Monday, December 27, 2010

From Found to Fab - The Victrola Cabinet

While driving to a friend's home this summer, we happened to drive past a house that had a Victrola cabinet sitting out for the trash pickup.
Without thinking...which I do a lot, just ask anyone...I stopped and ran up to the door and knocked.
A nice gentleman answered the door and immediately knew what I was there for.
The desperation on my face must've been obvious.
Well, that and the whimpering and pointing at the cabinet may have tipped him off.

He says to me, "Do you want me to put it back and save it for you?"
I could've hugged him, right then and there.
But, I didn't, I just calmly nodded my head and said Id be back with a truck as soon as possible.

This is what it looked like when we got it.
Maegan sanded it all down and began to prime it.

Then when her dad got home, he broke out the Wagner power painter, we love this thing.
Megs chose a loverly peacock blue.

And here it is all finished and placed back in Megs room against her chartruese and dove gray walls...she likes color.  A lot.  Hope you enjoyed the process.
Please don't get mad that we desecrated an no longer had the record player in it.  So, it makes a great "stuff " cabinet!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cracking the Code - Loveless Cafe's Famous Biscuits

Ah ha, I think I've got it!
If you don't know about the Loveless Cafe and their famous biscuits, do yourself a favor and Google it.
You'll see that many a chef/cook/baker/obsessionist have tried to duplicate these lighter than air, melt in your mouth morsels of pure heaven.
I accept money orders and personal checks as well as cash.
that is all.

what you'll need:
~2 tsp. rapid rise dry yeast
~1/4 c. warm water (I call it "burn the baby" water, just slightly too warm to put a baby in)
~1 tsp. sugar

mix and rest in small bowl while you compile the rest of the ingredients.
in a large mixing bowl, whisk together:

~2 c. + 3 Tb. AP flour
~1/3 c. cornstarch
~2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
~1/2 tsp. baking soda
~1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
~1 tsp. salt
~1 tsp. sugar

Pour into flour mixture:

~1/3 c.melted shortening
~1/2 c. half & half
~1/4 c. club soda (or tonic water, seltzer, you can use water here, I just happened to have club soda)
and also your yeast mixture

stir to combine
dough will be shaggy, its okay
cover and rest 30-40 minutes to rise (if your house isn't real warm, put your bowl in a warm water bath halfway up the bowl in your kitchen sink and cover the top of the bowl with a plate...its like your own little proofing area)

next, dump dough out onto floured surface (about 1/4 c. flour)
roll dough around gently, it will pick up some of the flour and get less shaggy
knead (again, gently) to form a smooth surface and pat out to about 3/4" thick

cut out your biscuits and set on a greased sheet or my favorite, a Silpat.
melt a couple tablespoons of margarine in a coffee cup in your microwave and brush the tops of the biscuits.
now, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and set to rest in a warm area
turn your oven on 400*F to preheat for 20 minutes while your biscuits rest
bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops start to get golden edges
remove from the oven and brush with margarine again
eat.  but not all of them at once, you'll get a tummy ache.  srsly.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Apple Cranberry Crumble Tart

or pie, your choice.
I don't have a tart pan, sacrilege, I know =/
the fresh cranberries add a nice tartness, especially if your apples aren't particularly tart.
what you'll need:

~1 unbaked 9" pie shell

~4 apples, good sized, peeled and chopped
~1 c. fresh cranberries, sliced in half

then add:
~1/3 c. sugar
~3 T. brown sugar
~4 T. flour
~2 tsp. cinnamon
~1/2 tsp. ginger
~1/2 tsp. nutmeg
~1/2 tsp. salt

mix to combine and pour into pie shell.
then add crumble evenly over the top.

~1/3 c. flour
~1/3 c. sugar
~3 T. brown sugar
~1 tsp. cinnamon
~1/2 tsp. salt
~(optional: 1/4 c. chopped walnuts)
mix with a fork and then add:
~4 T. butter, room temp

mix again with fork until mixture is thoroughly combined and looks like a fine meal.
top the fruit and bake at 400* for about 45-50 minutes or until you start to see the fruit bubbling.
please cool the pie to room temp or chill in frig before slicing or you might fall apart on you
not that it won't taste good, it just won't slice nice.
hope you love it as much as we do!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toast, the ultimate equalizer

You know you love it.
If you don't, check your pulse.  ha.
If you are anything like me, toast is not just warm, crunchy bread.  Its a flashback of grandma's house, sitting in front of the fire on a cold January morning.
Now, let's make some good bread, because only good bread leads to good toast!

Potato Nut Bread

In your Kitchen Aid bowl or large mixing bowl, whisk together:
~1 c. warm tap water
~4 T. sugar
~2 T. yeast

Let your yeast sit to foam up for about 10 minutes, then add:
~1 more c. warm water
~2 T. vegetable oil
~2 tsp. salt
~1/2 c. instant potato flakes
~ 2 T. dry milk powder
~2/3 c. finely chopped walnuts (or pecans, if you prefer)

whisk to combine and start adding your flour, you'll need about 5 - 5 1/2 cups total.

Once your dough is mixing so that it starts to climb up the hook and not stick so much to the sides of the bowl, let it knead for about 5 minutes.
Remove dough from the bowl onto a lightly greased surface, divide dough in half, cover with a clean tea towel and rest 15-20 minutes.
Massage each half of dough to release bubbles and mold into a loaf shape, place in loaf pan. (9x5 standard sized pan)
What I like to do at this point is mist a large piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray and gently lay it across the tops of both pans.
Let your loaves double.
Bake at 350*F for 35-40 minutes.
Always have some butter ready to rub on the tops of the loaves when they come out of the oven, its the law.

Oh, and once they've cooled, eat the whole loaf with a stick of butter keep them wrapped up in plastic wrap to keep them soft and ready for TOAST!


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