Tag Archives: golden

love in every bite…

With Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday this year, it was perfect to do something a bit different from years past… This meant making the entire experience a dual effort!
The day started by preparing our chocolatey dessert. Chocolate bowls were made, a chocolate sponge cake baked off, black cherries steeped in a sugary sauce and a creamy whipped topping all ready to be consumed later in the evening by the fireplace!
Our dinner was simple yet delicious; filet of beef wellingtons! It began by seasoning and searing the filets. Then red onions were sautéed in some luxurious European butter and cognac. This was then puréed into a slightly chunky ‘paste’. Each filet was then given a spread of dijon mustard, a nice dollop of the red onion paste, placed onto puff pastry and then covered over with a top layer of pastry. A brush of egg wash, tiny slit in the top and it was off to the oven for twenty-five minutes… When the wellingtons finally emerged, they were golden, puffy and full of lush flavors!
The day, as well as cooking/baking went off without a hitch… a day of romance, wonderful eats, champagne, snow and a fireplace! What more could we have wished for?

-R

IMG_4817-0

IMG_4802-0

IMG_4804-0

IMG_4807-0

IMG_4808-0

IMG_4810-0

IMG_4811-0

IMG_4814-0

IMG_4825-0

IMG_4821

IMG_4822

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

this kind of flakey is acceptable!!

As a cold front approached and garnered the potential for some flurries in the night sky, I took it upon myself to make sure flakes showed up! My flakes, however were in the form of buttery golden topped buttermilk scones.
With a recipe consisting of pantry and crisper staples… flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, butter and shortening, soon some gorgeous scones would be pulled from my oven… After sifting all of my dry ingredients, it was time to cut in the chunks of butter and shortening. As soon as my mixture began to gain a crumbly existence, it was dampened with some tangy buttermilk, stirred lightly until combined [not overworked] and then turned out onto my workspace to be brought together into a wobbly [nobody’s judging], lengthened ‘disk’. From this disk the scones were gently plucked out one by one, layered on a baking sheet, brushed with an egg wash and baked off…
Once puffed and bronzed, it was off to cool and then be slathered later with some scarlet-colored rhubarb jam and enjoyed with a hot cup of tea.

at a low simmer…
-R

20140115-211730.jpg

20140115-211737.jpg

20140115-211748.jpg

20140115-211758.jpg

20140115-211809.jpg

20140115-211818.jpg

20140115-211826.jpg

20140115-211843.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

20131007-191336.jpg

20131007-191423.jpg

20131007-191500.jpg

20131007-191532.jpg

20131007-191616.jpg

20131007-191701.jpg

20131007-191724.jpg

20131007-191750.jpg

20131007-191805.jpg

20131007-191831.jpg

20131007-191853.jpg

20131007-191912.jpg

20131007-191931.jpg

20131007-191946.jpg

20131007-192005.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

crispy, juicy and HOT!!!

Sunday suppers seem to creep upon us quicker than ever, almost as quick as summer has passed by…
Tonight, an incredible classic dish needed to make an appearance on our table… classic fried chicken! This dish was a do-ahead however.
After breaking down the chicken into manageable pieces, they were brined overnight. Today they were dipped into a buttermilk concoction and then dusted in a flavorful, spicy flour mixture.
Cooked in a fragrant herb and garlic infused oil, these previously boring beauties turned into sultry goddesses.
Once golden and crisp [and of course cooked through], a tower of divine luxury was built on a plate then decorated and spritzed with wedges of lemon.
Each crunchy bite brought back memories of childhood when my mother would spend hours in the kitchen preparing the ultimate and perhaps most intoxicating fried chicken… she taught me well!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130825-203651.jpg

20130825-203722.jpg

20130825-203732.jpg

20130825-203745.jpg

20130825-203803.jpg

20130825-203847.jpg

20130825-203918.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

20130712-210625.jpg

20130712-210633.jpg

20130712-210642.jpg

20130712-210652.jpg

20130712-210704.jpg

20130712-210721.jpg

20130712-210731.jpg

20130712-210742.jpg

20130712-210806.jpg

20130712-210820.jpg

20130712-210827.jpg

20130712-210834.jpg

20130712-210840.jpg

20130712-210853.jpg

20130712-210902.jpg

20130712-210914.jpg

20130712-210930.jpg

20130712-210937.jpg

20130712-210946.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

like bees to honey…

After seeking high and low for lavender honey [everywhere I went was sold out], I decided the next best thing [and probably better alternative] was to make my own…
A quick trip to the health food store yielded some gorgeous dried lavender pods, in addition to some golden local honey.
Once home, I wrapped up about four tablespoons of the lavender pods in cheesecloth and placed the packet into two cups of honey that I set over a double boiler. Stirring frequently for about an hour, the outcome yielded an infused amber honey of pure lusciousness. After the honey cooled, it was time to jar up again.
The first recipe this scented wonder will be a part of is a lavender honey and almond bread. I cannot wait to sit back and enjoy a slice of this bread with a warm cup of tea…

