Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hey guys! I hope you're all still with me.  The past few days I've been out in cyberspace doing some digging, some research to find ya'll the best and most used crunchy recipes.  And let me tell ya, there are so many out there, it makes you want to grab another cup of coffee (of course,  I'll take anything as an excuse to get more coffee.) I've got folders and papers filled with different ideas and recipes. Not to mention all the things that are flying around in my head.   All this to say, I'm super pumped about what I've found. Now, all I have to do is organize all this information so that it becomes one nice, little, put together blog post. Easy right!?

Here's a little sneak peak at what's to come:

  • Bye bye Shampoo.  Wait! What?  Yep, I'm going to attempt to give up my shampoo and see what crazy stuff will transpire.  I do know that this blog is titled Sophisticated Hippie, not just Hippie so I will still be washing my hair, just with something much more natural and not full of icky chemicals.  

  • Deep conditioning for you hair, minus the salon and high price.  I'm actually doing this right now while typing on my computer.  So easy!!

  • Face wash begone!  You will utter the words "you want me to put THAT on my face?" after reading this one, but trust me....  Plus, I'll be doing a giveaway too. So you can literally try it yourself.

  • And for the food/baking junkies out there: I've got the 411 (is that still being used?) on flour, the different types. What to use and when.  

And lastly, I'm so excited. Do you know why?  I'm hoping to place this order soon:

 I know it's tiny printing, but it's a beautiful thing if you can read it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick Tip

Something I learned this past weekend that will make my baking easier for the rest of my life...

  • Don't mess with cubing your cold butter and using a pastry cutter for your doughs and pie crust.  Freeze the butter and grate it.  You can work it in with your hands in a matter of minutes!!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

As expected, the recipe I tried today turned out amazing.  You kind of have to expect that when you get your recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  Yes, go check out her page, but don't get stuck there, come back...pleeeease.
I'm going to make this recipe again with a few of my own tweeks, but I know your going to love it "as is."  Jesalyn ate it and we all know how picky a eater she is.

Pineapple Apple Upside Down Biscuits

Find two apples (it actually used about one and a half)

Chop them up into pieces...after peeling them of course.

Set aside

In a pan on the stove melt together butter and brown sugar.  Pure goodness!!

Once it's melted enough to spread, pour into a 9inch round pie pan.  Tilt the pan to coat the bottom

Spread the chopped apple on top.

Grate the frozen butter (I loved this idea!!!)

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients and throw in the butter.  Mix together with your fingers.

The mixture should be crumb like.  When you press the flour together it will form a ball, but will crumble into pieces as well.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  I had to add more flour to my dough so that it would form together.  You don't want to work the batter to much, but enough that it will stay together. I spent a good 20 minutes just trying to get the dough off my hands.  This is a sign that it is too wet and flour should be added.  

Break off roughly 10 pieces of the dough and flatten slightly.  

Places on top of the apple pieces. 

Put in the oven

Sit back and relax for 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and revel in the beauty in what you just did

It's even pre-sliced for you. Genuis!!

The recipe: 
Again, I used apple pieces instead of pineapple. 
  • Pineapple
  • ¾ cups Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1-½ cup Chopped Fresh Pineappl
  • Biscuits
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • ¾ sticks (6 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, Frozen
  • 1 cup Buttermilk, Plus Extra If Necessary

Preparation Instructions

*From “Perfect One Dish Dinners” by Pam Anderson.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
Pineapple: Heat brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat to a spreadable consistency. Pour into a 9-inch round cake pan, tilting to coat pan bottom; top with pineapple.
Biscuits: Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt with a fork in a medium bowl. Using a box grater, coarsely grate frozen butter into dry ingredients, mixing quickly with fingertips to evenly blend. Stir in buttermilk with a fork, adding extra droplets of buttermilk over any dry patches, if necessary and mix until dough just comes together.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. With your fingers, pinch dough into 10 rough rounds and arrange over pineapple. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and pineapple topping is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Friday, June 24, 2011

