SUNDAY BAKING PROJECT #4 – HAM AND CHEESE BRIOCHE PUDDING

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham and Cheese Brioche Pudding was the selection for Week 4.  It was decided upon as a nice contrast to the sweet selections from the previous weeks.  Unlike the previous 3 selections which we loved, this one will not go on my favorites list.  My Husband and I both love Bread Pudding, but as a sweet dish; it turns out that the savory version is not so palatable for us.  I am not a fan of Ham but my Husband likes it, and eats Ham and Cheese Sandwiches at least once a week, if not more often, so I decided to stick with the Ham and Cheese Version.  The Bread portion of the Pudding is Brioche.  I used Challah which is very similar to Brioche.  The Pudding itself was beautiful – it raised up and was a beautiful golden brown and had a great texture but would have been more to our liking if it had apples, raisins and some brown sugar in it.

I served the Brioche Pudding for Breakfast along with Maple Syrup and Watermelon on the side.

 

 

 

 

  With Maple Syrup and Watermelon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the Pudding you cut up 12 ounces of Brioche or other similar bread   (I used Challah which is very similar to Brioche) and place in a buttered baking dish (12” x 12” or even 10” x 10” will do).  I made half a recipe and used an 8” x 8” dish which was perfect.

 Cubed Bread

         Bread in Baking Dish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gouda Cheese

 

            Shredded Gouda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared Ham 

 

Combine the Eggs, Milk or Cream or Half and Half along with the seasonings which are Salt, Pepper, Cayenne and Nutmeg.

Custard Ingredients Mixed Together

 

Pour the Custard mixture over the bread cubes and top with Julienned Ham and Shredded Cheese.

 

 

 Custard Added

      Ham and Cheese Incorporated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the photos above you may see that the Bread and Custard Cubes are in a different dish than the product with the Ham and Cheese.  I mistakenly thought that the half recipe would fit in my ceramic loaf dish but not to be – had to transfer the mixture to my 8 x 8 glass baking dish.

 

Press everything down so that the bread absorbs the custard and the Ham and Cheese are incorporated into the whole.  Slivered Green Onions  (which I omitted) are sprinkled on top.

 

The complete recipe can be found at Cooking – New York Times

Normally Bread Pudding is assembled and then refrigerated overnight so that all the custard is absorbed into the bread.  This recipe did not call for that but since we were going to eat it for breakfast, I did do that.  I made it in a glass baking dish, so I had to let it warm up for about an hour before baking it.  The baking took 45 minutes, exactly what was called for in the recipe.  The Pudding should be served immediately or it can be baked and cooled and then cut up into squares as suggested in the recipe or you can just reheat any leftovers that you may have.

 

 

              Baked Pudding

              Plated Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Maple Syrup

 

Even though I only made a half recipe we still had leftovers which I sent home with my Grandson who loves Ham.  I have yet to hear if he has eaten it and if he likes it.  Will notate that here when I find out.

 

I am sure that many people will like this version of Bread Pudding, especially if you are a fan of Quiche.  I do like Quiche but never make it with Ham.  I usually use Spinach or Mushrooms.  I am a Vegie Fan, but not a Vegetarian or Vegan.  I am thinking though of becoming a Pescatarian.  I do not get stuffed when I eat fish and/or vegetables like I do when I eat meat.

There are variations among the members of our group – some did use Spinach, another used Bacon, etc.  And a couple of the members made the Brioche Loaf from the recipe that was given.  I did make my bread but it was Challah and since I had it on hand decided to use that instead since it is very similar, both in ingredients used and the end result.

 

MEMBERS PHOTOS IN THE ORDER THEY WERE POSTED

 

 

              Cara Croxton

 

            CM Wolkon

            Cynthia Allen

    Elizabeth Barnhart Mockapetris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeanne Ackerman

    Terrie Cooper Loaf

          Terrie Cooper Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Terrie Cooper Slice

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/23 at 10:58 AM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Bread, Breakfast Ideas, Cheese, Dairy, Ethnic Cuisine, Lunch Ideas, Main, Sunday Baking Project   Tags: , , , ,

ANGEL FOOD CAKE – – CHOCOLATE

One of my favorite type of Cakes is Angel Food – specifically because I like Sponge Cakes and White Cakes and this one encompasses both.  My Husband loves Chocolate so in making the Chocolate Angel Food Cake we both get what we like.  Now the Chocolate Version of Angel Food Cake may not be ‘Chocolaty’ enough for the real Chocolate Lover but there are Add-Ons that can be used – for instance:

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Whipped Cream (or Ganache)

Make a trough by cutting out a portion of the cake from the top and filling it with Chocolate Ice Cream.  And so on and so on.  For the Recipe for Angel Food Cake and the variations thereof please go to the Recipe.

