sour cream sage cake

when marion cunningham passed away earlier this summer, the new york times published her famous coffeecake recipe — a truly wonderful recipe (not too sweet, well balanced, comforting like a mother’s hug).

i baked it following the recipe to a tee the first time around — loved it!  the second time around, i decided that it would go nicely with the sage that i had growing in a pot on my window sill.  i used about 6 sage leaves, chopped up and folded into the batter at the very end.  next time, i’d probably use double the amount of sage, as the flavour wasn’t quite strong enough.

if you haven’t already, do bake marion’s favorite cake (with or without the sage)!

harry & the yellow ribbon

really ma?  this is a new low for me.

i’m running away from you now . . .

japanese tofu bread

in case you’ve been wondering if i still bake, yes, i do…however, i’ve been doing a miserable job keeping up with the posting!

in the past few months, i’ve been spotting the emergence of “tofu bread” at japanese bakeries around the NYC area.  i’ve purchased a few loaves.  i can’t say that the flavour of tofu is actually detectable, but the texture is good, it seems to keep for a longer time than normal bread, and well the idea of eating tofu in my bread seems virtuous and healthy.

so, i decided to track down a recipe on a japanese website (which i’ve since lost track of — otherwise, i’d link to it).  the flavour and texture is pretty good (a tight crumb) and moist…altho i didn’t quite get the rise that i had anticipated (perhaps i messed something up in translation or my yeast had sat in the freezer for too long).

anyhow…here’s how i made tofu bread…version 1.0

japanese tofu bread
(makes one 9″ loaf)

Bread Flour 250g + 50g (reserve)
Sugar 30g
Salt 3g
Butter 30g (at room temp)
Silken Tofu 150g
Milk 100 ml
Active dry yeast 3g
  1. Heat milk until just warm (but not so hot that it kills the yeast).  Pour about 1/3 of the sugar into the warm milk.  Then pour in the yeast.  Set aside, allowing the yeast to bubble and froth (about 15 minutes).
  2. In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until well-combined. Then add in tofu.  Mix for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next, pour in salt and bread flour.  Mix for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Finally pour in milk-yeast mixture.
  5. Change to dough hook.  Mix at medium speed until a ball of dough forms and the all the excess has removed from the sides.  The dough should not be tacky.  We added about 50g of additional bread flour until we got it to the right consistency — something like a soft clay.
  6. Transfer to a bowl. Dust with flour, cover with plastic and allow to rise until it doubles to triples in size.
  7.  Then, form it into a loaf to fit into a 9″ loaf pan.  Again, allow the dough to rest in a warm place until it rises to the just above the lip of the pan.
  8. Heat oven to 385°F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.




harry in repose

i think it’s been a while since harry popped up on our blog . . . that said, he really hasn’t been doing too much this super hot & sticky summer, aside from assuming all sorts of positions of relaxation inside where there’s air conditioning!

one of my favorites! he seems to be saying in that photo: “yeah…i’m sleeping…what do you want?”

he’s a total mess here! (but very comfortable!)

one of the few photos where i caught him truly passed out…moments later he entered REM with feet twitching and strange little doggy sounds emitting.

flo’s snack cake

i’ve had flo braker’s baking for all occasions book for a while now. . . and just came across her recipe for any day all-occasion snack cake (p. 66).  it’s a simple to make and deliciously versatile cake.  one can drop in anything from berries to carrots to raisins to diced apples. Continue reading

harry and the haircut, take 2

you might be curious about how long it takes a tibetan terrier to grow his coat out.   well the answer is about 3 months.  we started to find mats in harry’s coat and decided to take him in for another summer trim. there are also a few sanitary reasons i won’t get into why we prefer to keep his coat shorter.

this time we selected a #5 razor (which was shorter than the first time).  in the pictures, his coat has grown out for about 1 week.

it’s taken him about a week as well to get used to his newly shorn look.  harry acted a bit odd the first few days post-cut.  it was almost like he felt exposed and less confident without all that hair.  we’ve also noticed that he seems to be more playful, less sleepy and more frisky since the hair cut (although certainly you can’t tell in these photos where he’s snoozing away).  maybe the shaggy coat has an anesthetic effect?

mixed berry crumb bars

we had a bit of a berry overload situation going on in the refrigerator, and i decided to deal with the matter by baking them into the blueberry crumb bar recipe i found over at smitten kitchen.

i pretty much followed the recipe to a tee, with two exceptions:

– i made the crust in a food processor rather than chunking it up by hand
– i used about 5 cups of mixed berries (consisting of cherries, blueberries & blackberries) but kept the sugar and lemon juice ratio the same.  hubs thought it was still a bit too sweet, so you might want to cut the sugar down further a tad!

japanese cheesecake

i know, i know…i’ve fallen off the posting wagon of late. i’ve got a lot of material and not a lot of time to type them up! at any rate, we’re back with japanese cheesecake! Continue reading

the original starbucks

hubs and i wandered up to the northwest about 2 weekends ago or so.  we got in late at night.  famished and on new york time, we wandered out into pike place market in search of food.  most things were still shuttered.  starbucks was the only thing open in the early morning hours.  but . . . it wasn’t just any starbucks!  it was the original starbucks!  yup…the store from the early 1970s.  the store that began it all.

and we weren’t the only ones inside so early in the morning.  the place was already milling with japanese tourists and locals.

is it any different from your neighborhood starbucks?  i’d say so! the interior has more character and resembles an ole’ mom & pop run general store turned coffee shop.  (the store also has tons more starbucks paraphernalia than the normal sbux).

there aren’t any seats — counter space only.  and…they use an italian espresso machine, la marazocco. . . rather than the swiss made mastrena.  i ordered an ice americano . . . and have to say that it was one of the most intense americanos that i’ve ever had.

if every starbucks was like the original one in pike place, i might find myself going there more often or making that special trip.  nowadays, i find myself searching out all the specialty coffee shops that have popped up in the city, like stumptown, blue bottle, ninth street, etc.

a harry 1st anniversary

it’s hard to believe…that on this very day, 365 days ago . . . harry first popped into our lives!  i still remember that drive back from CT where we picked him up and fought with him the entire 2.5 hour drive home.

since that time . . . harry has packed on 20 lbs, has chewed thru many of our shoes, has had his hair shaved once, has become potty trained, has learned a few tricks, has roadtripped to NH, CT and NJ, and has also somehow finagled his way into sleeping in our bedroom!

bravo harry!