with 'recipe' tag

wonton’s gluten-free dog treats

this was adapted from a recipe found online. some ingredients were changed and added, and the amounts were also changed so this makes just one half-sheet baking pan of treats. wonton loves these.

¾ cup bob’s red mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour*
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup potato starch
⅛ cup flax seed
¾ cup hot water
⅛ cup natural peanut butter (just peanuts, no added ingredients)

pre-heat the oven to 200°F.

combine dry ingredients. mix hot water and peanut butter. add to dry ingredients and mix into dough.

roll out to ¼" thick, cut into bite-sized treats (or use a bone-shaped cookie cutter). you may need to use more potato starch or flour to prevent sticking.

bake for two hours on parchment paper on baking sheet.

turn off the oven, and let the treats cool and dehydrate more thoroughly in the oven overnight.

* the original recipe called for chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, but i’ve never tried using it. the gluten-free all-purpose flour contains chickpea flour and some other ingredients, and seems more readily available.

basic bread

bread here’s another recipe rescued from the late, lamented mr. cook. i stopped buying bread a few years ago, with a few exceptions. (i also make my own tortillas. i am insane.)

this recipe only approximates my current method. two big differences are that i use a kitchen-aid stand mixer for the mixing and kneading, and as you can tell from the picture, i use a loaf pan to actually bake the bread. when i make dough with this recipe, it’s usually enough for a loaf of bread and the crust for a 12" pizza. (i freeze the bread after a day, and just pop a couple of slices into the toaster for sandwiches or toast.)

add the sugar, yeast, and water together, and let the yeast proof. in other words, let it get foamy on top (this usually only takes about five to eight minutes — if it doesn’t get foamy, your yeast was bad or the temperature of your water was wrong — start over!).

meanwhile, measure out the flour. this isn’t rocket science, but you’ll want to loosen the flour a bit (don’t pack it!). what i usually do is just use a small measuring cup to shake the flour from the bag into a one-cup measuring cup over the bowl i’ll be using, dumping the one-cup measuring cup when it is full. do that five times, and you'll have just about the right amount of flour. who said baking was precise?

(oh, why bread flour? it has more protein, resulting in more gluten, which makes the bread rise better. or so i’m told. who am i do doubt such rigorous scientific explanations?)

by this time, the little yeasties are certainly happy and frothy and ready to be combined with the flour. but first, mix the salt into the flour. then pour in the yeast and sugar and water, and stir it all up. you could get all fancy and put the flour in a mound, make a hollow space for the liquid, and pull in the flour from the outside of the “bowl” to combine it, but frankly you’re wasting your time. just dump in the liquid and dig in.

(oh, you can substitute whole-wheat flour for the bread flour on a one-for-one basis up to about half of the flour, if you’re into that sort of thing. my impression is that it makes the dough a little more dry, so you might need less flour overall (or more water), but honestly i haven’t really experimented with it.)

eventually you’ll get it mixed to a consistency that starts to resemble dough. at that point, dump it out of your mixing bowl on to a flat surface, and knead it (bringing in any of the last of the flour that wasn’t already mixed in). you could be precise (pushing the dough out, folding it back over itself, rotating it a quarter turn, repeat), or you can just push it around for a while. i haven’t noticed a difference, as long as you put some muscle into it. what you’re doing is creating friction between the proteins in the flour, turning them into gluten. (end of science lesson.)

you don’t want the dough to be very sticky (a little bit sticky is fine), but dough that is already stuck to something is just a magnet for other dough. you’ll probably want to wash your hands of the dough that is stuck to it from the early mixing (where not all of the flour was mixed in) at some point, and you should notice that less dough is sticking to your hand after that.

okay, once the dough is finally kneaded (it should take about ten minutes, more or less), put it in an oiled bowl, flip it over (to coat the dough with oil, and cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap.

how do you tell when you’re done kneading? it is a very zen moment. you'll know when you’re done. or read this, but i’ve never really gotten dough that responded to that “window test” and it turns out just fine. if you really need that sort of handholding because you’re afraid of wasting five lousy cups of flour and some time, you may as well just stay over on that site.

now put the bowl in a warm place to let the dough rise. if you don’t have a warm place, turn on your oven for one minute on its lowest setting, then turn it off and put the bowl in there. don’t forget to turn the oven off!

after an hour and a half or so, the dough should double in size. take it out of the bowl, punch it down, and knead it for a minute or so, then put it back in the bowl. put the bowl back in the warm place, and let it double in size again. it shouldn’t take as long this time, probably only an hour. you can also skip this second rise, but it seems to make the bread better for me.

after the second rise (or the first, if you’re being impatient), punch the dough down again and form it into whatever form you want your bread to be in. i usually take half of the dough, make that into four roughly bun-shaped things (submarine-style, not round buns), and roll out of the other half of the dough and cut rolls from that. be creative. you can also use a quarter of the dough to make a fine pizza crust. you can even just leave each half of the dough in one big lump to make big loaves. whatever floats your boat.

put those onto lightly-greased baking pans (flat cookie-style sheets or shallow baking pans work fine), cover them (perhaps with oiled plastic wrap), and let them sit until they double in size. you may want to sprinkle some corn meal onto the baking sheets before you put the dough on to help keep them from sticking. (you left them far enough apart so they can double without bunching together, right? if you didn’t and they do, that's fine, really, you'll just need to cut or tear the pieces apart.)

