Homemade Pita Bread

Jalapenos have come in at Farmer's Market which has me thinking of all recipes jalapeno.  I'll probably can some too, but that will be in a few weeks.

One of  my favorite recipes that calls for jalapenos is Michael Symon's Pork Souvlaki. I have his Carnivore cookbook but you can find the recipe HERE. We have a fabulous pork vendor at our Farmer's Market, Amor Farms, so I knew the meat was going to be great.

I also have a favorite recipe for
tzatziki sauce but I usually buy some pita bread to throw on the grill when I make this dish. I had some time so I thought why not try and make it?  How hard can it be?  Turns out, not too hard!

I did some Googling and decided on a recipe from Half Bake Harvest. The ingredients are simple, flour, water, salt, yeast, olive oil.  The prep is easy, bloom the yeast, add most of the flour, the water, the salt and olive oil, knead while adding flour as needed and let rise for an hour.

The dough comes together in a velvety soft ball, not sticky and not dense. I love doughs that feel like that.


After an hour it was nice and puffy.

The recipe makes 8 rounds of bread.  Since it was just my husband and I, I only made four.  We wouldn't eat it all and I think making it fresh from refrigerated dough will be better than warming up the finished bread.

You simply cut the dough in to 8 pieces and roll them into "circles".  I need practice at my circle making.

The dough is then fried in a hot cast iron skillet.  I love anything that calls for cast iron. I use mine all the time.  I prefer Lodge, simple, classic, functional and inexpensive!
It just takes a couple minutes per piece.  I think mine was too thin in the middle so next time I will use my bigger rolling pin so it comes out more even.

So how did they taste?  They were great!  Very soft with the perfect amount of chew. Not dense or dry like some I used to buy. Yes, used to buy. Why would I buy it when it's this easy to make?  Like I mentioned I'll try to roll them more evenly next time, but all-in-all this recipe is a winner.

Served them with my souvlaki, tzatziki and a little Greek salad.

Tomorrow night is Michael Symon's Bucatini with Bacon, Tomatoes and Jalapeno!

Product Reviews Continued... Spot Stuff

A few weeks ago I was finishing off some yummy homemade pasta in a brown butter sauce and dribbled a little butter on one of my favorite pairs of shorts.  I didn't notice until after dinner and was too lazy to run a load of laundry right away.  I did put some pre-wash on them but didn't wash them until the next day.  Stain was still there.  I washed them again.  Stain was still there.  Insert sad face here.

Then I received an email from The Grommet advertising "Spot Stuff" which is supposed to take out any oil based stain, even if it has been washed and dried.  What the heck, it couldn't make the stain any worse, right?

This is what the stain looked like after two washes.  Pretty obvious!

I bought a package of 9 little pouches of Spot Stuff.

The directions say to sprinkle "a little" over the stain.  The picture below is about half of the pouch.

Then you rub it in and let it sit for 5 minutes or so.  When I started rubbing it in it was obvious I'd used too much, but it couldn't hurt, right?

When I tried to just brush it off (the directions say washing is not typically necessary, you should be able to just brush the powder off), again obvious I put too much on.  Mine were going to have to be washed again.

So I washed them.  Here is the result.  What's funny is, to the naked eye the stain looks completely gone but in the picture you can still see it faintly there.  I'm going to try the process again, maybe leave it on a little longer next time, but overall I'm thrilled because I can wear my shorts in public again!  (They didn't fade!  Pictures were taken at a different time of day... lighter in the room for the picture below.)

Product Reviews... cleaners, pets and food storage

Have you heard of The Grommet?  If not, it's a cool website with unique and fun items you may not find other places.  I've ordered a few things from them.

I ordered a carbon eyeglass cleaner. It was ok.  Did it work?  Yes.  Was it easy, sort of. But it took up more space in my purse than my little eyeglass cleaning cloth and didn't work significantly better.  I also ordered a similar item for cleaning the screen on my phone.  As with the eyeglass cleaner it worked, but not significantly better than the cloth I use.

We have two shedding dogs and when I saw they had animal grooming gloves that worked as brushes I had to try them.  Our older dog HATES being brushed.  These really worked!  While the older dog still doesn't love being brushed, he's more tolerant of these than a regular brush.  Our lab, well, she just can't get enough. She begs for more when we stop!  Does it get the undercoat out? No. But does it do a good job of regular brushing? Absolutely.

