Tag: cooking

Anya’s Posting Challenge — Again — And Pie

Anya said I have too much “computer stuff” on my website again — not enough kittens and pie and fun stuff. So I am not allowed to post anything about computers for ALL OF FEBRUARY! And, if I do post about it, I get March added on. And another month for the next infraction, and so on. So  … umm … pie!

Anya made a peach pie — I had extra pie crust dough from making a quiche a few nights ago, and we had frozen sliced peaches over the summer when we picked up a big pile of fresh peaches. I made a maple sugar crumble (maple sugar instead of brown sugar in a crumble recipe) for the topping. Anya used cookie cutters to decorate the pie with maple leaves and a snowflake. It was very tasty!

Anya’s 10th Birthday Cake: Strawberry Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup strawberry reduction

Method:

  • Place water in a heat-proof container and sprinkle gelatin on top. Allow to sit for at least five minutes to hydrate. Place container into a pot of water (water should not come too close to the top of the container — we just need a little bit in the pot to make a water bath). Simmer until gelatin is clear and liquid. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.
  • Add maple syrup to whipped cream and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Slowly drizzle gelatin into whipped cream (beating as you pour).
  • Slowly add in strawberry reduction and continue to beat until firm peaks form.

Anya’s 10th Birthday Cake: Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream

Recipe by LisaCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

1

hour 
Cooking time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz all-purpose Flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 226 g unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 284 g sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

  • 170 g egg whites, room temperature

  • 125 g strawberry reduction, room temperature

  • 170 g heavy whipping cream

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Flour three 8″ cake pans and set aside.
  • Whisk together the cream, strawberry reduction, and lemon juice.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the room temperature butter and beat until smooth and shiny.
  • Gradually add in the sugar, beating until the mixture is fluffy and light colored.
  • Add the egg whites, one at a time, and beat at a medium speed.
  • On a low speed, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/3 of the wet ingredients, mixing until mostly incorporated into the batter. Repeat until all ingredients have been added.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the three pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (a cake tester should come out clean).
  • Place pans on a wire rack to cool for ten minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the rack and allow to cool.
  • To assemble, place a cake on the cake plate. Cover with strawberry reduction, and top with a second cake. Cover with strawberry reduction, then top with the third cake. Coat liberally with strawberry whipped cream and serve.

Commentary

  • This year, Anya chose a strawberry cake. We looked through a lot of recipes online and merged a couple into what we hoped would be a very strawberry flavored cake. It was — the strawberry whipped cream was specially tasty. I think it could have used more strawberry reduction between the layers, though the cake was already very moist.

Recipe: Tomato and Pear Salad

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 pear

Method:

  • Remove stem and core from tomato and pear. Cut each up.
  • Put tomato and pear in a bowl and drain juice (to remove acid).
  • Mix together the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
  • Put the tomato and pear into non-draining bowl.
  • Pour the dressing onto the pears and tomatoes.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Turkey Pot Pies

I wanted to use the left-over turkey from Thanksgiving to make some quick(ish) pre-cooked freezer meals. Turkey pot pies sounded like a neat idea — make a couple batches of pie dough, saute a bunch of veggies, add diced turkey, and turn stock make with the bones into fresh gravy.

The first step was to dice up all of the left-over turkey — then put the bones along with some salt, onion, and garlic cloves in a pressure cooker to make a stock. I used a combination of roux and corn starch to thicken the stock into a gravy.

I diced carrots, broccoli, onion, garlic, and green beans and sauteed it all. Then mixed in corn kernels and the diced turkey.

After stirring in the gravy, I’ve got turkey pot pie filling.

I assembled a large pie for dinner.

Since the filling is wet, I blind baked the bottom crust for twenty minutes then filled the pie and added a top crust. The large one for dinner went into the oven. The six small pies were topped and put into the freezer to firm up.

Once everything was frozen, I used the vacuum sealer to package up my pies. Since I have ceramic mini pie plates, I need to take these out of the freezer and sit the package in a water bath to warm up the ceramic. Then bake at 350 F for about an hour for a simple (but not really quick) meal.

They turned out well — the extra baking of the mini pies made a nicely caramelized and crunch bottom crust. For next time, gravy absorbs into everything, so I need more gravy. And I think it would be a lot easier to have one larger pie instead of the three individual ones. Just need to pick up a few stainless steel deep-dish pie plates so I have something that can actually go from the freezer to oven directly.

Chicken and Dumplings

I made chicken and dumplings (well, spaetzle) this evening. Pressure cooked chicken bones with some garlic, onion, and salt for an hour to make broth. Added sauteed onions, carrots, corn, green beans, and diced chicken. I thickened the broth with a little corn starch. And we each mixed in some hot pepper sauce to make it spicy 🙂

Pancake Molds

I had purchased silicone pancake molds a while ago — Anya likes to make fancy shaped pancakes, but I really do not like scrubbing cookie cutters that have been used as pancake forms. Finally tried them out today — they are really easy to use. If you put the part with the lip facing down, pour in some batter, and let them cook … you can pick up the mold and flip it to continue cooking the other side.

Voila — we’ve got heart and flower shaped pancakes:

BBQ Ribs

Scott and his friend Joe smoked ribs tonight — I baked potatoes and cooked up some of the corn from our garden. Very tasty — and I need to remember that I like BBQ sauce when it’s been heated on the grill for a while and has gotten caramelized and sticky!

Cornbread Waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 duck eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Mix the buttermilk and eggs together and add to dry ingredients. Blend well, then drizzle in melted butter and mix to combine. Cook in a waffle iron.