Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Not So Lazy Sunday Morning

This is how it usually works, I get onto baking kicks.  All I want to do is bake, bake, bake.  You might notice that when I blog I usually post multiple days in a row, and then nothing for a month.  That's just the way it goes.  I end up getting baked out and telling myself the next thing I make is coming from a box.  Don't worry, it doesn't, but you get what I mean.  So even after my foray into clafoutis yesterday I still wanted to do more baking. 

I still had a lot of rhubarb that I needed to use up so my first order of business was to make a rhubarb bread.  There were a lot fewer recipes out there for this than I thought there would be, but I was able to find one that looked good.  I ended up going with this recipe from 
I was worried at first that it was going to end up too sugary because people have a tendency to overcompensate for the tartness of the rhubarb, but I'm happy to announce it came out spectacular!
 While that was still in the oven I decided I wanted to bake some cookies too.  I hadn't made cookies for a long time and so the other day when I was at the library I picked up a copy of Martha Stewart's Cookies.  I've never been a huge Martha fan, but I've heard countless times that her recipes very rarely disappoint. I ended up making Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread.  Her original recipe calls for orange zest, but having no oranges on hand I went with lemon instead.  I helped the lemon flavor along by replacing the vanilla extract with lemon extract.
I'm not sure what led me to pick these cookies out (probably the pretty picture in the book, or the short ingredient list), because shortbread type cookies are not usually my favorite, but I'm glad I made them because they came out great; rich and buttery with a hint of lemon.   
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • The zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
Mix together butter and confectioners sugar.  Add vanilla and zest and combine.

Add the flour, 2tbsp cornmeal and salt.  Mix everything together until its combined

Divide the dough in half and shape into a log.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 300F.  Place 1/4 cornmeal on a piece of parchment paper.  Roll the logs in the cornmeal until evenly coated. 

Cut the logs into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
 The best part of my day of baking is that I discovered it is a friends birthday today (thank you facebook / Happy Birthday Laurel!) so I dropped her off a bag of cookies and a loaf of bread. 
 So far I don't feel baked out so who knows, maybe there will be more goodies to come shortly.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cherry & Rhubarb Clafoutis

Hello blog, I've been a bad blog mommy and neglected you so.  Unfortunately sometimes we go through phases where nothing we eat is exciting or fun, or we get really lazy and eat out a lot.  But...SUMMER'S HERE!!! and that means lots and lots of stands at the farmers market full of delicious produce and more.

I love, love, love the farmers market.  We're lucky because we have a huge farmers market here in Syracuse with a wide variety of food.  Not only can you fill your bags with fresh locally grown produce, but you can buy organic grass-fed meats, delicious cheeses, and now much to our delight, freshly roasted fair trade coffee beans.
 Steve and I are working really hard to try and do as much of our shopping at the farmers market.  After watching Food Inc , and reading In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan, I've really had to rethink my relationship with food and my duty as an inhabitant of this planet.  It really is so important to try and eat locally and organic.  The impact that industrialized food has on your body and on the earth is not worth the cheap prices or "delicious" taste that they supply.   I know fast food is easy, so are microwave dinners and other prepacked meals.  It's also certainly cheaper to buy industry food, but, BUT, think about it.  The nutrients in industrialized are so lacking compared to naturally grown food that you have to eat so much more of it.  So yes, organic food may cost more, but you will have to eat less, and you will probably enjoy it much much more.  Okay I won't go on and on, but I urge you to read more about it and educate yourself about the food that goes into your body and the impact it may have on our planet.
Okay moving on, like I was saying about the farmers market, I LOVE IT.  We got great stuff this week including cherries and rhubarb.  It just so happens that its gloomy and rainy today which means it's perfect baking weather.
 Soooo I was browsing around on like I often do and I saw a post for Cherry Clafoutis.  Well that particular recipe called for ingredients I didn't have, but after looking further I found this recipe from "Fork Spoon Knife" that seemed perfect.  I wanted to include some rhubarb into it so I followed the recipe exactly except threw in about 3 stalks of rhubarb.
It turned out really good, but somewhat tart.  I think next time to compensate for the rhubarb I added, I would maybe double the amount of sugar.  Otherwise this was quick easy and delicious.