Touche Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shoppe – Columbia, MD

The weekends are about the only time where I can get out and about, so I try to take advantage. I did not do as much as I normally would, since I was trying to minimize interactions. Hopefully I’ll be able to go out next weekend, but we’ll see how things continue this week.

I decided to try a new place – Touche Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shoppe in Columbia, Maryland.

While I was driving, I kept seeing white blooms along the road, which tells me that Spring is definitely close. When I got to Touche Touchet, there were a couple of trees that had these.

After looking at the various options, I decided on two desserts, a Triple Chocolate Cookie and a slice of Boston Creme Cake.

I started with the Triple Chocolate Cookie. The flavor of this was good. The outer edge was crunchy, but the inside portion was nice and soft. This was a good cookie and just the right size for a dessert.

The Boston Creme Cake was up next. I did not eat these at the same time. I probably could have, but some days I am okay with portion control. The cake portion was light and moist. It had a nice, mild flavor. The filling had a nice flavor to it, and I would have enjoyed more of it. The chocolate frosting was a nice finishing touch. It had good flavor and consistency. When I ate everything at once, the portions of everything worked out really well. The filling, cake, and frosting all worked well collectively, and they were each good individually, so this was a definite plus for me.

It was fun for me to go a little bit more out of the way to try a new place, and I hope that I’ll get a chance to head back down there in the future. They had some nice looking cupcakes, some other cookies that looked good, and a lot of other treats that looked like they would be tasty. Eating well and staying positive!

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

I know it’s a couple of days early, but I decided to make myself some corned beef and cabbage today since I’ll be busy working on Tuesday. Even though I work from a home office, I prefer as few distractions as possible during the work week. I bought the corned beef last weekend and today was the day to cook it. My plan was to get the meat started, then go out to the grocery store and pick up some potatoes, cabbage, onions, and carrots to add later.

The meat that I picked up had already been brined and seasoned, which definitely made it easier for me. I put the meat (just under 2 pounds) in the crock pot and added about 4 1/2 cups of water. I added garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and coriander for seasonings, and also added a roughly chopped half onion that I had stored in my freezer. The meat was put in fat side up. I did not trim the fat prior to cooking. The water was just over an inch up from the bottom of the crock pot. It didn’t completely cover the meat, but it was more than half way covered.

I set the crock pot to low and then went on my way to the grocery store. My plan did not work out quite like I was hoping. The grocery stores have plenty of empty shelves. I was able to find some carrots and some cabbage, but the potatoes and onions were completely gone. Slim pickings, but I knew I could make do with what I had. At the 4 hour mark of the meat cooking, I added some roughly chopped carrots (1 pound bag) and roughly chopped cabbage (one head of cabbage). I kept it at low heat and let it go for another 3 1/2 hours, until the meat was to temperature. I waited until it was over 175, only because I was confident that it would not be too tough.

This picture does not look perfect, but I’m okay with that. The fat on top of the corned beef hides the color. The outside of the meat was not the bright red that I was used to seeing, which has me wondering if I did it right.

When I cut into it, against the grain, I saw that nice familiar red color. It looked a much brighter red than this picture is reflecting. This was not rare meat, the redness of the meat is due to the nitrates that are added during the brining process.

When I was ready to eat, I plated the corned beef and added some cabbage and carrots. The corned beef was very tender and delicious. It had the flavor my taste buds have become accustomed to, so I feel like I did a good job with this. The carrots were very tender and slightly sweet, which provided a good balance to the meat. The cabbage absorbed all of the flavors during the cooking process, and were very tender as well. This was definitely a good meal to make once a year and I look forward to having some leftovers on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Eating this well definitely kept me in a positive frame of mind. Not having additional onions or potatoes worked out better for me. All of that additional food would have made me feel even more stuffed. Stay well!