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The Basics: No Knead Bread

I bring you… No Knead Bread. Yes – that’s right. Make your own crusty, crunchy, delicious bread – without kneading or any other fancy techniques involved. I see your faces – that’s the same reaction I get from everybody else – and to be honest before trying this recipe, the thought of making my own bread never even crossed my mind!

Ahu Eats - No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

And then…. I tried it. There is something so beautiful about the yeast magically bubbling throughout the dough and then the smell of fresh bread winding throughout your house. Once you make your own bread, it’s hard to go back to those pedestrian grocery store loaves. The taste and smell are amazing, no worrying about chemicals or funny ingredients and it saves money… why wouldn’t you make your own bread!?

Ahu Eats - No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey’s famous recipe, the beauty of this recipe is the yeast does all the work for you. You simply have to mix your dough ingredients, let it sit overnight, give it a couple flops, then pop it into a screaming hot oven the next day. Fresh bread, ready to eat. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool for an hour!

Ahu Eats - No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

The flavor is somewhere between a basic artisan loaf and a sourdough – perfect basic flavor that can be used for sandwiches, spreads, or just eating fresh out of the oven. You can add many things to flavor the dough itself, but let’s stick to the basics for now.

Ahu Eats: No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

5.0 from 1 reviews
No Knead Bread
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: French
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Adapted from Jim Lahey's famous No Knead Bread recipe - this recipe will have you eating delicious, crusty, fresh bread straight from your own oven.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur Flour)
  • 1½ - 1⅝ cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1.25 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all your ingredients together in a large bowl (you'll need the extra space) until it's a sludgy, slurry like texture.
  2. Cover and let sit in a dark, warm (70 F or so) place for 12-14 hours. ***If you start your dough at around 5pm, you'll have bread ready to eat for lunch the next day.
  3. Your dough will be bubbly and sticky. Turn it onto a generously floured surface and dust with more flour and cover for another 15 minutes.
  4. Try to form your dough into a ball and turn it out onto lightly floured kitchen towel and cover with another lightly floured towel. ***Note: mine is usually more blobular than ball-like at this stage, but fret not. It will come out just fine!
  5. Your dough needs to rest for 2 hours. About 90 minutes in, preheat your oven to 450F or 500 F (as hot as it goes) with a dutch oven inside (leave the lid off).
  6. Once your oven is hot and the dough has rested, remove the dutch oven with oven mitts and carefully place your dough into it - or more like flop it in like I do.
  7. With your mitts, give your dutch oven a jiggle to allow the dough to distribute, cover with the lid and place back in the oven.
  8. Cook, covered, for 35 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid, and cook for another 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and LET IT COOL on a wire rack for another 45 mins - 1 hour before slicing into it. This is very important, if you slice too soon it will seem raw inside.
  11. If you don't plan to finish the bread within a day, slice it up, wrap tightly and freeze.

 

Other posts in my The Basics series: Quinoa.

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Burst Tomatoes – Summer’s Last Gasps

As summer draws to a close and another glorious tomato season comes to its peak, I find myself gravitating towards the simplest methods of preparation that really showcase the beautiful flavor of the tomato. This recipe for Burst Tomatoes does exactly that – simple, easy (3 ingredients!!!) and brings out the sweet freshness of your finest tomatoes. It can be used as a pasta sauce, spread (like a savory jam!) or even over meat or fish.

Ahu Eats: Burst Tomatoes Sauce

Burst Tomatoes Sauce

This sauce really hits all the senses – the smell of the garlic in the oil is incredible, the colors of the tomatoes are striking and the flavor is fresh yet rich.

Ahu Eats: Burst Tomatoes - Almost Ready!

Burst Tomatoes – Almost Ready!

I enjoyed these burst tomatoes on top of some fresh bread that I made studded with jalapeno-stuffed olives (recipe to come!) – almost like a savory jam and toast. Delicious!

