Ardys Profile - (12729116)

cook's profile


Home Town: Spring Grove, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
Member Since: Dec. 2010
Cooking Level: Beginning
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Quilting, Sewing, Gardening, Camping, Boating, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Genealogy, Painting/Drawing
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About this Cook
I have cooked for many years actually, but never particularly enjoyed doing it. My husband was the primary cook in our house until ~2 years ago when I developed an unexplained desire to learn to bake bread. Since then I've also learned to enjoy cooking and am now the primary cook in the house.
My favorite things to cook
Breads, especially breads with whole wheat and other varieties of flour. I've studied bread making techniques of bakers Peter Reinhart, Laurel Robertson, and Daniel Leader. I've learned a lot from their books. I've made 60+ kinds of bread in the last two years. There is so much to learn about what makes one bread taste, feel and look different from another bread (aside from the ingredients, obviously). Not to mention the whole art of the sourdough.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Norwegian baking. My siblings and I put together our own family cookbook featuring favorite recipes that we have discovered in our adult lives, but also many favorites that our grandmothers and mother have taught us. For a holiday get-together, we like to make all of those old treats to share: lefse, rommegrot, krumkake, flatbrod, rosettes, fattigmanbakkels, suet pudding, brown bread, aebleskiver (which is actually Danish) and so on. Ah, and oyster stew. We do NOT make lutefisk.
My cooking triumphs
I learned to make a special Norwegian celebration cake called Kransekake. It is an Almond Ring cake that is made up of 14 rings decreasing in size from a 10" diameter to a 2" diameter. The rings are baked and then stacked on one another to make a hollow pyramid which is then decorated for the occasion. It is made out of ground almonds, blanched and unblanched. It makes an impressive presentation. I made this Kransekake for my son's wedding reception and a bottle of champagne was hidden inside the Kransekake to save for their first anniversary. The Kransekake was placed in front of the bride and groom and the guests were invited to take a piece of the Kransekake from the couple while they wished them much happiness and good fortune.
My cooking tragedies
I had been working on growing a nice natural sourdough starter for some time. I was finally happy with it and made a new bread recipe which came from Germany. It made two beautiful free standing country hearth loaves dusted with wheat bran. The loaves were slid into the oven onto my baking stone on a piece of parchment paper and when I checked on them near the end of the baking time, they had a beautiful reddish golden crust. The recipe described the bread as having a fairly dark crackly crust so I wanted to give them another few minutes. When I shut the oven door again, the piece of parchment paper had been partially displaced and was left touching the inside of the oven door. When I noticed smoke pouring out of the oven vent and reopened the oven door, the tops of both loaves were in tall flames.
Recipe Reviews 103 reviews
Chocolate Pound Cake III
This was beautiful AND delicious. I placed raspberries in the center and a few around the cake; then dusted with confectioner's sugar. It was lovely!

4 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 30, 2014
For the first time aebleskiver maker: There are pans made out of other materials, too, but they are more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature. Cast iron is best. In the Midwest, aebleskiver pans can be found in hardware stores. I double the recipe and use two aebleskiver pans to make more of them in a short time for a family of 6. I also have a silicone handle cover available to use over the cast iron pan handles as needed. I set my stove burner between 4 and 5 and give it plenty of time to get to an even heat. You don't want to add the oil (or solid Crisco, which is what I prefer to use; it's quicker & easier than pouring) until the pan is already hot. Be prepared to put your aebleskiver batter into the pan very shortly after that. I think that a gas stove works best, but I place a wire or steel unit 'platform' over the flame just to help stabilize the aebleskiver pan securely over the gas flame. I use a long metal skewer to turn the aebleskiver. To turn, you put the skewer right through the aebleskiver and flip it over. I would not use 1 T. of oil for each pan. For the first pan, maybe, but after that, maybe more like a teaspoon of the solid Crisco. Put the batter into the pan starting in the same hole each time, and ending with the middle because that one will cook a little faster than the ones around the outside of the pan. I dust each platter of them with powdered sugar. Serve with applesauce too. A Christmas morning tradition for our family.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 30, 2014
Barbarella's German Pancakes
Really easy. Fun to serve with a couple kinds of berries, some whipped cream, chopped pecans and maybe drizzling a little chocolate or good quality espresso balsamic across the top of the rolled pancakes.

3 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 30, 2014

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