Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cheddar Corn Soufflé

Soufflé Anxiety

Truth be told, I was contemplating going rogue again.  I know, I know, snap out of it!  But the thought of making a soufflé seems kind of daunting.  I've never made a soufflé before.  Part of me does wants to try it.  But it seems so fussy and well I'm a little intimidated by it all.  I will need to go out and purchase a soufflé dish, as I don't own one.  And maybe getting a dish will inspire me.  Probably just inspire me to do more shopping!

Worry not, I am going to follow through and make this soufflé.  (yay, me)  But first I have to do some sorting out, in the kitchen.
The hubbie has given me the best present ever. (well for me)  That's right, I don't need no diamond rings or sparkly jewellery (though I wouldn't say no)....but honestly these  got me more excited (than is probably normal). 

Double Pull-Out baskets for three of my kitchen cabinets!!!!  EEEEEEEE!!!!!!! 

 All three are different sizes and there is enough room beside each to put my baking sheets alongside of them.  And these have now freed up space in my upper cabinets.  So I have spent a whole day organizing my kitchen.  It has truly been an all day event....and I'm not done!!    Hubbie called them my Easter Baskets.  I love them! (and him!!)  I love that I no longer have to reach way in the cabinets to pull things from the back now....just pull out the baskets.  I'm not going to lie, I'm crazy excited about these!!!  There may have been dancing in the kitchen.

So this is how I spent Easter Friday.  No time to actually do any of my baking, since the kitchen was in a shambles all day.  Looks like tomorrow will be my day to bake....if I can remember where I moved everything (yes everything) in my kitchen. 
I even cleared off my butcher block island so that I can actually see the butcher block.  I vow it will not become the place where things go to vegetate...unless they are vegetables or a vegemite sandwich (Men at Work tune now fully ensconced in head). 
And now I lay me down to sleep.....and pray that my overworked muscles won't hurt too much tomorrow.  Stay tuned....may be a day of blogging from bed!
Today has arrived and yep, I'm feeling those muscles!! But a soufflé is calling out to be made; so back to the kitchen I go.
First to grate some cheese.   A cup of sharp cheddar.
And a couple of tablespoons of parmesan to coat the soufflé dish. 
I couldn't find a soufflé dish at HomeSense  (which didn't make any sense at all) and I didn't feel like going to another store, so I went with this dish.  I am hoping the sides are tall enough and I don't have a soufflé mishap.
Also need to grate some nutmeg.
 Salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.

Made a roux with the melted butter and flour.

And added the milk to that.  This got thick real fast.  Faster than the 8-10 minutes indicated in the recipe. 
To this thick mixture, I added the spices and then the egg yolks to make a nice looking batter.
Eggs whites needed to be whipped stiff.   
Then the egg whites, cheddar and corn need to be gently folded into the batter.  Careful not to deflate the egg whites. (as they are necessary to help my soufflé 'rise up...rise up')
And here it is ready to be baked.  (good luck little buddy...we're all counting on you)
Yay, no soufflé mishaps!  I think it turned out lovely.  I did keep it in an extra 10 minutes, as it seemed a little jiggly in the middle.(and I know jiggly!)  But other than that, it is looking très bon!
And now for a taste.  

Well, for my first attempt at a soufflé, I'm very pleased.  I really like the flavour of the nutmeg, pepper and cayenne combined with the cheese and corn.  I should have added more corn as suggested by the Baked Boys.  I liked getting bites of the corn.
I would definitely make this again.  It seemed very straightforward and quick to pull together.  And I think it would be a great dish to present to dinner guests. 
Kudos to the Baked Boys for this recipe!
If you're curious to see how everyone else did, hop like a bunny over to Baked Sunday Mornings.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue

I bid you a fair Fondue

A fondue?  Really?  Huh.  It really isn't something I've ever made.  But I have visions of a fondue party....from the 70's.....women and men in polyester wear.  I think I was at a lot of those parties, growing up in the 70's....just without the fondue.  Makes me giggle to think about those clothes.

So a fondue.......

I can see how a sweet fondue would be a sweet thing to have......oh oh.....does anyone else feel a but coming?  And not a 'I like big butts and I cannot lie' kind of but. 

Surely she wouldn't go rogue two weeks in a row.  I declare there is no talking to this girl when she's like this.  My word, I feel the vapors coming on.......

So yeah, I'm going rogue.  But hey, I'm on holidays this week.  Well, I took 4 days off....didn't go on a holiday.  But sometimes just having a few days off (away from work) is a good thing.  Hubbie and I have been very productive. (we can actually walk into the storage room now...granted my shoulders and back are in pain....but a small price to pay for organized shelves!)  Plus he has been taking me out for lunch this week.  Lunch is my most favourite thing.  I think it goes back to when I was in my 20's and my friends and I couldn't afford to go out for dinner, but we could always afford a lunch at the nice restaurants.  And to this day, it is still one of my most favourite things. (right up there with rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens)

This week I found a new restaurant....a new and good restaurant.  I can't wait to go back to Fresco Bistro.  It is in the WestEnd, so we didn't have to go downtown.  You know it is good, when you're texting a friend while still eating.....saying this would be a great restaurant for her birthday celebration.  But of course it is her birthday and I wouldn't want to pressure her one way or the other.  Cha, right!  

