Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cheddar Mustard Beer Bread

Another super busy day in the kitchen of mine. Its not really my kitchen, but I use it a lot. I saw this recipe on a blog that I like because she bakes things with booze, and my lab classes have taught me to love baking things with booze and "just a little bit." It is for Cheddar Mustard Beer Bread, her pictures made it look so delicious that I just had to try it.

I did have a little problem with trying to get it to rise and double in size. I think this is mostly because my house is not that warm, and its kind of a cold day today. Also eating it I kept finding pieces of pepper that didn't get cracked all the way. But I think it turned out delicious. My dad says that it is dense and wet, he thinks that it needs to be toasted, I don't suggest trying to toast it because of the cheese.

I'm also making an angel food cake for dessert so that we can eat strawberries. That is just a box cake mix though so no big deal.

See doesn't it just look delicious and that you want to make it yourself now because I can't share mine? Well here is the recipe that I got from Bake it with Booze! blog.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer, preferably dark
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup rye flour (you can get rye flour in the cool bin section of your market)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine salt (regular table salt)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon or a mustard of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Make dough: In a small saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup of beer, just until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup beer. Set aside to cool down slightly. You want the mixture warm (110 to 116 degrees).  Be anal, use a thermometer.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast and salt. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-beer mixture, mixing only until the flour is moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. The batter will look lumpy, but will become smooth when you add in the rest of the flours. Add the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and all of the rye flour, mixing until just combined. Replace paddle with a dough hook and let the machine knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes on low.
Oil a medium bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 50 to 60 minutes, until doubled. 
Make fillings: In the same small saucepan you used for the butter and beer, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce until smooth. Set aside.  You want an emulsion, trust me.
On wax paper, where you grated your cheese, sprinkle over the cheese: the mustard powder, paprika, salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss with your hands on the wax paper until the grated strands are evenly coated with spices.  Wrap it up in a little package and put it in the fridge until you're about 20 minutes away from rolling out the dough.  If it gets too warm, it'll get too clumpy.
Assemble bread: Coat a 9-by-5 loaf pan lightly with butter or a nonstick spray.  Set aside.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and roll the dough into a 18-by-9-inch rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter by re-flouring the counter as needed. Brush the butter-mustard-Worcestershire mixture evenly over the whole surface, right up to the edges. Sprinkle with the cheese spice mixture, evenly distributing all the way to the edges.  Press the cheese into the dough a bit.  Starting at the short end, roll up like a jelly roll.  Press the seams together and turn the seam side down.
With the sharpest knife you own (or a serrated one), gently and with the lightest sawing motions cut your bread into 12 equal pieces.  I cut it in half, then quarters, then each quarter into thirds.  
Arrange stacks of dough down the length of your prepared loaf pan in an offset pattern.  Almost simulating a braid look.  
Loosely cover the pan with more plastic wrap and set it aside to rise again for 45-50 more minutes. Let it come to the top of the pan at least and get kinda plump.
Preheat your over to 350 degrees.  Bake loaf for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed and brown. You want it to sound hollow when rapped with a wooden spoon, or so I'm told.  Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before flipping it out onto a serving plate/cutting board.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Have I told you about my friend Andy? Not really? Well he is a pretty cool guy, and he is from Chicago. He moved to the Denver area a couple weeks ago. I sorta have known him for awhile. Like he is my friend Kendra's ex-boyfriend and she got us talking online because she wanted me to know another awesome person. Well we finally met because he moved here after he graduated. We have hung out a couple of times and he told me that since I bake things that I should bake him a Chicago style deep dish pizza. Since I'm on Spring break and looking for things to during break. He called me this morning and was like we should totally make the pizza today. He came over to my house, which we then went to the store to buy toppings and make sure we had all the right ingredients.
I would give you the recipe, but I have been sworn to secrecy, since we are going to try to open up a restaurant and have our awesomely delicious pizza sold there. I will however refer you to the site that we used as a basis, but greatly doctored it up to make it our own. Recipe we used mostly for the dough, but like I said it was greatly altered.
The pizza we made was so freaking delicious, Andy hasn't shut up about it. He was really excited about it, and found that it turned out delicious. The only thing that we really found that was wrong with it was that we had a bit too much sauce and not enough cheese. 


Bad slice that fell apart from too much sauce

Good slice

The half eaten frittata that I made for dinner and the pig that holds my spatula

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Break/Fudgy Brownies

I'm on Spring Break and this is what it looks like outside...
Real Spring like...

