Monday, September 30, 2013

TWD - X Cookie

This was a fun cookie to make and eat.  I really enjoyed the process and they were not difficult at all.  I think these would be especially fun around Christmas time, but if I were to do that I would hunt down the candied orange (I made do without this time around because I didn't see it at my grocery) as I bet that would add a nice festive touch.  What really surprised me is how much you could taste the rum in the cookies.  My husband will love that.  He hasn't tasted them yet, but I know he will love the flavor combination. He isn't much of a drinker, but he does love a good boozy dessert. My kids however, didn't care for the adult taste of these cookies.  And even though I halved the recipe, it still made a lot of cookies considering the kids won't eat them.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TWD - Profiteroles (minus the Espresso)

This was a fun dessert to make and eat.  I made mine without the espresso so the kids would enjoy it, but I would love to try it with the espresso.  I found the whole process much easier than I thought it would be.  The profiteroles were a snap and I would like to make them again, but with a cream inside.  I also might make them a little bigger, but they sure were cute this petite size.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TWD- Blueberry Muffins

When I was a kid I participated in 4-H, my favorite projects being the cooking and baking ones (I was terrible at sewing and the only girl who didn't get a blue ribbon- just a participation ribbon).  One of the things the judges looked for when critiquing your food was the presentation and color.  I would dare to say these muffins would fail on that.  They turned out kind of sad.  The taste was great, but they just had a limp and lackluster look to them.  My family likes muffins with streusel tops, so I will probably stick with my tried and true recipe.  This recipe involved a lot of bowls for just muffins.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TWD-Strawberry Johnnycakes

I hope with school starting next week I will be more organized in the kitchen.  I didn't plan too well for this week's recipe and the only fruit I had that was ripe was strawberries.  They are not my favorite for baking because they tend to get mushy.  But despite that, this dessert worked.  I really liked this recipe. It was easy and tasty.  I liked making the individual servings in ramekins which makes for easy serving and less of a temptation for me as otherwise I might eat more than I should. The cornmeal adds the perfect amount of texture.  I will make it again once my plums and nectarines are ripe that I bought yesterday.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TWD-Vegetable Tart

I guess you could say this tart is not photogenic.  It looks better in person than in this picture.  I found the phyllo dough a little strange to work with, but I did like the taste of it in the tart.  I liked the crisp flaky crust as a contrast to the sauteed vegetables and goat cheese.  I didn't ask my kids to eat this.  I know from past recipes, that goat cheese is just too strong of a taste for their palette.  I'm not sure if I would make this again, but I definitely will be making something with phyllo dough again since I have almost an entire box left. I will be Googling phyllo dough recipes tonight.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

TWD-Baked Yogurt Tart

I was intrigued by this recipe.  Could something with non fat yogurt taste good?  Well the answer in our house was mixed.  My husband did not care for this and he usually likes everything.  I thought it was good (but I have never met a pie or tart I didn't like) and both my kids liked it.  I thought it was a nice substitute for a heavier cream pie or even cheesecake, but my husband declared it "kinda weird."  So I don't think I will be making it again, but I did enjoy making it.  I love the Baking with Julia pie crust recipe, so it was nice to have some extra pie dough on hand.  I used one of the pie crusts to make a Toll House cookie pie as a gift.  So all in all the experience was a good one, even it it was "kinda weird" for my husband.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TWD-Savarin, the sleeper hit of the summer

I had very little expectations for this dessert. First I was suspicious that the recipe only called for 3/4 cup of flour. And the dough looked so puny in the pan and even punier after it baked and cooled.  But as I added the glaze (I just used a couple teaspoons of black raspberry jam) and the fruit, it started to breath new life.  I added rum to my simple syrup because my husband loves baba rum.  I do wish that I had brushed on the simple syrup while the cake was still hot because I think it would have absorbed more that way.  But other than that, this was a lovely cake.  It seemed so French country.  And my whole family liked it and didn't make suggestions on how it could be better!  I can definitely see myself making this again, especially during peak berry season.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TWD- Brioche Pockets

When my daughter tasted one of these pockets she said "this tastes like something Grandma would like."  And sure enough yesterday my mom had emailed me how she loved these.  My son gave me a "you've got to be kidding me" look.  He just couldn't get into bread stuffed with the rest of his meal.  I liked them, but wouldn't give them the high praise my mom did. I think it was a little too big for my liking.  I would have preferred this about half the size and perhaps with a sweet and savory filling.  But I did love working with the brioche dough.  It rolled out very easily and didn't have the shrinking problem I find with other doughs such as pizza dough.  I used half the dough for the pockets and made the bread on page 189.  I'm going to freeze it and pull it out Memorial Day weekend for french toast.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Did you know....

