The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Cranbaby-Cashew Zucchini Loaf August 22, 2011

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast,Desserts — Meg @ 10:04 am

Lubob gave me a thwack of zucchini and peppers, so I made this. Sans shishito peppers.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar (white or brown, who cares)
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cimmanon
1 tsp vanilly
1 1/4 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup of chopped, toasted cashews
1/3 cup dried cranbabies

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and oil and mix well. In another, larger bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir cranberries and cashews (it’s nice to leave a little handful of those to sprinkle on top though), so they won’t float to the top only when baking. Stir zucchini into wet ingredients, then add all wet ingredients to dry. Mix until just moistened. Pour into a greased loaf pan, bake for around 60 minutes, or until springs back, or tests clean with a toothpick!

 

Maple Granolies with Lots of Goodies

Filed under: Breakfast,Desserts,Uncategorized — Meg @ 9:59 am

4 cups oats (not instant!)
1 cup oat bran flakes
1 cup coconut (shredded is nice)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
1/2 Tbsp milk
little pinch o’salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large (LARGE!!!) bowl, or a roasting pan works well, mix ingredients from oats down to nutmeg. Place butter, maple syrup, milk and salt in a small saucepan, and stir to combine over low heat, until homogeneous. Pour evenly over oat mixture, stir very well, but don’t break it up too much (clusterfuck granolie is what you want). If you’re using a roasting pan, just keep it in there. Otherwise, place on a large baking sheet with edges. Place in oven, for 20-30 minutes, stirring about every 10. Be careful for scorching, this recipe is fast and wonderful, you just have to pay attention!

Fall in love with a bearded man, start wearing sandals all year round, and enjoy a bowl with some yogourt and Jerry Garcia.

 

Poundcakin’ April 11, 2011

Filed under: Desserts — Meg @ 12:47 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m having a Southern day today. This is something I’ve never been able to control. Some people have days off where they sleep in bed until 2pm, some people have binge-drinking days, and some people  have mental health days. I have Southern days. There is something in my bones that needs the zang of a good, homemade barbeque sauce or something buttermilk-driven, the calm and twang of downhome music (by which, I do not mean pop country, in the name of all things holy and well-written…), and the scent of smoke permeating the air. I start wanting to wear things made of light cotton and I really can’t put my finger on what triggers this. Maybe it’s the good weather, or maybe I’m delusional. Either way, I’m having a Southern day today. Jon’s outside working on smoking a pork roast (we’re doing a South Eastern North Carolina style today, no gloppy ketchup sauces, unsweet and spicy!),  we’re gonna have that with some damn fine homemade coleslaw, on fresh, toasted bread that I made last night*, and maybe some kind of baked beans. I’m inside for the moment, listening to Hank Williams, and I just made a nice, old-timey lemon poundcake. In the spirit of simple, straight-to-it, no-nonsense lemon poundcakes, I will just give you the recipe now.
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Simple Old-Fashioned Poundcake
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You can make this any old way you want, you can substitute some vanilla for the lemon zest, and add anything you want. Cherries, pineapple, coconut, chocolate chips, blueberries, orange zest, just about anything! Along with the nice Southern vibe this has, it uses shortening, which means it’s rather economical (no butter), but by all means, use butter, if you want/can!
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Ingredients
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3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest or 1 tsp lemon extract
2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening (or butter!)
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (feel free to use sour cream here, instead)
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Method
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In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Mix well, or use a sifter. Stir in lemon zest. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and shortening very well, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well each time. Next, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture (this tends to help it hold together better, the batter won’t “break”). Pour into a well-greased bundt or tube pan, and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 60 minutes, or until it tests clean with a toothpick/knife, and cake springs back when touched.
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You can serve this any way you like, I made a lemon glaze, but you could also serve with a custard, or with fresh berries, or a berry sauce. Whatevs.
To make the glaze though, I mix 1.5 cups icing sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1/4 cup lemonade, but you could also use milk or water.
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That is that! I must go see whatever the hell Jon is hammering away at outside now, I fear for the lives of the neighbours. Also, I would like to commend whoever searched, “Mama Tit’s Grocery,” on this site… I don’t know who you are, but I think we’d get along real well. megohm, over and out!
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* Here’s the bread I made last night. I’m only posting this because I’m hella proud of it. Just plain old Neil’s Harbour White Bread, shaped-up.
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I do what I want! December 13, 2010

