A Girl's Gotta Eat

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sleepy Sunday

But not in this house!  Sleep is an ever elusive thing, but it does make us very productive.

A busy weekend in Santa Monica and I had a blast being Mommy's little taster - oops, I mean helper.  The truth is, I've never met a carb I didn't like.

But before we speak of breads, we must speak of cookies, brownies and cakes and by that I mean to say I made three new friends today.  No, not dogs, silly - human friends!  Ross and Melanie Canter of Cookie Good who make cookies and brownies that are seriously amazing, including creations like caramel-pretzel-chocolate chunk cookies, smores cookies and heath bar brownies.   And that's the least of it - you have to check out their website at www.cookiegood.com.  Happily, they ship anywhere so all of you out there can slobber over the sweets I snarfed on the car ride home today.  Yep, not a morsel made it into the house.  Trust me, you'll be drooling over these goodies even more than I did.  

And let's not forget my new friend Kimberly Bailey from Butter End Bakery, who makes the most amazing cakes and not cakes ever!  I saw some of Kimberly's cakes today, including one with a dragon winding its way up a three layer cake.  OMG, I want to play with that dragon!  Sadly, you must live near Santa Monica to partake in Kimberly's cakes but everyone can go check them out online at www.thebutterend.com.

Did I mention the really really cool thing about today is that Kimberly, Melanie and Mommy all had this thing called cancer, and all three of them turned to baking... and all three of them are doing really well!  That's sweeter than any cake or cookie.

And now back to bread!  Saturday we made our steccas, which is Italian for sticks.  What, you think English bulldogs can't speak Italian?  As the day progressed, we got more and more adventurous.  We prepped our first attempt at Pumpernickel Rye Bread and tried Potato Roasted Onion Bread.  The pumpernickel has organic rye flour, which looks a little too healthy for this young lady, though things did pick up when Mommy took out the molasses.  Sadly, it was unsweetened, a/k/a unsulphered.  Boring.  I think I'll tell Mommy to take it to her doctor tomorrow - he likes tasteless food.

But the Potato Roasted Onion Bread - now we're talking!  First we baked yukon gold potatoes and mashed them up with the skins on to add color to the dough.  While the potatoes were baking, we very lightly drizzled a cup of thinly sliced onions with olive oil and pan sauteed them until they were wilted and caramelized.  I'm thinking Mommy could have put a little sage or thyme in with those onions, but she never listens to me.  The plight of a teenager.  When everything cooled, we mixed the potatoes and onions with the flour, salt and yeast, and then we added the cold water.  This morning, we proofed our dough (don't we sound professional - hehe) and then baked up the loaves.  And what did our favorite taste tester, a/k/a Daddy, have to say - well, his mouth is full so we're not really sure but it sounds like, "dats dewishus" so we think he likes it.  We love when he loves our breads!

I'm off to lick the flour off the floor - then I must take a nap.
Hugs and licks to all, especially to my new friends

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Weekend Bake

Sheesh, have we been busy!  Let's start with the Saturday recap...

We sent our favorite Thanksgiving Stuffing Bread to Mama and Papa Jerry in Philadelphia, who promptly tore open the package and began eating the bread in the car.  Now you see where I get it!  Many of you know that I am mad for my Mama and Papa Jerry.  It's very exciting when they come visit me and I get to give extra kisses and licks, usually starting around 6AM when Mommy lets me wake them up.  Look out below - incoming bulldog and I love to jump around their bed!

But I digress.  So the Thankgiving Stuffing Bread was sent back east and here on the west coast we baked up two batches of steccas (see photo below).  Mommy bought beautiful blueberries, so we tried making a blueberry boule which got a little mushy (see photo below).  Personally, I think it needs a little sugar but I say that about everything.  We also re-made our multi-seed bread, this time using sunflower seeds without the shells.  And instead of baking the bread as a round loaf, we made rolls.  Who knew?!  They were delicious, even though they're healthy for me.

The much dreaded bath was put off until today, but I may get a reprieve for a few more hours because I just ate lunch and Daddy won't want anything to upset me when my tummy is full or I might puke  :-)  Not a pleasant business if you're Daddy and have to clean it up.

So that's it for the weekend here in Santa Monica.  The sun is about to break through, we're wishing Uncle Paulie a very happy birthday and looking forward to a good week.

