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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Busy Bee

I can't believe it's been so long since I've put up an actual post. I have been cooking, it's just been quite busy around here. Work has been wearing me down but it's getting better with each day that I work. We had a belated Thanksgiving last Saturday instead since I worked the day before, the day of and the day after thanksgiving. So by the time Saturday rolled around, I was so tired, I didn't want to start cooking for thanksgiving, but I got my lazy butt up and at it.

I've been having soup alot lately for dinner and I really enjoy that. It's getting chilly here, so when I get home it's so nice to just warm up some soup for dinner. Plus, I'm the only one who has soup, so it lasts for several days which means, I don't need to cook! YAY!
I know I haven't blogged about school lately, but we did pies for like 3 weeks straight, and by the time thanksgiving came, I was so tired of pies, I couldn't possibly say one more word about it. lol. Last week we made croissants and my group got the whole wheat croissants. We made some plain like the one below and we also stuffed some with a mixture of spinach, olive oil, pecirino (?) cheese. Did you know stuffed croissants are supposed to be straight, not curled at the tips like a normal croissants. Ahh...the secrets we learn here at school. :-)
I have more to come, but finals week is this coming week so I gotta work and study and probably won't be able to post until after finals. :-( So you guys have a good week!

Monday, November 26, 2007


This month has both been fast and slow at the same time. I can't believe it is almost December! My favorite month! :-D which also means that it is time to reveal Novembers Daring Bakers Challenge - completed I might add. This month hosted by Tanna from My Kitchen In Half Cups

Our wondrous recipe this month was : Tender Potato Bread
When I saw this, I had definite mixed feelings about this little gem (though little it was not). I have the most massive amount of passion for baking breads. It's what I live to do BUT! I have not had luck with potato in bread before. I've only tried one time, and that one time was enough to make me not want to do this again by my own will. So I was more than a little hesitant about it, but was amazed that I didn't need all that much flour to make it less sticky. I have to say though that I found this bread more enjoyable the day after it was baked.
We were allowed to put whatever toppings we wanted, so I went searching in my cupboard for anything I could use to make it more appealing. I made rolls in a 9 inch pan, topping it with mozzarella cheese and poppy seeds. I served this with some homemade vege soup I made.
Here it is pulled apart, yummy yummy yummy!!! Kinda drooling remembering how moist and tender the crumb was. :-D
I also made a cheddar and mozzarella potato loaf too. I guess I should've rolled it up a little tighter so that there isn't a crater inside my bread. lol. Now I know. It must've been good because my husband asked me to make it again ;-) Another mission down. This is a keeper!
Tender Potato Bread(from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet)
-4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.
-4 cups(950 ml) water reserve cooking water
-1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons active dry yeast
-6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour
Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):
Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well. Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.
Measure out 3 cups(750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable.
Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.
Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.
Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.
Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.Tanna Note: At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


It's a pecan! It's a biscotti! NO! It's a Pescotti!!!!!!!

Actually it's really just a whole wheat pecan slice. It looks like a biscotti though doesn't it? This was really simple to make and just so so so so so so SO delicious. The best thing is, actually the amazing thing is that it contains NO butter at all. SCORE! and they're whole wheat.

They are just the right amount of sweetness and I think they are best fresh out of the oven because the outside is crisp and the inside is tender and soft and warm. They are good once they are cooled too. They have the same texture as a biscotti once they have hardened and cooled. I'm not a huge fan of pecans alone but when they are this finely ground and sweetened, it's really tasty. Next time I will add some cranberries in there. I bet that would go well together.

Whole Wheat Pecan Slices aka 'Pescotti'
1.5 C sugar
3 C pecans, finely ground
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 ts cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 eggs ( I used eggbeaters)
1/2 ts vanillia
Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix eggs with vanilla and pour into the dry ingredients. Combine together evenly and shape into 3 bars, flatten the top and place on greased baking sheet. Brush liberally with eggwash and bake 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Be careful to watch closely as they burn really fast once they start to brown. Cut when cool, but I prepare to cut them warm and eat them warm. Emmm...soft.
Here is an update on work. It is going well and I enjoy it when I'm engrossed in my work but like all new jobs, I sometimes do not know if I am overstepping my boundaries so there was lag time sometimes, and I can not stand that. So, I went over to the culinary prep and helped them. See, I'm one of those that don't mind working for long hours ONLY if I am constantly busy, and I mean constantly. I'd rather keep running on my toes all night long then have it be slow. I did get to make a tiramisu. Right now I'm doing alot more salad preps and dessert plating than really making desserts. I guess cause their main focus is not desserts. I feel as though I am stepping on the toes of the current girl who works the pantry station too. So, hopefully she'll warm up to me. Everyone is nice though and they are all friendly. It's just the shifts are seriously long and from the looks of things, breaks only come when you work a double shift. I didn't get home last friday till midnight and last saturday I got home at 11pm. 11pm doesnt seem late compared to midnight and I am no night person, believe me. Here's to another weekend of work. Cheers.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Last of the Days off

