Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

10 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 egg yolks                                                                                                        
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
Baked cookies
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
24-25 candy cane Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with wax or parchment paper. Set aside.

Beat the butter and cream together with an electric mixer for 5 minutes on medium speed. Add in the yolks and vanilla. Beat until completely mixed in.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, while beating on low continually until the flour is fully combined. The dough should be thick. If it is sticky, chill in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Kissed cookies

Roll into tablespoon sized balls. Roll the balls in the sprinkles. Place on the prepared baking sheet - 12 balls on each sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look undercooked. That is what you want. Remove and let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then press a candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie. Place the baking sheets in the fridge 5-10 minutes. This will keep the kisses from melting.

These cookies are cute, festive, and taste delicious.

Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/03/candy-cane-kiss-cookies/

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

*Plan ahead... needs to freeze overnight. It's best to make the cheesecake the one day, and the cake the next day.

8 c. water
Cheesecake before baking
Cooking spray
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/3 c. sour cream
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Red Velvet Cake:
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Cheesecake after baking
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. white vinegar

Cream Cheese Icing:
2 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla   

To make the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 325 F. Place a roasting pan in the preheating oven, on a lower rack. Boil water.

Spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place a round of wax or parchment paper on the bottom of the prepared pan, over the cooking spray. Wrap a double (or triple) layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. Make sure it is sealed well so no water gets in while baking.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt, then beat for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix is sour cream, whipping cream, and vanilla, beating until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the oven. Carefully pour the boiled water into the roasting pan. There should be about an inch of water coming up the side of the springform pan.

One cake layer

Bake the cheesecake 45-55 minutes. The cake should be set, not jiggly. When it's finished baking, remove from the roasting pan and let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the cheesecake in the freezer overnight.

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by greasing with Crisco first, then flouring. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. Add the rest of the ingredients, and beat for 1 minute on medium low speed with an electric mixer. Scrape down sides, then beat for 2 minutes on high.

Divide the batter equally between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling.

First layer of icing to set
While your cakes are baking, now would be a good time to remove the cheesecake from the freezer to let it thaw a tiny bit before assembling.

To make the icing: In a large bowl, beat all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a plate or platter.

Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide a knife under the parchment paper and peel off. Layer the cheesecake on top of the bottom cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the cheesecake. Trim the cakes or cheesecake as needed so the layers are evenly matched around the edges.

To ice the cake: Using a long spatula, apply one thin and even coat of icing to the whole cake. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the icing to set.

Once the first layer is set, apply the rest of the icing to the cake by first adding a large scoop of the icing on top of the cake, then spreading evenly with a spatula across the top and around the sides. Make sure to clean the spatula every time you return it to the icing bowl so no crumbs are visible in the icing.
Ready to serve

Keep this cake refrigerated.

There's a lot of steps, but it's worth it.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/11/28/red-velvet-cheesecake-cake/#_a5y_p=1037743

Monday, December 9, 2013

Salad with Candied Pecans

1 c. pecan halves
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
mixed greens
green apple or pear, chopped
strawberries, sliced
bleu cheese or feta, crumbled
raspberry dressing

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.

Stir sugar, oil, and vinegar in a large skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes. Mix in pecans and stir until nuts are toasted and syrup coats them evenly, 5-6 minutes.

Turn nuts out onto prepared baking sheet, and separate using 2 forks. Cool completely.

When the pecans have cooled completely,  mix all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss. Serve. We make this salad all the time.

You can make the candied pecans a day or two ahead before making the salad, just make sure to store them in an airtight container.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
Cookies cooling
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 2 baking sheets with crisco. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric beater. Add in one egg at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Cookies with icing

Gradually add in the flour mixture until just combined.

Roll cookie dough into 2 Tablespoon sized balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake 10-13 minutes or until the bottoms start to turn golden. Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

To make the icing: Combine the milk and sugar in a bowl. Stir until all the lumps are gone. Spread gently over the cooling cookies. Let the icing set before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.motherthyme.com/2013/11/iced-oatmeal-cookies.html

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Orange Cranberry Bread

1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, cold

Cooking spray
Before baking
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh cranberry, chopped
1 large egg
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make the streusel: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together. Grate in the cold butter. Then mash it up into large crumbs. Set aside.

To make the bread: Spray a bread pan with cooking oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cranberries.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and sugars. Make sure there are no lumps. Then whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk until just combined.

After baking
Pour into the prepared bread pan. Top evenly with the streusel. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing. If you get impatient, and don't let it cool completely, it will not come out of the pan well.