For making Angel Food Cake you will need a tube pan at least 9″ in diameter.  A Standing Mixer or a Portable Mixer.  The very first Angel Food I made was when I was 16 – I decided to make an Angel Food Cake for my Mother for Mother’s Day.  All we had was a hand Egg Beater, the old fashioned kind. All it had was teeth – no gears like the later models had.   It took me so long to beat the eggs that I ended up with a blister on my finger.  Well, it was worth it though.  (If I had known at the time about a Whisk that would probably have been a better choice but all we had was the Egg Beater.

A Rubber or Silicone Spatula will come in handy for folding the flour mixture into the beaten Egg Whites.

In addition a straight-edged spatula is good for loosening the sides of the cake from the pan.

 

In preparing the pan for the cake batter there is a variation from the norm in that the pan does not get greased or even lined with paper.  This is a ‘Sponge Cake’ and the cake sides need something to cling to as the cake rises.  If the pan is greased, the cake batter tends to slip down and you will end up with a heavy inedible cake.

 

The Cake calls for 1 cup Egg Whites (approx. 12 Whites from large eggs)  For a larger cake, use 1 1/2 cups of Egg Whites.  The pan that I used, could have held an 18 White Batter but then that would be too much cake for just the two of us.

If you do increase the number of Whites then of course you have to increase the rest of the ingredients accordingly.  1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of Cocoa, 2 1/4 cups of Sugar, etc.

Before starting to make the cake separate the Whites from the Yolks (while the eggs are cold – it is much easier to do when the eggs are cold) and then let the whites warm up to room temperature – about 1 hour.

 

Make sure your mixer bowl is super clean – any traces of oil or other particles will keep the whites from beating up properly.

Once all the ingredients are measured and ready to go set your oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the Whites in the clean mixing bowl and then beat at high speed until they become foamy.  Add the Cream of Tartar, Salt and Vanilla and continue mixing until the Whites form soft peaks.  (If they are beaten too long, the cake will be too dry).  Once soft peaks are formed slowly add the Sugar while the mixer is going and continue to beat until the Whites will hold their shape when the beater is lifted.  If you are using a Standing Mixer this will not take very long.  An electric hand mixer will take a longer amount of time.

 

             Beaten Egg Whites

 

 

 

Once the Whites reach the desired consistency, (see photo above) remove from the mixer and with a rubber spatula fold in about 1/4 of the Flour/Cocoa mixture to ‘temper’ the Whites.  Then gently fold in the remaining dry ingredients.

 

 

 

 

  1st portion of dry Ingredients  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place in the tube pan being sure that the batter is evenly distributed throughout the pan.

 

 

              Batter in Pan

 

 

Bake at the lowest position in the preheat (375 Degree) Oven for 45 minutes or until the top is dry and cracked.

 

             Lower Third of the Oven

 

 

Turn the pan upside down until completely cool.  If your pan does not have legs on it, place if over the neck of a wine or water or soda bottle.  Allow to cool completely.  Once the cake is cooled, loosen the sides with a straight-edged spatula and place on a serving plate.

 

     Cooling Upside Down

 

                   Loosening the Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To slice the cake use a serrated knife (bread knife) or a sponge cake cutting device.  Serve plain or with Ice Cream and fresh sliced and sugared Berries, Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sauce

 

 

                                  Plated Cake

 

 

              Slice Choc. Angel Food Cake

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/22 at 10:22 PM

Categories: Cales, Dessert Ideas, Main   Tags: , , ,

SUNDAY BAKING PROJECT #3 – VERY BERRY TORTE

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Berry Torte was the selection for Week Three of our Sunday Baking Project.  The recipe was selected from the book – Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  

The Torte consisted of a Cookie Crust which differs from the traditional Graham Cracker Crust in that you actually make it from a Sugar Cookie Dough.  Jam goes on the bottom and the Cheese Cake Filling goes over the top.  It is made in a Spring Form pan which allows you to remove the cake without destroying it – this is especially good when the crust is quite fragile due to the ingredients it is made with.  A Spring Form Pan has sides that lock on to the bottom and by use of a spring lock can be removed once the baked product is finished.  If you don’t have a Springform Pan you can purchase one at your local Culinary Store or on line at Amazon.com.

The Filling was also a little different than the traditional Cheesecake in that in addition to Cream Cheese it also had Cottage Cheese in the Filling.  The Cottage Cheese helped to give the filling a little more texture than normal which turned out quite well.

