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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Walnut Bread December 2, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Bread,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:55 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is from Baking With Julia, and the recipe for the Walnut Bread is located on pages 121-122.  You start out by making the Mixed Starter Bread located on pages 113-120, and once the kneading phase is complete you move on over to the Walnut Bread to complete the recipe. The Mixed Starter Bread starts out with a walnut sized piece of dough from a previous yeast dough recipe (pizza, bread, etc.).  The only yeast dough I had in my freezer was Pita Dough that I had made in September, so I sawed a piece of that off to use.  Granted, I wasn’t suppose to use it since it had whole wheat flour in it, but oh well.

The first rise went fine, but the second rise was an utter failure.  There was no rise.  Since I knew that we were going to be adding more yeast by the third rise, I wasn’t too worried about it.  I just figured it wouldn’t have the depth of flavor that it would normally have. I had already used almost 3 cups of flour so I wasn’t about to back out now.  I ended up adding a bit more yeast at the third rise, just in case (I used 1 teaspoon).  From then on everything turned out great.  The bread looks awesome, but I have no yet tried any yet.  I will be cutting into in later today and then I will amend my post.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Cranberry Crackle Tart November 25, 2014

 

This weeks recipe is from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan and is the Cranberry Crackle Tart located on pages 135-137. The crust is a sweet tart dough that you par bake and me and the crust got in a little altercation. I had made notes in my other cookbooks about par baking crusts and to only do it for half of the time because I always over bake it without fail. Well that is what happened, but good thing that I decided to make a double recipe of the dough. So I just had to wait for it to defrost and then I could make the crust again. I also added one more egg white (3 total) to the filling.

I made the tart today because we went to dinner at my in-laws tonight and we had it for dessert. I was very pleasantly surprised by the flavor. It was the perfect compliment to the sweet shortbread crust, tart cranberries, and creamy meringue. I would definitely make this again because for the most part it was simple.100_4168

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Amaretti November 18, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:29 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie comes from page 320 of Baking With Julia. I have made Amaretti before and the other recipe that I use has a few more ingredients like flour and whole eggs. I also choose to roll those in Pearl Sugar, but this time I followed the recipe given and left out the pine nuts. Which, hindsight I could have included them because I had a bag in the freezer.

I baked them for their set time and then had to add a few minutes. It still seemed like they needed a few more minutes because they were a little too chewy for me in the inside. The ones that baked at the bottom of the oven came out almost perfect. The recipe is simple and very easy to make, but I think I prefer the ones I usually make.

I am posted a bit late in the day because the girls had me running around. I probably could have made them this weekend, but I decided to turn store bought Croissants into this…

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ALMOND CROISSANTS, love them so much :)

But since we are talking about Amaretti, here is my picture for those too.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Palets de Dames November 11, 2014

I would like to apologize for being MIA for an entire month.

Funny thing is I have actually been baking along, but like always times escapes me or maybe I just fell into a wormhole.  But I did emerge out of that whole over 5 pounds lighter.  That isn’t due to the baking, I am still training for a 5k on Thanksgiving and have been incorporating a lot of other exercises into that.  I have found that I am A LOT stronger now, but I still have a sweet tooth.

So the last time you heard from me I had embarked on my Vegan Adventure in September. Which was fantastic, and I need to fall into the vegan hole again because I really liked the way that I felt.  I ended up diving head first into the omnivore hole, but I have been incorporating more vegetables and more than a few times have enjoyed a home cooked vegan dinner.

Fair warning in advance, anyone that is still following me from my month of vegan food, I have reverted back to my omnivore ways…..for now :)

Holy Crap, Dorie came out with a new book.  I knew it was coming, but it surprised me the night we were doing an overnight set up (I work at a bookstore) and it happened to be one of the books on the table we were setting up.  I immediately screamed like a little girl and told one of my co-workers to stop what he was doing.  I ended up placing the book on hold, to purchase the next day because it was already WAY passed close. I also proceeded to hand it to my husband and told him that this was my anniversary present from him :) Which happens to be today.

What a happy coincidence.

This is Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi style.  We start it off with a happy little cookie called Palets de Dames (page 272-274 in Baking Chez Moi).  Essentially it is a butter cookie with a lemon icing. I discovered that my lemons had gone bad, so I used 3 drops of Doterra Lemon Essential Oil.  The cookies turned out great and my 3.5 year old kept stealing them off the counter and eating them.  I really loved having them with my Irish Breakfast tea in the morning.

