Skip to content

London Fog Cake

I have been wanting to make a cake for a while now but lacked inspiration to try something a little different. There is a tendency to stick with the tried and true in both flavors and recipes, not that there is anything wrong with that but sometimes I feel the need to do something different. Since I got the tea from Adagio I have wanted to make another recipe using it that isn’t a cup of hot or iced tea. Yesterday an email appeared in my inbox from Pinterest and I saw this cake and immediately was struck by how utterly delicious it looked but then when I clicked on the link the frosting is flavors with Earl Grey Tea. The cake itself is pretty simple chocolate cake with a earl grey buttercream and then it’s drizzled with caramel. Sounds great right? I thought so too!! I decided to take it a step further and infuse the caramel with tea as well. The recipe is from The Cake Blog and it’s beautifully decorated and photographed. Decorating cakes is not my strong suite nor is photography but irregardless this cake sounds too good not to make. My recommendations are in bold print, I found the earl grey flavor overpowering and would recommend reducing the amount of tea used to infuse the butter. I love earl grey tea but feel that the buttercream needed to be a little more subtle in flavor.

This is my favorite chocolate cake, a recipe from Hershey’s which is on the can of unsweetened cocoa powder, the recipe has also been posted here on the blog many times click here to see it. I’ve made other cake recipes and nothing IMHO even compares. It’s simple, moist and delicious and never fails.

I am going to bring this cake with me to Fiesta Friday #188 and this weeks co hosts are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Nimmi @ Adorable Life

Earl Grey Buttercream

Recipe from Theresa Huff for The Cake Blog

Frosts 2 layer 9 inch cake or 3 layer 8 inch cake

2 cups unsalted butter

1/4 cup loose earl grey tea (Recommend to reduce to 1-2 tbs)

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs egg whites ( 150 grams) the whites from 4-5 large eggs

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds from half a vanilla bean

Place one cup of the butter in a saucepan with the loose tea. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let tea steep for another 5 minutes. Strain the butter into a bowl and refrigerate until the butter is the consistency of softened butter approximate 20-30 minutes or longer it took over an hour before my butter hardened.

Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and hand whisk until foamy and mixed. Place an inch or two of water in a saucepan on medium heat, place the bowl with the egg whites and sugar on top of it being careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Whisk frequently until the sugar melts it should register 155-160 on the candy thermometer or until it’s hot to the touch. Fit the bowl onto your stand mixer.

Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high for 8-10 minutes until the mixture holds medium stiff peaks. When done the outside of the bowl should be room temperature and there should be no residual heat, you also should hold your hand over the bowl and you should not feel any heat at all.  Stop the mixer, remove the whisk attachment and replace with a paddle.

With the mixer on low speed add the vanilla, the tea infused butter and the other butter a few tablespoons at a time. Once the butter is incorporated turn the mixer to medium high and beat for another 3-5 minutes. The buttercream will be thick and silky.

Earl Grey caramel sauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tbs light corn syrup

2 tbs strong earl grey tea

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tbs butter,diced

generous pinch sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Place sugar, corn syrup and water in a deep heavy bottom saucepan, stir to combine. Heat over high heat swirling occasionally for 8-10 minutes. The sugar mixture will start to rapidly boil before slowing down and darkening in color. Remove the saucepan from the heat once it has reached the desired color, I like a deep amber. Note: my caramel got a bit over done, almost burnt. I cooked on high and all of a sudden it started rising almost to the top of the pot after I removed from the heat. I didn’t want to add the cream and butter until it settled but that was a mistake, I should have added it to cool it down and stop the cooking process. So my caramel is a bit bitter. My advise is to remove from the heat right when it turns a light amber and add the butter and cream. Because it was so bitter I threw away half and replaced that half with a chocolate ganache. The pot I used was too small and it almost boiled over hence the over cooking, the caramel continues to cook even after removed from the heat and what stops that is adding the butter and cream. Because my pot was not big enough I had to wait until the bubbles went down a bit. 

