Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Company's Coming

Dear Sally,

Awesome teacup. I love that recipe and will be making that for Jesse this weekend. He seems to approve of a small selection of healthy snacks and I am sure that he will enjoy those tasty treats.

Can I just say that I love March Break? I have time to cook! Jesse and I had our neighbour Tim over for dinner and I wanted to make something that I have never attempted before. I also wanted to practice working with cake mixes and icing. I am proud to announce that I made a yummy dinner of roast chicken, homemade Challah bread, spinach and strawberry salad and roasted mini potatoes. It was delicious! I used Jamie Oliver's idea pf stuffing the chicken under the skin on the breast meat instead of inside. The potatoes were a traditional family recipes and the bread was chosen to remember my days working at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal. So many different things went into the meal but they all seemed to compliment each other. I was not surprised to hear that the chocolate and strawberry buttercream cake was the favorite part of the meal.

Challah Bread
The Joy of Cooking


2 packages active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup water 105-115 degrees

6 cups all purpose flour

1 TB salt

2 cups water 105 degrees F

3 slightly beaten eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 TB sugar

In a small bowl combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/4 cup of the warm water.

Measure into a large bowl the flour and salt

Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Knead well until a ball is formed then turn out and knead on a floured surface about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn, and cover. Let rise until double in size (about 1 hour). Punch down and divide into 2 sections, knead each for several minutes.

Divide each section into 3 (or 4) pieces and braid. Place braided loaves on cookie sheet (or sheets if they don’t fit on one); cover and let rise until double in size. Brush tops with egg wash (I just use egg whites).

Bake 10 minutes in preheated oven at 400 degrees F. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake about 25 minutes longer.

Hint: I wanted to make sure I didn’t burn the loaf so I started the temperature at 400 then reduced it to 350 not 375. I also watched the loaf and didn’t leave it in as long. Mine was a light golden colour when I took it out.

I also used my Kitchenaid mixer for the kneading because you need to make sure you kneed it well. The dough seems hard and dry but with proper rising time it comes out beautifully.

Roasted Chicken with Sausage and Sage Stuffing
Adapted from Cook with Jamie


7-9 lb whole chicken

1 orange

2 Italian sausages (casing removed)

1 small onion

1 lb button mushrooms

2 tsp fresh sage

1/3 cup raisins

2 egg whites

½ cup bread crumbs

2 garlic cloves crushed

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil


Wash the chicken and set aside. In a medium saucepan combine chopped onion, garlic and sage. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook through. Remove from heat and set aside. When the mixture has cooled add the breadcrumbs, raisins, and egg whites and stir.

Use your fingers to slide underneath the skin of the chicken making space for stuffing. This will be right over the breast of the chicken. Gently slide stuffing into the space between the breast and the skin. Put the remaining stuffing mixture in the cavity of the chicken and fill the cavity with an orange. Season the outside of the chicken with oil, salt, and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Once hot, place the chicken in and cook for 10 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and cook uncovered for 45-50 minutes more at 350F. When a thermometer inserted near the thigh reads 180 remove the chicken from the oven and tent.

Slice and serve!

The potatoes were a simple oil and garlic mixture with salt and pepper for seasoning. I hate to say that the cake I made was out of a box. The icing was an original invention and will remain a secret but you can totally do the same thing with storebought icing. Some day I would like to try a chocolate peanut butter cake and see how that one foes over with the boys but that is for another day.


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