Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TWD: Kugelhopf

This is another Tuesdays with Dorie post, I must say I quite enjoy baking these days and I discover new recipes which I have never heard of in my life before. Last week I baked first time Rugelach and this week I baked first time Kugelhopf.

This week's recipe was chosen by Yolanda from The All Purpose Girl. You can find the recipe here or from the book on pages 61-63.

According to Dorie, Kugelhopf is half cake and half bread, to me it reminded a bit doughnut though, not bad if you like doughnuts and I do :).

This time, surprise surprise, I didn't half the recipe :)!

My version: I am lazy person and didn't even use mixer for mixing the dough like Dorie suggested to do. I mixed all ingredients together using wooden spoon and I also didn't dissolve yeast in milk. Basically I approached to the dough like it's regular pizza dough :).

My dough rose pretty well though, and it remained this way even after taking out of oven but I didn't use any foil to cover it, so no reason to open oven door either. I baked my Kugelhopf in 180 C degree oven about 25 minutes and that was pretty enough.

I used first time in my life silicon pan and I was very pleasantly surprised, I tend to prefer firm metal pans but silicon was great, I might even consider buying some more silicon dishes in future.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cheddar-Dill Scones

I have had Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook for some time now but today I finally managed to cook something from it. I am an early bird, so I baked cheddar-dill scones in the morning before going to work.

Cheddar-Dill Scones

4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 pound extra-sharp yellow Cheddar, small-diced
1 cup minced fresh dill
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk, for egg wash

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine 4 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

3. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.

4. Mix the eggs and cream and quickly add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Combine until just blended.

5. Toss together the dill, cheddar, and 1 T of flour and add them to the dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated.

6. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it gently for 1 minute, until the cheddar and dill are well distributed.

7. Roll the dough ¾-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch squares and then in half diagonally to make triangles.

8. Brush the tops with egg wash.

9. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the inside is fully baked.

My version: Again I halved the recipe and I used regular cheese which I usually put on sandwiches. I didn't use mixer, I think you'll get the best results mixing flour and butter with your fingers, and you're saving yourself from cleaning the mixer :). Next time I'd use a bit less butter, I needed to add more flour than recipe called for.

Valuation: good scones, best eaten warm and with tiny bit of butter. Makes great breakfast.

Recipe adapted from: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pork Stroganoff with Beans

I had few pork shops in my fridge which were desperate need of my attention, otherwise they would have gone bad with no time :).

I wanted to cook something fast and easy, something which doesn't require a lot of time in kitchen, after all, it's Sunday and time for my weekly girlie beauty procedures :). I have found some nice cooking ideas from Sille's blog and her pork with beans recipe is a base for mine pork stroganoff.

Pork Stroganoff with Beans

300 g pork fillet, sliced into strips
1 carrot, sliced into strips
1 leek, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced into stripes
1 clove of garlic
1 chili bean, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
200 ml single cream
200 g red kidney beans
ground pepper

1. Cut pork fillet, bell pepper and carrot into stripes, slice leek, chop chili bean and garlic.

2. Pour little bit oil into frying pan and fry pork stripes quickly, don't burn or overcook.

3. Add carrot, bell pepper, leek, garlic and chili. Fry few minutes and then add tomato and beans, canned are perfect but drain them before.

4. Add tomato paste and single cream. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Let it boil until sauce thickens a little.

5. Serve!

My version: I like red sauce, so this pork stroganoff is exactly my kind of cup. Gets ready within seconds in you use frozen carrots and canned red kidney beans. I used fresh carrot and soaked and cooked kidney beans myself. Great to serve with boiled potatoes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Olive Cheese Bread

I spent my morning reading some food blogs and this recipe caught my eye. I could have guessed before making it, this dish full of calories, but I guess there are so many of them that I can't count that much anyway :). So the dish which was meant as snack turned out to be lunch and dinner!

I think Olive Cheese Bread is the food where you can say "Everything good in this life is either illegal, immoral or makes you fat!"

I halved the recipe and it was still plenty of food and calories. I guess it's about time for me to look up my skates and do few rounds :).

