Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Tangy Shrimp with Summer Veggies – in a Pita! June 25, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 9:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is originally intended to be a salad but makes a great dinner when stuffed in a whole-wheat pita.  Fresh, filling and healthy!

IMG_4318

 

Tangy Shrimp with Summer Veggies Salad

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup parsley sprigs
  • 4 scallions/green onions
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (or more!) lemon juice

Directions

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, parsley, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, oil, lemon juice, cooked shrimp, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Let marinate for 5 minutes before serving

You can buy pre-cooked frozen shrimp for easiest prep, or raw shrimp.  To cook shrimp: bring large saucepan of water to boil.  Add the shrimp and 1 Tbs salt and cook until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain and run under cold water to cool

 

Pita

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir to blend. Let the yeast stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the salt. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated and the dough gathers into a ball; this should take about 4 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Place a large pizza stone on the lower oven rack, preheat the oven (and stone) to 500 degrees F.

Punch the dough down, divide it into 8 pieces, and gather each piece into a ball; keeping all of them lightly floured and covered while you work. Allow the balls of dough to rest, covered, for 15 minutes so they will be easier to roll out.

Using a rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a circle that is about 8-inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Make sure the circle is totally smooth, with no creases or seams in the dough, which can prevent the pitas from puffing up properly. Cover the disks as you roll them out, but do not stack them up. Put 2 pita rounds at a time on the hot pizza stone and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bread puffs up like a balloon and is pale golden. Watch closely; they bake fast. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes; they will naturally deflate, leaving a pocket in the center. Wrap the pitas in a large kitchen towel to keep them soft.

ENJOY!

 

Advertisements
 

Tomato Mozzarella Casserole April 3, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 10:12 am
Tags: , , , , ,

This one’s from my very dear friend Mikaela.  🙂  I was a little nervous about it at first because I’m really not a casserole fan, and I thought it would be really heavy because of the cheese.  NOT SO! It was AAAAAmazing! 🙂 yum!  

We took her suggestion to add some meat (but I accidentally added too much, so it didn’t all fit in the pan.  It’s ok though, because I had a make-shift spaghetti for lunch the next day with the noodles that didn’t fit. 🙂 

img_3047

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry pasta (recipe calls for Ziti, but I used rotini… really, any short, sturdy pasta will work)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbls. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbls. Fresh chopped basil (or 2 tsp. dried – I used Italian Herb Seasoning instead)
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup. grated parmesan cheese
Directions
Cook pasta according to package in a large pot.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Put back in pot and set aside.  In a 12″ skillet, cook ground beef.  When done, drain off fat and rinse in a colander and add minced garlic cook until until tender, but do not brown.  Add tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.  Stir in basil, sugar, and salt.  Add sauce to the pasta and toss, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen sauce.  
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread 1/2 of the pasta mixture into an oiled 9 x 13 baking pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of each type of cheese over the top.  Spread the rest of the pasta mixture, then the rest of the cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Thanks Mikaela!
 

Sour Cream Cookies March 19, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 11:48 am
Tags: , , ,

again…no picture, imagine a snickerdoodle but fluffier, smaller and not perfectly round…

This is another recipe from the lovely Allissa Alvord

Ingredients

  • 1 c Shortening (I used butter, which I think made them spread out wider than Allissa’s)
  • 2 c Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla (I always use more vanilla than called for 🙂 )
  • 1 c Sour Cream
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 5 c Flour

Mix it all together (flour last of course).  I used 2 spoons to spoon mine onto the baking sheet.  When they are on the sheet, dip the bottom of a cup in cinnamon-sugar and lightly press the ball of dough to make it flat on top (but don’t squish it!)  Bake at 350 for 12 mins.  They are done even if they are the same color and haven’t browned at all.

I love these cookies, Allissa always has them when I go over to babysit and was so glad she gave me the recipe!  They really remind me of snickerdoodles! mmmmmm 🙂 

ENJOY

 

Spelt Issues March 12, 2009

Filed under: home,Recipes — mrswade @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So I made the simple whole wheat bread again, except this time I used whole grain spelt flour and coconut oil (instead of butter).  I bought spelt because I had heard very good things about its nutritional quality and am trying to make my homemade bread as nutritious as possible.  Well, they didn’t turn out nearly as well as they did last time…check it out…

img_3027This poor bread is pathetically the size of half a normal slice!

