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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Another tweet?

Have you ever heard of "Secret Sisters"  I had never heard of this before until I joined a group a wonderful ladies.   We all for the most part met on line...strange isn't it.  Or at least it is to me.  It's quite entertaining we chit chat on Facebook, sometime we complain about life in general and sometimes we just have a good laugh.  We gather via Facebook everyday, it's our coffee shop of sorts.  Each month we send out a gift or a card and we keep our identity a secret.  We all know each other well so we know what to send.  After about 6 months we trade in our SS for a new model and start the whole thing over again.  Its' quite fun, you should consider doing this.  Getting a little something in the mail each month is like having Christmas 12 months of the year.  Anyway here is the prezzi I was surprised with this month.  I love anything that makes my home smell fresh...since we have pets one being a large Macaw that is dusty and needs lots of baths..:).  Anyway here is a picture

My SS is having a baby, I don't have a clue if it's a boy or a girl yet...(I'm hoping for a girl)  so for the last two days I've been working on a baby quilt for her.  No, I haven't been given a theme and I do not know the color of the nursery yet, mostly because I don't want to ask and give my self away.  Anyway here is the quilt so far.  I have all the appliques completed, and on this quilt it is the most time consuming part.  I actually have all the blocks completed as well.  Today, I'll sew them all together so I can try to figure out what size goose chase boarder I'll need.  This is the part that worries me, I do not have a clue how to figure that out so that the goose chase's fit perfectly around the quilt.  I'll show you when I've added that, wish me luck because I'm going to need it.
I do hope that she loves it, I also hope that it is appropriated for a girl or a boy.  As you can probably tell if you've looked though older posts, I love little birdies....we can hope she does too.

Here are some pictures of the "Baby Quilt In Progress"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Slab Pie....

I'm in the process of making a slab pie for my wonderful husband.... raspberry rhubarb. He's been asking for a rhubarb pie for sometime now.

I had never heard of a slab pie before and then I found this recipe for one in an old magazine I had laying around.  It is a cross between a cake and a pie if that makes any sense to you at all.

Looking at the pictures for some reason took me back in time to when I was a little girl (really it wasn't THAT long ago).  Back then it always seemed that someone was serving pie or cake or even cookies.  I loved the sweet comfort food of those days when I didn't have to think to myself "should I eat this...the calories".  I sure miss those unpretentious days, not that I worry too much about it today because if I did I'd certainly not be over weight.

Anyway, I'll post the recipe and a picture later today if all goes as planned.  
UPDATE:  The slab pie was a beautiful combination of sweet and tart.  I did add a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to this recipe.

Raspberry Rhubarb Slab Pie
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 egg yolk
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
5 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries thawed and drained (I got them at kroger)
3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained

Vanilla Icing
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 to 6 tsp 2% milk

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. (I used a food processor for the crust)
Whisk 3/4 cup milk and egg yolk; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with fork until dough forms a ball. Add additional milk 1 tbsp. at a time if necessary.
2. Divide dough in half so that one portion is slightly larger than the other; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
3. Roll out larger portion of dough between two large sheets of lightly floured waxed paper (cut paper the size of your pan so that you get the perfect fit) into the size of your pan. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan; trim pastry to 1/2 inch above edges of pan.
4. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add raspberries and rhubarb; toss together to coat. Spoon onto pastry.
5. Roll out remaining dough, place over filling. Fold bottom pastry over edge of top pastry; seal with a fork. Prick top with a fork.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.
7. For icing, combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency; drizzle over pie. Cut pie into squares.
Note: If using frozen rhubarb and raspberries measure them while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

This picture doesn't have the vanilla icing yet cause the pie is too hot but you get the idea I think.

Challah (Egg Bread)


Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ rising
Yield: 2 loaves

1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons or 3/8 ounces or 11 grams)
1 tablespoon (13 grams) plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (118 ml) olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon (14 grams) table salt
8 to 8 1/2 cups (1000 to 1063 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins (about 70 grams) per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon (13 grams) sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

4. At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.

6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.

Note: Any of the three risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply-developed flavor. When you’re ready to work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.