Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by mkats, Feb 26, 2012.
I like the flavor of cooked mushrooms; but can't stand the texture.
Have you tried the white strawberries yet? I'm dying to know what they taste like.
I did a cream cheese frosting for a friend's wedding cake and it held up wonderfully as far as consistency, but the catering company lent us some fridge space until the final hour. I don't think the cream cheese frosting would go bad, but if it's a warm day it's definitely liable to start melting, as would most frostings. I'd worry about the pastry cream being out of the fridge as well. Might the catering company be generous enough to lend you some space in their fridge?
Is the pastry cream your standard vanilla? I'm not sure how that would pair with the cream cheese frosting. Incidentally, I used Deb's cream cheese frosting from her carrot cake recipe on Smittenkitchen. You could do a test run, make a mini batch of cupcakes and see how the flavours blend?
It took me a long long time to get past the texture of mushrooms. I still can't do big mushrooms or even whole button mushrooms. They must be sliced up, otherwise it is too much for me texture wise.
Oh, that's a good point... It never even occurred to me if the frosting and the pastry cream would go together... It's standard vanilla pastry cream, yes. I'm gonna make a test batch this weekend and see.
The wedding isn't being catered. It's a very, very informal affair, more like a backyard potluck party really. And I will definitely have access to the fridge, so I'm thinking of refrigerating the cake til an hour before serving time.
Any other wedding cake tips you'd care to share? I'm pretty confident in my cooking/baking skills but this is the biggest project I've ever attempted and I'm a bit worried that I might have gotten in over my head now...
How are you decorating the cake, other than the frosting? I always think edible flowers are so pretty on a cake, esp. a wedding cake. It really kicks things up a notch. You can either use them plain, or crystalize them. Crystalizing does of course take more time, but it preserves them, and you can do it in advance -- and adds flavour to the milder varieties, like pansy (which is a good choice visually IMO plus usually easy to find).
Edible flower guide -- be sure to pick those in the sweet range rather than the peppery/spicy ones!
How to crystalize flowers
Are you doing a layered cake? Use dowels! Those cakes can get heavy. We needed a couple strong bucks to help with the transport. What were you thinking in terms of decoration? I used some fresh flowers left over from the bridal bouquets. I'm happy to send you a picture if you pm me.
It is a layer cake, one 9 inch layer on top of one 12 inch layer. I've already made an actual-size test cake to test out the structure - used plastic straws instead of dowels and it held up perfectly!
Artemis, I'm going to keep the decoration simple. I wanted to use real flowers like you suggested but they're tricky to find unsprayed or edible. Then a friend found a website where you can order sugar flowers for real cheap. I got this cake topper:
http://www.globalsugarart.com/produ...Rose Gumpaste Topper Bouquet - Pink with Wire
Isn't it beautiful? It arrived a couple of days ago and it looks gorgeous. I'm just gonna put that on top of the cake and then pipe a border at around the bottom of each cake layer. I'm not very artistic so I don't trust myself to do anything more complicated than that. If I had time to practice I could probably figure out something more intricate but unfortunately I don't.
ETA: Tried 2 white chocolate frostings yesterday: A white chocolate cream cheese frosting and a white choc ganache. The ganache was a success this time cos I used good quality chocolate and decreased the choc-cream ratio to 2.5:1 I think I'm gonna go with the latter for the cake because the cream cheese is too soft and I don't think it will hold up during the wedding.
Relieved to have figured out the frosting situation finally!
I pick porcini mushrooms and you can dehydrate them and then grind them into powder if you dislike the texture.
It is indeed lovely, and I think it will be both gorgeous and more than sufficient. Less is more.
Great news. Sounds like your cake will be both beautiful and delicious.
