Some bakings

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It turns out I need surgery. On the follow-up x-ray you can see my patella fragments shifted around. The type of surgery I’m having is called open reduction internal fixation, which means my orthopedic surgeon slashes open my knee, repositions the pieces of my bone in the correct places, and then uses screws to pin everything together. The outpatient surgery lasts about an hour and a half. I’ll probably spend more time at the hospital waiting for the surgery to happen than actual time in surgery.

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I spent yesterday afternoon traversing the medical clinic for my orthopedic appointment and pre-surgery work-up–blood draw, EKG, chest x-ray. Based on my google research, I should be out of my splint in six weeks. Just in time for our wedding. :) We were joking yesterday that we may have Paul walk down the aisle instead of me.

Even though my surgery is not scheduled until 5pm I haven’t been able to eat since midnight. So what do I decide to do? Spend time writing a blog post about things I can’t eat. ;)

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1. Napoleons with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Dairy Milk Chocolate Ganache–I used my homemade puff pastry again, my vanilla beans I bought in Tahiti, and Paul’s supply of Dairy Milk Chocolate to make these for Paul for his return home from a week-long work trip.

2. Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares–these are crunchy chewy cookies out of Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchycookbook. They’re a bit of work , in that you have to roll the dough and cut the squaresThe recipe calls for the use of any dried fruit and any flavor combination. I used dried cranberries and lemon zest. I really enjoyed the fresh, light taste and the crunchy yet chewy texture of these. If you have this cookbook, I encourage you to bake these. I think they are a great spring cookie and different from the usual sugar cookie. If you don’t have this cookbook, I encourage you to buy it. I haven’t had a recipe fail me yet. You can find the recipe online:pebbly beach fruit squares.

3. Tarte Fine– I made this the same day as the Parisian Apple Tartlet because it uses almost the same ingredients and is another recipe to cross-off my Tuesdays with Dorie v1.0 list. I used my homemade puff pastry again (!) and vanilla bean sugar. Leslie of Lethally Delicious was the host and you can find the recipe on her site.

4. Irish Soda Bread (again)–Paul suggested slow-cooked scrambled eggs and Irish Soda Bread for his first meal home. In a highly unusual move, this marks the third time I’ve made this recipe from Baking with Julia.

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This post is 100% produced on my iPhone–pictures, links, etc. I apologize in advance if some things don’t work. My lap top is broken, Paul’s camera is out on loan to his sister, and I can’t sit at a computer these days.

Parisian Apple Tartlet

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With a broken knee, I’m housebound. I can’t drive and I can’t walk. I went from an insane activity level to zero.  I now have a total love and appreciation for streaming NetFlix, my iPhone, and pain medication.

Baking is something that has always relaxed me and now it can help me take my mind off not being able to run, hike, bike for weeks. I needed to bake something, anything, but it had to be something I had all the ingredients on hand and it had to be something small. My main eater, Paul, is out of town for work and I also don’t have access to my co-workers.

The Tuesdays with Dorie group baked the Parisian Apple Tartlet in June 2009. It’s very easy to assemble,  makes only one serving, and it’s one more recipe to cross off my list of unbaked recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. Perfect. It’s a circle of puff pastry topped with apple slices and sprinkled with sugar (I used vanilla sugar). I made it a bit more complicated by making my own puff pastry using my go-to recipe from The Art & Soul of Baking.  Jessica of My Baking Heart was the host way-back-then and you can find the recipe on her blog.

{twd} pizza rustica

I have talent. I’ve been told it takes real talent to break your patella (kneecap) and that’s what I did. I fractured and dislocated my right patella. I’d love to tell you I did it rappelling off the side of a mountain while rescuing cute endangered animals or while executing  a bicycle kick to score the winning goal in a soccer match. The truth is I did it by tripping over my own feet while walking my dog.

Yeah. I return to the orthopedist next week for more x-rays and to see if I’m properly healing. I hope so, because I don’t want surgery. I especially don’t want surgery in the weeks before our wedding (6 weeks from Saturday for those counting). Yikes.

On a more happy note, I’m pleased to present this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection: Pizza Rustica. It’s not the kind of pizza I was thinking it would be when I read the title. It’s more of an Italian quiche-like pizza, with a mixed up filling made with eggs, cheese, and in my version sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The dough is sweetened and again in my case, baked in 6-inch tartlet pans.

I liked the contrast between the sweet dough and the savory filling, but I know it wasn’t popular with a few of the TWD bakers. Paul liked the taste too, but didn’t like the sun-dried tomatoes. I knew the tomatoes were iffy with him and I thought I was pulling a jar of roasted red peppers out of the pantry. He’s requested I make the recipe again but this time with the prosciutto or regular ham.

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia or at either of the wonderful hosts of this week’s selection:  Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home.

my fractured patella

{TWDv2.0} chocolate truffle tart bites

A chocolate bite of heaven or chocolate air cake on a crunchy circle of chocolate dough with chunks of milk and white chocolates and biscotti bits is how we described this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie v2.0 recipe. Yes, with four uses of chocolate in the first sentence you know it’s going to be good.

Instead of making six 6″ mini Chocolate Truffle Tarts as directed, I went smaller and used my mini-cheesecake pan. The light-as-air filling was a perfect contrast to crunch of the crust and the chunks of chocolate and biscotti. Almost a brownie, but not quite, the tarts deserve their own category.

Thanks to  Steph of A Whisk and A SpoonSpike of Spike BakesJaime of Good Eats Blog and Jessica of Cookbook Habit for hosting this week. You can find the recipe on any of their blogs or in the book, Baking with Julia page 382.

Photo by Paulrus

{twd} fold-over pear torte

This was one of those desserts that seem easier/a good idea on paper. I really had to go on faith with this one. Especially because my mother was taking it to a dinner party. The Fold-Over Pear Torte is really a pie baked in a springform pan. One of my talents in the baking world is that I can do good pie crust. It was the fold-over part that was a bit dicey for me. I don’t think I quite mastered the technique which required flipping and rolling on the side and who knows what else.

The filling is diced fresh pears, cut up dried apricots, and chopped walnuts in a custard. It clearly states in the directions to not remove the torte from the pan before it reaches room temperature. Well, like always, my parents arrived early without calling. I loosened the torte and removed the springform part. Hoping it wasn’t a disaster… It looked gorgeous! Especially after I sprinkled some powdered sugar. Reports back from the dinner party are positive. They thought it was excellent.

Thanks to Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen for hosting this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.