Sunday, November 29, 2009

Words About Stuff

Look! It's typing here.

And LB isn't responsible either.

I've been traveling quite a bit for business. I'm not sure if that means the economy is getting better or that my projects are just all on the same time path. Whichever it has kept me from home, this blog, and most importantly baking bread. I'd like to say this post means a return to baking bread and other treats and delights but unfortunately my travel schedule is only going to get more hectic for the rest of year.

Starting tomorrow, November 30, I'm back in LA for a few days and then onto Las Vegas until the end of the week. I'm home for the weekend but off to Philly for Monday and then Wednesday I fly to Houston where, if everything goes right, along with some business I'm going to get a chance to spend some time in the kitchen with a very special person. After Houston, it is Boston for the weekend and then off to Charlotte, NC to work on a huge sporting venue for the week. By the time I get home on the 18th of December, I will have only one weekend to get ready for the holidays.

The good news of all that travel?

This year's Christmas presents are going to be bought in airports around the country. Also, you may have noticed that some of the cities on my itinerary are some fine eating cities. The added bonus is they are also some of the best golfing cities in the country. So, I'll be traveling with not only my job folders but armed with a list of golf courses I and good restaurants a girl can enjoy a fine scotch and steak in after nine.

Speaking of Christmas presents, I came home from Thanksgiving in Bristol, TN to find a package waiting for me. I opened it find my brother and his wife had sent me a fantastic set of melodramas and romances from the late 50's and early 60's.


They know I love old movies and have a special place in my collection for those fanatastic Technicolor and Cinemascope movies that feature the sets, costumes and of course some wonderful performances by not only well known stars but some of the most overlooked actors of the 20th Century like Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Wyman, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Rock Hudson, Hope Lange, Cary Grant, and the dreamy Jeff Chandler. I can't wait for the first really snowy day to make a huge pot of soup, bake some bread, and fire up the DVD player.

There will be some cooking going on this weekend. Look at what I stopped at the fishmonger and picked up this morning on my way back from the gym.


Aren't those two lovely filets of wild Pacific salmon? I'm going to ban sear them and make a nice salad for dinner later tonight. But first I have to finish getting ready for this week's travel and if I have time, go catch up on the Sunday NYT that have piled up and since the sun is shining maybe even go hit a bucket of balls at the driving range.

Oh, and then there is finish packing. As you can see


LB thinks he should be packed to come along for this trip. I wish as I miss his furry little face while I'm gone.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giving a Little to Those Without While We Give Thanks

Tomorrow will be one of the busiest days in grocery stores and supermarkets across America as we Americans each make that big trip to purchase items for Thanksgiving dinner which is upcoming this Thursday, November 26.

Yet, even as some of us prepare for a biggest food holiday in the land and monumental feast to be enjoyed and shared with our families and friends, almost 50 million fellow American's will be going hungry or be facing a shortage of food on Thursday.

At the same time, because of the economic situation, the food banks, charitable organizations that provide emergency food services and the soup kitchens of America are facing the largest shortage of funds and supplies while at the same time serving more people than in the last fifty years.

To help feed those less fortunate than myself, tomorrow when I go to the store to pick up the items I need to bake the desserts for Thanksgiving, I will be purchasing a few extra cans and boxes of non perishable food stuffs to give to my local food bank. I'm asking all my readers to do the same.

It doesn't have to be a lot, a can of vegetables or fruit or a box of instant potatoes or powdered milk; what ever you feel you can afford. Then put it in the box for the local food bank that most grocery stores have at the check out during this time of the year.

If your local store doesn't have a box or you want to volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen for those less fortunate, you can visit either Share Our Strength or Feeding America to find a local food bank or contact a church or the local social services department to find a soup kitchen to volunteer to serve meals or help deliver meals.

After all, Thanksgiving doesn't stop at the front door and we all have so much to be thankful for this year and so much to share.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Remember When I Said I Would Be Home...

I lied.

Well, I didn't lie. My boss lied to me. I'm sitting here right now after packing for a one day/one night trip to New Orleans. Flight leaves at 5:55am tomorrow and I will be on our job site by 11am.

Good news?

I'm going to New Orleans, the Disneyland of food.

It will be the first trip I've made back to the Big Easy since Hurricane Katrina. I can't wait to have my Po'Boy at Serio's and then my dinner at this place near the Garden District that I can never remember the name of but the bar is filled with boxing memorabilia (I tell the cab driver that and they always seem to find the place) that has the best bbq shrimp I've ever had.

Bad news?

