Oatmeal Bread

I love baking bread. It just makes the house smell so good. And I know it doesn’t have ingredients I can’t pronounce in it. It also allows for some really easy lunches – sandwiches! Though I’ve tried many bread recipes, my go-to recipe is always Amish white bread. It has the soft texture and flaky crumbiness that just works. I try to have some slices in my freezer at all times. Sometimes, I want some variety, though. Whole wheat bread, rye bread, and  sourdough bread are great, but oatmeal bread? That’s something new to me. So when I saw Alton make bread using leftover oatmeal, I just knew I had to try it. And I did, the very same day. I didn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast, though. I cooked it just for use in the recipe. It was definitely worth it.

This bread is amazing with some salted butter or fruity jam. It’s great for breakfast, and healthy, too! Put some in the freezer for fresh bread the entire week. Those oats are good for your cholesterol, according to the Cheerios commercial. This is a bread that I’ll definitely be keeping in my bread-baking rotation. I might double the recipe next time, though. It takes a lot of time to only yield one loaf. And maybe try to make it in my mixer because after being spoiled by my dough hook, kneading by hand gets tiring (though it wasn’t nearly as hard as kneading bagels).

Oatmeal Bread, adapted from Alton Brown:

Make one loaf – I got 16 slices.


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 11 ounces bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces cooked oats (to make this, use 3/4 cup oats and 1 1/2 cups water), at room temperature (you don’t want to kill that yeast!)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (I used one tablespoon honey because I ran out of agave. Use both honey if you don’t have agave, or substitute with sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw oats
  • 1 egg + water, for eggwash


1. Combine yeast, flour, 1/4 cup uncooked oats, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine cooked oats, agave, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl.

3. In three increments, add dry ingredients to wet. Mix with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.

4. Knead by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Add more flour if it’s too sticky.

5. Oil bowl, add dough, and cover. Let rise for an hour.

6. Punch down dough and shape into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan.

7. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

9. Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of raw oats.

10. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour (actually it took me 1 hour, 10 minutes), until the internal temperature of the dough reaches 210 degrees.

11. Cool on rack for 30 minutes before slicing.

Meatless Mondays: Vegetable Pot Pie

Another Ina meal. What can I say, she has such fabulous recipes that are perfect just the way they are, but also really easy to tweak. This one needed some tweaking. A vegetarian recipe using chicken stock? What’s the point! So I used store-bought vegetable stock…don’t worry, all this chopping and peeling let me make 3 quarts of my own vegetable stock for next time.

I also switched around the vegetables (but of course kept the butternut squash, because it’s my favorite. Can you tell?) and omitted some ingredients that I didn’t have – Pernod? No thanks. The fennel gives enough anise flavor for me. And while I know saffron gives a great color and flavor, I can’t bring myself to spend the money on it. Maybe if someone buys it for me I’ll try it next time.

Recently I’ve been craving chicken pot pie. I see recipes in cookbooks and on TV and think it just sounds so good. With this cold weather here, a big bowl of steaming veggies covered with flaky pie crust is just what we need for a 1-bowl dinner. It’s also a hearty way to make a Meatless Monday meal!

Vegetable pot pie, adapted from Ina Garten:

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 recipe flaky pie or tart dough, or your favorite pie crust


1. Make sure all your vegetables are chopped to the same size.

2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large pot and add onions and fennel. Saute over medium heat for ten minutes, until lightly browned.

3. While the onions are browning, bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for ten minutes and remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Boil the butternut squash, carrots, and celery for five minutes. Drain and add to bowl.

5. Add flour and mix. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, until all the flour is absorbed. Mix occasionally.

6. Pour vegetable broth into pan and mix until thickens.

7. Add vegetables, including peas, into sauce.

8. Add parsley and mix.

9. Divide dough into six oven-proof bowls or two nine-inch pie plates.

10. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece flat. Wet edges of bowl, and place pie crust over the bowl.

11. Brush will egg wash, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

12. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour until the top is crispy and the vegetables are bubbly and hot. Let cool for about ten minutes, because it’s going to be very hot!

