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Showing posts from August, 2017

Sourdough Starter

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The result of a great Sourdough Starter...

Nothing is better than homemade bread.  Especially when it’s made with natural ingredients and can be done with only three things; flour, water, and salt.  Of course, you need your sourdough starter but what is that if not only flour and water. If you use your kitchen and cook daily, there are millions of awesome yeasts and bacteria floating around and that’s what we’re going to utilize to make our starter.
Actors and props in the play:


The quality of flour and the water you use are extremely important.  Remember, you are going to have your starter for years so use good stuff.  I usually grind my own flour for my artisan breads but sometimes I don’t.  Never, buy bleached flour and if you can avoid enriched.  A good flour to use for your starter is something like King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour.  Don’t use tap water either as it usually has chlorine in it that can damage your starter. In a large jar, place 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2/3 cup…

Corn-o-copia Corn Chowder

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Soups are something that are really good, super easy, inexpensive, and a great dinner to make when you want to clean out the frig.

Actors in the play:

Start with the “trilogy,” onions, carrots, and celery.  The trilogy is the basic for almost all of my soup recipes. 

A little flavor with added heat.  A small can of diced chilies and 1 chipotle pepper in adobo.

Bacon, trilogy, peppers, corn and left over sweet potatoes from last night’s curry.

Finished chowder, ready to be served up.


Recipe 1 package bacon diced Trilogy  (2 carrots, 2 sticks celery with leaves, 1 medium onion.  All diced.) 8 cups water 2 tbsp. chicken bouillon 2 pound bag of frozen corn ¼ cup cornmeal mixed with 2 tbsp. water 1 small can diced green chilies 1 chipotle pepper in adobo diced I added 1 pasilla pepper and about a cup of diced sweet potato.  (Use what you have and make it your own.)
1 cup heavy cream.  (relax guys, won't hurt you) 2 cups of whatever cheese you have on hand, grated.  I used provolone. Ab…

Saturday Night Stromboli

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Basic pizza dough (see previous post) Pepperoni Salami Deli ham Arugula Pizza sauce or marinara sauce Parmesan cheese grated 1 egg with a tsp of water
Follow the recipe for Basic Pizza Dough

Divide the dough in two and on parchment paper roll each half into about a 10 x 16 inch rectangle.





Using a spoon or spatula, spread the sauce over the dough leaving about a 3 inch area of dough clear on both the long side. 


Begin layering the meats and cheese.


  Top with arugula, a layer of ham, and a layer of cheese.


Carefully roll the Stromboli and leave seam side down.  Transfer to baking sheet on the parchment paper. 


 Paint Stromboli with egg wash.


Carefully slice slits for steam to escape.



Sprinkle with cheese and parsley if you wish.




Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before carving.



Cut and serve!  Enjoy!

Basic Pizza Dough

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5 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cup luke-warm water 1 package dry yeast 2 tsps. Salt 1 tbsp. sugar 3 tbsp. olive oil

I use my Kitchen Aide mixer with the dough hook for this.  It makes it so much easier and quicker. Pour the package of dry yeast into the warm water and add the sugar.  Stir and let sit while you get the other ingredients ready. In a large bowl, put the flour and salt and lightly mix so that you don’t put the yeast mixture directly on the salt. Add the oil and the yeast/sugar water to the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until it forms a ball.  Let it knead for about 5 minutes. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it a few times on the counter covered with a light dusting of flour.  Pour two tsps. of oil into the bowl and spread it around.  Place the dough in the bowl and make sure all sides are lightly covered in the oil.  Place a dish towel over the bowl and let it sit for up to an hour.
When ready, dust the counter with flour and knead dough until it is shiny, w…

Welcome!

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Hello everyone and welcome to my blog.
I’m Michael Olsen and I love to make people happy with the foods I serve.   I try to make everything I cook from scratch and my motto is, “nothing out of the box and nothing out of the can.”  Sometimes that’s not always possible but that’s what I strive for.
My love of cooking started when I was in grade school.  Let’s face it, my mom God rest her soul was an imaginative cook but could never really make it come together.  She could, however, whip up some killer pies.  Because she didn’t want to cook, my sister, brother, and I can all throw-down some eats.  My sister is a gourmet and my brother can make a delicious meal out of a shoe-box.



My food idols are Ree Drummond, Laura Vitale, Helen Chen and undeniably my sister Diane.  To me they are all Goddesses.  They’re my “go to” girls when I want to learn something new or get fantastic recipe ideas.
I look forward to sharing my recipes with you and hope you will share some of yours with …