two skinny jenkins

090620 – burger night
090620, 6:47 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,


so, this is the selfish, food-diary portion of the blog.  our burgers are not very complicated, or unique, but we think they’re good.  they were easy to make for our last dinner here at the beach.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (we use Laura’s beef from Whole foods – no hormones)
  • sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce
  • splash of soy sauce
  • bit of garlic powder on each side
  1. for well done burgers, heat grill on high and cook each burger for about 12 minutes total, flipping at 6 minutes.

also, for appetizer, we had crostini (from the bread bakers apprentice challenge Ciabatta) with a bit of sauce from last night’s pizza, and the tapenade i made earlier in the week.


090619 – Friday Night Pizza
090619, 8:49 pm
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Guest Chef: my mother in law

This was so fun!  Friday night pizza with the whole Jenkins crew (Joe’s grandparents, parents, his brother, and us).  Joe’s mom is a great cook and someone i am glad to get pizza making tips from.  ‘We’ made 4 pizzas and at all but one skinny slice. She makes her dough much thicker than joe and i typically do, then presses it out into a circle, instead of tossing.  This makes for a much more uniform pie.  Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before adding toppings.  After preheating the oven to 550 F, she spread out sauce (a can of whole tomatoes + oregano + basil pulsed in immersion blender), then cheese, and toppings last (i always put cheese on last and was a little surprised that the spinach on top did not burn).  Once all the toppings were on, she used a peel to transfer the parchment paper to the pizza stone.  After about three minutes in the oven, she slid the parchement out from between the pizza and the stone, and cooked for 3-4 additional minutes to crisp the crust.  I think the oven at our beach house didn’t really get to 550  F, so check the pizza after about 2 1/2 minutes.

dough RECIPE coming soon!

090616 – Ciabatta | BBA #7
090616, 4:46 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags:

beautiful ciabatta

I am a little premature on this, the #7 BBA Challenge bread.  I have been looking forward to baking Ciabatta, and being a the beach with my husband’s family is the perfect excuse.  I made a little garlic + olive oil dish and some tapenade for dipping, but the bread is great on it’s own.

I was  a little concerned about how the bread was going to turn out for a few reasons.  First, I was working in a foreign kitchen, many miles away from my trusty kitchen aid.  Second, i accidentally left the poolish out on the counter overnight.  Even after sitting out for 11 hours, texture looked fine to me, so i put it in the fridge. for a day  Today, when i was making the bread, i managed to follow all the directions properly, but the (somewhat) poorly outfitted kitchen that was a challenge.  Luckily, i had brought along our pizza stone for making pizza on, and managed to find a baking sheet to use as a peel. In stead of a mister, i used my water bottle to squirt water at the oven walls.

The moment i pulled the bread from the couche, it sort of puddled on the baking sheet.  I was happily surprised and impressed at how much the dough rose in the oven as a result of the tray of water and mist.   i think this has turned out to be the prettiest bread i have ever made.

Check out more photos on FLICKR!


You may find a portion of the recipe on googlebooks.

090614 – Chicken Kebobs
090614, 9:04 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,


Beach dinner #1 – marinated chicken + cherry tomatoes + red and green peppers + mushrooms + onion

Well yesterday, it was our turn to make dinner at the beach. We made some kickin’ chicken kabobs in a chili-lime marinade along with veggie kabobs. The following makes enough marinade for enough chicken for four. I doubled it for the 7 of us.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together then add chicken cut up into skewer sized pieces (~1 breast per person). You could probably get away with marinading for a couple hours, but the longer the better. Meanwhile put your wooden skewers in a pan of water. I’m not sure why you’re supposed to do this, but I’ve seen it in many places. Must be something to do with keeping them from burning on the grill. Just before you get ready to cook them load up the skewers.

You can serve these by themselves or with vegetable kabobs. We made vegetable kabobs of onions, red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. I cut them up and tossed with some olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

When your kabobs are ready cut throw them on your preheated grill. Put the chicken on the middle where its hottest and the vegetables on the periphery. Doing it this way they should both be done about the same time.

