Sunday, February 3, 2013

Celebrating the Superb Owl!

As I'm sure some of you are aware, today there was a sporting event of minor consequence- of which I cared absolutely nothing about! Really, I don't like football in the slightest, and don't even get me started on college sports (big waste of resources and money that should be spent on education and the arts). About the only sporting events I'll watch willingly are basketball and soccer, preferably the English Premier League.

But why waste a good excuse to cook delicious things? So from now on, I will be celebrating the Superb Owl on Superbowl Sunday!

I got out my 'new' cookbook to pick some recipes. You see, a week or so ago, I went and got all my old Food Network magazine and set about dismantling them, saving just the recipes I wanted. Once I'd salvaged everything, I put them all in plastic sheets in the binder where I keep all the recipes I print off the internet. Not only does it give a lot of color to my book, but it puts the recipes someplace where I can browse them without all the magazine adds! Anyway, after a bit of browsing, I stumbled upon these two recipes to give try:

A delicious chili and some tasty bread! Chili is a staple of Superb Owl Sunday after all. And yesterday I tried to make some fresh bread using a package of already mixed ingredients. I followed the recipe on the box exactly, but I guess the yeast never activated and it sat in the bowl like a lump of wet flour and refused to rise. So when I came across the bread recipe and realized I had everything I needed but for a packet of yeast, I decided to give it a try!

Here's the links to the two recipes I cooked today, both of them fantastic!

Off to Walmart I went, and picked up all the ingredients I needed. I think I managed to get the last bag of Fritos in all of Oklahoma! When I got home, I immediately started preparing the dough for the bread- only to realize I don't actually have any Rosemary for the rosemary bread. I had checked for all the other spices before going to the store but forgot to look for Rosemary; and when I thought about it in the store decided "Oh, I always have rosemary on hand, I don't need to buy any!" Hah!

I substituted in Oregano instead, and went along with it. Roll with the punches, right? Here's a shot of the dough rising in the bowl, having already doubled in size:

After getting the bread going and waiting a while for the dough to start rising, I began work on the chili. It was pretty darn simple, and smelled fantastic once everything started cooking. I was really excited for this one, as the only chili's I'd previously made involved seasoning packets of some sort, and hardly any vegetables. This one had corn, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes!

Once I got everything for the chili combined, I went to check the bread recipe again. I always, always read the recipe through before starting, because it's best not to be surprised in the midst of preparing a dish. But I had somehow managed to miss that after the first TWO HOUR rising time, I had to let them rise for a second two hours! Drat!

We ate our chili frito pies while the bread dough, newly formed into four little balls, rose a second time. The chili was spectacular, and I highly recommend the recipe. The corn and bell peppers really make it pop, at least compared to the other mostly meat and bean chili's I've had in the past. Plus it was super simple to make. Yum!

A while later, the breads finally finished. I had to bake them two at a time since our oven is rather small, and I spent the second batch's baking time dancing around the kitchen with glee at how great they turned out! Look at them! My very first, completely made from scratch yeast breads!

They were super duper tasty! I was a little disappointed in myself for not having the rosemary as the flavor was a little off from using a different herb, but it was still fantastic. I can't wait to try these again with the proper herbs, and a more practiced hand! Maybe I'll end up with more evenly sized and rounded loaves? I'm still beyond excited that my first attempt at a yeast bread from scratch came out so well! As my friend told me earlier: Achievement Unlocked!


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