Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TWD/DC: Blueberry-Buttermilk Pie Bars AND Dorie's Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies AND MANY MORE

Do you see all those sticky notes?
Each one marks a completed recipe.
That I've failed to blog about.
SO there's some catching up to do.

Let's start with the current recipes from Dorie's Cookies.

DC: Blueberry-Buttermilk Pie Bars
We liked them best warm, with ice cream.
(What a surprise...)

DC: Dorie's Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies
Loved the spices and the texture.

BCM: Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart

Didn't have a lime, but made do with some lime juice
and some True lime (a dried lime powder).
Made tiny ones in silicone cupcake liners.
They were good.

DC: Goat Cheese and Chive Cookies
turned out to be perfect with a sausage and kale dinner.
Can I say that cheese straws have long been a Southern
 favorite. These "cookies" are pretty close.
They'd be good with a little dab of jam too.

BCM: Lemon Meringue Tart A New Way
Used the little tart pans.
After 37 years of marriage, it took
this recipe for my husband to tell me that
he doesn't like "lemon pie".
OK then, more for me.

BCM: Plain and Simple Almond Cake
I added some bittersweet chocolate pieces.
And it was perfect timing for early spring strawberries.

My Mother's Strawberry Pie
Every now and then, you've GOT to have an old favorite.

DC: Lemon Sugar Cookies
Fast and easy. 
Note to self: try a little powdered sugar/lemon glaze next time.

Revisited Finnish Pulla
for Easter

BCM: Laurent's Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple
Easy. Good. Ice cream. Yes.

DC: Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars
Oh. My. Goodness. These are amazing.
I highly recommend pecans retrieved from the yard of a friend.

DC: Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans
Another winner. 

DC: Breakfast Biscotti
I always forget how much I love biscotti.
A little drizzle on top makes it that much better.

Actually, I'm pretty sure it was Bread-Machine
Bread from Baking With Julia. That recipe
with the buttermilk powder has become my go-to.

DC: World Peace Cookies
Chocolate and chocolate.
How can you go wrong?

DC: Double-Ginger Crumb Cookies
Not sure if these were "assigned" or if I went rogue.
Heads-up. They were good.

BCM: Olive Oil and Wine Cookies
Unusual and unusual-looking, LOL!
They grew on us after awhile. 

DC: Pfefferneusse
I seem to remember that they were... hard.

DC: Christmas Spice Cookies
A decent cookie-cutter recipe.

DC: Peanut Butter Change-Ups
Very good, nice texture, but not as
peanut-y as I expected.

Well, that's about it. I've been here, just haven't reported it. And there have been a few changes in our life. Our dear dog Lady passed away unexpectedly on the night of January 1st. It was devastating and still hurts terribly. She was well-loved and is very much missed. After a few months, a new dog found us. His name is Jack and he's a 6-yr-old border collie. He's fast, and silent, and doesn't have to eat special food. He's not Lady, but we love him already.

One of the last photos I have of Lady.
We were at the emergency clinic.

We actually met Jack for the first time in the hospital.
And here's a shoe. Since this post was all about looking back, how about a shoe in my rear-view mirror:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

TWD/BWJ: Wedding Cake

Here we are.
At the end of the Baking With Julia odyssey.
Over 4 1/2 years.
Celebrating with a special cake.
Seems just right.

Lots of steps, and in the end, all motivation to produce beautiful decorations evaporated. Quick and easy won out when I saw the Halloween things at the grocery. Oh yes, the cake was good. But that buttercream scared me, especially after a couple of days in and out of the fridge. Raw egg yolks, even mixed with hot sugar syrup, make me nervous. So we didn't eat it all. Didn't need to. It was way too big for us anyway. Even a small version.

Here are some photos:

Had to break my "no-Walmart" rule to find almond paste.
Only made one batch of the cake mix.

Closest thing we had to appropriate-sized pans.
A casserole dish and a small springform pan.

Made half a batch of meringue for the Almond Dacquoise.
One of my favorite things about this entire project has been the equipment
that I've collected. See that measuring spoon? Best thing ever.
It sits level on a counter, has an elongated end to fit in spice jars,
and the set is magnetized. They find each other in a drawer!

The Dacquioise ready to go in the oven.
Seven hours to bake cramped my style. Left it in overnight.

