TWD: Berry Galette

Stay tuned for an article in my newspaper about galettes. I’m obsessed. The Julia crust is flaky and easy, and the filling combinations are endless.


Our assigned recipe while at the beach was for the berry galette–my mom and I used a mix of strawberries and blueberries. YUM.
I’ve also made the galettes with tomatoes and cheese, and asparagus and ricotta. I’m hoping to make one with peaches, or squash and cheese. Galettes offer a simple way to create a photo-worthy dish. Find the berry galette recipes here.

We had a great week at Folly Beach, though baking in a beach cottage meant searching for aluminum pie plates because of a lack of cookie sheets, and  rolling dough on a wooden table since the counter was tiled. But now I can’t wait to go back to this beach next year!



TWD: Blueberry Nectarine Pie

My parents have always told my sister and I that knowing how to make a good pie is a critical skill. And with boyfriends that both appreciate a good pie, we have to agree.

That’s why I was excited to make this blueberry nectarine pie while Tom was home earlier in July. Though it wasn’t due til now, I figured that making a pie together would be great fun–and maybe convince him to come back? Okay, it ended up unfortunately not having that magical power (nothing seems to!), but it still was absolutely delicious. And one day, he’ll hopefully really appreciate my pie-making ability.

Though she didn’t get the final pie, Rachel agreed that the nectarines were tasty. She just chased the blueberries around on the floor, but she loved eating the juicy stone fruit.

The top crust wasn’t the prettiest, because I didn’t chill the shortening. It still worked, though the dough fell apart and was difficult to piece back together. But Tom said the crust was his favorite part, because it was buttery and flaky. I loved the filling, which was partially cooked before baking with lemon zest to brighten up the flavors.

We ate this pie for dessert, and breakfast in the car, and after a wedding in Norfolk, and back home in Fredericksburg after a day at the beach. Emma spent the night at my house to watch Rachel while we were gone, and I bribed her with a full fridge, including the pie.

On Sunday, she stayed much later than either of us intended. Why? “I’d be doing the same thing at my apartment, but you have internet and cable. And pie.” Good choice. Pie is always an important factor.

My mom made the pie the same day as the biscotti. She and my dad also agreed that this pie was fantastic — and deserved to be baked again.

See the recipe at Manchego’s Kitchen and That Skinny Bitch Can Bake. See what other bloggers said at Tuesdays with Dorie.

TWD: Semolina Bread

Not going to the grocery store for a few weeks when I needed yeast and semolina flour kind of affected the plan to make this semolina bread. And I still haven’t been. Being gone the past two weekends and with Tom visiting, I just didn’t have time to make bread either! We did make the blueberry-nectarine pie, and once he left, I made the biscotti. Fortunately, my mom made the semolina bread for TWD this week.

Look how pretty is is! Here’s what my mom said:

The bread was really easy to make. The starter came together nicely and it worked really well in the food processor. I wish I had let it rise a little longer in the loaf stage — it seemed a little heavy to me but it did taste good. Nice and crusty! I would reduce the salt in half to a teaspoon. I used 1 1/2 tsp as suggested by other bloggers but I still think that was a little salty. Most of my recipes use 2 teaspoons for 6 cups or so of flour and this recipe was half the size.

Find the recipe and other blog posts here. 

TWD: Hazelnut Biscotti (aka Storm Sustenance)

The “derecho” ruined my attempts for Hazelnut Biscotti. The scary, fierce, billion-hits-of-lightning-per-minute thunderstorm knocked down trees and power lines, leaving much of Fredericksburg without power for days. It was even worse for my parents in Roanoke, who lacked power from Friday night to Thursday afternoon. For my dad who stayed home with our pup Jill while my mom took care of my grandparents, this biscotti kept him going. (Updated: I finally made my biscotti!!)

