This is my sweet pup, Gus. He’s as close to me as you can get without being physically attached!
I’m still out of town looking after my auntie, so no delectable Dorie treat this week. I’ll be back in action next week. In the meantime, I leave you with a photo of sleepy Gus, an angel of a dog if ever there was one.
Gus, exhausted upon his return home after I was away on a trip. This is before he peed on my bed. I extracted my revenge by giving him a bath today. And I just turned another year older. Woo-hoo!
Another figure-friendly entry this week, featuring only three-and-a-half sticks of butter!
This week, Beth of Supplicious decided on Chipster-Topped Brownies on pages 94 and 95 from Baking: From My Home to Yours. In theory, I should have really liked these, and they were good, but my two layers blended together giving me sort of a chocolate chip cookie bar. I had a chance to use my Bakers Edge pan, a gift from my in-laws, and I did love the chewy edges that it produced. In sum, it is not what I had hoped for, but I’m not complaining about chocolate chip cookie bars, if you get my drift. Ah, the trials and tribulations of baking! (Update: my husband LOVED these, and has asked me to put them on the repeat list. They are better after a day or two in the refrigerator.)
Let me back up a minute. This recipe consists of two components: a brownie layer topped by a chocolate chip cookie dough layer. I mean, really, what’s not to like? After reading the experiences of others, I knew I was going to want more chocolate chip cookie, so I made the full batch of that, and halved the brownie layer. I didn’t mess around with the one egg/one yolk thing for the cookies – just used two eggs. I also added a bit of espresso powder, 1/2 tsp., to ratchet up the chocolate flavor of the brownies.
They were perfectly baked in 50 minutes – the top was golden, not burned, and the brownie layer was not overdone. And even though the picture shows two distinct layers, the two components blended together, and I really can’t taste the brownie at all. Other bakes had better luck by baking the brownie layer for about 10 minutes, then adding the cookie layer. One problem I did NOT have was an underdone brownie layer, and I suspect that the pan I used, plus halving the batter amount, had something to do with that.
If you want to givel these a try, I recommend giving the brownie layer a head start in the oven before adding the cookie layer. Be sure to check out the TWD blogroll to see how others faired!
How do you participate in Tuesdays with Dorie when: (1) you’ve been gone for almost two weeks, (2) you feel like a giant ball of fat because you’ve been eating hotel food during that time, and (3) you don’t have much time to bake because your family is out of clean underwear?
You improvise. Yes, you go to Trader Joe’s, pick up some lady fingers and mascarpone, and make one SMALL dessert. SMALL. So you don’t have an entire tiramisu cake around to tempt you, and add to the horror of looking at the bathroom scale. Okay, I only gained one two pounds on my trip, but at my age, while it took two weeks to put that on, it will take a month to take it off. Curses!
This week, Megan of My Baking Adventures chose Dorie Greenspan’s Tiramisu Cake on pages 266-268 from Baking: From My Home to Yours. The verdict? What’s not to like about tiramisu? Chocolate, coffee, mascarpone . . . . Oh, I’m soooooo glad I made one small dessert!
Now, check out what the other TWD bakers did this week!
If you don’t think this will apply to your small backyard garden (Factcheck.org is dead wrong on this issue), then check out this provision in the bill:
Here is how this bill defines who is included in “Food Production”:
(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.
The summer roadside vegetable stand appears to be both a Category 3 and 5 “food establishment” since it sells “fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form” and “stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale”. The explicit exclusions in Section 3 (13)(B) do not exclude roadside vegetable stands.
Think it stops there? Another bill, provides for the creation of the National Animal Identification System:
The USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was originally designed to give the big beef producers help in getting export markets which required disease controls. The idea is that every single livestock animal in the United States will be identified and tagged. All livestock animal movements will be tracked, logged and reported to the government. The benefit is to the big factory farms who probably do need this type of regulation. They get to do single ID’s for large groups of animals. Small farmers, pet owners and homesteaders will have to tag and track every single animal.
There are no exceptions – even small farms that sell direct to local consumers will be required to pay the fees and file all the paper work on all their animals. Even horse, llama and other pet owners will be required to participate in NAIS. Homesteaders who raise their own meat and grandma with her one egg hen will also have to register their homes as ‘farm premises’ and obtain a Premise ID, tag all their animals and submit all the paperwork and fees. Absurd? Yes – There are no exceptions under the current NAIS plan. The USDA has slipped this plan in the back door without any legislation. This is going to be very expensive and guess who is going to pay for it in higher food prices… You!
Get on the phone. Check out this link and this link for other ways to stop this legislation. Time is of the essence. Email your senators and congressmen. BLOG ABOUT IT. The right to grown our own food is one of the few rights we have left.
*** Remember to enter the cookbook giveaway!*** *** UPDATE ON MARCH 11, 2009 – WE HAVE A WINNER!!! ikkinlala from Canada!****
Life has been C-R-A-Z-Y. Traveling every month. Going through some more of my late mom’s stuff. Paperwork. Oh, and major appliances breaking down and having to be replaced. You know, the usual old stuff. And finding out that your cholesterol is 260, and you don’t even eat meat!
