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Found 12 results

  1. WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

    Favorite Cookbooks

    I've been looking through some of my cookbooks the last week or so. Partly because I bought a 1968 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook at the library sale last week (only $1.50!), and partly because of the recipe discussions on the Jill Dillard and Jill Rod threads. I realize that more and more, people are getting recipes from websites and not from printed cookbooks, but I still love cookbooks. For someone who doesn't really cook from scratch very much, I own way too many cookbooks! (Seriously. I now have 5 of the big loose leaf, binder style cookbooks.) I do really enjoy reading cookbooks, sometimes with an eye to using a recipe, and sometimes just to read the recipes. My husband finds it odd that I like to read cookbooks, but he's mostly used to it by now. I suppose these are my top 3 favorite cookbooks: My cookbook Better Homes and Gardens (1989) Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (reprint of 1950 edition) When I say "My cookbook ", I mean the blank recipe book I use instead of a 3'x5' card file like my mom used to use. I enjoy having all the recipes I liked from my childhood and all the new recipes I've discovered in one place. To show you what I value, I have more cookie recipes collected in there than any other category. Generally, I don't copy recipes from cookbooks that I use lots of recipes from, just recipes from other people, or from cookbooks that I've only ever tried one or two of the recipes. The binder part is pretty abused, but the pages are still fine. My Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (10th edition) was my first "real" cookbook when I moved out on my own. I got it as a Christmas gift 3 years after I moved. I still check it first if I want to look something up. I always disliked trying to find recipes in my mom's cookbooks because I could never remember which one had the "good" recipe. "Mom? Is this the one with the good banana bread?" "No, dear. You want the other cookbook." So I make pencilled in notes in mine. I rate the recipe, and note any changes or reminders. My most marked up recipe in this book is the shortbread cookie recipe. When I was a kid, my mom had 2 loose leaf, binder style cookbooks. The 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, and a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the 50s. I'm the youngest of 4 kids, so I've never harbored any illusion that these cookbooks would be mine someday. (Mom still has them. My oldest sibling got grandma's.) When I found a replica 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook soon after I got married, I was all happy! Now I could have my own copy with the "good" banana bread recipe, plus some other family favorites, too. I haven't pencilled in as many notes in this one, but I'm working on it. Plus it has hilarious "homemaking tips" at the back. Sorry for the bad photography. So, does anyone else have a favorite cookbook or two? Or do y'all keep all your recipes digitally, or not need a recipe most times? (Oh, and if anyone wants to try the Orange Nut Coffee Cake recipe in my handwriting, don't use 2 tablespoons of grated orange peel and the juice of one orange. Just wash an orange, trim off any bad spots, then stick the whole thing in a blender. You get better juice and peel that way. And oleo just means margarine. Butter works, too.)
  2. OnceUponATime

    Baking with veggies

    So lately I've been doing my best to empty out the freezer. So I got out my pumpkin puree and my lumpy beetroot puree and went looking for recipes. The purees were made from roasted veggies last year. I have a go-to pumpkin waffle recipe thanks to Smitten Kitchen. The trick to a good texture for those is to have a good smooth puree and do not over-beat your egg whites. It makes a huge difference to the recipe if the egg whites are still soft. I didn't take photos because I forgot and I won't rehash the recipe, because you can just follow the link if you want to see if. I came very close to making beetroot puree waffles, but at the last minute decided not to. It was probably a good plan because there really is such a thing as too many waffles. Instead, I decided that I didn't want to cook something for dinner and we would eat beetroot pikelets (mini pancakes). I also forgot to take photos so this is the only picture you will get: My Beetroot Pikelet recipe: Whisk together beetroot puree*, one egg, milk* and a packet of vanilla sugar (you can also just use a spoonful of plain sugar) Add self-raising flour*, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Melt a bit of butter in your frying pan then pour the excess into your batter. Mix it all together; it should be only just slightly thicker than pancake batter - mine was too thick. Add more milk, or flour to get to the right consistency Add spoonfuls of the batter onto your frying pan. Flip when you get little holes appearing on top and cook the other side. Serve warm with freshly made raspberry and strawberry jam. YMMV but I swear, it's not quite as weird as it sounds. *If I was going to guess how much milk, puree and flour should be used, I'd go with half a cup for puree and milk, and a cup of flour. I could be way off because estimations of stuff like that is really not my thing. And my ginger is still growing, just in case you were wondering
  3. OnceUponATime

