Sunday, September 27, 2009
Well, this was a fun challenge, I've made puff pastry from scratch twice so far, once in home economics when I was about 12, and once in class at college recently. It really is excellent when you make it yourself.
I was really excited to make vol-au-vents too, I've had them at many parties and occasions, unfortunately they seem to have fallen out of favor recently, being just way too dated, but I really loved those little fluffy bites and was really looking forward to making them from scratch.
The building of the pastry worked very well, but unfortunately when I rolled it out, I didnt persist, getting a nice thin pastry, so they were a little stodgy. I was also kind of worried about weighing them down with a silpat to make them rise evenly, so they were a little loopy when they baked! My husband says they look like geoducks. Ick!
I decided upon two fillings, I remember really loving mushroom vol au vents, so I sauteed some mushrooms and garlic, added a sprinkle of red pepper and black pepper, a touch of 'better than bouillon' mushroom, a sprinkle of flour and then reduced the sauce down. Mmm. Bit ugly looking but very tasty.
For dessert I whipped up some heavy cream with honey, and filled the vol au vents, then added slices of figs and walnuts.
I was very happy to see all the layers in the pastry, although they were really heavy to eat since they were so thick. Oh well, I'll just have to keep practicing!!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Other places that I've heard are good are the City Deli, Hash House a go go and the Studio Diner. I've clearly got a lot more eating out to do!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger from A Homemade Life
preheat the oven to 350f and grease a 9 x 5 in loaf pan
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Whisk together the butter, eggs, banana, yoghurt and vanilla.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients with the minimum of stirring, then add the ginger and chocolate, turning a couple of times to mix.
Bake for around 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
We then started on our way to wine country and stopped off at Ubuntu for lunch. It was a lovely restaurant, but the meat eaters in the group found it totally over the top and really weren't into the concept of the restaurant. Its easy to win them over with good food, but the insanely over the top attitude of the place did put them off. We started with olives with carrot-top pesto
A wonderful green bean salad with bright colors
An excellent pizza, while some people say you cant go wrong with pizza, this was lovely
We really over-ordered on this to the waiters recommendation, we probably only needed about 3 dishes between 2. Everything comes out when its ready, so tapas style is the way to go. Another observation was that the plates were insanely large, so it was kind of hard to fit them on the table!
Then we made our way to Santa Rosa, which was by and large a bit of a letdown, foodie wise, apart from a really wonderful Ethiopian meal at Abyssinia. This is one of the best cuisines for a mix of veggies and meat lovers, they had wonderful veggie curries, and slow braised meat stews with the injera and everyone was very happy. I enjoyed the sweet honey wine, and my companions enjoyed the stout.