Jan 23, 2011

Pork Chops Forestiere

Recipe came from "Cooking At Home with The Culinary Institute of America".  Took me two years from when I was given this book, to start cooking the recipes.  I thought they were difficult, but I'm finding out that they are not.

Hubby made this for dinner tonight.  Pork chops were on sale and thought why not, let's give it a try (we don't normally cook pork).

It was delicious...

Flaky buttermilk biscuits

The idea of making homemade biscuits is so delicious that I jumped at the chance to make some.  Hubby was making Pork Chops Forestiere and I thought that you can't have them without biscuits.  The last time I made biscuits, they were huuuugggggggeee. Unfortunately, I can't find pictures to post here.

This recipe was so easy; chilled butter, buttermilk, salt, honey and flour. I didn't think I could go wrong until I read that I had to roll the dough.  Why would that be a problem, you ask??

I DON'T HAVE A ROLLING PIN!!! Well I didn't say I had this baking thing down yet.

I know I've been saying that I'm getting one but haven't yet (that's another post).

Anyway, I did the mixture and used my makeshift rolling pin

Yes that's a thermos. LOL

It was hard to roll, next challenge was how to cut them into circles. When in doubt, make your own. I use a glass.

Are you sensing problems already??

This is what they looked like in the oven.
I'm thinking I didn't do all of them thick enough. Well you judge for yourself. 

All in all, I made plenty of mistakes in making these. I left my mixture sitting while tending to my daughter (DH), so the butter started melting. I didn't use the right equipment and I may have over mix. It didn't rise (not sure what happened there).

One thing you can't take away from this disaster is how it taste; IT WAS GREAT!!

Family loved it regardless of the lack of rising.  Got to love them for eating my experiments.

Baker's Pantry

I found this really cool blog on 13 things a baker MUST absolutely have in their pantry. As I was reading down the list, I was super excited that at this very moment, I have 10 of those items. I ran out of brown sugar and butter on Wednesday night when I baked banana muffins (I don't have pictures because I was super tired and being lazy).  Here is the list, original list posted by theperfectpantry.com.

  1. All-purpose flour
  2. Whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  3. Granulated white sugar
  4. Brown sugar
  5. Yeast
  6. Table salt
  7. Baking powder
  8. Baking soda
  9. Vanilla extract
  10. Eggs
  11. Unsalted butter
  12. Frozen puff pastry
  13. Chocolate (chips or bars)
Which ones I don't have you ask? Butter of all things, I have salted but not unsalted. Brown sugar; I should have stock up on this during the holidays when they were on sale. I substitute white sugar with brown sugar on all of the recipes I use. I also don't have the puff pastry. I do have pie crust but don't know if I'll use it since a co-worker showed me how to make my own crust with just three items.

Next post I'll talk about the one item that every baker should have, but I seem to be missing.

Jan 16, 2011

First bread experience

Once I decided to start this journey, I immediately wanted to try my hand at bread making.  Not sure if that was the best decision, but I'm glad that I did because it thought me that I shouldn't be jumping into a fire without knowing where the fire extingisher was LOL.

I searched the web for plenty of easy recipes, when I thought that I found one that I was ok with it took me two days to finally get the flour down and get to the baking.

Problem I immdiately encountered was with good old yeast, IT WILL NOT RISE!!!  I followed the recipe exactly as stated, left the bread to rise AND NOTHING HAPPENED.  Needless to say I was perplexed. 

Called the hubby and vented on my lack of rising and his response was "when Mom used to make it, it didn't take that long".  Didn't do much for my confident that he was conparing my non-baking skills to his mother's great breads she used to make.

I stuck with it though, and after many hours of waiting for it to rise. I went back online to find out how to revive a bread that wouldn't rise. Good OLD INTERNET had a solution.

Didn't really work as you can see by the photo, but it tasted GREAT.
Good thing we were having seafood stew, so the bread came in handy.

After this experience, I decided to hold of on the bread obsession for now and focus on breakfast ideas. They seem simple enough.


This blog is being created so that I can document my adventures with different recipes in baking and cooking.  I've always had a love of baking fresh breads and muffins but with that love came my fear of measuring and baking in general.  Cooking is easy for me because I can come up with recipes and not have to worry about making sure that the measurements are correct, baking on the other hand... well you get the point.

It took years of me say "I'm going to learn how to bake bread", for me to get to this point.  My husband loves the scones from Starbucks, however, in our quest to save money I started nagging him about how much he was spending. His response was "well since you want to learn how to bake, why don't you bake some?"  I love a good challenge, so I had to respond with "then I will".

Six months later, here I am creating a blog about my adventures in baking.

Hope you get to enjoy this journey as much as I am and gain inspiration to start something that you've being pondering and putting off for some time now.