Thursday, September 7, 2017

Well, it's NOT food but it's about me and stuff I made that has been published in a magazine, so take a look!

I made a bunch of geometric art quilts because Connor was in England and I had uninterrupted time. He doesn't take up any actual time any more, he's 18 now, but he takes up mental time and when I'm in mom mode, I don't art very well.

He was away for a month and I spent time in the studio (the dining room in my house, one day I'll have a REAL studio but I digress.....) I spent free mental time in the studio but I also needed instant gratification.  I could not face cutting fabric into itty bitty teensie tiny pieces of pieces purely to sew it back together so I played with shape and form and made the whole cloth quilts by adding fabric till they told me they were done.  Sort of like how I cook isn't it?

I spent time sewing and cutting and fusing and playing and lo and behold NOW they're in a magazine with my howto and I am tickled and have to yell it from the rooftops.

As I said, I sew and I do art quilts and cut fabric up and then sew it back together, usually while I wait for food to cook. The difference is that THIS month, MY technique for making geometric art quilts is in a magazine.

So, in the spirit of blatant and insane self promotion... I present to you... ME! HAHAHA
      
Because you WANT to buy the magazine and you can wait, here's the link to the paper edition 

IF you can't wait, here's the link to the electronic edition

These are (some of) the actual geometric art quilts 
Points, Spin and Corners
      

Then I thought I should make pieces that look like someTHING rather than shapes so this is what I did

Gladiolas and City
  
and Poppies

So, this is some of the work I do in the art quilt world.

I also do scribble quilting and some artjournal artquilts but today, we're just talking about, and I'm celebrating, my geometric art quilts.

Thanks for the time, the read and the great support I get from the foodies and the arties.

I appreciate it every.single.day.

/tracy

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Masterbuilt and customer service

*UPDATE* 9/18/17

So, the parts they sent didn't work, neither of them.  Now, Masterbuilt, rather than replacing the unit, are sending me parts, one part at a time and are having me frankenstein an entire new unit, including saving the door? and racks and swapping control panels.

I AM not a mechanic or comfortable rewiring anything.  I am not not not NOT happy.

Time will tell if this turns into a great "in the end they replaced the unit" story OR if we are all jumping ship to a new smoker company.

/tracy


So, let me tell you a little story, about my day. I had a great experience and I'm making you know about it.

Firstly, I am happy to whine, complain and moan with the best of them when I have bad or questionable service. I am also even happier when I do NOT have to do any of that.

I have to tell you all that recently I had an issue with my beloved Masterbuilt electric smoker. (seriously, I love that thing!!!)

(I can't take a pic of mine, it;s well loved and certainly NOT photo ready anymore hahaha)

Anyway,  I contacted the company via twitter and was instantly contacted online then contacted by phone and then they followed up via twitter to be sure I was happy.  Well, I AM happy!

The entire issue has been dealt with quickly, professionally, exceptionally, and it exceeded my expectation.  The customer service rep was delightful and charming on the phone, I tell you, I cannot sing their praises high enough.

It's easy to moan but I sure don't have to here.  If you are in the market for a smoker, seriously look into these Masterbuilt electric smokers.  OH and in the spirit of full disclosure, no, they don't pay me and I do NOT get stuff for promoting, this is all me, all my own gushing just because I'm simply tickled with the company.

I'm working on more recipes for the smoker with other meats and actually some veggies, yeah, so watch this space.  IF you do buy one, be sure to tell them you saw them here, I want them to know how delighted I am with the customer service and overall experience.  I wasn't going to name names but I am, way to shine, Clarence, way to shine.

/tracy


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mini crustless quiche in those little jars, so easy, so handy, so delicious, did i mention so easy?



I like little quiches and I can never ever be bothered to deal with pastry in the morning.  I have been making little mini quiches in little mini muffin tins for about a hundred years.  when I got my pressure cookers a few years ago, I went through a phase of seeing what I could cook in little jars in the pressure cooker.  The list was LONG and basically I haven't had any failures yet.  I started making quiche in these little jars a few years back and never thought they were particularly recipe worthy or video worthy.  A friend asked me if I would please do a recipe and a video so here it is.

You don't need any fancy equipment.  I use these little 4 oz jars but you can use ramekins or whatever little vessels you have  NO need for any high ticket items.  I do own some silicone mini holder things that work fine but I think I actually prefer the little jars for cooking, storing, cleaning and just I may be a card carrying little jar addict.

  

Here's the

TRACY'S MINI CRUST-LESS QUICHE 

IN LITTLE JARS; IN THE PRESSURE COOKER


INGREDIENTS

eggs
milk
salt, pepper, herbs if you like
green onions
any other item you like in a quiche
peppers
onions
garlic
bacon
cheese
cooked vegetables
tomatoes
anything from the garden
anything from the freezer
anything from the pantry

truly, the list is endless, use what you like.

METHOD

Butter jars or ramekins well.  Half fill them loosely with whatever filling you like.  Fill the jars with eggs (one per jar/ramekin) and some milk mixed with salt, pepper and herbs if you like.

