Triple-Ginger Chocolate Stout Gingerbread

I had really good luck making the Mendenhall Sourdough Gingerbread recipe while we were all snowbound last week — the kids devoured it (including the two extra kids I inherited due to snow.) But while I loved using my sourdough starter for this, I wasn't quite happy with the recipe. Enter Smitten Kitchen's Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread recipe, which promised to add the spicy, earthy notes I was looking for (it starts out by calling for Guinness, no less!) So I mashed the two recipes together, adding my own twists. I figured I could substitute Black Butte Porter for the Guinness called for - but also wanted to add both fresh ginger & crystallized ginger. Thought it could [Read more...]

Yes, I’m Still Alive

What am I up to, anyway? We're snowed in! For days now! Portland doesn't usually get snow, and when we do it freaks us out, ices up and/or melts quickly, and generally causes more trouble than it warrants. This time around? We've had snow for days (the kids had the last 3 of 5 school days canceled.) We're housebound, short-tempered, and about ready to gnaw each other's arms off. Sounds like fun, right? Why don't we just go outside and play in the stuff, you might ask? We've also been sick. Dog-sick. So I can barely drag myself out of the house to forage for essentials, much less shovel the driveway. At least we now have heat, though. See, we didn't for close to a [Read more...]

Cranberry Chutney

I may be tempting fate before I actually have other people eat this tomorrow, but I think I've hit on a winner here. I wanted cranberry chutney this time around - not relish, not sauce. Wanted hits of sweet and sour, spicy and savory. Here's what I came up with (used a recipe from Epicurious as the base, but have tortured it beyond belief.) I *would* have added sliced kumquats if I could have found any, but our store was out this evening, alas. I made a double batch for dinner tomorrow for 20+, here's a more reasonable version: 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a mix of white and brown sugars) 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries (about 3 [Read more...]

Still Obsessing…

Yes, I'm still baking bread - in fact, I'm trying to come up with the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving dinner with friends later this week. This is really really close! Barley-Oat Bread 2 cups cold liquid culture (from my sourdough starter - read this for more info) 3 cups flour (plus more for kneading) 1 cup oat flour 1 cup barley flakes (I got mine in the bulk food aisle at either WinCo or Whole Foods) and/or oatmeal (I did a mix) 3/4 cups Bob's Red Mill 7-grain cereal mix 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 cup milk 2 tbsp butter 2 teaspoons salt 1. Mix the liquid culture with 1 cup of the flour, the barley/oat mix, and one cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. This [Read more...]

My Latest Obsession

I'm baking bread. But I'm not using regular old yeast — instead, I followed Audrey's lead and now have my own sourdough starter. (How's that whole 'say no to more' thing going again, you might ask? Just you wait and see...!) It took me a bit - I didn't realize that it might take a few days to get the starter going, plus when they say 'foamy', they mean an inch or so of foam. But now that I've got it going, I'm going through tons and tons of flour, and making lots of bread. Challah. Cinnamon-cranberry swirl bread. Oatmeal bread. Beer-cheese bread. You can use the starter for other baked goods, of course - I've used it to make chocolate-chip pancakes (my [Read more...]