Tupper Lake, November 6, 2012 by Jeff Boucher

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tupper,Why Do You Blog? Part 2......

A while back I had a post titled, "Tupper, Why Do You Blog?"

Seriously, it was like an introspective moment, a time of self-discovery, really finding myself for the first time in my life.  

Ha! Had you going there didn't I?  

Bottom line, is I blog and read blogs because it makes me happy (and it's cheap).  I could write a book on that, but that's another project for another day.

Reading blogs is like going on a treasure hunt, for whatever particular interest(s) you may have.

You never know what you're going to find. When you do find something really cool, you get to share it with the readership, (see, I want to make you happy, and that makes me happy-and it's all about me kids).

I'd like to share a recent find. 

1. Grilled Cheese.   I know what you're thinking- he's off his friggin' rocker (again).  But wait, we're not talkin' two slices of processed cheese on white bread (not that there's anything wrong with that), we're talkin' some serious grilled cheese sammies.

Like gourmet grilled cheese. Grilled cheese taken to the next level. This a serious culinary pursuit.

Check out this site- The Grilled Cheese Academy/Click Here .  Click on the Sandwich Directory.  Then, click on a 
sandwich title.  Look at the sandwich, look at another.......    

This the Sgt. Pepper
There's 29 more serious grilled cheese sammies- awesome.  

And then there's imagine a different world of grilled cheese/Click Here , one guy's pursuit of grilled cheese perfection.  Cool.  

Hell, there's grilled cheese festivals out there.  

Making the ordinary, mundane grilled cheese extraordinary-Way cool.

Who'd a thunk it???

And that folks, is my discovery of the week, hope you enjoyed it. 

Late addition- I just stumbled across this blog- Know Whey/Click Here
You've got to check out this grilled cheese with homemade cheese- to die for.

Stay tuned for the next installment....

Friday, April 23, 2010


If you read this blog on a regular basis you probably know one thing about me by now. 

 I love bread.  

I love homemade bread warm, just out of the oven, with real butter on it.  

I've really only been baking for about 6 months or so, but the thought of the next loaf or batch of rolls is everpresent.  

You could say I'm consumed by the though of consuming bread.

To that end one of the best sites I've found is Wild Yeast and it's weekly feature of breads (loaves, rolls, pastrys, flatbreads, etc.)

This feature is called Yeastspotting and consists of pictures of breads that folks submit every week.

Click here for this weeks Yeastspotting.

The pictures are outstanding (well except for mine-got to work on those photography skills, have Ted give me a primer).

And if you click on the pic it brings you to the site of the baker and their recipes.

Check it out-great stuff.

Great way to breaducate oneself!  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday-Baguettes, Boule & Pizza......

Hump Day.  TGIW?   It's all downhill from here, right? 

While we're waiting for the weekend to come to us, may as well bake.  
This afternoons baking consisted of 3 items. 

First up, baguettes.  
Hadn't made baguettes before, but they were pretty easy.
Made up a batch of no-knead dough yesterday following the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe.  Let it sit in the fridge overnight, took it out when we got home, let it warm up a bit and made these crusty little loaves.
This was a practice run for Danielle's wedding in June. I'm going to bake the bags for (part of) the appetizers, served up with olive oil.

There were four to start-one was consumed in a taste test. 
Nice and crusty on the outside, chewy with a decent crumb inside. 
These'll work, oh boy will they work.

Then I had some leftover dough, so I made a boule for my favorite retiring co-worker.
She'll get this in the morning tonight-it's better warm.

Finally I made 2 pizzas for supper ( hadn't had any in a couple of days).

Used the frozen dough from Sav-A-Lot. 
It cost 99 cents, defrost easily in the microwave and spreads easily. It's not as good as homemade dough, but darn close and for a weeknight it's a timesaver.

Made a white pie with garlic, onion, tomato, parm, mozzarella and some fresh basil. 

Good stuff.

Then a cheese pie with regular pizza sauce.

More good stuff.
With the new oven I can use the pizza stone and my new peel.  I cooked these at 500 degrees.
Makes a huge difference.  Once you start baking on the stone, you won't go back I assure you-just don't let your knuckles brush up against it when you're removing the pizza-it's hot, really hot.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups & Cheesecake.....

Whilst on one of my many trips around the food blogosphere searching for something to make last weekend I came across a dessert recipe and pics that looked good enough to eat right off the monitor.
(I tried-didn't work, and the dog was looking at me in a funny way.)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from The Cookin' Canuck.

What's not to like about cheesecake, chocolate and peanut butter, all tied together in one nice little package?

Mind you, I've never made cheesecake, so my expectations weren't that high.  They should have been- they came out great.  

I made a simple graham cracker crust in a foil lined 8x8 in. pan., then I mixed the filling.
Licking my fingers with frosting off the mixing hook brought me back to when I was a kid and my mother would give me the beaters after she'd make frosting for a cake.  Good stuff.

Then it was chop up some peanut butter cups, fold 'em into the filling and scrape the filling into the pan on the crust.  Cook for 35 mins. or so, let it cool for an unbearable two hours, then refrigerate for another 3 longggggg hours.

Then, melt 2 oz. of bitterwseet chocolate in the microwave, and drizzle on top.

Cut into a dozen bars, and enjoy.

