Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
bundts are a beautiful thing. you really can't go wrong with a bundt. everyone loves a good bundt. i think slicing them is the most fun, actually watching someone else slice it is even more fun...no one can decide if they should cut the premarked divisions or go outside the lines and divy up the cake evenly. bundt lovers out there know what i'm talkin' about. right?
even a bad bundt can be impressive with a tasty ganache poured all over dripping down the sides. or just go for the classic, and toss a little powdered sugar on and around and let the flavor of the cake speak for itself.
i liken the good ol' bundt to a favorite pair of jeans...you can dress 'em up or dress 'em down, but you're always gauranteed a good time and a sure fit.
i found this beauty at CAFENILSON.com while flipping through the pages at foodgawker. this one caught my eye because of the texture, and i LOVE anything that has almond flour in it. although mine turned out looking quite a bit different texture wise...i was very pleased with the finished product. a lite cakey texture(i thought it would be more dense from the almond flour) with just a hint of lemon. actually it turned out just like a good ol' bundt should...classic, understated delicious and moist.
LEMON ALMOND BUNDT CAKE
with many thanks to CAFENILSON.com
zest of 3 lemons
3 tbs lemon juice
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds or almond flour...(i used ground blanched almonds i purchase ready-ground)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare a 12-cup bundt pan by spraying with nonstick baking spray and then sprinkling with flour.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and salt) and set aside. In another bowl, combine zest, lemon juice, sour cream, and vanilla. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping and mixing after each addition.
Reduce to low speed then add about one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of sour cream mixture, mixing until just incorporated after each addition. Repeat with the remaining mixtures and continue mixing until well combined. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
Bake until top is golden brown and wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into center comes out with no crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto wire rack and cool.
Note: You can add a lemon glaze to the pan while it is cooling by mixing 1/3 cup lemon juice with 3 tbs confectioner’s sugar and pouring it over the cake.
MY NOTE...i did not do this particular glaze, i opted for powdered sugar. i think this glaze sounds a bit too juicy/runny. it would probabaly be delicious if eaten right away, but in my experience this runny of a glaze doesn't sit well. i have made glazes like this much thicker(more powdered sugar) and it holds up well for days..almost seals it.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
i never thought i would take on the challenge of corned beef. well, now i have, and i'll definitely do it again and again. my thought was, why make it when you can get it done properly somewhere else. so i thought...i used to live in L.A. and there were Jewish delis all over the place. they, of course, always have mouth watering corned beef on hand. now i find myself in Newport Beach and corned beef is only sold sliced at the deli counter or it's more of a seasonal thing and just not available when your taste buds are craving it. i'm sure you could find some prepared frozen, but i tend to stay away from the frozen section like the plague. so. i am very pleased i found this simple recipe and ever soooo pleased with my little slow cooker. can't wait to fill it up again. i think the next thing will be lamb shanks...YUMMM!!!
Cook Time: 10:
6 carrots. cut into chunks
2 onions, chopped
2-3 lb. corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
12 oz. can beer (non alcoholic is fine)
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
8 wedges cabbage
In 4-6 quart crockpot, combine carrots and onions. Rinse corned beef under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place in crockpot and sprinkle with contents of seasoning mix. Pour beer over brisket and spread mustard on brisket. In small bowl mix brown sugar with water and pour over brisket. Cover crockpot and cook on low setting for 11-12 hours.
Remove corned beef from crockpot and cover with foil to keep warm. Add cabbage wedges to vegetables and liquid in crockpot. Cover crockpot and cook on high for additional 30-40 minutes or until cabbage is crisp tender.
To serve, cut corned beef across grain into thin slices. Remove vegetables from slow cooker with slotted spoon and serve with corned beef. Serve cooking juices over the food, if desired. Offer additional mustard on the side. 8 servings
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
so easy..it's just the darn prep work that takes a bit of time. of course, after the fact, i realize i could have bought already peeled garlic and ready skinned and diced butternut, but where's the fun in that?...sometimes the dish tastes just a bit better with a hint of sweat in the mix...right?
one of my least fav savory chores is peeling garlic AND skinning and cutting up those butternuts is not pleasant either. i know you can roast the butternut in halves, but i think the diced lends itself to the flavor more. more roasting area equals more roasty flavors.
this thick puree also is great for plate decor. i made these three quick swipes with a spoon and they stayed nicely for maybe 20mins or so. i say this because if you were serving quite a few people the plate would hold up well for service. didn't run or get watery like some do. maybe it's due to the trace oil and controlled chicken stock addition.
well, as i often find...some of the best things have the fewest ingredients.
peel and cube a med. size butternut squash
peel a whole head of garlic (i love garlic, really LOVE roasted garlic)
lightly toss with some good olive oil, salt and pepper to your liking.
now, if i were making it for myself alone, i would have put some heat in there. a little sprinkle of cayenne or chili arbor would do the trick.
put this in a large baking pan or cookie sheet. best if they are all out flat and not piled up.
