Sunday, January 25, 2009

One-Hour French Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
3-4 cups flour (any combination of white and whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine water, salt, honey and yeast in a medium bowl. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbling.

Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until dough is no longer sticky. Roll dough into a 12-14" roll (or divide in half and roll into two long skinny baguettes). Place dough on a cookie sheet (not a bread pan), greased or sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover dough with damp dish towel and allow it to sit in a warm location for 30 minutes.

Cut diagonal slits, 1/2" deep, on top of the loaf. Spray with salt water, if desired.

Bake 20-30 minutes.

I discovered this recipe by Sadge over on Simple, Green, Frugal Co-Op. It's the easiest recipe and, oh, so delicious!!

Note: The original recipe calls for a 450 degree oven; rising time of 20 minutes; baking time of 20 minutes. I've adjusted the oven temp, prep and baking time to my personal preference in order to achieve a less dense & doughy loaf of bread.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Beef Ravioli in Basil-Cream Sauce

1 (24-oz.) package frozen beef ravioli
2 Tbsp. butter
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
3 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 (10-oz.) can diced mild tomatoes and green chiles, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt

Prepare ravioli in a large Dutch oven according to package directions; drain and keep warm in separate dish.

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and next 3 three ingredients; saute 6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and green chiles, basil, and cream; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, and simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cheese, salt and ravioli, tossing to coat.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes


This is such a delicious recipe. I like to sprinkle a small handful of toasted pine nuts on each serving. I've also added pan-seared shrimp and scallops when I've wanted a heartier meal. I usually substitute the beef ravioli with cheese-filled when adding the seafood.

Recipe discovered in Southern Living Christmas Cookbook: All-New Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Guide

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