Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where Have You Been All My Life?

We made donuts in class and they were amazeballs. Like seriously good. I've made donuts at home before but never like this. We made a Boston Kreme with the pudding filling and chocolate top, and then a cinnamon/sugar one. The recipe below makes a million donuts and should probably be scaled down considerably.

Berliner (German Doughnut)
Yield: 5# 9 oz.

1# 5 oz. bread flour
14 oz. milk (100 degrees)
1 oz. fresh yeast

1. Mix to a smooth dough, cover and proof for 30 minutes.

Final Dough:
Sponge (2# 4 oz.)
3# bread flour
7 oz. butter, softened
7 oz. granulated sugar
10.5 oz. whole eggs
8.5 oz. egg yolks
1 oz. salt
14 oz. milk (100 degrees)
2 oz. fresh yeast

Oil, for frying

1. Straight dough mixing method.
2. Mix for 3 minutes on speed 1.
3. Mix for an additional 5 minutes on speed 2. Note: if the dough is too stiff, add some water; dough should come off the sides of the mixing bowl. 
4. Proof/ferment for 30 minutes.
5. Divide dough into 2 oz. pieces, round and place on a flour dusted cloth on a sheet pan.
6. Proof (cover dough with loose plastic, don't pull dough) until it has doubled in size.
7. Deep fry at 350-360F on both sides.
8. Fill and/or dust with sugar. Eat up!

Pastry Cream Filling
Yield: 3# 1.75 oz.

2 lbs. milk
8 oz. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2.5 oz. corn starch
4 oz. egg yolks
2 oz. whole eggs
.25 oz. vanilla extract
1 oz. unsalted butter

1. Place milk, salt, and half granulated sugar in saucepan. Brint to boil without stirring.
2. In separate mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar and cornstarch. Mix well with hand wisk, then add eggs and blend in.
3. Create a liaison: temper egg mixture with part of the boiling milk, the pour warmed egg mixture back into boiling milk. Stir constantly with whisk until mixture comes to a boil again.
4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, then vanilla.
5. Pour into a bowl, cover, and allow to cool.

Chocolate Ganache
Yield: 1 lb. 8 oz.

1 lb. dark chocolate
8 oz. heavy cream

1. Place chocolate in stainless steel bowl.
2. Bring heavy cream to a simmer and pour over copped chocolate.
3. Allow mixture to stand 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is completely melted.


I secretly think that part of the reason I liked this bread so much was because we basically spent the whole class yelling "Challah!" at each other and making "Ain't no Challah-back girl" jokes. It was easier than it looks and tasted good too. Now I need to practice it at home to make sure I can actually do it on my own (gulp).

*Update! I made it at home and it turned out PERFECT! I was so worried about making bread from scratch and screwing it up, but it turned out just like it was supposed to. Whew!*

Challah Bread (makes 2 large loaves)
.5 oz. active dry yeast
2 fl. oz. hot water (90 degrees)
3 fl. oz. honey
5 fl. oz. water (90 degrees)
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs
1 lb. 12 oz. bread flour
.6 oz. salt
Egg wash as needed

1. Dissolve the yeast in the hot water and stir in honey.
2. Place the remaining water, butter, eggs, salt, and 8 oz. of the flour in a mixer bowl with dough hook attachment. Add in the yeast mixture and stir until smooth.
3. Knead the dough on medium speed, adding the remaining flour 2 oz. at a time until dough is smooth, elastic, and full developed (about 5 minutes).
4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and proof until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Punch down dough and divide into six equal portions. Form dough into two three-strand braided loaves and place on lined sheet pan.
6. Brush the loaves with egg wash and proof until doubled, about 45 minutes.
7. Bake at 350 until golden brown and sound hollow when thumped, about 40 minutes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Amy's Ice Cream + Green Chile Mac

There are many things I love about my work trips to Austin, but these are two edible delights I look forward to on every trip. The first is Amy's Ice Cream, a local shop in South Congress that they also happen to have at the airport. The all natural goodness comes with hot fudge sauce that is to die for. Last month they had Girl Scout cookie Thin Mints to mix in. OMG.

The second thing I love to eat in Austin is the green chile mac and cheese at the Roaring Fork. It's the restaurant in the hotel that I usually stay at, so I was not expecting much. Most of the stuff on the menu is pretty meat-heavy but I tried this with a salad and it was the shiz. Creamy, crispy bread crumbed, slightly spicy, amazing mac and cheese. I get it nearly every trip now, it's so good.

Crockpot Dog Food

Sometime last year one of our dogs was having joint issues and our vet recommended we start making their food in a crock pot. I originally balked at the idea, thinking it would be expensive and time consuming. Turns out it is pretty relaxing and the dogs LOVE it. Plus Toady lost 11 lbs. after eating it! We mix it with a little dry food twice a day. It also sort of got me thinking about how much crap is in the food that I eat and how I should be eating more whole foods and less processed junk. I mean it seems pretty simple, right?

Here is the original recipe from Sun Dog Cat Moon Vet on Johns Island.

Palm Beach

I was cleaning photos off of my cell phone and decided to post some of the ones that I want to remember. This was from a work trip to Del Ray Beach last summer. I had some time to kill before taking the car back to the airport, so I drove out to West Palm Beach. The water was ridiculously pretty, and on the way back to town I found some great shopping at City Place (and some great Thai food). I love getting paid to travel!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Huevos Rancheros

I didn't eat Mexican much until my husband introduced me to it years ago. Now I LOVE it. Huevos Rancheros has become a standard for us, but this time I mixed it up with pinto beans and additional veggies. Mmm-mmm good!

Butternut Squash Ravioli

I decided to be adventurous and make a big meal from scratch. First thing was caramelizing about half of a red onion. Used this easy guide on All Recipes and they turned out very tasty.

The next step was to make the actual raviolis, once the dough was rolled out. I just cut little squares with a knife and mixed up some butternut squash, ricotta, mozzarella and salt/pepper to use as the filling.

Next I made a sage pesto. I think I'd add more sage next time, but I basically mixed up fresh sage, olive oil, walnuts, and parmesan in a food processor for the sauce.

The finished dinner--butternut squash ravioli with sage pesto, caramelized onions, goat cheese and arugula!

And since there was a lot of dough left, I decided to make some spaghetti noodles to freeze for later :).

Roasted Root Veggies

One of my professors made a comment about roasting up some root veggies and it sounded like a great idea. It seems so simple and yet I've never quite gotten the results I wanted. So I looked up a basic recipe and they turned out soooo good. I added rosemary and thyme to mine and used coarse sea salt. Delish!

I started with this Food Network recipe and tweaked it just a bit.

1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 cup of mixed baby potatoes (fingerlings, purple, etc.)
2 medium beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed
1 large carrot, peeled
1 large parsnip, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Rosemary and thyme

Place a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, olive oil and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly, spreading them out to assure they don't steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

And here is the final product, yum!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Harlem Shake

I can't resist a good Internet trend, so today at practice our kids did the "Harlem Shake." A few other variations that I enjoy are the Super Mario version and the UGA Swim Team version. Even when things are stressful, little silly things like this can make it all okay :).