August 12, 2009
Diet? What diet? Oh, yeah, actually I made this right before I started the diet and am only getting around to posting it now. I guess it was sort of my last hurrah and it was oh so worthy. I was looking for something to make in my new tart pan and found this recipe on Epicurious.com, but had also come across a recipe for butterscotch sauce that I really wanted to make, so I decided to combine the two into one glorious dessert. Ok, well maybe not glorious, but if you like chocolate, brownies and butterscotch like I do, then it’s pretty damn close. The brownie part is rich and fudgey and the butterscotch sauce is buttery and sweet and silky and I just wanted to lick the whole saucepan clean after I made it. It’s especially great when still warm or rewarmed in the microwave. But even at room temperature the sauce never hardens.
As a whole this recipe is very easy to make. There’s some waiting time while you freeze/cook/cool the components to get them ready, but I think that’s pretty …
August 6, 2009
I started making a meal plan every week and now that I’ve been doing it for a little while, I have to wonder why I haven’t been doing this all along. It’s saving me so much trouble. Here’s an example of a typical nightly exchange between me and my boyfriend pre-meal plan:
Me: What do you want for dinner?
Him: I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?
Me: Whatever you want.
Him: I want whatever you want.
Me: I forgot to take any meat out of the freezer.
Him: So…pizza or chinese?
It was just unbelievably frustrating and there was no excuse for it other than laziness on our part. Now I’ve been making a meal plan for the upcoming week on Sunday and then I go to the grocery store and buy only the ingredients I need (so I’m saving some money as well since I’m not buying produce or anything that goes bad before we get a chance to eat it). I have it written out on a big white board in my kitchen, so the night before I’m reminded of what I’m making the …
July 27, 2009
It seems like every week I keep saying “this is my favorite”, but hands down, these two breads are my favorite from this challenge. A couple of reasons for this:
1. Both recipes were extremely easy. No waiting a day for pre-ferments, just mix up the ingredients, knead, shape, proof, bake and boom: you have yummy bread in about 4 hours.
2. They’re just good. Period. The raisin bread tasted just like the raisin bread you buy at the store. The cinnamon rolls were just amazing. I could have eaten about a million of them. In fact, after picking out the photos for this entry (it’s been a few weeks since I actually made them), I got such a craving for them that I had to make another batch.
July 21, 2009
It was Brandon’s birthday yesterday and as is my tradition I wanted to make him a cheesecake since he’s not a fan of regular cake. But, as I mentioned last week, we are supposed to be on a diet and he, especially, didn’t want to ruin the progress we’ve made. Personally, I think you deserve to eat whatever you want on your birthday (a right which also extends to the celebrators of said birthday, ie me), but he was very adamant about staying within our allotted points (we’re doing weight watchers). In fact, he didn’t even want me to make a cake at all, but I just wouldn’t have that. You celebrate your birthday by eating some damn cake, diet or not diet. So to appease him, I said I’d find a light version. This, of course, filled me with dread. I mean, light cheesecake, what’s the point?!? But it was his birthday, not mine, and I’d committed to it so I was just going to have to make the best of it.
As a point of comparison I decided to find out just how …
July 13, 2009
The seventh recipe for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was Ciabatta. This was one I was really excited about attempting but also pretty apprehensive. It’s probably one of the most complicated breads we’ve done so far and from surveying other BBAers on twitter and the forum it was pretty apparent that “results may vary”. Good Ciabatta is full of big giant holes and that involves having a very wet dough, which you can imagine, is hard to work with. In addition to working with the very wet dough for the first time, making this bread involves some special tools as well as setting up your oven in a very specific way, so there’s quite a bit of prep involved.
There were two different versions, using different kinds of pre-ferments: poolish or biga. These are just mixtures of bread, water and yeast that sit out for a certain amount of time to develop flavor and texture. Later you add the rest of ingredients to make the final dough. I chose the biga because the consensus seemed to be that it resulted in bread with bigger holes. I …
July 9, 2009
Brandon and I started on a diet a few weeks ago. And not one those “I’m eating more fruits and vegetables” kind of things, like an actual counting calories, keeping a food log kind of thing (though of course we are eating more fruits and vegetables, too). The first week was really scary because I thought it would be impossible to come up with a week’s worth of low-fat meals. But now in week 2, I’m realizing that I was very, very wrong. With the help of a couple of great cookbooks, I’m finding that it’s really not difficult and it doesn’t even take a lot of extra time. In fact, all the dishes I’ve made in the past few weeks take MUCH less time to make and both Brandon and I agree that they’ve been really good and filling. If someone else made these dishes for me, I wouldn’t even think they were supposed to be light. They’re just good recipes and they happen to be low fat as well.
Even though I’m on a diet, this isn’t going to …
July 2, 2009
So I’m still going at a normal pace for the BBA Challenge, but I’m behind on actually posting about it. I keep going back and forth about whether I even want to post about every single bread and that leads to more procrastination. But I think ultimately, I do want written and photographic evidence that I did in fact bake every single bread in this book, in order. I may do these combo posts for bread I have less to say about, but for instance, I have LOTS to say about the Ciabatta I did this week, so that’s going to be it’s own post (hopefully next week).