peasprout spouts

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Monday, October 31

AAFP Conference

It was a truly enjoyable meeting, what with discussing the language regarding women's health visits, adolescent annuals, and clinical decision-making, but really, you don't want to hear about that so much as you want to know what was served. I only bring the best to you. Getting past the salad, rolls, and pasta to bring you DESSERT! I haven't names for anything, but this was all on the buffet line. Include some fruit pies, but they didn't have this gorgeous presentation. So, these are some the products from meeting in Hershey, PA, home of the Hershey company.  Posted by Picasa
OTT Cookies

I have been making these cookies for longer than I can remember right now. But this time, in my hurry, I failed to look closely at the measuring spoons. And thus dumped in far more baking soda and baking powder than required. A 1/2 TBSP instead of 1/2 tsp. Disaster loomed. I scooped what i could, mixed it up, and hoped for the best. They browned rather quickly, and spread pretty nicely. There are too many other variables to give a solid analyses of how the cookies turned out the way they did. One, I used margarine instead of butter. Two, I used shopping center maple syrup mixed in with the true blue Vermont syrup. So who knows, except that making them bigger rather than smaller was the best way to bake 'em. And they disappeared rather quickly, so I guess there are no complaints. Posted by Picasa
This is one of my favorite brunch places in Burlington, VT. Sneakers has a sweet history, and even sweeter meals. On this visit, I was delighted to find that one of the specials was a pumpkin butter waffle. Heavenly. I love their waffles. It gives the true Belgian crunch. No comparison. For a little bit of a meal, we also ordered the tuna melt sandwich. Deliciously artery-clogging but nothing as good as the waffle. I think sticking to brunch next time is the best way to go.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23

Sourdough Chocolate Cake
an utterly delectable oxymoron
This recipe originated from the King Arthur website. I didn't anticipate the adjustments, but they were made nonetheless...

1 cup starter (fed and rested)
1 cup of milk
2 cups flour

This seemed like a good start, until I realized that I didn't have a full 2 cups of flour, just 1.5, and a whole lot of whole wheat. So I thought, ok, I guess we'll just supplement the rest with whole wheat. So, off we went to church, and let the concoction bubble away for a couple of hours...

1.5 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup natural cocoa
2 eggs

So we get back and I start going down the list and putting things into a bowl. "cream" everything together and then dump in the eggs: check. Then I remember, the cocoa! So I search high and low in this kitchen that I've been gettin' acquainted with on Sundays, and realize that I can't find the baking cocoa. So I use what I can find: hot cocoa mix. Luckily, some of it is some delicious raspberry hot cocoa mix by Lake Champlain Chocolates. And some of it, less luckily, perhaps, is Swiss Mix. With this second adjustment, I'm just hoping this turns out be edible.

Into the oven it goes: 350 for 40-45 minutes in greased 9-inch cake pans. Ok, we didn't have any of those, so I just used a pair of round Pyrexes. Wouldn't I love to be able to work with a springform pan, but these worked fine. Granted it's not gonna pop right out like a loaf of bread, but they were utterly delicious. Light, and the middle didn't fall into a miserable sinkhole. Next time, we'll use baking cocoa and all-purpose flour and perhaps, we'll attain a new level of eating pleasure. Until then, we're pretty happy with where we're at. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 22

Sourdough Banana Pancakes

as inspired by Jack Johnson and a cowboy.

once you've revved up the starter, it's easy as pie and ready in a blink of an eye...

1 cup starter
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

TECHNIQUE: Except for the starter and the egg, i eyed everything else. so i dunno if these can be perfectly replicated. but i'd just mix everything together and let it sit around for about 15 minutes so the baking soda can get everyone fired up. if you think your batter isn't thick enough, add more flour. if you've made it too thick, add some milk or water. Then, just follow the pictures. Heat up the pan or griddle...and dinner is ON the table. of course you can eat these for breakfast, too, but we had these for dinner. Pre-exam, these make pretty good brain-food. certainly healthier than monster brownies.

SUPPLEMENTS: chocolate chips, cinnamon, nutmeg (meebe even marshmellows!)
SUGGESTIONS: slather w/ peanut butter and douse liberally with maple syrup. ahhhh...utterly divine. and if you're a drinker, i think a strong cup of black coffee would do nicely as an accompaniment. Posted by Picasa
so simple, so tasty, so edible Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21

so, since we weren't going to study at the Great Harvest, we broke out a box of brownie mix to fuel the study session. Instead of oil, we used butter, and instead of a proper pan we used this interesting small rectangular glass pan. and of course, we couldn't resist dumping into chocolate chips and marshmellow bits. and this is what came out of the oven... Posted by Picasa
brownie cake? monster brownie? Posted by Picasa
brain food Posted by Picasa
probably better w/ vanilla bean ice cream, but you gotta work with what you've got Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16

Jumbleberry Grunt
according to Ms. Nigella Lawson, and modified to the budget and whims of a student.

