Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mushroom Stroganoff

This is a nice quick winter dinner.
It's warm, creamy and mushroom meaty.
3 Tbs butter
1 med onion - chopped
3 cup sliced mushrooms (I used a mix of fresh and canned)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups sour cream (you can use less if you want to)
3 Tbs. flour
cooked egg noodles
Saute onion in butter until onion is transparent. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt. Cook mushrooms until all liquid is reduced. Mix in flour. Add vegetable broth and sour cream. Mix in cooked egg noodles. Flavor with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

Before this I'd never tried baked potato soup, because it was always made with bacon and chicken broth.
When the cafeteria serves this soup at work everyone talks about it all day long!
Finally I got to try it!
Baked Potato Soup
4 med baked potatoes
1 med onion - chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Saute onions in olive oil until transparent. Add flour and stir until oil is absorbed. Add vegetable broth and milk. Stir to combine with flour. Continue stirring over med heat until mixture thickens slightly (about 3 mins.). Add cheese, potatoes and sour cream. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. If soup is to thick add a little more milk.
Garnish with chopped chives, baco bits or salsa.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pulla - Finnish Cardamom Bread

I have been spelling cardamom wrong for the past month!
Since I love it so much, I should probably spell it correctly.
Cardamom is a rich and decadent spice.
It adds flavor depth.
Ok Recipe.
This recipe is from The Winter Vegetarian by Darra Goldstein.
It's a great book.
But I think there is something wrong with this recipe.
She says to add between 7 to 8 cups of flour and knead the dough.
I added 8 cups of flour and had batter.
There was no possible way to knead it - I tried.
I added some more flour, but it was still to soft to knead.
Which is fine!
Egg/milk bread shouldn't be kneaded.
But then how much flour is necessary?
Who knows!
Someday I want to work this recipe out, but for now here is the recipe from The Winter Vegetarian
Finnish Cardamom Bread - Pulla
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon plus 3/4 cup sugar
2 cups lukewarm milk
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cardamom
12 Tbs. butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
4 eggs
7 to 8 cups flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 Tbs. pearl or colored sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 tsp. of sugar until bubbly. Stir in the milk, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, salt,cardamom, melted butter, eggs and 4 cups of the flour. Beat well. Gradually add just enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 mins. (Good luck with that!)
Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and leave to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
Divide dough into 3 pieces. Divided each piece into 3 balls of equal size. Roll each ball out between your hands into a rope about 12 in. long. Braid 3 ropes together, turning the ends under. Place the loaf on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the loaves and leave them to rise until slightly puffy, 20 to 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle them with the sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 mins.

I obviously didn't braid them.
I made 4 round loaves instead.

Chocolate Snowflakes or Russian Lace

This is a very old recipe.
As old as chocolate and snow.
There are 2 ingredients: fresh snow and chocolate.
It's perfect for snowy days when everyone is bored, because it's edible art.
Everyone likes to eat art!

I live in Minnesota where winter is at least 9 months long.
Winter always includes tons of snow.
However, we don't always get beautiful fluffy snow. You want dry, fluffy snow for this recipe.
Be a snow connoisseur! Hold out for the good stuff.

Melt some chocolate in the microwave (or over a candle/woodstove/something hot).
Put the chocolate into a plastic ziploc bag.
Snip one corner - to make a mini pastry bag.

Doodle in the snow. Make a snowflake shape or a word or a heart.
I did one layer of milk chocolate (chips) and one layer of white chocolate.

I liked the mini ones the best.

The chocolate will freeze very quickly.

I found this recipe when I was snowed in for a week.
We had a drift over the front of our house that covered the entire first story.
The power went on and off, but we had a woodstove and candles to keep us warm.
It was a lot of fun!
We built a doll house and ate Russian Lace.

Once the chocolate is firm (a couple minutes) pick up the snowflakes and take them inside.

Eat them right away or freeze them.

They really dress up a cup of cocoa.

They would also look nice on a cake.

They prevent cabin fever!

Every snowflake falling outside is unique and every chocolate snowflake is unique too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

DB's Challenge - Gingerbread House

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes....

Sooooo glad this challenge is over!
I had a lot of fun making it, but it was such a mess!
After 2 frosting explosions my kitchen is a disaster.
It smells nice though.
The gingerbread smells great, but I would never eat it, because it is super hard.
Remember how my sushi challenge ended?
Hee hee hee! (evil laughter)

The dough after chilling.

I made this twice.
I hated the first house, so I re-did it.
This is a picture of the first set of cut outs.

One of my apple trees.

This is the house after the first frosting explosion.
Now I know why the directions say to sift the powdered sugar.
There is only so much pressure you can put on a plastic pastry bag.

Ta da!
Finished chicken cottage, garden, trees and little pond.

I used jelly beans for the cucumbers, radishes and carrots in the first garden bed.

I used fondant to make corn, carrots and cauliflower.
Red hots for the apples and 'roses' on the cottage.

Starbursts for the stepping stones.

Pretzels for the fence.

Here are my fondant cauliflower, carrots and corn.
I'd never used fondant before.
It was fun!
Like play dough.

Oreo cookies for the dirt.
Jolly Ranchers melted for the windows.
Ok, now are you ready?
What did I do with this cute little gingerbread cottage?

Gave it to the Ladies!
Of course!

At first they were curious.
"Hmmm, is that a real carrot?"

"Let me try a little of that."

"Do these apples taste weird to you?"

"What a tiny garden! I'm a giant chicken!"

"Ho hum, not that tasty..."


The End.

Anything Pie and Roasty Toasty Potatoes

Anything Pie
You should make this pie when:
You want to impress
Uninvited guests
You just got home from work
The cupboards are bare.
You can put whatever you want/have on hand into this pie.
But this is what I did...
I started with the same sauce that I used for the Salmon en croute
Some cream cheese, spinach, dried onions, dill, salt and pepper and a little cream.
Blended up.

I used the Secret Family Recipe for the crust.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup filled with 1 egg and a little white wine
See Here again for more info.
Rolled out the dough.
It will make a top and bottom crust.
Roll it out really thin.
I used a greased round cake pan as my pie pan.

Leftover Roasty Toasty potatoes and 1 cup of frozen veggies.
Roasty Toasty potatoes are a double leftover.
I started with leftover baked potatoes - sliced them up and soaked them in 1 cup of fig infused vinegar.
Pre-heated the oven to 400 F.
After 15 mins I tossed the potatoes with savory, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and a little olive oil.
Baked for 20 mins.

Added spinach sauce.

Covered with top crust and washed with egg wash.

Baked at 350 F for 20 mins.
Just until the crust was brown.