Thursday, February 26, 2015

Homemade Mayonnaise

I am often thankful that I have a very do-it-myself kind of mindset. When I wanted my kitchen remodeled, I gathered as many details and tutorials as possible, the dug in and did it myself. I also have a I'll-finish-it-later mindset at times, which is why my kitchen still isn't finished, after a year and a half, but that's beside the point...

Sometimes this do-it-myself-ness applies to food, which is always fun. Making my own bread has become second-nature. I recently started making my own pasta. Occasionally I do homemade tortillas. There are lots of things that are typically purchased at the store that can actually be made pretty easily and inexpensively at home.

Today, I wanted to make sandwiches for lunch. I got out the (deliciously homemade) bread, lunchmeat, cheese, pickles, and lettuce. Then I looked for the mayo, only to find that there wasn't any! What to do?! We never run out of mayo! Well, I was too lazy to put away all the sandwich fixings and come up with something else for lunch. But not too lazy to look up a recipe and make my own mayonnaise.

It was super easy. Mayonnaise basically just needs egg, acid, flavor, and oil. For the oil, I used mostly extra-virgin olive oil (store brand, of course) combined with some vegetable oil. It made for a very strongly olive oil-flavored mayo. I thought that might be a problem, as I have been raised on store bought mayo with its mild flavor, but on the sandwiches the flavor was diluted enough to be quite pleasant. Still, if the flavor is too strong, light olive oil could be used, or just less olive and more vegetable or canola. All in all, my homemade mayo was a successful venture.

Super yummy with some ground black pepper

Homemade Mayonnaise
(from What's That Smell?)
1 egg
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (or whatever seasoning you'd like)
3/4 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup vegetable oil)

Place all the ingredients except the oil in the blender and blend on high for 10 seconds. Reduce speed then slowly pour olive oil in through the top and blend until thick. Store in refrigerator. Mayo will last 2-4 weeks.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

I've been seriously enjoying my sourdough starter lately. You can just do so much with sourdough! I keep trying to find new recipes to try, because the starter needs to be drained and fed every few days. I simply refuse to throw away the starter that I drain off, so I just have to make fun and delicious foods with it instead. Oh so difficult. ;)

My latest sourdough adventure was this delicious chocolate cake. The batter was fun - it looked just like instant chocolate pudding, and tasted similar to pudding too. Yes, I tasted the batter. I licked the beaters, the spatula, the bowl. It was fantastic. I regret nothing.

I topped the cake with a basic cream cheese frosting, and it complimented the cake well. Both the cake and the frosting were sweet with a little bit of a tang, and it was a great combination.

Sourdough Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 2/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sourdough starter (recipe here)
3/4 cup cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 baking pan.

Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder, and salt.

Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Blend in sourdough starter. Add sifted ingredients slowly to creamed mixture, beating until smooth. Stir in water and vanilla, and mix well.

 Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan.

 Bake for 35 minutes, or until done.

Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until smooth and creamy.

I left the cake in the pan and only frosted the top. That way I only used about two-thirds of the frosting, and could keep the leftover frosting in the fridge. Because, let's face it, there are certainly worse things than having a cup or two of cream cheese frosting sitting around waiting to be used. So convenient for delicious snacking...

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