Love and licks to all,

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Perfect Granddog

TGIF, humans.  What a week!

We were up early again this morning, this time baking our favorite Thanksgiving Stuffing Bread which we sent overnight to Mama for her weekend consumption.  Perhaps some of you lucky readers in Philadelphia will get to snarf a bite?  Better hurry - Mama likes her bread!

We also baked our first try at multi-seed bread (see below).  Do you remember the old game, what's wrong with this picture?  Look closely and see if you can spot the mistake.  Did you find it yet?  Such are the travails of a baker - who knew you had to shell sunflower seeds?!  Mommy took one bite and said, "uh-oh."  Talk about crunchy.  I felt like a parrot spitting out shells when I tried it.  Really, Mommy.  An A for effort but a D for smarts on this one!  I'm never going to let her live this down.

Tomorrow is Saturday and we're heavy into alliteration over here, so it will be Stecca Saturday on the menu, which happen to be one of Daddy's favorites.  We'll top them with cherry tomatoes, thyme, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  I also suspect I'll be getting a bath since I was puddle jumping this morning.  Let's just say my paws are no longer pearly white.  And on Sunday we will rest.  I hope.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.  Nap time on the best, oops I meant west, coast.
love and licks,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If You Can't Take The Heat...

I have officially left the kitchen, but evidently the apron goes with me.  All I can say is thank goodness I can type while I chew because my cheeks are bulging with an enormous bite of chocolate babka (see photo below).  OMG, this is delicious - bittersweet chocolate and cinnamon rolled inside the dough with brown sugar and cinnamon streusel topping, all rolled into a braid like a challah.  It is one beautiful loaf of bountiful calories waiting to be consumed by yours truly.

Today, we're back to breads - asiago cheese and we're prepping another Thanksgiving Pilgrim Bread, but this time we're adding chopped pecans to the recipe, an inspirational idea from my wonderful Aunt Jan who walks with Mommy and me every Thursday.  We're also going to experiment with a multi-seed bread which sounds suspiciously healthy - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds - maybe a little honey to make it bearable.  Results to follow tomorrow after we make Daddy taste it  :-)

Nothing else to report - it's a gray and gloomy morning by the beach and I'm looking forward to my next play date with my new friend, Ruby, a six-month old vizla puppy.  I love rolling around the grass with her.  It's a dog's life.

Licks and love to all,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Bread

Greetings, humans.

A hard Monday on something Daddy calls Wall Street.  He says if things don't get better we'll be moving to some place called Harlem.  I hope we can still afford dog food!

Mommy and I have been very busy in the kitchen.  We made steccas topped with tomato, thyme and sea salt, drizzled with olive oil.  We also made sticky buns which magically disappeared  :-)  Today we made a new bread - Thanksgiving Pilgrim Bread (see photo below) with wild rice, onions, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper.  OMG, it smelled just like Thanksgiving when we baked it, and it was even tastier than the dish of turkey and sweet potatoes I get to snarf at Thanksgiving.  This bread rocks!

We also made apricot almond bread, which might be good, but suffers by comparison with our other efforts.  We haven't even sliced it yet, but I plan on putting on my cutest face and begging in another hour or two... right after I take my nap.

Tomorrow is chocolate babka day.  I don't really know what that means but it sounds good!  Will blog more tomorrow with a mouth full of bread!

Love and licks to all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

Greetings, humans, and welcome to the dog days of summer. 

It's hot here, but not as hot as where Mama and Papa Jerry live.  Of course, we could be in Texas, so I guess we don't have anything to complain about  :-)

Despite the heat, Mommy and I have been busy in the kitchen baking a few loaves our much beloved Asiago Cheese Bread (see photo below) and our new favorite , Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread with piment d'Espelette (Basque red pepper) and chili pepper flakes.  Oh, the smells coming out of that kitchen! 

Oddly enough, no matter how hot it is, I never seem to lose my appetite.  I have just snarfed my lunch of steamed broccoli and carrots, topped with non-fat Greek yogurt and baked yams, also known as Mama's Bulldog Diet.  Delish.  It more than makes up for the falling stock market, the potential downgrade of our debt rating and rising unemployment.  I don't really know what any of that means  :-)

We're going to experiment with Apricot Almond Bread later in the week - stay tuned for details and thank you all for following me.  It's usually the other way around!

Love and licks,