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Since, I was baking  along here are the things that I did make and missed to post.

From Baking With Julia, last Tuesday was the Alsatian Onion Tart located on page 426.

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Also, from Baking With Julia, on October 7, 2014 we made the Sunny-Side Up Apricot Pastries located on pages 192-194. I ended up subbing canned apricots because I was unable to find any fresh.  I also made this with vegan pastry cream, so it was vegan because I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.

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Day 29 and 30 & Tuesdays With Dorie: French Bread September 30, 2014

My days tend to run into each other, and I then I forget what is going on.

Currently, I am the only person in the household that has not succumbed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth.  Emma caught it at her second day of Mother’s Day Out and then proceeded to pass it around the house.  I am pretty sure that I haven’t gotten it because of my life in food service. I have been trained to wash my hands ALL the time, and surprisingly that is the one thing they say that will prevent you from getting it.

I would also like to confess that we went away for the weekend, without the kids and dogs, and I failed.

I have a new found respect for all vegans because now I know what you must struggle thru while traveling to find some place to eat with vegan options. Especially, when you are in the middle of the country.  I guess then you just plan ahead and bring snacks and meals with you.  I did not plan ahead and after sitting in a car for 5 hours and not having anything to eat since the night before (it was 1 pm by then), I caved.

I apologize now, sorry.

When I got home I went straight back to eating Vegan.  You know what, it was a good lesson to learn because I have figured out how to fuel my body.  Surprisingly, I really like the way I feel and my body looks when I am eating Vegan.  So, for the most part I will probably stick to a plant based diet/lifestyle.

Now, back to some yummy things that I made when I got back home.

Yesterday morning, I wanted something that reminded me of fall. Since we were up in the mountains it was cool and perfect, leaves weren’t falling yet.  I got back home and it was a bit humid, warmer, and just not pleasant.  I wanted something to remind me of the nice fall weather in the mountains.  So I made the Gingerbread Waffles from Vegan Brunch.  I tried to make them as pancakes for the girls, but they didn’t turn out right.  Granted, they still ate them but they were a little gummy.  Then I threw them in the waffle maker, I only have a Belgium Waffle Maker, and of course they wouldn’t crisp up.  So for these you definitely just want a regular waffle maker.  They did work nicely toasted in the toaster the next day.

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Earlier this afternoon, I made the Chewy Coconut Date Bars from Isa Does It.  They turned out really good, but I think I needed to bake them just a bit longer.  They are currently individually wrapped in plastic and hanging out in the fridge.  I am sure these are going to end up being my breakfast for the next few days.  They would be perfect with a cup of coffee.  I am also planning to make the Chewy Peanut-Chocolate Chip Bars later this week.100_4112

Last but definitely not least is the French Bread that I made a couple of weeks back from Baking With Julia.  Oh, French Bread with your perfect ingredients of Water, Salt, Yeast, and Flour.  I alluded to my original problem and why I was a day late baking these, but lets revisit my quest for compressed yeast.

The last time that I bought compressed yeast was about a year ago, and I froze the left overs.  I knew that there was no way that the yeast was still alive, but I still had to wait 24 hours for it to defrost in the fridge before I could test it. Which involves sugar and a bit of water.  While I waited, I decided to take the girls with me to the last place I bought it.  I have both girls in tow, 1 year old and a 3 year old, of course I didn’t grab a cart so I am carrying one and holding the others hand. We get to where it would be and I see a sign for it, but no product.  I ask an employee, who brings another one over, and explain what I am looking for. He informs me that he has never seen it before, and I tell him that last time I saw it was a year ago.  So it looks like they don’t carry it anymore.

I did do some research and found a conversion factor to figure out how much active dry yeast I needed.  Which was 3 tsp (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast to the 0.6 oz compressed yeast. So, I just had to wait a day to figure out if the yeast was alive.  While I was waiting, I ended up with a day with no kids. How this happened, I have no idea.  I ended up swinging by a store I had never been to and talked to a nice gentleman that informed me that they didn’t carry it and he hasn’t seen it in any local grocery stores in awhile.  Oh well, I guess I will just go home and test the yeast….

it was DEAD.  Back to where I started with no compressed yeast and my conversion factor.  I guess I wasted 24 hours when I could have had the bread made and then entry posted on the blog.  Lesson learned…use what you have.

