Tuesday, September 1, 2015

TWD: "Baking with Julia" - Brioche Tart with White Secret Sauce

 I have been intrigued with the art of making a good Brioche for a couple of years now and today's challenge gave me the little shove I needed....

We decided to make them into individual size for better serving and presentation for a larger group of people. We also choose to add wet walnuts as the topping. Even though they were a little time consuming, they were fantastic and we will be making these again.

Our little brioche loaf at the end was very tasty, it had great crumb and texture. This recipe is one of those that Julia also baked with Nancy Silverton and the video cam be seen on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=er5uqAfZpLg. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spinach & Artichoke Alfredo Pizza

Was feeling creative today.. So for dinner, we made homemade Spinach & Artichoke Dip pizza with chicken and caramelized onions. SOOOOO.... YUMMY!

This is one of those recipes that you need to start early in the day, because you need to let your dough rise or proof three times through the afternoon. 

For Pizza Crust: (makes enough for 3 large pizzas)

2 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dry yeast
8 cups flour + plus 1 cup

Mix all together, knead well, dusting counter with a little bit of flour at a time. Knead until dough is not sticky. Cover with 1 teaspoon olive oil, rub olive oil around until the whole dough ball is covered. Place dough back into mixing bowl and cover with baking cloth and let rise until double in size. Knock down and repeat three times. Next make into pizza bases and let rise for 15 minutes, cover with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake on 450 for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. ( I pre-bake my crust bases for 5-10 minutes before adding any sauce or toppings, this creates a crispier crust. 

For the Alfredo sauce: (you can make this ahead)

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped chives
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup parmasesan cheese
Melt butter and oil together add garlic and flour, stir until thick, will look like the start of rue. Slowly pour in heavy cream while consistently stirring. Let cook for 5 minutes. Next stir in milk, chives and cheese, cook for another 5 minutes stirring consistently. Set aside to let cool.

For Toppings and Assembly: (for each pizza use the following)
1 cup of Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 cup canned artichoke heart
1/2 cup carmelized onions
1/2 cup grilled chicken
1 cup mozzarella grated cheese

Cover pizza base with sauce and then randomly place all the following around on top of the sauce, making sure the mozzerella cheese is placed on last. Bake on 450 for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, July 24, 2015

"TBHD" - Plum Upside Down Cake

Today for our "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert" challenge we are making "Plum Upside Down Cake. It was very tasty and reminded me a lot of the "Rhubarb Upside Down Cake that we made for "Tuesday's With Dorie" back in May. As part of our pioneer day celebration, we baked ours in our dutch oven skillet on the BBQ.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TWD: "Baking with Julia" - Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack

Our "Tuesday's with Dorie" challenge today was all about hardtack! And I am not talking about the little pretty ribboned candies that your grandma use to hide in her candy dish... I am referring to good old fashioned "Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack" or oatmeal crackers. They are sooooooo yummy and easy to make. I wish I would have tried this recipe six months ago when I was sick and craving crackers, but couldn't have all the salt, plus they are momma approved for my granddaughter, being low salt and sugar.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

So our Monday Inspirational Sourdough Blueberry Monkey Bread turned into muffins. I am a moody mom today and so was my dough... So I thinned out the mixture and made muffins.
 Much better I think.... Lol! 

2 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sourdough start or buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup blueberries, rinsed, or fresh or frozen

Beat egg slightly; stir in sour dough, milk and oil. Sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking powders and baking soda.
Combine both mixtures and blueberries, fold only until mixture is wet and lumpy, about 15 to 20 folds. The key to good muffins is not to over mix the batter.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops with coarse granulated sugar (such as turbinado) if desired.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or less.

Makes 24 standard size muffins.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Homemade S'Mores Ice Cream (National Ice Cream Day)

Tomorrow is National Ice Cream Day and we always try something new in celebration. So this year we decided to combine both our Saturday Cooking School challenge and National Ice Cream Day to bring you... Homemade S'Mores Ice Cream.

First you will need to make your custard base...

4 eggs
2 1/4 c. sugar
2 cans evaporated milk
5 c. Heavy cream
4 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can Eagle Brand milk (optional) 

Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar and evaporated milk, stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook on medium heat until thick like pudding. Cool to at least room tempeture, not less than two hours, we try to make ours the night before and chill overnight in the fridge. 

Next, stir in remaining ingredients and mix extremely well. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow manifactures instructions, using the rock salt and ice method. While ice cream is freezing you can get the S'More toppings ready for the fun.

For Individual Servings... (We prep this ahead of time if we are serving a lot of guests or friends)
1 graham cracker (crumbs)
1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
6-8 mini marshmallows

Serve with cracker crumbs, chocolate chip and marshmallows.

Friday, July 17, 2015

"TBHD" - Pistachio Chip Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Day is in a couple of days, so we decided that we would feature a couple of our favorite ice creams and we were so excited to discover that Pistachio Chip was one of the Desserts among our challenge recipes.

We loved this recipe... The butter roasted Pistachio nuts were a big part of the yummy flavor for us.

Pantry Sidenote Tip: 
When roasting Nuts Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss nuts in 2 - 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil and any sugars or spices that you desire. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and cool.

 For hazelnuts, roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the skins are lightly browned and start to crack. Remove from the oven and immediately wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Leave for 1 minute to steam, then rub the hazelnuts in the towel to loosen and remove the skins. (It's fine if some of the skins don't rub off.) Cool completely before using.