To help with my plan to eat healthier I made this deliciously healthy cookie recipe. I absolutely love the taste and can’t wait to take them along with me when I begin my new job on Wednesday!! (More on the job later).
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 36 small cookies
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, egg white, and vanilla.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Scoop about two teaspoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Flatten dough into cookie shape (it will not spread so make it the size and thickness desired). Place a few chocolate chips on top and lightly push into cookie (I mixed mine into the cookie batter).
I have been noshing on this delicious recipe for the past couple days and it tastes better every day. This recipe would also taste great with chicken.
I am happy to say that I am still striving to eat healthier and live better. I am getting back into yoga and pilates.
Ingredients: 1-2 cups fresh chopped broccoli, cooked and hot fettuccine, cooked according to package directions. (I used whole grain) Alfredo Sauce: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 2 cups heavy cream 1/8 tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon (1 clove) minced garlic 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions: Wash and cut broccoli to desired size. Boil in a pot of water until soft and drain. Add broccoli to Alfredo sauce and heat through. Serve over hot, cooked fettuccine.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic with the butter. Add cream, garlic powder, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. When sauce has reached desired consistency, stir in Parmesan cheese. Add salt if needed. Serves 4-6.
Penne with roasted string beans and balsamic butter
This is another delicious and quick meal to make. I am really trying to change my focus to healthy meals with the occasional cheat. The string beans could easily be substituted for asparagus or broccoli.
1 pound string beans
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pound penne
1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400°. Wash and cut the string beans 1-inch pieces. Boil the string beans in a pot of water until soft.
Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, string beans , Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.
I am hoping to share some delicious fall recipes with you in the near future. I am excited to have this blog back up and running after my surgery. I hope to be more consistent in the future.
I have been working on perfecting homemade mozzarella sticks for awhile now and this is the best tasting, simplest recipe I have come up with. It is nice and quick for when you had a busy day or when you want a mozzarella stick fix. Most importantly, the majority of the ingredients are things you always have in your home. Try it out and let me know what you think.
8 String Cheeses
1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Parmesan Cheese
Sprinkle of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika
½ cups All-purpose Flour
1 whole Egg
2 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
First cut each stick of cheese in half. Place the flour in a bowl and roll each stick into the flour. Whisk the eggs and the milk together. Then dip each piece of cheese into it.
In another bowl combine: salt, pepper, paprika, panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder. Roll each stick of cheese into the mixture then place the coated cheese sticks onto a cookie tray. Place the cookie tray into the freezer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes heat up about an inch of oil in a large skillet. Add the mozzarella sticks and cook for about 40 seconds on each side. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Serve with marinara sauce and enjoy!
I am very excited to announce that new things will be happening here. I was suffering from a wrist problem and just had surgery a week ago. I am so happy for a successful surgery and to be able to share my cooking experiences with you again. Starting tomorrow you will be seeing instant changes.
For the Daring Bakers Feb. challenge I wanted to make a lot more, but student teaching is getting intense. Hopefully next month I can get back on track.
Basic Quick Bread
Makes one 9” x 5” (23×13 cm) loaf Recipe from Sara Schewe
2 cups (480 ml) (250 gm/9 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour 1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm/8 oz) granulated sugar 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda 1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) fine sea salt or table salt 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk or soured milk* 1 large egg 1/4 cup (60 ml) mild- or non-flavored oil, like canola 1 teaspoon (5 ml) flavored extract, such as vanilla or almond
for the glaze 1/3 cup (80 ml) (35 gm/1-1/3 oz) confectioners’ (icing) sugar 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) milk
Preheat oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4. Grease a 9×5 inch (23×13 centimeter) loaf pan with butter and line with parchment paper cut to fit the length and width of the pan, with enough overhang to allow easy removal after baking. Grease the top sheet of parchment.
In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to combine. Make a well in the center and set aside.
Lightly whisk (butter)milk, egg, oil, and extract to combine. Pour into well and stir until just mixed into a batter. The batter will be lumpy and may still show a few streaks of flour.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before slicing. Drizzle with glaze, if desired.
For the glaze: Slowly whisk confectioners’ (icing) sugar and half of the milk, adding more milk as needed to thin the glaze to the desired consistency.
Note: To make soured milk, combine 1 cup milk (240 ml) with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes.
Servings: makes two large rösti adapted from a family recipe
Blog-checking lines: The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!
Ingredients: 1 kg (2½ lb) potatoes 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (6 gm) black pepper, freshly milled 1 large egg, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) cornflour (cornstarch) or use all-propose flour 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for frying
Grate lengthwise the peeled potatoes with a box grater or a food processor.
Wrap the grated potato in a cloth and squeeze dry, you will get a lot of liquid over ½ cup, discard liquid since it is full of potato starch.
Return dried potato to bowl add the egg, cornflour, pepper, and salt.
Mix until combined.
Preheat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until medium hot, add 2 teaspoons of oil wait until oil shimmers.
Place half of mixture into the pan, flatten with a spoon until you get a smooth flat surface. Lower heat to medium.
Fry for 8-10 minutes (check at 6 minutes) the first side, flip by sliding the rösti onto a plate then use another plate invert the rösti then slide it back into the pan, then fry the other side about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Repeat to make another rösti
I was looking for some simple slow cooker recipes that I could make a large batch of so I could have leftovers to bring to lunch for student teaching this week. I was so excited when I came upon this recipe because I love orange chicken. This recipe is really amazing but I do think that the orange is a bit strong, so if you don’t like orange I would recommend using 4 oz instead of the 6 oz the recipe calls for. I love crock pot recipes and thanks to pintrest, I have many new recipes to try out. Take a look here at some recipes I will be trying in my kitchen in the future.
• boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (I used about 4) • 1/3 cup flour • olive oil • 1/2 Tbl. salt • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar • 3 Tbl. ketchup • 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds) (or 4 oz if you dislike too much orange) • 4 Tbl. brown sugar
In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Pour the flour in a small bowl. Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.
Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked since it’s going in the crock pot.
After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3. Mine took 5 hours on low.
Serve over rice and even add veggies if you want a healthier meal.
I was so intrigued by the name of these brownies that I just had to make them for myself. These are hands down the simplest most decadent brownies I have ever made. After I finish this post I’m heading downstairs for another piece.
Adapted from the Londoner
1 Box of cookie mix,
1 Box of brownie mix,
2 Packs of Oreos (I used double stuffed)
Preheat your oven to 350°F, 180°C, gas mark 4.
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Follow the instructions on the cookie mix box & stir furiously until you have gooey cookie dough, I usually add a little extra water and oil to what they suggest, it just keeps it moist as you’ll be baking it for longer than suggested. An extra teaspoon of each is just right.
Place the cookie dough into a lined baking tray, until it covers the bottom. Cover this layer with your Oreos.
Mix up your brownie batter. Stick to the recipe on the box. Pour over your Oreos.
Bake for 30mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Enjoy.
Blog-checking lines: Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!
I was so excited for this challenge because it included an Australia recipe for biscuits. One of my closest friends is studying abroad in Aussie right now and trying to get permanent residence there. Although I never got the chance to make that recipe I tried 3 others and will make that one as soon as possible.
The first recipe I tried was the basic scones recipe. It was just okay, nothing so special. Almost tasted like bisquick biscuits.
Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits) Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones Recipe can be doubled
Ingredients: 1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt 2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter) approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9. 2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.) 3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones. 4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be! 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.) 6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire. 7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones. 8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set. 9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.
