Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random Bites- Oatmeal Bread, Off Broadway Galleries and Our Gingerbread House

The family had breakfast with us Saturday morning and Sierra couldn't resist playing with her food. The result was this smiley face-the hash browns, oven-cooked bacon and scrambled eggs with sharp cheddar cheese didn't sit for long, though and the face was duly devoured. Kenny also put the final touches on our kitchen cabinets and we couldn't be happier with the result. Once again, Keith's Dad has provided his expertise and given our home a personal touch that we are so proud to have. This is the first of a few random bites that,as usual, center around food...

My co-worker and friend Judy surprised me a few days ago with some fresh-baked bread that incorporated oatmeal and assorted cheeses such as Parmesan. It was wonderful and after I brought it home and dipped it in the chipotle oil we bought at The Tasteful Olive, the taste was spectacular. Yum....thanks, Judy!

Kudos to Keith's brother-in-law Dave for his expertise in creating home brews. I've been impressed with his brews in the past and he continues to outdo himself. He brought me a blueberry ale, a chocolate ale and a dark German Dunkel, which has been the only one I've tasted so far and it was excellent.

Our girl Kathleen has moved into her new gallery space and it's going to be a corker. The Gallery Off Broadway space winds through several rooms and eccentric touches already abound. She hosted Shauna's birthday party with a Wine and Design night and it was already a success. The potential is here for some seriously great fun and I can't wait to see what happens next...

Keith has been building gingerbread houses for as long as I've known him; dating back to his Lafayette days. Writing the blog got me to finally pay attention to the process this year. We mixed up the wet and dry ingredients and combined them to form a dough. The dough was to be chilled for an hour but we did it overnight and then had to leave it out half a day so it would loosen up enough. Keith rolled out the dough and then cut the designs out with a pizza cutter. Once baked, it is light in color and would work well with lights on the inside. The recipe for the gingerbread comes from the cookbook Gingerbread For All Seasons by Teresa Layman and counts as Cookbook Challenge #13. The recipe will be at the end of this post. Stay tuned to see how the Gingerbread House gets blinged out...

Gingerbread Dough Recipe

6 ¾ cups flour

1 tab cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ginger

½ tsp Salt

1 ½ cups light corn syrup

1 ¼ cups light brown sugar

1 cup margarine

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Melt margarine, corn syrup, and brown sugar on stove until margarine is melted. Combine with dry ingredients. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for one hour. Roll out on parchment paper to 1/8 inch thickness. Use whatever designs you want to cut. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees.

In order to create the "glue" to put the house pieces together, this cookbook also provides a recipe for Royal Icing:

I lb. confectioner's sugar
3 egg whites, at room temp (use large eggs, not jumbo)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sift the conf. sugar. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Add sugar and crean of tartar to egg ehites while stirring. When all the sugar is incorporated, turn mixer to high and beat mixture until thick and very white. The icing should hold a stiff peak. The process should take five to seven minutes, longer if using a hand-held mixer. Cover icing tightly with plastic wrap as it dries very quickly.

Stay tuned for the decorating....


Kristy said...

First let me just say that I am now positive that Sierra and I are kindred spirits. LOVE the smiley face breakfast. Secondly I'm totally jealous of your kitchen. Next, if Dave makes beer then Dave is all right in my book. Best to let him stay in the family. After that, the gallery looks tooo spectacular and I cannot wait to read/see more about it. And finally, Keith and gingerbread? He certainly is the "everyman." Thanks for the recipe but where is the pic of the actual HOUSE? I MUST MUST MUST see it! Love to you all!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a fun post. Please tell Keith that I can't wait to see the final gingerbread product but I DO have one he making stained-glass windows for his gingerbread house? Methinks nothing less will suffice!!

Miss ya.


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