    two a penny, hot cross buns

    Umm so apparently I made 6kg( 13 pounds) of Easter bread. I say Easter bread because I got bored of shaping boring buns and decided bunnies are Easter too, and are a sign of integration. Originally I had planned to make two small bunnies. But you know how it goes Mr and Mrs Easter bunny get together and have 7 children or something like that. And the rest of the dough made 38 hot cross buns. The Easter Rabbit family: (photo alert) Buns! After two hours of baking(I'm meaning oven time) I ended up with: Bread A – 2kg 1 boobalicious bunny 12 buns Bread B – 1.2kg 14 buns, even ration apple:currant/zest Bread C – 2.8kg 12 buns 7 lil bunnies 1 large bunny And now I'm going to go to bed. At least it's crappy weather out, so I won't be missing much. I shouldn't drink coffee when I'm tired
  4. OnceUponATime

    Hot cross buns, hot cross buns

    So, the day has finally arrived. I get to make my hot-cross buns. I'm a tad disorganized this year. Yesterday I made up my shopping list and worked out what I needed. Apparently I'm meant to use: upwards of 2kg flour 200g butter 5 eggs 600g dried fruit 250g mixed peel plus a whole heap of other stuff like hot tea, stout, sugar and yeast. I didn't have flour - not a big deal. Well it is and it isn't. I wanted bread specific flour, but without shitloads of additives. Should have thought about it earlier and visited an eco shop, additive flour it is. Mixed peel - oh this is always a problem. Last year I found somewhere that had it (gardening store. I kid you not). My local supermarket had crystallized orange peel, and crystallized lemon peel this year. But they are big strips and I didn't feel like having to buy so much and then have to chop it all finely. So I went off on my trusty bike to the garden shop this morning. Guess what they had run out of? Yup. So I got myself some crystallized Macedonian fruit instead. At least the one in the garden store contained orange peel, unlike in the supermarket where it was papaya. I guess this year I'll be using my trusty zester again for mixed peel because I don't have enough otherwise. Just as well we have oranges and lemons in the house raisins - yay my local supermarket finally has dark raisins. Happy happy happy me. I got myself a few bags so I don't run out (because packaging them in kg amounts or something can't happen here... *sigh*) Stout - I'm meant to use Mackeson, locally I can't get that. I got Guinness instead, but apparently the wrong one. Next year I'll have to go to the proper beer shop and see if I can get some Mackeson (unless stout hot cross buns get banned from this house forever). And now I need to get to washing my dishes, scrubbing my floors and organizing everything (because I still haven't quite got my timing worked out). The best thing about today is we have leftovers from yesterday so no making dinner tonight! Last night I kindly informed my better half that I wasn't going to sleep tonight. his response " but, but, but...". me: "this is how I show you how much I love you, by staying up all night to ensure you can have freshly baked hot cross buns before you leave for work. I'll even make you coffee" <- I'm not sure he sees it like this, but it is meant to be taken that way I sure hope extended family will be happy to take some off my hands on Friday/Saturday. It will give me the chance to get some lamb and peas from the freezer for my lamb and pea pie planned for Easter Sunday. mmm pie. And let the craziness begin
  5. OnceUponATime

