September 30, 2008

TWD: REWIND to Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

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This week for Tuesdays with Dorie we were given the opportunity to do a rewind recipe instead of the one that was chosen by Mari of Mevrouw Cupcake. She chose Creme Brulee on page 393. Because I don't have a blowtorch and because I had so many other things going on I decided to do the rewind and create the Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits. To see what other TWDers did, check out our blogroll.

Now, let me tell you I have never been able to make a biscuit as good as my mom or my Aunt Marlene. I don't know why I can't seem to get them so puffy and soft and tender. I really don't think I overwork the dough. But, that is what I have been told will make your biscuit not turn out so well. I'm not one to totally give up, and since this was a simple enough looking recipe and I didn't have a lot of time, I decided to go ahead and make the biscuits.

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
Page 25

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1/4 cup cold whole milk (I used 1% since that is what I had)
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk flour(s), baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. Stir in brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and using fingers or pastry blender, quickly work dry ingredients until mixture is pebbly. You should have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces he size of everything in between!

Stir the sour cream and mil together and pour over the dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir gently until you have a nice soft dough. Reach into the bowl and give the dough a quick gentle kneading - 3 or 4 turns should be enough. Toss in the pecans and knead another 2 -3 times to incorporate them.

Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and dust the top with flour. Roll dough out until it is about 1/2 inch high. Using biscuit cutter, cut as many biscuits as you can from the dough. Gather scraps, pat together and repeat. Bake for 14 -18 minutes or until they are tall, puffed and golden.

These were an awesome choice and were delicious when warm from the oven

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SO, someone got a new vehicle. But, it wasn't Grumpy. Not yet. My son Justin told me today that he bought a new Ford Escape. He's coming to pick me up at work tomorrow over lunch break and I get to be the 2nd person to ride in his new vehicle with him! Lucky mom! To get to spend noon hour with her son that is....

September 29, 2008

Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Toasted Walnuts

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Yes, I made my own cake. I had a few people tell me that if we lived close enough they would make my cake, but alas, we live on opposite sides of the country! I am posting this early because Tuesday is my TWD and my birthday, and because I actually had this cake on Saturday with a group of my friends. I won't be surprised someone will actually make me a cake but if they don't - it's ok because I had this one!

I wanted to make something with apples since mom & dad just brought me a ton of them! Well, maybe not a ton, but a lot! I found this cake on Once Upon a Plate when searching either FoodGawker or Tastespotting. I'm not sure which one it was now, but I wouldn't be surprised the photo is on both sites!


Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Toasted Walnuts

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • grey sea salt
  • about 20 unwrapped soft-chewy caramel candies - Or make your own
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk (I went with the heavy cream)

Cake:


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all purpose flour


Filling:


  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (I used light sour cream)
  • 2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan at least 2" deep; or a 9" springform pan.
Spread the walnuts in a single layer in an ungreased pan, and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. (don't over brown them like I did the first time by getting distracted from the kitchen!) Remove them from the oven, and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Set them aside.

Beat together the sugar, butter, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla until smooth.
Add the eggs. Beat till thoroughly combined. Stir in the sour cream or yogurt alternately with the flour, using the low speed on mixer. The batter will be stiff. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula, don't be concerned if it's not perfect, just try to spread it evenly.

Toss the apple wedges with the sugar and vanilla till apples are thoroughly coated.
Arrange the apples on top of the cake batter, pushing them into the batter gently so they're partially submerged.

Bake the cake for 65 minutes till it's golden brown on top and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack, apple-side up.

Place the caramel and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat till the cream is showing bubbles, and the caramel is soft. Stir the caramel and cream till smooth. (I did this in 3-30 second intervals)
Spoon the caramel over the cake, dripping it down into the crevices around the apples.
Scatter the walnuts on top. Sprinkle lightly with very coarse sea salt flakes if desired.



September 27, 2008

The Daring Bakers go Crackers!

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The dough has risen to the challenge!

This month the Daring Bakers made history as our September challenge is vegan and/or gluten free. For the first time ever, the torch has been passed to « Alternative » Daring Bakers : Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl. They wanted something savory this month so they chose the recipe for Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice (pp 178 - 180). To view the recipe for the cracker, check out Natalie or Shel's blogs.