The preparation of the Torte begins with the Crust which is pretty similar to a traditional Sugar Cookie Dough and it certainly behaves like one in that it is not super easy to work with.  To roll the Dough out with as little trouble as possible it is best to refrigerate it first.  I did this by flattening the dough into a circle between two pieces of waxed paper.  When you do roll it out it is best to roll it between the sheets of waxed paper so it doesn’t break up.  You can also press the dough into the Springform pan although I don’t think you can get as even a crust as you would like with this method.

After the Dough is rolled out it is then refrigerated for 30 minutes before baking.  To bake the Crust it is best to use a ‘Blind Filling’- a sheet of buttered Aluminum Foil placed on the Dough with Pie Weights.  The Weights can be purchased or you can use dried beans.  The beans can be stored in an airtight container and used again many times as of course the weights can.  The Weights come in various forms – some are metal, others are ceramic.  They all work in pretty much the same way and whatever you buy would be up to you.

Pie Weights on Foil in Crust

 

The recipe said to bake the crust for 30 minutes before removing the weights, but I found that to be a little too long.  Try it yourself with different times – every oven is a little different so what I tell you may not work in your oven.  I would start out with the suggested time and then adjust it from there if you plan to make the torte again.

After the foil and Weights are removed the crust is returned to the oven for about 5 more minutes to brown the surface.  I personally thought the crust was over-done and would definitely try it with less time or maybe not pre-bake at all.  If I do bake the Torte without prebaking the Crust I will come back here and post the results.

The Jam is spread over the baked crust – to my taste, 1/3 cup of Jam was not enough to cover the bottom of the crust – next time I would use at least half cup or maybe even more.  It is supposed a Berry Tart and you do want to be able to taste it.

 

1/3 cup thick Berry Jam

  Jam Spread on Crust

 

 

 

 

 Cherry Preserves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the Filling the the Cottage Cheese and Cream Cheese are first blended together.  Then the Sugar, Salt and Spices are blended and then the Eggs are beaten in.  This can all be done in the Food Processor or by hand in a large bowl with a whisk.  I think the Food Processor (if you have one) is the preferred method.  Much faster and the ingredients will be beaten more thoroughly than if you do it by hand.

 

 

9 oz. Brick Cream Cheese

 Filling Poured In

9 oz. Small Curd Cottage Cheese

3/4 C. Sugar

1/4 tsp. Salt

Pinch Ground Cinnamon

Pinch freshly Ground Nutmeg

 

2 Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

The Torte should bake for about 60 minutes or until the filling no longer jiggles when the pan is moved.  Additional cooking will take place after the heat is shut off and the pan is taken out of the oven.  In the older methods of making Cheesecake the instructions say to leave it in the oven (after it has been turned off).  I haven’t checked my old recipes but I think the actual baking time would be less.  i have the bad habit of over-baking my cheesecakes so if I looked up the old method it would probably be better for me to do it that way.

 

  Baked Torte

 

 

In the Baked Torte photo you can see the clasp that holds the circular sides onto the bottom of the pan.  When the Torte is baked and cooled the clasp is opened and should slide right off.  Oftentimes you may have to use a straight-edge spatula to completely separate the cake from the pan.

 

All in all, this Berry Torte Cheesecake was very good – it tasted delicious even if my version didn’t come out looking beautiful.  We had it for Breakfast – after all it does contain Eggs, Cheese and Fruit – items that we often incorporate into our Breakfasts.  Of course we didn’t eat the whole thing at once, so it was also eaten for Dessert at another meal.

 

In the photos below are the plated cake and a slice topped with Whipped Cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMBERS PROJECT RESULTS

 

 

 Elizabeth Barnhart Mockapetris

 

 

             Jean Ackerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Terrie Cooper

           Elizabeth Delcore Bennet

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/18 at 4:51 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Cakes, Cales, Cheese, Dairy, Dessert Ideas, Main, Pastry, Sunday Baking Project   Tags: , , , ,

SUNDAY BAKING PROJECT #2 – LEMON CHIFFON CAKE

This Past Sunday,May 7th was the second week of our Sunday Baking Project.  The selection this week was Lemon Chiffon Cake.  It was supposed to be a nice contrast to the ‘Decadent Chocolate Cream Pie’ of last week.  Indeed, it was a nice flavor contrast to the Pie but it was decadent in its own right.  The Cake was light and flavorful and the curd between the layers was very nice and Lemony, but it wasn’t mouth puckering as lemon can sometimes be.  I think maybe, it could have been just a tad more tart – in other words- a little less sugar.  Will try it that way sometime.  The Italian Buttercream Frosting was indeed the decadent portion of this cake as it was quite Buttery and I loved it!

