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Jenny
10-19-2009, 02:03 PM
I've been using a different kind of zester for years, but have just ordered a microplane as everyone goes on about how great it is.

This weekend I made my own pie crust for quiche - big step for me as I've never been much of a baker and to date have avoided it and instead used Tenderflake frozen crusts. But, we're trying to eliminate as much packaged and pre-processed foods as we can, so it had to be done. It worked out really well (and is surprisingly easy!) - just need to tweek the recipe for taste a bit, and we're home free.

We've also been making pizza dough - includes the dreaded yeast/rise, but again, quite easy. And the payoff? :swoon:

emason
10-19-2009, 02:21 PM
I've been using a different kind of zester for years, but have just ordered a microplane as everyone goes on about how great it is.


It's a versatile tool; I use mine for grating fresh nutmeg when I need it - fresh grated nutmeg is sooooo much better than that nasty ground stuff in a jar.

Aimless
10-19-2009, 05:27 PM
Here are my tried and true recipes for Cranberry Sauce and for Chunky Beef Chili. I really prefer beef chunks to ground beef. Seems more authentic and I like the texture and appearance much better.

Aimless's Cranberry Sauce
1 package (3 cups) cranberries
1 cup red wine
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
shredded zest of one orange

Put it all in a pot, simmer 10-15 minutes, until the berries have popped. Chill and it will thicken. You will like it. Works with Thanksgiving dinner and you can even put it on ice cream or cake, or put whipped cream or hard sauce on top of it.

Chunky Beef Chili

3 pounds boneless stew beef in bite-sized chunks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, sliced thin or shredded
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon crumbled dried orégano
1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
a 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, chopped
Corn masa to taste (optional)

Brown the beef chunks in some of the oil in a large pot, in batches, setting aside each batch in a bowl as it is browned. Deglaze the pan with the tomato sauce and pour this over the browned meat. Wipe out the pot.
Saute the onions in the rest of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and beginning to color. Add the garlic and the carrots, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the chili powder, the cumin, the paprika, the orégano, and the red pepper flakes and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beef & tomato sauce mixture, the broth, and the vinegar, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it slowly, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Add the kidney beans, the bell peppers, and salt and black pepper to taste and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the bell peppers are tender.
It is an excellent idea to add some corn masa (Mexican corn meal flour) judiciously along with the beans/peppers to thicken the sauce and add authentic flavor. Start with a scant quarter of a cup and see if you like the consistency, then add more if desired.
This improves significantly if chilled overnight and reheated.

Habs
10-19-2009, 06:30 PM
We've also been making pizza dough - includes the dreaded yeast/rise, but again, quite easy. And the payoff? :swoon:

If we're making pizza, I refuse to buy crusts... it's all about homemade pizza in my house (save for takeout from time to time). :swoon:
My mom taught me how to make pizza dough when I was a teenager. It's not hard and is definitely worth the time/effort. Our recipe is great!

Jodi
10-19-2009, 08:27 PM
People do tend to be afraid of yeasted doughs, but it's a pity because I think actually they're an excellent choice for less confident/experienced bakers. Mostly they're much more forgiving than cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Rex
10-19-2009, 08:34 PM
People do tend to be afraid of yeasted doughs, but it's a pity because I think actually they're an excellent choice for less confident/experienced bakers. Mostly they're much more forgiving than cakes, biscuits and pastries.

One day I'll be brave enough to make my own breads and even pie crusts (I still use pre-made)...I've only recently learned to make cakes from scratch....it's still daunting to me, especially the part where you add the yeast.

emason
10-19-2009, 08:38 PM
One day I'll be brave enough to make my own breads and even pie crusts (I still use pre-made)...I've only recently learned to make cakes from scratch....it's still daunting to me, especially the part where you add the yeast.

Get over it!

Jenny
10-19-2009, 08:50 PM
One day I'll be brave enough to make my own breads and even pie crusts (I still use pre-made)...I've only recently learned to make cakes from scratch....it's still daunting to me, especially the part where you add the yeast.

No yeast in pie crust!