Slowly and carefully whisk in the cream being careful to stand back because it will sputter and foam so stand clear.

Add the butter and continue to stir until melted. Now add the salt and vanilla and stir to combine. Pour into a heat proof container and let cool, it will thicken as it cools.

Assembling the cake

Place one of the layers on your cake stand or serving plate. Spread some of the butter cream to cover the layer and continue until all layers are place. Frost top and sides of cake and refrigerate until cooled at least 20 minutes.

Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the cooled cake letting it drip down the sides.

I made this cake yesterday and wasn’t in love with the flavor, today it tastes better maybe the tea flavor has mellowed but I still recommend reducing the amount of tea used in the buttercream. I love the buttercream recipe it is silky and just the perfect consistency and will definitely be using it again.

Wild Yeast, Fruit Water Yeast Bread

 

I follow Elaine@foodbod’  both her blog and other social media outlets like Instagram, lately she has been cultivating her own wild yeast and making the most amazing bread, I have been so intrigued and inspired to try her recipe. You make wild yeast simply by putting fruit, in water and let it sit until it ferments it only takes a week sometimes less.  My first attempt I used raisins which for some reason didn’t work so I tried apple and that worked perfectly.

The bread did not have a tremendous rise, it was modest. When making the semolina bread I did add a very small amount 1/4 tsp of instant yeast, I did that because I felt the semolina is pretty heavy and it might need a little bit of a boost, I’m sure it would be fine without it, so that is optional of course. Elaine’s bread is beautiful and the crust is amazing, I’ve made this a number of times and my crust just doesn’t have the same look as hers, it’s still good mind you, but her crust is crusty looking for lack of a better word and meant in a really good way! I have asked her about this and she thinks it could be the difference in flour or some other factor, she is in England and I must say has this down pat. Check Elaine out both on her blog and Instagram.

The first loaf turned out beautifully and you can find the recipe on her blog by clicking on the link in the first paragraph, I was so pleased at the rise and the flavor was delicious.

fruit water bread

The second loaf I made was from date water, I saw Elaine’s beautiful loaves on Instagram and wanted to give that a go. I deviated a bit on the bread recipe using semolina and adapting a recipe I found on King Arthur Flour site. The biga/preferment or poolish is Elaine’s recipe.

Dates after a week see the bubbles

Date water semolina bread

adapted from a recipe by Elaine at Food Bod and King Arthur Flour

Biga or Poolish

10 oz fermented date water (150 grams)

1 1/2 cup bread flour (150 grams) (add more if the dough is too wet, by the spoonful) It should be soft but not runny. Use equal parts flour and water pretty much.

Mix together and let sit overnight covered in plastic wrap and a tea towel. In the morning it should be bubbly.

Bubbly biga

The Bread

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup semolina flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 scant tbs salt

1 cup cool water

Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes, it will become a cohesive dough. Turn the mixer off, cover with plastic and let sit for 30 minutes. Turn the mixer back on medium speed and knead for another 5 minutes. Remove dough to a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and put in the refrigerator overnight.

The following morning take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Shape into desired shape (I made a boule), place on parchment lined baking sheet.nCover with oiled plastic wrap loosely and a tea towel and let rise for approximately one hour. When you press your finger in the dough it should leave an indent.

Heat oven to 475 degree’s. Slash the dough with a razor, knife or lame, dust with some flour and place in the oven, throw a few ice cubes at the bottom of the oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 425 degree’s and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Bread when tapped will sound hollow and it will be a golden brown. You can also place a parchment round in a dutch oven and bake covered in the pot. You will need to bake a little longer using this method. Elaine gives instructions in her recipe.

King Arthur’s recipe offers a great idea for keeping the bread, place cut side down on counter or cutting board, don’t cover it with anything. The crust will stay pretty crisp and the inside of the bread stays soft. It works.

