Gazpacho Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Gazpacho

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My friend Angela, speaking little to no English, relocated from Spain to the USA in the early ’90s with her husband. We discovered each other at a local fast food joint while our children played together in the ball pit. Our first “conversation” was held with a great deal of effort, using a lot of pen and paper and big hand gestures. One visit led to another, and over time we became close friends, sharing some of our favorite foods. In Angela’s part of Spain, gazpacho (gahz-PAH-cho) is served year round as both a cool drink and a cold soup. This is my take on her family favorite.

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Panzanella Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Panzanella

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Panzanella (pahn-zah-NELL-la) is a practical Italian dish transforming stale bread into a delicious salad. Traditionally it is made entirely from cold ingredients, but we like a roasted layer topped with a contrast of chilled. Mark said that it’s “like” salad, but without all the “boring” stuff. Ironically, a minute later he suggested it would be good over spinach leaves. I think I may be cracking his anti-vegetable platform.

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Rations of Hope Bread Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Rations of Hope Bread

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Rations of Hope Bread is a story of survival. In 2001, James “Lubo” Mijak, a “Lost Boy of Sudan” and refugee, resettled as a U.S. citizen in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and his companions survived for years with a simple ration of flour, yeast, salt, oil, and beans. Once in Charlotte, that experience spurred an endeavor called the Raising South Sudan Project, which feeds and educates over 800 boys and girls daily. In 2016, my friend Phillips asked me to capture the “Rations of Hope” bread in a way that empowers others to share the story through baking.

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Naan Na'an Bread Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Naan (Na’an)

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Do you love naan (na’an)? When Mark and I visited Bangalore (Bengaluru), India, in 2009, we enjoyed all kinds of local fare, but one experience was particularly memorable. While taking in the delicious aromas at one of the local restaurants, I was mesmerized by the skill with which the cook fearlessly slapped the dough up against the blazing hot inner wall of a tandoor oven. Eventually, our eyes met, and he motioned for me to come around into the kitchen for a closer look. After a couple of batches, he invited me to give it a try, but I must admit that my sense of adventure failed me as I gazed into that raging fire. Instead, I learned to make it at home in my comfortable kitchen!

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Pancakes Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Pancakes

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When I was a child, my mom made mountains of pancakes when my childhood best friend, Jennifer, spent the night. To this day, I love a stack swimming in syrup. In 2008, the passion for pancake perfection rekindled when Mark and I enjoyed unbelievably fluffy, tender pancakes in Breckenridge, Colorado. After the first few bites, I knew I had to rework my recipe. This is the new, improved version. In addition to syrup, I recommend copious amounts of butter. What better way to start the day?

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

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In the Fall of 2015, Mark and I toured Ireland with a group of friends and enjoyed a baking lesson for Traditional Irish Soda Bread at Donegal Manor. Sian Breslin was our delightful instructor. Sian uses buttermilk, but I like to use a mixture of milk and yogurt. Also, the flour here in the States has more gluten than that in Ireland, so cornstarch helps soften it. Finally, I decided to go the old-fashioned route of baking it in a Dutch oven, similar to the traditional bastible, but without a handle for hanging it over the fire.

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