Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie~ Mixed Berry Cobbler

Hooray!! It is my week to choose the recipe for the dynamic baking group,TUESDAYS WITH DORIE, and I (with Nate's help) picked the Mixed Berry Cobbler out of Baking; From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. This recipe is so summery, so delicious and SO EASY!

I have been having a wonderful time baking the recipes from this book, and can't believe that the less than thirty folks baking together when I joined has blossomed into more than TWO HUNDRED!! So, about a month ago, I explained to Nate that my pick was coming up and we went through the book together and marked our top (it was going to be 10 but ended up being like 25) recipes. Since life has been bustling lately, and I know summer is a big change of pace for a lot of people, I wanted to choose something that was basic, easy, classic and something you could make with kids. YAY SUMMER!
It came down between the banana cream pie and this cobbler. Considering I had everything on hand for the cobbler, it won out.

One of the great things about being part of this group is the creativity, ideas, support and tips that come from a group all trying the same recipe at the same time.
So you have to go around and check out all the different, fabulous cobblers!

Nate has always told me how much he loves cobbler, with the biscuit crust baked INTO the fruit. I've never made it this way before so I mixed up the dough, prepped the fruit filling and let him put it together.

We just made a few lil'changes...
Since it is my week, I am posting this recipe for anyone who wants to give it a whirl~ but that said, if you haven't already, get your tushy out and BUY THIS BOOK!
I am also not writing it EXACTLY as it is in the book, just paraphrasing...

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder I used a heaping tablespoon
3 tablespoons sugar I used 2 T. white sugar, 1 T. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter, cut into little bits
3/4 c cold heavy cream
I added 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

5 cups mixed berries (Dorie suggests going light on the strawberries because they can be too watery for cobbler). Frozen, not is syrup, no need to defrost (WOOHOO!) or frh We used frozen peaches, blackberries & blueberries, and more like 6-8 cups since the dough was going to be mixed in and soaking up lots of juice...
4-5 tablespoons sugar used 4
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon or lime I used the zest of 1/4 of an orange
(optional) 1/4 tsp (or to taste) freshly ground black pepper.

Vanilla ice cream of course, for serving.

Preheat the oven to 375, butter a 9-inch, deep-dish pie pan (or other similar sized baking dish, we used a large round cornningwear dish).

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry "topping" ingredients. Toss in the butter and working quickly with your fingers mix the butter into the dry ingredients. When you've got pieces the size of oatmeal, and the size of cornflakes and in between, it's good to go.
Pour cream in the the bowl and toss ingredients until you have a soft dough. When it comes together use your hand to incorporate everything, but don't over do it, you don't want to "overwork" the dough.
(the dough will be soft & sticky.)
We switched it up here by not pressing the dough into a 9-inch circle to set atop the fruit filling before baking, as per the recipe- but set aside the dough to make the filling.

Making the filling:
Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.
The recipe calls for the fruit to be added to the bowl and topped with the 9 inch circle pressed out of the dough..Nate assembled it by taking hand fulls of the dough and putting them around in the pan first. Then adding some fruit, then more dough, then more fruit. Then I put some cut-outs (circles) of dough on top and we baked it for 70 minutes. (the recipe calls for 60-75 minutes)
Because of the dough IN the cobbler it was not yet done at 70 minutes, so we put in back in for another 30 minutes, then it was good to go.
Let sit 30-45 minutes before serving.
Serve warm or at room temp with ice cream.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie~Peppermint Cream Puff Ring...

Ok, so I did not make a "ring"...I had to take a few liberties with this recipe, but in the end I was still a happy camper, as I always am when I make something from Baking; From My Home to Yours by: Dorie Greenspan.

This week's selection for the beautiful baking group TUESDAYS WITH DORIE comes to us from the lovely Caroline of A CONSUMING PASSION, you absolutely must cruise on over to her blog and check out what the REAL THING looks like!! (Mine are sorta-puffs).
Thanks for a fabulous pick Caroline, I have never made puff pastry before and was thrilled at how easy and fun this was!!!

As you know from last weeks TWD post- our little family has grown by one weenie, and I can't tell you exactly what it was I ate that tried to kill me this past weekend, but HOOO-BOY, it was no bueno. SO, due to these fun life obstacles, I needed to bust this one out quick-style on a Monday evening.

I don't own pastry bags and since I wouldn't be piping a whole ring, I decided to cut the puff pastry recipe in half and spoon the mixture into a well-buttered muffin tin (it made six big puffs).

Then I made the yummy mint-cream filling, which needed to chill out for 3 hours- but since it was 8pm and I'm not so much of a night owl, I will be completing this yummy pep-o-puff this evening while we watch the Lakers defy the odds and beat the Celtics IN Boston!! GO LAKE-SHOW!

So...Stay tuned for my finished puffers, AND don't miss next weeks edition of Tuesdays with Dorie, when the pick will come from yours truly, ME!

Weenie Update.... and a photoless dip

(two weenies ready to go on their first bike ride!)

SO, in addition to our new addition, we have more good weenie news!!