The Recipe chosen was ‘Lemon-Love Chiffon Layer Cake from the Fearless Baker Cookbook by Erin Jeanne McDowell’.  If I didn’t mention this last week, the purpose of the club is to try new recipes which none of us has ever made – not specific to the item but specific to the published recipe.  In other words, I am sure that most of us have made Lemon Cake before, but not this specific recipe.  There were some things that were done differently than the traditional methods – therefore it makes it a new recipe for all of us.

 

Before going through the procedure for making the cake please take a look at the photos which will show how the final project is interpreted through different eyes.

 

 

 

           Jeanne-Ackerman

      Terrie Cooper  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         Cara Croxton

 

 

          Anna Redd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                Sylvia Rieman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You Terrie for allowing me to use your photo for the feature image and I have to apologize to Eileen Delcore Bennet and CM Wolkon but I was unable to upload your photos.

 

 

 

 

MAKING THE CAKE:   This recipe actually took several steps to make and gave us the opportunity to hone different skills.

 

Before even beginning to prepare the Cake, Curd and Frosting, it is best to  Juice and Zest all the Lemons and Lemon Product that you will need.  The best Lemons to use for Lemon Desserts are Meyer Lemons if they are available.  Right now in Spring, they are readily available, at least in the So. Calif. Farmer’s Markets.  The difference between Meyer and Eureka is that Meyer are less tart and better for baked products.  Eureka are great for cooking and for drinks like lemonade.

You can Zest the Lemons with a fine grater but it is best to have an actual zesting implement.

 

 

      Eureka and Meyer Lemons

In this photo the Meyer Lemons are the ones with the orange hue and the Eureka are the ones front and more yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             Lemon Zest

 

       Juicing the Lemons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Preparation was for the Lemon Curd which I chose to make the day before.  It needed to cool for at least 2 hours so making it a day ahead gives you plenty of time to let it chill. The instructions for this Curd are a little off the norm in that all the ingredients are mixed together and then cooked to the desired thickness.  Normally, the Egg Yolks are beaten first, then tempered and then cooked to the proper thickness.  Using the traditional method gives you a shorter cooking time but definitely more utensils to clean.  Even though the clean-up takes a little longer I do prefer the traditional method.   In the photo below, the Curd is covered with plastic  wrap which you want to cover the curd with to prevent a crust from forming.  The plastic wrap should actually be touching the curd.

 

Whisking the Curd

 

 

       Straining the Lemon Curd

Preparing the Curd for Refrigeration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second Step was to make the Cake.  Making the Cake,  in itself was multi-faceted.  It involved:

  1. Separating the Yolks from the Whites.

 

Separated Egg Whites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Sifting together the Dry Ingredients

  Sifted Flour, Baking Powder & Salt

 

3.  Whisking together the Wet Ingredients (other than Eggs)

 

Whisking the Milk and Oil Mixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Beating the Yolks for the Cake Batter – once the Yolks were beaten to almost the desired thickness,              the Liquid ingredients were added and beating resumed for one more minutes.  Next the Dry                    Ingredients were added in four separate increments.

 

 

Whisking the Yolks

 

5.  Beating the Whites to add to the almost finished Batter.

 

 

 Whipping the Egg Whites

 

6.  Next the Whites were folded into the Batter and then the Batter was divided between two greased and floured Pans.  I recommend lining the greased pans with parchment paper to allow for easier cake removal.

Combining the Whites with the Batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  The Cakes were baked and cooled and then brushed with the Lemon Syrup.

 

              Baked Layer

        Sliced and Plated Layer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ring of Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Making the Lemon Syrup involved only combining the Lemon Juice with the Sugar and bringing to a boil so that the Sugar is completely dissolved.  This takes only minutes.

 

9.  Once split in half there are 4 separate layers.  Each one should be brushed with the Lemon Syrup before assembly.

 

 

The Fourth Step was to make the Frosting – this involved Beating Egg Whites Again and making a Sugar Syrup and bringing it to the Soft Ball Stage (240 degrees F.)

 

 

Making the Sugar Syrup for the Frosting

 

Making Italian Buttercream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Curd Spread Spread on Cake

 

              Frosted Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So All in All, there were a lot of skills involved.  Of course it is easier for an accomplished baker to do these things but it is also a good recipe for a novice to learn these skills.  All in all, the Cake was delicious in every part of it.  I do love Lemon and especially Lemon Curd but do also love the Italian Meringue that covered the cake.

 

 

 

 

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2018/05/12 at 12:09 PM

Categories: Baking, Baking Tidbits, Cakes, Cales, Dessert Ideas, Main   Tags: , , ,

Sunday Baking Project

A Group of Culinary Friends and myself (sparked by a suggestion from Terrie Cooper and Eileen DelCore Bennet (who created the Sunday Baking Project Page) have formed a group,  the object of which is to try out new recipes.

