from scratch

Fresh burger buns

I have always bought burger buns from my grocer’s bakery. We don’t often have burgers but when we do we do it the easy way. What’s not to like? It’s convenient to purchase ready made breads. Since I’ve made the decision to eat cleaner I’ve been learning how to make more of what we eat at home. When you make things from scratch you know exactly what is in your food. You also know that your food is free of any unpronounceable preservatives etc. I also happen to enjoy cooking from scratch, but whatever the reason you decide to make them these buns are delicious.

I found this  recipe by Chef John on Allrecipes.com and since I had already made another one of his bread recipes I decided I couldn’t go wrong.  I highly recommend that you try this recipe. For a complete list of ingredients, instructions and a video demonstration click here.

I don’t really have much else to say. This recipe makes eight generously sized buns. You could easily get ten buns out of it. In order to get equally sized buns I weighed the dough and figured out how much each of them should weigh. They are best the day you bake them but they will keep for a day or two in a zip bag.

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My taste tester!

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Also good in a BLT.

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Creamy rice with chicken and vegetables

I was in the mood for a hearty meal today and something creamy was catching my fancy. Now, creamy is one of those words that sets people off towards the gym but let’s be real, eating something indulgent once in a while is perfectly fine. I’ve seen recipes for creamy rice multiple times and a lot of them require canned cream of chicken or something along those lines. Personally, I am not a fan of canned anything so I wanted to make something similar but without all the additives.

The results were delicious. This is not the kind of dish that I would make often but it’s definitely one that I will add to my rotation.  I don’t have precise instructions on how to make it. I don’t measure unless I’m following a recipe, so the best I can do is share what I used and how I cooked it.

You will need:

brown rice

chopped onion

chicken thighs cut up into bite size pieces (I used two)

chicken stock

flour

butter

olive oil

vegetables of your choice (I used a frozen medley of carrots, peas, corn and green beans)

The first thing I did was sauté the onions in a little olive oil. I then added the rice and toasted it for a bit before adding the stock. Make sure to taste your stock, especially if you’re using store bought. You might not need to add any additional salt. You can either add water or chicken stock to your rice. I chose to use stock. You can also use vegetable stock. Cook the rice as you normally would.

In a pan melt a tablespoon of butter and a generous tablespoon of olive oil. Add your chicken. The chicken should be lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Sauté until the chicken is mostly cooked and has developed some color. Add a table spoon or so of flour and stir this flour in throughout the chicken. This is going to create our sauce. It is important to cook the flour a little before adding in the chicken stock. After adding in the stock allow it to come up to a simmer. If the sauce is too thick add a little more stock. Once it’s simmering add your vegetables and stir.

At this point your chicken is done and you can use this as a filling for pot pies if you like. You can also skip the chicken and add mushrooms to make this a vegetarian dish.

When your rice is done add the chicken and vegetables to the rice and combine thoroughly. You should have a creamy rice and chicken mixture. Finish with a splash of heavy cream.

If I had thyme, tarragon, or sage I would have definitely added that to the chicken. I was also out of garlic, which was unfortunate but even without these ingredients I was happy with the finished product. Best of all, there were plenty of leftovers which means I don’t have to cook tomorrow!

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