Friday, October 29, 2010

Love in Boo-city ~

It can start with a few...
If happiness is present, then more will join....

Pretty soon more will join the energy....

It's not surprising to find one now and then....

There is usually a "non-conformist"...
He just wants to be loved like everyone else....

There is usually a negative soul, but that is okay, too....

Happiness will lead the way....

Love is always moving forward....

Happy-happy Boo Love!!! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lamb ~ salty & sweet ~

There is something sexy about the sound of the sizzling when meat hits a pan hot with olive oil.  The marinade still clinging to the raw flesh will bounce off the oil,  jumping up to inflict hot beads of momentary pain.  I know, I know....maybe I didn't blot enough?  :)

One reason I cook lamb a day not only tastes better the second day, I can never plan how my day will go when something needs several hours to cook before a dinner time that is fairly regular every night.

Lamb over two days. 
(Because the kids already ate dinner before the lamb was done.)

1/2 c. red wine
1/4 c. olive oil
3 small garlic cloves, smooshed, flattened with one fell swoop by the side of a knife
4 allspice berries, cracked
Sprinkle kosher salt
oregano - a tablespoon, packed
Rosemary - a few bruised, leaves only
A curious toss of a few golden raisins
1 1/2 lbs. lamb, shoulder roast - either tied whole or in parts.  I do parts.

  • Let marinade at room temperature for three to four hours. 
  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan, medium to medium high. 
  • Remove the lamb from the marinade to toweling and pat.  Salt and pepper.  
  • Sear all sides very well.  
  • Remove and set aside on a plate.

The rest ~

1/4 c. red wine
1/3-1/2 c. sliced shallots
Four garlic cloves, sliced or minced
Fire roasted tomatoes, 14.5 oz. can - these make a difference worth the purchase.
Oregano, fresh - a packed tablespoon
Rosemary, fresh, leaves only
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A curious toss of golden raisins, 1/4 c. 
One comice pear, fairly firm

  • In the hot pan from searing the meat, add the shallots. Salt.  Saute until there is some color.   
  • Add garlic, saute for a moment.  Do not brown garlic.
  • Add the wine to deglaze. Reduce until thick.
  • Add the fire roasted tomatoes and herbs.  Simmer for a few minutes.
  • Salt to taste - isn't it yummy?  Remove from heat.
  • Add those golden raisins to the sauce.
 What's next?
  • Put a few spoonfuls of sauce in a slow cooker or lidded pan.  
  • Put in the meat, top with the remaining sauce.
  • Slow cook 6-8 hours or braise in the oven at 350 for longer than you do a pot roast.  Check at four hours if in the could take as long as 6 hours or so.  
  • Now the pears...a few minutes before turning off the heat to the lamb...peel one, cube.  Add half the cubes to the finished sauce.  They will break down.  Stir into sauce, it will be thick.
  • Remove the lamb to a serving plate.
  • Add 1/2-3/4 c. water to the sauce in the pan, stir to loosen
  • Gently fold the other half of the pear cubes into the sauce.
  • Spoon sauce over the lamb.
Oh boy, oh boy ~ yum!


Coming next week ....

This was our dessert that night we had lamb.

Apple tart with walnut streusel.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cinnamon rolls on the rise ~

~ Cinnamon roll forest ~
 Oh boy, oh boy - how indulgent.  

2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. half and half
8 T. butter, melted
1 T. vanilla
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 - 5 c. flour

1 c. brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
6 T. butter, melted

The usual rich dough drill.  Heat the milk, heat the half and half.  None too hot - 110 degrees will do fine.   Add to the yeast.  Add butter, vanilla, sugar, salt, two eggs.  Add three cups of flour, let stand for half an hour before adding more.  Add another cup to make four.  Mix or knead well.  Start adding the 5th cup of flour until a soft dough forms.  Do not use all of the flour if necessary.  Mix or knead for about five minutes.  Move the dough to a buttered bowl, cover, let rise to double.

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and set aside.

Roll out dough on a floured surface until it is approximately 16 x 24 inches. (I like thinner rings)  Spread the melted 6T of butter, sprinkle the sugar and spice.  Roll up the 18" side, pinch.  Cut into 12 pieces.   Place rolls on a parchment covered pan.  They can touch each other when risen if you like on the sheet pan or in cake pans or have enough room not touch before ready to bake.  I prefer the hard exterior.  Let rise until double. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  This will depend on how you roll and cut.  Check at 20 minutes with a toothpick through the dough.

Cream cheese frosting.
Plain powdered sugar frosting.
Maple flavored powdered sugar frosting.
Oh, the choices. 

This recipe using yeast ~ is sharing company with other yeast recipes at The Wild Yeast blog.

I have soft buns.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pumpkin cake for two ~

A pumpkin cake for two ~ a sweet presentation.

Use 4" cake pans.  Wrap as pictured, with a parchment strip and twine.  I like the package mood, the natural colors...obviously...I use it repeatedly.  :)

This time with the cream cheese frosting, I used a cream cheese to butter ratio of 3:1.  I usually use close to 2:1.  I add less powdered sugar than most frostings I've tried, I prefer it that way.  Customers seem to appreciate that.  A consistent comment I get is that my cakes are not overly sweet. 
Anywhoo ~~~

I took the sweet cake outside just to get a shot with blue - - I've missed being a part of Blue Monday on a regular basis.  Happy Blue Monday!  

Blue peeking through

Yes, I put the cake in the herb pot.

All cakes ~ all pumpkin.