Place jars, uncovered, on trivet in pressure cooker over TWO CUPS of water.
LOCK AND LOAD on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes, leave for 3 minutes after timer stops.
Release remaining pressure, remove to rack (with tongs!) and allow to cool before covering and storing.  OR run a knife around the edge, and tip out onto a plate and eat eat eat

Here's the video, these are so easy, seriously, just go make these





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

PRESSURE COOKER molten chocolate lava cake

   

My Lava Cake recipe; 

Melt:
1 cup of semi sweet chips
1 stick of butter
Combine to smooth and set aside. 

In mixer: 
Whip 3 eggs until very thick and pale. 

Slowly add 
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour

Beat until very thick, add chocolate mixture and fold quickly.  Divide between buttered ramekins or small dishes.
PRESSURE COOK, on HIGH
over 2 cups of water and a trivet for TEN minutes, quick release

Increase the time if you're cooking from fridge or from frozen. 

Quick, simple, delicious.  Not too sweet yet desperately chocolatey.

Here's the how to:



/enjoy

Friday, August 18, 2017

FLUFFY pancakes, they're airy delights that don't take too long to make and have maximum pleasure from eating them

THESE are the pancakes you want to make, light, airy, sort of guilt free and totally souffle'y, yeah that's a word, try them, they're different and sometimes, different is good, very good


TRACY'S FLUFFY PUFFY PANCAKES


These are light, fluffy and super easy... a nice change from stodgy american pancakes with all the same flavor and maple syrup carrying capabilities.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, separated
3 TBS milk
splash vanilla
4 TBs self raising flour
2 TB sugar

beat yolks with flour, milk and vanilla
beat whites with 2 TB sugar till soft peak

combine bowls :D  then cook on  low heat until cooked through
eat with butter and syrup or honey, also so so so yummy

*I put it on fast during the cooking hahahaha  I'll fix it but for now, this is it



/enjoy!!!



Monday, August 14, 2017

MISSISSIPPI Roast but wait; not with chuck but with Chicken Thighs! It's way cheaper and it's way delicious oh and did I mention I cook it in the pressure cooker? Yeah

MISSISSIPPI Roast but wait...I make it with Chicken Thighs!  It's way cheaper and it's way delicious oh and did I mention I cook it in the pressure cooker? Yeah I did. 

This is how you do it.  I didn't do play by play shots, I didn't think of it until we were eating then I realized YOU had to make this too...  I'll make it again and will do a video

TRACY'S MISSISSIPPI ROAST BUT WITH CHICKEN (IN THE PRESSURE COOKER)


INGREDIENTS

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (get the family pack)
1 package dry ranch dressing
1 package dry gravy mix
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup for my non American people)
12 peperoncino peppers, plus a little dribble of brine from the jar
1/2 cup of water

METHOD

I cut the extra fat off the thighs and brown them in a little oil.  
*don't brown the chicken in the pressure cooker, it just doesn't get hot enough, I try and try but it just is no good, use a little pan, brown a couple at a time and drop them into the cooker as you do.*
Add the water to the pressure cooker and put the chicken in. 
Sprinkle the dry mixes over the chicken, put the butter on top, the peppers around and dribble a little brine over.  DON'T MIX IT IN, just layer it all
Lock and Load the pressure cooker, set to HIGH pressure for 15 minutes.
Let the cooker come down naturally, open,
EAT

This keeps well for HOURS on warm, it freezes beautifully.  You can shred the chicken for sandwiches or just eat them over rice or potatoes, it's just crazy delicious and I think I might prefer it to the chuck version. 

Make it, it's amazing 

When you open the lid, wow.  the dark brown is some of the gravy mix, a quick stir and it dissolves, so so good
 

I served over rice with steamed green beans, oh did I mention so so good.
 


/enjoy





Sunday, August 13, 2017

IF, in your life you only learn to make one cake, this is the cake you need. It's gorgeous and tasty and easy and you will absolutely love it



THIS is the cake I make all the time, in many different variations for different used, the base recipe is always this.  It makes great sheet cake, thick cake, tres leches (I'll do that video next) and, well, you just need to know how to make it.

You MUST use a scale, sorry but you do, it doesn't work right with a conversion so go spend the $10 and get a scale and then rush home and make this cake. THIS is the scale I use, no, I'm not compensated at all:
http://www.tracycooksinaustin.com/2016/10/product-review-kamenstein-digital-scale.html 



NOW, the recipe, 
TRACY'S BASIC SPONGE CAKE, or MY  125 GRAMS OF EVERYTHING CAKE

Ingredients
125 grams of self raising flour (OR a/p with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp baking powder)
125 grams sugar
125 grams butter, room temperature is best
125 grams of eggs
dribble of vanilla, dribble of milk to make it loose drop consistency. 

BAKE in a greased and floured pan (or line with parchment) at 350 till done and gorgeous.

Go make this, truly, it's so easy and so tasty and "real" cake. 

/tracy

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chinese pie VIDEO tutorial, the mashed potato topping too

This is a super quick, easy, cheap and delicious meal, it's a one pot on the stove and into the oven.  These are the videos, just go make it, trust me, you're going to love it.



