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Oneonta, NY: The Yellow Deli

16 Jul

So, what else did I do while in Oneonta?

I sure as heck didn’t run.  I was a little disappointed in myself about this – I had packed basically all of my workout clothes, juiced up my iPod, and talking myself up.  When we arrived at our rental, it was located right along a state highway with a very narrow shoulder.  Christina’s step-mom and I both quickly determined that it was a bad idea to run there.  Honestly, we just didn’t have time to scout a good location!  Do I regret it? No.  I enjoyed my time away and I value my safety.

One day, the games were rained out.  It was pouring and thundering and lightning.  Unable to sit at the field another second, we headed into the town of Oneonta to grab some lunch.  Yelp directed us to The Yellow Deli.

YellowDeli

Expecting a simple deli, I unknowingly walked into a utopian hippie land.  The first thing I noticed was all of the gorgeous wood work and details.  Check out this cool little table in the back…it’s isolated and the servers had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to it:

YD2

There was a coffee/tea/mate/juice bar in the middle that looked like a little house:

YellowDeliJuice

I also noticed hippie lit and murals covering several of the walls

YD.Mural

Pretty sure that’s John Lennon.  But hey, I’m an equal opportunity diner!  I bet they attract one mean drum circle.  Even though I don’t necessarily agree that the world took a turn for the worse when the LSD movement didn’t really take off, I will certainly eat of thy bounty. Turns out, most of the employees live on a farm/commune-type place.  All the veggies are grown right in Oneonta by the owners and all of the breads from the deli are homemade as well.

While we checked out the menu, the host gave us some beverages to sample…

YD.Mates

I personally like the papaya mate the best, it was really sweet.  The others had rich layers of flavor, but unfortunately just not flavors I enjoy.  I’m not a big tea drinker.

Hello Virgil’s cream soda and root beer on tap…

YD.Bevs

You guys.  The kitchen of The Yellow Deli is downstairs (where there was a ton more seating).  Instead of walking the orders up, there was an awesome dumbwaiter which used a rope pulley system.  How cool is this:

YD.Dumbwaiter

Anyway, Christina ordered a bowl of chili which came with a side of artisanal bread.  It was soooooooo delicious.

YD.Chili

We both ordered Reuben with chips.  The Reuben came with mustard and mayo, but we both asked for 1000 dressing instead.  It came on the side, so I was able to just put a light layer on mine.  I’m used to a Jewish deli-style Reuben, where the corned beef is so heavy that you can barely get your mouth around it to take a bite.  I have to say, the size of this Reuben was preferable.  It had a really nice ratio of bread to corned beef to sauerkraut.  You could taste everything but nothing was overpowered by the other flavors.

YD.Reuben

This place ranks up there as one of the most eccentric places I have ever visited.  And they make a damn good Reuben.

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Thin Crust Buffalo Chicken Pizza

30 Jan

Dinners lately have been low-effort, with two exceptions: naan bread and pizza crust.  I wasn’t 100% happy with the way my naan turned out, so I won’t be sharing it just yet.  BUT.  My first pizza crust turned out amazing!  I used a very simplistic recipe I pieced together from online research and from talking with Amanda.

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust

First, I activated a packet of active, dry yeast by dissolving it in warm sugar water.  The trick to activating yeast is getting the right water temperature – the water should be warm to the touch, but not steaming.  I nuked a cup of water in the microwave and then waited for the steam to subside before dumping the packet of yeast in.

After 10 minutes, the yeast should have “bloomed” or looking thick and frothy:

BloomedYeast

In the past, I’ve had to try this technique with several packets of yeast because I just couldn’t get a good bloom.  Its very easy to get discouraged, but it is worth it to keep trying!

While the yeast is activating, I mixed 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (NOT bread flour) and about 1/4 t. salt in a separate bowl.

SaltedFlour

Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients in with the yeast and add a tablespoon and a half of olive oil.

OliveOil

Once a dough ball formed, I turned the dough out onto my pre-floured counter and kneaded it for 6 minutes.  I would say I ended up adding almost another half cup of flour during the kneading process.  Then, I put the dough into a glass bowl, covered it with a damp towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

At this time, I decided to split my dough into two equal sized pieces and put half in a freezer bag for later.

Then, I took a stick of butter and lightly ran it over my sheet pan.  I dusted some locally milled corn flour over the butter.  I rolled my dough out thinly, which is my preferred pizza crust, and baked it for 8 minutes at 425ºF.

BakedCrust

Then, I added my toppings and baked it for another 8-10 minutes.  This time, we went with buffalo chicken, ranch dressing, cheddar & Italian cheese mix, and diced red onions.

BuffaloChickenThinCrust

So easy and so good.

