Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Foodie-ing

Whenever we have a quier(er) weekend at home, I like to spend time on Sunday doing food prep and getting us ready for the week. This usually means selecting a few recipes, grocery shopping and preparing some of those foods in advance.

This week, in addition to the usual preparation, I decided that I hadn't baked any bread in a while so I made quite a bit so we can freeze it for the future. Note - most people think that baking bread is really hard - not so! I don't have a bread maker...but I've found that my Kitchen Aid stand mixer makes bread baking a breeze. Just assemble the dough right in the mixer bowl and use the bread hook. Seriously simple!

If you like Italian bread, Emeril has a really nice and very simple recipe that has been a winner everytime. For the version that I made today I used just one packet of yeast and made one giant loaf instead of breaking it into two loaves. In addition, I've found that the recipe works better if you cook it for 50 minutes at 350, instead of at the higher temperature. Serve it with pasta, make delicious sandwiches or even bruchetta.

To try something different, I also took on this recipe for cinnamon raisin bread....except that I omitted the raisins. The recipe says that it yields three loaves...but I ended up with 3 regular sized loaves and one small loaf. This is a great recipe to make and keep some for yourself and give some to friends to share. The smell of the house from baking all this bread is just amazing!

Finally, to go along with the green salads I'm going to bring to work for lunch this week, I decided to make a simple orzo salad. I used this recipe, but omitted a few of the ingredients(forgot to buy the spinach and pine nuts). Instead I used red onion, olives, fresh made feta from the Arlington farmer's market, fresh basil from my garden and tarragon and the dressing the recipe suggests. I'll likely add some shrimp to serve with it. Tastes yummy!

So while the week rushes by so quickly, causing stress and leaving little time to really cook....I've found that doing a little food prep on Sunday takes the pressure off on weeknights.

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