    one a penny

    I’m a bit pissed because the last GOP debate was cancelled. I had it planned as my kneading entertainment. Now I have nothing, I’ll probably have to watch PP or something. That’s going to get me decently kneaded dough! When you start baking sometimes you read the recipe and see ‘soak overnight’ or ‘the night before…’. Well sometimes I decide that means ‘in the middle of the day’. I’m baking three recipes: A – Stout hot cross buns B – Milk infused hot cross buns C – Easy quick hot cross buns At midday I decided that it should be counted as “the night before”. Because well, when you’re planning on having your buns in the oven by 3:35am, then you know, 12ish hours before needing to use something sounds adequate. I set up the start of recipe A: my beer yeast sponge and tea soaked fruit/peel (never thought I’d ever be typing those two things). I decided to get my dry ingredients sorted out while hanging out on FJ and listening to The Lorax, Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham, and While the World Watched. Always better to do that while bright eyed and bushy tailed instead of waiting until I’m too tired to count above 3. So dry ingredients for recipes B and C got sorted out. I discovered that I need a larger bowl. Oops. ^I need to still add liquid and fruit to that... At least my other bowl should be empty when I get to that stage. Oh and I lit the fire early so my proving room [aka living room] will be nice and warm. I hope I can keep it at a nice temperature. And I sorted out my schedule for this evening. 8pm – infuse milk. Forget about it, and then remember just before it burns. Yes! Midnight: (I'm in need of coffee) Dough A – mix, knead, rest, knead, rest, knead, rest, knead, leave to rise Dough B – mix, knead, leave to rise 1am: Rest for 55 minutes – yes! Dough A – knead, form, let rise 2am: Rest for 45 minutes – yay! Dough B – knead, add fruit, knead, form, leave to rise 3am: FJ goes dark Make crosses dough Dough C – prove yeast, mix, knead, form and leave to rise Dough A – Pipe on crosses, start baking 4am: Taste hot cross bun A Make glaze Dough A – glazing and baking and glazing Dough B – pipe and bake and glaze Dough C – pipe Make coffee Taste hot cross bun B 5am: Dough B – bake and glaze Dough C – bake and glaze Taste hot cross bun C 6am: Clean up a bit Make sure I have photos to add to the forum of shit I fucked up. Sleep?
  6. laPapessaGiovanna

