Sunday, March 16, 2014

French Baguettes

French Baguettes


1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons dry active yeast, or 2 packages
2 teaspoons sugar

3 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon salt


In a large mixing bowl combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar together.  Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast is activated and begins to foam.

Gradually add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture.  Kneading the dough for 5 minutes.  Use a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook if you have one, if not, do it the old-fashion way and use your hands.

Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes more.  Form the dough into a ball, and place it in an lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a dishcloth for 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough and divide it in half.  Shape into 2 baguettes by making a rectangle out of your dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your fingers. Keep repeating the folding and sealing, stretching the rectangle lengthwise as you go, until the dough is about 12 to 14 inches long and 2-inches wide.  Fold and seal either end to round.  Flip seam-side down and place on a lightly greased sheet pan or baguette pan

Cover with a dishcloth and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

With a sharp knife, cut a slash down the length of each baguette, or score the tops of the loaves, making deep diagonal slits 1/2-inch deep.

Bake the baguettes for 8 minutes, and then brush with olive oil.

Bake the baguettes for another 8 minutes.

HINT - Place a pan of water on the lower rack of the oven while baking the bread.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa


2 (20 oz) cans sliced pineapple, drained and chopped
7 to 8 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and refrigerate.

Serve chilled.

This recipe was inspired and researched by our recent trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.  This is technically a Caribbean salsa, but it's right at home in the Hawaiian islands too.  Here are some photographs of our trip this year.

Pineapple Lady, Oahu Hawaii, 2/8/14

Hibiscus Flower, Oahu Hawaii, 2/9/14

Makapuu Beach Park, Oahu Hawaii, 2/9/14

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Triple Layered Fudge Brownie Cake

Triple Layered Fudge Brownie Cake



1 1/2 cups butter
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt


2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons milk
8 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate; stir until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, pour the melted butter and chocolate.  Add the sugar and mix with an electric beater.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the vanilla, flour, salt and mix well.

Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before removing from pans.


In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 7 tablespoons milk, confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla, and cocoa to a spreadable consistency.  Beat in the additional tablespoon of milk if necessary.

Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Store in refrigerator.

Gerard's Birthday, 3/9/14