Tag Archives: honey

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

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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

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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

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nuts about these cookies!!

Tonight I felt like something a bit sweet, so I decided to crank out some pignoli cookies using an old family recipe…
For something that may seem intimidating, the recipe is actually quite simple to follow! Almond paste, confectioners sugar, egg whites, salt, honey, cinnamon and pine nuts all make up these mounds of delight…
After following the recipe, piping these little guys out and baking them off, all that was left was to EAT, EAT, EAT!!!
These cookies were wonderfully light, and crisp with beautifully chewy-centers… I always remember these cookies from when I was little and now I know why!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a bit sweet, a bit tart… hmmm just like me!!!

Today was a perfect day to whip up a batch of homemade granola… there was that perfect fall chill in the air and the thought of making something comforting that could be picked at by hand, a crunchy element for a yogurt at breakfast or even a healthier substitute for a dessert crumble topping!
It’s a pretty simple concept… oats, wheat germ, slivered almonds and coconut are mixed with canola oil and honey. Everything is tossed into a 350 degree range for thirty-five to forty-five minutes [depending on your range] tossing frequently to prevent burning. Once a beautiful brownish toasty color is achieved, it’s off to cool and some yummy dried fruits get added to give this granola some extra oomph… you can really use any dried fruits you prefer, but this time I just used cranberries, cherries and calimyrna figs!
The flavors are slightly sweet from the coconut, cherries and honey, a touch tart… courtesy of the cranberries, but all around crunchy and delicious!
Will we be able to wait until morning to dive in??? I highly doubt it!

at a low simmer…
-R

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don’t get saucy with me!!

So today I decided on trying my hand at making my own new twisted barbecue sauce… Pretty simple, and pretty boozy!
To whip up this concoction, I used ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, honey, cider vinegar, dijon mustard, some hardcore booze, garlic, onions and a bit of spicy stuff for some zip…
I started by sautéing the onions and garlic, then added ketchup, water and tomato paste and simmered. After about fifteen minutes, I added the remaining ingredients, stirred, brought to a low boil and then back down to a simmer. I continued to stir frequently until thickened a bit.
Into a container to store and the rest as a marinade for tomorrow nights dinner… YUM!!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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