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there!
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Yes, I know I am a sorry excuse for a blogger, but we recently got Netflix, and now I occupy my time with ungodly foreign films. Also, I’ve been on an Italian rampage (after spending, oh 3-4 hours eating a six course meal at Trattoria Giuliana last week), and I’ve already shared most of the recipes I’ve been cooking, so, there’s that, too. Oh, and Jon and I discovered the best wine at that restaurant, Brindisi Rosso. 17 dollars for 1000mL. I do not think I need to explain the pros and cons of that kind of a deal. I have embarrassed myself enough, I think.
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Anyhow, this post is going to be fairly short and sweet, but I’ll leave you with a really great recipe that belongs to my mumma. So, let’s start off with that, and then I’ll spend the rest of the post boasting about my terrific baked goods that I took my blog vacation for!
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Mum’s Applesauce Cake (in LOAF FORM!)
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Oh, how festive our apartment has become!
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Ingredients:
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1/2 cup butter (softened slightly – room temp works well)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins
(a handful of walnut pieces – this was my own addition)
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Method:
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Okay, basic stuff here, kiddos. Get a nice biggish-sized bowl, put the butter and sugar in. Mix until your arm falls off (wait, no, you could use beaters or something – I went old school last night – made it hurt so good). The sugar and butter should be thoroughly combined! This is called creaming the butter and sugar. I would have mentioned this initially, but I know half of the people who read this blog are filthy perverts, very unsavory sorts of people. CARRYING ON, add the egg, mix to combine. Add the applesauce, mix to combine. Then, stir in spices and baking soda, then raisins (and walnuts?), and then flour, until just combined and there is no dry flour hanging around anywhere. Alternately, you could take the classical method and sift the spices and soda into the flour, but I’m too lazy for that, and thus, devised this crafty method instead. So, now that that’s done, put the batter into a greased loaf pan (I think a little bundt cake pan might be nice too, though), I don’t know what size, just… Standard meatloaf size, that’s all I’m giving you. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until it springs back when the surface is touched, and a toothpick will come out clean.
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Okay, got that? Now, my favourite part! Let the self-glorification BEGIN!
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This is a fig and almond custard pie. It was delicious.
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This is a grapefruit pie. It was also delicious, and made me feel ever-so-Hannibal-Lector-ish!
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This is some giant wheat bran bread that I made last night!
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This is Big Suze trying to sneak her way into getting some giant bread. The blurry photo leads her to believe she is incognito.
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That’s all I’ve got. Cheerio, readers!
megohm, over and out!

 

