Tuesdays With Dorie – Bubble Eclairs

Bubble Eclairs from @doriegreenspan 's Baking Chez Moi #TuesdaysWithDorie #DorieGreenspan #Baking #Dessert #eclair #pateachoux #801

A photo posted by Nicole Rosenberger Price (@the2nd35years) on

I almost forgot that I needed to write this post. It was only because someone responded to a comment of mine that it even occurred to me!

Right now we are in the home stretch of packing for our move to Florida. We leave in 4 days, not including today, although we really must include it because there is still so much to do! The kitchen has been long packed up, but I left my Dorie books out because there was a challenge, and no move was going to stop me!

Luckily Eclairs are an easier challenge. The challenge, for me, was making these in someone else’s kitchen (my mother in law’s), using unfamiliar tools and having no scale. Everything dry was sifted, spooned, and leveled to make sure that it wouldn’t be too dry without weighing it all, and it did turnout great. Not at all dry. I couldn’t let a cross-country move deter me from a Dorie challenge! That night I also made the Orange Pork Tenderloin from AMFT, which was also a huge hit. My husband has had pork tenderloin ruined for him in the distant past, so he is generally averse to eating it, but he loved this for all its flavor and juiciness!

Anyway, side note. I went to IKEA to look for the Swedish pearl sugar, but it seems they discontinued carrying it, at least in our store, about 3 years ago. Instead, this happened:

So this is happening. #ikea #candy

A photo posted by Nicole Rosenberger Price (@the2nd35years) on

Between me and my husband we bought about 3lbs of candy, so at least the trip to IKEA was not wasted. But let’s be honest. Is a trip to IKEA ever wasted? I am pretty sure not.

I did go back to Gygi for the sugar, and also left with 6 lbs of Callebaut White Chocolate. This is the stuff with the cocoa butter in it that was so very hard to find when we were using it for a previous challenge, so until I can source it in Florida I have no qualms about keeping it on ice in a cooler for the duration of the drive. After all, I refuse to ditch my passion fruit puree either. Plus I was easily swayed by the cashier’s tall tales about the high cost of shipping chocolate, and how people will fly out here and drive chocolate back across state lines. No complaints from me. It all feels so culinarily clandestine! I also left with a new star piping tip, a few new cooling racks, another half sheet pan, some pre-cut half sheet pan parchment paper, and pre-cut quarter sheet pan parchment paper.

So for the cream puffs! I actually did a pastry cream in the bottom, with a sweetened whipped cream on top. Both my husband and I thought it would be lovely with a coulis or other bright fruit puree in the bottom too. As you can see I also used the Swedish pearl sugar on top. I piped the pâte a choux bubblesa bit overlapping (using my fabulous new star tip), and thought that it wouldn’t turn out, but they actually looked quite good, and stayed together.

As a side note, I consistently use Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste EVERYWHERE that Extract is called for but of course that was packed so I used regular McCormick Vanilla Extract in the pastry cream. Man what a difference that makes! So much less vanilla-y. Still delicious, but way less vanilla flavor. I will never go back. In fact, the only thing that stopped me from just buying the industrial sized jug was the fact that I would have to pack that. Not that it stopped me from buying OTHER things, but really. Maybe buying the gallon bottle is going over the top. Maybe not. Gygi ships, and the gallon jug saves money. Just sayin’.

Anyway, the Eclairs were gone in a flash. Almost in less than 5 minutes. That is the glory of cooking at my mother in law’s. Everyone loves it, and there isn’t anything to store away.

Alright guys, see you on the flip side in Florida for the next challenge! We will just be getting there on the 3rd, which should be just in time. Priorities.

Posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

WIP Wednesday – Packing

We are now T-11 days until we physically complete our move. Ack!

We are about 95% completed on packing the kitchen. This has definitely taken the longest, and really should not be surprising to anyone considering that is a significant portion of my free time!

The office is about 60% completed, and we will get back to that after the kitchen I suspect.

The master bedroom and closet is about 50% completed.  I think that this and the office will go quickly because it is not as much tedious bubble wrapping and stuffing boxes work.

We have donated 4 large boxes of books, 8 bags of clothing, and 2 large bins of assorted tchotchke. We are not keeping 7 pieces of furniture.

As I have been packing I’ve been thinking through the driving principles of Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying”. Essentially, if the item no longer brings you joy, you thank it for its service and send it for donation. I think for me, too, the longer we pack, the more I am like “do I want to schlep this with me to Florida?”, which answer increasingly becomes no. In the past we have trekked a 20-22′ truck with all of our things, which for two people is complete nonsense. These things sit around gathering dust, or clogging up a closet. Since we have to move ourselves, we have set a goal to fit into a 16′ truck, which I think is perfectly realistic. But, it also is forcing us to eliminate 6 square feet of stuff. I actually think we may do slightly better than that. And you know what? I don’t miss a single thing I have sent out the door.

