Friday, March 22, 2013

ispahan loaf cake: French Fridays with Dorie

I made two cakes recently.  One was the Ispahan Loaf Cake - an interesting blend of ingredients - I just had to try it.  And it was okay.  I think I might like it better with something other than raspberries.  The cake crumb was good, and I think it does need another flavor to set off the faint rose flavor.  I'm just not liking the raspberry tartness and seeds in the mix.

The cake was easy to work with - no trouble getting it out of the pan.

The raspberries held up well during the baking.  

The "other" cake...Martha Stewart's Coconut Cake from her baking's yum!
I think that next time I make the Ispahan Loaf Cake I will just make a bunch of raspberry coulis and drizzle it in 3 rows where the berries are supposed to go.

To see what other doristas did this week with this recipe, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies: Tuesdays with Dorie

Mocha in my chocolate chip cookies.  Interesting thought.  I called them grown-up cookies, since I had to dole them out carefully to the grandkids.

Yes, they tasted good.  But I have to confess.....I like my chocolate chip cookies with little to no chips.  

I finally had to admit this to myself when I decided that my very favorite cookies in the whole wide world are: (drum roll....) Tate's Chipless Wonders.  Every summer I head to the Wellfleet Market and grab MANY packages of these wonderful treats so I can make every beach picnic perfect! (For anyone that ever went to Wellfleet on Cape Cod in the "olden days", the market used to be called Lema's.)  I have yet to see any Tate's Bake Shop goods in Texas. :-(  

So when this recipe called for 16 ounces - you know, a pound, of chocolate chips.....I had to come up with an amount of chocolate chips that I could live with (that means eat) so the chocolate and coffee could balance out for a "mocha" taste.  

6 ounces....that's what I came up with.  
And that was balanced with 3 Starbucks Via instant coffee singles packages.

And just a few "chocolate chip bumps" in my cookies....pretty good!   Oh, and I also like crunchy cookies, so I tend to overcook any cookies that look like they want to turn out to be soft......

I probably won't make these again with any chocolate chips.  I am tempted to make them with just a little coffee and no chips and see how that works out.  The coffee was a nice touch to the dough....we shall see!

To see what other doristas did this week with this recipe you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.  Thanks to Peggy of Galettista for hosting this recipe; you can visit her blog here for the recipe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Croissants: Tuesdays with Dorie

NEVER SAY NEVER!  Do I say that often?  Yes, but this time it really caught me by surprise.  I am finally finished with 2 days (should have been 3, note to self) of making croissants.  And what did I say before they went into the oven?  NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN......

And then I tasted one (okay, 5).....

OMG, these are so melt in your mouth. So I am already planning what to do with the second half of the dough (it's a no brainer.....almond is coming soon!)

Okay, a quick confession....I shortcutted the heck out of this recipe.  The butter never really came together, I just scraped it out of the mixer and formed it into the oval.

And this is the sad version of the rectangle before the first refrigerator stint.  I will admit by the 3rd turn the rectangle was starting to take shape, but the camera was not in my thoughts by then...

Looks good, huh?  Well, truth be told, with half the dough I got 26 triangles (supposed to be 14).... Now what to do?  Ummm, let's call them mini croissants, eh?  In reality, I was pretty uneven in the rolling, so some of my extras probably came from intermittent thin dough rolling.  HOWEVER, I will note after the fact, 
that some of those thin croissants were mighty tasty!!

What can I say?  I love them.  Enough said.

What a wild ride this one was!  Thanks to Amanda at Girl+Food=Love for hosting this recipe.  To see what other Doristas did with this recipe, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Friday, March 1, 2013

chicken breasts diable: French Fridays with Dorie

Welcome March...cause February was so out of character.  I don't know whether it's global warming or if 2013 is going to be the best stone fruit year ever....

Both my plum trees are blooming in February!  And I saw a pink bud or two on my peach tree already. But my nectarine tree is still waiting to show it's blooms.  So what will March bring?

Well, for French Fridays with Dorie, March brings new recipes!  And Chicken Breasts Diable was a really good start to the month.  

