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Tonight, we made "leftover apple bits" jelly. It's a medium honey brown, slightly cloudy, and oh so tasty.It goes something like this:

1) Prepare enough apples for a double batch of applesauce. Put peels and trimmings in a put for later.

2) Cook apple chunks per recipe, with lemon juice and a little water and honey and cinnamon and cloves. Drain per recipe, saving appledy-spice liquid.

3) Finish applesauce and can, etc.

4) Pour appledy-spice liquid over peels and bits, then add enough water to cover bits. Simmer entire mess until the peels have lost all their color, and it looks like you've stewed a pot of old muddy socks.

5) Strain through colander and cheesecloth (or a dishtowel, if that's what's handy), reserving all the liquid. Put stewed bits in compost.

6) Measure out juice, and top up to get to 7 cups of juice.

7) Put in pot with a package of pectin, bring to a rapid boil. Add 9 cups of sugar, very quickly, and stir like a crazy person. When your arm feels like it's about to fall off, grit your teeth and keep stirring, until it comes to a boil that you can't stir down. Keep stirring (carefully!!) for 1 minute.

8) Pull pot off heat and ladle jelly into prepared jars, to 1/4" from the rim. Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth, add lids and rings.

9) Process in a water bath for 5 min, etc. Mine made about 11 cups.
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Recipe originally from "Grit's Guide to Homemade Bread", a special one-time issue from the publishers of Mother Earth News, somwtime in 2010. I think. Can't remember how long we've had it, but it can't be that long, it's not too smudged yet.

This does take some planning ahead; the dough needs to work overnight. Other than that, it's not much fuss.

To make sponge:
1 c warm milk (if you proof your yeast, do so in 1/4 c warm water, and reduce milk to 3/4 c)
4 T unsalted butter, partially melted in warm milk
3/4 c rye flour
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T caraway seeds
1/4 tsp yeast
* 2 T potato flour, or instant potato flakes
* 1/4 c dry milk

The night before baking, mix sponge and allow to rest at room temperature overnight, or at least 2 hrs. Scrape contents of bowl to bottom and push plastic wrap down over sponge to keep it from drying out.

To make dough:
2 tsp yeast
1/4 c warm water
1 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt

The next morning, mix yeast into warm water, then work mixture into sponge. Add remaining dough ingredients. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 min.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover bowl well to keep from drying out. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place on lightly greased pan. Brush gently with olive oil to keep tops from drying out, let rest for 10 min. Gently press tops of buns to flatten, cover pan, and let rise until puffy, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degress. Beat together 1 egg white and 1 T water. Brush tops with mixture, sprinkle with toppings of choice (poppy seed, sesame seed, oat flakes, etc). Bake 15-20 min, or until golden. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 6 buns.

* The instant milk and potato flakes are optional, but give a lighter texture. Substitute a bit more flour if you're not using them.
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Found this while I was trolling for a recipe for my neighbor. They're rising on the stove right now; I'll let you know how they turn out. I'm going to leave the glaze out. As is, it's not Byron-safe, and we usually like such things unglazed.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

1 lb sweet potatoes
1 T coarse kosher salt
1 c milk
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
7-8 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c warm water (105-115F)
3, 1/4-oz envelopes dry active yeast (about 2 T)
2 T sugar

9 T (1 stick plus 1 T) unsalted butter, room temperature
1⅓ c (packed) golden brown sugar
2½ T ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 T unbleached all purpose flour
1 c pecans or walnuts (if desired)
1 large apple finely chopped (if desired) --next time, I'll use 2 apples

2 c powdered sugar
¼ c (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 T (or more) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅛ tsp coarse kosher salt

Preheat over to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 min or until completely cooked. Remove potato skins and discard. Mash potato’s, add salt, milk and butter, mash until butter is melted. Whisk in eggs, then 1 cup flour; mash until very smooth. Let potatoes stand until barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour ½ cup warm water into large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; stir in yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add potato mixture to yeast mixture; mix on low speed until well blended, 2 minutes. Using a dough hook mix in 5 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well. Beat until sticky dough forms.

Spread ½ cup flour on work surface. Scrape dough out onto floured work surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 8 minutes.

Coat large bowl with butter. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make filling:

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in medium bowl.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface. Roll out dough to 24x16-inch rectangle. Melt butter and brush onto dough making sure to thoroughly cover the surface of the dough. Sprinkle filling, apple and nuts evenly over dough. Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Using large knife dipped in flour, cut roll crosswise into 18 pieces. Transfer rolls to baking sheet, spacing rolls about ¾ inch apart. Cover baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes (rolls will be very puffy).