How do you make your peach pie? I had an excess of peaches so I started to look up recipes. In the end I made up my own. A crust cooked, 2 peaches mashed and cooked with 3/4c up sugar and 3 tbsp of corn starch with a drizzle of lemon juice and then poured over with 4 large sliced fresh peaches in the cooked crust and served with fresh whipped cream. The only thing I will miss is a top crust. I hated the idea of cooking all those beautiful peaches so they were mushy when they are so perfect right now.
Our local grocery store (Publix) makes a yummy museli roll. It's a yeast roll with dried cranberries, raisins, and seeds on top. The bread itself is a darker brown, like it is either whole wheat flour (maybe) or has molasses or dark brown sugar in it (more likely) as the bread is ever so slightly sweet. I'm trying to make something similar, and the closest thing I come up with online is this http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/muesli-bread-rolls.html. The photo is pretty similar to what I get here. Has anyone ever made anything like this before? I'm not sure what "wholemeal" flour is - whole wheat?
I made soda bread for the first time today. It was yummy.
Thanks for any input.
Wholemeal is whole wheat.
Those rolls are sold here at Trader Joe's in the baked goods area.
Similar recipes: http://suchtreasures.com/2006/09/27/hearty-dried-fruit-nut-bread-bars/comment-page-1/
This one looks good too... http://ashleighhomemaker.blogspot.com/2012/03/raisin-apple-walnut-breakfast-bars.html
I have been eating a lot more vegetarian foods lately which is a total shock to myself and my friends. I never thought I could do it but I went on a kick of eating a lot of fast food because of a program I am in this summer and my body was absolutely craving vegetables and fruit. It was time to listen to I began eating veggie wraps and trying to get more creative at dinner. I still eat some meat but I try to eat shrimp when I go out to dinner instead of red meat or chicken.
Does anyone have any good vegetarian recipes? I am not big on beans because my stomach can't handle them but I can eat them as long as they aren't the main part of the meal. I am also not big on soups, too hot right now and they aren't very filling to me. I want to do this more often and keep up with it but I feel like I have no idea how to do that because I only know of 2-3 things that I actually like that are vegetarian. The things I know are:
Spaghetti with eggplant and mushrooms instead of meat
Avocados topped with corn and mushrooms
Veggie wraps (lunch mainly)
I need to try portobello burgers but I have not typically been a fan of big mushrooms. I love the flavor but the texture can be off putting so I worry that I wont be able to get past the way it feels in my mouth. I will try it, though.
Are there any vegetarians in here? What are some of your favorite meals to make at home? Oh, and one last picky thing, I hate fish. (Do you still consider a meal vegetarian if it has seafood?)
I want to do this but I feel like I am too picky about beans, mushrooms and fish. lol
I think there are quite a few of us here. And no, vegetarians do not eat fish. If you eat fish you can call yourself a "pescatarian" or an "almost vegetarian" . But it's a pet peeve for me and a lot of other veggies I know when other people assume "you're a vegetarian? Oh, then here, have some fish!"
Anyway, it's a pity you don't like beans -- aside from the protein, they're filling, high in fibre and iron, and really cheap. But no matter, there are other options.
A good place to start is with quinoa. It's a grain that's high in protein and extremely versatile. You can use it the same way you'd use rice or couscous, as a bed for a veggie stew for example. But my favourite use for quinoa, esp. in the summer, is a salad. For a Moroccan quinoa salad add grated carrot, almonds, raisins, and onion, and season with cumin, mint, garlic, and lemon. For a Greek version, add cuke and tomato, season with oregano and garlic. But the possibilities are endless.
There's a fabulous cookbook for quinoa called Quinoa 365. Some of their recipes are online at their web site, but if you google "quinoa 365 recipies" you can find some others. (The Moist Chocolate Quinoa Cake is frikin amazing!)
For an amazing database of veggie recipies, try Vegweb -- nicely organized by type. Also Vegetarian Times.
In terms of suggesting specific recipes ... it's hard to know where to start, since everything I make is vegetarian. So I'll start with what I'm making for lunch: this Healthy Spinach Dip. But I make it with yogurt instead of cream cheese; and if you're really not keen on beans you can use walnuts and/or breadcrumbs instead. Or I bet substituting cooked quinoa would work too!
