Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sour Cherry Pie that didn't...

I actually found frozen sour cherries at a new market, called Wholesome Choice , this market is a breath of fresh air from our typical chain markets. Beautiful and different produce, I have never seen green plumbs, anyone know how to use them? They have a nice selection of Bob's Red Mill grains and flours; the flours are in the large, 5 lb., bags. Since I found the cherries I was ready to make the recipe of the week, chosen by Michelle of Flourchild, Sour Cherry Pie with Pistachio Crumble.
Couldn't wait to make the recipe, but on Friday I had that feeling of maybe a sore throat and possibly a runny nose; no way, there's a three day weekend ahead. Well the "maybe sore throat" turned into the sore throat that ate Chicago!!! Saturday I couldn't taste anything and decided not to bake; Saturday night, at 11:00, I dragged my tired butt to the emergency room and went home with a bag of drugs; better living through chemistry I say. What happened to my DH? Why didn't HE take me to the hospital? He will be having a complete shoulder replacement in two weeks and is in so much pain he has to take a pain medicine to sleep; couldn't wake him up enough to drive, LOL!!! Anyway, two and half hours later, an In 'n Out burger and a chocolate shake, (hey you need food to take the meds) I was back in bed.

While I was at Wholesome Choice I found some buckwheat flour and remembered my grandmom made the best buckwheat pancakes; she always started the batter the night before and let it ferment. On the back of the package was a recipe for yeasted buckwheat pancakes, yippee!!! I knew what we were having for breakfast on Sunday, couldn't wait; I put the batter together last night. This morning I finished the batter, got the butter to room temperature, maple syrup ready and the griddle was getting hot. Made about a dozen pancakes for DH and me, everything looked great and that's when it hit me. It was either a V-8 or Laughing Cow moment, but I STILL can't taste ANYTHING!!!!! DH said they were very good, damn. That's why there are no pictures of food, but I thought I would show you how my garden looks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fresh Mango Bread.....

Easy and fast recipe, many thanks to Kelly of Baking with the Boys for our weekly recipe pick! No problems with the mango they are on sale here, 2 for a dollar; mine were the perfect ripeness, just firm and no strings. I decided on eliminating the raisins and added about 3/4 cup flaked coconut; I also used coconut flour for a 1/2 cup of the flour. I like the moistness of the cake but the mango flavor was missing, I just couldn't taste the fruit. Maybe not use the cinnamon and see if that change helps improve the mango flavor or change the recipe to pineapple, now that sounds good. A very adaptable recipe that you can change to suit your own tastes. Check out the other bakers at TWD and see how their bread came out.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

SMS Guinness Gingerbread.....

The Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe for this week was chosen by Katie of Katiecakes, check out her blog, she has some great recipes! Ginger is another flavor I love, not as much as lemon of course, but it's right up there. I also made my TWD recipe and was surprised to see many of the same spices were used, so it was very easy to put them both together and bake, same temperature. Other than the Guinness stout, I had everything on hand; the recipe used 2/3 of a cup of the Guinness and the rest was consumed while the gingerbread baked; wouldn't want to waste anything!!!
The bread smelled so good while baking, DH kept hoovering by the oven, waiting for it to come out; I reminded him it needed to cool a bit.
After tasting the gingerbread it was a bit disappointing, not very gingery; and I added crystalized ginger to the batter. DH, AGAIN, did not like the bits of ginger in the bread, I see a pattern here, no bits of anything larger than 1/8" from now on. Who knew, after 23 years of marriage, he didn't like bits, LOL; will strain his food from now on. The ice cream I used was a Haagen-Daz new flavor called Brown Sugar, yummy!!! This new ice cream line is called 5 because they only use 5 ingredients, it's really good; they have a ginger flavored one also.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recipes from the past.....

