Sourdough Starter

We all have so much time on our hands that it’s the perfect time to try new things. Sourdough bread has been something that is on my mind, but it always seemed out of reach, the starter, the fermentation process. I did not understand anything about it. I figured now was the perfect time to figure out this whole process. King Arthur Flour has the BEST guide for making your own starter, so that is what I am going to share with you. I think the best possible thing you can have in your kitchen when making a starter is a kitchen scale, this thing saved me! Now you can always get some starter from a friend, or beg a bakery for a bit of theirs, but truly what fun is that. Here is the guide that I used to make my starter and eventually, my own bread. My best advice is be patient, this is going to take some time!

Ingredients

To Begin the starter:

  • 1 Cup/113g whole rye or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Cup/113g cool water

To Feed starter

  • 1 Cup/113g unbleached All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup/113g cool water (if the house is warm) or lukewarm water (if house is cold)

Let’s Get Fermenting

Day 1: start the process by combining the whole wheat flour with cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass is recommended & what I used as well. Be sure that whatever you store it in the starter has room to grow. Stir all the ingredients together and cover. Let the container sit at room temperature/70 degrees for 24 hours.

Day 2: Some bubbling my start appearing on the sides of the container. Now discard about 1/2 cup/4oz of the starter. Add what is left of the starter to 1 cup/113g of unbleached all-purpose and 1/2 cup/113g cool or lukewarm water depending on your house temperature. Mix well & let the mixture rest again for 24 hours.

Day 3: MORE ACTIVITY, there should be some bubbling and it may even start to smell a little bit differently now, THIS IS GOOD! This is soon going to get repetitive, but you are now going to move to 2 feedings in a day. This starter is now your new pet!

Discard all but 1/2 cup/4oz and combine with the 113g unbleached and 113g water. Mix & cover like usual. This time however, you are going to repeat the step in 12 hours.

Day 4: Discard all but 4oz/1/2 cup and combine with 113g of unbleached flour and water. Feed again in 12 hours

Day 5: At this point your starter should have doubled in volume, there will be lots of bubbles, and a very different smell than when you started. Repeat the same steps you completed in Day 4 until the starter has risen enough.

If your starter has risen enough feed it one more time before using what you need to make the bread. One thing I have to say is do not worry about this being perfect. There were times that I forgot to feed the starter twice, or I didn’t do it at the same time. Trust me it all works out, it will just make the process a little longer! Store the starter in its permanent container and place in the fridge. Feed once a week with the 113g flour and water.

I hope this guide is helpful, please check out King Arthur’s guide as well for any extra tips! This process is very rewarding once you realize that you were able to make your own sourdough at home! It’s no easy task & you should be proud!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Roll Your Own Sushi

It makes it hard to get our favorites when all the restaurants are closed. But do not fear, you can make a lot of your favorites at home. Sushi can seem daunting, but really it is one of the easiest meals you can prepare to impress your friends, over Zoom meetings.

The ingredients for the filling is entirely up to you. I’m going to list a few of my favorites.

Ingredients

  • Sushi Rice
  • 1 TBSP Rice Vinegar
  • Nori, Seaweed Paper
  • Cucumber
  • Cream Cheese
  • Imitation Crab sticks
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo Roller

Let’s Get Cooking

Cook the rice following the bag’s directions. Once fully cooked, let cool and add about a TBSP of rice vinegar.

While the rice is cooking slice the ingredients into long strips.

Lay a seaweed sheet on the bamboo roller. Scoop rice onto the sheet. Wet our hands to spread around the rice.

Create your own combos of ingredients like, cucumber + cream cheese or crab + avo + cream cheese.

Once you have all your ingredients in a row, grab the end of the bamboo sheet and fold over the ingredients. Continue to roll the seaweed until there is no seaweed left.

Slice the roll to desired thickness.

It’s as easy as that!

Serve with soy sauce and wasabi!

Practice your skills during this quarantined time to share with all your friends when we no longer have to be 6ft apart!