Superb Butternut Squash Soup

I remember watching Jamie Oliver on the Food Network, back when he was the Naked Chef. Well, he wasn’t actually naked, which is why I wasn’t surprised when they changed the name of his show (or did they just start a new one) called Oliver’s Twist. Anyway, he would “strip down” recipes so that they were really just the essentials of cooking. No fancy gadgets or ingredients, just great homemade food. Now he’s never on the Food Network anymore, and I don’t get the Cooking Channel, so I never see him on TV. I can’t even watch the reruns of his show Jamie at Home. But I can still get most of the recipes on the Food Network website, which makes me happy. His recipes are simple and tasty, and he doesn’t use any gross ingredients; it’s mostly natural, earthy food. His recipes really bring out the essential flavors of the main ingredients.

And this is why I was so excited to make this soup recipe. I love Jamie Oliver and I love butternut squash! It’s definitely my favorite winter squash, even though it’s a pain to peel and chop. Everything else about it is just perfect, an my favorite way to eat it is in soup form. Something about butternut squash soup just makes me smile.

Sage is a classic combination with butternut squash, and infusing the oil with that flavor imparts a wonderful undertone to the soup. The sage on top adds a great crispiness. I ate a lot of those sage chips before serving the soup. Oops. Hence the lack of crispy sage on top of the soup in the picture. It’s delicious with a teaspoon of sour cream mixed in, too. Just so you know.

Superb squash soup, adapted from Jamie Oliver (serves 8):


  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds taken out and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


1. Heat large saucepan over medium heat and pour in some olive oil, enough to cover the bottom.

2. When it’s hot, throw in the sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds, until crispy. Remove with a slitted spoon and drain on paper-towel lined plate.

3. Add your celery, onion, and carrot, garlic, and jalapeno to the pot. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

4. Add the squash and stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. When the squash is soft, blend the soup using an immersion blender until you have a smooth puree (or as chunky as you like it).

6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle the sage leaves on top.

7. Serve with croutons if you want (that’s how Jamie Oliver did it).

Meatless Mondays: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

I admit that I don’t love the cold weather. People take up so much more room on the subways with their puffy winter coats on! But with the cold weather comes some delicious winter treats, and one of those is butternut squash. They’ve been prominent in supermarkets ever since Sukkot, and I’ve made soup with them, roasted them, and added some the pot pie. But now it’s time to add another cold-weather favorite to the mix, apple cider. I love warm apple cider, especially from the farmer’s market near Columbia on Thursdays. Yes, I schedule my grad school classes around apple cider, who wouldn’t?

So welcome winter with a totally-fitting-for-a-main-dish-salad on this Meatless Monday!

Anyway, I couldn’t pass up on this salad recipe that calls for a salad with teeny little butternut squash chunks and a warm dressing made with apple cider. The dried cranberries can’t hurt either. Usually I don’t like walnuts. I never buy them, and I never add them to my brownies or baked goods, unless my mom is coming over. She thinks walnuts make any cookie or brownie infinitely better. They actually add a nice crunch to this salad, and an extra texture, which I like. This salad has crispy lettuce, soft butternut squash, chewy cranberries, and hard walnuts. What more can you ask for in a salad? Oh, a warm dressing, obviously.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, adapted from Ina Garten:

For the dressing:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, which I don’t have in my pantry – you can use red wine, too)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots (I omitted these)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 6-8 minutes.

2. Off the heat, add the olive oil, Dijon, salt, and pepper.

For the salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice (about 1 1/2 pounds, if you have a scale)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 4 ounces lettuce, I used mixed baby greens. Ina used baby arugula.
  • Some Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. On a half sheet pan, combine the butternut squash, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the squash becomes soft and begins to brown.

3. When the squash has been roasting for 15 minutes, add the dried cranberries to the sheet pan.

4. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and add the roasted squash and cranberries, and walnuts.

5. Spoon dressing over the top until just moistened. Toss well. Serve with a shaved Parmesan cheese.

Honey-Lemon Throat Lozenges

Ha-choo – this Kosher Foodie was sick. And while usually people prefer chicken soup, this throat soother is much easier to eat while lying in bed watching TV. Plus, staying in bed all day is b-o-r-i-n-g and you know I like to make candy and would rather be in the kitchen than doing nothing all day.

I got this recipe from Alton’s first Good Eats book. (And yes, I did buy the second one, the Middle Ages, I just haven’t had time to photograph and write up recipe yet! There are way too many things on my Kosher Foodies to do list.)

