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Monday, September 25, 2017

Local Hazelnut Harvest



It's time to gather hazelnuts (aka filberts) at Norm Lehne Garden and Orchards. Grab your leaf rake, gloves, and some old volleyball knee pads and head on out there.

Cracking the hazelnuts is time-consuming. I put a single layer in a gallon ziplock bag, seal it, and give each nut a quick pop with a hammer. After I have a good amount cracked, I watch tv while I sort out the nuts from the shells, then I bag them up and store them in the freezer.

What will I do with all those hazelnuts? 

Well, I start off roasting a big pan of them following these directions.  Then, I can use the roasted nuts to make hazelnut milk (following any directions for almond milk, but no need to soak the nuts if they are roasted). Or, I might make a batch of Hazelnut Butter to use instead of peanut butter for cookies, sandwiches, or dipping apple slices in.

I could use some in a batch of granola. Or chop some and add to this salad. I also love to eat the roasted hazelnuts by the handful as a snack or toss some into my oatmeal.

No need to roast the nuts beforehand for this Hazelnut-crusted Chicken. It's a big hit with kids and adults alike.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pie Class October 26, 2017



My next pie class is Thursday, October 26 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.
Perfect Pies
Thursday, August 17
4:30 - 6:30 pm
Class fee $35
This will be a hands on class. Each participant will be rolling out their own all-butter crust to take home. I'll demo several pies from start to finish and we'll have plenty to sample. We'll cover fruit pies, blind-baking crusts for cream pies, and even a chicken pot pie. I'll share all of the tips and tricks I've learned since I baked my first pie as a teenager. If you've ever been intimidated by making a pie from scratch, this is the class for you.

Class size is limited to seven. Pre-registration/pre-payment is required by Oct. 18. Plan to bring an apron and a rolling pin.

Email me at breadceterabaking@gmail.com for payment details or if you have questions.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Baking Classes Coming Up



I've got two baking classes coming up:
Perfect Pies
Thursday, August 17
4:30 - 6:30 pm
Class fee $30
This will be a hands on class. Each participant will be rolling out their own all-butter crust to take home. I'll demo several pies from start to finish and we'll have plenty to sample. We'll cover fruit pies, blind-baking crusts for cream pies, and even a chicken pot pie. I'll share all of the tips and tricks I've learned since I baked my first pie as a teenager. If you've ever been intimidated by making a pie from scratch, this is the class for you.


Simple Sourdough Bread
Thursday, September 7
2:00 - 4:30 pm
Class fee $35
We'll be mixing and baking round hearth loaves of a crusty sourdough/pain au levain bread. This recipe does not use any commercial yeast, just flour, water, salt, and a small amount of starter. It is made entirely by hand, no mixer or kneading necessary. The degree of "tang" in the bread can be varied by adjusting the time and temperature of the proofing.
You'll get to practice shaping and scoring a loaf. We'll use several different steaming methods to show you how to get a nice crust in a home oven. You'll each leave the class with a loaf of bread, a jar of starter, and a detailed recipe.
Class size is limited to seven.
Email me at breadceterabaking@gmail.com for payment options or if you have questions.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Marinated Cucumbers


                               

I bought two beautiful cucumbers from the Big Lick Farm booth at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market this morning and quickly decided to get them marinating for dinner tomorrow. Because they are organic, I didn't bother to peel them, but I did score them lengthwise with the tines of a fork. It gives them a lacey edge that looks pretty in the jar.

                               

I added some sliced red onion just for fun. If you don't care for the strong taste of raw onion, marinating it will take the bite out. Great for piling on sandwiches or adding to a green salad.

Here's what I did for one quart jar:

Wash two medium cucumbers and score them lengthwise. Slice very thin. Cut a medium red onion in half and thinly slice one half crosswise so you end up with crescent-shaped slivers. (Reserve the other half for another use.)

Layer the cucumbers and onion slices in a wide-mouth quart jar or similar-sized container. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup vinegar (I like apple cider vinegar), 1/2 cup sugar (you can sub no-cal sweetener of choice), and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Pour over the cucumbers and onions, cap the jar, and shake well. Refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours, giving the jar a good shake whenever you happen to open the fridge. Serve with a slotted spoon as a refreshing side dish.

Monday, May 29, 2017

All Those Strawberries!





My husband and I picked 30 pounds of luscious, local, organic strawberries at Big Lick Farm a few days ago. What will I do with all those berries? Aside from eating them by the bowlful and flash-freezing sliced berries for year-round smoothies, here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries:

This is a fabulous salad with spring greens, local hazelnuts, and strawberries.

I made a batch of chocolate-dipped strawberries for our Sunday dinner dessert yesterday.

This strawberry-rhubarb crisp is divine.

Strawberry lassi is a refreshing addition to any spicy meal, like curry.

Here's my take on classic strawberry shortcake.

Here's the low-sugar freezer jam recipe I usually use for all sorts of berries, but a friend gave me some instant clear-jel, so I made a batch following the instructions in this post and it turned out really well.

You can also substitute pureed strawberries for the raspberry juice in this recipe to make strawberry lemonade.

What's you favorite way to eat strawberries?






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