Next I tried the Perfect English Scone recipe because my in-laws are from England. This is our new favorite scone recipe. We have made it three times in 2 weeks. Its that good!
Perfect English Scones
55g Butter (2oz) 30g Caster sugar (1oz) 150ml Milk (1/4 pint) 1 egg (maybe…depends on later steps..) 1/2 teaspoon salt
First off, preheat the oven to 220 deg C 425 deg f. Speed is of the essence so you can’t be hanging around waiting for the oven to heat up or you’ll get flat, hard scones.
Cut up the butter into smallish chunks (2-3cm cubes) and rub into the flour with your fingertips until its loose and breadcrumby. Don’t do this in a blender or food processor as the texture will become to fine and the scones will go flat and hard again.
stir in the sugar if you want sweet scones or not if you don’t.
Make a big well in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk.
Mix together quickly with a table knife, NOT your hands, until you have a big gooey lump
Once the milk hits the flour a reaction begins which needs to also be happening in the oven, so speed and a light touch are required.
Then, sift all the flour and salt into a large bowl.
grab the dough out of the bowl and slap it on a floured surface. Kneed it into a square(ish) about 2.5cm (an inch) thick and the stamp out circles with a cookie cutter. If you twist the cookie cutter while cutting you’ll end up with wonky scones like mine, but I think that makes them look more rustic and cool. Lay the circles out on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper, giving each one 2cm of room to grow…
To finish the scones before the oven we now have 3 options….
1)Brush with a beaten egg to produce a glossy glaze. 2)Dust with flour for a soft finish 3)Brush with milk for a light gloss AND soft crust
as soon as they’re glazed, slam them in the oven near the top for 20 to 25 minutes. Don’t get curious and open the oven door, you’ll just spoil them
After they’re done (tops are brown), let them cool a bit on a wire rack covered with a teatowel. This lets the centres go from doughy to crumbly, although it is kinda hard waiting.
Last but not least I tried my hand at making some Irish Scones.
1-1/2 c. wholemeal self-raising flour ** 1/2 c. white self-raising flour pinch salt 1 tbsp. sugar 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. carroway seeds 1/4 c. currants 1 egg 2 oz. melted margarine 2/3 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix flours, salt, sugar and baking soda. Stir in seeds and currants.
Beat egg, margarine and buttermilk. Mix dry mix into wet mix until just combined. Turn out onto floured board and knead about 10 times until surface is smooth. Flatten to 1 inch thick. Cut scones with a 2 inch biscuit cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with a little milk and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Yield: 12 Scones
** There is no substitute for self-rising flour but you can easily make your own out of all-purpose flour. To make 1 cup of self-rising flour: to a 1 cup measure, add 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add enough all-purpose flour to make 1 level cup.
All of the scones were delicious. My favorites were the English and Irish scones because they have the sweet sugary taste in them. I apologize for the delays with this blog lately. I have so many great things planned for the future.
A couple of days ago I tried to tackle something new, which is to make homemade bread stuffing. It was so good I don’t think I will ever go back to box stuffing.
Classic Bread Stuffing with Sausage
Serves: 8 people.
1 pound good quality white, multigrain, or sourdough bread cut into 1 inch cubes.
1 pound bulk pork sausage.
4 tablespoons butter
3 ribs celery, chopped.
2 large onions, chopped.
2 cups chicken broth.
1 large egg, beaten.
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage.
salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a 9inch by 13 inch baking dish. Spread the bread cubes on a cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 20 minutes. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat, breaking up with meat with a spoon until browned. Transfer the sausage to the bread.
Melt the butter in the reserved drippings in the skillet. Add the celery and onions and cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Scrape into the bowl with the bread. Add the chicken broth, egg, parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Mix well and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned and crispy about 15 minutes.
I actually made these a week after Christmas once I was recovering from my illness. They were also a new recipe I picked for this year! They came out great. I still have two recipes I plan on making in the winter that I didn’t get to, so you can look forward to those.
Secret Kiss Cookies
Makes: 2.5 dozen.
1 cup butter, softened.
1/2 cup sugar.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
2 cups all-purpose flour.
1 cup finely chopped walnuts.
30 milk chocolate kisses.
1-1/3 cups confectioners sugar, divided.
2 tablespoons baking cocoa.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well. Fold in walnuts. Refrigerate dough for 2-3 hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Shape into 1 inch balls. Flatten balls and place a chocolate kiss in the center. Pinch the dough together around the kiss. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes or until set but not golden. Cool for 1 minute before moving to a wire rack to cool.
Sift together 2/3 cup confectioners sugar and cocoa. While cookies are still warm roll half in cocoa mixture and half in the remaining confectioners sugar. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
This is about the time before Christmas when I got horribly sick with asthmatic bronchitis. I could barely breathe or move it was horrible. I began to struggle through preparing for Christmas. I didn’t even get to make all of the kinds of cookies I had wanted to make. Don’t worry I am still going to make them before winter is over. Although it doesn’t feel like winter yet here on the east coast. I’m loving the beautiful weather.
Notes: This was a new recipe I picked to try this year. They were delicious!! I added extra ginger for that extra zing! I will be making these every year from now on.
Makes: 3 dozen Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened.
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar.
1/4 cup molasses.
1 tablespoon water.
2 teaspoons fresh minced gingerroot (I added more).
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
1 tablespoon baking cocoa.
1-1/4 teaspoons ground ginger.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves.
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped.
1/4 cup sugar.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, water, and gingerroot. Combine the flour, cocoa, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops begin to crack. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
This sugar cookie recipe is very basic and is great for people with allergies. I spent a lot of time many years ago trying to find recipes that make great shapes. This one is a tried and true winner.
Favorite Sugar Cookies
Makes: 6-7 dozen.
1 cup butter, softened.
1 cup confectioners sugar.
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
1 teaspoon salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8in thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Here is one of my tried and true sugar cookie recipes that I have been using for years. It makes perfect shapes. It does have cream cheese in it, so I have a second sugar cookie recipe that is pretty plain for people in my family with allergies. I will post that one next. They both have identical results, just a different taste. These recipes are both easy and simple to make. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.
Notes: I always double my Christmas cookie recipes since I have a large family. So keep in mind that this is not the doubled amount. Feel free to make your own frosting, since all of my in-laws are British so they like their sugar cookies plain to be served with tea.
Best Ever Sugar Cookies
Makes: 4 dozen.
1 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large bowl cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and extracts. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for three hours or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters.
Place 1in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden. Cool for about two minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
I had a really successful morning of queuing posts from Christmas. So expect some delicious cookie recipes for the next few days. Don’t worry if Christmas is over, these cookies taste great year round!
New Year, new motivation. My crazy schedule makes it really hard to post here as much as I would love to, but I am trying really hard to change that. Expect more recipes, more often. I still have Christmas cookie recipes to post, my first try at homemade stuffing, and more!
I saw 2 pounds of squash at the farmers market for $1 and I knew I’d find something to do with it so I picked it up. I don’t eat squash but my family does so I made it for them.
Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash
Adapted from Gourmet 2008
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 sage leaves
2/3 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Toss squash with cream, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
Stir in half of cheese and sprinkle remainder on top. Roast, uncovered, until squash is tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving (cream will thicken).
Verdict: I don’t really like squash but I still tried this. It was pretty good. My family members loved it. It is very creamy and def not what I normally think of when I hear we are eating squash. I wouldn’t make this again only because I wouldn’t eat it.
Blog-checking lines: Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by AndrewWhitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!