So, Alton made 200 lozenges. I decided to quarter his recipe, hoping that my throat wouldn’t hurt long enough to need all of them! Turns out, I wish I did make that many. They were so delicious! Honey and lemon, what a great combination! I kept eating them even after my throat was all healed. I used really good quality honey that my parents brought home from Costa Rica. I’m glad I found such a great use for it! You can use whichever type of honey you have around the house.


  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 3 ounces honey
  • About 2 tablespoons water
  • Zest of one lemon


1. Combine sugar, honey, and water in a very small saucepan. Mix together. Place over high heat until boiling.

2. Cover for 4 minutes.

3. Remove the cover and place a candy thermometer inside. When mixture reaches 295 degrees, remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Mixture should thicken.

4. Mix in lemon zest.

5. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measure, drop onto parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet, making sure to leave some space between them, because they’ll spread.

6. Work quickly, because the mixture thickens really quickly.

7. Let cool for 1/2 hour and store in an air-tight container. Separate layers using parchment paper. These will last for about a week at room temperature.

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

I don’t usually make creamy salad dressings. I usually make just a simple vinaigrette. While leafing through Barefoot Contessa at Home for the millionth time, this salad dressing really caught my eye, and I knew I had to try it. It has a wonderful basil flavor and a nice creamy texture. You don’t need many vegetables to make this salad extraordinary. Just lettuce, maybe some avocado and tomato. The dressing is enough to make just lettuce seem special.

I don’t have a blender. But don’t worry, this dressing was still easy to make, using my immersion blender and the measuring cup that comes with it. Actually, that might have made the task a bit easier. Not only was I able to measure the ingredients in the cup, I also stored the dressing in it and didn’t have to dirty an extra dish! Not owning a dishwasher makes you really think about that one extra cup, bowl, or spoon.

Ina’s recipe for this dressing suggests serving it with Bibb lettuce and a few tomatoes. I happened to have had some romaine lettuce in my fridge, so I just used that. I think a crispy lettuce is just perfect for this dressing, so don’t go pouring it over your baby arugula (or if you try it, let me know).

This is a perfect way to use up some of the basil in your summer garden if you’re sick of making pesto (or you just don’t have enough basil to make pesto). It’s also a good creamy salad dressing for the winter, though. Which is when I like it best.

I’ve actually never made regular Green Goddess dressing before, which is made with tarragon instead of basil. I’m not such a fan of that flavor, and I happen to love basil, so my guess is that I’d like Ina’s updated version better. She also added anchovy paste, something I don’t stock in my pantry. If you want to add it, add a teaspoon.

Not only is this a good salad dressing, but since it’s thick you can use it as a dipping sauce for veggies, a perfect mid-day snack!

Zeke, who usually doesn’t eat any salad, went back for seconds of this one.

Basil Green Goddess Dressing, adapted from Ina Garten. I halved the recipe.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts only (6-7 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


1. Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the sour cream and process until smooth.

3. Pour the dressing over salad and serve.


Lentils are boring. I think the only way I’ve ever even eaten lentils is in soup (and that’s the red variety, the kind that Esav traded his birthright for) and in rice and lentils. But when Ina made her salmon with lentils and everyone about the lentils on the bottom, I knew I should try it. Continue reading

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirl

I don’t buy bananas often, because even though I hang them from my handy dandy dough hook, they turn from green to brown. The yellow stage is skipped altogether, and I’m left with a bunch of inedible bananas. Sure, I can make banana bread, banana muffins, or banana cookies, but one tires of those pretty quickly. Continue reading

Salmon Packet

Don’t have time to make a delicious fish dish? Think again! Cooking in foil or parchment paper is a quick and easy method, plus it’s very forgiving. I made mine with salmon, whole wheat couscous, veggies, and white wine. I got the idea from Alton Brown, obviously. He has a blackboard full of ideas on pouch cooking in this episode.

Continue reading

Fried Smashed Potatoes

I usually don’t fry things, but the other day I happened to be really hungry and had hardly anything in the house to eat (which happens pretty often, believe it or not). I found some mini potatoes on the counter and remembered watching Giada make potatoes by smashing them and frying them. They looked great on her show, so why not try it!

This  dish is in no way filling, but it works as a snack, a side dish, or something to fend off hungry husbands until dinner time. I like it best as a side with eggs – they’re easier to make than hash browns, but still crispy like that breakfast potato we all love. Continue reading