Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When I'm Sick, Everyone Suffers

...at least, the boyfriend does when it comes to meals. Since last Thursday we've been living on a steady diet of soup, store-bought pasta dishes, and, one lucky day, some of the meatballs I froze last week. (He gave me the cold, so don't feel too bad for him.) Finally, today I'm feeling better (and we're running out of easy meals in the freezer), so I'm making real food.

Specifically, I'm making chicken thighs in the slow cooker with the Brown Sugar Chicken recipe from Crockpot 365. It smells good right now (it's been in there for three hours or so on high), but I have no idea how it's going to turn out. I had to improvise on several fronts: first of all, my chicken was completely frozen and has bones in it, creating considerably more meat mass than the recipe calls for; also, I had no fresh garlic so I used a bunch of granulated garlic instead; finally, I only had about a third of a cup of brown sugar, so the rest of the cup was made up of white sugar and a tablespoon of molasses. This is going to be interesting. It is highly recommended on Crockpot 365, and I've loved everything I've made from there, so I'm sure the recipe is great when made correctly. My "what I had in the cupboards" version, however, may not be.

Also, since Thanksgiving is traditionally a really big holiday in my family, we're seeing the boyfriend's family this coming weekend for an early Thanksgiving. I think I'm going to make the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Dozen Flours to contribute, and that means a big shopping trip because my baking supplies are severely depleted.

A couple of weeks ago, I made up a bread machine recipe that I need to write down before I can't remember what I put in. I used the basic part of a buttermilk bread recipe, then added some spices to create something that sounds weird, but it tasted great (which surprised me more than anyone, let me tell you). It was a bit of an odd greyish colour, but that didn't stop it from disappearing! Introducing:

Buttermilk Chai Bread

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast

  1. Place ingredients in the bread maker in the order written above, being careful not to let the yeast touch the liquid or the salt while it's being put in.
  2. Set bread maker for 1 1/2 - 2 lb loaf (I did 1 1/2, but this should work on a 2 lb setting as well), light crust. Run on white cycle, ensuring that the dough is not too wet or too dry during the initial mixing. It should stick to the sides of the pan a bit, but peel itself off of them cleanly and regularly during mixing. (I added a little more buttermilk, I think, but I'm also a little haphazard with my flour measuring, so no guarantees that more liquid will actually be necessary.)
It was kind of a greyish colour inside when I cut into it, but that's just from the cardamom. It tasted great warm with butter - but hey, what doesn't?.

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