Sunday, February 12, 2012

Getting the Bread Out

It may seem a little over the top to make your own pita bread, but if you have a bread machine still in the house from when they were all the rage in the '90's, this is super simple and we got to use local ingredients which is always a bonus.  The last few times we bought pita to make sandwiches turned out to be way more annoying than it was worth.  They're either so soft that when you cut them in half they get sealed shut or if you do manage to get them open, one side of the pocket is so thin that it rips open when you try to stuff it with something.  Either way it's next to impossible for me to make a pita sandwich without at least some swearing under the breath. 

Nelsy was just a baking fool this weekend.  He also made us some super delicious oatmeal craisin cookies ( he made some with raisins too but I'm not a fan).  If you are someone who can't resist having fresh baked cookies in the house, I recommend this wise solution to the problem.  He makes the cookie dough and only bakes what we need for the four of us to have a couple each and then flash freezes the rest for a later date.  Just plop the little balls on a cookie sheet as you normally would (except you can put a lot more on the sheet than if you were baking them) and stick them in the freezer for a half hour or so.  Once they are individually frozen you can put them all in one freezer bag for storage.  When we have a hankering for something sweet after dinner we can then just bake a few cookies. It's portion control made even better because you can have fresh baked cookies on a week night without having a mess to clean up.  And that baked cookie smell in the house isn't so bad either.

I am a fan of cluster cooking. On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon I like to make two or three meals at the same time and have stuff on hand for the week.  Today we're going to make some Vegetable Beef Barley soup (which gets better with time anyway) for tomorrow night.  That reminds me, last week's Roasted Sesame Pork was pretty good.  Phoebe and I were not big fans of the sesame seeds coating the meat but the marinade was really tasty.  I bring this up because you can do this on Sunday (or what ever day you have a minute to spare) and let it sit in the marinade for a really easy Monday night meal.  This recipe is from the Joy of Cooking.

Roasted Sesame Pork Tenderloin (Marinade)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs packed brown sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1Tbs grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic

A large freezer bag will hold two pork tenderloins.  Pour the sauce in the bag and leave them in the fridge until you're ready for them, 2 to 24 hours.  Preheat oven to 500, roll the tenderloins in sesame seeds if you like, place on a rack in a roasting pan and cook until the thickest part of the loin reaches 150-155 degrees (temp will rise 5 to 10 degrees out of the oven).  Let stand loosely covered with foil for 5 to 10 min, then slice.  Serve with rice and stir fried veggies.

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