Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Ninety: Complete Entertaining Cookbook

From Williams-Sonoma
Recipes by Joyce Goldstein

                                    Sweet & White Potato Gratin

Trying to tame my craving of something delicious, homey, and comforting, this side-dish hit the spot, along with the rest of this meal.

This may not be the healthiest dinner we've had, but man-o-man, was it good.

And how can it not be good - salmon with a honey-soy glaze, spinach salad with pear and blue cheese, and a gratin made with not only sliced Idaho potatoes, but also sliced sweet potatoes (my all-time favorite) and covered in a garlic infused heavy cream, and baked until the potatoes are tender and the cream thick, and well, creamy. Yes it's worth repeating - this hit the spot.

This gratin I'm thinking, would make a fine addition to your Thanksgiving table, when fat and calories don't count are not counted.

Success meter (1-3): 3

A mandoline makes slicing the potatoes a breeze.


Yep. The potatoes are good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WW: Stir-Fried Cucumber and Pork with Golden Garlic

Wok Wednesdays wokking thru Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
by Grace Young

What can I say - without sounding like a broken record? Grace's recipes are so friggin' easy, quick, and delicious.

My cucumber slices really should be thinner, a quarter inch thick,
 and my pork had quite a bit of fat (you should see the underside) -
I cut off as much as my not-so-sharp knives could.

I fried my garlic in the wok. Next time I will use a
small saucepan, for my thermometer tip did not reach
the oil without some manipulation, and my instant
read thermometer only goes up to 220°F.

The hubby after eating his dinner asked,
"Is there a lot left over?"
We finished it off and unfortunately there
was none left for lunch the next day.

You will not find the recipe here on my blog or within the Wok Wednesdays community. We encourage readers to go and purchase this book at their local independent bookstore or on-line.

Make sure to visit my co-wokkers to see their results on this stir-fry.
Look for the LYL link on the Wok Wednesdays page.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TWD: Whole Wheat Loaves

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing baker: Craig Kominiak

Bread. Knead I say more? (Yeah - I do.)

We are a bread loving family; we eat more than we should. I was looking forward to making this loaf, especially after reading that a fellow blogger loves this bread so much, she recently made seven loaves to freeze!

This bread is good... Toasted. It made great toast to go with my morning coffee, and made a tasty toasted open-faced tomato sandwich. Unfortunately if you don't make your everyday sandwiches the day this bread is made they're not going to be so great.

I did not care for the sandwich I made on my last hike where I made a PB&J (a must have when you are hiking!) because the bread was really dry. Good thing our hike was only four miles and I did not eat said sandwich till after I got home; I would have been quite disappointed up on a hill, famished, pulling out, what I think is a great pick-me-up, to find a dried, almost choking (OK maybe not that bad - but you get the idea) PB&J sandwich.

If you are into eating toast rather than sandwiches - this is the loaf to make! When toasted it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside; makes a good base for a poached egg!

Success meter (1-3): 2

The yeast is creamy looking and ready!

That is one clean bowl!
Never did need to scrape the sides down.

Form the dough into a ball.

Let it rise...

Punch the dough down.
(I got a little overzealous on the punching - it's fun.)

Turn out the dough and cut in half.

Shape your loaves.

Let it rise again.

Beautiful rise.

Bread is ready when instant read thermometer reaches 200°.
(Close enough for me.)

Makes great toast!

I prefer Cheddar for this "sandwich" but I had some
Jack in the fridge I needed to use up.

If you would like the recipe, visit our hosts for the week:

Don't forget to check out the LYL link for my fellow blogger's take on this recipe.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Book Eighty-Nine: RAW The UNcook Book

by Juliano with Erika Lenkert

Butternut Squash Soup

I am far from becoming a vegetarian - I like my chicken and occasional burger. I purchased this book because the cover intrigued me; however I apparently did not look at it too closely while in the bookstore.

Not only are there ingredients I am unfamiliar with, which I'm sure if I ventured into a health food store I could make myself familiar with them; but I do not have the desire to sprout my own seeds, beans and grains, or purchase equipment needed to eat "raw" food - such as a dehydrator, juicer, or a power blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtech. Though I really would like a Blendtech or Vitamix...

I decided on this soup in that, it called for ordinary ingredients that can be purchased at the local market. No special trip to a specialty store, and no sprouting of any kind! And this was ready in a flash! A huge plus in my book.

I have a tendency to lean towards the unusual, and this was interesting to say the least. This has good flavor amazingly; if only I had a power blender it would have had a smoother consistency. I used my Cuisinart, and so the soup had a texture similar to the feel of grated carrot. This was not a bad thing mind you; just the picture in the book has a very creamy, dreamy look to it.

This was good.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Yeah... this was good.

Dessert! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TWD: Plum Upside-Down Chiffon Cake

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan


This week's (well, last week's - I'm late) recipe was Nectarine Upside-Down Chiffon Cake. The recipe was contributed by baker Mary Bergin. As you can see from the title of my post, I substituted plums for the nectarines.

This was a pretty straight forward, relatively simple cake to make. Reading my fellow bloggers comments about their experience making this cake, several mentioned it did not bake in the alloted time frame. I set the timer for the maximum time given in the recipe, at which time it started to give off a burnt smell. Usually I can tell by the scent of a cake when it is done; however there was no wonderful aroma permeating my kitchen like I am used to when I bake a cake.

After flipping the cake out of the pan, it showed no signs of burning - whew. It also smelled really good and I was looking forward to serving and devouring this creation. The crumbs from the pan had great flavor, which gave me high hopes for this cake.

Unfortunately this cake was not a hit for me or for the girls as I can tell. It certainly looked pretty, but was just OK. I was hoping for more of a WOW factor. I made this for girls night, and though everyone ate their slice, there was no rave reviews I normally receive for my desserts.

Success meter (1-3): 2

Plums and pluots.

Oh so pretty!
The fruit is layered on top of a brown sugar butter mixture.

The streusel filling.

The scent was reminiscent of...
something I know...
I just can't place it.
Something tasty.

Ready for toasting!

I do believe the center collapsing is normal.

To even out the cake, I placed parchment paper over
the cake, and used a bottom of a springform pan
to press the edges even with the center.


The cake released with no problems.
The drippings tasted so good...

Even though the batter rearranged the slices somewhat.

The neighborhood crows.

For the recipe, visit this week's hosts: 


To see other takes on this cake go to the LYL page over at Tuesdays with Dorie
for links to all the bakers that attempted this dessert.