Sunday, May 1, 2011

lemon poppyseed pancakes

Determined to use up some buttermilk I bought for Easter, I made lemon poppyseed pancakes for Joe and I. Who knew a hint of lemon with maple syrup is a delicious combo!?

You'll need: (makes 7-10 pancakes)
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tbs. sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbs butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tbs. poppy seeds (I used 1 tbs. but I definitely think they could have used more!)

1. In a small bowl rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar until pale yellow and fragrant.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and butter. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, and salt. Stir until just combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy - Do not overmix!
3. Heat a griddle pan or a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil or a dab of butter and heat through. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of batter to the pan. Heat until bubbles form and start to pop. Carefully flip over and cook through.
4. Place cooked pancakes on an oven proof plate and let rest in a 200 degree oven while you fry the rest of the pancakes.
5. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Becky Bakes

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Brunch

Over Easter break, I was on a baking frenzy. I baked Giada's crispy parmesan biscuits, Buttermilk and blackberry jam muffins, A butter spongecake, and a brown sugar almond coffee cake in two days.

I will start with the butter spongecake. The recipe came from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking - so I figured it's gotta be good. It was dense and had a sweet, buttery flavor. I topped it with homemade whipped cream and strawberries. Below is the recipe:

As a side note, it is a recipe that does not contain baking powder or baking soda. So if you are looking for a fluffy, high cake...this isn't it.

Biscuit Au Beurre
(Butter Spongecake)

You will need:
a round cake pan, preferably 10 inches
4 tbs. butter
2/3 cup + 2 tbs. granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1.25 cups sifted cake flour

1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Prepare the cake pan.
2. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
3. Beat the sugar into the egg yolks, add the vanilla, and continue beating until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and "forms a ribbon."
4. Beat egg whites and salt together in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on two tbs. sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
5. Gradually add egg whites and sifted cake flour to egg yolk mixture by adding a little egg white, partially blend, then add a little cake flour, and partially blend. Then add the melted butter, but "omit the milky residue." Mix together but do not overmix to keep the volume of the egg whites.
6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. (I put mine in for 25 minutes and it was done). Cool on a cake rack for at least an hour.
7. Enjoy!

The butter spongecake was delicious but the Brown Sugar and Almond Coffeecake stole the show at Easter. This recipe came from the Macrina Cookbook. I bought this cookbook in Seattle last summer after Joe and I just happened to step into one of the best bakeries in Seattle.

Joe ordered the Buttermilk Waffle (which I have the recipe for!)

I ordered French Toast (which I have the recipe for as well!)

I love this cookbook because it reminds me of our vacation to Seattle and Vancouver and all the amazing food we ate.

Unfortunately, the recipe for this coffee cake is at home, which is where I will not be for about a week and a half. You will just have to wait for the recipe!

Until then...

Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 11, 2011

French Food

Joe and I made a fantastic French-inspired dinner. Chicken with a Dijon mustard cream sauce, Carrots braised in butter (Julia Child original), and skinny fries with a mayo/ketchup dipping sauce. It was AMAZING to say the least.

Of course, there was lots of butter and cream involved. :)

Joe handled the chicken which was a recipe from Katie Brown's Weekends (the French section, of course). It turned out absolutely delicious. I could tell Joe had fun making it, too. Deglazing was involved - which made him feel like a "real chef." ;) He is so adorable.

I handled the carrots, fries, and dipping sauce. The carrots were easy to make. Boil them with a tablespoon of sugar (according to Julia this "develops their flavor"), a tablespoon of butter, and a pinch salt for about thirty minutes. Drain any extra water. Toss them in more butter and chopped parsley. They turned out great! They were soft, very flavorful, and the orange and green together looked beautiful.

The fries were store bought. Buy them unseasoned so you can add a little tarragon to them to give them more class. ;) The dipping sauce is simple. Two parts mayo to one part ketchup. Our favorite French restaurant serves often serves this dipping sauce as a side, so we decided it was a must.

Dessert, anyone?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simply Delicious

I love all things Italian. The country, the language, and the people, but most importantly, I love the food...

Olive oil....

I could go on forever. It's so delicious. It's so...simple. It's food in it's most pure form, and you can't get more pure than Bruschetta.