that a bread I once considered "healthy" in my grocery has 43 ingredients, many of which I can't pronounce?  But this wonderful rustic potato bread only has 6 ingredients.  I am trying to get my family to eat more real and whole foods and less processed food. One small way I am doing that is by making my own whole wheat bread each week for the kids' sandwiches.  This bread is a welcome addition to my bread rotation, especially if I swap out the white flour with wheat flour.  For this recipe I did half white flour and half wheat flour, but when I make it again I would try all wheat flour.  I love that potatoes, skin and all, are incorporated into the bread.  When I make baked potatoes the skin (and nutrients) are left behind, so what a sneaky way to get them in some bread. I also loved the short rise time on this bread.  This bread is low maintence but high in taste and nutrition.  Sounds like a win, win, win for a busy mom!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coasting with Cookies

This was a nice break after the 2 day affair with croissants.  I was afraid these would turn out flat (as chocolate chip cookies usually do when they have a cup of butter and only 2 cups of flour) and in fact these did, but overall they were a very good cookie.  I love the idea of making these mocha and using a menagerie of chocolates.  For me that meant I could use up little bags of white, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate that were taking up space in my fridge. I left the mocha out of half the batch so they would be kid friendly and so my husband I wouldn't eat all of them!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crossing the finish line with Croissants

This was a hard one!  I've baked a wedding cake before and I thought this was harder.  I guess harder in that it took more physical strength (my arms are sore today) and croissants are just plain high maintenance. I had a heck of a time getting the dough to roll to that magic 24 to 26 inches. The ruler quickly became my friend and enemy.  Friend when I reached 24 inches and enemy when it would show me I had to pull out some more muscle to makde the dough stretch some more.  It was a stubborn dough. I also had a issue of the butter seeping out of them when the were rising in the oven.  Obviously I made my oven too hot.  But then the butter also seeped out when I baked a second batch and let them rise on the counter.

So was as it worth it?  I didn't try one because I'm participating in a Whole30 challenge so all that flour is out for me.  My son loved them.  My daughter was non-committal and my husband commented that they were quite a bit smaller than the ones at our favorite French bakery.  But I'm glad I did make them and more glad to be finished.  Ever since I saw Martha Stewart make croissant dough on her show years ago, I have wanted to at least say "yeah, I've made croissants."  No biggie.  (but actually we all know it was!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

If I didn't speak Spanish...

...I would swear that Boca Negra meant disaster or big fat mess.  When I flipped this out of the pan, a disaster was lurking behind the parchment paper.  I should have taken the advice of others on the P&Q page and baked this for longer than 30 minutes.  It came together beautifully.  Even the butter incorporated very smoothly, so I had such high hopes for this.  The top of the cake look just as described in the book after 30 minutes, but it just wasn't long enough to hold it's shape.  The taste of the "cake" wasn't bad.  I served it in cups like pudding, but because it was not baked long enough it was so rich that more than a couple bites was enough. I'll be curious if anyone was able to get this work with a 30 minute bake time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TWD-Foccacia Falter

Did anyone else open up this recipe on Monday afternoon and then read about the 24-36 hour rise or was it just me who planned this out so poorly?  I have made foccacia before and don't remember such a long rise, so I didn't think to read through this recipe earlier.  So I took the bread recipe and cut it in half (6-1/2 cups of flour seemed like it would make enough foccacia for all of Italy).  After the second rise, I split the dough in half and put it in oiled Ziploc bags as instructed.  Five hours later I took the first bag out to bake and the other bag is still in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner with soup.  I am hoping the long results with the slow rise are worth it, because I was not too impressed with the first batch.  It was fine, but was lacking something that I am hoping will be there tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TWD - Cheating on my old pie crust with French Apple Tart

I've been merrily making the same pie crust for years.  My mom would tell me tales of new recipes and methods she had tried, but I would have no part of it.  I loved my tried and true crust.  But then this one came along and it may be time to ditch my old pie crust recipe.  This one is similar with both butter and shortening, but somehow it's butterier and flakier.  So this recipe is a keeper not just for the wonderful crust, but also the filling.  I loved the filling and was glad I had a little left over.  The book suggested it could be saved and eaten as an ice cream topping.  As if.  I couldn't wait that long and ate it with a spoon while I waited for the tart to bake.  And I love the French bakery look of this tart too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TWD-Pizza with Onion Confit

I had such big plans for this post.  First I made this pizza with my mom, (we drove to Ohio for Christmas), so that made it a special post. And I got Photoshop for Christmas, so I had done some neato (but elementary) "photoshopping" of the pictures.  And then I was going to throw in a gratuitous snow picture because the day we made this at my mom's house in Ohio it snowed over 6 inches (which is a BIG deal when you live in Texas and your kids never get to see snow).  But alas my plans were dashed.  It seems Blogger is not working properly, so my pictures were taking forever to load and then the installation of Photoshop is making my dinasaur computer run slow, so this is it folks, one picture of the pizza with onion confit.  It was delicious and I would make it again.  For the kids we just did regular toppings, but the confit is a winner and makes for a nice change from the usual pizza toppings.  Plus my mom got a whole bag of onions for 49 cents, so you could go crazy making onion confit at that price.