Ever since my last post in which I presented you all with the opportunity to win an amazing trip to Greece (courtesy of Fage Total; at the end of this post you will have the opportunity to enter again) I have been trying to take my reflection on the Greek tradition of "good living" and incorporate it into my own life.
I need a slow down and fast. However, as I run around town this week before Thanksgiving, rushing to pick up the perfect towel for our guests or to make sure the yard is free of leaves, it finally hits me. I am doing this for my family and as Americanized as my errand list may seem, I know that if I can get this all finished now, that once my family does arrive all I need to do is relax and enjoy bringing not only a fresh, delicious meal to our Thanksgiving table, but also kick up my heels and slow down a bit. Grecian style.
With all this errand running I'm in the mood for a little comfort food, and besides, what would Eugenia do? Why make bread of course! Pair a fresh loaf with a homemade batch of Roasted Fall Vegetable soup and it is just another healthy way to feel a little bit of comfort.
Slow down, that list will get finished by next week, but in the meantime, bring a healthy meal to the table in this week before Turkey Day. Savor a bit of that good living.
As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here: http://www.fageusa.com/community/fage-greek-getaway
Whole Wheat Bread
Makes one loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 package dry active yeast
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1. Pour the hot water into a bowl and then sprinkle the packet of yeast over the water. Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes or until it is foamy.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and with the dough hook, mix on low/stir speed until combined. Slowly add the water and yeast mixture to the bowl and then add the oil. Beat at low speed until well blended. Beat for an additional 2 minutes at medium speed. Slowly add the remaining all-purpose flour, beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Slowly add the whole wheat flour.
3. Beat at medium speed with the dough hook for 8 minutes to knead the dough. Place the dough in an oil bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm area free from drafts for about one hour or until the dough doubles in size.
4. To make a loaf, punch down the dough and on a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 14x7 inch rectangle. Roll up dough like you would a jelly roll and press after each roll to eliminate air pockets. Place the dough, seam side down in a bread loaf pan that has been coated with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm area for one hour or until doubled in bulk.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Bake for 38 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven. Let cool slightly, then turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Ina Garten
6-8 Cups Homemade Chicken Stock
1 Recipe Roasted Vegetables (See recipe below)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Croutons for topping
Fage Total Yogurt
1. In a large saucepan, heat 6 cups of chicken stock. In two batches, coarsely puree the roasted vegetables and the chicken stock in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. Thin with more chicken stock and reheat. The soup should be thick but not like a vegetable puree, so add more stock and or water until it's the consistency you like.
2. Mix in Fage Total yogurt until it it the consistency you prefer. The Fage Total adds a bit more of a creamy texture. Top with croutons if you prefer.
Roasted Fall Vegetables
Adapted from Ina Garten
1 pound carrots, peeled
1 pound rutabaga, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian Parsley
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in to 1- 1 1/4 inch cubes. All vegetables will shrink while baking, so don't cut them too small.
3. Place all the vegetables in a single layer on two sheet pans. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.
4. Sprinkle with parsley and season to taste.