Friday, December 21, 2012

cheez-it-ish crackers: French Fridays with Dorie

Fresh out of the oven cheez-it-ish crackers....
and voila, I'm back!

Somewhere between Whole Wheat Loaves and these happened...And then I found myself looking for a cauliflower soup recipe and saw that the doristas had recently tackled the one in Around My French Table.  Well, hello....and like magic I was pulled back in!

Really good butter and yummy gruyere cheese:  how could these crackers not be good?

Mixing the butter and cheese with the salt and peppers, 
curd-like appearance was a very good description.

The dough ready to go into the refrigerator for the 1 hour of chilling.

Another great recipe (especially with a glass of wine!) from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  

I will say that my first batch (pictured above) came out really well; my second batch cooked a few minutes too long and had a slightly bitter taste.  So note to file:  watch closely at end of baking to make sure crackers only lightly brown around edges and on part of top. 

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

Happy Holidays to all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Whole Wheat Loaves: Tuesdays with Dorie

Okay, I wasn't going to make this recipe.  I don't like whole wheat bread from the store.  But I read some blogs this morning on Tuesdays with Dorie and they were raving, yes RAVING about this I put the pedal to the metal...(the KA metal!).  Mine didn't get too tall, but I used a slightly larger bread's okay, they taste GREAT!  (I think I'm raving).

After first rise.  I used fresh ground whole wheat.  Had wheat berries in the freezer and ground them up in the VitaMix.  It worked great, I think it helped with the GREAT taste. (I am raving again, aren't I?)

I just hand flattened out each half of the dough to get it into shape for the bread pans.

Rise 2:  it took a little longer than the hour, but by then I was so invested in getting this recipe done.

This was my wake up call this morning.  Guinea hens in the neighborhood looking for bug food in my backyard.  Not the smartest animals out there, but certainly very loud.  Little Sadie came looking for them later in the morning....she calls them "Click-Clacks"...that's what they sound like to her.  It was a Click-Clack morning, and a RAVING whole wheat loaves afternoon!

While I am trying to do Clean Eating right now, I decided that half white flour was better than all white flour, so I jumped into the recipe at the last minute.  I was glad I did.  This bread is nothing like the store bought whole wheat bread that I won't eat.  THIS I will eat!!!  To see what others did with this recipe this week, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

minted zucchini tagliatelle with cucumbers and lemon: French Fridays with Dorie

I feel like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland....I'm late, I'm late, you know?  

It was such an innocent change to my home I thought.  HA!  I changed out my wireless router.  There, such a simple thing.  That took 6 hours (not the 10 minutes all the commenters on Amazon quoted), and the end result, my quirky 3 year old pc laptop was kaput.  SCREAM!!!  I admit to not being a techie, but I can usually figure stuff out.  

SO....The happy ending to the story:  New wireless router works great, new wireless camera in dog room works great (so cool!), and my NEW iMac (yes, I am through with PCs and windows) works great too.  A quick trip to the apple store, and life is good again!  

That was the long version of why this blog is being published and linked one day late.  So, onto the recipe:

I do like my de Buyer mandolin.  I forget I have it until recipes like this one pops up in the rotation, since I put it far away from grandkids' reach.  I used very fresh zucchini, which sliced up nicely.  I then tried to use an older cucumber I had in the refrigerator...yuck, it was bitter.  So I pitched that one, and used the fresh one I just got from the farmers market....much better!

I had to use dried mint leaves.  It's another sad story for another day.  Hint:  Crazy Raspberry Ants in the garden.  I'm sure it would be much better to use fresh mint, sigh.

After the hour wait it plates like it is supposed to.  It tastes okay in general, but when I factor in the ingredient zucchini, I rate it higher.  I do not care for zucchini much, so if I find a zucchini recipe I will eat, then I give it extra stars.

Oh, and that camera in the dog room?  Here's my beagle-mix, Maddie, on her couch, tucked back behind an extra blanket.  She was napping as I blogged this and I took this picture from my iPhone app that allows me to view the dog room from wherever I am.   Now I know who's naughty and who's nice!!

