Tag Archives: Cheese

Soft Cheesy Pretzels with flaxseed meal

I was planning to make those pretzels for a while. 

I don’t know why I was waiting so long. They came out super delicious.

Soft and fluffy.

My daughter couldn’t stop eating them.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C Water

1 TBS olive oil

1tsp Lemon Juice

2 TBS Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 Egg YOLK

3 1/2 C Flour

1 TBS Active Dry Yeast

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese (or any kind of cheese you like), shredded

Egg Wash:

1 TBS Heavy cream (or half&half)

1 Egg WHITE

coarse salt for sprinkling (optional)

 

Directions for bread maker:

1. Put all the ingredients to the bread maker in order as listed above (EXCEPT FLAX and Cheese!). Left out “egg wash” ingredients, too. Run bread maker on “dough” cycle.

2. During the second kneading add flaxseed meal and shredded cheese.

3. When the dough is ready knead it a few times on lightly floured surface.

4. Divide the dough into 14 to 16 pieces.

5. Roll each piece into a rope, about 12 to 14 inches long.

6. Fold into pretzel shape.

7. Place each pretzel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 to 2 inches apart. 

8. Let them rest for about 30 minutes.

9. Whisk together egg white and cream. Gently brush each pretzel with the mixture.

10. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of each pretzel to your likes (optional).

11. Bake in 375 F for 15-20 minutes.

Directions for hand (KitchenAid) kneading:

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of pretty warm water until bubbly. In a separate bowl mix together flour and salt. Make hole in the middle and pour the yeast mixture inside it. Gently mix with your hands adding remaining water, olive oil and lemon juice until the dough is not sticky anymore and forms a soft ball. Add flaxseed meal and shredded cheese. Knead until they are well incorporated into the dough.

At this point cover it with towel and let it rest for an hour or until doubled in size.

Follow the steps from 4 to 11 as in directions for bread maker.

Go well with almost anything, and they taste the best warm!

http://salttree.net/Hearth & Soul HopSumo's Sweet StuffMyMeatlessMondaysMiz Helen’s Country Cottage

 

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Tortilla bowls

Tortillas are the “must have” in our house lately.

My husband likes quesadillas.

Our daughter can eat them just with peanut butter. She likes them a lot!

I like to use them in all kinds of wraps. So far, my favorite are spinach-strawberry wraps on homemade whole wheat tortillas.

My husband is not a big fan of the homemade ones so we still buy them for him.

Anyway, homemade or not we eat a lot of them.

Lately I’ve discovered tortilla bowls and the are a big hit in our home.

Whenever I make them our daughter tends to eat more of what’s inside, what I use to sneak more veggies in her.

They are super easy to make.

I use big muffin baking forms:

Not to torn the bottoms of the tortillas, very delicate I fold the tortillas inside the muffin form. 

Bake in 350 F for 10 minutes.

Fill with whatever you want.

Sometimes I make it just for my daughter so she has a funny bowl for her nuts to snack on. She loves it! And I have less dishes to wash 😉

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Creamy and Rich: Homemade Ricotta

As a kid, since I can remember to about when I was 14 I spent me entire Summer break in a small village in Poland with my dad’s family. They didn’t have running water (just a well). We bathed in a huge washbowl and…  the toilet was outside. I would eat wild growing berries and drank milk straight from a cow. For two months I would forget how processed food tastes like. During the last few years we visited them they had a store (!). That tiny place was mostly used for buying an alcohol and sodas by locals. It didn’t last long, though. That’s how self-sufficient that village was (as most of the villages anywhere else in Poland).

One of the best memories I have from that period is milking cows. I was never good at it and I gave up very quickly in trying to get better, but I tried it and it was fun. While my aunty was milking her cows I would pretend I’m a cat and I tried to drink that warm and fresh milk straight from a bucket to which my aunty milked the cows. Once, a friend of our family came from behind while I was doing so and pushed my head deep inside that filled with milk bucket. Everybody laughed and I was mad… . I’ve never drank milk straight from a bucket since.

Despite that accident and many more (like me being attacked by a “gang” of angry turkeys) those 2 months spent there every year were the best times ever. I will cherish them forever.

The food we ate there is my goal to achieve in the future: home grown, home raised, homemade.

Right now I just learn how to “home make” stuff from what I can get at the store 🙂

This time I learned how to make ricotta.

I’ll tell you something: I will never buy ricotta again. The homemade is creamy, rich and nothing like the store-bought. NOTHING! The recipe I got is not the original ricotta recipe. The original calls for whey from making another cheese (like mozzarella). Whole milk is never used. I cheated here a little 😉 It doesn’t matter, I think. The results are amazing and that’s what matters. Right?!

To make it I used:

3 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream*

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions that couldn’t be any easier:

Pour the milk, cream and salt into a saucepan. If you have a candy or deep-fry thermometer attach it to the pan and heat the milk to 190°F stirring occasionally. When it reaches 190°F remove from heat.

If you do not have the thermometer you should watch the milk-cream very closely until you see bubbles appearing around the edges of the pot. It means the liquid is ready to be removed from heat.

Add lemon juice. Stir couple of times (no more), very gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.

Line a sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. The bowl is to catch the whey. Later it can be used for baking breads.

Pour the milk mixture into the sieve and let the curds strain for at least an hour.

I didn’t have cheesecloth (but I do now) so I used an old t-shirt I don’t use anymore.

The cheese I got after 2 hours of straining was firm but very easy spreadable, it looked and felt almost like cream cheese. No curds just creamy and silky texture.

I am not sure for how long you can store it. I kept mine in airtight container in the fridge. It lasted for 4 days before I ate it all.

I ate it with fresh baked bread… .

You can’t beat that!

For an extra twist to this cheese visit Polish Mama on the Prairie… I’m definitely trying her idea the next time I’ll make it.

* the heavy cream in this recipe can be skipped. doing so you’ll get cheese with big curds and much more drier texture. 

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Dinner in 11 pictures…

… or in 14 if you counted the double ones and the gif 😉

Today I want to share with you one recipe that I think its’ worth to share.

Tortilla Lasagna

For my dish I use 4 tortillas, and 8×8 glass baking dish. 2 tortillas on the bottom, and two as a second layer.

For bigger dish use as many tortillas as you need to cover the bottom completely and double the ingredients.

For my size of this dish I use 2 cups shred cheese:

1 cup mild cheddar cheese,

1 cup jack cheese,

1 green zucchini (or yellow, or mix of both). I had only the green one.

1/2 purple onion (big one)

or

1 small

1 tablespoon olive oil… Fry it for about 15 minutes.

(click on the photo above)

Add

1 cup broccoli

1 cup salsa

Mix it well, and simmer on the very low heat for additional 5 to 10 minutes.

While you cooking your veggies fry one chicken breast in a second pan.

When the chicken is done add it to the veggie-salsa pan, mix it well.

 

Pour half of that mixture on the top of the first layer of tortillas

Cover it with half of the shredded cheese. I added some green peas and corn, but it’s because I really like those, and I cook almost everything with green peas and corn 😉

and… second layer

 

plus veggie-salsa and cheese layers with a few tablespoons of extra salsa spread on top.

Bake uncovered in 400 F for 40 minutes.

Eat and enjoy 🙂

It’s one of my favorite dishes. It’s good with the chicken but if you’re not a big fan of meat it’s a great vegetarian dish as well… (just skip the meat).