Archive for August, 2012
Well one day he said to me “Honey, you can bake and cook anything so um why are do you keep buying them? Haven’t you ever tried making them?” Frankly no I hadn’t. Like I said, I was never really a fan. They were just ‘ok’ for me which is funny considering how much I LOVE bread. So since I had no clue how to make them a-Googling-I-went. The ingredients are pretty basic when it comes to making bread except the whole making them on a griddle. This kind of scared me as I was so sure the dough would stick. But then thinking about it, pizza dough doesn’t stick on pans or stones so I decided to give it a shot.
This recipe is literally a make it up as you go. Sometimes, it’s those types of recipes that turn out to be some of the best. Right?
Get up a little early this weekend and make them for the family. Once you make these, you will NEVER buy pre-made again!
Now I know someone of you are still pretty intimidated when it comes to making bread but honestly, these are so easy they practically make themselves! Give it a shot! You are going to LOVE these!!!
|Buttermilk English Muffins – nooks ‘n crannies out the wazoo!||
- 2 1/4 cup bread flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 Tbl vegetable shortening
- 1 cup Buttermilk – Just make your own!
- 3 Tbl unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- Cornmeal for dusting
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
- Add shortening and 3/4 cup buttermilk. Mix in your stand mixer. fitted with a dough hook.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk, a little at a time, until dough comes together.
- Knead dough in the stand mixer for 7 minutes.
- Add in the butter and mix for 1 minute until it passes the window pane test. The dough should be tacky, but not sticky.
- Lightly coat with vegetable oil a large bowl and add dough.
- Turn dough in bowl to coat in oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap, lid or clean linen.
- Let dough sit until doubled in size, it should take about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Divide dough into 6 equal pieces.
- Shape pieces into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. *Now if you want them uniform in shape, spray muffin rings with Pam and place the dough in them.
- Spray with Pam and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let the muffins rise for about an hour.
- Heat a griddle to medium heat and preheat oven to 350F.
- Add 4 muffins to the griddle and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
- Bake these 4 muffins for 6 minutes.
- While those are baking, place the remaining muffins on the griddle and cook for 5 minutes each side.
- When you remove them from the oven, allow to cool for a minute then gently remove the muffin ring (if you use one).
Once they are done… well, sit back and enjoy! I know we both did!
Now Pots de creme (pronounced Pohhhhhh de K (now make that gurgle rattle in the back of your throat) rem) is really nothing more than a loose-based custard. It’s not like those snack-pack instant pudding cups (yes I actually love them.. don’t judge) nor is it like Flan (yeah.. that’s a hole weird texture thing for me). Flan for me is just.. unnatural. It should jiggle or do something. Plus when it has that oozing stuff when you turn it out… Blech. But Mr. Fantabulous loves it so I make it… ah the things we do for those in our lives.
Anywayyyyy… from first appearance it looks like mousse or even custard but for me it’s all about texture and flavor. It seems to have a more refined flavor; a deeper, richer flavor that literally makes you close your eyes and the world stop for a few moments while you savor the creamy dreaminess of it. It’s so decadent, so rich and just so elegant.
Next time you want to impress your friends or shut that lady up who thinks she does every single thing better than you including breathing, invite the cow over and make her this. Sorry but I really, REALLY despise people like that. We are all individuals with a heart and soul; not one of us is better than the other. Right?! But there’s no reason why you can’t shut Bessie up with this *wink* Yeah I know.. I’m wrong but hey, tough
Seriously though, this is such an elegant but SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMPLE dessert that this can easily be your go-to date night dessert!
Looks pretty amazing, right? I’m going to give you 2 ways to make this – the traditional baked version and the no-bake version. The end result is the same… BLISS!
|Chocolate Pots de Creme||
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 ounce milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 Tbl sugar
- Preheat to 325°F.
- Arrange six 3/4-cup custard cups or souffle dishes in roasting pan.
- Combine whipping cream, chopped semisweet chocolate and instant espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan.
- Bring almost to simmer over medium heat, whisking until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
- Whisk egg yolks, vanilla bean paste and sugar in large bowl to blend.
- Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture.
- Divide custard equally among cups.
- Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of cups.
- Bake custards until just set around edges but still soft in center, about 25 minutes.
- Remove cups from water.
- Refrigerate uncovered until cold, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
- Whisk the egg yolks and 1 Tbl sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the remaining sugar and cream and bring just to a simmer over medium heat.
- Remove from the heat and stream half of the hot cream into the yolk mixture very slowly, whisking steadily.
- Add the yolk-cream mixture to the cream remaining in the pot and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture reads 185 degrees. (Do not boil.)
- Strain the mixture into a bowl and immediately add the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Whisk in the espresso powder and vanilla bean paste.
- Pour into eight individual ramekins and refrigerate overnight.
Now when I first saw her recipe I instantly thought “That’s it??? That’s all that goes into making something that awesome?”
So this past weekend I had made my Triple Bean Turkey Chili for the guys and wanted something with depth to go on the side. These instantly came to mind!
I dug out her recipe and then made the “oh crap!” face. I didn’t have ready-to-cook hash browns or garlic herb cream cheese. So I went the old fashioned way and made it all from scratch.
Well these things were better than I had anticipated. I did have to tweak the recipe a bit (I had to make my own garlic herb cream cheese and I added chives and bacon to it) but the base recipe is hers.