I don't mind beans its just that if I eat too much of them I am afraid of having gas. I rather like the taste, though. Maybe I can try to ease them into my diet and see how I do.
^ Maybe start with edamame then. A lot of people don't experience the same, um, gastric side-effects with edamame that they do with other beans -- something to do with the "greenness" perhaps?
I like edamame with just a little sea salt, or tossed with some sesame oil and soy sauce, but there are lots of good recipes for them too. This one is a particular fave: Black Rice and Edamame Salad. (You can just omit the mushrooms for this one since you're not a fan. Avacado would be a nice addition too.)
Thanks, I love edamame and I can't recall ever having problems. I think I would like that recipe as is because the mushrooms are sliced thin and I could even cook them and cool them in the fridge first if I wanted, I like cooked mushrooms because they soak up so much flavor.
Per Alton Brown, the best way to take care of this problem, BION, is to eat more beans. Your body will get used to it.
Brian - I made a great impromptu pasta salad last week that you might enjoy. I used farfalle (bow tie pasta) - cook as you normally would. Then I cut up asparagus spears into 1+ inch pieces and briefly blanched them so that they were still al dente (prep and drop in salted boiling water - boil for about 2 minutes and drop into ice water bath to stop cooking). For a sauce to pull it all together I made a basil walnut pesto - about 2 cups of walnuts, 4 cups of basil leaves, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil that I infused with a few garlic cloves (amount of oil TBD based on how much you need to make a good paste) - whirl in food processor, add to pasta and asparagus, and serve at room temperature. You could also add chopped hard boiled egg if you like or grated cheese, but I made mine without cheese and didn't miss it.
You could also try kale chips - very easy to make, tasty and very good for you.
If you try those and like them, you could try making them just a little less crisp, then slicing them up and tossing them with a tahini dressing and some nuts.
kale chips?! But they sound healthy. I want to make unhealthy, sweet, fattening things. Like these magic bars, which are delicious and impossible to ruin:
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I bet chocolate cookie crumbs would work, too)
1 cup chopped nuts (any kind)
1 cup chips (chocolate, peanut butter, whatever you like)
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350. Pour the melted butter into a 9X13 pan. Sprinkle the crumbs on top, then the nuts, then the chips, then the coconut. Pour the milk over the top , then bake for 25-30 minutes till the top is lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares. Take into work to keep from devouring the whole pan by yourself.
Went to the farm stand and picked up some produce which inspired the following recipes (which, is a rough guestimate of what I made, as I tend to wing it for my savoury dishes)
Garlic Scapes Pesto -
1/2 C garlic scapes
1 C basil
1/2 C parmesan
1/4 C toasted pine nutes
1/3 C o.o
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Everything was chopped roughly and thrown into the food processor.
If you like food that packs a punch, you should try this. It's SO good. I tossed it with some fingerling potatoes while they were still warm. It's delish right away and I think even better when chilled. I also used the pesto to make a rice and baby shrimp salad.
Watermelon, Mint and Feta salad -
a couple cups of watermelon, handfuls of fresh mint (I used a combo of spearmint, pineapple mint and chocolate mint from my patio) and local goats milk feta. Toss with a little bit of black pepper.
P.S. I love kale chips
Like Artemis@BC, I don't consider fish part of a vegetarian diet. Fish are animals, too But hey, you can always be a pescatarian if that works better for you.
I actually do make a lot of soups, year round (that's what air-conditioning is for!), as well as pastas, salads and stir fries, all of which can have lots of veggie variations. I think the key is not to try and replace the meat but to find vegetarian foods that you like; for instance, while I do use mushrooms a lot, it's usually for things like mushroom-barley soup, pasta with mushrooms and spinach, or in a veggie stir fry - not to make burgers. But basically, get used to incorporating protein into your dishes rather than looking at where the meat would have been on your plate.