 The experiment was a success.  A very delicious success.

If you like the ingredients in these I'd say start making 'em now!

Monday, April 19, 2010


This past weekend was a good one for baking.  The weather was gray and damp, perfect for the kitchen.

What to bake was another story.  At first I almost made a no-knead wheat bread.  Then I said, "Self, you've done the no-knead thing a bunch of times, and it's time to expand your horizons."  

Last year I purchased Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and although I read it almost immediately I had yet to take the plunge into his recipes.

Most of his recipes call for a pre-ferment of some type.  A pre-ferment (or sponge) allows the wheat molecules to do their thing, giving more flavor to the final product. It needs to sit and work overnight.

My problem has been I like to bake my bread and eat it on the same day.  Therefore, the thought of starting and having to wait until the next day was not good for the impatient baker. No patience here Padawan.

On the other hand I had dropped 20 something bucks on his book and convinced myself to give it a go.

I decided on ciabatta. 
Sort of rhymes with Chewbacca.

 On Saturday I mixed up my pre-ferment, a poolish (wet sponge).  It's easy.  Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of room temp. water and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast.  Cover and leave at room temp for 3-4 hrs. then put in the fridge overnight. 

The next day, take out the poolish and let it warm up for an hour or so.  Mix more flour, salt and yeast, water with the poolish and make a sticky ball.  I mixed in the Kitchen Aid and also kneaded there too.  Layout some flour, stretch and fold and let it sit for 30 mins.  Spray some Pam, dust w/ flour and cover with plastic wrap.  After 30 mins. repeat the stretch/fold and let it rest for 90 mins. -2 hrs. 
Looks like this in my incarnation.

At this point , divide the dough and form into loaves, placing them on your couche (linen w/ flour) and proof for another 45-60 mins. at room temp.
In the couche.

Then bake in an oven pre-heated to 500 degrees, with a steam pan ( a pan to pour a cup of water in to make steam, which makes for a nice crispy crust.)  After 30 seconds of being in the oven, spray the oven walls with water form a spray bottle and repeat 2 more times at 30 second intervals.  At this point drop the oven temp. to 450 degrees until the bread is done, 15 -20 minutes. 
My first loaf came out funky.  My shaping skills ain't quite where they ought to be. I should have divided that into 2 smaller loaves.  Nonetheless, I'm sending this pic to Yeastspotting, so other novices can realize they're not alone.

I did divide the next 2, and they too look funky. 

I gotta say the bread tasted great, very good.  The time involved though makes me reluctant to try it again soon.  For sure I'll do more of Reinhart's recipes, but only on days where I don't have too much too do.  

Another plus is the education one gets form the process.  His book is a great read, even if you don't bake. I'm beginning to understand that baking bread has a lot to do with chemical reactions and that indeed there is a science to it.  If nothing else, this weekends bread baking adventure taught me a lot about bread science.  

So we live learn and bake on.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Killer Meatloaf ......

and a giveaway to boot.......

Meatloaf is a comfort food staple in our house. 

Great for dinner and sandwiches the following day.

Here's a great looking recipe, and by simply commenting you can enter the giveaway contest that Veronica is having on her blog. 

Check it out at  Recipe Rhapsody. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bread and more bread.....

Went to the in-laws in Utica this past weekend for a belated Easter dinner.  So on Friday I decided to make some bread.  I couldn't decide what to make, so I baked a variety.  

Here's how it went.

First I made rolls, following the recipe for Amish White Bread I made the week before.

Then I made a loaf of rustic Italian.

Then, some rolls using the same recipe as the boule above.

Next, a braided challah.

And finally Veronica's buttery beer bread.

That's it at the bottom right of this pic.

Needless to say, we got our carb fix this past weekend! 

And I'm on a diet!!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

General Tso's Chicken.

General Who? Tso what? General Grant?  Hugh Grant? 

Alright, enough of that nonsense... 

Found this recipe at Recipe Rhapsody a few days back...Click here for link.....

And I said, "Self, that looks good." 

Amish White Bread.

Broke in the new oven yesterday by baking some Amish White Bread.  Nice easy recipe from Allrecipes, here's the link.  Bread Recipe, Click Here!   

Did all mixing and kneading in the Kitchenaid.  I split the dough in half, made one big loaf and six big rolls  to put pulled pork on last night.  Rolls were great, and I haven't cut into the loaf yet, but will very soon.

Here's the rolls.

Rolls in the oven-Ha, you can see them cook, love the new oven!

The finished products. They'd make great burger rolls.

I gotta send this pic to Yeastspotting.

And the bread...
 Isn't that nice?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our New Baby...

Check it out, our new arrival.

I am one happy guy- 

Weekend at Cape Vincent

My buddy Steve, who lives in Poughkeepsie and works in Manhattan called us early last week and said he and Cathy were going to camp in Cape Vincent.  Were we interested?

Well, with temps forecast for the mid 80's, it was a no-brainer. We usually open up in late May, so getting up there in the first week in April would be a record.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tyler Florence in Okinawa.

My son-in-law Russ, who's a LTJG  in the Navy is currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Tyler Florence came to their base and cooked dinner. 

Russ is a foodie and sent these pics and a description of the meal to my daughter, who fwded. them to me.

I gotta say I'm impressed.

 The Promo Flyer.