This post should've been up last weekend, but so much has been going on that time flew by and I hate hate hate hate HATE not updating my blog. It might continue this way though because I finally got a JOB!!!!! I have been looking for a place to do my internship for pastry school since the beginning of september. I cannot believe how hard it has been. I guess it makes sense considering this is not the best location for pastries, the consumer demands are different from what I would like to produce. Anyways, Chef Silivos from Skopelos called me this morning and offered me a job. So, I start tomorrow and work Saturday also starting at 3pm until we are closed. I'm excited but SO nervous! I am in the industry, I can't believe it! I also had an interview this afternoon with Nouveau Pastries in Milton which is like less than 10 minutes from my house and she was so much fun to talk to. She is going to call me for jobs when she needs me which is going to be good because after Christmas is the slow season here for Restaurants, so I'll need extra hours here and there to get my internship hours up! The only thing that I am afraid of is that I going to burn out too fast too soon with school and 2 jobs and trying to take care of things around the house. I am just SO grateful that God has provided this for me, because I have been stressing so much about this. YAY!!!!!!

Okay, sorry for the blabbling. I'll get to some food and then some fun! I have been googly eyed ever since I saw the Pumpkin Challah from Rosa's Yummy Yums. I finally got my lazy bum up and makin some bread. What I LOVE about this recipe is that it contains only oil, no butter or shortening or lard. Of course, I can't get enough of pumpkin either, so it was a win-win situation and a winner it was. It came out beautifully, and I couldn't stop eating it. Neither could Brandon. He usually isn't hungry ever, especially in the morning (I wish my stomach wasn't asking for food all the time - the bliss of being a women) but he hate it at like 9am before we went for our run. I was so surprised! This is definintely a keeper. Thanks Rosa!

Last saturday, Brady called us and asked us if we wanted a ride in his new boat! SCORE!!! The only time I'm a water person is if I'm in something that physically separates me from the water. I don't mind if I get splashed a little like on a jetski, but if I get thrown off by the driver, oh boy - you do not want to be near me. However, I did throw Brandon off. It was totally an accident though, I swear. I just like sharp turns :-D

There's Mr. B on the left and Brady on the right. I actually drove (? steered) the boat. It was fun but I was so afraid I was going to hit something, even though the bay was so open. I gave it back to the captain once we were about to go under a bridge. Yeah, not taking that risk! lol
Lookin good and ready to start the trip!

Does this not remind you of the dock from Dawsons Creek?
Ready to go under a bridge

Somebodys got it good in life huh? Their own gazebo on the waterfront. SWEEEEETTT!

One of the gorgious houses by the waterfront
A way too dark picture of downtown milton from the water
So, I really hope that I am able to get all my studying done for next weeks 2 tests I have. Luckily, we took our sanitiation test yesterday on a whim so we didn't have to go to class next wednesday. That's good cause then it'll be 3 exams I'd have to study for ontop of starting work and all! Phew! Well, I'll definitely update y'all (trying to sound like I'm from here) about my job experience!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I don't think I've had rice krispie treats in like almost a year. Sometimes you just crave simple things like that. At least I do. I know Brandon likes these and I also stumbled into some confetti sprinkles today at the commissary. I can't say I'm familiar with the commissary here in Milton yet. They have a unique way to stocking things and I find things were I don't think they would ever be. It's quite the challenge just to get the items on my grocery list - but I'm getting there. I better, I go there enough. lol. It's scary that I can spend a good hour and a half at the grocery store when I don't have very many "neccessities" to get. It's time I take for myself I suppose. Most people might think I am nuts but I feel myself and worry-free at the store. Oh, instead of butter I used earth balance so this is totally IBS safe. ;-)
I think I have a handle of how my camera works now. I can't believe there are so many options on a little camera.
Bobby Flay is going to be in Mobile, Al this Saturday. SO sad I'm not going. The tickets I believe are like $75. I've decided that I like Bobby Flay alot. When I first started watching his show, he scared me a little. He seemed really strict and almost unapproachable. That is until he started filming his show Bobby Flays Throwdown. I LOVE that show, and it shows such a fun side of him, a more approachable, friendly, and less intimidating person.
I'd like to meet him. Him, and Alton Brown! I learn so much from Alton. Gotta love him.
Well tomorrow, I am hoping to attempt making a Pumpkin Challah, a recipe from Rosa's Yummy Yums. Wish me like, it looks delicious, plus I gotta take advantage of this time of the year. It gives me more than an excuse to make anything and everything pumpkin. SWEET!