Tag Archives: PMAT Live

PMAT Live! Episode 7: Pâte à Who? Pâte à Choux! as Part of a Multi-Media U-PMAT Class of the Same Name

20 Oct
Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

That's what it does. That's all it does.

Have you guys seen that spot remover machine Thing that you just put down on a stain on your carpet, push a button and walk away?  It’s magical.  No, I don’t have one, but I’ve seen it on Television, and I’m sure that all the claims are true.  It’s called a SpotBot, and that’s exactly what it is.  It’s kind of a robot-ish Item that removes spots.  It’s what it does.  It’s All It Does!!!!  Sorry, Terminator moment.

You just put him down on top of a stain, flip the On Switch and wander off to eat Bon Bons or whatever while the little dude fulfills his raison d’etre.  For Six Minutes, it squirts solution, scrubs and then sucks up the dirty water.  ‘Cause that’s what it does.  You don’t have to keep scampering over between every bon bon to check that it’s doing its Designated Task.  It just does it, because that’s what it’s designed to do.  I bet SpotBot is great friends with The Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator.  They just get each other, you know?

I’d like to propose another entrant into the Made To Do One Thing Very Well Without Any Monitoring By You category:  pâte à choux. Pâte à Who?  Pâte à Choux.  I won’t repeat that, because I don’t want you to smack your monitor, but that term is French for choux paste.  And that’s part-French for cabbage paste.  Now it all becomes clear, right?

Wait a minute, ain’t them cabbages vegetables?

Oh, good remembering!cream puff shells

Bless the French.  They do like a Descriptive Turn of Phrase.  The choux paste, when baked, puffs up and looks a bit like heads of cabbage.  If you cock your head to one side.  And squint.  Regardless of whether it looks like cabbages or cotton balls, the fact remains, the stuff Does puff up.  Because that’s what it does.  That’s All It Does!!!!

If you, as The Thumb, use the right proportion of water to flour and beat in some eggs to get the Proper Consistency, you can then know that your paste will become all Cabbage-Like in the oven.  Because, say it with me, “That’s what it does.”  And you can go eat some bon bons.  Or clean your carpet.

I now give you (one of) the SpotBot(s) of the pastry world:  pâte à choux.


A couple of Items before I let you go:

  1. Per 4 oz flour, you will need 4 oz butter, 8 oz water and 8 oz egg (about 4 large).  If you find that the consistency of the dough is still a little too Stodgy after the 4th egg, add in another yolk or half of a white.
  2. pate a choux can be sweet or savory.  For sweet ones, keep the salt down to about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour and the sugar up at about 1 Tablespoons per cup of flour.  For savory, use 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of flour and just a heavy pinch of sugar.
  3. Don’t be afraid to add herbs and/or spices to your dough.
  4. You don’t have to bake pâte à choux.  Poach them to make light and yummy dumplings.  Deep fry them to make churro-type deals (roll them in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar or Whatever).  Oooh, I bet you could even coat a wee candy bar bite in pâte à choux and then deep fry them!  State fair, here I come!
  5. Add grated cheese to the mix and then bake it with more cheese on top to make gougeres, swanky little cheese puff dudes.
  6. You can fill your sweet or savory puffs with anything you like.  Heck, you can squirt Cheez Whiz up there, if you want, but that’s sort of going from the Sublime to the Ridiculous.  But who am I to judge?
  7. If your filling is too chunky to squirt (ew), slice off the top 1/3 of your puff, scoop in your filling, and set the top back on at a Jaunty Angle.
  8. You can pipe pâte à choux in any shape you want, freeze them, and then bake them off later.
  9. You can also freeze baked puffs, then crisp them up in the oven for a couple of minutes at 350F before using.

And I think that’s pretty much it.  Oh, don’t forget your Certificate of Pate a Choux Prowess!  You’ve earned it!

In Honor of Butterscotch Pudding Day (September 19), I Give You: Homemade Butterscotch Pudding!

18 Sep

Yes, friends, you read it right.  Butterscotch pudding day is September 19.  I had a feeling you’d all want to celebrate, so my friend Jeff and I got together to make some really excellent butterscotch pudding.

“What’s so great about this particular pudding, Jen?” you ask skeptically.  Well, we start off by caramelizing some sugar.  It’s an extra step I take to deepen the flavors in the finished pudding. I do this because I love butterscotch pudding, and I love you guys.