These are definitely a staple now when I make chili and I can so see these on the buffet table for the next Steelers game!
|Shredded Potato Bacon Muffins|
- 2 Eggs
- 2 green onions, minced (green and white parts)
- 2 tsp fresh chives, minced
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbl grated Parmesan
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp dill
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 1/2 cup cooked bacon, chopped
- 1lb grated potatoes, drained very well (or you can use shredded ready to cook hash browns)
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Grease muffin tin with butter or non-stick spray.
- In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, Parmesan, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, dill and basil.
- Add in the eggs and mix well.
- Add in the bacon, onions and chives, blend.
- Give the potatoes one last good squeeze to drain off any excess liquid.
- Fill muffin tin to the top.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes if using mini muffin tin or 25-28 if using standard size muffin tin.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
- Using a spatula or knife, gently remove from the pans onto a cooling rack.
If you wanted you could added shredded cheese and cooked sausage to this too.
So last night I was in some pretty bad pain. See I changed up my workout routine the day prior and I increased the time, resistance and weights. Yeah… not a wise thing to do all at the same time. Um yeah… idiot! Well when I got up Friday morning I wasn’t woken up by my alarm but rather the seething hot poker pain in my lower back. Yeah… wasn’t pretty. But I’m a trooper and I muscled my way through the day sans a pain pill or Tylenol. On my way home I started thinking about what I could make for dinner that required the littlest of effort on my part. Pasta! Yeah.. that’s always a winner in my house. Simplistic enough. Crap… dessert! Now I knew Mr. Fantabulous finished off the Blueberry Buckle the night before which meant I actually had no dessert in my house (Yes… it was a first!) <insert whimper cause I knew I needed to make something>.
Well okay I *don’t* have to make dessert but I enjoy it and just like cooking in general it relaxes me.
As the pasta was boiling away I did a drive-by my fridge to see what I had on hand. Well luck be a lady! First thing I saw was a container of peach pie filling I had leftover from when I made the Fantabulous In-Laws a Peach Galette. Perfect!
Crisps are probably the easiest desserts you can make as they take barely any effort. Heck, if you wanted, you could even use canned pie filling if you wanted to but then why would you since I gave you an awesome recipe to make you own homemade peach pie filling???
While I was doing that drive-by I also found some lonely blueberries. Mmmm.. peaches and blueberries! LOVE that combination flavor! So anyway I mixed up the pie filling so I had enough for 1 peach crisp and enough for some blueberry peach crisps. I didn’t feel like waiting for the oven to come up to temp when I spotted my convection toaster oven. Why not?! I’ve made cookies and tarts in it, why not crisps?
I prepped 4 ramekins, put them on a tray and popped them bad boys into the toaster oven. Some 30 minutes later the timer went off and out came the most beautiful little crisps bubbling peach love all up the sides. The topping so golden brown and just begging for my spoon…
Now if you don’t mind me, I need to go inhale 1 of these as I just brought home some vanilla ice cream!
|Peach Pie Crisps||
- 4 cups Homemade Peach Pie Filling
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 Tbl rolled oats
- 3 Tbl brown sugar
- 1 Tbl white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 Tbl butter, cubed and cold
- 1 Tbl milk
- If making in the toaster oven, preheat to 350F. If making in convection oven, preheat to 325F.
- In a medium size bowl, add the flour, sugars, cinnamon and butter.
- Using a pastry cutter, ‘cut’ the mixture so it turns into pea-size clumps.
- Add in the milk and mix just until the ingredients are clumpy.
- Add 1 cup of filling to each ramekin (mine are 8 ounces).
- Divide the topping evenly over the filling. It’s okay that it doesn’t cover it entirely – you want to see filling. You don’t want to fill them to the top as they will spill over and that’s a waste. Fill them so you have about a 1/4” space at the top.
- Place on a baking sheet to catch any overflow.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crisp later is golden brown.
If you want you can add 1 cup of fresh blueberries or raspberries to the pie filling to make peach berry crisps
Trust me.. when it’s butt-crack cold outside (presuming you live in the a place where it gets butt-crack cold in the winter) nothing speaks ‘summer’ like a warm fresh peach pie.
|Homemade Peach Pie filling||
For 2 quarts of filling
- 7 cups sliced peaches
- 2 cup sugar
- ½ cup ClearJel plus 2 tbl
- 1 ½ cups cold water or peach juice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 qt jars/lids/rings
For 7 quarts of filling
- 7 qts
- 6 qts of sliced peaches
- 7 cups sugar
- 2 cups ClearJel plus 3 tbl
- 5 ¼ cups cold water or peach juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cup lemon juice
- 7 qt jars/lids rings
- Make an ‘X’ in the bottom of each peach.
- Place into boiling water for 30-60 seconds
- Remove and place into ice cold water
- Remove skins
- Cut up the peaches
- To keep from turning brown mix in ¼ cup lemon juice or Fruit-Fresh pectin. Stir to coat.
- Combine the water, sugar, ClearJel and cinnamon in large pot.
- Stir and cook over medium high heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
- Add the lemon juice and boil the sauce for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
- Add in the drained peach slices and cook for 3 minutes.
- Fill the jars within ¾”-1” from the top.
- Put the filled jars in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1” of water.
- Boil for 30 minutes.