what could we do with a freshly picked bowls of cherry tomatoes and a beautiful homegrown squash?

wrap them with goat cheese in puff pastry of course!

I used a combination of this recipe and this one.

so tasty!

homegrown basil leave sprinkled on top.

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red velvet pictures.

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pie repeats, red velvet cake.

in the past week-ish, we redid two past favourites – lemon meringue and brown sugar. this time we used meyer lemons, i’m not sure if it made a giant different. as always, tasty.

and in other news, we’re expanding the baking part of battlestar baking past just pies because we do bake non-pie items here on a fairly frequent basis.

that being said, this is spring break and red velvet cake was my big adventure. i’ve never even tried it before, so i’m not surely exactly why i wanted to make it. but i did. so i did. in the course of my recipe research, i found out that all the recipes out there are basically the same. i ended up working fromĀ this recipe because she has the best laid out instructions. and because the pictures were the prettiest.

note: making red velvet cake is a total pain in the ass. it uses approximately ten million different bowls and you will end up a bit red and your kitchen sink will look like you butchered something in it.

this is what 2oz of red food dye looks like. this might be more than i’ve used in the rest of my life combined.

when mixed with the cocoa powder, it doesn’t so much form a paste as she described – just a little thicker i guess.

i don’t remember which batter step of the recipe this is, but it’s pretty striking.

i used two 9″ pans. with the batter split between the two, it barely covered the bottoms of the pans. i spent most of the baking time trying to console myself that it would be okay even if they didn’t rise. but they did! the whole baking powder-salt-vinegar-baking soda combo is pretty tough. even well buttered and floured, they were a pain to get out of the pans. giant pain.

and here it is, in all of its red glory. i don’t even know how to describe what it tastes like – not just the buttermilk, not just the cocoa. red. it tastes like red the same way red pop tastes like red. mysteries of midwestern life, i guess.

edit: oh hell, wordpress is being a total pain in my ass and screwing up the pictures. they will get their own post because it is late and i have little patience.

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Biscut time!

I was inspired by a recipe on the blog smitten kitchen some free blue cheese this weekend.

I made some delicious Blue Cheese and Scallion Drop biscuits using this recipe.

Bea was concerned.

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back on the pie bandwagon!

this week’s: veggie mincemeat pie!

1 1/2 C meatless crumbles

4 C chopped apples

1 large orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped

1 1/2 C raisins

1/2 C lemon juice

1/2 C molasses

1 C veggie broth

1 1/2 C sugar

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cloves

1 t cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

mix all together, cook over medium-high heat until the excess liquid is cooked off. bake at 425F for 40 minutes.

last week’s: blackberry-blueberry-peach pie!

this was a freezer berry pie – iona brought home a bag of frozen blackberries, and then we used up blueberries and peaches that had been hanging out in the freezer for a long time. plus some flour and sugar (about 1/2 C each), some lemon juice, and lots of butter dotted on top.

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pecan and (non-key) lime cylons.

pecan pie:

we actually made two seperate pecan pies, based on a recommendation from the mother of one of ely’s coworkers – her version substitutes bourbon in place of vanilla extract.

this is the base recipe we used, but we substituted butter for margarine because we could. and we did something different with the pecans, there was some other recipe we were referencing but who knows where that link went! for the pie with vanilla, we chopped up the pecans and just mixed them into the filling. for the pie with bourbon, we didn’t add them to the filling but instead decorated the top with pecan halves.

they were both delicious. iona liked vanilla version better. ely liked bourbon version better, which shouldn’t really be a surprise. marker’s mark in the crust and in the filling = genius.

lime pie:

this recipe was what we used.

we didn’t have key limes, so we just used regular limes instead. the recipe didn’t call for meringue, which was a shame, so we corrected that error. we used the four leftover egg whites, plus six tablespoons of sugar. this time we used a handmixer, which is way way way easier than a whisk and your arm muscle.

this pie was our first adventure into a non-standard crust. it definitely seemed a little dubious at times. but it worked out just fine!

we just used our leftover dough to make a delicious apple turnover. all baked goods all the time here at battlestar revena.

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savory cylon.

first things first. we’ve been requested (hi meg!) to explain the whole cylon reference. it’s a battlestar galactica reference, which is where the name for our house (battlestar revena) comes from. a cylon is super fancy robot, created by humans, that further developed on its own and then tried to attack humans and kill them all. there are some traditional metal-ish ones, and then there are a number of models that look like humans. that’s the story.

pie! it was time for a vegetable pie. the market was so full of tasty, shiny, happy vegetables, says iona. it’s gotten cool here this last week, and it was lovely to bake something at night and actually enjoy the heat from the oven.

we used our same, beloved crust recipe (surprise, huh?) but just omitted the sugar. worked just fine.

the filling kind of followed a recipe from moosewood, but didn’t really use any of the vegetables they recommended. ours had: onion, potato, rutabaga, sweet potato, corn and carrots. very hearty.

to make the filling: sauteed the onions, then added the other vegetables, garlic, and seasonings and let them cook covered for 15-20 minutes. before they went into the crust, we mixed them with this ricotta-egg mixture (1/2c ricotta, two eggs) which sort of souped everything together.

side-note: home-made ricotta is pretty easy and super, super tasty. the recipe we used: 1 gallon whole-milk. 1 quart buttermilk, though if you don’t have buttermilk you can make some with some sort of acid – lemon juice, or vinegar. heat them together over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the curds start to rise. it’s pretty dramatic when they do. once it’s thoroughly curdled, you take it off the heat and strain it through a colander lined with cheesecloth. it’s great. that quantity probably makes around 4 cups.

we baked it at 400F for 45 minutes. and ta-da!

with miso-tamari gravy!

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