Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!  My guess is most readers ate either pumpkin or pecan pie Thursday (or maybe a slice of each).  We combined the best of both Thanksgiving favorites with the classic creamy pumpkin pie topped with the crunch of toasted sugary pecans.  Something to keep in your back pocket for Christmas or next year's Thanksgiving celebration.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie (adapted from Southern Food)
makes 2 pies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 stick chilled butter cut into cubes
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons of ice water

Pumpkin Filling
2 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree
2 cans evaporated milk
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg (less if you're using fresh)
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Pecan Topping
1 1/3 cups corn syrup
1 cup sugar
4 beaten eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425*F
With clean hands mix or food processor mix together flour and butter.
Once well combined into pea-sized crumbles, add water.
Divide into two balls and roll out on a well floured surface.
Using rolling pin, transfer to two 9-inch pie plates and crimp edge, making the edge slightly taller than the pan.
Mix together ingredients for pie filling.
Pour into pie crusts, being careful not to overfill.  (We had enough extra to make 3 small custards in Pyrex dishes which take about 20 min to bake).
Stir together pecan topping ingredients, folding in pecans last.
Gently spoon half of the pecan topping over each pumpkin pie.
Cover pies with tinfoil and bake for 50-60 minutes until center just jiggles slightly when pie is shaken.
Serve with homemade whipped cream.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cranberry Zucchini Bread

In an attempt to clean out the refrigerator before heading home for Thanksgiving, I hid as much of the produce we had in baked goods.  The result?  A modified version of an old favorite (plus shredded carrots, minus pecans), this fall zucchini bread, and a much smaller pile of veggies to take home to Mom and Dad.
Cranberry Zucchini Bread (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 2 loaves or 24 muffins

3 eggs
1 vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350*F.
Grease 2 9x5 inch loaf pans and set aside.
With a mixer beat together eggs through vanilla.
Add in spices and leavening.
Just barely incorporate flour then zucchini.
Fold in cranberries.
Divide batter evenly between two pans.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until top is golden and tester comes out clean.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Cupcakes Galore.

Fall has finally arrived in Cincinnati. Don't get me wrong, I love warm weather. But, after a week in to October, I was ready for autumn. Especially since I have been drinking pumpkin spice lattes for a month... 

I made cupcakes two nights in a row, the first because EW went to an apple orchard and brought home a big bag of apples. The second, because two of my friends were celebrating birthdays. It was a busy couple of days, so unfortunately I only have iPhone pics to share. 

The base for these cupcakes are the same, just add apples for one and not for the other. I love a versatile recipe! 

Apple Spice Cupcakes and Caramel Spice Latte Cupcakes

P.s. Feel free to mix and match the recipes!

Cake batter:
White cake mix + eggs + oil + water
2+ tsp cinnamon
1/4 of a nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1 large macintosh apple (optional)

Mix together ingredients. Fill cupcake liners, and bake as instructed on box. 
If making the cupcakes with caramel, let cupcakes cool and then cut out a cone from the top of the cupcake, like this.

Like the last time, I just followed this recipe. (I make the caramel and the cupcakes the night before, then fill and frost in the morning). Use to fill the cupcake and to drizzle over the frosting

Brown Sugar n' Spice Buttercream Frosting: 
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c brown sugar
~4 c powdered sugar
~2 Tbs milk
freshly grated nutmeg

Cream together the shortening, butter, and brown sugar. Slowly add in powdered sugar and milk until reaching a nice consistency. I totally didn't measure the cinnamon and nutmeg, so just add some until it tastes good :)

Coffee Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 c vegetable shortening

1/2 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c brown sugar
~4 c powdered sugar
~2 Tbs milk
1 packet instant coffee

Cream together the shortening, butter, and coffee crystals. Slowly add in powdered sugar and milk until reaching a nice consistency.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall is Here and so is Everything Autumn Bundt Cake!

Fall is likely my favorite season.  I say likely because like a good Michigander I can appreciate building a snowman in the middle of a blizzard followed by snuggling under a quilt next to a blazing fire with a good book and large mug of tea.  I also marvel at the first daffodils and hyacinths of Spring.  And a sunset over the lake after a stroll on the St. Joseph bluff with an ice cream cone is pretty convincing argument for Summer being the loveliest of seasons.  But autumn... the changing of the colors, going out of your way to crunch a few leaves under your feet, trips to the apple orchard, warm sunshine during the day which cools to jeans and sweatshirt temperatures at night.  I love this season.

