Category Archives: food

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Peach Hand Pies

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I made these a couple weeks ago, so I can now look back on them lovingly and fondly.  They were beautiful and delicious.  Here is the recipe from Smitten Kitchen – I used vanilla instead of bourbon because I was feeding it to children… for breakfast.  Breakfast pie is decadent enough.

It was just too hot to be working with a buttery dough.  It was very hard to roll out, and I plan to never make them again.  I wanted to make these because I had ordered 8 pounds of peaches and I didn’t want any to go to waste.  However, Dave had plans to eat 8 pounds of peaches, so he had to go buy me some sub-par grocery store peaches that I was allowed to cook.

Unfortunately, I was too conservative with the filling, so I had a ton leftover. (Not to mention my dough to peach ration was off.) Fortunately, I had a puff pastry in the freezer and I baked it with a layer of crème fraîche and the rest of the filling.  Not as pretty, but still delish.  And the boys seem to like crème fraîche which is odd for them.

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Meanwhile, in peach news, I ordered 20 pounds which should be coming in two weeks, and I don’t know if I will be allowed to cook them or not!  If I do, I am going to stick with my famous peach cobbler.

Here is one more picture of the never to be made again, delicious peach pies.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Pancakes

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We were on vacation in Washington D.C. last week to sight-see and see the baaaaaaaby. We had an 8:30 tour at the White House on Friday morning so I offered to make a Fancy Breakfast Saturday.  (And I forgot to do my FBF post last week!  That means I have a peach hand pie breakfast that hasn’t been shared yet!)

After our 8:30 am White House tour, we walked to the Washington Monument, met Uncle John for lunch and then we went to the spy museum.  It was universally agreed that we’d sleep in and be lazy and only do one thing on Saturday.  That meant I had plenty of time to make a stack of pancakes, and hold the baby and make dough for pizza dinner that night. (I did more than one thing on Saturday.)  I didn’t check the pantry before I went to the grocery store so I didn’t have any baking powder.  My solution was to add a little extra baking soda and an extra egg. My general ratio is 1:1:1:1:1:1:1/2  – (1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.)

I doubled the recipe, and I went with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 4 eggs.  Since I had the extra liquid from the eggs I added about a cup of oats.

They were good! I put blueberries in some, chocolate chips in others, and I put some toppings out for people who wanted more of one or the other.  I think Jack ate all the chocolate chips before the other half of the family was up.

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I served the pancakes with fruit, syrup, and sausage.  There really wasn’t enough, everyone had to FHB. (Family hold back.) But it was a long and lazy morning with plenty of opportunity to have other food to go with it. I wish we could spend more Saturdays like that!  I miss that sweet baby and her parents.

 

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Corn Cakes

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I re-made these skillet corn cakes last Friday because I was still boycotting the oven.    They are so yummy, but the leftovers were very dry.  I am looking at the recipe now, and wondering if I made a little math error when I doubled the recipe.  Luke was at a mountain bike camp in Winter Park so he didn’t dine with us, and this is a photo of the leftovers. Note to self – no need to double the recipe when Luke is out of town.

Saturday morning we went to pick Luke up and watch his 20 mile mountain bike race.  Jack and Dave rode 17 miles, and I am finally in bad enough shape to go on a short hike with the dog and take pictures of flowers.  (That’s me looking on the bright side about my back/hip issue.)  Yay!  I love hiking.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Carrot Waffles

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Jack woke up hungry one day last week and so we reviewed what he had eaten the day before.  Breakfast was pancakes at Dot’s Diner.  Lunch – leftover pancakes.  Dinner consisted of just one barbecued chicken leg at about 9:00 pm after baseball.  He probably had a Z-bar and a gatorade at the baseball game.  No fruits or vegetables to be found in one 24 hour period.  (He is reading over my shoulder as I type and he said, “Hey that’s not true I had watermelon.” – pronounced watermeLONE.)

Regardless, I decided I needed to make a fancy breakfast that contained a vegetable.  This recipe is adapted from Feed Zone Portables, but it requires a juicer, which I don’t have.  So I made a few changes.

Carrot Waffles

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I only used this because I had it in the fridge.  Next time I will try with regular milk)
4 eggs
1 cup diced carrots
4 tablespoons melted butter
water

Put the diced carrots in a shallow microwave proof dish and add some water.  (2 tablespoons?) Microwave until the carrots are soft – a couple minutes)

Put the carrots in a food processor and pulse till they are very chopped.  (You could shred the carrots instead of dicing them and probably skip this step.)

Mix the dry ingredients and stir with a fork.  Whisk the eggs and butter into the buttermilk.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients and the carrots and stir until everything is just wet.  Do not over mix.

Cook in a waffle iron until the outside is crispy.  When eaten immediately, this were deliciously crispy.  When eaten later, they were nicely soft.

These were enjoyed by all, but there was a lot of crying and crabbiness shortly after breakfast, because I only ended up with 6 waffles.  And, due to the fact that it’s too hot to turn on the oven, and because I am out of practice with FBF, I didn’t make anything else to go along with it.  People were left hungry, even though these are very hearty waffles.  Some bacon and a side of fruit would have gone a long way.  I guess if people are going to be sad about breakfast, at least it’s because it was so good they wanted more.

Game of Thrones Cake

DSC08257.jpgIf you start this instant, you can have this cake made before the season premiere of Game of Thrones.  If not… well bookmark this recipe for the finale.  This cake has been a work in progress for years, starting with Jack’s scientist birthday party, when I filled the center of the bundt cake with dry ice.