I ordered a Firebiner: Flint Multi-Tool Carabiner for my nephew who is into survival.  He said it looked cool and might review it on his YouTube Channel.  If you want to see some fun videos by a 12 year old (now, he was 11 when he started) check out "Survival Kid TV" on YouTube. I think he does really well, but I'm sure there's just a little bias there!

Recently I bought two more items, a "Guac Lock" and some "Spot Stuff."  I had better luck with these purchases.

Let's start with the Guac Lock.  There are just two of us in the house.  We both like guacamole, but we throw a lot out because we don't eat it fast enough.  I thought if this gadget worked, we might get through an entire batch of guacamole (or hummus, or any other dip that makes a enough that you're going to have leftovers.

There are four parts to this gadget. There is the serving/storage bowl with movable bottom, a "plunger" and a special lid.

You place your guacamole in the bowl and serve it up with your favorite chips!  If you're like us, there will be leftovers (though I know folks for whom this is a single serving) and as you know leftover guac turns brown pretty quickly.  Will this help keep it better longer?

When you're done snacking, you simply flatten out the guac and use the plunger to push the dip to the top of the bowl and place the lid on it. Then push the dip up a little more until it's popping through the hole in the lid.

You can see a few air bubbles in there so I wasn't sure how this was going to work, but I closed the flap and put it in the frig.  As a control, I put a little guacamole in a bowl, topped it with a little lemon juice and put plastic wrap over it, how I would normally store leftovers.

After 24 hours both bowls still looked fine. You can see just a little darkening of the guacamole in my "control" bowl.

After 48 hours the guacamole in the Guac Lock looked much better than my control.

So it works!  It looks nice on the table and it keeps things fresh, so I'll call it a win!

I will say that the base of the bowl is a little looser than I expected it to be and some guacamole did seep into that seal and got a little nasty looking, but overall I'm happy with this purchase.

If you want to see my review of "Spot Stuff, go HERE.


Pancakes, who doesn’t love pancakes? I make them quite often, different flavors, Noble Pig has a great pumpkin pancake recipe, I have a good lemon cornmeal recipe, and then there’s plain ol’ pancakes.

We were at one of our favorite St. Paul establishments, Yarusso’s, a week or so ago and got to chatting with one of the owners, Fred Yarusso.  He’s the sweetest guy. On this particular evening we were talking about cooking and baking and how so few people do it anymore.

He asked what we thought of his pizza dough. We like his pizza dough. It is crispy with the perfect amount of salt. He told me that he uses Pivetti flour in his dough. It’s Italian 00 flour and it is all he will use in his crusts. If you’re not familiar with 00 flour, it’s a very finely ground flour that supposedly produces pizza and breads with a delicate crumb and a very crisp crust (much like Yarusso’s!).

I, of course, checked Amazon and they had it, so right there I ordered some to give it a try.  As we were chatting about pasta, cookies and farmer’s market he told me that this flour also makes amazing pancakes and he gave me his recipe.

Now I had to do some scaling. His recipe started with 15 egg yolks!  The other key ingredients were buttermilk and half & half.

I mixed it all up and let it rest a little while I warmed up my cast iron griddle.

Time to make pancakes, batter on the griddle and wait for big bubbles then flip!

Yes, occasionally my flipping skills were tested...

But we ended up with a nice big pile of pancakes.

But how did they taste?  Was the special flour worth it?  I took one bite, looked at my husband and said "These are GOOD!"  He looked at me with that "whatever" look, then he took a bite and looked at me with an expression of shock and awe!  These were really good pancakes!  I've made buttermilk pancakes before and they've been good, but there was just something about these that made them better.  They melted in your mouth and had a nice tangy flavor.  This is now my go-to pancake recipe.  

With the scaling I need to tweak it a bit.  I think the batter was just a touch too thin so the pancakes didn't fluff up as high as I like them.  Otherwise, perfection!  Thank you Fred Yarusso!  Now on to pizza dough with this new flour!

Homemade Pita Bread

Jalapenos have come in at Farmer's Market which has me thinking of all recipes jalapeno.  I'll probably can some too, but that will ...

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