Friday, November 25, 2016: French Bread
Nov 27th, 2016 by Katekoster

Today we woke up and craved a really good baguette…really good french bread, but there were no bakeries nearby so we decided to make it ourselves. It is amazing how few ingredients there are: flour, yeast, water and salt! But there were a lot of steps (and a lot of kneading) but the end result was worth it. Plus the house smelled SO good when it is baking. Mom says the best smell in the world is the smell of home made bread baking in the oven.


The first steps were mixing the ingredients together. First you use a mixer but then you have to do it by hand:


Then you have to divide the dough in two and let it rise for an hour.

Before it rose

Before it rose

After it rose

After it rose…

Then you knead it again, roll each ssection of dough into a rectangle and the roll that up to form a long baguette. Then, of course, you have to let that rise.


Finally after another hour, the loaves are ready to bake but you have to brush them with egg white to give them a crust. And half way through the baking you have to brush them AGAIN!!



Saturday, November 19, 2016: Dinner No. 73: Cevice, Meat & Potatoes, & Apple Crisp
Nov 21st, 2016 by Katekoster

Tonight we wanted to have fun with dinner and try cooking some new things (along with some old favorites).  So we made ceviche, steak with a special Texas Spice Rub, Hasselback potatoes (they look cool and taste delicious), and apple crisp.  The cevice and the Hasselback potatoes were the new things, and the steak and apple crisp were old favorites.

Here is what the full meal looked like:

servingfood  fullmeal  hasselbackpotatoes


For the ceviche, we used a recipe from the cook book: United Tastes of Texas (thanks again Jay and Jean).   First we cleaned and cut up shrimp and mahi-mahi into bite size pieces.  Then we juiced 1 lemon and 2 limes.  We added tequila to the lemon/lime juice and then let the fish sit in the juice/tequila mixture for 2 hours (in the fridge).  The lime/lemon juice “cooks” the fish. This is due to the acidity in the juice. Then we chopped up green onions, cilantro, and tomatoes and added that to the mix.  It’s important to add the vegetables at the end; otherwise they get soggy. We used trifle dishes to plate the ceviche.  Ceviche is basically fish cooked without heat, but with lemon and /or lime juice instead.

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Texas Rubbed Steak

For the steak, we made a Texas Spice Rub (salt, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and paprika), rubbed it on the steak and let sit an hour, and then grilled them on each side to get them brown and for the grill marks and finished them in the oven.  This recipe is from United Tastes of Texas as well; we just don’t use quite as much chile powder as the recipe calls for.


Hasselback Potatoes

For the hasselback potatoes, we sort of followed a recipe we found on the food network fromRee Drummond (“Pionneer Woman”).  These are so fun to make: first you scrub a medium potato, then you slice down into it but not all the way through.  You can rest the potato on chop sticks and only slice down to the chop sticks to keep from cutting all the way through.  Then you coat the potato with a mix of melted butter, olive oil and chopped green onions and salt and pepper.  (The recipe calls for softened butter and chives, but we thought if we melted the butter it would get further down between the slices of potatoes.)  Then you cook at a preheated oven (450 degrees) for at least 60 minutes.  We found that they weren’t completely cooked through even then so we turned the oven down to 350 and cooked for another 15 minutes.

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Apple Crisp

Finally for the apple crisp, we peeled and chunked 5 apples. Then we mixed a little sugar, flour and cinnamon with the apples. For the topping, we creamed butter with sugar and then added flour, oats, and more cinnamon.  We sprinkled the topping all over and baked it…unfortunately we ate it before we took a photo of the final thing but it was yummy.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016: Dinner No. 72: Pasta Bolognese and Pumpkin Pie
Nov 8th, 2016 by Katekoster

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For tonight’s meal, we made a bolognese pasta dish with three different types of meats – bacon, veal and pork. It was the most flavorable bolognese I had ever tasted in my life. First, we chopped up bacon, carrots, celery and onions. We used the cuisinart to make the carrots, celery and onions really small.  Then, we cooked the veggies in olive oil until they turned transparent. Then we added the bacon (you can also use pancetta, but we couldn’t find it in the super market). We then added the ground veal and pork and broke it up in the pan. After the meat browned, we added tomato paste, white wine and MILK.  And we let it simmer for a few hours.   We had some extra bacon so we added it to a simple spinach salad (spinach, tomatoes, bacon and goat cheese, with a sherry vinaigrette).  Note we always have an extra bowl of just the meat sauce on the table because we are all carnivores in our family, and we always want to add more meat sauce to our pasta.

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For the pumpkin pie, we mixed the sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Then  in a separate bowl we mixed the canned pumpkin with 3 eggs. Then we poured the dry bowl into the wet ingredients and stirred in evaporated milk. Then we added the mixture into the pie crust and put the in the oven. After the pie was finished, we let it cool on the rack before refrigerating it.

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Tuesday November 1, 2016: Cinnamon-Sugar-Butter
Nov 2nd, 2016 by Katekoster

Here is our newest invention: cinnamon-sugar-butter (actually it was an accident and actually Max invented it).  Anyway, you know when you are making cinnamon toast and you toast the bread and then spread butter on it and you have to WAIT until the butter melts before you sprinkle cinnamon sugar on it (otherwise it gets all clumpy).  Well Max was making cinnamon sugar (mixing sugar into a cup with cinnamon in it) to spread on his cinnamon raisin bagel when he accidentally put the sugar directly into the container of whipped butter.  Oops! So he decided to scoop out the sugar and the butter that stuck to it and mix it all together with the cinnamon to make “cinnamon-sugar-butter“.  Now when you make cinnamon toast, you can just spread the cinnamon-sugar-butter directly onto the toast and you don’t need to wait for the butter to melt.



Cinnamon Raisin Bagel spread with Cinnamon-Sugar-Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel spread with Cinnamon-Sugar-Butter


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