Sunday, December 5, 2010
I assumed settling into a new job would get easier. A month later, I may know more but I feel like I know less. It felt so "good" baking this last weekend. Kind of like going home after a long time away. What a great ice breaker baking the Chocolate Velvet Fudge cake for the Heavenly Cake Bakers. I loved making the chocolate paste with boiling water and Valhrona cocoa powder. What a dark and rich base! The batter had a wonderful thickness to it but my cake baked for a little less then 50 minutes with me using a 10-cup Bundt pan. Rose's baking directions stated 50 to 65 minutes. I am definitely not complaining. =)
I sprinkled vanilla infused powdered sugar over the top and served slices with whipped heavy cream infused with vanilla bean paste and sprinkled with mini-chocolate chips. What a perfect dessert to go with a nice Sunday dinner~.
Who, besides me, gets a brain freeze on the weekend when the word "breakfast" is uttered? If I do not prepare what I am fixing for breakfast at LEAST a day in advance, Saturday morning I just want to pull the covers up over my head.
Whenever I need an extra boost of help, I go to Gale Gand and her BRUNCH! cookbook. She has never let me down. I take one of her recipes as a base and ad-lib away; which is what I did with her frittata recipe.
Red pepper Gouda, sharp Cheddar cheese, Fontina, wilted baby spinach, sauteed green bell pepper and 4 ounces of Pancetta, 1 cup of cooked spaghetti, along with Gale Gands base recipe for a Frittata (okay I played with the base recipe too) all when together for an amazing breakfast. I even heated up some marinara sauce to serve over the top!
The GUTSY COOKS Week 1 of December! The menu? I goofed! Instead of making Raymond's choice of recipes: Chicken a la King, Spinach Timbales, and Kasha Pilaf, I made the week previous' recipes of: Minestrone and Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Currant Jus from the cookbook The Illustrated Kitchen Bible. Raymond from Your Just Dessert choose the month of December's menus and I am going to play catch-up this week to make the RIGHT recipes. I can not believe I goofed but I will try and get the menu made by Tuesday. Yeesh!
I seriously altered the recipe and used salt pork, onion, and garlic first.
Baby Lima beans replaced white kidney beans (cannellini beans), along with extras like dried basil, baby spinach, and corn. I also doubled the recipe so I would have enough to freeze for future dinners.
The minestrone turned out amazing and packed full of delicious flavor!
The soup was topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. A meal all on its' own.
The roast beef tenderloin jus was tender and the jus drizzled over the top with crispy bacon, Port wine, beef stock and currant jelly was perfect together. It is hard to imagine Port and currant jelly being cooked down, creating a winning combination but the currant added a sweet depth. Bacon goes without saying.
I made creamy mashed potatoes infused with crisp bacon and green onions along with steamed corn, creating a hearty Sunday evening dinner.
For the Mashed Potatoes:
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup low-fat milk, warmed
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
In a large pot, immerse the potatoes and garlic in water.
Boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels.
Pour out all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings from the pan.
Add the green onions to the drippings, and saute until soft but not brown. Return the bacon to the skillet and stir to combine.
Drain the potatoes and garlic and return to the pot.
Mash the potatoes with the milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir in the bacon and green onions.
Reheat, if necessary, before serving.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The Heavenly Cake Baker's is an amazing group! I continue to be challenged on just about every recipe we have tried. On November 8th, the HCB group made the Swedish Pear and Almond Cream bundt cake and I missed out baking it. All I saw was beautiful, moist cakes on all the member's blog sites and I couldn't quit thinking about baking one of my own.
I bought the ingredients last week. All I had to do was assemble. I was wondering how everyone achieved getting the pears covered with cake since the recipe calls for only a 1/4-inch groove to be made for the almond cream, then the layer of pear slices on top.
I was the one to be shocked when pulling the cake out of the oven. No pears visible!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sweet Melissa Sunday's is such a fun group! I love everyone here. I have felt terrible because I am still adjusting to my new work schedule and I seem to be bombing everything else. My kitties don't even know me right now =).