This week, the first one,  the recipe was chosen by Terrie.  We all made a Chocolate Cream Pie from the book ‘Flour’ by Joann Chang.  We were supposed to make the recipe exactly as called for in the recipe but knowing this dessert was going to be dessert at a Luncheon I had for my Grandson and Wife and Nephew and Fiance, I didn’t want to take any chances in it failing and having to do it over or making something else.

The only deviation I did was to bake the Crust with Foil and Pie Weights for the first half of the baking period and it is a good thing I did because some of the other people in the Group had shrinkage of their crusts.  I also put Raspberries on top instead of shaved Chocolate because I didn’t have any Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate would have been too bitter.  Next week I will do the recipe exactly as called for.

 

The Pie Shell was a Pate Sucre and the filling was a Chocolate Cream (really Cream as it was made with Cream and Half and Half and Chocolate that had at least a 62% Cocoa content.  Mine was 67.  The filling was creamy and delicious and I am not a great fan of Chocolate Desserts.  The book is available at https://www.amazon.com/-Bostons-Bakery/dp/081186944X

 

The Group is called the’Sunday Baking Project’ but since we each make the product in our own kitchens we don’t necessarily have to make it on Sunday but we do post it on Sunday.

 

It is fun to do and we all end up with a great baked product and get input from each other as to what we like or don’t like about the recipe and ways to change it if we want.

 

The Procedure to make the Pie was as follows:

  1.  Make the Crust – Pate Sucre with:  1-cups All-Purpose Flour,  1/2 tsp. Salt, ¼ cup Sugar,   1/2 cup  soft Butter and  1 Egg Yolk.This Crust made in a Standing Mixer with the Paddle Beater and is actually a Cookie Dough and therefore is made like cookies with the Butter and Sugar being creamed together before the Flour, Salt and Egg Yolk are added.  It is a very rich Dough and needs to be chilled before rolling out.  Once you do start rolling, it does warm up very quickly so the rolling out process needs to be quick.  After the Dough is fitted into a 9 or 10″ Pie Pan, it is then chilled again for at least 30 minutes before baking.  I baked it with foil and pie weights even though the directions did not say to do that.  Some of the participants who followed the recipe exactly had shrinkage so I think using the foil and weights is a good idea.
  2. After the Pie Shell is baked, some of the dark Chocolate is placed on the crust and then returned to the oven for the chocolate to melt.  Once the chocolate is melted then you spread over the pie crust.  This seals the crust from the filling and prevents it from getting soggy.  I used a Silicon Pastry Brush to spread but a small spatula can also be used.

 

 

                                        Chocolate Sealed Crust

 

 

  1. Once the filling is made it is put though a strainer and then poured directly into the baked and sealed crust.  Refrigeration for 8 hours before serving is called for.  The Pie is topped with Whipped Cream and shaved Chocolate.  The complete recipe and directions can be found in the book for whoever is interested in purchasing it.

 Filled Pie Crust

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2018/04/30 at 1:55 PM

Categories: Baking, Cooking for Everyone, Dessert Ideas, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , , , ,

FALL BOUNTY

The Summer Heat Waves are over, Daylight Savings Time has ended and finally, it feels like Fall.  Time to switch meals from Summer Light to Fall Hearty.  This morning for Breakfast we had freshly baked Pumpkin Muffins along with Scrambled Eggs and fresh Coffee from Thunder Mountain Coffee on the top of Hawaii near Kona.  Having recently visited there it was hard to resist bringing back some of their Coffee.  Normally I am not a big Coffee Drinker and can do without but Thunder Mounter  Coffee is excellent and I guess I am going to have to purchase some using mail order.

 

             Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting and Scrambled Eggs.

 

To get back to Fall Foods, please check out some of the recipes on my blog.  You will find them simple to prepare, delicious and warming to eat.  Fall is time when Squash is plentiful, freshly harvested, and delicious when prepared properly.  Let’s start with Butternut Squash, a favorite among Italian Chefs.  Here is a recipe for .  Try it and let me know what you think.

 

While we are talking about Pasta and Squash (and yes, Pumpkin is a Squash) think about making Ravioli de Zucca.  A delicious variation of Ravioli and not too difficult to make.  It is early Fall and the  Pie Pumpkins are in the market waiting to be purchased.

 

Ravioli made with fresh Pumpkin

 

 

 Sugar Pie Pumpkins

 

 

Golden Squash Jubilee is another delicious  recipe – you could almost any kind of squash but yellow or orange is most attractive.  Sweet Potatoes or Carrots can be substituted for the squash.  This dish goes well with Poultry (Thanksgiving Turkey?), Pork or even Fish.