Ahu Eats: Burst Tomatoes Sauce

Burst Tomatoes Sauce

Burst Tomatoes
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A fresh, delicious and hearty tomato sauce with just 3 ingredients - ready in 20 minutes!
Ingredients
  • 2 pints of the most beautiful grape, cherry or plum tomatoes you can find
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil to a nonstick pan and let it heat on medium heat while you slice up the garlic.
  2. Throw the garlic into the oil and let it infuse for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add your tomatoes in whole and stir gently for about 10-15 minutes until most or all of them have bursted and the consistency is like a compote.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Rose Infused Meringue Cookies with Pistachio Dust

Ahu Eats: Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

I found out a couple weeks ago that I have to move by the end of September. What’s that you said, you love moving? I know with the support of my family, friends and a nice bottle of Hendrick’s gin I will make it through this, but I was definitely caught off guard when I got the news.

Ahu Eats: Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

So what was the first thing I did when I got this upsetting news (besides calling my mom for some sympathy!)? Baked all weekend! There’s no therapy quite like food therapy and how could anybody feel down when they are a eating a light, fluffy cloud infused with the flavor of roses and dusted with pistachios! Not me.

Ahu Eats: Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

I felt so much better after I made these lovely cookies, using my brand new, gigantor Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer (purchased a week prior to finding I have to move, and a week after writing about essential tools for a tiny kitchen). But I don’t regret it one bit – whipping those egg whites with sugar into clouds that are so light they dissolve the moment they meet your tongue never felt better.

Rose Water Meringue - Pastry Bag

Pastry Bag? No way – use a big ziploc bag and cut off the tip!

These meringues are a play on the classic flourless cookie infused with a slight hint of rose. You can find rosewater in most major grocery stores in the ethnic food aisle.

Ahu Eats: Rose-Infused Meringue Cookies

Rose-Infused Meringue Cookies – ready for the oven!

They can be garnished with some pistachios pulsed in the food processor or other nuts you’ve pulsed in the food processor for a few minutes – or just serve plain. They are a light, fluffy delight either way but the nuts add an extra crunch, flavor and look beautiful.

Ahu Eats: Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

Rose Infused Meringue with Pistachio Dust

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Rose Infused Meringue Cookies with Pistachio Dust
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French, Middle Eastern
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
These beautiful meringues are light, delicate and floral. The pistachio dust makes them really pop - perfect for brunch or a celebration!
Ingredients
  • 4 egg whites, at room temp
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • ⅓ cup of shelled pistachios (optional)
Instructions
  1. To prepare: start a double boiler, put wax paper on two cookie sheets and also preheat your oven to 200 F.
  2. Combine the egg whites and the cream of tartar. The cream of tartar will stabilize the egg whites and make sure they don't lose their shape or fall - particularly important in humid conditions.
  3. Put the egg white mixture in a glass bowl over your double boiler and add the sugar. Stir with a whisk constantly until all the sugar is dissolved (about 5 minutes or so).
  4. Transfer the egg white - sugar mixture to your stand mixer.
  5. Start your mixer with the whisk attachment on the lowest setting for a minute, then bump it up to medium for another minute. Now is where the fun starts...
  6. Increase the mixer speed to the highest and whip the sh*t out of it for about another 8-10 minutes until you have stiff peaks.
  7. Add in your rosewater and mix for another 30 seconds or so.
  8. Scoop your thick mixture into a large ziploc bag (or pastry bag if you're fancy). This part gets messy so have some paper towels or a rag on hand!
  9. Cut the end off the ziploc bag for piping - depending on what shape you want your meringues you might cut it smaller or bigger.
  10. Pipe out your cookies - I went simple and basically made a Hershey's Kiss shape. You may have to use two cookie sheets.
  11. Pulse your pistachios in a food processor for about 30 seconds until there are no large chunks and sprinkle over your meringues. Marvel at it's beauty.
  12. Bake your cookies low and slow for about 1.5 - 2.5 hours. You'll know they're ready when they lift off the parchment paper without any struggle or mess. I'd recommend checking every 30 minutes starting at 1 hour.
  13. Let your cookies cool IN the oven - simply turn it off and let the cookies sit there for another 1-2 hours.
  14. Enjoy right away or store in an air tight container for a week or two!

