Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This month's challenge is dedicated to Barbara of winosandfoodies.com, a former Daring Baker, who is the force behind the food blog event called A Taste of Yellow that supports the LiveSTRONG foundation started by Lance Armstrong. This year's LiveStrong Day is in May, so in honor of that, the cake was made light both in color and flavor, instead of the traditional darker flavors of chocolate or coffee. So this opera cake consisted of the cake layer, buttercream filling, white chocolate mousse, and white chocolate glaze. Sounds sinful...
The joconde called for almond meal, but due to Emi's nut allergies, I subbed graham flour. The cake, therefore had this gritty texture that kinda ruined the cake. What a shame... I wonder if the almond meal would of had a similar texture.
On to the buttercream... I'm finding that I'm not a big fan of buttercream. I feel like I'm just eating spoonfuls of butter. I followed the revised version of the buttercream recipe, hoping for something good. But it just tasted really fattening.
The mousse was a new one for me too. I'm not sure if I did it right, but when I added the melted white chocolate chips into the whipped cream, they turned into chunks since the cream was cold. But it was good in its own way.
The glaze made quite a lot. It covered the entire cake plus left pools on the side. But it was still very yummy.
This cake was pretty big, a 10" x 10" square, which I halved so it could fit into a tupperware. I had just gone shopping so there were no room in the fridge. But it was cold enough outside, so I had it chill on my deck.
The cake was a mixture of both healthy (err... not too bad for you) and fattening. An interesting combination, and an interesting experience. Looking forward to next month's challenge!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Brrr... it's cold. Didn't think we'd be starting a fire in late May. Good thing we have some wood left.
...and the Idyllwild gang.
I also ran into Dazed Mom, her daughter was there too. It was a little strange meeting someone I've only be in contact with online bloggin', in person. She seemed like a nice person, but I couldn't hang out and chat since my kids were heading outside to run across the football field in the rain. But I'm sure I'll see her again someday.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
2 bunches of broccoli cut up
1 small red onion, sliced
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1 c. raisins
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 c. mayo
2T. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
Mix dressing, pour over ingredients, and chill. If you have the time, drain the broccoli after you wash it and let it dry. Too much water sticking to the broccoli will water down the dressing and leave you with a pool at the bottom.
Something new... Spinach Quiche with aged goat cheese blue cheese. I also threw in last night's pasta sauce made with portobello mushrooms, asparagus, onions, and tomatoes. The blue cheese wasn't strong in flavor, it mellowed out a little, which was good. Some bacon bits could of been good too...
I headed up Devil's Slide trail. This was my first real hike of the year.
Some beautiful flowers blooming...
Here is Saddle Junction. It flattens out a little here, and about a quater mile away is my fern field. Unfortunately, there were none there. It is higher in elevation here so they haven't come out yet. I'll have to come back in a couple weeks. I'll see if I can get someone to tag along. I felt like a donkey last time carrying all those bags down!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Playing mercy 2-on-1!
He had brought them some handle grips that they put his dreads through.
They were stoked they got something new for their bikes.
He also left me a pack. It happened to be like the one David has, just smaller. Now we'll have the couple look!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Some beautiful flowers were blooming...
Abby slipped and landed on her butt... ...and got all wet!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns
1 c. milk
1 1/2t. salt
5 1/2 c. flour
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4t)
Combine milk, water, butter, sugar, salt in a pan, heat till the sugar and butter are melted, and then cool till lukewarm. In a large bowl, combine the flour and the yeast. Pour in the wet ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. Put in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour. Punch down, and shape 12-16 rolls, and let rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven 400*F. Optional: brush with egg yolk and 1 T. water. (I skipped this step.) Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and bake 5-10 minutes longer until browned.
The buns pre-bake. Try to flatten the rolls, they WILL rise during baking.
I doubled the recipe and got about 30 rolls. They looked great, and will work for sandwiches as well. The bread is kinda dense, might even make good breadsticks.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Then I crockpotted it for about 24 hrs, the beans just took forever to cook. This can also be done in a pressure cooker or stovetop pan. The beans need to get soft enough that you can easily smush them with two fingers. As the skin floats to the top, skim them out.
Drain (keeping the cooking liquids) and mash with a masher or use a food processor. If it seems too dry, add some of the cooking liquid. It is important to mash and add koji while the soybeans are still warm. The warmth helps aid the fermentation process. Once mashed, add some rice koji (a filamentous mold also used to make soy sauce) and about 1/2 lb of salt (I used sea salt.)
Put about tablespoon or two of salt in the bottom of your crock. Be sure to sterilize everything you use. Then make balls with the miso and throw them into the crock.
Then smooth out the top and sprinkle with a little more salt.
Line the top of the miso with a dampened dye-free cloth or plastic wrap. I used both. I boil the cloth to sterilize, and let it cool, ring out and use. I've read that just wetting a cloth in your sink can increase the likelyhood of mold growth. Place a flat plate or lid on top and put some weights on top. I've read recipes that say use 5 lbs. I use two 5 lb weights plus a rock.
Cover with a paper bag, and tie.
Place in a cool, dark place. Stir once a month and in 3-4 months, it is done! If it molds, you can just scoop it off and it'll be fine. Some say to let it sit for 6 months to 18 months, I don't have that much patience!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I made ours with shrimp and cabbage. Here's the sauce with the mayo and seaweed flakes. I like to make little web designs with my mayo. My kids think it's so neat.