It’s snowing. Winter Storm Anna. When it snows I bake bread. I started both of the breads I made yesterday. We all have our ways to prepare for a snow storm.
The Jim Lahey No Knead Bread was started yesterday morning. Click here for the recipe if you have not tried the No Knead Bread yet.
The Chocolate Babka recipe was started last night. I cut the recipe was cut in half. I did not want 2 large loaves of bread. This week I picked up to small loaf pans, thinking I could make 2 smaller loaves. It worked out nicely. The bread is really good. I did over bake it a bit but it retained the flaky quality. And the chocolate filling, well forgetaboutit! The recipe is from Food & Wine. Click here for the recipe. I had time today to check out the new Bon Appetit, the Bread Issue, and they have a Chocolate Babka recipe. I will have to try that one next.
Then there was dinner. I make a Crock Pot Chili. “Wow!’ Yes that was a quote from Chris during dinner. It was the perfect dinner for a snowy day. I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven blog, I love the name of this blog!
Slow Cooker Chili from Gimme Some Oven –
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped (*add more for extra smokyness and heat)
2 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (**see below for substitution ideas)
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 cup beer or beef broth
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
(Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips or strips, thinly-sliced green onions, sour
cream, salsa, etc.)
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onion and garlic and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the beef is completely browned, crumbling the beef with a spoon as it cooks. Drain about half of the excess fat. Then transfer the beef into the bottom of a slow cooker.
Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings if need be.
Serve warm, with desired toppings.
And I made Homemade Cheez-Its from Food 52 to go with the Chili. You can not eat just one. At first I thought I put in too much salt but heck no! Perfect amount. Next time I will try adding some cayenne pepper.
Homemade Cheez-Its from Food 52–
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 1/2 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) finely grated sharp cheddar
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and cheese and pulse until very well combined. Add 2 tablespoons water and pulse until the dough is just wet enough to hold together when squeezed. Add up to 2 tablespoons more water if necessary.
Divide the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Press each half of dough into a flat square, wrap well, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Working with one square at a time, roll the dough out to a scant 1/8-inch thick. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut the dough into 3/4 inch-wide strips. Then cut the dough in the other direction to make 3/4-inch squares. Use the flat end of a wooden skewer to poke a hole in the center of each square. Freeze the dough until firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Brush half a sheet with the egg white and sprinkle with salt. Use an offset spatula to gently break the egg washed dough apart and place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until puffed and set and browned on the bottom, about 14 to 16 minutes. (Make sure to cook them well so that the finished crackers are crisp. Completely frozen dough may take a few extra minutes to bake.) Transfer the parchment with the bake crackers onto a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining frozen crackers. Store the cooled crackers in an airtight container.