Sunday, May 13, 2012

Back in action.... with potato salad

Back surgery.... blah blah blah.... I'm back.   Here's some German potato salad I made yesterday for a party we're having today:

AND, bonus, triple chocolate cupcakes for my daughter's birthday (there's ganache in the middle!):

Friday, January 20, 2012

shepherd's pie

 Here we are fresh out of the oven.
 Not so pretty on the plate but that's not the point.
And a cut-away shot for good measure.

Let's take a moment to appreciate my spice cabinet

Lunch lately

I'm trying to be healthier and lose weight, so this is what my typical lunch looks like right now.  I was so impressed by how good it looked today it inspired me to take a picture and update the blog!  Ingredients: field greens, english cucumber, campari tomatoes, baby bellas, scallions, carrot, rotisserie chicken chunks, feta cheese, italian dressing, black pepper.  On the side: German rustic rye bread from a local bakery.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Cake

I had leftover pumpkin puree in my fridge, plus a couple of bags of cranberries I bought early in the season out of excitement but without any plans for them.  So I found this recipe, which I had printed last year when in a similar cranberry-surplus scenario but never made.  Since my hurricane cake was such a success I decided to give this a go.  The recipe mentioned a crumb topping but I didn't have that page, so instead I pulled out the handy ATC Baking Cookbook and chose a glaze from there.  I went with almond, which wasn't an exact fit (the cake has walnuts in it) but worked well.  When I make it again I'm going to sub pecans for the walnuts and figure out how to do maple glaze. 

What, it's got a fruit and a vegetable in the title, it's still healthy right?

I'm officially into bundt cakes now.  The test kitchen book has several recipes including an apple one and a "tunnel of fudge" one I need to try.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Several things

I haven't stopped taking pictures, I just keep forgetting to post.  So:

Irish soda bread.  Always a good idea.

Capellini al Forno.  It's basically an elaborate baked carbonara.  Here is it still in the springform pan:

Capellini al Forno (unmolded):

Capellini al Forno (sliced):

Cinnamon raisin bread:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday is for cooking

This past Sunday, my family went to the local orchard to stock up on apples.  Then we came home and made lots of things (with or without apples). 

Breakfast calzones:

(not pictured): apple sauce (Dan's special recipe that changes a little every time!)

(not pictured): tomato sauce (for future night of spaghetti and meatballs)

French onion soup:

Apple crisp:

Oh plus Saturday Dan backed some awesome bread.  And you know I ate about a dozen apple cider donut holes.  What a yummy weekend :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane baking

Hurricane Irene is bearing down on us here in New England, and like many others I found myself facing probably imminent power outage with a fridge full of food, including a full carton of eggs.  We had bacon and eggs for breakfast, which left me with 8 to bake away.  After thoroughly reviewing the cookbooks for what would best use up what I have, I settled on:

Brownies (3 eggs, 1 stick of butter):
 My go-to brownie recipe calls for 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, but I only had 2, so I selected a different recipe that used 2 ounces unsweetened and 5 ounces semi-sweet.  They came out great.

Lime bundt cake with coconut glaze (4 eggs, 2 1/2 sticks of butter, 1/4 cup milk):
 The recipe, which was a variation, was for Lemon bundt cake.  But I had limes.  And frankly, limes are superior to lemons anyway so why shouldn't they get the glory?  I then selected the coconut glaze as the best match (after discovering I did in fact have coconut extract on hand).

I think this is the first time I've ever used my cake stand!

I still have one egg.  That'll be breakfast, assuming we haven't lost power before then.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

chipotle-lime shrimp

This was simple but good.  The shrimp were broiled with a glaze of peach jam, adobo sauce (aka the sauce in the chipotle can), and lime juice.  Served with corn, and chard (with a little bit of leftover leek) sauteed in duck fat.  Because I liked the chard so much last time.  The shrimp would be better grilled, but I had to do everything together in the kitchen for baby management purposes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mighty Duck

My uncle, who lives in upstate New York, raised some ducks and recently had them slaughtered.  He gave some frozen ones to my parents, who gave one to me.  Dan and I love duck, and I've cooked a breast or two before, but I'd never tackled the whole beast.  I went to the Test Kitchen book, and was surprised to find no mention whatsoever of duck. So, I took to the internet and found an Alton Brown recipe called Mighty Duck.  So here we go:

The whole bird, defrosted and coming out of its wrapping:

Backbone removed, split down the breast, quartered and put in the fridge to brine (pineapple-orange juice, lots of kosher salt, peppercorns, garlic, thyme).

Quarters getting ready to steam for 45 minutes:

After steaming, they were moved to a pre-heated cast iron skillet in a very hot oven (legs first, then breasts 10 minutes later).  They made a very satisfying sizzle when placed in the skillet.  Here they are done:

Evacuate the duck to a plate, then toss shredded chard and minced shallots in the hot duck fat with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Plated, with couscous and dried cherries:

Verdict: Sadly, way over cooked.  I followed the recipe exactly so I think it is a flaw in the timing there.  But, it was still mighty tasty, especially with the crispy skin.  If the breast were cooked to a more proper medium this could have been fantastic.  I think my favorite part was actually the chard wilted in the fat.  Mmmm.

After we ate, we moved to the bonus round: saving the precious liquid in the bottom of the steamer pot.  After three batches through the fat separator, I have about a half gallon of duck stock and a few cups of duck fat.  Coming soon: some kind of soup, and duck fat hash browns!