Valentine’s Day weekend was very busy for us. We started out Saturday with a Birthday party for darling Sadie who was celebrating her 2nd birthday. Aaron and I made our way across the Dumbarton Bridge and finally arrived at my Cousin’s house in Menlo Park for the party. It is a pain to get to Menlo Park from the East Bay. It could have been my iPhone’s instructions but either way it’s a pain. I honestly think it would be faster to somehow get on 280 and come in the back way.
It was really warm over the weekend in the Bay Area. The sun was out and it was in the 70’s. I am not really a sun girl but I found plenty of shady spots at the party to hang out and chat in. After hanging out at the party for a few hours we decided to head over to Stanford Mall, and set up our wedding registry at Macy’s. We had been to a few Macy’s already looking to see if they stocked some specific items we had spotted online; so many of the Macy’s we went to did not have properly stocked flatware, china, or crystal section. So I figured we needed to hit up the bigger stores in either Stanford, or San Francisco.
Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
This was my first Pate and I was really impressed how easy it was to make. The hardest part for me was working with a mini prep instead of a proper food processor. I had to grind up my pate in several separate batches. It was messy and I was very glad that my Sous – Chef Aaron was there to help me mop up the madness that took over my small counter top.
This was very special challenge for me. My Grandmother and Aunt Karen were visiting from Chicago, and this was the first time they got to taste some of my food. I have cooked for them in the past but it was so long ago and I have learned so much since the last time they had anything I cooked or baked. My mother hosted a nice sized party at her house and I decided to bring the pate and the homemade sourdough bread along.
When I unveiled the foil from the small loaf tins everyone gasped at the beautiful strips of bacon that seemed to invite everyone to want to try a little. Leave it to bacon to get even the pickiest eaters to try something new. I peeled one piece of bacon away and asked my Grandmother to smell it; she said “that smells Bohemian”. We all laughed, and I smiled; it truly was a very special day.
Yeah so I used self rising flour, mhm I did. Don’t you be judging me!
It was in my pantry going to waste. I really don’t have any recipes in my repertoire that call for self rising flour. In fact I think this is the second time I have ever used it. First time was for a daring bakers’ challenge of British style pudding.
Basically if you have self rising flour this recipe is pretty darn tasty and easy to make to boot. You could substitute milk for the cream or buttermilk or do a mixture like I did.
This recipe was inspired by Miss Andy Pants. I mocked her one day for trying to make biscuits out of self rising flour; I told her it was a bad idea. I am wrong, I was really wrong, and little Miss Andy was right.
The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.
This months Daring Cooks Challenge was super fun for me. Mostly because I got to break in my newly acquired WagnerWare Dutch Oven. We purchased this Dutch Oven off E-Bay and it works like a dream. It heats evenly and retains temperature like no other pot I have.
I created my stew using a Game Hen and Chicken Carcass Vegetable base stock. I pulled the game hen out of the stock pot after the stock had been simmering for about an hour. I let it cook off then I skinned it and removed all the meat and set it aside to add to my stew later. The other meat I chose for my stew was the economical choice of country style pork ribs.
For my Birthday Aaron took me on a surprise weekend trip to Napa, Ca. I will blog about the trip later. One of the stops was Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. On Sunday morning before we left, we made one more stop back at this truly magical dreamland bakery. I picked up a 12 pack of Brioche Rolls and a few more Macaroons for the trip home. We also hit up a local market in Napa on our way out, and picked up some Salami, Black Forest Ham, Aged Smoked Gouda, and Cheddar. So, after are long drive home our Easter dinner was yummy. Brioche Roll Sandwiches with Meats and Cheese.
I had more than a few rolls left over so I decided to store them in the refrigerator and make Mini Burgers with them for Monday nights dinner. I really like using Brioche for Burgers and for French toast. Trader Joe’s sells a larger Brioche Roll that can also work for larger size Burgers.