Archive for dorie greenspan

Tuesdays With Dorie – Granola Grabbers

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by uglydudefood


Well, let’s see here.  Today’s recipe was Granola Grabbers.  I followed the recipe to the letter, even making a last-minute run for coconut.

I plopped my cookies out onto the parchment-ed tray, and I stuck my trays in the oven.  Easy.  So easy.  And if the dough was any indication, these cookies were going to be damn good.

I had quite a bit of extra dough, and I began to toy with ideas.  EXPERIMENTATION!  It’s like I’m back in college again.

Experiment #1:  Microwaving.  I formed a ball of dough onto a microwave-safe plate, and I nuked it for thirty seconds.   Mistake.  The center was burnt to a smoking crisp, and the outside was still malformed, soft dough.  I tried to eat the whole thing, but after my first bite of burnt…well, it was trash time.

Experiment #2:  THE MONSTER COOKIE.  I was going to bake the rest of my dough into one big monster cookie.  This was destined for disaster, as I’d have no idea how to adjust temperature or baking time.

This experiment was not to be.  My first batch of cookies came out with burnt bottoms, and I was going to have to use the rest of the dough to make some edible food.  Bummmmmer!

I adjusted the baking time to eight minutes, and the cookies came out just fine.  So I had thirty burnt-ass cookies and ten decent ones.  I guess my plans to offload tons of cookies to girlfriend and work fell short.

If you divided your batch into the recommended number of cookies (40), here are your nutritional stats. PER COOKIE. Boy, this sure makes the eight burnt cookies I ate (had to save the rest of my family from such a grisly fate) that much more depressing.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 30.0g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

141
Calories from Fat

75
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

8.3g
13%
Saturated Fat

3.4g
17%
Cholesterol

15mg
5%
Sodium

49mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates

14.5g
5%
Dietary Fiber

1.5g
6%
Sugars

7.5g
Protein

2.9g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% Iron 4%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by uglydudefood

I was really good this week, I swear!  After I made the decision to use an ice cream maker for this week’s recipe, I went right out and bought one.  I had all the ingredients in my fridge so that I could get right to it when I got back from my trip to Ocean City, MD.

Ice cream was a new and exciting challenge for me.  I conquered the oven and mastered the art of the leaky food processor.  I could make Dorie’s “Good For Anything Pie Dough” with my eyes closed.  I would even be able to tell you what a gallette was!  Then Dorie threw me for a loop–“baking” without baking.

I’ll tell you this much:  the recipe came together easily enough.  I had initial hesitance in bringing the solid items to a boil, but one should learn never to question Dorie Greenspan.  Ever.  If Dorie Greenspan told you to walk off a bridge, you should do it.  It would be a delicious and fattening trip.

And then to my shiny, new ice cream maker!  I opened the box and took stock.  I had managed to purchase an incomplete ice cream maker.  It didn’t have the metal ice cream canister or the lid, which were arguably the most important pieces of the ice-cream-maker.  I got what I deserved for buying an $18 ice cream maker at Wal Mart.

I went in to exchange my ice cream maker at Wallyworld, and they were out of stock.  I refunded my purchase onto a gift card (which will give me an excuse to purchase $5 DVDs in the future) and wandered away to Target.  I picked up a nicer (and complete) ice cream maker there.

When I returned home, I looked in the garage for what my parents assured me was rock salt.  Not rock salt.  It was chemical ice melt, which would probably cause my ice cream to eat through my esophagus.  And so I hopped into my poor car and began my second journey of the night.

The grocery store did not have any sort of rock salt.  It was only after asking three different associates at the Home Depot that I found my way to the “water softener” salts and ice cream salvation.

I huffed and puffed my way into my home carrying the sixty-pound bag of salt that I had purchased.  Sure, I only needed about half a cup of salt, but I had to get the best deal!  I’ll have enough salt to make ice cream when I’m dead.

By the time I got home, it was 8:00, meaning my ice cream wouldn’t be frozen to eleven or midnight.  Then, I’d have minimal turnaround time to take photographs, eat the stuff, and type out a silly blog entry for the next morning.

Was all the trouble worth it?  Well, yeah.  All of the pain and strife and gasoline expended on making Dorie’s creation only enhanced the obviously-delicious flavor.  Dorie:  you’ve not done me wrong yet.  Good show.

Random thought:  I’ve never had sour cream before.  It is disgusting on its own, and amazing in ice cream.

