Monday, November 5, 2007

family night anyone?

these 2 recipes were great at our house for a family night for 2 reasons, the first recipe is a great dumper. tons of stuff to dump into the bowl, enough that 2 young kids felt busy and helpful. older kids would be a great help chopping. the second recipe brings the best spirit of love into your home - period.

my onion trick-
Aunt Susan's Minestrone Soup

1 lb. sausage browned
2 onions chopped - the above picture is something a good friend, Mindy Georgi, told me to do when chopping onions, the bread absorbs the pain. opt. - i am obsessed with dried onions right now, i love that they sop up the flavor of everything you are cooking with, use 4-5 TB. if you go this route
3 carrots chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
3 c. chopped cabbage - i use the bagged coleslaw to save time
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
simmer above in 5 cups of water until tender

1 small can of beans, rinsed and drained (great northern or red kidney - or both)
1 can corn
1 can green beans

add:46 oz. tomato juice - on this you can see that i split this to half regular V8 and half V8 hot and spicy, you could just use tomato juice but this gives tons more flavor.

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

4 t. salt

4 TBSP. parsley

bring to a boil and simmer about 30 minutes

last 15 minutes, add a handful of cooked pasta. elbow or seashell work.
serve with Parmesan cheese.

side note- my aunt susan makes this soup every year on a fun fall picnic we do in the mountains a few minutes from our house. my aunties come with my grandma and we have an afternoon of hiking, eating and laughing. there is a long standing tradition of good everyday food on this side, it is where my passion to make ordinary everyday food the best it can be. we can have a family party of all salads and have a different salad from everyone with simple ingredients that tastes so good. so here's to the christensen women in my life!

this next recipe is great for family night because i truly think that when you make homemade bread there is a tangible spirit of love left in its wake. it is a time consuming process and is always appreciated by all who partake. this is from my friend Cara.

preheat oven to 150 or warm

5 1/2 cups warm water

2 TBSP yeast

2 TBSP salt - kosher or sea

2 TBSP dough enhancer - you can find this at a specialty store, it helps lighten the bread, i try to use less flour to keep it light. it is optional

2/3 c. olive oil, if you measure this first, the honey slides right out

2/3 c. creamy honey

12 c. flour - i use about 8-9 cups white and 3-4 cups wheat. i try to use the best flour, unbleached, not enriched, stone ground wheat. i love this wheat mountain from montana, they say it is better than organic

dissolve yeast in the water and add the rest of the ingredients to your kitchen aid, bosch or bowl and mix for 5-10 minutes or until a nice ball forms.

dough will be sticky, that helps to have lighter bread. i use 4 large bread pans, make sure you spray them.

also, to work with the dough, i spray the counter top with nonstick spray and divide dough into 4 parts with a knife.

turn oven off and put pans in oven for 20-40 minutes.

while pans are still in oven, preheat oven to 350 and cook for 30-35 minutes.

tip-remove your bread promptly from pans or they will sweat and turn the bottom soggy and wet.

this, is what you will get with homemade bread - a daughter that loves it and asks when you are making it again. she sees how much work and how good a hot slice from the oven is.....payment enough.

sidenote - i did bread just to say i did it a couple months back and i now make all of our bread. i want to become a bread master and i am on loaf 31. (becca is working on pie master, almost 100) i love that i am in control of the ingredients and the quality. there is so much goodness in this tradition. can i just say that i think of deanna every time i make this. she grinds her own wheat and i have fond memories of seeing my ebbert friends with toast or slices of her fresh homemade bread with fabulous toppings.


Shane and Becca said...

Great post, Heidi! Love the onion trick--leave it to Mindy! It's a lot tastier than what I do, which is stick my head in the freezer, but that works too.

Mmmm...did I tell you that my next 100 is going to be bread? Thanks for the recipe. By the way, doesn't Great Harvest use the same flour?

Scott, Heidi and clan said...

i am not sure, i think they grind all of their wheat before they make their bread but i could be wrong. and yeah a fellow bread master!