Paulchens FoodBlog & the Three Tabbycats united

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Thema:

Weekend Cat Blogging #390 be hosted at the Kitties' blog

Hi, we decided that we's host Weekend Cat Blogging over at our own blog - we have something to say that does not belong to this community. Please visit us there!

Astrid 01.12.2012, 16.33 | (0/0) Kommentare | TB | PL

[The Secret Recipe Club] - Dutch Oven Bread & Pesto Potato Salad

It's posting time again for my group of the The Secret Recipe Club.
As you already know by now, there are four groups of lovely bloggers who visit each other's assigned blogs keeping it a secret from one another until the big reveal day.
For me there are two exciting moments: First one when I get the email of my assigned blog and second one when I see who was assigned to me and what recipe(s) they made and what they think about my blog in general.
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Hold your breath for the following reveal days:
Group A - August 6 Group B - August 13 Group C - August 20 Group D - August 27
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How this all works? well, just click on that logo on the left and you will get to a whole wonderful website that will answer all your questions and more!
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Why I joined? Because I think it is a fun way to discover new blogs and - again - step outta my comfort zone a bit by being assigned an unknown blog and having to find a recipe that suits me and tempts me to cook myself.

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My assigned blogger for this month was Lindsay and her blog "The Lean Green Bean" - she is studying to be a Registered Dietitian plus she shares her home with four furry companions, two cats and two dogs, which I personally found very cool because I am an animal lover myself since I grew up with dogs from very early age and in my adult life share my home with 3 cats.

She has a lot of very yummy looking recipes on her blog and I had a lot of fun browsing and reading through her blog. I decided to do two recipes for SRC: Dutch Oven Bread and Pesto Potato Salad - because I needed to bake bread anyway and this one sounded pretty easy and nice for me plus I haven't yet baked bread in a Dutch Oven very often. The Potato Salad was the perfect dinner for me as it was really hot here lately and I am not too fond of cooking when it has more than 30°C in my kitchen...

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Dutch Oven Bread

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I mostly followed her instructions for the bread she gives in this post: Dutch Oven Bread except I used a mixture of 1/3 rye and 2/3 wite spelt flour which led me to use 2 cups of water than the stated 1 1/2 cups. I also added some bread spices (ground cumin, anise and coriander seeds) to spice it up a bit.

As for the Pesto Potato Salad I didn't have corn at hand so I used some frozen peas. It was a very lovely dinner!!

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Pesto Potato Salad

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Astrid 06.08.2012, 16.00 | (5/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

Happy Anniversary to my beloved wifeycat Gree! Luves you furever!

Ma love this have been 4 so lovely years together and I still love you like crazy. I have a special surprise for you, can you guess where we are going? Here is a little hint:

Opaekaa-Falls,-Kauai,-Hawaii

maybe you should take your bikinis wif you....

love you, eternally! Othello

Astrid 21.06.2012, 19.08 | (2/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

Weekend Cat Blogging #343 - New Year's Edition, come and join us!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Happy New Year - love Kashim & Othello"]Weekend Cat Blogging #343[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Oh, yeah... just leave your linkies in the comments,k? The boys will add you to the roundup!"]Salome - Weekend Cat Blogging #343[/caption]

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Weekend Cat Blogging is a weekly event where bloggers feature pictures and/or stories about their cats on their blogs, apart from the usual theme of their blog. Participating is very easy: Just navigate to he hosting blog of the week (list shown above) and leave your link so others can find your post. Usually the host will do a little roundup at the end of the weekend to feature the participating cats and blogs, but this is up to the host and not to be expected always. It is also nice if you include a link to the host in your blog post, so people who read it can find the others as well. Thanks!

Hosts in January are:
#344 Jan 7-8  Mind of Mog
#345 Jan 14-15
#346 Jan 21-22  Samantha, Clementine & Maverick
#347 Jan 28-29
We still have some open weekends for hosting. If you are interested just drop Othello an email at wcbschedule [AT] gmail.com

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Astrid 31.12.2011, 14.05 | (5/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

MAC ATTACK #25 - Chestnut & Pistachio Macarons

Mac batter

Macarons are not my favorite thing to bake I have to admit - but when Jamie and Deeba, two of my favorite foodbloggers, started the Mactweets Challenge I knew I'd be pushed to give them a try every now and then.

With all the things going on this year it was not very often that I tried my hands on making macarons but and with a failure rate of 10:3 against me I had not many success stories to post either.

So far I successfully made Vanilla Macarons and Rose Macarons and these two Holiday flavored Macarons you see below...