4 cups of blueberries
2 cups of raspberries
2 cups of blackberries
3/4 cup of sugar
3 TBSP cornstarch

without a farmer's market around the corner, 3 bags of frozen fruit were snagged at the local grocery store. 2 bags of mixed berries, and 1 bag of raspberries. This brought the total cups of berries up to 8.5. I thought a little extra couldn't hurt. Perhaps we ought to have let it thaw a bit, or tossed in some extra spoonfuls of flour to soak up the water, but we didn't pause for a moment. We threw that all together, and put it into a large rectangular glass baking pan.

1 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup of sugar (and 2 TBSP)

Whip the cream with the vanilla til it's stiff and peaks. Add the flour, salt, soda, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Don't overmix this stuff. Then you flatten the topping over the berries as best as you can. Don't bother too hard with the whole flattening business. Sprinkle the 2 TBSP of sugar on top and pop it into a preheated oven at 375 for 45 minutes, or until the topping is lightly colored and the berries are soft and pulpy (doesn't THAT sound appetizing). If you think the juices might spill outta your pan, put it on top of a baking sheet. we let it cool a bit, but meebe next time, just serve it hot. who knows. goes well w/ ice cream, etc. you know the drill.

next sunday: sourdough chocolate cake. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15

Sourdough English Muffins...have FINALLY hit the scene. Prepping them was easy. I woke up Emilio, my starter, and we were on the road...

1/2 cup starter
1 cup milk
2 cups flour

After they mixed, I left them to party all night b/c I really am much more of a homebody. When I woke up this morning, the gang was all bubbly and raring to go. So we started the partying again, adding some more fun and games...

3/4 cup flour
1 TBSP sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

I mixed it all together and tried to roll it out, but i think the best deal is to let them do their own thing. So they did, for about two hours til I came back from breakfast at the Great Harvest. Then I just scooped out 1/4 cups onto a dry pan and let them fry til the wet side dried out enough to flip over. Cornmeal could've been sprinkled onto the pan, but I didn't have any. O well. At any rate, this made a little over a dozen english muffins, which are supposed to taste even BETTER after they've dried out. (I was instructed to leave them slightly undercook, so you could toast them to perfection). Posted by Picasa
works well w/ peanut butter and jam, or applesauce, or honey. my favorite: butter. anything hot from the oven/pan deserves butter. Posted by Picasa
english muffins chillin' on a rainy Saturday morning. hot from the pan. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14

my favorite thing about baking this bread is how it crackles as it cools. the only thing is that baking it at night doesn't really tempt me to cut it open to taste it warm w/ butter. i have to revert to baking in the morning. SO good. i love it... Posted by Picasa

the Green Goddess Sandwich.
four stars. Posted by Picasa

i made a new friend today on the way to the Great Harvest. this is J's gray elephant. we sampled several tasty breads together: the Vermont Cheddar Garlic, a sliver of Rosemary Garlic, a piece of High Fiber, and later on, as we were on our way out, several bites of Pumpkin Spice. YUM. Posted by Picasa, my roomie thought that she'd whip together chocolate cake. (albeit, it was mix from a box) but on the way out of the oven...she DROPPED it. horrors. it was salvaged, and though it looks kinda funny, it's still rather tasty... Posted by Picasa
and we appeased our souls by scraping up the bottom of the pan while it was still warm. and of course warm chocolate cake calls for one thing: vanilla ice cream. :D Posted by Picasa
a pie with a view... Posted by Picasa
a split personality: pesto tomatoes and mozzerella on one side, and corn, "veggie burger" and mozzerella on the other Posted by Picasa
finally, the pizza suggestion i've been eyeing all summer: salsa, pan fried corn, topped w/ mozzerrella, and some fresh cilantro. LOVE it. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 13

for dessert: apple with gorgonzola, almonds, raisins, and drizzled w/ honey. GORGEOUS. though next time i think slices of brie might be better. Posted by Picasa
My first attempt with toppings of shiitake mushrooms on top of pesto and sprinkled w/ mozzerella. Some green pimento olives were added, but they did little. no olives next time. otherwise, I am totally pleased w/ shiitake mushrooms on top of pizza. only since they are rehydrated, i would try to squish more water out of the them next time. or leave them out overnight to dry a little... Posted by Picasa

a closer look at shiitake pesto and mozzerella... Posted by Picasa