Cooking

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Mmmmmmm….cake

Well I made a pound cake (bundt format) for the second time. The first time around I managed to get a bunch of eggshell in in. I’m happy to report that I managed to keep the eggshell out of it this time around. As requested, I am posting the recipe which I found here:

Grandma’s Sour Cream Pound Cake
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground mace
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’
sugar for dusting
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan or 9 inch tube pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and mace; mix into the batter just until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
3. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool for at least 10 minutes before inverting pan onto a plate, and tapping out the cake. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Friday

Let’s see… Monday and Tuesday I worked ALL. DAY. LONG. Then the office manager was back and I worked a half day on Wednesday to get caught up. The cat got her stitches out yesterday and I had to shovel snow twice. It didn’t snow at all last night though. Today I will be paying bills and baking bread (or making the dough anyway). Tomorrow is the Grizzly Dip and Sunday is the SB. We’ll probably go out to my folks for that. Next week, I have a couple of doctor appointments. Then starting on Friday, I have to work seven full days! :( It really exhausts me for some reason. And yes, our office is open on President’s day so I will be working all day that day. Our friend, Phil is coming out to visit that weekend too so we’ll probably end up skiing that weekend. I’m getting tired thinking about it.

Oh, and Kit, I made your Faux Cheese Danishes with puff pastry yesterday. I’m not sure of the best way to form them, but they taste pretty good :D

Now I think you are all caught up with my schedule.

Yesterday evening it started snowing. Then it promptly turned into rain. So, it rained last night and a lot of the snow is now gone. The temperature is about 37 degrees right now. This also left the driveway as one big sheet of ice. The kiwi went out this morning to get the paper and had to use a lot of deicer to get there. I’m sure the roads are really fun this morning.

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Now for the cooking. Yesterday the kiwi broke into a package of crumpets that he managed to obtain. So we got to thinking about what a pain it is to find any crumpets in this town and I hit the intarwebs to find out if it was something I could attempt to make at home. Well it seemed like it might be pretty simple but I didn’t have any crumpet rings. You see, crumpets are made from a yeast batter that you cook on a griddle using rings to contain the batter. In fact, crumpets are almost the same batter and preparation method as you use for English muffins. The difference is that the crumpets have a thinner batter. OK, so I need to find some crumpet rings. My favorite King Arthur Flour: Baker’s Catalog have them, but they are out of stock. Amazon, Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma have them too but they are all pretty pricey and the shipping costs were high. So off to the local stores to see what they have. I read that egg rings are the same diameter and will work fine for the job. Long story short, we found them at the third store we looked in. So I’m all set to go. After dinner I attempted to make the recipe I found here. I halved the recipe since this is experimental. After the batter rose, I heated up the skillet and the rings and then plopped the batter in. Bottom line, the holes did not form on the top very well and what I ended up with looked more like and English muffin. I think the batter was a bit too thick and I perhaps put too much in the ring. I tried to toast them this morning like an English muffin but the tasted very yeasty and not really like an English muffin. This morning I am attempting it again using the recipe I found on KAF. I hope this batter is a bit thinner. I will also not fill the rings quite as much. Again making a half recipe. We’ll see how this goes. And I just found this recipe which may confirm my question about the batter consistency. Hmmmm.

Crumpets

It’s been almost a week since I posted about all that snow. As it has been for a lot of places lately, it’s been bloody cold here! I got my bread baked on Friday and then on Saturday I made dinner rolls but I forgot about them and they did the second proof for about twice as long as they should have. They came out tasting good, but looking almost big enough to be hamburger buns.

On Sunday we went out for dinner at the only Indian food place between here and Spokane. They only recently added meat to their menu. I didn’t care much for it but the kiwi seemed to really enjoy his. I suspect he’s been deprived too long. The only meat available was chicken or fish. And the chicken in my dish seemed not to be cooked with the dish but added at the end. No lamb. They had no Vindaloo on the menu. No Tikka Masala, no Korma, no Tandoori. And the Naan seemed like it was done with whatever they make Papadum with only thicker and fried in a pan. The one good thing to me were the Samosas. Then we get home and find out that Green Bay lost :( Grrr.

I have been working part-time at an audiology office filing and such. On Sunday, I got a call to come in for a full day on Monday as the office manager was going to be out. So, I worked my first full day on Monday and one of the audiologists was out sick to boot. I survived and get to do it again this Monday and Tuesday. Then again for a full week in February when the office manager is on vacation.