I so look like my own mother in this photo! Thanks to my son Chris who took the photo for me!

We had a lot of freedom with this challenge. Our only restrictions were on the dips - they had to be vegan. No animal products or by products. The crackers could be all purpose wheat (umm, I missed that part until I started to write this) or gluten free. I knew exactly what I was going to do for the dip!

These crackers were so easy and so tasty!

A few years ago when I was visiting my mom and dad, mom had made a spread out of tofu that was so awesome I could have eaten the whole container full. She had gotten the recipe from a lady at her church and kindly passed it on to me (2 times because I lost it the 1st time!). We just call this tofu spread. I wouldn't know what else to call it except for when I tasted it with green olives in it I was reminded of egg salad!


Mom's Friend Oriana's Tofu Spread

1 brick tofu (I used firm)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
4 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise (you can use regular mayonnaise here also)
1 celery stick, diced fine
2 green onions, diced fine
1/3 cup black olives, diced fine
1/3 cup green olives, diced fine
Sea salt flakes to taste

Place tofu between thick paper towels and place a heavy pot on top to press water out. I let this set for about 10 minutes this way. Mash tofu.

Stir in remaining ingredients, add salt to taste and refrigerate. This spread is very versatile and you can add what more or less of veggies/olives according to your taste.

Don't forget to check out the daring bakers blog roll to see what other members are saying about this challenge!

P.S. I'm editing to let other DB'ers know that I will get to check posts on Sunday evening when I return home. I'm on my way out the door for the weekend!

September 26, 2008

Mocha Muffins

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I can't help it. I just like making muffins! They are quick, simple and oh so yummy! Plus, they are fun to share. One full batch rarely stays in my house for a day.

Yesterday I had email correspondence with my cousin Michelle and found out my aunt had total knee replacement surgery a couple of days ago. I immediately emailed her back asking he what kind of treat I could make for her mom! Michelle responded with anything chocolate. So, since I love sharing muffins and had been looking at this Mocha Muffin from Joy of Baking, I decided right then and there that was what I would make for my aunt to enjoy while she is recovering! I dropped them off for her this morning but didn't get to see her as there was nobody home when I went by....but never fear, I left her a note so my uncle and cousins would know I left them for her!

Later this afternoon Chris came down and wanted some lunch/dinner. I love having days like this when I'm home and in the kitchen baking or cooking or both and I have someone here to share with. I offered to make him the Buffalo Chicken Panini, but he wanted tomato soup and toasted cheese. he he. Here are a few photos of this afternoon:

He's so handsome. There are those dimples I was talking about on my TWD Post!

HoneyB just happy as ever to be doing something for her son!

Not only is he handsome, he is self sufficient also (and single - but you gotta love his mom if your going to love him! lol. He may kill me for that one since he does read this!)


Just before I posted this blog I was visiting Jenny's site, Picky Palate, and I see that Martha Stewart is looking to feature several blogs on the Martha Blog! If your interested, hop on over to her site and check it out!

Mocha Muffins
from Joy of Baking


2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup safflower, corn, or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
1/4 cup strong black coffee or espresso, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup cappuccino, semisweet, milk, or white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Line 12 - 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch muffin cups with paper liners, or butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray.

In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, coffee, and vanilla extract.

In another large bowl combine the flours, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18 - 23 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes about 12 regular sized muffins.

September 25, 2008

Spiced Apple Butter Bran Muffins - 4 WW Points each

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Last weekend I made the all-day apple butter. I had never made apple butter before and I didn't really have it often growing up. I think I probably tried it but didn't really like it back then. My DIL reintroduced me to apple butter when I visited her and Justin a couple years ago at Thanksgiving time. I really loved the creamy feeling and loved knowing I could get that with no fat! I decided to go ahead and try my hand at making it and found out just how easy it was. I then went on a search for recipes that included apple butter!

