Thursday, July 31, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Coeur a la Crème


Recipe chosen by: Becke of Columbus Foodie

More to come later, sorry!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TWD: Summer Fruit Galette


Recipe chosen by: Michelle of Michelle in Colorado Springs
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

Anybody else have problems coming up with stuff to write on these things? I keep staring at the blank editor and wanting to write "yeah... I made it. I liked it/didn't like it/loved it/hated it. Here's how I mucked it all up this week."

So, anyway (heh)... The galette seemed to be a hit across the board. I wasn't sure which stone fruit would work the best, so I opted to try plums on one side and nectarines on the other. I used apricot jam across the whole, mostly to use up the jam I had left over from the La Palette's Strawbery(ish) Tart week. (One of the combos that we didn't use was ripe apricots with the apricot jam.) I'm not sure if the fruit from my local grocer is mutant or Dorie's is tiny, but I always end up with way too much fruit when I use her estimates. I ended up quartering the fruit to get it to fit a little bit better, but I would probably slice it in at least eights to get more fruit coverage next time.



DSC00870Check out that lovely burned ring around the galette above. Pretty, ain't it? That's what happens when the custard runs over the edge. Looks awful, but even the burned bit tasted pretty darn good.

Check out the pics above of the unbaked crust. There's the real muck up. I thought I was running out of time to get it done before the tasters got here, so I rushed chilling the crust. It was a little too warm to do much besides stick to the parchment and tear. I managed to get it all up over the fruit, but it wasn't a happy camper even after a brief session in the fridge to cool it down. I also misplaced my measuring tape part way through getting things done, so I think I may have goofed on the measurements too. (I ended up using two pot lids to mark the circles, and that seemed to work pretty well.)

As for the tasting... It's a mixed bag. Almost everyone loved the crust (natch), and everyone finished their piece. Half of the folks wanted plum and the other half wanted nectarine - so that worked out pretty well. For myself, I was torn. One of the nectarines was ripe and sweet and tasted fantastic in the galette while the other nectarine was too sour for me. The plums were good, but I'm not sure I like the slidey skin presentation.

Last summer, I picked up a galette from the local farmer's market. Didn't know what to call it, but I needed a dessert for the dinner crowd and it was pre-TWD so anything past brownies was intimidating for me. I never thought that I'd be making one of those from scratch less than a year later. How awesome is that?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the TWD crew, and visit Michelle for the Galette Recipe.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Smoked Salmon Spread


Recipe chosen by: Ashley of The Spicy Skillet
Link to Recipe: Smoked Salmon Spread

The jury is still out on this one. I really want to like it, but I'm just not sure. The first bite after letting it chill overnight made me think it needed more spices. But it grows on you. The dip is creamy and a great contrast to the smoky salmon and the hint of dill and lemon come through. Hubby thought it was a little bland, but he didn't have much of it. My timing was off making this one or I would have served it to the tasting crew for their opinions too.

(Did I say it grows on you? I've eaten a monster portion of it while uploading the pictures and writing the post. Gah!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TWD: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler


Recipe chosen by: Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

I thought I'd like this one better. I'm a huge ginger fan, love cherries, and thought I really liked rhubarb. It's out of rhubarb season here as far as the grocery stores are concerned. I found out after I bought some puny stalks from Whole Foods that a close friend still had a producing rhubarb plant in her garden. Next time I poll the garden friends before trolling the grocery store.

The combined flavors just didn't work for me. The raw cherries were delicious, but their flavor was lost in the cobbler. The ginger came through strongly, but it just seemed odd. I'll give the rhubarb part of it a pass since mine was on the downward spiral by the time I got around to putting the cobbler together. I liked the topping except for the ginger aftertaste - I could see lowering the ginger or switching it out for something like cinnamon and/or clove.

All in all, I liked the Mixed Berry Cobbler from a few weeks ago much better. (But I love trying different things, so I'd still count this one a success!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Pudding


Recipe chosen by: Melissa of It's Melissa's Kitchen
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

(Sorry for the late post, but I had some computer issues.)

