Sunday, December 28, 2008

peanut butter fudge

i made this after i found it on food gawker. i used one cup of peanut butter instead of 3/4 c. like the recipe called for and it was pretty much the easiest recipe ever. and very creamy and delicious. even my boss who doesn't really like fudge liked it. it was a great treat to give to co-workers for christmas. i made that and these again to give away. so if anyone needs a quick recipe to make for a new years party, this could be a good way to go.

busy, busy, busy


so, i have plenty of things to post, but just have not had the time and i don't have my cord with my on my holiday vacation to upload the photos. and there are plenty of things i've made that i never got a chance to photograph. so i do have to post my banana bread poundcake, where i added a touch of lemon. i made peanut butter fudge i found on another blog and i photographed a ton of stuff my mom has made while i've been home for christmas. trying to not gain weight here is proving to be impossible. but i had to post that i got something for christmas i've been wanting for forever. my sister was very genorous and got me a dutch oven. i actually went to check out the sale they were having on them the day after christmas. and it was only $3.25 more to upgrade to the 7qt. version on a closeout sale. i can't wait to make some soups and no-knead bread that julia posted about earlier. i'll keep you posted on my progress.

oh and ps- a late happy holiday, merry christmas and happy new year to you!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

cheese muffins

i found these via liz's blog which she found here. i love them! they were so good and addicting. and pretty hearty. just a warning, make sure other people are around to eat them cause you'll have trouble not eating them all yourself. cheese + bread = good. oh and ps, i used cheddar cheese instead of the colby jack the recipe calls for.

Monday, December 8, 2008

pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

i made these again. but these are better pictures. it was my dear friend rachel's birthday and i made some of these to send to her for a birthday treat. i really, really love these cookies. worth two posts in my opinion.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

favorite pumpkin pie


there is no pumpkin pie that i love more than this recipe from my mom. it's super easy and has the spices just right.

1 1/4 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1 t. flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. evaporated milk
2 T. water
1/2 t. vanilla
1 uncooked pie shell

combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and flour in a mixing bowl. add eggs; mix well. add evaporated milk, water and vanilla. mix well. pour into shell and bake in 400° oven for 45-50 minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

cinnamon chocolate mousse pie

ok, so we had our annual "friendsgiving" this weekend and i made two pies for it. the traditional pumpkin and a family favorite, cinnamon chocolate mousse pie. we have a tradition in my family that my mom makes special meals for our birthdays. a special breakfast (saved for the weekend), a special dinner and a special dessert. all of our choosing. well, this pie was always my birthday choice all through high school. i loved it. in fact, i loved it so much that my freshman year of college, i wanted to make it and i had never made much more than cookies at that point. so i called my own personal baking guru—my mother—to give me the play by play. i haven't made it in a long time for some reason but i think i need to make it more often, this sucker was a crowd pleaser at friendsgiving. it got demolished within minutes and loads of praise, which always makes a baker happy. this pie has a regular crust, lined with a cooked meringue, with a thin layer of chocolate, then a cinnamon mousse topped with a chocolate cinnamon mousse.

you need a 9" baked pie shell, and i thought i'd share a few tips about what i think helps make a good pie shell. you all might already know this, but if you don't these are things that helped me try to master the crust.


1) DO NOT OVERMIX. it will be flakier and lighter the less you handle the dough.
2) the thinner you make the crust, the better.
3) i think shortening makes a better crust than butter
4) there needs to be some salt in the recipe
5) fold over the ends then scallop the edges with your fingers for a nice presentation


6) if you need a pre-cooked shell, a lot of people use pie weights or beans. i just prick the crust all over with a fork then bake it for about 10 minutes. this helps the steam escape without creating bubbles in the crust while it bakes.


on to the rest of the recipe:

2 eggs, seperated
1/2 t. vinegar (i only had rice vinegar and that worked just fine.)
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. water
4 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon

beat together egg whites, vinegar and salt until almost stiff but not dry. gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. spread meringue over bottom and up sides of pie shell. (if you have a deep dish pan, that would work better for this pie). bake in 325° oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.

melt chocolate chips over hot, not boiling water. beat together room tempurature egg yolks lightly. thoroughly blend yolks into melted chocolate. add water. spread 3 T. of this chocolate mixture over the cooked and slightly chilled meringue. chill remainder of chocolate until it begins to thicken. beat together cream, sugar and cinnamon until very thick.
spread 1/2 of whipped cream mixture over chocolate mixture in pie shell. fold chilled chocolate mixture into remaining whipped cream. (it helps to make a divot in each layer so the the layers don't get too high.) pile this on top of pie. chill at least 4 hours.