I guess it could be quite good party food also, if you use baguette and slice it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TWD: Rugelach

This is my first Tuesdays with Dorie post, well technically my first :). I have done before Banana bread but this doesn't really count since I wasn't member, just someone who was browsing randomly and ended up on Tuesday with Dorie page. But now, everything is official, I have the book and I am the member!

This week's recipe was chosen by Grace from Piggy's Cooking Journal. You can find the recipe here or from the book on pages 150-152.

To be honest, I have never even heard of the word Rugelach before and I have no idea how it's called in Estonian but reading the recipe, it includes all the yummie things, so I suspect the result can't be bad!

I usually halve the recipe when I cook/bake something first time, I mean even dog can't eat all the failures, so no reason to torture him with enormous amounts:)!

My version: I used strawberry jam, this was the only thick enough jam in my cupboard and the jar was already open, so strawberry it is. I used almonds, chocolate and almonds go together very well in my world. I left out sugar and cinnamon, jam was sweet enough for me and I don't like overly sweet things. I only had small bag of small and very dried raisins, so I soaked them about an hour in amaretto. Alcohol always gives a little touch to sweet things and besides better inside the cookie then somewhere else :). I didn't bother rotating my rugelach in oven, I prefered to watch TV instead :).

Half way rolling the wedges

Smell which came from kitchen was wonderful! Rugelach taste awsome but it takes a LOT of time and patience to make them. If I'll bake them next time, I'll double the recipe, I want my effort lasts a bit longer then 5 minutes!

These little babies are ready to into oven

Recipe adapted from:
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I tend to keep a box of minced meat in my freezer, just in case. I mean you never know when you have desire to cook something meaty and are too lazy to go outside to do shopping, and besides, it's cheap :).

I took one box to thaw in the morning and I made meatballs for dinner, I flattened them, so I can eat them tomorrow between bread as hamburger. I have tried several meatballs recipes and this is my favorite.


1 dl bread crumbs
1/2 dl sour cream or plain yogurt
1,5 dl water
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
500 g minced meat, (beef is good, although I use sometimes mixed version)
1 egg
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly grounded black pepper

1. Cover bread crumbs with water and leave them soak for 10 minutes.

2. Chop the onion and garlic clove and fry quickly until golden. Cool a little.

3. Add sour cream, egg and fried onion and garlic to bread crumb mixture. Stir lightly.

4. Add minced meat to bread crumb mixture and stir.

5. Add salt and black pepper. Give another stir until seasoning is incorporated.

6. Shape little or average size balls and bake them medium-high heat until brown.

My version: I use what I have at home, sour cream or plain yogurt, both work. I also flatten my meatballs a little and if I'm in mood, I dip them into bread crumb mixture before frying.
Good dinner, I served with mashed potatoes and cucumber.

Cream Scones

It's Saturday again, amazing how much joy one weekend might bring :). Today's breakfast is again from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours, cream scones.

This is my first time when I actually bake scones, I have baked cinnamon rolls, meat pastries and some other yeast containing pastries. I really enjoyed her Basic Biscuits and I had a bit heavy cream left in fridge so scones was perfect choice.

Cream Scones

1 large egg
2/3 cup cold heavy cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
3/4 cup moist, plump currants

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

2. Stir the egg and cream together.

3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly.

4. Pour the egg, cream and currants over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, come together. Don't overdo it. Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times.

5. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that's about 5 inches in diameter, cut it into 6 wedges and place it on the baking sheet.

6. Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for them to cool to room temperature.

My version: I think there's mistake in recipe, according to her book, she never mentions currants in instructions. I tend only read ingredient list and from instructions I read temperature and baking time, so I discovered later that there's no currants! I used raisins which I found from dark corner of my cupboard and mixed them in with flour mixture.
I have noticed Dorie's baking times don't match with my oven, I set timer 5 minutes less then recipe requires and it's more then enough.

Valuation: great for breakfast or even eating as all-day snack. They turned out really puffy and crumbly, especially good warm with cold butter.

Recipe adapted from: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan