Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Biscuits in Divide

24 June 2017 at 4:46 pm
by Berck

Jonah used to make excellent biscuits, but then we moved to Divide. The difference in altitude (6,000ft to 9,000ft) was enough to turn her biscuits into greasy blobs suitable for packing to your next arctic exhibition. So I fired her from biscuit making and decided to try it myself.

There are a lot of myths about baking at altitude. Rules of thumb that say “add/subtract ingredient X per thousand feet of altitude” are generally terrible advice. Corrections that work at 6,000 feet may need to be completely reversed by 8,000 feet. In Colorado Springs, we mostly got by without changing much, but our house is at 9,200ft now, and that changes everything.

The most important information I’ve found is in a book that someone (she can’t remember who) bought for Jonah: Pie in the Sky by Susan Purdy. She actually has recipes for 10,000ft, all of which she worked out in Breckinridge, so they actually work. Looking at the altitude tables for each recipe in this book illustrate just how different things are at each altitude.

When it comes to biscuits, she had the most important piece of information: buttermilk biscuits are just not going to work at 10,000ft. The reaction is too quick, releases too much pressure, and eventually results in collapsed biscuits. She says that she had an incredibly hard time finally producing biscuits for this altitude.

So, I took that information, and her otherwise boring biscuit recipe and combined it with techniques from Peter Reinhart as well as a few tricks of my own to produce the first biscuits I’m actually happy with in Divide.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vodka
1 stick frozen butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (though half pastry flour would be better if I could ever find it)

Grate the frozen butter into the flour, add the rest of the ingredients. Roll/fold the dough at least 4 times then cut into biscuits. Bake on a stone at 425F.

Fruit Pizza

15 May 2012 at 7:38 pm
by Jonah

We had a graduation party for Berck on Saturday.  I made a fruit pizza!

I made for 4th of July two years ago.

I had a request for the recipe, so I thought I’d put it here.  Fruit pizza is really simple…just a sheet of sugar cookie dough, frosting, and fruit.  Here are the recipes I use for the cookie dough and frosting.

 

Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe, and it comes from Sue Robinson.

 

1 cup butter

1 3/4 cup sugar

3 cups self-rising flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

If you don’t have self-rising flour, like I never do, just use

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Gradually stir in flour.  Dump the whole thing on a big cookie sheet and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 for at least 20 minutes.  It will probably take longer. It will start browning on the edges.

 

I like to use cream cheese frosting, and it’s super easy to make.

  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (actually more)

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Add more powdered sugar until it’s the consistency you want.

 

Spread the frosting on top of the cookie.  Then decorate with fruit!  My favorites to use are blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries (sliced), and cherries and grapes (cut in half).  Also good are kiwi, and I had good success with mango on my last one.  I hear mandarin oranges work well too.  Pretty much any fruit will do.  If you use apples or bananas, fruit that brown when cut, dip the cut fruit in lemon or pineapple juice to keep them from browning.

 

(Fake) French Bread Recipe

20 September 2007 at 8:46 pm
by Jonah

2 cups water heated so it feels warm but not uncomfortably hot
1 package or 2 to 3 teaspoons yeast
a little bit of sugar or flour to proof the yeast
1 TABLESPOON of salt after yeast has begun proofing
5 to 6 cups flour (I like King Arthur Bread Flour best) or however much the dough will take until it stops being sticky

Put in a greased bowl, turn over, cover, and let rise about an hour. Punch down, kneed, and shape into two long loaves. Place on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Make slices about half an inch deep crosswise along the loaves so they won’t break their own cracks. Cover and let rise again at least an hour. Place in an oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake for 35 minutes.

For a crispy crust, brush with egg before baking. For a softer crust, brush with butter when you take it out of the oven.

You can use about half whole wheat flour, and it will still work. But it won’t be (fake) French bread anymore.

Oh, by the way, this bread is terrible the next day (though, you can toast it fine and it makes lovely French toast).

Stuffed Pepperoncini

26 April 2007 at 3:57 pm
by Jonah

This weekend I made a recipe that looked scrumptious (it was). I took a picture of my finished product to submit to the recipe site.

Stuffed Pepperoncini

Kick-Ass Stuffed Mushrooms

19 April 2007 at 5:58 pm
by Jonah

I’ve never been a huge mushroom fan, unless they’re battered and fried, but this recipe is amazing. I usually use rosemary and bacon, if I’m not cooking for vegetarians.

12 large mushrooms (or two small packages or one large package from Sam’s)
3 tablespoons butter (or the grease from a couple slices of bacon)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup fine soft bread crumbs (about one slice of bread)
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken, ham, or shrimp, or 1/4 cup chopped unsalted nuts or cooked bacon (about two slices)
2 tablespoons of cream
2 tablespoons sherry or vermouth
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
sweet marjoram, rosemary, or oregano to taste (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Remove and finely chop mushrooms stems.
2. In a skillet heat butter, add the onion and chopped mushroom stems and cook about two minutes. Add the crumbs, the meat, shrimp, or nuts, seasonings, and enough cream and sherry (or one or another) to get the mixture nicely moist.
3. Place the mushroom caps on a baking sheet and fill with the stuffing. Bake for about 30 minutes.