Friday, November 14, 2008

can't live without: my bosch

i truly adore my bosch. my good friend abe helped me get a good deal on this beloved machine last year and it's been so dreamy to make bread ever since. when i first started making bread, i used my kitchen aid. which is fine, but the motor just can't deal like the bosch. it's such a smooth process now. i can knead the bread in there for 10 minutes without that gear smell that happened before with the smaller motor in the kitchen aid. and it has a 16 CUP CAPACITY. yes, 16 cups. so i can make huge batches of other tasty delights (i also sort of hate the word tasty thanks to one of julia's ex boyfriends, but whatever). some people think it's crazy to have both a kitchen aid and a bosch. but those people don't have both and cannot concieve how wonderful life can be with this kind of kitchen excess.

all my love,
caroline

Sunday, November 9, 2008

caramel cake

i wanted to make a caramel cake after i saw it after one of my food blogs i follow. i found this recipe in a book one of my sisters gave me for christmas last year. i love the idea of making anything summer and anything with caramel, so it seemed like the perfect choice! my parents were in town and i made it for a family dinner at my sister's and my dad isn't a big fan of cake. we are definitely a pie family but especially him. so when i was like "i know it's cake, but what do you think?" he said, "it's good for cake!" i think that's probably the highest compliment a cake could receive from my father.

the frosting was really tricky and maybe i didn't do it right or something but i had to mess with it. and since it's more of a brown sugar frosting than a caramel sauce it retains some graininess from the brown sugar. the cake part is very moist (ew - that word is so gross but what else do you use when you are talking about baked goods??) because it's not very healthy. this is supposed to be an old southern recipe so what do you really expect? but oh my is it good.

caramel cake:

cake:
2 1/1 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 T. baking powder
1/8 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. butter extract, optional
1 1/3 c. warm buttermilk

brown sugar frosting:
1 c. unsalted butter
2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 t. corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 t. vanilla extract

preheat oven to 350°. Generously spray two 9" round cakepans with cooking spray and place pans on a large, parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (i just used a 9x13 since i was traveling with a warm cake out of the oven to my sisters. that, and it's just easier.)

in a mixer bowl, place flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and blend ingredients. add butter and blend to break up butter into dry ingredients to get a grainy mixture. blend in eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, butter extract, and buttermilk to make a batter, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally to ensure batter is evenly blended.

spoon batter into prepared pan(s). bake until cake springs back when gently pressed with fingertips, 30-35 minutes. (i had to bake longer cause of my pan choice.) cool in pan(s) 15 minutesbefore unmolding onto a wired rack to cool.

for brown sugar frosting, place butter, brown sugar, baking soda, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a 3-quart saucepan. cook over low heat until mixture thickens and reaches a soft ball stage (234°). if you don't have a thermometer, cook mixture 20 to 30 minutes until a bit of mixture seems to hold together like soft taffy when dropped on a clold plate. you can increase heat to make it cook faster, but slow and steady makes for better results.

remove frosting from heat and let it cool and thicken. you cand whip half the frosting with a mixer on medium speed 2 minutes and then on high 1 minute to lighten. use this to frost cake together; it will spread like frosting. pour remaining slightly warm frosting over top layer of cake and let it drip down. this cake freezes well. **(so, after i made the frosting, i had to transport it immediately into tupperware and take it with me. when i got to the house, it was sorta hard and weird looking. after dinner i had my mom help me and we decided to whip it and add a bit of milk, then warms it up again. then it cooled off a touch and we inverted the cake and poured it all over the top. it stood up pretty well and everyone seemed to like it. so i wonder what was supposed to happen vs. what did. if anyone tries this with different results, please let me know what you did!

Friday, November 7, 2008

cream cheese tarts: revisited


i posted pictures of these before but forgot to share the recipe. i made adjustments to the crust and topping (gingersnap cookies) for a more fall feel, but the basic recipe is the same.

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
2 t. vanilla
cookie wafers (nillas, oreos, this time i used a gingersnap - gluten free for a co-worker)
(could garnish with cherries or fruit if made with a nilla wafer or something like that)

beat all but wafers and chosen garnish until well-blended. line cupcake pans with foil-lined cupcake papers. place a wafer in bottom of each. fill with cream cheese mixture 2/3 full. bake in 350° oven for 20 minutes; cool. garnish with crushed leftover cookies or fruit filling. makes 30 cakes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

buttermilk biscuits

i made these for a soup party my friend rachel threw when i was in LA last weekend. i think i have a little bit of southern soul in me, even though i grew up in california. i just always want to make these and other southern recipes. in fact, i'm going to make some caramel cake tonight that i will post in the near future. but back to the biscuits, they are my favorite recipe and have a tiny bit of sweetness that sets them apart.