Gluten-Free Works For Me

30 Aug

Seriously?

I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but I really don’t miss the gluten.  Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to swing by Subway on my way home and grab one of my favorite veggie patty subs, but eh…  Not really worth it.

We’ve been trying some new products and so far I haven’t really been disappointed.

purchased @ East End Food Coop

These falafel chips from Flamous were AWESOME.  I thought I might be biased because I friggin’ love falafel, but she♥ loved them, too!  We ate them with hummus that I made.

Since she’s going out of town this weekend, I decided to pack her some goodies for the road.  One of the hardest changes for our family is to avoid grabbing food while we are out and about.  Yes, I break for Sonics.  But no more!

purchased @ East End Food Coop

I’m dying to find out what she♥ thinks.  Christina has always been the type of eater who knows what things are “supposed” to taste like.  And if you stray from her assumptions, she just doesn’t like the food.  Its incredibly frustrating for me, but over the years I think I’ve become more accommodating and she’s become more adventurous.  There were times when I thought we might need a gastro-psychologist (if they exist.)  Armed with her Pirate’s Booty and some freshly baked kale chips, she♥ hit the road.

And I got to have my first “when the cat’s away” meal.

Since I usually just eat the same thing I make her♥, I don’t get to indulge very often.

But today, sex on a plate.

Avocado, Spinach, & Goat Cheese with Pesto Mayo on Gluten-Free Bread

Thank you, Pinterest & TasteSpotting.  This was my first experience with gluten-free bread, Goodbye Gluten‘s white bread, to be exact.  I have read some real horror stories about gluten-free products online, but seriously?  Granted, it was grilled in butter.  But it was pretty darn good!  I found it at Giant Eagle, but it was the only thing made from Goodbye Gluten.  I found this picture on Gluten Free Is Life.

$5.39/loaf at Waterfront Giant Eagle

Lunch was amazing and we even though we are spending the holiday weekend apart:  gluten-free works for me (& my family)!

Proof I Proofed!

27 Jul

For only my second attempt at making hamburger buns, I think these turned out pretty well.  I compiled this recipe based on about 3 different bread making websites, so I’m not sure who to credit!

Ingredients:
1/2 c. warm water (not so hot that it will burn you, but warm to the touch)
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 oz. pkg active, dry yeast
1/2 c. warm milk (see above comments on the meaning of the word warm)
2 T. butter, melted and cooled
2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten

First, proof the yeast by adding it to a bowl of warm sugar water and stirring with a fork until the yeast is no longer in little balls.  The yeast will turn goopy – but be careful not to over mix!

Let it hang out until it gets foamy – this means that you’ve got activated yeast.  I didn’t do this step the first time around and my bread never rose.

Once the yeast is activated, put it in your mixing bowl with the water and sugar and let it stand, covered in plastic wrap, for another 3-5 minutes or until the yeast has dissolved.

While you are waiting, melt and then cool your butter:

Then, stir in the butter, milk and 1 cup of the flour until just combined:

Add the salt and stir again.  Then, add the remaining flour, 1/4 c. at at time until a soft, sticky dough forms.

DO NOT OVER FLOUR – less is definitely more with breads; too much flour will dry your bread out in a heartbeat.

At this point, I scraped down the bowl and the paddle attachment with a spatula.  Then, I switched to my dough hook (because why knead dough by hand if you have a KitchenAid!

I beat the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough looked smooth and felt elastic.  This dough is pretty sticky even when its done, so don’t over-beat it.

While it was mixing, I greased a bowl with some butter.

Then, I put the dough in the bowl, covered it in plastic wrap and a towel and let it double.  This can take 30 minutes or several hours, depending on your elevation and the temperature.  Mine took about 50 minutes.

After its doubled, gently push down and deflate it.  Turn it out on a floured surface and divide it into 6 balls.

I put mine on a parchment lined baking sheet.

I covered the sheet in a towel and let them sit for 5 minutes to relax the gluten.  Then, I pressed them to flatten them, thinking that they would make larger buns.

In retrospect, I think this step is the only one I will change next time and see if it changes anything.  Once the buns were baked off, they were almost like a flat bread, instead of a bun with a round top. 

Whether you decide to flatten yours or not, the buns do need to rise on the pan for 40 minutes – 1 hour.  They should double in size.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

You know when your bread is ready to go into the oven when the dough holds a slight indentation when you push on it gently.

Give the buns a good egg wash and add any toppings (caramelized onion, sea salt, rosemary, etc.).  Then, bake until the tops of the buns are golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.  Mine took about 30 minutes.

These were YUMMY!  I wish I hadn’t flattened them, but it was really just an aesthetic preference.  I used these for turkey burgers with the MIL and I will definitely be making them again soon.

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