 

Ahu Eats: Rose Infused Meringues with Pistachio Dust

Rose Infused Meringues with Pistachio Dust

 

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The Basics: A Foolproof Recipe for Fluffy, Delicious Quinoa

Hey you out there. Yep, YOU. I want you to know that you can make perfectly fluffy quinoa – every single time. It’s easy and you can go from rinsing quinoa to eating it in about 20 minutes flat!

Ahu Eats: Fluffy quinoa - every time!

Fluffy quinoa – every single time!

Let’s take a step back – what exactly is quinoa and why do I like it? It’s a high-protein, gluten-free grain that packs a nutty punch and can be used in soups, as a side dish or pretty much whenever you might otherwise use rice. I personally love it because it tastes great, pairs beautifully with most vegetables or proteins and once you learn this technique, it can be ready in about 20 minutes!

Like rice or other grains, it can sometimes be tricky to prepare and nobody likes mushy or crunchy quinoa! After making quinoa about 100 times in the last few years, I’ve mastered the way to prepare this super grain and I want to share it with you! So follow this foolproof recipe for perfect, fluffy quinoa every single time! The fun really starts when you add in lots of delicious things to your quinoa – my favorite is whatever vegetables are in season and a generous squeeze of lemon or lime on top. It’s the perfect light meal!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Foolproof Basic Quinoa
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
20 minutes to perfectly fluffy quinoa every single time!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cup water or broth for more flavor
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Season with: a teaspoon of your favorite spice (I like turmeric or cumin) or some minced garlic
Instructions
  1. Rinse your quinoa very well 4-5 times making sure to strain out any particles. Let it sit in water for a few minutes before draining completely.
  2. Add the quinoa and the 1⅓ cup of water to a pot.
  3. Add in the salt, pepper and turmeric (you can really add any spice here... pick one!).
  4. Bring the quinoa to a boil over medium heat.
  5. Once boiled, reduce to a low simmer and cover.
  6. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes - do not remove the lid!
  7. Keeping the lid on, remove the pot from the heat and let sit for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork - serve and enjoy!

 

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Do you live in a big city apartment? Or maybe one of those futuristic pod homes?  Then chances are your kitchen is about the size of your closet… it might even be in your closet if you’re one of the really lucky ones :)

Makes me feel better about my kitchen

Look, it’s a kitchen… in a closet!

After having lived in various tiny Manhattan apartments (the smallest one being 311 square feet!) I’ve learned first-hand what you absolutely need in a small kitchen, what’s nice to have and which ones are total a waste of space! You really learn to maximize square inches with the tools, gadgets and bakeware that will do many things and well. So here is a definitive working list of the essential tools that will help you cook your way through most recipes out there! The focus here is quality over quantity and items that are multi-purpose. I would love to hear, what are the kitchen tools that you absolutely can’t live without? What tools are just collecting dust?

Cookware

Must haves:

  • Nonstick Skillet: your stove top workhorse – handles everything from eggs to meat to grilled cheese!
  • Non-Stick Pot: use it to boil eggs, make soup, cook rice and anything that requires high sides.
  • Small Sauce Pan: use it for…. (duh) sauces, as a double boiler and even to hard boil one or two eggs at a time!

Nice-to-haves:

  • A cast-iron skillet: I put this under optional because it’s super heavy, takes up space and I personally rarely make things like steak or a skillet bake at home.
  • Crock pot: Multi-functional, but depending on how you eat this may not have a use in your home – it doesn’t in mine.

Total waste of space:

  • Bread machine: use the no-knead bread and bake in your dutch oven.
  • Rice maker: Seriously people!? Rice is super easy in a non-stick pot!

Bakeware

Must haves:

  • Large Cookie / Baking Sheet: find one that can withstand up to 500 F temperature – use this for pizza, cookies, bread, roasting nuts and even veggies. Get the biggest size your oven can accommodate – you’ll use this bad boy for everything! The back side can be used to cool anything flat – like a toffee or caramel.
  • Dutch Oven: you can make a million things in this including bread (goodbye bread machine)!
  • Casserole Dish: great for casseroles (duh #2) and anything else you’d want to serve in the same dish it was baked in. I also use mine to roast small quantities!

