Saturday, October 30, 2010
I hope you have a wonderful day full of good food and festivities. Crunch in leaves, meet your neighbors, and enjoy cozying up with hot chocolate after going out.
Me? I will be going to an early evening get together and then later on curling up on the couch with my family for a best ever pizza-wine-musicals night. On the schedule is Bordeaux, Pagliacci, and (in honor of Halloween weirdness) "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Friday, October 29, 2010
At pastry school, like most schools I'm sure, we learned our trade by taking our projects apart into separate components. Also, like mastering other talents, my trade can be broken down into a few basic skills that are repeated. Once one understands these elements, the idea of baking and creating amazing pastries is much less daunting.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
Combine flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in morsels. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 8 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies: Decrease salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter with butter and sugars. Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons. Proceed as directed. (Dough will look a little moist.)
Oatmeal-Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce flour to 2 cups. Add 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats to dry ingredients and 1 cup raisins with morsels. Proceed as directed.
Pecan-Chocolate Chip Cookies: Add 1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans with morsels. Proceed as directed.
Almond-Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce morsels to 1 cup. Add 1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds and 1 cup almond toffee bits. Proceed as directed.
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies: Substitute 1 (12-ounce) package dark chocolate morsels for semisweet chocolate morsels. Proceed as directed.
Chunky Cherry-Double Chip Cookies: Microwave 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 cup dried cherries in a glass bowl at HIGH 30 seconds, stirring once. Let stand 10 minutes. Substitute 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chunks for morsels. Add 1 cup white chocolate morsels, 1/3 cup slivered toasted almonds, and cherries with chocolate chunks. Proceed as directed.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
One day, we went with a Khmai woman to a traditional market. I have to admit, with my high reverence for food it was a bit difficult for me to see that some of the most dirty, malodorous places in the cities are these markets. It didn't, however, take the natural beauty away from the local produce.