Leela has been accepted to Race in the Weiner Dog Nationals at the Los Alamitos Race Track on Saturday July 19, 2008 WOOOOOHOOOO!! GO LEELA!!!
Click HERE for more information on the races!

Here is a little bit about our new addition; Arthur.
We adopted Arthur from a rescue organization called Dachshund Paws Rescue. He is about 2 years old and from what we can tell, and very lucky to be rescued by the organization! He is working on some pretty intense fear issues (like the terror when the a/c kicks on and makes a noise) but he has made some pretty big progress since joining us last Saturday!
We are very proud of him! He and Leela are getting along very, very well! They like chewing on chewies together, playing chase (Leela's favorite game, which always involves her being chased, not chasing him)and soon we'll take our first family trip to the beach...Just this past weekend we went for our first group bike ride! (See the top photo above, that's their trailer that Nate pulls along the bike trail)

That's about it, they are both good at sitting just outside the kitchen and watching Nate and I cook and bake, so stay tuned for more (food related) updates soon!

Photo-less Dip (so this post is still somewhat food related...)

1 8oz block of light cream cheese, softened (room temp)
1 small container of light sour cream
1 15oz can of black beans drained & rinsed
1 15oz can of sweet corn, drained & rinsed
2 handfuls of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 small jar of medium heat salsa
Seasoning to taste with black pepper, cayenne, and a few dashes of hot sauce!

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, spices and salsa in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the beans, then the corn, then the shredded cheese. Serve with chips, crackers, carrots, or whatever! It is super easy and super yummy!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesdays Wtih Dorie~ La Palette's Strawberry Tart

This should be called BEST, EASIEST TART EVER!!! What a perfect recipe to kick of summer with some fresh strawberries and a sweet crumbly crust!!
This weeks selection for TUESDAYS WITH DORIE comes to us from Marie of A YEAR FROM OAK COTTAGE, thanks for a fabulous selection Marie!!

If you have not visited Marie's blog, click the link above and go check it out! Visit often, you'll get totally addicted!! :)

I've been "away" for a bit, so before I get knee deep in tartiness, let me give a little blurb of catch up!
While I do have a slightly "consuming" job, that as I have mentioned, has nothing to do with baking, frying, glazing or whipping anything, I only have to travel for said job twice a year. Both of those trips, however, are a whole week long, and take almost two weeks of long hours and big tasks to prepare for. The good news is I have returned from the second of these two annual trips, just in time for summer, and ready to get back in the kitchen!!
On top of that fun time consumption, we are proud to announce the newest member of our family! This past Saturday we adopted AURTHUR an 18-20 month old red/tan weenie pup!! WELCOME TO OUR SWEET LIFE AURTHUR!! (I will do a separate, non-food-related, weenie post soon!)

AND, last but certainly not least, this post marks the first photos taken with my NEW CAMERA!! WOO HOO!!! Not that there was anything wrong with my old one, it was just time for a little upgrade and a few more mega pixels! Click HERE. to see the camera if you are interested...

WHEW- Now, onto the TART!

As I mentioned many words ago, this was super simple and VERY delicious!
For the recipe, you can visit Marie's blog or, as I always say, GO GET THIS BOOK.
CLICK HERE for a link to purchase Baking; From My Home to Yours by; Dorie Greenspan.

I actually recommended this book to several people I met on my business trip, because I have found it so much fun to bake from and know it will be a true "keeper" in our family for many years to come. AND the recipes are written out in a way that I've been able to follow them pretty well, which means so would most people :)

This tart consists of just a few very simple components;
1. A sweet tart crust (easy-peasy)
2. The best strawberry jam you can find (although I used preserves)
3. Fresh delicious strawberries

The rest is up to you! My husband said that he wanted to try it with pudding, so we made some mini-tarts. Also, I do not own an actual tart pan- so I used my 4 porcelain creme brulee dishes and made 4 little tarts! We did two as per the recipe (except for the preserves substitution) and the other two had a layer of banana pudding between the jamminess and the strawberries.

This is a "endless possibilities" recipe, no doubt!...Here's and update, this is a pick of Nate's tart with the pudding~

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ally's Awesome Fried Cheese

In case you don't know, there is an AWESOME BLOG called Culinary Infatuation, where Ally makes some pretty delicious recipes that are always drool-tastic! Recently she made "A Different Fried Cheese" and my jaw dropped.

As I've mentioned a zillion times (and will mention a zillion more) I ADORE CHEEEEESE! It's awesome, and I love it. I also love recipes that are super simple, super satisfying and oohhhhsoooodelicious.

This is as pure & simple as it gets.

Wrap a string cheese in an egg roll wrapper (we used Precious Mozzarella, our favorite, and also a jalapeno jack string cheese I grabbed for kicks.)
Lay one string cheese on one egg roll wrapper diagonally so the cheese starts at one corner and ends at the opposite. Roll up like a burrito and seal with water or egg.
Fry in a frying pan using oil (vegetable or olive oil heated to about 350) until golden.