Tag Archives: homemade

Homemade Flatbread

Homemade Flatbread

Yield: 2 Servings     Prep Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Make ahead: Dough can be refrigerated 2-3 days


  • 3/4 cup warm water (110-115F)
  • 1 (1/4oz) packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Activated Yeast

  1. Pour warm water (110-115F) into a small bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar until dissolved.  Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes until a layer of foam develops on the surface like this:

    If this doesn’t happen, it’s best to start over as the yeast has not been activated.  This can happen for a number of reasons.  The temperature of the water could be too cold which will not activate the yeast.  If it’s too hot, the yeast will be killed, and sometimes the yeast can be old.  It’s best to store yeast in the refrigerator for this reason.

  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast water and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well.
  3. Lightly flour a clean working surface and form the dough into a ball. Turn the dough out onto the working surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic.  Only add more flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to the working surface.
  4. Place the dough back into the mixing bowl. Rub remaining teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil over the dough to keep it moist while rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, about 75˚F for 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  5. If you would like to make individual flatbreads, cut the dough in half.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface working it into a circular crust about 5 inches in diameter for 2 flatbreads, or 10 inches in diameter for one flatbread.
  6. Wipe the inside of a heavy skillet with a paper towel moistened with olive oil. Preheat the pan over high heat for 5 minutes until smoking. Place the rolled out dough in the skillet. The crust will bubble within 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium.
  7. Turn the flatbread onto a working surface, grilled side up, add toppings, and return to skillet.  Flatbread is done when cheese is melted and bottom has formed a brown crust.



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White and Green Bean Casserole

White and Green Bean Casserole

Here is a new twist to the classic holiday green bean casserole.  You can eat this any time of the year as I have added white beans in place of all the holiday guilt!

Servings: 9

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes (topping); 15 minutes



  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt


  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 12 oz fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed, and halved
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 (15oz) can S&W white beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Preheat oven to 475F.
  2. Combine topping ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to fully coat onions.
  3. Spread onions evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Cook until golden brown for ~30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 Tbsp. salt.  Add green beans and blanch for 5 minutes.  Strain beans through a colander and plunge into an ice bath to quickly stop cooking.  Once green beans are cooled, strain and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly whisk in chicken broth.
  4. Add pepper, garlic, and nutmeg.  Continue heating over medium heat until sauce is smooth and has thickened.
  5. Reduce heat to low and stir in half-and-half.
  6. Add white beans and green beans to sauce mixture until heated through.
  7. Pour sauce mixture into a casserole dish and top with onions.
  8. Bake until bubbly, ~15 minutes.

White and Green Bean Casserole Label


Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Beans, Entrees, Holiday, Made from Scratch


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No-Waste Chicken Stock


I love homemade stocks.  They add much more flavor than any store-bought stock could ever offer and although they are time-consuming to make, they are not hard.  I consider homemade stock to be my “secret ingredient” at holiday time.  It’s freezer-friendly and one batch of stock can last a long time.  If you are laying around on a Sunday, make some stock.  You won’t regret it.

One thing that’s always bothered me about making chicken stock is that after the chicken has been simmering for several hours it really can’t be used in anything as it is very rubbery.  But guess what?  Your cat or dog won’t care.  In fact, they will love you for it and you can save yourself about a week’s worth of pet food!

The last great thing about chicken stock is that you can use whatever chicken parts are on sale and it will still turn out great.  This week chicken drummies were on sale, but I could have easily substituted wings or legs.  You really need to use something that’s very bony as this is where most of the flavor of your stock will be derived.  So enjoy my recipe for liquid gold!


  • 5 pounds chicken parts (wings, drummies, legs)
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black peppercorns, whole
  • 10 parsley stems
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions for stock:

  1. Roast chicken at 475F for 1 hour, turning once.
  2. Remove chicken from roasting pan and place in stockpot.
  3. Add onions, carrots, and celery to roasting pan and cook for ~30 minutes, turning once.
  4. Add vegetables to stockpot.  Deglaze pan with 2 cups water.  Add to stockpot with 8 more cups water.
  5. Add 1 tsp. salt, parsley stems, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  6. Simmer slowly for 3 hours.
  7. Remove from heat and strain.  Pour strained mixture into large shallow container and cool uncovered in refrigerator.  Skim fat before using.

Stock will freeze for 6 months.

Directions for pet food:

  1. Allow chicken and vegetables to cool before handling.
  2. Remove all chicken bones from mixture.
  3. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for a purr-fect treat!DSCN2184

Posted by on January 27, 2013 in How-to's, Made from Scratch, Uncategorized


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Corn Bread Croutons


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups corn bread, cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Melt butter with garlic and toss in cubed corn bread.  Toast until lightly browned and crisp, ~15 minutes.



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Corn Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 450F.  While preheating, place a dry cast-iron skillet in oven to heat.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. Whisk egg, buttermilk, and 1/2 cup melted butter together.  Add to dry ingredients and combine.
  4. Remove skillet from oven.  Add remaining butter.  Pour batter into skillet and bake for 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

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Homemade Shrimp Stock

Makes 8 cups stock


  • Shrimp shells, from about 1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced small
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced small
  • 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bunch parsley stems
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Simmer all ingredients for 45 minutes to 1 hour until reduced to 8 cups.
  2. Strain, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Do not over season as the stock will be put into another dish that likely contains salt.

– Allow stock to cool before covering and refrigerating or freezing.
– Stock will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
– Stock will keep frozen for 3-4 months.


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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa 2


  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, and cut in half)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 serrano chiles, deveined and seeded
  • 3/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely diced


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Place tomatillos and garlic in a roasting pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 15 minutes then allow to cool.
  2. Blend tomatillo, garlic, and pan drippings in blender until smooth.  Add chiles and cilantro, and blend until chunky.  If mixture is too thick add water to thin out.
  3. Transfer to serving dish.  Stir in white onions.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Made from Scratch, Sides, Uncategorized


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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta Cheese

Yield:  2 cups


  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a boil.  Stir often so milk doesn’t scald on bottom of pot.
  2. Once boiling, add lemon juice, reduce heat to simmer, and stir just to mix.
  3. Let mixture curdle for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and allow to drain for an hour.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: Use within 2 days.

Recipe adapted from “; Issue of Gourmet April 2006.”  Link to original recipe:

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Made from Scratch, Uncategorized


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