The bread turned out great, but my knives sucked for slashing the bread.  Even the REALLY sharp ones didn’t work well.  Guess I need a razor blade for next time :)

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I am still planning to make some Boston Cream Donuts soon, so stay tuned for those, even though it won’t be Vegan MoFo anymore.

 

Vegan Day 21, 22, and 23 September 24, 2014

Day 21

We ended up having a Viva Vegan themed night.  Granted, I probably should have made more food but we have been feeling a bit under the weather so we didn’t want to eat too much anyways. I ended up making Arepas with Sexy Avocado Tempeh Filling and Coconut Tres Leches Cake.  Surprisingly, I really liked the Arepas.  I didn’t think I would because I am not that big of a fan of Tempeh but the recipe was actually really good and Mike also liked it.  The Coconut Tres Leches Cake was also a big hit.  I wasn’t too sure about the topping, but tasting everything together, it worked perfectly.  Mike actually liked it too, which is very surprising since he doesn’t like the texture of coconut.  He said that since I used shredded unsweetened that it was okay because the bits were small enough that it wasn’t off putting.  I have also witness him eat a couple of slices, so I know that he was telling me the truth. For the flavorings of the cake and topping, I played it safe and just used vanilla.

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Day 22

…was pretty uneventful.  I worked that night, so I just had leftovers of Stuffed Peppers.  I almost caved and had pizza when I got home, but I battled thru and grabbed an apple and some peanut butter for a snack.

Day 23

I have no witty banter or anything to leave you with today.  I have been sick for a few days and it is taking its toll on me.  I keep thinking I will be able to do my 5k training and then my body betrays me, so I am trying to get better.  Because of the sickness going around the house, I called Mike while he was at work and requested Pho.  The closest place is near Mike’s work which is 30 minutes from the house.  So he agreed to pick me up Vegetarian Pho, Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Eggrolls.  I did check the ingredients in everything and it all listed ingredients that were Vegan, no animal products here.  So that made me very happy.  Everything was very good, and actually helped me battle thru this insane cold.

My French Bread post will have to wait until next Tuesdays since I was unable to post this until Wednesday.

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Vegan Days 18 – 20 September 21, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan,Vegan MoFo — pastrybrush @ 12:57 pm
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Day 18

I am still living off of the Potato and Kale Soup with Sizzling Chorizo. It is going to last me a few more days :)

I did happen to go into the freezer and take out just ONE Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffin. Do you know how hard it is to only grab one. I was actually very surprised with my self control.

Earlier in the week I was suppose to make French Bread for Tuesdays with Dorie, but I was having some issues finding compressed yeast.  Well I never found it so I ended up making the bread today. I will post more about it on day 23, since rules state that I need to actually post on a Tuesday.  But let me just say, the bread is VEGAN and yummy.

Day 19

YAY, the husband is home. He actually came in late on Day 18, but to celebrate I made Sinfully Wholesome Waffles (Isa Does It) for breakfast.  They made everyone’s tummies very happy.

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Side note because I like to put a buttered flavored product on my waffles, I have found that I really like the flavor of Earth Balances Soy Garden Buttery Spread.  Which is funny because I don’t really like the flavor of soy that much.  I stopped using soy milk in baked goods just because of that.  But I find that I prefer this spread over the Vegan Buttery Sticks and the Original Buttery Spread.  I guess you find things that surprise you every day.

Day 20

Mike turns to me and asks if I am making anything special for dinner, or have anything planned.  I have been exhausted the past few days and I think one of the girls got me sick.  So I have been stuck in that limbo phase of not being full blown sick, but you know it is coming and you are just fall down tired.  Needless to say, I spent most of the day asleep when I wasn’t entertaining the girls.

I turned to Mike and informed him that there were Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers (Vegan with a Vengeance)  in the freezer and that would just be fine with me.  So, we defrosted them a bit in the microwave and them slapped them into a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 1 hour.  They turned out great and I was informed that if I wanted to make that again that I could.  It makes me feel good when I get approval on Vegan meals from the family, and I think Mike appreciates it that he is not doing the cooking.

I am finding being Vegan getting easier and easier each day. I really don’t crave non-vegan items.  But I am interested in trying the Vegan Pizza at Z-Pizza, so that might happen for my last week.

Oh, I will get to visit a Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant next week too.  So I am looking forward to trying some new things that I haven’t had :)

More than likely I am going to extend this vegan adventure into October and try to stick with it the best that I can.

 

 
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