I was so excited for the daring bakers challenge this month. My fiance is a baker for a living so the thought of making bread without yeast seemed totally wrong to him. But he absolutely loved the bread after the five days it took to make it. I want to try the rice flour bread as soon as the holiday season is over.
French Country Bread Stage 1: Refreshing the leaven Ingredients 1 cup less 1 tablespoon (225 ml) (160 gm/5 ⅔ oz) wheat Leaven Starter 6 tablespoons less 1 teaspoon (85 ml) (50 gm/1¾ oz) stoneground bread making whole-wheat or graham flour 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons (250 ml) (150 gm/5 ⅓ oz) unbleached all purpose flour 1/2 cup (120 ml) water Production Leaven Total 2¾ cups plus 4 teaspoons (680 ml) (480 gm /1 lb 1 oz)
Directions: 1. Mix everything into a sloppy dough. It may be fairly stiff at this stage. Cover and set aside for 4 hours, until bubbling and expanded slightly.
French Country Bread Stage 2: Making the final dough Ingredients 3/4 cup less 1 teaspoon (175 ml) (100 gm/3 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour, plus more for dusting 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (510 ml) (300gm/10 ½ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour 1¼ teaspoons (7½ ml) (7 gm/¼ oz) sea salt or ⅔ teaspoon (3⅓ ml) (3 gm/⅛ oz) table salt 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water 1 ¾ cups (425 ml) (300 gm/10 ½ oz) production leaven – this should leave some (1 cup) for your next loaf. Total 6 cups less 2 tablespoons 1415 ml (1007 gm/35 ½ oz/2 lb 3½ oz)
Directions: 1. Mix the dough with all the ingredients except the production leaven. It will be a soft dough. 2. Knead on an UNFLOURED surface for about 8-10 minutes, getting the tips of your fingers wet if you need to. You can use dough scrapers to stretch and fold the dough at this stage, or air knead if you prefer. Basically, you want to stretch the dough and fold it over itself repeatedly until you have a smoother, more elastic dough.
3. Smooth your dough into a circle, then scoop your production leaven into the centre. You want to fold the edges of the dough up to incorporate the leaven, but this might be a messy process. Knead for a couple minutes until the leaven is fully incorporated in the dough. 4. Spread some water on a clean bit of your work surface and lay the dough on top. Cover with an upturned bowl, lining the rim of the bowl with a bit of water. Leave for an hour, so that the gluten can develop and the yeasts can begin to aerate the dough. 5. Once your dough has rested, you can begin to stretch and fold it. Using wet hands and a dough scraper, stretch the dough away from you as far as you can without breaking it and fold it back in on itself. Repeat this in each direction, to the right, towards you, and to the left. This will help create a more ‘vertical’ dough, ready for proofing. 6. Heavily flour a banneton/proofing basket with whole wheat flour and rest your dough, seam side up, in the basket. Put the basket in a large plastic bag, inflate it, and seal it. Set aside somewhere warm for 3-5 hours, or until it has expanded a fair bit. It is ready to bake when the dough responds to a gently poke by slowly pressing back to shape. 7. Preheat the oven to hot 425°F/220°C/gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment, then carefully invert the dough onto the sheet. I like to put the baking sheet on top of the basket, then gently flip it over so as to disturb the dough as little as possible. Make 2-3 cuts on top of the loaf and bake for 40-50 minutes, reducing the temperature to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 after 10 minutes. 8. Cool on a cooling rack.
Verdict: The bread was delicious and moist. My progress with bread (my biggest challenge to work with) has really improved since joining the daring bakers. I am really proud. I am also excited for all of the daring baking/cooking challenges that the new year will bring. In the New Year I hope to have more money so I can experiment and post on here more.
Coming soon: chicken brocolli stir fry, daring cooks January 2011, holiday cookie recipes, daring bakers January 2011.
Blog-checking lines: Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!
I was so excited for this month’s daring cooks challenge because I absolutely love BBQ. When I first saw this recipe I was both excited and nervous. Since I haven’t had much experience with this before I used the master recipe and made some rice to go with it on the side. I was also very pleased because one of my challenges to myself is to spend more time working with bread. I feel it’s an area I really need more skill in.
Char Sui (Cantonese BBQ Pork)
1 pork fillet/tenderloin (roughly 1-1.5 pounds) 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon (3 gm) ginger, grated 1 tablespoon peanut oil 1 ½ tablespoons maltose (you can substitute honey) 1 ½ tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 1 teaspoon oyster sauce 1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine ½ teaspoon (2 gm) ground white pepper pinch of salt ½ teaspoon (2 gm) five spice powder ½ teaspoon sesame oil ½ teaspoon pillar box red food colouring (1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Trim the pork loin to remove fat and tendon and slice lengthways so you have two long pieces, then cut in half. By cutting the pork in to smaller pieces to marinate you will end up with more flavoursome char sui. If you want to leave the pork in one piece you can do this as well. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.
Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. I placed my maltose in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to work with. Maltose is quite a solid hard sticky substance.
Cover pork well with ⅔ of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, I find it is best left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved ⅓ portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a baste when cooking the pork.
Cooking Method 1 - Oven
Pre-heat oven to moderate 180˚C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Cover a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Place on top of this a rack on which to cook the pork.
Place pork on the rack and place in oven.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes, basting and turning.
Turn the heat up to moderately hot 200˚C/400°F/gas mark 6 for the final 20 minutes as this will aid the charring. Cook until cooked through.
Baked Char Sui Bao (Cantonese BBQ Pork Bun)
350 gm (12 oz) char sui (finely diced) 2 green onions/spring onions (finely sliced) 1 tablespoon hoisin 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil ¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock 1 teaspoon (2 gm) cornflour ½ tablespoon vegetable oil (1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
2½ teaspoons (8 gm/1 satchel) of dried yeast ¼ cup (55 gm/2 oz) sugar ½ cup warm water 2 cups (280 gm/10 oz) plain flour 1 egg (medium size - slightly beaten) 3 tablespoons oil ½ teaspoon (3 gm) salt Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a dash of water (1 cup=240 ml, 1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan.
Add diced char sui to the wok/pan and stir then add spring onions, cook for 1 minute.
Add hoisin, dark soy sauce and sesame oil to the pork mixture, stir fry for one minute.
Mix cornflour and stock together and then add to the pork mixture.
Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes.
Remove mixture from wok/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.
Place the sugar and warm water in a bowl, mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add yeast and leave it for 10 - 15 minutes until it becomes all frothy.
Sift flour in to a large bowl.
Add yeast mixture, egg, oil and salt and stir. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is double in size. This will take from 1 - 2 hours depending on weather conditions.
Once dough has doubled in size knock back and divide in to 12 portions and shape in to round balls.
Use a rolling pin to roll out to approximately 5cm (2 inches) in diameter. Then pick the piece of dough up and gently pull the edges to enlarge to about 8cm (3 inches) in diameter.
Place a good sized tablespoon of filling on the dough circle. Then gather the edges and seal your bun.
Place the bun seal side down on your baking tray. Continue with rest of dough.
Once all buns are complete brush surface with egg wash.
Place in a preheated oven of 200º C/392º F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Overall it was pretty simple and easy to make. I just wish I had made more. The end product was delicious and I now have more experience with a new type of bread. I will also use this marinade recipe in the future for chicken, etc.
I would love to have more freedom when cooking in the future but money is so tight so please bear with me as I make it through the holiday season.
Coming up soon: Christmas cookies 2011!, Daring Baker’s December 2011 challenge, and Daring Cook’s Jan. 2012 challenge.
