Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scones and Other Oops

I was in a hurry and rather than pull out my "breakfast" binder I already had my computer on so I looked up the cream scone recipe. As I was measuring the dry ingredients into the bowl I wondered at the amount of baking soda. Hmm...really, 2 teaspoons? Oh well. Until tonight when my son said "Hey, Mom, these are kinda...well...zippy. So I tasted it. I knew that flavor, my grandfather used to make me take baking soda in a bit of water for an upset stomach.
So here's the head's up, if you used the scone recipe and it said baking soda, switch it to powder and all will be right again.
I fixed the blog too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Tart---Super Easy!

I like strawberries but I love easy. This tart qualifies for both so it's a winner.
I had a chunk of puff dough in the freezer I needed to use so rolled it out and "blind baked" it (baked it empty). You can use pie dough or puff dough, home made or from the store freezer according to the package directions or your recipe. I used the laminated yeast dough recipe from the King Arthur Bakers Companion.
Now comes the easy part.
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond flavor
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced

This is the crust after I baked it.
Then beat the cream cheese, almond, vanilla and sugar.
Spread it evenly inside the crust.
Sprinkle with almonds.
Arrange the strawberries around the filling.
Refrigerate until set about an hour. 
Share---if you are feeling nice! This is "farmer Brian", a good friend who came to till my garden, which makes me feel very nice---so I shared.
Cold, rich but not overly sweet. Perfect for a warm summer picnic.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sour Cream Sandwich Buns

My daughter and I were going to a flower auction in Shiloh last Monday and since it is near Planktown Market I knew I would be stopping in for sliced meat and cheese. They have the best prices so the turn over is high which means it is always fresh. Before I left in the morning, I mixed up these simple sandwich buns from an old recipe in my binder that I didn't remember (not surprising).I let them rise in the refrigerator while I was gone and finished them late in the afternoon. We are not big bread eaters so I usually half bread recipes so it doesn't lay here turning green. Not these, I have made these sandwich buns three times this week. The bread is so rich you could use it for any type of sandwich, just toasted and buttered, or turn them into croutons. 
1 package of yeast or 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 cups flour, maybe more ( I used spelt because I have a wheat allergy but all-purpose is what is called for)
Combine yeast and water in large mixing bowl, let stand for 10 minutes.
 Add butter, sour cream, and sugar.
Add salt and egg. Then add flour. 
Still too sticky, add more flour 2 tablespoons at a time.
Getting there.
This is what it should look like, it will pull all the ingredients off the sides of the bowl and form a ball that holds it's shape.
Nice. Cover this with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.
Then cut it into 8 pieces.
Roll each one into a ball then flatten.
Arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet ( I made more than one batch so it looks like more ). 
Let rise for an hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown (internal temperature of 190F.)
Rich, airy, tender yet held up to turkey, ham, salami and cheese, a schmear of mayo and a squirt of dark brown mustard.
Rachael and I both went home with some lovely annuals to plant and a 50# bag of onions each. We will be freezing the onions, I'll share that with you later.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Italian Style Bean Soup

This soup went together easily and quickly, maybe 40 minutes. It has lots of simpler flavors from the vegetables and broth but depth and richness from the olive oil and parmesan cheese. This would be a very versatile soup, use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version or omit the cheese for a lactose free version. If you can't eat gluten just be sure your broth and cheese are gluten free.
Serves 4-6
1 medium potato
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups cooked or 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
1 quart chicken broth ( or vegetable)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
4 roma tomatoes, or another small, meaty tomato
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

First, wash and boil the potato (with skin on).
While this cooks, chop the onion, carrot and celery. 
Put the chopped veggies in a 4 quart pot with the olive oil and saute for 5 minutes or so until they become tender, don't let them get brown or crisp. 
While the saute, peel and chop the tomato. Don't blanch this first, just peel it raw so it is nice and firm. 

Add this to the pot with the vegetables. Add the garlic, beans, and broth,salt and pepper to taste, and bay leaf. Simmer for 15 minutes to heat through.
While simmering, drain cooked potato and peel.
Put it back in pan to mash.
Add to pot.
Stir to combine, as you stir find the bay leaf and remove it. Add the parsley.
 Serve with the parmesan sprinkled on top. 
Mmm, maybe some bread sticks!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Incredible Chocolate Cobbler

Samuel's eyes bugged out of his head last night when I handed him a warm bowl filled with this yummy, chocolate goodness, vanilla ice cream slowly melting, puddling beside the crunchy topping.
I found the original recipe on Tasty Kitchen blog, as usual I reduced the sugar slightly. To view the original click here.
 For bottom layer:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cocoa 
1/2 cup sugar
½ cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For top layer:
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1-½ cup hot water
 Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 4 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 1/2 cup of the white sugar.
Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture.
Mix until smooth.
 Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish or any 8 cup baking dish or casserole.

In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. 
Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.
 Pour the hot water over the dry mixture. DO NOT STIR!
 Bake for about 40 minutes or until a pick comes out clean from the crust. 
 Wow! And the aroma from the oven was wonderful.
Just needs ice cream.