Monday, June 20, 2011
Not to be confused with coconut macaroons.
Have you ever seen these little cookies? I think they are becoming trendy. Maybe they'll be the next fad. Like cake pops. But better.
Max and I first tried macarons last year when I bought a box of them from a local French cafe. We were instant fans. We have been wanting to try making some for awhile, but I'd heard they are tricky. So we studied up a little before attempting to make them.
I don't know what all the potential pitfalls are, but I thought they were actually fairly easy. Our batter came together just fine, and piping them onto the pan was easy enough (although messy). I have large tube cake decorating tips, but I imagine you could just cut the corner off of a zip lock bag and that would work fine.
We did have one problem when it came to baking. Our first pan of cookies, baked on a dark teflon coated pan, came out perfectly. Our second and third pans, light-colored aluminum pans, came out gooey and we couldn't get all of them off the pans without destroying them. We cooked them longer, but I think we still didn't cook them long enough. They looked set, but they sank as they cooled. So make sure you wait till they are brown around the bottom edges. Next time, we'll err on the side of overcooking instead of undercooking our cookies.
If you're interested in trying them, these are helpful resources.
Demystifying Macarons (PDF -- Includes recipe we used)
Joanne Chang demonstrates (YouTube)
We added lemon zest to our batter and made lemon buttercream frosting and lemon cream cheese frosting to go on them. I preferred the lemon cream cheese frosting because it wasn't quite as sweet. I also tried using some leftover chocolate ganache frosting I had in the fridge and it went together surprisingly well. I think some kind of a raspberry frosting filling would have been fantastic. Maybe we'll try that next time.
There are so many flavor possibilities with macarons that I can't wait to try them again!
Monday, June 13, 2011
From Katie Sweeney
6 roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise into four thick slices
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flesh of 1 1/2 avocados, diced
3 tablespoons basil, julienned
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/3 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Nutemg, for sprinkling
4 large slices of sliced sourdough, lightly toasted
4 poached or fried eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the tomato slices on a baking pan covered with foil. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- In a small bowl mash the avocados to make a spreadable paste. Mix in the basil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the milk and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. It will thicken. Remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- To assemble, spread each piece of toast with a thick layer of mashed avocado (about 2-3 heaping tablespoons). Cover with 4-6 slices of tomato. Top with a poached or fried egg. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the cheese sauce over the top of each egg. Enjoy with a knife and fork immediately.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
This past weekend we had some friends over for a BBQ so I figured it would be a great opportunity to make it (because as much fun as it would be, I just can't eat a whole cake by myself!). Everyone said they really liked it and they all ate it, but maybe they were just being nice because it wasn't my favorite cake.
First of all, like others said, you just can't taste the root beer (I used IBC brand). The chocolate is just too overpowering, but yummy though! Also, the instructions say not to overmix and that it should be lumpy, but to me that was a bad idea because I had little flour clumps in my cake piece. Not pretty or appetizing. The frosting was yummy, but I put it on while the cake was still warm (they suggest to cook it the day before- I wasn't that organized) so the frosting sort of slid down the cake. It tasted ok, it just didn't look as pretty as the picture in the book.
So, despite it not tasting like root beer, having flour clumps, and melty frosting, it still got eaten up. It was a decent chocolate cake, I just don't think I'll make it again. Oh, and serving it with vanilla ice cream is absolutely essential!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
If you haven't heard of quinoa, or if you have heard of quinoa but haven't cooked with it, you should definitely make this recipe to try it out! I first heard of quinoa while I was living in Ecuador because it orginates in the Andes Mountains there, but it has recently become a lot more popular here in the U.S. Quinoa is a grain that I like to describe as a cross between rice and pasta, but the grains are teeny tiny. It's very healthy because it's super high in protein and a good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. It's also gluten-free! It doesn't have much flavor, but just adds texture.