Friend Jeff was not a fan of butterscotch pudding until he tried this, so give it a try!  And Happy Butterscotch Pudding Day to us all.

Because Pudding Waits for No One, PMAT Live! Mini Episode: Vanilla Pudding

10 Sep

I know it’s Friday night and I should be dancing, yeah.  But friend Jeff came over on Wednesday, and we had a Pudding Extravaganza.  The whole idea was to make a video to commemorate Butterscotch Pudding Day–September 19.  But when Jeff got here, he allowed as how he is not such a Fan of butterscotch pudding but that he Quite Enjoys a good vanilla pudding.  Being the accommodating girl that I am, I allowed as how I enjoy a good bowl of van myself and would be Delighted to teach him a quick and yummy version for an appetizer before the butterscotch main course.  He readily agreed, and thus we have a quickie episode of PMAT Live!

This is the very pudding that I make when I need a pudding snack, which is quite often.  And it takes about 7 minutes to make.  Make some; you’ll never go back to the box.

Of course, I’ll be sharing the butterscotch pudding video next week so you guys can get ready to celebrate, but for now please enjoy this PMAT Live! Mini all about the joys of vanilla pudding.

“And were you able to change friend Jeff’s mind about butterscotch pudding?” you all ask anxiously. Well, you’ll just have to tune in next week to find out. Mwah ha ha!

A Special Three-for-One PMAT Live! Episodes 5a, b and c All About Bread Basics

28 Jul

I’ve been working and working on these videos.  Making a bread video is a bit of a Challenge, because it happens in stages.  And in between those stages, I’m doing Other Things.  So I have to take my big girl chef coat off and on while I do other Tasks, lest I sweat too much on it.  The things I do for you people.  You’re welcome.

A couple of things to note:  1) Emmet died in the making of these videos.  His wee leg broke, and a bipod doesn’t work nearly as well as a tripod.  Go figure.

2) In PMAT Live! 5c, note a cameo from two deer wandering in our yard and adding to the Bucolic Splendor of Southern Trace.

3) The bread is already gone.  It was Awesome.

Thanks to Tracey from Tangled Noodle for suggesting that I make a bread making video for beginning bakers who might be a bit intimidated by the process.  I’m happy to take requests, so suggest away.

And now, without further ado, I present to you The Latest Episodes of PMAT Live!

Finally, the Long-Awaited, Much Anticipated PMAT Live! Episode 4: How to Do the Creaming Method

17 Jun

Well, maybe you haven’t been waiting for it, but I’ve certainly been stymied at every turn while trying to edit and get this out to you.   Things I know:   a)When you get a new computer, things don’t always go well with the video editor.  b)When you finally get the editor working, it’s best to click “SAVE” every few minutes.  Not that I lost all my work one time because I was so Passionate about the Creative Process, mind you.  It’s just a friendly reminder to us all.

At any rate, here it is, in all its glory.  Not only do I describe The Creaming Method in Meticulous Detail, but you also get the bonus of a Pure Vanilla Van Halen Sour Cream Pound Cake.  And how can you say no to that?  Exactly:  you Can’t.  Enjoy!

Due to Perseverence of Sisyphusian Proportions, I Give You PMAT Live! Episode 3c–Doin’ the Pretzel Twist: Before the Twist Or How to Make Pretzel Dough

14 Apr

Friends, after much gnashing of teeth and brandishing of Clenched Fist and cursing and muttering and Stomping Off to get a frosty cold Adult Beverage, I have finally managed to convert and upload the latest PMAT Live!

Episode 3c Doin’ the Pretzel Twist:  Before the Twist finds your Intrepid Heroine (moi) enlisting the aid of the Under Twelve Set to make pretzel dough.  Yes, Jackson of the Thank You Phone Call Without Coercion and his sister Sophie were my sous chefs and helped to scale out, mix and knead the beautiful pretzel dough.

Now, I’m the first to admit that the editing is less-than-smooth.  I mean, overall it’s o-kay, but I did manage to cut out a couple half-w0rds.  This is because we did the whole shebang in one take which lasted roughly one hour and ten minutes.  I cut it down to run in under ten, so those couple of half words are just lucky to be in the thing at all.  There are thousands and thousands of words that didn’t even get half in there.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.  Barring horror and woe, I’ll be back tomorrow to regale you with Tales of Orlando.  You won’t want to miss it….Listen to….the sound….of my voice….You won’t want to miss it…You are getting very….sleepy…

(See you tomorrow).