My husband has been such a trooper during this. So great about keeping me going when I am slowing down, and trying to keep a light attitude. I will have some PTO between now and the time we leave which will hopefully contribute to our finishing this packing business with a few days to spare, so that we really just have a few days to relax before the drive east.

I am missing my stitching, cooking, and baking, but will have one last chance to cook and bake (and maybe even stitch!) on Sunday for my mother in law at her house. After all, I have to complete my Tuesdays With Dorie challenge for next week (Bubble Eclairs!). I do still have BCM and AMFT still sitting out in the kitchen. In the meanwhile, thank goodness for Harmon’s rotisserie chicken, and pre-prepared food counter. If you live in the area and have never had their cheesy red potato salad, you should definitely get some. So delicious! Also, as a total indulgence we still have some Fig Jam left over that I don’t want to chuck but can’t ship, so I bought a wedge of brie and some onion crackers, and we will have a treat. 😇 Though I will say that I have a tub of Passion Fruit Puree in the freezer and THAT is going into a cooler that will be nursed with ice all week long. Definitely not throwing that out!

Well, I think that is the update.

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WIP Wednesday, or, Our Big News

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No joke. We’re moving to Florida. In 2.5 weeks!

This is a work relocation. I’ve been working for a very well known Fortune 500 company for almost 5 years now, and I have an opportunity to transfer internally for a big promotion. I am so excited!

For the last year I have been building a very specific professional skillset, and one day my brother from another mother challenged me to see if my skillset was relevant to other roles. He left me accountable to him in two week’s time. So I updated my resumé internally. Now, one of the things that excited me when I was first hired, was that I could work in pretty much any location world-wide. And since it is just me, my hubs, and our furbabies, it’s easier to relocate.

As I updated my resume I updated my relocation preferences, and found a few new ones, in particular this location in Florida, and looked at the role offerings there. The first role that was listed was this position that I swear was written with me in mind! It was the perfect combination of my last year’s work, and what I hoped my near future career development would look like. The only down side, in my mind, was that it was a really big level jump from my current role, which might be a disqualifier. That being said, I thought back to Cheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In”, which talks about how women often don’t apply for roles that they don’t feel 100% qualified for. I thought that I didn’t really have anything to lose in applying because the worst they could say was “no”, or send me an automatic denial email.

Imagine my surprise when the recruiter reached out to me and screened me. I even negotiated for a relocation package. That turned into a meeting with the hiring Executive, and then four other significant interviews. And then it became “hurry up and wait” until one day I received an email asking how this role stood up against other things I might have interviewed for, and what I might need for relocation.

At this point I thought it was likely that I would receive an offer. I started to purge in anticipation of packing. Then I received an email that I would be receiving an offer, but there were a number of approvals that had to happen because of transition in the company, which took almost another week. Then the offer officially came. How exciting!

And thank goodness because it has been a really distracting two month process that I couldn’t talk about! I even had to wait to post here for the official work announcement to be made because work friends follow me across social media.

So now we are packing and purging, purging and packing. We officially depart on the 30th, and then I start my new role on the day after Labor Day! My last day in my current role is on the 26th. All my stitching WIPs are packed except for Tradewinds, and the kitchen is gradually being packed up. The timing of the Dorie challenges is perfect because I can finish the next challenge for the Bubble Eclairs before we go, and then get to relocating. My husband has been amazing, and is quick to remind me that he is the captain of this relocation ship. I am relegated to tape and labelling duty, and am happy to relinquish the lead.

I am so excited for so many reasons, and it is equally bittersweet, but the benefits far outweigh any sadness I have over moving on. We are stoked for new adventures, and to getting back to the East Coast, which my husband and I are both natives of.

Anyway, I hope to share details of our move, now that I can talk about it, our apartment decorating process, more cooking, more stitching, and our experience with living almoat literally on the beach.

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Plum Crumb Tart

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I am writing this on Monday night after having just downed a slice of this fantastic tart. I totally didn’t have time to make this over the weekend and didn’t want to miss the challenge. I made Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches from AMFT for dinner tonight, which was amazing, but I had to dine and dash to make sure I caught the last of the fading sunlight for a picture. Ah the life of a food blogger!