We told my 2 1/2 year old boy that the quinoa were monster eggs, and he gobbled it right up. His exact words were "monster eggs good!" And I'm happy that he's eating something good for him.
I love making stews and soups because they are so healthy and always delicious! This stew has a nice spicy kick to it that could be doctored up or down, depending on your spiciness preference.
Also, the recipe says to cook the quinoa beforehand, but I had to simmer mine for 20+ minutes to get the potatoes tender enough, so you could probably throw the uncooked quinoa in with the potatoes and it would get cooked while you simmered. It would save you time and a dirty dish.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
I've made this for the past few years now for our Christmas Eve dessert. Its a big hit and the only changes I make are no raisins and we don't do the rum sauce since there are a few kids and some people who don't drink.
This recipe is from the food network and Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello specifically.
Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding
Inactive Prep Time:
8 to 10 servings
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
16 cake doughnuts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound confectioners' sugar
Dark rum, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, combine butter and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.
Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.
Make the rum sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan, and take off the heat. Add confectioners' sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add rum, to taste. Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and allow to soak in
Albondigas with Beef-and Tortilla Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 small red onion finely chopped (for meat balls)
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper
7 cups meat or chicken stock
1 can (1 lb) tomatoes with their juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flake
2 carrots corsely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped (for soup)
1 bay leaf
In a mixing bowl, stir together the beef ( you can use turkey or ground pork instead) eggs, onion, tortilla chips, cilantro, oregano, salt, cumin, and pepper. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Put the stock in a large sauce pan. Add the tomatoes, crushing them slightly with a wooden spoon, along with the sugar, red pepper flakes, carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Moistening your hands with cold water, form the beef mixture into balls 1-1 1/2 inch in diameter and slip them carefully into the simmering stock. Cover and simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Taste the stock and adjust seasoning.
Notes: I used some corn chips I had for the tortilla chips and used a 1 lb can of chopped tomatoes. This was a great soup especially on a cold night. I didn't take any pictures so you'll have to make it yourself.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I LOVED the split pea soup! It's a slow cooker recipe and was very easy. The flavor and texture were phenomenal. My husband was skeptical but he loved it and even ate all the leftovers. The chili was alright but I thought it needed more salt and seasonings. It tasted more like taco soup rather than chili, but that's ok because taco soup is yummy! It isn't a slow cooker recipe, but it probably could be adapted to be one.
I really like the texture and flavor the barley added to both of these recipes. I would like to add more grains to my diet and barley is such an easy grain to cook with. If you've never cooked with barley, try one of these recipes! I know we're getting out of soup and chili season, but if you're like me you enjoy them all year round.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Chipotle Chocolate Chili
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, minced
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can beef broth
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (NOT Nesquick! That would be very bad!)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
Chipotle sauce (from the can of chipotle chilies)
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1/2 unsweetened baking cube), chopped (optional; use to taste as needed, too much will make your chili bitter)
3-4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
light sour cream
chopped green onions
shredded cheddar cheese
Heat some olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, and ground turkey until meat is cooked through. Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, tomatoes, kidney beans, and beef broth. Add all of the chipotle sauce from a small can of chipotle chilies. Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until thickened as desired (about 30-40 minutes). If desired, add some chopped chipotle chilies. Add 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and a small amount of chopped chocolate at a time until desired richness is reached. If necessary, add more red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the chili. This is where you can play around a little with the flavors.
When thickened and seasoned as desired, serve with green onions, sour cream, and cheddar cheese
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potato
I came across this recipe in Real Simple a few months ago maybe. It is not a traditional chili, but I loved it! Anything that has sweet potato in it catches my eye, and I was intrigued that cocoa powder was an ingredient. I don't know that I could really taste the cocoa, but this chili definitely has a unique taste. Max and I both really liked it. It's my new go-to chili.