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I started adding the chocolate shards after seeing this recipe.  And the dry ice was a one time thing, but it would be cool to do the shards and the dry ice!

I volunteered to bring a cake to my friend’s birthday party a couple years ago, and her husband named it the Game of Thrones cake, and the rest is history.  The best part is that it doesn’t matter how terrible the chocolate shards look, because it’s still fancy and delicious.

This version is especially impressive, because the bed frame in the background of the pictures indicates that this was shortly after the flood of 2013.  Any cake baked during that time of our lives was a major accomplishment!

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I’ve done a few versions of this cake over the years, but I have finally found the perfect recipe.  I mean… how often does a cake come out of the bundt pan looking like this?  With this recipe – every time.

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OK – Now that I have this mostly typed up I am realizing you don’t have time to make it before Game of Thrones starts, especially if you have to go to the grocery store first. But, just remember, that sometimes the HBO app is super slow during the season premiere, so turn off all social media, make the cake and then watch the episode later tonight when the internet isn’t overloaded, and you can have your Game of Thrones cake and watch the show too!

Here is the overall process:
Get the cake in the oven
Make the chocolate shards and get them in the fridge
Make the ganache while the cake is cooling, and let the ganache cool.
Ice the cake with the ganache
Add the shards
Take pictures and instagram your cake #gameofthronescake
Share with all your friends because it’s really rich and it makes a big cake.
Watch Game of Thrones

Now for the details:

Use this Smitten Kitchen chocolate cake recipe with the following changes:

This calls for 300 grams of dutch process cocoa.  I buy the generic brand from King Soopers, and it comes in a container that holds 226 grams.  So I use 226 grams of cocoa.  And I know the common baking wisdom is to use the best ingredients, but I’ve never heard less than a rave about this cake, so I think it’s ok.

I bake this cake in a bundt pan at 350 for 50 minutes and then start testing for doneness.  I stick a wooden skewer in and if it comes out clean, it’s done. Otherwise I had 5 minutes or so at a time until it’s done.

After the cake is in the oven, you can make the chocolate shards.

The cake recipe calls for 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, so the easiest thing to do is to buy a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and another bag of chocolate chips to your preference. (Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or more semi-sweet.)

Shards
6 ounces of chips ( or one cup, or half a 12 ounce bag)

Put the chips in a glass measuring cup and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Then stir, and put them back in for 10 seconds at a time, then stir.  Repeat until the chips are melted.  Tear a 16 inch sheet of waxed paper and lay it flat on your counter.  Pour the melted chocolate out and spread it evenly across the paper.  Put another layer of waxed paper on top and roll it up and put it in the refrigerator, seem side down for 30 minutes.  Don’t add the shards until the cake and icing are cool, because they will melt.  When you are ready, unroll the wax paper and the chocolate will break into shards. Use the tallest ones to go around the cake, and put the smaller pieces on top. Try to work with cold hands too, because even the heat of your hands will melt the chocolate.

Ganache
8 ounces of heavy whipping cream
8 ounces of chocolate chips.

Heat the heavy whipping cream in a pot on the stove over low heat until bubble just start to form on the sides of the pan.  Before it comes to a simmer, remove from heat and add the chips, stirring until the chips are melted and you have a even, chocolatey consistency.

The ganache needs to cool a bit until it’s spreadable, and not too runny.  It can cool on the counter, in the fridge, or over a bowl of ice water depending on your hurry.  Just be sure to stir occasionally as it cools.

And don’t get mad at me about how hot your kitchen is now… remember, winter is coming.

Non Fancy Breakfast Friday

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I am a cooking a Fancy Breakfast as I type this, so I think we are past the heat of summer where our breakfasts are less than fancy.  Jack played five games in six days last week and part of his pregame ritual was to eat a bowl of frosted shredded wheats. (King Soopers Brand.)  Look, I’m not here to mess with any baseball related superstitious rituals.  And its been way too hot to cook.  But we did eat a few non-cereal meals last week, and they were delicious and did not involve the oven, so I’ll share those recipes.

I made a giant vat of this barbecue sauce from Smitten Kitchen/Ina Garten.  Dave grilled some chicken legs to go with the sauce.

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Last night I made the tater tot waffle recipe from Food and Wine and topped them with either smoked salmon and crème fraîche or a fried egg.  (The recipe is just  “buy tater tots and smash them together in a waffle maker”.) That was fun and decadent and did not involve the oven, although I did slave over a hot waffle maker.

Next week.. The Return of Fancy Breakfast Friday!

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Road Trip

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We have been to Hot Springs, Arkansas, Buffalo Creek Campground, and Breckenridge in the last two and half weeks.  We’ve had lots of delicious restaurant meals – last Friday we celebrated Dave’s birthday at Lucille’s, and he even got a special birthday plate!  It’s been too hot to turn on the oven, so this patriotic oatmeal is about the fanciest breakfast I have made.

I did make this cake for Dave’s birthday though. The secret is that I use a swiss buttercream that calls for 3 sticks of butter, 6 eggs, 11.5 ounces of sugar.  I subbed 2 ounces of sugar with strawberry qwik because Dave likes pink icing on chocolate cake for his birthday.

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I have been very slowly working on a summer reading program… but instead of finishing it (OK, starting it) I spent my evening making an extensive spreadsheet to track our James Bond Movie watching.  (Just the basic spreadsheet of 26 movies that you can sort by actor, chronological order, Netflix status, Rolling Stone rating, or what we plan to watch and when.  Simple stuff.)  If for some reason, you think you would find this useful … click here: JamesBond.

We shall have a fancy breakfast again soon!