Shop, Or Make? - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 298884

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Shop, or Make? 
Mar. 9, 2013 7:07 pm 
Updated: Mar. 18, 2013 7:09 pm
The weather took a downward turn yesterday, and today... apparently it's moving west to east.  Yesterday, we were treated to light to heavy rains all day and into the night.  Today was simply gray, and cool. 

I'm in need of getting to the grocery, if for no other reason than to use a "$10 off your next visit" coupon...  Darn thing expires tomorrow, but as of now, tomorrow could go seriously sideways, here at Casa de Crazy!  Time alone will tell...

So, back to where the day took me today.  Despite the threat of my car not starting due to battery issues, I chose to remain here, and cheer myself up by "making something."  I had been wanting a batch of English muffins, as we've had none for some time now.  I let the bread machine do most of the work, but once it's done it's thing, it's all hands on.  During the second rise, I did have a break, so I got to thinking about dinner...  Once I'd dug through both freezers, I found what I was looking for, a mix of shredded pork and stuffing.  I had some croutons in the pantry which I used to  add to the stuffing, but decided the quantity of pork would be adequate.  I never knew that muffins are cooked on a griddle, rather than in the oven, until I made them the first time...
They really are quite fun to watch, as they are produced!  After the second rise, once you place the rounds on the griddle, they rise even more, browning first one side, then the next.  The first time, I sort of flattened them out as they cooked, but I've since learned that all that achieves is to force air out of the muffin, making it rather heavy and stodgy when finished.  In my opinion, the second side never browns as nicely as the first side. 

Now, I'm in hopes that I will (as usual,) get the munchies later, and can toast one of these up, to be buttered and spread with homemade preserves of some flavor...  I'll have to see just what is open in the frige.  Marmalade might be real tastey for a late night snack with it's bitter and sweet flavor!  Or, I made jam last summer from "black" grapes, which had such a wonderful flavor, I went back, bought more, and cooked up some jam! 

All of the chatter about preserves, reminds me that I must check our crop of bitter oranges as it should be time to put up a batch or two of fresh marmalade!  I've decided that if I get enough practice, I might begin to "get it right" every time, rather than ending up with "syrup" half of the time...

Till my next "whim," be happy, be healthy, be crazy!
Mar. 9, 2013 9:10 pm
Ahhhh yes, the battery battle. I remember needing a new one just about every week when I was there. :)~ What recipe do you use for your English muffins? I have seen one that looks good on King Arthur flour's website, but yours look so perfect, I had to ask. (Come on, did you just throw some Thomas's out there and fake it?! You can tell me!!) Thanks for the tip about not smooshing them down. Would love to make some. -Lara
Mar. 9, 2013 9:14 pm
LOL, Lara! Nope, not store bought (they're on sale at my market this week... 6/$1.59) but I made these from scratch. Recipe out of my bread machine book. Also have one in each: Brit cookbook, and Better Homes. If ya like, I'll post it for ya! Be well, friend!
Mar. 9, 2013 9:29 pm
Wild love your recipe! Will you take a look at this one and let me know if yours is different? Would love mine to turn out like yours did!!
Mar. 9, 2013 9:56 pm
Lara, the only diff. I can see is amounts of same ingredients, except mine calls for corn meal rather than semolina/farina. Their picture shows one split and toasted, as my pic doesn't, it just shows the outside of the muffin, waiting to be cut and toasted. I'm certainly NOT an expert English muffin maker, so I say, if you have that recipe, try it... but I'll post the one I used anyway. Be well!
Mar. 9, 2013 10:07 pm
I love fresh English muffins and for the life of me I have no idea why I never made them. Perhaps this week, you've inspired me.
Mar. 9, 2013 10:11 pm
BSM, they are a tad different than the store bought, but I think sooo much better! Not too much work if you have a bread machine, but probably not too difficult if you're used to making bread by other means! Glad to be an "inspiration!"
Mar. 10, 2013 3:07 am
SCC: Those look crazy good!
Mar. 10, 2013 8:07 am
I make mine with my sourdough starter. You are right they are different than storebought but they are very tasty with homemade preserves! I may have to become inspired too!
Mar. 10, 2013 3:56 pm
they look good
Mar. 11, 2013 5:01 am
Wow,sure look good.
Mar. 12, 2013 6:38 am
Stevie-I want some of those English muffins. I have never made them, but someday! The orange marmalade sounds great, too!
Mar. 14, 2013 4:21 pm
bikerfamily, I was saddened that when I got into the bag of muffins yesterday, they smelled MUCH of yeast! Darn things were starting to rot - in less than a week! Guess I'd best freeze half the day I make them! Be well, be crazy!
Mar. 14, 2013 4:23 pm
Cat, I've made sourdough starter before, but seem to have difficulty in keeping it going, without that funny pink tint! Too bad, really, I love sourdough ANYTHING! Be well!
Mar. 14, 2013 4:24 pm
Thanks, King! What surprised me the most is they're not baked, but put on a griddle... Crazy huh? Be well!
Mar. 14, 2013 4:25 pm
manella, now if I can get a handle on breadmaking.... Another of my hit/miss foods! Be well!
Mar. 14, 2013 4:27 pm
Lela, even by "hand" they're not that difficult to make... I've not wrecked a batch yet - lol anyway! Be well, and if you like English muffins, well worth the effort (how many times have I heard that phrase here at a/r? Be well!
Mar. 15, 2013 5:29 pm
You did yourself proud! Nice job on the blog too! I do love homemade bread and preserves/jams/jellies. Now I want one!
Mar. 18, 2013 7:09 pm
Cheryl, thanks lots! Time to make another batch though, and I only gave a few away! Be well!
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Stevie crazycook

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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