The recipe says to cook it for several hours in a slow cooker, but I just made it on the stove. Well first, I roasted the sweet potatoes in the oven. Then I sauteed the other vegetables in a large pot; added the liquid, sweet potato, and spices; and let it simmer for maybe 30 minutes. Easy!
Good luck in your recipe search Maren!
I could use some help getting a great chili recipe. I'm doing a family birthday party soon and need to feed 11 people dinner. I have some chili recipes that are fine but I'm still on a quest for a chili recipe I really resonate with.
Does anyone have a chili recipe they love that they'd be willing to share?
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
(I made a lot because I was visiting family in Utah.)
So, what did we think? Well, I got rave reviews from all my family, even the one who doesn't really like squash, and the one who doesn't like sausage. But... I didn't really like it. I guess I was expecting it to taste more like butternut squash, which is sweet. It didn't. My mom described it as an "earthy" taste, which I guess is pretty accurate, but I wanted a sweet contrast to the stuffing. So I tried it again after Christmas using butternut squash. Definitely tastier, although not nearly as cute. I do like that the acorn squash makes a perfect individual serving, which you don't get with the butternut.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I couldn't actually find the recipe on the food network website but this is the episode when the crew was "snowed in" and had to do what they could during that time. Here is the link to utube for the episode.
Here's the recipe:
1 lb Roasted Turkey meat
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/2 small lemon freshly squeezed
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 c pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/4 c dried cranberries, roughly chopped
2 TBSP fresh sage, chiffonade
1/4 tsp kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
Combine everything in a large airtight container. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Store in the fridge for 3 days.
I normally don't like fruit mixed with my meat. But this was great. I think the fresh sage really added a lot to this salad.
It is on page 163 if you have the book.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I was super excited to make these! Then, I was super disappointed with the results. Like Danielle, my centers didn't have any gooey lava. I think the reason was because I added too much flour. I was following the recipe from the book when I made it, and the book only gives measurements for the flour and sugar in weight, not volume. Since I don't own a food scale (it's on the wish list, but the wish list is long so I don't know when I'll actually ever get one), I did my best to estimate based on an online weight to volume conversion tool. My conversion came out to about 1/3 cup for 1 1/2 oz. of flour. I halved the recipe, so I used about 1/6 cup. Again, this was an estimate since the smallest measuring cup I have is 1/4. Anyway, after I made them I happened to look at the online recipe and saw that the ingredients were listed by volume rather than weight, and I should have only used 1 1/2 Tbsp. (since I halved it) rather than 1/6 cup. Big difference!
So, my muffins turned out pretty dense. They were still pretty good, especially served with lots of vanilla ice cream (first I served it with the sauce, but then decided I preferred the cold ice cream) but I wanted to see a lava center. I used 70% cacao dark chocolate, and I think it was a little too rich for me. If I were to try again, I'd just use regular semi-sweet chocolate chips or maybe even some milk chocolate. I have another recipe I'd like to try that calls for putting a chocolate chip cookie on the bottom of the muffin tin, then you invert the muffin to eat it and you have a cookie on the top!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I saw this episode and really wanted to try the lava muffins. They looked so easy, and they were. They were a piece of cake to throw together, and they cook VERY quickly. And they were delicious.
But there was no lava flowing from our muffins... I made a half batch (six muffins), but I should've filled only four muffin cups. Each muffin was really small and cooked faster than I anticipated. If you do divide them as the recipe says, you might want to cook them for a little less time -- or just watch them closely.
Monday, January 31, 2011
These were really good! Max said he doesn't like beans and he really liked these.
I replaced the bacon with smoked ham, and instead of tomato paste (cause I forgot to buy some) I threw in a can of fire roasted tomatoes. We cooked ours in the oven for about five hours, but they were done to our liking after four or four and a half hours. This was really easy to throw together and made a ton. It's a good thing to make at the beginning of the week and have for lunch for the next few days.
I would definitely make these again.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
In my last post about my puff pastry experience, I said I'd rather save my calories for something containing chocolate. Well, both these recipes are all chocolate, so bring on the calories! And, as a side story, I have to have a cavity filled this week and when talking to my dental hygienist about how I was surprised because I brush and floss all the time, I don't usually drink soda or sports drinks, etc., but I do like chocolate, she said "but chocolate doesn't cause cavities!" She did fail to mention that sugar does lead to cavities and most chocolate we consume contains sugar, but for now I don't have any reservations about consuming chocolate!
I've never made any sort of chocolate lava cake or muffins and have wanted to for a long time now (like, two or three years!). I'm excited to try. I plan to make mine at the end of this week. I've also never made a mousse because it just seems so difficult. Maybe I'll go chocolate crazy and try both recipes.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Overall, the beans were good, but I think I would like a little more flavor like I said more spice and maybe a little garlic. I do not normally have these ingredients on hand, and I have a black bean recipe that I like so I will probably use that one more often. Also, I think adding flavor to canned beans is a bit easier than the dry beans.
Also, I will not be making the hummus recipe on the website because it calls for peanut butter, and I have made hummus with peanut butter before and it is not good. Stick to recipes that call for tahini.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I never much liked the Tollhouse cookie recipe growing up, although we often made it for lack of a better recipe. I always thought they were too cakey. But when Alton Brown said it's the only recipe he uses for chocolate chip cookies, I thought it was worth another shot -- especially with his adjustments.
I followed "The Chewy" recipe, with the exception that I used two whole eggs instead of replacing one of the whites with milk. All I had was skim milk and I didn't know how that would turn out. I also don't really like cookies that spread a lot, so I thought I might prefer it with the whole eggs.
I have to say that after making these, I remembered why I didn't like them growing up. Although these were a little less cakey and puffy than what we made growing up, I just don't like the texture of these cookies. I like my cookies to be more dense. I have another recipe that I got from my grandma called "Mrs. Fields Cookies" -- I have no idea if it's really the Mrs. Fields recipe -- but I like it a lot more than these. They are dense and chewy and just a little crunchy on the outside. I haven't found a recipe to beat it yet.
I made one pan of these, and I've just been eating the rest as cookie dough. Cookie dough is always delicious!
I have never tried puff pastry before and I thought I'd give the salmon turnovers a go. I've never bought canned salmon before, either. I went for the "wild caught" like Danielle did and got a 5-oz. can, but I had better luck in that there was only fish flesh in mine--no bones or skin. It seemed quite a lot like tuna, actually, but that may have been just the canned taste I was getting.
The turnovers themselves came out quite well. We had to eat two each to get full enough so it was only a two-person recipe. (This, despite my having really stuffed them. I was a little too liberal with some of the ingredients and had probably two turnovers' worth of filling leftover.) My husband and I liked the idea of it a lot; they reminded us of the pierogi we've had in Seattle. I thought the filling was a little dry and would like to try again with other filling variations. All in all it was a very satisfactory experiment!
It turns out the wild caught Alaskan salmon was neither boneless nor skinless. What am I supposed to do with a can of fish with a whole fish spine in it?? Bleh. So then I had a defrosted sheet of puff pastry and no salmon. So we made turnovers but threw in what we had on hand -- red pepper hummus and cilantro. I topped mine with sharp cheddar cheese.
I was disappointed that we weren't able to try the salmon turnovers, but our hummus turnovers tasted really good. I imagine just about anything would taste good in crunchy, puffy, buttery pastry! We're going to try some dessert turnovers at some point, and I still want to try salmon turnovers eventually.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I like my cookies big and soft, so I decided to make the Puffy version.
To start off, I'll say that they turned out puffy but not quite as soft as I like them. I know my first batch was slightly overcooked, so I turned the cooking time down to about 10 1/2 or 11 minutes. The rest were a little better.
I'm not opposed to baking with shortening, but real butter definitely would have been better. Real butter just tastes SO much better! Cookies just need butter. And maybe the shortening added to the crispiness?
Despite these cookies not being my favorite, I thought this episode was very educational! (I watched the episode on youtube and took notes). Now I feel like I better understand what elements give cookies their texture.
I would like to make another batch of cookies and try to do a combination of the puffy and the chewy...using real butter, maybe melting the butter, using more brown sugar, excluding 1 egg white, only using baking powder. I'm not sure what type of flour I'd use. For these I used cake flour, but I'd like to try the bread flour and see how different it turns out. I usually only keep all-purpose flour on hand, but I'd like to learn the properties of different flours.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
We wanted to make baked macaroni and cheese, but based on the reviews of Alton's baked mac & cheese (here and online), we decided to switch things up a bit. So we made a hybrid of AB's stove top and baked mac & cheese. We basically followed the stove top recipe, added ham, stuck it in a pan, and topped it with the panko crumbs.
Our hybrid version turned out great! It was delicious, and tasted just about as good the next day as leftovers (reheated in the oven) -- although the leftovers were a bit dry. Oh, one other change we made was that we used a mix of smoked cheddar and sharp cheddar. I loved the smokey flavor, especially with the ham.
Growing up, I never had baked macaroni and cheese. In fact, it's possible that the first time I ever had it was in the last year or so. So I'd never had mac & cheese with bread crumbs on top, but I love the crunchiness added to it! I'm a big fan of baked mac & cheese now. I think we will definitely make this again (the hybrid version) -- although not often for the sake of our arteries. :)
Monday, January 17, 2011
Alton Brown talks about how the different ingredients change the type of cookie you end up with -- thin, crunchy, chewy, puffy, etc. This is the kind of info you can take and tweak any cookie recipe to make it more to your liking.
You can find the episode transcript HERE.
Here are some of the basic takeaway concepts:
- More baking soda makes a thinner cookie
- More baking powder makes a puffier cookie
- Butter makes cookies spread, use chilled butter for a cookie that spreads less
- Brown sugar makes chewier cookies
- Cake flour produces more steam which creates more lift and results in puffier cookies
- Bread flour produces more gluten and results in chewier cookies
- Substituting milk for some of the egg makes a cookie that spreads more
Hope that helps!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
this chocolate chip cookie recipe (found on p. 166 in the book) not because I need another one but because of Alton's claim that it would help me understand how to change other cookie recipes. I'm not quite sure I learned that because I'm still deciding on how this went, but anyway, here goes:
I followed his recipe with these exceptions: I didn't use bread flour, I had 1% milk and used that instead of whole milk.
I came up with the gloopiest, wettest cookie dough I have ever seen--there will be no skipping the step of a one-hour refrigeration, I'm afraid. I refrigerated mine probably double that. Even so, the last cookie I popped into the oven should have gone back into the fridge first. It was too gooey and came out as flat as a pancake and didn't look appealing at all.
Since Alton recommends against doing half-batches, I decided to take his advice to make a full batch and freeze a bunch of dough instead. I plan to pop those straight from the freezer into the oven later this week and see how they turn out. (If I haven't eaten all the dough straight out of the freezer yet, that is!)
But back to the batch at hand: I overcooked them a bit. Alton says 15 minutes for two sheets in the oven at a time. I only put in one and forgot to adjust the baking time. We ate them warm and I didn't think they were that great and pronounced myself disappointed. I wouldn't have guessed I was eating a cookie called "The Chewy." However, the next day I ate one and I liked it very much! I shouldn't have been surprised because I usually like cookies better the next day, after the chocolate is hard again (am I the only one??) and it was the case with these too. The leftover ones were chewy, just like Alton claimed they should be--and this in spite of my having overcooked them!
Overall I'd say I had a successful cookie experience, but I don't know yet if I'll be making these again.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The crust looks a little burned, but it really wasn't. The tarts are crunchy and not very sweet. Perfect! However, if you like them sweeter, add more sugar or use a sweeter jam (I couldn't find any apricot jam, so I used apricot Simply Fruit, which isn't very sweet).