This cake melds every flavor of fall: pumpkin, carrots, cranberry, candied ginger, and of course chocolate chips topped with cream cheese and fresh nutmeg frosting.  Thanks to Joy the Baker for so conveniently placing a pumpkin Bundt cake recipe next to a carrot Bundt cake in her cookbook which inspired this delightfully moist cake.  The measurements of the additional mix-ins are all estimates, add more or less depending on what you like more.  Pecans or walnuts would also be a welcome addition.

Everything Autumn Bunt Cake (inspired by JTB)
serves 10-12

Cake Batter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup grated carrots
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup lightly chopped fresh cranberries
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
splash of vanilla
splash of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla together.
Add eggs one at a time.
Mix in pumpkin and carrots.
The dry ingredients through nutmeg can be added next.
Mix in the flour just until well blended.
Fold in the extra mix-ins.
Pour into a Bundt pan prepared with Crisco and flour.
Bake for 45-55 minutes.
Let cool in pan for half an hour.
Carefully turn out onto serving plate and let cool completely.
Frost with cream cheese frosting and grate fresh nutmeg on top. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Salted Caramel Mocha Cupcakes

So I have these friends at school. They love chocolate and peanut butter. I don't mean that they just kind of like the combination, I mean they are pretty obsessed. I asked them for ideas for cupcakes (I feel like I haven't been baking much lately), and the flavor combo they kept coming back to was chocolate and peanut butter, so I told them I would make them some buckeye cupcakes.

Well, as you can tell by the title, these are not buckeye cupcakes. Much to my surprise, we were almost out of peanut butter. And let me tell you, I was already in my PJs so I was not about to drive to buy some. I love my friends, but not that much :)

So what is a girl to do when she has promised to make delicious cupcakes that she apparently can't deliver on? Make even more delicious cupcakes. Or at least try.

I came up with these guys. After some whining to EW about how we didn't have any heavy whipping cream so I couldn't make caramel, I googled making caramel with whole milk and fortunately found a very instructional step-by-step recipe.

Salted Caramel Filling and Drizzle: From Bright Eyed Baker

This recipe is wonderful and I recommend just clicking the link and following her precise instructions. Don't forget to add the salt!

Mocha Cupcakes:

1 box of super chocolatey cake mix
1 packet of instant coffee

Make the cupcakes by following the instructions on the back of the box with the addition of the instant coffee. (I know this seems like cheating, but when I am making a pretty involved cupcake (i.e. making my own caramel sauce) I am okay with this shortcut. And, most people can't tell the difference.

After the cupcakes have cooled, use a paring knife to cut a small up-side-down cone out of the top of the cupcake. Make it just large enough to pour in ~1/2 Tbs of caramel. Pour in some caramel. I warmed my caramel up so it could pour more easily, but then the cupcake started to absorb it. I went back and poured some extra into the cupcakes. I also sprinkled a very small amount of sea salt on top of the caramel.

Be sure to save some of the caramel to drizzle on top of the frosted cupcakes.

Coffee Frosting: Adapted from Wilton (My go-to buttercream base)

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 packet of instant coffee
4 cups powdered sugar
2ish tablespoons of milk (or coffee, or coffee liquor, or other tasty liquid)

Beat together the butter and shortening. Add in the vanilla and half of the powdered sugar. Add the instant coffee. Finish by adding the rest of the sugar and add enough milk/liquid to make the frosting a good consistency.

I frosted the cupcakes using a 1M tip (pretty much the only one I ever use...). Finish them off by drizzling the extra caramel over the top.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kristi's Banana Birthday Cake

There was a very special date on the calendar last week.  Kristi's birthday!  It was a big one... she's finally able to rent a car without paying extra fees.  As usual we chose a cake from our "I need to make this but don't have an occasion special enough to justify it" list.  And once again we were disappointed in ourselves for having waited so long to bake our selection.  This is three layers richly dense banana cake separated by a light chocolate whipped cream, topped with decadent dark chocolate ganache and toasted coconut.

