Mar 262018

Half dozen home made pizzas this winter!
This one was made from the leftover dough of pizza #5. I didn’t let it warm up, just smooshed it out onto the pan cold. Parbaked for 5 min and went for it.
Freshly made pizza.
The dough was too thick and it isn’t an ingredient combination that makes for a good thick crust pizza. The mushrooms were about to go and I only had a handful of mozzarella left. This was essentially a use it or lose it pizza. I used it, and it was tasty enough. I have to work on the dough, the taste is pretty good, but the texture and moisture need work. This is largely moot, since the pizza-making frenzy will die down soon enough.

Mar 112018

Cherry pie, baking.

It even looks like pie!

Cherry pie, baked.

I think next time I’ll drop the temp a bit and bake it longer. Used a premade crust that had zero flavor to it, so that is a big change, too. Although, the usefulness of these improvements is debatable because I make pie so rarely. I love pie, but eating an entire one before it expired is not likely.

Mar 042018

Third this winter, this year, anyway.
Homemade pizza
Not great.
Dough undercooked – lower temperature and longer parbake. Maybe longer, warmer rise time, too.
Dough taste – used an ale instead of cheap-ass beer. Prefer taste with cheap-ass beer.
Leftover chicken as topping – fine
Cheese – blend of provolone, asiago, and mozzarella on base; topped with more mozzarella. Fine.
Allover – lower temperature and longer bake time.
Sauce – go back to original sauce recipe, the more marinara style was okay, not good

Feb 262018

On the weekends I have time to bake things, but this especially happens in the winter when the weather is inhospitable. I don’t want to leave the house and it is cold outside. These things contribute to my baking, which doesn’t happen much at all in the summer.
Last weekend I made pizza dough, and some pizza sauce.
Pretty tasty looking; it was good.
I also made some cookies while I had my mixer out and thought I’d use it instead of a bowl and spoon. Low-grade fun.
I made them with some chocolate (obvs), but at the end thought they might need a bit of oomphf to register as special. I pressed pieces of pearl sugar, which I have for making the extra-fancy dough waffles, into the tops before baking. Gave it a gentle, sweet crunch.
I also made some quesadilla sauce, pretzel dough, and banana walnut bread, but I didn’t take pictures of any of that, so there ya’ go. Need more groceries, now.

Feb 122018

On Saturday morning I was full of energy and decided to bake some tasty stuff for us to eat over the weekend. It was quite cold and I didn’t want to leave the house at all. Hence, baking!
First up, a simple quiche.
Used a frozen pie shell because making dough was going to be too much bother for me when I wanted to get to sewing. Ham, swiss, green onions, and a bit of Dijon mustard. Fast, easy, and simple ingredients so there was nothing to deter the picky-eater, Slick. It was pretty good – there are even a couple pieces left.

Banana bread
While the quiche was in the oven, I brought up my bread machine and made use of some fairly ripe bananas. I didn’t have any walnuts, which would have tasted best, so I used almonds in the loaf and candied pecans on the top and upped the spices to sorta balance the flavors. It worked. The taste is best when I slice it, pop it in the toaster oven for a minute, and dot it with butter. Yum.

The house smelled fantastic and I will put walnuts on the list so I can make the same use of those last two bananas this weekend.

Sep 212015

This year, I haven’t done many baking projects, so when a weekend card game of Exploding Kittens was on the horizon, I threw together a quick, themed dessert.

Since I was busy with other projects, I didn’t get to devote any thought time to the project until the day of the game. As the combination of food and explosions rules out a lot of safe and edible options, I was having a hard time. Finally, with a couple hours left, I downgraded explosions to mild pops and decided to use Pop Rocks candy. I know, not very explosive, but totally edible. The problem with Pop Rocks is that they are carbon dioxide enclosed in a candy shell via pressurization during production. This means that the moment you open them, they begin to dissolve, even in a relatively low humidity environment like Cheyenne. So, how do you get them into something like a moist, delicious cupcake without losing all your Popiness? Oil. The answer is oil. Water dissolves the sugary candy coating, releasing the trapped carbon dioxide (the pop). Oil will not dissolve the coating, although eventually it will break down anyway. My plan was to make the cupcakes, hollow out a center, stuff it with a chocolate ganache, then make a little well or indentation in the ganache, coat it with a thin skin of butter and put the Pop Rocks in oil coated well, with more ganache with butter as a lid on top to form a protective container. In theory, this would mean the maximum possible Pop left until mastication and saliva opened the oil-Pop barrier.