I'm not sure why I checked ebay, perhaps it was from reading Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters or just curiosity but I won a wonderful handwritten recipe book!!! First, I can't believe someone let this book escape their family; I am sure some family member would have appreciated having this book. Second, I would never let one of my mom's or grandmom's handwritten recipes out of my hands. OK, I'm off my soap box, now on to the book, it's amazing!!! So many dessert recipes, Heavenly Pie, Fudge, Harlequin Cake, Pearl's Angel Food, Dream Bars, Orange Date Bread and so many more. I think Devil's Food Cake must have been popular, there are at least four different recipes. The owner of the book made sure she gave credit to whoever gave her the recipe and sometimes the date and where the dessert or dish was served. Most of the recipes are dated from 1932 to the early 1940's, many mention being served at the Sacajawea Club, I think it might have been a Girls and Boys Club. Here are a couple of references at the end of recipes:
Recipe from Mrs. Duncan, served at her home January 20, 1937. Very cold day 23 below, 10 members present.
Recipe from Pearl Howard, served at a stork shower for Olive.
This is just too cool and her penmanship is beautiful. She wrote a saying in the front of the book and I have to share it with you.

We may live without friends,
we may live without books
But civilized man cannot live
without cooks.

TWD's Tartest Lemon Tart.....

Can you say "Lemons, lemons and more lemons"? This was a great week for me, I love lemon anything, especially tart lemon flavors. Both SMS and TWD recipes for the week featured lemon yummys!!! Thank you to Babette of Babette Feasts for this delicious tart made with a nut dough. I made the dough, divided it into quarters, used my 4" tart pans to make individual tarts and froze the shells until I was ready to make the filling. Easy filling, everything goes into a blender and processed until smooth; I still had chunks (very small) of peel but thought it was OK. I had a lot of left over filling, because my tart shells could only hold so much, so I filled ramekins with the excess filling and baked them along with the tarts. I liked the tarts, they had a very tart filling, which I love, and the little bits of rind were OK for me; however DH did NOT like the bits of peel. I would probably strain the filling next time, just to be sure it was smooth. The nut crust was very good and I would use it again for a tart shell. All in all a good recipe, I just need to tweak it a bit for DH, LOL.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

SMS Lemon Icebox Cake.....

Our recipe for the week was chosen by Jennifer of Keep Passing the Open Windows and she picked a winner!!! Easy to make and it tasted like a frozen lemon meringue pie; I had no issues with this recipe and made it as written, except I didn't make the strawberry sauce. I can see many flavor options for this cake and it is perfect as a summer dessert!!! I love lemon and was very happy that the TWD recipe for this week is a lemon tart. Check out the other bloggers at Sweet Melissa Sundays and see how their cakes came out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tiramisu Cake.....

This weeks recipe, Tiramisu Cake, was chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures; it would have been my choice, but I don't pick for a few years, LOL.

Since we didn't need a 9" cake for the two of us, I made a half recipe with no problems. I don't know why, but I bought a set of 3" high cake pans a few years ago, the set consists of a 6, 8, 10 and 12 inch pan. So I finally got to use the 6" x 3" pan, baked for 35 minutes and when cool, split the cake into 2 layers. Although there were several steps to make this cake, each one was simple to make and took no time at all. I used Mascarpone Cheese from Trader Joe's ($2.99 for 8 oz.); TJ's also had the chocolate covered espresso beans, yummy. This was the perfect size for us, with no left overs!!! I really brushed on the syrup and added a bit of Kahlua for extra moistness. Loved the cake, so simple and really delicious. I liked the mascarpone in the filling and frosting, not too sweet, just right.
We really liked the cake and I would definately make it again, maybe in the larger size!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sweet Melissa Strawberry Shortcakes.....

These shortcakes were very good, almost like a scone; my dough didn't rise as high as I had hoped, but they tasted fantastic!!! I think chilling the shortcakes before baking might have helped, my kitchen was very warm yesterday. My DH thought they were scones and ate 2 of them before I saw what was happening. I made 1/2 the recipe so we won't have any leftovers; only one left and that's for the picture.

Many thanks to Wendy of Pink Stripes for picking a great recipe!!!