Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bacon Jam

Makes 1 cup (can be doubled or tripled)
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
1 small sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large bunch of fresh chopped chives
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons spicy stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Keep all the bacon fat in the pan; do not discard.

Lower the heat to medium low. Stir in the onions, and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chives, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally if necessary. Cook until the the jam has a glossy appearance and syrup-like consistency, about 30 minutes to an  hour, it should be thick and chunky, not a paste. Allow the mixture to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TWD: "Baking with Julia" - Amaretti Cookies

We made Amaretties this week as our group recipe  "Baking with Julia" - pages 320-321

WE love these little yummy cookies. We make these often for all the holidays using a wide variety of add ins, but I have to admit our favorite is to add chunks of cherry and dip them in White Chocolate.

The top picture is the plain and cherry chunk variety and the bottom picture is plain with Hersey kiss for  Thanksgiving and the cherry & white chocolate for Christmas

WE are having so much fun hanging out with the group and You can too... Everyone is welcome, check out other fans and fun recipes at  "Tuesday's with Dori".

Monday, November 17, 2014

Make-Over Monday - Garlic & Chive Hamburger Buns (using "Sponge" start)


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°) (instead of Milk or Cream)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour



  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. 
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  • Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  • Yield: 12 to 18 buns 
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 195 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 204 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Calzones - (using "biga start)

They say that in order for a calzone to be a "real" calzone, you can not put sauce on the inside.. 
For the Ferment (biga)
1 teaspoon of dry yeast
8 Tablespoons of lukewarm water
1-1/2 cups white bread flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the flour and work it with a wooden spoon until you have thick batter. Cover it with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 2 1/2 -3 hours, or until bubbly and risen.

1 recipe of active 60% hydrated biga (see recipe above)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup precooked mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 egg, beaten

 To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, Cheddar cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and chill.

To Make Dough: 
In the your bowl of biga,  Add the oil, sugar and salt; mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled.
When dough is ready, Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and punch dough down and separate it into 6-8 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Fill each circle with 2-3 tablspoons of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"FFWD" - Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats.

        Our "French Friday's with Dorie" Group challenge this week was pan-seared duck breasts with kumquats. Never could find any kumquats here at the beach, so we used mandarin oranges. This dish was sooooo yummy and will be making it again very soon.
       We really liked the taste a fruity smoothness of the orange sauce. I think the next time we make it we may use a blend of mulling spices instead of the coriander, no particular reason only to see the difference in flavors. 
      This particular recipe can be found in Dories Greespan's cookbook, “Around My French Table” or here at Epicurious where it has been published. You can also check us out on the FrenchFridays web-page

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - (using poolish)

2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 teaspoon salt 
1 egg
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh ground  whole wheat flour

1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon 
1 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional

4 tablespoons butter2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon Almond extract
4 tablespoons half & half


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

For Poolish ~ In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast, sugar and salt in warm water and add 2 cups all-purpose flour, mix well and set aside for a least 4 hours (overnight is best). 
Next morning, in a large bowl mix milk, the other tablespoon of yeast, melted butter, and egg. Mix until will combined, add poolish and stir. Now add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Mix in remaining all purpose flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly whole wheat floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. You may need to keep dusting your dough until it is know longer sticky. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled in size, punch dough down and divide in half. Roll half out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half the mix over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
 Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake on 350* for about 30 -40 minutes or until nicely browned.
While the Cinnamon rolls are cooling, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add half & half 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TWD: BCM#1 - "Palets de Dames", Lille Style

Yesterday our "Tuesday's with Dorie" Group started enjoying the recipes from Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook Baking Chez Moi. I held off one more day hoping that my copy would be here, but no.... I am so excited... I couldn't wait any longer. So today, we give you "Palets de Dames", Lille Style. This recipe is posted on the book’s Amazon page as a sample recipe. These yummy little cookies are very easy to make and really hit the spot if you are craving something tiny and sweet.

We enjoyed our with sprinkles and chocolate shavings. Even though these little gems were easy to make they were not a big hit at my house, so not sure if I will make them again unless for a wedding or possibly a baby shower.

If you are interested in joining our new cookbook group or just looking for the recipe or more information, check us out at