Blog-checking lines: Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake! And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog.
I was really excited about this challenge because half of my class from pre-k through 8th grade was filipino! One of my closest friends was extremely filipino and I have eaten many filipino desserts at her house. I was really excited to try it out for myself. I was only able to afford to the make the Sans Rival but it was amazing!!! I mean WOW try it out for yourself.
Sans Rival: Servings: 12
Photos shown are chocolate version, which is not traditional.
Ingredients 10 large egg whites, room temp 1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) white granulated sugar 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) cream of tartar ¼ cup (60 ml) (20 gm) (2/3 oz) Dutch processed cocoa (optional and not traditional) 2 cups (480 ml) (240 gm) (8½ oz) chopped, toasted cashews
Directions: Note: You will need four layers which will mean that you might have to bake in two batches. Be sure to use fresh parchment paper and cooled pans for each batch.
1. Preheat oven to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3. 2. Line cake pan bottoms with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides really well. 3. In a large clean, dry glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium until foamy (2 mins.). Sprinkle with cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, continuing to beat now at high speed until stiff shiny peaks form. (about 7-10 mins.)
4. Fold in nuts, reserving enough to use for decoration. (Note the more finely ground for folding into meringue. The coarsely ground for is decoration of finished cake.)
5. Divide meringue into four equal parts. Spread in pans, evenly to edges. If doing batches, use fresh parchment paper and cooled pans for each batch.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the meringue from the baking pans while still hot; allow to cool slightly. Peel off the parchment paper while it is still warm, it is difficult to remove sometimes when they have completely cooled.
7. When cool, trim edges so that all 4 meringue layers are uniformly shaped. Set aside.
Ingredients 5 large egg yolks, room temperature 1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) white granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60 ml) water 1¼ cup (300 ml) (2½ sticks) (285 gm) (10 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature Optional Flavorings: 2 oz (55 gm) unsweetened chocolate, melted, or 1½ teaspoon (7 ½ ml) almond extract, or 1½ teaspoon (7 ½ ml) vanilla extract, or any flavor you like
1. Put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until the yolks have doubled in volume and are a lemon yellow. 2. Put the sugar and water in a heavy pan and cook over medium heat, stirring the sides down only until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup reaches 235°F/112°C (or thread stage). 3. With the mixer on high, very slowly pour the syrup down the sides of the bowl, until all has been added. Be careful as the very hot syrup could burn you if it splashes from the beaters. Continue beating on high until the mixture is ROOM TEMPERATURE (about 15 mins). Still on high, beat in the soft, room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time. Add flavoring after you beat in the butter. Refrigerate the buttercream for at least an hour, and whip it smooth just before you use it. Assembly: Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a thin layer of buttercream and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with a thin layer of buttercream, meringue, thin layer of buttercream, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with reserved nuts.
Set bottom meringue on cake board with a dab of butter cream to hold it in place. Spread a thin layer of buttercream and then place another meringue on top. Repeat with a thin layer of buttercream, meringue, thin layer of buttercream, meringue, and finally buttercream the top and sides. Decorate with reserved nuts.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. It is easier to cut cold. May freeze.
I am looking forward to more challenges coming up and Christmas baking!! Once I knock this horrible cold out of my I have some really good recipes coming up! Let’s hope I get better asap.
Blog-checking lines: Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.
I absolutely love tea. I even have way too much tea. I am currently horribly sick and drinking cups and cups of tea a day. I really wanted to try out this braised beef recipe because it looked amazing. I also wanted to try out a few recipes of my own but this month is super hectic for me, between Thanksgiving and four family birthdays in one week, its a lot to deal with. I also had the chance to make green tea couscous, which was a little bit of a fail.
Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes
Rooibos tea is an herbal infusion from South Africa. Also called red tea, redbush tea, or honeybush tea, it is honey-flavored and light colored. It is gaining popularity because it is low in bitter tannins and caffeine-free. It can be substituted in this recipe by black tea, or try another dark herbal tea such as one containing licorice.
Ingredients 1¼ pounds (600 gm) brisket or stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) chunks 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (18 gm) (⅔ oz) flour 1 tablespoon (15 m) oil 2 onions, sliced 2 celery stalks, sliced 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (8 gm) tomato concentrate 5 rooibos tea bags (or 2 tablespoons loose tea leaves) 1 quart (1 litre) just-boiled water 5 tablespoons (75 ml) red wine vinegar 4 strips unwaxed orange peel, pith removed (the peel of about half an orange) 2 cinnamon sticks 2 inches (5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced ¾ cup (175 ml) mild honey (optional) cilantro (coriander) leaves, to garnish salt and pepper, to taste
Season the beef and coat in the flour. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and then brown the beef on all sides.
Add the onions and celery. Put on a tight fitting lid and let soften for ten minutes.
Add the garlic and tomato concentrate and cook for one minute.
Meanwhile, place the tea bags in a heatproof pitcher and pour over the water. Allow to steep for four minutes. Then remove the tea bags (or strain out the tea leaves) and pour the tea into the stock pot. Add the red wine vinegar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and ginger.
Lower the heat and cover. Let the stew simmer for 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
Add the sweet potatoes, honey (if using), and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
Green Tea Couscous
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 single-serve bag green tea
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves, a couple of handfuls
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in sauce pot over medium heat and add the scallions. Season with salt and pepper and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil, secure tea bag to handle of the pot, and let steep for 1 minute. Remove the tea bag, stir in honey and couscous. Turn off the heat, stir in mint, and cover the pot. Let couscous stand 5 minutes, then fluff with fork and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cucumber and lemon and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, toss to combine and serve.
I added way too much lime and lemon so it was too strong. Now that I’m really sick, the strong might have been really good for me. I think next time I will do a better job of tasting while adding. The braised beef was amazing!! I will be making it again in the future. I promise I will do a better job with this blog from now on. This is just the toughest time of the year for us.
Blog-checking lines: The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!
I was so excited for this challenge because one of my own personal goals is to get better at working with dough. I have many many failures. Which is horrible because my fiance is a baker and bakes bread early every morning. He comes from a family of bakers. I know I’m such a disgrace ;)
I made four loaves. Two were the regular walnut, one was apple walnut, and the other was walnut with some honey drizzled in the middle.
Povitica (makes 4 loaves)
To activate the Yeast: 2 Teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) Sugar 1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour ½ Cup (120ml) Warm Water 2 Tablespoons (30ml/14 gm/½ oz/2 sachets) Dry Yeast
Dough: 2 Cups (480ml) Whole Milk ¾ Cup (180 ml/170gm/6 oz) Sugar 3 Teaspoons (15 ml/18 gm/2/3 oz) Table Salt 4 Large Eggs ½ Cup (120ml/115 gm/one stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted 8 cups (1.92 l/1.12 kg/39½ oz/2½ lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided
Topping: ½ Cup (120 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee 2 Tablespoons (30 ml/28 gm/1 oz) Granulated Sugar Melted Butter
To Activate Yeast: 1. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into ½ cup warm water and cover with plastic wrap. 2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes
To Make the Dough: 3. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk up to just below boiling (about 180°F/82°C), stirring constantly so that a film does not form on the top of the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but not boiling. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110°F/43°C. 4. In a large bowl, mix the scalded milk, ¾ cup (180 gm/170 gm/6 oz) sugar, and the salt until combined. 5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz) of flour.
6. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until the dough starts to clean the bowl.
7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick. Note: I did not use all 8 cups of flour
8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (they will each weight about 1.25 pounds/565 grams) 9. Place dough in 4 lightly oiled bowls, cover loosely with a layer of plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and let rise an hour and a half in a warm place, until doubled in size.
