Archive for January, 2015

Buying Your First Slow Cooker and Universal Slow Cooking Tips

You can really have your choice of brands in buying a slow cooker. Any of the major brands are competitive–Rival, Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, but for families you want the right size. That is the super size 6 1/2 to 7 quart model. This will give you some leftovers and still feed a family. Most slow cooker cooks end up with three different sizes, all for different dishes.

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Gluten-free Blondies with White Chocolate Chips

Just in case you love Blondies but can’t eat wheat, here is a recipe based on Murray’s Blondies. You can substitute an equal amount of a gluten-free flour mixture for the rice flours and cornstarch if you like. Makes 9 bars.

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My Catering Stories: Reflections in a Star of David Part 2

Back up at the house, Crystal headed to the Egyptian room to set up the tables and arrange the chairs and tablecloths. I stood for a moment assessing the space and walked into the living room. There were the muted sounds of people doing setup in other areas of the house. The caterer had arrived and I could hear pounding coming from large granite mortars and pestles; they were making fresh salsa for dinner.

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Cornucopia Of Bread

The directions for creating this cornucopia is adapted from Woman’s Day magazine, September 2007. While I made my cornucopia from French bread dough, I will leave the instructions for using refrigerated breadstick dough in case you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch. You can fill the cornucopia as the season dictates; it is always impressive. I filled mine with blood red roses, leather fern, and the spindle-shaped French rolls.

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My Catering Stories: Reflections on a Star of David

One day in early January I received a telephone call.”Hello, may I speak to Beth please,” came the soft toned voice. “Speaking,” I replied absentmindedly, used to unfamiliar voices inquiring about catering.”This is Mimi Fariña of Bread and Roses calling from Marin County. I am having a small fundraiser at Bill Graham’s house in Mill Valley next month and I was wondering if you, as a bread baker, would be able to do something for us.”

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Little French Rolls à la Bread and Roses

Even if you have never made bread before, you can make these rolls, known as petits pains in French. It is a simple and straightforward dough, even indestructible as long as you don’t kill the yeast. In recent years I have come to use doughs that are much more wet and sticky than this one, but I always come back to this basic recipe that was originally patterned after James Beard’s Cuban Bread.

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