I understand you prefer beans in moderation, but do you eat lentils? They can work well in soups and also make them a lot more filling, or you could try making mujaddara.
I'm sorry not to be more specific but I am basically incapable of following recipes and tend to make stuff up as a I go along.
For vegans, vegetarians and those who want to eat less meat, I highly recommend getting to know Mark Bittman. His approach is to move away from meat and dairy and focus more on veggies and grains, and his recipes are always flexible and include easy adaptations to suit your diet and tastes. In addition to his regular New York Times columns, I love love love his Food Matters cookbook. Recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, yet interesting and very tasty.
Also, since we're talking quinoa and beans, for the millionth time, my favourite (and also vegan) recipe for Santa Fe Quinoa Salad that I have shared with many others - whatever you do, don't substitute the pickled onions!
Just saw this - haven't tried it, but could be a good one: Quinoa Veggie Burger.
The link doesn't have the recipe, but when I hit the "print" button it came up.
One of my favourite quinoa recipies:
Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
1-1/2 cups quinoa
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 tsp salt 1/2
1/4 tsp pepper 1/4
3 cups trimmed fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
1-1/2 cups Balkan-style plain yogurt
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch salt, 1 pinch pepper
In fine sieve, rinse quinoa under cold water; drain. In saucepan, bring quinoa, broth and 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain in fine sieve; let cool completely in sieve.
Meanwhile, in skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add spinach; cook, stirring, until wilted and no liquid remains, about 3 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese, flour, baking powder and lemon rind; fold in quinoa and spinach mixture. With wet hands, form into 16 cakes; transfer to waxed paperlined tray. (May crumble.) Refrigerate for 1 hour.
In nonstick skillet, heat half of the remaining oil over medium-high heat; fry half of the cakes, turning once with 2 spatulas, until golden, about 8 minutes. Keep warm on baking sheet in 200°F (100°C) oven. Repeat with remaining oil and cakes. Serve drizzled with Lemon Yogurt Sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
My note: I found the mixture far too runny to "form into cakes," but it works really well as pancake-type batter. Much less labour-intensive that way too, no refrigeration or waiting needed, just drop by spoonfuls into the pan. Absolutely delish.
From Canadian Living magazine.
have made my summer
4 cucumbers sliced paper-thin
2 teaspoons salt
mix in large bowl, let set out on counter 1 hr.
after 1 hr, sqeeeeeeze out all the liquid you can.
now mix up 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Pour over cucumbers, put in frig, chill for at least 3 hours.
Last forever, if you can resist eating them, which you can't!!!
Ahh...a Scandinavian favorite, anytime!
mmm that does sound good - they do eat well in Denmark! I might try it with a fraction of the sugar though, and use a natural sugar rather than white. I stopped eating sugar years ago, and find most quantities in recipes make things way too sweet for me.
Here are my favourite cucumbers - peel and slice thin along with a handful of thinly sliced spring onions and some slivered fresh mint (or dried in a pinch). Season with a bit of salt, white pepper, wine vinegar and olive oil. We serve this as a side with spicy foods, especially Moroccan dishes.
First time making a green tea opera cake; I've gotten really good reviews from my tasters so yay!
Baked Kibbie (Syrian/Lebanese dish)
This recipe was given to my mom and dad from the owner of Aboods Restaurant in Jacksonville, Fl. many, many years ago. I'm not even sure if that restaurant still exists.
3/4 lb. beef (ground)
3/4 lb. lamb.
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. each cinnamon, and allspice (the owner leaves this out and adds 1t. of sweet Basil instead)
Add pepper to taste.
Saute 1 1/2 large chopped onion in a small amount of oil or shortening.
Add 1/2 cups of pecans chopped fine.
Season with salt and pepper.
Spread meat mixture 1/2 inch thick on the bottom of an 8X10 cake pan.