To Make the Filling 10. In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa. 11. Heat the milk and butter to boiling. 12. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture. 13. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. 14. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough. 15. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.
To Roll and Assemble the Dough: 16. Spread a clean sheet or cloth over your entire table so that it is covered. 17. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons to a handful of flour (use flour sparingly) 18. Place the dough on the sheet and roll the dough out with a rolling pin, starting in the middle and working your way out, until it measures roughly 10-12 inches (25½ cm by 30½ cm) in diameter. 19. Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons (5ml to 7 ½ ml/4 gm to 7 gm) of melted butter on top. 20. Using the tops of your hands, stretch dough out from the center until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque. You can also use your rolling pin, if you prefer. 21. As you work, continually pick up the dough from the table, not only to help in stretching it out, but also to make sure that it isn’t sticking. 22. When you think it the dough is thin enough, try to get it a little thinner. It should be so thin that you can see the color and perhaps the pattern of the sheet underneath.
23. Spoon filling (see below for recipe) evenly over dough until covered. 24. Lift the edge of the cloth and gently roll the dough like a jelly roll. 25. Once the dough is rolled up into a rope, gently lift it up and place it into a greased loaf pan in the shape of a “U”, with the ends meeting in the middle. You want to coil the dough around itself, as this will give the dough its characteristic look when sliced. 26. Repeat with remaining three loaves, coiling each rope of dough in its own loaf pan. 27. Brush the top of each loaf with a mixture of ½ cup (120 ml) of cold STRONG coffee and 2 tablespoons (30ml/28 gm/1 oz) of sugar. If you prefer, you can also use egg whites in place of this. 28. Cover pans lightly will plastic wrap and allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes. 29. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F. 30. Remove plastic wrap from dough and place into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. 31. Turn down the oven temperature to slow 300°F and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until done. 32. Remove bread from oven and brush with melted butter. 33. Check the bread at 30 minutes to ensure that the bread is not getting too brown. You may cover the loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil if you need to. 34. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes, still in the bread pan. Remember, the bread weighs about 2.5 and it needs to be able to hold its own weight, which is difficult when still warm and fresh out of the oven. Allowing it to cool in the pan helps the loaf to hold its shape. 35. It is recommended that the best way to cut Povitica loaves into slices is by turning the loaf upside down and slicing with a serrated knife.
For apple variation:
2 apples (I used New York) cut into thin slices
1/8 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Directions: Mix all together and all in the middle with some of the walnut spread.
This recipe was really successful for me. I was so amazed by the finished product. (Pictures as soon as I find my phone). Excited to see what is in store for next month. Already beyond excited for the Daring Cooks November challenge!!
Blog-checking lines: The October Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
I was a little delayed in posting this Daring Cook’s challenge because I spent the weekend at the NYCC! I made this way at the begining of the month because we had almost all of the ingredients on hand. I was so excited because I have never made Moo shu before.
Makes 24-30 pancakes Preparation time: about 10 minutes plus 30 minutes’ standing time Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
Ingredients 4 cups (960 ml) (560 gm) (19¾ oz) all purpose flour About 1½ cup (300ml) (10 fl oz) boiling water 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil Dry flour for dusting
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Gently pour in the water, stirring as you pour, then stir in the oil. Knead the mixture into a soft but firm dough. If your dough is dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, to reach the right consistency. Cover with a damp towel and let stand for about 30 minutes.
Lightly dust the surface of a worktop with dry flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until smooth, then divide into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a long sausage and cut each sausage into 8-10 pieces. Keep the dough that you are not actively working with covered with a lightly damp dish cloth to keep it from drying out.
Roll each piece into a ball, then, using the palm of your hand, press each piece into a flat pancake. Dust the worktop with more dry flour. Flatten each pancake into a 6 to 8 inch (15 cm to 20 cm) circle with a rolling pin, rolling gently on both sides.
Place an un-greased frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to low and place the pancakes, one at a time, in the pan. Remove when little light-brown spots appear on the underside. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.
Ingredients ½ lb (450 gm) pork loin or butt 3 cups (6 oz) (170 gm) Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage), thinly cut 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt 4 tablespoons (60 ml) vegetable oil 2 scallions 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light soy sauce 2 teaspoons (10 ml) rice wine A few drops sesame oil 12 thin pancakes to serve
Thinly cut the pork and Chinese cabbage into matchstick-sized shreds.
Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.
Heat about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a preheated wok and scramble the eggs until set, but not too hard. Remove and keep to one side.
Heat the remaining oil. Stir-fry the shredded pork for about 1 minute or until the color changes. Add the Chinese cabbage and scallions. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining salt, soy sauce and wine. Blend well and continue stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the scrambled eggs, stirring to break them into small bits. Add the sesame oil and blend well.
To serve: place about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of hot Moo Shu in the center of a warm pancake, rolling it into a parcel with the bottom end turned up to prevent the contents from falling out. Eat with your fingers.
While most restaurants, or at least those at which I have ordered the dish, serve this with plum sauce, none of the cook books or online recipes that I have seen have referred to that as being traditional. Most that reference serving it with a sauce call for it to be served with hoisin sauce.
Ingredients 4 tablespoons (60 ml) soy sauce 2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut butter OR black bean paste 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey OR molasses 2 teaspoons (10 ml) white vinegar 1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml) garlic powder 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seed oil 20 drops (¼ teaspoon) Chinese style hot sauce (optional, depending on how hot you want your hoisin sauce) 1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml) black pepper
Directions: Simply mix all of the ingredients together by hand using a sturdy spoon. At first it does not appear like it will mix, but keep at it just a bit longer and your sauce will come together.
Thanks so much for this amazing challenge. We all really enjoyed the results. We will be making this all the time. I also want to say that I took some amazing photo’s for this but since my phone switched to my new iPhone I did not get to keep those pictures. I took one the day after so I will post it soon.
My new schedule is killing me so the only way I can eat a nice home cooked meal is to rely on my crock pot. I hope that soon I will have more energy and get back on top of my course work.
3 lbs. Chicken (cut up)
1 medium onion
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dry ginger or 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Place the chicken in a slow cooker with onions. Mix soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sugar. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Gravy may be made by thickening sauce with cornstrach and then adding cold water and slivered almonds. Serve gravy over chicken. Garnish with additional almonds.
This was an great recipe to may in a hurry. It took me a total of 7 minutes to get everything going. We were really happy with the tasy outcome and will be making this again on another busy day. Look for more crock pot recipes in the future to accomodate my new extra busy lifestyle.
The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!
It’s time to post September’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. I am also super excited because I am making October’s Daring Cooks Challenge tomorrow!! I really enjoy and look forward to these every month. I have never made Croissants before but I have eaten a ton of them (even in Paris!). I am so proud that my batch came out successful, even if they took a lot of hard work and effort. I put some chocolate in one and some cinnamon sugar on another just to experiment. They were best plain.
