Monday, July 25, 2011

Raspberries I love you

 There is nothing better than coming home from 48 hours of airports and tarmacs than coming home to a note from your housemate that says : fresh picked cherries and raspberries EAT!  Well, let me rephrase. The only thing better is the fruit itself.   As a native New Englander I thought I knew good fruit.  What I’ve learned this summer is that, blueberries aside, Washington state knows how to grow some gorgeous summer berries.  And while I often gorge myself on cherries from the Ballard market, at the end of the day there is nothing, NOTHING, better than fresh picked raspberries.  

So you can imagine my delight when I opened up my refrigerator and found multiple yogurt containers brimming with wild raspberries.  That is what I call love.  Immediately swimming in thoughts of raspberry jam, raspberry yogurt cake, and raspberry pies I gleefully dove, handful by handful, right in.

However, on day three of gobbling up a 1/2 pint of berries for breakfast, I realized I needed another way to luxuriate in my berry abundance.  The answer was obvious: Raspberry Scones. Two things I love, together at last.


I used a recipe from Molly Wizenberg’s blog Orangette (with which I am absolutely obsessed) for Whole Wheat Apricot Scones because 1. I think she is great and 2. I accidentally bought whole wheat pastry flour instead of white.   I adjusted the recipe slightly by adding lemon zest, raspberries of course, and omitting the apricots.  I froze the fresh berries before baking with them and used the zest of 2 and 1/2 small lemons.  I am a bit wild I know, but I like a lot of lemony goodness in just about everything.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. table salt
(½ stick) cold  butter
¼ cup sugar
2 cups small frozen raspberries
½ cup half-and-half, plus more for glazing
1 egg
zest of 2 lemons 

The recipe was very straight forward but, learning from my biscuit mistakes last week, I read the recipe in its entirety twice before even measuring or mixing a thing. I whisked the dry ingredients, zested in the lemon, and incorporated the frozen berries.  Next I combined the milk and egg (thoroughly beaten of course) and kneaded until the mixture formed a loose, if not a tad lumpy, dough ball. 

Then I hand flattened the dough into a circle and cut into 8 even wedges.

 Finally, I glazed each wedge with a little more milk and placed the wedges on a baking sheet with parchment paper.  425 degrees for about 15 minutes. I wanted mine with a bit more of golden brown crust so I switched on the broiler for a second, which may have been my one mistake. They definitely didn’t burn and are delicious if  I (and my roommates) do say so, but may lean just a tad to the too dry side, as far as scones go.  Nothing, however, a little butter and mug of coffee can’t fix.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


When it's 100 degrees by day, the only thing to do at night is eat strawberries.  I think that I am almost
too late for them, but since I refuse to let go of the fact that strawberry time is coming to a close, I attempted to make strawberry shortcake from scratch on Sunday.  Baking attempt #1-- homemade biscuits.

Step#1 Strawberries. Easy. Slice and slightly macerated with some FallFlower honey from Waide's honey in upstate New York.  I am sure any honey is fine, but to me that's like saying maple syrup from any place other than Vermont is "fine".  It is for most, but as a New Englander, I am not as easily convinced.

Step#2. Whipped Cream. Easy. Whip with some sugar. My friend took control of this part and she nailed it.
Step#3 BISCUITS.  This is the important part right?  I used Moosewood Dessert Recipe for Fluffy Sweet Biscuits.

However, despite the very descriptive and straightforward recipe tittle, my biscuits where neither fluffy nor sweet. While I wasn't too disappointed with the latter of the two (they went will with our chilli too as a result!), I was hopping for a little more fluff.   I can't blame the recipe though and I did learn my first important baking lesson. Read the recipe!   Seriously. While I am sure everyone else knows this, if I had, I probably would have not forgotten to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  I was just so excited to get to the eating part I suppose my eyes just skipped a beat.

Luckily, when you add the butter into the whole mess of things at the end, the biscuits still taste fine they are just visually and texturally less appealing.  Overall I think it was a good first attempt at biscuit baking. Also in my experience when you add a lot of honey soaked strawberries, fresh whipped creme, friends, and summertime a little less fluff mostly goes unnoticed.

Monday, July 18, 2011

And I am off!

The past nine months have brought a lot of beginnings my way.  Finishing school, driving across the country to rainy, mountainous (and as I was soon to find out foodie) Seattle embarking on a Journey to discover new places and faces.  The biggest beginning to come my way, however, is more aptly defined by the noun reunion.  A homecoming if you will, in which I returned, happily so, to food.  After many years as a vegetarian, a stint or two as a vegan, and a forever egg-hater my body and soul had enough. It started with fish, moved into meat, and finally the cake icing so to speak- butter and eggs. And let me tell you- it has been a happy return.
What am I doing with a blog you may ask?  This blog is an exploration of food. Real, natural, good-for-you-and-your- soul food.  While I am exploring my savory culinary skills as well, Painetpanache, will be just that-  a lot of  reckless and courageous baking.  Additionally, it is a place for my writing, a passion that has always filled my head and heart, and an adventure with eggs and butter that is sure to fill my belly.
First steps include a lot of recipe searching and baking. Did I mention I have no idea what I am doing? While I have always had an above average sweet tooth I know nothing about baking. So, not only will this blog be a place to hold space for writing, it will be a vehicle for learning new skills, and quite possibly diving into a new career.  While I have been skeptical of blogs in the past I welcome such a public, as I hope it will become, forum for this culinary field trip, as I will soon be in desperate need for eaters.  On the menu: bread, clafoutis, macaroons, and of course croissants. How does that sound? I will bake, write, and take the occasionally photo and you shall be fed.  Sound like fun? I think so.