Here’s nutrition info for 1/4 of the recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 119 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

255
Calories from Fat

157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

17.5g
27%
Saturated Fat

10.8g
54%
Cholesterol

50mg
17%
Sodium

32mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates

24.4g
8%
Dietary Fiber

0.9g
3%
Sugars

20.4g
Protein

2.1g
Vitamin A 13% Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 7% Iron 1%
Nutrition Grade C-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

And since I have a captive audience!

Here is my girlfriend (Rachel) eating my sister’s (Melvin’s) face. The Ugly Dude is oddly indifferent.

And here is the Ugly Dude all cleaned up for his job interview. This is the first time in years that he has not looked like a dirty, dirty hippie.

Tuesdays with Dorie – New Car Galette

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by uglydudefood

Today I finally got my new car–a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid.  This means a lot of different things to me.  First, I can give my mom back her pimpin’ Astro Van.  Second, I can feel free to drive where I want when I want.  Third, I can finally put the horrifying, traumatic car wreck behind me.

It also means I have an excuse for why my Summer Fruit Galette was such an epic failure. I was tied up until eight last night, you see.

Oh, it tasted okay, I guess.  It’s the little things, though.

The eight peaches recommended by the recipe are far too much for a crust of this size.  Instead of trying to utilize the proper amount, I decided to stuff the galette full of peaches.  As a result…

My crust collapsed as the galette was baking.  This didn’t seem like it would be too much of a problem, considering the fact that my peaches (oh, I used peaches by the way, and some Peach Strawberry Marmalade) weren’t falling out of the pastry at all.  However, I did not take into account that…

The custard used in the next step would not adhere so kindly to the walls of the galette.  It oozed out all over my baking pan and burnt.  Some custard did remain in the galette, and it kind of coagulated into the stable mix that Dorie mentioned in the cookbook.

Here’s the end result, cleaned up.

Here’s the nutrition information (1/12 of recipe).  Not for the faint of heart.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 89.8g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

253
Calories from Fat

142
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

15.8g
24%
Saturated Fat

8.8g
44%
Cholesterol

49mg
16%
Sodium

249mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates

26.4g
9%
Dietary Fiber

1.0g
4%
Sugars

13.4g
Protein

2.6g
Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 2% Iron 5%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Cherry Something Cobbler

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by uglydudefood

cobbled

The comment turn-out was huge for my last TWD entry.  Maybe if I make stuff explode every time, people will continue to love me.  I just got back from a five-day vacation, so I have a lot of reading to do.  I’ll be meme-ing and reading your blogs in the near future.  At any rate, I should fail more often!  At least I know people will read what I write!

This week’s recipe was Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler.  I was super pumped, because I love fruit; I love cobbler; and I’ve not yet had a chance to taste rhubarb.  Looks like I’d have to wait a little longer for my last dream to come true.  I walked to the spot in my grocery store that I KNEW had rhubarb the other day, and it was all gone.  Same in all the other grocery stores.  No rhubarb!?  What if I wanted to throw a late-summer rhubarbeque?

Dorie sez: “The biscuit topping is a great crown for almost any kind of cobbler or crisp.”

Emboldened by the words of the second-most-powerful Greenspan in the world, I decided to replace the rhubarb with Granny Smith apples, which I happened to have sitting around.  12 oz. of peeled, cored Granny Smiths replaced the directed 12 oz. of rhubarb.

I made the filling according to recipe.  I made the topping according to recipe.  Everything really, truly was going swimmingly.  And boringly.  How was I supposed to draw the readers back into my ugly website?  I’d have to create a ruckus.

So I punched my sister in the head

cobblerAfter that?  Well, the cobbler tasted fantastic.  And despite the fact that I am in my mid-twenties, I was grounded for three months.

By the way, I made another batch of last week’s Chocolate Pudding over the weekend.  I replaced the whole milk with 2% (just because it was handy).  Excepting the leaky food processor, nary a mess was made and it was a huge hit with my family.

For 1/12 of the recipe:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 108.8g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

206
Calories from Fat

57
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

6.3g
10%
Saturated Fat

3.8g
19%
Cholesterol

16mg
5%
Sodium

151mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates

35.7g
12%
Dietary Fiber

1.3g
5%
Sugars

11.2g
Protein

2.2g
Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 6% Iron 5%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.

