Tag Archives: Bread

Barbecue vs. Cookout

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When in Texas, there is a marked difference between a barbecue and a cookout.

A barbecue will serve barbecue. And in Texas, barbecue means brisket. Maybe sausage, too, but something will be cooking low and slow over a great deal of smoke, and it ain’t burgers.

A cookout has free reign of everything else. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, whatever.

Except chicken. Why on earth would you bring chicken to a cookout?!

Anyway, I’m visiting Edgar’s family in the Canadian-Higgins area (just barely on the right side of the Texas-Oklahoma border. And by right side I mean the left side) for the Easter weekend, and today we met up with some of their friends on their land for a cookout.

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There’s something endearing about seeing a lot full of pickup trucks.

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We brought Maggie!

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After about 30 minutes of dragging her around on the leash, we decided to let her roam free. And boy did she ever! She was like a fly on steroids buzzing around the area! She had a blast!

Though I don’t think she was too sure of the stream.

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My father-in-law supplied the fine hors d’oeuvres… (tortilla chips with onion, jalepeno slices, pimentos, and cheese)

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…while some of the other men started up the grill.

If you were wondering, cowboy hats in Texas really are fairly common. It’s not a myth.

 

Well, maybe it is if you’re from the city.

 

But most of Texas isn’t “city,” so there ya go.

 

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Cowboy coffee!

Well, almost.

It would be if I could see a sock.

Well, there could be a sock. I didn’t ask.

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The hostess of the evening showed us some sausage another guest brought up from Elgin (near Austin) for this cookout. Probably not something I’d purchase myself but I sure don’t turn it down when it’s served to me! It was mighty tasty!

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Ahh, the combined smell of mesquite, meat, and carcinogens. It can’t be beat.

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It’s one of Edgar’s favorite smells. That and fired gunpowder.

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Speaking of Edgar….

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A guest brought homemade cheese breadsticks! They were really good!

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There was also chips and dip, pinto beans, fruit, and some mayonnaise-y salad mixes, but yeah. You don’t go to cookout and expect to see anything green, except the lettuce.

After stuffing ourselves silly on burgers and sausage, they pulled out the dessert: buttermilk cake and cherry cobbler. The cobbler is hidden in that red container. I got a little shutter-happy and didn’t wait to photograph the cobbler because I was too excited about…

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…HOMEMADE ICE CREAM!

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My food baby and I are very happy. :]

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Oh, and apparently we’re coming back to Plainview with 6 lbs of free pastured beef from Edgar’s family friends’ ranch! Wooooot! That and two loves of Great Harvest bread (honey whole wheat and Dakota!) we picked up in Amarillo last night. Smile

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Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Amarillo, last night we ate dinner at Jason’s Deli. For me it was only the second time in my life to eat there. The other time was when I was in 7th grade.

I’d like to make this special public service announcement that the Wild Salmon-Wich is floggin’ awesome.

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“Grilled wild salmon marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, guacamole, roma tomatoes, leafy lettuce, smoked red pepper-cilantro aioli on toasted focaccia.”

That is all.

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What do you like to eat at a cookout? What about a barbecue?

Out of Season

It is late-February and I’m already in the mood for fall.

Actually, being in the mood for fall is something that happens to me approximately 10-11 months out of the year.

With the weather becoming more temperate with the approach of spring, I can imagine the fall season more easily, but I have to pretend not to notice that there are no orange leaves scattered about or that the apple tree in our backyard is 100% bare.

But of course, nothing keeps me from eating fall-seasoned food year-round! (Well, with the possible exception of another canned pumpkin shortage, but I’m still to this day hoarding cans in my pantry to get me through the summer!) I pulled out two oldies-but-goodies (plus a newie?)for dinner and curled up in my sweats on the couch to watch Casper, because, well…a girl’s got to cope with her weird moods somehow.

 

 

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Tuscan Pumpkin-White Bean Soup.

I’ve showcased this recipe before her e on the blog. It’s a Weight Watchers recipe I fell in love with about a year ago. It’s so quick and easy that I don’t even bother looking at the recipe anymore, and the ingredients are things you could easily have on hand already. So good, and the heat feels so good on my sore throat!

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Harvest Salad.