Why does my school have spring break when it isn't spring time? Because we are a bunch of college ski bums? I don't know other than this is how they have worked it... I am super excited to find out that I got a 294 out of 300 on my history final. I was really stressing out about that one because we had to write two essays in under two hours. Granted they didn't have to be long essays, but I don't like having to write in a time limit such as that. I am also happy that on my huge group project that was due last week and was 20 plus pages, my group and I got a 92%. This trimester I started out failing most of my classes because I had a crappy schedule that didn't really let me do anything, but I was able to work at it and get all of my grades above a C, I believe. There is still one class that the final hasn't been graded yet, but it should still be a B or A even. I don't think I can truly convey how excited/happy I am about my history final. Tomorrow I'm going to Cirque du Soliel, which should be good and fun.

Holly being the strange kit-cat that he is
I love him more than chocolate
Because I didn't do a Valentines day post, this one is kind of making up for it. I'm cheap, most of the time. I don't do days like Valentines day because its a stupid day to go out a buy cards for and crap. My mom however bought me the bear that is strangling my cat. It is holding a heart and it says "I love you more than chocolate" and she bought me two bags of peanut chocolate covered candies. Which I then used to make her gift, and picked out only the blue ones because that is her favorite color. Since I know she loves chocolate, I made her brownies and turned it into a card saying love Sara, but a heart instead of the word because I didn't have enough room in the pan... 

Here is the recipe for the brownies. We got it out of a magazine, and I want to give them credit, but I don't know what magazine, the title just says The Enlightened Cook.

Fudgy Brownies
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup butter
2 oz dark chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350, Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stir with a a whisk. Place putter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Stir until smooth, and set aside. Cool slightly. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla extract, egg yolks and egg; stir with a whisk to combine. Add butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Pour batter into an 8-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking  spray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes our almost clean.
For mine just pick out chocolate covered candies and place randomly or in a message.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scammed and Hacked

So this week has been a little hectic. It was the last week before finals week. I had a huge project that was worth about half of my grade that was due on Thursday of this week. Then on Friday on of the computers that we use decided that to crash and then our security system was not working. My dad decided that he would find a company that would fix it. He went online and found one that he believed to be trustworthy and what not. Well apparently they were not a legit company, and when they started talking about not having a firewall for our Internet and that it would cost between 1500 and 1600 dollars, I felt that there was something fishy going on. And this is after they got had already talked us into giving them about 400 dollars. So we called my cousin who is a geek squad guy and is awesomely adept at working on computers. He was able to fix it so that our computers are better. He told us that we needed to change every password that we ever used and those should be considered dead to us. I was a good person and started changing my passwords right away... Only problem is that that I was thinking "oh I'll remember this, I don't need to write it down." being that dumbo that I am. I didn't write any of them down. The bad thing about this is that my laptop has a password and I don't remember it. I didn't realize it until my cousin had already left. I didn't remember any of my new passwords so I had to go back through and change them all again so that I could write them down and memorize them. The only password I can't change is my laptop one because I can't remember the password to get in to change it... I was able to remember one of my passwords that I would have had to go into a department at school to get changed. Lesson of this story is to not believe what you see on the Internet, and to write down passwords until you can memorize them. Many of my passwords had been a variation of one password that I've had since 8th grade, its hard to try to not type that one in first. If you have a problem with your computer then don't let PCCARE247 help you, because they won't really help you, they just want to take your money and screw you over. If a different company uses a program called LogMeOn then quickly disconnect your internet and run screaming for the hills. This is my form of a public service announcement, I want other people to know about this scam that is going on so that then you don't get screwed over.
On a pastry note there is a guy in two of my classes that is spoiling us with delicious treats. He brought in sticky buns the other morning for an early morning class, they were so delicious. Then he brought in these towers of deliciousness, one was banana and the other was chocolate and it was creamy and on a heath bar like cookie, they were even more delicious. He had also brought in some delicious rum cakes and he was kind enough to give me the recipe which I will share as soon as I can buy some rum and make them myself, so check back in about three months. In three months from today, I will be turning 21! I'm excited, not to be drinking but because I think I will finally feel like a true adult and not a kid anymore. I won't be doing much drinking, except for what is in the baked goods that I will make with booze. There is a blog that I follow called Bake It With Booze! and I have been wanting to try some of her recipes but alas I'm not yet 21, so I can't buy the booze required to make the recipes.