400 degrees. get in there and toss it all around about every 10 mins 'till it all looks nice and roasty and the squash is fork tender. remove it from the oven and while it's still warm toss it with approx 1/4 finely chopped FRESH sage. i say approx because butternuts come in a wide variety of sizes, so just use a little more than you might think, i did, and was pleased with the flavor of the sage singing throughout.
now put this all in a nice tall sauce pan (you'll want to use a wand blender so chose your pan accordingly) add a little chicken stock. just a minimum at first untill you get the desired consistancy. season to taste and
VOILA...done...could that be any easier?
IMPORTANT...i think a hand/wand blender is manditory for this type of stuff. in fact, i think they should be manditory for every kitchen. i use mine all the time. so much easier than a stand up blender (which would not work for this thick of a puree) and a heck of alot cleaner and easier than the big ol' cuisinart.
the rest of the family had it as soup the next night and i enjoyed as a side a few times after that...so it holds up really well, again, it didn't get watery.
the following week i did the same thing with a sweet pumpkin...you want to talk difficult peeling and cutting?...but well worth it. so well worth it i bought another and need to go down staires and get started right now.
maybe i should stop by the garage and get the chain saw...?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
i like to call 'em "SHORTIES"
my go-to cookie. there's a certain cookie monster in this house that insists there be shortbreads all the time. some of my more experimental cookies don't quite hit the mark, but it seems most flavor combos are just fine when enveloped by shortbread cookie dough.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
as for the DEEP FRIED TWINKIE?
pretty much a let down...
i was thinking crunchy doughnutty outer layer, the imfamous yellow cake all nice and warm, with the creamy middle ready to ooze out at first bite...sounds good huh?...well no such thing. as you can kind of tell by the photo, it was soggy, no outer layer and with some pathetic chocolate sauce poured over. as i stated before, in another post about all the sweets i tried at the fair, it could have been my fault the twinkie wasn't all that. i did happen to get it at "Chicken Charlie's"...the same stand that did the frog legs...i had to leave wondering if they were fried in the same vat?...don't get me wrong...it wasn't aweful...i mean, i DID eat the whole thing.
needless to say, i WILL be seaching out the next fair. i had too much fun, and i can't wait to see what they come up with next...something fried, something diped, something poked with a sharp stick...what ever it is, i'll be first in line to give it a try...hope to see you there...
ps...more savories at the fair posted here..
Thursday, October 8, 2009
JALOPENO BACON POPPERS
the best popper i have ever had, or probably will ever have...untill next years fair, that is...
2..3 bites, at most, and you wish there was more. i would have bought a bushel if i thought they would travel well, but i think these are best eaten right on the spot. the salsa, or pico de gallo was excellent as well.
SMOKED GIANT TURKEY LEG
so obnoxious, so smokey, so BBQ-ey, so damn good!!!!!
this big ol' leg was almost single handedly (parden the pun) responsible for me driving all the way back, fighting the crowds for the last day of the fair. i couldn't stop talking about it and wishing i could get my hands on just one more...imagine this thing as big as my calf!...i had to bring this home, it was way too big and i had already eaten wayyyy toooo much, so i picked it up on the way out just out of pure curiosity. so glad i did. it was so big it wouldn't fit in my little travle cooler. i was so laughing to myself as i tried to zip it up and had this smokey bone sticking out the side.
this is what i would consider a short stack. some places had them piled high in those big drum smokers. the smokers there were as big as a studio apartment... i could move in...
just had to show the handle-end of leg. one could only feel a little caveman-ish, say Fred Flinstonian, while gnawing away with your hand wrapped around the end. i think it shows the smokey, BBQ bone madness of the stuation...i'm talking about the leg or ME !?
needless to say...i had a totally unexpected food-luvin' blast at the LA County Fair. i will definitly be there next year and will be up for going to any ol' fair if i spot one...or smell one...
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
THE DEEP FRIED TWINKIE...
sorry to say...another let down...i was really looking forward to this one. i've heard rumors of the elusive deep fried old school treat along with it's pal the deep fried snickers and reeses bars, but i had to chose just one...it's all i could handle. people that know me know that i wouldn't usually even consider the thought, let alone touching such a heart stopping, calorie infused, greasy pointless carbohydrate...then again, maybe few know this secret little sneeky sweet gooey lovin' side of me.
not so secret anymore...
funny thing is...as let down about it that i was...i finished the whole thing. and quite swiftly i might add.
about the actual deep fried Twinkie?...i thought it would be like it's cousin the deep fried snickers...coated in batter, then deep fried, givin it a slightly crunchy exterior...kind of doughnut like. nope. as you can even tell in the photo it was quite soggy. did i mention that it was probably an error on my part due to the fact i got the twinkie at the same stand i purchased the deep fried frogs legs...hmmm...hope it wasn't fried in the same vat?...don't wanna think about it.
in conclusion...i can't wait for the next fair. i know someone out there is dreaming up the next bestest thing to deep fry, slather in chocolate and or SERVE IT ON A STICK!...
i'll be there...first in line.
Sunday, October 4, 2009