Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mardi Gras Dessert

We had a Mardi Gras inspired lunch at work last week.
I looked at the list of things people had said they would bring and then did some research into what is really considered Mardi Gras food.
What I found first was King Cake. I also discovered that there are lots of different ideas for how to make a King Cake.

I went with the breadier version and started by mixing up dough for a loaf of bread.

Then I mixed up the filler, made of raisins, pecans, cream cheese, and cinnamon.

Once that was spread out on the dough I rolled it up jelly roll style and then formed it into a ring.

Since the pan was greased the elasticity of the dough ring wanted to slide into a smaller ring. I had to get creative and put a mixing bowl in the middle to keep it formed while rising until it went in the oven.

Right before going in the oven I cut the top to mark the pieces.

Once the ring was baked I mixed up the Mardi Gras colored powdered sugar icing.

Putting that icing on gave me some pretty pools of color.

The slices show how the filling rolled up in the dough.
Looks good and tasted great, if I do say so myself.

This is what went to the office with me. I had to slice it before I left because the full ring was too big for the container. So I tightened up the ring a little bit.

You might notice that once again there are pieces missing.

I wasn't allowed to leave the house with the whole thing, if you know what I mean.
The cake didn't have the traditional baby doll baked inside. Mostly because I didn't have one to put in it, but partially because besides the "Good Luck" that it is supposed to bring the one who finds it, the finder is also supposed to bake the cake next year. I didn't figure they would do that and I didn't want to mess up their Karma that way.
Someone did ask about it, and I had to explain the whole thing to the few people that were standing there. It was like trying to explain Christmas without Santa Claus, there is a purpose behind the symbolism. Then I was told "it would have been more fun" if I had put the baby in the cake - but whoever found it would not have known why it was there, or would have almost choked on it, so the whole thing would have needed another explanation.
The lunch would have also been more fun if everyone could have enjoyed it. There are never enough seats so I went back to the table in my cube. Then I saw people walking around with beads - I don't even want to know what they did to earn those, they probably don't know what that means either. Somedays it is annoying to live in cornbread land. Or maybe I am just having a bad day.
Today I made some more Pepperoni Rolls and a loaf of Sandwich bread for our lunchs next week. I think I will go make some wheat bread too. It is hard to believe we are still loosing weight, but it is all about portion control and awareness of the calories we are eating.
The next story ought to be about the bulldozer and cutting up storm damaged trees. It was supposed to happen this weekend, but it rained. We will have to try again next week sometime.

I've Been Cooking - Doughnuts

I was reading one of my new favorite blogs and there was a recipe for doughnuts on the site.
I got a hankering to have a couple. Problem is they don't mix up too well in 2s so I ended up with a few dozen. Good thing I know people who like to eat.

First thing you have to do when making these doughnuts is to mix them up and roll them out.

I used my handy, dandy biscuit cutter to do the outside edge and a simple bottle cap to make the hole.

Only problem was I rolled them thinner than I should have so they were kind of thin and the holes were small.

They fried up nicely though.

I got some nice doughnuts out of that old deep fryer.

Somebody seems to have noticed that too, this rack of chocolate dipped doughnuts was full!

They might have disappeared when FabHub came in for a minute. He and the guys were out cutting up storm damaged trees.
I am sure they went to a good cause. Lots of energy in a chocolate covered, deep fried doughnut you know.

Now this sneak went for butter cream covered doughnut, dipped straight from the container!

It was tasty too! Tasted like a crueller.

They were good while they lasted. I dropped a bunch off at the neighbors and took some to work.

Any attempt at homemade goods are easy to share around here.
Next up is the King Cake I made for Mardi Gras.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catching Up Again

We have had a bit of excitement around here lately.
There was a big wind that came through about 10 days ago, it took of the brother-in-law's porch roof. The whole front was ripped off down to the bottom of the nails.

The whole thing flew over the peak of the roof and chimney. The side piece went over the powerline, we don't know how it missed. That piece didn't miss the garden shed though. A post went right through the wall and the whole thing had to be destroyed during clean up.
There were shingles and gutter pieces imbedded in the hayfield.

Look how far it flew! The tree took a hit on one side.
The guys were up fixing the roof the next day though.

On our property we had a big tree take out some line fence and the power was out for about 46 hours. I was home for the second day so I had generator duty. We had to make sure the freezer didn't thaw, we recently put both a pig and half a beef in it! All was good though. I didn't suffer too much with no TV or Internet.

Our next adventure is remodeling the basement.
Good progress on that this week included the removal of the Pool table. It was taking up too much space in the basement and not being used for anything but a place to set things.

It is a full slate table.
It is heavy and it is now gone.

Next step is figuring out where to start. The walls will be covered with moisture proof materials. A heat pump is going in. The lights will be being reworked. And after last week - a generator switch will be installed. The floor in the back will remain foam squares, but the front will get something new.

Next weekend we are putting in a road to the big tree. That should be fun. Check back later for that photo log. I have also been cooking. Pepperoni rolls, doughnuts, all sorts of things that I will blog about later. See why the pool table was in the way? The fitness equipment needed space to counter balance the cooking.