Made with Love,

Hannah

“Do the Brussel”

The things that I always reach for when I am feeling down is cartoons and food. It’s only fitting that one of my favorite cartoons is Bob’s Burgers. I have the cookbook based off the show and it has some of the best burgers out there! So due to us being stuck inside and down in the dumps I thought I would share one of my new favorites from the cookbook!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs Bacon
  • 1 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1/3 lbs Brussel Sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Shelled Pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 4 Buns
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Sour Cream

Let’s Get Cooking

Cook the bacon on the store in a large frying pan over low heat. Cook bacon until it’s crispy (But not too crispy). I diced up the bacon but you can also keep it in full strips.

While bacon is cooking, thinly slice the brussel sprouts and chop the pistachios.

Remove bacon from the pan and throw the sliced brussel sprouts into the bacon fat. Increase the heat to medium high.

As the sprouts start to brown, add the pistachios and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.

Season beef with salt and pepper. Form patties and cook burgers in the same pan to desire doneness, I prefer medium-rare but you do you.

Let’s plate

To build the burger I recommend following the Bob’s Burgers Cookbook to a T. This is how to build your burgerss:

Bottom bun, Lettuce, Burger, Bacon, Brussel Sprout mixture, sour cream, and top bun.

The whole family loved this burger, personally, the sour cream just tied it all together. You also don’t feel so bad about eating a giant burger when there are some brussel sprouts on it!

The burger also goes amazingly well with homemade fries, which are coming in a blog post soon!

Let me know if you try this burger out and what you think! If they go well I am happy to share more of the amazing recipes.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Steamed Dumpings

During this time of quarantine we need to find things to keep us positive and busy. I have decided to use this time to try out some new recipes and techniques that I may be avoiding. I got a bamboo steamer as a Christmas gift so I decided to break it out and make some dumplings. I crafted my own recipe for the filling, but the dumpling dough recipe comes from Kannamma Cooks!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2-3/4 cup VERY hot water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Vegetable oil

For the Filling *** this again was me having fun in my kitchen so the amounts are all guesstimates

  • 1 Chicken Breast, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion
  • 2 tsp Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Soy Sauce

Lets Get Cooking

Add flour + salt + 1 tsp vegetable oil + hot water and mix well. Knead the dough for about 3-4 min until soft. Once fully mixed add 1/2 tsp oil onto the dough to keep it from drying out. Let rest in the refrigerator. It is recommended that the dough is left over night, however, I let mine sit about 4-5 hours and it worked perfectly.

Cut the chicken breast into small cubes, if you have a food processor, use this to get a ground chicken consistency.

Dice up the red onion and shred the carrots.

In a small bowl combine chicken + red onion + carrots + garlic + ginger + salt + pepper.

Add soy sauce and let it marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

After the meat and dough have rested cut the dough out into small circles.

Using a kitchen spoon, add the filling into the dough and pull up the sides to encase the filling.

Line the bamboo steamer with cabbage if you have it, I didn’t so I used spinach instead & it still worked!

Set up the steamer and steam for about 12 minutes.

Carefully remove, serve with soy sauce & enjoy!

I was super nervous about using the steamer for the first time, but everything cooked through and they were so delicious! I could not stop eating them and they were incredibly easy to make. So don’t think just because you are using a new kitchen tool that it has to be scary. Now I can’t wait to see what I can make next using my steamer. If you try out this recipe please let me know, I would love to hear what you think!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Cleveland Wing Crawl

Never have I ever participated in any type of bar crawl. I am a bad day drinker, if I start to get sleepy it’s all over. NOW a food crawl is my type of scene! This weekend, I participated in Cleveland’s Wing Crawl with a few friends after a night out for her birthday. 4 bars in the Ohio City area took part in this and let me just say if they ever do this again I will be attending because I could eat chicken wings for days.