Nice-to-haves:

  • Loaf pan: good if you make quick breads often.
  • Jelly roll pan: higher sides than a cookie sheet – you can also use this to roast veggies !
  • Round cake pan: Useful if you make layer cakes often – you’ll need 2.
  • Spring form pan: Make a lot of cheesecakes? Then get one of these.

Total waste of space:

  • Those little single serve / special shaped cocottes – I mean they are adorable but you’ll probably use them once a year and they are a pain to store!

Cutlery

Must have:

  • Large Chef’s Knife: I love my Wusthof 8″ but really wish I had splurged on the 10″ double wide. A good chef’s knife will get you through many situations – if you learn how to wield it correctly it will be good to you. If anybody is looking for an idea of what to buy me for my birthday, look no further than this Wusthof 10-Inch Wide Chef’s Knife
  • Small Paring Knife: a 3″ paring knife will help you slice and dice your way through delicate and smaller jobs – peeling, coring, and splitting.
  • Serrated Knife: unless you don’t eat bread, tomatoes or are otherwise not human, you need a serrated knife. Those jagged blades grip onto softer surfaces and slice right through them.
  • The right cutting boards – a plastic board for meat, poultry and seafood and a wooden board for everything else.

Nice to have:

  • A pizza cutter: you can get by with the chef’s knife but a pizza cutter will slice through pizza, thinner breads (focaccia) and candies.
  • Cheese knife set: versatile and great if you entertain a lot. I default to 3 types of cheese – 1 hard (like manchego or aged cheddar), 1 soft (camembert or brie) and 1 mild crowd pleaser (like a smoked gouda) – set them on a nice wooden board and add grapes, figs and crackers!

Total waste of space:

  • Automatic knife sharpener: if you insist on maintaining your own knifes, get a traditional sharpening steel. Note: despite the misleading names, these products do not sharpen your knives, they only maintain the sharpness if used properly. Have your knives professionally sharpened once a year if you can.

Tools

Must have:

  • Can opener: well… how else are you going to open cans?!
  • Corkscrew/beer opener: duh!
  • Strainer or sieve: you can use this for straining solids, liquids, or even for things like tea.

Nice to have:

  • Flour sifter: if you’re a baker, you’ll need one. You can even find a tiny 1-cup flour sifter – that’s what I use and it works great!

Total waste of space:

  • There are millions! I’m thinking!

Gadgets & Other Stuff

Must have:

  • Small Food ProcessorMost of the major appliance makers carry the cutest little food processors. They come in fun colors and the 3-cup sized capacity is good for a lot of projects from hummus to pesto.
  • Silpat or non-stick sheet: great for frequent bakers – so that your food doesn’t stick to the baking sheet. Washable and easy to reuse.

Nice to have:

  • Stick blender: Also called an immersion blender, primarily used to make blended soups and purees. Added bonus: you don’t have to transfer your hot soup to the blender to use it!

Total waste of space:

  • How about those toaster ovens that toast the face of Hello Kitty into your bread. Brilliant but not a necessity!

Note: this post includes affiliate links.

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Recipe: Blueberry Curd & Lemon Glaze Cake

Ahu Eats: Ahu Eats: Blueberry Curd Cake with Lemon Glaze

Blueberry Curd Cake with Lemon Glaze

Most people know and love lemon curd – it’s tangy, smooth and is usually found in cakes or as a sort of jam. But what about all the other beautiful fruits out there just waiting to be… curd-ified?! (That sounds like a real word. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it)

Ahu Eats: Blueberry Curd

Blueberry Curd – the most amazing color

Well, turns out you can make curd with a lot of fruits! Any citrus or berry – and I’ve seen even seen it with tropical fruits like mango! So find some beautiful fruit and get to curdling! :)