Pudding was tasty, big hit with the husband. Aside from worrying that it was going to overflow my processor, it was remarkably easy to put together. I made it once with all the leftover bits of chocolate sitting in the pantry, but that proved to be a little too bitter to eat by itself. Since Bill had been looking forward to it since I told him the recipe for the week, I picked up some semisweet chocolate and made it a second time.

The semisweet batch was smooth and chocolate-y, and has probably ruined me for box pudding forever. Put it into some beautiful champaign glasses or layer with whipped cream in a wine glass, and it would be a lovely ending to a fancy dinner party.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Collage

I'm really loving these non-baking/non-sweet Barefoot Contessa recipes. This week, Sabrina and Alexander of Cooking with the Kids (how adorable is their header?) chose Ina's Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. Awesome pick guys, awesome!

I tried a jalapeño cornbread recipe a few years ago to make a special stuffing for Thanksgiving, and I remember it being a little, well, fussy.  So I was pleasantly surprised when this one whipped up almost as easily as the little blue box (you know the one, don't pretend you don't).  It smelled awesome as it cooked, and Bill (gotta give him props again this week, he did the shopping for this one and helped throw it together) was circling the kitchen before it had even gone in the oven.


It tasted fantastic warm and almost as good the next day when I took it to work.  One of the coworkers made a special stop into my office to thank me and tell me he was taking a piece home to his wife.  I'm not sure if she'll thank either one of us since she's on a diet, but it was a sweet thought, right?

My only regret is that I didn't think to throw it together for the 4th of July party a little earlier in the week.  Someone brought a pot of what he called smokehouse beans, and that would have been a match made in heaven.

You can find a link to the recipe here, and as always, don't forget to visit the other Barefoot Bloggers to see what they thought of the recipe!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TWD: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

Another Tuesday, another baked good.  This time, Amy of South in Your Mouth chose the Double Crusted Blueberry Pie (pages 361-363).

This week was just fraught (heh, I've always wanted to use that word) with worries for me. For starters, I've never made a pie crust from scratch before. It's been Pillsbury crusts for me from day one, baby. No worries and no fuss with a pretty decent taste (just like Mom used to make unroll).

DSC00709DSC00711Being the first time, I wasn't really sure what to expect with the whole ice water thing. I stopped with the 6 Tablespoons Dorie suggests, but the crust looked a little dry to me (left picture). I added close to another Tablespoon of water, and it clumped up like a crust. W00t!


The next worry was rolling out the crust. I'm rolling pin challenged, for reals. I'm usually lucky if I manage to keep most of the dough on the board instead of the roller. I decided to try one of Dorrie's suggestions and rolled these out between plastic wrap. Sooooo easy!


The pie was brown and gorgeous after 30 minutes, so I put a foil tent on it when I turned down the heat. I kept the pie in for the whole baking time mentioned in the book, but I think it could have used another 10 minutes or so. I was expecting some bubbling juices, and I didn't have any with the listed times.


(Look at that flaky crust. It tasted even better than it looked.)

The hubs had tried to get me to switch the blueberries out for apples, but he was still drooling at the 30 minute mark. Speaking of blueberries, that'd be my final worry. I'm just not that big of a blueberry fan, so I was worried that all the work would be for nothing. I gotta say though, this pie was fantastic. The crust was phenomenal and the blueberry filling was great. I used fresh blueberries - might as well go the whole distance, right? (Hoo boy, was that expensive!) I'm not sure that I'd do blueberry again, but I can't wait to try an apple pie with this crust.


As usual, don't forget to check out the other TWD pies. And head over to South in Your Mouth for the recipe.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

TWD: Sorry!

Due to a comedy of errors, no TWD post from me this week.

(I didn't read the recipe and came home with three different kinds of fresh apples. Instead of just drying them like I should have, I figured I could pick up some dried apples from the store today. Guess what my local grocery store doesn't carry? Stupid store. )

I'll definitely be making these at some point though.