Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year's end

The holidays included lots of cooking and baking. Here are a few highlights.

Pom koek, Belgian honey cake: four little loaves. No doubt I've posted this before, but these coffee cakes are so good they deserve another spotlight.

Scalloped potatoes and, in the background, roasted Brussels sprouts. Christmas dinner, along with beef tenderloin.

... and these rather impressive popovers:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I meant to say

Cupcakes are not my strength; I know that. But bread I'm good at. Sometimes, people ask for bread-baking advice.

Here it is:

1. always always always proof the yeast and make sure the water is the right temp (105-110), and if the recipe calls for honey or sugar or molasses, add it now
2. use a dough-rising bucket (nice & steamy)
3. let the dough rise in a warm place (I cover the bucket with dish towels and set it near a heating vent in the winter)
4. use temp as a guide to when the bread is done (recipes vary but usually around 190)

I use a stand mixer for about half of whatever kneading is required. The results are generally good, if I do say so myself.

Rain, not snow

A winter day but not an interesting one. Sigh.

Here are two recent efforts: first, macaroni and cheese (shown alongside sautéed kale with dates). I used sharp cheddar, gruyere, and buttermilk blue cheese, which made for a rich and delicious result (recipe courtesy of my friend Lisa), and then another loaf of the oatmeal bread, this time made with molasses (and not my usual honey).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A wintry mix

—so said the forecast. Thus, soup. Spicy tomato and blue cheese. Recipe from Michael Symon's cookbook. Alongside: turkey meatballs. And one of my favorite cabs, St. Supery.

Note the new soup bowl, which was one purchase from the WVU pottery sale, my favorite WVU event.