This bread is delicious and moist. A crowd pleaser.

Here is a link to the original recipe I adapted: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/13/orange-glazed-cranberry-bread/ 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Peppermint Bark

17 oz. white chocolate (not white chips), finely chopped
First layer
30 hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Turn a large baking sheet upside down, and cover it securely with aluminum foil. Measure out a 9x12-inch rectangle on the foil.

Put the white chocolate in a metal bowl, and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. (Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.) Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth; if you take its temperature with a candy thermometer, it should register 110 F.

White chocolate and peppermint
Remove the chocolate from the heat. Pour 2/3 cup onto the rectangle on the foil. Using an icing spatula, spread the chocolate to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Combine the bittersweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a heavy medium saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, and pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle. Using an icing spatula, spread the bittersweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Bittersweet chocolate layer
Rewarm the remaining white chocolate over barely simmering water to 110 F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm bittersweet layer, using your icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift the foil from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. Using a metal spatula, slip the bark off of the foil and onto the cutting board. Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles. Or just cut it into the size pieces you want.

Peppermint Bark

Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2008/12/look-at-that.html

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sesame Beef and Asparagus

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
water, for boiling
3 Tbsp. sesame oil, separated
1 1/2 lbs. steak, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ginger, minced
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice powder
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
black pepper, lots
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
sesame seeds
hot cooked rice

First blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain. Immediately run very cold water over the asparagus for a minute or two. This retains the color of the asparagus. Set aside.

Heat a wok or skillet to high heat. Pour in 2 Tbsp. of the sesame oil. Cook the beef until most of the pink is gone. Remove the beef from the wok/skillet. Set aside.

In the same wok/skillet, add the ingredients for the sauce: garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, 5 Spice, rice vinegar, pepper, brown sugar, and the remaining 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat.

Mix together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Pour into the sauce. Stir constantly for a minute or two while the sauce thickens.

Add the beef, asparagus, and water chestnuts to the sauce. Stir to coat it all. Let it simmer for several minutes so the beef, asparagus and chestnuts can get heated through.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over hot cooked rice. Delicious.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.nlrockrecipes.com/2013/10/super-quick-sesame-beef-and-asparagus.html

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shrimp Monica

1 lb. farfalle pasta
Cream sauce cooking
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. water + 1/2 tsp. cornstarch, mixed
1 lb. shrimp, frozen, peeled
6 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Uncooked shrimp
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
3/4 c. Parmesan

Cooked shrimp
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain. Return to pot. Toss with the olive oil and cornstarch slurry. Cover to keep warm.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the shrimp until they are pink all the way through. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add in the onion, and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and all the seasonings. Stir and cook about 1 minute.

Cream sauce, almost done
Add in the white wine, turn the heat to high. Cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated. When it's ready, turn the heat down to low for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. Add in the lemon juice, then the cream. You don't want to put the cream in when the temperature is still high because it can curdle your cream. Heat through.

Add in the green onions and cilantro. Cook for a minute or two.

Add the pasta and shrimp to the cream sauce. Toss to coat all the noodles and shrimp. Cook until everything is heated through, which should only be a few minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the Parmesan. Serve hot.

Shrimp Monica!
I served this with a side of french bread. Definitely a recipe I will come back to.

Here is a link to the original New Orleans recipe I adapted: http://www.gonola.com/2011/05/15/crawfish-monica-recipe-for-a-new-orleans-jazz-fest-classic.html

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Skinny Banana Chocolate Muffins

3 bananas
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. applesauce
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Line a muffin tin with muffin papers. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash up the bananas. I used a handheld beater for most of it, then switched to a fork to mash up the few chunks that were left.

Add the sugar, egg, and applesauce to the bananas. Mix together.

Working with 1/4 of a cup at a time, add in the flours and cocoa powder, stirring after each addition. Add in the salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to combine.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Stir just enough to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. You can fill the cups all the way to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes a dozen muffins.

Here's a link to the recipe I used. One of my favorite blogs: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/11/11/skinny-chocolate-banana-fudge-muffins/

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Southwest Chicken and Rice

1 c. rice
2 1/4 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp. paprika
Rice after cooking
1/2 tsp. chipotle tabasco (or more if you want it)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin (at least)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
two dashes coriander
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
15 oz. black beans, drained
15 oz. whole kernel corn, drained
1 1/2 c. chicken breast, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 c. pepperjack cheese, shredded (I recommend Tillamook)

Adding ingredients
In a large pot, combine the uncooked rice, stock, paprika, chipotle, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let it cook for 22-25 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, cook up the diced chicken over medium heat. Make sure it is cooked through. Set aside.

