All posts filed under: Baking

Something Fishy Going on…

There are rules – Never run with scissors,,,, Look both ways before crossing the street… Never burn bridges with a former employer… Don’t stick your finger in the electrical outlet… Never.. Ever cook cheese with fish…. … And while with most of those there is some bit of common sense going on, it’s that bit about cheese & fish that’s never rang very true. I mean, every fish sandwich out there has a big ol’ slice of cheddar on it – and tuna melts are just bubbling with melted Swiss. So, why is it that culinary snobs the world over pale and froth at the mouth about cheese and fish….. Eh, I’ll never know. But, that question brings us to tonight’s recipe. I’ve been seeing a resurgence of an old dinner mainstay lately – The Mayo / Parmesan Crusted Chicken. I hadn’t eaten it in years, so when it came time to work up the week’s dinner menu, I thought – “why the hell not?”    You know, it was delicious! I mean… really delicious…. kinda …

Orange Snowballs

YEARS ago, I got on a kick making glasee oranges. I made them by the buckets full. I put them in jars and admired the little translucent orbs for months… then I started giving them away. Here’s the thing with making obscure condiments, unless you have a commercial kitchen or a standing waiting list of people wanting said obscure condiment (I have neither) … it’s a complete waste of time and material. I eventually gave away most of the jars. I did keep one… oh, just because. I thought I’d eventually find a reason to use them.    Oddly enough, that reason presented itself today. Getting ready to make another batch of those killer lemon cookies, I realized I didn’t have something very important…. lemons. And, since this is Gold Rush Weekend here in Dahlonega, I wasn’t about to go anywhere near town. Deflated, I prowled through the pantry; halfheartedly trying to convince myself I could make the cookies with a can of fruit cocktail…. when I spied the lone dusty jar of glasee oranges …

Bread Whore ~ TOAST

I’ve always loved great toast. And apparently, I’m not alone.  I read somewhere the other day that toast has become a “thing“. Affected, terribly cool people are flocking to certain restaurants where they serve big, thick,  honkin’ slabs of complicated bread (probably kneaded on the thighs of Tahitian women), hand toasted over hardwood coals, and served with rare, artisan snoozleberry jam and yak butter churned during a full moon. Probably… Maybe… but you know what I’m talking about.   It seems to be the trend these days to take something exceedingly simple – and remake it into a ritual… a process…. an ordeal. Me? I can’t be bothered. For toast to be enjoyable, it only has to have: 1.  a developed richness that comes from fermentation 2. an outer crust that stays crisp even as the toast cools 3. toast centers that are tender and soft. Toasting Bread Some years ago I came across an English Toasting Bread (or English Muffin Bread) at one of the markets in the area. So I thought for this episode of …

All That Lemony Goodness – Lemon ~ Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

  ” I want a cookie…” Generally speaking, those four words don’t usually raise shrieks of alarms in your head. But, then again… you don’t live up on the hill here at Turtle Creek; where everything tasty is filled with things that are taboo – and the list of things we can’t eat grows like that Creeping Charlie out in the garden. But, I do my best to make life here a little less sucky. I decided to try and make homemade cookies… something I’m not particularly good at. And since 100% of the really good cookies have butter – it’s not been something very high on my list… You know,  since lard cookies taste like crap. Thankfully, one day when I was griping about the lack of good butter options for the severely lactose intolerant,  someone (I’m sorry, I really don’t remember who pointed me in the right direction) asked if I had ever tried Cultured Butter. For those of you not in the know, Cultured Butter is Fresh cream butter to which lactic acid cultures have …

The Unfinished Manuscript – Focaccia

If you didn’t read about how this all came about – go back and catch up at the beginning of the story HERE. * * * Thinking I’d go for something in the beginning of the manuscript, and something tasty and easy – I picked the “Focaccia al Rosmarino” (Focaccia with Rosemary) as the first test of the manuscript’s abilities. Meh… the flatbread was tough, chewy in the center, and not terribly flavorful. The main problem with the recipe is the author has you rolling the dough – in her words – like a pizza. The thing is you never want to roll pizza dough, let along – focaccia dough. You want to pull and stretch it.  This keeps the gas pockets from the yeast high and airy which keeps the dough from being all compacted making flatbread tender, crisp and delicious. so… No Rolling… forgedaboutit! The other issue was the blandness. Bread needs seasoning. And, bread that doesn’t include much sugar, or dairy,  or egg in the mix is going to need salt… and …

Bread Whore ~ Everybody Tang – Zhong tonight!