Tuesdays with Dorie – Chocolate Pudding Disaster

Posted in baking, food, meme, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2008 by uglydudefood

Last week’s Double Crusted Blueberry Pie was DIFFICULT.  I was so happy to hear that this week’s would be chocolate pudding, a recipe I’ve made dozens of times.

1)  Open packet of pudding mix.

2)  Add milk and/or water.

3)  Shake shake shake shake shake.

Okay, so it’s bound to be more difficult than that, but not much, right?

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

I didn’t have to buy any new equipment for this recipe, which is nice after last week’s $50 investment.  I picked up some whole milk (I am trying to follow these recipes to the letter at the moment).  Otherwise, the rest are pretty standard pantry items.  I typoed earlier and wrote “panty items,” but I swear it wasn’t Freudian.

I substituted semisweet chocolate chips for the bittersweet chocolate chips, which didn’t seem like it’d be too big of a problem.  It’s better than another emergency run to the grocery store.  Gas ain’t cheap.

What follows is a testament in my ability to ignore instructions totally; make the biggest messes; and have the worst luck in the world.

MISTAKE #1: Dorie Sez:  “Add the dry ingredients.”  I add the pre-mixed dry ingredients (cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, sugar), and then for some reason I also add the chocolate chips and the butter (which come far later in the process).

MISTAKE #2: When adding boiling milk to the food processor through the top hole, be sure to remove the “pusher” from the hole–otherwise the milk will go all over your food processor, counter, floor, pants, etc.

MISTAKE #3: Not so much a mistake as a capper to the whole thing.  I tried to salvage my batch of pudding, and in the step where you pour it BACK into the saucepan, I missed the pan with half of the pudding.

It wasn’t all my fault though.  I was blessed with the leakiest food processor ever.  The end result?

This:

And this:

And this:

That’s right.  That was my end result.  It looked and tasted like chocolate porridge–not entirely unpleasing, but not entirely pudding either.  I was devastated.  I didn’t want to do Tuesdays with Dorie anymore.  I didn’t want to bake.  I didn’t want to blog.  I just wanted to go to sleep.

While I could easily have gone with the “ugly food for an ugly dude” excuse, I had to prevail.  After some cleanup, it was round two.   After chastising myself and rereading the recipe multiple times, I was good to go.  I followed it to the letter.

Success!  It felt so good to actually do something right.  Sure, my food processor is still leaky.  And sure, my floor has reached levels of stickiness as of yet unknown to mankind.  But I HAVE SIX CUPS OF PUDDING.  Tastes pretty good, too.  Far better than that instant pudding, no matter how fun it is to shake it all up.

The rest will go towards the dinner I’m cooking for my girlfriend Rachel tomorrow.  The menu:  baked chicken breasts, corn on the cob, salad, chocolate pudding.  I’ve never cooked anybody a real dinner before, so wish me luck.  If all else fails, I’ll have a lot of extra pudding.

Things I’ve Learned

1.  Read carefully.
2.  If at first you don’t succeed, etc!

For 1/6 of the recipe:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 138.3g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

252
Calories from Fat

144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

16.0g
25%
Saturated Fat

9.2g
46%
Cholesterol

120mg
40%
Sodium

174mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates

23.0g
8%
Dietary Fiber

2.3g
9%
Sugars

18.5g
Protein

6.8g
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 12% Iron 3%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation

Tuesdays With Dorie – Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

Posted in baking, food, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2008 by uglydudefood

I’m learning to bake through the power of Internet bloggery.  The gist is, every Tuesday I will post about a different baked good from Baking:  From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  This is all part of the wonderful Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll.  You’ll see my disasters and far-less-frequent triumphs at the oven.

I started out by picking up a few kitchen items I didn’t own–namely a food processor and a pie plate.  My parents have all of this stuff, but I’m imagining someday I’ll be gainfully employed, out of the house, and in need my own versions.  As that annoying guy from Rage Against the Machine says, “What better place than here?  What better time than now?”  I get most of my baking advice from Rage Against the Machine, by the way.  With a pocket full of shells.

I didn’t see any 9″ pie plates at Target (which was the extent of my lazy shopping), but a 9.5″ pie plate would fit the bill just fine, right?  RIGHT?

I had some free time while my girlfriend was driving into town, so I made the crust on Thursday evening.  Pretty simple ingredients–vegetable shortening, butter, flour, sugar, salt, water.  Food process the beast, wrap it, and stick it in the refrigerator.  Easy peasy.  I was given a little boost in confidence when my dough actually came out looking like dough.  Is this baking?  Baking is easy.  All of those Keebler elves need to stop their bitching, because they are living the life of kings!

