You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

May’s Daring Baker Challenge is here at last.  For me, this one was an instant “no brainer”….upon reading what we were to do, I was all but done.

This year will be 8 years since I lost both my Mother and my Mother-in-Law and it is in their memory that this Challenge was made.

For “Ma” and “LuLu”, we miss you, we love you and we look forward to the day we see you again!

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

Quick notes on the challenge:

Impressive presentation which is easily accomplished.

The recipe can be found here and also on Cat’s site, Little Miss Cupcake.

I followed the recipe down to the letter, other than the addition of rose water to the pastry creme.

This Pate Choux had some major puff!!

Some random pictures along the way…

Rosewater Pastry Cream in the works.

1st egg in the mix, I actually had to use 5 eggs instead of 4.

...Choux baked and ready to fill.

This is not going to be a post of many words…actually as few as possible.  The most important words here will be…..

The Killer of Yeast is no more!!!

Yep, you heard that kids, I will no longer refer to myself as that person.  Packets and jars of yeast are a thing of the past for me, not that I was ever any good with them!  To cure my yeast woes I went old school, as seen here, and did the whole “Vini, Vidi, Vici” thing!! I came, I saw and I will be damned I CONQUERED!!!!  I bred and fed my very own sourdough starter, thanks to John Ross, and here you will see my first go round using it!

In the beginning.....

.....there was the sponge and it was good.....

Sponge, 1.5 hours old, pretty active little one, isn't he?

Knead baby, knead!!

First rise, check out those dimples!

2nd rise, a "bun" about to be in the oven!

My little monster's first born... many more to come!

First Steps!

Look at that face....so handsome!

This was a fantastic trip and well worth the time spent.  My little Monster is still growing and I hope getting stronger each day, I am hoping he will be with me for many years!!

This is a post about complete AMAZEMENT!!!…….. and Cauliflower.

Off the web, didn't think to take one of my own.

Off the web, didn't think to take one of my own.

As some of you know and other’s may have guessed, mine is not a house of the most svelte people on earth.  It also doesn’t take heavy detective work to realize this is not a low fat household (did you catch the pun?).  If the truth be told I am much more open to veggies, sea food and lighter fair, Ray on the other hand is not only picky but wants nothing more than stick to your ribs, meat and potatoe kinds of meals.  The truth is, though, we are “maturing” (hell, we are aging and fast) and need to become slightly big time more conscious of our diet.  No easy task considering picky boy!!!!

A couple weeks ago, as I was getting ready to leave for work I was half paying attention to the Dr. Oz Show, when they mentioned something about “healthy” Fettucine Alfredo……. cream, egg yolks, butter and cheese…..yea right!!!!  What they, Dr. Oz and Dave Lieberman who adapted the recipe,  put forth intrigued the Hell out of me!!!  Today,  while shopping, I put my plan into action….as we were in the produce section I walked over to and looked longingly at a beautiful head of cauliflower;

Ray walks over and says, “are you gonna get that?”,

I respond, “no, you wouldn’t eat it.”,

He says, “get it, I will try it.”,

I think, “SUCKER!!!”.

We get home and get the groceries put away and I start on some pasta dough.  Ray asks, “what’s for dinner” “Alfredo” I say.  He isn’t a huge fan but he knows it is a favorite of mine so he was outnumbered!!  Luckily, he had made a commitment to a neighbor to lend a hand and this gave me complete freedom in the kitchen ( I didn’t have to hide a damned thing I was doing).  While he was away I basically followed Dave’s recipe with a couple minor changes.

CHANGES:

2TBS Butter instead of 2TBS Olive Oil (let’s not push this health kick thing too far!)

Copious amounts of crushed garlic (can’t live without it)

Fresh Basil and Oregano (just planted the stuff and I am already stripping it bare)

That’s it kids, no other changes.  So time for an assessment, I guess.

TOTALLY FREAKIN’ AWESOME!! (My Response)

“This is the best Alfredo you have made.”  (Ray’s response)

Bite me Ray, I just made you eat cauliflower!!!!!  This is a definite must try, truthfully I would never have known it was made with cauliflower and not cream and egg yolks had  I not made it myself…..The best I have ever made?  That’s debatable Ray!!!!!

Tossin' it!

Plated Up!

Best ever? WTF-ever!!!

Is he MAD???

I am going to make this short and sweet to start, because I truly think I may have lost it!!  As, some of you may know, I have but one kitchen enemy; my attempts to conquer it have resulted in mediocre results, at best.  I have always been told it is best to start with the basics and at the beginning and that is exactly what I thought I had been doing each time I attempted to beat this beast.  Tonight it hit me that perhaps I had the basics but at the beginning was really not where I was starting.  Hmmm…..

So old school it is going to be, way old school, like 1000′s of years old school!!!

For those of you that know where this is headed, wish me well and cross every available appendage you can!!  For those that don’t follow along!!!!  Hopefully, all will be revealed in about a week.

The Basics.

Goin' Old School.

Till Tomorrow.

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