August 17, 2009

It was going to be a big day of cooking. No two ways about it. It’s down to the wire. Two of our beach guests arrive the day after tomorrow. The other on Thursday. I rolled up my sleeves and started cooking early this morning.

First, I threw together a baguette dough. This can rise in the fridge for two days – and will have a more developed flavor if it sits that long. I have used this recipe for baguette with very consistent results, especially when made with King Arthur’s Artisan flour (although regular all purpose also makes a very nice loaf.) While the recipe says it makes one baguette, I always make two because an uncut baguette will last longer, and we really shouldn’t eat an entire baguette in one night – even though it would be really easy to do. With an entire block of butter. But I digress.

Then I set some roma tomatoes in the oven to roast. These were still leftover from the batch I bought at the farmers market, and really needed to be cooked. Throughout the day, I roasted, food milled, made the new Sauce #4, and packaged it up for the freezer. I have four quarts. I feel rich.

Next – an appetizer for Wednesday. I had bookmarked this one awhile back – easy as can be – white beans pureed with pesto and squeeze of lemon. I’m hoping it becomes more interesting with time. I’ll make some pita chips tomorrow.

Next, I whipped up a batch of dog biscuits. Our little terrier Dylan has such a sensitive stomach he will only eat the peanut butter dog biscuits I make for him. Yes, he’s spoiled.

Finally, I made some pistachio/orange biscotti. These are for the beach – perfect snacks for these guests, who are big on afternoon tea and a biscuit.

Somewhere in there, I did a ton of laundry, changed the beds, made dinner (sauteed eggplant and tomatoes with garlic and basil, homemade oat flour fettucine, sauteed green beans), and fed us both. I’m earning that beach vacation.

A day well spent and a happy collection of goodies to pack up.

Dog biscuits for your favorite puppy

1.5 c white flour
1.5 c wheat flour
.5 c corn meal
.5 c rolled oats
3 Tbls natural peanut butter, crunchy is nice, but creamy will do
2 eggs

.5 c safflower oil
1.5 c water

2 tsp vanilla
Equipment: 2 sheet pans, rolling pin, a dog-biscuit cutter is nice

Preheat oven to 400•
Put first four ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine
I use a large cup measure to measure the oil and water, then add the eggs, peanut butter and vanilla and stir well.
With the mixer running, stream in the liquids.

Blend well and turn out the dough onto a well floured rolling board (or the counter.)
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into two parts.
Roll out each part to about 1/4″ thick, cut out dog biscuits with a cookie cutter and place on ungreased sheet pan.

Pop the sheet pans in the oven and bake the biscuits for 20-25 min.
Switch the placement of the pans, back to front and upper to lower.

Turn the oven off, and leave the biscuits in the oven to dry out for another 25 min.

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