Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Comforting Pork Ribs (adapted from the Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking)
1 12-ounce can tomatoes
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 pounds country style pork ribs
Layer the ingredients as listed in a large casserole dish starting with the tomatoes and ending with the ribs. Do not stir. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 3 hours. Uncover during the last 45 minutes of baking.
Yields about 6 servings.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used cinnamon graham crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (I used bottle Key Lime Juice)
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup blueberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar – I cut this down to 1/4 cup for less sugar
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Lamb Kebabs (adapted from Ina Garten)
1.5 lbs boneless lamb sirloin
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red win vinegar
1 teaspoonful dried basil
1/2 teaspoonful thyme
2 garlic cloves (minced)
Coarse salt, pepper
Metal or wooden skewers
Cut the lamb meat into large chunks and place in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper, olive oil, vinegar, basil, thyme, and garlic. Mix using your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge from 1 to 3 hours to marinate.
Preheat oven broiler; place the lamb meat onto skewers.
Broil the lamb for a total of 10 minutes, flipping the meat half-way through.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Amy Carter's Peanut Butter Cookies:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups sifted flour
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening and peanut butter
2. Beat in the sugars and salt.
3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
4. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the warm water; add this to the large bowl and mix well.
5. Stir in the flour. Mix until dough is smooth.
6. Wrap plastic wrap over bowl and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
7. After 1 hour, preheat oven to 400 degrees F
8. Using a small ice cream scooper or a spoon, scoop dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Gently flatten the ball using the tines of a fork; (create a criss cross pattern with the fork, if desired).
9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown
10. Allow to stand for 10 minutes on the baking pan before transferring to cooling racks
(Makes about 4 dozen cookies)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
According to the author, the recipe was first published in 1896 in The Canton Favorite Cookbook by the Ladies of the First Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio. The simplicity of this recipe makes it very appealing--it can all be made using just one bowl and one wooden spoon for mixing, and the muffins turned out moist and light with just a hint of sweetness. My boyfriend took one bite and declared them "presidential-tasting!" Okay, you be the judge. Enjoy!
Mrs. McKinley's Corn Muffins :
Preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Beat egg lightly and add to the dry ingredients.
2. Pour in milk and melted butter.
3. Mix until everything is just moistened.
4. Spoon into muffin tins, about two-thirds full.
5. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Yields 6-8 muffins
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Tofu Oat Loaf (adapted from Oat Cuisine by Bobbie Hinman):
1 pound firm tofu
1/3 cup tomato or marinara sauce
1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
1/3 cup fresh chives chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray
3. Rinse the tofu and pat dry; place it in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of marinara sauce. Add the herbs, spices, jalapeno pepper and ground pepper. Mash everything well together with a fork.
4. Add the oats and wheat germ and mix well until blended.
5. Press mixture firmly into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 45 minutes; after baking, allow the loaf to cool slightly for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate.
Monday, June 9, 2008
3 chicken breasts, 3 chick thighs, 4 drumsticks
1 15 oz. can chicken broth
1 lemon grass stalk—slice up the white bulb part
1 piece of ginger-sliced
1 cup of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoonful red curry paste
handful of basil leaves
handful of mint leaves
handful of cilantro
Rinse the chicken in water and pat dry; except for the chicken legs, cut up the chicken meat into smaller pieces, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and brown the chicken for about 4 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Pour the chicken broth into the skillet, add the lemon grass, ginger, and coconut milk; allow this mixture to slightly boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, curry paste, turmeric, and mustard seeds and stir for about 3 minutes. Add the yogurt to the mixture and stir well. Next, add the chicken back into the skillet, bring the mixture back to a boil and then turn down the heat again and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally, add the olives, basil, mint and cilantro and then remove from the heat.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Serves 10 people:
1/3 cup Canola oil
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
Juice of one whole lemon
Zest of one whole lemon
1 and 2/3 cup AP flour
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of sea salt
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, oil, rum (if using) and mix again. Lastly, stir in the lemon juice and zest.
In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Pour the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture and whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to stand for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen or if using a spring form pan, unclasp the sides. Flip the cake onto a plate a place back on the rack.
