Photography ~ Cooking ~ Life

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Make a Moo or Two

The theme at MMT - Winter Frost.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lots to Do Challenge - Time

I discovered the Lots to Do challenge site a few days ago but because I am so late for this weeks challenge, I debated about whether or not to take part. However, since 'time' is one of my favorite themes to work with I decided 'better late than never'. I've made an ATC.

Tapioca Pudding

I've never been much of a fan, but hubby loves it, so once in a while I make some for him.

This recipe is from Bob's Red Mill. It takes a little time but makes a nice creamy pudding.

Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

1/3 cup Tapioca (Small Pearl Old Fashioned)
3/4 cup Water
2-1/4 cups 2% Milk (I use 1%)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt (I omit the salt)
2 Eggs, separated
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Add milk, salt and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir often.

Beat egg whites with sugar until soft peaks form. Fold about 3/4 cup of hot tapioca into the egg whites, then gently fold mixture back into saucepan. Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes. Cool 15 minutes then add vanilla. Serve warm or chilled, plain or with fruits, nutmeg or coconut mixed in.

Makes 3-1/2 cups.

For those who like tapioca but want a quicker recipe there is also a microwave method, but it does require overnight soaking of the tapioca pearls in the fridge.

Theme Thursday

The theme at TT - Vintage Valentine.

I made a postcard for this challenge. Supplies include tissue paper, crinkled and aged with distress ink, alphabet stickers, punched hearts, and a vintage image.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One more coffee mug....

Much to hubby's dismay. My cup/mug fettish seems to be continuing into 2009.

We were at IKEA on Saturday night, and there's a Starbuck's near there where we often stop for coffee on our way home. A lot of their mugs were on clearance and I always have to look.

I found this one, a sweater knit cable look, very similar to a Christmas ornament that I recently purchased. I put it down, told hubby to tell me 'no', which he did, also reminding me of how many mugs I've purchased in the past, only to have them eventually end up in the Goodwill bag. I reminded him that a lot of those cups/mugs came from Goodwill to begin with, so they didn't cost much. It's a pretty inexpensive habit really.

We left Starbuck's, half caffe Americano's in hand, but I was still thinking about the mug (and talking about how it looked like a big comfy sweater lol)....Hubby relented and told me to go back in and buy it. I debated....for about half a second. lol

I've been using it the past couple of mornings just to show hubby that it was indeed a necessary purchase. ;-)

I've been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen over the past few days, making up recipes, baking, doing a lot of cooking. I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen year round, but more so in the winter months. I enjoy cooking, the artistic aspect of it, the prep work, the finished product.

Last night I really wanted to make homemade rolls, but it was late enough that even the bread machine couldn't help me. I dug out an old cookbook, Farm Journal's Complete Home Baking Book, which I've had for years. I found the Easy Parker House Roll recipe and got to work. They turned out beautifully if I do say so myself.

I had to use a hand mixer, and though it worked pretty well, the final addition of flour had to be added with a spoon. I could really have used that gorgeous red Kitchenaid that a friend of mine got for Christmas (you know who you are).

I haven't made a dough requiring kneading in quite some time, and I have to say that I had forgotten how relaxing it can be to knead bread dough. Hubby made a small batch of his Stollen a couple of weeks back, and it requires what seems like endless kneading, with cranberries and raisins jumping out and trying to escape at every turn. Still, I think he enjoys the overall process. My rolls were much easier.

With this recipe you can make just about any shape of roll you want. I wanted fresh hot rolls, but didn't want to deal with the extra work of buttering and folding over for Parker House style, so I made plain old rounds.

Easy Parker House Rolls
From; Farm Journal's Complete Home Baking Book

1 1/4 cups milk; scalded
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
3/4 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (110)
4 to 5 cups unbleached flour
2 Tbs. butter or margarine; melted

Pour scalded milk over the sugar, 2 tbls of butter and salt in a mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water and stir to dissolve.

Add 2 cups of flour and the yeast mixture to milk mixture. Beat, with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Knead dough a few times on a lightly floured surface until it is no longer sticky. Roll out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into rounds, using a floured biscuit cutter. Brush rounds with remaining 2 Tbls melted butter. Crease each roll in the center with the dull edge of a knife. Fold rolls over on the crease and press the edges together lightly. Place on greased baking sheets, or Silpat, about 3" apart. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

Makes about 18 rolls

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Postcard Art

The theme at SPA is Celebrate!

Sunday Photo

Ice crystals can form just about anywhere....

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