    Too Many Eggs

    Yesterday I noticed I had too many eggs. My overly producing chickens haven't noticed yet that it's winter, it's cold and they should slow down. Since even after giving away a lot of them, the eggs were still too many, I decided to make an eggs-consuming cake, here we call it Torta Margherita or Pan di Spagna (Spanish bread). It requires 8 eggs, 300gr of potato starch, 300gr of sugar, half an orange's juice, baking powder, some cinnamon, dried vanilla and grated orange skin. I whipped the whites with half of the sugar till hard. Then I whipped the yolks with the other half of the sugar till they doubled and became creamy and whitish. I mixed them together in a very big bowl carefully stirring with slow bottom-up movements. I added the sifted potato starch bit by bit always carefully stirring as before. At the end I added a pinch of baking powder, half an orange juice, a pich of cinnamon, vanilla and the orange skin. Mixed carefully as before. Then I cooked it in the static oven at 180ºC for an hour. It's important to start with a cold oven, turning it on only after putting the cake inside. After an hour I checked if it was ready and then left it on a grid to cool down. The result is a very big cake that lasts for days (not in my home ), best eaten with any sort of tea or caffelatte. If you want to reduce the doses you must half everything and use 4 eggs.
  7. Okay, we're up to day three of Thanksgiving prep. Let's make some cornbread for the dressing. I was losing the light and couldn't get a good shot of the batter, so here it is in the oven: You'll have to wait till the next post to see it transformed into cornbread dressing. Okay, next up is some French bread rolls: Please note that my container for wheat gluten is an old yogurt container. Fancy! Since we are working with wheat, here's a shot of the wheatberries before they took a spin in my grain mill: That's hard red wheatberries on the left and soft white wheatberries on the right. After a few minutes in the grain mill ( please wear ear protection!), You get this: Hard red flour is again on the left and soft white flour Is on the right. Because these flours are whole grain, it's best to only grind what you need for a recipe, or store the flour in the freezer. My shoulders balk at too much kneading, so I'm going to use the dough cycle on my bread machine to make the dough and do the first rise and punch down. Ugly dough, huh? After shaping, rising, and baking, you get this: True confession time: I forgot to grease or line the baking sheet with parchment , so these stuck to the pan. I carefully arranged them so you couldn't see the raggedy bottoms. Day three is over, what will tomorrow bring?
  8. One of the things I've learned, is the importance of starting my Thanksgiving preparations early. My preparation actually begins on the Sunday night before Thanksgiving when I pull the turkey and any other needed items out of the freezer, but the real work starts on the following Monday. We are not having guests this year, so I will be making the scaled down version of my Thanksgiving dinner. That means that some dishes will be absent as we only have so much room in the refrigerator to work with. Because the weather has turned colder, I'm starting with pies. I usually make those on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but it's cool enough that I think they will keep okay covered up on the washing machine. We'll start with apple. I don't always make an apple pie, but my husband asked for apple pie instead of the Maple-Pecan Chiffon cake we had last year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here we go: The small container to the left of the apples contains a pie crust I had in the freezer. I ended up using five apples, but I think four would have been better. I forgot to replace the pie plate I got rid of last year, so this one is going in a 9x9 baking dish. Gotta roll with the punches around here. Since this recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, I decided to go ahead and zest the lemon too. You'll notice I didn't peel the apples before cutting and coring them. I rarely peel fruits and vegetables if the peel is edible. The peel is a source of fiber, and you lose some of the nutrients if you choose to peel them. I told you I cut up too many apples for this dish. I still have to add the crumb topping, so I'm going to have to be careful not to spill it. I'll have a picture of the baked apple pie further down. I was starting to lose my natural light. Okay, next up is pumpkin: The powdered milk is there because the recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk. I make a homemade version of sweetened condensed milk with dry milk powder, water, sugar, and butter. The small container in front of the powdered milk is another pie crust I had in the freezer. I'm not posting a shot of the batter in the bowl because the lighting is so poor. Here's a shot of the pie in the oven: Making pretty pies is not my strong suit. I promise they taste better than they look. I had to go referee a kitty dispute while the apple one was baking, so the top got more brown than I intended. My official taste tester said the apple one was good, and I had some of the pumpkin and it had a good flavor. Especially when you add a tiny dollop of whipped cream. Day one is over, and we have pie. Life is good.
  9. Hi everyone, sorry for the delay but I got a busy weekend and then got sidetracked and fell into the Bergey's rabbit hole. However, as promised here is the recipe for the ciabatta bread. It's a food with an unusual story. Italian food often is a result of centuries of tradition, this is especially true for breads. Ciabatta bread is an exception, it "was born" in 1982 in Adria, a town in Veneto, thanks to a great baker. It is renown for being crunchy and with tipically big "holes" inside, given by the high hydration of the dough. This is a slice This recipe is my personal adaptation of the original one that's too complicated for me to do at home. I have to make a premise though. I've always hated this bread, too crunchy IMHO, I tried to do it only because my mother asked me, it's her favourite bread. I made a starter with 50gr sourdough, 200gr water and 150gr of strong (high protein, high gluten) flour. It needs to rest at 21-22ºC for 12-13 hours. After that I diluted the starter with 274gr of warm (28ºC) water stirring slowly, then I added a teaspoon of honey, 517gr of strong flour and 13gr of salt as last. This was a very messy dough, the water percentage is 80% of the flour, quite high and the result is a very sticky dough. I kneaded it making folds and beating it on the table (and cursing) for 10 minutes, when I noticed a good improvement in consistency .I put it in an oiled bowl to rest in a warm place for 3hours. Even if the mere thought made me curse, I forced myself to turn the dough and fold it on itself once during the 3 hours. Then I divided the dough in 2 parts, took one, folded it on itself and put it on a heavily floured plastic foil giving it the form. Then I put a good amount of flour on top of the boulage and grabbing it from the bottom, hhelping myself with the plastics foil, I put it on the oven plate covered with parchment paper. I repeated the process with the other half. I covered the boulages with the plastic foil and let it rest for other 2 hours in the oven slighly warm. Then I cooked it at 230ºC for 15 minutes and other 20 minutes at 200ºC. It's important to put a bowl of water in the oven and take it away when you lower the temperature, also, to make it crunchy, keep the oven's door slightly open for the last 10 minutes (or more of you like). When I put it in the oven I swore that it was yhe first and last time I did it. But when later I tasted it I changed my mind. It's too delicious, totally worth the big trouble doing it.
  10. HerNameIsBuffy

    Cookies for inner peace...