090612 – Petit Braided Challah | BBA #6
090612, 10:01 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags: ,


BBA Challenge #6!  Working on down the alphabet.  I hate to say this, but it kind of feels like i only make bread now.  No time for those other food groups!  Not that i am complaining… From what i have seen so far, a lot of people in the BBA challenge claim that this is their favorite bread.  I, for one, am SUPER excited about the Ciabatta next week – i have a huge crush on porous, chewy, baguettey, Italian breads.

I made a half recipe of the Challah, and i actually got the division right!  I swear it’s not that the math is a challenge, I just have a hard time staying focused while i bake.   This was an easy and relatively quick bread to make (only one day), even though it only had a teaspoon of yeast.

In the end, despite the small amount of yeast, the bread is not nearly as petit as i had expected it to be.  In fact, it is pretty big.  A full recipe must be huge!  My dough rose more than the book predicted., maybe partly because it proofed THREE times! i had a really hard time punching down all those beautiful bubbles.  I hope there are some left! I am bringing it to the beach tomorrow for my in-laws and i think it will make a better impression if it arrives intact.  So, i will have to let you know how it tastes.

As per usual, check my process photos on FLICKR!

petit boule egg wash

You may find a portion of the recipe on googlebooks.

090612 – Blue Cheese + Fig Pizza
090612, 6:26 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Fig pizza

Finally! Figs and blue cheese!  I have been dying to make this pizza combo and i seem to have never had these two ingredients on hand at the same time.  I know this sounds pretty silly – if i wanted it that bad, why didn’t i just go out and buy them?  I don’t know.

again, we are using the Napoletana pizza dough recipe from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  When that week of the challenge comes around, i wonder if i’ll have to make it afresh?  I guess, chances are i will be making it that friday, anyway.

090610 – Grilled Tofu Sandwiches
090610, 10:16 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags: , ,

Triple Decker Dinner Sandwich

This was one GREAT sandwich.  I find it hard not to like something that includes cherry tomatoes.  for someone who has not worked with tofu much, it was pretty easy, too.  And yes, that is a delicious Mojito in the background!

  • toasted Casatiello (or whole wheat bread)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2/3 C cherry tomatoes for puree + 1 C halved for sandwiches
  • romaine lettuce (better yet – fresh basil) for sandwiches
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 swigs balsamic vinegar + some for marinade
  • EVOO
  • dried basil
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • S + P
  1. Marinade slices of tofu in balsamic vinegar and olive oil for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make tomato puree by pulsing cherry tomatoes + tomato paste + garlic clove + basil + dash of onion powder + swig of balsamic vinegar in immersion blender
  3. Toast the Casatiello slices (or whole grain bread) and spread with tomato puree. Grill slices of firm tofu in olive oil until browning and crispy.
  4. Layer tofu in the sandwich with lettuce (or fresh basil) and sliced cherry tomatoes. Season with black pepper and a tiny sprinkle of garlic powder and mild chili powder. Amazing hot or cold.

recipe thanks to:!

090608 – Casatiello (cheesy bread!) | BBA #5
090608, 8:49 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags: ,


BBA Challenge #5

It amazes me that we are only on challenge number 5.  In just five weeks of bread-baking and i already fell SO much more proficient in the kitchen and in touch with my mixer.  Now that i am making prettymuch all the bread that we eat, i feel much more in knowlegable about what i eat.  I love knowing exactly what i am fueling my body with. Even if it is bacon and cheese bread…

I followed this recipe as closely as i could.  I measured everything perfectly and incorporated them in exact order.  I used low-fat buttermilk in stead of whole milk that PR (Peter Rinehart) called for.  I chopped up about 4 slices of bacon and fried them until crispy.  This turned out to be very little bacon, but i wasn’t sure how joe would react to bacon in his bread.  The one places where i fumbled was on the baking pan (or should i say ‘can’).  I prepared an old coffee tin with an oiled paper bag just like the book describes, but when the bread had finished baking and i tried to pull it from the can, the bag was too low and the bread was caught by the lip of the can.  I had folded the paper bag down 2-3 inches above the un-proofed ball of dough, and it had risen MUCH more than i  anticipated.  I think it would have worked better to either fold the bag down higher so that it protruded a little from the can or to use parchment paper cut above the lip.  As a result of my blunder, the resultant loaf has a bit of a slouch, but is still delicious.

one question i always have at the beginning of the bread-making process is: whether or not to fluff the flour?  thoughts?

