Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
I did want to add my notes because I messed up an entire batch by not chilling the dough enough. The trick I found that worked best for me was to go all the way up to the forming dough ball part, and twist to get 2 halves, as instructed. But then what I did was I put each dough ball onto some parchment paper and stuck them in the fridge for about an hour. It helped the dough chill quickly enough for me to not have to wait too long to bake them and resulted in a PERFECT cookie. I even made a batch with NO chocolate chips because my friend Jess and I really just love the dough sans chips. They were also a hit!
Thank you, Katie, for inspiring me to give these a shot! They were a hit! And SO easy!
Basic Cream Puff Dough
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil.
3. Stir in flor and salt until the mixture forms into a ball.
4. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl.
5. Using stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
6. Pipe onto prepared baking sheet in Tbsp size.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
8. When shells are cool, pipe the cream into the shells.
9. Dust with powdered sugar.
(Note: Pipe cream into shells before serving. We piped the night before and the next day they were not as good as when we first piped them that night. And piping takes no time at all so it's really no big deal. Lesson learned!)
For the cream, we used this Williams-Sonoma recipe.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The only thing is that you can't just buy any old kielbasa. No, ladies - Hillshire Farms DOES NOT CUT IT. You have to go to the polish deli. Fortunately there are a number of those in Philadelphia. The one my family always goes to is in a part of the city called Bridesburg. The deli: Lachowicz. I bought 3 pounds. It's good stuff. But make sure you buy the SMOKED kielbasa.
So I took Jess there, and we each bought some, along with the traditional super fresh loaf of rye bread. I brought her back to my house to show her our method of cooking it.
And so I shall share it with you!
KIELBASA AND EGGSSlice your smoked kielbasa into thin coins. Stack them up and then cut them into half circles. Lay them flat in your pan. Cook over medium heat until browned. Flip and brown the other side.
Add your scrambled eggs to the kielbasa in the pan. Scramble the eggs, trying to keep it in sections. Here are some pictures of the stages from runny eggs to ready to eat eggs.
When serving it for breakfast this Sunday morning, I also wanted to make some home fries because my husband always likes potatoes with his eggs. I wanted to bake them because I hate frying in oil. So here's what I threw together.
BAKED HOME FRIES
3 white potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and sprayed with Pam.
3. In a ziploc bag, add your diced potatoes, oil and spices. Shake to coat.
4. Spread the seasoned potatoes flat on the baking sheet.
5. Bake 15 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 15 minutes (30 minutes total).
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
And so here's a complete breakfast. Serve with a tall glass of OJ!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
2 cans chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
2 cans White Northern Beans
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilis (next time I would use 2 cans)
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used canola oil)
1 onion, chopped
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
And so some Nesties were talking about mac & cheese one day - so I searched for a guilt-free mac & cheese recipe - here's what I found:
MACARONI AND CHEESE
Here is MY rendition:
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (I used a bag of shredded cheese - next time I will grate my own cheese)
1 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup nonfat sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray
Combine first 8 ingredients and spoon into a greased 2-quart casserole dish coated with the cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with paprike. Cover and bake in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 - 15 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Fat: 11.2 g
Protein: 24.9 g
Fiber: 1.2 g
Picky Husband Rating: "We'll definitely eat this again."
I had a hamslice I intended to cube up and mix in, but I forgot! I'll definitely remember to do that next time!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
And so this weekend I attempted the cake. I found some recipes online for each component of the cake.
We both decided, although the cake was still delicious, we need a "spongier" cake. Also, I don't think I'll be using real vanilla beans again. They're expensive! Ok, anyway, here are the recipes I did use.
6 large eggs
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Butter and line 2-8 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
3. In electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until they are thick, fluffy and light colored (when you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon). At this point, beat in the vanilla extract. Sift 1/2 of the flour over the batter and gently fold through with a rubber spatula or whisk. Sift the remaining flour over the batter and fold in. Whisk about 1/2 of the batter into the melted buter (to lighten it) and then gently fold the butter mixture back into the rest of the batter.
4. Pour immediately into the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until springy to the touch.
5. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Run a spatula or sharp knife around the inside of the pan and then invert the cake onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper.
6. With a serrated knife slice the cakes horizontally.
7. Assemble with pastry cream between layers.
9 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Large pinch of salt
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups milk
1. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt. Then whisk in the cornstarch. Set aside.
2. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over med-high heat, combine the vanilla bean, seeds and milk. Cook until bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from heat and slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
4. Return mixture to the saucepan and set over med-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is as thick as mayonnaise, 5-7 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and strain the pastry cream into a clean bowl, discarding the vanilla bean.
6. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream. Let cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to use.
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.
3. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
4. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
5. To cover cake, pour the ganache into the center of the cake. Working quickly, spread with a spatula, using big strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake to create an even coating of ganache. Cover any bare spots with leftover ganache.
*Note: If covering a cake that is to be refrigerated, make sure the cake is cold before covering with the ganache to ensure that the ganache does not dull when stored in the refrigerator.
2 cups light cream or half & half (12-18% buttefat)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
1. Have a fine medium sized strainer and bowl ready near the stove.
2. In a stainless steel bowl stir together, using a wooden spoon, the sugar and egg yolks until well blended (do not let this mixture sit too long or a film will develop on the yolks).
3. In a small saucepan heat the cream and vanilla bean (if using) just to the boiling point. Remove from heat and whisk a few tablespoons of the cream into the yolk mixture. Then gradually add the remaining cream, whisking constantly.
4. Pour this mixture into a medium sized saucepan and over medium heat, gently heat the mixture to just below the boiling point (170-175 degrees). You will notice that steam will begin to appear and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream. Do not boil or the eggs will curdle. Check to see if it is the right consistency by holding a wooden spoon sideways that is covered with the custard and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the streak remains without the cream running down through the streak, it is ready.
5. Immediately remove from the heat and pour through the strainer, scraping up any thickened cream that settled on the bottom of the pan. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until the seeds separate (If you are using vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean, add it to the cream now).
Can be refrigerated covered with plastic wrap for a couple of days.
*Note: If sauce was overheated and curdling occurs, pour instantly into a blender and process until smooth before straining. If necessary, add a little heavy cream to the mixture before blending.
Friday, September 28, 2007
1 teaspoon baking soda