Wednesday, August 30

Birthday Treats

Happy Birthday to my Guy!
Bringing treats to the office for him, and since he's diabetic, I wanted to maybe forgo the traditional cake, so I was excited to find this recipe. It sounds great for a guy to bring for treats for his birthday, right?
Well, he still wanted the cake, and since he promised to only eat one small piece, and give the rest to his co-workers, I gave in. The cake was just box mix and canned frosting, but I made it layered, and it looked nice.
On the sausage pastry puffs, I was so prepared, I had bought the filo dough a few days before, and had put it into the fridge to thaw the day before. I didn't quite understand the part of the recipe that said to roll it out bigger, as I didn't think you could really roll out those thin layers. And I didn't understand why we weren't putting something between the layers. Everything was right on time, the sausage pastry puffs would be done and warm right at the best time to take him his supper.
And that's when I realized my mistake! I had bought filo dough instead of puff pastry. I had filo dough in my head. So I ran over to the close store, found frozen puff pastry, defrosted it a little in the microwave, let it set on the heated stove to finish defrosting. I used this defrosting time to frost the cake, when I had planned on using the cooking time.
Everything was done and delivered and appreciated, just an hour and 1/2 later than I meant to get there. Most of the work folks weren't so hungry by then, but that left more for my guy to save for his supper the next night. I didn't get any photos, being in the rush I was, but they looked as good as they tasted.
And now I have a thawed filo dough in my fridge, I'd better make something good with it this weekend!

Sausage Puff Pastry Bites (from Very Good Things)

Makes approx. 40
Adapted from The Essential Baking Cookbook recipe

1 box of puff pastry, room temperature (You will use both sheets)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 lb sausage (You are gonna laugh, but I actually used some fresh brats and discarded the casings.)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. each of ground sage, nutmeg, black pepper and cloves

Preheat oven to 400f degrees. Lightly grease two cooking sheets.

Roll out puff pastry sheets to about 14"x14". Lightly brush the pastry sheets with some of the beaten egg.

Mix half of the remaining egg with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then divide into two portions. Lay puff pastry out on cookie sheets. Pipe or spoon the filling down the center of each piece of pastry, then brush the edges with some of the egg. Fold the pastry over the filling, overlapping the edges and placing the join underneath. Brush the rolls with more egg, then cut into small pieces. Spread apart on baking sheet.

Cut a small slash on top of each roll and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350f degrees and cook for another 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly and enjoy.

Friday, August 25

Food Day: Dark Spicey Chocolate Cookies

I had been wanting to try this recipe ever since I saw it. I've always heard that spicey brings out the flavor of good dark chocolate. And boy, did it ever! I made the recipe plain, no filling. They were the best! I had to hunt around town for the Dutch cocoa, but it was totally worth it. Some for all interested parties at work's food day, and a couple to share at home. I'd like to make this recipe, and keep the logs frozen, and cut off just a few at a time. Great cookies anytime.

Maida’s Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies (Recipe from Cookie Madness)

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup quality Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Put sugar, vanilla, and egg into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about three minutes. Add butter and continue to beat on high speed until smooth, about three minutes more. Using your fingers work flour mixture into butter mixture until dough is just combined. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 9-inch log. Wrap each log in parchment paper, twisting ends tightly to make a uniform cylinder. Freeze dough logs for at least eight hours and as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Unwrap dough and slice each log into rounds 1/3-inch thick. Place rounds one inch apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies until slightly puffed and tiny cracks appear on surface, about eight minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to let cool. Makes about four dozen cookies.

Tuesday, August 15

Hot Stuff in the Freezer

I got this idea from my maternal grandmother. When she cleaned out her chest freezer last year, we 'inhereted' several items, including a few bags of chopped onions. She cooks for just herself now, and probably doesn't need even a whole onion.
When I made a recipe that wanted a part of each red, yellow, and green peppers, and red onion, I decided to chop the rest up for the freezer. Other times, I would have a 1/2 pepper left to rot, or just skip the recipe alltogether. Yes, I did think about putting each type seperately, or at least the onions, but this time I chose to put them all together, based on when I think I will use them.

Friday, August 11

Peach Pie

I've been thinking about peaches this week, I bought 5 for making something. I've also been thinking pie lately. I'm still using store-bought crust, but I've made a pie at least once a month lately. I think my goal is a pie a week.
So with the fresh peaches, and the love of pies, I searched for a simple peach pie recipe. So many are peaches and cream, or peach caramel, or something, but I wanted simple, and I wanted to substitute Splenda for the sugar. This is the recipe I found. The only odd thing, is 7/8 of a cup of sugar...I couldn't even find an 1/8 measuring cup in my house. So I just used my 1 cup, and eye-balled how far to fill it up. I think the pie was excellent, but some in the house, are so used to canned peaches, they weren't sure of the texture of the real peaches.
By the way, I just checked out the rest of the site where I found the recipe, Bernice has more great recipes and canning tips. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 8

Food and Memories

I posted this recipe with a story about family June 2004, after my paternal grandmother died. (Read it here if you like.)
This recipe was one of those good memories from my childhood. It's so simple to make, and tasty. Now I make it for my kids every now and then to give them some good memories, too.

from mom's church cookbook
1 2lb can peaches with juice
1 butter brickle cake mix (I don't think they make that kind anymore, works just as well with yellow cake mix)
1 c margarine or butter
1/4 c water
Pour peaches and juice into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over peaches. Drizzle melted butter and water over cake mix. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.