    Unlike the amazing @laPapessaGiovanna I don't bake stuff that looks like it should be in an artisan bakery. My stuff is more homey which is code for messy but yummy. With the upsetting news events and some problems at work which have me completely clenched I kicked off the holiday baking season for some much needed stress relief. As always started with the far and away favorite our family's kolachkis. Those of you familiar with pastries of Polish descent might be familiar. There are two main types of kolachkis...the round ones and those folded over to look like little bow ties. Both delicious - only the former is considered a kolachki in my family off origin.* *Like many Americans I am a mutt, but this recipe came from my grandfather's family. His parents were among the thousands of Polish immigrants to the Westfallen region of Germany (Bochum) where my grandpa was born. They were originally from the Podhale region of Poland - and we have a deli run by people from Zakopane in that region who also do the round version so I assume that's how the Goral (people of that region) do kolachkis. I should note I'm in something of a mixed marriage since when I first made these for my headship he said they were great, but not kolachkis since they weren't folded over like his family makes them. He thought he had the winning argument because he is 100% of Polish descent and I have significantly weaker ties to that part of my family but he was wrong. Turns out the person with the recipe and willingness to bake them wins all such disputes. My first attempt of the season always sucks...they taste good but I don't get the size and texture right until the second try so this was to get the ugly cookies out of the way. The dough is simple - nothing but cream cheese, butter, and flour chilled at least 4 hours (overnight is better) and rolled out while cold to the thickness of pie crust, cut in rounds, dollop of Solo Pie Filling in the center and bake. Key things to remember is not to over handle the dough, they over bake easily to watch the time, and anything besides Solo brand for the filling is sacrilege and should be subject to capital punishment. Cherry and apricot are the acceptable favors. I do make plum/prune also but not to eat...the purpose of those is to allow me to finish the last of the cherry / apricot without guilt knowing I am leaving something for others...even if it's everyone's third choice. first season in the new house and couldn't find my cookie board so I improvised and used the sterilized (steam) granite counter. Is that gross? It was super clean but felt gross to work directly on counter. Stop judging, you don't have to eat them! Also couldn't find my cookie cutter (packed with Christmas stuff) so had to use a wine glass and went too small so they came out kind of mini. Of the 60 I made exactly 4 came out properly. Better odds than usual for the first attempt of the season, but the family doesn't care about how sad and ugly the remainder are...they are already starting to vanish. And there is a reason professional food photographers are a thing - this is hard. And I'm messy. I always try to work tidy like they do on food network and I do clean as I go...but the in process stuff is never as organized and lovely as it is on tv. You know what my problem is? I don't have a staff.
  11. I posted this recipe in a post in the stuffing thread. This is my trusted go-to recipe for dog treats for the world's happiest pups. http://www.crazycrumb.com/dog-liver-treats.html This is one of the only recipes for which I use the food processor (old school - mock away) and our beloved Lucky, who passed a year ago this month, without fail would head to the kitchen whenever I got the food processor out and lay in front of the oven until he had gotten his treats. It takes over an hour and in our old house an 85 lb lump of fur mid kitchen was quite the impediment to movement but he was undeterred. He would have his treats, he would have the first. I miss him so much my heart hurts. While our two pups don't have his dedication to staging a sit in at every baking they love them, too, so I make this pretty regularly for them. Puree 2 cups of chicken liver... Grossest smoothie ever. Add dry ingredients and bake up for about 15 minutes - the final result is the consistency of a no crumb brownie... cut into bits - can cut tiny for training purposes but these are just treat size since they refuse to be any more trained than they currently are... waiting patiently... Hey, Not-The-Momma! Stop moving the treats! Midair! (I wish Momma was a better photographer because this was way cuter than it appears here.)
  12. laPapessaGiovanna

    Baking to forget

    Today, probably as many of you, I felt the need to do something normal to forget that the world can be a shitty place. Creating something, especially food, with my hands helps me to foster hope, with busy hands it's easier to fight fear. I made common bread, bread with walnuts and dried grapes, ciabatte and arab bread. I'll post all the recipes in the next days, promised. Since I am a bit tired I'm posting only about the bread with walnuts and dried grapes. The recipe is the same as for the common bread and you find it here. The difference is that to the ingredients you add a couple of teaspoons of honey and, once you have started kneading, you can add 250gr of dried grapes (already lsoaked in hot water, then squeezed and dried with a towel) and some roughly cut walnuts. Let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours and a half. Then form three boulages carefully folding the pieces of dough on themselves and let them rest on a wooden surface for 15/30 minutes till they relax. Folding again the boulages give them the final form. Let them rest in a warm place covered with a plastic sheet for an hour then take away the sheet and turn on the oven putting inside a bowl of water. After another half an hour cut the bread and cook it for 30 minutes at 230ºC and then lower the temperature at 180ºC for other 15 minutes. And this is it. It's one of my favourite comfort foods, I usually slice the loaves and freeze the surplus so it's ready for when I need it. Wishing peace for everyone.
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