Sunday, February 24, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings: Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Bundino

Good Morning!
I'm in a huge hurry, but want to post my experience.

I'm a fan of pudding; can't think of one I don't enjoy.  Pudding is the ultimate comfort food.  At this time of year I choose pudding over ice cream...and flavors for pudding are almost as plentiful as those for ice cream.

Honestly, I did not love this milk chocolate variety, would have preferred a dark chocolate which would work just as well with this Baked recipe.  With all the milk, eggs, and cream which diluted the chocolate flavor, I needed more richness to my chocolate.

I've been out of state for the past several days, stopped at a cherry orchard on my way home, (I know, it's not cherry season, but the fruit stand keeps frozen cherries and concentrated cherry juice available all year long.)  Instead of vanilla, I thought I'd be smart and make cherry pudding...not a great idea.  There's a reason cherry pudding is not popular.  But cherry and chocolate go well together in my book.  It was not bad, just not what I expected.

I had doubled the recipe, so after putting together several pretty layered desserts for dinner, I melted dark chocolate, combined this chocolate with the leftover puddings and now I have a great chocolate pudding with just a hint of dark cherry flavor.  Yum!

I must say that this is, in general, a wonderful pudding recipe.  It is simple, silky, and can accommodate individual tastes.  I will make this again, but with my personal preferences in mind.

See you all in's almost Spring...YEA!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookie

It's 1 am and I'm still up working so I need to be quick.  Today, well, I guess it has become a new day, so yesterday, was my anniversary.  Hubby took me out all day...did lots of fun stuff.  When we returned home I baked cookies...didn't tell him it was for my assigned post...let him think I was making special "I LOVE YOU" cookies for our special day.

HE LOVES THE COOKIES...said over and over how tasty they are.  I used the frosting to stick on red hots...these cookies are flavorful and I'm sure the frosting adds to them, but not necessary.  This dough was easy to work with and kept a nice shape while baking.  I did not take the time to refrigerate...I mixed and rolled and baked...quick and easy.

Let me quickly say, "HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY" to all of you.

Friday, February 8, 2013

French Fridays with Dorie: Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin

I'm a bit late.  I try to get my posts up in the morning, but today the morning was crazy...its that time of year.  No sleep and piles of papers everywhere.  I'm adding numbers in my daydreams.  And this week has been a week of just happens sometimes, and this is one of those times.  But I can't skip out on a recipe with fresh backyard trees are calling.  

We just ate this Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin salad a few minutes ago.  Hubby and Son #2 enjoyed this recipe with me and both licked their plates clean, well almost.

Its a lovely day in AZ and garden time is precious.  The heat will be here soon and gardens will die, not from frost as happens in most of the country, but from frying.  The oranges and veges are all from my yard.  I baked flatbread yesterday while adding the pork tenderloin to a ziplock bag filled with herbs and spices and orange juice/zest as a marinade.  

For my salad I used a simple mix of  fresh greens, red onion, and cilantro.  I sectioned oranges (not navels, which are not a good cooking orange--drier and meatier and become a little bitter when cooked-- but  lovely, sweet, juicy eating oranges which are practically seedless), very lightly sprinkled on a  vinaigrette made from oilive oil, cider vinegar, and orange juice,  tossed on  feta cheese  and fresh zest.

The meat was lightly browned in a little butter-oil mixture with  orange zest and juice and a little salt and pepper.  The marinade clung to the outside edges of the meat, adding extra goodness and color to this dish.

This salad fits into my schedule during this busy time as it took only 10 minutes yesterday and then 20 minutes more today total prep time.  For my salad I did not keep the sauce, but the flavor it created for the meat was delicious.

I chose not to serve with potatoes, etc...a heartier meal for those of you having blizzard conditions today, but went lighter and used what I have.

#2 son took his salad bowl ingredients and made a sandwich using the bread which he split...looked great.

Hubby had just come in from mowing the lawn and was in the mood for a healthy, tasty meal, and he was pleased with our dinner.

For sure I'm make this again.  My inspiration is from our Dorie assignment today and done my way.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Tuesdays With Julie and Dorie: Focaccia

This bread was a hit on our Superbowl food table.  Lots of hungry people at my house who agree that it's not beer that goes better with football, but it is food!  I'm sure we went through more food on Sunday than we did on Thanksgiving, the biggest food day of the year...used to be.  

