two skinny jenkins


090829 – Light Wheat Bread | BBA #18
090829, 9:41 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, LUNCH | Tags:

Light Wheat Bread

BBA #18

new kitchHere is a shot of my new kitchen! Surprisingly, it has more cabinet space than our last one (even though the apartment is 50% smaller) and i find it is easier to work in. One cook at a time.

I, like a lot of Americans right now, don’t have a lot of expendable income, and so i have not yet bought a copy of the Bread Bakers Apprentice.  I have been checking it out from the library in DC (and then for a short while in Charlottesville).  I have not yet gotten my driver’s license for Massachusetts, and therefore cannot yet get a library card here.  I could not find the recipe for ‘Light Wheat Bread’ on Google BooksPanic.  Luckily, Smitten Kitchen has published the full recipe on her site!  Thanks to her, i am saved for this week, and should be able to get my hands on a copy from now on.  For free.

Also to save money, i did not buy the powdered milk that the recipe called for.  Instead, I substituted 4 T regular milk for 3 T of powdered.  Otherwise i followed the recipe exactly and the bread came out GREAT.  It was a little on the sticky side after 10 minutes of kneading, and approximately an additional 1/2 C of flour (white wheat flour added during kneading).  I sampled a slice while it was still warm and it was delicious with bit of jam on top.  This will also make some excellent sandwiches.  I think next time (there WILL be a next time) I will try adding some sunflower seeds to mimic my favorite bread in Charlottesville – sunflower wheat from Bread Works.

Check out more of my Light Wheat Breadmaking photos on FLICKR!



090829 – Broiled Pineapple w/ Coconut
090829, 9:57 am
Filed under: DESSERT, DINNER | Tags: ,

Fresh Killed Sign

Joe made some of his delicious thai peanut chicken for dinner.  he picked up the chicken at a really cool butcher shop we found while biking the other day.  The Mayflower Poultry Company’s meat is antibiotic and hormone free, and they have organic and free range meat in addition.  After watching the movie Food Inc. a couple weeks ago, we have decided not to support large, national meat companies like Perdue  and Tyson that represent the majority of meat in grocery stores today.

Pineapple Dessert

For dessert he made pineapple that we bought earlier that day at Haymarket for ¢75.

  • 1 whole pineapple
  • 1/2 C coconut flakes
  • 1/3 C dark brown sugar
  1. Trim the pineapple by snapping off the top, cutting off the bottom, quartering it, cutting off the core, cutting each quarter away from the roughage, and then dividing each quarter into 1/2″ slices.
  2. Set oven to broil with a rack on the second from top shelf.
  3. Sprinkle pineapple with brown sugar (it may take a little patting to get it to stick) and then coconut flakes.
  4. Broil for 4 minutes, or until the pineapple begins to soften and the brown sugar is gooey.


090828 – Roasted Garlic Pizza
090828, 10:18 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: ,

Roasted Garlic Pizza

So, this was pretty good, but it wasn’t the greatest pizza i have ever made, but the photo above does not do it justice.

This is the first time in a long time that i have dared to make a wheat pizza crust for Joe.  I am using the dough recipe from the New Best Recipe and substituting 1/3 of the bread flour with white wheat. This recipe yields 2 medium sized pizzas (one pizza is plenty for two hungry Jenkins).

Fortunately, our oven here is small, but just barely wide enough for our pizza stone.  Unfortunately, it claims to only reach 500F, but i doubt it makes it that high.  Instead of cooking our pizza the usual 7 minutes, I had to keep it in for 12-13 minutes, drying it out.  When i cook our leftover (frozen) dough next Friday, i will try spraying the crust with extra oil before baking.  If that doesn’t work, the next week i will try spraying the oven walls with water a couple times while cooking.  I’ll keep you posted.

  • 2 2/3 C bread flour
  • 1 1/3 C whole wheat flour
  • 3 t yeast
  • 3/4 C warm (90 F) water
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 C lukewarm water
  1. sprinkle yeast over 3/4 C warm water and let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. pulse flour and salt in food processor to fluff and mix.
  3. add 1 C additional water plus olive oil to the yeast mixture, then slowly pour over flour in the food processor.
  4. mix until the water is fully incorporated.
  5. turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead until only slightly tacky.
  6. place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  7. gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and cut into three pieces.  I typically freeze two.  Just make sure that you put them in the fridge the day before you plan to use them.
  8. At this point, you can either bake it immediately, or (if you have things to do, or don’t time your pizza making well – like me) return the dough to the bowl and let it rise in the fridge for a couple hours.  Just pull it out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to bake it.
  9. Preheat oven to 550 (or as high as it will go). Lightly coat your hands with evoo and press the dough into a disc.  top with sauce, cheese, etc. and bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on your oven temp.

roasted garlic:

  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • approx. 1 T evoo
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (mine was preheated to 500 F for the pizza).
  2. Remove the outer skin of a whole bulb of garlic and chop off the top 1/4-1/2″ so that the tops of the cloves are exposed.  Spray or sprinkle the top with olive oil so that all the cloves are coated.
  3. Loosely wrap the bulb with foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until the cloves are soft.  When they are done, you should be able to easily squeeze them out of their skin.