After refrigerating the dough during a dinner date, I came back and rolled it.  The recipe had a suggestion of freezing the dough into the pie plate, and that appealed to me.  That way all I’d have to do was fill the crust and bake.  Simple stuff.

Here’s where my stupid, oversized pie plate came into play.  Apparently 0.5″ is a lot of room when it comes to pies, you see.  I was supposed to have a fair amount of overhang with my crust, but my crust barely came up to the top of the plate.  I tried to make up for it by squeezing the crust a little thinner, but how thin is too thin?  Something told me that having a nearly translucent layer of pie crust holding a pound of sugary-sweet blueberry goo wouldn’t exactly work out.  Furthermore, the second half of the dough (the top of the pie) probably wasn’t big enough to drape atop the pie.

All the same, I didn’t have the time or ingredients to make another crust, so it would have to do.  I froze my crust and went on to do weekend things with weekend people, fancy-free of all the pie woes that would later befall me.

Flash forward to Monday evening, where I was free to pie the pie that must be pied.  I had bought a 2-quart container of blueberries at Costco earlier, so I had enough berries to fulfill the recipe and gorge myself while I waited the hour for the pie to finish baking.

I mixed the ingredients together (as Dorie says, “gently stir”), but my pie filling didn’t look too much like pie filling.  It looked like salt and sugar piled below a bunch of berries.  It didn’t come together until I started smashing a few berries.  “Gently stir” must have a wide variety of interpretations, because you’re going to want to mush some of your berries to get a decent filling.

I filled my frozen pie crust with unflavored breadcrumbs and the sugarberry mix.  I placed the frozen top atop my pie.  It just about fit over the whole thing, which I took as a small victory.  With some fork-smashing, I managed to seal the top of the pie (although the “crust” looked pretty dismal).  As a result of having to finagle the crust, the pie wasn’t necessarily the prettiest thing in the world.  Thankfully, my website had the word “ugly” in the title twice.  Paydirt.

OH CRUD.  Twenty minutes into the hour of baking, my crust was brown and soon-to-burn.  Too thin.  Way to go, Mike Spoodles.  Way to make a pie. I moved the pie up to a higher rack in the oven, and I turned the heat down to the “second thirty-minutes'” temperature early.  I tented some tinfoil loosely over the pie, as Dorie recommended.  I had no idea what this would do, but I was flying on my feet.  I had to use all the instincts I had honed through twenty-three years of microwaving everything I’d ever eaten.  Oh dear.

I finally swallowed my pride and went to my mother for help, who told me to put the pie back on the bottom (where it is less likely to brown, apparently), and to stop running around screaming like a little ninny.  Apparently pie is pie, and pie is good.  One of life’s lessons.

I crumbled off a lot of the offending crust.

The final product?  Ugly, of course.  The taste?  My mom says, “Mmmm!  This is good.”  She specifically liked the crust.  I liked it just fine, too.  The fact that it came out tasting like an actual dessert damn near brought a tear to my eye.  My dad and brother did not eat it, but they probably would have if I had replaced the blueberries with ground beef.

A bit of a madcap first week of Tuesdays With Dorie for me, but I can only imagine that things will get smoother from here (they won’t).

So, things I bought:

Black and Decker PowerPro II Food Processor ($40)
Pyrex 9.5″ Pie Plate (“Grip-rite”)
(approx. $10)

Things I learned:

Use proper-sized dishes, or adjust recipe accordingly
How to make a pie crust
How to use a food processor
How to make a dang pie
Pie crust tastes good before you bake it

Here is nutritional information for 1/10th of the pie (which is less than Dorie’s recommended 6-8 servings, but COME ON LOOK AT THOSE CALORIES.  Haha.

Serving Size 212.2g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

593
Calories from Fat

279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

31.0g
48%
Saturated Fat

16.8g
84%
Cholesterol

80mg
27%
Sodium

482mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates

74.9g
25%
Dietary Fiber

3.7g
15%
Sugars

35.3g
Protein

6.4g

Tuesdays with Dorky (and the temple of chocolate)

Posted in baking, food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2008 by uglydudefood

Gold, I tell you! Everything I touch turns to gold! I’ve been winning grand awards left and right!