PMAT Live! Episode 3b After the Twist (The Highly Anticipated Sequel to “Doin’ the Pretzel Twist”)

20 Mar

Yes, friends, it is finally here.  Between the foster cats and the deaths and What Not, it has taken me awhile to get around to the actual baking of the pretzels.  But, it’s done.  And they are Awesome.

Here’s a story to Illustrate their Awesomeness.  I took two over to Chuck and Susan’s, and only their 11-year-old Jackson was at home.  He was all, “What’s this?”  “The pretzels you’ve been waiting for.”  And with big eyes, “Oooh!”  I told him he was Required to share with the rest of the family, because I know where he lives.  He promised, and I told them they’d be good heated up in the toaster oven and made my Egress.

I was halfway home when he opened the door to ask what temperature to set the toaster oven to in order to heat up 1/2 pretzel.  I told him 300F-ish until it was warm.  Then, I rolled our big old trash cans up to the house and was getting ready to rest after my Exertion when my phone rang.  It was 11-year-old Jackson!  “Hello?”  “Miss Jenni, those pretzels are Gooooood!”  I thanked him and again warned him to use some restraint and save some for everyone else.

Pretzels that are so good that an 11-year-old will make a Spontaneous Thank You Phone Call to a grown up are good pretzels, indeed.  So, enjoy them!

And, in case you missed it or need a Refresher Course, here’s Episode 3a:

PMAT Live! Episode 3a: “Doin’ the Pretzel Twist”

23 Feb

One of my jobs at the restaurant was to be the Pretzel Lady.  No, I didn’t just open a bag of Rold Gold and be done with it, thank you.  Smart aleck.  No, I made chewy bread pretzels and baked them every day.  They were Awesome, if I do say so myself.

We based our formula on Alton Brown’s pretzel recipe and fancied ours up with a sprinkle of sel gris and some Crazy Good Taleggio-Porter Fondue for dipping.  We used to hope that there would be one or two left over at the end of service so we could Eat Them.

If you’re interested in the Full Set of Rules for making pretzels, check out my guest post over at Reluctant Gourmet.  The recipe for the fondue is over there, too.

And now, without further ado, here is Episode 3a of PMAT Live:  Doin’ the Pretzel Twist.  As you’ve prolly guessed, this video is mostly about twisting the pretzels, but you’ll also see me scaling the dough.  And you’ll meet the newest member of the PMAT Live! Team–Monte, the stereo microphone.  As well, I found some Pretty Keen music, and I’m trying to Hone my Editing Skills.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

PMAT Live! Episode 2b: The Way to Weigh, Part Deux

16 Feb

Here’s part two of my sweeping epic, The Way to Weigh.  I’m thinking about entering it in a film festival.  What do you think?

My next video will have Excellent Sound, courtesy of my new friend Monte, the stereo microphone.  He flew in a few days ago, and we have been getting acquainted.  Emmet, my wee tripod, is quite taken with him, and I consider that a Good Sign.  We three shall make an Awesome Team.

Due to Popular Demand, the next video will be about making bread pretzels.  As always, let me know if you guys have any ideas for Topics.

And that’s all I have the Strength for right now–it took like Eleventy Billion hours to upload the video, but I did it in HD because I love you and I care about your eyesight.  You’re welcome.  Anyway, that’s why I’m posting this while simultaneously watching the Top 24 Episode of American Idol.  I’m having a hard time dredging up some Care for these people, but I am trying.  I mean, after all, this is what they have to live up to:
Case closed.  Good luck, Season 9…

Introducing PMAT Live! Episode One, In Which I Blather on About the Video Series’ Purpose. And Roll My Eyes at My Mother. Once.

2 Feb

Well, here it is.  Episode 1 of Season 1 of PMAT Live!  I think I might need to come up with a better name.  What do you guys think?  At any rate, this Particular Video introduces the series, gives you a teaser about the next episode and shamelessly solicits ideas from you, my readers-turned-readers-and-viewers.

I realize my face is in shadow; I’ll have to work on that.  I also apologize for any “ums” and “ahs” and other Verbal Tics that I have in my vast Tic Arsenal.  I’m new to this whole video thing.

Eventually, I will have some keen music, but I need to find some with a PMAT Vibe.

And now, if I haven’t frightened you away, please enjoy my Maiden Voyage into the world of videos.

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