Scones of Yore! November 19, 2010

Oh, scones.
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Every day, I go to work, and after I’m done frying up, dipping, sprinkling, filling and traying up doughnuts, I move on to tea biscuits. The obtuse, tired old cousin of dear, sweet Missus Scone. By the end of the week, I’m so tired of goddamn tea biscuits, I have to force myself to create “innovative,” varieties like sage & onion, or cheddar-dill. Do they sell? I do not know. At least it’s a meager form of personal therapy/preservation of sanity for me.
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Well, here’s a thought. A slight tweak of shape, a sprinkle of sugar, and old-timey British snobbery is just the ticket! My current cultural tangent sent me a message, a voice straight from Jane Austen’s Regency-era England. It said, “Megohm, on this blustery night, I beseech you to reacquaint yourself with the forgotten fullsome delights of buttery quickbreads! Forget the monotony of a day’s work and make scones, at my behest!”  Who am I to question such statements?!
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Good old scones. What’s better with a cup of tea on a cold, windy night? With a  little jam or marmalade, for the sweet tooth? Anyhow, last night, I dug through some of my olde English cookbooks, and settled on a recipe for the quintessential scone, and adjusted as I saw fit. It worked out quite nicely!  I used my scale, since it was such an old recipe, it was in weight (which I prefer, working in a bakery will get you used to that in no time). I’ll post the weight, along with imperial units of measurement as well. These are some big-ass scones, by the way. Here’s the recipe!
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Ingredients
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1 lb all-purpose flour (4 cups)
5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 oz white sugar (4.5 Tbsp, use more if you like)
2 oz butter (4 Tbsp)
a handful of raisins, currants or dried cranberries, dates, whatever you like. (Optional)
1.5 – 2 cups of milk (or you can use some cream) – Use what you need. I’ll ‘splain.
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Method
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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (moderate oven!). In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar, mix well to combine. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, two knives or your hands, until the size of small peas (plus some little crumbly cornmeal-esque bits). If you’re adding dried fruit, add it now. Stir in enough milk, starting with 1.5 cups, adding more as you need to, to make a soft dough, not too sticky, but pliable, not crumbly. Turn out into a ball, onto a baking sheet (don’t grease). Pat down with hands into a circle, 1 inch thick. Using a knife, carefully (you don’t have to be TOO careful, but just so it looks pretty and clean) cut into 8 wedges: Cut in half (moons), Cut those in half, and then cut your quarters in half, so you have 8 roughly even pieces. Don’t separate them though! Cut after baking. Brush the top with cream or milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Put ‘er in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until nicely browned around edges, and the scones have a little “give,” when you poke them. They shouldn’t cave/sink in, they should spring back, in the most pitiful way possible. Not super-springy like a cake, but just so you know they’re cooked inside. Fluffy, and so forth.
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Lo and behold, scones!
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Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie October 15, 2010

Another (better quality, but we’re stilllllllll gettin’ there) cooking video on m’ new Youtube channel. This is supah delicious. Gooey and crackly and wonderful. EASY AS PIE, too. Heh, heh. I gave some pretty thorough pie-making instructions, for visual reference to some of my Life of Pie anecdotes. Hopefully it’s helpful, hope someone has the courage to make it. 2 cups of brown sugar and a 1/2 pound of lard is a scary concept, but, I double-dog-dare you. (Written ingredients/method below!)
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For the crust:
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Ingredients
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2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup ice water (plus a few Tbsp’s more)
Extra all-purpose flour
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Method
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Combine all flour, salt and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Mix to combine well. Then, cut in lard with a pastry cutter or two knives (or you can use a paddle beater on a kitchen mixer), until it is the size of small peas. In another small bowl, beat the egg, add lemon juice and 1/2 cup ice water. Mix well. Pour into dry ingredients and stir to JUST combine with a fork. If you need a little more water, add 1 Tbsp at a time. Then, lightly knead maybe 6-8 times. Divide into 2 or 3 pieces (freeze the remainder for another use). With the piece you’re using, place on floured work surface, and roll out to 1/8″ thickness. Place in pie shell and form edges as desired.
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For the Filling:
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Ingredients
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1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1.5 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp flour
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Method
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In a medium sized bowl,  combine all ingredients until smooth. Pour into shell and bake 50-60 minutes (or until edges are set, top is crackly) at 350 degrees.

 