I found one this morning on the Eating Well website. After making so much food lately that is not calorie conscious, I decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and start being more careful and making better choices. Too much sugar and too much fat doesn't make one feel too well (and as I type this Grumpy is in his recliner not feeling well at all - as a matter of fact, he got sick before I made that trifle and he hasn't even been able to eat any of it. I may have to take that into work to get rid of it!). Grumpy probably won't be able to eat these muffins either. He hasn't been able to eat much of anything the last two days. :( I'll end up taking these to work after I give Chris a muffin or two. Sue will be happy! Oh well, probably others will be too!

For my friends who will be having this muffin and are counting Weight Watcher points - one muffin is 4 points.
Spiced Apple Butter Bran Muffins
eatingwell.com
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1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran or oat bran (I used wheat bran)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup spiced apple butter
1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup finely diced peeled apple
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin tin with muffin cups. Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in bran.
Whisk egg, milk, apple butter, Splenda brown sugar, oil and molasses in a large bowl until blended. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Drain the raisins; add them and the diced apple to the bowl. Stir until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan (the cups will be very full).
Bake the muffins until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.


September 24, 2008

CELEBRATION TIME!

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We passed our accreditation!!!!!!!! I asked my boss at lunch yesterday if he did the happy dance when they gave him our verdict. He didn't know what I meant..... LOL. He probably thinks I'm the silliest person out there. BUT we PASSED!!!!!! I think Sue is happily dancing in her seat too. Aren't you Sue? lol It was a lot of hard work and a lot of time involved, but now that it is over with it was well worth it to have passed with no recommendations whatsoever! This means when our next ABET Accreditation comes around we do not have to address any concerns. We just keep doing a great job and show continuous improvement. YIPPEE! I'm so excited I could just sing AND dance. lol. Don't worry, I don't sing off key. Aunt Marlene can tell you if I look funny dancing. he he.

HT took Sue and I out to celebrate and of course I wasn't hungry as I had just eaten all my veggies and dip and my cheese stick I had for lunch. Ok, Ok, If I don't tell you, Sue may pipe in here and say I was eating candy corn this morning too. God, I need to get that stuff off my desk. So, I had a Gingerbread Latte and some panini toast. Sort of like my dessert after my lunch that my boss paid for. BUT tonight we had this amazing trifle that I created last summer.


Grumpy doesn't request many things, but when mom brought over the last of the raspberries from their raspberry bush, well, I knew that he would want this dessert. It went without really saying so....although I did ask. Yeah. I had to make that trifle.


HoneyB's Raspberry Trifle

Angel food cake (yes, one of the few things I will buy from the grocery premade!)
Vanilla pudding (recipe follows)
1 quart fresh raspberries
Fresh whipped cream
Amaretto syrup (recipe follows)

Vanilla pudding:

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 cups milk (I use skim milk)
4 beaten egg yolks
1 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

In a medium heavy saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Gradually stir 1 cup of the milk mixture into egg yolks.

Add egg mixture to milk mixture in saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour pudding into a bowl. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Serve warm or cold (do not stir during chilling)


Amaretto Syrup:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto

In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Amaretto. Cool syrup.

Whipping Cream:
2 pints heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Blend until thickened. Do not overmix as if you do you will have butter!

ASSEMBLY:

Layer angel food cake, raspberries, vanilla pudding, whipped cream. Repeat layers (I do two layers). Place more raspberries on top of trifle to finish. Dig in and ENJOY!

September 23, 2008

TWD: Dimply Plums

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Dimply. I think of Christopher and his wonderful smile. What a handsome boy I have. That is what I think of when I think of dimply. But Dorie gave me another thing to think of when I hear that word. Dimply Plum Cake.

Michelle of Bake-en selected, Dimply Plum Cake on page 41of Dorie's Baking cookbook. This is a beautiful cake. I think it was the most photogenic of all recipes I have made since joining TWD. I thought it tasted just fine, but I probably won't be making it again unless it is for my parents (who took the cake home with them). Chris and Grumpy just are not fruit in your cake kind of people and I could not eat the whole thing by myself. My dad however, was tickled pink to get this cake as his statement was "I love plums!" Funny, I never knew that about my dad!

I did sprinkle some Wilton white sparkling sugar on top for looks

I think instead of any more words, I will leave you with the a few more photos I took of this cake. Let the pictures do the talking! Don't forget to check out the TWD blogroll to see other creations of this cake!

Look at those dimples!





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September 22, 2008

On top of ....... shell pasta?

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Did I mention that I have fallen in love with Pam's blog, For the Love of Cooking? If you happened to miss that, then I am here to tell you yet again. I LOVE PAM'S BLOG!! Not only that, Grumpy and his daddy were happy campers....and so was one other special little family member.I think that just looking at Pam's blog I could gain weight if looking actually made you do so. You will probably see me trying more than a few of her recipes here because they are right up our alley! When Grumpy is home on weekends (meaning he is not on call) I like to make sure we have meals that make him happy. We have an overabundance of venison in our freezer still, and hunting season (early archery) starts here next week so meatballs were a perfect choice. Today when my parents stopped by I gave them two bags full of stew and ground venison to help us clean up last years meat. I also gave my dad one of the meatballs (mom is vegetarian and doesn't eat meat). His verdict was the meatball was very good. This was without the sauce as it wasn't finished yet. You can view Pam's recipe by clicking HERE.

I made the meatballs following Pam's recipe with the following changes:
  • I used ground venison instead of ground beef (our venison is also mixed with pork when taken to the butcher so this adds some flavor other than that of venison)
  • I didn't have button mushrooms, but I did have some portabello caps in the fridge, so I subbed them where it called for the button mushrooms
  • I didn't have fresh basil so I used dried basil
When I shaped the meatballs, to make them small with ease I used my small cookie scoop. Instead of frying the meatballs I put them on a large cookie sheet and baked them for 20 minutes. I was too lazy to stand at the stove and cook the meatballs, baking them, for me, was much easier!
I made the her sauce recipes with these changes:
  • I again subbed portabello for button mushrooms
  • Instead of 1 tsp sugar, I used 2 tsp (we like a sweeter sauce)
Needless to say, this meal was a hit and I thank Pam profusely for bring this recipe to the internet world! Even the littlest member of our family loved the meatballs....and he found a way to get to one just look below......

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September 21, 2008

All Day Long

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Most good things take time. This is true especially with the apple butter I made yesterday. With fall approaching us and the weather starting to cool it is time to think of apples, pumpkins, spices, cider, donuts...oh the list of cool weather comfort foods could go on and on! I love the smell of fall and the vibrant and bright fall colors.

The ladies in my cooking friends forum that I participate in have a topic on apple butter. I had gotten some apples from my parents and decided that I wanted to try to make this myself! Mom & Dad are awesome gardeners. They not only grow great gardens, but they have raspberry patches and a few rows strawberries not to mention they have three different types of apple trees! The cortlands aren't quite ready yet, but they will be soon and I can't wait!

The original recipe is from Allrecipes.com. I will have marked what I did in red. I would probably do as my friend Emily on the cooking forum suggested and cook the 5# of apples down the next time so I can fit it all in my crockpot. As it was, I only had 3# of apples at the time and after chopping them up, I couldn't see where I would fit anymore in! Next time I may use brown sugar instead of white - to me it seems like brown sugar would be awesome in the butter!

All Day Apple Butter
allrecipes.com

5 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and finely chopped (I used 3 lbs)
4 cups sugar (I used 2 cups)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I still used 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I used 1/2 tsp cloves)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place apples in a slow cooker. (next time I would cook them down some prior to putting in the crockpot and do the whole recipe as my friend Emily suggests) Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking). Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. If desired, stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

After about 7 hours I took my hand held blender and blended the apples until smooth. This thickened them up some. I then let it cook another couple of hours on low and then took the lid off to cook another hour and half.

I was going to not include this photo below when I realized you can see something in the photo that I did not quite expect! Can you tell me what it is? LOL. I decided I would anyway because the butter looks so yummy on that spoon it makes me want to just stuff it in my mouth!