Fresh Garlic Roasted Garlic



090827 – Broccoli Rabe Pesto
090828, 8:38 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Broccoli Rabe Pesto

My first post in our new place…

I had never tried broccoli rabe before, and could not resist it when i saw it at Market Basket here in Boston.  Joe and I went there on our first grocery shopping here in Boston.  It was about 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning and the store was PACKED.  I have never seen a store so crowded at that time of day/ day of the week.  It didn’t take long to figure out why – the prices are amazing!  I though we were going to have to start budgeting more for food whilst in B-town, but now we might be saving money!

I found this recipe in Food & Wine cookbook, which my Nana gave me as a moving gift. The book suggested using the pesto over crostini for Bruschetta, but i served it with pasta.

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed and large stems cut off
  • 1 C walnuts (or shelled pistachios)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 C evoo (I tried to cut back and use only 1/2 C, but it came out too dry)
  • 1/2 C parsley
  • 1 C parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. preheat the oven to 350 F and put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. sprinkle the nuts into a baking dish and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. boil the broccoli for about 2 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.  Squeeze and pat dry, then chop coarsely.
  4. combine garlic and nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  add the broccoli, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and continue processing.
  5. use a spatula to transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.

with the pesto pasta, I made a simple romaine salad with homemade whole wheat garlic croutons.

garlic croutons:

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread, cubed
  1. preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. melt butter in a medium saucepan with the garlic.  add the bread pieces to the pan, and toss in the butter.
  3. spread the bread out on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until crisp and dry.


090820 – Kaiser Rolls | BBA #16
090823, 7:57 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags:

Kaiser Rolls

BBA #16

So far so good! I have been SO glad I decided to do this Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge.  Marathon training is probably the BEST time to be consuming such vast quantities of bread.

I made these rolls for Joe’s and my sendoff dinner that his mother threw us the other night.  She invited my family and his grandparents over for the day before we move up to Boston.  Our ‘vacation’ in Charlottesville went by too quickly!  We did a pretty good job of keeping ourselves busy.  We bought and reapulstered dining chairs, refinished a new bed frame, drove an hour to Lynchburg to buy a lamp at this great little second hand furniture shop called Loft 3F, made pillows, and baked and ate some bread.

Since I wanted to make enough large sandwich rolls for 10 adults, I made a full pâte fermente recipe and 1 1/2 x recipe of the kaiser rolls.  I made these in ONE day, by adding a double yeast in the pâte fermente to speed up the rising process.  This is probably a big no-no, but the rolls came out very well anyway.  After mixing and proofing, the fermente sat i the fridge for about 4 hours.  From there I followed the rest of the Kaiser roll recipe, using a little more than 1 1/2 times the recipe ammount of barley malt syrup.  I baked the rolls for just 14 minutes using the oven’s convection setting and they came out golden brown.  They were a little hard on the outsided but tasty and soft on the inside.

If i were to make thesea again, I would (1) allow time to properly follow the two day recipe and (2) try to mimic a kaiser roll cutter for forming. The method shown on page 82 of looping the dough around looked pretty, but had a tendancy to fall apart.

Homemade BBQ Sandwich

Beef brisket BBQ recipe coming soon!

FLICKR photo link.



090817 – Lavash Crackers | BBA #17
090818, 10:31 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, SNACK | Tags: ,

Lavash Crackers

BBA #17

These ‘crackers’ were really tasty!  The dough was just as Peter Reinhart described; silk smooth and hard, yet relatively elastic.  I was worried when i first started kneading because the dough took a while to homogenize. Eventually it did come together and pass the windowpane test.

After it FINALLY doubled (after profing for about 2 hours), I rolled it out to esentially cover the sheet pan (the book said to make a 12″ x 15″ rectangle), yet the dough was still too thick.  Next time , i will cut the dough in half before rolling it out and roll it until about 1/8″ thick.  I topped the crackers with four different spices: black sesame seeds, garlic-ginger medditeranian spice blend, paprika, and kosher salt., and sliced the sheet into diamond shapes before baking.  They baked for about 25-26 minutes and tasted GREAT with red pepper hummus.

Lavash Sheet

Here is the link for FLICKR photos!



090816 – vegetable pasta sauce
090817, 11:04 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

Vegetable Pasta

Still maybe under the influence of Food Inc., veggie dishes hold more appeal than meaty entrees.  There are more and more Farmer’s markets popping up all over town here in Charlottesville, and plenty of opportunities to get fresh vegetables.  This recipe was found in the August publication of In The Kitchen, a sort of local, organic food newspaper that can be picked up at the nearby Whole Foods.  The magazine centerfold has a month of recipes designed to minimize wasted food.  So the chicken you roasted one night might show up a couple days later in a chicken salad recipe. The following recipe made enough for 7 adults, plus enough leftover for 2-3 lunches.  I think this would be a great thing to make with fresh summer veggies, and freeze for wintertime.

