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Friday, 17 April 2015

Cozonac – Romanian Easter Bread (BBB April 2015)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Romanian Easter Bread, based on a recipe in The Festive Bread Book by Kathy Cutler; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) April 2015

The garden chives are up! The garden chives are up! Can it be true? Is it really spring at last?

BBB Romanian Easter Bread wp-image-2011 When Pat (Feeding My Enthusiasms) told us what she had chosen for the BBBabes to bake this month, I thought, ‘Ooooh, lovely! This looks like fun!’ And what a nice comfort it would be for us as we sat inside, wrapped up in blankets, wondering when spring would appear.

I really was beginning to believe that winter wouldn’t end….

Pat announced that our comfort food would be a Romanian Festive Bread:

Sweet bread (cozonac – the Romanian for panetone) is the Romanian traditional cake for all holidays: Easter or Christmas, wedding or christening. Every Romanian woman has a recipe from her mother. […] Cooking sweet bread is a magic ritual: it must be done in a warm room where the doors and windows stay close during the cooking time. Any thread of cold air could damage the dough. We have to begin early in the morning when the sun starts to fly its eyelashes over the skyline.
– Exploring Romania, Sweet bread recipe – the Romanian name being “cozonac”

I was going to make this in time for Orthodox Easter last Sunday. But… here’s a big surprise: I missed the deadline. (continue reading…)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Wordless Not-Wednesday: Happy Easter!

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kouign amann wp-image-2001


Friday, 27 March 2015

Are we really saying goodbye?

Filed under: cookbooks, etc.,food & drink,whine — ejm @ 17:43 EDT

summary: Why I am ending our almost 20 year relationship with SAVEUR Magazine;

Warning!! Warning!! Extended ranting and raving ahead… :stomp: I’m taking Mr. Sachs at his word and in my usual long-winded way, am writing down what I think.

SAVEUR Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine My SAVEUR suscription is about to expire; I recently received a letter of reminder from them telling me that it was time to renew.

There are any number of reasons why you might have overlooked renewing your SAVEUR subscription. Perhaps i just slipped your mind. But the fact is your subscription is quickly running out. And whatever the reason, unless you act promptly, you’ll soon be without SAVEUR.
-Rich Davis, renewal activation voucher, SAVEUR
I’m new here. This is my third issue in the editor’s seat, and while we’re not planning a gut renovation, you might notice a few changes around the place. In the coming months we’ll be tinkering with the recipe a bit, bringing in new voices, refreshing the look and feel fo the brand, and relaunching our website […] Keep in touch and let me know what you think.
-Adam Sachs, editor’s note, SAVEUR No.173
Why Subscribe to SAVEUR Magazine?
SAVEUR is a magazine for people who experience the world food first. Created to satisfy the hunger for genuine information about food in all its contexts, the magazine emphasizes heritage and tradition, home cooking and real food, evoking flavors from around the world (including forgotten pockets of culinary excellence in the United States). It celebrates the cultures and environments in which dishes are created and the people who create them. It serves up rich, satisfying stories that are complex, defining and memorable.
In every issue, you’ll:

  • Explore authentic cuisine as you travel east to west, beyond 5-star restaurants to hidden roadside gems.
  • Meet local food experts who open their kitchens and share stories, secrets and family recipes you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Learn tips and techniques from expert chefs who help you recreate their flavors and traditions in your own home.

– SAVEUR, Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine


Well that certainly used to be the case. In fact, each magazine was so full of enticing new ideas that it took several days to get through the magazine. We did indeed savour virtually every page. (continue reading…)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

more lame scoring

Filed under: baking,bread - yeasted & unyeasted,food & drink,whine — ejm @ 14:31 EDT

lame scoring summary: 2nd attempt at lame scoring; ongoing web server nightmares resolved at last. I hope…;

I can get upload images again! I can upload images again!!

homemade bread lameWhen we’re not admiring it hanging on the kitchen wall, we’ve been having fun playing with our lame. A few weeks ago (I was going to post about this MUCH earlier, but well, you know…), we decided to make three loaves of bread. Two of them were proofed free-form and the third shaped into a round and proofed in our brotform.

We’re still trying to get correct angles and depth with our scoring. Although we did achieve formidable oven spring with this batch, we were not quite as successful as we had hoped. But we felt very elegant with our silver handled lame, didn’t cut ourselves AND we did have some success. Look!!

lame scored bread
whoohoooo! an ear!

(continue reading…)

Friday, 20 March 2015

Wordless Not-Wednesday: what is it and what does it do??



what is it??


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

another gluten-free experiment – you win some…

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summary: tiny gluten free cookies; dates are a great addition; sometimes gluten-free experiments are successful! (click on images to see larger view)

Sure they’re small but it just means you can have two without feeling even remotely guilty.

Always on the lookout for edible gluten-free snacks (trust me, I know that some gluten-free food – especially cookies – can be horrible, rather like choking down flavoured sand), I decided to try making gluten-free cookies to take for the coffee break at work so the two celiacs in the crowd could have a snack too.

Once again, when I made the decision to do the experiment, I had to use whatever we had on hand. I was too lazy to trek out to get rice flour to try some long bookmarked Persian Cardmamom Biscuits on Jasmine’s (Confessions of a Cardamom Addict) site. (They’re still bookmarked and one of these days, I will make them!). We did have chickpea flour though. So, armed with a decent looking recipe found on the internet, I got started. (continue reading…)

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