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September 20, 2008

Feeding the crowd

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No, this isn't a post about candy pumpkins. BUT I have a glass pumpkin jar FULL of them and I have probably eaten about 20 today. Well, maybe I'm exagerating, but then again, maybe I'm not! I didn't count. The jar isn't too empty though....those things, even though they are super sugary, are so addicting. Bad me. I need to keep out for the rest of the day! Umm, my co-worker Sue probably is reading this and laughing because she knows I can't keep my hands out of the candy corn at work too! :-p

This post is about potatoes. You know, as I type this I am thinking I really should just come out and call myself a potato ho just like many of the rest of you! Maybe now that ABET is almost over (huge sigh of relief will not happen though until they tell us we pass!) I can finally join in with the rest of the gang. I mean, I cook potatoes anyway!

Pam over at For the Love of Cooking has a scalloped potato recipe on her blog that looks so awesome that it made me want to make it! She was my inspiration, however, when Grumpy heard I was "detering" from my normal path of scalloped potato recipe he told me he liked the way I made ours - so I basically stuck to my recipe, but I did cheat a little and added some shredded cheddar cheese! he he. Hopefully he won't gripe about it and will love it. Chris came downstairs saying how great it smelled in the house and I admit, it smelled pretty good!

My Father-in-law (whom I call many different things, but today it's been Daddy-o), grumpy's uncle Jody and cousin Mike came to help do the things around the house that need to be finished before winter flies. They are finishing the forms in the basement and building a lean to off the garage so the boat has protection. This is the kind of occasion that I love because it means I can cook for people who will need to eat!

Below is my recipe for the scalloped potatoes, let me know if you try them and like the recipe. I adapted it somewhat from a few different recipes I have seen around. Don't go ewww at the mayonnaise. I did the first time I saw it and wouldn't give it a chance however, the 2nd time I tried I let myself use both the broth and mayo (I grew up with a sauce made with flour, butter, and milk) and it gave the sauce for the potatoes so much flavor. This is the way Grumpy likes his scalloped potatoes best. Oh, and I have to put in diced ham. To him they aren't scalloped potatoes without the ham in them.


Scalloped Potatoes with Onion and Ham

5 large potatoes, sliced thin
1/2 large onion, sliced thin
pepper (approx 1 tsp fresh ground - I always "guestimate my pepper and salt)
3/4 cup diced ham

Layer potatoes, ham, and onion in large baking dish. Make sauce.
Sauce:
2 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp mayonnaise

Melt butter til bubbly and stir in flour. Cook flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Whisk in 2 tablespoons mayonnaise.

I found this wasn't enough sauce, so I mixed another 2 cups of chicken broth with 1/4 more flour, then whisked this into the sauce and cooked until thick and bubbly.

Because I was wanting to have some "au gratin" potatoes also, I decided they would never know if I shredded some white cheddar cheese in (by looking at it anyway!) so I shredded about 1/2 cup cheddar cheese into the sauce and then and placed another 1/2 cup shredded cheddar on top.Place covered dish in 350 oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove cover and bake 15 minutes longer.


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September 18, 2008

Cookies cookies everywhere

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A few weeks ago when reading through some Tuesday's with Dorie postings I came across the blog South in your Mouth by Amy. On her side bar labels I noticed that she had 25 chocolate chip cookie recipes she had blogged about! Well, if she had made that many recipes, she had to know something, right?! Oh, I was definitely on the right track....

Amy was comparing the New York Times Torres chocolate chip recipe to the David Lebivoitz recipe. I had seen the NY Times recipe and heard all the hype, even in the cooking forum I frequent, but had not decided to make the cookie basically because I am not a huge chocolate chip fan. BUT when I saw this recipe called for sea salt, well, I became sold. I knew I had to try the cookie because I have fallen in love with sea salt (the French Grey Sea salt)! I had also decided what better time for me to make cookies as we have a joint seminar this Friday. I mixed the cookies up on Sunday afternoon and planned to bake them on Monday after I got home from work. As many of you read on my TWD post, when I woke up Monday morning we had no power. So, much to my avail when I got home Monday evening and saw we still had no power, I was unable to bake the cookies. We ran the generator and kept the fridge and freezer running and when I arrived home from work on Tuesday evening, the power was back. Thank goodness!

First thing I did was clean the fridge and freezer out. I tossed the items I didn't dare keep anymore and after I cleaned up the kitchen I set out to bake the cookies. These cookies take the cake. lol Seriously! They call for cake flour and bread flour! They are awesome. They were crunchy on the edges, chewy on the inside and that touch of salt and chocolate was AWESOME. If you haven't made the NY Times recipe yet, I ask you one question. What on earth are you waiting for!?? Click here to go to the recipe!



