Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Brunch.......

Hi. Remember me? I used to be really good about blogging almost everything I make. I still take pics of what I cook, but sometimes life gets in the way. I started a new job baking 3 days a week. I still have my other job cooking for the Seniors. I was really sick 2 weeks ago and then I went to FL for 9 days. I'm back now, ready to blog.

Robin really loves Hot Cross buns, but she said she's never had a really fresh one( she always has to toast them). I remedied that, by whipping up this recipe. I searched online, but then went to my massive cookbook collection and pulled out a bread machine cookbook. I really have no qualms about making dough in the machine, especially when I'm making 3 other things too. I decided on this recipe because it used skim milk( I didnt want to go out and buy whole milk) and I had everything on hand. Actually, I take that back. The recipe called for dried currants and dried apricots. I had the latter, not the former. I did have a mix of dried fruits(breakfast blend) by Sunsweet. It contained dates, 2 different raisins and prunes so I used that. It worked out well. The dough was super simple using AP flour, brown sugar, mace( I used a shake of pumpkin pie spice) eggs, butter, milk, yeast and salt. When the dough cycle is finished, you dump out the dough and knead in the dried fruits. After forming into rolls, you let rise again, slash the top and bake. After they were in the oven for about 5 min, I realized I forgot to slash the crosses into the top( Hey, I'm Jewish, I dont often make crosses). I hoped it would still work and it was fine. I just mixed up the glaze( powdered sugar, milk and vanilla or Fiori Di Sicillia). I let them cool for a few minutes then made the crosses by drizzling them on with a spoon. It worked out pretty well. Everyone loved them!! On my way back to Canada from the airport( in Detroit) last week, I stopped at Nino Salvaggio's
and picked up some Vermont Butter and Cheese Company Cultered Butter. It was divine on these.

I also made a smoked salmon, mushroom and asparagus quiche( The crust is Pate Brise, I subbed 1/4c. of WW flour in place of some of the AP flour)and roasted fingerling potatoes. I love these potatoes. I picked up a bag at our local grocery store( PC Brand) for 1.50. I'm always stunned when I can find gourmet stuff in our small town.

I didnt get a picture of the fabulous yogurt granola parfaits I made. I used Liberte organic vanilla yogurt. OMG, that stuff is TOO DIE FOR!! Robin said it was like eating heavy cream. I normally always look at labels( and prices) at the grocery store, but for some odd reason( subconciously maybe I didnt want to know) I didnt. I was shocked to see it had 15g of fat for 175g serving. It was also 4.79 for 750g. When I made the parfaits, I used probably 2 heaping tablespoons of the yogurt so I didnt feel too guilty. I also used some blackberries( from Mexico) and some semi tasteless strawberries from Cali. I really can't wait until we have Ontario strawberries. Those rock and last year I made a killer jam with them.

No big meal tonight. I'm going to have some blintzes my mom made for me and I schlepped back from Florida!!

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Marcy's Legendary Choc. Chip Cookies......

I mentioned before that I have a new job. I'm working( baking) for a caterer in who works out of a market in the old North section of London. In addition to preparing for catering job, my boss sells prepared foods( frozen and fresh) and lots of baked goods. He wanted to expand the repetoire so I suggested scones, cakes and some different cookies. I mentioned making big cookies ala Starbucks and did a trial run on Friday. The recipe I picked didnt work out so well( spread too much), although the flavor was good. I found this recipe based on the suggestion from the author of A Passion for Baking.
. I did a trial run yesterday baking two different sizes a 4.5oz ball and a 6.5 oz ball. I think we found a winner in the smaller ball, although its still a really large cookie. In addition to chocolate chips( I used chunks), the cookie also contains chopped chocolate( I used Bittersweet Pound Plus from Trader Joe's). I've always been a purist when it comes to CC cookies( I've never liked nuts) so these really hit the spot, crisp on the outside yet chewy on the inside. I portioned out the doughballs and frozen them and I'm going to bring one to work tomorrow to bake off so my boss can try it.

I really love A Passion for Baking. I checked it out of the library and then realized I had to buy it because I wanted to bake every single thing in it. Check it out, you wont be sorry!!

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

squirrel feet.......

Note to self: On a beautiful bright and sunny day, don't leave a pan of toblerone shortbread on the deck and expect to find them untouched!!

I've been enjoying Marcy Goldman's A Passion for Baking these last few weeks. I've made a number of recipes and I was totally looking forward to trying this one. Robin is having a catered party when I'm in Florida next week( oh, btw, I'm doing the catering). I baked half a batch of these one afternoon, but alas our furry little white squirrel friends had a taste so I had to dump them!!

I've been MIA these last few weeks because I started a new job in London. I'm working as a pastry chef for a caterer and its a lot of fun. I get to try lots of new recipes and its rewarding to see people ask for my baked goods. I'm totally exhausted when I get home and since I've started working there, I havent baked anything at home. I also came down with a nasty, nasty cold last Friday and its still hanging around. I'm flying out to Florida on Tuesday so I really hope the cold is over by then.