A friend of mine is a new Pampered Chef Consultant. I wanted to help her out with her business so I decided to have a party. Nevermind that I really ENJOY cooking demonstrations and shopping for new kitchen gadgets :-) The party was yesterday and she made Quiche Lorraine Tartlets which were very tasty and easy.
Since I knew she would only be doing one recipe during the party I wanted to have a little something else on hand for nibbling. So, this was the perfect excuse to use a Pampered Chef knick knack that has been sitting in my cabinet unused for quite awhile (okay..a VERY long while..I think I bought it around 1993 or 94), the Valtrompia flower shaped bread tube. I think I can honestly say I've used it at least once during that time because I have a vague recollection of making an English muffin bread in it. But otherwise I've just tossed it a glance every so often and wondered what else I could make with it.
With all of the bread making I've done lately using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes cookbook, I have been doing a little experimenting...like with my Shamrocks in my St. Patrick's day post. So I figured I would go even a little farther out of the comfort zone and see if the bread would work in the tube. I was skeptical given the wetness of the dough and the fact that the original recipe is pretty specific on what works. I went with the Deli Rye recipe found here, which I love. While the end result did not have the crunchy exterior it does with the suggested baking method, it made a great bread nonetheless and in a cute shape! I used the parchment paper to ensure no leakage, but I don't think it was much of a problem. I filled the tube half full with dough and let it rise an hour before baking at 400 for an hour. The tube is vertical during baking.
It made a nice sturdy little loaf.
I made these cute little Spring Flower finger sandwiches out of the loaf to bring to the party. The bread is sliced and spread with about a teaspoon of a whipped cream cheese/teriyaki sauce mixture, then layered with swiss cheese and ham I cut in the flower shape using the tube. Finally a little cucumber on top. These could be fancied up however you like.
Are we getting tired of my dragon fly plate yet? I think it's been featured in the last three posts lol. Probably time for some dish shopping!
So....speaking of spring flowers...I have some new ones!!!! My parents and I made a visit to Peninsula Nursery while they were here and I picked up a few annuals to brighten up the front yard. We had enough sunshine yesterday that I was able to put them in the ground. The rain is back today, so they are looking a little beat down but I know they will perk up. Good thing about this time of the year is I don't have to water the plants in myself.
Here are a few shots I snapped quickly since it was drizzling
Some cute little Johnny Jump ups
Jigsy showing off the new spots of color
This is looking rough at the moment due to the rain. I went with a redder primula to bring out the new door.
This hyacinth is on the verge of blooming. The white one is always first.
I can never resist buying a few Ranunculus. The number of petals always blows me away. I'll show them again when they are open.