Archive for February, 2009

Pizza Night

I hereby decree that every Saturday henceforth shall be called “PIZZA NIGHT!” And we shall make and gorge ourselves on homemade pizzas and be delighted entirely!

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So, if you don’ t know how to read ridiculous semi-medieval speak, I’ll let you know that tonight was the first ever Carroll Family Pizza Night (soon to be Bassett Family Pizza Night) Every Sat, we’ll roll up our sleeves, stretch out some dough and create the most delicious pizzas we can!

Tonight we made Margerita Pizzas, the traditional pizza that represents the three colors on the Italian flag with its toppings. The great thing about homemade pizza is that the crust is no longer tasteless and unimportant. The crust is tasty and an integral part of the flavor in my homemade pizzas. Here’s the dough recipe so that if you want to make this at home, you’re more than welcome!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
(if you want this dough NOT to be whole wheat, just substitute AP or bread flour!)

.5 oz Fresh Yeast (Or .25 oz active dry yeast)
Pinch Sugar
.5 tsp Salt
10.5 oz Whole Wheat Flour
2 tbsp Olive Oil

This dough is made using the straight dough method. Mix your water and yeast until it dissolves. Mix together the flour, oil, salt and sugar until fully incorporated. Then mix this all together, wet into dry. Knead this for about 10 minutes. Let it rest in a wet, warm place (You should take a shower. Seriously, take a shower and make sure that you don’t turn the fan on. When you get out of the shower, just leave the dough on the toilet or counter until it doubles in size. The yeast LOVE the muggy environment. That’s exactly what a professional proof box is like!) until it doubles in size. Punch it down and stretch it out to your desired size.

Place whatever toppings you like. For Margerita pizzas, you use olive oil, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella ( I get the Organic Valley brand because the company doesn’t torture its cows!) and basil. I didn’t have fresh basil, so I used dried. I also put some freshly cracked black pepper and some Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake this either on a baking stone, in a professional deck oven OR if you’re like me and you’re poor, on the back of a cookie sheet. Crank the temperature in your oven to as high as it’ll go. Put your pizza in and bake about 10 minutes or until the crusts have puffed up and the whole thing is golden brown. When it’s finished, take it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes. THEN cut it up and enjoy. You don’t want to burn the inside of your mouth, do you?

r

February 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Roundup

Here’s the goods made this week in the commercial kitchen of your DC writer, Robin. Feast your eyes, kiddies!

petit1The goods are as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

Whiskey Pecan Tartletts, Pecan Diamonds, Chocolate dipped Vacherines, Peach Cobblers, Chocolate Peanutbutter Pie, Linzer Cookies, Chocolate dipped Madelines, Cherry Pie, Key Lime Chiffon Pie, NY Cheesecake, Blueberry Pies, Lemon Tartletts, Spritz Cookies, Pear Frangipane Tart, Almond Macaroons

February 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

Capital Confections Cake Competition

Today in Austin:

Hundreds of cake decorators are gathering to show their goods at the Capital Confection’s That Takes The Cake Competition. From categories like “Multi-Tiered Wedding Cake,” “Single Tiered Specialty Cake” to “Confections Not on A Cake” or “Decorations Not on A Cake” we see amazing examples of cake decorating at its best.

I’ll be submitting my own humble cake this year under “Multi-Tiered Wedding Cakes,” entering as a culinary student (which is FREE, by the way) It features Tempered chocolate drawings, rolled fondant, piped royal icing and molded chocolate flowers. Bunny Blossoms are the focus here, as you can see bunnies being birthed out of cherry blossoms on the branches that climb up this cake. Tempered chocolate is poured on the top of the bigger layer to create some contrast and conveniently cover up any unsightly bumps on the smooth fondant surface.

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hpim6883Do you like the shot of the cake from inside my refrigerator. That’s apple juice, by the way… nothing funny.

Opportunities like this are popping up all over the place. Culinary Students in Austin are able to showcase their work and their talent in this great city in many events or competitions.

Here are some of the highlights of the day:

cake-pics

February 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

A New Look for Dolce Cakes

Let’s just say that it’s due time that Dolce Cakes found it’s identity.

More often than not, one would view DC and see it as just a baking blog. Perhaps a place for its owner to post beautiful pictures of her baked goods, a place to see some good food. DC has been the host of INK and the home for the occasional rant about nerdiness. Perhaps this post can be the turning point for the blog. It’s coming into its own and developing its personality as we speak.

Dolce Cakes is a vegetarian baking blog. Dedicated to promoting the respect and preservation of animals and their integrity. Determined to improving the awareness of its viewers to the reality of meat farming and of course to provide a good deal of vegetarian recipes. DC will primarily be a blog centered around baking but may occasionally provide information on savory vegetarian dishes.

You may have noticed little changes here and there over the last week. I’ve been redesigning the look of DC to improve its navigation and accessibility. Tags and categories have been added. Posts have been weeded, archived and in some cases, consolidated to make browsing easier. Please feel free to let me know if these things are either not helpful, not working or just plain annoying.

I look forward to sharing my opinions. If I cannot share them on my own blog, where can I share them? If you are faint of heart, you may not want to hear some of the things that DC might be reporting. If you are a meat lover and die-hard Veggie hater, you may also want to try to get your baking fix elsewhere. If you feel as though you want me to shut up or stop posting about vegetarianism and animal torture, then feel free. I will take your comments into consideration and may or may not alter my content.

The new blog schedule is as follows:
New blogs will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Weekly updates on baking will be posted on Saturday.

Thanks very much for reading this, I appreciate each view that this blog gets, each reader that reads these words and hope that perhaps some of what I say doesn’t go in one ear and out the other. I hope that I can increase the awareness of the truths of this country’s eating habits and the risks involved. If I can help one person, that will be enough for me.

r

February 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

Save the Moos!

