Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Distracted Cook is a Baker?

Would you bet, ever, that the Distracted Cook could get it all together long enough to actually complete a Daring Bakers Challenge and photograph it, and then serve it up for dessert? Hah! Well, you just might win this bet if you did. Yep, actually did it this time!

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk.  Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

At the first reading it looked really complicated, and when Jenni told us to go grab a sheet to roll the dough on, I almost chucked the recipe into the bin and took a pass. But, I am so glad that I decided that it was just complicated enough to possibly give us some comedy subject from which to work.

So, Povitica, here we come - better get out of the way. Of course, if you want to see how it really looks, go to The Daring Kitchen and take a look at the wonderful results that everyone got. Of course, it takes a special kind of person to be brave enough to post their results out there for the entire world to see. And no, I am not that brave. But since you are here, you can see what came out of my oven this afternoon!

Yes, this is what resulted when The Distracted Cook actually followed the recipe. It was hit and miss, as it always is in this kitchen. Instead of making four of these wonderful cake-loaves, I opted to do the version for just one. And since Jenni gave us all the measurements, it was a walk in the park.

Making the dough was really easy and fun. It is always fun when things go the way they are supposed to. But that doesn't always happen in the Distracted Kitchen.

Rolling the dough out until it was so thin you could see through it got to be quite a challenge in itself. But, just as Jenni said, roll it until you think it is thin enough, then roll some more. So I did.

Next thing to do was to put the filling onto the rolled dough. Walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, cocoa, butter - what isn't to like about this? After spreading it all over the dough came one of the BIG challenges. Roll it up! Yep, roll it up.

Now I know what you're thinking about now. Sure, this is going to turn into something that looks good and tastes even better? No way, you say? WAY!

There it is - all rolled up and snuggled into a loaf pan and now it gets to rest for 15 minutes while the oven heats.

 And then in it goes for about 45 minutes until it is golden brown on the top. Then it has to rest for about 25 minutes. Well, that is suggested. But if you are like The Distracted Cook, you can't wait that long. And so, the knife comes out and off comes a slice. Oh yes! Totally worth the challenge. If you'd like to try this yourself, visit The Daring Kitchen where you will find the recipe. And while you're there, sign up and join us for the next round in the kitchen. It is never dull. It is always something new. It is always fun. And the best part? Even if you create a dismal failure, it is always fun to hide the evidence by eating it before anyone can see it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Distracted Cooks Attempts Moo Shu

This started out to be a regular, timely response to The Daring Cook's October challenge. Little did I know that a surprise dinner would intervene and upset the best (well almost best) laid plans!

The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.

The Distracted Cook made numerous trips to the grocery to be sure that everything was on hand for the big day. Thursday was going to be a special day because there was a party to attend before dinner. So using the advice in the recipe, the dough was made ahead and after being wrapped so tight it almost exploded was placed in the refrigerator to wait until showtime.

Likewise, all the ingredients for the pork were sliced thinly and placed into containers to sit on the shelf beside the dough.

And then came the fun part - mixing up that Hoisin Sauce. That was actually fun and it contains a lot of my favorite flavors, especially the sesame oil. After this was made and set on that shelf with the rest of the "dinner" I knew the evening would be a smashing success.

Now the rest of the story. That party? Just an in-and-out cocktail hour to say hello and chat a while?  SURPRISE!  It's going to be a dinner party instead - just decided ten minutes before we arrive. Well, The Distracted Cook is not a Dummy Cook! A dinner at a great restaurant/wine bar is not to be dissed just because Moo Shu is slumbering in the fridge at home. Oh no, indeed not. So, this post will start now ...and continue later tonight AFTER the Moo Shu has been created. A day late, maybe a dollar short, but definitely not a "fail" in The Daring Kitchen.

Come back later this evening to see all the pictures and the resulting dinner. In the meantime, go visit The Daring Kitchen to see what everyone has posted so you have an idea of what to expect back here (don't get too carried away though, sometimes what you see is NOT what you get here!) While you are in The Daring Kitchen, why not sign up and join us? Read all about it and just think of all the fun you can be having with the rest of us! Really.