Some of my recipes and pictures. Feel free to share your own!

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by Sapphire Sebright, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Sapphire Sebright

    Sapphire Sebright Chirping

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    Hello everyone. Sapphire Sebright here.
    I just thought that I'd start up this thread and share some recipes and pictures that I have. Anyone is welcome to add their own recipes and post their pictures of the food.
    Cooking is something that I've been doing since I was little, and it is a hobby that I greatly enjoy. I especially like baking sweet things and decorating them -- extravagantly, of course! Also, making fancy desserts in general is something that I find fun, but simple things like brownies and idiot cookies -- both family favorites -- are always good, and I enjoy making them as well.
    Feel free to post your own recipes and/or pictures. If there's a recipe that you know but that isn't seen or head of often and you'd like to let others know about it, go right ahead and spread the word!
    Have fun, and don't be shy to add to the thread, even of you simply put up a picture or pop in to say something. Tips and advice are very much welcome.
    I'll just post some pictures for now, but I'll try to include the recipes sometime.
    Here we go; Poppy-seed and cream cheese "Baklava," and Hrutka, which is a Slovak egg-cheese that is eaten around Easter.
     

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  2. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Ooooo! LOVE it!

    This is a cookie assortment I made for my husband's office at Christmas:

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    Caponata from David Lebovitz' recipe. Try it. It's awesome!:

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    These are chocolate truffle hearts from a Valentine's Day:

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    And here's a tip: you can't make anything easier or more delicious than truffles. I promise the first ones you ever make will be twice as delicious as anything made with preservatives in a commercial kitchen. ...at about 1/3 the cost. And people won't believe you could possibly make anything so decadent.

    This is Vietnamese-style yogurt , lemon curd, granola (all homemade) with blueberries (from a year I probably gained 20 pounds having this for breakfast most days):

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    If anyone wants the recipe and an easy method for making the yogurt let me know. It's a lot of typing but easier than you probably guess and pretty thick, silky and yummy.

    Looking forward to seeing more!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  3. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Glad you added an explanation, Saphire Sebright. I was guessing I was looking at spanakopita. Either way -- spanakopita or baklava -- sounds and looks delish!
     
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  4. Sapphire Sebright

    Sapphire Sebright Chirping

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    Jun 22, 2019
    IamRainey -- these all look really good! I'm curious about the recipe for the Vietnamese-style yogurt; could you post it when you have time?
    Also, I say "baklava," but that's really just the closest thing that I could think of. The only things about them that are the same are the facts that they're made with phyllo dough, and have a lot of layers. I'll try to include the recipe sometime.
    Honestly, I hadn't even heard of spanakopita before I read your comment. Spinach pie... hmm.
    I should try to make it sometime.
    Truffles really are surprisingly simple to make, you're right. And they're fun,too! I have a recipe that I just tried earlier this year for truffles that are made with greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. The recipe needs a bit of polishing, but it was good. Another thing that I'll try to put up some time.
    That cookie assortment looks tasty! Your husband is lucky!
    Thanks for replying, and I'm looking forward to hearing back from you.
    Oh, and this was a Buche de Noel that I made a couple years ago.
     

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  5. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Oh! If you can make baklava you can surely make spanakopita. You're correct that, for things that look similar (from a photo at least), they couldn't be more different. But spanakopita is, like most Greek food, wonderful!

    It can be done as a casserole for a main dish or bits of the spinach and feta filling can be wrapped as triangles with long strips of filo as appetizers. Either way, it's just yummy!

    OK. Here comes the yogurt recipe. Note that it's a LOT of instruction but VERY simple to do once you get the method. Also note this won't require anything you probably don't have on hand provided you have a reliable thermometer.

    What you specifically DON'T need is a yogurt-making appliance. Anything called a "yogurt-maker" will still make you run the milk through the same temperature sequences. The whole trick is denaturing the milk enzymes and then holding the fermenting mixture at a constant temperature over a long interval. Happily, microwave compartments are thoroughly insulated and, with the help of an insulated bag (possibly also unnecessary) will do the part a dedicated yogurt-maker does admirably!

    Whole Milk Yogurt

    This homemade yogurt is so good and so easy there's no reason to buy commercial yogurt.

    My version started with a recipe from David Lebovitz and the discussion on his blog that resulted. It owes as much to the commenters and my own experimentation. The addition of condensed milk came from one of his readers who said this style of yogurt comes from Vietnam.

    The amounts are really very flexible and so is the timing. The only really important thing is not to disturb the milk once it's in its jars incubating. Everything else is pretty approximate and bulletproof.