Stand the bread on a counter cut side down the bread stays soft the crust fairly crisp. This loaf was made with a little more yeast than the one below. You can see the difference.

I did experiment with the semolina bread the first loaf I added a half tsp of instant yeast, the second loaf 1/4 tsp. There is a marked difference in the texture of the bread and I think both are good.

Caponata

I posted this recipe for Caponata years ago and I am afraid it’s been a long time since I have made it. This came about partly because I had gone a little overboard during my last visit to the farmers market, I tend to do that every time I go and I think I have mentioned this before but I hate to waste food. My Mom used to serve Caponata from time to time, usually it was purchased from the Italian supermarket commercially prepared. I liked it but thought it was too sweet, the basic idea is wonderful and it makes a delicious condiment slathered on some good bread. It really is so delicious. I think of Caponata as the Italian ratatouille. Its very easy to make, you can add what you like and subtract what you don’t.

I am going to bring this along with a loaf of homemade bread to Fiesta Friday #186 and this weeks co hosts are  Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck and Alex @ Turks Who Eat

Farmers market haul

Caponata

Makes 1 quart

2 medium size eggplant stem end cut and sliced in half

2 cups chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 small onion chopped

1 shallot chopped

2 stalks celery

3 cloves garlic minced

2 bell peppers medium size (I used a purple and red)

1/4 cup capers

pinch (or more) crushed red pepper flakes

pitted olives – didn’t measure but a generous handful cut in half if large

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tsp sugar

Heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Brush the eggplant with olive oil on both sides. Place on baking sheet cut side down and roast for 15 minutes. They should be browned on the cut side but not mushy.  Cut the eggplant into bite size pieces and set aside.

Nicely browned

Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, cook until softened, add the celery and pepper and cook until soft and fully cooked. Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, crushed red pepper and continue cooking until the tomatoes are cooked through, add the eggplant, vinegar and sugar and cook until thick and most of the liquid from the tomatoes is reduced. Spoon into storage containers let come to room temperature and then refrigerate. I find it’s always better served the next day and served at room temperature.

caponata and a egg fried in olive oil on homemade bread

 

Chai Latté, Iced Tea And An Amazing Tea Find

Samplers

I love tea, hot, iced, spiced, black, herbal, blended, you name it I love it. There are hundreds if not thousands of varieties and trying to pick tea especially if you are unfamiliar with it can be intimidating. Full disclosure the tea that I used in this post was provided to me at no cost by Adagio Tea Company, I only received the products, there was no monetary compensation at all, I don’t do that, and honestly there are very few companies that I will even accept products from, I only write posts for products I believe to be good or that peak my interest and my opinion is my own. When I was contacted by Adagio I jumped at the chance after seeing their beautiful website and extensive selection of tea. In the summer I drink iced tea all the time, pretty much every day. Included in my box was two different teas that you can cold brew there is a pre measured sachet which you place in a jar with 32 oz of fresh water and refrigerate overnight. I made white peach iced tea and honestly the aroma of peaches is just beautiful, the tea is smooth made from white tea and with every sip it’s like biting into a fresh ripe juicy peach. Delicious and refreshing and so simple to make.

Now for the Chai, first let me say it has been hot out and as a general rule I only drink iced coffee or tea when it’s this hot, even my morning cup of coffee has ice in it. I saw that there is a short window this week where the temps are lower, in the mid 70’s and a cup of hot tea will be fine especially at night when it is getting down in the low 60’s.  Adagio has this really cool feature where you can create your own blend of tea it arrives in a tin which you customize with a photo or logo. I created a chai tea that is of my own design and geared to my taste, no cloves, I seriously dislike cloves and don’t even have any in my spice cabinet. See below the teas and spices that I chose.

Look at this adorable tin that I customized with my logo.  During the holidays I make gift baskets and plan on adding this to my baskets, how nice would it be to receive a custom tea blend. I love it,  it’s a brilliant idea.