“This is what your dad ate while he was stuck at home during the power outage and heat wave with very little other food in the house!” my mom wrote in her email. She had made the twice-baked cookies a few days before the storm, along with the nectarine-blueberry pie (coming up at the end of July).  Here’s what she said:

 I’ve made biscotti before and overall these were a very easy and tasty recipe. The hardest part was dealing with the hazelnuts but the method of boiling them in baking soda made for much easier skinning then just toasting them and rubbing them in paper towels, which is what I have done before. Just learning this technique made this recipe worthwhile for me!

The dough itself came together beautifully and was very quick to make. I had never done the second baking on a rack before but I see how it allowed the air to circulate around the cookies and maybe drying them out more thoroughly than just toasting them on a cookie sheet.

We found out they were delicious spread with nutella. Very tasty!

Find the recipe at Baking and Boys and Homemade and Wholesome. I’m going to try to make them soon! Semolina bread is coming up next week, but while Tom’s still in town, I’m planning to make pie in the next few days.

TWD: French Strawberry Cake

The other day turned into a three-piece-of-cake type of day. That’s right: Three. (Two were on the small side, and I had an extra sliver that I didn’t count, so maybe it was four?)

The first weekend I had Rachel, the new pup, we would walk and walk and walk and still, she wouldn’t be tired. On that Sunday, it wasn’t until the fourth mile that she looked even slightly worn out. I don’t know about her, but I certainly burned some calories. And that meant I was starving all weekend. After that long walk, my friend came over for a piece of cake. Later that evening, I went to my boyfriend’s family’s home, taking along my cake. They had a delicious carrot and pineapple upside down cake too, so we all had a piece of each.

This French Strawberry Cake was from “Baking with Julia,” for Tuesdays with Dorie. My mom and agreed: It was awesome. The classic but dry genoise cake soaked up the sweet berry juice while the whipped cream frosting offered a creamy finish. It also wasn’t too difficult to make, and I would love to make it again for friends, with all sorts of different fruits.

My mom’s gorgeous finished cake.

Here’s how we made our cakes. First, we whipped up whole eggs, with sugar. You had to beat them for quite awhile to get the right, light consistency.

Then, the recipe calls to add the flour, sifted. Since my mom’s cake ended up kind of doughy (little lumps of flour won’t bake out, she discovered), I sifted the flour directly on top of the batter and made sure to fold it together several times. I also had a helper in the kitchen. She didn’t know what to think of the mixer at first!

Once in the pan, the batter was very airy, with little bubbles at the top.

My mom used an 8″ pan, and was able to cut the cake into three layers. I made do with two layers, since I used a 9″ pan.

Each layer was topped with a sugar-soaked crushed strawberry mixture. I kept the extra juice, and let it soak into the cake.

Then, the layers come together with a whipped cream topping, stabilized with a bit of sour cream. I didn’t beat mine quite long enough for it to stand up when piped, but my mom’s looked like it turned out well.

To see the recipe, check out Sophia’s Sweets and Sleep Love Think Dine.

TWD: Oasis Naan

Naan can often be one of the best parts of a meal at an Indian restaurant. Puffy and soft, naan soaks up all the rich sauce. Or it’s delicious on its own. This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was Oasis Naan, a relatively simple recipe of flatbread, studded with salt, cumin seeds and green onions. I really enjoyed making this naan, but the recipe yielded eight 10-inch breads, so I stuck half in the freezer. I enjoyed it over a few meals with grilled veggies, egg salad and hummus.

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TWD: Pecan Sticky Buns

These pecan sticky buns may be the best recipe yet for Tuesdays with Dorie, my mom said this weekend, as we sat down at my grandparents’ house with a pan fresh warm from the oven and a fresh pot of coffee. Just don’t look at the nutritional information. (Maybe it’s good that isn’t included in “Baking with Julia.”)

I went down to Roanoke this weekend for the birthday-Mother’s-Day-baking-strawberrying-and-jam-making extravaganza. My mom and I thought we would have a pretty packed schedule, but fortunately, the pecan sticky buns didn’t require as much active time as I had thought. They did require a lot of butter. More than one entire box of butter. Five sticks of fat. But man, that fat sure did make these sticky buns extremely flaky and rich. Like a biscuit, the thin layers peeled apart. How’d we get them to do that?

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