Sunday, October 27, 2013

Butter news

This weekend I became a baking expert.  After years and years of baking, I happened to look up the difference between using melted butter or creaming the butter and found out all kinds of iformation I never knew before.  It was the science of baking.
As an example, for mixing and creaming, butter should be about 65 degrees: cold to the touch but warm enough to spread. Just three degrees warmer, at 68 degrees, it begins to melt.  For my pumpkin bread I actually checked the temperature of the butter and started the process at the correct temperature.  It used to be that I would take out my sticks of unsalted butter and let them sit out all day or overnight until I got around to beginning.  WRONG!!!

This time I cut the butter into pieces and it got to the correct temperature in a short time.
I used it to make pumpkin bread with fresh cranberries.   I added a cup of cranberries to my favorite pummpkin bread and you can find the original (hard copy) recipe here at the bottom of the page..
The next thing I looked up about butter was whether there was a certain temperature to use for creaming the butter for making frosting. I didn't see anything about temperature but I did find that the key to perfect frosting is a lot of beating.

Buttercream Frosting
   Unsalted butter
   Sifted confectioners sugar
   Milk
   Vanilla

Use 2 cups confectioners sugar for each stick of butter.
Cream butter for 2 minutes at high.  Turn down to medium and add sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Add vanilla to taste and milk to get desired consistency.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Honey, Mustard and Rosemary Pork Roast

Honey, Mustard and Rosemary Pork Roast
Bon App├ętit | July 1994
Yield: Serves 4 to 6


Ingredients
    •    3/4 cup beer
    •    1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    •    6 tablespoons honey
    •    1/4 cup olive oil
    •    2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
    •    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    •    1 2-pound boneless pork loin roast

    •    1/2 cup whipping cream
Preparation
Whisk first 6 ingredients to blend in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Add pork and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer pork to rack set in roasting pan; reserve marinade. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 150°F., about 55 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes.
Strain marinade into heavy medium saucepan. Add cream and juices from roasting pan. Boil sauce until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice pork; arrange on platter. Drizzle some sauce over. Serve, passing extra sauce separately.

Note:
I made the recipe using 6 pounds of pork, no whipping cream and there was loads of thick delicious sauce and lots of leftovers after serving 5 hearty appetites.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie

I was going to make an apple pie but then I looked at the centerpiece on my island - a cooking pumpkin.



So I looked for a recipe that uses both and found this one that I'll try tomorrow and add the picture.


Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

So Many Good Recipes

We had dinner at Lila's tonight and each of us brought something and everything was so good I needed to post all the recipes so I have them for future use.  Unfortunately I didn't take pictures to include so I guess that means I will have to make the recipes and then upload the pictures along with the them.  For now, here are the links:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Honey-Mustard-and-Rosemary-Pork-Roast-2130
http://www.food.com/recipe/broccoli-with-red-onions-blue-cheese-and-mint-349535
This is Audrey's salad but she added dried cherries and apricots, and used spinach and field greens
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/fall-salad-recipe/index.html

I made a pumpkin pie for dessert and did it a little differently this time by putting a caramelized pecan topping on it.  I took this picture after I got home with the leftovers (for Larry).
The original recipe, with instructions for using a real pumpkin are here --->http://divertedtodistraction.blogspot.com/2011/10/fresh-pumpkin.html

And this is the addition:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
While the pie is baking, chop the pecans and add them to a sauce pan
with butter and brown sugar. Over low to medium heat, let the butter sizzle and caramelize the sugar, but be careful not to let the butter burn!
Remove from heat and set aside until the pie has cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour and has firmed up a bit and just looks soft or wet in the center.  Then open the oven, and sprinkle the pecan topping evenly all over the top of the pie.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another reason to love Wegmans

After going to a bunch of stores, my last stop was Wegmans and I had a desparate need for the Ladies room.

When I got there the door was blocked and the restroom was closed, but then I noticed this sign in front of the Mens Room
Thank you Wegmans!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Star Lake

Mary organized a trip to Cobble Crest on Star Lake for a group of 10 women.  Here are some of the highlights.  This is the house right on the lake.
Here's the floating dock that we took out twice for happy hour.
Here's one of our trips out.
I took a hike with Ann, Mary, Carol I, Jean M and Carol Z from the Ranger school.
When we came back we saw a little turtle on the road and rescued it and put it in the grass.
This was my bedroom with a private bath,  I got it from a random drawing :-)
Here we all are after dinner when we carved our clementines (missing Trudy)
Jean D, Jean M, Ann, Carol Z, Carol I, Me, Mary, Jo, Chris (in case I forget who everyone is when I'm old and senile (oops, forgot, I'm already old).
This was my outstanding creation.
The next time I took a hike it was to Inlet.  The day was beautiful but it was very wet.  After taking an hour to go 1 mile because it was such slow going, Carol and Jean went back to get the car and pick us up at the other end.  Good thing.
Trudy, Mary, Jean D and I went on while Jean M and Carol I went back.
Once back at the house, we had Trudy's famous Godfathers (equal amounts of scotch and amaretto, YUM!!)
Mary and I getting ready to pack up
while Trudy and some others went out for a last kayak trip