Suzanne’s custom Chai blend

I brewed the chai in tea sachets when making one cup it’s easy to just spoon some into the paper packet, fold it over and brew right in the cup.

Chai Latté

For one cup (approx 8 oz)

2  tsp chai blend

1/2 cup whole milk or half and half (I mix whole milk and half and half)

organic sugar or honey (sweeten to your taste) I used a scant tbs

Brew the tea by placing the tea in your teapot or in a sachet directly in your mug or cup, heat the milk and sugar until almost scalding, the sugar should have dissolved. I like a 50/50 ratio of tea and milk but make it to suit your personal taste and make the tea as strong as you like adjusting the amount of tea and brewing time. Last year I got this cool portable milk frother, which made this even better.

Review: Well I have to admit I am pretty smitten with Adagio tea, it’s delicious full bodied tea and their site is easy to use and has so many cool features. There is all manner of tea paraphernalia, pots, accessories and of course an extensive assortment of delicious tea. A big thank you to the good people of Adagio for sending me this lovely gift.

Murder At The Bijou- Teagan’s Book Launch

This is an exciting day I am so pleased to bring you the launch of Teagan’s book”Murder at the Bijou”.  Teagan is one of my absolute favorite writers, her books and serials are amazing, I’ve already ordered my copy hope you all head over and get yours too!! To celebrate the launch of Teagan’s book I wanted to post this on the day of the monumental total solar eclipse. It will be a partial eclipse in Brooklyn but everyone is geared up for it. As a prelude to this book read this snipett from Teagan that I posted along with a recipe for Mac and Cheese. I do love our collaborations and look forward to many many more. Congratulations Teagan, your writing brings happiness to so many and I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of your new book. I also posted a sort of recipe for tea at the end of this post to celebrate the eclipse. Hope you all have a great day and head over to grab your copy of Teagan’s book.

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover.  (I love making covers!)  I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise.  I asked friends to give me three completely random things.  Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.  I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things.  I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters.  That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery.  However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story.  I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story.  This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook.  Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times.  She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned.  This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space.  If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device.  The purchase links are below.  But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me.  I’m not sure which.  I opened my eyes to complete darkness.  There was no light, no sound.  The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean.  It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else!  Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily.  The sound of a cricket came to me.  Good.  The utter silence had been very disturbing.  I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses.  My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark.  Bare ground was beneath me.  The air had a musty odor.  A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound.  Still sitting, I turned.  My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness.  When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away.  I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was.  I felt a burlap bag and round lumps.  Rutabagas?  I felt around and found another bag.  That one felt like potatoes.  I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape.  Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar. 

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there.  Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type.  Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one.  And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest.  Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk.  Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon:    https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Here is a non recipe really for some tea I like to call Sun and Moon Tea. You all have heard of sun tea I’m sure. Putting some tea in a glass jar and setting it outside in the sun, well I decided with all the amazing energy and as a prelude to the eclipse I put the jars out in the morning and kept them out all night as well soaking in the sun rays and moon’s energy.

Sun and Moon Tea

Use equal parts, chamomile, rose hips, red clover and fresh mint. Pour fresh spring or filtered water in the jar put the lid on and let it sit all day and overnight.

 

A Tale Of Two Cobblers

Making cobbler with summers best produce is one of my favorites. Using fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables  makes this delicious dish even more amazing. I thought I would make both savory and sweet just for fun. The other day I went to the farmers market and stocked up on fresh vegetables and fruit without knowing what I would make with them, I was inspired by Mollie @frugalhausfrau, she and I were commenting about how much fun it would be to make cobblers, pandowdy’s, crisps etc… she has some awesome recipes make sure you check her blog out.

