Archive | March, 2013

As of Late…

29 Mar

Life according to Instagram. Feel free to follow along!


Cheesy Garlic and Herb Bread

27 Mar


My name is Vinni and I’m addicted to carbs.

There is no way that I could ever follow a diet limiting carbohydrates. Whether it’s sweet bread, potatoes, or toast, I love carbs in every shape and form. That’s why when I came across this recipe from pinterest, I was determined to bake it. I didn’t attempt to make the twisted braid detail in the original recipe, but my easier version of flipping the dough seam-side up turned out quite nicely. B and I enjoyed this bread as a snack and as a side to our lasagna (stay tuned for a future post about it) dinner. B’s reaction was, “You made this?!” I don’t know why he sounded so suprised… ;)


  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (can also use all purpose)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 tbsp. white or brown sugar (or 3 1/2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, about 95° F.
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. lukewarm buttermilk or milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter or vegetable oil


  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or about 2 tsp. minced fresh)
  • 1/4 cup minced herbs (parsley works well)
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar* together. (Tip: If measuring your flour in cups, without a scale, hold back 1 cup to add as needed later). *If you’re using honey or agave, add with the liquid ingredients instead.
  2. In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the water and buttermilk and whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Add this mixture, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients. Mix by hand or with a dough hook, until the mixture is combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Continue mixing the dough, adding more flour or water, as needed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, then form dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and either refrigerate for up to 4 days, or allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes).
  5. Note: If you have refrigerated your dough, remove from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking to allow it to come to room temperature.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Dust each with a bit of flour and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 16 inches long.
  7. Spread most of the filling ingredients evenly over the surface of the dough. Roll the dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.
  8. Grease two 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans.
  9. Place dough in pans seam-side up. Sprinkle top of dough with remaining filling ingredients.
  10. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 45-50 minutes total, but after 25 minutes of baking, rotate pans front-to-back in the oven and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil, to prevent the top from over-browning. Bread should reach about 185° F. internal temperature in the center.
  11. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove the loaves to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 50 min | Total time: 4 hours

*Makes: 2 loaves

Chipotle-Inspired Burrito Bowl

25 Mar


I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Chipotle. Whether it’s their fresh ingredients, locally farmed produce, or humanely raised meats, there’s a lot to love about it. One of their biggest fans is probably B, who back in his bachelor days, ate Chipotle any chance he had. He appreciated that a burrito bowl (his favorite) was more than enough food for his 6’2” frame (by the way, have you ever had the problem of eating out and not being full after your meal? It just ruins the whole experience). He also loves chicken, and the burrito bowl features a substantial amount of it. Since getting married, however, I’ve been cooking at home (Exibit: this ENTIRE blog) more often, which translates to less justification for him to eat out as frequently. So one thing I recently came up with, and was kind of dissappointed I didn’t think of earlier, was re-creating the beloved burrito bowl at home. It’s actually quite simple if you take it step by step.


I used rectangular dishes to simulate the Chipotle experience. I started a bowl with brown rice.


…then added black beans…


…sauteed onions and green peppers layered on top…


… I piled on plenty of chicken and diced tomatoes…


…a dallop (or several) of sour cream on top…


…and garnished with shredded cheese, salsa, and chopped green onions.

¡Qué delicioso!



(Note: All of the following measurements can be changed according to your preference)

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup cooked black beans (I used Bush’s black beans and cooked according to the directions on the label)

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup bell pepper, julienned

1/5 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup chicken

1 stalk chopped green onion

2 tbsp salsa

Shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese blend

Cooking oil

Taco seasoning

Salt to taste



Using a flat dish, place a layer of cooked brown rice. Layer black beans on top. Set aside.

In a saute pan, place a small amount (approx. 1 tbsp) of oil. Put in peppers and onions. Cook until tender. Add salt and taco seasoning to taste. Layer pepper/onion mixture on top of black beans/rice.

Chop chicken into bite sized pieces. Sauté in an oiled sauce pan, and season with taco seasoning and salt to taste. Sauté until thoroughly cooked. Layer cooked chicken on top of pepper/onions.

Continue to layer with tomatoes, salsa, sour cream. Top with shredded cheese and garnish with green onion. Enjoy with tortilla chips on the side.

*Serves 1