Touch Supper Club

Our first stop, the super cozy Touch Supper Club. The atmosphere was so chill it was the perfect place to start. Here they offered 3 types of wings, however, the majority of us decided to go with the Korean BBQ. IT WAS DELICIOUS. Super sticky and smoky, it had great flavor. We rated a 6/10

The Old Angle Tavern

The next stop, they had the perfect set up. You walked right up to a window and they provided you with their sampler of wings! They had TV’s on, good music, and good conversation. They offered a buffalo basil [the crowd fav], a bbq, and a house dry rub. Overall, it was pretty great! We rated 7/10

Nano Brew

The final stop: Nano Brew. Now at this point we are a few drinks in, 12 wings in and we are ready to go. Nano also offered a few options, including Cajun-Ranch Dry Rub, Bourbon Orange Teriyaki, MGB Prosperity BBQ, Spicy Tai Chili [THE ABSOLUTE BEST]. We stayed so long because we had to order another round of the Spicy Tai Chili. Seriously, go there and try these wings. We rated 8/10

Market Garden Brewery

Our last stop, we were unable to make it due to the fact that we got too comfortable at Nano Brew. So I cannot comment on the wings, but in passing by, they looked delicious!

So these Pub Crawls are featured in all sorts of different cities. They are put on by We Love Pub Crawls so go check their website to see if they are coming to a city near you!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Cleveland’s Little Italy Go-Tos

Every major city has their own version of Little Italy. The one I know best is Cleveland’s, a strip of Mayfield road dedicated to some of the best Italian restaurants in the area. I have not been to every restaurant on the strip (it is a goal of mine) but I am going to share with you a few of my favorites.

La Dolce Vita

This may be one of my favorite places on this list. The food has always been amazing. The tomato cream sauce is a meal I would die for, you can’t help but eat every bite. I highly recommend their appetizer trio as well, it gives you an amazing sample of their stuffed peppers, eggplant parm, and meatballs. There is nothing on this menu that tastes bad.

Trattoria on the Hill

Another one of my favorites would be this classic. The menu is long, the service is excellent and everything is amazing. I’ve had the Veal Scallopini and the Gnocci al Burro and good lord I could eat it non-stop. It’s food made with love and you can tell.

Mama Santa’s

Mama Santa’s is the first restaurant I went to in Little Italy and it will always have a place in my heart. They have an extensive menu, so everyone, even the pickiest eater, can find something that they like!

Corbo’s Bakery

If you go to Little Italy, after dinner you have to go to Corbo’s. My mother introduced me to this place and explained just how good this place is. They have all sorts of baked treats, which is exactly the thing you need after eating a massive plate of pasta.

So if you are in the Cleveland area go check out the Little Italy area, not only do they have excellent restaurants but cute shops as well [I highly recommend the thrift shop Moonstruck]. It’s a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Made with Love,

Hannah

The Perfect Bagel & Lox

This combination is a classic. It’s hard to mess up. Now I am sure you don’t need a post from me explaining how to pair these ingredients together, but I am going to give you my version anyway!

Ingredients

  • Bagels
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Cream Cheese
  • Capers
  • Smoked Salmon

Let’s Get Cooking

Start out by cutting the tomato into slices and the red onion rings.

While you are cutting, toast up the bagel.

Spread the cream cheese onto the bagel and evenly distribute the capers on top.

Follow with, salmon + red onion + tomato to top it off.

Everyone layers the ingredients differently, but I feel this way gives you the best bite (even though I am sure it really does not matter lol)!

Enjoy this meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; and I mean who doesn’t feel fancy eating smoked salmon and capers?!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Macaroons

I have been wanting to make macaroons for a long time. However, people have mentioned to me how difficult they can be to make, so I strayed away. My pinterest feed recently has betrayed me, bringing up all sorts of different macaroon recipes. I decided to finally cave, despite the warnings people gave me, and attempt to make my own macaroons. I went with another internet recipe from Delish. I am so happy with the way they came out. With the success of these and my croissants last Sunday, I think I might just quit my job and open a bakery.