Next day, the layers were split, a buttercream dam piped around the edge,
and warm apricot jam poured on. A meringue was added, then more 
buttercream and apricot jam, and finally the other half of the cake layer.

Then the crumb coat. I had an assistant.
Yes, this is the one who started college just before
Baking With Julia began.
She graduated and came back home.
Happy to have her sticking around the nest for now.
We've had two graduations and a retirement
since this project started. 

Chillin' in the fridge.
Thank goodness for flexible shelving.

Our little skeleton family. Down to one dog now.
We sure do miss Rachel and Sallie.

There's a little marzipan in there.

Pikachu and a pumpkin on top.
And the layers. The layers!
Couldn't believe that meringue stayed crisp
after being spread with jam and buttercream.
But it did. It was a nice addition.

And there's our Lady.
A huge thank-you to everyone who participated in the Tuesdays With Dorie/ Baking With Julia group. I learned SO much from you. Of course, Tuesdays With Dorie still goes on. The group has also been baking from Dorie's book, Baking Chez Moi, for some time now. I must say that I've grown to love BCM. And at the moment, I'm eagerly anticipating Dorie's newest book, Dorie's Cookies, which comes out in a couple of weeks. What the world needs now is love, sweet love...and cookies!!!

Here's a shoe:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

TWD/BWJ: Crispy Cocoa Cookies

It's June already?
Obviously there's been some sort of anomaly in the space-time continuum.

I'm just going to jump on in.

This recipe popped up on the do-list.
And I had all the ingredients.
There was a video (this recipe starts about 5 1/2 minutes in).
And it was easy.

Apparently a miracle occurred during that wrinkle in time.

Let's see some pictures:

At this point, the dough has to be refrigerated for an hour.
By then it's hard as a rock and has to warm up.
One day I'll be brave enough NOT to chill it first.

In the meantime, I needed to make some detergent.
You heard that right. Detergent.
Been making my own for years.

Here's THAT recipe:
1 bar ivory soap, grated
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

Mix together.
I use an old coffee scoop as a measure.
3 scoops for a large load in my high efficiency front-loader.
2 scoops for a smaller load.

That's it. Aren't you glad you came by?

Now that the cookie dough is too hard to roll, let's try it anyway.

Didn't have a round cutter, but had a variety of others.
Everything from state shapes to Christmas
to my mother's old-timey "bridge club" cutters.

Thin crispy goodness.
If I added spices, I bet they'd taste like those IKEA cookies.
My daughter suggested coffee.
Good idea. With them or in them.
There are possibilities ahead.

The other Baking With Julia participants are here.

And here's a shoe. There's much to catch up on and a great many shoes that have crossed my path since my last post. But here's one I saw yesterday. At a bus stop.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

TWD/BWJ: Buttermilk Bread In a Bread Machine

Just when you least expect it, a miracle occurs!
Had given up on finding anything simple in Baking With Julia.
I was wrong.
Not too big to admit it.

Here are the instructions:
Dump everything in the bread machine.
Turn it on.
Wait for the beep.

Didn't even know there was such a thing as powdered buttermilk. It's one of those things I could have used SO many times. When I looked, there it was. Right on the grocery shelf. Seriously? It was there all the time and I didn't even know to look.

If you haven't heard of Pam Grout, I highly recommend her books. E-squared helped me see the world in a whole new way. Experiments in the magic of the universe. Things show up when you start looking for them. Kind of like that little tub of powdered buttermilk.

Full disclosure. After letting the bread machine do all the work, I watched the video of Lora Brody making the bread with Julia. Maybe next time I will take the risen dough out of the machine and shape it up, or bake it in a loaf pan. This time I was happy to let the machine do the baking.

Homemade yeast bread is hard to beat. Even if it's machine-made. Heck, Julia couldn't tell the difference and that's good enough for me. My second piece of advice for the day: slice it thin and make a killer tuna melt. Serve with homemade bread and butter pickles. You will not be sorry.

A few others made the bread. You can find them here.

I'll leave you with a shoe. From a trip to my hometown last summer. Was having lunch with my best friend from childhood (and adulthood, even though we live on different sides of the Atlantic now) and spotted the shoe out the window of the restaurant. No, it's not a truck stop, just looks that way. And what's better than a huge truckload of hay? Anyway, tomorrow is Big Susan's birthday. Wish we could sit next to each other and have California Chicken Salad and House Tea again.