Thursday
Sep212017

sourdough pumpkin cake

I have gotten asked if I could make a cake with sourdough.  And I have been craving cake.  But not cake with frosting but what I call an everyday cake.  Where it is a little bit sweet, may be toasted, goes well with tea.  Why not?  

I had some "extra" sourdough starter.  Actually, I took a cup from a pizza dough I was preparing.  I used it in the cake.  It meant I did not need to use baking powder, which I can not stand the taste of!  It also means, depending on the consistency of the starter, I do not need to add any extra milk.  Also, I could use water instead of milk here if I wished too.

By the way, this is one of my current favorite breakfasts.  The cake gets toasted, some butter is smeared, life is good.  It is not as bad for you as you might think.  Olive oil is used instead of butter.  I used white whole wheat flour.  I am getting requested for cake about once a week currently.  It is a good thing I walk over 7 miles most days.

sourdough pumpkin cake

1 cup sourdough

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 14 ounce can of pumpkin (not pie filling)

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

(1/2 cup milk or water)

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose here)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspong ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter and flour a loaf pan.  I bought the Vardagen loaf pan from Ikea.  Is is 5.25 inches by 3 inches by 12.75 inches.  It holds 1.9 quarts and works perfectly.

In a large bowl, put the starter.  If the starter is a 100% starter by volume, you will not need to add any extra liquid to the batter.  If the starter is a 100% starter by weight, you will need to add a 1/2 cup of either water or milk later in the process.

Mix in the olive oil and sugar.  It might be a difficult mix depending on the consistency of your starter.  Mix in the pumpkin, egg, vanilla, and if you are using a 100% starter by weight, either the water or milk.  Mix well.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  I usually have some bran from the flour that needs to be dumped into the compost.  Add the salt.  

Mix well.

Pour into the loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.  It will depend on the consistency of the starting batter.  I start checking at 1 hour with a knife to the base of the cake.  When the knife comes out clean, let the cake cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, if not 30.  I always have someone who cannot wait.  If you do not let this cake cool in the pan, it will collapse from its own weight.  Still very edible but there is usually a bit that gets very dense.  Obviously, I did this.  It was a very wonky cake.

An everyday pumpkin cake.  I have not tired of this one yet.  I have a chocolate version as well but so far, this is the one that gets requested the most.

 

Tuesday
Sep192017

playing with wool embroidery

I have seen some really pretty wool embroidery on Pinterest and Instagram.  Embroidery is one of those things with crochet that has a tendency to relax me.  Embroider is also much more portable then my sewing machine.  It is portable sewing for me.  Outside of just taking knit fabric with me to be sewn.

This was fun.  I took bits of hand spun yarn that just was not enough for a project.  Or I had used it in another project.  When you spinning a whole fleece, there can be a lot of yarn!

I do think I will make another if the right base hat comes a long.  The only negative is just the length of time it takes.  But it is a form of meditation.  I decided to put it up for sale in my Etsy shop.  I find as much as I like to make hats, I always tend towards my favorites.  The same can be said about shawls.

Saturday
Sep162017

for a small tree boy

Remember that wedding dress I made last autumn for my Beloved's assistant's fiance.  Where I came to the rescue.  Well, they had a small boy last month.  This small boy's birth did not even go close to plan.  We are grateful that mom and babe are alive.  All due to screwed up medical choices.  Not hers!  

Then, before the small boy had even been in this world a month, this small storm blew through.  Harvey.  Their home is fine.  Some repairs may need to happen but it was not flooded.  

There were a few other things that happened that month for this family.  Not good things but get through things.  In long term, everything will be fine.  Short term, it is hard.

This quilt is going to Rowan.  He likes patterns.  And he will be rolling in the next couple months as well so this could be a place for him to roll.  I took longer on this quilt then I did on her wedding dress.  Because there was not a deadline!

Life is strange.

Good but strange.  

Dad already likes this.  It will be interesting to see what Mom thinks.

Thursday
Sep142017

ice cream cones

I like ice cream.  I like ice cream cones.  I do not like leaving the house.  There are acceptable ice cream cones to be purchased at the grocery store but the closest store to us only has gluten free cones which taste like cardboard!  I am not kidding.  Though Koda Bear seems to like them.

So, instead of going to an ice cream parlor, I decided to make the cone at home.  Without any tools.  I think next time I might like an iron of some sort but this worked and they were tasty.

I probably did not get the cone thin enough and I could have probably spread them thinner before I baked them.  But those are learning experiences and I need to write the recipe down before I lose it.  I will admit that I used white whole wheat flour in them.  It is currently the only wheat flour I have in the house.

ice cream cones

Note:  I used the recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking but increased the vanilla and used white whole wheat flour.  

2 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla 

pinch of salt

2/3 cup flour, white whole wheat

2 tablespoons butter, melted (but I think I used olive oil)

In a bowl, mix together the egg whites, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Mix in the flour until smooth.  Mix in the butter.  This batter is going to be very similar to a crepe batter.  I put the batter in a jar and put it in the refrigerator at this point.

Heat a non-stick or cast iron griddle over medium low heat.  Do not add oil to this surface.  When it is hot, drop two tablespoons of batter on it.  Spread the batter as thin as possible with a back of a spoon.  When you think the cone may be brown, carefully ease a thin spatula underneath all edges and flip.  Bake the other side.

When it is the shade of brown you wish, remove the cone from the griddle.  It will be hot but quickly roll it into a cone shape.  Hold the end a minute.

Place on a cloth and let cool.  Make the rest.

Now there are cones for ice cream!  It is not much harder then making a crepe.  And much tastier then a store bought cone!  They are also good as a cookie themselves.  No ice cream involved at all.

 

Tuesday
Sep122017

pumpkin babka

I have a friend who requested a pumpkin babka after seeing the pictures of funky punky monkey bread on Instagram.  I gave her options.  Pumpkin chocolate.  Monkey bread.  Cinnamon rolls.  Nope.  She wanted a pumpkin babka.  She teaches school and needed comfort food.  She did not know what shape her students were going to be in after Harvey.  They were good.  But she does not eat well during the school year anyhow so why not!

I took my pumpkin chocolate babka recipe and modified it slightly.  I wanted to get some more nutrition into her so I used white whole wheat flour and added a half a cup oatmeal.  I left out the cocoa in the dough.  I used the regular filling except making my own pumpkin pie spices because that was where I was at.

She said it was the size of a small turkey!  She actually left half of it with me.  I can say that it was quite tasty and she was not wrong on the size.  I had my half for breakfast for a week.

I would make it again.  I might cut the proportions in half though.  She was not exaggerating about the size of the babka.  But it all got eaten.