So back to this rogue business.  As stated, I am on holidays.  And I think this week I just want to try some things I've seen and want (nay, need). 
Dafna of Stellina Sweets posted a link on facebook from Smitten Kitchen this week. (a coconut bread that sounded awesome)  Naturally, it caught my attention, as I love coconut.  And it also got me wondering why I've never seen a coconut bread recipe before.  We seem to have so many breads out there (banana, carrot, zucchini, to name but a few), just seems strange that coconut wasn't there.  Or maybe it was, but I was out of the loop. 

Anyhoo, I'm making the bread.  And at this moment, it is baking and smelling wonderful.  I can't wait to cut into it and have a slice.  I hope it tastes as good as it smells.  Perhaps one bite will transport me to Hawaii.  (in my mind of course....there's no transporter in my kitchen....but if Star Trek has taught me anything, it is that anything is possible.....but that's silly I know...there's no way I'd have a transporter in the is too cramped as it is....why I'd have it in our storage room...where we can now walk)  Just go cut the bread, already.

It's good....very good.  Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen was right about only putting a tsp of cinnamon in.  (good call)  Just having that hint of cinnamon is enough and the taste of coconut still comes through.  But I think it would be prudent to try another slice to confirm this.  I'm doing it for you, dear reader.  Yes, my selflessness knows no bounds. (can't type hands full of coconut goodness)

Next on my list of must-do's.....Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts.  I saw these on Shutterbean and knew the instant I saw them, that I NEEDED to make them.  But first I had to find a pan.  The hubbie and I spent an afternoon going from store to store in search of a pan.  Success was had....and here I am baking those doughnuts.

Soooo....doughnuts should in theory have a hole in the middle....yes?  Hmm......yeah....'bout that....I'm going to go out on a limb and say that maaaaaaybe I filled the pan too much.....maybe.   Awkward. 

Well here's another nice mess you've gotten me into! 

Maybe I've started a new trend!  DoughCakes.  Doughnut on one side and then turn them over and they're cakes!  No?  Okay, how 'bout CakeHoles?  Yes, I shall call them CakeHoles.  And all will come to feast their eyes on my CakeHoles.  Yeah...let's just call that the working title....and keep working to create actual doughnut shapes.


Success!!!  I've made them again and they look like doughnuts.  They're so cute.  Probably could have made them a smidge bigger.  These are more like mini doughnts.  But hey, they look like doughnuts, so it's a win!!

Now to get these babies glazed.

And because I care, I've also glazed my cakeholes.....

Okay, I need a little practice making baked doughnuts.  But I certainly like the idea of baked doughnuts.  Sometimes the illusion of a doughnut is enough.  If you want to see how they should be, go see Tracy's creations at Shutterbean.  I love this site.  And if you love lists, check out her site every Friday when she does her own list of favourite things.  (I'm hooked)

One more for the road.  These scones from Joy the Baker look way too good.
Feta and Chive Sour Cream Scones.  What a tasty way to end this post.  Of course my grocery store was out of chives.(??!!)  When did chives become the food that sells out??  So I decided to just use scallions (mostly the green parts).  I love scones.  I love they way they puff up and get all flaky.  Butter does make everything better in a flaky way.

And so ends another episode One Rogue to Live.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TWD-Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

A Pound of Chocolate for your Thoughts

These sound like amazing cookies.  And it seriously calls for a pound of chocolate!  How crazy is that???!!!  And like a good TWD'er I am going to stick to the recipe and make it as written. 
Needless to say (but of course I'm going to), I will be very disappointed if these don't turn out; after all this chocolate.  Have I mentioned there is a pound of chocolate in these cookies?  (and no, not in each cookie)  My chocolate of choice for this little venture is Callebaut and Valrhona. 
Where to begin?

Let's start at the very beginning....a very good place to start!   When you bake you begin with butter and sugar.
Dry stuff.
That chicken did not lay those eggs.....I hope.

Don't cry over spilled Vanilla....unless you are dangerously low on vanilla....waaaaa!
Milk Chocolate.
White Chocolate.

Bittersweet Chocolate.

Bitter and Broken.
Bitter, Broken, Bits.
A threesome never looked so good.

Butter cubed.

Granulated sugar meets butter.

Dark Brown Sugar looking for a little action too.

A Nod to St. Paddy

Two eggs blend in....

Vanilla doesn't want to be left out.

Looking for a little stability; dry ingredients have been called on...

The chocolate threesome was feeling left out so they decided to jump in.

But wait....the cherries want to join in.  I went with cherries rather than apricots.  Thought the cherries would be fantastic with the chocolate.

A perfect blending.
And now time to just chill for a bit...


Chocolate overload in 3-2-1........

These cookies were indeed amazing!  I loved the mixture of three different chocolates.  And the addition of coffee to the mix is brilliant.  I think we have a winner!  I will definitely be making these babies again. 
To see the details of this recipe, check out our host's site.