Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chef Brad

Well, about a month and a half ago I said I was going to tryout a new grain every week and blog it. I did try some new grains, but then life got crazy. I didn't get to try some of the recipes and breads I wanted because of the craziness. But I am home and even though I will be leaving on occasion, it is time. I will highlight what I have done so far and what I am doing now. While Lizzie was here we made some Rigatoni that was to die for. It was a yummy comfort type of meal that tasted like it took us all day, and it took about a half an hour from start to finish all in the pressure cooker. We did it like he did with white noodles,but millet in it. Steve and I are so used to whole wheat pasta that I might try it with that next time. I didn't take a pic :-( . After Lizzie left, I tried barley and am pretty sure blogged about that. I tried Oat grotes next (whole oats). I basically never had time to or took the time to try some of the recipes, so I would cook up a batch of grain and then have it for breakfast with fruit The next day I had some leftover crab, so I made a crab omelet with oat grotes. Before the cheeseWith Chesse Next I did Quinoa. I had had it before but not really done much with it. This time around I ate it for breakfast, threw it in my salads, and anywhere else I could think of. I had it cold and hot. About that time I was getting really pumped. I decided to order some things that I needed if I was going to try everything. So onto Chef Brads website, and then onto Amazon to order what I learned from Chef Brads site. I didn't order anything from Chef Brad's site because he has a 25.00 min shipping charge at least for sending it to me. Two days later, Yippee! Here they came!I felt just like the box says!Have I tried all this yet? The pans, salt, and yeast. I have yet to use the Pizza stone and paddle, but I will and I will share it with you!!! About that time I went to Lizzie's to babysit. Lizzie had tried Chef Brads bread recipe and we decided that it wasn't as good as ours. So I made our recipe with some more white flour, we decided that the way we make it with only 2 cups of white flour is the best. When I got home my xagave was there and my Farro. So I tried my Farro. First as always a breakfast cereal which I didn't take a pic of , but they all look basically the same. As far as taste, they all taste a little different but not a lot. The Farro cooked up better after sitting all night long on warm, it kind of opened up more, I liked it better that way. I wanted to do something different for a change, so I cooked up some more farro and decided to add it to my bread like he does on his show. So I cooked up some more Farro and put it in my bread recipe using Kamut flour. I only made a half a batch in case we didn't like it. It made 2 and a half loaves. I used the half a loaf to make one loaf into the shape of French Bread and put it in my new French bread pan. The dough before I cooked itAfter I cooked itI didn't slice it before I cooked it or do anything different. Side of bread below.I have to tell you, it may not be the most beautiful loaf I have ever made, but I can say that Steve has NEVER raved over any loaf of bread as much as he has this one. Now the bread he ate was the one shaped like French bread and only about 3" in diameter and about 2" tall. He couldn't get enough of it. I don't know if it was the Farro, or just putting a cooked grain in it. I'm going to try it with the other grain he did it with and see. After that cool experience I was pumped to try another recipe. Sooooo I tried his Farro Torte, I took some pics of it cut, but they didn't turn out. I didn't have a big enough pan to cook the whole torte in so I put it in two pie pans. One of the torte I put crab in, mmmm..... The other just the normal recipe. I froze that one.Steve took a bite of the torte above and said that's good, then with every bite he liked it more until he ate about 1/2 the pie. I had to share the tomatoes and squash from my greenhouse we ate with the torte.Do you like my fat free (not) squash. I agree with Julia, butter makes everything better! Well, my next thing I want to use my Farro for is risotto. I have never made it before, but I want to try it. I will tell you, Farro is expensive because it comes from Italy. But I think if I had gotten it from my little health food store it would have been a lot cheaper. I would try the things Chef Brad does with the less expensive things first. He said the torte could have been made with any grain. I do like Farro though.

Now onto the time of year. My tomatoes have done wonderfully and it is the first year I haven't lost a ton of them to becoming rotten. I think it is a combination of things, but also being tired of losing half my crop, so I have been more vigilant about checking them. Here I am making Stewed tomatoes to can :-) Seasoning and veggies, Lizzie, I used my new Penzeys Tuscan Sunset Seasoning you gave me!Next my beautiful skinned tomatoesChopping (those peppers are from my greenhouse!)
The finished product!
I had some left over but no jars in the house to put them in, so I used it to make me a bowl of soup. I added some Farro from the fridge and some Parmesan cheese. I was too lazy to put some beans in. It was yummmmmmy! I decided after I make a batch of spaghetti sauce to can, I am going to make more stewed tomatoes to use for soup during the winter. I'll open a jar, add some beans, whatever grain I have cooked up and some cheese, voilla yummmy soup! Love you all!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

So far Behind!

I think so many of my blogs start this way! Oh well, I will get better! so much has happened. Lizzie, Shad and the kids all came on the 4th of July. I stayed with Jacob's family for a night and then brought his kids back with me. Later in the week Jake and Lyndsey came and stayed with us for a couple of days and then took the kids back home. Not long after that I went down to Lizzies and babysat Lizzies kids for about 8 days and Rebeccas about 4 of those days also. It was wild and crazy and close together, but I will never pass up a chance to be with my kids, their spouses and my grand kids. Life is short and you just never know how much time you will have with people. Then throw in some Tuna and it has been a very busy summer. Tonight I will blog Lizzie's family visit and then the others on another day!

I have so many pics, I don't know how I could ever post them all, so I will just do the best that I can! I think I will steal most of Lizzie's from her blog for when they were here. I might have to steal some from when I babysat also, it was a little to busy for me, 6 kids all over again! We went to the light house and in the end, Kate was too short, and the Lady got all hyper with Shad when he tried to lift Tanner up so he could see better in the light part of the Light house. But I think if the day had not been so cold and windy, and the kids had been a little older, it would have been really cool. We also tried to go to the tide pools at the Lighthouse park, mistake, Strawberry Hill beats it all to heck. I was going to check it all out before they came, but ran out of time. Oh well, it made great pics! Then Steve took Shad and Tanner fishing, it was so cool, Tanner loved it and didn't get sick the tiniest bit. That starfish is the biggest one Steve has ever accidentally pulled up. The bottom pic is when Tanner fell asleep, I think they went fishing at about 4:00am
I had something planned for every day. It was so much fun. We didn't do everything I planned but we had a great time. One of the things grand kids have reminded me of is that I love to play cards. I played cards for hours over the last month. It is very educational and fun at the same time. It also helps kids learn to lose. I make sure they win more than I do, but I also make sure I win sometimes. As a result they are all pretty good losers. I always act really happy when they win so it has helped them to be very happy when the others when. Tanner and Kate are really good at it for their age. We had a barbecue on the 4th, it was too windy to be on the beach so we had it in front yard in front of the shop. It was great! Kate thinks Steve is so funny, they were good pals!
We made cupcakes, lots of shaped pancakes, painted, went to the aquqrium, a cute little pirate village (kind ofbuilt sand castles, and just basically had a great time