Ahu Eats: Blueberry Curd on Vanilla Cake Base

Blueberry Curd on Vanilla Cake Base

There are lots of magical things you can do with fruit curds. I loved the thought of a cake that looked white on the outside and when you cut into it a beautifully rich purple pops out, but the possibilities are endless!  You may want to feature your curd in a more visible way… Or just spoon it directly to your mouth… whatever works! Note, this cake was made with my favorite basic cake recipe: the 1-2-3-4 cake.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Recipe: Blueberry Curd
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Beautifully deep purple blueberry curd. Use it in a layer cake, with scones or as a jam! Makes about a cup of curd - enough for a 9-inch cake.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • splash of water
Instructions
  1. Combine the blueberries and water in a small saucepan. Cover and let it simmer until everything is super mushy and smells good. Optional: you can add some lemon zest here if you like. This step takes about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Strain your blueberries to get the chunks out - we want our curd to be smooth and shiny!
  3. Set up a double boiler - bring about an inch of water to a low simmer in a small pan and put your curd in a glass bowl over the simmering water.
  4. Whisk in the butter and sugar until everything is uniformly combined.
  5. Add in your egg and whisk gently until the whole thing reduces and gets to a thicker consistency. This can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes - but the test of readiness is if the curd coats the back of a spoon. It will continue to firm up after you take it off the heat.
  6. Remove your curd from the heat - you can either use it immediately (yum!) or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

Ahu Eats: Blueberry Curd on Vanilla Cake Base

Blueberry Curd on Vanilla Cake Base

This lemon glaze is the simplest frosting – and the tart lemon is a great complement to both the color and flavor of the blueberry!

Bonus Recipe: Lemon Glaze – Enough to glaze one 9 inch cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons, strained

Instructions

  1. Put your sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice a bit at a time and mix until the glaze reached the desired consistency. I like mine quite thick but just loose enough to pour over the cake.
  3. Pour it over your cake – it will spread beautifully itself but might need some encouragement from a frosting knife.
Ahu Eats: Blueberry Curd Cake with Lemon Glaze

Blueberry Curd Cake with Lemon Glaze

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Recipe: Rosewater Lemonade

Housekeeping Alert! You may have noticed that Ahu Eats looks slightly different – that’s because we’ve officially moved to WordPress. Woohoo! More changes are coming over the next month – both to the look and feel and as we clean up any little quirks, so stay tuned as we get a full ‘face lift’! In the meantime I’ve even started a full guide for Food Bloggers, including some thoughts on migrating from Blogger to WordPress!

Now on to the real serious business…. the yummy stuff.

We’ve officially passed the halfway point of summer so most of you have spent the better part of the last 7 weeks melting, frying, burning or some combination of the above. So if you gravitate towards sources of air conditioning, the sound of ice cream trucks and cool beverages like I do in the summertime, you will appreciate this Rosewater Lemonade.

Ahu Eats: Rose Infused Lemonade

Rose Infused Lemonade

Light, easy to assemble and a pleasure to drink, this Middle Eastern twist on the classic lemonade is sure to distract you from that bead of sweat forming on the back of your neck. The rosewater adds a floral hint that is the perfect pick-me-up! I mean, who doesn’t love flowers!? Perfect for your next brunch or afternoon tea.

Recipe: Rosewater Lemonade
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Refreshing rose lemonade - easy, simple and delightful!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of rosewater - can be found in the ethnic section of your local grocer or online
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and 1 cup of water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Let the simple syrup cool.
  3. Juice your lemons and to it add the simple syrup, the salt and the remaining water.
  4. Add in the rosewater ½ a tablespoon at a time until you get the flavor you like.
  5. Variations: use sparkling water instead of tap, freeze this lemonade into beautiful ice cubes or add it to some prosecco for a lovely brunch cocktail!
  6. I use frozen fruit or fruit frozen into ice cubes in my drinks - it makes things so much more beautiful and at the end of your drink you have a snack - it's a win-win! Click to read more about Frozen Fruit Sl-Ices (see what I did there?).

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Here are some other summery recipes to get you through the dog days! And if you’re on Facebook, visit us on our new Facebook page for more updates!

 

Any of the trio of yogurt dips: spinach, cucumber or shallots - serve with bread for a cooling light meal

Persian Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream – ice cream! Need I say more!

Quinoa Tabbouleh – a quick summer dinner that requires minimal stove time!

Fruity Ice Cubes - Use these in the Rosewater Lemonade!

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus – for those nights when all you can muster is to throw things into the food processor and hit ‘blend’

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