at a low simmer…
-R

20130711-211912.jpg

20130711-211921.jpg

20130711-211929.jpg

20130711-211936.jpg

20130711-211942.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

the crowning glory…

Like a kid in a candy store, I anxiously awaited for the postman to arrive with that brown boxy item… once the box arrived I tore straight into it and from it emerged my version of the bible… my newest cookbook… ‘bread’ from the master Paul Hollywood!
Thumbing through the glossy, picture laden book was painful, as I wanted to make every single recipe listed, but I was on a mission for one perfect puffy, stuffed and twisted doughy element of perfection… The ‘savoury brioche couronne’.
As soon as I knew what ingredients I was missing, it was off to the market to gather them up and then back home to start off baking… This was such an incredible treat to make, although like most breads… time consuming!
It began with the combining of flour, yeast, salt, milk, eggs and butter… After this all was incorporated, the dough was set aside for it’s first rise. Next the dough was rolled out to a rectangle and topped off with salty, thinly sliced prosciutto, torn mozz and julienned basil! Rolled tightly together into a large cylindrical shape, the dough was then sliced down the center and then twisted together and wrapped into a circle.
As soon as this was done, it was bagged up and off for its second slumber to rise again…
Once the dough was puffy and ready for its tan, it was glazed with an egg wash and some grated pecorino. Into the oven for thirty-five minutes until swollen and golden!
The scent flooded the air as the couronne baked away, but as for the taste… well there are so many words to describe, but I prefer divine…

at a low simmer…
-R

20130611-210302.jpg

20130611-210311.jpg

20130611-210319.jpg

20130611-210328.jpg

20130611-210344.jpg

20130611-210354.jpg

20130611-210403.jpg

20130611-210411.jpg

20130611-210422.jpg

20130611-210430.jpg

20130611-210439.jpg

20130611-210447.jpg

20130611-210453.jpg

20130611-210502.jpg

20130611-210509.jpg

20130611-210518.jpg

20130611-210525.jpg

20130611-210540.jpg

20130611-210550.jpg

20130611-210558.jpg

20130611-210605.jpg

20130611-210614.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What the… *UCK!!

Sunday turned out to be chillier than I expected so thought it would be a perfect day to heat up the kitchen and our bellies with a full roasted duck. This task takes time and care; first the majestic duck needs to be fully dressed in salt and pepper, then poked multiple times on both sides with a sharp knife being careful to only prick the skin and not the meat. With the oven set at 300 degrees, the duck goes in for five hours… YES five hours! But remember, sometimes good things are worth the wait! Every hour on the hour, the duck is poked and turned on its belly until the full five hours have expired [also from the cooking process, you end up with quite a bit of duck fat that you can use to cook with]. This dish not only looks delish, but also tastes just as good.
As a side, I decided on roasted potatoes. For added flavor to the potatoes, I drained almost all of the duck fat and then added them to the bottom of the pan with a little salt to roast and absorb the yummy duck flavor!
To sweeten up the dish, warmed apricot preserves with some honey drizzled across the duck. Glistening, gorgeous and golden… this duck was destined for greatness!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130428-203237.jpg

20130428-203245.jpg

20130428-203250.jpg

20130428-203304.jpg

20130428-203326.jpg

20130428-203332.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

hands off my buns!

For a nod to the upcoming Easter holiday, I decided to whip up a batch of hot cross buns… these spicy orbs of golden delight take a bit of time to prepare, but the outcome is entirely worth the effort!
The standards for creating these little heartbreakers are flour, sugar, salt, some mixed spices [pumpkin pie spice works as well], yeast, butter, an egg, whole milk, water, raisins, currants, as well as lemon and orange zest!
Everything for the dough is combined in the mixer, minus the fruits and zests… After a good ten-twelve minutes of kneading in the mixer, the fruits and zests are added in until incorporated. Once combined, a layer of plastic wrap covers the dough and it’s off for a nap in a warm spot until the dough rises in volume…
The dough, once risen, is separated and rolled into mounds, then set aside to rise again. As soon as they have risen the second time, a cross is piped along the tops of each bun and it’s off to get baking!
As soon as the buns are golden, a quick brushing of a syrupy glaze is gently slathered over each to finish off these treasures!
Warm out of the oven with a spread of butter or preserves [or hell both] is the best way to enjoy… guaranteed these don’t make it until Sunday!

at a low simmer…
-R

20130329-233520.jpg

20130329-233534.jpg

20130329-233548.jpg

20130329-233639.jpg

20130329-233656.jpg

20130329-233711.jpg

20130329-233728.jpg

20130329-233740.jpg

20130329-233758.jpg

20130329-233830.jpg

20130329-233847.jpg

20130329-233908.jpg

20130329-233948.jpg

20130329-234000.jpg

20130329-234018.jpg

20130329-234044.jpg

20130329-234051.jpg

20130329-234107.jpg

20130329-234117.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

that’s how the ____ crumbles!!

After enduring a rainy day, I decided to lift my spirits and make a refreshing crumble for dessert tonight. On a trip to the market, vibrant rhubarb peeked out of the wicker baskets and with their long stalks practically reached out for me!
Once home a nice cleaning, a quick chop and then a toss into a pan with sugar, vanilla and butter. As soon as everything was coated, it was cooked until the rhubarb became almost a glossy pink. Into miniature pie dishes went the filling, while to tuck these beauties in, a tasty crumble made up of flour, butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla sugar. The crumble mixture was combined by hand until it achieved an almost oatmeal-ish texture, but where the butter still was somewhat together…
The crumbles went into the oven for roughly thirty-five minutes until the topping was golden and the insides were slightly bubbling… the rhubarb bubbling out and cascading down the sides made the excitement for digging in even more appealing!
The crumble was crispy and buttery, while the rhubarb filling had a lovey balance of sweet, but let the minute tartness steal the show…

at a low simmer…
-R

20130312-215453.jpg

20130312-215656.jpg

20130312-215724.jpg

20130312-215738.jpg

20130312-215747.jpg

20130312-215859.jpg

20130312-215929.jpg

20130312-215940.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,