Soft Greek Pita Bread

I make Soft Greek pita bread from my pizza recipe Best New York Style pizza dough

They are perfect. So soft, tasty, delicious … you will never buy them again. Well actually in Niger, we can’t buy them so that’s why I decided to make it.2P9180046.jpg

Now Let’s cook.

  1. When the pizza dough is made and you let it rest 1 hour. You take a ball, and with a rolling pin, you make a “mini pizza”.

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2. In a skillet, add some olive oil and fry the bread on both side.

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and they are ready to eat.

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I make usually 2 pizza dough recipes and freeze. Reheat in a skillet and ready for another sandwich. You can make them also whole wheat by replacing half of white flour for whole wheat flour.

You can eat them with a soup, salad, make falafel sandwiches, pizza pockets … delicious

Here is our pizza pocket

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Falafel

Falafel is my new favorite to make. I love Lebanese food and anything with chickpeas. So can’t go wrong. I had never made them but a few months ago I decided to try to make it. And the result was extraordinary. Last week, it was perfected as fresh soft Greek bread was made, invented a tahini/yogurt sauce and our Falafel sandwich was created. 

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Ingredients

1 cup dried chickpeas

1/2 large onion

2 Tablespoon of fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of mint

1 teaspoon of salt

4 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of baking powder

4-6 tablespoons flour

Olive oil for frying

Preparation

1. Let soak overnight, the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover.

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2. In a food processor, add drained chickpeas, onions, parley, mint, garlic, cumin, salt & pepper. Process until blended but not pureed.
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3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour (add little by little to see texture). You need to be able to form  it into round balls or oval shaped. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
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4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts or oval shaped.
5. Heat olive oil. Place the falafel to fry until golden brown. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Drain on paper towels. 2p1040811
For homemade pita Bread – look at these 2 recipes : Whole Wheat Pita bread
or for soft Greek Pita bread Soft Greek Pita Bread

For garnish – chopped tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers and tahini sauce.

Tahini sauce: mix 1-2 big spoons of tahini (sesame paste) and 1 big spoon of yogurt. Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, add pepper and salt.

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No-BAKE energy treats

THIS is definitely our favorite go to cookie right now. This recipe is from a friend Anne Jisca Meyer.  You can check her food blog @ https://annejisca.wordpress.com/

Such a healthy energy treat. You can be creative by making different kinds ..

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Ingredients

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 cup natural coconut flakes (sometimes we replace with crushed peanuts, or you could add almonds, walnuts, pecans)

1/2 ground of flaxseed/chia seeds/hemp hearts/Psyllium husks

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or craisins, raisins, cherries, dates…)
1 tsp vanilla

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Mix all ingredients together, and put the mixture in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (to make it easier to handle). Shape into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a container or ziploc bag and either store in fridge or freezer. If they last that long.

At our house it doesn’t last long so we always double the recipe now.

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade sea-salt crackers

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When you live in Niger, sometimes you just can’t find some items in the supermarkets – this is the case right now with crackers. A friend of mine, a wonderful cook, tea party host Pam Bennett gave me this recipe and I just tried it a week ago. Now I might never go back to buying crackers.

They are just so good and perfect crunch. You need to try it.

SIMPLE and SIMPLY delicious.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cold milk
sea salt for sprinkling (see Note)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor with the metal blade; pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse to create coarse crumbs. Gradually add milk and pulse to combine until the dough comes together in a ball.

Remove dough to a floured surface and roll to a thickness of 1/8 inch, forming a rectangle that’s very roughly 11 inches wide by 13 inches long, give or take.

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Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, cut dough into 2 1/2-inch squares.

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Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and use the rolling pin to gently press the salt into the dough.

Use the tines of a fork to prick holes in the dough to prevent puffing.

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Remove squares to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; rotate tray in the oven and bake another 10 to 12 minutes until the crackers are lightly golden at the edges. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake 7 to 10 minutes more (watch that they don’t over-brown) to ensure crispness.

Cool crackers on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container.