    • 1/4 cup non-fat milk powder (not essential but it makes the yogurt richer and provides more protein)
    • 1/2 cup active culture yogurt (you won't have this the first time; don't worry about it; just use dry yogurt starter which is available at health food stores or online)
    • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds and pod (you can skip this if you don't want a vanilla flavor)
    • 1 quart whole milk (1% or 2% will also work but will not set up as firmly or be as creamy)
    • 1/8 teaspoon commercial dry yogurt culture, approximate, for insurance but not really necessary
    • straight-sided canning or food storage jars
    • insulated lunch or small bag

    1. Prepare six 8-ounce straight-sided jars and one 4-ounce straight sided jar and their lids by sanitizing them. ("Dry" cycle of your dishwasher or on a cookie sheet in a 200˚ oven for about half an hour.) Set them aside.

    Warm a gel insulated lunch bag in the microwave for 1 minute.

    2. Combine the milk powder with the yogurt starter and condensed milk in a 1-quart bowl or measure. It will be hard to evenly wet the milk powder at first. It may be very lumpy and some will cling stubbornly to the spoon but it will hydrate while the milk heats if you continue to stir at intervals.

    Squeeze in the vanilla beans and stir to combine, reserving the pod to steep in the milk.

    3. Pour the milk into a heavy 1 quart pot. Add the vanilla pod. Place the pot, uncovered, over a medium flame and heat to 180˚-190˚ stirring periodically to avoid a skin developing. If a skin does form, just stir it back in and continue. It will rehydrate.

    4. When the milk reaches a point between 180˚ and 190˚, turn off the heat. Then let it sit checking the temperature occasionally until it reaches 120˚-110˚. (120˚ is a little higher than conventional yogurt recipes but the cooling milk will be added to a larger volume of cool ingredients so it works just fine.)

    When it cools to the target temperature, remove the vanilla pod and pour it into the condensed milk mixture. Stir to combine and add the powdered yogurt culture if you're using it.

    5. Immediately strain the milk mixture into the individual jars and cap them.

    Transfer them to the warmed insulated bag and place it in the cavity of a microwave or oven that is -- and remains -- turned off. Naturally, this step is most convenient overnight when you won't need to use the appliance. Allow the milk to incubate for 5-8 hours without being moved, then remove them to a counter to come down to room temperature. At that point it's done and the jars are refrigerated for storage.

    Put the small one aside in the fridge to act as the active culture for your next batch.

    Notes:

    • For real decadence try this yogurt with a big spoonful of Lemon Curd topped by Homemade Granola and fresh blueberries. It's like cheesecake for brekkies.

    • The milk can be homogenized or not but non-homogenized will separate during the long incubation period and leave a thin non-objectionable fat layer on the top. It's barely noticeable and will taste just as great but there is a discernible color difference.
     
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  6. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    I am seriously looking forward to future contributions. This is a GREAT topic and I'm so glad you started it!
     
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  7. Sapphire Sebright

    Sapphire Sebright Chirping

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    Thanks for the recipe! It sounds really good. I don't have any vanilla beans (too expensive), so would pure vanilla extract work? I've also seen that some brands of yogurt have live and active cultures in them; could this be substituted for the dry starter? Even if it's not, I'll definitely try to make this sometime soon!
    I'm also looking forward to more recipes and pictures. This is fun!
    Would you like for me to post the recipes for the poppy-seed cream chese "baklava" and the one for the greek yogurt truffles? I also have a recipe for lemon curd that I really like; it's nice and tart!
    Thanks again for the recipe!
     
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  8. mesalina87

    mesalina87 Songster

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    Looks so yummy! Can't wait to try.! :celebrate
     
  9. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Re: yogurt

    The only essentials are the milk, the culture, the temperature sequence and the long slow, undisturbed incubation period overnight. Everything else is optional for inclusion or non-inclusion and the type of flavor used. So substitute vanilla extract if you wish. Or use vanilla bean paste. Use commercial yogurt with an active starter by all means. Include the condensed milk or don't. Same with the nonfat milk powder. And by all means layer in some fruit jam or pureed fruit.

    I do it the way I described because I get a yogurt that's as firm as Greek without any gelatin or straining out liquids. And I prefer the neutral flavor of a dry starter as I've found that the prepared culture gets tangier as it gets older like a sourdough starter does.

    BTW, I've found vanilla beans far more affordable online. I snip the end off a few beans and stick the cut ends in a test tube (some vanilla beans are sold in test tubes; I save them) with about 1" of vodka while I vacuum pack the rest for storage and future use. The beans in vodka keep very well that way and the seeds soften up so that you can just squirt out a few like toothpaste instead of having to use a whole bean when an 1/8 tsp of seeds is enough.

    I also keep my empty pods and use them repeatedly to infuse a little vanilla flavor in milk or sugar. And then, when that doesn't work anymore, I grind them to a powder in a coffee grinder and add them to some epsom salt for a pleasant bath soak.

    ________

    I'd love your baklava recipe. I've never made baklava before.

    Thanks for the truffle and lemon curd recipes. I like the ones I use. But I agree with you that a lemon curd with a nice balance of sweet/tart is the best!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  10. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Yay, Mesalina! So glad you're joining the party!
     

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