Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin-Carrot Bread with Pecan-Almond Streusel

Carrot-Pumpkin Cake with Cider and Olive Oil (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon  table or fine sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground or a bunch of gratings of whole nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
3 Tbs maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 cup  apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots from about 12 ounces (3 meaty/large or 6 to 7 slim or 340 grams) whole, peeled ones

Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

For the Streusel: (inspired by Williams Sonoma

·       1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup chopped pecans + 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted 
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, applesauce, pumpkin, eggs, cider and vanilla. Stir grated carrots into wet ingredients until evenly coated, then stir wet ingredients into dry just until no floury bits remain.
Pour into prepared pan.

Mix together ingredients for streusel and cover the top of the batter.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out batter-free. Let cool in loaf pan for 20 minutes, then cool the rest of the way on a rack. Loaf should keep at room temperature for a few days, and longer in the fridge. It’s even more moist on the second day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ginger-Peach Scones with Ginger-Peach Browned Butter Spread

I now live less than 5 minutes away from a local gem called Jungle Jim's. This place is a foodie's paradise, with literally acres of foods from around the world. Things have been busy lately and I haven't done much baking (hence the lack of blog posts). I have been wanting to do some summer baking and was needing inspiration. Walking around Jungle Jim's I came across a jar of ginger jam. It was just the inspiration I needed.

I toyed around with the idea of making ginger-peach-tea cupcakes, but settled on making scones for an early morning lab meeting. The base for the scones is just the "basic scone" recipe from King Arthur flour with my add-ins.

Ginger-Peach Scones (adapted from King Arthur Flour)

  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1.5 peaches, pealed, cut into small cubes (1cm-ish)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 inch of grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup  half and half or milk
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using your hands, smush in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. Add in the pieces of peach.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, ginger, and half and half or milk.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together. My dough was still pretty sticky at this point, probably due to the juicy peaches and extra large eggs I used... so I just added some more flour.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.
Divide the dough in half. Round each half into circle. The circles should be about 3/4" thick. Cut each circle into 8 pieces (or 6 if you want big scones, or 7 if you are into that sort of thing). Transfer to the lined baking sheet.
 For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F. (I didn't believe them, and we didn't have room in the freezer, but I put them in the fridge for about 15 minutes, and these King Arthur folks know what they are talking about. Nice and fluffy scones!)
Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown.

Ginger-Peach Browned Butter Spread
1.5 peaches
1/4 cup ginger jam
1/4inch fresh grated ginger
1/2c powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons browned butter
Blend the peaches, ginger jam, fresh ginger, and powdered sugar in a blender or food processor. Brown the butter on the stove (we have a post somewhere that tells you how, or google it...). Pour the browned butter into the ginger-peach mixture and stir vigorouslyRefrigerate so the mixture thickens up a bit. Then, slather your scone with buckets of this stuff. Or just eat a spoonful by yourself. No judgement here. Enjoy with a pipping hot mug of coffee or tea. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Cooking Series. Part I: Garden Bounty

So its been quite a long time since either of us have posted a recipe. Lives happened. School happened. Residency happened... etc. 

This post is hopefully going to be the start of a more regular posting again to the blog. It was a dinner EWeage and I whipped up together using tons of ingredients from the garden. Garden grown lettuce, green beans, and basil! 

Pesto Chicken
tons of basil (of course I didn't measure anything...)
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 handful of pecans (or pine nuts, or other nut you like)
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
olive oil to blend
salt and pepper to taste
chicken breasts or tenders

Put all ingredients except chicken into a blender or food processor. Blend until mostly smooth.
We sautéed the chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) for a few minutes on the stove in some olive oil until partially cooked, then added the pesto on top for the last few minutes of cooking.

Garlic-Dill Green Beans
green beans
1 clove of garlic, minced
dill (fresh, dried, or the paste in a tube)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Saute the green beans and garlic in the olive oil. Add the dill, salt and pepper at the end to finish.

Garden-fresh Salad
red and yellow bell pepper

Red Wine Vinegar-Mustard Dressing
red wine vinegar
brown mustard
olive oil
garlic salt
(other random spices you find in your fridge)

Chop up the veggies and toss with the dressing and feta. Easy-peasy. Feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand like sprouts or even throw in some strawberries or blueberries for a sweet surprise!