Recession Chic

a down economy does not = ugly shoes

Dough Diaries: Olive and Cheese Bread February 23, 2010

Filed under: Dough Diaries — karakrautter @ 6:15 PM
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So, on this crazy cold and snowy day, I decided it was a good time to bake some fresh bread and cook a simple soup.

I was excited to make a savory recipe and added some leftover olive tapenade and shreds of Parmesan and Romano cheese to the original artisan dough. With a smaller ball of dough and a bit more familiarity with the process, the bread looked, smelled and tasted delicious!

Now, since it was so cold outside (and a bit chilly inside my place), I knew the dough needed to be in the warmest part of my house to actually rise. Lighting my gas fireplace and turning on the oven a little early helped get my kitchen to the right temperature.


Dough Diaries: Macaroni February 12, 2010

Filed under: Dough Diaries — karakrautter @ 9:58 AM
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After taking a few weeks to recover from the first pasta making adventure, I was finally ready to give it another try. With a new recipe and some solid tips, I cracked one large egg and added 3/4 cup of flour and got to mixing.

The dough came together nicely, and was a lot easier to work with since it was drier and a smaller portion. After letting the dough rest for about 30 minutes, I started the process of running the dough through the widest pasta attachment on the machine. From the sage advice of Linda, my best friend’s mom, I knew that I needed to do this (and keep adding flour to the dough) several times before actually making the noodles I wanted to eat. After many rounds of this, I actually noticed the dough changing. The texture, color and strength of the dough started to look more and more like fresh pasta.

Making macaroni was a lot easier since the noodles were thicker, and the dough was so much better. I think I could be ready to try spaghetti  next month. Check out the noodles and the final dish below.

A little misshapen and awkward, but macaroni none the less.

The final dish included: homemade macaroni noodles, sautéed spinach, goat cheese, olive tapenade and a little squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Yum!


Cooking 101: Light Chocolate Chip Cookies? February 3, 2010

Filed under: Cooking 101 — karakrautter @ 9:34 AM
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Ok no, these cookies are not ‘good for you,’ but they are a yummy lighter version of this traditional treat. Last weekend, I spontaneously decided to bake some cookies before dinner. Since I’ve kept my fridge and pantry stocked for my kitchen adventures, I had all I needed for Cooking Light’s chocolate chip cookies.

As a long-time baker, I’ve made dozens of different kinds of chocolate chip cookies — each a little different. However, this recipe had a few adjustments to make the cookies a little better for you. Here are some tips that I learned on how to keep cookies light:

  1. Just use the egg whites, not the whole egg.
  2. Add more brown sugar than granulated sugar. Brown sugar has more flavor, so less total sugar can offer the same amount of sweetness.
  3. Use a flatter tablespoon to measure out the perfect cookie size. Just use one of your fingers to scoop out the dough.