Hello baby, new kitchen and New York

Busy baking something extra special

I’ve been a bit busy baking something extra special. Here’s my 3 month bump…

I haven’t really managed a lot of baking recently. There’s been rather lot going on… We had to get a new kitchen (long story) and we’ve also been having a baby! So a baking break was inevitable. This may be the longest I’ve ever gone without baking anything and needless to say I was getting a bit twitchy.

After: The new kitchen complete with porcelain butler sink

After: The new kitchen complete with porcelain butler sink

We were without a kitchen for almost 2 months before Christmas. There’s only so much shop bought cake and bread you can manage before craving something wholesome and home made.

During the renovations...

During the renovations…

Floods and leaks seem to follow us round. We discovered a leak in the kitchen which had penetrated the walls so the kitchen had to be gutted, plaster stripped and walls dried.  Luckily we had spontaneously booked our official honeymoon to New York prior to this discovery so we escaped whilst our builder friend got on with the work. It also meant that I could start to construct my kitchen the way that I wanted it, complete with a porcelain Butler Sink and revamp my old kitchen dresser.

There’s a million things that I’d love to put into my dream kitchen but right now I’m very happy with my oven that works, my Candy Apple KitchenAid and subway tiles.

Before we packed up the kitchen into the living room and flew off, I managed to squeeze in baking our Christmas Cake at 5 am. I left it to rest quietly at my mams away from all the dust and debris.

New York was amazing.  A real foodie adventure.  I had a list of bakeries and delis that I wanted to sample and frankly stuffed myself silly with all sorts of cakes, sweets, meats and delicious eats.

Red pizza pie was my absolute favourite and could have gorged on this for days.

I almost considered becoming a vegetarian for a while after our trip as we were served gargantuan amounts of meat and beautiful pickles at Carnegie Deli. I managed half of my sandwich before being defeated by the meat. In man vs. food. Food most definitely won.

I took the  ‘healthy’ option at Katz Deli opting for a real life Knish which I’ve always wanted to try (after I attempted to make them myself) and it was so so good.  Deep fried with a crispy coating and stuffed with mashed potato.  So comforting in the cold November chill.  Accompanied by Matzoh Ball Soup which technically was more ball than soup. The clear chicken broth was the panacea I needed to counteract all the meat.  I must learn how to make that!

We traveled up to Ithaca to visit friends taking in the glorious autumnal colours and waterfalls everywhere you turn.  Deer frolicking (and causing havoc) outside the window. It was like being in a Disney film. Punctuated by BBQ’d meat, beans, slaw,  Mac n cheese, ice cream, chocolate cake, red thai prawn curry, fusion foods, hot apple cider and hot chocolate. We took a much needed step back from the hustle and bustle of busy New York.  We were sad to leave but the Big Apple was calling and we had to head back.

I’m attempting to finish my final few around the world in 80 bakes when I get a moment with my hands free, so it may take some time yet so please bear with me.

But I did manage to bake and ice a cake one handed whilst carrying the little one last week so we’re getting our cake fix and starting him in the kitchen early. 🙂 I’ll also be sharing some of my own quick bakes along the way too.

Baby's first bake

Baby’s first bake

Advertisements

24. Knished! – Eastern Europe

After watching a Woody Allan film ‘Whatever Works’, I was intrigued to find out exactly what a Knish is , the food that Larry David’s character loves so much.

image

It turns out that it's a traditionally Jewish Pastry usually filled with oniony mashed potato. Curious, I signed myself up to the Knish challenge.

All of the recipes online varied massively. One site gave a recipe for 5 dozen or 58 knishes. This would be a bit excessive for me and my 5 friends to eat. I settled for a more basic version and (yes you guessed it) modified it slightly.

image

I peeled and boiled 3 large baking potatoes but then proceeded to drop lots of them (and the glass pan lid) into the sink. So after disposing of the sink potatoes I guess I actually had about 2 and a half potatoes mashed up in the end.

image

The chopped onions had to be fried in rather a lot of vegetable oil until soft and translucent whilst I messed around with pastry making.

image

Its a very simple recipe with flour, oil and water. Again I threw it in the food processor to bring all the ingredients together but you could use a spoon instead 🙂

image

needed kneading

It needed kneading until smooth then it needed a rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Enough time for a cup of tea and to stir the onions.

The pastry seemed a bit dry. This might be because the recipe that didn’t include an egg, where as some of the other put 1 or 2 eggs in the pastry. To remedy this I kneaded a little more water in until I was happy with it.

image

Divided

/>

I chopped the dough into 12 pieces and rolled each piece into a thin circle about 7 inches in diameter.

image

Then a quick slick of vegetable oil on the pastry before dolloping a lot of oniony mashed potato in the middle. There is no way I accurately measured this. Perhaps a handful of potato? (I’m sure this is how the professionals do it.)

I tucked up the edges and spread a little egg wash where pastry met pastry to help it seal shut (in theory).

12 Knish balls later and they were ready for a generous egg wash and the oven.

image

In hindsight I should have popped a little air vent in the top of each Knish to avoid this Knish mass explosion. There was more mashed potato on the tray rather than in the Knish. This is another danger of making it up as you go along after catching a fleeting glimpse of what it should look like in a film.

image
Knish Catastrophe

Nevertheless they tasted pretty good. If I’m being a little critical perhaps a tad on the greasy side, but I bet it would be a  perfect hangover cure!

image
If you ignore the mashed potato hanging out the sides of the Knish it looks exactly like how I imagined it would…

There are other flavour variations you can try too if you’re not a mashed potato fan, like meat. I thinkimage its a bit like a pasty so you can have fun with it!

image

Sideways Knish

Things I used:

Pastry:
1 and half cups of plain flour
1 top baking powder
Half a cup of water ( and more as needed)
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Filling:
2 and a half large baking potatoes
2 large white onions
Salt
Cracked black pepper (to season)
A cup of vegetable oil

1 egg to seal and wash pastry with