Well, hello… So, it’s a new look. I’m all refreshed and re-energized.. and I’ve got some amazing, life-affirming crapola to sling your way… eventually… in a couple of days. But for now… It’s Bread Whore Time I wont lie, I’m a horrible baker. That doesn’t stop me from buying every freakin’ stinkin’ book that comes out in print on the subject. And invariably, the end result is the same… crappy bread… crappy crappy mood for making crappy bread… crappy crappy crappy loads of useless bread crumbs in the freezer from making crappy bread. What’s that quote? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results? That would be me and the bread business. That is… until this August. Back in Early August, a friend on Facebook (shush), who happens to be Pastry Chef Online, started talking about the Tangzhong Method for baking bread. And, that the end result was soft, moist, ethereal yeasty bread carried on the wings of angels. well, not really angels – but in my head I swear I …

Gooey Gluten-Free / Dairy Free Pineapple Cake

It’s not often that I see a food posting on some social networking thing and immediately run off to make it. But, that’s kinda, sorta, exactly what happened here. Food.Com shared a photo of a “Do Nothing” Cake. And. if you know my baking skills, that sounded right up my alley. Here’s the thing – the recipe is stupid simple. So whether you do the original from them (click on the name to follow their link) or try my Gluten-Free version – you aren’t going to have a lot of time or effort invested in it… so, in that sense, it’s definitely a doer. And, if the STUFF-MY-FACE-TIL-I-HIT-A-SUGAR-OVERDOSE actions of earlier this evening are any indication, anyone you make this for will think you hung the moon, or name a street after you, or lay beds of roses at your feet. Seriously, it’s that good. Gluten Free  Pineapple Cake with  Seriously Gooey Topping Serves 1, go make your own. Actually, it will generously serve 8 Ingredients For the cake: 2 Cups Gluten Free Baking Mix …

Peanut Butter Cookies

In a perfect world, we’d all be able to eat any type of food out there – enjoy it for what it is, and suffer no consequences. But this ain’t that kind of story. You know, it’s really a marvel that I can even function in the food world given the laundry list of problems that plague our family. My dad was allergic to mushrooms, avocados,  pitted fruit, tree nuts, peanuts… and well, corn just made him a crazy man… Really, one mis-step in a corn based product, and he symptomed as though he had early onset Alzheimer’s. You think gluten free is difficult? Try removing every trace of corn out of your diet. Jane has no tolerance for alcohol,  is freakishly lactose intolerant and she is allergic to chocolate… as in anaphylaxis… the “call 911.. and you better hurry kind.” And the one thing that would stem a normal reaction – those little epi- pens loaded with epidrine? Yeah.. they just run her faster down that light at the end of the tunnel. But, Jane craves chocolate.. …

I’ve got your Sticky Cake… Right Here

Okay.. I didn’t actually watch the UK Summer Olympics. I was pretty much Twittered into a stupor by the time the first event concluded. (and… I’m not really a “hit the ball and drag Harry” kind of guy…) But I was stoked about it being there. Because, I expected the airwaves to be inundated with Cuisine of Britain programming. I didn’t see any.. well, I take that back. There was one program produced back in 2000 aimed at convincing the world that the UK wasn’t all Bangers and Mash. Which is kinda sad, because I particularly like bangers… and mash.   That really left me with no other option than to go about looking for my own little culinary excursion. I found my first stop with Fiona Maclean (don’t you just love her name!) over at London Unattached. Fiona made Parkin! Now, I’ve had parkin a couple of times before (read that as a lot) as my across the street neighbor in Savannah was always making it and inviting me over for tea. Actually, I worked with her estranged husband and she …

Say Cheese…

I’m a pretty big cheese whore. I mean – I can tear through a block of cheese like nobody’s business. I love those deep complex flavors. Which is probably why I never really cared much for cream cheese, cream cheese frosting… or cheesecake for that matter. It’s like  munching on a pile of milk flavored Crisco… and that just isn’t appetizing. Add to that – Jane’s zero tolerance for lactose – cream cheese has no place in this house. We had a hankering for carrot cake this week, and while I could have used the Tofutti Soy Cream Cheese for the frosting – I wanted something with a little more taste to it. Don’t get me wrong, the Tofutti product are a passable substitute for dairy… texture-wise, but they lack severely in the taste department. And, if I’m going  to go through the trouble to make a cheese frosting – I don’t want it to taste like sweetened tofu. You’ve seen me write about Cabot’s Cheeses before. Their Extra Sharp and Seriously Sharp Cheddar are are …