Sunday, December 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Gingerbread

I knew I'd have an issue with this month's challenge with my whole baking hiatus and all. When I saw what the challenge was, I groaned at the thought of it. There was no way I was gonna make one of those cheesy gingerbread houses

Then I started thinking about it. I read the rules over a couple times trying to think of a way around it. Then it came to me. I decided I was gonna do a gingerbread version of some sort of satanic cult type thing. See, that would be so much cooler. I started looking for assorted satanic symbolism when I found pics of the Jonestown mass suicide. I found gingerbread templates for the church. I figured I could use one of those chalk outlines to make my gingerbread people look dead. I had figured out how to make tubs of purple koolaid. I figured a river of blood would be good too.

However, in the end, my hatred for Christmas won. I didn't actually make anything and stuck with my baking hiatus. It might be my indifference that one. Just think how cool my gingerbread house would be if I had done it.

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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

OK this is probably gonna seem weird but I actually liked the leftovers better than the stuffed mushrooms themselves. At first I made them and ate a few and they were decent. Decent enough to eat but not amazing enough to write home to mom about. I stuck the rest in the fridge, where they sat for several days.

At that point I didn't feel like reheating them and having them again. So I chopped them up. I added them to some sweated onions and olive oil, some spaghetti with a bit of pasta water and voila, a whole new dish! I am not entirely sure how this happened but it ended up tasting really creamy. I am thinking that's because of the pasta water emulsifying with some of the oil but so not intentional but it came out really good! Which is a good thing because I have about 6 meals worth of it left. At least I can put a few in the freezer and I can have them when I come back.

While I took pics, I am too lazy to find my card reader right now.

Here's the recipe for the mushrooms. Chosen by Michelle. Thanks for the tasty leftovers!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Croissant Bread Pudding

I'm late, I know. I have a good excuse. Like I usually do. I got some sort of nasty stomach virus. One that had me getting to know my bathroom waaaay too well. OK that was probably enough information to gross you out and not make you want to read the rest of this post.

Anyway, this is not a dessert for when your stomach is not feeling well. Especially if you are lactose intolerant. Not with all that cream and richness. So this had to wait until that passed. And the week after that... well.... so I'm slow.

I fudged the recipe a bit. I used 8 mini croissants. I used fat free half and half. I cut back the recipe, 4 cups 1/2 and 1/2, 6 yolks, 2 whole eggs, 1c sugar. I baked it in a few individual ramekins and a loaf pan. Oh and I added chocolate chips instead of raisins. So did I really follow the recipe at all? Not very well. Oh well.

I found it very eggy. I think it would have been better if I'd cut it back by an egg. Although I thought I had because I saw comments that said it was eggy. Oh well.

I have put off posting this because I keep meaning to put my pics in but alas I am lazy and I give up so these are getting posted now.

Here's the recipe. Thanks Peggy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Turkey Pho

I actually had really little food left from Thanksgiving. I had made a 13 lb turkey and a few sides. All I had left was a little bit of turkey, cranberry sauce and a couple asparagus spears. The biggest thing I had left was the turkey stock.

I used the carcass to make a big pot of turkey stock. I had brined my turkey so that made my stock super simple. If you don't brine it (but why wouldn't you, it's so easy!) then you might need to get some seasonings in there.

I used the chunks of meat that came off the bone during the broth making process for the meat in this dish. I suppose you could add other turkey meat if you don't have enough but mine had tons of meat left.

Now if you are looking for an authentic pho, you should probably go to the original recipe. Me, I'm trying to use leftovers and make something relatively healthy (relative to me so as long as it has less than 1 lb of butter it's healthy) and uses what I have.


Get your biggest stock pot. Put all the remaining bones, skin, gristle, and I threw in all the herbs and whatnot. Pretty much slice off the meat you are gonna eat and throw everything else into the stock pot. You may want to break apart some of the bones to fit it into the pot. Add water until everything is just covered and cover the pot. Heat on medium high heat until you just start to see a bubble or 2. Then turn down to low. You are aiming for 190 so you should only see a bubble every once in a while. This helps keep the broth clear. Leave it on low for 8 hours. Skim the fat and foam off the top periodically. Strain out all the bones and gristle. Cool on the counter until it reaches room temp. Then portion out and refrigerate or freeze. When you refrigerate it, it will gel up.

based on this recipe from Steamy Kitchen

2 quarts turkey broth
2" piece of ginger
2 tbsp coriander
4 cloves
1 all spice berry
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce

Simmer everything together for 1.5 hours. Remove the ginger, coriander, cloves and all spice. I put the spices in a strainer submerged in the broth for easy removal.

Serve with:
Dark meat turkey
rice noodles
roasted asparagus
Hoisin sauce
Green onion, cut into small rings