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Note: You could use poppy seed, sesame seed, a multi-seed blend, cracked pepper or any combination thereof to top the crackers; just use the rolling pin to press the toppings into the dough. I also make the same crackers 100% whole wheat following the same recipe with whole wheat flour.

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Jam bars

These Jam Bars were given to me from a very good friend  and a great cook Joy Freeman (as known as Aunt Joy for our girls) when she was a dorm parent @ Sahel Academy, in Niger. It was handwritten on a piece of paper, used it many times over the years and my husband’s favorite. But every time I have to find the recipe, I have to look for it … so today decided to make the recipe and add it to my food blog. Bon appétit.

Ingredients

1 cup of sugar

3/4 cups of butter

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups of oats ( I like to add 1 /2 cup more)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Directions

Put all ingredients in a food processor.

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Mix them well until it looks like a crumble.

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In a cake pan 9 x 13, put half of the oat crumble on bottom. Press down to make a crust.

Put some jam of your choice and spread equally on the bottom – and add the rest of crumble on top.

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Bake @ 350 for about 20 min. Check often.

et Bon appétit 2P1040356

 

 

 

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Apple pie cinnamon rolls

Saw this recipe on Domestic mommy hood site, but modified it especially as I think there is always to much sugar in recipes like this,  I cut the sugar in the dough and also in the apples. I also simplified some steps. It was so delicious warm !2DSC09044

Ingredients:

  • For the dough:
    1 package Active Dry Yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
    1/2 cup water, lukewarm                                                                                                                 2 tsp of sugar
    1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    1 egg, room temperature
    2 tsp salt
    4 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Apple Pie Filling:
    5-6 Medium Apples, peeled and chopped
    2 Ttbsp Lemon Juice
    1/2 cup Brown Sugar
    1/4 cup Cornstarch
    1 tsp Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp Nutmeg
    Salt
    2 cups Water

4 tbsp Butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • For the Icing (Optional):
    1 Cup Powdered Sugar
    1 tbsp water
    1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1) Stir together yeast, water and 2 tsp. sugar in a small bowl and allow to rise for 10 minutes.

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and this how it looks when it’s ready 2DSC09029

2) In a large mixing bowl combine milk, melted butter, egg and salt and mix well.

3) Stir in half of the flour and mix well, stir in the yeast mixture and continue mixing. Slowly add in the rest of the flour and blend well.

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4) Sprinkle flour onto your counter top and move your dough on top of it and knead for approximately 5 minutes.

5) Place dough into a greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel. Allow dough to rise approximately 1-2 hours.

6) To prepare the apples, choose and peel around 5. Add to a mixing bowl the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning and set aside.2DSC09031

7) In saucepan, add apples, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Mix and add the water. Cook on low until water has reduced.

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8) Remove from heat and set aside. Melt your butter to be ready.

9) When your cinnamon roll dough has risen, divide in two. Sprinkle some flour on your kitchen table and roll dough. Spread some melted butter and sprinkle some brown sugar, add half of the apple pie mix.

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10) Roll in a log, slice dough evenly and place in a 9 x 13 pan. Repeat with the second part of dough. Let rise.

2DSC0903911) Preheat @ 350 and cook for 20-25 minutes. During this time prepare icing sugar.

and voilà delicious with a nice cup of coffee  2DSC09043

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Bagels

We love Bagels. we live in Niger, West Africa where bagels do not exist so once in a while i get into the work of making them. I like also making them whole wheat.

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need more)
3 ½ cups of  flour (for whole wheat 1 ½ whole wheat flour, remaining all purpose flour)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt

Preparation:
1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.DSC05183 (Copy)

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.DSC05185 (Copy)

3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.

4. On a floured counter top, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.DSC05187 (Copy)

5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.DSC05198 (Copy)

6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 – 10 pieces. Shape each piece into a round.

7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.DSC05200 (Copy)

8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel.

10. Once all the bagels have boiled transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet. If you want a topping, prepare an egg wash (1 egg with a few drop of water). I like sesame seeds.

12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

13. Cool on a wire rack.

 

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