Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beautiful Food

I had to change my header picture...Is summer fruit the most beautiful thing? This (the new photo above) is a white nectarine.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

Hey, folks! Long time...I've been traveling, cooking, traveling, working, working, working...But I haven't been forgetting Dorie. In fact, I almost--ALMOST--packed Dorie's Baking book in my suitcase on my trip to Colorado. I didn't, though. I am the super light packer, and I take great pride in that title. And I still packed too much.

At any rate, no TWD got baked last week or the week before last. I can't stand missing, but there you have it.

So tonight, as I was shopping for ingredients for a recipe I was testing for dinner, I put a call in to Ian, son and intrepid baker/chef himself. He got me the ingredient list, and I came home with rhubarb AND cherries.

I got my baby meatloaves with gorgonzola working and turned to the cobbler. If there is one thing I love about a cobbler, it's how easy they go together. In fact, I made the Contessa's Peach Raspberry crisp on the spur of the moment last week. Because I could. And it was good. No, in fact it was killer. That crisp, let me tell you. The brown sugar? Makes all the difference.

Back to our cherry rhubarb. I cooked it for 35 minutes, cooled it a bit and had some. I can't say I was wild about it. My daughter grilled me about the "celery" in the dish--she obviously didn't believe me when I told her the first, second and third times that there wasn't any celery in the dessert. And I have to remember to cook these cobblers to the longer times given...the topping was still gummy. Same thing happened with another cobbler I did.

It's okay, though. I love making dessert for my family. Next week, next recipe. Bring it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Argh, okay, I admit it! I didn't have everything on hand so I did it my way. I'm trying NOT to adapt, etc--I want to cook what the Barefoot Contessa cooks--but ...well, I didn't have scallions, didn't buy great cheddar--shoot, I didn't even have baking powder (do you know Costco and Walgreens both carry baking soda...but not baking powder? Why? WHY?).

So. I had some shredded cheddar from another recipe. Check. One red onion already finely diced. Check for the scallion replacement. No jalapeno. Bummer. And one quick google search revealed that I could replace the BP with 2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part baking soda for each measurement called for.

I measured out the dry and the wet--until I got to two sticks of butter..Contessa--come on. Give my heart a break! Me? I did one stick butter and 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. Of course, true to form, this recipe feeds an army. Here it is ready to go into the oven...

It baked up great, as you can see here: I really enjoyed it, BUT. I think I would love this with super sharp cheddar, that jalapeno she asks for and the flecks of green that would come from the scallions. So I'll be baking this again--but my coming week is busy, so I figured I'd blog the experimental version first...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Apple Cheddar Scones

You'd think the only thing I do is bake these days...not true. In fact, yesterday, I spent hours and hours cooking and photographing (with intrepid cohorts Kumiko and Tya) Indian food. And it was goooooood. But, even though I am a day late? It's still Tuesday again and that means Tuesdays with Dorie!

This week's event: Apple Cheddar Scones. Once again, someone picked something after my own heart, because I pretty much have zero willpower when it comes to sweet/savory combos. So the thought of apples and cheddar really works for me.

I decided to make this Monday morning, but when I opened the fridge, someone (bad bad bad person) had finished all the milk. That meant I couldn't have my daily dose of caffeine (double espresso with 1 cup of skim: my homemade latte). So I quick checked the ingredients list and saw I also didn't have apple juice or dried apples. Nothing the local 24 hour drugstore wouldn't have, right (yes, it was that early; no supermarkets were open). A quick trip garnered me the necessary ingredients (I made my own buttermilk by souring the milk with white vinegar). A bag of really great mixed, dried fruit yielded enough apple slices-dried, yet soft at the same time...I also fell hard for the peaches, which may be what I need to use the next time I make this recipe!

Anyway, yep, as predicted by the commenters at TWD, a very wet dough. I patted it into a relatively neat rectangle....Then used a dough scraper to cut nice, squared scones...except they aren't. I figured I should have just done drop biscuits at this point. Anyway.The scones (do you know in Bath, England, they say "scone" to rhyme with "gone?" No, not many people know that. I am married to a Bath native. Say it to rhyme with gone. Here in this house, anyway...) baked up nicely, really short, melt in your mouth. the moist-yet-dried apples give a hint, but not too much, sweet, and the cheddar is a nice balance. Dorie likes them three minutes out of the oven, so I complied! I added a little extra butter (oh, yes I did!) and then drizzled a bit of honey over it all, too, because I think cheese and honey is one of the best things ever. Enjoy it, folks.