Doing a bit of housekeeping…here’s one that’s been sitting in my draft queue since around Christmas. 18-19: Basic Kitchen Utensils covers exactly what it says–basic tools even novice cooks should have in their kitchen. This is part of Cooking School, the back segment of Simply Delicious that covers basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes for all levels of aspiring chefs.
As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs. My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.
I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.
It’s a new year, and it’s also been a long time since I’ve covered any of the Cooking School portion of the back of the Simply Delicious cookbook. One of the featured topics is 18-3: Good Kitchen Knives, essential tools for any cook. I’ve had a lot of terrible knives, and I’ve got a long way to go until I make jaws drop with my knife collection, but I’ve got a few that are not too shabby. 🔪
I’m going to try NOT to make this a “look at all my cool knives” kind-of-a-thing, because honestly, my collection isn’t all that Internet-impressive–I don’t have a ton of trendy Japanese pieces or massive cleavers, because I just don’t cook that way too often. Plus, I feel about knives like I feel about cars–give me a broken-in cheap old workhorse over a shiny speedster you’re afraid to scratch up any day of the week. 🚙
Editor’s note: Happy New Year! We start the new year by finishing up a bit of old business from last year!
My second apple recipe for this year’s holiday gifts (XMAS 16) is 17-40: Apple Rolls. These “not too sweet” rolls contain an apple wedge wrapped inside a savory dough, covered with sesame seeds. I made a double sized batch of these rolls. Thankfully, the instructions are very good and I’ve practiced with yeast enough times to make a pretty decent dough.
I wish I had taken the advice from the front of the card and used chopped pecans instead of sesame seeds.
I ended up multiplying this recipe by 3, which gave us more than enough apple muffins for the holiday gifts. 🎄
The notes on the front of the card are from Jamie’s mom. I made this recipe once before when I had a lot of apples laying around.
One of the two desserts I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte (the other was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe). I wanted something “of the season”, and this seemed like a cross between apple pie and fruitcake.
This was the second dish I made, starting off the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since this cake holds well at room temperature, I planned to just slightly underbake it, and then finish it off for 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven to warm it up for dessert on the day of the holiday.
If I hadn’t made this for Thanksgiving, I think it’d make a great gift (mailed or delivered in person) or potluck dish, especially for an office or somewhere where it would sit for a while. Even though Thanksgiving is over for the year, it’s totally still the season for a cake like this one.
Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.