July 29, 2008

Farmer's Market Bounty and TWD

Yowza was it HOT this past Sunday! We walked over to the West End Farmer's Market with the goal of buying "summer fruit" for this week's TWD. Summer Fruit Galette was chosen by Michelle; see her blog for the recipe. This got a big thumbs up from DH. I halved the recipe and made a mini galette.

Instead of making the custard (how does one measure half an egg? - that's rhetorical!) I wanted to use the mascarpone I purchased at the Kingstowne Farmer's marker the week before. I mixed roughly 2 tablespoons mascarpone with a few teaspoons of sugar and a dash of vanilla extract. It was slightly sweet and great alongside our Sunday night treat.

July 26, 2008


I happened upon this recipe on What Geeks Eat. I modified the recipe a little. I only used the brown sugar - in the original amount, left out the white sugar completely, added 1/2 cup of water, cooked it in a 13x9 pan for 30 minutes. I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, so it is a really deep and dark chocolaty cake.

This is incredible - you have GOT to try it! I can't believe how moist it is with only one stick of butter for a 13x9 cake. Obviously it's the zucchini that adds the moisture. The batter was extremely thick, so I added 1/2 cup water to the mix.

(click to enlarge to see the moistness!)

I'm a very messy baker/chef (heck, I'm just messy period!!)and I only used two bowls and a few measuring cups/spoons. In order to give my DH a break, I hand washed the dishes myself. Poor guy - he's been having back pain for over a week. I know it's bad when he stops running to try and feel better - he's even mention the "D" word (DOCTOR!!)

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get to the Farmer's Market to get fruit for this week's TWD.

July 25, 2008

OOOOOOOO - I've been tagged!!!

I feel like a real Blogger now! I've been tagged by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats. This is actually the highlight of my week, since I've been fighting a nasty summer cold. This is also a stretch for me, as I'm usually a pretty private person. So hold onto your seats, here we go!

First, the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

  • I met my husband at a bar when I was 17 years old. We've been happily married for 27 years!
  • I grew up with a mother who didn't even keep flour in the house and I had no idea how to cook when we first married. I'm a completely self-taught cook and baker.
  • I enjoy traveling but am a homebody at heart.
  • I have a secret (well I guess not anymore!) desire to write a book about parenting and/or a mystery thriller.
  • I'm incredibly cheap - sometimes to a fault.
  • I have an armoir filled with quilting fabric and a bookcase full of quilting books and magazine.
I tag the following people:

Have a great weekend!

July 22, 2008

TWD - Rhubarb Cherry Cobbler

This week's TWD was chosen by Amanda. I wasn't able to find any rhubarb - fresh or otherwise. I used some tart nectarines in place of the rhubarb. I don't think I did a very good job with the cobbler part - they weren't very tasty. My butter was frozen so I wasn't able to incorporate well be hand. The fruit part was good. My husband discovered that ginger in sweet foods tastes salty to him, so he didn't care for it much.

July 17, 2008

More Bread

I'm so excited! I ordered a tripod so I could get better pictures of food - now that I have a Blog and all and it came yesterday. It was having a hard time getting clear pictures on close ups because the camera would shake (technically it would be my hands shaking - whatever.)

I've been loving Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, but hadn't had any dough going since we returned from vacation. Yesterday I whipped up a batch of 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. This is the first bread from the book that I had to make in a loaf pan.

This is what it looked like before the rising. I weighed the dough to be sure it was 1 1/2 pounds. I let it rise for about an hour and forty-five minutes. I sprinkled oatmeal over the top, made a slash down the middle. After 1 hour at 350 - Wa Lah!

The hardest part is letting it cool before cutting into it! The kitchen smells wonderful. It didn't rise as much as I had hoped. When I make up the dough it rises great, but doesn't do as well once the loaves are formed. I have a sneaking suspicion that my yeast is on it's last legs (hehe!) I bought one of the mega packages of yeat at Costco (ahem - more than a year ago!) I just have a really hard time throwing it out when there is still so much left - not rational, but just my cheap gene.

