash of balsamic vinegar in place of the wine, adding 2/3 a bunch of basil, and substituting two cherry peppers for the crushed red pepper.

Then, when the sauce was done, I let it simmer while I baked the crust. At the same time, I roasted the zucchini and eggplant on another cookie sheet, but I didn’t photograph them. I sliced the mushrooms, and my husband grated the cheese. Then, the kitchen filled with an intoxicating smell, and after eight minutes, the crust was lightly browned and ready:

So I topped it. I spread on the tomato sauce, layered on most of the cheese, evenly-ish distributed the zucchini and eggplant, covered everything in a thick blanket of mushrooms, sprinkled some finely chopped onion and garlic, and then finished with the rest of the cheese:

Into the oven she went for eight more magical minutes until what emerged was a perfect synthesis of spices and veggies and taste sensations in the form of a thick-crust pizza:

So then we sliced it:

And ate it by candlelight, with a little petite syrah.

“I’ll meet you any time you want / In our Italian restaurant”

I was not exaggerating above. I’ve never made any dish that filled me with such an amazing sense of accomplishment or joy. X told me it is the best thing I’ve ever made, and I’m inclined to agree.

There isn’t really an easy recipe to share for this meal, since it’s so all over the place and, with the homemade dough, quite time-consuming, but here’s the best I can do:

  • 1 recipe pizza dough (I used this one)
  • 1 recipe pizza sauce (I used this one)
  • Veggies for topping, prepared your favorite way (I included roasted zucchini and Japanese eggplant, fresh cremini mushrooms, garlic, and onion)
  • Shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack)

Spread your pizza dough on a pizza pan or cookie sheet with sides. Pre-bake according to recipe instructions. Then layer on your toppings, starting with the sauce, then the cheese, then the veggies, and ending with a little more cheese. Bake according to the recipe, but the general rule is until everything is warm and the cheese is bubbly.

Another thing to love about my pizza: it featured five goodies from my CSA box. The zucchini, Japanese eggplant, basil, cherry tomatoes, and onion were either in this week’s or last week’s order. So we’re talking a fresh, local, homemade, and delicious meal triumph that put my happily to bed Monday night and allowed me to awaken refreshed and ready to run (literally) at 6:15 this morning. That, my friends, is a triumph.

What’s your favorite pizza topping? In addition to the above, I adore artichoke hearts and will probably include them the next time we make pizza, since this crust recipe is thick enough to stand up to heavy ingredients.