two skinny jenkins

090928 – Pain de Campagne | BBA #22
090930, 10:13 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags:


BBA #22

These loaves were fun to shape!  Little did I know, this was to be my last bread for a little while.  After hurting my ankle a week ago, I took a bit of a break from baking.  Then i came back to bake this bread (I had been enticed by the photograph in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice).  Now I have started a new job and it looks like i am not going to have any time to bake or cook.  Today I worked 13 hours.  C’est la vie d’un architecte!  This is soon to become a Crock Pot themed blog!  I’ll be making meals on the weekend for the rest of the week.  It could be gross, or it could be exciting uncharted culinary territory!


This recipe was straightforward.  I used rye flour to makes these loaves (1/3 C) and can only slightly taste it.  I can only bake one loaf at a time in my oven (and i only have one baking sheet) so the two smaller ones spent a lot of extra time proofing in a couche (hence the light coating of flour on those two).  Even though i found this bread less interesting than the Pain a L’Ancienne or Ciabatta, Joe liked it and it made some really good…


Campagne Bruschetta

I just seeded and diced a tomato and mixed it up with balsamic, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.  I toasted the 1/4″ slices of Pain on both sides using the oven broiler, topped with the tomato mixture, then a tiny bit of cheese.  I broiled them again for just a couple minutes with the rack on the top oven shelf.  Total cooking/ prep time: about 10 minutes.  Can’t beat fresh tomatoes!

Check out more photos (plus tips) on FLICKR!

090927 – Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin + Quick Focaccia
090928, 10:46 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Pumpkin Soup

I. Cannot. Sit. Still.  I have become hypersensitive to my body since ‘the accident’, though Joe would tell you that i have always been this way.  My bruised (?) ankle recovery rate thus far does not bode well for the marathon in three weeks.  AAAHHH.

This was my first venture back into the kitchen since the accident. Maybe I went a little crazy, but I had a good time.  As a note, the pumpkin photographed immediately below is not done.  It needed another 15 minutes after this shot was taken, but at that point I was ready to eat and not taking any more pictures.  It was good!  And the spiced pumpkin seeds I made after this were pretty tasty too!  I served the soup with some wheat rosemary olive focaccia.  See that recipe below.

Soup in the Pumpkin

Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin

  • 1 5 lb. pumpkin, w/ stem
  • 5 T butter
  • salt
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 C fresh white breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground sage
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C grated swiss (all i had was cheddar) cheese
  • 3 C chicken stock (I used bullion cubes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Clean pumpkin inside and out, cutting a 4″ diameter hole for the lid.  Set the seeds aside
  2. Melt 4 T butter in a medium skillet and saute onions for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add breadcrumbs, nutmeg, and sage, and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and add cheese.
  3. Rub remaining 1 T butter (softened) on the inside of the pumpkin.   Scoop onion mixture into the pumpkin, then fill with chicken stock to within 1/2″ of the rim.  Add bay leaves.
  4. Bake pumpkin for 1 1/2 hours, or until outside is browning and pumpkin flesh is soft.
  5. Before serving, use a long handled metal spoon to scrape the insides of the pumpkin and mix the flesh in with the soup.  Serve.


Quick Focaccia

  • 5 C flour (I used 2 C bread, 2 C all purpose, and 1 C whole wheat)
  • 2 1/2 t yeast
  • 1 2/3 C warm water
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • dried rosemary
  • 1/3 C chopped olives
  • sea salt
  1. Stir together 1 2/3 C lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 5 C flour, 1/4 C oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed (woohoo!) until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Press dough evenly onto a spray oiled and salted (optional- but good) baking sheet. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Make shallow indentations in the dough with your fingertips.  Gently brush or spray with olive oil.  Sprinkle with rosemary, olives, and sea salt and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

090924 – fig jam
090926, 10:01 pm
Filed under: BREAKFAST, SNACK | Tags: ,

Fig Jam

I made this a few days ago, but what better time to pull out old recipes than when I’m out of cooking commission? Joe even had to tend to our pizza dough last night!

This semi-spicy fig jam recipe goes best with cheese.  The best I could do at the time was cheddar, and sadly the best crackers i had around were saltines.  It was very, very tasty – the only shame is that the cheese and crackers didn’t do the good jam justice.

  • 1 1/2 C diced fresh figs (6-10 figs, depending on the size of the figs)
  • 1/2 C seeded, peeled orange, diced (up to 1 small navel orange diced)
  • 1 1/2 C of sugar (I used 1 C)
  • 1 1/2 t grated orange peel
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t butter

step 1:


Combine all the ingredients in a microwave safe container and let it sit for 30 minutes.  This lets the fruit macerate in the sugar.

step 2:


Microwave  on high for 7 minutes, stop cooking, and stir.  Continue cooking for another 6 minutes, stopping to stir ever couple minutes.  After a total of about 13 minutes, the mixture should become viscous.

step 3:


Test the jam’s viscosity with a spoon.  If the liquid begins to firm up before it drips, it is done.  I plan to finish eating mine within a week, so I have it refrigerated in a plastic container.  If you want to save it long term, check out the USDA canning guidelines here.

