Today in NTX it's the first day of school. As a lifelong homeschooler our oldest child chose to enter public school for the first time last fall. She was in 9th grade. This year two of her siblings followed in her footsteps, she went into 10th grade, two of her younger brothers entered 9th and 6th. We still have two at home, our first grader (who when asked had no interest in attending school :) )and our preschooler. I also started a new job (working from home) and now the balancing act begins. I am looking forward to the coming year, I miss the noise already though :)
My kids are the best!
Here is to a fabulous fall full of good eats, good wine and good times!
I've never had a popover before, in fact the first time I heard of a popover was when I was watching Gordon Ramsay helping a British Pub owner revive his dying business. You would think being a native Aussie I would have some clue about these, but apparently my family wasn't big popover fans. I am disappointed, not in the popovers, but in the fact that I had never had one UNTIL NOW! I love them! I put some organic butter and organic maple syrup on mine but I can see how these could be adapted for any taste buds, sweet or savoury. I especially loved the gooey centre, it reminded me a bread pudding, one of my favourite desserts that I haven't had since going wheat free. I know I can make bread pudding gluten free and now that I have tasted these popovers I am much less intimidated.
I adapted these to be gluten free, simply by adding 1 cup of King Arthur gluten free flour for the 1 cup of All purpose called for in the recipe. I also added a 1/4 teaspoon of Xanthum gum to help in the binding process, with no gluten it can make baked goods a little crumbly and I didn't want this to happen here. I'm still learning when it comes to baking gluten free, but things are getting easier, thankfully.
My popovers didn't rise quite as dramatically as some of the other cooks or the pictures I have seen, I think I could add some more batter to the pan. I did have a little left over batter but didn't want to overfill and end up with a huge mess in the bottom of my oven. I know now that I would have been safe filling the pan a little higher. Additionally I didn't use a muffin pan, instead I used an actual popover pan, because I had a feeling I would like these, therefore I figured it was worth the investment and who doesn't love new kitchen accessories :) I'm so glad I was right and can justify the purchase. Win. :)
If you would like the recipe from Baking with Julia please pay a visit to Paula's and Amy's blogs for the full recipe. If you want to see how everyone did this week go here and browse through the many gorgeous blogs from the TWD baking group. When you are done, go and make popovers, you won't be disappointed!
I'm a day late!!! I didn't even realise it was time for another recipe until Tuesday morning and I just didn't have the energy to bake, but I knew I wanted to attempt this dessert. The hubs picked up some needed ingredients for me and I made the dough late Tuesday afternoon and popped it in the fridge. I didn't think I would have enough daylight to get good pictures anyway so I put it off until today (Wednesday).
I made this one gluten free, just substituting a gluten free flour when it called for all purpose. The recipe was so easy to throw together and perfect for a light simple dessert. I chose to make a berry galette and a peach galette. Honestly I preferred the peach one to the berry, the berry was still lovely though and served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, delicious!
I did get some of the dreaded oozing during baking, but it seemed that the majority of the bakers did and it did add a rustic feel to the dessert. Next time I might skip the cornmeal, it added a texture that I didn't care for. Unfortunately lots of Gluten Free baking can end up gritty so adding that texture on purpose is not something I really want to do when the potential for grittyness is already there.
I may just make a large galette next time as well, not splitting the dough in half as the recipe called for. I have a big family though so logistically it just makes more sense for us to do that. I look forward to making this recipe again and trying different fillings. A savoury galette sounds divine! I love being able to make some gluten free pastry dishes to curb my feeling of loss when I walk past a bakery ;)
If you would like the recipe go and visit Lisa of Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen or Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness. Alternatively you can purchase the book Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan. If you would like to see how everyone else did this week you can find the links to their blogs here.
I skipped last baking day, Semolina Bread just seemed impossible to make Gluten Free ;). This time PIE was in the recipe title though and I was IN! I wasn't decided if I was going to follow the book's pie crust recipe adjusting with gf flour or find a gluten free recipe instead. I ended up opting for the latter because it made more sense to me to go with the tried and true. I found a recipe with 5 stars on King Arthur's Flour site and decided to go with that.
It seems that the nectarine and blueberry season are winding down, but I still got my hands on some and got busy making the filling. I have never pre-cooked filling before, so that was definitely something new to me. It makes sense and perhaps I will try it with other recipes in the future, I like being able to make sure the flavour is what I want before committing to baking an entire pie!
The crust came together easily, it was a bit difficult to roll out and fell apart a bit, which required some patching, but it all worked out in the end. It certainly wasn't the prettiest of pies and I am a complete failure at crimping pie edges. That has never been a strong skill set for me, so I pulled out the handy fork and just pressed the sides all the way around using that.
