July 14, 2008
Mexican and Italian are my favorite kinds of food. While I have a pretty good handle on cooking Italian food, I’ve always thought Mexican food to be beyond my reach. Until I found this recipe. Now, if you are looking for totally authentic Mexican food, then you need to be going to your nearest Mexican restaurant, because this recipe won’t be anywhere near as good as the food you get from there. But this recipe is easy and relatively low fat and despite those things it still very much fulfills my Mexican food cravings. It’s gotten to be a staple in my house and whereas we used to go out for Mexican regularly, we’re now more likely to stay in and have this instead, which is definitely better for our bank account and our diets.
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 …
June 30, 2011
I have a confession: I don’t really like yogurt. I’ve tried so many times over the years to make myself like it, but it always ends with me having to throw out a bunch of expired yogurt containers. But then I made that Cherry-Rhubarb Fool last month and I realized that yogurt can be good as long as it’s the base for something else. So yogurt by itself = meh, but yogurt + fruit + whipped cream = yum.
Last week I got some absolutely gorgeous peaches and cherries from my CSA and I had big container of yogurt that was close to expiring, so I decided combining them would be a great way to use everything up. But instead of mixing it all together like I did with the fool I made it a yogurt parfait. Because what’s more fun than a parfait? It just feels so much more decadent than a simple bowl of yogurt topped with fruit. Sometimes I have to trick myself into eating things that are better for me and this is a trick that worked really well.
June 8, 2009
I’m still chugging along with the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. So far I’m (mostly) having fun and learning a lot.
The second week bread was Artos or Greek Celebration bread. I really didn’t have any trouble at all with this bread because it was really similar to my King Cake except that Artos has a lot more spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. The only trouble I had was the shaping, of course. I can tell it’s going to take a lot of practice to get good at shaping things because I’m just not good at that at all. The version of artos I did was called Christopsomos (though I made it plain, it’s technically supposed to have nuts and dried fruit in it), which is shaped into a boule (an oval, the only shape beside a loaf that I can do without much trouble), but then you roll out two strips of dough and lay them on top of the boule in a cross and then you split the ends and roll them …
July 24, 2008
It was my boyfriend’s birthday last weekend and I wanted to make him something special despite the fact that he didn’t really want to celebrate his birthday. The problem is that he doesn’t like many traditional desserts, most especially cake. I can’t even conceive of disliking cake, but somehow he does. Thankfully, though, he does love cheesecake (which he vehemently insists is not really a cake, so much does the taint of the word “cake” bother him). But even having found a dessert he actually likes, he’s almost impossible to entirely please because every single cheesecake I’ve made for him in the past, though always praised as “good” comes with the disclaimer of “but not as good as the New York cheesecake I had that one time”. AAARRRRRRGGGGGGG! So I have made it my mission of find and make a real New York style cheesecake and this time I think I found it. I actually got a “I really like this” out of him, no disclaimers!
March 31, 2010
Do you ever make roast chicken for dinner? A while ago a fellow food blogger I follow on twitter asked this question to her followers and said she was surprised to learn that many people had never roasted a chicken before. I also found this somewhat surprising but then I remembered that I used to be scared of making a whole chicken, too. After I roasted a chicken the first time, it became one my favorite dinners, but I can still understand why people would be apprehensive.
So for anyone still on the fence, I present to you: Cornish Hens. They’re basically miniature chickens and as such are even easier to handle and only take about 30 minutes to cook. Cornish Hens are a great stepping stone if you’re not quite ready to make the leap to a whole chicken yet. Plus…it’s pre-portioned! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love pre-portioned meals. If there’s one thing I dislike about roast chicken it’s having to carve/divide it up. With a Cornish …
November 30, 2011
I hope all my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving. The past couple of years Brandon and I have had a guest to help us eat all that food, but this year was a simple Thanksgiving with just the two of us. Unfortunately, my brain kinda went on autopilot as I was preparing all my traditional dishes and I wound up making enough food for probably 5 or 6 people! Suffice it to say we had lots of leftovers.
The biggest culprit turned out to be cranberry sauce. I found a new recipe to try this year and went a little gung ho with it, making enough to feed about 12 people. Thankfully, the cranberry sauce turned out to be as good as its name: Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire. It will definitely be my go-to cranberry sauce recipe from now on. The best thing is that it’s not just cranberries: it has apples, pears, pureed orange and berries. You can even mix in some pecans if you want. I love cranberries, but cranberry sauce can sometimes be a bit too tart for me, so I like how all the added fruit really balances the …
June 23, 2010
Next Monday, this blog will be 2 years old and since I didn’t really do anything to celebrate the anniversary last year I decided to go all out this year. So welcome to the completely redesigned Back to the Cutting Board! If you’re reading in the comfort of your feed reader, I’d love it if you’d click on through and take a look. Plus there is a reason you will want to visit, which I’ll get to soon…
Since I’ve posted quite a few recipes over the last two years, I wanted to make the site easier to browse. I cleaned up the Recipe Index and I added a new Ingredients Index if you want to search for recipes with specific ingredients. I also made an effort to simplify things. I loved my previous design, but I wanted something cleaner and simpler this time. I think the home page and sidebar were too busy before so I made an effort to pare everything down to the essentials (well, mostly anyway, minimalism is kind of against my nature, so this is as pared down …