Friday, November 8, 2013

Back in The Game

I realize that two years shouldn't be a hiatus… not sure how I went so long without posting. I'll chalk it up to how tumultuous the past two years have been. 4 moves, three different cities, two states, and a federal district, and 4 apartments. 3 new jobs, school, and a whole lot of changes. But here I find myself again. Just in time for Thanksgivingukkah. An event that won't happen for another 8,000 years.

Not sure what Thanksgiving will look like this year other than sunnier and warmer than past climes. Last year I slept through it on my parent's couch in Siena, Italy. We celebrated by going to Italian class and eating pasta, otherwise known as a regular Thursday for them. So this year will be nice to spend time with my sister and her new husband (which is still weird to say, but I digress). So Santa Barbara prepare. We're going to get fat and sassy. My dear sister and I have already begun thinking of what cooking and baking we can do not just for the meal, but the week surrounding it. Oy.

Not to certain what I'll do for Chanukkah. But there are good fooling opportunities. I think since I will be back in the 7th night, I'll make cookies, rugelach (see pervious posts) and latkes. For me. Maybe I'll share. But I promise to post recopies, and photos, and yes. I'll set the table :)

But this weekend should provide some good blogging material and some great food. The line up includes, coffee, cocoa, coconut brisket in the slow cooker, apple pie, yogurt (not exciting), challah baked with these vegan buttery sticks I'm excited to try, and I think that is about it.

Happy Friday everyone and pro tip, don't use damp towels to as makeshift hot pads. They conduct heat. Take it from my experience.

Photos are from the most recent adventures had in French cooking, so this post isn't so boring.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hitaus over.

So now that school is over, and I am over the new job learning curve as well as proposal and other grant request documentation. Let's just say it's a whole new world to paperwork. After the Hill you think you've seen it all, and as for someone who cleaned up an operation from an assistant who would have been fantastic in the 70s/80s, so I've seen paper. But this wow. I'm beginning to plan the next round of foodings.

The list so far is as is as follows:


-French Onion soup and Chocolate souffle with new soup bowls for baking and a new souffle dish.
- Ring braided challah
- A honey cake
-Brisket and scratch gravy from drippings (eek!) that will probably feed me for days.
-Vegetarian chili
I'm also looking to try something new with vegetables


** edit** Photos should be fixed

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blueberry Peach Muffins


These turned out great, but could benefit from a little more peach punch. They have this flavor that you can't quite tell what it is, but it's really good. That would be the peach puree. They are super moist and have a great flavor. Part are the blueberries were just perfect, but I think the peach puree adds a little something. The hardest part of this was making the peach puree. Cooking time was like 15m so, pretty much if you have the ingredients there is no excuse for making muffins from mix. Well, never mind, I could probably think of one or two... but you get the point.


Another first in Reckless Cook history. Muffins departed today on a cross country journey to Seattle, to the friend who ingeniously came up with the flavor combination. We'll see if these little guys can hack a trip. They are due to arrive on Wednesday, so we'll see! And I'm pretty sure the UPS guy thought I was absolutely nuts, but that's another point.


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine-grind cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (subtract about 2 tsp worth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pureed peaches
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp.
      ground cinnamon, 2 tsp vanilla sugar
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Butter 12 standard muffin cups or line them with paper liners. In a bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Whisk in the milk and butter. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly over the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove and let cool. Makes about 12. I got a full baker's dozen. I sprinkled with turbinado sugar at the end.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Peach Cake with Strawberry Peach Marscapone filling


So I was really excited about this and it didn't turn out as planned. One of the things I needed was peach extract and none was around to find. I have it coming in my King Arthur Flour really big order.  So the cake was a little heavier than I generally like, but turned out very moist with a faint peach flavor and a lovely color. I need to figure out why it's so heavy, but that's a problem for another day.

I did find out that if you can't find super fine sugar or run out while baking, just put some regular sugar in a coffee grinder and grind for about 20 seconds and you're good.

I'll be excited to try this again, with the extract. And a better buttercream. My buttercream was a disaster. In part to it being 92 outside and I was baking with no AC to try and save on electricity. It was fine until the buttercream, it started separating and just wouldn't hang together, I put it in the fridge but it only helped temporarily. The damage was done. Lesson learned, buttercream is cranky.














Ingredients:



tablespoons butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups superfine sugar
teaspoons vanilla
large egg whites
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pureed peaches


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F, Grease and flour 2 8-inch pans OR butter and line with parchment paper.




  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, baking powder, sugar, salt and extracts until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg whites to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir 1/3 of the flour into the creamed mixture, then half the milk and peach puree. Repeat process, ending with flour. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 23 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool completely in pans on wire racks

For filling:
1 cup cold marscapone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup peach and strawberry puree
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix thoroughly. (I use a hand mixer)