Ingredients

  • Parchment paper
  • 1 3/4 Powdered Sugar, spooned
  • 1 cup Super-fine Almond Flour, spooned
  • 3 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Superfine Sugar
  • 8 Drops Pink Food Coloring

Butter Cream

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 3/4 Cup Powder Sugar, spooned
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Let’s Get Cooking

Set a sieve over a bowl and sift powder sugar + almond flour. Press through until only solids remain.

Separate egg white and add into a mixing bowl. Add cream of tartar + salt to the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until frothy (it starts forming bubbles). Increase the speed to medium high & add the sugar. Beat until egg whites are stiff & glossy about 2-3 minutes.

Beat in the food coloring to make whatever color you desire. I went with pink like the recipe called for because I think they look so cute!

Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites. Fill a pastry bag with the mixture.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe the batter into about 1 inch circles. Mine were not all exactly 1 inch circles so don’t stress about the measurements, I mean really who has time for that.

Tap the baking sheet on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, let sit for 45 minutes.

When your 45 minutes has passed, preheat the oven to 300F. Bake for 13 minutes, and turn the pan halfway through.

While you are waiting for your cookies to cool, make the buttercream!

When I made the buttercream I added a bit more vanilla and powdered sugar to the recipe, so you might have to adjust to your personal taste.

Place butter + powdered sugar + vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until fluffy.

Spread icing on the cookie + top with remaining half.

Once you’re done don’t forget to share your cute & colorful little french cookies with the world. You will feel like a real baking pro after completing this, trust me!

Made with Love,

Hannah

P.S it’s all about how you whip the egg whites

Homemade Beef & Broccoli

I am all for creating new recipes with just the items laying around in the kitchen, it’s like my own personal game of Chopped. Instead of caving to my cravings of Chinese take-away I decided to make my own. My creation is as follows!

Ingredients

  • Flank Steak
  • 1 Cup Broccoli
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic
  • 2 Packages of Ramen Noodles – I used Lotus Foods Rice Ramen
  • 1 TBSP Flour + Water

Let’s Get Cooking

Cut the flank steak into strips, against the grain.

Combine Soy Sauce + Rice Wine Vinegar + Honey + Hot Sauce + Ginger + Garlic

Pour over the flank steak and marinate for an hour.

After marinating cook the steak into a hot pan with the marinade. Once fully cooked stir in the roux (water + flour)

While the steak is cooking, cook the ramen noodles according to the package, do not use the spice packet that is included.

Add broccoli to the steak and stir.

Time to Plate

Once the broccoli has fully incorporated and softened, pour the mixture over the rice noodles and enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Antoni’s Queso Recipe

Am I doing another recipe from Antoni’s Cookbook, yes. Am I mad about it, no.

I made this recipe for the Superbowl and it was a hit. I am the one who mostly ate it all, but I still consider that as a success. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and perfect for any party. If you love this recipe, please go buy Antoni’s cookbook, every recipe is amazing! Also, Antoni states that this recipe is Jonathan’s favorite, so just another reason to love it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of White American Cheese
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 TBSP unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 6 oz fresh Chorizo with the casings removed (if you’re like me and couldn’t find chorizo in the grocery store, I used andouille sausage instead and the recipe still came out amazing!)
  • Tortilla Chips

Let’s Get Cooking

Mix together Cheese + Milk + Butter + Cumin + Garlic powder in a large heatproof bowl.

Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water & bring to a simmer. Place the bowl with the cheese mixture over top of the saucepan. Stir the cheese mixture frequently until melted and slightly bubbling. Stir in the green chilis.

Remove the casing from the chorizo [or andouille sausage] and cook in a skillet on medium heat. While cooking, break up the chorizo into small pieces.

Place the queso into a serving bowl, and using a slotted spoon, add in the cooked chorizo.

Serve with tortilla chips & dig in!

Made with Love,

Hannah