calmamaddg106

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Baking with Julia: Choux Paste

In honor of Julia Child’s Birthday, what would have been a 100th celebration, I made her Choux Paste as a base for Eclaires.  I added one too many eggs and the dough was very runny, but it still tasted amazing.  If I do say so myself.  They aren’t very pretty, however I’ll just say there wasn’t one left at the end of the day.  Yes, we did share.

Baking with Julia: Berry Galette

I made this dough with cake flour as I didn’t realize that I was out of all purpose and didn’t feel like putting off my ‘overdue’ baking projects.  I made one with berries: blueberries, raspberries and a couple of strawberries.  The other with a pear, raspberries and two strawberries.  The first, I didn’t add enough berries.  The second was perfectly filled, I liked the pear mixture better.  I would make this again, it’s so easy and delicious!

Baking with Julia: Blueberry Nectarine Pie

I would have never thought to mix blueberries and nectarines together.  To my surprise, it was pretty good!  It was hot on Saturday and that was the day I decided to catch up with my baking.  I refrigerated the dough over two hours and still had a most difficult time getting it onto the top of the pie.  The bottom crust, no problem.  Top crust for whatever reason just wasn’t happy.  I’ve never had this happen but it split and I couldn’t get it and it just sort of fell apart.  I pieced it together, put on my wash and sugar and popped it into the oven.  It tastes the same, right?  I waited until Sunday morning to cut into it, and it was wonderful.  My boy who usually will eat berry pies didn’t like it and my other boy who usually doesn’t like berry pies did, go figure.  My girls, well, they eat anything.  I look forward to using the crust again, it had wonderful flavor and texture.  PS:  It just occurred to me, I just blanked:  I would also guess because I didn’t realize that I had run out of All Purpose flour and only had Cake flour on hand…that is another reason my dough was SO SOFT…

Baking with Julia: Twofer.

 

These two projects were supposed to be: Semolina Bread and Hazelnut Biscotti…but they turned into Spelt Bread and Macadamia Nut Biscotti.  I’m really sorry in the NON blogging, the late posting AND the blurry picture.  But, you know when your husband is away things take on different rolls of importance, this is on the bottom of the list.  I have to say the children and I loved both recipes, both have been eaten and are long gone.  I would make them again anytime.  I’ll say this one last thing, if you ever want to give someone a nice gift, but don’t have a lot of money…make them either of these recipes!

Garden Update

We have not stopped gardening, and as the season goes on I’m reminded of how LITTLE I know about growing my own food.  This is what I know:  water and sun grow things and you have to weed once and awhile.  My yields are small, I suppose I have to ‘feed’ the plants more often. I know nothing of pH balance, which seems to be a major thing.  As you see my carrots are doing crazy things and not growing right.  They are supposed to be smaller carrots, but not this small and not with four legs.  We’re trying.  I put Charles in Charge of cutting the cucumbers today.  Four were the right size and the others were still young, but who cares.  The boys loves to help and enjoys being out there.  I welcome all feedback of how to grow a great producing garden.  Also, do you see the size of my tomato plants?!  They’ve been flowering for about a month, can I start to see some tomatoes grow?! PS If you click on each photo, it will be enlarged.  PPS I have to give props to Jason’s cousin, Chad who gave us this great hibiscus tree when he was moving across the country.

 

Baking with Julia: French Strawberry Cake

I will start by saying, I had high hopes for this recipe.  Do you see my ingredients? Yes?  Well, I forgot the vanilla and somehow forgot to preheat the oven.  Can I blame my mistakes on my children underfoot?  No?  Well, I tried to pass the blame.  My cake didn’t rise hardly, I tried my best and failed.  I didn’t like the cake too well either.  It was a lot like strawberry shortcake.  A plateful of whipped cream and strawberries would have been better.  I guess that’s why we are in this group, to try new things. I think my two mistakes hurt my overall results.  Oh well.

Baking with Julia: Oasis Naan

I found this recipe straight forward and didn’t take much time.  I meant to make some brown rice and lentils for dinner tonight to go with the Naan, but I lost track of time and we had it with leftovers.  Either way, is fresh bread ever bad?  My daughter, after taking this first picture, went on to assemble the rest of them and also came up with the idea to use poppy seeds.  I used Greek and Turkish Seasonings from Penzey’s.  I would make this again, and possibly use this dough for a thick crust for pizza.  It was very easy to work with and so simple to put together.

Baking with Julia: Hungarian Shortbread

I would have been off by one week in my posting with the group I’m baking with, but then our computer went all crazy and I’m just now able to use it again.

Let me start off by saying this recipe can be found in Baking with Julia and is one of the best things I have ever made.  The shortbread wasn’t too dry, I give (ALL the) butter full credit, yet it was a perfect balance of flavors and textures.  I look forward to another opportunity to make these wonderful bars again.  I stuck with the exact recipe, and wouldn’t change a thing.  One serving was more than enough as it was so rich.  The rhubarb jam middle was amazing and the thick layer of powdered sugar gave it the right amount of sweet.

Flat Bread

I found this recipe in Good to the Grainby Kim Boyce.  Kim, is a former pastry chef at Spago and Campanile, left to raise her family, but still wanted to make yummy treats. These flat breads have amaranth flour in them, oregano and cumin on the top, or whatever you’d like them to have. I served them with chili.  They are delicious, and easy to make.  I love this cookbook for many reasons, let me list a few here.

  1. Wonderful, easy to follow recipes.
  2. I use new flours that I never would have.
  3. Excellent photography.
  4. Lay open spine, don’t you hate it when your cookbook doesn’t stay open?!

I hope you track down this book and try a few things.  I have made about 15-20 things from this book and have really enjoyed every one.

Thirst Quencher

The other day E came in with a foreign sippy cup from our back yard, which I thought odd as one neighbor doesn’t have children that live at home, and the other fence mates don’t have children that use sippy cups.  This cup had a bright blue top and an orange bottom with a design on it.   I asked her to bring it over and upon further inspection I realized it’s a top (to an old cup that we have) and an IZZE (that was unopened.) I think she was trying to tell me something.

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