Buy the way - it's de-LICH-us mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

July 15, 2008

TWD - Chocolate Pudding

This week's selection was chosen by Melissa of Melissa's Kitchen. Her's looks beautiful with whipped cream and springles on top.

My book is officially broken in - I got chocolate stains on it :).

After reading that several people experienced overflows, I decided to make mine in my blender. To be honest, it seemed like a lot of extra work. I do like the "fluffiness" it has due to the air incorporation. I didn't have any bittersweet chocolate in the house but was able buy a fancy schmancy organic chocolate bar at our oh-so-chic community quick mart.

I used Splenda and halved the recipe - I bought some at Costco and need to use it up and there are only two of us to eat this. Turned out pretty good - not sure I'll make it again.

Doesn't this look pretty boring and pathetic?

Yeah, I though so too. Plus, throwing out that extra egg white did not appeal to my thrifty side. I whipped up the egg white (actually over-whipped) baked it at 250 for one hour and then left it in the oven for another hour. Now doesn't this look better?

Yeah, I thought so too!

July 12, 2008

In an effort to have a real dinner on the table on nights that I work, my husband and I started going to a food prep store. You know, one of those places where they provide all the ingredients and you put the meal together then freeze when you get home. It's definitely cheaper than eating out, but not as cheap as doing it yourself. The one we were using provided nutritional info on their website along with a list of ingredients. I started doing searches listing the ingredients and was able to come up with recipes that I prepared as if I was at one of the prep places - and they were darn good!

This is one of our favorite recipes. I buy the pork chops at Cosco and slice them in have since they are several inches thick! The recipe is easily tripled, so I make up three to four batches to freeze.

5 spice powder pork chops

Serving Size: 6

-= Ingredients =-
1/2 cup hoison sauce
6 teaspoons Tbsps. soy sauce
6 teaspoons sherry vinegar
6 teaspoons Honey
3 teaspoons Sesame Oil
3 teaspoons Ginger
4 teaspoons Garlic ; minced
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
6 boneless pork chops

-= Instructions =-

Mix all the ingredients except the pork in a ziplock freezer bag. Add the pork chops. Squeeze out as much air as you can and close the bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To Prepare: Defost in the fridge overnight - or, keeping the bag sealed, in cold water in a casserole dish on the counter. Once defrosted, transfer to a casserole dish or crockpot. For oven, bake at 350 for 40 minutes. For the crockpot, cook on low for at least 4 hours.

I cannot tell you how easy it is to have these in the freezer. I usually use the crockpot because I leave for work before my husband gets home and this way he has a home cooked, warm meal when he gets home.

Sorry no pics - I'll try and take some then next time I make them.

July 10, 2008

My first TWD recipe: Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie

Yea!! My book arrived today! Boy it's huge!! I was so excited to jump right in and make this week's TWD recipe. The time was 5pm and I didn't have enough blueberries or vegetable shortening for the crust. Well, not having ingredients has never stopped me before and I really didn't want an entire pie sitting and taunting me. Sooooooo, I halved the recipe and used the Sweet Tart Dough (page 444) and made a mini pie. Just enough (well actually more than enough) for the both of us. I was hoping to get some pictures of "perfect" slices Unfortunately. this part of the plan didn't exactly turn out: it kind of fell apart when I inverted it onto the plate. As you can see, that didn't stop us from enjoying every single bite.

July 9, 2008

Ta Da!

This is my very first post! I have been wanting to do this for a while. What pushed me over the edge was buying Dorie's book and wanting to participate in TWD. I also love to take pictures. So, the book is on it's way and I'm developing a workout plan that will hopefully keep my from weighing over 200 pounds!

I baked a LOT when my kids were growing up and I've missed it. My latest passion has been Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertz and Zoe Francois. Here is the peasant loaf I made a few weeks ago