Friday, August 17, 2012

Mood Medicine for Dinner

Once again Friday has come around in full speed. It has been a busy week with my daughter settling into her new dorm, and us adjusting to her cat and dog moving in here for good. The change from a house full of teen-agers to one filled with animals is not so different, but dinner time around here has sure changed. The human portions now tend to be smaller and quickly stored away before one of the beasts can sneak it away. Believe me, they use any given opportunity they get in order to steal food. My posts on “What’s for dinner Mom,” are most likely going to reflect the changes in our home and at our dinner table.

Max likes to steal Nani's food, but Nani does not mind sharing.

Nani (my daughter’s dog) has been a frequent visitor here, but Max is new to this household. Usually cats do not adjust too well when they are moved out of their environment, so we were all surprised at how easily Max fit in. I assume that is because Nani believes herself to be Max’s mommy and vice versa. They sleep together, eat together, go on walks together and even enjoy the same litter box. One deposits and the other cleans. Some of Dogs habits are not very appetizing and eating cat sand is just one of those things.

So onto other appetizing things, after all it is Friday, and you know how I love to talk about food. Today I decided to make shake and bake chicken sandwiches on fresh baked bread. Every once and awhile I am inspired to take out my Kenwood kitchen machine and bake bread. I know of no one that does not love the smell of freshly baked bread. If you ever need to be cheered up, baking bread is mood medicine. Here is my mood medicine for today: 

  • 1 kilo flour makes two breads. Use half a kilo of regular flour and mix the other half with rye, oats and whole wheat.
  •  1 package dry yeast.
  •  A few pinches of some spices like salt, you can even use Italian seasoning if so inclined, a pinch of sugar, and even some seeds if you want. I usually use some if I have them.
Put all of that into a bowl and mix it by hand with a wooden spoon.
In a separate measuring cup mix together approximately 1 quart hot water, which includes about 2 tbsp. of oil and a little dark syrup or molasses. If you have some old milk you can mix that in too. Gradually add this into the flour mixture and let your kitchen machine do the work. You want your finished bread dough to be slightly sticky. At the same time, you do not want it sticking too much to the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle just a little flour on top of the dough, put plastic over the bowl and let it rise until it is double the size.

Next you put your bread dough on a flour surface and knead it, adding a bit more flour if it is still too sticky. Let all your frustrations out as you knead away. You cannot over do this part. If you want you can start out with the kitchen machine and do the rest by hand, but I have found that the more I knead dough the better I feel. You will know when you are done and the dough is smooth and round like a babies behind. Cut the dough in half and form each half into two greased bread pans. Cover the bread pans with a cloth and let it rise again for about half an hour or until double the size. Finally bake at 375 degrees for around 40 minutes. You can tell when your bread is done by its color and by tapping on it. If your bread sounds hollow then it is done. Take it out of the bread pan and cool it on a rack. 
 I can not get this picture to turn around! I miss my phone...

Fresh baked bread topped with philadelphia cream cheese, salad, tomatoe and sliced shake and bake chicken breast

  All that is left now is to enjoy the smell and the taste of your mood medicine.  No matter how you slice it, or what you put on it, fresh baked bread will make you and everyone around you happy.

 What is your mood medicine? Do you have any animals in your house with strange eating habits? Enjoy your week-end everyone, let me know if you have something fun planned! I will be back on Monday to share more about what it is like being a tourist in Norway.


shelly said...

When we had cats, Sir Poops used to delight himself in the cat chocolate department. It near drove me nuts. To this day, he takes special supplements to help detour him from eating his own chocolate.

Anyway, I love to smell Thanksgiving dinner cooking.


J.L. Campbell said...

Siv, the food looks delicious. Used to make bread what feels like a hundred years ago.

lizy-expat-writer said...

For a few years when my kids were small I made all our bread, but I never used anything called "rug". What is that?
As for the animals -why do youngsters take on animals without thinking ten or fifteen years ahead? Oh that's okay - there's always Mum. Huh!

Lynn Proctor said...

awww your daughters kids are adorable---i haven't made bread in forever--i have a bread maker here somewhere----my weekend is pretty much gonna be all about a baby shower i am giving for my best friend's daughter--hope yours is good:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Siv .. I don't have animals - being on my own and now especially I'll be away a lot more.

Love the thought of fresh bread - just a large Sunday Ploughman's lunch ... but Chicken would be good too ..

Enjoy your new menagerie .. cheers Hilary

Christine Rains said...

I don't have animals either, but I've heard a few weird stories. Like a cat who would only eat at the table!

Mina Lobo said...

My mood meds usually involve chocolate of some sort...bad, bad, bad. Now I think I'll dream of freshly baked bread...with maybe some Nutella spread across it! :-)
Some Dark Romantic

Melissa Bradley said...

I love fresh bread, but am waaay too lazy to actually make some of my own. I'll settle for a trip to the bakery. LOL My mood medicine is music and driving. Get me in a car with the radio loud, blasting a little Aerosmith and I am happy.

I live with two cats who think they're people and try to eat at the table.

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