Not much to say except it has been a whirlwind of food the last few weeks.
With Paul’s Birthday, Thanksgiving, a rainy Sunday – it all added up for some solid cooking time in. Below are a few image carousels of some of the more memorable “bites” from the last few weeks.
First off some of the treats from Pauls Birthday. He had requested a new cake from Noe Valley Bakers, so we decided with Thanksgiving around the corner and not traveling this year, so cooking at home – we would have a coffee & dessert theme Sunday that week.
Gluten free biscotti
The S’mores build..
S’mores Cookies with Carmel chocolates
Gooey Apple cake
Noe Valley’ss newest Oreo Cake
cheese for the rest
Then for Thanksgiving, we had a few friends over for a potluck. All I needed to do is the turkey, stuffing, and a few sides. Friends took care of desserts.
From the launch of the #FoodMemories17 Guest series early in the week, some follow up at my TechInclusion “TED” Style talk on Mentorship and LGBT at SF Armory building, getting a chance to listen to blogger and cookbook writer Cenk from www.CafeFernando.com talk about his newest cookbook “The Artful Baker”, dinner at some fun spots around town, a 5.4 mile local urban hike, an educational trip to the Academy of Sciences for a “Nightlife” event , a look back with a chocolate chip pie and wrapped it all up today with some killer themed food for the monthly book club (but that gets it own entry later this week). It’s no wonder I will be ready for bed early. So here is a quick visual Bite-Cap…
I had wanted to add a new feature to BiteTheRoad decided to use a more “crowdsourced” approach with a new guest feature called ‘Food Memories Stories Told’. The overall idea was to offer a larger scope of unique stories through the common experience of food and eating and invite others to help grow it. (You can also read my initial post about Food Memories here.)
Yes, everyone is welcome to participate. From the novice to more experienced blogger, the home cook to the professional. Each guest storyteller will share personal themes of food-related memories, recipes, moments of healing, love, transitions, and reflection and post them during the next few months. We will use the hashtag #FoodMemories2017 and all guest posts will be featured on the BiteTheRoad website and on its companion Facebook page Facebook.com/Bitetheroad. I will also share it out via my twitter account @FVStrona, the BitetheRoad Tumblr and Instagram pages and of course, I encourage you to share your post to your networks. Our first guest feature went live with Travis’s 81-layer Biscuits.
Bite-Cap: 2 Talking about Mentoring LGBTs in Tech at TechInclusion
I did a 10 min “TED” Style talk and used storytelling as a way to share about the importance of mentorships and mentors for the LGBT person in Tech. It was a great afternoon with so many very cool people present, that it would have been as nice to attend and not speak. I had forgotten how I enjoy the process of planning using the storytelling technique and coaching through humor. It was fun to be back in the San Francisco Armory in this other role, even it I always enjoyed it from my regular one. As a venue – they do a great job with hosting programs. One of the folks snapped a picture of me in motion and I dressed it up a bit and shared about my social media hubs as well. You can check out my post on Monday afternoon of the MentorSF.com/Engage blog to read more and see some of the slides.
Bite-Cap 3: Omnivore Books and The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker
Omnivore Books, (Omnivore Books has a Facebook page as well) here the Bay Area, often hosts book and author events. My pal Brad suggested we check it out last week, and I am so glad we did. This months offer was the newest cookbook from Cenk Sonmezoy, the mastermind and home-schooled blogger behind the food blog Cafe Fernando. With cookbook author and blogger for www.EatTheLove.com, Irvin Lin serving as local Interviewer – Cenk did some great storytelling behind his masterful cookbook and the powerful images he took himself in addition to the recipes he wrote. If I hadn’t already purchased my copy, I would have put this on my Christmas list. Its a classic trilogy of storytelling, recipe sharing and visual enticements. The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker is available at Omnivore or on Amazon.
Of course , hile I have finished reading the Artful Baker (Yes, I read them cover to cover like a novel), I did get inspired to pop out an old school Chocolate Chip Cookie “practice” pie. “Practice” as in it’s a recipe I hadn’t tried and it’s that time of the year when I start working on the menu for the Holiday Orphans party in December..
Bite-Cap 4: The weekend wasn’t all about food….
I did manage to get a 5.4 mile urban hike in on Saturday. This trail was a new one for me, but it has been part of Pauls exercise path previously, so it gave me a chance to explore parts of Glen Park that I hadn’t seen before. But I think poor Dino’s little legs might not have been as happy with the walk! I think other than the obvious – it’s what you don’t expect to see that always catches my eye.
This memory for 81 Layer Bisquits comes from my pal Travis.