Bake cinnamon rolls until golden, about 12 minutes. Cool rolls 5 minutes on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, make glaze:

Whisk powdered sugar, melted butter, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla, and coarse salt in small bowl. If glaze is too thick to spread, add more milk by ½ teaspoonfuls as needed. Spread glaze over warm rolls.
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Since I was typing it up anyway, I might as well archive it.

Cammie's turkey chili

2 yellow onions, chopped
1 stick butter
4 lb ground turkey
1 T Lowrey's seasoned salt
1/2 c yellow mustard
3 cans Brooks chili beans, large (one hot, two mild)
2 pkts Williams chili seasoning
1 can beef consume
1 jar Pace picante sauce, large

In a large stock pot, saute onions with butter and seasoned salt. Add beef consume and allow to render down for about 10 minutes. Add ground turkey and start to brown. When turkey is about done, squirt in about 1/2 c yellow mustard. Keep cooking until it starts to smell like cheeseburgers. Add the chili seasoning, beans, picante sauce and more seasoned salt if needed. Simmer for at least one hour.
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Originally published in the "Guide to Homemade Bread" issue of Grit Country Skills Series, Oct 2010, pg 65.

4 c bread flour, divided
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c pumpkin
1 T pumpkin pie spice (original called for 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp allspice)
1 egg, optional

Water bath:
1 gal water
1 T sugar

In a large bowl, combine 2 c flour and yeast. In a separate bowl, combine warm water, salt, brown sugar, pumpkin, and spices; combine this with flour mixture. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl, beat for an additional 3 minutes on high speed. Incorporate as much of remaining flour as possible.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead in additional flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Divide dough into 8 equal portions and roll into balls. (Best done with floured hands, it'll be sticky.) Punch a hole in the middle of each ball and gently pull to enlarge hole to 2".

Place bagels in greased baking sheet; cover with tea towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Prepare water bath and bring it to a boil. Once water is boiling and bagels have risen, reduce hear to medium and place bagels, three at a time, in water for 90 seconds, turning after 45 seconds.

Drain and place on baking sheet. If desired, brush with egg wash (beat egg with 1 T water). Bake at 400F for 25 minutes.

Notes: I've made this twice. I got better results when I added the yeast to the water and let it work for 10 minutes, then mixed in all the flour and pumpkin and stuff.
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Hot Chocolate Mix

1 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 c Coffee Mate (this equals 1, 6-oz jar) -- try vanilla or hazelnut flavored
2 1/2 c Nestle Quik (this equals 1, 8-oz package)
2 1/2 c powdered milk (this equals 8 oz)

Put ingredients into a container with a good tight lid, close lid and shake until well blended. Store tightly covered.
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Mom's White Chili

This recipe is from my mom; can't remember where she got it.

1 c diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 cans chicken broth, seasoned
1, 4-oz can green chilis
2 med bell peppers, diced
2, 15-oz cans Great Northern white beans
shredded cheese
corn chips

Cook chicken, peppers, and onions until chicken is done. Add everything else but cheese and chips. Simmer. If you like thick chili, add flour to thicken (3 T), but you may need to add more spices.

Serve with crushed chips and cheese.
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Stuffed Focaccia/Stuffed Pizza

Just a heads-up: this makes a BIG batch of bread, that's nearly a meal by itself. It filled my pizza pan, and was 2" thick. Next time I make it, I'll try dividing it in halves or quarters, and adding more pizza-ish stuff.

From the BBC Food website.

For the dough:
750g/1½lb flour (approx 5 1/4 c)
2 sachets instant yeast (I use a tablespoon, which is a little much, but my yeast is a little old, too)
1 T sugar
warm water
large rosemary sprig, chopped

For the filling:
55g/2oz pine nuts
140g/5oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tub ricotta
110g/4oz grated parmesan
4 peppers, roasted and skinned and in put in olive oil, then sliced
small handful rocket leaves

I used tomatoes (6-7 romas, plus a medium-sized generic one), peppers, basil, and crumbled feta cheese for my filling...about 1 1/3 c cheese, and probably 2 c veggies, plus a generous handful of basil. So, close to a quart of stuff. It made a thin layer through the bread, just about right I though, but I'd double the amount, at least, if I were doing a stuffed pizza.

Combine the dough ingredients until you have a very sloppy dough (this takes about 2 c warm water. Tip out on to a well floured surface. Knead with more flour until the dough is very pliable. Leave in a well oiled bowl to rise to until trebled in size.

Knock back after it has risen, then tip out on to an oiled surface.