Here is the blog post link to my Chinese pie:
http://www.tracycooksinaustin.com/2013/02/chinese-pie-isnt-this-cottage-pie.html


I was asked to do a video, so I did... it includes two videos, one for the pie and one for the pressure cooked mashed potatoes.

Hope they're clear enough, oh and be kind, I'm new at this.




the mashed potatoes recipe is:

6 potatoes peeled and cut into hunks
salt, pepper, water, milk, butter

Place the potatoes on a rack in the pressure cooker over about an inch of water, lock and load, high pressure for 8 minutes.

Remove the rack and drain the water out, put the potatoes back in the hot insert and mash, add butter and salt, pepper and milk as you like.  EAT.

Here's the video:






Friday, August 11, 2017

THIS is my single, small, white loaf of sandwich or anything you want, bread. It is easy, you don't need a machine, trust me, you can do it, I know.

  
 

Single, small, white bread loaf, this makes one, it is easy, you can do it, trust me, I'm the queen :)


The whole method and video is on youtube, BUT the recipe is so easy...

In the bowl of a kitchen mixer (or by hand, you don't need a machine for this) dump it all

RECIPE
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 heaped tsp yeast
1 heaped tsp shortening
water to form a soft dough.

Mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough, form a ball, cover and rise 1 hour
Form to loaf, in greased pan, 45 mins or until double
BAKE in pre-heated 375 oven for 20 mins, spin and cook another 2

REMOVE to rack and cool before you dive in and and eat it all


/enjoy!!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pelmeni, or Russian Dumplings, or any dumpling really... My version, the live in the freezer so you're only ever 20 minutes away from dumpling happiness


This is my take on the most delicious of Russian food, Pelmeni.  There are probably a million and a half versions and recipes, this is mine.  I make it all the time, I keep bags and bags in the freezer so anytime you want a bowlful, you merely have to boil some water, boil these little darlings and eat them, in a bowl, with a gigantic blob of sour cream AND butter, we're all about the pleasure here, and some herbs if you're so inclined...and you just eat them.

TRACY'S PELMENI  (Russian dumplings)


INGREDIENTS

Dough

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk

Meat Filling

1 lb ground beef (you can also make these with pork or veal)
1 grated onion
salt, pepper, thyme,
(garlic if you want but it's not traditional)

METHOD AND PLAY BY PLAY

Dump all the dough ingredients in a standing mixer, with a dough hook, and combine to a smooth dough.  You can also easily do this by hand.  Knead to a ball, leave to rest for a while.

Dump all the filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well.  Leave to rest while the dough rests.

Go have a glass of wine or something.

Roll out the dough,, relatively thin and you have many options for filling... these are my top two methods.

1.  Roll dough thin on a floured surface and cut into 2 inch rounds.  Put a small ball of meat in each round, pull up the sides and pinch closed, put on floured tray and freeze.  Transfer to bags when frozen and grab handfuls when you want a meal. You do not NEED the mold below, just use a glass to cut the circles, the dough seals to itself beautifully.

2.  MY new absolute favorite method. Buy a pelmeni mold (yeah, I have one).
This is the one I have, no, I don't get anything if you click... I wish I did! but I don't





Roll the dough and place on well floured mold.  VERY well floured. Fill each space with a little tiny ball of filling.  Cover with another sheet of dough and use rolling pin to seal.  Flip upside down and shake the completed pelmeni out, put on floured tray and freeze. 

Here's the play by pictures:

Mix the meat and set it aside.  I didn't do pics of the dough, I will add play by plays of that next time.  It's an easy dough.  Mix till smooth :)

  
Dust your mold with flour and set aside.  Roll a piece of dough to a 10 inch circle and place it over the mold, gently settle it on the form. 
    
Put LITTLE ITTY BITTY balls of the meat mixture in each depression... I always start in the middle and work my way around. Roll out another piece of dough (dust the flour off) and put it over the little balls of meat, press down to seal.
    
Flour the top of the mold and roll, with a rolling pin to seal and separate!  isn't this COOL???  Roll firmly then remove the excess from the side, save that dough, you can reroll it!  Then give another roll to the mold to ensure they're sealed.
    

Look at these little nubble balls on the underside of the form.  Turn the form over and WHACK it on the side of a rolling pin or cutting board and they all fall out!!!  LOOK at these little babies!
This is how many I got from the 1 lb of meat. Seriously, talk about totally cheap and delicious food!!
    

So, this sheetpan has gone into the freezer, when they are frozen solid, I'll transfer them to a couple of ziploc bags and leave them in the freezer till I want to eat some.  Just boil in moderately boiling water, when the float, time it for about 7 mins, and there you go.

I have extra dough so I can make more tomorrow with whatever leftover meat I find in my fridge OR if I have leftover mashed potatoes I can mix with cheese and make mini pierogi.

I also love filling them with roasted and chopped vegetables and serve in broth? I've done chicken fillings both with asian flavors and straight up chicken.  Oh there's a million options here. I like to make potsticker filling with pork and asian flavors and the same thing, freeze and use as you will from frozen.

Go get this mold, and fill your freezers with dumplings!!!

I'll post the cooking pics later but I wanted to get this portion up for you now.  Go, make the dough!

/enjoy