August 2012


This morning I started the day with a Smoothie. A Peach Pie Smoothie!

With the inclusion of nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey it did taste more like pie but it was rather underwhelming with flavor. I really don’t care for frozen peaches that much because they often are rather bland, but I still use them. Once I had this one sweet enough it was better but not a repeat.

The recipe calls for ice, but I don’t have a blender and my little blender isn’t built for that so I just left it out. It was still nice and thick with little pieces of peach. I made this because I just wanted something easy for Craving Ellie this week. And this one was super easy.

The recipe is on page 22 of Ellie’s So Easy.

If you look on page 30 of Donna Hay’s Off The Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry you will see the recipe for baked carbonara. She lists it as ‘short order’. Presumably because it is quick. And it is. By the time the sauce is put together the pasta is al dente and ready to be mixed with some nice crispy bacon. What you end up with after baking the mixture for 30 minutes is….

…which you use as a main or a side. Either way, it is GOOD. And it was my pick for this week’s Donna Hay Wednesday. I only made 1/2 of the recipe and we ate it as a side. The cream, milk, egg, and Parm cheese all comes together resulting in a creamy pasta.

I would not change anything except instead of just pouring the cream/milk/egg mixture over the pasta I would mix it all up in larger bowl with the the bacon and then put it into the baking dish. Good Stuff Y’all.

Check out Kayte’s, Chaya’s, and Gaye’s blogs to see how they liked it.

I cannot believe it is already the end of August. Where does the time go?? And so quickly!! Swoosh!! It’s gone! And somewhere in there I found a little time to bake. Cakes and Pies.

First – the cake – or cupcakes

January 5, 2010 TWD celebrated it’s second birthday with CAKE!! Not just any cake.

    Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake

I made these in July for my friend’s birthday. But instead of cake, I made cupcakes. 6 Cupcakes. 6 Texas Sized cupcakes. With Splenda. They were
delicious! Honest. And with the Chocolate Malt Buttercream Frosting – outstanding!!

:I decided to make cupcakes so she could take the rest home with her. And they travel better than cakes. I made them with Splenda so she could share with her Hubs who is diabetic.
They were moist.
They were sweet.
They were chocolatey.
‘Nuff said!!
And when I have finished the rest of the TWD recipes I will make there again. Since I made cupcakes they only needed to bake about 25 minutes.

You can find them on page 256 of Dorie’s BFMHTY Laurie hosted that week so you can find the recipe on her page. We had a choice of two recipes that week. I made the other one – Tarte Tatin. Also delicious!!

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And this week I made the Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

I have never had a lime pie. Lemon, yes, but not lime. How did that happen? While it looks just like lemon cream pie it is tarter. Much tarter. Of course that could be me. I might not have put enough sugar in it. But it was TASTY!!
I made 1 5″ tart with 1/4 of the recipe of both the filling and the meringue. We don’t like a lot of meringue so I made just a thin layer. And then I got to use…..

which made it fun!! I really need to pull that little instrument out more often.

The group made this little treat on August 25, 2008M. You can find the recipe HERE along with one of many absolutely stunning pies on other pages.

That finishes up all the recipes prior to August 2008. Only one for September so there will be some make-aheads!!

Seems like ages since I did a Malgieri sweet. It’s not because I haven’t been baking. The computer was in the shop and ALL my pictures were on the computer. When Will I Learn??

I made these in July after picking some luscious blueberries from our bushes. And these crumb cakes definitely deserved good, juicy, sweet berries. This was a lovely yellow cake covered with berries and a crumb topping that is also delicious on ice cream. Or maybe ice cream ON the cake with MORE topping over that!! Or maybe JUST the topping!! But I digress….

I made only 1/3 of the entire recipe which resulted in 4 2″ by 3″ cakes. Each of us had our own treat!

The berries kept their definition but some of them ‘melted’ into the batter and provided a sweet layer just above the cake.

We loved these. Perfect for desert or snack or, shucks, Breakfast!! Definitely a repeat! Definitely!

You can find the recipe on page 237 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker. This recipe is not online but several of Nick’s are. Just visit his Website.

Several members of The Challenge have made this already: Kayte, Phyl, Andrea, and Abby, and Chaya. And they all look delicious.

