Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frozen Hot Chocolate

4 ounces of your favorite chocolate
2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice cubes
sweetened whipped cream
chocolate shavings (optional)

Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt in microwave on low heat. Once melted, add hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended. Slowly add 1/2 cup milk, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature. In blender, place the remaining 1 cup milk, room-temperature chocolate mixture and ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri.
Makes about 4 8oz servings

Five-Minute Artisan Bread

Serves 4

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance.

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal

In a large plastic resealable container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm (about 100 degrees) water. Using a large spoon, stir in flour, mixing until mixture is uniformly moist with no dry patches. Do not knead. Dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to shape of plastic container. Cover, but not with an airtight lid.

Let dough rise at room temperature, until dough begins to flatten on top or collapse, at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; refrigerated dough is easier to work with than room-temperature dough, so the authors recommend that first-time bakers refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours.)

When ready to bake, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. Place a broiler pan on bottom rack of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and repeat oven to 450 degrees, preheating baking stone for at least 20 minutes.

Sprinkle a little flour on dough and on your hands. Pull dough up and, using a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit-size piece (about 1 pound). Working for 30 to 60 seconds (and adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands; most dusting flour will fall off, it's not intended to be incorporated into dough), turn dough in hands, gently stretching surface of dough, rotating ball a quarter-turn as you go, creating a rounded top and a bunched bottom.

Place shaped dough on prepared pizza peel and let rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it in lidded container. (Even one day's storage improves flavor and texture of bread. Dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in refrigerator prior to baking day.) Dust dough with flour.

Using a serrated knife, slash top of dough in three parallel, ¼-inch deep cuts (or in a tic-tac-toe pattern). Slide dough onto preheated baking stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into broiler pan and quickly close oven door to trap steam. Bake until crust is well-browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely.

Yummy Chicken Broccoli Cheese Onion Casserole

chicken broccoli onion mushroom casserole joyful abode recipe

You will need…

  • a bunch of broccoli, cut into florets and steamed
  • 2 onions
  • 1 package of mushrooms (a couple cups), sliced
  • 2 large chicken breasts, boneless skinless… cooked and cubed
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • about 1/2 cup of milk
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • French’s fried onions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sautee the onions and mushrooms. When I do this, I put the onions (chopped) into a pan with a couple tablespoons of water, and cover it to let it steam for a while. Then, when the onions are a little bit softer, I uncover the pan, let the water evaporate, and throw in a couple tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then I toss everything around till the onions are browning. Then I add the mushrooms and let them cook… I like my onions really really cooked.

In a casserole dish, combine the broccoli, onions, mushrooms, chicken, soup, and milk. Mix everything. Top with cheese and fried onions.

Bake covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and let the onions on top get crispy (about 5 more minutes).