On Monday I also took Shasta to the vet to be spayed. She was so happy to see me on Tuesday morning when I picked her up. She probably thought we had abandoned her. She’s back to running around all over the place but wants to chew on her stitches now and again. She’ll get them out maybe by the 1st.

And last night I made (New England) Clam Chowder for the first time ever. I decided I wanted to put corn in it too because I had this great crab and corn chowder somewhere that was really scrumptious. The kiwi didn’t like the corn in it and we both thought it needed to be a bit thicker but I think it came out pretty well. We pulled one of my breads from Friday out of the freezer and had that with the soup. I had way too much soup :D The recipe below is what I adapted from a recipe I found online: Read the rest of this entry »

So, I now have the driveway shoveled (for all the good that does). It’s still snowing.

Mark did surgery on the Roomba last night1 and it’s all charged up. It had a test run this morning and now seems to be working just fine. Shasta likes to follow it around. She doesn’t seem afraid at all. Casper used to hide under the bed in the other room even for the Roomba.

Now I need to get some tunes on and get organized to bake bread :D I also need to do a few household chores. Perhaps a trip somewhere to frolic in the snow is in order too!

1The Roomba has been dead for the last year and a half. It wouldn’t hold a charge. Mark finally bought a new battery only to discover that that wasn’t the problem. It needed a new mother board which he just purchased on eBay.

No Shortage of Baked Goods

The raisin bread I made on Saturday really didn’t come out as well as I would have liked. It was a bit dry and took forever to rise. I’m not sure what causes that although I didn’t have the instant yeast open so I had to proof the active dry that I used. The other half of the dough went in the freezer so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that. On Monday, I made another bundt cake (Rum Cranberry Applesauce Bundt Cake). which is delicious although rather crumbly. I finally got the pizza stone on Monday. I made the preferment for the bread using the instant yeast, so we’ll see how that goes. I have to wait until I have enough time to do the bread and bake it so that probably won’t be until Friday (my day off). I also made some biscuits yesterday because I wanted to try out this Bakewell Cream that I had. I have to say it works pretty well.

Yesterday, I got more of the wine like the one my brother gave me for Christmas. Oh and last night I made Macaroni and Cheese for dinner :D .

Well I’m making cinnamon raisin bread today. I was going to make another batch of the hearth bread but I still haven’t received my new pizza stone. Apparently the supplier didn’t tell the Baker’s Catalogue folks that they were closed for inventory. So I am supposed to have it by Thursday. Grrr. I was also thinking about making another bundt cake, but I don’t have all the ingredients for the one I was thinking of making. I suppose I could try that pound cake again (minus the egg shell this time :p).

I have also sorted out my mp3 collection and done some file housekeeping that I needed to do.

Lastly, I have finally installed Adobe CS3 (web premium). That includes Photoshop, Illustrator , Fireworks, Flash, Dreamweaver and Acrobat (and some other peripheral stuff). Whoo! Now I just need to learn how to use half of that stuff. I am relieved that it didn’t seem to mess up my computer like I have read. That is part of the reason I procrastinated installing it.

Ok, now I need to go figure out what to do for dinner.

End of 2007

Well, I haven’t posted in a few days. The websites had a small hiccup and I panicked, thinking they had been infected again. That solved itself by the end of the day – it turned out the host had a technical problem. Then I managed to re-link all the old photos that were on the genealogy site. Now I need to go through some more photos and see what I can add to the bunch.

Saturday, we went skiing – my first time in Montana! The skiing was great but I was pretty tired out. Then we came home and watched the Patriots game. Yesterday I lounged around most of the the day and then baked a bundt, pound cake to try out my new bundt pan. While I was in the midst of making cake, a friend came over bringing Chinese food and the movie Omega Man (with Charleton Heston) which Mark and I had never seen.

Oh, and before I forget, Kit is trying to raise money for the Special Olympics by jumping into freezing cold water. If you want to donate money, you can do so here, at her fundraising site. I’m hoping to be there to video the event so as to provide incentive to certain folks to donate :D .

Today, I have to work and so does Mark. There are lots of birthdays this time of year. Paul turned 71 on Thursday. Doug is 41 today and Phil, Scott and Scott have birthdays tomorrow.

2007 started out with the sale of our house in Daly City (it was a year ago at about 6:00pm that we packed up the last of things at the house) and now we’re here in Missoula. Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope 2008 turns out better than I think it will.

Cookies!

I was in the Christmas mood after getting the presents all wrapped yesterday so I decided to make ginger snaps. I don’t think I’ve ever made them before. They seemed to come out pretty good. The kiwi went back for more after the first sample. I took some pictures that I’ll have to post later.