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Mac

Since the challenge this time called for Seasons & Holidays Macs I thought what flavors represent this season best for me:

Chestnuts, figs, pears, pistachio were things that came to my mind and that's why you will find them in my macarons this month.

I think the Chestnut flavored mac shells go great with the taste of figs and dark chocolate. I love them. The chestnut was not too overpowered and the fig gave a slightly fruity flavor to it.

As for the pistachio and pear macs, I even liked them better because the pear gave a very fresh and subtle fruity flavor to the cream and the pistachio in the shells was just the perfect companion.

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Chestnut & Pistachio Macarons"]MAC ATTACK #25 THE LAST OF THE YEAR: SEASONS & HOLIDAYS[/caption]

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Chestnut Macarons filled with Chestnut & Fig & Pistachio Macarons filled with Pear

MAC ATTACK #25 THE LAST OF THE YEAR: SEASONS & HOLIDAYSAs base I used the basic recipe given in Helen's guide and Jamie's instructions again. Ingredients 3 egg whites (100gr) 50 gr granulated sugar 200 gr powdered sugar 110 gr blanched almonds ground Method - Please see Helen's guide for instructions! For the Chestnut Macarons I substituted 100gr of the powdered sugar with cocoa and 50 gr of blanched almonds with chestnut flour. For the Pistacio  Macarons I substituted the blanched almonds for pistachios.

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Chestnut & Fig Creme

Ingredients 400g of fresh chestnuts 30g of unsweetened cocoa powder 50g of sugar 20g of unsalted butter 50ml of fresh cream 50 gram fresh figs, finely cubed 1 dash of your favorite liqueur (optional) Method
  1. Score 400g of fresh chestnuts by making a cross through the outer skin with a knife, then boil for 25 minutes.
  2. Drain and pass through a sieve into a bowl while still warm.
  3. Add 30g of unsweetened cocoa powder, 50g of sugar, the finely grated rind of a lemon, cubed figs and 20g of unsalted butter.
  4. Mix well and cool in the refrigerator.
  5. Whip 50ml of fresh cream and fold into the chestnut mixture, add a dash of your favorite liqueur as an option.
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Pear Creme

Ingredients 150g fresh pears, cubed 50ml cream 200g white chocolate 50g chilled butter, cubed Method
  1. Blend the pears in a food processor and warm up in a pan for 3-4 minutes on high heat.
  2. In a separate pan, bring the cream to simmer, in the meanwhile chop the white chocolate very finely.
  3. Once the cream is simmering pour on top of the chocolate and let it soften for a few minutes. Then add the hot pears and using a hand blender work till you have a nice cream.
  4. Add the cubed butter and blend in.
  5. Leave the ganache to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Chestnut & Pistachio Macarons"]MAC ATTACK #25 THE LAST OF THE YEAR: SEASONS & HOLIDAYS[/caption]

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Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas time and Happy Holidays with your Loved Ones! 

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MACTWEETS is a monthly challenge for all macaron lovers out there and for those among us who need a frustrating experience from time to time love to improve your baking skills with this sweet tempting lovely baked goods.

Jamie and Deeba created a virtual home at MACTWEETS where you can read all about the past challenges. Be sure to follow them at twitter and follw the hashtag #mactweets  for all things macaron.

Astrid 22.12.2011, 07.03 | (5/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

White Chocolate Cookies

Xmas Cookies 2011 - White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies  

White Chocolate Cookies

200 g warm butter 50 g sugar 50 g brown sugar pinch of salt 230 g white spelt flour 0,5 teaspoons baking powder 0,5 teaspoons baking soda 150 g white chocolate 2 teaspoons grated orange zest 2 teaspoons dried cranberries Method:
  1. Cream butter, sugar(s) and salt until creamy white (about 8 minutes)
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda and add the mixture to the creamy butter, mix until well incorporated (do no overmix!)
  3. Cut white chocolate in little cubes and add them with orange zest and cranberries to the cookie dough.
  4. Use a teaspoon and drop little droplets of cookie dough on your baking sheet. Make sure you leave enough space between them as they will spread  little...
  5. Bake at 180°C  for about 13 minutes until they are lightly brown. Let cool...
   

Astrid 21.12.2011, 07.19 | (2/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

Cranberry Spekulatius

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Nice and Crunchy! Love the unusual addition of Ras el Hanout!"]Xmas Cookies 2011 - Cranberry Spekulatius[/caption]  

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Verdict:

Well you never can go wrong with cranberries in my book but this a little unusual spiced Spekulatius really is a keeper! Dough is a charm to work with and if you have wooden models your cookies are in the oven in no time. Love them!