My refrigerated dough took a long time to forever.  Must have been too cold on this winter day.  (I know you all think we enjoy perpetual spring here in our AZ winter...but it does feel cold to us.  70^ is nice if you are Cher living in Upstate New York, but is cold to us.)  I love to bake bread here in AZ in the summer.  Most people quit cooking because of the heat, but I love to bake rises in about a quarter of the I have this recipe on my calendar again for will be 100^ by then.

I made 6 baking sheets of focaccia with a variety of toppings and melted cheeses.  It was all eaten except for this one, which I kept plain  (just brushed with freshly cut herbs infused olive oil) and hidden for today's use.  It is day old, reheated, cut in half like a layer cake being cut to form two layers, and then the fun began.  I brushed herb infused olive oil on each inside half and then melted cheese on each side, grilled a variety of fresh veges, added pan-fried ham, sliced a pickle, picked fresh garden lettuce and we enjoyed an amazing meal.  

The photo is my sandwich portion which is about 7" X 5" and I ate every bite!  3 of us ate this left-over, day-old bread sandwich and we all agreed that it is delicious!!! 

I used different flours on each batch, just to compare the results.  The photo is from 100% high gluten bread flour.  It is more chewy, but not as "bubbly."  Focaccia using 1/2 bread and 1/2 all purpose flours was much lighter and more airy; picking up that bread was a real difference in how much lighter it felt, and I also tried only all purpose flour which was airy, a little more crumbly, but still very good, and it rose faster than the higher gluten, more coarse doughs.  For hearty sandwiches I would go with the 1/2 and 1/2 flours.  No complaints with any of my combos...all are amazing, just a little different.

I know this is good.  Hubby asked me to slice his sandwich in half as he could not eat such a huge portion.  Within a couple of minutes both halves had been devoured.  And Hubby saves his calories for the weekend...he almost never eats a large portion during the week.  This recipe is a winner.  Even love it when it is day-old!

Hope you all enjoyed success...I have a feeling that overall this recipe will be "a keeper!"

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings: Cheesy Focaccia


 I know, I'm late, it's not Sunday morning any more, but is Sunday going-to-bed-time.  Sorry.  I decided to use this Baked project for our Superbowl fabulous food table this evening.  It was a hit.  We had a huge houseful of all ages and this was totally enjoyed.  

Since I waited until today  (I usually bake on Wednesdays when I have Honey and take an office work break...we love to bake together.) I'm behind on getting this post up.  I woke early, mixed up the dough and let it rise, then I put it into the fridge.  Every thing went well to that point.  When I returned home I took the chilled dough out of the fridge and thought it would take about an hour to warm up and get bubbly and oven ready.  Well, I was wrong.  It all worked out OK, but we're having a cloudy, sprinkley,  cold day and the house is a bit cold.  I did not want to turn on heat as I knew that we'd soon have lots of bodies in the house to warm it up.  Anyway, it took 4 1/2 long hours before I could begin baking.  Glad we did not plan to eat until Superbowl time.  It all worked out, but glad I was not in a hurry.  

My camera makes the crust look quite truly was better browned.  This bread is light and airy, yet a little crusty...and the toppings were really tasty.  I went with this recipe as written except for the fridge time.  This is a keeper.

A note for those of you in the TWD group:
With a big crowd here I made 3 times the recipe...well two times this one and then I also made the TWD Focaccia which I'll post later.  I will just say that both recipes  are similar are delicious.  I like this recipe better if thinking of a sandwich use.  It puffed up better and is lighter.  I did use all bread flour in the TWD recipe to see what that would do.  Possibly that is why it did not puff up quite as much, although the quantities for the same ingredients are a little different proportions and that could be the difference.  I like the TWD recipe better when I want a more chewy bread.  

All my breads disappeared and all were totally enjoyed.  (I made the TWD dough yesterday so it could have a longer fridge time...supposedly this would enhance flavors, etc.  I did not notice a big difference.)

I'm ready to try this recipe again and without the chilling time.  It was all going so well and I think the whole process would have been easier...I must say that after 3 hours I was starting to worry about whether this bread would make it to our dinner today.

And I did get to bake with Honey.  Honey, her mom, and I all went to a baby shower yesterday.  I 'stole" Honey who spent the night and we did get to have our baking day together after all.

I looked quickly through your posts...they are wonderful...everyone did a great job and this recipe seems to be an all around hit.  "See" you all soon!