Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The cool psychedelic quality in the picture wasn't intentional, but I love it! Unintentional artsy-ness!
Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell are the hosts for this month, and their choice for our challenge is Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. I halved the recipe out of sheer fear (although I did use 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder) - I just knew if I made the whole thing that *ahem* we would probably devour it in a matter of moments, only to have it show back up on the scales. Erk! Here is a time line of my progress.
10:30AM - Actively getting mise en place together, and I swear if my child comes over one more time asking to help I'm going to scream. Not that I don't want her to help, but I've already told her three freaking times, "I'll let you know when I start mixing." The last time I had to threaten her with NOT helping me if she asked me about it anymore. How the hell she even knew what I was doing in the kitchen, when she was in the living room, is beyond me.
11:40 AM - Cheesecake in oven. Mixing was easy, and Sweet Pea had fun helping. ('Finally! What does Mom think she's doing, putting me off like that?! It's not like I have a long attention span or a memory that overrides excitement at this point in my life.') Fears came to fruition when a little bit of the boiling water sploshed into the pan with the cheesecake instead of into the roasting pan, but I don't think it did much, if any, damage. I set the timer for 35 minutes to see how it is doing then.
12:15 PM - Timer goes off, signaling the necessity to peek at the cake. Because of other Daring Bakers' posts about having to cook their cheesecakes a long time, I anticipated great soupiness. However, the cheesecake feels pretty firm to the touch. Needs a little more time, though, so I put another 10 minutes on it. Hopefully by then it should be done.
Wow! How'd I get it that perfect?!
12:28 PM - Ohhhhh.... My goodness gracious.... I should not, I repeat, NOT, have taken a tiny bite from the warm-from-the-oven cheesecake. I've made them before but the recipes I have used give a dense cake. This one is soft and creamy....Clawd have mercy!!! Now I'm wishing I'd made the full recipe just to have one extra cheesecake to eat warm, burning the roof of my mouth because I couldn't wait to just make the darned little pops. No....it is all for the best, and truly a wise decision....
1:15 PM, 1:38 PM, 1:55 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:05 PM, 3:34 PM - Peek into fridge and lightly touch top of cheesecake, feeling it gradually getting cooler each time. Once I pinched off a little bite smaller than the size of a pencil eraser. If that's not enough to tick you off....
4:14 PM - FINALLY pull out cheesecake and use a measuring tablespoon to scoop out pops. Sous Chef Sweet Pea helps by putting the sticks in. Fun and messy, and I enjoy licking off my fingers when finished!
**(I made the candied lime and orange peel sometime around Christmas - yum.)
Chillin' with my peeps, I mean pops
6:35 PM - Ohmigosh, these are great! And portion control - yay! I'm not sure which I like the best, but the ones with the candy flowers don't have anything competing with the cheesecake and chocolate.
6:54 PM - Sous Chef is in her room, crying because I told her that she must eat supper before she has any more cheesecake pops. Tried to use cuteness to override my decree but in light of that failure she decides to throw a fit on the living room couch. She has been relegated to continuing the show in the bedroom, as Mom is rarely in the mood to put up with that kind of malarkey.7:05 PM - Still hearing sniffs and wails from child's bedroom.
But it's confirmed - - these things are too good for acting right!!
See my toes down there? LOL
Thank you, Deborah and Elle, for the great challenge!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
1 c. barley
2 c. shredded cooked chicken breast (I used the chicken strips in a bag, already cooked, and diced them)
1/2 c. shredded carrot (I took baby carrots and cut them into little coins)
1/3 c. sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (I also used the zest)
4 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (or jarred minced)
Cook barley according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl; fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Add chicken, carrot, onions, cilantro, and salt. Toss to combine.
Combine lime juice, oils, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle oil mixture over barley/chicken mixture; toss to combine.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
One part of this article introduces the reader to yuba, or soy skin (now *that's* enticing...), which is a by-product of heated soy milk. It's said to have a nutty taste and, like all soy products, I'm sure is quite the healthy food. It actually sounded pretty interesting, and there was a site listed where one is able to purchase dried yuba.
I didn't get good pictures of the first batch; my camera was really acting up and I took some pics with my phone but can't for the life of me get them to my computer. *sigh* But never fear; I made more!
Going in for the last bake
And from this weekend I have created an opportunity for myself! A group of my friends on a listserve have a "secret pal" thing going on. I'm not participating this time, but on the way home I thought that biscotti would be a fun thing to make and send to people's pals, if they so desired. I made the offer and I have the begninnings of several orders - a couple of people wanted some for themselves, as well! This is really going to be cool....
....however long it lasts! :)