I love bread. There, I said it and I am not sorry. I love making bread. I love the fragrance of fresh bread as it wafts through the house. I used to set the bread machine up so I could wake up to the smell of fresh bread early in the morning. Unfortunately we just don’t eat as much bread as we used to. When I cleaned out the freezer I had throw some bread out! “GASP” That hurt! But it won’t stop me from making bread. Especially when I can make it with friends.

Kayte found us bunches of bread to make from King Arthur Flour to make. We will work our way through them. Thanks, Kayte, I think!! Last week Kayte, Abby, and I made these:

    Cheddar Scallion Rolls

And these will be made again. Rolls are so much easier to use up sometimes than loaves of bread.

These include scallions, cheddar cheese, dill {which I left out} and include both AP and whole wheat flour. They were sweet and soft and delicious. I made them small and only made 1/2 of the full recipe. Big Mistake! Next time – sandwich size!

The only problem with these was the lack of cheese flavor. I used shredded sharp cheddar and just could not taste the cheese. Abby used chunks of cheese and still had the same problem. But they were still GOOD!!! There are little pieces of scallion running all through the rolls.

You can find the recipe on the KAF site. And check out Kayte’s and Abby’s Rolls.

Wednesday is good for two reasons. First it’s half way to the weekend, altho’ being retired I don’t really appreciate them as much anymore, and Second it is time to Cook with Donna Hay. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Donna, and I wasn’t until my Friend, Kayte, introduced us, she is a lovely chef in Australia who develops recipes that are simple, refreshing, and extremely uncomplicated. Uncomplicated is the main reason I like her recipes. Like this one!

    Tomato and Garlic Stew with Prawns

This was very easy to put together, as Donna promises. Her book, off the shelf: cooking from the pantry contains recipes made with items most people already have in their pantry {uh, thus the name!} which means no running to the store just because you found something you really want to cook!! So simple ingredients here: onions,garlic, canned tomatoes, stock. And, of course, prawns shrimp, which are always in the freezer. Always!

Donna served this a soup. I served mine over rice {this IS Louisiana, y’all!!} with a side of crusty bread. And I want to say we loved it, but we didn’t. It was very bland and the onions were rather overwhelming. I never could get it to the thick soupy consistancy. It really didn’t, to us, have much flavor. I played around with the leftovers but never could get the flavor to pop. We are used to food being a little spicier, not hot, just lots of flavor. Sorry, Kayte, {it was her pick this week} but this one just didn’t do it for us.

You can find the recipe on page 102 in off the shelf or on Donna’s website. Please visit Gaye and Chaya and Kayte to find out how they liked it.

I guess every cook/baker has a list of dishes or treats that they haven’t made because they are intimidated by them I know I have a list. Crème Brûlée is one, Pudding, Custard of any kind. Over time, and baking with The TWD group I have conquered all them. Some well, some not so much, but conquered none the less.

But there is One More – POPOVERS!! I have been collecting recipes for years but never had the courage, yes, courage, to try them. Thank goodness for Baking with Julia.

This weeks ‘assignment’ was…

    …..POPOVERS!!

And I could not believe how EASY they were. And I cannot understand why I had put them off for so long!!! I always thought I would have to have a pop-over pan to make them. Not so, Grasshopper!! A simple regular sized muffin pan is perfect. And they came out perfectly. YAY!!

Popovers are hollow and lend themselves to being filled with honey and butter, or syrup

The American answer to the Sopapilla, the Beignet, the Pate Choux {those were also somewhat conquered!!}. They are really tasteless so they allow the flavors of the filler to come through. Knowing they are so easy I plan to make them often for Easter Dinners, Christmas Dinner. I made 1/2 of the recipe and ended up with 5 popovers.

Popovers are on page 213 of Baking with Julia and is hosted by Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes and Amy of Bake With Amy. The recipe is on their blogs.

If popovers are on your ‘Intimidation’ List. Make them. Make them soon. EASY!!!

Today is the 17th of August. That means it is almost September. Which means FALL is right around the corner! Right? Okay, fine! I am stretching it just a wee bit, but I am so ready for fall after all the HEAT we have had this summer!!

So when my friend, Di , mentioned making Pumpkin Muffins the other day I found myself wanting pumpkin. Before the Pumpkin Craze starts!!

And since Ellie has a pumpkin muffin recipe in The Foods You Crave I saw it as an omen!!