In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine sugar and lemon juice. Add the lemon zest, stir until the sugar is dissolved completely.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
The other night my boyfriend wanted to call up the local pizza parlor and order his favorite pizza (usually some pepperoni concoction with pineapple on it). I quickly stopped him in his tracks and told him that I would make a pizza for him instead. What was I thinking?? I’m not sure what made me say that as I was pretty certain that I had no frozen pizza dough or flat bread (unless you count the freezer-burned pita bread that really needed to be thrown out), and no pepperoni in the house. Well, it was too late to turn back at this point and retract my offer as my boyfriend happily put down the telephone and had a big smile on his face. I hid my panic with my own smile and confidently said, “dinner will be ready in about 45 minutes.” So the challenge began. I opened up my freezer and saw the box of Trader Joe’s puffed pastry that I bought for apple turnovers a few weeks ago. Thankfully, I still had one sheet of pastry left in the box. Woohoo! Next, I looked in the fridge and grabbed the shredded mozzarella cheese, some Chinese sausage, a Tupperware of marinara sauce, and the leftover top round steak that I made for some beef tacos the previous day. Lastly, I checked the pantry and found a can of crushed pineapple. Putting all the ingredients together was a breeze and a lot of fun. I first brushed the puff pastry with a little egg white wash, then spread a nice, thick layer of marinara sauce right over that. My boyfriend loves his pizza on the "saucy" side so I was pretty liberal with the marinara. Next came a few handfuls of part-skimmed mozzarella cheese, and then I sliced up one Chinese sausage and spread this out on one side of the pizza; the other half of the pizza was topped with the sliced top round steak. Finally, I added some of the crushed pineapple here and there because for my boyfriend, a pizza just ain’t a pizza without some pineapple on top! Into the preheated 400 degree F oven it went, and in about 20 minutes, the pizza was done. The end result was, to quote my boyfriend, “one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever tasted”! Can you believe it?
Since I received such accolades with the aforementioned puffed pastry pizza, I decided to make another for tonight’s dinner. This time though I changed up my toppings and used Canadian bacon, black olives, cherry tomatoes, precooked shrimp, and of course pineapple! Once again, the pizza turned out great and we didn't even have to pick up the phone. Saturday night cooking should always be this simple. Hope you enjoy.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I have to admit, I was a little hesitant about completing this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. Well, maybe intimidated is more accurate! I mean, could I possibly pull off such a complicated sounding recipe such as this Opera Cake? I had never even heard of such a dessert until a little less than a month ago when our lovely hosts Ivonne, Lis, Fran and Shea announced that this would be our challenge for May. I initially read the recipe over a couple times and each time thought, 'this sounds too hard!’ I didn't pick up the the recipe again until a few days before the long Memorial Holiday weekend and this time, after a few more reads, I actually felt excited about attempting this challenge. This is gonna sound corny but as I was reading the recipe for the third and fourth time I began to think about what being a Daring Baker means and why I joined DB in the first place. I knew one reason I joined was to stretch and challenge myself in the baking arena; another was to learn more from others who shared a passion for baking; and most of all, I joined the DB'ers to have fun! And was this Opera Cake FUN to make! Yes, it did entail many steps, and YES, I did have some frustrating moments especially when the butter cream which turned out so lovely on Saturday night, did not look so hot on Sunday morning. Still though, this recipe allowed me to be a little more creative by choosing the flavorings which was an orange and almond theme. I chose to add some Mandarin oranges in between the layers of the jaconde, added Grand Marnier to the white chocolate ganache, almond extract was used in the syrup, and I topped the finished cake with almond slices and more oranges. Oh my gosh, this cake was delicious! The Opera Cake made its "debut" at a family get together this past Sunday and was a huge hit! The flavors worked well together and despite all the butter, cream and chocolate, there was still a lovely lightness to the cake. Are you up for the Opera Cake challenge? If so, you can find the full
recipe on Ivonne's site if you click here. I'll see you at the Opera!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
How do you like your chocolate chip cookies?
a) soft and chewy
b) thin and crispy
c) all of the above
Well, if you answered "c" then I think you will enjoy this cookie recipe by pastry chef Sherry Yard. She calls these her "quintessential chocolate chip cookies" and by the taste of them, the name is quite fitting. The cookies manage to possess crisp, delicate edges and a soft, chewy center. That's the perfect chocolate chip cookie in my book! Yard recommends the use of a high quality bittersweet chocolate that she cuts into 1-inch pieces versus the more traditional chocolate chips. I used a mixture of dark chocolate as well as mint chocolates in my cookies so feel free to experiment with whatever you like. The interesting step in this recipe was shaping the dough into a log and then popping it into the fridge to chill. I'm more used to the usual drop cookie method of making chocolate chip cookies which, by the way, is also an option with this recipe.
