Friday, March 28, 2014

FFwD - Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India
This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is seasoned with garam masala. I don't care for garam masala. Whole Foods sells it in the bulk spice section so I didn't have to buy much. I knew I wouldn't want to cook with it often. In fact, I was prepared to dislike this soup entirely. So, happy surprise! I actually liked it. I don't love it but I like it.

Its easy to make and Dorie suggests starting with 3/4 teaspoon of garam masala. I kept it there and added quite a generous amount of red pepper flakes. Barley isn't something I normally (ever) cook with and the kind I bought needed an hour to cook. Still it was a simple soup that feels good on an already sore throat (allergy season in Oklahoma). I think chicken or beef would be good  in this and I'm looking for a recipe for beef and barley soup to use up my barley. If you have a good recipe would you leave me a link? Thank you!
Snowshoe Bread
To go with the soup I baked nan from a beautiful book called Home Baking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. This is a beautiful book of home baked goodies from around the world. Everything I've made from it has been delicious!

I'm behind in my blogging! Luckily my cooking is almost up to date but I've been a bad, bad blogger. I hope to be getting back in the groove. These things are hard to predict though!
Love my little RV!

I have one RV trip under my belt! My son and his wife went with me and I was able to manage everything except loosening one cap to empty the septic system. Once I find a new cap I will be ready to try it on my own. Except for backing. I know, I know! Its kind of a biggie but I'll get it figured out.

Happy spring everyone!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FFwD - Only One of Two Tartines

This week's French Friday assignment was Two Tartines From La Croix Rouge. La Croix Rouge was a fashionable cafe in Paris that is evidently closed. I googled it for info and found a page that said closed. Too bad. It sounded like it had everything going for it!
Tartine Saint-Germain
I skipped the Tartine Norvégienne because we don't like smoked salmon. However, the Tartine Saint-Germain is delicious! Since it is such an easy recipe, more a set of instructions, I decided to make my mayonnaise. The only other time I've done this was for Hélène's All-White Salad and people, we loved it! I mean loved it!
The mayonnaise was my favorite part!
Dorie's mayonnaise recipe is on page 490 of Around My French Table. She says use 1/2-1 cup of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of Dijon or more if you like it more 'piquant' and I do! From the previous mayonnaise I learned that salt and pepper are essential to bring out the flavor of the oil and egg so I used both liberally.  Seriously,  you don't need roast beef or smoked salmon or anything else. I could eat it with a spoon!
Delicious with pickles and grapes. Does that sound weird?
We had this for a late lunch with a glass of wine. I admit I love drinking in the day. It makes me feel like I'm on vacation! Okay I just read that statement. Makes it sound like I'm one step away from a 12 step program.

Don't forget to add salt and pepper to the sandwich. They bump the flavor to the next level!

Its one step forward and one step back on the blog relocation and redo! Yep, that means I'm standing in place! And yes, it is frustrating. I WILL be there by Easter and hopefully sooner!

Go to the French Friday website to see what the other French Friday cooks thought.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday Okie Style

King Cake Guyla Style

It is indeed Fat Tuesday! I got on the scale this morning and thought how serendipitous that I should be at my heaviest on a day named Fat Tuesday. You would think I'd walk away from the King Cake. I did not and will not and shall not deprive myself on this day of indulgence. Maybe I should (I won't, I know I won't)  give up sweets for lent.

King Cake Rising
Every year I tell myself I will make a King Cake and every year I forget about it until Fat Tuesday. But this year my friend Kathy over at Bakeaway With Me put up a post yesterday with her beautiful King Cake and I told myself I might not be able to throw together something that spectacular but I can do something! So I give you King Cake Guyla style.

I had bread dough rising for my take on Peter Reinhart's Anadama Bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Peter Reinhart is a recognized expert in the field of artisan bread and pizza and between him and Richard Bertinet I am a competent and confident home bread baker.

If you've never baked Anadama I highly recommend it for any level of baker. It is a soft dough that is usually baked in some sort of pan which is always less stressful than free forming. I have a mother in the fridge that I always add to dough but it is not necessary as this is an enriched bread.

This enrichment is what makes it a perfect dough for King Cake! I used half for a loaf and half for my cake. I rolled the dough into a rectangle and used a combo of melted butter, pecans, brown sugar and clementine zest for the filling. Its important to seal the seam well. I didn't and some of the buttery goodness oozed out.
Delicious mid-morning treat!
The glaze is a simple confectioners sugar with clementine juice and topped with more zest and chopped toasted pecans. It is delicious if I do say so myself and Gary agrees! I hope the neighbors that I shared with also enjoy. Since it was all very impromptu I had no baby for my cake and used an almond instead. I hope luck comes to the one that got it. It wasn't me!

In researching King Cakes I learned that people can be quite passionate about their cakes and tradition. I've tried to be as true to the tradition as my pantry would allow and since we are snowed in running all over town wasn't an option. But as a friend said, I would probably need to order a baby and the purple and gold sugars. Maybe even that vibrant green one too. For me, it is the fulfillment of a goal and I feel joyful. Isn't that what its really all about? And if you disagree, I can take it!
Can't wait to make it again!
Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your opinion.