4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup until full. Bake for (I bake for 18 to 22 minutes) but Melissa states to bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and sprinkle with sugar. Let cool to warm.
I sprinkled the vanilla sugar on the muffin dough before inserting into the oven. I also baked 6 LARGE muffins and 13 mini-muffin caps. We loved the flavor and texture.
Too cute! Thank you everyone for baking along with me! I can not wait for next week's Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie!
I am a whole week behind BUT I wanted to show off the Spanish Vegetable Tortilla and the Cod in Tomato Sauce! Jenn, Monica of Sweetbites co-anchor, chose the month of November's recipes and I "will" catch up.
I LOVED both dishes! The Spanish Vegetable Tortilla was altered a little by me doubling the amount of the broccoli, peas, and adding in 1 cup of sauteed mushrooms. What a delicious tortilla. Mine baked a little darker then the photo in The Illustrated Kitchen Bible but did not taste over cooked. Relief!
LOVED, loved, loved the fresh Roma tomato sauce with sauteed onions, white wine, and seasonings. Would definitely make this again! Thank you Jenn for the great menu choices!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I am late posting today but in my defense, I had to work this weekend and also baked my baby sugar pumpkins last night to make my own pumpkin puree. The pie just finished baking and I had a warm sliver so I knew what I was typing about =). YUM!
Isn't the pumpkin puree pretty with little brown flecks from being baked?
I used a pie crust recipe from the Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Beranbaum for the crust. I LOVE her cookbooks too. Butter ready to go into the food processor with the pastry flour.
While my crust was chilling, we simmered the crushed cinnamon sticks and chopped, fresh ginger.
Okay, maybe I can share a boo-boo. Everyone needs a laugh once in a while. I was buzzing along, straining my ginger and cinnamon pieces out of the cream BEFORE adding to the whipped eggs and egg yolks, Melissa says to do the straining after but I just couldn't, THEN Guess WHAT?
Thursday, November 4, 2010
This post is going to be fast. Craving Ellie in My Belly is such a great group of people and I have been enjoying cooking along with the group immensely. This pizza is no exception! I made my own pizza crust and used fresh tomatoes instead of sun dried. So GOOD!
My MISHAP was baking the pizza a little too long. The crust, infortunately, became REALLY brown on the outside. The rest of the pizza was perfect.
Thank you Joanne of Apple Crumble for such a delicious choice this week and for hosting. You ROCK! Go see her pizza and if you want the recipe, click here. (Still Joanne's site)
Sunday, October 31, 2010
SMS - Goat Cheese, Olive and Thyme Muffins, combines with the Gutsy Cooks Oxtail Stew and Polenta - Plus Some
I stuffed my muffin cups with batter since I decided on baking a full batch. Melissa says the recipe only makes 12 muffins but the last 3 times I have baked this recipe, using the different add-in ingredients, the recipe has made more like 18 muffins.
Melissa's baking time is a little too long, according to my oven. The muffins were done in 18 minutes.
The filling with goat cheese, olives, and rosemary is delicious! I wish I had added more rosemary because the fresh herb seemed to get lost in my muffin.
The empanadas are a different story. I made a big mess trying and we really did want to like these. The dough is what caught us up and I already changed up the filling ingredients. I just could not do Tuna. The thought made my tummy flip-flop.
Maybe I rolled the dough to thick but the flavor was bland and dry.
I used diced pork with the chopped tomatoes and 2 tsp.'s of tomato paste along with a jar of chipotle corn salsa.
The filling was okay but the whole empanada was hard to eat more then one. I pulled out more salsa for dipping, still we did not eat even half of them. I felt bad posting a negative response but I think being part of a group is knowing that we all have different tastes and this just didn't hit ours.
I do want to try empanadas again, with a different dough recipe, since this was also a first for me to make and the idea was a wonderful one. Thank you Monica for widening our horizons in the kitchen!