Yes, another keeper recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what others did this week with this recipe you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Popovers: Tuesdays with Dorie

Well, it doesn't get much easier than this.  (I think I hear Ina Garten speaking in my head!)  I haven't made popovers in years.  I used to make them all the time when my girls (aka "the mommies" to the grandkids) were little.  Big decision...the food processor or the processor won!

I got rid of my popover pan because it was teflon I used an old aluminum muffin tin (medium size popovers) and a newer stainless steel one (large size popovers).  Very interesting that the old aluminum one didn't have any "sticking" problems.  The popovers popped right out.  With the stainless steel, the muffins puffed up big, but they stuck, some pretty bad.

Ahhh, but the beauty of a popover is hard to beat.  This is a large one, which I had to prop up with a knife, because part of the bottom on the back stuck to the pan...still tasted great.

And, had the right insides!  Even better filled with melted butter and pomegranate jelly!

So easy and so good.  I will be making these again.  Another great recipe from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  To see what our other bakers did with this recipe this week, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Friday, August 17, 2012

cafe-style grated carrot salad: French Fridays with Dorie

Carrot Salad.  St. Louis.  Miss Hullings Cafeteria.  Such old memories coming back to me from childhood with just the mention of carrot salad!  So old I can use the word streetcar in the same  sentence!  The carrot salad of my childhood was super sweet, with Hellman's mayo and whipped cream and pineapple and mini marshmallows and coconut and yes, raisins.  No mustard there.  You can even find the recipe if you search for it on google (which I did and will make one day soon for grandkids). 

So of course I opted to use raisins in Dorie's recipe, but then I stayed the course and used oil (avocado) and dijon mustard and honey. 

This is the start....

...and this is the finish.  My plate was so bright it was blinding!  Fork Smashed Purple Potatoes (thanks, Smitten Kitchen for sharing your recipe) and some sliced strip steak.

I did like this recipe for a "savory" carrot salad.  My childhood one was really more like a desert compared to Dorie's.  I think maybe adding in the pineapple might work though.  To see what other Doristas did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.  Another good recipe from Around My French Table.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Julia

Today, Julia Child would have been 100 years old.  She is being remembered by many, from Google (see photo above) to Tuesdays with Dorie to Dorie Greenspan to PBS.....
Julia, you are still loved and not forgotten!

Friday, July 27, 2012

lemon barley pilaf: French Fridays with Dorie

I have a "Wall-O-Carbs."  It serves me well on these types of recipes.  Yes, the Wall had barley!

Barley mixing with the butter and onions.

Almost done.  Just need to stir after adding the lemon rind and chives (subbed for green's what I had on hand - and tasted just fine in the recipe).

Yum, the lemon barley pilaf was very tasty.  Especially with Spicy Pork Chops, a favorite recipe of mine from Lidia's Italian Table.  Ha!  I had dinner with both a French and Italian table influence!!

Yes, I did like this recipe.  Another winner from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.  To see what others' did with this recipe this week, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Semolina Bread: Tuesdays with Dorie

Well, it's good to be back from vacation and get back into the "Dorie" schedules on Fridays and Tuesdays.....and Semolina Bread is a fine recipe to jump back in with....

But really, mine is Einkorn bread....I didn't get semolina flour since I had some einkorn flour and it seems to be very similar.  Gives the bread a yellowish tint, slightly nutty flavor....

After 1st rise.  Since einkorn flour uses less liquid in baking, I ended up using the extra 1/4 cup flour, plus about 2 tablespoons more.

After third rise, took a little less than the 2 hours, but I had the house pretty warm...

Couldn't figure out the directions for making the cuts on the bread dough, so just scissored it down each side.

One of the best finds on this vacation, Dyer Pond in Wellfleet, Cape Cod.  It's one of those ponds that has no parking, so you have to walk trails to get there.  Once you do, you pretty much have the pond to yourself!  See one grandkid with one parent out in deeper area...  Nana stayed where her feet could still touch the sand!