Everytime my fiance and I go on a roadtrip, or anytime that we even pass a cow feild I remember saying, “Hello, Moos!!”

As long as I can remember, I have thought that these creatures are kind and strong and to be respected. I just finished reading the chapters (In C. David Coats’ Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm) on the treatment of dairy cows, calves and beef cattle. I can’t say that I’m surprised, only disgusted. More and more I want to either find a dairy farm that doesn’t torture their animals or just start consuming ricedream and silk soy products instead of dairy. My compassion is too much for these animals for me to be able to support these practices.

For some reason, while reading all of these things, I feel like everyone should know what happens to these animals. I hold myself back because I know that people either don’t care or don’t want to admit that these things happen. For years, I disconnected the chicken on my plate from the chicken in the barnyard, or more accurately, the chicken in the tiny crowded cages. I didn’t want to admit that the meat I was eating used to be a living, feeling animal that had lived such a tortured life.

I’m not so ignorant to think that my vegetarianism is going to solve this problem completely, but I’m confident in saying that my efforts will not promote this. Not a single dollar of my money will go towards the industry that habitually tortures and destroys these creatures. I love that quote that I read lastnight:

“In point of fact, I am the very opposite of an anthropomorphizer. I don’t hold animals superior or even equal to humans. The whole case foe behaving decently to animals rests on the fact that we are the superior species. We are the species uniquely capable of imagination, rationality and moral choice– and that is precisely why we are under the obligation to recognize and respect the right of animals” Brigid Brophy
Because we are superior, we must protect these animals because the second that we believe that it’s okay and even right to torture, kill and disrespect these creatures is the second that we are brought down to the level of predator and animal.

February 25, 2009 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

Wanna Go Veggie with me?

Really, try and act surprised.

I think that I’m going vegetarian again. This time, I’ve done my research and figured out how to have a more balanced diet without relying on meat for protein. I’ve been doing alot of reading and a lot of thinking about being vegetarian. I think that the reason that it didn’t work for me before was because I wasn’t really paying attention to the amount of protein that I was eating. Now I’m much more knowledgable about the food that I’m putting in my mouth and I’m confident that I’ll be able to get all the proteins that I need without having to ingest another single tortured chicken/cow/pig/fish.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the abuse that the animals that we eat recieve before being shipped off to the slaughterhouse. I keep on thinking about my cats and how they live, and how we live, comfortably, happily. I want that for every other living thing. Animals think, eat, breathe, act in social circles and of course, have feelings, even if it is just “Oh, shit. They’re going to kill me.” I don’t want that for any animal. If I can help it, I want to make sure that no animal feels that way, ever… by not adding to the torture of animals for food.

It goes along with my feelings about spirituality… Remember that cardinal rule? To respect life. I don’t think that it just applies to us humans who have more complex thoughts. If everything comes from th same energy source and some of us may be reincarnated as other animals, then the chicken I’m eating for dinner might be my grandmother, or my next-door neighbor. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel terrible. I have respect for the earth and I know that even if we were meant to be eating animals, the way that they are treated now is inhumane and far beyond the original purpose and lifestyle. I am confident in saying that if these animals were raised on a personal farm, living full lives (as full as a farm animal’s life can be[although, you can argue that most farm animals are as intelligent if not more intelligent than our domesticated counterparts, and therefore can life the same fulfilling lives as cats and dogs and parakeets…etc!]) until they died of natural causes, then I would be more inclined to eat them. But they are born and bred to be meaty, produce milk and eggs and of course, to be killed, after living what may be as much as 12 weeks of torture in small cages where they cannot move, much less live. These animals are stuffed into coops and stables where they have no room, they have no life and are sucked clean of the resources that we need from them. How would you feel if that were your child? Imagine a human baby, bred for meat. Living in a cage for 12 weeks with hundreds of other babies, fattened. And get this: the babies FIGHT for the food. They fight to live, only to be killed for their meat. I hate that idea, even if the reality of it is that it’s chickens and cows and pigs instead of babies.

Pigs have the intelligence of a 3 year old human child. Does that mean that we can treat austic individuals with the intelligence of a 3 year old the same way? Pigs have higher intelligence than dogs. If intelligence and brain function is what seperates them from us and the reason that it shouldn’t matter that we eat them, then why don’t we eat our dogs? Because they aren’t bred to be eaten? Neither were pigs, until we decided that they were dirty animals and were far beneath us. Chickens can be bred and domesticated and are more intelligent than dogs are. Again, why do we eat them and not our dogs. If we’re going to eat animals, who’s to stop us from eating every animal? Do we think that we’re being more humane by not eating our pets? Well, I for one am more disgusted with us for BREEDING animals with the sole purpose of being eaten. These animals to not get to live before we kill and eat them. I’m not going to eat another single one.

I love this earth and I love the life that lives on it. I love the energy that I come from and that we are all a part of and I believe that that means that I should respect and preserve it. I hope that you see if my way and understand where I’m coming from. I’m not asking anyone to do this for me(It’s for our mother earth!! God, I’m soo campy.), I’m not going to force a single person into something. I won’t lie and say that I don’t mind people eating animals, but I am not one to judge. Afterall, I like the way that chicken tastes, but it doesn’t mean that I like the way I feel after I eat a chicken. Alcoholics enjoy the way that alcohol tastes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s best for them to be drinking it.

As much as there are certain people who I cannot stand, when it comes down to it, I can’t possibly say that I don’t love them. I respect every bit of energy on this planet and I’m thankful for the life that I live and the life that I will hopefully give to my children, so I feel that it is my duty to respect and love the life that’s on this planet the best that I can, and in my mind, that means not eating my friends.

February 19, 2009 at 10:43 am Leave a comment