Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Farewell Daring Bakers

Did you miss my post for the Daring Bakers’ April Challenge? I thought so. Not that you would have wanted to see my efforts because the April Challenge was not my greatest work. My cheesecake pops look like little decorated meatballs!

It’s hard to believe that it’s time for the latest challenge to be revealed – check out the Daring Bakers' Blogroll to see what everyone has been up to this month.

Despite the challenge only being a once a month event I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t really commit the time required and I bid farewell to the Daring Bakers Group in terms of being a member. Those of you who know me personally will be well aware that I’m deadline challenged. Fortunately, in my professional life I’m a bit more focused.

I enjoyed the challenges (and believe me they were definitely challenges) issued over the past year and a bit; and I'll treasure the friends and acquaintances I've met along the way. Special mention goes to my dear friend Lis of La Mia Cucina and her partner in crime Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice who are the co-founders of the wonderful, creative group of food lovers that make up the Daring Bakers. It's hard to imagine that the group started off with less than 20 people slightly over a year ago and now has close to, if not more than, 1,000 participants. That is absolutely mindblowing.

I look forward to a time when I can join the group again - in the meantime I’m sticking to one off events. Here's a classic example of me missing a deadline. I had the best intentions and a great recipe but did I get around to it? No.

I missed Lisa's WCC No. 26 Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens and Crockpots but had I participated this is what I would have made.

Beef and Mushroom Casserole

Olive oil
1 package button mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced or crushed
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 package dry oxtail soup mix - onion or mushroom soup mix would work well too
1kg/2 lbs or thereabouts of stew meat, diced – I like to use blade steak
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
1-2 carrots, chopped into chunks or slices
1 onion, peeled and quartered - I do this because my husband doesn't like onions IN things but he doesn't mind the flavour and this way I can pick them out
Red wine - use something that is good enough to drink

Saute mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil until the mushrooms are soft
Add a good slosh of red wine and cook on medium heat until the mushrooms have absorbed some of the wine
Set aside
Combine dry soup mix and canned tomatoes in an appropriately sized jug or bowl
Place meat and sliced vegetables in your crockpot
Add mushrooms and any wine "jus" from the pan
Add soup and tomato mix
Stir everything together to combine
Cook on low for about 8 hours
This tastes even better the next day as the flavours develop a little more complexity

Serve with fluffy mashed 'taters and some steamed winter veg. Anyone else for Brussels sprouts? My husband reckons there are only four people in the entire world who like Brussels sprouts. Surely he's wrong!


Dharm said...

Awww Morven! So sad to see you go... And I think your cheesecake pops look just fine!

Peabody said...

They do kind of look like meatballs. :)
I too have considered bidding goodbye to the DB's. Life seems to just be taking over as of late and I seem to rush and half ass the challenges and I just don't like that about myself.

Baking Soda said...

Aww Morven...but I do understand! Like you I find myself missing deadlines all the time.

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Of course your post was missed Morven...checked back 6 times! I missed this month's challenge too because of chicken pox...aaaaaaargh! Posted a Zebra cake match whatsoever to the Opera! All the best in life...better to keep things stress free than rushing around madly! Take care!!

breadchick said...


We'll miss you but I SO understand the whole deadline thing. I know your life is crazy silly sometimes.

But you know what is the best thing (besides the yummy looking "meatballs")? I got to to "meet" you as we were in the same class of DBers!! I'm sure our paths will cross and I'll keep checking back here to see what yummies you make.

glamah16 said...

Sorry to see you go. You were a greathost a fewmonths back. It can all get so time consuming.

Luca&Sabrina said...

So there are six persons in the world that like Bruxelles sprouts....except those that live in Bruxelles!!! I'm sure we'll try your recipe.
Sabrina and Luca

jasmine said...

Sorry to see you leave us--but yes balance is important.


Aparna said...

Its a pity you have to leave the DB, but its more important to keep things in perspective.
Good luck with everything and keep watching us.:)

Jenny said...

You will be missed Morven.
And those do not look like meatballs!
PS I missed that same WCC as you did, so don't feel too bad, you weren't alone.

Anonymous said...

Aaaw, honey! I was looking SOOO forward to yours too!!! I totally understand about being deadline-challenged.... I'm suppose to be working on something now, but here I am on your blog. Ooops. Big kiss to you & hope to see you back with the DBs when you can.

xoxox Amy

Cakelaw said...

Hi Morven, sorry to hear that you are leaving the DBs for now, but glad that things are humming for you professionally. PS I have saved a big slice of my Opera cake for you ;)

Johnna Knows Good Food: Yum Yum, Gimme Some! said...

That casserole looks yummy:-)

LillyB said...

Could I please have your cheesecake on a stick recipe?