Spread the filling ingredients on to the dough, then pull in the edges to seal and invert.

Invert into a metal pan that is well oiled. Dimple the surface, and pour over olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt. The focaccia should be a rough oval shape.

Bake for 40 minutes at 220C/425F/Gas 7, check during cooking, and if burning turn down a little.

Allow to cool a little, and cut into wedges

Other notes: It's a soft dough throughout...and they're serious about spreading it out on a well-oiled surface. You'll never get it off the counter, otherwise.

Also, the bread portion of this recipe is very very bland. More salt, definitely. And put herbs in the dough, and less on the crust.
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This is the basic foaccia recipe I'd been looking for all this time (thanks, Cat!). I found in an issue of Herb Companion, probably 15 years ago, dressed up with herbs and cheese. As written, it makes a chewier bread than most of what I've bought as focaccia around here, but I rather liked it that way. If you use liquids other than water (which is traditional), it'll be a softer, finer textured bread.

2 c liquid
packet of yeast
1/4 c oil
5 c bread flour
1 T salt
1 T sugar to start yeast

Do all the things you're supposed to do to these ingredients to turn them into bread. Add others as you feel the urge. Herbs are good. Herb flowers are better. Cheeses are lovely.

Be warned, however that a bunch of fresh garlic chives (or even regular chives), however tasty-sounding, will kill your yeast and you will make a brick. Same goes for the chopped garlic in oil. Garlic powder, or roasted garlic, will give much of the flavor without anti-microbial punch. That goes for any bread recipe, by the way.

Bake at 400 until done.
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A Simple Focaccia Recipe

Nice, simple recipe.

Like the previous one, this makes a very soft dough, that's a little tricky to handle and get onto the pan.

Edited to add: after cutting into this one a day or so after baking, it's got a soft, nearly "white bread" texture. And it's not as bland as the bread in the stuffed focaccia recipe.


This bread can be cut into small (3" x 3") pieces to be eaten as an accompaniment or appetizer as is, or it can be split and filled for a sandwich.

o 1 1/4 c hot tap water
o 1 T yeast
o 2 T sugar
o 1/3 c dry milk powder
o 1/4 c olive oil
o 1 tsp salt
o 1 egg
o 3 to 4 c bread flour
o 1/4 c olive oil
o 1 tsp coarse salt

Dissolve the yeast in the hot tap water. Add the sugar, dry milk powder, olive oil, salt, and egg and mix well. Add the first 3 cups of bread flour gradually, mixing well after each addition. Add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour and mix in until smooth. Place some of the last 1/2 cup of flour on the kneading board, turn out the dough onto the board, and knead in only enough flour to give you smooth, barely non-sticky dough.

Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in an large, oiled bowl, cover with saran, and allow to double in a warm place (about 90 minutes). Punch down and allow to rise until doubled again (about 40 minutes). Punch down and divide the dough into two parts. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Spray two cookie sheets with a no-stick product (Pam, Baker's Joy, whatever). Spread a piece of the dough out on each of the pans (I use my hands like I was doing a pizza crust) into an approximately oval shape.

Don't try to be perfect. It should have that "rustic" look. Brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Indent the surface of each loaf by pressing all over with your fingertips. (Don't make holes.) Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (approx. 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Press all over again with fingertips. Bake the bread for about 20-25 minutes. depending on how brown and crisp you like your bread.

Use the above recipe, except add 6-8 cloves of crushed garlic to the olive oil you brush on the top of the loaves. Be sure you distrubute the garlic bits evenly over the loaves. When the bread comes out of the oven and is still very hot, sprinkle with as much grated parmesan (or Romano) cheese as you like.

Use the above recipe. When the bread loaves have baked for 15 minutes, sprinkle the top of the loaves with a mixture of 1 bunch of green onions (finely chopped) and 2 T GOOD DARK olive oil. Continue to bake for the remaining time.

Use the above recipe. Just before putting the loaves into the oven, sprinkle the tops of the loaves with thinly sliced vidalia onions mixed with just enough olive oil to moisten them. We like lots of onions.

Use the above recipe. Just before putting the loaves into the oven, top each with 1/4 slices of roma tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Brush the tops of the tomatoes and basil leaves with a little olive oil.