Rex
10-19-2009, 08:54 PM
No yeast in pie crust!

Oh, I know that...I was just saying that I've never attempted those either, and they are supposed to be easy.

BrokenAnkle
10-20-2009, 12:55 AM
I find pie crust to be harder to make than yeast bread, or maybe more nervewracking. The more you handle pie crust dough, the tougher it gets. So I am always worried that I am handling it too much. With bread dough, you have to handle it a lot and as far as I know you can't knead it too much (?) The only bread I have consistantly had trouble with is crumpets.

altai_rose
10-20-2009, 02:22 AM
This is what med students do instead of studying. We'll also tell our patients to lose weight, and eat this. :-) Everything in moderation of course... at a dessert party..!

About half of our spread (minus some brownies and cookies and bread) (http://s585.photobucket.com/albums/ss294/altai_rose/?action=view&current=9717_186214131277_501926277_4275558.jpg)
My 7 layered Dobos torte (though you can't see the layers in this pic (http://s585.photobucket.com/albums/ss294/altai_rose/?action=view&current=9717_186214086277_501926277_4275551.jpg)
My friend's artisan-quality white chocolate brie cheesecake (http://s585.photobucket.com/albums/ss294/altai_rose/?action=view&current=9717_186214056277_501926277_4275546.jpg)

I also made an apple crisp that tasted.... like roses! Maybe it's because I left it in the fridge overnight? Or because I didn't add any sugar to the sliced apples-lemon mix (I forgot)? Or it's the apples I used--Granny SMith, Stayman winesap, and Braeburn? ANyone with experience on this?

Rex
10-20-2009, 04:46 AM
This is what med students do instead of studying. We'll also tell our patients to lose weight, and eat this. :-) Everything in moderation of course... at a dessert party..!

About half of our spread (minus some brownies and cookies and bread) (http://s585.photobucket.com/albums/ss294/altai_rose/?action=view&current=9717_186214131277_501926277_4275558.jpg)
My 7 layered Dobos torte (though you can't see the layers in this pic (http://s585.photobucket.com/albums/ss294/altai_rose/?action=view&current=9717_186214086277_501926277_4275551.jpg)
My friend's artisan-quality white chocolate brie cheesecake (http://s585.photobucket.com/albums/ss294/altai_rose/?action=view&current=9717_186214056277_501926277_4275546.jpg)

I also made an apple crisp that tasted.... like roses! Maybe it's because I left it in the fridge overnight? Or because I didn't add any sugar to the sliced apples-lemon mix (I forgot)? Or it's the apples I used--Granny SMith, Stayman winesap, and Braeburn? ANyone with experience on this?

That cheesecake looks orgasmic! :respec:

I always make crisps at "the last minute", so that they are warm and I can serve them with ice cream....

altai_rose
10-20-2009, 04:58 AM
That cheesecake looks orgasmic! :respec:

I always make crisps at "the last minute", so that they are warm and I can serve them with ice cream....
Oh I mean that I left it unbaked in the fridge overnight then baked it and served it warm. And it tasted like roses!

Rex
10-20-2009, 05:01 AM
Oh I mean that I left it unbaked in the fridge overnight then baked it and served it warm. And it tasted like roses!

LOL, I misread it, sorry.

Roses, you say? Is that good or bad?

Jenny
10-20-2009, 02:08 PM
I find pie crust to be harder to make than yeast bread, or maybe more nervewracking. The more you handle pie crust dough, the tougher it gets. So I am always worried that I am handling it too much. With bread dough, you have to handle it a lot and as far as I know you can't knead it too much (?) The only bread I have consistantly had trouble with is crumpets.

The recipe I'm using has a genius way to handle the butter - as you know it must be very cold, and then worked into the dry ingredients quickly.

This recipe suggests that you use a box grater to grate the cold butter into pea-sized pieces, quickly toss it in the flour like a salad, and then easily turn it into a dough because the pieces are so small, without overworking it. For good measure, I've been putting the box grater in the fridge to cool it down before I use it.

Works like a charm, and both times the crust has come up really flaky - and I'm a novice at best!