Spread generous portion of filling over it. Put another 1/2 inch thickness of meat mixture on top of filling and press down to smooth.
Cut squares through meat in small portions. Top with flaked butter.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes about 12 portions.
My dad used to make Fried Kibbie. I know some of the ingredients, but I'm not exactly sure about how much cracked wheat to use. I'll have to find out. I believe my stepmom knows how to make it. This was one of our favorite Syrian dishes.
Mmmm I'm not eating meat much these days, but I do lurrves me some Syrian food! Do you serve these right out of the pan, or onto a plate, perhaps skewered with toothpicks if small enough? Sound like an interesting passed appetizer ... do you do a sauce of any kind with it?
We usually just cut it into squares while in the pan. That sounds like a good idea, too - cutting it small enough to skewer with toothpicks. I don't know of any sauce that's used to go with Kibbie. It's not a bad idea, though. You could always experiment with something like a spicy sauce using tomatoes.
Some people also add mint as an ingredient to both the baked and fried kibbie. I guess it depends on whether or not you like mint.
That was my first thought too, and then I wondered about a yogurty mint sauce instead. I've copied the recipe for my party file, and will try both
Thanks for sharing!
You're so welcome.
I am SO going to make this! Wish it wasn't so challenging sourcing ground lamb meat in my area.
I'm so glad you're going to try it. Kibbie is one of my most favorite Syrian dishes.
Two of my favorite recipes during the holidays - these were my mom's recipes. She kept several hand-written recipes in an old lunch box. The lunch box was misplaced after my mom passed away in 1987. With my dad's help, we finally found it in his storage room about 5 years ago.
I had shared several of the recipes at an old message board that no one posts at anymore. I'll share more after I go through all the recipes.
Shrimp Sauce Pequante'
2 lbs. shrimp
1 can of tomato paste
2 cans of water (use the can to add water)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbs. Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tbs. sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic (or add to taste), chopped
Saute' onions and garlic in butter. Add water and other ingredients. Add shrimp last. Simmer 45 minutes, and serve over rice.
1 pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 pkg. lime jello
1/2 pt. whipped cream
1 can of drained fruit cocktail
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 pkg. minature marshmallows
Cut cream cheese into small pieces and add jello. Dissolve with one cup of hot water. Stir until blended, adding water a little bit at a time. Chill until firm. Add fruit cocktail, nuts, marshmallows, and whipped cream in another bowl along with 2 or 3 tsp. of sugar. Fold into jello and cream cheese mixture. Pour into bowl and refrigerate.
Also for those who are interested in eating less meat, I wholeheartedly recommend recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi, a contributing chef to the Guardian newspaper. A lot of his recipes can be found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/series/yotam-ottolenghi-recipes .
I have had leek fritters, seared Brussels sprouts with marinated tofu (I couldn't even believe that I'd like Brussels sprouts ever but that proved me wrong!), new potato salad with pesto, grilled eggplant with greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds, and other items that are just perfect in the summer given the prevalence of fresh items. He takes his Mediterranean background but fuses them quite flawlessly with techniques around the world, making some food that's to die for.
I also futzed around making baba ganoush for the first time and decided to use heirloom eggplants as I did find they weren't quite as tart/bitter as the standard. Purely amazing in this weather - cold dip with flatbread. Mmm...
I didn't used to like them either. I first got a taste for them by just taking roasting them in the oven with some ranch powder and olive oil, and now I love them.
My two favorite Brussels sprouts recipes are Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Hazelnuts and Roast Veggie Candy (unfortunately you have to scroll down a little in both cases to see the recipe - sorry). I usually don't like to mix savory with sweet but it works for me with Brussels sprouts.
Speaking of tofu, does anyone have any tasty recipes that don't involve tons of salt/tamari/soy sauce? Tofu is low in sodium, but eating it is sort of besides the point if you have to add it to make it palatable!
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