Back on the Farm September 24, 2010

Filed under: Desserts — Meg @ 12:01 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Okay! So! The other day, Jon’s mom called us up and asked if we’d like to come join her on a grape-pickin’ excursion to a family friend’s family farm (how’s that for an alliteration?). This used to be somewhat of an annual trip, from what I understand, and Kim (Jon’s mom) uses the grapes to make homemade grape juice. Let me tell you, the grapes were so sweet, I don’t think we’ll have to use any sugar when we make it this year! The whole experience was amazing, despite my undying bakery’d-out lethargic nature. We ended up coming home with a gigantic tub/crate/what-have-you of beautiful blue grapes, tons of rhubarb, some wild cucumbers that Jon plans to use for naturalist acts of terrorism (read: creating an overgrowth in the area on the river that was recently hacked to pieces/cut down), as well as the BEST summer sausage any of us have ever tasted. That’s just my opening. Now we’ll get into the meat of things, but I’ll start you off with a recipe. I made this about an hour and a half ago. It’s heartbreakingly good. Even if it’s not quite rhubarb season anymore.
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Rhubarb Crisp
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I made this using my mom’s recipe for apple crisp, a recipe that never, EVER fails, is basically a one-bowl operation, quick, and always extremely satisfying. I had to tweak it a little, due to the sourness of the rhubarb, but it turned out heavenly. I’ve always liked eating it still hot with a splash of cream.
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Ingredients
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4 cups fresh rhubarb (you could use frozen), cut into 1.5″ pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
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1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oats (I don’t trust any crisp recipe without oats)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
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Method
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Mix rhubarb in a large bowl with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour, until it is coated. Place in a 9×9″ pan (or a round pie dish is okay, go for the deep-dish variety though), and spread evenly, sprinkling any leftover flour/brown sugar mix over. In the same bowl, now emptied, add remaining ingredients. Now, the fun part. Welcome back to my childhood. Get your hands in there and get crumblin’. Mix the dry parts together, then sort of crumble the butter between your fingers and into the flour mix. It will look like streusel-y. Now, once there is hardly any powdery flour mix, and all of the butter is mixed in, but not wet, sprinkle over the top of your rhubarb in the pan. This is important: Do not pat it down. Just let it do it’s thang. I once verbally assaulted my brother and screamed at him violently for doing such a thing to an apple crisp I made when I was 14 or so, at Thanksgiving. Good times.
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Oh, bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
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Now, let’s have some fun with pictures.
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The farm we were at is a cattle farm, so, of course, there were cows.
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Just an old tractor covered in wild cucumbers. No biggie.
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The culprits!
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Our near-final yield of grapes!
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Giant lubob and grapes!
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Self-explanatory.
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Jon was happy with this particular cluster of grapes.
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Kim is a seasoned grape-picking veteran.
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The fucking BESSSSST cured meat I’ve ever tasted. The profanity is entirely necessary here. Oh god. Our friend who owns the farm, after he slaughters and butchers the beef, he sends some off to a wonderful mennonite man who cures the meat all-naturally, and the final product is this.
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I will probably die of a stroke very soon, due to my heavy consumption of this, and the salt content. Oh well. After I first tried it, Wayne (Wiener!) looked at my face and said, “You like it? …LOOK AT HER EYES!!!”  The first taste was one of the most joyous moments in my life.
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Other than the photos shown here (there are more), it was all in all a terrific time at the farm. By the way, our friend’s name is Wayne, but everyone calls him Wiener/Wayner. Heh. He was a wonderful host. He showed us how to fish for bass in under 30 seconds in his pond, a large selection of barn cats and kittens (dozens! DOZENS! It was great), let us sample the delicious meat, which we ended up buying, annnnnnnnd…  Sometime before Christmas, he’s having Jon and I over to help slaughter/skin/butcher one of the cows. I am unnaturally eager about this. Mostly the butchering part. Jon’s looking to hone his bûcherie and charcuterie skillz even more, so this should be a very fruitful (and meatful) experience.
Regarding the haul we brought back home, well, I already made the rhubarb crisp, but I think I’ll be trying my hand at rhubarb jam (I love canning, oh god), and after we pick and squeeze the grapes at Jon’s parents’ house, we’ll be making juice, and maybe some wine and jelly! Should make for good product, the grapes were so sweet, I couldn’t stop pecking at them. Also, my boss, Vickie, brought in some apples from the family farm (I think?) out in Vanessa, and the Honey-Crisps, have mercy… I ate three in a row the other day. So, with that in mind, I’m going to see about making some apple butter and canning that too. Ohhh, I love the harvest season!
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Anyhow, thank you for enduring all of that! You’re a champ!
Megohm over and out!