Tag Archives: spread

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

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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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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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refreshing dinner on a hot day…

With this oppressive heatwave still upon us, there was no way I was turning on the range or even the grill for that matter! Instead I thought it best to make some fresh pesto and have a refreshing sandwich night full of yummy things.
After making the pesto, it was time to assemble these pockets of delight… A healthy spread of the pesto adorned the lightly toasted ciabatta, followed by some spicy arugula, slices of fresh mozz and of course some phenomenal prosciutto di parma!
With the lid closing down snuggly and making this vessel ready for the feeding, there was not much more to do than succumb to it’s will…
A slight bite from the arugula, saltiness from the prosciutto, creamy from the fresh mozz and just an overall freshness from the pesto made this sandwich the perfect compliment to an über hot July evening!

at a low simmer…
-R

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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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Guilt-free goodness…

With a craving for something healthy, yet decadent and delicious, I turned to a recipe from a dear friend whose website is chock-full-of informative ideas on leading a healthy lifestyle…
So the apple cinnamon protein muffins were the perfect way to go! Full of healthy ingredients: oat flour, pumpkin purée [not the sweetened kind], good vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt, egg whites, stevia [I ran out and used Splenda for baking], whey powder, coconut oil and crisp granny smith’s!
The process of combining everything is pretty simple and only requires some pulsating in a food processor… Apples get the first few pulses until mostly puréed, but still slightly chunky. Then everything else is added in and given a whirl until brought together!
Spread out into a non-stick sprayed muffin pan, shot into a 350* oven and roughly twenty-five minutes later little devilishly good treats emerged… minus any potential guilt! So I ate one, and then another… who knows I may be making another batch before the day ends.
***Please note if you’re seeking cake like muffins you will need to incorporate baking powder/soda***

Please check out my friend’s website for the full recipe and also to give her your support… http://dariamcdermott.com

at a low simmer…
-R

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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

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hearty and healthy!!

Sitting out on my patio listening to my wind chimes, I was interrupted by my stomach growling for nourishment.
What should I chow down on this sunny and warm day? Then it came to me… lightly toasted pumpernickel bread with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, sliced cucumbers, long slivers of avocado, and for added crunch and texture… mixed slaw veggies. All these gems are added to the lightly toasted bread with just a schmeer of light doctored-up mayo or any other spread. This combination is hearty and filling… Now lets start up that margaritaville machine!

at a low simmer…
-R

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