I used a small yellow onion instead of a shallot, but it cooked up so pretty in the pan after searing and cooking the chicken breasts.

I used smooth dijon mustard since that's what I had, plus I wasn't sure how much "diable" I wanted in the sauce.  It turned out wonderful!

So another great recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  To see what other doristas did with this recipe, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.

Friday, February 22, 2013

cheating on winter pea soup: French Fridays with Dorie

Another wow recipe that came out of nowhere, cause the ingredient list didn't look too inviting to me.  I loved it, older daughter Stacy loved it, Sadie was having an off day.

Hmmm...frozen peas, romaine lettuce soup.  Unconvinced it would have flavor,
 I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of my concentrated veggie broth.  
I will probably make it this way in the future.

After using the immersion blender, not very smooth.

Time to get out the big guns....vitamix to the rescue.

Sadie's bowl.  She was not having anything to do with this soup.  Stacy and my bowls disappeared too fast to photograph!!  Yes, we really did like it!

And one of my favorite moments of the Colorado trip.  At the "sleigh ride to a dinner in the tent" event, Sadie just ups and joins the entertainment that evening.  The entertainer went with it!  What fun for Nana!!!  And Sadie didn't even have any of the peppermint schnapps in hot chocolate.....

So this recipe is such a keeper that I now have to have at least one 1 lb. bag of organic frozen peas in the freezer at all times.  To see what others did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boca Negra: Tuesdays with Dorie-Baking with Julia

I am glad for all the great insights on the P&Q post.  I was certainly confused by the white chocolate cream.  Luckily I read the recipe on Monday and it said to make it a day ahead of time (unless you have lots of snow around like Cher!).  So I did that yesterday and really had no faith that it would thicken.  But it did!!!

So then I decided to make the cake in the food processor (thanks for all the hand mixers' comments!) and it was really easy and quick.

I had one package left of "the good stuff" but only 6 I decided to cut the recipe in half.

I used a 6 x 3 inch round baking pan and kept baking time the same (in fact I added almost 10 minutes cause I was sure it wasn't done)

On a salad plate!  The small size worked well, especially since it was so rich!

And the big hit of the night?  The white chocolate cream!!!  

Grown up kids liked the cake and cream.  Kiddos liked the cake, although Sadie had some cream and was singing pretty happy!

I am glad I made this recipe.  I am especially glad I made the white chocolate cream (this will show up again in my life!).  To see what other doristas did this week, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia.

Friday, February 15, 2013

coeur a la creme: French Fridays with Dorie

What a great tasting desert....what a nightmare to look at without a pretty will see what I mean below.

I cheaped out on this one....and used my yogurt cheese mold, which kind of looks like a 2 hump camel...need I say more.  But with slices and the raspberry coulis I could disguise my faux pax....

I thought I was following the recipe, but I think I may have over whipped the cream...

I used the Donvier yogurt cheese mold, plus a layer of cheese cloth (to pick the final product out of the mold, I thought).  I waited a little more than 12 hours, and maybe had 2 teaspoons of liquid in the bottom of the mold....the first sign that I probably did something wrong on this recipe.

OK, here's what the 2 hump camel looks like out of the mold!  Those with imagination might see the top of the heart?  Oh well, it did slice okay and tasted great.

So last week here's where we were.  Breckenridge, Colorado.  Here is Sean sledding down the hill and he even got air before he got to the bottom!  The things you have to do to bring snow to Texas kiddos!!

Here I am with Sadie.  I had to share my trekking poles with her.  Luckily they were collapsible so they were her size and my size.  I used them to avoid icy falls; Sadie decided they were snow toys to make little holes in the snow wherever she went. We had lots of fun!  It's about time for Nana to go to the beach again....Brrrrr!

Well, I can tell this recipe would be a hit with all...younger daughter Lori was at my house today when I unmolded the coeur a la creme, and we each had a plate with the raspberry coulis.  Lori has now requested this recipe for her May birthday dinner.  That sounds like a resounding YES to the recipe to me.  Next time I will try to whip the cream a little less and see what happens.....

To see what other Doristas did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.