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roasted peppers and gorgonzola crostini

crostini with roasted peppers & gorgonzolaCrostini (little crusts in Italian) are the easiest appetizers one can make.  There are oodles and oodles of variations and limited only by one’s imagination.  Creative ones such as smashed avocado topped with thinly sliced cucumber seasoned with chili flakes and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil or mashed fresh peas with sea salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Consider white bean hummus slathered on a toasted slice that’s been perfumed with garlic – doesn’t that sound delish?  Continue Reading →

Picnic Bread

Picnic BreadI absolutely love the way the kitchen smells when bread is baking in the oven.  It transports me back to a time when I was a young girl.  My siblings and I would take turns delivering mail to our grandparents who lived down the road from us.  My paternal grandmother was always baking something, especially fresh bread…my grandfather disliked the grocery store version.  Making bread isn’t a priority for me so I make it very seldom, but, when I do, we devour it like a pack of hungry wolves.  Continue Reading →

40 Minute Hamburger Buns

40 minute hamburger buns by The Culinary ChaseThe night before, John and I were watching Eat Street and hamburgers were being made in one of the food trucks. They looked so good and appetizing John said why don’t we have hamburgers for dinner.  It’s finally starting to feel like Spring and although we do use our bbq all year round, yesterday was full of sunshine and inspired me to make, for the very first time, my own hamburger buns.  Surfing the web I found a recipe to make a hamburger bun in 40 minutes.  Full of doubt, I read the recipe through and afterward thought I’d give it a bash.  What could go wrong I heard myself saying.  I’m not a proficient bread maker in the first place but something about this recipe said it could work and even if didn’t, I could easily pop into the grocery store…

Makes 8 to 12 buns
adapted from Taste of Home

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter (to brush over the tops of the buns)

hamburger dough collage by The Culinary Chase

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough (start with 3 cups as you may not need the 1/2 cup of flour).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Space apart on greased baking sheets.

hamburger bread dough

  • Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks to cool.

hamburger buns by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: WOW! These were incredibly easy to make and I was skeptical homemade bread could be done in 40 minutes and taste good, too. It took me 45 minutes from start to pulling these puppies out of the oven.  These will also make a delicious dinner roll.  Yep, I’ll be making these again. Enjoy!