Servings: 12 croissants
Ingredients ¼ oz (7 gm) of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon (6¼ ml/4 gm) of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet) 3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water (less than 100°F/38°C) 1 teaspoon (5 ml/4½ gm) sugar 1 3/4 cups (225 gm/½ lb) of strong plain flour (I used Polish all-purpose flour, which is 13% protein) 2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar 1½ teaspoon (7½ ml/9 gm) salt ½ cup (120 ml/¼ pint) milk (I am not sure if the fat content matters. I used 2%) 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tasteless oil (I used generic vegetable oil) ½ cup (120 ml/1 stick/115 gm/¼ lb) chilled, unsalted butter 1 egg, for egg wash
1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little. 2. Measure out the other ingredients 3. Heat the milk until tepid, and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar 4. Place the flour in a large bowl. 5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour 6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated 7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl 8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. The best way is as Julia Child does it in the video (youtube it). It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper. 9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag 10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips. 12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches. 13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up) 14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag. 15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge
16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter. 17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter 18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board. 19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat. 20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.
21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two. 22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm). 23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle 24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges. 25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up. 26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book). 27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm). 28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up. 29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter. 31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little 32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes 33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm). 34. Fold in three, as before 35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm). 36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)
37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants 38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready 39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter 40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle. 41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches) 42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold 43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches. 44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches) 45. Place two of the squares in the fridge 46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square 47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles. 48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles. 49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape. 50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet 51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total. 52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
53. Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F. 54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water 55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants. 56. Put the croissants in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely 57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Thanks so much to Sarah for this amazing and challenging experience. There were some spectacular croissants this month, so check them all out on the Daring Kitchen homepage. Click here for the full challenge PDF, including recipes, links and photos.
On a wonderful side note, I will be getting an Iphone any day now so expect better pictures in the future!! I have a ton of recipes I would love to have the time to work on but college is demanding and has to come first. So please bear with me for awhile.
Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!
September was my very second Daring Cook’s challenge. Boy was it hard to complete while dealing with hurricane Irene and no power. I have not completely finished this challenge yet, some of my soup is in the freezer waiting to be turned into consomme. I will get to it asap, just get situated into my college coursework. So I made beef stock and turned it into french onion soup with a garlic herb brioche. I have made stock into soup in the past, but the brioche was the real challenge for me because bread never seems to like me. This was a total success.
Mandatory Items: You must make a stock and turn it into a soup (savoury or sweet). You must also make an accompaniment for your soup.
DARING COOKS SEPTEMBER 2011
Beef French Onion Soup/ Consommé (Equal amounts of chicken can be substituted for the beef) Serves 6
Ingredients Step 1 – Stock • 5 litres (5 quarts) water • 2 kg (4½ lb) meaty beef bones (browned in the oven or in a pan) • 500 gm (½ lb) diced stewing beef or chicken wings (browned in the oven or in a pan) • 500 gm (½ lb) mirepoix – 2 medium onions, 2 medium carrots, 2 large celery ribs, finely chopped • 1 bouquet garnish • 1 clove garlic • 1 or 2 cloves • 1 or 2 tablespoons oil or butter
Step 2 – Enriching your stock to a bouillon • 80 gm (5½ tablespoons) (3 oz) butter • 1 kg (2 lb) brown onions, sliced in rings • 20gm (1½ tablespoons) (¾ oz) brown sugar • 60 ml (4 tablespoons) port • 200 ml (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) white wine • 3 sprigs fresh thyme • 2 fresh bay leaves • 2 litres (2 quarts) brown beef stock
To Serve • 6 slices of brioche, sourdough or French baguettes • sliced swiss cheese
Step 1 – Stock 1. Cook your bones and meat until brown. 2. Sweat the vegetables in the oil or butter until soft. 3. Put ingredients in a stockpot and cover with cold water. 4. Cover with a lid, then bring to a boil on medium-high heat. 5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, skimming foam from surface, for 4 - 8 hours or until meat falls from bone. 6. Strain stock through a muslin-lined sieve. Discard solids.
Step 2 – Soup 1. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onions. 2. Add sugar and a little salt to help the caramelisation process. 3. Cook over medium to low heat until the onions caramelise to dark brown. Stir regularly. This can take hours so don’t be tempted to increase the heat to speed it up. 4. Deglaze the pan with cognac, port and wine and then pop in a couple of sprigs of thyme, bay leaves and the mustard and cook together. 5. Pour in the stock and reheat. 6. To make this soup into a consommé proceed to Step 3. 7. For the soup - taste it and adjust the seasonings. (For Australians you can add ½ to 1 teaspoon of vegemite or marmite at this point if you want a little more flavour kick.) 8. It is now time to either strain out the solid bits or blend the whole lot or if you like chunky bits don’t bother. Ladle into hot bowls. 9. Top a thick slice of bread that will fit into the bowl with swiss cheese, a pinch of pepper and chopped thyme and grill the top until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Put these on top of your hot bowl of soup.
Step 3 – Consommé (Using the gelatine technique)
1. if you think your soup is not as flavourful as you would like go to the next step. If you like the flavours skip adding the extra mince. 2. Fry the mince until brown and cooked. Allow any juices to cook off. 3. Add garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. You don’t want any burnt bits it will make your stock bitter. 4. Strain off any fat or remaining juices. 5. Put the meat aside and deglaze the fry pan with a little of the stock and add the meat and the liquid from the pan to the soup. 6. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, taste and adjust the seasonings. This is your last chance to do this. 7. Take the pot off the heat and carefully ladle out the stock. Strain through a sieve lined with muslin or a coffee filter. 8. Measure the stock, you need 8 cups/2 litres in total. The rest can be frozen for other uses. 9. Take 1 cup/240 ml of that liquid and sprinkle the gelatine on top and allow it to bloom. 10. While the stock is still hot stir through the gelatine and make sure it dissolves. You may need to heat it slightly – don’t let it boil. 11. Quick cool the stock by placing the whole pot into your sink and running cold water around it. 12. Pour it into a container and place in the refrigerator. 13. Allow the soup to set fully (this is really important) then place it into the freezer to freeze solid. If the soup is put into the freezer before it sets solid it will not separate properly when you thaw it. 14. Chop the frozen jelly into chunks and put them into a lined sieve in the refrigerator. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator. This cannot be rushed. It has to happen in the refrigerator so the gelatine and any fat solids don’t melt and run through your filter cloth. 15. You should have a crystal clear liquid. 16. Your consommé is now ready to serve. Reheat and serve. With the crouton on the side.
*what I have left to do to finish my consomme. I will update when it is all done.
1. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. 2. Slowly mix the warm milk, butter, herbs, garlic and 2 of the eggs into the flour mixture 3. Knead until the dough is smooth. The dough is ready to rise when it is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 4. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size. 5. Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and punch it down a few times. 6. Finely chop the fresh herbs and mix with the garlic. 7. Press the dough out into a rectangle then spread with the chopped herbs. 8. Roll up like a swiss roll and place on a lined baking tray. 9. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size. 10. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F. 11. Remove the dough covering, gently brush the loaf with the remaining beaten egg, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the brioche is golden brown. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack.
My finished beef stock
Garlic Herb Brioche
Thanks so much to Peta of Peta Eats for this amazing challenge and inspiring me to try a consomme. There were some spectacular soups/consommes this month, so check them all out on the Daring Kitchen homepage. Click here for the full challenge PDF, including recipes, links and photos.
I just started my last year of college!!! I am so sorry from the lack of updates, we are still recovering from the hurricane. Hopefully we won’t get any more rain for awhile, we all really need to dry out here (especially my basement). I have some great stuff I will be posting about soon.
My life is about to consist of classes, student teaching, and seminars. I meet my cooperating teacher tomorrow for lunch!! Then on Wednesday I get to meet my 3rd grade class and begin this awesome experience. So far my classes have crazy amounts of work on top of student teaching and the seminar course work that is supposed to be super intense. I have my seminar orientation on the 20th where I find out everything and should be able to actually have a clear layout of my schedule. Until then I am going to work ahead on my courses and get to know my students.
