Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Happy New Garden

Happy 2010!

Crazy to think that a new decade is upon us, no? Well, here's to ten more fantastic years!

One of my personal goals (er, resolutions I suppose?) is to start a big garden. I grew some chives, green onions, a few jalapenos this past year but nothing to be proud of really. Not that I plan on growing a 1200 pound pumpkin or entering contests or anything of that sort ;)

I placed my very first seed order today with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I just couldn't wait anymore. Not sure why, since I can't really sow (even indoors) til February or so. But I've never been much of a patient person anyways.

Here's what I ordered!!

Blue Lake bush beans
Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans
Dragon Tongue bush bean
Hutterite Soup bush bean

Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli

Lunar White Carrot
Cosmic Purple carrot

Country Gentlemen Sweet Corn
Dakota Black Popcorn

Delikatasse Cucumber
Marketmore Cucumber

Green leaf gailan- Chinese kale (aka Chinese Broccoli)
Tatsoi (never had but heard it was good in stirfries, same with gailan)
Russian Red or Rugged Jack Kale
Sanguien Ameliore or Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce (very pretty!)
Tom Thumb lettuce

Charentais Melon

Flat of Italy onion (purple/red small cippolinni like)

Hollow Crown Parsnip (cannot wait to make parsnip chips with this, via Alton Brown’s recipe!)

Leutschauer Paprika Pepper (want to try making my own paprika)
California Wonder Pepper, Bell
Sweet Chocolate Pepper, Bell

Tomatillo Verde

Green Zebra Tomato (I don’t like tomatoes, but these are pretty and I figure I’ll make salsas with them, Green Zebra will go perfect with the tomatillos in a salsa or guacomole!)
Black Cherry Tomato
Brandywine Tomato

Sugar Baby Watermelon (seemed like the right size for me & roomies)

Borage (heard it was good for companion planting)
Catnip (for the kitties)
Dill Bouquet
Parsley Giant Of Italy

I already have some seeds for radishes, rainbow swiss chard, rosemary, genovese basil, jalapenos and some other peppers, pie pumpkins, cilantro/coriander, pomegranates, and a few others. I did totally forget to order Jarrahdale and Cinderella pumpkins from Baker Creek, so perhaps I can call or email tomorrow morning and add to my order :( Guess I was TOO excited to checkout!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Sarcastic Quilter for getting picked by Random. org as entry #114 (this was including all the extra chance entries) !!

I'll contact you for your address!

Thanks again everyone for entering :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway Time!

*Giveaway is Over, thanks!*

It's been awhile since I did a giveaway, and what better way to do one then on December 2nd, Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!

Starting December 2nd thru December 6th you can enter to win one of my handmade lavender-scented muscle relief bags! (If you have allergy concerns let me know and I will substitute unscneted.)

To enter:

- Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite scent is or what your favorite item from my shop is

- Leave an email in your comment so I can contact you, no email will disqualify you!

Open to US & Canada residents.

If you would like extra entries please leave seperate comment(s) below for each you do:

- Follow my blog (1 entry)

- Become a fan on my Facebook page (1 entry)

- Tweet about the giveaway (i.e. "Muscle Relief Bag giveaway at @LoveMeKnot") (1 entry)

- Buy something from my shop , leave a link to the transaction please(5 entries)

- Buy anything from Etsy, leave a link of your transaction please (1 entry)

- Buy something from any of my local team members from etsyRAIN, leave a link to your transaction (3 entries)

- Post about my giveaway on your blog, leave me a link to it (3 entries)

That's a whole lotta chances folks. Have fun and thanks for being awesome.

Winner will be announced on December 6th between Noon PST and 9pm PST (I know, big time window but I work!) Winner will be picked via, so go do the work for the extra entries!!

Ciao and have a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iron Cupcake: Apple

Yes... I joined another online baking competition....

Iron Cupcake is a monthly challenge to bake cupcakes around the monthly theme, November happened to be Apples. Below you'll find the recipes...
Our Generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:

Vanilla Cinnamon Cupcakes found via Baketastic
(FYI mine turned out more like muffins. Chewy, hard, muffins. Not happy.)

- 2 cups regular white sugar
- 2 sticks of butter (unsalted & room temp)
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I did about 2 tbps less...)
- 2 tbsp applesauce (this is why I did less milk)
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups flour (sifted)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 2 tsps cinnamon

I creamed the butter and suagr together in my kitchenaid, I recommend cutting the butter into smaller pieces and not trying to cream or mix it while still in sticks. Trust me.

While the butter/sugar are mingling, whisk the eggs in a seperate small bowl, then when butter/sugar is mixed, add the eggs about one at a time. Once one egg is incorporated, add the next. When all 4 eggs are mixed in add in the vanilla.

In a seperate bowl, add the flour and add in the cinnamon, baking powder, and a small pinch of salt.Slowly add in the milk to the flour mixture. You now fold in the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Don't overmix! This is where I went wrong and it created more gluten and made the cupcakes chewy! If you need to, the recipe said you can add more milk to get your desired consistency. Then I took a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scooped into muffin tins with paper muffin wrappers in them. The original recipe didn't have a baking time or temp, so I tried them at 350 for 15 minutes, but then they weren't ready so they actually took about 25 or so minutes. When you can insert either a toothpick or a clean knife into the center of one and it comes out clean, then they are ready.

While the cupcakes were baking, I made my Applejack Caramel Sauce and Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting from Sweetest Kitchen

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
12 pecans (I did not use these)

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using. Frost cupcakes then top each cupcake with a pecan.

Applejack Caramel Sauce from Kitchen Bliss
Applejack-Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Bobby Flay's recipes found here

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons apple brandy (recommended: Calvados) (I also used Applejack)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat (do not stir), swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, until amber in color, 10 to 12 minutes.
While the caramel is cooking. Place the heavy cream in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and keep warm.

When the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and salt and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the apple brandy and vanilla extract. Keep warm.

*This happened all so fast for me, so try to have the applejack & vanilla pre measured into a small bowl so you can just dump it in when the caramel is ready. This stuff is ridiculously good.

After cupcakes are cooled, frost them, and I drizzled the caramel sauce on top. Delicious!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black Friday and Cyber Monday and what-nots...

Hi there.

'Member me?

Yeah, it's been awhile....

Sorry. To show I'm sorry, I thought I'd let my blog readers first know of my next sale going on.
Yup, it's that time of year again, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales galore.

Now, if you're anything like me (and I'm assuming you are, since you read blogs), you hate going out in public on Black Friday. And I mean hate-hate. So why bother getting up at 4am, driving around in traffic, getting screwed on the last good parking spot, and stand in line for aticket when you can just go make some coffee, cozy up to your computer in some flannel PJs and shop online?

That's how I roll, and this is how you should too.

So, my Etsy Shop will be having another Black Friday thru Cyber Monday sale:
Buy One Get One Half Off (plus free US shipping.)

My items are now all made with the new style with the removeable (and washable) exterior cover for the bags and eye pillows. Yes, the sale will apply to custom orders as long as the order is place between Friday November 27 and Monday November 30th. The sale will not apply towards gift certificates. Sorry, it's just a pain, and I'm all about pain-free Thanksgiving Weekend.

Speaking of November 30th....

Have you heard of 30 on 30?

No? Oh. Well, let me enlighten you. It was started on the Etsy forums (I think) and I have decided to join the movement.

Basically, you spend $30 on November 30th to help support Handmade items. What better day to make a pledge of support then on Cyber Monday? The one day of the year that is notorious for online sales!
Simply go to Etsy and search for "30on30" (no " " needed), then have fun shopping while in the comfort of your home :)

Any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers September Challenge- Puff Pastry

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

My heart did a little flutter when I read the September challenge was puff pastry.
A little of fear and also of lust....

You see, I have this thing for baking. And pastries. And the thought of ME making my own puff pastry is quite scary. It's SO easy to go to the store and grab a frozen box of pre-made pastry, right?

Ahh well. I thought I'd give this a go and you know what, it wasn't THAT bad. It was time-consuming, mainly cause I did part one night, then refrigerated overnight, and continued the next day. And it was VERY messy. I am still getting flour out from under my nails...

I think the best partof the challenge was the free reign to do our own fillings :)

I did one sweet (Blackberries with a Triple Vanilla-Honey Mascarpone Cream) and a savory (Herbed Goat Cheese Whip.) After the puff pastry info, I'll give you the recipes for my fillings.


Puff pastry (aka pâte feuilletée) is something most of us usually buy at the grocery store, but in order to be really daring, we should make our own at least once in awhile, right? Kitchens should be getting cooler in the northern hemisphere, and are hopefully still cool-ish in the sourthern hempisphere, so I’m hoping you will all join me in making homemade puff pastry from Michel Richard’s recipe, as it appears in the book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. With our homemade puff we’ll be forming vols-au-vent cases to fill with anything we chose.

