Roasted Beets

Please don't write me off as a raving lunatic. Not just yet, anyway. I know... I know... the only time you've ever eaten beets was when Granny forced them down you ~ and the only good thing to come of that experience was how they turned your taters pink.

But, here's an amazing fact about the lowly beet: Eaten fresh, they're surprisingly tasty.

Roasted Beets
Prep time: 1 whole minute!
  • Snip tops and tails
  • Rub, tub and scrub
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with sea salt
  • Roast @ 375 (F) until slightly tender (about 45 minutes)
Who knew?
Beets are simply suffering from a bad rap because cheap salad bars display their canned counterparts just to make us queasy.

Fresh beets are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and a gazillion other things that are good for us, though we're not sure why. Fresh beets are so healthy they even slow cancerous tumors. But, why wait until you have one foot in the grave to give them a try? Roasted beets are dee-lish.


Flower Pot Bread

It may look like a bread pan but it's actually a flower pot I never use. :)

On Mondays I bake bread. Don't I sound like a Pioneer Woman?

Alas, that's about as far from me as we could be. The only kid getting home schooled around this joint is Bad Dog. Were I to hand out report cards, he'd be getting an F.

I bake bread for a few simple reasons:
  1. I love the methodical motion of kneading bread dough.
  2. I'm learning how to live on half my salary...
  3. Therefore! I'm very upset that a totally tasty loaf of bread can cost four or five bucks. Such delightful luxuries are no longer within my budget.
These days, I make 'artisan bread' at home. I love this simple recipe and I especially love the fact that the ingredients cost me about... 50 cents!
Good to go. It will rise more in the oven because this bread isn't punched down and allowed to rise a second time. A sprinkling of cornmeal keeps the bread from sticking.

Flower Pot Bread
* Named as such because I'm too cheap to go purchase a terracotta bread pan. Breads bake up quite nicely in this old flower box.
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4.5 teaspoons active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water
How to:
Using an electric mixer, combine the white flour, yeast, honey, salt and water. Mix for 2-3 minutes. Add the whole wheat flour while stirring with a large spoon. Sprinkle a little bit of white flour onto a bread board, knead for 10 minutes. (Great isometrics!) If the bread is sticky while kneading, simply add a little more flour.

And, then:
Place in a terracotta bread pan. Let it rise - perhaps an hour or so. Bake at 375 (F) for about 45 minutes. Easy peasy!
Tips for truly great homemade bread:
Preheat the oven to 425, turn heat down to 375, pop the loaf in the oven, mist with a little spritz of water. The beginnings of high heat and the misting gives you a nice, crunchy bread crust.

* A yummy, fat-free dense bread.
** This is a high altitude recipe that requires no specific adjustments for lower altitudes. You may find your dough requires more flour and it's okay to add up to another cup.