Don’t worry I will still make time to cook and update, cooking is my real passion.
August was also my very first Daring Bakers Challenge. This was rough to get accomplished because I left for Florida to spend 6 amazing, magical days with my fiance. We had so much fun but just came back yesterday to realize I had chocolate to make! So I made peanut butter fudge before I left. Then today I rushed to make milk chocolate bark with pretzels and drizzled with peanut butter. Also I made milk chocolate truffles with cocoa powder (they aren’t done yet!)
DARING BAKERS AUGUST 2011
Peanut Butter Fudge
Prep Time: 15 mins Total Time: 20 mins Yield: 64 squares
Directions: 1. Place butter into a medium saucepan and melt it over medium heat. 2. Add brown sugar and milk, stirring. 3. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 4. Remove from heat. 5. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla. 6. Place confectioners’ sugar into a large mixing bowl. 7. Pour hot peanut butter mixture over confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. 8. Pour fudge into an 8 by 8 inch (20cm by 20cm) pan. 9. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. 10. Cut into 1-inch (25 mm) squares.
Chocolate Bark (Base Recipe)
Ingredients Milk/Dark/White Chocolate, tempered (any amount, from 7 oz. (200g) to 14 oz. (400g) Various nuts, seeds, candies, dried fruits or anything you like in any quantity you like
(I used pretzels and 2 tablespoons of heated up peanut butter)
1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper 2. Temper your chocolate using your preferred method 3. Once tempered, spread the chocolate over the parchment paper 4. Sprinkle your ingredients over the chocolate 5. Leave to set 6. Either break or cut into pieces 7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container
Servings: Makes +- 30 truffles, recipe easily doubled or halved For the best tasting truffles, a high quality chocolate is ideal, especially one that is 62% cacao or higher
1/2 cup (120 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% - 48% butterfat)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cocoa to roll the truffles in
1. Finely chop or grate the chocolate 2. Place in a heatproof bowl 3. In a saucepan, heat cream until just about to boil (it will start bubbling around the edges of the pot) 4. Pour the cream over the chocolate 5. Gently stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and it is smooth 6. Stir in your desired flavorings
For rolled truffles
1. Allow the ganache to firm up in a container of choice, preferably deep rather than shallow 2. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop up room temperature ganache 3. With gloved hands, roll the balls between your palms to round them off 4. Dip in tempered chocolate or roll in various ingredients like cocoa or chopped nuts as desired Tip: If dipping in chocolate, it’s best to refrigerate the ganache balls before dipping so that they’re firm and don’t melt from the warm chocolate Tip: For a thicker chocolate shell, dip once in tempered chocolate and allow to set. Then do a second dipping or smear a small amount of chocolate over the truffle and roll in desired ingredients 5. Place on parchment paper until set
In the future when money is less of an issue I want to be able to experiment with chocolate molds. We have a great store here called Making Chocolate that sells everything! I even had my birthday party there when I was little. Yet right now my focus has to be on money for college, even if chocolate is so amazing.
Bracing for a hurricane and then once it’s gone I can get working on my Daring Cooks September Challenge. I also have lots more recipes coming your way so stay tunned.
As I have mentioned many times we always have leftover buttermilk in our house. Once I realized the buttermilk was getting close to expiration I started looking up some more buttermilk scone recipes, you can never have too many! I found this one and changed acouple things around. The fact that I made these 4 days ago and just had one this morning that tasted delicious shows how great they are. I even had all of the ingredients on hand so this was so simple to make.
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash of nutmeg (I used way more for that extra zing)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the room temperature butter. In a separate bowl beat egg into buttermilk and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix together with a fork. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly. Form into a circle and cut into wedges. Bake on an ungreased sheet for 12-15 minutes (mine took 15). Serve warm.
I am currently in DISNEY!! I queued some things before I left so enjoy while I am away. Once I get home I will be rushing to get ready for my senior year of college/student teaching. I will also be in a rush to finish the Daring Bakers August challenege. Wish me luck!
Blog-checking lines: Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.
Posting Date: August 14, 2011
August was my very first Daring Cook’s Challenge and I absolutely loved that it was something I would have never thought about making. I have been wanting to post about this all month. I made appam which I have never heard of/tried before and I loved it and I also made my very first curry which was a chicken curry. My whole family raved about this.
DARING COOKS AUGUST 2011 Appam Servings: Makes about 15. I find 3-4 are enough for a serving
Ingredients: 1 ½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice 1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast 2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar ½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water room temperature 1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice ½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt about ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)
1. Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours. You can soak it overnight, although I did not try that. 2. Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.
3. Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed, but I did not. Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well. You can see that it is not completely smooth, but very thick—that’s about right.
4. Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry—they are mild tasting when cooked!
5. Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. Notice how it bubbles after you add the coconut milk. I recommend test-cooking one before thinning the batter.
6. Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel. Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.
7. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.
2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces 1/2 cup vegetable oil + 1 Tb. 1 tablespoon curry powder 1 small red chile (cayenne, bird) 4 cups chopped red onion (2 large onions) 2 ½ Tb. grated ginger 1 tsp. chili powder 1 ½ Tb. ground coriander 1 tsp. turmeric ½ cup chopped cilantro (leaves and/or stems) 3 cups chopped tomatoes 2 Tb. fresh lime juice 1 tsp. salt 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Pour ½ cup oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the curry powder and red chiles. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the ginger and onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the onions to brown until they are dark and soft enough the smash with a spatula—about 25-30 minutes. Add the chili powder, coriander, turmeric, and cilantro—mix together.
Raise the heat back to medium and add the tomatoes, salt, and lime juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have disintegrated and the oil separates out—15-20 minutes.
Add ½ cup of water and 1 cup coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat.
In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tb. of oil over high. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on all sides, leaving the centers pink—2-4 minutes.
Add the chicken to the curry and simmer 5-7 minutes until the chicken has cooked through. Serve over appam.
Here is my appam batter after sitting all night.
My delicious curry
I liked my appam extra crispy
Overall I am so proud of myself by trying something new. I love having challeneges every month to look forward to that come from other people’s perspectives. Otherwise I would have never heard of appam or ever cooked a curry. I am now in love with both foods and can’t wait to make some more. I am currently working on my August Daring Baker’s challenge and about to read the September Daring Cook’s challenge. Both will have to be finished when I return from DISNEY!! I leave on Friday! So excited.
Thanks so much to Mary of Mary Mary Culinary for this amazing challenge and inspiring me to try something new. There were some spectacular appam&curry this month, so check them all out on the Daring Kitchen homepage. Click here for the full challenge PDF, including recipes, links and photos.
I made this recipe months ago but my family keeps asking me to make it again, they found it that good. I love eveything caramel and so this was no different. This is from the same cookbook as my previous post. What an easy desert to make if you forgot to make something for an event.
Caramel Ice Cream Cake
Adapted from 200 Really Easy Recipes
4 cups vanilla ice cream
3 cups crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup butter melted
7 oz. soft butterscotch fudge
2 tablespoons light cream
Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile put the crushed crackers in a bowl, add the melted butter, and mix together until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture into a 9 inch round springform pan, pressing it up the edge of the pan to give a 1 inch side. Chill in the refridgerator for 20 minutes. Put the fudge and cream in a saucepan and heat gently stirring, until the fudge has melted. Carefully spread two-thirds of the fudge mixture over the crumb sheel. Spoon the ice cream over the top and level the surface. Drizzle the remaining caramel over the ice cream with a spoon. Freeze for 4 hours. Unmold the cake and serve in wedges.