NOTE: As you can see the variations are limited only by your imagination. We use other herbs and toppings depending on what we have on hand or have a taste for. The focaccia shouldn't look like a pizza is a bread. It also warms (almost like fresh-baked) in the microwave, so you can enjoy for several days. Often I will bake only one loaf, putting the other half of the dough in the freezer to be baked fresh (maybe with a different topping) at a later time.
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Fireside Cheese Spread
Source: Country Magazine, Feb 1993

1 container (16 oz.) cheddar cheese spread, softened
2 packages (one 8 oz & one 3 oz) cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Snipped fresh parsley
Assorted crackers

In a medium bowl, combine cheese spread, cream cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Blend thoroughly. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Serve with crackers.

Yield: about 3-1/2 cups
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Mushrooms Au Gratin

1/2 lb. mushrooms, washed and drained
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. sour cream
1 T. flour
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Sauté mushrooms in butter. Place in a baking dish. Mix sour cream, flour and Cheddar cheese and pour over the top of mushrooms. Bake at 350°F until hot and bubbly.
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Gingered Biscuit Topping

For the cobbler:
1 pint strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1/2 pound rhubarb (2 stalks), peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into slivers

For the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons very finely chopped crystallized ginger0.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

To prepare the cobbler, place the strawberries and rhubarb in a large, heavy saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir over high heat until the sugar has started to dissolve, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the fruit has exuded some of its liquid, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the fruit and all liquid with the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the flour, lemon zest, and salt. Cool slightly, pour into a lightly buttered 1-quart baking dish, and dot with the slivers of butter.

To make the topping, preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to mix in the ginger and to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles the texture of small peas. Quickly stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a well-floured work surface, knead into a ball, and roll out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out 4 biscuits. Gather the trimmings and roll out again. Cut out 2 more biscuits.

Arrange the biscuits snugly over the fruit. Brush lightly with additional buttermilk, sprinkle with sugar, and bake until the cobbler is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
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Parmesan Chicken with Balsamic Butter Sauce
4 Servings

1 3 lb chicken cut into eight pieces (we just used 2 large breasts)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cut freshly grated Parmesan cheese (we used asiago)
2 tbsp minced oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the olive oil, cheese, oregano and garlic. Arrange chicken skin side up on a large rimmed baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken until they are lightly browned and just cooked through—45 minutes for bone-in chicken, less for breasts (more like 40?)

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter 1 tbsp at a time until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to plates, and spoon the sauce on top. Serve.

(God only knows where I found this originally. I posted it to my lj back in Oct 2005.)
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Chocolate Guiness Ice Cream, from [info]seantaclaus
Deep Dark Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Originally posted on his lj, quoted below:

I mentioned this recipe over a month ago, and mentioned that I might post it at some point. Wait no more. Also, this is a hybrid recipe that I assembled from experimenting with combinations of other recipes-- in a couple cases, I substituted due to not having a specific ingredient, and make note of that in each case. All I ask is that if you pass it along, you give me credit (a simple link back to my LJ is fine).

1 large bottle Guiness Stout (I want to say it was something odd like 13.6oz-- someone can tell me specifically, I'm sure)
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
1 1/8 cups dutch process cocoa
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I did half and half with semi-sweet and dark chocolate)

--In a large saucepan, simmer the Guinness until reduced by 3/4 in volume, about 8 minutes (I actually let it boil down longer, until it reduced to half, as it makes for a bit richer flavor on the Guinness part). Edit: For those who don't drink and are concerned about alcohol content, the making of the Guinness reduction cooks/evaporates out the alcohol content of the Guinness.

--In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk, heavy cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium-low heat. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise; use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape out the "seeds" of the vanilla bean, stirring the seeds and bean pod into the milk/cream mixture. Simmer the milk/cream mixture over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard it or rinse and reserve for another use. (I had no vanilla bean, so I opted for more extract in it's place)

--Combine the remaining 5/8 cup sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium bowl; using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until thickened like mayonnaise.

--Measure out 1 cup of the hot milk/cream mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the cocoa mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until completely incorporated. Stir the chopped chocolate into the saucepan with the hot milk/cream. Stir the egg mixture into the hot milk/cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble a chocolate pudding (the constant stirring is extremely important at this point-- if you stop stirring it, the eggs may attempt to make the mixture congeal-- this is a BAD thing). Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl and stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming, and refrigerate until completely cooled (2 hrs. is a safe bet, if it doesn't seem to be substantially cooling after an hour, try placing the bowl in a larger bowl, lined with ice-- this worked for me).

--Remove from refrigerator and add the Guinness reduction, whisking until well blended.

