Thursday, January 26, 2012

FFwD - Broth Braised Potatoes

Marsh'a Grandbaby
What a week it has been!  Where to begin...My good friend, Marsha, was in Orlando helping her daughter and grand-daughter adjust to daughter going back to work and grand-daughter going to daycare.    Not fun, in fact very traumatic! Grammy to the rescue; that's what grandmas are for:)  So I flew to Orlando, spent a couple of days with my friend and her daughter and family then drove with Marsha to her home in Memphis.  Other than driving through Alabama in the middle of a tornado, leaving a computer and ipad in the hotel and driving all over Dothan, AL looking for breakfast (seriously, someone needs to open a cafe in Dothan) it was a great trip loaded with girl talk.  I don't know what I'd do without this amazing woman in my life...I don't even want to think about it.

Then there was time with my husband's family who also live in Memphis.  A good time was had by all but 'there's no place like home' and we're happy to be back in Oklahoma!

Oh yeah, I got a cold.

I was tempted to blow off the potatoes this week but I didn't.  I didn't get a picture but I'm glad I made them!  They are super easy and delicious and as much as I love potatoes its often the stuff I put on or in the potatoes that I love the most.  Broth braised potatoes have very little fat and lots of flavor!

And now, since I have no picture of potatoes, here's a picture of my grandson:)  It didn't transfer well but I think his adorableness is obvious!

My Grandbaby:)

Be sure to stop by the French Friday site and see what the other folks thought about the potatoes!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coming Clean - I've Made a Mess Of It

When I began blogging I was afraid of putting myself out there in the public domain.  It was easy to use a pseudo identity.  I'd been doing it most of my life.  

My given name is Guyla.  It looks simple enough, Guy + la, but the things people can come up with leaves me scratching my head not sure if they're talking to me or someone else.  I had a nickname from the time I was 2 days old until I was 30 when I decided to become Guyla.  So I took up my name and learned to enjoy the uniqueness....except when I'm somewhere like Starbucks and they ask for my name.  Then I ALWAYS use Lola.  I call Lola my stage name.  It was natural to use Lola when I began blogging.

Then the photography!  Once I joined the cooking group French Fridays with Dorie and we all want to include a photo of the dish we cooked, the photography became as important as the food!  I've joined a couple of photography groups on line in an effort to learn and improve my photo skills.  One of them requires I use my real name.  Instead of puzzling out how they would know what my 'real' name is I decided to create a blog Prufrock's Playground, using my name, Guyla.  

Then the trouble began!  I have great ideas!  I do not have the skills to carry them out!  So now I have two blogs and they both have Lola and Guyla included in the info.  I can't figure it out...yet.  

Bloggers Are The Nicest People

Blogging has been an adventure beyond anything I anticipated.  I didn't realize how supported I would feel when I decided to join a cooking group, French Fridays with Dorie.  This is a great bunch of bloggers;  supportive, kind, funny and best of all opinionated!  I enjoy opinionated people.

Kathy at Bakeawaywith me is exactly that kind of blogger and she has very nicely passed on the Liebster Blog award to me.  You need to check out Kathy's blog.  Her tag line is "A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand."  Now who wouldn't love her!

And lastly, I would like to pass along this award to Life on Autumn Trail, my fabulous daughter in law, Mixed Grill FavoritesMy Life as a Chic Country CowgirlMaggie's Mealtime MagicConfessions of a Culinary Diva.  All of them are entertaining and interesting blogs, especially Life on Autumn Trail, its about my grandson, but I swear I'm not prejudiced!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FFwD - Quatre-Quarts

This is the kind of cake that everyone needs to know how to make.  You can do anything with it; it can be cupcakes or a layer cake.  You can use it as a base for fruit, frost it or serve it plain.  It can be a family dinner dessert, a special occasion cake or just a snack.  I've been making a similar cake for  quite a while from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food.  I love that title...I love that cookbook!

People that grew up eating cakes made from a mix sometimes think made from scratch cakes are dry but to me cake mixes produce a gummy cake.  You know like packaged white bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth?  I like the texture of a cake to let me know I'm eating cake!  It was really good with strawberry coulis!
Quatre-Quarts with strawberry coulis
January has been a month of great recipes so far!  Check out all the French Friday cooks.

Friday, January 13, 2012

FFwD - Jacques's Armagnac Chicken

This is good...I mean seriously good...and easy!  Its like chicken pot roast.  You just throw the veg into the pot then put in the salt and peppered chicken, pour brandy all around it, cover tightly and voila, about an hour later you have a pot of deliciousness!

It doesn't really need anything to go with it but I'm obsessed with roasting vegetables and had some brussel sprouts in need of cooking so I coated them in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted at 400° for about 20 minutes.  Sweet and salty and crispy. I tell you if you haven't tried roasting vegetables you're missing out on a flavor bonanza!

A little white wine is good too.  I'm loving Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer. Crisp and light and good with so many different foods.

I think this is my husband's favorite French Friday recipe to date.  He just couldn't stop talking about it...and it was perfect for lunch the next day.  He said its like chicken pot pie without the pie. He's right.

The other French Friday cooks have great pictures and opinions!  Go visit them French Friday with Dorie!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

FFwD - Bubble-Top Brioches

Who doesn't love homemade bread?  I love it and love to make it and I'm grateful to Dorie and the French Friday cooks for getting me baking again.  I used to bake bread once a week but fell out of the routine last summer and never got back into it.

Here in Oklahoma its been a gorgeous week...lots of sun and not too much wind...temps in the 60s.  It was gorgeous sitting on the patio with fresh from the oven brioche, orange marmalade and a cup of coffee.  I could get used to it!

This was my first brioche and it was so easy it won't be my last!  Check out the experiences of all the French Friday cooks at French Fridays with Dorie.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year - 2012 Is Here!

Apple Cidercar
I believe in making resolutions. Resolving. Setting goals. Making lists. Promises. Commitments. I love the idea that with each new year we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our lives. Its not the keeping of the resolution, the achieving of the goal. What I like is the effort, the trying, and when I fall short finding the motivation to try again. And when I give up I can count on loved ones, whether family or friends, to believe in me despite my failures.

A cocktail to ring in 2012. Can you think of anything better than a cocktail that is equally delicious hot or cold? Apple Cidercar. Its very good made with Williams Sonoma apple cider concentrate but its also delicious made with any good apple cider. Just use the amount of the concentrate and water combined if you're using regular cider. 10 ounces. We like to rim our cups or glasses with raw sugar. I hope you love it as much as we do.

2012. A New Year. I'm looking forward to it. I hope you are too.