I don't remember having Waldorf salad in the past but I've definitely heard the name before. I was excited to try it though because I love salad. Jason teases me a lot because we eat salad for 2-3 dinners a week. It's easy, fast and can sit in the fridge until he gets home without being gross.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The only time I've ever made applesauce was when I used to make my oldest child's baby food. Since it was baby food it contained only apples and water. I would never have thought to add butter and honey to applesauce! They were nice additions. I only used 2 Tbsp. of honey due to Maren's comments, but I think it would have been good with 3 or more Tbsps. Mine turned out a bit more tart than I prefer. Using different types of apples might help this also. I couldn't even tell that the butter was in it, so I think next time I'd leave it out just to cut out the calories. Since I didn't have apple juice on hand and had to go to the store, I splurged and got the unfiltered stuff. Really, I don't see why it really makes a difference if you use that over filtered juice. Next time I'd probably use regular apple juice since it's typically less expensive.
I liked Alton Brown's suggestion of using a melon baller to scoop the core out. Very easy! I only cooked the apples for the 10 minutes called for, then tried to use my stick blender to blend it up. I'm not sure if the apples weren't soft enough or if my stick blender just isn't very good (I did buy it used), but it wouldn't blend it up all the way, so I ended up putting it all in my regular blender which quickly made it nice and smooth. If you prefer your applesauce chunckier then you should use a potato masher or a food processor.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
You can find episode lists either here on the Food Network or here on Wikipedia.
Also, at the top of the blog is a page called "Good Eats Resources". You can find a link to the episode list on the Food Network there as well as a link to a Good Eats fan site that has transcripts for all Good Eats episodes.
January 2: Danielle
January 9: Catherine
January 16: Maren
January 23: Melissa
January 30: Melanie W.
February 6: Cami
February 13: Jen
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Although I was a little skeptical, I used his microwave method. I put the apples in a big Corelle salad bowl and overturned a dinner plate on top of that for the lid and it worked out pretty well. The apples just fit. I tried blending them after the recommended 10 minutes but they weren't soft enough yet so I put them back in for another 5 and they were just right. I don't think they need a quarter-turn every 2 minutes like Alton says; every 4 or 5 should be fine. All in all it worked fine but using the stove seems like it might actually be less fussy. I do have to note that the smell of the apples cooking was downright heavenly!
And the applesauce was delicious. My kids loved it and even my husband had a serving!
I really liked it myself--the only thing I'd change when I do it again is to take the honey to 2 Tbsp.; I thought 3 was a bit too sweet. I like my applesauce on the tangy side. I could probably try some other apple varieties to get more tang, too.
I'd never made my own applesauce before today, but now I know how good it can be I think I will have to do it again!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
This salad was really delicious. I've only had Waldorf salad maybe a couple other times, so I don't have much to compare to. But Max and I both really enjoyed this.
I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but I was able to make this with stuff I already had. And I was excited to be able to use some of the things that are growing in my front "yard" (lettuce and mint).
Here are the changes I made:
- I used craisins instead of raisins
- I left out the celery (I'm not a fan)
- I used only Fuji apples
- I decreased the amount of onion and sliced them really thin
- I used pecans instead of walnuts (cause that's what I had)
We put this on lettuce, but I thought the lettuce was unnecessary. I would've rather left it out. Max liked it with the lettuce though, so it's a toss up. I really loved the combination of the curry with the mint and apples. It's a great flavor combination. This was really easy to put together, and it tasted great. Since I keep these ingredients on hand, I can see myself throwing this together often when I don't feel like cooking.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I'm going to make The Waldorf Hysteria sometime this week, so I'll post about it later after I've made it. You can find this episode on pages 86 through 89 in the book. You can find the recipes for this episode on the Food Network's website here.