Making Bread

My boyfriend, Matt, enjoys making bread. Dinner rolls, danishes, loaves filled with herbs. He’s a bread making machine! I never wanted to try baking some myself because of the kneading process. I was lazy.

That changed when I found Alexandra Stafford’s no-knead peasant bread. I read the recipe and figured it was simple, so I made it on a Saturday where I didn’t have any plans. (That’s rare, by the way).

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the baking process, but it came together fast! It was mixed by hand with a spatula: no stand mixer needed. And you only need one bowl to mix the ingredients, how great is that?

However, even with the quick prep, the dough still needed to rise for a total of…okay, so the first rise is 1-1/1/2 hours and the second rise is 10-20 minutes. I let it rise for 1/1/2 hours, then 20 minutes, so you do the math for me. Haha!!

After the first rise, I formed the mass of dough into a ball, divided in half, and placed each half into two (different sized) bowls using forks. The transfer of the balls with forks resulted in the dough coming apart. I wasn’t sure why the directions called for forks, but I assumed it was to keep my hands from getting messy (if that was the case, the directions said that if the dough came apart during transferring, to use your hands. Contradiction).

Because my bowls were different sizes, that affected how the dough rose the second time. The dough ball in the small bowl became huge while the ball in the large bowl didn’t look too big.

The differences in bowl sizes also affected their baking time. The one in the small bowl was done in 20 minutes while the other took longer.

Now, as I mentioned, it was my first time baking bread. I didn’t know when it was fully baked, even though I ate it all the time. I’ve eaten (and seen) soft, white bread, brown bread, wheat bread…but baking loaves myself made me wonder, ‘Is it done? How do I know?’


The loaves came out decent. The outside was crunchy and the inside was really buttery (because of the greasing of the bowls) and soft, a little too soft. Not doughy. According to Matt, it was a little undercooked.

I trust him.


Even with that knowledge, I was proud of myself for making my first bread! I will be making it again.

But I better buy two same size bowls first.


Jen’s Island Kitchen

I started a food blog: Jen’s Island Kitchen! I’m still working on making it pretty but if you want to join me on my culinary journey and learn about Oahu through food, then please follow me. 😀 I’m excited about this new project and I hope you join me!

Food Friday: Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream


I LOVE ice cream, and I was curious as to how to make it at home. When my mom bought a KitchenAid stand mixer and later purchased the ice cream maker, I was excited. My boyfriend was equally–if not more–of the same.

I took the equipment to his place, and suggested we make chocolate ice cream. First, we tried the KitchenAid recipe and it turned out more like soft serve and had a strange taste to it (alkaline, as my boyfriend described it). Plus, it contained raw eggs, which was MY concern. (As to why I didn’t realize it as we were making it, well, beats me.)

Since I was worried about the raw eggs, my boyfriend said we should try a recipe that called for the eggs to be cooked. I agreed and we were back in his kitchen with a new recipe…from Alton Brown.

The verdict?

SO much better than the first batch!! We think it was the cooked eggs that made the difference: texture was just like real, bought chocolate ice cream. No strange taste, nothing. We found a winner!

I want to make vanilla next. 🙂

Have you ever made homemade ice cream? How did it turn out and what recipe did you use? Let me know in the comments!

Food Friday: Cook Your Own


Last night a friend and I ate at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, a restaurant where you cook your own meat on a grill in the middle of the table. I’m not a huge fan of cooking my own food when I go out to eat, but shabu shabu (hot pot) is fun.

I digress.

Anyway, this type of cooking (yakiniku-grilled meat) is a subject of debate in Japan, and the term is used to describe Korean cuisine. In America, however, yakiniku is referred to as “Japanese barbecue.”

Confusing? You won’t be after you read this.

The meat I always order is beef tongue, and it’s not as gross as you think. It’s not tongue shaped, has a lot of flavor and is chewy. Nothing strange about it except its name. 🙂 Once in a while I’ll get beef tongue and another meat but most of the time I’ll stick with my main and order pre made appetizers (tonight I tried the shrimp katsu, and it tasted like, uh, fried shrimp).

Do you like going to these types of restaurants? If not, does it sound like something you’ll try? Let me know in the comments!