I recently won a contest at Tuesdays with Dorie, giving me a free baking cookbook (and a seat among the hallowed TWD blogroll). TWD is a baking event. Every week, a recipe is picked from the pages of Baking:  From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Then, every blogger and their mother bakes their own version of that recipe.

I’ve not done a particularly good job of baking in the past. Most of my baking is f’aking, and then there’s some that just kind of falls apart (Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcakes, Amazing Black Bean Brownies).

Until I receive the book in the mail and get to babble endlessly about my failures as a baker and as a human being, here’s a mega-update about my adventures in chocolatey things.

I’m a…hungry girl?  That can’t be right!

In my neverending quest to eat delicious treats that somehow don’t bust my gutline, I stumbled across a newsletter called Hungry Girl. Is it run by a hungry girl? Is it a site for hungry girls? Either way, I’m emasculated by e-mail messages five days a week.

Now that we can put aside all of that macho posturing, I’ll inform you that Hungry Girl is the real shizz. I’ve been perusing years and years worth of bizarre recipes and bookmarking almost every page. The recipes are fast and easy; frequently they are made with junk you have laying around.

My first completed recipe was Yum Yum Brownie Muffins (click that link for the recipe). It’s pretty simple–a box of dry cake mix and a can of 100% pumpkin. I used Pillsbury Reduced-Sugar Devil’s Food Cake Mix, which is sweetened with a mix of sugar and Splenda. In the end, the muffins were each 153 calories. That, my friends, is a drop in the bucket. The muffin bucket.

The muffins were dense, and fudgy. Nothing in the flavor indicated that they were “diet muffins.” They were subdued enough to eat as a breakfast treat, but substantial and chocolatey enough to frost in cupcake form.

Reactions weren’t glowing, but generally positive. My mom and sister scarfed them down, and coworkers enjoyed them too.  For a quick-fix recipe, that’s really all you can ask for!

More photos of Hungry Girl’s “Yum Yum Brownie Muffins.”

Mano Amano

You may remember that I blogged about $21 of free Amano chocolate that I received.  I asked for suggestions as to what I should do with the bars, and I received some interesting ones.  While I considered Conor’s suggestion of intravenously feeding myself, I ended up following Joli’s advice and letting the shizzle dissolve in my mouth.  It’s about as close as I’ll ever get to snooty “chocolate tasting” given my level of patience.

Amano creates chocolate in three forms–Madagascar, Ocumare, and Cuyagua.  All three bars have 70% cacao content.  Texturally, these chocolates were heads above “similar” items from both the mass-market brands and the more widespread organic options.  When it comes to flavor–eh.  Some were better, some were worse.  The Madagascar was revelatory.  Amano says it “includes hints of citrus and berry,” and I’ll be damned if my untrained palate actually found them!  This is by far the best dark chocolate I’ve ever eaten.  The Ocumare was pretty good.  Although the tasting notes mention “hints of plums and other red fruit,” this one tasted (to me) pretty close to a generic dark chocolate bar.  Cuyagua (including “notes of spice”) was my least favorite of the three.  The spice seemed to be nonexistant.  The chocolate seemed somehow blander than the other products.

Are any of these products worth $7 for a bar?  I don’t think so.  I can appreciate the amount of work and care that went into each of these bars, but when you can get a (larger) bar for $2.50 in the organic section of your supermarket it seems like an awful waste to pay triple that for similar quality.

More Free Chocolate Crapola

I received a free sample of Betty Crocker Warm Delight Minis:  Molten Chocolate Cake.  It’s the Easy Mac of cakes!  Just add water, stir, microwave, and you have fresh, steamy cake.

The pack comes with a small packet of cake mix, a condom wrapper filled with fudge sauce, and a small plastic bowl.  Prep was fairly easy, requiring only two minutes of work.  The end result wasn’t bad.  It was cake-mixy and clearly not baked from scratch, but the fact that it was fresh from the “oven” improves the little cake’s value tenfold.

At 150 calories, it’s a nice (albeit expensive) calorie-cheap dessert.  It has trans fats, with partially hydrogenated oils in both the cake mix and the fudge.  Despite its caloric value (which is more a measure of its diminuative size and not its “healthiness”), this is not for the dieter.

More photos of Betty Crocker Warm Delight Minis:  Molten Chocolate Cake

In the near future, you’ll be seeing a lot more failed baking (and, presumably, a little bit of success)

And…well, maybe everything I touch doesn’t turn to gold. I have a feeling there will be a lot of baked goods that turn to black before this strange, mystical journey is over.