Here’s the recipes mentioned in the posts!

Dear Fiancé’s Italian Grandmother’s  Bread:

(In a nutshell):

  • 1 pkg. dry yeast combined with 1/4 cup warm water
  • In separate bowl: 1.75 cups warm water and 1.5 tsp salt
  • Blend in 3 cups flour
  • Add softened yeast, stirring into flour-water mixture
  • Add about 0.75 cups flour and beat until very smooth.
  • Add more flour until you have a soft dough; turn dough onto lightly floured surface
  • Knead, place in big bowl, cover, and allow to rest ~2 hours in a warm place
  • Shape into loaf, place in greased loaf pan
  • Bake at 425° for 10 min, then reduce to 350° and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown (yum!)

Stuffed Artichokes:

  • PREP: Wash & Trim (stems and pointy tips; also peel off bottom leaves)
    • Blanch: Fill large pot with salted water enough to cover artichokes, Boil until leaves open enough to allow addition of filling. Center leaves will not open, can be pushed open with a fork.
    • Cool: Immediately after blanching, dip into cold water with tongs.
  • FILL: Use about 1/2 cup of the following mixture for each artichoke (Good for 2-3 large artichokes)

    • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 cup grated cheese
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • black pepper, 1.5 tbsp garlic powder, basil, parsely, pinch of salt
    • **You could probably insert any other shredded chicken or crab meat for more flavor diversity**
      • Open leaves, row by row, and spread filling on inside of each leaf as well as the center.
  • COOK: In large covered pot, standing upright with 1 cup water and ~1tbsp olive oil x 45 minutes, until tender

    • Make sure the water does not evaporate – add more as needed
  • EAT!: Pull leaves off, one by one, and scrape top teeth against the side of the leaf upon which the filling is spread. Or use a fork.  Whatever. 🙂


Lentil Loaf:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing loaf pan
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 3 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 15 oz can lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped (fresh) mixed herbs
  • salt & pepper
  • chives & sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish
  1. Heat oil in large pan; add onion, leek, celery, mushrooms, and garlic.  Cook for 10 min until soft.  Do not brown.
  2. Remove pan from heat.  Stir in lentils, mixed nuts, flour, cheese, egg, and herbs.  Season with salt & pepper
  3. Spoon into greased, baking parchment (or foil) – lined loaf pan, pressing into corners.  Level surface with a fork, cover with foil
  4. Place loaf pan in deep-sided baking tray and add enough near-boiling water to come over half-way point of loaf pan.
  5. Cook slowly (@~350-375 degrees)- the temperature in the book was not specified – for 1-2 hours, until firm to touch.
  6. Cool in pan ~15 min, then turn onto serving dish, or refrigerate.  Can be served hot or cold.  Goes great with tangy marinara sauce.

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