IMG_4358 IMG_4373

As always, check out more photos on FLICKR!

090603 – Thai chicken
090603, 9:19 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

Thai Chicken

Guest cook in the kitchen tonight – Joe Jenkins!  (Just kidding, Joe)

1 lb chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon oyster sauce (we use the vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 can  coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons peanut butter or Harris Teeter thai peanut sauce
bag of baby spinach
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
handful peanuts

Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes. Mix 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce with the corn starch and a little bit of water. Pour the mixture on the chicken and let sit for a few minutes.

Meanwhile pour about half the can of coconut milk into a skillet and mix together with the curry powder. Heat over med-low heat until it starts to simmer. Add the chicken into the sauce and let it cook for 3 or 4 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the coconut milk the rest of the oyster sauce, the sugar, and peanut butter. I had some extra Harris Teeter brand Thai peanut sauce from a previous meal so I added that in too.  Pour the concoction into the pan. Cook together with the chicken for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Add in the spinach until it wilts. Serve with rice and garnish with red pepper and peanuts.

090531 – Stuffed Artichokes
090602, 9:31 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: ,

stuffed globe artichokes

I have ALWAYS wanted to buy globe artichokes. I have only ever had canned artichokes, which i love, and fresh ones look so beautiful.  The other night when i saw them on sale at Whole Foods I couldn’t resist!

I had never known that there was a vegetable as messy and unflattering to eat as seafood.  The process of picking out each leaf and chewing off the ‘meat’ reminds me of picking out fresh crab meat at my grandparent’s house on the Chesapeake Bay.

let me make a few suggestions for working with artichokes:  1) use a VERY, VERY sharp knife when cutting off the top.  I consider myself a pretty strong woman, and i had a hard time sawing through it. 2) i would recommend using 1/4-1/2 more stuffing than i did and stuffing the artichoke center slightly above the top.  The stuffing cooks down while baking.  3) don’t bother with the stalks.  I don’t know why this recipe called for including them.  Even after the hour and a half they spent in the oven, they seemed just as crispy and rough to me as when they had gone in.

  • 2 large globe artichokes (about 12 ounces each before trimming)
  • 1 C bread crumbs (i used a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs and toasted brioche)
  • 4 baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 C Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 1 T dried rosemary (crushed by hand – do not try to chop dried rosemary)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T tapenade (or 1 T chopped capers + 1 T chopped olives)
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/2 C dry white wine (i used prosecco)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Fill a large bowl with water and pour lemon juice into water. Cut off artichoke stems, peel them with a vegetable peeler, and drop them into water.
  2. Use a heavy, VERY sharp knife to cut top 1 1/2 inches off an artichoke. Pull out pale inner leaves from center. At the bottom, where leaves were, is a furry bed, the choke. Use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon if you have it) to scoop out choke. Next, using kitchen shears or a pair of scissors, trim pointy ends from outer leaves of artichoke. When you are finished trimming, drop artichoke into bowl of lemon water, upside down to cover the cuts. Repeat with remaining artichoke(s).
  3. To prepare stuffing, in a large bowl combine bread crumbs, mushrooms, Parmesan, tapenade, garlic, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss.
  4. In a deep roasting or baking pan large enough to hold artichokes, scatter onion slices. Add reserved artichoke stems and 2 peeled garlic cloves.
  5. Holding artichokes over stuffing bowl, stuff choke cavity and in between the leaves with bread crumb mixture. Stand stuffed artichokes upright in pan and generously drizzle olive oil over center of each artichoke.
  6. Fill pan with water until it reaches 1/4 way up the artichokes. Add wine and remaining salt and pepper to water. Cover pan with foil and poke several holes in foil. Bake artichokes for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender; when done, a knife should be easily inserted into artichoke and a leaf should be easily pulled out.

Check out more photos on Flickr!


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