Tag Archives: bake

Reaching for the ‘clouds’ for the New Year!

Well hello to everyone… yes I realize it has been quite a while since my last posting, but there were many obstacles that prevented me from having the time to focus. Hopefully this will be a new blogging beginning for the New Year!
With 2015 finally upon us and an annual Holiday get-together with our friends approaching tonight, I felt this would be the best time to kickstart everything into motion.
Starting with ‘what can I bring’ to our amazing hostess, the words ‘how about dessert’ was music to my ears! After thinking about something out of the norm, I settled on a triple layered hazelnut mocha pavlova, with a hazelnut liquor cream filling…
It all started yesterday by roasting hazelnuts [the amount is your choice, but I went with six ounces] in the oven and also melting milk and dark chocolates [another six ounces] over simmering water. Both were set aside to cool…
While the nuts and melted chocolates cooled, six egg whites were whipped with a pinch of kosher salt until soft peaks formed, from there the sugar began to slowly get added until the whites became glossy and stiff. Once stiff peaks were evident, vanilla and almond extracts were added and the mixer then turned off. The chopped hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips were gently folded into the shiny pillowy mixture, as well as the cooled, melted chocolate to create a lovely marbled wonder.
Poured onto three parchment drawn discs and spread out, it was then into the 225*F oven for two and a half hours. Once cooked, the door was opened and the pavlova’s left to cool completely.
For the whipped filling, I beat cream and some hazelnut liquor until firm. This boozy filling was spread on each layer and stacked. The pavlova tier was popped into the refrigerator to ‘set-up’ overnight and then this edible beauty was dressed with some shaved dark chocolate on top before packing up and heading to the party!
The end result… crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and a creamy delight to hold everything together… a total favorite!
What will I bake next???

-R

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Freshly baked beauty…

With a stormy day forecasted today and a very sick other half, I felt the need to stay put…
After playing chauffeur to the doctor, once home I decided to make a loaf of bread, from my favorite ‘bread man’ Paul Hollywood, that I haven’t made in quite some time. This loaf is absolutely gorgeous when baked, but just so simple to prepare…
A combination of bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water was kneaded in my mixer until pulled together and completely incorporated. Once smoothed and slightly elastic, the dough was set to rise in a lightly oiled bowl. The first rise took roughly three hours… After that rise, the dough was ‘knocked back’ and formed into a cylindrical shape. The dough was placed on a sheet tray and covered for a second rise. For this rise, I allowed the dough to nap for another three hours to develop an even stronger flavor.
Upon completion of its second rise, a spritz of water, dusting of flour and four deep slashes prepared this beautiful ‘bloomer’ for its bake. The scent of fresh bread baking wafted throughout the house and made the urge for a warm slice inevitable! As soon as baking finished off, a crusty golden and luxurious loaf emerged, and so did a slice to make certain it was as delightful as I expected…
Tonight this enticing bloomer will get a nice toast and slather of Nutella for some naughty goodness!

at a low simmer…
-R

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blond[ies] have more fun!

So I had a blond[ie] moment today… that sweet craving that can’t be satisfied by just any old treat!
After chopping up some semisweet and milk chocolates, they were gently mixed into a creamy, buttery mixture made up of white and brown sugars, butter, flour, baking soda, homemade vanilla, eggs and salt.
Once spread into a greased and floured baking dish, it was off for a nice half hour bake. After cooked through, the blondies were set aside to cool entirely and then cut into sizeable cake-like treats!
Served with an ice cold glass of almond milk, these heavenly [yet sinful] delights didn’t stand a chance!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Stacked with flavor…

A long day, yielded the will to make a delicious eggplant parm supper! After making a trip to a fresh vegetable market and picking up some plump purple lovelies, it was time to head home and start the prep work for what would be a delightful supper…
Everything started by making a big pot of sauce; it was then off to slicing the eggplants and then dusting each in flour, dipping in egg and a quick coating in breadcrumbs and it was then time to start frying.
After all was crisp, it was time to build up and create the perfect marriage… a layer of sauce, then eggplant, some grated pecorino and mozz, basil and then repeated…
A quick bake in the oven and it was time to sit down, sip a glass of wine, slice into and then enjoy!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a morning of glory [muffins]…

With the last few months pretty high on the emotions chart, it was a bit difficult to focus on much… Things are finally starting to ease back into normalcy and I thought was better to do than whip up a hearty batch of morning glory muffins for breakfast!
I had these luxurious little delights out in East Hampton and have been completely addicted since.
Chock-full-of delicious ingredients, these little domes of beauty are simple to prepare and the flavor element is incredible! For the recipe, two cups of flour, one cup of brown sugar, two teaspoons of baking soda and cinnamon, a half teaspoon of ground ginger and kosher salt are sifted and combined into a large bowl; in a separate bowl, three eggs, good vanilla, two-thirds of a cup of canola oil and one-fourth cup of orange juice are whisked together. Once the wet and dry ingredients are prepped, I cored one green apple and peeled four carrots. Both the apple and carrots were grated, and along with some coconut flakes, soaked golden raisins and wheat germ stirred into the dry mixture. As soon as everything was incorporated, I gently added in the wet mixture and mixed everything until fully combined and moistened.
The batter was scooped into a muffin tin and set to bake for twenty-five minutes at 375degrees. After cooling slightly it was time to rip open these spicy scented lovelies and enjoy with a silky cup of lady grey tea…
Couldn’t think of a better way to start off a weekday morning!

at a low simmer…
-R

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dinner wasn’t the only thing stuffed!