Enough about cake, we talk about that all the time here.  Let's celebrate the birthday girl with 25 things I love about her.
1. Her skills in the kitchen (I had to!)
2. Kristi-rules for board games.
3. We can have an entire conversation without saying a single word.  This used to get us in trouble at the dinner table all the time.
4. She's my twin born two and a half years late.
5. Style. My wardrobe is much improved when I can raid her closet.
6. Passion about science and her research.
7. Eggs and bacon for breakfast. Every. Morning.
8. She puts up with my version of the day of her birth.
9. She bought a chest freezer so we could buy half a cow's worth of local beef.
10. Photography skillz.
11. Landscaping skillz. (read: she mows the lawn)
12. Lack of hairstyling skillz.
13. She measured our heights on the kitchen wall every day until her line surpassed mine.
14. Dinner is waiting for me in the fridge when I get home late from work.
15. We have a MRSA stuffed creature hanging from a lamp in our living room.
16. Every wall in our house would be painted purple if she had her way.
17. Descriptions of foods she doesn't like are quite vivid.
18. She has just about as many pairs of socks as me.
19. She wants to do the photo quizzes from my medical journals together.
20. Princess Bride. JAG. NCIS.
21. She's the biggest copy cat I know.
22. Her cat calls me auntie.
23. She's converted me into a coffee drinker.
24. That some people think we look the same.
25. She'll always be my favorite little sister. And never a day older than a high school freshman.

Chocolate Banana Cake (adapted from A Spicy Perspective)
Serves 10-12

Banana Cake
3 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon homemade vanilla2 large ripe bananas, smashed
3 cups cake flour (replace 6 tablespoons of flour with cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (add a splash of white vinegar to whole milk and let it sit for a bit)

Chocolate Ganache
10 oz. dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon corn syrup

Chocolate Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons homemade vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add egg whites, vanilla, and bananas.
Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a separate bowl.
Sift flour mixture together several times.
Add 1/3 of flour to wet ingredients.
Mix in half of the butter milk.
Alternate wet and dry ingredients, ending with dry. Scrape bowl as necessary.
Divide evenly into 3 greased and floured 9-inch rounds.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden.
Cool on wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.

Finely chop dark chocolate.
Microwave heavy cream in microwave until it just starts to bubble.
Remove and stir in chocolate until it completely melts.
Stir in corn syrup.
Let cool until just barely pourable.

Beat all frosting ingredients together until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cake, remove layers from freezer and unwrap.
Place first layer on cake plate and top with one quarter of the whipped cream. repeat with layer two.
Gently place third layer on top of the other two and top with remaining whipped cream.
Press toasted coconut along the bottom half of the cake.
Pour ganache over the top so it flows onto plate.

Eat a piece for dinner and another for dessert (which may or may not have been what I did!)

                                                                                         A sneaky kitty ^^

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fig-Almond Cast Ion Skillet Cake

Todays blog post will begin with a fun little factoid I learned from our local zoo's website about figs and my current university's mascot:
"A bearcat eats a fig, travels a ways, then passes the seeds out the other end, helping fig trees grow in new places."
So, if you enjoy this blog post and/or this cake, thank your friendly neighborhood bearcat for his contribution. :)

I had never had a fresh fig before making this cake, but they have started popping up in recipes across the blogosphere/pinterest. I was at our local Meijer, saw these beauties on sale, and decided to give them a try. 
Fresh figs are surprisingly mild, juicy, and sweet, but they still have that distinctive fig flavor that everyone can recognize from their childhood Fig Newtons! 

Fig-Almond Cast Iron Skillet Cake (Adapted from JoytheBaker)
Serves 8-10
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon homemade(!) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup finely chopped, dried figs
10-12 fresh figs (depending on the size), sliced in half
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375.
Gently whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg) and set aside.
In mixer, beat eggs, buttermilk, and butter.
Add sugar to blender and beat until fluffy.
Blend in vanilla and almond extract.
While mixing, pour in dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.
Fold in dried figs.
Prepare your cast iron skillet with butter and flour.  Pour batter into skillet.
Arrange sliced figs and almonds on top of the cake.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until just golden brown.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

The sweltering humidity here in Cincinnati is no indication, but we are quickly nearing the end of summer.  I certainly couldn't let the season come to a close without trying out a frosting which claimed to taste exactly like mint chocolate chip ice cream.  With a few minor adjustments, I'd say it comes pretty close.  Chocolate ganache is completely unnecessary, but delightful addition to this refreshing, yet rich cake.  And 9.95/10 of my resident physician colleagues would agree.  It isn't every day you get that sort of consensus from doctors.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake (adapted from Shugary Sweets)
serves 8-16

Cake Batter
Your favorite chocolate cake recipe (or box mix).
Substitute hot, freshly brewed coffee for the water.
Bake in two 9-inch rounds per recipe.