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September 17, 2008

A Treat??!! For Li'l ole ME?? And a new award!

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First off, let me start by saying - so there is no confusion - what we experienced here in NNY weather wise was nothing I am positive what was experienced in Texas. My heart goes out to those in TX affected by the hurricane. What we experienced here was remnants of the hurricane - meaning high strong winds - not a hurricane.

Now about the treat...Let me tell you a little story. True of course!

Last week, one of the students, Josh, was in the office telling me about a purchase he made while on a class field trip. He was telling me he bought a 40 lb pumpkin and was going to make a pie! How many of you are out there laughing or giggling right about now? I bet you know he could make more than one pie with a 40lb pumpkin! However, I started to laugh and was asking him HOW on earth was he going to cook that pumpkin! I told him he would be better off bringing the big pumpkin to my house to sit on my side porch and let me give him some smaller pumpkins to bake a pie. Josh was not to be persuaded that he could not make a pie with that 40lb pumpkin though.

Yesterday morning he stopped in the office to tell me that he made pies with that pumpkin....and had a lot of pumpkin left over! One of those pies was for me! He had just left class so he didn't have the pie with him, but a little later in walked Andrew with the pie! I am so impressed and I am so flattered that these boys made a homemade pie and actually gave me one! I promptly shared it with my co-worker and other faculty who came in the office. Everyone thought it was great. Thank you Josh! :-)

*************************************************************************************
I want to thank Pam of For the Love of Cooking for presenting me with the Yummy Blog Award. I am very flattered that Pam gave me this award because I think her blog is one of the yummiest out there! I will be passing this award onto some other yummy blogs out there:

  • Barbara of Barbara Bakes. Barbara is a woman after my own heart. She likes Cooking Light recipes (I collect the cookbooks and just subscribed to the magazine again!). Her photos of her food look great. We have a lot in common (her maiden name is the same as my former last name, she has a daughter getting married and my son just got married, and I think we are pretty close to the same age). We both have the Martha Stewart Cookie book and have been making cookies from there!

  • Carrie of Vegan Deliciousness. Carrie is a cooking forum friend. She went from vegetarian to vegan not too long ago. Check her blog out - her food pics make you want to be at her house for dinner! Actually, I wouldn't mind eating all 3 meals a day with her!

  • Drew from How to Cook Like your Grandmother. Oh man, just go to his blog. Look at the photos and drool. His site has a special meaning to me because I want to cook just like my grandmother. My grandmother was one of the most special people in my life and I strive to be like her!

September 16, 2008

I'm Powerless on TWD

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Yes, we lost our power about 4 AM Monday. The radio this morning is telling us it was remnants of Hurricane Ike. Well, we not only lost our power but our patio table and a window from a door that we had removed (fortunately). Needless to say, I got the glass on the back patio cleaned, but the table top, well that glass just shattered into pieces. I have no idea how we will clean that from the lawn. We still have no power this morning. This makes 29 hours with no power to our home. We ran the generator last evening just to keep the freezer and fridge running. Thankfully, Justin & Kristina, who live about 2 miles from us, have power and they have been nice enough to let us use their shower facilities and get water to flush our toilet! This should ease the minds of those worried I might not have shower facilities! :D

I did check our report from the power company and this is what they tell me:

Outage Details:
  • Our records indicate an outage began on Monday, 09/15/2008 at 4:38 AM in your area.
  • Restoration Estimate: Tuesday, 09/16/2008 at 6:00 PM
SIGH. So probably no power until after I'm home already. I'll be replacing my fridge food I am sure. Thank goodness for work internet! ha ha. At least I can post my TWD photos.....

I did make the cookie last week and took it to seminar on Friday. The cookie is the ugliest cookie (many turd-like references were made about how it looked) but it tasted awesome! For the recipe you can check Claudia from Fool For Food, she choose the recipe and even though it is ugly, I am glad she did! The few that were left over from seminar were left at my son's work place and he came home with an empty container! Thanks Claudia!
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