When the rice is done, add the remaining butter, beans, corn, chicken, garlic, onion, and cilantro to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ready to eat
Add in the pepperjack. Stir to combine. Leave on the heat 1 more minute so the cheese can melt. Serve hot.

You will not be disappointed. There were no leftovers at my house.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2013/10/cheesy-chipotle-chicken-and-rice.html

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eggplant Bake

2 eggplants
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
Cooking spray
16 oz. tomato sauce
Before baking
garlic powder
onion powder
dash of cumin
dash of coriander
1 tsp. sugar
pinch or two of thyme
1 1/2 c. skim ricotta
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
3 eggs
1 c. Parmesan, divided
1/2 c. mozzarella

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice the eggplants into 3/4 inch rounds. Place on 2 baking sheets. Brush each round with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then flip them over and repeat the process. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the rounds, and bake for 10 more minutes.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, cumin, coriander, sugar, thyme, and more salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a different bowl, whisk together the ricotta, cilantro, eggs, a little bit of oregano, more salt and pepper, and 1/2 c. of Parmesan.

After baking
Layer 1/3 of the eggplant rounds on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer 1/2 of the tomato sauce mixture on top, then half of the ricotta mixture. Layer another 1/3 of the eggplant rounds. Layer the rest of the tomato sauce mixture. Layer the last 1/3 of the eggplant rounds. Layer with the ricotta mixture. Top with the mozzarella and the rest of the Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.marthastewart.com/342140/eggplant-ricotta-bake?center=852566&gallery=359926&slide=259012

Monday, September 30, 2013

Spinach Chicken Lasagne with White Sauce

9 lasagne noodles
2 c. chicken, diced
Cooking spray
2 c. skim ricotta
4 c. mozzarella, shredded
1 c. Parmesan, shredded, divided
First layer
18 oz. baby spinach

4 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp. flour
1 c. chicken broth
2 1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
black pepper

Boil the noodles until al dente. While the noodles are boiling, cook the chicken in a skillet until no longer pink. Set aside.

Ready to bake
When the noodles are done, drain and run cold water over them. Let them sit in the cold water until you are ready for them. This will keep them from sticking together.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add in the flour. Stir around until the onion and garlic are all coated in the flour.

Whisk in the broth and milk. Turn up the heat to medium high. Let the sauce sit for a minute, then continue to whisk. Pause another minute, then whisk continually. Do this for 4-5 minutes while the sauce thickens. Stir in the salt and however much of the seasonings you like. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Ready to eat
To make the lasagne: Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Take 1 c. of the sauce and spread it on the bottom of the pan. Layer 3 noodles over the sauce. Gently spread 1 c. of the ricotta over the noodles. Layer half of the chicken over the ricotta. Layer 2 c. mozzarella over the chicken. Sprinkle 1/3 c. of Parmesan over the mozzarella. Top with 9 oz. of baby spinach.

Repeat layers: sauce, 3 noodles, ricotta, chicken, mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach. Layer 3 more noodles, then spread the remaining sauce on the top. Sprinkle with the last 1/3 c. of Parmesan over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake uncovered for 12 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. If you can't wait for it to rest, it just means it will be a little runny, but still delicious.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2013/09/white-chicken-and-spinach-lasagna.html

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins with Nutella

2 c. flour
Before baking
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
After baking

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sugars. Add in the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps.

Fill the muffin tin about 3/4 full. Scoop 3/4 tsp of nutella on each muffin. With a toothpick, gently swirl in the nutella into the batter.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Mmmmm.... muffins...

Makes 12-14 muffins.

Here's a link to the original recipe I modified: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2013/09/pumpkin-nutella-swirl-muffins/

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Macaroni Salad

I don't usually like macaroni salad, but this stuff is amazing. My husband came up with the recipe. We've made it several times in the last few months.

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 c. mayo
1/4 c. white vinegar
2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs, hard boiled
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. pimentos, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix altogether. Pour this dressing over the pasta and toss until the pasta is all coated.

Add in all the vegetables and eggs. Stir together. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Easy French Bread

Before baking
2 1/2 c. bread flour (or all-purpose)
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 c. hot water
olive oil
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp. water

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour, yeast, and salt. Add in the hot water and honey. Stir, then add in 1 more cup of flour. Sprinkle part of the last 1/2 cup flour on a dry surface. Knead about 5 minutes, slowly incorporating the remaining flour into the dough as you knead.

