Culinary Mad Libs WINNER!

April 28th, 2010

yes, it is that time… to name the winner of the Culinary Mad Libs Giveaway…chosen by…  but first… a culinary mad lib dish… Individual Asparagus Quiche… inspired by Foodcents (Egg), Colleen (Asparagus) and Mark (Celery Seed).

I love making quiches especially when I have a lot of random leftovers and almost bad vegetables.  However, I often get sick of a quiche before I finish eating it so I rarely ever make one.  For this challenge, I made small individual quiches.  They were good except I’m not sure the celery seed and asparagus is really a perfect match.  But I’m not a huge fan of celery so…

without further ado… the winner of the giveaway is Rachana… Congratulations!  Thank you everyone for participating… stay tuned as I make your suggestions into dishes…

Individual Asparagus Quiche
1/2 onion, chopped
about 6 asparagus stalks, chopped
2 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper

Mom’s Pie Crust

1. In two ramekins, mold the pie crust. (One batch made enough for three 1 cup ramekins but I only made two quiches).
2. In the bottom of the crust, put the onions, asparagus and parmesan.
3. In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk and celery seed. Pour into the ramekins.
4. Cook at 375 for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

The Challah is rising…

April 25th, 2010

no, this is not a Jewish thriller as @foodgeekery commented… this is a wonderful Sunday of baking and studying with my law school buddy and fellow art law fanatic (ok, perhaps there was more talking than studying).  Fortified with lattes, we made four beautiful loaves of challah during our first of what will be many fun baking sessions… The dough came together very nicely, although at one point we were afraid it may come alive and attack us… next time, we would increase the sugar or perhaps add some honey or maple syrup…Aaron’s father recommended golden raisins… Also, Aaron introduced me to Wickles…sweet but spicy pickles… wow!  delicious!

look at this bread rise…

Aaron finishing up the braiding…

Look at the yummy bread… I think I need another slice…

(from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)

2 packages of dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
5 cups bread or all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup hot water (120-130)
3 eggs
1 egg white
1 egg yolk, beaten, mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1. In a large mixing bowl, combined the yeast, 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and butter. Gradually add the hot water and beat forcefully by hand, or at medium speed using the mixer flat beater, for 2 minutes. Scape the bowl occassionally.

2. Add the eggs and egg white. Beat and continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it continues to be moist, add small amounts of flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed until it is smooth and elastic. Or kneed in a mixer bowl under the dough hook. Knead for 10 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until if has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Punch down the dough and knead out the bubbles. Divide the dough in half. Divide each half into 3 equal pieces. Under your palm roll each into a 12″ length. Lay the rolls parallel to each other. Start the braid in the middle and work to one end. Pinch the ends securely together. Turn around and complete the other end. Repeat with the other dough half.

6. Carefully brush the braids with the egg glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let the braids rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Preheat the oven 400 about 20 minutes before baking.

8. Bake until the braids are a shiny brown, 30 to 40 minutes, and test down when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry and clean.

Check out my other Challah post.  Also, don’t forget to enter Culinary Mad Libs for a chance to win a Le Creuset 14″ Oval Baking Dish…

Celebrate Good Times…

April 22nd, 2010

Come on! Today was the last day of class… so exciting! Just need to study for exams and then summer!

I’ll be in DC this summer so I’m beginning the fun and creative process of cleaning out the fridge, freezer and pantry… So many fun ideas…  stay tuned… also, I’ll start working on the Culinary Mad Libs recipes… if you have not given me an ingredient and entered the giveaway, please jump on over and leave a comment.

Recently, I was enthralled by Ideas in Food’s Hot Chocolate Brownies.  They always have such amazing ideas.  I happened to have some really good dark swiss chocolate hot chocolate mix that I used. I did not add the nuts or caramel. They were very good, however, they did have more of a box-brownie taste than I would have liked.  Of course, not enough to stop me from devouring them.