Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The White Rabbit

White Rabbit
The White Rabbit

I often feel like the White Rabbit from Alive in Wonderland, running about saying" Oh, dear. Oh, dear. I'm late, late, late!" It seems that last year completely swept by with its end of year holidays and family gatherings and now the month of January is gone! Believe me when I say that we have not been idle, just slack in reporting the year's events.

As for 2014 resolutions, I have done a very poor job of remembering to photograph recipes we have tried from the Southern Living Annuals (I am too keen to change up the recipe based on what we have available in the house and so I often feel that it isn't completely fair to report on the recipe when I have made too many changes). Also, with The Mister's low carb diet, bread has not been abundant in our house. However, now that The Mister has reached his goal weight (Hooray, Mister!), we will be introducing small amounts of bread back in the diet.

We were able to complete the office/craft room organization as well as organizing and updating the master bedroom closets. I am in the process of planning this year's projects. I think most of the projects will take place outside as our yard is lacking curb appeal and the weeds have firmly rooted themselves in the lawn.

With most of the major house projects complete, The Mister has entered graduate school. So instead of working on house projects on mornings before work, nights after work and evenings, The Mister is studying and writing papers.

While I, on the other hand, have been filling the cold, winter days with learning to sew, something I had resolved to do last year. Thankfully, I have a willing subject in my niece who loves all things Disney princess. I have never had so much shiny and sparkly fabric in my closet!

So a late Happy New Year to all. May this year be as productive as the last. (And hopefully we'll do a better job of reporting!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lemon Curd Filled Doughnuts

Shortly after making lemon curd, I decided to surprise The Mister's office with lemon curd filled doughnuts. I am not known for providing the prettiest desserts, but the bowl almost always returns empty especially for doughnuts. Remember the beignets? I've made them twice and the bowl returned empty at lunch time. So, looks aren't everything, right?

Lemon Curd Filled Doughnuts

Adapted from Jelly-Filled Doughnuts recipe from the Southern Living 1984 Annual recipes book, page 55

I used the recipe for the dough and stored the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

In a pot on low heat, cook milk, sugar, salt and butter until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Allow the mixture to cool.

In the mixer, put in yeast (I used the rapidrise bread machine yeast), water, egg yolks, 2 cups of flour, and the warm milk mixture. Beat with mixer and slowly add the remaining flour to the dough to get a smooth dough. (On this day, I added about 1 3/4 cup of flour.)

Put the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise one hour.

Here's where I deviated from the instructions...

After allowing the dough to rise, I put the dough in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, I floured my surface to prepare for rolling and took the cold dough out of the refrigerator and rolled it onto my surface about a 1/2 inch thick. i cut the dough with my 2 1/4 inch biscuit cutter. (The Mister wanted them bigger, but to yield more, I used the smaller cutter. The recipe book suggests using a 3 inch cutter.) I placed the cut rounds onto a cookie sheet and allowed them to rise for another hour.

After an hour, I heated oil in my cast iron skillet (I don't have a fryer, but I can imagine keeping the temperature steady would be more easily done by using a fryer.) to 375 degrees F. I dropped a few doughnuts in and flipped them when they turned brown. It took about 15 seconds on each side. The book recommends cooking for one minute on each side, but I found that mine took a lot less time. Allow the doughnuts to drain and cool a little on paper towels.

To fill and glaze, I formed an assembly line and volunteered The Mister to help. The first station involved doughnuts on a stack of paper towels draining and cooling enough to handle. The second station involved filling the doughnuts with lemon curd. I used my Dessert Decorator by Wilton, but a piping bag or even a ziploc bag could be used to fill the doughnuts. (We were in a hurry to finish so some of the doughnuts were still quite warm when we filled them, thus causing the filling to ooze out.) The third station was glazing. I dipped one side into the glaze and allowed the doughnut to dry on cooling racks. Once dry, I dipped the other side and allowed it to dry on the racks.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lemon Curd, SL1987

I am thankful that we live in an area with friends who we frequently share produce and food. Hawkeye was cleaning out his refrigerator before a trip and gave us several lovely, tart lemons. Combining the fresh squeezed juice with some lemon juice I had previously frozen and stored in the freezer, we whipped out a beautifully luscious bowl of lemon curd.

Lemon Curd

Adapted from the Southern Living 1987 Annual Recipes, Page 139
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 2 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon rind ( I forgot to include this but the lemon curd turned out tasty anyway.)

Boil water in a double boiler. (I used two pots, one on top of the other.) Put the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, butter, and lemon rind in the double boiler. Stir. Stir Stir. The mixture should thicken after about 15 minutes of cooking. When the mixture thickens, remove from heat and cool before serving. Goes great with doughnuts!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Corn Pudding, SL1981

I really enjoy planting and harvesting a garden (the weeding, not so much.). My mom's neighbor also grows a large garden every year. This year, they had an abundance of corn to harvest and they kindly shared with us. After shucking and cleaning the corn, The Mister and I removed the kernels and stored it in the freezer.

A dinner with friends offered up a great reason to try making Corn Pudding. It reminded me of the corn pudding I ate at my grandmother's house many years ago. Our guests must have thought the same as this spoonful was all that was left for me to photo after our party. :)

It doesn't look pretty, but it was tasty.

Corn Pudding

From the Southern Living 1981 Annual Recipes, Page 128
  • 2 cups corn kernels (We used fresh kernels from the freezer.)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, flour, sugar, and salt, stirring to mix. In a separate bowl, (I used my mixing cup), mix the milk, eggs and melted butter, then pour into the corn mix. Stir to mix. Bake in a dish at 350 degrees for one hour. ( I used a greased 1 3/4 quart square baking dish.) Stir at the 15 minute mark and the 30 minute mark. It looked pretty dry on the outside, but the inside was still somewhat moist.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Strawberry Sauce, SL1987

When I told The Mister that I was planning to make a cheesecake ice cream for our dinner party, he immediately hinted that strawberries taste great on cheesecake. The next day, after work, the Mister returned home with a container of fresh strawberries and repeated that strawberries are tasty with cheesecake. I took that as my cue to come up with a way to incorporate strawberries into the cheesecake ice cream.

I must admit that the Mister's instincts were spot on (don't tell him I said that though!) as the strawberry sauce added a wonderful flavor and sweetness to the cheesecake ice cream. Our guests agreed.

Strawberry Sauce

Adapted from the Southern Living 1987 Annual Recipes, Page 198
  • water
  • 10 Ounces strawberries (I used fresh. The recipe calls for frozen.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • sugar* see note, the recipe omits this item
I put the strawberries in a bowl with measuring demarcations and filled the bowl with water to the 2 cup line.

In a saucepan, I mixed the cornstarch and lemon juice. I added a little of the strawberry water and continued mixing until the cornstarch dissolved. Next, I added the remaining strawberries and water to the cornstarch mix and cooked over medium-low heat, stirring every five minutes for the first 30 minutes. After cooking for 30 minutes, I then began stirring more frequently watching the strawberries start to thicken. When the sauce thickened, I added one tablespoon of sugar to sweeten it a little. I allowed the sauce to cool and then refrigerated it for three hours before serving.

*Note: I followed the recipe as written in the cookbook at first, but when I tasted the strawberry sauce, it wasn't quite sweet enough so I added one tablespoon of sugar while cooking.