Squash can even be used to bake with.  Zuchinni Muffins are delicious – a good way to get vegetables into your diet.  For variation you can substitute Apples, Pumpkin or any other kind of fruit for the Zuchinni.

 

                                                    Zucchini Muffins

 

While we are talking about Fall Foods and Pumpkin specifically don’t forget about that Pumpkin Pie.  Follow the link to a delicious Pumpkin Pie Recipe in a non-traditional Pecan Crust.  Serve for Thanksgiving Dessert with freshly Whipped Cream.  Even though the Pie below may look burned it is not.  It is just nicely and well browned.

 

 

 

 

                                                  Pumpkin Pie in Pecan Crust

                                              Pumpkin Pie in Pastry Crust

 

 

 

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2017/11/05 at 10:30 AM

Categories: Main   Tags:

WINTER COMFORT FOOD – VEGETABLE SOUP

Comfort Food is Food that warms the body and the soul.  It makes you feel good and satisfied after eating it.  I think Comfort Food is different for different cultures and different people but there are variations within the dishes that we call ‘Comfort Food’.  The differences are not so much in the main ingredients but in the preparation techniques and the seasonings used.  Here is another great Comfort Food that really warms you inside – Vegetable Soup – it can be served as a complete meal with the addition of some protein and delicious fresh bread.  It can also be served as a first course and the leftovers are great for lunch.

 

I love to make Vegetable and it is one of my favorite ways of cleaning out the Vegetable in my refrigerator. If you have ever wondered what you are going to do with all those vegetables that you just can’t seem to getting around to use or even if like I do, you have little bits and little bits of that, Vegetable Soup is the perfect vehicle for using up those items.  So when I taught school, I taught my students how to make ‘Clean Out the Refrigerator’ Vegetable Soup.

 

What you will need is a large pot and some Olive Oil and whatever you can forage from your refrigerator.  If you don’t have items in your refrigerator that you can use, you can always visit your local Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store to pick up whatever you wish to put in your soup.  For the last batch I made, I used Onions, (a must), Celery, Carrots, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Tomato Paste, Frozen Peas and Corn.  For the batch before this one I used a Sweet Potato and Spinach.  Visit vegetable-soup for the complete recipe.

 

Saute your Vegetables (starting with the Onion and Mushrooms)  in Olive Oil. I always salt the Mushrooms as they do need and it helps to leech out some of the water in their pores.  Once they have cooked and started caramelizing add the remaining fresh Vegetables and dried herbs.  For the liquid I use either de-fatted Turkey, Chicken or Beef Broth, depending on what is in my freezer.  Vegetable Soup does not need to cook for a long time – you do not want really mush vegetables.  It is much better to have some texture left to bite into. About 10 minutes before serving bring the soup up to boiling and add about 1 cup uncooked Pasta.   Once the Pasta is ‘al dente’ add fresh Herbs  (in this case two kinds of Basil), and frozen Peas and/or Corn if you are going to use them.  A couple of minutes is all you need for these frozen Vegetables.

 

 

To make a complete meal out of your Vegetable Soup, add some Protein such as Tofu (for Vegans), Chicken, Sliced Hot Dogs or Sausage or Turkey.  Any one of the above make a great addition to your soup which is also delicious without it.  Just serve it with some Hot Fresh Bread.

 

                                Fresh Vegetable Soup with Pasta

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2017/01/18 at 7:59 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Farm Markets, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , , ,

WINTER COMFORT FOODS – STUFFED CABBAGE

 

Comfort Food is Food that warms the body and the soul.  It makes you feel good and satisfied after eating it.  I think Comfort Food is different for different cultures and different people but there are variations within the dishes that we call ‘Comfort Food’.  The differences are not so much in the main ingredients but in the preparation techniques and the seasonings used.

 

There are also variations in Winter Weather throughout the world and there are not many days that we can call Winter Weather in Sunny Southern California but this year , January is definitely Winter and Cold it is! Wet and Cold that is!  Not complaining as we need the rain and cold can be fun for a little while, but all that aside, what do you eat when it is cold.  Our normal Salads and Vegies and light meals don’t work when the weather is cold.  We have to resort to old ‘Standbys from Childhood and our Mother’s favorites.  One of these in our family is Stuffed Cabbage.  Put together Green Cabbage, Seasoned Ground Beef and Tomatoes in a Sweet and Sour Sauce and serve with rice or pasta and you have a delicious bone warming meal.