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Cranberry Spekulatius

40 g dried cranberries 125 g soft butter 150 g sugar (I used brown sugar) a pinch of salt 4-5 teaspoons Ras el Hanout 1 egg 300 g spelt flour Method
  1. Cut cranberries into very small pieces. Cream butter, sugar, salt, and Ras el Hanout in the bowl of your stand mixer until very creamy! Slowly add flour a bit at a time until you have  quite firm dough. Knead in cranberries and put in fridge over night.
  2. Roll out dough about 5 mm thick. Either you have a wooden model to use, then use these. If you do not have  spekulatius model then just do plin old cut out cookies.Place on cookie sheet and bake at 200°C for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
  3. They will keep for about 6 weeks in an airtight container.

Astrid 20.12.2011, 07.13 | (0/0) Kommentare | TB | PL

Cherry-Chocolate Crescents

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="This Lovelies melt in your mouth! Nice subtile cherry flavour!"]Xmas Cookies 2011 - Cherry Cocolate Crescents[/caption]

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Verdict:

I love them! It was very hard not to eat the whole batch before I had even finished them. The only thing is that the dough is very very mellow and quite tricky to form. You need to work in small batches and keep the rest in the fridge. Worked best for me. The cherries need to be cut very finely to be able to form nice little crescents.

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Cherry-Chocolate Crescents

makes 35 125 g dried cherries 3 tablespoons Kirsch 270 g spelt flour 50 g cocoa powder (I used white chocolate powder - you can simply use your most favourite cocoa powder) 120 g caster sugar pinch of salt 200 g cold butter, cut 1 egg 200 g white chocolate Method:
  1. Finely cut dried cherries and mix with the Kirsch. Let soak for bout an hour, stir occasionally.
  2. Mix all ingredients with your stand mixer and knead until a firm dough forms. Knead with your hands until dough is smooth. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours (better over night).
  3. Cut the dough into 3 equal parts (or more if this is easier for you). Roll  the dough(s) into about 1,5 cm thick strings. Then cut them into 6 cm long parts. Form little crescents, palce on cookie sheets.
  4. Bake at 180°C for about 12 minutes. Let cool completely before removing.
  5. Melt chocolate in your bain marie and dip the ends of the little crescents into the choc. Place on cookie sheet again and let dry completely.
  6. Store in airtight container.

Astrid 19.12.2011, 07.05 | (0/0) Kommentare | TB | PL

Poppyseed-Cherry Biscuits

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Powdered with lots of sugar, filled with Cherry Jam: Poppyseed Biscuits"]Xmas Cookies 2011 - Poppyseed Cherry Biscuits[/caption]

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Verdict:

These cookies are easy to make, the dough is a charm to roll out and the cherry jam is a wonderful companion to the nutty taste of the poppyseeds in the dough. They need  few days in a tin container tho before they are best, so it's good to make them ahead. Originally you only dust them with powdered sugar but I think you can also cover them with chocolate or or even with some icing, if you prefer.

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Poppyseed-Cherry Biscuits

makes 35 200 g butter 100 g caster sugar a pinch of salt 300 g spelt flour 75 g ground poppy seeds 1 tablespoons grated lemon zest 1 egg 100 g cherry jam Method
  1. Mix all ingredients (except the jam) in the bowl of your stand mixer until a stiff dough forms. Divide into four parts and chill in the fridge over night.
  2. Take out one dough ball and roll out dough 3 mm thick. Cut out cookies with your favorite cutters and place them in your cookie sheets. Continue with remaining 3 dough balls.
  3. Bake at 180°C for 7-8 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. Cover one half of the cookies with cherry jam and place a fitting cookie on top.
  5. Store in airtight container until needed.
  6. Before serving dust cookies with powdered sugar.
 

Astrid 18.12.2011, 07.04 | (2/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

Weekend Cat Blogging #341

Weekend Cat Blogging #341

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Othello is exhausted from all that nurse kitty duties and helping with Christmas preparations. A lot of snoopervising for a little cat!

Billy is hosting this weekend and we re sure this will be a lot of fun! Come and join us!

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Weekend Cat Blogging is a weekly event where bloggers feature pictures and/or stories about their cats on their blogs, apart from the usual theme of their blog.

Participating is very easy: Just navigate to the hosting blog of the week (list shown below) and leave your link so others can find your post. Usually the host will do a little roundup at the end of the weekend to feature the participating cats and blogs, but this is up to the host and not to be expected always. It is also nice if you include a link to the host in your blog post, so people who read it can find the others as well. Thanks!

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Next hosts are:  P.S. We are looking for hosts who want to do a WCB in 2012 - if you are interested in hosting please contact Othello at wcbschedule@gmail.com! Thanks!

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Astrid 17.12.2011, 19.40 | (1/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

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