This Weekends Bread

This weekends bread was some old standbys. On the left is a multi-grain and on the right is some challah.


Prague - Sunday (continued)

After Vysehrad castle, we wandered back toward the city center. On the way Andi took us to a movie theater that had an artwork installation by David Cerny and is a play on the famous statue of St. Wenceslas in the main square.

After wandering around a bit and getting a snack, we walked along the river toward Charles Bridge. Below is a picture of Lou and I looking "coupl'rific" along the river.

And here is the Charles Bridge.

And here is the mass of people on the Charles Bridge.

We walked around a little bit on the other side of the bridge. One thing we noticed is that the leadership of Prague has made the city center very tourist friendly. Below is one of the many signs leading people to the various sights around the city.

After wandering around a little more, we took the Metro (Malostranska station) back to Andi's apartment. When we got to her "hood", we stopped for some produce for dinner. Below, Andi is evaluating the quality of a tomato for the salad.

Andi's apartment is very near Zizkov TV Tower which is a very prominent monument to Communism. During the Communist era, the tower was used to jam western radio and tv broadcasts from Germany. After the liberation, it was finally used to broadcast domestic tv and radio broadcasts. It was also decorated by David Cerny with a bunch of bronze babies crawling up and down the tower.

The following picture is at Andi's appartment. By this time, Andi was getting a little flustered with Lou's picture taking but Lou managed a picture of her urging us in with a smile.

After a dinner with Andi's friends of pesto and pasta ferried from my mother-in-law, we ajourned to the beer garden. There, we had some beer and watched the Olympics on the big screen tv.

Pressure Cooker Chili

I have tried Alton Brown's Pressure Cooker Chili a couple of times but ended up scorching the bottom every time. Well, tonight I experimented with my own version. Partly because I was hungry for chili and partly because my wife was out of town. Lets just say, she is lukewarm about chili. By cooking in two rounds and adding the tomatoes and corn chips in the second round, the scorching was minimized.

1 1/2 lb beef stew meat (1" cubes)
1 1/2 lb pork roast cut into 1" cubes
2 tbs peanut oil

3/4 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tbs adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper)
1 bottle of beer
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp dried cilantro

16 oz of diced canned tomatoes
approx 20 corn chips, crushed

In the pot of a 6qt pressure cooker, heat the oil. When hot, brown the beef and pork in small batches, moving the meat to a resting bowl as each batch is done. Once all the meat is browned, deglaze the pot with the beer. Return the meat to the pot with the onion, celery, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, salt and the spices. Stir and then seal up the pressure cooker. Once the pressure cooker is at pressure, turn the heat down a little so there is just a light rattle and cook for 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes, turn off the heat and vent the pressure following the instructions for your pressure cooker. Once vented, open the pressure cooker and then return it to heat. Add the tomatoes and the crushed corn chips and give it another stir. Seal up the pressure cooker again and once it is at pressure turn the heat down again to the light rattle and cook for another 12 minutes. When done, remove from heat and let cool until pressure reduces (or if you are hungry, vent again following instructions). Serve plain or over rice. Makes about 6 servings. Keeps pretty well when frozen also.



Thought I would share my recipe for meatloaf.

1 1/4 lb ground chuck (80%)
1 cup quick oat meal (approx)
1 cup cracker crumbs (approx)
1/2 cup onion (fine dice)
1/2 cup celery (fine dice)
1/2 cup bell pepper (fine dice)
3 tbs ketchup
3 tbs yellow mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
3 tbs soy sauce
1/2 bottle of beer

In a large bowl, add ground chuck and approximatly a combined equal volume of the oat meal and cracker crumbs. Add aromatics, ketchup, mustard, spices and egg. Using hands, combine well adding oat meal if needed to adjust the texture. Once combined, move mixture to a large baking dish that has a cover. Form into a well packed ring or loaf depending on desired use. Pour soy sauce over the top and cover.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. After about 20 minutes when the meat is taking on a little color, pour 1/2 of a bottle of beer into the bottom of the baking dish. Drink the rest of the beer. Continue baking for another 30 minutes or so until the interior registers about 170 degrees. Let rest for a few minutes and then server. Leftovers can be refrigerated and used for meatloaf sandwiches on rye bread.

Alternative - Use 2 tbs of barbecue sauce in place for 1 tbs of ketchup and 1 tbs of mustard and add 1/2 tsp of Lawry's seasoning salt.


Prague - Sunday

Well, I haven't done as much posting about Prague as I had hoped but I got inspired tonight. The Sunday after we arrived, Andi took us on a walking tour around the city. The main goal for the day was to visit Vysehrad castle in the southern part of the city.

This picture is Lou and Andi at the door to the chapel on the grounds and the next picture is of Lou and I on the wall with the city in the background.

I took the following picture from the wall looking down at one of the castle gates. We were basically walking along the top of the wall getting excellent pictures of the surrounding area.

like this...

We also wandered around the cemetery and I found some kin...

On the way out of the cemetery, Andi captured Lou and I in front of the church doors, though it looks a little "American Gothic".

Lou also took the opportunity to collect a civil engineering photo of the man hole cover.

Before we left, Andi did some interpretive dance among the statues in the garden.


More work on my workbench

This weekend I had a chance to get back to my woodworking project. I had a chance to make the face frames for the workbench units. The are all mortis and tendoned pine.

This weekends bread

This weekends bread was marble rye and another try at a light honey wheat from the CIA baking book. I tweaked the recipe as follows...


16 oz white bread flour
5 oz whole wheat flour
2 cups scalded milk

Bring the milk to a boil, I used the microwave (3 minutes on high). Cool the milk to slightly above room temp (body temp) and then combine it with the flours in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let stand for 1 hour to hydrate the flour.

Final Dough

4 oz white bread flour
1.7 oz olive oil
4 oz honey
0.5 oz instant yeast
2 tsp salt

Combine ingredients in bowl and then knead for about 9 minutes. Let ferment for 1hr until the dough doubles in size. Divide the dough in two and form 2 loaves and place in 8 1/2" bread pans. Proof for another hour. Preheat oven to 425. Once preheated, place the bread in the oven and reduce the temp to 350. Bake for 20 minutes and then rotate 180 degrees and then bake another 20 minutes until the internal temp is 190 degrees. Let cool 1 hour before cutting.


Look at this...

Under the philosophy that everything is better with Bacon... Bacon Salt! Don't know how it could be kosher but...