Italian Bread
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut crusty, Italian bread into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle a little EVOO and rub garlic on the slices.
Toast in oven for about fifteen minutes.
While bread is in oven, seed and cut tomatoes into small chunks. Slice basil into thin strips. In a small bowl combine EVOO, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.
Remove bread from oven and top with tomato and basil mixture.


PS - check out my new blog!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm back and I am ready to bake!

I made a delicious chocolate pie this weekend (along with pork bbq sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans). It was easy, I had all the ingredients, and it was so yummy.

Here is the recipe (adapted by Steph's Bite by Bite):

1 frozen pie crust
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
3/4 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 tablespoon of butter
1 Container of Fat Free cool whip

Chocolate Pie Filling Directions
Mix your sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, eggs and milk (all except vanilla and butter) with a whisk.

Cook while stirring on medium until it bubbles and thickens, about 5-10 minutes. If it becomes lumpy, just beat out the lumps.

Remove from heat and stir in your vanilla and butter.

Pour filling in to cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orange You Glad

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas -- with all the snow we have been having lately! :)

This morning, I was with Joe and we ate a nice breakfast together at Panera before we had to depart. I had a whole wheat bagel with butter and yogurt with strawberries. He had a sesame seed bagel with plain cream cheese and tea. We said our goodbye's and I headed back to school.

Right when I got back, I bundled and set out for a run. I ran about 25 minutes. I wanted to go longer, but my shoulder was starting to hurt. I decided it would be best to stop. I think I have been carrying to much weight on my left shoulder (luggage and purses) and it is starting to irritate it. I am going to have to do some cardio that doesn't involve moving my shoulders (biking! yay!).

After my run, I headed to Whole Foods (I have never been and was had some time to explore). I picked up some sharp cheddar cheese and lentil soup.

By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry for lunch. My lunch turned out to be monochromatic! Check it out:

an orange, sharp cheddar with crackers, carrots, and blueberry yogurt with granola from Panera. I also had some homemade sweet potato chips. Orange, Indeed!

Between lunch and dinner I studied for my anthropology test and worked out. I would study, workout, study, workout. I did a little yoga and a ballet inspired workout. I love ballet workouts. I danced for a long time and I like to reminisce with these workouts.

By 7, I had a made a quick dinner. My lentil soup from Whole Foods with a couple of Saltines. It was just OK, don't think I will buy it again. It did the job. For dessert, I had a Choco-peppermint cookie! MMMMM - those things are so good!

Time to get in a little more studying. Then, it's bed time. I have a busy day tomorrow filled with tutoring, testing, and driving (four hours) home!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Another relaxing day for me! I woke up at 9 am and had a simple bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast.

Then I did ~50 minutes of Yoga - Dave Farmer style ( I really enjoyed his class. It was relaxing, and yet I was still working hard.

After Yoga, I took a bubble bath. In a Jacuzzi bath tub. With Candles. It was so incredibly relaxing.

Before I knew it, my stomach was growling for lunch. I heated up some leftover Turkey Soup. It's delicious! It has tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Yummmm! Oh, and a piece of pumpernickle swirl bread on the side.

It was hard to make this soup look visually appealing!

Then, I had a craving for baking! I decided to make Chocolate Peppermint Cookies in the spirit of Christmas! I had my Christmas music in the background and started baking.

I adapted the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. My favorite food network star.

What you'll need:
1 tube refrigerated cookie dough (makes things very easy!)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1/4 cup heavy cream
crushed peppermint candies

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake cookies according to package.
3. Combine 1 cup of chocolate chips and the cream in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Once the chocolate mixture is set. Spread it on top of each cookie. Then top with crushed peppermint candies.
5. Enjoy!

The cookies turned out lighter than I thought they would be, which I was very pleased about. The peppermint candies add just enough mint flavor, without it being overpowering. You gotta try them!

Joe came over in the afternoon. We were having trouble decided on what to do since it was rainy and cold outside. We decided to do a little shopping. We went to Frugal Backpacker, Diamond Brand, World Market, and Earthfare. I didn't buy anything but I found a lot of things I loved in World Market. I adore that store. I plan on going back within the next few days and picking up a few things.

For dinner, we met my mom and Joe's mom at Marco's Pizza. Joe and I split a caesar salad and pineapple and ham pizza. Deee-licious.

Time for more relaxing! ;)