Monday, April 29, 2013

Sourdough Banana Cake

There were many interesting cakes in March's Sourdough Sharing.  Since I had some ripe bananas on hand, I decided to give Amanda's cake a try.  She posted a link to this recipe.

1 c sourdough 
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/4 c oil
1/4 c plain yogurt
1 1/2 c bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

In mixing bowl beat together sourdough, egg, oil, sugars, yogurt, vanilla and bananas.  I did not mash the banana a lot because I wanted chunks of banana in the cake.  Mix together dry ingredients - flour, spices and baking soda.  Add to mixing bowl and stir only until combined.  Pour into greased cake pan - either 9" by 13" or a bundt pan. 

Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes (9x13) or 40 to 45 minutes (bundt) or until toothpick comes clean.

You can add a glaze, if you wish, but I found the cake tasty and moist without it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pasta Dryer

When I blogged about my homemade pasta here,  I got many comments about my pasta dryer.  I was looking on line for one several years ago but didn't like most of them.  I wanted something sturdy yet easy to store.  I also wanted it to hold lots of pasta because I never seem to do anything in a small way.

Barry looked a several photos and decided to make me one.  He didn't use a plan - he's good with wood that way.  :)

Here are all the pieces of the dryer.


The two side pieces have a notched top and a single notch for the cross piece.

Here are the top pieces and the cross piece.  Notice how nice and smooth Barry got them all.

This is a closer look at the top edge.

And the bottom.

Here the rack is standing nice and sturdy with the cross piece.

Now fit in the drying strips and you are ready to go!

And here is the finished dryer - all together and ready to go.

I think Barry and I work well together.  I come up with the ideas and he takes them and turns them into reality! 
Lucky me!  ;)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sourdough Sharing - Pasta

This month's sourdough challenge was pasta.  I had made homemade pasta before so that was not a surprise.  The surprise was how lovely the dough turned out using sourdough.

I used this recipe and found it easy to work with.

Ingredients (I doubled the original recipe)
1 c sourdough
3 c flour
4 eggs

I used my Cuisinart with the bread hook to mix and knead the dough.  Pour sourdough into mixing bowl.  Mix in eggs and then flour.  I then set the timer to knead for 5 minutes.  I found the dough a bit sticky so I added a bit more flour.  The dough turned out lovely and soft.  I placed the dough in a greased bowl and let rest for several hours.

You can use a rolling pin to roll out the pasta but I have a pasta machine so used it.  Cut off a piece of the dough and flatten on a floured surface.  You need to keep the surface of the dough floured or it will stick. 

Roll the dough through the machine at the widest thickness (#7 on mine).  (Thanks to Barry for helping out so I could get pics!)

Flour both sides and keep putting it through the machine getting thinner each time.  (I stopped at #3 thickness)

I found the sourdough dough very easy to work with.  The other dough I made had a tendency to stick - it was hard to get enough flour on it.  With that dough, you needed a second person to help because you didn't have enough hands to roll the dough, turn the crank and hold the dough coming out so it wouldn't stick.  This dough just ran though the machine so easily that you can easily do it by yourself.
Now cut the dough into manageable lengths. 
I then ran it through the machine on the fettuccine cutter.  Mine only has two widths - fettuccine and spaghetti. 

Separate the noodles and place on pasta dryer, rack or flat surface to dry for storage, if you wish.

I dry the noodles and then break them in half and store them in a flat container.

Or you can boil up a batch and eat them immediately!  

I made mine into Fettuccine Alfredo using this sauce.  Homemade sauce and homemade sourdough pasta - YUM! YUM! YUM! What more can a person ask for?  ;)
Since the dough was so easy to work with - this will now be my regular pasta recipe.  Easy and tasty!  Enjoy!   ;)
Check out some of the other recipes below for April's Sourdough Surprises Challenge.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Alfredo Sauce

This month's Sourdough Surprise is pasta so I decided to make a homemade Alfredo Sauce to go with my Fettuccine noodles.  I checked out this three different links - one, two, three and combined the recipes to make my own sauce.

1/2 c butter
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg cream cheese
1 c 1/2 & 1/2 cream
1 c milk
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in saucepan over medium to medium-low heat.  Add garlic and cook for a few minutes before adding cream cheese.  Mixture looks curled as cream cheese melts.

Whisk mixture until smooth.  Slowly add milk and cream while whisking to keep it smooth. 

Mix in parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce thickens too much, add a bit of milk.

Cook fettuccine noodles.  Drain well and pour into bowl.

Mix in Alfredo Sauce.

Sprinkle on some parsley.  Enjoy!

This was so heavenly.  Rich and tasty.  We only used half the sauce, so will be making another meal with some add-ins.  Some ideas - grilled chicken breasts, spinach, fried mushrooms and onions, broccoli, grilled salmon . . .   The list goes on and on.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Baked Eggs With Potato, Bacon & Tomato

The original recipe was from Sobey's and it sounded interesting.  I made a few changes since I was using my own produce.

5 strips thick bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 potatoes, baked
1 tsp paprika
1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion
1/2 quart of canned tomatoes
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon slightly until some of the fat is released.


Cut up the potatoes into bite sized pieces.  I made baked potatoes the night before and just cooked a couple extra.  If you don't have any on hand, you can quickly partially bake a couple in the microwave.

Add the potatoes to the bacon and sprinkle on the paprika.  Cook until bacon is crisp and potatoes are browning.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Drain some of the bacon grease if it is too much.  My bacon wasn't too fatty so I didn't need to.  Fry onions in pan until translucent.

Add tomatoes and cayenne pepper and cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Put potatoes and bacon in a casserole dish.  Add tomato mixture.

Mix well. 

Make 4 hollows and break an egg in each.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Bake at 375°F for 22 to 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

It was very tasty and we could see ways to make it even more so.  Next time, I would either fry some mushrooms with the onions, or add some peppers and salsa.  You could also add some cheddar cheese chunks to the mixture or sprinkle on cheese during the last few minutes of cooking.  :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Spring Day

The weather this spring is a lot cooler than we've had the last few years.  It goes below freezing almost every night plus has been rainy and windy.  It has been snowing up on the mountains while we are getting rain down here.

The first year we were in Lillooet, we were already planting potatoes, etc. by this date.

It was a nice day so I decided to do some work in the flower beds, with supervision, of course.   ;)

I was working on the quack grass and Lulu was working on the worms and bugs.

I would often have to move Lulu as she would get in the way - standing right where I was digging.

Here she is giving me a look because I had just moved her a bit.

Lulu does get in the way, but I really don't mind too much.  She likes to stay close to me and I think at times she gets lonely.

Some of the daffodils are out.

They are such a vibrant yellow.  I love them!

The apricot tree in the front yard is blooming.  There were quite a few bees buzzing around the blossoms.

Looks like we're getting a good crop of apricots again.

Apricots burst into bloom so quickly.  One day you have a bare tree and the next day you go out and BAM! - the whole tree is in bloom.  Amazing!  :) 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Quilts in Saskatoon

When I took pics of the Lillooet Library quilts, I emailed them to several friends who are quilters.  One friend in Saskatoon emailed me back saying her quilt club had quilts on display at the McNally Robinson bookstoreWhen I was last in Saskatoon, I made a quick stop at the bookstore and snapped pics of the quilts.  Since they were hanging from the second floor railing, it was hard to see the details, so instead of showing the whole quilts, in most cases I have shown a smaller piece in more detail.  Enjoy!