Both recipes are original or as original as any recipe can be. I posted the cobbler pastry on food52 years ago, it is adapted from Julia Childs Galette dough. The savory cobbler is Vegetarian, loaded with vegetables in a rich mushroom leek cream sauce. I used a biscuit cutter for the cobbler top rather than a rough look and to finish it, I grated some gruyere on top of each round. The beauty of the savory cobbler is that you can make the mushroom and leek base and add whatever kind of vegetables you like or have on hand. Note: For the savory cobbler I added some baking powder, I had thought about that before and my friend Emily who made this also suggested it. It’s not necessary for the sweet cobbler really as I treat it more like a pie crust but can be used for both.

The dessert cobbler is made with fresh ripe nectarines which are sweetened only with some gooseberry jam that I made a few weeks ago, the cobbler top is roughly pressed on top of fruit and sprinkled with a little sugar before baking. There is really no recipe required for this you can ad lib adding the type of fruit you like and sugar or jam. I love super easy to prepare foods.

This week I am honored to co host Fiesta Friday # 185 with the totally awesome Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and I am bringing both a dessert and main with me, both in the form of cobbler

Pastry for Cobbler

1 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 tsp baking powder (recommended for savory cobbler)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar or brown sugar (Use 1 tbs for the savory cobbler pastry)

3 tbs cold butter cut into pieces

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

Whisk together the dry ingredients, add the cold butter and break up with your hands or pastry cutter until it looks crumbly. Add the sour cream and milk and mix with a fork. It will become a cohesive but slightly wet/moist dough. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

Savory filling

3 small leeks, using only the white parts, cleaned VERY well (I cut into rounds and put in cold water rinsing until there is no sand in the bottom of the bowl)

1 package of mushrooms (I used white button) cleaned and sliced

String beans ( I used yellow) stem end removed (I did’t measure add as much as you like)

1 medium size zucchini – cut into bite size pieces

2 small carrots quartered lengthwise

2 tbs flour

cherry tomatoes cut in half

3 sprigs thyme

white wine (about 1/2 cup)

1 cup heavy cream (You can also use light cream, milk, half and half or non dairy milk)

splash of Worcestershire sauce (omit if making vegetarian or vegan)

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Line a sheet pan with parchment, place the zucchini, carrots and beans on the pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and pepper and roast until tender (approximately 20 minutes. While the vegetables are in the oven, put a little butter in a sauté pan and add the leeks, cook on medium high until softened, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until soft. Add the flour and continue to cook stirring so that the flour coats the leeks and mushrooms, add the wine, continue to cook, it will thicken considerably, stir in the cream and thyme,  cook until thickened, you can add a little water to thin it out if desired. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cherry tomatoes and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, remove the thyme sprigs. When vegetables in the oven are done add to the cream sauce and let cool a bit and spoon into baking dish, or a  10 inch cast iron skillet.

Making the cobbler

Increase oven temperature to 400 degree’s. Press the pastry into a circle approximately 1/2 inch thick. Using a glass or biscuit cutter cut rounds using all the dough. Place on top of the filling, grate a little gruyere or your favorite cheese on top of the rounds and bake until golden brown and bubbly about 35-45 minutes depending on your oven.

Nectarine Gooseberry Cobbler

1 small cobbler made in 6 inch cast iron skillet – serves 2

First let me say many will not have gooseberry jam, you can use anything you want or omit jam and use just fruit mixed with a little sugar.  I happened to have gooseberry jam in the fridge but any jam would be good, cherry I think would be delicious.

2-3 nectarines, cleaned and sliced

1/3 cup gooseberry or your favorite jam (if using just fruit add 2-3 tbs sugar)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of foil or parchment on baking sheet. Mix the fruit and jam or sugar and put into the skillet,  press the cobbler crust on top, sprinkle with a little sugar and bake until browned and bubbly approximately 30 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, heavy cream poured on or a spoonful of lightly sweetened creme fraiche.

 

 

 

 

Homemade Pasta

I grew up eating homemade pasta, my Mom made it all the time, she did it all by hand the rolling, cutting etc… no recipe she dumped flour on a work surface added eggs in a well she made in the middle of the flour and that was it. I remember seeing her knead the dough, roll it out and it was a lot of work but homemade pasta has always been one my favorite things to eat and a cherished childhood memory.

