Foodie Hits and Misses

January 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm 3 comments

I haven’t posted about food in a while. Maybe overload on the holidays. I have had a few successes… and failures. And of course, I never remember to photograph them.

My mother-in-law gave me this booklet and I was excited to try some new recipes.

bakingwsourdough

Let’s start with the good news first. I made sourdough bread without additional yeast for the first time. It was a sandwich bread which had a softer crumb. The recipe indicated a 5-6 hour cycle from start to finish. Mine was over 11 hours. I barely got it out of the oven before I went to bed. I was really surprised because I put the dough to rise on the wood pellet stove, nice and toasty warm. It was a good loaf.

The next quasi-success was a sourdough skillet biscuit. It had great sourdough flavor but was quite dense, a little more than my family liked.

The abject failure was sourdough chocolate cake. I have never in my life thrown away three quarters of a chocolate cake. It saddened me to do it. The instructions were specific on the order of ingredients but I’m sure that’s where the problem was. I was to add flour and sugar to a half a cup of starter. This made for a thick, lumpy mix. A thick, lumpy mix that was not remedied by the addition of the wet ingredients. It formed small, dense balls of dough within the cake. The taste wasn’t that objectionable but the consistency and appearance was awful. Even the kids wouldn’t eat it. I actually have a picture of the cake but it’s so unappetizing that I don’t want to post it.

Another winner (not from the book) was Butternut Squash Risotto. I used brown basmati rice instead of arborio and it was great. Even better the next day. (Watch the salt if you use store bought chicken stock.)

The insanely addictive Christmas appetizer (which I made for two gatherings) is Buffalo Chicken Dip. If you really like chicken wings and blue cheese and have self-control issues, don’t read further. I may make it for the Super Bowl but then I have to lay off it. Of course I changed things after reading the reviews as I often do. Here’s my version. Mix one 8 oz. block of softened cream cheese with half a jar of Marie’s Super Blue Cheese salad dressing. Add chunks of real blue cheese if you really want to go crazy. (Who doesn’t like lots of stinky cheese?) Spread in an 8 x 8 pan. Shred one cooked boneless chicken breast and toss with Texas Pete’s hot sauce to moisten, more or less to taste. Top with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and heat in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve with celery and carrot sticks, dipping crackers or just a spoon (when no one is looking.) Enjoy!

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann Marie  |  February 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Made the buffalo dip the other day, and it was delish! Hubby thought so too. I think I’ll skip the cheddar cheese and mix way more hot sauce with the chicken next time. It reheated pretty well in the microwave the next day too. And we felt a tad healthy eating it with carrot and celery sticks! Thanks for the recipe.

  • 2. Ann Marie  |  February 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Made the butternut squash risotto too. Amazing. Not a big fan of squash, but somehow the addition of rice, broth and lots of stirring turned it into heaven. I’ve passed the recipe along to others. I could eat this every week! Thank you.

  • 3. Christine  |  April 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Wondering how your sourdough baking is going. I’m looking for projects to keep me busy during my summer vacation- only 19 school days away. Toni’s aunt has a garden and I expect to be helping her alot but I wanted to get some bread going and maybe some yogurt. Also looking to do some canning and quilting. How did you make your starter? I’ve been looking online but I don’t speak the language.

    Hope all is well and your spring is sprung. We seem to be jumping right into summer. I may get home for the 4th and would be interested in Keepsakes for their big sale. You interested?

    Christine

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