I followed the baking instructions for the dough recipe, the bottom of the gluten free crust can get soggy so it was recommended that I bake the pie for 20 minutes on the bottom rack at a high temp and then move it to the middle of the oven and lower the temperature for the remainder of the cooking time. I did NOT want a soggy crust so I followed those directions and the results were positive. No soggy bottom, a bit dark around the edges but nothing a bit of foil wouldn't prevent next time.
All in all I liked the pie, I have a house full of pie critics, my family are very particular about the kinds of pie they like to eat. They don't all like all pie. No problem, the 14 year old boy child finished off everyone's leftovers, waste not want not :) The hubs and I enjoyed our pie and we all enjoyed the blue bell vanilla ice cream that accompanied it :)
If you would like the recipe for this glorious dessert, you can visit this week's hosts Liz of That skinny chick can bake and Hilary from Manchego's Kitchen . If you would like to see all of the different delicious pies, then go here to find the links to all of the participating bloggers.
I'm baaack!! I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make this one but I did it. I didn't do it early, I made it TODAY, but it's done! I missed both of June's baking days because I was so fortunate that I went on vacation for an entire month with my family. We rented a vacation home for a month and while I intended on baking while I was there I just didn't. The kitchen didn't have the supplies I needed and well, I was having too much fun with my family. I will get to them though, I am determined. Maybe not this month since we have three baking days but I will make them.
If you are interested in the recipe you can go and visit the hosts this week. Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking with boys . Alternatively you can purchase the book Baking with Julia, I highly recommend you do, it's fabulous! If you have some time go here and check out how everyone did this time, it's fun to see all of the variations :)
I have never made biscotti before and those few of you that have read my blog before know that I am on a gluten/wheat free journey. So I made this recipe using King Arthur gluten free flour blend. My family doesn't really prefer hazelnuts so I opted to use chocolate chips instead and instead of hazelnut liqueur I used Kahlua. So I guess they are chocolate chip/coffee liqueur biscotti, rather than hazelnut.
When we came home from our vacation we discovered that our air conditioning system was broken so our downstairs has been in the upper 80's for the last few days. This didn't help my dough, in fact it looked like a pile of melted glop on the baking pan, even though I tried to mold it into a log shape it just spread out on the pan. So I decided to pop it into the fridge for a while to see if that would help. I wasn't hopeful and was wondering if it was the flour or the heat, or both. It had seemed really loose when I mixed it so I had added about a 1/4 cup more flour which helped a little but not much. When I pulled it out of the fridge I was able to shape it a little. I had previously read through the tips and wet my hands down so the dough didn't stick as much while I was shaping it. SO glad I did that! I immediately popped it into the oven and crossed my fingers. I wasn't sure if it looked the way it should but it seemed pretty close so I went with it. I let it cool for about 10 mins and sliced away with a bread knife. Then I put them back in the oven for about 12 minutes and what I ended up with looked quite a bit like biscotti!! I was so happy I didn't have to start from scratch since I had left it to the last minute!!
The hubs tried it and the first comment was "it doesn't even taste gluten free". I take that as success, for those of you who have attempted gluten free cooking, it's not always a success. :/
I boiled the kettle and made myself a nice cup of tea in my new Alice in Wonderland teacup (we vacationed in Florida and visited WDW while we were there). The biscotti went quite nicely with my English breakfast tea :) I am sure it would be great with coffee as well.
I hope you enjoyed your biscotti as much as I did mine. Thanks for reading :)
Another Tuesday with Dorie recipe, my second time doing it gluten free. Since the Hungarian Shortbread recipe we have decided to take our middle child off gluten along with me. Actually he decided. He was tired of the nightly stomach aches and since mine had gone away, along with my eczema, he thought it might be worth a try. Low and behold, he hasn't had a stomach ache since. Coincidence? Maybe, but he isn't interested in having them back so he is keeping the gluten out of his diet.
When it was just me I could easily say, 'Oh I'll make this one with wheat flour, it's only me that can't partake', but now I must make the effort to bake things that he can try as well, it seems cruel to bake something for everyone but him and I couldn't do that to him. I have a LOT to learn when it comes to baking gluten free though!!
So after having a quick look at this weeks recipe, I was, uh to put it lightly.....terrified! Not because of all of the steps and the time commitment, but because I knew it would be a challenge to make something that relies so heavily on the glutenous elasticity of wheat flour without wheat flour. So I put it off, and put it off. Put it off some more. Finally Monday came around, the day before THE Tuesday :/ I still hadn't tried them. I decided to get started and try the sponge and see if I even got anywhere with the first step. It didn't look much like the picture but it resembled it 'slightly' so I went with it.