I'm going to miss the Po'Boy Preservation Festival by one week.

May have to do my duty and bring a few home. If you are on NW2196 on Friday, I'm the lady who checked her computer bag so she could bring the cooler of shrimp and crawfish Po'Boys on as carry on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bread Baking Babes: Brioche Mousseline and Buddy Time

BBB logo november 2009

Step away folks, nothing to see here.


I'm back in town for a whole week! Yes, a whole goll darn week. Can you believe it?!

I can't but I promise the Bread Baking Babes I'm going to put it to good use because this month's bread, to paraphrase a line from one of my favorite chick flicks "Pretty Woman", has potential.

If you know that movie then you know which scene I'm talking about and when you see the and well shaped Brioche Mousseline our host kitchen, Monique of Living on Bread and Water and the other Babes listed over there on the sidebar created, you will understand exactly why I picked that scene.

Anyways, today is posting day and because of my travel schedule I haven't had a chance to bake the bread. So, I'm going to be a Buddy this month and do my level headed best to bake it this week.

If you want to join me as a Buddy this go around, all you have to do is bake the Brioche Mousseline, post about it on your blog, and email Monique with a picture and/or a link to your post by November 23rd.

Bet this bread would make fantastic rolls for Thanksgiving or even Christmas, because Monique says it freezes beautifully.

Brioche Mousseline
from Bernard Clayton Jr's "The Breads of France"

Ingredients :For 2 tall loaves
1 package of dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup all purpose flour

4 cups all purpose
6 eggs, room temp.
4 Tbsp warm water
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 ounces butter , unsalted , room temp.

Dress up the cans by encircling the cans with paper(buttered if needed )as a collar.
Butter the inside of the can or , better , line in with paper.

Starter ( takes 10 minutes and 2 hours )
Dissolve yeast in water and set aside for a few minutes until creamy.Stir in flour and knead for about 3 minutes until shaggy loaf of dough. Cover with plastic and let rest for 2 hours.
In mean time prepare rest of dough :Start with 2 cups of flour , 4 eggs (stir in one at the time), 2 table sp. water ,sugar , salt and blend it all.
Knead butter (on a lenght of wax paper) soft and pliable with a doughscraper or spatula.Blend in batter.Than add remaining 2 eggs and spoons of water.Stir in rest of flour , 1/2 cup at the time until the dough is a soft ball.Press into oval on your flowered work surface , place starter in the center and fold over the edges and knead to incorporate the withe starter dough with the yellow egg and butter dough. Knead for about 8 minutes. The dough stays a little sticky but will become firm after cooling in the fridge if that will help you kneading.

First rise 3 hours
At room temp. covered wth plastic wrap, until more thsn double.It becomes light and puffy.

Refrigeration 2 hours or overnight
For at lest 2 hours in the fridge. Overnight is also possible but it will need a longer rise in the mold later on.

Fill the coffecan for 2/3 and allow to rise.

Pre-heat the oven 20 minutes before baking.

How high the rising will be depends on the strength of flour thats been used. There will be a difference between different flours from different places in the world.

The Brioche is done when the crust is deep brown. Or use a cake testing pin, that has to come out clean .

Undress your mold and let stand for 10 minutes before removing the mold.Twist gently to remove ( take care , still hot ! )and allow to cool down on a rack .

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Cat Blogging: Life is a Bowl of Tuna

I know it comes as no surprise that Mom is nowhere to be found and there hasn't been any typing here at The Sour Dough since the end of last month.

Further, I know it won't surprise you at all when I tell you that since Mom last visited these dusty and musty webpages, that she has been home for less than three days. It seems that Mom is on her end of the year world wide tour of projects and conferences. I'm calling it Red-Eyeapollza in honor of her bloodshot eyes from all those late night flights.

When Mom does come home, she barely has time to restock the cat food and do her laundry let alone cook or bake anything. She is even scraping the bottom of the normally well stocked pantry when she does make an appearance.

For example, on Wednesday night this week, she showed up on the doorstep at 11:30pm after a flight back from LA starving. After dumping her luggage, starting a load of laundry, and feeding me a bonus can of cat food she scrounged around the pantry and came up with a bag of instant brown rice, a can of Rotel tomatoes, and a travel container of tuna fish for a late night dinner.

The best part of that impromptu meal?


Mom let me lick the tuna fish container...

We're hosting Weekend Cat Blogging here at the Sour Dough this weekend. We're hoping all the other kitties in the blogosphere get as nice a treat as I had. So, stop by, leave a comment and let us know what you are up to!