Baby Bella Soup with Parmesan Croutons

mushrooms

Storm’s a blowin’ in California – we’ve got inches of rain on the way and severe wind warnings here in San Luis Obispo County.  I don’t know much about Harvest, but I feel like the remaining grapes must be blowing off the vines…there are tree branches down everywhere and the power is on and off.  Our driveway is even littered with paint that has literally been blown/power-washed off the fence.  Yikes.

So what does a terribly rainy day remind you of, besides for dangerous driving conditions and possible flooding?  To be honest, I’m considering popping open a bottle of wine – why not?  If you are not so inclined….soup is absolutely the next best thing!  Luckily we have propane out here in the country and my stove still works, because this is a delicious recipe for a miserable day.

mushroom soup

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Pita Bread

pitas!

I got a pocket got a pocket full of … deliciousness!

Pita bread is incredibly easy and incredibly fast to make! I’ve always loved pitas stuffed with sandwich ingredients – they’re less messy and fun to eat.  In fact, this year’s favorite summer sandwich (I usually find a new favorite every year) has been a pita with goat cheese, avocado, and tomato.

In the past, I’ve actually used pizza dough to make a pseudo pita bread (they’re very similar), but I finally decided to go for a technical pita bread recipe when I found a recipe for baked falafel (coming soon!). Also, homemade pitas are hugely better than homemade – especially when they are still warm from the oven.  Divine.

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“Famous” No-Knead Bread

no knead

If you’re a reader of food blogs or the NY Times, you’ve probably heard of this recipe – Jim Lahey of NYC’s Sullivan Street Bakery was featured in a 2006 article, and the rest is history.  The news of a bread that you don’t have to knead – so easy a preschooler could make it – spread to home kitchens everywhere.  Oh, the Internet.

If you’ve ever been to my house, there’s a good chance you’ve tried this bread.  I make it all the time.  All it takes is mixing a few ingredients together before work, and letting it sit all day.  The yeast does all the work.  And let me tell you, having fresh bread around all the time is amazing!!!  And cheaper anddd better tasting than store-bought.

So without further ado…why don’t you head into the kitchen and throw this gem together?

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Deli-Style Rye Bread

rye bread

There are a lot of foods that are plentiful on the East Coast but scarce (or incomparable) on the West Coast.  Among these are bagels, mozzarella cheese, pizza…and rye bread.  In winter 2007 my grandma (who is from Vermont) came to stay at our house for a few months, and whenever my mom went to the store my grandma would ask her to get some good rye bread.  Jewish deli-style rye bread is nearly impossible to find out here, so my poor grandma had to do without while she was here.  Too bad I was going to school 3,000 miles away (enjoying all the NY-style pizza, mozzarella, bagels, and rye bread I wanted)…if I had been home, I could have made her this bread, which is quite delicious and definitely comparable to what you get in the Jerz.  Read on for the recipe!

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