A number of stressors in my life (Tune in on Wednesday for the Official Big News!) found me forgetting to weight my tart, causing it to take on altogether too much color. The up side is that it didn’t puff as I took it right from the freezer to the oven, and I did a little crust shield to keep the edges from taking on more color than i deemed appropriate. 😇 I had issues with the dough to begin with though. My dough broke, so I wound up cobbling together a frankentart press in shell. I feel like at some point I was careless with my process, which isn’t altogether surprising considering what’s going on in my life, and then it was all down hill from there. Luckily the taste wasn’t affected too much. Just a little more nutty flavor, which complemented the Frangipane. (ETA: looking at everyone else’s tart color, they are all dark too, so maybe it isn’t overbaked after all… Phew)

In BCM, Dorie writes about how Cherry season arrives in abundance, and then is gone just as fast, which is pretty much how I wound up using beautiful plums instead. A few weeks ago cherries were EVERYWHERE, and now all that remains are a few decomposing bags of cherries in the supermarket. The plums were amazing though, and I don’t regret using them one bit. Plus it sounded great! Plum… Crumb… Tart. 😄 I got all fancy with arranging my plums but I could just have easily cubed it all because it was all covered by the crumb. And this, as with many Dorie recipes, is easily adaptable to whatever is in season. Also, I didn’t use Orange zest, but did use Cointreau in the cream. So good.

Anyway, on to the next challenge!

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

WIP Wednesday

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My stitching (and blogging, and baking, and…) has been slow going over the last few weeks. I’ve been super distracted by some very exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you! I should be able to share the excitement within the week, so stay tuned, and bear with me until then.

In the meanwhile, here is my progress on Tradewinds. Almost done with this dolphin, and then it’s on to backstitching.

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

Tuesdays With Dorie_ Vanilla Mango Panna

About two weeks ago, before The Illness ran rampant in our home, I was preparing for our Dorie challenge for this week. As I perused the recipe (not remembering if I had made anything with mango in it before), I asked my husband “Do you like mango?”

I paused, waiting for a response, and then in true married-for-12-years fashion, we both quoted at the same time, “You can’t have-a de Mango!”, and devolved into hysterical laughter.

Mango

Such is the Mango.

In an unsurprising turn of events, I’ve never made Panna Cotta. The great thing about working through Baking Chez Moi, is that I am forced into making non-baked goods. I love anything that comes out of a bakery, but I must admit that I have narrowed my dessert focus in mostly avoiding non-baked goods. Except for Tiramisu and Crème Brûlée. And Mousse. Before I married my husband and really started cooking, I had the taste buds of a teething baby. Or an anorexic ballet dancer (true story). You choose. I’d say I’ve come a long way, not just in my relationship with food, but also in my flavor palate. Wow. How did we get there?

This is probably the most uncomplicated (now unlike this post) dessert I’ve made of late, which is ok because, as I stated earlier, we’re all recovering here in our house. This also gave me the perfect opportunity to break out some pretty vintage dessert glasses I’ve had stored away for years, waiting for just the right opportunity to use them. If you look closely you can see that they are iridescent. Yes, I am a hoarder of pretty serving dishes and  utensils.

Side note: I’ve worked with gelatin before when making Milk Bar cakes, but never heated it up. Has anyone else noticed how warm, plain, liquefied gelatin smells like a wet dog?

I used one full mango, but I might double that next time. I also have some really fantastic Passion Fruit Puree in the freezer that I might use in stead of the Mango next time. It has a much brighter, more acidic flavor than mango, which I think I prefer. It’s a lovely dessert though, and it’s so easy to put together, and has such an elegant presentation for your guests — they will think you spent all day on it if you serve it at the end of a dinner party. Plus, no matter what fruit you use, its flavors are really nice and light. I could easily see using fresh raspberries, or other brightly flavored in-season fruit if you wanted to shake things up a little. I also used Vanilla Bean paste as usual — I love seeing all of those lovely vanilla seeds lining the border between the panna cotta and mango. As for me, I thought that this was a fancy version of a Haribo candy. Vanilla cream gummy on one side, fruity flavor on the other. Yum! Would this be my go-to? Probably not, but it was still delicious none-the-less, and is definitely a good change of pace desert.

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

WIP Wednesday – A Happy Dance!

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Today’s post is less of a WIP Wednesday and more of a Happy Dance Wednesday. Most importantly it means that I can get back to stitching Tradewinds. 🎆🎊🎉🎇

This little piece was designed by Scarlett Stitches and my friend who is a HUGE Aliens fan purchased the pattern and asked me to stitch it for him. I think he found a picture of this piece on tumblr or something like that, and then I dug around on the interwebs until I found the designer’s etsy site.

Overall, it was an easy stitch. The pattern came in color and black and white. Some of the symbols chosen for the black and white pattern were extremely difficult to read… It almost appeared as if the symbols weren’t there at all when I printed it out, so I would sometimes need to refer to the color chart. However, there were discrepancies in the pattern between the color chart and the black and white chart, so I “winged” it, and called it a day. Stitcher’s prerogative!

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled stitching programming!

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