Puff pastry is in the ‘laminated dough” family, along with Danish dough and croissant dough. (In fact, if you participated in the Danish Braid challenge back in June 2008, then you already know the general procedure for working with laminated dough.) A laminated dough consists of a large block of butter (called the “beurrage”) that is enclosed in dough (called the “détrempe”). This dough/butter packet is called a “paton,” and is rolled and folded repeatedly (a process known as “turning”) to create the crisp, flaky, parallel layers you see when baked. Unlike Danish or croissant however, puff pastry dough contains no yeast in the détrempe, and relies solely aeration to achieve its high rise. The turning process creates hundreds of layers of butter and dough, with air trapped between each one. In the hot oven, water in the dough and the melting butter creates steam, which expands in the trapped air pockets, forcing the pastry to rise.

Once we have our puff pastry dough made and chilled, we are going to roll and form a portion of it into vols-au-vent, which are little puff pastry cases designed to hold a filling. I chose vols-au-vent specifically because I think they do a beautiful job of showing off the hundreds of flaky layers in the homemade puff. They can be made large enough for a full meal, or made small for little one-bite canapés, the choice is yours. Vols-au-vent are typically served hot and filled with a creamy savory filling (often poultry or seafood-based), but cold fillings, such as chicken or tuna salad, work, too. Whipped cream or pastry cream with fresh or stewed fruit often goes into sweet versions. If you are stumped for ideas for your filling(s), a quick on-line search or a glance at a traditional French cookbook will give you plenty of things to consider.

-food processor (will make mixing dough easy, but I imagine this can be done by hand as well)
-rolling pin
-pastry brush
-metal bench scraper (optional, but recommended) **I didn't have one. Would make it easier though!
-plastic wrap
-baking sheet
-parchment paper
-silicone baking mat (optional, but recommended)**I didn't have one. Would make it easier though!
-set of round cutters (optional, but recommended) ** I had one round cutter the big one, then used a 1/3cup measuering cup for the small one.
-sharp chef’s knife
-cooling rack

Prep Times:
-about 4-5 hours to prepare the puff pastry dough (much of this time is inactive, while you wait for the dough to chill between turns…it can be stretched out over an even longer period of time if that better suits your schedule)
-about 1.5 hours to shape, chill and bake the vols-au-vent after your puff pastry dough is complete

Forming and Baking the Vols-au-Vent

Yield: 1/3 of the puff pastry recipe below will yield about 8-10 1.5” vols-au-vent or 4 4” vols-au-vent

In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need:
-well-chilled puff pastry dough (recipe below)
-egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water)
-your filling of choice

Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divided your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces. Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage. See the “Tips” section below for more storage info.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting.

(This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef’s knife.) For smaller, hors d'oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5” round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4” cutter to cut out about 4 circles. Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)

Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little “caps” for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.

Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little “caps,” dock and egg wash them as well.

Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)

Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly. Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent. If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center “caps” they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)

Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature for cold fillings or to warm for hot fillings.

Fill and serve.

*For additional rise on the larger-sized vols-au-vents, you can stack one or two additional ring layers on top of each other (using egg wash to "glue"). This will give higher sides to larger vols-au-vents, but is not advisable for the smaller ones, whose bases may not be large enough to support the extra weight.

*Although they are at their best filled and eaten soon after baking, baked vols-au-vent shells can be stored airtight for a day.

*Shaped, unbaked vols-au-vent can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month (bake from frozen, egg-washing them first).

Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough

From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 2-1/2 pounds dough

Steph’s note: This recipe makes more than you will need for the quantity of vols-au-vent stated above. While I encourage you to make the full recipe of puff pastry, as extra dough freezes well, you can halve it successfully if you’d rather not have much leftover.

There is a wonderful on-line video from the PBS show “Baking with Julia” that accompanies the book. In it, Michel Richard and Julia Child demonstrate making puff pastry dough (although they go on to use it in other applications). They do seem to give slightly different ingredient measurements verbally than the ones in the book…I listed the recipe as it appears printed in the book.

2-1/2 cups (12.2 oz/ 354 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (5.0 oz/ 142 g) cake flour
1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
1-1/4 cups (10 fl oz/ 300 ml) ice water
1 pound (16 oz/ 454 g) very cold unsalted butter

plus extra flour for dusting work surface

Mixing the Dough:

Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.

Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)

Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that's about 1" thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporating the Butter:

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10" square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with "ears," or flaps.

Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don't just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8" square.

To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the Turns:

Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24" (don't worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24", everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).

With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.

Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24" and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.

Chilling the Dough:

If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you've completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.

The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.