I made this recipe a while back from an idea I found in a cookbook my grandmother got me for Christmas. It was really simple and delicious as the title of the cookbook claims all the recipes will be. I love flipping through this cookbook on a day when I have very little time to cook. I usually have most of the ingredients already.
Chicken and Rice Bake
200 Really Easy Recipes
8 skinless chicken thigh filets
8 slices bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 and 1/4 cups long-grain rice
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups hot chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap each chicken thigh with a bacon slice and secure in place with a toothpick. Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole and add the chicken. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the rice to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, lemon zest, stock, and salt and pepper to teaste. Arrange the chicken thighs over the rice, pressing down gently. Cover with a layer of foil then the lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Discard the toothpicks and serve.
For the lack of updates. I have been having breathing issues and wound up in the ER for 6 hours last night. Don’t worry I am fine and am ready to get some cooking done. I am also leaving in 5 days for our vacation to Disney (with a trip to Universal) for 6 days!! I will be sure to take lots of pictures of the food and trip. Hopefully Epcot will really inspire me with some great cooking ideas.
Part 1 of the recipes from my fiance’s birthday! I used home grown chives from my garden. These are some seriously delicious burgers. I will be making these again very soon! Rachael has a burger of the month every month in her magazine but this one really stuck out to me. I just made some simple changes and it was the perfect treat for my man on his birthday.
Big Beef Burgers with Crunchy Sour Cream Onions
Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine June/July 2011
For the sour cream onion rings:
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch-thick slices and separated into rings
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt and coarse black pepper
For the burgers:
2 pounds coarse-ground sirloin beef
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Salt and coarse black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Burger rolls of choice
Chopped crisp lettuce
For the red ranch dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup ketchup
1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
3-4 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (such as chives and parsley), finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and coarse black pepper
Heat a few inches of vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Combine 1 1/2 cups buttermilk and 1/2 cup sour cream in a bowl and add the onion rings; soak for a few minutes. On a plate, toss the flour with the chives; season generously with salt and pepper. Double-dip the onion rings in the liquid and the flour. Fry a few rings at a time in the hot oil, turning once, until deep golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, lots of pepper and a little salt. Form four large or 12 slider-size patties and coat with the olive oil. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, add the burgers and cook, turning once, for 8-10 minutes for big burgers, 4-6 minutes for sliders.
While the burgers cook, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup each buttermilk and sour cream, the ketchup, garlic, herbs and lemon juice; season with salt, pepper to taste. Layer the rolls with the burgers, ranch dressing, lettuce and onion rings.
Coming up soon: My Fiance’s Super Spectacular Birthday Meal Part II, Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.
We made this recipe last week. It was quick, easy and really filling. This was a super rushed day so it was nice to have a fulfilling meal at the end of it.
Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Bacon
Adapted from RachaelRay.com
1 pound whole wheat rigatoni
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
parsley finely chopped (a handful)
pecorino romano cheese (to pass around)
Fare Exchange: swap the pancetta for the bacon and drain away all but to 4 tablespoons of the fat.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladle of the pasta cooking water. While the pasta cooks, heat a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp at the edges. Add the bay leaves and onion. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 10 minutes or until the onion is tender. Stir in the broth and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil, then simmer. Add the reserved cookng water, pasta, and parsley to the sauce and toss. Serve.
Coming up soon: My Fiance’s Super Spectacular Birthday Meal, Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.
Today is my amazing fiance’s 21st birthday!!! I am so proud of him and all of the crazy sacrifices he has made for me. He works a rough physically demanding job with crazy hours everyday while going to school part time, helping me get back and forth from college and so much more. I know all of his hard work and dedication will pay off.
So every year (for the past 6 years) he picks out his meal. This time it was ranch burgers with onion rings! YUM! These were the best burgers we have had in so long. Expect the recipes in the days to come.
The other day I made another JC recipe, I am nowhere near my goal of 200 recipes down before November but this year has been rough financially. Anyways I am just doing this for the love of my life who bought me these cookbooks and he’s proud of me always. My more realistic goal is 150 before November. Let’s see what I can do. The chicken was amazing, Julia was a very amazing cook.
119 down, 405 to go.
More fun things to come since friday is my fiance’s birthday!! I am making him a very special meal burgers (inspired by rachel ray), onion strings (inspired by bobby flay), and a cake (we are considering a vanilla coffee cake). I cant wait to get cooking.
Coming up soon: My Fiance’s Super Spectacular Birthday Meal, Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.
There will be plenty of pictures to come in the future, I just have a really bad camera on my cell phone and well thats it. But I am borrowing my friends camera for disney in less than 30 days!!! So I will take lots of amazing food photos. Anyways last night I threw together an awesome rot roast. It was so delicious and juicy.
Adapted from foodnetwork.com (The Neelys)
1 (3 pound) boneless bottom round roast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 yellow onions peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 carrots peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
freshly chopped parsley leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven oven medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and sear the roast on all sides. Add the onions, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook until slightly colored. Add the stock, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Roast for one hour. Then add the carrots. Roast for another hour. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Slice and place on a serving platter. Skim the fat off of the braising liquid and serve with the roast. Garnish with parsley.
Coming up soon: Julia Child’s Chicken with Tarragon, Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.
Working on my fiance’s challenge of making all of the recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 and 2 by Julia Child. I made a delicious green bean recipe that as usual does not disappoint.
I have pictures I will add later. Transfering from my cell phone is time consuming. I will also be making JC’s casserole-roasted chicken with tarragon this week. I have a lot of great new recipe ideas as usual just not enough money to make them all. But where there is a will there is a way and my passion for cooking is so strong.
118 down, 406 to go.
Coming up soon: Julia Child’s Chicken with Tarragon, Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.
Rachael Ray has a section called “Fast Ideas” in her magazine every month. This one has been calling for me to try for days. Rachael promises corn muffin mix that is better than boxed. Surprisingly she delivers! This makes the best corn muffins we have ever had in this household. The secret is the cinnamon and vanilla extract. I will be keeping this mix in my pantry from now on. I aa even going to experiment and use this in my families famous corn souffle that usually uses Jiffy corn mix.
Homemade Corn Muffin Mix
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray August 2011.
6 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Whisk all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
Makes 5 dozen muffins.
Corn Muffins (Makes 1 dozen muffins)
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 & 1/4 cups muffin mix (recipe above)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk all of the ingredients together until evenly blended. Transfer to greased muffin pan and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean when inserted.
Coming up soon: Julia Child’s Green Beans, Julia Child’s Roast Chicken with Tarragon Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.
I made this recipe last week and completely thought I already posted about it. We bought the green beans at our local farmers market already washed and cut for just $2. So amazing. Everyone raved about these so they are def. a make again. Some really exciting news I just joined The Daring Kitchen for both their daring bakers and daring cooks monthly challenges. I get my very first daring cooks challenge tomorrow and am so excited. I am also looking back on their older challenges and am going to try a bunch of them out.
Green Beans with Parmigiano Reggiano
Adapted from Relish
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound green beans trimmed and left whole
1 tablespoons grated or shredded parmigiano reggiano
14 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the beans and cover and cook for 10 minutes (or until tender). Stir occasionally and reduce the heat if the beans are browning too quickly. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook stirring gently until the cheese is browned, about 3 minutes.
Coming up soon: Homemade Corn Muffins, Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Chive Potatoes, Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, and Butterscotch Brownies.