So tonight, I decided to cook up a pork loin stuffed with prosciutto, provolone and arugula…
After a quick fill and roll, a bondage-like trussing of twine finished off the prep-work for this lovely porky goodness!
A drizzle of good quality olive oil for some tanning encouragement, as well as a substantial splash of white wine and it was into the oven for a good bake…
The scents of the pork, as well as the stuffing wafted through the house and made the process of waiting even that more difficult! The end result though… well that was nothing short of delicious.

at a low simmer…
-R

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simple saturday supper…

So with Saturday night upon us, the question always arises… ‘What’s for dinner’. After a pretty exhausting day, and little desire to get dressed up to go out, I decided dinner would be home cooked!
A rich pasta ‘bake’ from one of my fave home cooks, Nigella Lawson… after looking through her newest cookbook, the whole wheat pasta with brussels sprouts, cheese and potato really stood out. I have made a dish like this in the past with some slightly different ingredients, but decided to give it a go…
The process is as simple, as simple can be… in one pot of boiling, super salty water the pasta, brussels sprouts and potato are cooked together. A slight amount of the pasta liquid is reserved before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, I cubed up some gruyere cheese and measured out some fresh ricotta. This lovely, creamy mixture was tossed with the drained pasta, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
After everything was coated, it was into a baking dish, drizzled with some oil, sage and a heavy hand of grated pecorino. Baked for roughly thirty minutes, then a slight resting period and it was time to eat!
The flavors all complimented one another and made me question… how could this possibly serve anymore than two??

at a low simmer…
-R

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kissing the ‘toad’…

So tonight we took a culinary journey ‘across the pond’ and paid homage to my family roots…
For an interesting dinner, we enjoyed ‘toad-in-the-hole’… may sound unappealing to those unfamiliar with this lovely dish, but don’t worry no toads were harmed in the making of this meal.
The dish is quite simple to prepare, basically everything that would be in your pantry and freezer. To make the batter, 2 cups of flour, salt, six eggs and 1 1/2 cups milk are all combined and set aside. Then sausages [can be any you like] are panfried and browned. The batter is poured into a pretty hot pan of oil, the sausages then nestled into the batter and everything tossed in the oven to bake until puffy, crisp and golden. To go along with the ‘toad’ a beautiful, homemade onion gravy.
The flavors are wonderful and rich, yet not heavy at all, but rather almost light as a cloud!

at a low simmer…
-R

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French pastry Sunday baking…

Today was an amazing Sunday! A fun-filled day of baking with my niece who is an outstanding executive pastry chef. Get the two of us together in a kitchen and only delicious eats could be made!
We started off by preparing dough for freshly made croissants. After rolling out, folding and resting the butter-filled dough a few times, it was eventually time that we fill with an almond paste filling and bake off these gorgeous pastries. Flakey layers of buttery seduction with a sweet nutty interior made me think of breakfast in the European countryside with a captivating cup of freshly pressed coffee and the breeze blowing past…
In addition, French macarons were whipped up with a homemade pistachio filling. These light and chewy, pillowy sandwiches practically melted in our mouths, and one, two, three… well who really counted! All I can say is these were absolutely delightful.
The day could not have been better spent, or more enjoyable. I’m looking forward to our next baking adventure together and what incredible edibles we will create!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a celebration for B-A-C-O-N

In honor of one of my favorite proteins… let’s celebrate everything bacon in observance of ‘International Bacon Day’
As most of you have read, when possible I will find a way to incorporate the flavor and yumminess that is bacon in my dishes. So I thought it would be fun to ask you all to e-mail me a brief paragraph and possibly a picture of YOUR favorite way of using bacon. It could be as simple as an add on to an existing dish or a delish way of using bacon as the star in your favorite dish. For example tonight, I am going to make one of my favorite bacon appetizers, ‘bacon wrapped dates’ this dish is so simple to make and explodes with flavor in your mouth with every bite full. Simply cut open dried dates, remove the pit, fill the cavity with your choice of blue cheese and then wrap that beauty with a strip of bacon and use a tooth pick to secure it.
After a bit of a chill in the fridge, you can either deep fry each package or simply put them in the oven to crisp up. Talk about rich and flavorful… you can’t eat just one!
Hope to see a few emails in my inbox by end of the week, so I can share some of the top picks with you all….. So get your BACON on and start cook’in!

Email me at: kitchenguru77@gmail.com

Catch you later with my ‘date’… dish that is!

at a low simmer…
-R

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