Bob bakes and cooks

I have always liked to cook.  But now that I am retired, I love it.  And, its easier than most people think.  I have had problems here in Argentina finding things that I need or want.  For one thing, I have never seen a roasting pan.  You know…like for a turkey.  Of course, turkey isn’t exactly a hot menu item here, although it is available frozen of course, and it comes from Brasil.  I have made it here…stuffed, of course, and the locals couldn’t believe it.  They licked the platter clean.

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Strawberry season…so I made a strawberry cheesecake.  Creamy and delicious.

Strawberry cheesecake

Strawberry cheesecake

This isn’t exactly baking or cooking, but I love pickles.  They are not big on pickles here and that is something I just don’t understand.  In Canada, there are whole aisles dedicated to pickles.  Almost a staple, a must have in every home.  Eat them alone, or on sandwiches, burgers, chopped up and in things like egg salad…whatever.  There are some available here, but nary a “dill” pickle…mostly some German imports which are kind of sweet, and some local made, but taste sort of just vinegary.  So, I make my own.  This is a refrigerator pickle recipe that I modified a bit, in order to have them on hand when I want some.  They last quite a while, and are flavoured with mustard and celery seed.  I also add peppercorns, and have just used pickling spice I brought from Canada.  Next batch I will try garlic and maybe just dill seed, as dill is difficult to get here…I have grown it in my garden, but I think its a bit too hot for it in the summer.  But I keep trying.

pickles

Found this recipe for a no-knead beer bread…almost a like a rustic bread, and quite delicious.  Easy to make.

No-knead beer bread

No-knead beer bread

Whipped up some cheesy sandwich buns this morning.  Made bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese sandwiches for lunch.  Great.  Can be used as hamburger buns also.  Much better than store-bought fall-apart dry hamburger buns.  You can leave out the cheese. Or not, and add dehydrated onion also.  Use your imagination.

Cheesy sandwich buns

Cheesy sandwich buns

 

Anyway, I have cravings for things from Canada: bagels, cinnamon rolls, butter tarts, apple pie.

Canadian Butter Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts

The bakeries here do offer pies but…they have thick hard crusts, and a 1/2 inch of filling.  Not exactly my idea of a pie.

Apple pie

Apple pie

I never ever buy pastries in the bakeries except for media lunes…which are really just a sweet croissant.  So, the internet is chock full of recipes and I have bookmarked dozens of cooking sites.  I made bagels yesterday and this is where I got the recipe.  This site is incredible and has detailed instructions: http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com/2009/10/new-york-style-bagel-recipe/

If you love bagels…this recipe it just great…and easy.  You won’t be going to the bagel store anymore…believe me.

Bagels

Bagels

Well, I have taken up baking.  Something I thought I would never be able to do.  I mean, using yeast?  Kneading?  Rising?  All of those things associated with baking things like BREAD.  There are all kinds of sites online to tell you how to when to and what to.  And, amazingly, its really quite easy once you get the hang of it. Really!!

Blueberry cream cheese braid

Blueberry cream cheese braid

have a rustic bread rising right this minute, and will post the picture when done.  It was a bit complex, but I hope it turns out OK.  Had to pre-ferment overnight…so we will see. Here it is ready for the oven…larger than I thought it should be.

rustic bread ready for oven

rustic bread ready for oven

And here it is out of the oven….really doesn’t look like the picture of the site I got the recipe from…but I think my gas oven is not really hot enough sometimes…haven’t tasted it yet….but will see how it is.  As for the site:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/ This site has great bread recipes and lots of how to pictures and information for newbies.

Rustic Bread out of the oven

I Rustic Bread out of the oven

Well, this is one of the best breads I have ever tasted.  I know why it didn’t get really brown like it should and will correct that next time.  When I bought the oven, it only came with one rack, and I put solid rack in the bottom to hold water, when I should have put it in the top.  Have to try and find a slotted rack somewhere.

Flan…the perfect easy light dessert.  This is one I got from the internet a long time ago…almond leche flan.  Topped with caramel (actually cooked over the caramel then turned over onto the plate).  Delicious.

Almond Leche Flan

Almond Leche Flan

A few years ago we went to Chile to buy a gas bbq.  Yes, I know they cook over wood here, but our house didn’t come with a wood bbq and they don’t sell gas bbq’s here so off we went.  I love bbq’ing.   Salmon is so good on the bbq…of course that comes from Chile also.  Marinated in soy sauce and topped with dill and pepper.

BBQ'd salmon.

BBQ’d salmon.

Well, I think I am getting pretty good at this bread thing.  Keep looking for different recipes, and yesterday made an Italian style bread.  Nice crust, and really delicious.

Italian  bread

Italian bread

So its spring, 2014 and its cherry season.  Pitted and froze a few kilos of them and had a craving for cherry cheese cake.  Great!!!

cherry_cheese

 

 

5 thoughts on “Bob bakes and cooks

  1. I’m anxious to try the bagel recipe……….thanks for the tip! Glad you are injoying yourself .

    John

  2. Hi John…believe me…the bagels are just great. Take about 2 hours to get ready for the oven…what with rising and resting the dough…but well worth it. Hot out of the oven, with some smoked salmon and/or cream cheese…just great.

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