We made some halloween cupcakes for a small event yesterday – it’s october so it’s time. I was happy to get back to writing with chocolate. Almost any white chocolate seems to work well. Otherwise I’ve had the best luck with Guittard Dark for regular choclate.
so i'm picking up the pace baking/cooking wise. fall (almost winter) is definitely here and it seems like a good time to bake and eat. i made pumpkin pie and cookies with the kids after school today. and since i was making pumpkin pie and was going to have an extra crust i made quiche for dinner. thank goodness i steamed some brocoli to go with that so that at least one dish didn't have cream as an ingredient!
i'm currently reading the omnivore's dilemma and while i still eat doritos when i want to – i have defintely been more aware of food since we ate all local last september.
as part of this i get a little obsessed over those foods that are so good for your body – like blueberries.
i love alton brown. he talks about the why's of cooking and baking not just the how to. i know i don't take it all in, but i'd like to think that some of it goes in and maybe helps down the road.
p.s. the buckle was excellent!
i got my first nigella cookbooks over the holidays. i love it!
the recipes are fabulous and incredibly do-able.
she has quick recipes ( i made muffins 30 minutes before friends came over and the cinnamon rolls from the previous post in an hour). and she has longer recipes that look absolutely stunning.
i can't wait to make everything!
(her 'as if i'm speaking to you' writing style is pretty entertaining too!)
tilly and i don't care that it's only november 11 (and that channukah is soon) – we are on to christmas baking.
yesterday we made homemade popcorn balls. pretty easy, fun and yummy. the recipe was from martha. from the way tilly and i talk of her you would think she was a close friend. we left the raisins out of the recipe (in popcorn balls, yuck!) and i added salt. i would actually add more salt if we made them again. the salt and the sweet were the best bites.
today we made snowmen and stocking cookies with holes cut out to melt candy canes in them. they are pretty delish. we decided the stockings were polka dotted and the snowmen had belly buttons. i could eat too many of these!
i made my first batch of no-knead bread. seems like it was on everybody's blog last year, but i just got around to it. SO DELICIOUS! i was happy i read the original new york times article. Mark Bittman's pretty laid back about the directions, the pot you use, etc…which was great to know. he has a second article too.
we had this bread with soup last night. we ate more than half the loaf. it has a great crunchy, but not too thick, crust and a moist inside. truly an amazing loaf of bread!
(i thought chuck might like making it just to see the dough at all the funny stage and i thought rich might like making it for the easy making bread recipe)
so during our month of eating local, Martha Stewart had a recipe for Molasses-Spice Cake in the magazine. Because we couldn't find local flour I didn't really bake during the month. I was obsessed with this cake. It looked sooo good!
So with an imminent first snow we stayed home today and baked this cake…with so much hope though it was just ok. Tilly and Jeremy both really liked it – like good carrot cake without the icky raisins. I hoped it would be moister and denser – but it was pretty good for a rainy day.
I've been through a lot of coffee, tea and wine today.
so tonight with a bunch of really ripe pears (had to bake tonight) and a pie crust ready to go in the fridge Tilly and I made Pear Almond Pizza from Moosewood Desserts. Pretty easy and really yummy. I would probably reduce the almond extract next time so the pears wouldn't have so much competition. (and yes – we've already eaten part of it – the cubs were on and i'm lucky i got a picture at all.)
so the eat local challenge is done. we did pretty well. i think everything we ate in our house over the course of the month was from within about 100 miles of where we live. we enjoyed lots of local wine, cheese and tortillas. items we will definitely keep around. all local veggies, fruit and trout. those fresh items are slowly becoming harder to get as the choice at farmer's market gets smaller every week.
i know as the month progressed it felt like i ate more lunches out. eating out wasn't held to the same standard. in general, i was hungrier without all the bread and pasta in my diet. eating was more fun in some ways – i was more appreciative of interesting flavors and required a lot less sweet to fill that dessert space.
with the month over i was excited to bake – with flour and all. we still went to the trouble of making a homemade pumpkin pie – with an actual sugar pumpkin we roasted and pureed. it was well worth it. i mostly followed the recipe from cook's illustrated. i used their filling ingredients and their crust recipe. i believe it is the best pumpkin pie we've ever had. i made homemade whip cream last night and tonight. so yummy!