It's good to be home and get back into regular routines.  This bread was fun to make because it was a little abnormal...very sticky and soft, funny rises, and strange baking (just cooked, didn't rise more in oven).  But it made a really nice crust, and a good fine crumb.  I might make this again, it was kind of quirky!  To see what others did this week with this recipe, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie, where we cook along 2 or 3 times a month in Dorie Greenspan's Baking with Julia cookbook.

Friday, June 29, 2012

corn pancakes: French Fridays with Dorie

1 Nana, 1 Daughter, 1 Son-in-law, 3 grandkids (8, 6, & 22 months),
3.5 hour flight, 1 hour delay, check into hotel at 2 am, wake up early to get rental car to drive 2 hours to destination.....NOT FUN

And right before we arrive.....

But I came prepared...made the corn pancakes before we left Austin, took photos and yes, I can blog on time!  I missed a few recipe weeks, so I need to do this one to stay within the group rules.  But I'm glad I did because I did like the recipe.

Used grilled corn on the cob instead of canned corn.  Easy mix to make.

Frying up in the pan.  Used grapeseed oil.

I remembered eating these years ago with sugar sprinkled on top.  I think that's what these needed when eating them by themselves.  If they are a side dish, maybe they are fine without the sugar.

Best dinner so far on vacation.  This is the Fourth Course at a Wine Dinner at PB Boulangerie Bistro in Wellfleet, Cape Cod.  Basil-Lemon sorbet served in a lemon cup with Lemon Pound Cake. Thank you PR & Lilli for a great birthday dinner!

Dolly gives me the look before I took her to the kennel.  Soon, soon I'll be back to pick up the doggies!

To see what other FFwD bloggers did with this recipe this week, check out the French Fridays with Dorie blog.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oasis Naan: Tuesdays with Dorie

Oasis Naan:  Pre & Post Oven Time

Well, Naan's good!  Of course, it's bread, so I thought I would like it.  I was surprised by how easy it was.  I almost passed this recipe by due to time constraints.  I also didn't want to do any kneading by hand since I have a problem with my right hand (could this be aging? yep...).  So I was very happy to read the P & Q and Phyl Of Cabbages and Kings (one of our hosts this week) had given instructions on how to use an electric mixer.  Oasis Naan was ON!!!

So good lookin' in the KA!

After 2 hour rise...

Sprinkled with Kosher Salt, Green Onion & Caraway Seed ready to go into oven

I know I have a tendency to overcook things, but I do love a little crunch, even on Naan.  And luckily with 8 to make I did get better at knowing when to pull these out of the oven.

Would I make these again?  Yes.  And I think they would be a good bread to have in the freezer.  I have 4 in there now, each still wrapped in a kitchen towel and then in freezer plastic bags.  If they don't come out of the freezer well, I may change my mind on making them again. But I think they'll do fine.

To see what others did with this recipe you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia.  Thanks to our hosts:  Phyl's blog is Of Cabbages and Kings, and Maggie's is Always Add More Butter.  The hosts have also posted the recipe.

Friday, June 1, 2012

lentil, lemon & tuna salad: French Fridays with Dorie

It's soooo busy...why is it so busy?  I don't know, but I just got this week's recipe done and I only have the finished picture.  I like it, I do!

I didn't have olive tapenade, so I just chopped up some black salty olives from costco.  I didn't have any preserved lemon (darn!) so I just grated some lemon rind in.  And I still liked it!  It must be fabulous when following the recipe exactly.

But this is the good news...I'm getting confident enough to just go with the flow when I don't have time or ingredients that are perfect.  It's reading all the other Doristas' blogs and getting used to "going with the flow" in cooking that is helping me do this.

To see what others did this week with this recipe, you can visit French Fridays with Dorie.  Hope to have more to say/show next time!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pecan Sticky Buns: Tuesdays with Dorie

A great Mother's Day Brunch, 2012.  When you have 2 grown daughters who are also mothers, then sometimes you get to host the Mother's Day brunch!  And what better than Pecan Sticky Buns to serve at said brunch?  Umm, maybe Quick Coffee Cake.

