Recession Chic

a down economy does not = ugly shoes

Dough Diaries: Pizza! September 20, 2010

Filed under: Dough Diaries — karakrautter @ 7:42 AM
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I love pizza. Who doesn’t? When I began baking bread this year, pizza dough was one of the more intimidating chapters for me. I really thought it would be too much work. However, a couple of months ago when my brother was  visiting, he fixed pizza from scratch that was a good bit of work, but a lot more fun to make and eat.

Even in my bread baking cookbook, there were several different options for pizza crust. After reviewing all the crust options, I decided to make a European peasant dough because it used a blend of all-purpose, whole wheat and rye flour. I love whole wheat, but I’ve had my fair share of bland whole wheat crust. So, this recipe seemed to incorporate enough flavors to make it tasty.

I wanted to create a crispy, somewhat fancy pizza, so I opted for something a little non-traditional. For the toppings I went with sun-dried tomatoes instead of a sauce, fontina cheese over mozzarella, sautéed cremini and shiitake mushrooms and arugula. I did the dough a few days before and pulled together the pizza for a laid back Thursday evening at home. It was so delicious, and not too hard to make. I will definitely do this again soon. Feel free to share ideas for different toppings.

 

Cooking 101: Vegetarian Enchiladas September 9, 2010

Filed under: Cooking 101 — karakrautter @ 10:10 AM
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As a native Texan and a lover of spicy food, I’m almost always in the mood for Tex-Mex or Mexican food. However, other than fajitas, I rarely cook it. The other week I decided it was time to break that cycle and cook one of my favorite dishes, spinach enchiladas with verde salsa.

The whole ordeal was so much easier than I originally thought, mainly because I already knew the exact flavors I wanted to incorporate. Here’s what I used:

  • frozen spinach (thawed), sautéed with garlic, salt, pepper and queso fresco
  • corn tortillas, warmed in a paper towel
  • quality verde salsa (thanks HEB)
  • fresh avocado slices with cilantro and lime juice
  • more queso fresco

 

Mini Quiches for a Long Weekend Away September 3, 2010

Filed under: Cooking 101 — karakrautter @ 8:48 AM
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Last weekend I escaped from city life (and my home office) to my family’s cabin near the Frio River. With cooler temperatures, stunning views and no TV or cell signal, the cabin is one of my favorite, simple getaways. Now, simple living never has to mean boring food.

Before leaving Houston I did some meal planning to make sure I would have everything I needed to cook in a pared down kitchen (though, during our Bucky’s pit stop I had to pick up some salad dressing and butter). Knowing that my favorite bakery on the way to the cabin would already be closed by the time we got there, I also made sure we would have some tasty breakfast treats.

Sweet treat – the chocolate brioche I blogged about earlier

Savory treat – mini goat cheese and grape tomato quiches

Now, we all are quite familiar with the bite-sized frozen quiches that appear at the holidays and showers, but these  require a little more than preheating an oven. I got the idea from The America’s Test Kitchen baking book to circle-cut the pie crust and use a muffin pan to create little individual quiches.  These were just right for breakfast at the cabin since there isn’t an oven but a fantastic toaster oven that warmed the quiches to perfection. Since they were so easy to customize and make ahead of time, I think this will be added to my list of party ‘finger’ foods.