Roll out into a rectangle. Then roll the dough lengthwise, making sure it is tight. Seal the seams and fold the end under. Lay seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut diagonal slits in the top. Brush very lightly with olive oil.

Ready to eat
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together. When the dough has risen, brush the top with the egg wash. Bake 15-20 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.recipesformyboys.com/2013/04/one-hour-french-bread.html

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fijian Honey Bread

1 1/4 c. cake flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. honey
1 egg
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a bread pan; set aside.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Pour into greased bread pan.

Bake for 32-42 minutes, or until the middle is set.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack. You can serve it warm out of the oven, but I have found that if you wrap it up and store it til the next day, it's a little more moist and the flavors have had time to blend together.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.food.com/recipe/fijian-honey-cake-457964

Friday, September 13, 2013

Curry Meatballs

2 eggs
3/4 c. rolled oats
Meatball mixture
1/8 c. milk
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lime juice
dash of white pepper
black pepper, to taste
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
dash or two of Sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
Meatballs in the curry sauce

1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
dash white pepper
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ginger, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 c. lime juice

Hot cooked rice
Sriracha sauce, optional

Meatballs cooking
Combine the eggs, oats, and milk in a large bowl. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs except the coconut oil. Mix it all together. Shape into meatballs, about the size of golf balls.

Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. It's okay if they are not cooked all the way through. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to brown the meatballs in batches. When the meatballs are browned, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Curry meatballs with Sriracha
In the same skillet, turn the heat to low and add in all the sauce ingredients except the lime juice. Stir it all together. Place all the meatballs in the skillet. Simmer on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, flipping once or twice. Stir in the lime juice.

Serve over hot cooked rice with some Sriracha sauce (if you want it). Enjoy.

Makes about 12-15 meatballs, depending on the size.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2013/09/thai-green-curry-meatballs.html

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon and Sugar

1 3/4 c. cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Muffins just out of the oven
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make the muffins: In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add in the egg. Whisk for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla, pumpkin, and milk. Stir to combine.

Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Grease a mini muffin tin. Scoop batter into the tin, about 2/3 full.

Bake 12-13 minutes, or until the center is cooked through. Check with a toothpick. Allow to cool. While the muffins are cooling, make the coating.

To make the coating: In a shallow bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Stir to mix. In another shallow bowl, add the melted butter (or melt it in the bowl you're going to use).

Mini pumpkin muffins
When the muffins have cooled, dip each muffin first into the butter, then roll in the cinnamon and sugar mix. Enjoy warm.

Makes about 36 mini muffins.

These do not store well after the coating is put on, so if you don't plan to eat all 3 dozen, just don't put the coating on until you're ready to eat them.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/08/26/mini-cinnamon-sugar-pumpkin-muffins/

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Strawberry Peach Tart

Plan ahead... needs to chill

The crust for this tart is fantastic. Almost like a croissant. 

1 1/2 c. bread flour
Dough after chilling
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, very cold
1/3 c. ice cold water, plus more if needed
1 egg, beaten
addition sugar for sprinkling

2 peaches, pitted and sliced (fresh, not frozen)
2 c. strawberries, sliced (fresh, not frozen)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

To make the crust: In a large bowl, mix the bread flour, sugar, and salt together. Using a cheese grater, grate in your cold butter. Stir to mix. Add the ice water and stir. If the dough is still too dry, add up to 3 more tablespoons, but add them in one at a time. Your dough should stick together. Knead it a few times just to get the dough to come together. Shape into a ball, then flatten into a thick disc. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour at least.

While the dough is chilling, making the filling.

Before baking
To make the filling: Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, stirring around to make sure the fruit gets coated with the sugar and vanilla. Let sit until the dough is ready.

When your dough is ready, preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough into a 12 inch circle. Transfer dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Spoon the fruit (not juices) into the center of the dough, leaving a 2 inch border around the edge, so you'll be able to fold it up. Gently fold up the edges around the fruit, overlapping as needed, and pressing to seal the edges. Pour a few spoonfuls of the juices over the fruit, but not all of it. There should be a tablespoon or two left in the bowl. You don't want to dough to get too soggy while it's baking.
Strawberry Peach Tart!

Brush the dough with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Or you could serve this at room temperature. Either way it is delicious.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/08/14/rustic-strawberry-peach-tart/