Good right? I know, I’m amazing.

But, what I am not is a time bender. I left work the moment I thought I could get away with it, ran through the store to grab ingredients, tasked Slick with picking up Pop Rocks from the single candy store in town, and rushed home. I got the ganache made, the cupcakes made and the icing prepared, but I ran out of time. Guests were arriving when I was still in the middle of cutting the middles out of the cupcakes. I begged five more minutes, then crammed a spoon of ganache and Pop Rocks into the cupcake holes and slapped the icing on in a vague cat face shape – because I at least had to fit the game theme! No time for shaped ganache wells coated in candy-Pop protective butter. Oh well.

Exploding Kittens card game calls for Popping Cat Cupcakes.
By the time we got to desserts, about 90-95% of the Popiness was gone from the candy. I know some was left, because I could hear a few pops from the mouths of my guests. No explosions, no wild looks of surprise, but there were cat-faced desserts in the end. Close enough, I suppose.

If you’re going to try this dessert, leave yourself time for the ganache well and butter coating or surrender the idea. Also, if you plan ahead, you could order the Pop Rocks that are already chocolate coated, or the baker’s supply ones that are only coated in cocoa butter. That is for flavor recommendations only – you still have to protect the candy from moisture, but at least it will be easier to match flavors instead of being limited to Pop Rock brand choices. Strawberry flavor barely worked with the chocolate cakes and ganache.

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May 192007

So, in an effort to steer away from the misdirected and nearing-silly comments from the post a couple days ago, I present a new post. A fresh, shiny, new, sniffiferous post for everyone to look at, fondle (mentally) and take wild leaps of assumption from!

When they say “Do NOT overfill” they mean it:

OMG, it's growing!!  Star cupcakes becoming one in the oven.

If anyone wants to get all ‘zen’ again, you can see that the star cupcakes are ‘becoming one’ – with each other. Dammit. I really only filled them halfway full and thought I was safe since we’re high altitude and all. I suppose I didn’t account for the extra two minutes I whipped the batter in order to get some light and airy fluff going on. Taste is not spoiled at all.

Also, recall my pride of garlic in the backyard?
On the 9th, I was using our new weed trimmer. I decided to be insane and work straight through the whole morning without eating. I trimmed the entire front and back yards. As I was cleaning up, I saw a weed set between the rows of garlic and figured I’d give it a quick shot of high-speed, electrically fueled death. During the delicate procedure, my hand shook. It was a tiny shake, but the GrassHog (our trimmer came already named) took the invitation to taste some garlic. NO!!! My beautiful garlic!! Ack!! Dammit. I gathered up the severed leaves and took them inside. They smelled of garlic. The garlic smell was so strong the cat, who loves all things green and will flip to eat them, wouldn’t come near them. I actually had to throw the leaves away in the outside trash can because they were scenting the entire house. Poor plants. I decapitated two of them and halved two others. I was rather heartbroken about this and Slick consoled me with the fact that they are just plants and probably didn’t mind that much.

Damaged garlic plants.

You’ll be pleased (for I demand it) to know they have grown back and only show minor scarring. The above photo is from the 16th – a full week of growth after the incident.

After the jump (of the calendar) you’ll have pictures of the latest updates on Cleopatra, the determined garlic, the lilac bushes and possibly the pink flowered bushes in the back yard. And maybe, just maybe, if there are lots of comments and just a little bit of begging, maybe I’ll dish out all the information we recently learned about our west side next door neighbors!

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