More bread! This is foccacia.

More bread! This is foccacia.

You will recall the other day I waxed rhapsodic about my new steam-convection oven, and the Anadama bread that came out of it.

I am happy to report the CSO has continued to perform beautifully, all the way from toast to roasted veggies and baked fish to…more bread!

I was revisiting Peter Reinhart’s Breadmaker’s Apprentice, a book I bought some good while back and only rarely baked from, as when I was working full-time from an office other than home, I generally didn’t have or take the time for a two- or three-day bread prep. Reinhart, on the other hand, bakes with pate fermentees, poolishes, bigas, and sourdough barm, all of which take anywhere from a day to two weeks’ preparation. I didn’t have time for that.

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It’s a babycake!

July 21, 2016

Not the prettiest one I ever made, but pretty tasty.

Not the prettiest one I ever made, but pretty tasty.

I love cheesecake. I have an absolutely marvelous cheesecake recipe, and I make it for special occasions or when there’s going to be a crowd to feed, because my recipe makes a nine-inch springform pan plumb full.

So on the eGullet forum, folks started talking about making cheesecake in the Instant Pot. Now, I would not have had an Instant Pot in the first place, were it not for eGullet, and I’ve picked up a lot of good tips and such there. Not to mention that I learn very quickly about assorted accessories for different kitchen appliances that I’d have never thought about otherwise.

Like a 6 1/2 inch springform pan that, gee whiz, fits perfectly inside the Instant Pot so you can steam your cheesecake while not tying up your oven for the hour and a quarter it takes to bake, plus the four hours it has to sit in the oven after you turn the oven off. Without opening the door. You think THAT won’t put a cramp in your cooking style, think again.

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The CSO in its new home on top of the microwave. Gotta love a small kitchen.

The CSO in its new home on top of the microwave. Gotta love a small kitchen.

I have a new kitchen toy.

For some time, I have wanted a small countertop oven, to use when I want to make toast with something on top of it (to which the toaster does not lend itself), and to bake small things without heating up the oven, particularly in the summertime, when it heats up the kitchen, which in turns heats up the whole house when the a/c is struggling to keep up, anyway.

In the food forum I frequent, many of the posters sing the praises of the Cuisinart Steam-Convection Oven. I watched it on Amazon for a while, and while they didn’t put it on a super deal, they did cut it to $218, which I figured was close enough. So I pulled the trigger.

It arrived yesterday. Within two hours, it had tried to kill me.

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You want chuck or shoulder roast similar to the above.

You want chuck or shoulder roast similar to the above.

Y’all all remember my fondness for the chuck roast, whether it be in pot roast, beef stew, or carbonnades a la flamande form.

Well, I found another way to use it, and this one may become another one of the favorites.

I apologize for not having a photo of the final product, but quite honestly, I was about to starve to death, and did not take time to take a picture. You’ll have to use your imagination.

Kids were coming over for dinner after church, and I was still in the mode of cooking stuff that doesn’t require a great deal of time on the injured leg in the kitchen. I also had a couple of roasts left in the freezer, and it’s kinda past the time for pot roast. But I figured I could cook that roast and it ought to make some primo roast beef sandwiches.

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A plethora of peaches

July 12, 2016

Hard to get a pic before a serving disappears...

Hard to get a pic before a serving disappears…

If you ever wanted any proof that God has a sweet tooth, the astounding fruit this season ought to convince you.

Strawberries, which were pretty weak last year, made up for it in spades; some of the sweetest, prettiest berries I’ve seen in years. Blueberries, likewise, were plentiful and sweet, although it seemed the season was awfully short. Ditto raspberries. And I have already waxed rhapsodic about the blackberries.

I’m getting some exceptional canteloupe now, and I have a watermelon in my fridge I’ll cut sometime soon.

And for the last month, we’ve had peaches at the farmers market. We’re in peach country here, with sizeable orchards to the north and south of us. The cling peaches were first up, smaller, and something of a pain to separate from their pit, but awfully sweet and good. And last week, I found my first freestone peaches at the market.

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Forgot to take a plate pic, but here's the star of the show.

Forgot to take a plate pic, but here’s the star of the show.

You will recall the birthday eve dinner for the Memphis Guinea Pig, posted over the weekend followed by the birthday blackberry pie. There was, in fact, a birthday dinner the following evening.

Rather simple, but no complaints, and I have to say they were some of the best ribs I’ve ever cooked, no matter I bought ’em at Kroger.

I had, in fact, purchased said ribs on the Friday before July 4, baby backs frozen solid in the big on-sale pre-holiday case. I don’t remember how much they were, but a slab was something under 10 bucks. I brought them home and put them in the outside refrigerator to thaw slowly, with an eye toward cooking them possibly on the Fourth, or later that week.

Didn’t happen, so Thursday afternoon, I got them out and rubbed them down with a packet of Kansas City Masterpiece barbecue sauce mix and dry rub. Now, I am not generally one to be a big fan of prepared barbecue rubs, but let me say a word in favor of this KC Masterpiece. I bought it, along with a bottle of their sauce, because I had a coupon for it. When I opened the packet to sprinkle down the ribs, I was afraid I’d screwed up, because it had a very sweet taste, and while I’m not averse to sugar in my ‘cue rub, it’s real easy to get too much. But I went ahead on, because it was late, and I was tired, and I wanted to get those babies in a bag and in the fridge.

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More summer bounty

July 10, 2016

We are talking significant blackberries, here.

We are talking significant blackberries, here.

This, my friends, is a blackberry. A blackberry that appears to have been on steroids prior to its harvest. A blackberry whose size is exceeded only by its taste and juiciness.

Lord, I love ’em. And this has been a banner year for ’em.

You may remember back a week ago, I’d been to not just one, but two, farmers’ markets, because I was intent on scoring some blackberries, and the local market didn’t have any. So I went to the next town over and bought berries.

I brought home two quarts of these beauties, which reposed in the fridge for close to a week as I worked my way through some of the astonishingly good collection of fruit I’d accumulated. (Have I mentioned how much I love summer?)

And I decided I would make a blackberry pie.

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