So grab a tall glass of milk, or whatever your poison might be and hope you will enjoy these delicious cookies. Bet you can't eat just one either!
Chocolate Chip Cookies (by Sherry Yard, Desserts By The Yard)
1 and 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1-inch pieces
directions-(Prepare oven and cookie sheets once the cookie dough has already chilled for a minimum of one hour OR if skipping the chilling process, proceed as normal)
1. Place racks in the middle and lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter on medium speed until lemony yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Continue creaming the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and free of lumps, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds or until the egg is fully incorporated. Do not over beat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. On low speed, add the sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chunks and mix in.
6. Remove small handfuls or spoonfuls of one half of the dough from the bowl and center them along the bottom of a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, creating a log of 1 and 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Fold the parchment over, creating a sausage. Twist the ends over and wrap in plastic. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. You can freeze the dough, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks). When the dough has chilled, remove it from the paper and using a serrated knife, slice 1/3-inch-thick rounds off the log. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
**Note: if baking right away, skip step 6 and spoon heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets.
7. Bake, rotating the sheets from the top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking, for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment off the baking sheets onto a work surface. Cool the baking sheets between batches and allow the cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.
Cookies will keep for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
These scones were a little different than the kinds I’m used to baking. For one thing, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, I have never used cream of tartar in a scone recipe before. Little did I know that this is a commonly used ingredient if you’re going to make a traditional English scone, which this recipe is. This resulted in a scone that was lighter and flakier than what I'm accustomed to. I also liked the sugar and cream coating that I brushed the scones with before popping them in the oven. This added such a nice crispness and subtle crunch to the scone in addition to giving it a bit of sweetness. The recipe is a very versatile one and you should feel free to add whatever suits your fancy. I was thinking of making chocolate chip scones but ended up chopping up some chocolate and toffee candy and mixed it into the dough. Next time, I think I’ll try some juicy raisins.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Maple Pecan Scones (adapted from Simple Joys of Friendship):
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1 /2 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. maple extract
3 c. AP flour
1/2 c. uncooked,quick-cooking oats
2-1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans
lemon glaze (optional)
Simply mix 1 cup powdered sugar with a couple tablespoons of milk and a dash of lemon juice. Stir it up to desired consistency.
directions- (preheat oven to 425 degrees F)
1. Mix first 5 ingredients; set aside.
2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the next 6 ingredients; cut in the butter until mixture has a cornmeal consistency.
3. Stir in pecans. Pour in egg mixture; stir with a fork to make a soft dough.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead to get a slightly uniform dough.
5. Shape into a circle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 16 wedges (or use biscuit or cookie cutters if you'd like).
6. Place on a greased baking sheet at 425 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden.
7. Allow to cool on a rack and then if you'd like, drizzle with the lemon glaze.
Yields about 16 scones.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Remembering also that I had a small bag of unused soy flour lurking somewhere in my kitchen, I decided to peek into a cookbook I haven’t picked up in years, The Whole Soy Cookbook, sweetly given to me by my younger brother almost 10 years ago. Inside, the recipe for soy parmesan focaccia caught my eye because it didn’t require a lot of ingredients, had only one rising time (yippee), and doesn't focaccia go so well with lasagna?
The recipe used a combination of both unbleached AP flour and soy flour, but leave it to me to not leave well enough alone. Remember that bread flour I mentioned? Yeah, you guessed it… I used this in place of the AP flour. Little did I think that bread flour, with its higher gluten and protein content, would create a texture that was not as soft and tender as I would have liked. Oh, the focaccia was not a complete disaster and actually looked quite lovely coming out of the oven but truthfully, I was disappointed with the toughness of the bread. On the bright side, I can probably still use this as a base for some homemade pizza, and if you really want to punch it up a little more, how about adding some sun-dried tomatoes or kalamata olives next time? Oh, and stick with the all purpose flour too. That’s key.
Soy Parmesan Focaccia (adapted from The Whole Soy Cookbook by Patricia Greenberg):
1 cup warm water
1 cup soy milk
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 cup soy flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Cornmeal, for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons or more chili flakes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or soy parmesan cheese if you'd prefer)
1. Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl and stir until yeast is dissolved and foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, pepper, and rosemary; gradually add the yeast liquid, mixing thoroughly with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky (dough will be very sticky so add flour as needed).
4. Form dough into a ball and place in a slightly oiled bowl; cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F; line a11 x 17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.
6. Flatten the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle to fit the baking sheet; sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese and the chili flakes. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Slice and serve hot.
(yields 8 large pieces)