Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Apple-Pecan Cooking Efforts, and One Misguided Carrot-Pecan Cooking Effort

My major cooking theme has now shifted from oranges and pecans to apples and pecans. I need to buy more ingredients, though, because there are several apple-pecan dishes I want to make that I don't have the proper ingredients for. So far I've followed two recipes, one for "nut-filled baked apples" (in the crock-pot) and one for "caramel apple and pecan bread" (in the bread machine). Both are pictured below. I was fairly happy with the the nut-filled baked apples, but not as happy with the bread. My bread machine breads practically all come out denser than I want them to, to one extent or another, and this bread was no exception. I think I need to experiment with shrinking the recipes slightly, because lack of sufficient space in the bread machine might be what's causing the problem.

Caramel Apple and Pecan Bread with Nut-Filled Baked Apples

Diverging from the apple portion of my theme, I pulled up another monstrously humongous carrot from my garden and attempted to make dinner out of it tonight, but things took some unexpected turns. I followed a recipe for carrot salad and somehow accidentally made pasta sauce instead.

The recipe called for a mix of shredded carrots, dill, and raisins topped with a salad dressing made from lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic, and olive oil. I skipped the dill because it's green, thereby turning this into my perfect idea of salad: one with absolutely no green vegetables whatsoever. And I added toasted pecans because I'm adding pecans to everything until I use up all the homegrown pecans.

However, things went rather wrong with the carrot. I remembered that a month ago I successfully shredded carrots in the blender by cooking them slightly beforehand to soften them up, so I thought I would do that again this time. Unfortunately, this time around I forgot the "slightly" part and cooked the carrot very thoroughly. As a result, when I put it in the blender I got liquefied carrot rather than shredded carrot. So I stirred the liquid carrot into the salad dressing and tried to turn it into carrot-raisin soup. Unfortunately, the lemon juice was way, way too strong for my tastes. So to dilute it to tolerable levels, I used it as a pasta sauce instead. It was actually a fairly decent pasta sauce. I don't think I'd intentionally make it again in quite the same way, but it might be worth experimenting with variations on it.
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