Another recipe I’ve pulled up twice already on the blog. I skipped the squash, even though I do have some, because I was already heavy-dosing on the vitamin A with the soup. Also, the ingredients are mostly based on whatever I had on hand. No artisan blend greens? I used arugula. No pepitas? I used pistachios. No blue cheese? I used goat cheese. I did have apples, though, so that remained the same.

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No Knead Bread.

Now this is a recipe I haven’t discussed here on the blog. Even though I was getting plenty of carbohydrates from the beans, I couldn’t shake the idea of a chunk of fresh, whole grain bread served alongside to round out my harvest-time daydream. I used the recipe from the NY Times as a starting point, but I used all whole wheat flour, plus added 4 tsp of vital wheat gluten to make sure it rose better. And instead of cornmeal on the outside, I used oat bran! It turned out WONDERFUL!

 

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What’s your favorite season?

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I was right! I said in my previous post that perhaps the reason why my pizza crust was too crunchy for my liking was the fact that I left it in the oven too long. I decided to use some leftover dough for dinner and this time it was only in the oven for about 5-8 minutes. Perfect chew! Many people like thin crust for the crunch. Honestly, I prefer a chewy crust. I go for thin crust because it means fewer calories. So if I can get my chewy crust in thin form, all is good in the world! And that seems to be the case in my kitchen right now.

This recipe is something of a combination of Roni’s Thin Crust Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, Jenna’s Best Pizza Crust, and a little know-how as learned from Mr. Alton Brown. I wanted to create a “’high-protein” whole wheat pizza crust for Weight Watcher Points Plus’ sake, and so I incorporated soy flour. And because I love a great deal of chew, I used bread flour, a higher-gluten wheat flour, in place of all-purpose, and opted for an addition of vital wheat gluten to ensure a nice rise and chewy texture, which can be difficult to achieve when using whole wheat flour and the completely gluten-less soy flour.

Michelle’s Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
makes 2 large pizza crusts (can easily make 24 slices of pizza, total)

2 1/2 tsp (or 1 packet) of active dry or quick-rise yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (preferably about 120 degrees)
1/2 cup soy flour
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 tbsp ground flax
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil + more for rubbing

Combine water and yeast together in a small bowl (I used a measuring glass) and allow the yeast to “bloom” for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all the flours, the flax, the gluten, and the salt together thoroughly. Stir in the olive oil. Once the yeast has bloomed (it will look foamy), stir into the dry mix until you get a sloppy ball.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead the ball for about 10 minutes, or until the whole ball is smooth and evenly moistened without being sticky or dry to the touch. Add more flour or water in the kneading process, as needed. Sometimes it’s needed. Sometimes it isn’t. Ball will be done “kneading” when it becomes sort of elastic. It shouldn’t tear easily when you fold it over on itself, and you should be able to poke it gently with your fingertip and have the dough bounce back fairly easily.

Lightly oil the ball on all sides and place in a large bowl and cover tightly. Place in a warm place for several hours at minimum (until the ball doubles in size), or up to a day. I prefer to leave mine out for, at minimum, overnight, since that gives the gluten time to relax and make the dough easy to roll out without pulling back into a smaller round.

Once you’ve allowed the dough to rise for the amount of time you wish, cut the dough in half (for two large pizzas. I wrap up the second and stick it in the freezer for a quick pizza night at a later date) and with one ball, press out into a small round starting with the center of the ball. Use a rolling pin if you wish to roll out the dough, starting the pin from the center of the dough and rolling outward, turning the dough after each roll so you get whatever shape you wish (round, oval, amoeba… whatever).

Top with whatever ingredients you wish (pre-cooked where applicable. Don’t try to “cook” ingredients that require more than a few minutes in the oven, because you don’t want to overcook your crust), and place in a 400 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes, or until the crust firm at the bottom and a bit puffy on top. Or, if you’re using cheese as a topping, when the cheese is sufficiently melted to your liking is a good gauge.

Serving size: 2 slices (1/12th of the recipe or 1/6 of a whole pizza crust)
Calories: 154
Fat: 2.7 grams
Carbohydrates: 24.88 grams
Fiber: 4.32 grams
Sugars: .06 grams
Protein: 8.98 grams
Points Plus: 4

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Don’t forget about my Lea & Perrins Giveaway! Winking smile

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