Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 2011 Daring Baker - Fraisiers!


Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

All right, so I have a confession to make. I actually didn't know the name of this dessert until the daring baker challenge, but that's part of the fun, right?

I loved this recipe. The cake came out tasty and moist, and the pastry cream was great! I really need a lot of gelatin practice, and this gave me a great test to do it.

As you can see from my photo, I didn't read the directions all the way through. I wanted to do individual sized desserts, convinced the cake wouldn't hold up much. Well, I didn't really realize that the dessert was supposed to be all put together then refrigerated. So, I did it a bit backwards...but I loved the result!

I'm not going to repost the recipe here, just tell you the modifications I made! I made almond cake by substituting almond extract for the vanilla extract (I used a little less than a teaspoon, since it can be quite strong).

For the pastry cream, I subbed out the milk and made it with coconut milk, and while I was heating this, I added 3 slices of ginger and 1/2 t. ground ginger for a ginger coconut pastry cream. And, I used nectarines. I wanted to use peaches, but *sigh* I live in the North West, and the produce here this year has, so far, been incredibly disappointing!

The dessert was fantastic, the flavors worked well together, and I promise next time I will take more time on the challenge. I've just been in a bit of a blogging funk, I think. I have entire lists of things I want to make and recipes I want to try...but I also want to diet! Well, I *have* to diet. I promised myself no new clothing until I lose at least 2 sizes, and my clothes are starting to have holes! So, if I don't diet soon, I could be running around the house sort of exposed...

If you want to give this recipe a try, you can download the .pdf here. In the mean time, check out all the other daring bakers!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chocolate and Peanut Butter No Bake cookies



This is one of those remembered tastes from childhood. I even remember trying to make these the first time, and them coming out grainy and icky. I can remember the smells of these cookies cooking, and my mom telling me to watch out - the mixture was hot. I can still picture her using two spoons to drop them on waxed paper. I remember my brother licking the bottoms of the remaining cookies to "save them for later".

I even remember the one time my Mom put raisins in these. I think I would like them now, but back then, I wasn't a raisin fan. I remember thinking that was quite a dirty trick - putting raisins in cookies (eww). Now, I put raisins in a lot of things, and like them.

These, well, they were perfect. I loved them. Everyone that had one loved them. And, I'd like to think, they had their own memories of these during their childhood as well.

When Mom used to make these cookies, they always contained a bunch of walnuts, so I did the same. She also added peanut butter - I've had them so much this way, they seem to be missing something without peanut butter.


For a .pdf, click here.

Peanut Butter Chocolate No Bake Cookies

½ c. butter

2 c. sugar

½ c. milk

3 Tablespoons cocoa

Bring to a boil over medium to medium high heat, stirring constantly. It’s really best to use a larger pan, so you can just mix the cookies in the pan. Cook until 235-240 degrees fahrenheight (aka soft ball stage). Remove from heat and add:

½ c. peanut butter

1 t. vanilla

3 c. oatmeal

2/3 c. chopped walnuts

Combine ingredients quickly, and drop by teaspoons (or tablespoon) onto waxed paper. Cool completely before eating.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 2011 Daring Cook - Home made Noodles!


Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks‟ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for SpƤtzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!


I watched quite a few technique videos before trying this. I went with a small cutting board and a knife...well, the knife didn't work too well, but my bench scraper did!


Yum Yum noodles! I had visions, and still do (lol). But, we will save that for later. Because I also ran out of time... So, I decided to try Spaetzle. And, it's really good! It was the first time I've ever made them, or ever made a crumb "sauce" for the noodles. Oh, sure, I've made a topping for baked mac and cheese, but this was different...and really tasty.

I didn't use any fresh herbs. I guess I'm not much into herbs unless it's chopped into a salad. Whenever I buy fresh ones, I end up tossing them out a few weeks later, practically unused. I kept on threatening to get an herb garden this year, but it's been raining so much, I feel like I'm still in winter.

Anyway, back to the noodles. I just loved them. I followed the recipe fairly exact, except I used a bit of nutmeg in the noodles instead of fresh herbs. That, and all I had was Panko for the bread crumbs, so they were extra crispy.

Thank you Thank you Steph for such a great challenge. For the recipe, or for other truly inspired ideas, check out The Daring Kitchen!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breakfast Sliders



I hesitated over posting this recipe. No, it's not the reason for my unexplained absence from the blogging world. That we will attribute to a 10 day business trip...and my current obsession with GemCraft Labyrinth...seriously, level 104 and I can't beat one board to continue on..grrrrr! I just didn't feel much like writing. Yes, I was still cooking, just not writing about it.

I'm not going to write about my trip now - I'm saving that for a few things I want to cook that were inspired by my trip.


These little gems have made me want to write about them. I just finished off the first batch of these, and let me tell you, they are really tasty. These were sort of inspired by my trip. I remember sitting in a restaurant, reading the menu, and all the different types of sliders they had and thinking - why not breakfast sliders? An idea was born.

They have a little bit of everything - some Ham or Canadian Bacon, maple glazed bacon, sausage, eggs, even cheese - all enclosed on the slightly sweet goodness of a Hawaiian Roll. Now, I love King's Hawaiian Rolls...and this recipe was just perfect for the slightly sweet taste. There was enough meat and savory things on the roll to balance the sweetness perfectly.

If you like spicy, you can make it with hot breakfast sausage. I didn't, because I don't like that much spice. One of the great things about this recipe is almost everything can be prepared in advance, then heated and assembled in the morning. So, if you want to serve them for breakfast and you aren't a morning person, this is the recipe for you.


For a printable version of the recipe, click here.

Breakfast “Sliders”

Makes 8, serves 4-6, depending on appetites

5 slices thick sliced bacon

½ T. maple syrup

¼ lb. breakfast sausage

4 slices Canadian bacon, or thinly sliced ham, cut into 4 pieces

8 Hawaiian sweet rolls (I love King’s Hawaiian)

3 eggs

1 T. cream

¼ t. salt

¼ t. pepper

8 slices cheese, I used American slices (cut into 4 pieces each)

Butter

Preheat oven to 350.

For the Bacon: Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil. Place bacon on prepared cookie sheet and brush with maple syrup. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked and crispy. Let cool slightly and cut into 3 pieces each.

For the eggs: Combine eggs, cream, salt, and pepper and mix until well mixed. Lightly spray muffin cups and divide the egg mixture among 8 muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 10-13 minutes, until just done.

For the sausage: Divide sausage into 8 portions, shape into patties roughly the size of each roll, and saute over medium heat. Let cool slightly.

Assembly:

Split each roll in ½, and place in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until golden. Brush with butter. While the rolls are toasting, heat the ham just until warm.

Put one piece of bacon and cheese on the bottom, followed by Canadian bacon, sausage, egg, Canadian Bacon, and another piece of your maple bacon.

Serve Warm.