Sunday, September 8, 2013

Today's Daily Checklist

Alright, I'm going to start something new for fun ;)

I will place 'my' Sunday checklist down along with some fun tips for the day. You will see how much fun 'having' a daily checklist is ;)

1. Baking for week.... this is fun. I love to bake my bread, cookies and either a cake or pie for the week today. Here are some tempting ideas in this category ;)
Here are some of my picks for this week ;)
Best Brownie Recipe Ever – Ombre Brownies by   on
" At the top of my brownies, I have a dark chocolate ganache frosting. Then the second layer is a lighter milk chocolate brownie layer. On the bottom, there is a “blonde” layer which is a classic blondie, a cousin of the brownie. These were a big hit at my house and is now my daughter’s signature dessert.”

1 cupButter, divided 

1¾ cupLight Brown Sugar, divided 

3Large Eggs, divided
½ tspSalt, divided
2 tspVanilla, divided
1¾ cupsAll-purpose Flour, divided
1 cupMilk Chocolate Chips
¼ tspBaking Powder
1 cupDark Chocolate Chips
¼ cupHeavy Cream
½ cupPowdered Sugar

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place 1/2 cup butter in a medium heavy saucepan and heat over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup brown sugar until mixed. Stir in 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until mixed. Stir in 1 cup flour. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
In another medium heavy saucepan, place the remaining 1/2 cup butter and the milk chocolate chips over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir remaining two eggs in 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until mixture is glossy and smooth.
Whisk the baking powder and remaining flour together, then stir into chocolate mixture. Carefully spread batter over the blondie layer in the pan, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few moist crumbs adhering, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.
Place the dark chocolate chips in a small heavy saucepan along with the heavy cream and heat over low heat. Whisk until melted and smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Frost brownies with ganache, then cut into squares.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

easy focaccia bread recipe

easy focaccia bread recipe

easy focaccia bread recipe

easy focaccia bread recipe
I’m excited to share this recipe for focaccia with you. There are other easy homemade breads out there, but this one was on the super easy side of things.
 This bread is wonderful. It’s aromatic. The rosemary scent will fill your house. The buttery flavor will compliment nearly any sandwich. Or, eat it on its own. That’s what we did. We stood over the rack of barely cool bread and inhaled big hunks of it one bright afternoon. Maeve too. She loved it and that’s a huge selling point around this place.
I do caution you to watch your bread. Focaccia cooks quickly. That’s good and bad. Start checking in at 20 minutes. My first batch was a touch more golden than I’d like, which dried out the bread a bit. It was still edible, but focaccia is best when it’s softer and more moist. Take it out of the oven when it’s just golden all over and you’ll see what I mean. It will be perfection and you won’t be able to resist pulling off big pieces before it’s cool.
I bid you amazing weeks. Keep your ovens on and your keys close, my friends. I’ll see you soon!
easy focaccia bread recipe
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Stir together 1 2/3 cups lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups flour, 1/4 cup oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Press dough evenly into a generously oiled 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Stir together rosemary and remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Make shallow indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with rosemary oil, letting it pool in indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Immediately invert a rack over pan and flip focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: Gourmet from the site
Birch de Noel
Martha Stewart Living Television
Our variation on the classic French bûche de Noël combines a rich chocolate génoise with white-chocolate mousse. For added woodland appeal, this roll cake is decorated with sugared rosemary sprigs, chocolate truffles, and meringue mushrooms.

From seasonal menus to festive decorations, find great ideas on our Holidays channel.
Birch de Noel
Makes 1 ten-by-five-inch log

To make sugared rosemary sprigs, brush washed sprigs with a glaze of one egg white from a large egg thinned with a tablespoon of water, then coat in superfine sugar, and let dry.

1 fresh coconut
6 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons rum
White Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
Seven Minute Frosting
Meringue Mushrooms
Snowy Chocolate Truffles (recipe follows)
Sugared rosemary sprigs

1. Heat oven to 350°. Wrap coconut in a kitchen towel, and place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on a work surface. Reduce oven to 250°. Tap coconut with a hammer until it cracks in several places; break it into pieces. The white flesh should be slightly pulling away from the hard shell. Separate it, keeping pieces of coconut as large as possible. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the largest pieces of coconut into long curls, and place on a baking sheet in oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until just dry. Grate the smaller pieces on the small holes of a box grater. You will need about 1/2 cup grated coconut for the cake filling.

2. Heat oven to 400°. Line a 12-by-17-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on high speed until pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and set aside. Wash and dry mixer bowl.

3. Place egg whites in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium high, and add sugar gradually, whipping until stiff peaks form. Transfer egg-white mixture to a large bowl.

4. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg-yolk mixture into egg-white mixture. Sift cocoa powder and flour over top, and gently fold in. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula.

5. Bake until cake springs back when touched, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and immediately turn cake out onto a wire rack lined with parchment paper. Peel parchment paper from top of cake, and cool completely.

6. Place a clean kitchen towel on work surface. Transfer cake on parchment paper to towel. Using a pastry brush, coat cake with rum. Using an offset spatula, spread white-chocolate mousse over cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut.

7. With a short end of cake facing you, roll carefully into a roulade (image 1). Wrap in a kitchen towel, and secure with clothespins or large metal binder clips (image 2) to hold the roll in a tight round shape. Place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

8. Remove from refrigerator, and unwrap. Using a serrated knife, trim the ends of the roll, cutting on the bias. Choose the more presentable end, and place it, cut-side up, on the log, forming a branch. If desired, use the other cut end for a second branch.

9. Transfer the log to a serving platter. Slide 5-inch strips of parchment paper under the log to protect the tray while decorating. Coat with Seven Minute Frosting using an offset spatula (image 3). Remove parchment pieces. Decorate with Meringue Mushrooms, Snowy Chocolate Truffles, coconut shavings, and rosemary sprigs.

White Chocolate Mousse
Makes 5 1/2 cups

1 seven-gram envelope powdered gelatin
12 ounces best quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1. Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water, and set aside for 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until very finely chopped.

2. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Place 3/4 cup cream in a small saucepan, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Add gelatin, and stir for 30 seconds to dissolve completely. Pour into food processor with the motor running, and process until chocolate mixture is smooth.

3. Transfer to a medium bowl and place over ice water bath. Chill until mixture is thick enough to fall from a spoon in ribbons.

4. Whip remaining 1 3/4 cups heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container.

Snowy Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 50

1 1/2 cups slivered almonds (optional)
1 pound best-quality bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Heat oven to 350°. Place almonds, if using, on a baking sheet, and toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Use a serrated knife to finely chop chocolate. Place in a heat-proof bowl; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour directly over chopped chocolate, stirring to fully incorporate. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir until completely smooth. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in almonds, if using, and place in the refrigerator until set. Use a melon baller or 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop to portion out chocolate. Roll the mixture between palms to form 1-inch truffles. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Coat with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

2. Throw out old food
3. All dishes done! No exceptions
4. Inventory cupboards....highlight ingredients I need to use this week
5. Change Kitchen Towels and hot pads others to the wash, refresh kitchen fragrances/decor

double sided adhesive strips and beans will make the above ;) from
6. Write any birthday cards or letters and address stamp to mail.
7. Organize cupboards - check and replace any liners as necessary, make bag to take to goodwill if need be.
liners from
8. Plan Menu

9. Clean Fridge
10. Wipe down kitchen decor/pictures with windex etc.
11. Nails
12. Pluck eyebrows

13. Toning (exercises)
14. Plan Calendar for Week


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