I love to cook. I don't cook nearly as much as I'd like; and when I say 'cook' I mean create something delicious not just feed the family. During the week I keep things pretty basic and simple. My fiance and I have very different tastes in food (he's a carnivore to the extreme, I'm a budding vegetarian) so I end up cooking 2 versions of dinner on the nights I cook (which is most nights).
Today I ventured into a new realm of cooking... homemade bread, with yeast and everything! I originally planned on making english muffins but then decided to make an English Muffin Loaf instead, because, honestly, it looked easier.
After gathering my ingredients I noticed that I'd bought the wrong kind of yeast and had to run to the store for instant (aka rapid rise) yeast. I don't have a thermometer so had to guess at the temp of the milk/oil/water mixture, this may be the reason my dough didn't right the way I wanted it to. This dough is a very sticky and soft dough and as I was transferring it into the loaf pan I noticed a good amount of flour hadn't been mixed in so I mixed it in with my hands, basically kneading the dough; this also may be the culprit for the less than fluffy texture of my bread.
I followed the tip about boiling water and letting the loaf rise in the microwave with the cup of boiling water. I checked on it at 45 minutes and it wasn't done rising, so I reboiled the water and gave it another 15 minutes. It had risen a bit more, but still not to where I wanted it, but I figured it was done rising. I popped it in the over and 27 minutes later I had freshly baked English Muffin bread.
While the bread cooled we took a 7 mile family walk along the rail trail. When we got back the house still smelled like fresh baked bread and I was famished! I had a slice toasted with butter with my lunch and it was quite tasty!
For dinner I decided to try something a little different as well. According to the menu board tonight was burger night. So I decided to make myself a portobello burger. I searched several recipes online and almost all of them suggested marinading the mushrooms in a balsamic/evoo type marinade. I used balsamic vinegar, evoo, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. I only marinaded them for about 20 minutes. For a side I sauteed some kale with evoo, garlic, and onions topped with feta. There were also some leftover tater tots (which I made to go with the fiances cheeseburger) so I had a few of those as well. The portobello burgers came out very nicely, the texture was nice a 'meaty' and the marinade was perfect. I topped my burger with feta, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and black olives.
I've also noticed that my camera really SUCKS and I should really get a new one... soon!