Monday, August 13, 2012

Cooking Trials and Experiments

Ultimately, I should put my money where my mouth is, and last post I was talking about cooking some things from scratch. Here are the last three recipes I've tried in the last couple weeks, with some changes from trial and error. I think the only one I haven't tried a second time yet are the pancakes... After this, I have big dreams of making raspberry cream cheese popsicles, homemade bread, and perfecting my pot roast.

Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Scones

I came upon this recipe from Etsy, I think. It's good, but it definitely needs tweaking. I've made this recipe three times now and here are the changes I've incorporated:
  • Freeze the stick of butter before using. I learned this from a coworker who was a baker in his past life! He suggested freezing the butter, which makes it easier to grate with a cheese grater into the batter! Tried this and worked like a charm. Made it so much easier to incorporate.
  • Tea doesn't steep in milk, as the recipe suggests. I tried it the first time as the recipe guided and my scones turned out bland and not tasting like earl grey at all! What I did the second time around is to cut open the teabag of earl grey, chop it up finely (or put into a closed ziplock baggie and crumble with the back of a big spoon), and throw it into the milk mixture. When the recipe calls for the milk, some of the tea sediment will be thrown into the batter which is what you want. Throw in about a teaspoon of the tea that sinks into the bottom, too, and the scones will definitely improve.
  • Trust the baking times! The recipe calls for 12-15 which I was really adamant about as first. I've found that baking them for 15, then turning off the oven and then letting them sit in the residual heat for an extra five minutes works perfectly. They might still seem a little undercooked when you pull them out, but by the time they cool down, they harden up a little bit but are still super moist and soft and delicious!
I like this recipe, but I think my next batch of scones will include a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract for just a little bit more of a delicious punch. 

Jay's Signature Pizza Crust

This recipe is pretty straight forward and delicious right from the recipe. This actually makes quite a bit of dough, so if you work it enough, you can make two pizzas. Considering my lack of variety when it comes to baking dishes, I made one big, deep dish pizza.
  • Greasing the baking dish is key. Since I made a deep dish, it makes it super easy to pop the pizza out of the pan. Just a little bit of veggie oil on a napkin, smeared all over the pan is enough.
  • The dough is a great base for additions to make it a little bit more fancy! I've sprinkled a little bit of dried rosemary and garlic powder onto the crust edges and it added a little bit more zest to the dough. 
I'm actually really looking forward to making pigs-in-a-blanket and maybe even cheesy-bread with this. Both would just be the dough cut into smaller pieces, rolled out, wrapping either hot dogs or cheese sticks. Simple snacks or meals for such a low-maintenance dough base.

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes 

This recipe still leaves a little bit to be desired. I've only tried the recipe once and I can't quite figure out what it is I have to change. The finished product is super dry-- which I should have been able to tell from the thick dough (Bisquik is water by comparison!). Do I add more milk or more butter? Less flour? 

Regardless, I'll be trying again next weekend to see what it is I can change. I'll probably start by adding more milk-- and maybe using buttermilk instead. Also, a couple shakes of cinnamon and maybe I'll even make a fruit mixture to put on top.

Any suggestions?


  1. We will totally try your pizza crust recipe next time! We haven't found just one to stick to yet... maybe this is the one!

    1. I hope you're not disappointed! I've made this recipe twice all ready and Kyle devoured it both times- so I think it's a keeper! What I like the most about it, besides how simple it is to make, is how easy it is to beef up and edit! I think next time I may make an olive oil/rosemary mixture to brush over the crusts and make them extra delicious!

      Maybe I can make breadsticks with this :O!