The rising seemed to take longer and of course it didn't rise as much as a beautiful pillowy yeasty wheat dough would. I wasn't quite sure how it was all going to turn out, but I kept going. I followed the recipe pretty closely, making adjustments if my dough seemed to need me to. I added more flour than called for, because the dough was so sticky and difficult to work with.
I got up early this morning and pulled the dough out of the fridge, rolled it out.
Quick break here for a plug for the JosephJoseph rolling pin. I've had it for about a month but used it today for the first time. I am not sure how I survived in my kitchen this long without it!! It's amazing!!
Everything was going fine, it was a bit stickier than I thought it should be but figured that was due to the flour. I opted to leave off the pecans as the hubs and I are the only ones that would eat them. I popped the dough into the freezer and then read on. I have to admit, when it comes to reading recipes I must have cookbook ADD. I rarely ever read every step (I know, that is a big no no) until I am in the middle of cooking. That is when I usually realise I am missing something really important or have completely botched something. This time however it was when I read that each pan was supposed to have an entire stick of butter spread on it. Some expletives may or may have not left my mouth at that particular moment. I was in shock at the sheer amount of butter, especially since it was essentially just going to be soaking into and around the buns. I however trusted it and followed the instructions, but was quietly terrified.
Since my dough had been having such a hard time rising I decided to pop it in the oven on the bread proof setting to give it some extra help. When I came back to them they had risen quite nicely, well more than I had expected, still nothing like regular ones would, I was pleased though and went ahead and preheated the oven.
The second log I added raisins
When they were done, I turned them out as suggested in the book and was not sure exactly why they looked the way they did, but I suspect it had to do with the lack of gluten.
They certainly aren't the prettiest cinnamon/sticky buns :/ but they still had a little bit of the flakiness from layering them with butter. You can sort of see the layers in the photo below.
As for the taste, it was entirely too much butter for me. I couldn't taste much else. I would have preferred them to be a little sweeter, maybe with more cinnamon sugar and much less buttery. My family liked them, my gluten free kid really liked the ones without the raisins (he doesn't love raisins in baked goods, that was more for me ;) ).
I doubt I will make them again, I like to make cinnamon buns for my family but it is much simpler to make them with a regular old sweet yeast bread dough. I am now on a mission to find a good go to gluten free recipe. Wish me luck.
If you would like the recipe you can find it on the blog posts of this weeks hosts Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole of Cookies on Friday . The recipe can also be found in Dorie Greenspan's book Baking with Julia. Of course to see how everyone who participated this week did, go here to see all of the awesome variations of the recipe.
I was actually really excited for this months first recipe, Hungarian Shortbread. Why? Well I'm an Irish girl and I loooove shortbread ;) Ok so I am not actually Irish, but I'm Australian and that is almost the same thing! :)
Now when my daughter saw that it had Rhubarb Jam she was really excited, she loves her great grandmother's rhubarb and strawberry jam and was looking forward to trying this.
I decided to make the jam the day before I made the shortbread, just to limit the time I needed to spend in the kitchen. With a toddler helper it can be a bit much to complete an entire recipe all at once :) We found some fresh rhubarb at Whole Foods for the jam and with the recipe being super simple I was able to get that made in no time.
Here is the finished jam which I popped in the fridge overnight. It tasted really good by the way. Not that I sampled it or anything ;)
No since I am avoiding wheat for a few months I was a bit stressed on how to make this gluten free, on a trip to whole foods I found this flour
It's a bit pricey but I wasn't confident enough to make my own blend of flours just yet, I will get there. I have bookmarked a gluten free shortbread recipe to make another time. It looks divine and I am looking forward to making my own blend of gluten free flour. This packaged flour worked really well though and I am confident that I can use it in the future when converting a recipe to be gluten free.
I am also avoiding egg yolks, so I was going to go all out and use this
but I'm a wimp and chickened out and used this instead
since I am only avoiding egg yolks and this is made with just whites. I will get there ;)
The dough came together nice and quickly, the hardest part was grating the dough into the baking dish. It started to get soft which made it challenging but it wasn't too bad. That would be my only hesitation on remaking the dough, we liked everything about it but I didn't love grating the dough. That is my only complaint though, it really was delicious and would really compliment a cup of tea nicely!
I hope you enjoyed it as much as my family did. If you don't own Baking with Julia yet, go and buy it! This recipe is on page 327-8 and is definitely worth a try. If you would like the recipe please visit our hosts for this week Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler... and Lynette of 1smallkitchen or if you would like to see how everyone else did on this baking challenge visit here.