Turn A Sad Pie Into Happiness.

Did your sister make a sickeningly sweet, sad, vegan pumpkin pie?

Did your diabetic brother-in-law cut the sugar into 3/4ths and burn the crust?

Did your other sister make a fcherry pie with a failed gluten free crust? Mine didn’t, but it could happen!

Don’t let these pies die on the table! Revive them!

Take the filling out of the pie and add them to your favorite waffle recipe! Cut the sweetness by using buttermilk, a sour dough starter or plain kefer!

Did the pie have sugared nuts that melted into the sadness? Chop them up and put those in, too!

Add the filling to fritters, milkshakes, or bake them into muffins or tea cakes!

Waste not, want all!! This doesn’t have to be the sad ending to a great day, but a beautiful beginning to a new day!

Here’s a picture of the Vegan Pumpkin Pie that I turned into buttery, delicious NOT VEGAN waffles!

Thanksgiving.

Hope everyone has enjoyed a beautiful day without too much butting heads.

The last few days, I’ve had severe allergy attacks, so I’ve been cranky, thanks to migraines.

I have a large family with so many dietary restrictions, so I usually stand out of the way and let everyone else cook their special requests. 3 different dressings, pumpkin pies and green bean casseroles to accommodate the gluten free, diabetic, and vegan of the family. That’s not including the other allergies like cayenne, banana and sulfates. Yes, I’ll have just some water, please!

My contribution this year was small, but mighty. Cranberry Apple Cheesecake!

I used Bobby Flay’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe, which I was going to make, but I cannot stand artificial apple flavoring (in the alcohols) and my family said they’d rather have cranberry instead.

So, I added Simple apple juice in a pan, fresh ground ginger and nutmeg. Orange zest and juice, cloves, vanilla bean, vanilla, allspice and cinnamon. 3 small green apples thinly sliced. Boiled and reduced to half. Added one and a half cups of white sugar and a bag of cranberries. Cooked until they all popped. Then mashed them to make sure they were all mush. Could blend them for a smoother texture, I guess. Make it your own.

Garnished with a few cranberries and sprigs of rosemary. Could crumble some walnuts on top, too. So many ways to make it beautiful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Walnut Crusted and Stuffed.

I unfortunately was unable to periscope today, but that didn’t stop me from making my vision come alive.

I’ve had a difficult week. Not to be confused with bad. My life is very good, however, still challenging. Cooking and baking calms me down. It’s my zin, if you will. This is where I can focus on the task in front of me and stop thinking of all that troubles me or lies ahead. It all goes down the kitchen sink!

So I made a walnut crusted chicken. Which was just a bone in chicken (bought the wrong thing) soaked in buttermilk, salt and pepper, then coated in walnuts. Then I stuffed it with basil, garlic pear and cheese. Smoked Gouda and another kind. Maybe asiago or parmesan. I don’t remember. Got olive oil hot and browned it after tying it shut. Actually, before searing it, I realized while drinking wine that I could have soaked the pears in wine. So I poured wine on it, then seared it. Foiled it and ovened it.

Sweet potatoes sliced really thin. Boiled in salty water. Drained, covered in olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. High heat oven. Bake for as long as chicken.

To eat a delicious meal after a long week of barely eating more than pastries is rewarding. Very much like a Sunday supper. Everyone should have one decent meal a week.

 

 

 

The Bread.

Well, my bread turned out worse and actually better than I expected.

I don’t have a dutch oven.

Cast iron.

Took advice from pastry chefs. Turns out ye ol’ oven is a bit more hot than hell. So the bottom’s burned. Actually, the one on the left REALLY burned. With a 50 minute cook time, they scorched in 30 at 475° F. Why yes, I do have many questions about how this is actually supposed to cater to the home baker. I know my oven is a bit wonky, and outdated, but I’ve never experienced such results.

The bread is a bit chewy, dense, and minimal holes. Kind of delightful, but I know where to improve, and I will. It’s shining moment is when it’s lightly toasted with butter and raspberry jam. I will make bread pudding with the burnt loaf. Yes, I will.

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Breadlandia.

I really wanted to be good and science-y with this adventure in Breadland.

But I realized really quickly that the terminology for bread baking is just hard to follow.
I think I am learning how to succeed by failing. I am ok with this.
I’ve been missing up since the first feeding of my starter.
I went straight to the bookstore and bought a $35 book on water, salt and flour.
This is a book written by one of Portland’s finest. I would be drawn to it.

I was so eager to start making bread that I didn’t plan a single thing.
I don’t plan. That’s kind of my thing. Winging it. Flying by the seat of my pants!
This goes doubly for things that happen in the kitchen.

I wanted so badly to follow every single rule.
But with allergies especially, this book was hard for me to comprehend.

And the time it takes!
Good LORD! I thought it was an all day thing, but it is seriously like an entire week ordeal.

Every tiny step requires 5-12 extra hours.
It’s for the home baker, yet it wants you to use 12 q buckets! And tells you that the recipe usually makes “extra” for focaccia.
That’s GREAT, if I wanted 12 loaves of bread hanging out in my house. But it just doesn’t keep that long, and I wish I could, but I can’t eat that much bread that fast.

It told me to weigh 300 and some odd grams of the levain.
Well, I already mixed that with the first batch of flour. Because I thought I was supposed to. I didn’t realize another bowl was needed for a separate mixture of flour and whatnot.
But I messed that all up yesterday, anyhow, by making last minute dinner plans and not being able to tend to the bread properly, so I put it in the fridge.
Of course, I was late getting home tonight, so I couldn’t get the bread back to the right temp in time. So I just said, “Oh well, we will just see.”
The starter is an unfed day 5 to begin with. Frowned upon, I learned.

But it smelled like the bread I wanted to eat.

Where are we now? Oh yes, we are in the folding stages. I wait 3 hours to give it its first folding. But I already did that (oops), so we’ll just skip ahead in 3 hours to the 2nd folding and dividing.
Tomorrow afternoon, before work, I will bake it.
I’ll just go ahead and get it over with.

Because how long should it really take for you to make a loaf of bread?

Now I know why Jesus just magically made all that fish and bread appear from thin air.

Pictures soon.