meanwhile, preheat your oven to about 425° (hotter is probably better than cooler). before you (gently) put in the buns or rolls or whatever you made from the dough (on a rack near the top of the oven), put a pan of water on a lower rack. this helps get a crispier crust, or so i’ve been told.

bake for twenty minutes or so. in other words, set the timer for fifteen minutes, and then keep checking (without opening the oven too often) to see if they look done. you can also tap on the bottom of any larger pieces of bread, and if they sound hollow, they’re probably done.

if you want to get fancy, you can coat the rolls in egg before baking, which gives them a nice shiny, crispy crust. to get super-duper fancy, after coating the sandwich buns with egg (or skipping the egg), use a sharp knife to cut into them along their length, and drizzle some melted butter in the cut. but be careful, you don't want to squash the dough too much after it has risen for the last time.

once the rolls or buns or whatever you made are done baking, take them out and let them cool (at least enough so you don't scald yourself when you enjoy the fruits of your labor). they freeze really well, if you're not able to consume all that bread in one sitting.

have fun. if you screw up a batch, remember that you've only wasted something like a dollar in ingredients, and you got to play in the kitchen.

dead-reckoning turkey chili

here’s how i got my turkey today, or at least here’s the old version of the turkey chili recipe i vaguely follow. all amounts are approximate, and all ingredients are optional. if there’s an ingredient you don’t like, don't use it. if there's one you like a lot, use more of it.

1 pkg. (about one pound) extra-lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
15oz. whole kernel corn
15oz. tomato sauce
15oz. water
2 tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. ground red (cayenne) pepper
½ tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt & freshly ground black pepper
15oz. kidney beans

combine the turkey, onion, and peppers in a medium-sized saucepan (about 3-4 qts.) over medium-high heat. after a couple of minutes, add the garlic and jalepeño peppers.

cook until the onions are translucent, the turkey has cooked, and the peppers have softened up. turn down the heat a bit, and pour in the corn, tomato sauce, and water.

if you can get fresh corn, that's even better than the canned stuff. just cut the kernels off an ear or two (and scrape out the 'milk' from the cob!).

add the spices. this where you really get to play around. those amounts are very approximate. i’ve never measured. the carroll shelby chili mix is also a fine way to eliminate the guesswork, but that’s not nearly as much fun.

simmer for about fifteen minutes, stirring often. add the beans, and simmer for another five to ten minutes.

remove from heat. eat. enjoy.

banana bread

i can’t believe i have never shared this one before. and now i have bananas on the brain for some reason.

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar*
2 extra large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (over-ripe)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

preheat oven to 350°F and grease (or butter) loaf pan. cream butter and sugar. add eggs, bananas, and vanilla. fold in sifted dry ingredients. add nuts. bake in loaf pan for 1¼ hours or tests done (by inserting a toothpick into the center and having it come out clean). let cool in pan for 10 minutes. turn out and let cool completely.

* i often substitute ¾ cup white sugar and ¼ cup molasses for the brown sugar.

i was going to post my basic pancake recipe, but it turns out that i already have. looking forward to making pancakes on the weekend is one of the things that gets me through the rest of the week.

recently i’ve cut down the amount of flour (to ¾ cup) and milk (who knows by how much — it’s an add-until-enough ingredient).

black beans and rice (moors and christians)

heat olive oil over medium-low heat. add onion, garlic, and jalapeno or pepper flakes, and cook until onions are translucent, stirring frequently. add rice, salt, and pepper, and stir to coat rice with oil. add cold water and turn up heat to bring to boil. turn heat back down, add black beans, and cover. simmer until rice is done and water is absorbed (about twenty minutes). remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

tortillas from scratch


combine the flour, salt, and shortening. mix thoroughly. add water, and form into slightly sticky dough. divide into four parts and roll into balls. cover and let rest for at least fifteen minutes. roll out each ball until less than ¼" thick. heat on a warm griddle or skillet until it has puffed up and lightly browned on bottom, and then flip and lightly brown on the other side. cover with a towel, and serve as soon as possible.

makes four tortillas. recipe can be doubled or tripled for more tortillas.

basic black beans

rinse beans and soak overnight in water (six to eight cups). after soaking, bring beans to boil, remove any floating beans, and add spices. turn heat down and simmer until beans are tender (anywhere from one to two hours), adding water as necessary to keep beans submerged. remove bay leaves when finished.

makes six cups. (and they freeze very well. just measure beans and liquid into plastic bags, let cool to room temperature, and freeze.)

basic pancake recipe

i make this at least every weekend, and sometimes during the week, too. this is so easy, the only acceptable excuse for pre-made pancake mixes are specially dietary reasons. this is a low-yield recipe: about four CD-size pancakes. it can probably be doubled (or tripled, etc) for more.


  1. Put non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium-low heat.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Mix the milk, egg, and sugar in another container.
  4. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir. Add milk if batter is not pourable.
  5. Pour batter into skillet to desired pancake size.
  6. After about two minutes, flip. The top of the pancake should have bubbles breaking on the surface when it is ready to flip. Knowing when to flip takes practice, but you can’t screw it up too badly. You can use your spatula to peek under the edge to check before flipping.
  7. Remove after one more minute (or so) on the other side.
  8. Apply butter and syrup. (Pure maple syrup. Anything else is blasphemy.)

if your pancakes are turning out a little bit uncooked in the middle, it means the batter was too thick. add more milk next time!

this is based on the pancake recipe in how to cook everything by mark bittman.