090925 – Update
090924, 7:59 pm
Filed under: MULTISPORT, Uncategorized

There is good news and bad news.


I am taking a little break from the kitchen as i just nearly broke my ankle in a bike accident.  I was riding my bike home from the grocery store (of all places) and a car door opened right into the side of me.  One of my biggest fears since we have moved to Cambirdge and started biking everywhere was running into a car door.  I have had a few close calls, but this one was perfectly timed so there was no avoiding it.  It was flung open into my body and knocked me into the street.  I was laying on the yellow line.  Thank heavens there was no oncoming traffic.


So now my right ankle is very swollen and has two punctures from my chain ring.  I pray that I will be back to running on it in a week or two… the marathon that I have been training for all summer is in 3.


We won artwork at the MIT student art loan!  We got a print of Yoshitomo Nara’s ‘In the Floating World Gold Fish’ (#37/50) to keep in our apartment for a year.  It retails around $3,880 so hopefully we don’t mess it up!


090921 – Fall Fruit Crumble
090921, 2:12 pm
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags: , , , ,

Crumble Elevation

This is an adaptation of the ‘Fall Fruit Crumble’ recipe featured recently on  I almost made this last week, but made a pear tart instead.  Compared to that – this felt like a break!


I used the four fall fruits that I had around the kitchen and were on the verge of expiration.  The tart apples nicely countered the sweetness of the figs and plums.  I think i could have used just 1 t lemon juice.

Fruit Filling:

  • 3 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 5 Italian plums, pitted and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 6 black figs, quartered
  • 1 Bosc pear (leftover from my pear tart experiment), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 t lemon juice


  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and mix together cut fruits, 1/2 C sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch in a baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the dry topping ingredients, then use your fingers to blend in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  3. Bake for 20-30 min (depending on your oven – mine took closer to 30), or until fruit is bubbling and topping turning golden brown.

090920 – Panko chicken + bok choy
090920, 11:18 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Bok Choy + Chicken

Although i have made other recipes that called for them, this is my first time actually using Japanese Panko breadcrumbs.  They were fantastic!

The whole meal went very well together.  The stir fried bok choy was soft and salty, and the panko ‘fried’ chicken was crunchy and spicy on the outside and moist and tender inside. The following recipe made enough for dinner and lunch for two of us.

Panko ‘Fried’ Chicken:

(adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 t red pepper
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/3 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 whole chicken breast (equivalent to two conventional breasts + two tenderloins) rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 10 serving pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Meanwhile, toss breadcrumbs with red pepper, ground ginger, salt, and pepper in a shallow baking pan.
  3. Mix together butter, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper in a bowl.  Coat chicken pieces with butter, dredge in breadcrumb mixture, then arrange on baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Stir Fried Bok Choy

  • 2 heads of regular bok choy
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 slices ginger, julienne cut
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C water
  1. After thoroughly washing bok choy, separate stems from leaves.  Cut the leaves across and the stems on diagonal.
  2. Heat oil over medium in large skillet.  Add ginger slices and fry until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  3. Add bok choy stems, stir for a minute, then add the leaves.  To save on dishes, I quickly mixed up the soy sauce, sugar, and salt while stir-frying the stalks.
  4. After adding the ‘sauce’, turn heat up to high and cook for a minute.
  5. Add water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.

090919 – roasted vegetables + couscous
090919, 9:11 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , , , ,



Did i forget anything? This was all i could find around the kitchen to roast tonight.  I tossed the beets, potatoes, garlic, and carrots in a couple T evoo and some salt and pepper then popped em in the 475°F oven.  After 12 minutes I added the onion and leek (and some rosemary).  After 25 minutes more, i added the tomatoes and cooked 5 minutes more.  I then sprinkled a little parmesan over the whole thing and gave it 3 final minutes… at that point after opening and closing my little oven door, i bet it was down around 425°F or less.

I served it over parmesan couscous with a side salad.

This should be good fuel for our long runs tomorrow!

Roasted Vegetables

090918 – Pepper Pizza
090919, 4:38 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

Pepper pizza

This is the first time in a long time that Joe and i have shared a uniformly topped pizza.  Typically, my half has a lot of sauteed/ semi fancy toppings, and his looks a bit like what you might find on a dominos menu.  I decided to give his style of pizza a try tonight and really enjoyed the simplicity of sweet peppers (Italian and red), onions, and grape tomatoes.  It was especially tasty with some red pepper flakes on top… sweet and spicy.