Mint Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
8-10 drops of green food coloring (because everyone knows green mint chocolate chip ice cream is best!)
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
Combine with powdered sugar, adding 2 cups at a time.
Stir in peppermint and food coloring.
Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Frost cooled cake.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
splash of peppermint extract

In a double boiler, heat half and half to near boiling.
Remove half and half from heat and stir in chocolate chips until completely melted.
Add peppermint extract.
Allow to cool before pouring over frosted cake.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fresh-picked Blueberry and Peach Pie

There are many, many things I miss about home.  In summertime, its watching a sunset over Lake Michigan and the endless amount of fresh produce everywhere you turn.  While home a few weeks ago we went blueberry picking.  Mom and Dad and purchased a flat of peaches grown across the street from our house.  Obviously, I needed to bake a pie.  Using the every trustworthy Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I whipped up a blueberry peach pie which was served warm and a la mode shortly after pulling it out of the oven.  I also must admit, it was was probably more delicious eaten for breakfast the following morning.
Blueberry Peach Pie (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
serves 6-8

Pie Filling
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons  flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
4 cups peeled, thinly sliced peaches
2 cups blueberries
Mix together the sugar and spices.
Gently fold in fruit. Set aside until pie crust is ready.

Pie Crust
2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
8-10 tablespoons cold water
Mix together flour and salt.
Cut in shortening until pieces are pea size.
Sprinkle 1 T of the water at a time over flour mixture and toss with a fork.  Repeat until flour mixture is moistened.
Divide in half and form into balls.
On lightly floured surface roll one ball into 12 inch circle.  Use rolling pin to carefully transfer into pie pan.  Trim pastry.  Add filling.
Roll out  top crust. Cut into strips.  Weave strips on top of pie and press down edges.
Bake in 375 degree oven on top of a cookie sheet for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coconut Chai Ice Cream

I'm not even gonna make you wait for the punch line... this is quite possibly the best ice cream I've ever had!  The perfect balance of coconut, vanilla, and spices.  Freshly ground nutmeg is so worth it.  Don't think I'll ever be able to go back to the stuff in a jar.  And even after deep freezing, it has an incredibly creamy consistency thanks to the coconut milk.  Chance are there won't be any left for our parents to enjoy when they visit Memorial Day weekend.  We'll just be forced to make (and eat) another batch.
Coconut Chai Ice Cream
1 cup coconut milk
2 vanilla beans, split in half
3 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup white sugar
ground cinnamon
whole nutmeg, grated
ground cloves

Simmer coconut milk and vanilla beans over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Beat eggs in a bowl.
Remove vanilla beans from coconut milk.  Scrape out seeds and return them to the pan.
While whisking, slowly pour coconut milk into eggs.
Add whipping cream and sugar to coconut and egg mixture.
Heat on the stove.
Stir in spices.
Cool in refrigerator for 4 hours.
Freeze in ice cream maker as directed.
Ours was a little soft and required some time in the freezer before we ate it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paleo-ish Pad Thai

So EW and I decided that we needed to get back to eating lots o' veggies and this was the recipe we decided to try. It has the wonderful flavor of peanut-y Thai sauce, but without all of the useless carbs of rice noodles. :)

3/4 of a small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
Bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 eggs, scrambled
Pre-cooked shrimp
Bean sprouts
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Saute the cabbage and bell pepper in a wok with your favorite oil (coconut or olive would work well). 

Sauce: (Adapted from theclothesmakethegirl)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (I used half almond butter, half peanut butter)
1 tsp ground fresh chili paste
1/4 cup coconut milk

Put all the sauce ingredients into a blender or small food processor, and blend until smooth.
Pour over the cabbage and bell pepper, add shrimp, and heat through.

Serve with bean sprouts, and scallions and a wedge of lime to squeeze on top.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Spring has sprung here in Cincinnati.  Wow.  Pretty sure I could get used to 80+ degree days in APRIL!  Unbelievable that traveling 5 hours south makes such a difference in weather.  We've had the house windows open and I've commuted to and from work with the sunroof open (the true test of Spring's arrival).

This evening I'm having dinner with a resident colleague and his wife.  Read: an excuse to bake.  My new go-to for baking inspiration is browsing boards in Pintrest.  This cake caught my eye and was re-pinned months ago just waiting for the perfect time.  And it has arrived.  Nothing says spring like strawberries.  Thanks again, Pintrest!

The cake (batter) was a bit too sweet for my tastes, so I've made a tart glaze with lime juice and plain yogurt.  You'll find that I've also reduced the sugar in the recipe below by 1/2 cup from the original.  We'll see how the final product tastes in about two hours.
Strawberry Yogurt Cake (adapted from A Spicy Perspective)
Serves 10-12

2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces plain yogurt
16 ounces strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 325.
Grease liberally and flour Bunt pan.
Coat the diced strawberries in 1/4 cup of flour
Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat in eggs, one at a time followed by lime juice and zest.
Add soda and salt.
Alternate adding the remaining flour and yogurt.
Gently fold in strawberries.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Let mostly cool on a wire rack.
When still barely warm turn onto plate (hopefully in one piece)!

Zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon lime juice
Few tablespoons plain yogurt
Tablespoon or so cream cheese
Some powdered sugar
Some milk

Mix together and add more/ less liquid to make the perfect consistency.
Drizzle over cooled cake.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Red Lentil Soup

K and I grew up in an ethnicly non-diverse area (which may even be an understatement).  The best thing about moving to Detroit for medical school was the vast number of ethic food choices, particularly Middle Eastern!  There was a great little Lebanese cafe down the street from my downtown apartment which I visited frequently, especially when Mom and Dad were visiting.  In addition to the best chicken schwarma and flafel burger I've had, they also had excellent red lentil soup.  Cincinnati has plenty of great Indian restaurants (for which I am super thankful), but I miss my pita and hummus!  To make this soup, we combined a few recipes this weekend to use up the ingredients we had around the house.

Red Lentil Soup
makes 4-6 servings

3 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound red lentils
olive oil (or bacon grease)
onion, diced
carrots and celery, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
juice of 1 large lime

Bring the chicken stock and lentils to boil in a medium sauce pan.
Once boiling, simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
While the lentils are simmering, saute the onion, carrots, and celery.
When soft, add the garlic and spices.  Cook for a few more minutes.
Stir the vegetables into the lentils along with the lime juice.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until mostly creamy.
Serve with more lime juice and fresh cilantro (if your sister will let you)!
Trust me, it tastes waaaay better than it looks!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower doesn't have to be mushy and drenched in melted Velveeta.  It can be slightly crispy, salty, garlicy, and oh so good!  Seriously, I could eat a whole head of cauliflower prepared like this.
Roasted Cauliflower
Preheat oven to 400*
Chop head of cauliflower cut into individual florets and spread on cookie sheet.
Drizzle generous amounts of olive oil on cauliflower.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic.
Toss so cauliflower is evenly coated.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until golden brown and soft.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

White Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Well hello there blog.  Its been quite some time.  The last two months have been the hardest of residency so far... back to back on the in patient service.  80+ hour work weeks with either Saturday or Sunday "off."  Those quotes are because of the 11 hours I was usually awake (after a sleeping for a glorious 13) I spent several doing work related tasks.

Not this weekend.

Mom and Dad were in town to celebrate my birthday.  Saturday was the first day off in almost two months where I did NOTHING work related.  That alone would be enough to make it a fabulous weekend.  Not to mention spending much over-due time in the kitchen.  Who knew kneading was so therapeutic?

So here's to hoping there won't be another two months standing between me and the next post.
White Cheddar Chive Biscuits (inspired by the one and only JTB)
Makes 16 biscuits

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons cold water
1/4 cup sour cream, cold
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar
1 egg beaten for egg wash
Freshly grated parm
Smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together.
With your fingers, add in the butter and mix until a coarse meal forms.
In a separate bowl combine egg, water, sour cream, and yogurt.
Pour the wet into the dry and combine just until moistened.
Mix in chives and cheese.
Turn out onto floured work surface.  Kneed just until well mixed, about 15 times.
Roll into inch thick slab and cut out biscuits.
Place evenly on greased baking sheet.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika.
Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown.
We only baked half.  The other half are on the freezer to enjoy at a later date!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chocolate-Cookie-Dough-Bacon Cupcakes

Yes, you did read that correctly. These cupcakes involve a rich, chocolatey cake, cookie-dough flavored frosting, and BACON on top. How could anyone not like these? :) 

Shout out to my friend R for ordering these from us for a friend's birthday. They are a blast to make.

Also, tip for the ladies, try making these for Valentine's Day! :)
Chocolate Cake:
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil
1 small pkg. chocolate instant pudding
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
Spray liners with non-stick spray.
 In a large bowl, gently whisk eggs, oil, milk, sour cream and vanilla extract together
Add cake mix and pudding mix, stir until combined.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cookie Dough Frosting: (from Annie's Eats)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. 
Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
 Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Cut bacon into fourths (or thirds if you want bigger pieces).
Place bacon on baking rack on top of a cookie sheet that has sides (to collect the bacon grease).
Place cookie sheet in a COLD oven and turn on to 400 degrees.
Bake for about 20 minutes (I start checking after 10 minutes and keep checking every 5. Cooking time depends on how fast your oven heats and how thick your bacon is).