There is nothing more annoying to me than spending a night baking up what I thought would be a beautiful recipe, and have it turn out to be a dudEspecially when that recipe involved phyllo dough.  I don’t know if ya’ll have dealt with phyllo dough, but it’s one that has to be handled delicatelyThis happened last night.  I was in the mood for a canoli but didn’t have the tools needed to make the shells, so I thought I would get creative, make a shell in a cupcake pan, and fill it with the canola filling.  It would have worked perfectly, but the filling turned out to be only so so.  It wasn’t horrible but not up to my standards and I only want the best for you.  SO, this beautiful post I was ready to write out with pictures and all turned out to be a “not so much” story.

Never fear, I will be working on another recipe that I am sure will not disappoint, but to be safe I’ll keep the recipe a secret for now, until I can test it out.  Also, rest assured that we will revisit phyllo dough.  If I can find it, I have an amazing recipe for baklava. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.   Until then, lets just look at a picture of a yummy cannoli...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's get the communication going around here. It's been a bit....*crickets*...quiet.   We're all friends right?  My best friend told me this past weekend "yes, I read your blog, but I just haven't gotten into this whole blogging thing yet."  Ya'll, there is a whole world out there of bloggers.  It's like it's own community.  Just a few months ago, we had a huge blogger convention here in Nashville.  No, I didn't go, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'd like to attend one.  So, in the spirit of you reading this and being a part of the blogger community let's get the air flying.  I'll ask a question, you answer it on here, in the comments section. Under the post, click on "comments," type your comment.  If you have a google email click on that radio dial and "publish comment."  If you do not, click on name/url and just put your name.
There is no giveaway for answering this question, but I'll send you lots and lots of Love from me to you.  I'm trying to work on a giveaway, but you gotta give a little to receive a little.

So the question for today is:

If calories didn't count, what dessert would you eat every day??

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Acid or no acid, that is the question

Baking soda or baking powder?  What's the difference??  Surely more than the color and shape of the box. 

Here's what I found out:

  • Pure sodium bicarbonate
  • Used as a leveling ingredient agent.  When it is mixed with a liquid and an acidic ingredient, the chemical reaction magic begins to happen. The result of this magic produces an expansion of  bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperature, causing baked goods to rise.
  • Acidic ingredients include, vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, sour cream, chocolate, and honey
  • The chemical reaction begins to work immediately upon mixing, so get that dessert in the oven quick or it won't rise properly.
  • Has a bitter taste unless countered with a the acid of another acidic ingredient.
  • Commonly found in cookie recipes.

  • Contains sodium bicarbonate, but also has an acidic ingredient (cream of tarter) and also a drying agent (usually starch.)
  • Single acting baking powder is activated by moisture, so the recipe must be cooked soon after mixing.
  • Double acting baking powder react in two phases, so can stand for a bit before baking.
  • Often used in cakes and breads.

  • You can substitute baking powder for baking soda (you will need 3parts baking powder for every 1part soda, but it more than likely will affect the taste) but you cannot substitute baking soda for baking powder.
  • Make your own baking powder: for every tsp of baking powder = mix 1/4tso baking soda, 1/2tsp cream of tarter, and 1/4tsp cornstarch.
  • Recipes that call for both baking soda and powder, will also have the acidic ingredient to get the baking soda rockin'

Interesting Facts:
  • Once you add enough Baking Soda to neutralize the acid of a batter, any extra that is added will work to aid in browning.  This is why a cookie recipe will call for baking soda when there is no acidic ingredient.
  • Has your baking soda and powder been in your cabinet a bit too long?  Because they rely on a chemical reaction to work and chemical break down over time, heres a way to test them and make sure they haven't lost their mojo:
    • Baking soda: 1/4t + 2t white vinegar should cause immediate foaming
    • Baking powder: 1t + 1/2c of hot water should cause immediate foaming
    • If they don't get all foamy like, replace those puppies!