Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tossing You A Bone Bean Soup

I'll throw you some scraps here. This was my attempt at a bean soup. Five beans to be exact. Canned beans. I was hungry quick like, wanted vegges, beans, loads of flavor, and some crunchy spicy sprouts to top it off. And so it became.

Bean Soup

1 can black beans
1 can navy beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 red pepper chopped
1 crown of brocolli chopped into small flouretts
fresh chopped up tomatoes
some beef and chicken bollioun to get me started
some turkey sausage stuff
spicy sprouts for topping
Probably some onion/shallots all sauteed up, but I cant remember

I tossed everything but the beans(and sprouts) into a crock pot to get all cooked up and flavorful . The brocolli and red pepper smelled sooo good cooking. When things were cooked I added the beans, not wanting them to get mashed up during cooking. And we ate it, and it was warm and tasty and thats the soup.
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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Go Komen!

My mother and I were flipping through channels the other day. We only have four channels, coming from the bunny ears on our roof. Yes, over the air. And yes... we need a stupid converter box.... That aside, we were shocked to stumble upon the broadcast of a nude photo shoot...

Woah! Wait?! Was she topless? We flip back through the couple channels our momentum sent us through. And there it was. A topless photo shoot with no lil censor bars or strategically placed muffins... OPB?! Good heavens! Of course its OPB... The only channel to broadcast nudity. Under the banner of education of course. This one we learned was about breast cancer. It is, after all,National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Apparently its also adopt-a-dog, vegetarian awareness, and national sausage month, but those have nothing to do with my cake.
I was practicing the sponge cake that goes to a Boston Cream Pie recipe. I've had the darndest time with it in the past. It should have nice big bubble pockets to soak up the creamy filling, but instead it has come out as a sweetened hockey puck of baked egg, replete with flour globes suspended throughout. As I'm using this recipe as a base for experimentation, I needed to perfect it. And so using what I had, a sponge cake, raspberry jam, cook and serve custard, and some "white chips", This lovey Raspberry Boston Cream Pie came into existence. Its even pink for the month!

Raspberry Boston Cream Pie
(Mine was actually scaled down to 3/4)

1 C Cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 C sugar
1/4 C milk + 2 tbs
almond extract (or vanilla or raspberry flavoring)

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan.

Sift together salt and flour 3x. (I skimped)

Warm eggs and sugar to about 110F till sugar dissolves. Whip 6 minutes till pale. (I whipped two of the egg whites separately to give more lift to the cake)

Warm milk (original recipe had a vanilla bean to steep here) but do not boil. Add to eggs while whipping.

Fold in flour and bake 30 minutes.

Filling - I used a raspberry flavored Jello cook and serve custard mix, but a pastry cream would work better.

Topping - I have no clue how it went together... It had sieved melted raspberry jam. Cream. Powdered sugar. Some melted 'white chips. A lil butter... and I melted it slightly before putting it on. It was grainy from the sugar and white chips...

Topping Ideal - Heat some cream. Add some white chocolate. Add some raspberry jam, seedless. Maybe try butter instead of cream if it had trouble setting up...

It came out a little less than picture perfect... I blame it on my own laziness. Had I made the pastry creme from scratch, and had white chocolate for the glaze... Ghirardelli doesn't sell white chocolate chips! They sell 'white chips' whatever the heck that means. Albertson's brand are better! They don't melt well, taste like powdered milk and wax, and really shouldn't exist. Anyway... If I did it again I'd make the glaze a white chocolate raspberry ganache glaze. And probably some real raspberries in the pudding.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Did a Gig

Now for the 'I did a gig' jig! Sorry everyone. Really, sorry. That was painful. I couldn't resist. But I should have anyway.

Putting that behind us now, I did a catering gig the other day. I love working with Kristen for a number of reasons. She plans its all, I just show up and chop stuff. Not super glamorous, but its relatively risk free for me. She knows everyone in town, so I'm constantly meeting people when I'm working for her.

I get to see all the kitchens of Baker! This one has all the gadgets, but no counter space. A walk in fridge and freezer, lockers to dump your stuff when you come in, and a whole ton of massive stainless steel machinery I cant name. The kitchen before didn't even have hand soap. The one before that belongs to this cute cafe I've always admired from afar. Almost no fridge space, and the sun was baking me through the eastern windows, but it was still cute. Another cute kitchen kitchen was a residential one, pretty but by large unused. And the one before a well rounded small professional kitchen. It was possibly the easiest to work in. But it could use a walk in fridge too.

Cooking breakfast, lunch and tea on Saturday we were at a slow point, and I paused to taste one of our creations. A broken hazelnut scone, I'd been wanting to taste. Terri walks past and seeing me munching, I compliment her (she made them) and admit that 'really, its all about the food'. She chuckles and continues to get something or other done. I taste some of the berries with creme fresh, and a piece of her bacon quiche. Two things I'd never taste living in Baker that I hadn't yet made myself. She sees me again... and again. About the forth time she walks past me in some nook noshing, I reassure her "I really do work! I mean... some of the time I'm not eating! Really!". I do...

It really amazes me how she can come up with the menus she does. There nothing unheard of. Most of them are simple and easy to throw together en mass, as they need to be. It may be the simplicity that baffles me. They taste great, they're simple to prepare, and they compliment each other shockingly well. And its so simple... yet I can't even conceive them till she points it out.

Potato wedges with Romano, butter, salt and pepper. Basically cheese and potatoes... I can do that. I always have some sort of cheese and potato on hand. Yet this is the first time I thought to do it.

Potatoes from the garden. Yes. Purple potatoes from the garden. And cheddar, cuz we always have some cheddar. And some onions because everything's better with onions.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Honey Get The Pryin' Bar!

I'm getting out of this rut, says I. I have not posted here - anything of note- in ages! To be perfectly candid, I haven't been doing anything I deemed post-able. The moments where I have created, I disowned them from their start. Not taking the time to photograph anything. Not bothering to check the lighting, or even tidy up the island.

Well, I'm up. I may be catching a cold... but dang it, I'll be darned if that will stop me from doing something pretty in the kitchen. And when some unsuspecting fool devours my creation they will feel the sheer will and perseverance I exemplified in my efforts to complete it! Ok fine... I'll wash my hands and try not to infect anyone...

I've been so jealous of all other foodie blogger's and their creativity. And a bit mad at myself for always trying the same basic un-garnished recipes. So... I'm going to do a bit of experimenting.

Wish me luck!