Basque Tortilla (Around My French Table, p. 142)
Spinach and Green Onion Tortilla (Around My French Table, p. 143)
Breakfast Casserole (by son-in-law Rick)
Fruit Salad
Pecan Sticky Buns (Baking with Julia, p. 190)
Quick Coffee Cake (Joy of Cooking - Jan 1967 printing?? purchased in 1970, p. 577) with Struesel
    Topping (same cookbook, p. 681-2).
Stuffed With Love Strawberries (younger daughter Lori made these, yum.  Recipe is here.
Juices & Coffees, and milk for kiddos

Winners:  Both Tortillas, Basque and Spinach and Green Onion.  This was part of my catch-up since the group made the Basque Tortilla before I joined.  Plus, when I was in Puerto Rico in March I had a wonderfully similar dish to the Basque Tortilla at a famous Tapas Bar in Old San Juan.  Rick's Breakfast Casserole was also very yummy.  I forgot to ask him for the recipe...I'll remedy that.

1st Runner up:  My old standby:  Quick Coffee Cake.  Always a favorite of my girls and now of the grandkids.  Can't beat it for satisfying taste with coffee or milk.  It's so good, I'll put the recipe at the end of this post.  Sorry, no pictures this time...later.

2nd Runner up:  Pecan Sticky Buns. Yes, 2nd runner up.  Now, on this menu, 2nd runner up is not a bad showing, just not the star.

 I don't know if I did something wrong with the Pecan Sticky Buns, but the bottom (later the top) did not really get sticky & gooey.  The sides did, which saved the recipe.  But for all the work and cost of ingredients, NO, I will not be making these again.  It does make me want to find the perfect Pecan Sticky Bun recipe, though.  A quest for the future.

Making the Brioche

And then the Pecan Sticky Buns

To see what others did this week with this recipe, you can visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Here's the Quick Coffee Cake recipe:

Quick Coffee Cake (from Joy of Cooking)
a 9 x 9 inch pan (I use an 8 x 8 corning ware square pan - yes, also from 1970!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Have all ingredients at about 75 degrees.
Sift before measuring:
  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Resift with:
  1/4 teaspoon salt
  2 teaspoons double-acting baking soda
  1/4 to 1/2 cup  sugar  (I use 1/2 cup.  Note:  all the sifting specified is not really necessary with today's ingredients where they are all pretty much pre-sifted.  My opinion)
Cream until soft:
  1/4 cup butter (I use KA mixer)
Add the sugar gradually and cream these ingredients until light.  Beat in:
  1 egg
  2/3 cup milk
Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture.  Add:
  3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla  (I use vanilla)

Stir the batter until smooth.  Spread in a greased pan [at this point I cover the top with the Struesel, see below] and bake for about 25 minutes.

Streusel Topping for Quick Coffee Cake (From Joy of Cooking)

  4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4 Tablespoons butter
  10 Tablespoons sugar
  1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend these ingredients until they crumble.  I use my hands to get it to right consistency.  (By the way, I have doubled the streusel topping recipe - makes the Quick Coffee Cake very yummy!)

I know I still owe you all the Dog Treat recipe.  I'm running low again, so I'll take better pictures and post very soon.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

provencal olive fougasse: French Fridays with Dorie

Or as I call it:  The living, breathing dough that threatened to take over my kitchen!  Well, either I put in too much yeast, or its just a very active dough.  I took lots of pictures that came out really blurry - more than normal...I started to think the dough was moving.  And this was before any of the rises!  OK, I'm not'll see....

After the first rise.  It's a large bowl.  

Stirred down, getting ready to start second rise...

See?  Look at this dough...look at those air holes...after second's ginormous.

It did behave better after I punched it down again.  My version of "leaf" motif.

They were sure pretty (I thought).  And very the salt, in the olives and on top of the breads.  I held one up for the grandkids and asked what shape these were...closest guess - flower.  Oh well, so much for my leaf designing.

I've always wanted to make a focaccia, but never have, don't know why.  This forced me into it, and I'm glad.  I will certainly make this recipe and other versions in the future.  

What to do with a second bread?  I wrapped one of the cooled breads in a kitchen towel and put it into a gallon baggie (just fit) and froze it.  It tastes fine defrosted....better than the little leftover piece I had the next day from the first one.  

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