Could the culprit be . . . BUTTER? CHOCOLATE? Perchance, EGGS? It’s not like I bake fattening things almost every week. Oh, wait. Yes, I do, I do, indeed. Never mind. In all honesty, though, I give away 90% of the sweet stuff that I make.
In an effort to lower my cholesterol (heh, heh), I baked another chocolate cake. This week, LyB of And Then I Do the Dishes, chose Chocolate Armagnac Cake – The Cake That Got Me Fired on pages 279-281 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.
This cake contains prunes. Now, I am a big fan of prunes. BIG. So I wasn’t worried that the cake would taste of prunes ( I knew it wouldn’t) because I love prunes. And one of my superpowers is that I am immune to their legendary side effects. I don’t like to brag, but I’ll make an exception just this once.
At any rate, I had chocolate, prunes, and Armagnac on hand (which I bought last year to make Prune Armagnac Ice Cream), so I didn’t have to make any special trips to the store. Flaming the prunes did not phase me. There’s something about setting booze aflame in the kitchen that I find delightful. I mixed milk (5 oz., Sirius 51% cacao) and bittersweet chocolate together (2 oz., Green & Black 70% cacao), and skipped the frosting. I also added 1/4 tsp. of espresso powder and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract. As for omitting the frosting . . . well, that was an effort to make this a lower calorie, lower cholesterol dessert. Ha, ha, ha!
I did have to bake the cake for about an hour, but the result was a moist, fudgy concoction that almost made me forget my cholesterol levels. Almost. Not too boozy. Basically, it’s a big ole brownie, so how can you go wrong with that?
Many bakers noted that their cake sank in the middle, but I think it’s supposed to do that, since it is more of a European style cake than a fluffy traditional American cake.
To see what the other TWD bakers have been up to, check out the blog roll!
*** Update**** 2/11/09 Well, not so fast. They installed my new refrigerator, but the range was the wrong voltage – 220 instead of 110. Of course, now I have to return to the store and pick out something else, and a microwave that more or less matches the range. Sigh. Don’t know when I’ll be baking again, but I hope it’s soon. I’m going through withdrawals. But come back next week, because I’ll be posting a giveaway! I’m going out of town this coming weekend – New York city – so hopefully I’ll have some culinary photos to post.
Master Chow, my honorable husband, and I picked out new appliances this past weekend. They get delivered tomorrow. In the next week, I’ll have a big post on what I learned about picking appliances, and I’ll also have a giveaway, so come on back! In the meantime, please go see how all the other TWD bakers faired with this week’s pick, Floating Islands, courtesy of Shari from Whisk: A Food Blog.
Master Chow loves prime rib, and I had never made it, so this past New Year’s Day I decided to cook up a three-rib roast for him, and learn a few things in the process.
First, I found the meat on sale (at Whole Foods, no less!), and aged it for a week in the refrigerator. Basically, that involved simply wrapping the roast in cheesecloth, and changing the wrapping a couple times. To prevent the cheese cloth from sticking to the rib, unwrap and rewrap the cheese cloth after the first day. Before applying any seasoning, cut off the discolored exterior fat and meat of the roast.
Master Chow likes to be able to taste the meat he eats, so I decided on a Prime Rib Au Poivre recipe in the December 1998 issue of Bon Appétit. He tells me that this is the best meal I’ve ever made for him, and he sat there chewing with his eyes closed, and occasionally murmuring that it was “soooo good.” If you read the comments that accompany the recipe on the Bon Appetit web site, you will see that a lot of people feel the same way.
The one thing I did after I pulled the roast out of the oven was to pick off all of pepper coating – it seemed really, really strong, and looked a bit burned. The bottom line, though, is that the flavor had permeated the meat, and Master Chow thought it was wonderful. I served it with really sticky rice, and iceberg lettuce wedges, which is the only way to go according to my husband, because it’s really good at sopping up the gravy. And the gravy was good, too!
This is my submission for Yvonne’s Magazine Mondays, so be sure to go over to her blog and see what she and others cooked up from their stack of food magazines! Recipe after the jump.
I feel like such a groupie! In honor of TWD’s one year anniversary, Dorie Greenspan picked this week’s recipe – her French Pear Tart, which you can find on Dorie’s website, or on pages 368-69 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. I think this has now moved to the top of the list of my favorite Dorie recipes. I used canned pears (according to Dorie, a very French thing to do, and I’m not going to argue), and regular old almonds (unblanched). I used an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Anything Pie Crust, and substituted cream cheese for the shortening.
What can I say? The dessert is absolutely fantastic. Master Chow, my honorable husband, announced that this ranks with one of the best desserts he’s ever had – in a restaurant! He could have eaten the whole thing, and thought that the canned pears (canned without sugar and in their own juice) worked out really well. The filling combined with the crust to form almost a chewy cookie-like texture at the bottom of the tart. The frangipane filling was light and flavorful. I should point out here that I chose to use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, along with 2 teaspoons of golden rum for the filling, and I’m going to use that again. I also added a pinch of kosher salt to the almond cream. And after making the Daring Bakers Buche de Noel (another fabulous dessert, but considerably more work), putting this together was a piece of cake. Or tart, I should say.
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