--Pour the chilled custard into the machine's freezer bowl, turn the machine on and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes (this is specific to the type of machine-- follow whatever the instructions are for your machine in this instance, the above is simply for mine). The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Dr. Paisley, [info]rohanna, [info]generalbusybody, [info]dragonet2, [info]skyfire33, and [info]velvetkatt all had the opportunity to sample the recipe. Now, before anyone asks me to cook this for them, know that it took me a good 7 hours in the kitchen getting everything from the two recipes aligned and prepared properly, not counting fridge time. I could probably drop that to around 3 or so now, but it's still not an easy prep, especially for one person.

I toyed with the idea of making chunks of Guinness flavored chocolate to put in it, but ended up with something more akin to a chocolate Guinness ganache. Still, if you want that recipe, it's basically as follows (off the top of my head):

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 stick butter
2-3 tablespoons of aforementioned Guinness reduction
1/8-1/4 cup chocolate chips for consistency (optional, I didn't do this, which may have been the issue with keeping the chocolate bits from blending in with the ice cream)

--Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once everything has combined and it has the same thick consistency throughout, turn the burner off and let it cool. Upon cooling, it will start to thicken substantially, becoming more solid than fluid.

This mixture is exceptionally rich, and also makes for a good warm chocolate syrup or a good base for hot chocolate. If nothing else, it would make an excellent icing for something once cooled.

There you go, kids... enjoy, and don't say I never gave you anything.
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[Nov. 20th, 2009|11:25 am]
NYTimes No-Knead Bread

Thought I'd logged this one a while ago, but it looks like I didn't. Since I just referred someone to it, I'd better put it up here where I can find it again later.

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.
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These started out life as a cookie recipe that I made wrong, but they're very nice. Even the baby likes them.

Pumpkin Bars

1/3 c vegetable oil or softened butter (I usually use butter)
1 1/3 c sugar ( or 2/3 c each white and brown sugar)
2 eggs
1, 15-oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each ground ginger, allspice
1 tsp each ground nutmeg, cinnamon
(or spices to taste -- we've moved to using a couple teaspoons of Penzey's pumpkin pie spice, plus some ginger and cardamon)
Optional: chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit to taste

Beat shortening (or butter) until light and fluffy. Bteat in sugar, then eggs one at a time, then pumpkin, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Slowly fold dry ingredients into moist. Fold in chips or nuts or fruit if you're using them, then spread dough into a greased brownie pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 400 degress for 20 minutes.

If you're feeling really self indulgent, rub the top of the hot bars with cold butter as soon as they come out of the oven. (Mom used to do this with brownies, which adds a nice bit of flavor, and keeps the tops soft. She also sprinkled the buttered top with powdered sugar, just a little, and you could do that here, or use cinnamon-sugar.)
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Star's Baked Potato Soup
Saved off of Star's lj back in Oct 2005.

Makes about 2 gallons

Bake 8-10 pounds potatoes
wash and lightly coat with olive oil and sea salt, prick with a fork and bake @ 350 for an hour

chop one lb of bacon (I like hickory smoked) in sixths and cook
remove bacon and drain on paper towels
add one medium onion, finely chopped, to the bacon drippings and cook until well done.

while the potatoes are cooling...
in a LARGE pot mix together the following
1 QT heavy whipping cream
1 QT sour cream
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup excellent chardonnay
1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese - grated
1 T salt
2 t pepper
1 t granulated garlic
the bacon and the onion including all the bacon grease

cut the potatoes length-wise and scoop out the pulp into the pot. heat on low until nice and hot. if it's too thick, thin with milk.

I prefer to serve it in the potato skins, but bowls work just as well.

chopped gr onion
sliced mushrooms
grated cheddar cheese
more bacon, if desired

serve with crusty bread, and the rest of the chardonnay ;-)

Pear Butter

Jan. 2nd, 2007 12:22 am
treeskin: (Default)
Pear Butter -- makes 4 pints

about 20 medium pears
4 c sugar*
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c orange juice

Core, peel. slice pears. Combine pears and 1/2 c water in a large pot. Simmer until soft. Put pulp through sieve, do not liquify.

Combine pulp and other ingredients. Cook until thick enough to round up on a spoon. Stir constantly to prevent sticking.

Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4" head space. Wipe rim and place lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes.

* Sugar: measure pulp, add half that volume in sugar. Can substitute half brown sugar.
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Truffles, a la Woody's sisters (simple, tasty)

3 c (18 oz) semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate chips
1, 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 T vanilla extract
finely chopped nuts, flaked coconut, chocolate sprinkles, unsweetened ccoa, confectioners sugar, or colored sugars

Melt the chocolate with condensed milk, Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Shape into 1" balls, roll in desired coating. Chill 1 hr or until firm. Store tightly covered.


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