 

So this is what I did the other night.  I made Stuffed Cabbage but cheated a little bit as I had preformed Meatballs in the freezer.  Having raised five sons I have a difficult time cooking small quantities of food for the 2 of us who make up our household now, so I usually make large quantities and freeze what we don’t eat  for future use.  The Meatballs were frozen in a single layer so as to make it easy to remove them and use them as needed.  If I didn’t have the Meatballs I would have made the complete recipe from scratch as per the directions in the recipe itself.  http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/stuffed-cabbage/       Here are the step by step directions and photos for preparing this delicious and ‘heart warming’ dish.

 

First of all make sure you have all the ingredients.  If you have to shop for some of them, check your staples and seasonings before going to the market.

 

In addition to Ground Beef (or Chicken or Turkey) you will also need Tomato Sauce, Lemons, Brown Sugar and Salt and Pepper.  Instead of Tomato Sauce as per the recipe, I used ground Tomatoes which have much more flavor and body.  Shown below is one of my favorite tomato products.

 

 

 

If you don’t use the whole can place the leftovers in a covered container and refrigerate until needed.  They should keep up until a week depending on how cold your refrigerator is.

           Measured Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to roll the meat in the Cabbage Leaves you will have to soften them.  The best way to do this is to:

1 – Core the Cabbage and remove any bad outer leaves.

2 – Bring a large pot of water (shown belown) to the boiling.  Add the whole head of Cabbage, turn the heat down to simmer  and leave the cabbage in the simmering water for about 5 minutes or until the outer leaves soften enough to be able to roll them.

 

 

 

Large Pot to Soften Cabbage Leaves

 

 

 

3 – Remove the Cabbage from the hot water (I use a colander for this) and remove as many leaves as have softened or as many as you will need if the whole head has softened.

4 – If need be, return the head to the simmering water and remove as needed.

5 – Place the leaves on a cutting board and cut out the hard part that was closest to the core.

6 – Place a scoop of meat on each leaf and wrap the leaf around the meat mixture.  Use clean Kitchen String to tie the rolls so they don’t fall apart in the cooking process.

 

 

Coarsely slice some of the remaining cabbage and place in the bottom of the vessel you are going to cook the Cabbage Rolls in.  This will serve as a bed for the rolls.  Next place the rolls on top of the sliced cabbage and then pour the sauce over all.

 

Cooking the Cabbage Rolls

 

 

Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then turn the heat down to medium.  Cook for about 45 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the rolls.  Use Kitchen Shears to cut and remove the string before the next step.

 

 

  String Removed

 

I like to add an additional Vegetable and in this case I added sliced Carrots.  They only need to cook for about 5 minutes or until they are barely fork tender.  The residual heat will continue to cook them once the vessel is removed from the heat.  If you use peas or corn, the cooking time will be shorter.

 

 Carrots Added

 

 

 

Serve with Rice, Pasta or Couscous.  This is a delicious heart-warming and body warming dish that is perfect for winter weather.  Vegans can also make by using a Barley or Rice in place of meat in the filling.

 

Served with Couscous and Mushrooms.

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2017/01/16 at 4:42 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Ethnic Cuisine, Leftovers   Tags: , , , , , ,

THE CITIES OF VENTURA COUNTY – FILLMORE, CALIFORNIA

FILLMORE

 

 

 

 

 

The City of Fillmore, CA is known as the ‘Last, Best Small Town’.  Small it is, as it only incorporates an area of 3.4 square miles.  But small as it is, it is still an incorporated city since 1914.  The city gets its name from J. A. Fillmore who was a general superintendent for the Southern Pacific Railroad which came to the Santa Clara River Valley in 1887.

Fillmore is located 39 minutes north of Thousand Oaks traveling on the 23 North.  The 23 North ends at Moorpark,  so you have to exit the Freeway and travel down Los Angeles Avenue to get to the roads taking you to the 23 North. (It is well signed, so you can’t miss it)  (Google also gives you correct directions)  It is a mountainous route with lots of turns (and this time lots of road work being done)  One of the nice things about this drive is that you get to view the Orchards and farms that you thought had disappeared from the area.  (Fortunately, only the obvious ones facing the Freeway have been the culprit of more and more condos and homes.)  So the Santa Clara River Valley of which Fillmore is a part, still is well endowed with agriculture, fortunately.

As you enter the city limits the sign proclaims that the population is 14,000 and the elevation is 469 ft. The sign looked a little worn, so I am making an educated guess that the population is larger than 14,000.  (According to the 2012 Census, the Popoulation was 15,002.  The reason for this is that there are a lot of new home developments and people from outlying areas are probably taking advantage of this (home prices have got to be lower than the Conejo Valley or other nearby areas – it takes a little drive to get to Fillmore but it is a nice place to live and raise a family.  The School District consists of two High Schools, one Middle School and four elementary schools.