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped (i usually like to keep the skin on things, but was afraid the eggplant skin would be too bitter for this dish)
  • 2 onions, diced (i used one red, one yellow onion)
  • 3 small zucchini, grated (i used one yellow and two green)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 C chopped red bell pepper
  • 7-8 medium-large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 T each fresh minced oregano and basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a LARGE, deep rimmed skillet or two medium sized skillets over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of salted water for pasta.
  3. add the eggplant, onion, garlic, squash, and red pepper to the pan and saute till caramelized (all soft).
  4. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and simmer until the sauce thickens (about 25 min.)
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta (spaghetti, angel hair, or fettuccine work well) according to the package directions.
  6. in the last few minutes, stir in the spices.  Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.


090816 – baby bubble tea
090816, 10:41 pm
Filed under: DESSERT, DRINKS | Tags: ,

Bubble Tea

This was refreshing to drink on a hot, humid, August afternoon.  I am a BIG fan of bubble tea.  I usually have to shell out about $5.00 on a ‘small’ to get my fix.  I have always wanted to learn to make my own…

My mother in law happened to have small tapioca pearls on hand, so i gave it a try.  I ended up making enough for all 5 of us.  First i tried shaking the milk and tea with ice, then i tried a blended version.  I have had both in Asian cafe’s before, but usually like the frozen/ blended version better.  The key to success i learned while making it is to use MORE SUGAR.  The black tea was a really nice pick-me-up in the afternoon. If you are using large tapioca pearls, make sure you buy big straws to eat them with!

  • 7 bags of black tea
  • skim milk
  • small bottle sugar syrup (like the kind used in coffee drinks – i used raspberry)
  • 1 C tapioca pearls (traditionally the large kind, though small works too)
  • ice
  1. Make the tea (1 bag per 6 oz water), add 1 C sugar syrup while the tea is still hot, and refrigerate.
  2. bring 4 C water to boil, and add tapioca pearls. boil for 25 minutes, remove from heat, and let sit for 25 more minutes.
  3. When the tapioca is finished, rinse and drain (or strain small pearls) with cool water.  Put about 2 T in each glass.
  4. combine 1 C tea with 1 C milk and some ice cubes in a blender, and mix until frothy and frosty.
  5. Stir a couple teaspoons of tea into the glass with tapioca pearls to loosen them up, then pour in blended tea.  Serve with a straw.


090815 – Cranberry Walnut French Toast
090815, 12:15 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, BREAKFAST | Tags:

French Toast

I have been wanting to make french toast for some time now.  With all of the delicious bread recipes i have been making with ‘The Challenge’ it is a wonder that i haven’t tried yet.  Finally, I made some with the Celebration Bread (Challenge #11) I made on Friday.  The recipe is adapted from The New Best Recipe (my new fav).  It was delicious.  Not too eggy and very easy.  My only suggestion is to sift the flour into the batter while whisking so that it doesn’t clump up.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C skim milk, about temperature
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 4-6 slices of brioche style bread
  1. whisk egg in a shallow dish.  Whisk in milk, then melted butter. Then add sugar, salt and flour (sifted).
  2. Heat cast iron skillet over medium and drop 1/2 T butter in.
  3. Meanwhile, place 1/2″ thick slice of bread into the mixture and let it soak for 30-40 seconds on each side. (you don’t want the bread too thick, or to let it sit for too long and get soggy)
  4. Cook toast in the skillet until golden brown on both sides.


090814 – Celebration Bread | BBA #11
090814, 9:57 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DESSERT, SNACK | Tags: ,

Cellebration BreadBBA #11 | Celebration Bread

I finally got around to making this celebration bread (I baked challenge #15 last weekend)!  I would not feel like I had conquered the Bread Baker’s Apprentice if i never baked this bread. In part, I blame Joe for my procrastination.  He did not like the Artos (Greek Celebration Bread) I had made way back when for challenge #2,  and has been trying to convince me to skip it entirely.  Now that i have baked it, it has turned into one of his favorites!

More than half the loaf is gone. I personally thought it was about 10 x better than the Artos.  Either my baking skills have drastically improved, or using the lemon extract, or both made a big difference.  The extract smelled amazing.  The bread had a lot of flavor and was just the right amount of sweet, between the 3 T of sugar and dried cranberries.  I think this will make great french toast (or regular toast) in the morning and it will definitely make an appearance at Thanksgiving!  Thank you Peter Reinhart!

As a side note: I had to go out during the day, so after shaping the loaf, I kept it in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.  I took it out when i got home and let it warm up/ proof on the counter for 90 minutes (partly while preheating the oven).

Cran-walnut Crumb

More photos coming soon on FLICKR!





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