I have always loved pita bread. Gyros were a childhood obsession. Its bready but not overwhelming, and delicious wrapped around a sandwich or dipped in tzatziki sauce (or wrapped around a sandwich WITH tzatziki sauce. . .mmmmm).
Pita bread with just a little whole wheat added in for healthiness!
Heat up your water in the microwave or the stove until its hot to the touch. Pour water into medium sized mixing bowl, and add yeast. Mix the yeast and water until the yeast is dissolved, and then let it sit for 5 minutes.
Add flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil. Mix well! Don't stop stirring until its all clumped together.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, and knead for 5-7 minutes. More is better.
Clean out the mixing bowl, and put some more oil in it. Coat the dough and the sides of the bowl with oil, so it won't dry out. Let it rise for one hour. For speedy rising, heat the oven a little, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Set the dough to rise in the oven.
Remember to turn the oven off before you put the dough in the oven!
Divide dough into about 8 sections (you can get 9 if you just eyeball it). Roll each section out as large as you like. Thinner pita won't bubble as much or be as fluffy.
Heat up a nonstick pan on the stove - at about medium heat - and put a tiny bit of oil in it. Wipe out excess oil, unless you are ok with oily pitas.
Set a pita in the pan to cook. Let it cook for about a minute; it should start to bubble. Flip it over, and cook for a few more seconds on the other side before taking it off the heat to cool. Repeat until you have no more pita!
The other day, I was looking for a new recipe to try for dinner – one can only eat the same thing so many times in a row! I found a promising recipe on foodnetwork.com, made some adjustments, and added mushrooms. It reminds me of something I might have had at Olive Garden. . .
Parmesan Chicken and Mushrooms
Chicken and mushrooms in a delicious parmesan and cream sauce. It goes really well with pasta, though you could also serve it with rice if you wanted something a little lighter.
Heat up oil in saucepan on the stove. While its warming up, chop up your onion and garlic. Cook the minced onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Chop up your chicken into 1 inch pieces, and lightly salt (and sprinkle with garlic powder too, if you like!). Chop up the mushrooms. Add the chicken and the mushrooms to the onions and garlic in the saucepan. Cook until your chicken is lightly brown on all sides.
Add thyme and bay leaves. Cook for another minute or two, then add the heavy cream. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Let the chicken cook through (4-5 minutes).
Add the parmesan cheese and chives. Allow the cheese to melt and blend with the cream. The sauce should thicken a bit.
Take the chicken and sauce off the heat, and season with a dash of pepper (and salt, if required).
Serve over pasta or rice!
The first time I made this, I used milk and butter instead of the heavy cream (I almost never have heavy cream in the house - its dangerous!). It tasted great, but the sauce did not thicken as well, and it was not as pretty. So, in case you were wondering whether you can substitute milk for the heavy cream, the answer is yes, but you'll definitely have to do something else to thicken up the sauce.
Prepare your carrots. Finely grating them in fine, but so is cooking them down and mashing them. Put to the side.
Beat your two eggs. Add in oil, sugar, pumpkin puree, molasses, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in another bowl. Combine your wet and dry mixtures.
Add carrots to your batter. Mix well. Pour the carroty mixture into a buttered 8x8 baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour. Make sure the cake is done by inserting a knife into the center; it should come out clean.
Its fairly common to cut the oil required in a carrot cake recipe with applesauce, but pumpkin puree works well too! Its especially practical if you've been cooking down a lot of pumpkin recently.
Blackstrap molasses actually tastes acceptable in this cake - possibly because it is not the main sweetener, it just gives the cake a nice brown color. You could probably also use brown sugar and no molasses.
This cake is good enough to be dessert for sure, especially if you ice it with cream cheese frosting. But I like to leave it plain and have it for breakfast with my morning coffee. Yum!