Thursday, January 28, 2021

This Blog in 2014

 A year in which you remodel a kitchen and also lose your remaining parent and beloved mother is quite a year. Some highlights of 2014 include a full month of posts in November (there are lots and lots of new recipes in just that month), a super colorful Tie-Dye Cake in September, photo above, that is perfect for a celebration (even as a birthday cake for a guy who is over 50), the loss of my Mom

in December which still touches me years later, and the story of finding a new local bee hive for a neighbor (with a sweet honey comb gift after the bees settled in to their new home), among other posts. 

Perhaps the thing that impacted my cooking and baking the most was the new kitchen that we had been planning for almost two years. Sweetie and I did the demo ourselves and much of the work, but we let the pros do the plumbing and install the cabinets and counter tops. I even got to design and hand paint two Murals as in the main kitchen and one in my new, wonderful Bake Center! Everyone who bakes for enjoyment should have a Bake Center. It took over 30 years, but finally happened in 2014. There are posts from April through November, so no links...just go wander around to find them.

Of course doing a complete kitchen remodel down to the studs didn't stop me from cooking and blogging! Sweetie loved an Apricot and Pecan Loaf by Dorie Greenspan that I baked in April.

 I learned how to make pizza on the grill using a pizza stone. The dough is my go-to one, Pizza from Roberta's in Brooklyn which uses Italian flour which I buy from King Arthur Baking. Salads were a great main dish concept, too. This one has a fresh and zingy Strawberry-Balsamic Dressing which goes so well with the chicken, sugar snap peas, avocado and fresh strawberries of the salad.

Swapping out refrigerators actually made it easier to make this Chocolate-Buttermilk Layer Cake when the evening turned out to be too hot for the whipped cream frosting.

In July I made a batch of California Blondes, which used up some of the dried fruit and nuts I had on hand as well as giving us a quick snack when the going got tough.

As long as the oven was working I could throw together a Mixed Berry and Peach Galette fairly quickly.

The oven is also the star of Smashed Potatoes because the super-hot oven gives the pre-cooked potatoes a chance to develop a crispy aspect that is addictive. Besides, it's easy.

Warm early fall weather usually means the farmers market has relatively inexpensive multi-color bell peppers that are large enough to stuff. Remembering the expensive $3.99 or more per pound that is charged in winter makes it even more enticing to make Lamb Stuffed Peppers for dinner when the price is so much lower.

It's also a good time for squash dishes like Afghan Squash that shines with warm flavors from tumeric and ginger.

If you ever wanted to know how to caramelize condensed milk to make dulce de leche, check out NoHandle's post in mid-March. He uses it to make Banofee Pie, which looks delicious! The name of the pie is a portmanteau of Banana and Toffee.  This recipe can be made any time of year because bananas are a year-round staple.

There are a number of bread recipes that I want to point out, both sweet and savory. Perhaps my all-time favorite is for the Ultimate Sticky Buns. This recipe produces the most delicious, decadent, rich sticky buns imaginable. You use a lot of butter, a lot of brown sugar, and plenty of whipping cream, along with a sweet dough. Worth every calorie! Another amazing bread, but savory this time, was a Bread Baking Babes challenge...a bread with wine, shaped like a grape bunch. I used a local zinfandel wine so Beaujolais Bread became Poizin Bread!

Another interesting bread is the brioche style bread that the Bread Baking Babes made in March which was proofed in water. James Beard was the inspiration for that experiment, one which turned out pretty well. Water-Proofed Bread was also made by a number of Buddies!

Another great bread was Brother Juniper's Wild Rice and Onion Bread, which I used to be able to get in the grocery store. Ever wondered how 
Peter Reinhart became a world renowned artisan bread baker? Read all about it in this post.

Going to finish up with a favorite recipe...the old family recipe for Skillet Corn Bread from scratch. It goes together quickly and goes with so many winter time meals...soups and stews, fried fish, BBQ, braised get the idea. It's one of about 28 recipes from many to highlight. In the web version of this blog, to the right of the posts, there is a chronologic listing of all the posts. Go to November 2014 and wander and I'll bet you find at least one recipe to make. Same is true for all the other months...these are just some of the great recipes!

1 comment :

  1. ALL of this looks delicious - can't think what I want more, the tie dyed cake, or the avocado and strawberry salad! Oh, how I long for summer fruit - even as I could do without the heat, the dust, and another round of fires...