One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Donuts!

One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!

After two years here, I do not claim to be a healthy blog. I eat how I grew up - things that are quick, things covered in fat, things in moderation because my parents had to feed five. I eat what I like. I eat what I want Nolan to come home to - things that are warm, fragrant. Things that make it worth coming home for. It's the easiest part of building a home. Thank God it's my favorite, too.

I do not claim to be a good cook. I'm an average baker when I put the energy into it. But I have my favorites down--roast chicken, kale, eggs, and pizza. We rotate. We sometimes just have cereal when neither of us want to cook. We hardly ever eat out anymore. It's so different than California, when our one bedroom was scattered with paper napkins and plastic forks. But, then again, we are different, too. A year can be a lifetime and thank God we've had a few to learn and try to get this thing right.

Our dogs know the routine now for when it's pizza night, they begin following me around the kitchen when the oven is still preheating. When the yeast is blooming. When the dough is punched and my hands are too floured to pet their needy heads. They always get the end pieces, the burnt edges, the marinara off our plates. We don't mind. Thank God for them.

A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram a photo of some leftover dough turned into a donut. Using my favorite dough recipe and adapting it to a sweetened donut has become a ritual now for us. I make extra, I put it in a cake stand for the morning. I cover them in powdered sugar like I did for my other donut recipe. We wake up to these and a warm cup of coffee. And thank God for that.

One Dough, Two Ways!

One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!

Basic Dough Recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (of course, Red Star is my preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar (additional 1/3 cup if making donuts)
  • 1 cup water, warmed to 105*F
  • 2 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Basic Dough Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together yeast, sugar, and water
  2. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until water is foamy and yeast is activated
  3. While yeast is blooming, sift together flour and salt (and sugar if making a sweet dough)
  4. With mixer on low and a dough hook attached, begin to slowly add in a bit of flour at a time
  5. A dough will begin to form, but it will be dry. Add your butter and oil to wet dough slightly
  6. Roll out onto a floured work surface. Refer to the below instructions for further direction on making your pizza or donuts!

For the pizza: Use the above recipe. Preheat oven to 450*F. Using a Silpat or parchment paper, roll your dough out on top of it. Cut out excess dough on the edges to avoid too much crust. Add your desired toppings. Once you have the pizza assembled, bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

For me, I made a Flammekeuche (tarte flambée), which is a traditional Alsatian dish that is honestly delicious. I used a half cup sour cream, and half a yellow onion (sliced) and 6 slices of bacon (make sure you cook the bacon fully before baking the pizza). 

One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!

For the donuts: Roll out dough onto a floured work surface to about 1 inch. Cut out your donuts shapes. Allow to rest for five minutes. While dough is resting briefly, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 325*F in a Dutch oven. Prepare a plate with a paper towel. Fry two donuts at a time, turning once and allowing each side to fry for about 15-20 seconds or until browned. Transfer to your prepared plate to drain any excess grease. Repeat with remaining dough (and donut holes!). Shake in confectioner's sugar. They're good for about 2 days!

One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
One Dough, Two Ways: Pizza and Doughnuts!
Follow my instagram @figandbleu!

Thank you to Red Star Yeast for sponsoring this post. I believe in using quality products when it comes to baking and I am always confident my dough will rise beautifully with Red Star! Check out the active dry yeast I used for this recipe and others on their website, follow them on instagram and like their Facebook!

And while you're at it...like my Facebook and Instagram too!

Breakfast in the Morning, a Fire in the Evening

How to Turn Brunch into a Fireside Platter

There was a period this summer where Nolan worked something like 13 days in a row. Working from home, this was hard on the both of us--he was exhausted and I was lonely. I'm so accustomed to having him around at his odd work hours that I wanted to make sure he knew how special that time we spend together is for me. So I had the idea to make a combo breakfast in bed and fireside dinner.

How to Turn Brunch into a Fireside Platter

We pulled out the couch bed and watched an old movie and fell asleep with beer on our breath. I woke up an hour earlier and made breakfast. Assembled the pastries I had bought the day before, mixed a heavy-handed mimosa, sliced some fruit and cheese and made flipped pancakes. We ended up, stretched out and full, watching the Lion King.

It gets cold here at night, even when it's muggy during the day. So a fire in August still felt right. That night, when chores were done and we napped a couple times, I pulled the lawn chairs down and we burned some old cardboard boxes and broken branches. We killed off the pasties, the champagne. We had fruit and cheese and crackers. A few hard-boiled eggs and nothing else was needed. It's how we like to eat when we're prepared. 

How to Make a Breakfast in Bed/Fireside Platter

Do:

  • Buy pastries the day before instead of trying to make them
  • Make sure the champagne and orange juice are chilled
  • Have flowers available for a special touch
  • Have a lap desk/tray so you're not balancing everything dangerously in bed
  • Make the pancake batter the night before so you're not messing with it when you're tired and rushing
  • Boil some eggs 
  • Save every leftover-even if a pastry just has a bite in it
  • Give some condiment options in the evening - we had some mustard lying around that was perfect for this
  • Transfer everything to a platter, nix the orange juice in the evening, kill off the champagne and add a few eggs for dinner!
     

Don't:

  • Worry if not everything looks perfect--it's the thought that counts
  • Forget to make coffee
  • Forget to have back-up drinks once the champagne is done in the evening
  • Try to get too fancy with dinner, it's more about snacking than anything
  • Leave the platter out too long - take it out when you're hungry to stop flies from swarming
  • Use any silverware for dinner; use your hands and even feed each other (I think we ended up having a grape catching contest over the fire haha)
  • Litter when you're done! Take everything inside!

 

How to turn Breakfast into a Fireside Platter

A Muffin for this In-Between Month

Tahini Ginger Muffins

Decidedly, increasingly, it's getting colder around here. The dogs sleep on the bed with us, Murphy and Milo in the middle, sandwiched by my body and Nolan's. The window stays open and sometimes a stray moth floats in. If we bat it down with a tissue box or sock, it turns to dust and tumbles down.

I can't seem to stay awake. I can't seem to do much of anything, but everything is getting done. That's why I'm not a huge fan of September, because it's the in-between. It's the un-season. It's has the lazy transient waltz of earthworms and bumblebees. I want it to be over. I want it to be October. I want to celebrate my niece's birthday and wear layers and sit facing one of our pastures and dream of what comes next.

But in the meantime, we have our chores. I was cleaning out a cupboard when I found some muffin liners I thought were gone. I found some tahini, too, tucked behind a bottle of olive oil. And so I made muffins. Big, hearty ones. Ones that have a hint of molasses, a hint of fall on the tongue to keep us satiated and still waiting. 

Tahini Ginger Muffins

Tahini Ginger Muffins

Ingredient:

  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 4 TB unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs +1 yolk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 TB pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TB molasses
  • 3 TB candied ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F and prepare your muffin tin (I used a large muffin tin, if you use smaller, baking time will be reduced by 10 min or so)
  2. Sift together flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together tahini, butter, and sugar
  4. Add eggs and mix to combine. It will look a little lumpy at this stage
  5. In a measuring cup, whisk together milk, vanilla, and molasses
  6. With mixer on low, alternate adding your milk mixture and flour mixture to your tahini mixture
  7. Once a batter forms, fold in ginger
  8. Evenly distribute between your muffin tins
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top
  10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  11. These muffins are good for up to 4 days in an airtight container
Tahini Ginger Muffins
Tahini Ginger Muffins
Tahini Ginger Muffins

French in the morning: Oeufs au Plat

Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne

I'm still learning about the land we bought, the restless five acres that house hidden deer on the hill and raccoons behind the garage. We came back from Iceland this week, a six hour flight and a two-hour drive home. When we made the turn that led to our house, the expansive reality of our ownership surprised me. Five acres looks so much bigger when you've been staring at nothing but the mindlessness of an airplane cabin.

There are many things I didn't realize about the land. How much effort it takes to maintain it and how effortless it is to respect it. How cautious I am to burn anything. How fearful I am of giving our chickens anything that isn't first corroborated between two websites. How quiet it can be, home alone all day with lazy, dozing puppies. How lonesome the night feels sometimes when the sky, coquettish, hides behind sheets of moonlit clouds.

This is our first autumn at this house of ours. There are four bushes that are in our backyard. I ask Nolan what kinds they are, as they haven't yet blossomed or changed color. I know so little about these types of things. And, because of this, I am able to be surprised in the resolute sense that this world will shift forward without my incessant question-asking. 

The chickens will lay on their time.

The dogs will bark in the nighttime.

The bees continue to build their ruddy nests in places we haven't yet discovered.

And we may find a deer, broken and flattened, on the side of our driveway. This is through no fault of our own. None of it is, really.

I am beginning, just beginning, to find peace in acquiescing. To hold so little responsibility, to become a steward of our animals and this homestead I am responsible for, versus a master of anything. I hold no ego the way I once did. I hide behind no fantasy, the way I once did. Sometimes I cannot tell if I am exhausted from years of trying so hard to keep everything together, or if it was all in my head for nothing.

Next year, I'll know a little more. And this recipe is in preparation for it. Herb and tomato and egg from our land; I'm waiting for the day when I can taste it.

Tarragon and Garlic Ouefs au Plat Bressanne

Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne

Adapted from this recipe, this dish is perfect for a simple Sunday meal for two. Feel free to adjust your garlic, seasoning, and even herb choice as you like. Adaptable French is key to how I like my meals, you could say.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, diced finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 slices of quality bread, sat out to stale for a day or so
  • 2 eggs
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F and butter a small cake pan, baking dish, or skillet
  2. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream, garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bubbles just begin to form on the edge of the pan
  3. Remove from heat and let steep
  4. Lay bread in prepared pan
  5. Pour cream mixture over top
  6. Cream a small well in the center of your bread to nestle the egg yolks
  7. Crack your eggs over the bread
  8. Add tomatoes
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, but begin checking at 10 to see how your whites have set. You can take out anytime after 10, depending on desired runniness of your eggs
  10. Sprinkle with tarragon and any additional salt and pepper
  11. Best if eaten immediately
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne

My Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer Meal

A line from a song keeps running in my head - "Don't let this fading summer pass you by."

Hello, old friends, I'm back to blogging this month! There are so many recipes I've made that I haven't posted, and while I'm going to Iceland in just THREE (!) days, I still haven't even written about Vermont yet. But, I'm back. Back to a messy kitchen and a flour-covered camera. Back to cakes, back to breads. I'm trying my hand at savory more, as you've probably seen the last 3 recipes on here. 

I needed the time away. Sometimes I get gripped by the inextricable need to be a quitter, a runaway. I don't think it's a fault of mine, but it makes it hard to stick around long enough to see something blossom into success. I get bored. I get discouraged. I burn out. This summer, my priorities shifted a bit since we're back in Pennsylvania at our own house now. I'm doing more with Nolan's family, like weddings, showers, and christenings. I'm busier with housework, farm work, and my full-time job. So I didn't document what I ate as much lately. I haven't really been active on instagram. I haven't let the fading summer pass me by just yet.

With so many weekends away and trips to plan, we've been making more meals that are thrown together, roasted or sauteed for flavor, and all in one pan. The below is no different. In fact, it's the best kind of cookery that I enjoy the most. Easy, comforting, quick to keep the kitchen cool when it's muggy outside. In just weeks it will be cool and I'll want to have the oven on all the time. But for now, with the windows open and a breeze rustling the hair the nape of Elsa's neck, nothing is better than a quick meal so I have more time for connecting with the home I built and love so much.

Quick (and adaptable!) Cannellini Dinner!

cannellini dinner

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 15-20 green beans
  • 2 cups kale, chopped with stems removed
  • 2 cans 16 oz cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each for me!)
  • 1 or 2 hardboiled eggs
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, add bacon and begin to cook
  2. When browned and crisp around the edges, add your green beans and begin to cook down
  3. As the green beans cook, they will crisp around the tips and turn a vibrant green, turn heat to medium-low
  4. Next, add your kale and allow to wilt
  5. Add cannellini beans and stir constantly to warm
  6. Finally, add your garlic, salt and pepper
  7. Transfer to a bowl, add your egg and a squeeze of lemon and enjoy!

Note: You can really use any vegetables or meat for this, just follow the basic recipe to mix it up however you want!

cannellini dinner
cannellini dinner
cannellini dinner
cannellini dinner