I take advantage of modern appliances and use my food processor to make the dough and have a pasta machine which really makes quick work of it all. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this pasta is simply with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic. For this dish I wanted to use some leftover very soft tomatoes and a friend gave me some tiny grape tomatoes and some basil from her garden. I planted 8 tomato plants this year and 2 basil plants, I was so optimistic about the tomatoes and had some beautiful  fruit on the plants, unfortunately I only got 1 tomato the squirrels got the rest and my basil died, both plants. I am lucky that the farmers market has beautiful heirloom tomatoes so like every year I will rely on my trips to the market for my tomato fix.

the almost ripe tomato that the squirrels decimated

Homemade Pasta

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

2 1/2 cups flour

4 eggs

2-4 tbs water (start with 2 add more if needed)

2 tbs olive oil

I used my food processor it’s so easy, put all the ingredients in the bowl of your processor and pulse until it becomes a cohesive dough. Take the dough out and knead until it’s smooth and elastic, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for at least an hour.

Homemade pasta

After resting, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Keep dough you are not working on covered with a tea towel. Use your pasta machine according to manufacturers directions. I start on 1 and work my way up, folding and re rolling as I go. I decided on fettuccine for this dish. After cutting the pasta place on baking sheet and toss with flour so it doesn’t stick together. Cover with towel while making each portion. Note: Pasta freezes beautifully so you can freeze whatever you don’t want to cook.

The pasta dish is so simple to make. I roasted tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Put a large pot of water on to boil, add about 1 tbs of salt, the water should be like sea water. In a skillet or sauté pan add some olive oil add some sliced garlic and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned and soft, add the roasted tomatoes. When water boils add the pasta, fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook. Using a strainer or pasta fork add it directly to the pan with tomatoes and garlic. Toss and cook for about 2 minutes. Add some fresh cherry tomatoes and some torn basil, grate some cheese, parmigiana or Romano or both, and enjoy!

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I had to reblog this, before this I had never heard of freezer jam. I miss the freshness of fruit that is lost in the cooking process, here is the answer to that. Thank you Dyanna!!

ravenhawks' magazine

This is my favorite freezer Jam recipes it can be applied to any fruit with a few adjustments. It makes 4 half-pint jars of jam. This one is made with strawberries. I have successfully used it with peaches, raspberries and cherries.  The fruit spread/jam can also be used as a topping on ice cream. It has a fresh fruit taste, and the low sugar  is what makes this a favorite for me. I grab a couple of jar out of the freezer for the pictures. You can see the jam keeps it color beautifully too.

3 cups mashed strawberries[1 1/2 pound fresh strawberries washed hulled and coarsely chopped, then mashed with a potato masher]
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute[Splenda]
3 tablespoons of instant pectin

  • Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl[glass, ceramic, or stainless steel]. Stir well and let stand about 30 minutes…

View original post 103 more words

Some Jam, Scones And Sour Cherry Hand Pies

When I saw the baskets of sour cherries and gooseberries at the farmers market I had to buy them. Both are delicious but really not great eaten fresh/raw. They are very sour on their own and I thought they would be best made into jam or preserves and a small jar of sour cherry pie filling. They are very tedious to prep, the sour cherries are small and soft and juicy and hard to pit, (please don’t eat cherry pits you can actually get sick when eaten in large enough quantities, saw this article on food52) and the gooseberries need to have the ends pinched off, both ends. Luckily I did not buy a huge amount of the fruit so although tedious it didn’t take me all day to prep them. I have been working on recipes for Teagan’s wonderful Thistledown episodes, I absolutely love this story and am inspired by the magickal world of faeries.