Steph’s extra tips:

-While this is not included in the original recipe we are using (and I did not do this in my own trials), many puff pastry recipes use a teaspoon or two of white vinegar or lemon juice, added to the ice water, in the détrempe dough. This adds acidity, which relaxes the gluten in the dough by breaking down the proteins, making rolling easier. You are welcome to try this if you wish.

-Keep things cool by using the refrigerator as your friend! If you see any butter starting to leak through the dough during the turning process, rub a little flour on the exposed dough and chill straight away. Although you should certainly chill the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns, if you feel the dough getting to soft or hard to work with at any point, pop in the fridge for a rest.

-Not to sound contradictory, but if you chill your paton longer than the recommended time between turns, the butter can firm up too much. If this seems to be the case, I advise letting it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to give it a chance to soften before proceeding to roll. You don't want the hard butter to separate into chuncks or break through the want it to roll evenly, in a continuous layer.

-Roll the puff pastry gently but firmly, and don’t roll your pin over the edges, which will prevent them from rising properly. Don't roll your puff thinner than about about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick, or you will not get the rise you are looking for.

-Try to keep “neat” edges and corners during the rolling and turning process, so the layers are properly aligned. Give the edges of the paton a scooch with your rolling pin or a bench scraper to keep straight edges and 90-degree corners.

-Brush off excess flour before turning dough and after rolling.

-Make clean cuts. Don’t drag your knife through the puff or twist your cutters too much, which can inhibit rise.

-When egg washing puff pastry, try not to let extra egg wash drip down the cut edges, which can also inhibit rise.

-Extra puff pastry dough freezes beautifully. It’s best to roll it into a sheet about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (similar to store-bought puff) and freeze firm on a lined baking sheet. Then you can easily wrap the sheet in plastic, then foil (and if you have a sealable plastic bag big enough, place the wrapped dough inside) and return to the freezer for up to a few months. Defrost in the refrigerator when ready to use.

-You can also freeze well-wrapped, unbaked cut and shaped puff pastry (i.e., unbaked vols-au-vent shells). Bake from frozen, without thawing first.

-Homemade puff pastry is precious stuff, so save any clean scraps. Stack or overlap them, rather than balling them up, to help keep the integrity of the layers. Then give them a singe “turn” and gently re-roll. Scrap puff can be used for applications where a super-high rise is not necessary (such as palmiers, cheese straws, napoleons, or even the bottom bases for your vols-au-vent).


Blackberries with Triple-Vanilla Honey Cream:

This is my own creation. And I must say, it is quite tasty....
You'll need:
-Blackberries, approx. 2 cups worth
- 1 TB Honey, I used local stuff, Wild Flower
- 1, 8oz tub of Mascarpone cheese
- 1 TspVanilla extract I made my own months ago and used it
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Sugar, I made mine months ago also and used it, simply a few vanilla beans in with regular sugar, although if you do not have vanilla sugar you can substitute regular sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded (slit the bean in half, then use a sharp small knife to scrape out the black yummy goodness of seeds in there, but in your main mixing bowl

I put the honey in a warm water 'bath', by putting the honey jar inside a bowl of warm water. This will help liquify it a bit and make it easier to mix.

Get the cheese out and put on the counter, it needs to warm up just a tad so it is also easier to mix.

In the mixing bowl with the vanilla bean seeds, drop in the cheese, add the extract, sugar, and honey and mix all together. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, I added a tad more honey, but that's me. :)

I recommend using a tupperware re-sealable bowl as your main mixing bowl, then yuo can simply put the lid on and refrigerate if not using all at once.

Next you will simply dollop some of the cream into your vols-au-vent and add in the blackberries.


Smoked Paprika and Garlic Goat Cheese Mousse:
- Approximately 10 oz of goat cheese, not already flavored (I bough 2 5.5oz packages)
- Minced garlic (I used 2 cloves)
-Miced shallot
-a pinch of Smoked Paprika
-a pinch of garlic granules or garlic powder
- Cream, start with 1-2 TB

I suggest letting the cheese get to room temp before mixing. Once it is, pour all ingredients into the same bowl and mix together. I start with about 1-2 tablespoons of cream, then add as necessary, about another 1-2 tsps. I just used my spatula, however you could use your stand mixer is you want a fluffier mousse! (I call it a mousse, cause it looks like it, however I don't know what the real definition of one is so sorry if I am wrong!)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Omnivore 100...

I Stumbled Upon this article and thought it could be fun to try it out :)

"Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food – but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake"


You can find the website here

Looks like I need to start eating more "exotic" stuff.... hmm.. although I am proud to say I've never had a McD's Big Mac :)