Dec. 1st, 2010 09:14 am
glitch25: (cook)
Spending entirely too much time looking at food today.

I found an interesting recipe I may try this week for Seared Tofu with Shredded Brussel Sprouts that sounds really tasty.. and I'm not usually a fan, but this looks good!

Also working on the holiday baking. I skipped out last year, and really didn't do the prior year justice either, so this year, I'm on the case!

Various things will include fudge (making a plain and a chocolate mint), Biscochitos (an anise flavored shortbread cookie with cinnamon and sugar), Palmitas (a variation on the French Palmier pastry but soft, chewy, and full of buttery cinnamon goodness), Martha Washingtons (similar to a Mounds bar, but better), Butter Balls (a variation of a Mexican wedding cookie), and fresh-ginger molasses cookies (in my bid to go for my own variation on gingerbread). And if I find time (hehee... time.. what is that??), I've been thinking about making like a pecan or walnut brittle. Something different than the traditional peanut.

And ya know, most of this stuff comes together rather quickly. I find it is more about getting off my butt and just doing it. I spend too much time on my duff not doing enough constructive stuff. So this time, I'm doing more. And yes.. Many of you will benefit. :-D


Nov. 17th, 2010 07:49 am
glitch25: (amazement)
Well.. I'm guessing I was growing something other than yeast in my new starter, which explains the prolific gas. And given the odor, I think my starter binged on Taco Bell while I wasn't looking.

Back to the pineapple juice..
glitch25: (cook)
This weekend ended up being exceptionally productive. Aside from a fair bit of house cleaning that we did, I got a lot done in the kitchen as well. I also got to attend Mass and hang with good friends.

And since I've been itching to bake, I decided to start small. One of my all-time-favorite cookies is molasses ginger. My favorite store-bought come from PCC and I'm always quick to grab a few if I'm in the neighborhood. Trying a few recipes of my own, I found one that is pretty close, and I've been happy with it. But I saw a new one cross my radar this last week, and decided to try it. As with most doughs with molasses, this particular one is very sticky and difficult to work. I followed the recommendation to chill it after you roll it out (this dough gets cut into shapes!) and after having done so, the dough would only behave briefly before becoming an unruly and sloppy mess. So I finally gave up and binned it. Thankfully, this did not set the tone for the rest of the day.

A while back, I gave in and picked up some Thai curry pastes. I know I need to make up my own, but these seemed nice in a pinch. Made Green Curry with chicken and served it with homemade naan. Mix of nationalities, but oh well. :) Good stuffs!

And while I was at it, I whipped up fixings for beef stew and tossed them in the crock pot yesterday morning. I didn't get a chance to taste it since I got stuck at work particularly late, but I hear it was good! I'm looking forward it for lunch today. Mmmmmmmm. :-)

And another thing I did was toss my badly neglected starter that had sat in the fridge for... well.... maybe 6 months now? Interestingly enough, and based on what I read, considering all I got from it was the extreme smell of alcohol in the hooch, I could have reused a portion of it to start over. I'll keep that in mind next time I forgot to use it. That said, I opted to start another batch, and rather than go through the whole cultivation thing with juice and rye flour and all that takes, I just opted to make a paste out of rye flour and water and let it set as usual. I marked my container at the level (which was at maybe a quarter of the capacity of the container, and left it to sit overnight. Sunday evening I came home after Mass to notice that my starter had more than doubled. Interesting.. considering I'm lucky to even get bubbles on the first 24 hours. So I tossed most of the excess out, fed it, and again let it sit. This morning, not even 8 hours later, it had almost tripled and spilled over the top of the container. So far, it smells like it should. It's just extremely active. I'm going to convert it over to wheat flour in the next several days, but assuming this is yeast and not something it shouldn't be, I'm really impressed! I'm hopeful for some bread this time around, and maybe some yummy pancakes. :-)

That, and I'm craving homemade soft pretzels.. and I found a really yummy recipe. :-) And bagels... and wheat bread.. and English muffins... and.. and...

Yeah.. ;-)

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