I used the same crust recipe as usual, but left it on the sticky side while kneading.  This proved to be a good thing and made it softer than usual on the inside.  After proofing for two hours, dividing into thirds, and shaping one into a disc, i drizzled it with olive oil, covered it with aluminum foil (so it wouldn’t stick) and let it sit an extra hour or so before baking (as the oven preheated).

The sauce was delicious and homemade and contained:

  • 6 halved and seeded cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t sugar
  1. mix it all with an immersion blender till the tomatoes are completely crushed.  Yum.

090917 – Pear Tart
090918, 10:29 pm
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags:

Pear Tart

Or should i call it, ‘Pain in the Tush Pear Tart’?

This was without a doubt the most involved recipe i have ever made – thank you ‘New Basics’ cookbook.   As part of my continuing quest to actually use the cookbooks we own,  I spent hours in the kitchen yesterday.


I decided it would be a festive fall thing to do/ make and a good way to use up the uneaten pears i bought at the market last week.  What I got was just desserts!  sorry.

MY pear tart

Pear Sauce Tart


  • 2/3 C all purpose flour
  • 1/3 C ground walnuts (or hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 T butter (chilled and chopped up)
  • 1/4 t lemon juice
  • 1 T cold water
  • 1 T sugar

Pear Sauce:

  • 6 Bosc pears, slightly under-ripe, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 T Poire Williams (pear liqueur – i substituted butterscotch schnapps)

Pears + Topping:

  • 1 slice fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 C champagne (i used white wine)
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/3 C applesauce
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 ripe but firm Bosc Pears
  • 1 T white vinegar
  • 2 T Poire Williams (or butterscotch schnapps =)
  1. Prepare the pastry shell: Combine flour, walnuts, and salt in a food processor and process for 15-20 sec.  Add butter and lemon and process for 15 addt’l sec.  Gradually add cold water through feeder tube, 1/2 t at a time – ONLY ADDING ENOUGH FOR THE DOUGH TO COME TOGETHER.  Gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 min.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F.  Butter a 9″ tart pan.  After the dough is chilled, roll it out into an ~11″ circle on a lightly floured counter.  Transfer to the buttered pan
    and crimp the edges.  Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, cover with aluminum foil (shiny side down) and bake for 15 min.  Remove foil and bake addt’l 8-10 min. or until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare the sauce (start while pastry is chillin): Combine half the pear quarters and 1 T lemon juice in the food processor and process for ~30 sec.  Transfer the mixture to a heavy saucepan and then repeat with remaining pears.
  4. Stir the sugar and Poire Williams into the pot and cook over low heart until the mixture begins to turn color ~30 min.  Then increase to medium low heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally until it becomes the consistency of applesauce.  Set it aside to cool.
  5. To make the topping, first prepare the poaching liquid: Cut the ginger into 1/8″ julienne strips and combine with champagne, water, lemon juice, sugar, applesauce, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Set aside.
  6. Peel the pears, reserving the peel, and cut them in half longways.  Core them as neatly as possible with a knife or melon baller.  Place them in a large bowl and water to cover.  Add the vinegar to prevent discoloring.
  7. Combine the peeled pears, remaining 1/2 C water, remaining 1/2 C sugar, and Poire Williams in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain and set the liquid aside. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to the poaching liquid, add pear peel liquid, bring to a boil, simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool in the liquid.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a shallow dish.  Bring poaching liquid to a boil and reduce to 1 1/2 C (about 15 minutes).
  9. Pour reduced poaching liquid over pears and refrigerate till completely cooled – about 4 hours.
  10. Assemble the tart:  Spread sauce into the prepared pie crust.  Slice cooled pear halves crosswise into half moons and arrange to cover the whole surface.
  11. Preheat the broiler on high with a rack at the top shelf.
  12. Cover the edge of the crust with aluminum foil (really – do this) and place the tart under the broiler until the pears turn golden brown – about 5 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar.  I thought it was even better cold the next day.

090917 – broccoli quinoa
090917, 11:39 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: ,

dobule broccoli

This was really easy, and nice because i had some broccoli pesto already made up to use in it, but I am not making it again.  It was not that good.  I was surprised.   I really like broccoli, and i usually like Heidi’s recipes.  This was just a little too plain.  Even with the bells and whistles (avocado, feta, and slivered almonds).   While mixing it all together, i taste tested and immediately tried to season it back to life.  No avail.

  • 4 C fresh broccoli florets
  • 2/3 C broccoli rabe pesto
  • 1/3 C buttermilk
  • 1 C quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/3 C slivered almonds
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • slice of feta cheese
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  1. Cook quinoa: combine quinoa and 3 C water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.  Simmer 15 min, remove from heat, drain excess water and set aside.
  2. Steam 4 C broccoli until just barely cooked.
  3. Heat pesto and stir in buttermilk to give a creamier consistency (use heavy cream if you prefer).
  4. Stir together quinoa, broccoli, and pesto in a large bowl/ serving dish.  season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with almonds, feta, and avocado.


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