Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Auntie Lee's Gingerbread House
2 3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
2/3 cup molasses
1/8 tsp cloves
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamom
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 egg whites at room temperature
1 lb (4 cups) icing sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Beat thoroughly in a mixing bowl until the icing stands in peaks, then keep the bowl covered at all times with a damp cloth, as this icing dries very quickly and becomes very hard.
Decorate with a variety of hard candies.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Salt Dough Recipe
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3/4 cups water
Mix all ingredients and knead to make a pliable dough. If the dough is too sticky...add more flour. If it seems crumbly....add a few more drops or water. Roll dough to desired thickness and place on cookie sheet to bake. I found it helpful to put a layer of parchment under the cut outs. Push a wire loop into the top of the ornament to use for hanging. We took a paper clip and cut it into a U shape 1/2 inch long to make the hanging loop.
Dry in oven at 170F. Allow one hour or drying time per 1/4 inch thickness of dough.
Once cooled, paint and varnish.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wishing you all a very sweet holiday:)
Monday, December 14, 2009
It should be no surprise at all that this month I chose to make the alternate Beef Wellington. Although I do have a whole salmon sitting in my freezer right now.....I also have several hundred pounds of beef and just last month I had noticed one small brown package labeled 'tenderloin'. When I noticed that package....I decided immediately that it would be set aside to make the Wellington. The tenderloin package contained three pieces of tenderloin weighing in at just over 500g in total......so I made three small packets. With left over puff pastry, and a freezer full of beef this Challenge turned out to be not that intimidating at all. And I must mention that making a Beef Wellington has also been on my to do list for many years. I'm pleased to say that now it can be crossed off my list........and even more please to tell you that it was OMG delicious. That was a remarkably tender piece of 4H beef.
I followed the recipe as outlined below using herbs de Provence in the crepe, adding some minced onion and garlic to the pan fried mushroom filling as well as some thyme. I also did not have any English mustard...so I used some Dijon which is always a nice pairing with thyme. It was ridiculously delicious. So much so that I will most definitely be making it again. Again I used my meat probe to measure the temperature of the meat while it cooked....LOVE that tool! It would be a wonderfully dependable recipe to serve for company, and I would have no reservations trying to make it for company. The recipe lends itself well to preparing ahead. If you think you'd like to try it yourself.........wait no longer.......it was dead easy! I hope you'll try it. It would make a beautiful holiday meal.
Instructions for Beef Wellington (serves 4)
Button mushrooms - 17.6 ounces/500gr (stalks removed and finely chopped)
Olive oil - 2-3 tbsp
thyme - 1 sprig
Beef fillet, center cut piece - 21.16 ounce/600 gr
English mustard - 1 tbsp
puff pastry (all butter pastry pack) - 17.6 ounce/500 gr
parma ham (prosciutto) - 3 slices
egg yolk - 1 pcs, beaten
For the herb crepes:
plain (all purpose) flour - 0.3 cup/1.76 ounce/50 gr
milk - 0.5 cup/125 ml
mixed herbs - 1 tbsp (chopped, use herbs such as cervil, chives and tarragon
butter - 0.5 tbsp
1. To make the crepes, whizz the flour, egg and milk with a pinch of salt in a blender or processor until smooth. Pour into a jug and stir in the herbs and some seasoning. Leave to rest.
2. Fry the mushrooms in a little oil until they give up all their moisture and it has evaporated, leaving you with a thick paste. Add the thyme leaves and some seasoning and keep cooking for a few minutes. Cool.
3. Stir the melted butter into the crepe batter, heat a 15 cm crepe pan and oil it lightly. Pour in enough batter to make a thin layer on the base of the pan, cook until the top surface sets and then turn over and cook briefly. Remove and repeat with the rest of the batter. This will make a couple more than you need so choose the thinnest ones for the recipe.
4. Sear the beef all over in a little oil in a very hot pan. Brush with the mustard, season and allow to cool.
5. Lay a large sheet of cling-film on a kitchen surface and put two crepes down on it, overlapping a little. Lay over the parmaham (prosciutto). Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham and put the beef in the centre. Roll the cling-film up, taking the crepe with it, to wrap the beef completely into a nice neat log. Chill for 1 hour.
6. Heat the oven to 200°C/390F. Roll out the pastry, remove the clingfilm and wrap the beef in the pastry like a parcel, with the ends tucked under. Trim to keep it nice and neat. Brush with egg, score with shallow lines across the top and chill for 20 minutes.
7. Cook for 20 minutes. The best way to test if the meat is done to your liking is to neatly and carefully stick a skewer into the beef, count to three and then test it against your inner wrist. If it is cold, the beef will be raw, if it is warm then the beef will be rare and if it’s hot, it’ll be cooked through. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
If you have only 20 minutes to spare, you could make some of these swirl scrubbies in a festive green and white mix or an equally delicious looking red and white mix. I have listed the link for the swirl scrubbies pattern on knitability on the older post as well.