Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well last night started the Jewish New Year and tonight I am going to my parent's for dinner. I volunteered to make an Apple Spice Cake and I decided to try something new Honeycomb Candy. Since apples and honey are a traditional food during this holiday I thought it was the perfect thing to bring.

I thought I made the apple cake before but can't find any record of that. I know my mother-in-law made it for a family dinner once so many that is why I am confused. I got the recipe from MarthaStewart.com and it is linked above. I am going to wait until tonight to take a picture of it set up on the table looking pretty. This cake was really easy to make and smells awesome! Something I would definitely make again and again.

I remember a while back after watching a show on the food network that showed the host making the honeycomb candy. It just seemed to me like something I would like to eat and I was interested in tasting it. However it isn't one of those candies you can get in the store. I finally found a recipe (it is linked up above) that I had all the ingredients in the house and decided to make it.

Review: It wasn't that hard to make and I think the hardest part was waiting for the sugar mixture to get to the right color/temperature. The recipe above doesn't state a temperature but others I looked at all said to wait until it reaches 300 degrees. It was really fun to watch it grow when you put in the baking soda. I only tried a tiny piece of it which I liked but I will update this review tonight when I have a nice size piece with dessert. All in all I think I would make this again.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge: Lavash Crackers

I didn't know how to introduce this month's challenge so I stole what was presented to us fellow Daring Bakers for the intro.

This month we are making Daring Bakers history as our September challenge is vegan and/or gluten free. For the first time ever, the torch has been passed to « Alternative » Daring Bakers : Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl. We wanted to make something savory this month, and we chose the recipe for Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice (pp 178 - 180).

I have to say that I don't know what I was thinking (I will blame it on the pregnancy) but for some odd reason I thought the due date for this was the 30th. I really planned on making this the first weekend I had but one thing after another happened. I ran out of yeast and then my eggplant for my dip was not good. So it got put off until this weekend.

I have to say that I was very excited about making this cracker because it is something that seems so much more difficult to make then it actually was. I think this time I actually timed it perfectly with my son's nap time. I made the dough just before I put him down and was able to bake it just before he woke up. He will be very happy to see what I made because he loves crackers.

Dough after 90 minute rise

Right out of the oven

All broken into crackers

A closer look at the cracker

Review: I wasn't worried about this recipe which sort of made me worry. I read it and thought that it seemed pretty straight forward but it is like a test when you think you aced it then you failed. The most time consuming part if it is waiting for the dough to rise but other then that nothing was really that bad. I decided to use my KAF artisan seed mix to top half of it and just kosher salt to top the other half. The only part that needs work in for me is getting the dough rolled up thin and even. I had parts that were perfect and parts that were a little too thick. This is something I would defiantly make for a party if I am organized and think ahead (which doesn't always happen). I think this recipe is a keeper and I will work in it to get it super thin. Thank you so much for this month's challenge.

Another part of this challenge was to make a dip/topping to go with it. I have made that but I haven't gotten around to taking a picture of it just yet. I made this dip up sort of because I did it from memory of something I had a long long time ago at a party.

Eggplant Garlic Dip

1 eggplant, cut into cubes
3 cloves garlic (more if you want it really garlicy)
1 cup ketchup

Saute the garlic with a little bit of oil in a pan for about a minute or two. Add the eggplant and cook until tender. Add the ketchup, mix together and let cook for alittle bit until it comes together. Cool and serve.

This recipe is really to your taste so you can add more whatever you love

Please visit one of the host blog's for the recipe to the Lavash Crackers.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Candy

Yesterday I went to the store to look for one thing and found another! Heidi and I have this thing when we find new candy (at least to us)...and of course I had to buy it. Some times I don't buy the new candy just because it doesn't appeal to me. This new one is a whole different story because I have been thinking about the flavor lately with fall coming around the corner.

A new limited edition Hershey Kiss in the flavor of Pumpkin Spice. I was so excited because I have been thinking about these pumpkin truffles my neighbor let me try last year. These are almost as good (very close to it) and probably SOO much cheaper. I was thinking of all the things I could make with these kisses but I don't know if they will last long enough.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Watermelon ice pops - August recipe

I know Im posting this a bit late...but heres my August recipe. I had bought a whole seedless watermelon to bring up to Shinhopple one weekend and nobody cut into it. I searched all over for something to do with it. I couldnt eat a whole water melon by myself..LOL. I thought something cool would be good, since it was in the middle of summer. I found a recipe on the kraft food site for these ice pops. They are so simple to make:

2 cups water
1/2 cup COUNTRY TIME Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
3 cups chopped seedless watermelon
1 cup ice cubes

Now, instead of making the drink which was the original recipe, I though freezing them would make a yummier treat.

My first attempt with this was horrible...the country time lemonade made this so sour I couldnt stand it. Kevin who likes sour ( and lemonade ) said he couldnt eat it either. Way way too sour =(. I had to throw the whole batch right down the drain. My second attempt instead of using lemonade mix, I used raspberry ice mix from crystal lite. What a difference. The second batch came out great!! Kevin ate them very quick on those hot summer days. I'd definally make these again next summer. They turned out to be a nice cool summer treat.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Cafe Visit

Last week Mike had off from work and I wanted to do something other then running errands. So we decided to take a trip to the Culinary Institute of America (which is down the road from us) since the casual dining restaurant is only open Monday thru Friday.

We had lunch at the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe and I really wish I brought my camera with me. I did get a picture of my lunch on my phone but I don't know how to get that on here. Mike and I both had the same thing because I couldn't decide what I wanted fast enough...I did bring home the menu so I can study it and get something different the next time. We had a grilled Reuben Panini with french fries...oh my I think it was the best one I have ever had. Even the fries were and experience with the three different dipping sauces it came with (ketchup, aioli and malt vinegar). Just the right amount of stuff on the panini and it didn't fall apart when you bite into it.

I have to say that my expectation of the CIA was high but they delivered in every way. I can't wait to go back and sample more of it. We didn't get to have dessert there which looked so good because the little one was acting up. We are also going to try at one point to eat in one of the fancier restaurants but that requires some planning since reservations have to be made at least a month in advance if not more.


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