 

Returning home, I decided to take the 126 to Ventura to avoid the road work and the twists and turns.  It was quite a few miles longer but didn’t take any longer as you could go faster than 35 miles per hour and there were no twists and turns.

 

 

So much for particulars – Fillmore used to be a quaint little town that was fun to visit.  On my recent visit  there it looked entirely different than I remembered it from past visits.  Fast Food and Big Block stores have invaded there as they have in almost every sector of this country.  ‘Not so Good’.  But if you go to the back streets and the area where the City Hall is located you will find remnants of the past.  I went up one such street and found the water Tower with the name of the city well visible.  I also found the rail tracks and loading docks for the freight trains that bring merchandise to the town and/or take it from the town.

 

 

Freight Car at Loading Dock

                                    Freight Car at Loading Dock

 

The Train System is a big part of Fillmore – in addition to the freight trains bringing merchandise in and out of the town, there are also tourist trains which run to the orchards.  There are event trains such as the ‘Mystery Dinner Train’ which I have been on.  There are also other events such as the ‘Pumpkinliner’,  ‘Christmas Tree Train’, ‘North Pole Train’, etc. The train system is Fillmore is also the scene for many movies and tv shows.

 

This last time that I was there it was lunchtime and I decided to try what looked like and was an authentic Mexican Restaurant, called El Taco Llama.  The menu had a lot of variety – there were many, many items you could choose from and everything was made to order.  My lunch was the two taco plate which came with rice and beans and salad and Guacamole.  There were plenty of salsas on the side from the salsa buffet, both mild and spicy.  Even though the tacos were the small authentic style, I could not finish the whole plate as the sides were plentiful.

 

 

el-taco-llama

            El Taco Llama

Two Taco Plate

          Two Taco Plate

 

 

For something to do and someplace to go that is different try taking a trip out here – park your car and walk around but stay away from the chain stores.  These are not Fillmore, but everywhere USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2016/11/16 at 11:39 AM

Categories: Ethnic Cuisine, Family Fun, Main, Mexican, Ventura County   Tags: , , , , ,

THANKSGIVING FAVORITES – DISHES TO CREATE FOR YOUR FAMILY DINNER

 

 

Thanksgiving is on the horizon and many families will be busy preparing food and enjoying it with their loved ones.  If you love to cook and even if you don’t but are going to be cooking listed below are the links to some delicious recipes that you may enjoy for your Thanksgiving Meal.  Take a look at them and then try out one or two or three or all.  When you do, please let me know how you, your family and friends enjoyed them.

 

CREAMED SPINACH  –  Spinach is one of my favorite Vegetables and this version is delicious, even for non-Spinach lovers.  It is also versatile and can be turned into a Creamed Spinach Soup just by adding some Vegetable Stock and a little more Cream or Milk.  A great recipe for Thanksgiving and the days beyond.

 

Creamed Spinach

           Creamed Spinach

 

 

CURRIED FRUIT STUFFING – a little different twist on Thanksgiving Stuffing – the Curry and Fruit give your stuffing additional flavor in a delicious way.  This recipe uses Traditional Stuffing Ingredients with the addition of Apple, Apricots and Golden Raisins or whatever you wish to use plus Curry Powder.  It is delicious and quite tasty with the addition of the fruit.

  

Juilienned Apples

Juilienned Apples

 

Dried Apricots

 

        Golden Raisins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLDEN SQUASH JUBILEE – is a simple Vegetable Dish made with only 4 ingredients:

2 lbs. Banana Squash – shredded

1 cup dried Apricots – chopped

½ Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar

¼ cup Butter

 

This dish can be cooked in the Microwave or baked in the Oven.

 

 

 

 

 

MASHED POTATOES – be sure to use Russet Potatoes (you need to use a Potato that will crumble when baked so that they will mash easily

 

 

 

Mashed Potatoes

                                                   Mashed Potatoes

 

 

ROASTED ASPARAGUS

 

Green Asparagus

Green Asparagus

 

 

 

TURKEY FRITTATA – this is a great dish to use most any kind of leftover – it is an omelet made with Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Cheese as well as the leftover Turkey.  A Frittata is good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.

 

 

TURKEY CROQUETTES – these are made with leftover Turkey, Onions and a smattering of other Vegetables – they are breaded and then fried and served with Remoulade Sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

TURKEY POT PIE – made with leftover Turkey, Vegetables and a Rough Puff Pastry or purchased Puff Pastry if you prefer.  Great for leftover Turkey, Chicken or whatever else you have.  Serve with a Salad and you have a complete meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?
Posted by sylveee - 2016/11/09 at 9:42 PM

Categories: Culinary Makeovers, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Next Page »