I've been doing a lot of baking lately....not a whole lot of posting.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I've been doing a lot of baking lately....not a whole lot of posting.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I let my pregnancy cravings get the best of me one afternoon and decided it was a good idea to make not only one kind of cupcake...but two (see my anniversary cupcake).
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Sorry guys, no TWD this week. I'm hoping to catch up next week!
Last month, the wonderful folks at POM sent me a huge box of POM samples to try new recipes with. While I was super excited for the venture of trying new things...I have to admit...I love free stuff!
I was a bit at a loss though, when I received the box. Not because I wouldnt be able consume it, believe me, I drink my weight in the stuff so that wouldn't be the problem. You see, I've been suffering from major pregnancy brain and my creative mojo just isn't what it was! So I enlisted my cousin Lisa because she is into cooking and always has great cooking ideas. So after she rattled off a few ideas....I set on my way.
My first stop was pomegranate ice cream, or should I call it POM ice cream. Now, just hear me out on this one. I know the people at POM probably had high hopes for 'healthy' recipes. But, sometimes its fun to venture out and have fun with something healthy. Desserts need antioxidants too, don't they??
And if you are on a holiday diet, I get it. Stay tuned because I do and have been working on some great healthy options as well!
For now, I give you my homemade POM ice cream. Something so creamy, so amazing, your friends/family/guests --whatever --won't believe you made it.
And if you aren't familiar with the health benefits of POM--you really should check it out. I was blown away with the statistics.
POM Ice Cream
Recipe by: Cafe Coco
1 cup POM juice reduced to 1/4 cup (reduced, see directions)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Start off by reducing 1 cup of POM juice in a small heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Bring it to a soft boil and keep an eye on it so that it reduces down to 1/4 cup. It should be somewhat thick and syrupy. Let it cool. In fact, refrigerate it and mix this into the ice cream mixture when cold.
2. Whisk together milk, cream, half and half, vanilla, sugar, and POM juice reduction. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
3. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers instructions. I churned mine for about 25 minutes in a Cuisinart.
4. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and store in the freezer.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Fall is my favorite time of year for cooking. I love the savory smells that come wafting out of the kitchen, and I love snacking on anything pumpkin.
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Recipe derived from Allrecipes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup Buttermilk plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon vegetable oil/canola oil
Recipe by: Cafe Coco
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions for the pancakes:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. Then add the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vegetable oil, and whisk together until combined.
- Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and gently fold in with a rubber spatula just until blended (you don’t want to over mix). It should be slightly thick and not runny. If the batter is still too thick, just add a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time.
- Turn on skillet, once it’s hot, add a tablespoon or more to coat the pan. Cook pancakes about 2 minutes a side--or until brown and crispy.
- Serve with a tablespoon of cinnamon mascarpone and maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Actually--I'm delayed--2 months!
Recipe derived from “Joy of Cooking”
Dry Ingredients whisk together and set aside:
2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (I used regular all-purpose and it worked just fine)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
Whisk together lightly and set aside:
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup Buttermilk
1. Cream butter with paddle attachment until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Then, gradually beat in the eggs/vanilla mixture. Beat for about 2 minutes.
2. On the lowest speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 parts ending with the flour. Fold in sprinkles.
3. Pour batter into (2) 8-inch round cake pans lined with parchment on the bottom or greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
1 1/2 unsalted room temperature butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. With a mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add cream cheese and beat until fluffy.
2. Reduce spead of mixer, add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Mix until the sugar is incorporated, then increase speed of mixer and beat until fluffy. About 5 minutes.
3. Can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
4. Put into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes (or cake).
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
To make life easier on all us TWD'rs, the month of November, we get to actually pick the order of the 4 recipes. This weeks TWD (at least for me) is Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies.
When I read the November roster I picked these cookies first. Mainly because I have been craving gingersnaps and I figured this would be very close (well in reality they are gingersnaps). I made these along with peanut butter cookies on Halloween since my husband has been asking me to make those. I have always had good luck with Dorie's cookies so I figured we would be in for a real treat. (get it...trick or treat......yea....lame I know).
The molasses cookies were very easy to put together, they just need some freezing/chill time. I baked half my dough, the other half, I saved for later. (I'm in to freezing cookie batter now so that I always have some ready to go--you know, for EMERGENCIES).
The only difficulty I had with these were that they spread together despite keeping ample space between them. These were good, very molasses-y. The only thing is, I really like mine chewy and prefer the old time-y "Joy of Cooking" recipe that I made last fall. But if you are looking for one with a crunch ending with chewy, this would be your cookie. These would be great broken up over ice cream or even mixed in with some savory dishes like pumpkin ravioli. hmmm...I think I have an idea.....
Stay tuned for the rest of this months fabulous fall desserts that us TWD bakers will be whipping up. Don't forget to check out TWD's blogroll to see what the other bakers are up to.
A special thanks to our host, Pamela from Cookies with Boys for the Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies. For the recipe head over to her page!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I read the recipe several times, and even doing that....I accidentally melted ALL the chocolate so I just added more chunks in the end. More chocolate never hurt anyone? I also added the mascarpone too soon to the mousse, however I don't think it really affected it. I left out the Kirsch because...don't throw anything at me but...I don't really know what it is? I know its an alcohol but do you go to the liquor counter and say "Yea, I want a bottle of your Kirsch". I'm not the liquor buyer of the house--I'm more of the beer/wine girl. But now that I'm expecting--I figured it might be best to leave out the booze? I just added more preserves to compensate. I also halved this recipe since my husband is still working off a cold and no one wants to come over!