Refrigerator jam is a wonderful thing, no muss no fuss, no canning or preserving, it’s stored in the refrigerator rather than sealed properly and stored in the pantry. I still use sterilized jars and it does seal somewhat but not enough to make me comfortable storing unrefrigerated. It really lasts a long time in the fridge and if you haven’t ever made your own jam or preserves you must give it a go, it really is delicious.

I had 3 pints of sour cherries and 2 pint of gooseberries which was enough to make 2 16 ounce jars and 8 ounces of cherry pie filling. The scones are my favorite recipe from my friend on Food52 Liz Larkin aka @sconeladylarkin on Instagram. The recipe for scones IMHO is the best scone recipe ever, they are tender and light and delicious.

The hand pies were an after thought. There was leftover galette dough after making the tomato tart, and the small jar of cherry pie filling. Cherry pie has always been one of my favorites especially warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Royal Wedding Scones

Recipe by Liz Larkin on Food52

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbs baking powder

6 tbs cold unsalted butter

1 large egg

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Pulse the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder a couple of times in the food processor, add the butter and pulse about 10 times until the butter is broken up in the flour mixture don’t worry if there are some larger pieces butter it doesn’t have to be uniform crumbs. Dump the mixture into a large bowl and add the frozen blueberries. Mix the egg, cream and vanilla together and add to the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until just combined, be careful not to over mix.

The dough will be a bit shaggy, place on floured work surface and press gently into a circle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut in half, in half again and then each quarter into two wedges you will have 8 scones. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until completely frozen about 1 hour. You can then bake them or store in freezer bags until ready to use, I like to wrap each frozen scone individually in either plastic wrap or parchment.  Before baking brush the scones with some heavy cream and sprinkle some sugar on them. Bake in a 420 degree oven until golden brown, when touched with finger they will feel solid. Don’t over bake, because they are frozen it can take a little longer than usual approximately 20-25 minutes.

Sour Cherry Jam and Gooseberry jam

Makes 2 16 oz jars

2 pint sour cherries pitted, in separate pot 2 pint gooseberries trimmed

1 1/2 cup sugar each

pinch of salt

Cook on medium high heat until thickened. Test to see if its ready by spooning some of the jam on a very cold spoon, if it thickens it’s ready because it was not a lot of jam it only took a little less than 30 minutes to cook. Pour into sterilized jar, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Note: The longer you cook the thicker your jam will be, I like mine on the loose side so for my taste about 30 minutes was perfect.

Sour cherry pie filling

Makes 8 ounces

1 pint sour cherries pitted

2/3 cup sugar

4 tsp corn starch

pinch of salt

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

place everything in a medium non reactive pot and cook on medium high heat until thickened. Pour into clean or sterilized jar and refrigerate after it’s cooled to room temperature.

To make the hand pies use your favorite recipe for pie dough or pre made dough works great as well, using a biscuit or something round cut out circles, you will need 2 for each pie. Spoon a little filling in the middle, brush some egg was on the edge of the circle place the other round on top, seal, cut a vent in the top, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and bake in 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 5

I am tickled pink to share this with all of you. Another amazing episode of Thistledown and Teagan thank you for featuring my jam and letting my faerie alter ego be a part of this beautiful fantasy!!

Teagan's Books

Thistledown Girl

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the fae world of Thistledown.  I have a special guest today.  Many of you will know her because we’ve done several collaborative posts in the past.  If not, then allow me to present Suzanne DeBrango of A Pug in the Kitchen

Suzanne is a multi-talented woman — chef (and great photographer of her foods) and blogger.  And if you’re ever in need of property in New York, this “Brooklyn pug gal” is also an award winning real estate agent. 

She was inspired by the fae magic Pick (the cousin of the character she named) when he coaxed cherries off the trees and they rolled to him, rather than being picked.  Then, lucky for us, she found beautiful sour cherries at her farmers’ market.  Here’s Suzanne to tell us about the recipe she’s sharing here today.

I was thrilled to find sour cherries…

View original post 2,608 more words