I have learned a few tips over the years relative to baking. I was never very good baking. My pastries were always dry. The whole process was depressing. Then I started watching cooking shows and then my sister-n-law Roxanne gave me the Baking Illustrated cookbook. […]
Month: November 2009
The theme for our latest craft session is the Fall Harvest. If you have seen my previous posts on gardening you will know I have a black thumb so unfortunately there was nothing to actually harvest here. However, at the end of our street is a corn field and not too much farther from our home is a cotton field.
We made ears of corn by gluing bubble wrap, cut in the shape of a corn cob, to a piece of construction paper also in the shape of a corn cob. Here we used yellow but you may also use green. We painted the bubble wrap with yellow paint. After the paint dried we glued on the husks, using green construction paper. Glue the corn to a piece of paper or to skewers to display.
Use a toilet paper or paper towel roll for the trunk of the tree. I happened to have an empty wrapping paper tube which allowed us to make various sizes of apple trees. Next, cut 1-2 inches off the bottom of a paper plate. Color the paper plate using green paint or markers. We used a sponge cut into a 1-inch square piece and dabbed the paint on. For the apples we used a 1/4-inch square piece of sponge and red paint.Cut a slit in the top of the tube to slide the paper plate into when dry.
Whole cloves are expensive at the grocery store. Instead shop your local dollar store or Big Lots. Push the cloves into the orange for a wonderful fall aroma. Make a design or completely cover the orange and display.
A couple Friday’s ago Stephen brought home a pumpkin muffin with strussel topping. I was gracious for his thoughtfulness. Now, normally a pumpkin muffin would have sounded appetizing but I just was not that interested. You see last year I went pumpkin crazy. I finally […]
Wild rice pilaf evokes fall with the warmth of the pecans and mushrooms reminiscent of homemade Thanksgiving stuffing. I love the added protein from the garbanzo beans. They lend a chewy filler without the fat and extra calories associated with sausage. I like to boil the orzo in chicken broth to add more flavor. Wild rice pilaf can also be used to stuff a turkey or Cornish hens.
Orzo may resemble barley in shape but is technically a pasta. Still many refer to it as a rice and so when looking for the pasta you might want to try the rice isle first.
Source: Rachael Ray
3 ounces wild rice (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 pound orzo pasta
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Half of a 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper
Cook the wild rice according to package directions; transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until al dente; drain. Add to the wild rice.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pecans and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are toasted and the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and chickpeas. Add the vegetable mixture to the orzo mixture; season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings
Apples and cranberries scream Autumn. Wrap the colorful goodness up in a pastry shell and you have got an apple and cranberry strudel. The warm aroma of cinnamon and apples permeate the house. Take a bite and taste the tart cranberries dancing on your taste buds.
The last time I made a strudel was not long after we moved to Santa Rosa. We had just moved into a lovely apartment three stories high, imagine moving in and out of that place. The strudel recipe came from the same cookbook as the sweet chili chicken recipe that became a household favorite. That was the day my Pampered Chef stone baking sheet cracked down the middle. I heard a loud bang from the oven and when I went to investigate there was the strudel straddling a gaping chasm of stone. I also discovered that our apartment had an ant infestation and German cockroaches. Not a good omen. But, the war was quickly won and the dream bubble not completely deflated. I never wanted to look at another strudel again that is until I found this recipe for apple cranberry strudel.
I picked up puffy pastry by accident and was happy with the outcome. The box contains two sheets of dough so I ended up with two nice sized strudels. The puffy pastry is a lot less work and there is no layering and repetitious brushing involved.
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
1-1/4 pounds Fuji apples (about 2 apples), peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 sheets phyllo dough
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick foil, or coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine cranberries and water. Let stand 5 minutes, then drain.
In a large bowl, combine apples, softened cranberries, honey, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss until combined.
Unroll phyllo on work surface; cover with damp towel. Separate one sheet and place on clean surface. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and dust with a little ground cinnamon. Place another sheet on top; coat with spray and dust with cinnamon. Repeat 6 more times, coating each with spray and dusting with cinnamon.
Spoon filling along a long side of phyllo, 3 inches in from edge, leaving 1 inch at either end. Fold both short sides (ends) over filling. Fold 3-inch-wide long strip over filling; roll up, jelly-roll-style. Place, seam side down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes, until nicely browned. Let cool on rack for at least 20 minutes. Slice with a serrated knife.