Travis and I met here in the Bay Area, and some time back he decided to go back home to his roots in North Carolina. Through the magic of facebook, we stay in touch and he was eager to share for #FoodMemories17. Remember – If you want to submit your own memory – check out the Sharing Our Memories Post or visit the #FoodMemories17 page for more detials
81 Layer Biscuits
Frank:So Travis, what is your food memory you want to share?
Travis: I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, and when I think of food memories, one food comes to mind immediately: biscuits. My mother always made fresh biscuits with every meal. We never had biscuits out of a can.
F:So you mean you never cheated and used a can? or those frozen bagged ones?
T: hmm not unless you count playing with store bought biscuit dough instead of playdough at a baby sitters house; hence my nickname “Mama’s Little Dough Boy.”
F:<Smiles> You do know that this will come back to haunt you now that I know that…
T: Yes.. I know.. ok so back to Bisquits.. Several decades later, I still like playing with dough. I often try different recipes. Like many other home and self-taught bakers, at some piont I decided to alter a recipe for biscuits that had become my “go to favorites”. My goal was to see what woudl happen if I added a variation of a flaky pastry technique called lamination.
F:Is that the one that you layer butter between dough for what seems like forever and role it out?
T: Pretty much. If you’ve ever made homemade croissants or puff pastry, you’ll have used this trick. Lamination creates layers of butter in a pastry so that it will “puff” in the oven and give unparalleled rise to dough. If you’ve never laminated dough before, this is a really simple process and the result is so gratifying.
F:Did it work?
T: Sure did. This variation of biscuits have layer upon layer of flaky deliciousness and are perfect paired with any of the classics: tomato biscuit, sausage biscuit, gravy biscuit, ham biscuit, fried chicken biscuit or just the simple perfection of some homemade honey butter. Honestly, I had two of these babies today with nothing on them at all. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Fair warning, they’re slightly addictive.
81 Layer Biscuits
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 ¼ Cup Heavy Cream
¼ Cup Unsalted Butter (melted & cooled to room temp)
Self Rising Flour for dusting
To make the dough
In large bowl, whisk the AP (All Purpose) Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder & Salt together ’til well combined.
Add Heavy Cream & stir with wooden spoon to form dough. (Note: At this stage the dough will seem slightly dry.)
Knead in the bowl for about 30 seconds.
Lay out a tea towel and dust heavily with SR (Self Rising) Flour.
Turn dough out onto tea towel and form into roughly 8×12” rectangle. (Note: you can do this by hand or a floured rolling pin)
Brush the top of dough with the melted Butter and sift a layer of SF (Self Rising) Flour on top of the butter.
Fold into thirds by taking the bottom third of the dough and turn it onto the middle, then pull down the top third down to create 3 layers, exactly as you would fold a piece of paper to place in a legal envelope.
Press out (or roll out) the dough into a rectangle again & rotate 180 degrees.
Repeat this step 3 more times, remember to brush with Butter & sift with SF (Self Rising) Flour before folding.
In all total you will end up with 81 fold. (First fold creates 3 layers, second fold creates 9, then 27 & finally 81 with fourth fold).
Ready for Baking:
Heavily butter an 8×8” baking pan and press dough into pan in an even layer.
Cool in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Turn dough out upside down onto wax paper.
Using a very sharp knife, cut 9 squares with single quick press through the dough, this will ensure a nice rise.
Place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roughly 1 ½” apart.
Bake approx. 15-18 minutes rotating pan halfway through cooking.
Note – the orginal of this recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cream Biscuits Recipe
In case some of you have never done the layered dough/butter combination – I found a few youtube videos that will illustrate the different techniques – but in the end, get your hands in it and try for yourself!
That’s right – starting this month I am adding a new feature to BiteTheRoad.com; a communal shared collection called Food Memories Stories Told 2017 that promotes other peoples stories of food, recipes, success and fails. Several folks who already read the blog, had commented about wanting to share ideas and food they themselves had but weren’t up to the managing of a full blog. So I thought it would be fun to allow BiteTheRoad to offer the “food storytelling” equivilent of my work on Mentorsf.com for the months of October – December. Then revisit it for the New Year.
The Food Memories; Telling Our Story and Food Memories Stories Told 2017 is part of the BiteTheRoad Guest Series and will be a open format that invites everyone to have a place to share that special recipe, moment, rememerance and even that food mishap still told when people gather. I plan to make super easy –
1) You contact me by filling out a short web-based form,
2) Answer a few strategic questions that will help me figure out what you want ot post, how will be the best way to collect and share it
So.. Are you ready to share? Come on.. you know you want too….
Get started by visiting the new Food Memories; Telling Our Story How To Page for more instructions. As the posts come in they will be gathered and posted and can also be found Food Memories Stories Told 2017