These muffins pack in all the flavor of pumpkin pie – nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger – without all the sugar (3/4 cup brown and 3/4 cup molasses) and without all the necessary whipped cream on top. {I think I can resolve THAT problem, but then they won’t be quite as healthy!!} AP and Whole Wheat flour add to the health-ful-ness of this tasty little muffin. {Only 205 calores/muffin and 7gm fat} After only 18 minutes I had some lovely little bites {13} for breakfast. Thanks, Ellie!

These muffins can be found on page 21 of TFYC

BTW I forgot to toss on the pumpkin seeds before baking so just pretend they are there!!

Or…..

    Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella

The good thing about having a garden in the summer is all the fresh goodies – tomatoes, eggplant, squash, etc. The bad thing is that the summer is eventually over and all the fresh goodies go away. So what you are seeing is the last of my fresh tomatoes, with some fresh basil that I hope will last me all through the fall and into the winter. Now if I could just learn to make fresh mozzarella this this would be extra special.

As is true with all of Hazan’s pastas this is quick. Cook your onions, add the tomatoes, add the basil. Toss with pasta and mozzarella and you are done!! DONE!

Accompanied by some lightly toasted Italian 7 grain bread it was the perfect lunch! And 1/2 of the recipe gave me plenty for 2 or maybe 3 meals.

Kayte and I try to make one of Hazan’s pastas every Thursday, so visit with her and then go out and find Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pastas. You will not be sorry!!

Okay, I realize I am out of sinc here with some of the treats from Tuesdays with Dorie, but my computer is vacationing and all I have is my laptop and my camera. Usually not a problem except I cleaned off the camera and downloaded my pics into the computer. So, until my errant computer returns home I am going with what I have.

On the last Tuesday of the month several of us meet up for book club. Not the usual book club where we all the read the same book and discuss it. Nope! We have a book exchange. Bring a book you really enjoyed and let someone else take it home. I have been introduced to some really great books this way from authors I did not know about: Geraldine Brooks’ A Year of Wonders about the Plague. Monica Pradhan’s The Hindi Bindi Club about a group of young women in the US struggling to fit Indian culture with American (complete with recipes). The rather whimsical Being Dead is No Excuse by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funneral. I was not surprised to see most of the funerals I grew up with in their book.

So what does all this have to do with Tuesdays with Dorie? First, it gave me a chance to make a cake I knew would probably NOT be eaten at home and, Second, I found fresh figs on my friends tree which enabled me to make another TWD cake that would NOT have been possible otherwise. It was a Win/Win/Win night!!

Most of you know I am NOT a coffee fan. I. Drink. Tea! Period!! So on May 5, 2009, when the TWD bakers were making Tiramisu I was missing out!! And I say missing out because I had always thought I would not like it because I do not like Coffee!!!

    Tiramisu Cake

But I did like this cake. Kahlua and coffee are the flavorings and they are wonderful together. Really!! Two flavors I never liked before. Do Now!!

This is not your usual tiramisu which is made with lady fingers. It is a yellow cake which is soaked with a kahlua/espresso syrup and then layered with a mascarpone Kalhua frosting. Oh! My! And then add in some chopped chocolate between the cake layers. Sprinkle the top with cocoa. Oh! My! There wasn’t much left when I came home from the Book Club.

Definitely a repeat. BTW I made 1/2 of the recipe and it was enough for a nice little 6″ double layer cake in my new pans (Thanks to Nancy!) who told me where to find them.

This delightful treat was chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures. Unfortunately, her blog is no longer up. I could not find the recipe anywhere else on line. Guess you will just have to purchase Dorie’s Baking From My H0me to Yours if you want to make this cake. Find it on page 266.

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Tarts are so incredibly easy to make. Yes, it does have a crust, but not a rolled one. A tart crust is crumbly and difficult to roll so one simply presses it into a tart pan. And this was the case when the TWD bakers made….

    Fresh Orange Cream Tart

on April 8, 2008.

It was quite tasty and refreshing. I did make a couple of changes. While the recipe called for blood-orange or Valencia OJ, all I had on hand was good ol’ everyday OJ. Worked just fine. And I topped it with a few Manderine orange slices (actually satsumas in a can). 1/4 of the recipe resulted in two 6″ mini tarts. Perfect for just the two of us!! It was the choice of Mary of Starting From Scratch. {Her blog is no longer up so you can find the recipe On The Balanced Baker’s Blog}

This one is definitely on the repeat list. The recipe is on page 334 of Dorie’s BFMHTY.

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