I really enjoyed this recipe. I like fudge brownies and tortes so this was right up my ally. This, in essence, IS a brownie--a very fudgy one. I think the best part was the fact that it had cherries in it. While reading--I wasn't quite sure I would want/like the cherries (as did many of the other bakers) but I really did not find the cherry flavor to be over powering at all. In fact it was a nice change. My favorite part was the mascarpone mousse on top! Truly heavenly and added richness to the dessert.
I would definitely make this again!
Thank you to April from Short+Rose for hosting this week! For the recipe, be sure to head over to her page. You can also check out the other bakers from TWD's blogroll!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Yes, I am late late late for this one. I wanted to make these early, but I was going out of town. Then when I returned from town, I of course didn't have the sweet potato I needed plus I had a sick husband on the loose and we all know how sick husbands are. So better late than never...
Saturday, October 17, 2009
If anything about pregnancy that changed me, it has been my taste buds. I always had this inclination that pregnant woman craved meat. This theory has been proved so wrong in my case. If anything, I have reverted back to what I knew and loved as a child. And that is carbs. Carbs ALL the way.
For the recipe-check out Fine Cooking's website!
(I didn't make too many changes except cut down on the onion--and as you can see in the photo--I have to keep the onion pieces large so my husband can pull them out since he can't eat them. )
Friday, October 16, 2009
My husband and I are huge fans of Guy Fieri from Guy’s Big Bite on the Food Network. I like him because he has great recipes while my husband likes him because he’s no ‘foo foo’ chef PLUS he’s super fun to watch. Lets face it...Guy is a “guy’s guy”.
In fact, ever since his “Diner’s Drive-in’s and Dives” show aired, we have been avid watchers (although I will say do NOT watch this show on an empty stomach!). Now, whenever we travel, we make a point to Google his show and the city we visit just to see if there were any restaurants he had featured on his show. So far, we have made it to three of the restaurants! All have been a hit.
Our most recent visit--Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkley, California
I ordered the pancakes, my husband ordered their version of eggs benedict
On top of Guys’ three TV shows, he has now ventured out doing live cooking/rock n’ roll style events called ‘The Guy Fieri Roadshow’! Each show will feature Hayden “Woody” Wood, an Australian Bartender de jour, a local chef from each city, and then Guy himself will cook and entertain you for the main event.
The tour starts November 17, and ticket sales are through Ticketmaster now. If you are from the Detroit area--our show is December 4 at the Masonic Temple where ticket prices start at $28.
Check out the site for a show near you, I bet it will be a ton of fun--most certainly so for all my foodie friends! www.guyfieri.com
I’m crossing my fingers for a press pass--so that I can give you the full detailed review of the event!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
One of my favorite Sunday past times during the months of May-October is the Farmer's Market. First off, I love supporting our locals. Secondly, I absolutely love fresh fresh fruits and vegetables (I plant my own vegetable garden but growing in 'tubs' just isn't working out so well).
¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (you can just use cream cheese if that is all you have)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium sized bowl, lightly beat the eggs with milk and water. Add flour, salt and butter and mix until combined (just until all the lumps are out). The batter will be thin.
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well combined.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I saw this on the baking roster for TWD and knew I wanted to make them. But for some reason, my brain doesn't turn on until late Monday or Tuesday to remind me that...um...Tuesday with Dorie is due...and you have done nothing! Thank heavens that the latest recipes have been simple and I can make them last minute! Like these muffins!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
So I reasoned with myself. SOMEONE knows how to make gnocchi. Not EVERY recipe is going to be a bust or it wouldn't get published. Besides what did I really have to lose, if its a total disaster, I would just order a pizza.
The reality of gnocchi:
1. It's very cheap to make--potatoes, flour, and egg...'nuff said.
2. It's very much like playing with play-dough. Who doesn't like to play with their food?
3. Surprisingly it doesn't make a huge mess--it can be contained to a sheet pan.
4. Once rolled, uncooked gnocchi can be frozen for later use--for a SUPER quick dinner.
5. IT'S NOT THAT HARD!!!
The gnocchi verdict:
The end result was a perfectly moist tender gnocchi. The hint of sage and nutmeg was the perfect fall flavor. And chestnut? Wonderful. Its something I have never tried and amazed I have waited this long. (Although I did have 3 people at my local market hunting them down for me).
My personal tips:
1. Keep an eye on the boiling pot of gnocchi. Mine didn't need 3 minutes to cook, it probably took half that time. Just wait for them to float to the top. Then scoop them out.
2. Use a good quality unsalted butter. If you can find an unsalted European butter such as Plugura, Irish butter etc, the taste will be so much better. The butter sauce is the star of the show--so be sure to use a good quality ingredient. (Always buy unsalted butter--salted butter as a general rule is a lesser quality product. Companies use the salt to mask impurities in the butter and taste. You can always add salt later).
3. I added a tablespoon of cream...just for added flavor.
Check out this fool proof recipe from Gourmet. I am so sad to see the magazine close!
Process of gnocchi: