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Tomato sauce recipe

So a couple of weeks ago, I attempted my usual tomato sauce. The recipe itself, I assure you, is 4 spoons, but this attempt I give only 3 spoons due to the following: tried new equipment, which was unsatisfactory; lack of necessary ingredients. The recipe is infinitely variable but quite easy.

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chicken pot pie

Holy cow, I just made a delicious and easy chicken pot pie. I'm impressed with myself - partially simply because I thought of attempting it.

I've been trying to whittle down the four thousand frozen chicken thighs we had in the freezer. I discovered that taking off the fat and throwing them in the slow cooker with some onions, carrots and onion soup mix works really well - it's tasty just like that and an easy way to cook the meat. But today I wanted to use the meat for something more, so I made up a chicken pot pie recipe.
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Four spoons!

white bread

I give this recipe three and a half spoons; not because the recipe is deficient, but rather, that's what I would rate my final product. I think there is the possibility for four spoons once I become more adept at bread-making. I also take one half spoon off for the fact that my entire kitchen was covered in flour. This is very messy, though I am sure it gets easier when one is more skilled at it.

Here is the recipe I followed: Crusty White Bread from AllRecipes

I do not recommend making this when you have PMS.

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Overall, the bread was quite good and tasted like an artisan loaf I might buy in the grocery store bakery section. I think I can get it lighter next time by letting it rise longer the first go-round. We've been enjoying it as toast mostly - eating it in the morning with butter and honey, or making garlic toast with dinner. It's still too dense for sandwiches, really, but that's part of why I want to keep working with bread recipes - to figure out what makes a lighter bread. My husband really liked this recipe and ate bread for dinner two nights in a row - lol.

I imagine I could add garlic to it or berries or what have you, but that would mean that I had to use that loaf for a specific purpose (probably wouldn't eat it for breakfast with honey if it had garlic in it). I froze one loaf, so we'll see how that works out when I thaw it.

Mustard

I've been eating sausage and kraut the last two days, which of course means I'm eating mustard a lot too.

Of course I like regular yellow mustard for a lot of things, but one of my favourites is the Sierra Nevada Porter one. Which is kind of weird, since they don't make a single beer I like to drink. Sometimes kraut and sausage is great with Boar's Head horseradish mustard, depending on how complex the sausage is. I kind of like all mustards.

What are your guys' favourite mustards? Do any of you guys make your own mustards, and if so, what's your favourite way of doing so?

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There is little that is more life-affirming than eating half a tube of homemade frosting.

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bread making

Okay folks. Are there any bread makers out there?

I don't have a bread machine, nor do I have a fancy mixer with different attachments that work with dough. What I do have is yeast and my fists and a desire to learn.

The last time I tried making bread I believe I was 12 years old. It was an edible success, but it weighed about ten pounds.

I'm not sure why it was such a dense creation, but if you have any insight before I try this again, please chime in. Also, if you know of a fast and easy recipe for a simple white loaf (I only have white bread flour in my pantry at the moment), please share.

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update on maple ham and beans

I didn't cook them yet, but today I went to the Ferry Building Farmer's Market in San Francisco to see the Rancho Gordo people.  They know beans.  I asked for advice.  They suggested yellow eye beans and a sauce with a little bit of mustard and tomato.  The internets have lots of recipes for maple baked beans, so I think I'll try one of those, but leave the added maple out until the end so it's not tooooooo mapley.  Something like this.  But it's 85 degrees today, so I'm going to wait until the weather cools down a bit. 

I also bought some christmas limas and yellow indian woman beans while I was at it.  MMMMM.  Beans.  It was really interesting to look at these things at the market - they had most of the varieties you can see on the website, and they are gorgeous.  Even the pintos are just plain prettier than anything I've ever seen in a grocery store - a little smaller, glossier, no dust or broken beans in the bag.  More expensive than the grocery store, for sure, but on a per meal basis, still a good deal.  And of course if I find a variety I like, there's nothing stopping me from sprouting a few and growing my own.  

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Scooby-Doo cake pops

Has anyone ever tried their hand at Bakerella's cake pops? I have always wanted to, ever since learning about them, and I finally gave it a try last night. I wrote the whole escapade up on my cooking blog, Pidge In The Kitch.

My verdict? The way I did it, three spoons out of four. Definite tweaking needed, but HUGE potential. As a bonus, since I like crafty stuff, I had a really fun time with this.

chili

I'm making chili tonight. Nothing in the manner of competitive chili cookoffs or anything. In fact it's been so long since I've made it that I can't remember what I do...something simple, for sure.

How do you make chili?

Looking up recipes is futile, because there are so many of them, and most are complicated. And around here, everyone assumes you have some kind of family secret recipe you use and don't share with anyone else. Why in my small Texas town, it is so taken for granted that everyone makes their own chili that there are only two brands of canned chili in the store - Wolf Brand and Hormel.

I do remember that we like to crumble tortilla chips on top along with cheese and sour cream.

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another hambone question

So I was inspired by the hammy beans discussion last week, and on Saturday my favorite meat guy was at the farmer's market and I picked up a gorgeous ham shank.  Got it home and read the label. and it's maple cured.  Now I know this company's products and their maple cured bacon is to die for, so I'm sure that the flavor in this meat is perfectly balanced.  But then I couldn't quite pull the trigger on maple hammy beans.  I went with bacon beans for now and put the ham shank in the freezer until I figure out what to do with it.  


Suggestions? 

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