So I started some spelt research and found some very interesting things…

First, a bit about Spelt.  I found here that: Spelt is an ancient grain that traces its heritage back long before many wheat hybrids. Many of its benefits come from this fact: it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its more inbred cousins in the Triticum (wheat) family. Spelt features a host of different nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin B2, a very good source of manganse, and a good source of niacin, thiamin, and copper. This particular combination of nutrients provided by spelt may make it a particularly helpful food for persons with migraine headache, atherosclerosis, or diabetes.  Nutrition.about.com says: Spelt contains more protein than wheat, and the protein in spelt is easier to digest.

I found here that spelt flour has an “extremely fragile” gluten content, which is much different from bread flour, because if I understand it correctly, what makes Bread Flour, Bread Flour, is the larger amount of gluten in it than flours such as All Purpose, or Pastry.  Also, Spelt does not rise quite as high as wheat flour.  “If you look in a mainstream bread book, such as Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Bible, you’ll find references that allow you to substitute spelt for the whole-wheat flour portion of a bread recipe (meaning that you can use a cup of spelt instead of a cup of whole-wheat flour in a recipe that also includes 5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour). But there are no all-spelt bread recipes.”  I thought this was interesting that there is no all-spelt recipes, and because of the gluten, it makes sense that it needs to be combined with all-purpose.  The site says that many problems can occur every step of the way when using spelt flour.  “You must use the correct amount of water. Too much, and the dough is sticky and weak and will not be able to hold the gasses that are produced during the fermentation process.”  This is what happened to me!  I thought that my dough was not nearly as tough as it was the first time I made it.  It fell apart quite easily and was extra sticky…I also noticed problems with it not rising as much (though I think it rose about as much as you can get spelt to rise).  

I think I also may need to find a better place for my dough to rise, a warm and draft free place.  I found another spelt bread recipe here that I may try out.  Otherwise, if I add spelt, I may just add 1 cup to replace my whole wheat, or I may just not use it all together.

If anyone has any other spelt tips let me know, for now…I’ll use up what I have left, and stick to whole wheat. 🙂

 

 

After Work Snack – Biscotti March 8, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 4:12 pm
Tags: , ,

Jake is often a little “snacky” when he gets home from work, but because meals are planned pretty strictly here and we don’t buy the typical snacks in a box, there isn’t a lot that he can just grab and munch on between home-from-work and dinner.  So I found this biscotti on 101cookbooks, and it looked AMAZING, so I tried it 🙂  mine doesn’t quite look at glamorous as hers does, but they’re still real good!

img_3011

My mixture was a blend of hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and dried prunes.

1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup natural cane sugar, fine grain
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (set aside, don’t add to the batter like I did the first time! lol, reading the directions first is usually a good plan 😉 )

Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Rack in the middle. Lightly butter or oil a 1-pound loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, nuts and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add the flour-nut mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined. The dough will be quite thick. Scoop into the prepared pan and press the dough into place using damp fingertips. You want to be sure everything is nice and compact, level on top, with no air bubbles hiding in there. Bake for 45-50 minutes – or until the loaf tests done. If you under-cook the loaf at this stage, it makes slicing difficult. Remove loaf from the oven, and turn the oven up to 425F.

Immediately run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the loaf, remove it from pan, and set the loaf upside down on a cutting board. Using a thin serrated knife (or the thinnest, sharpest knife you have), slice the loaf into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet. brush tops with a bit of olive oil and bake for 3-4 minutes or until the bottoms are a touch golden and toasty. Pull them out of the oven, flip each one, and brush the other side with olive oil. Bake for another 4-5 minutes or until nice and crisp. Let cool.

 

to do: Christmas break November 13, 2008

Filed under: decorating,home — mrswade @ 11:36 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This Christmas break is going to be the best one yet!  I get to be a stay-at-home-wifey!  Things I am going to do with all my free time!

paint

 

  • Paint the bookshelf that we’re bringing home next weekend
  • Drill holes in the back of the TV stand so our cords aren’t messy
  • Paint our TV stand, black on the outside and some fun color on the inside
  • Finish my T-shirt quilt
  • Make new pillows for our couch
  • Put together and print online honeymoon scrapbook
  • Bake like CRAZY!