2 1/4 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
2/3 c. buttermilk
1 egg

add first 6 ingredients in mixing bowl. cut in shortning to make coarse crmbs. add buttermilk, then the egg. mix with fork until dough follows fork around the bowl. knead on floured surface 5 or 6 times. (DO NOT OVERMIX). roll or pat into 1/2 inch thickness. cut with 2 inch cutter. place on ungreased baking sheet. bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes or until brown. makes 12-14 biscuits.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

can't live without: my silpat baking mats

see that little mat under my snickerdoodle cookie ball? i never, ever make cookies without these anymore. i LOVE my silpat mats. not only are they the best thing to line your cookie sheets with to bake cookies, you can put caramel corn or anything sticky without having to grease and cleanup is a cinch. i even have a roul-pat for rolling out biscuits, pie shells, bread and dough of any kind.

here is the maintenance instructions found online:

Maintenance and Care
Wipe the Silpat® with a damp sponge after each use to remove crumbs or particles. If washing is required, lay the Silpat® in the sink and run warm water over surface. Use a Demarle approved detergent or a mild soap with a soft sponge to clean the surface. Do not use any scrapers or hard brushes to clean the Silpat®. Shake off excess water and hang or lay flat on surface to dry.

**i never use any special detergent, just mild soap**

Storing
Store the Silpat® flat on a tray, hang them with a clothing pin, or roll them up (do not fold or place heavy objects on top of rolled Silpat®).

Precautions
- Never cut or use sharp objects on the surface.
- Do not fold or store in a folded position.
- Do not grease.

pretty easy right? seriously, one of the best things that has ever happened to me in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

coconut butter cookies

these little dudes are a huge sensation wherever they go. and they keep fairly well. it's one of my new favorite cookie staples. what's not to love? coconut and butter is one of the best combinations known to mankind. pretty easy to make but you have to have a food processor. i only have a little one, so i had to be tricky about how to make the dough and put it back and forth into the processor. here is the recipe:

1 pkg. (14 oz.) sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour (i used 1/2 cup of wheat and the rest white)

preheat oven to 350°. set aside 2 loosely packed cups of coconut on a plate. Place remaining coconut in food processor along with sugar, salt, and baking powder; process until finely ground. add butter, and process just until no lumps remain. add egg and vanilla; process just until smooth. add flour; pulse until a crumbly dough begins to form, scraping sides of bowl as needed (do not over-mix).

roll into balls, coating with coconut. (that didn't work well for me so i threw most of the coconut back in the bowl and mixed it around with my hands till it was pretty evenly dispersed.)

bake until lightly golden, 20-25 minutes. (i checked them at 15 - and i think that was plenty of time) cool on baking sheets 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

these are obviously best right after they cool, but i made them the night for my friend jessica's darling little baby girl, malina. it was her 1 year birthday party, which was the next day. to keep them fresh and maintain the texture as much as possible, i wrapped them all together in wax paper, then again in cling wrap. it worked pretty well and i'm a stickler for maintaining texture. if anyone has any tricks they try for that sort of thing, i'd love to hear what you think works best for you.


Friday, October 10, 2008

can't live without: my microplane grater


i got this for christmas (most of my christmas presents these days involve kitchen accoutrements at this point in my life-much to my delight) a while ago and i use it all the time. it's great for hard cheeses (gruyere, i love you), citrus zest and things of that nature. there is also an extra course version, which i use from time to time as well. i love this thing and i recommend it highly. i kept the cover it came with cause it's pretty sharp and with clutzyness like mine, you can never be too careful.

bake shop, re-mixed

ok, so it's been a minute. and i apologize.

like i said, work has been busy, and my health hasn't been great. in the interim, i decided to change things up on the blog. i feel like i'm running out of recipes and i can never make anything twice cause i already blogged about it. so i'm going to start reviewing kitchen gadgets and appliances. letting you know what i think is worthwhile and what i can't live without. also, i want to review other food joints. bakeries, restaruants, etc. in addition, i was thinking about taking requests. i know bracken asked about molten lava type cakes. i tried something i didn't like so i didn't post it, however, now i can post stuff i try and tell you what i think worked and why. and try to tweak stuff a bit more without expecting perfection so people don't copy down sub-par recipes. sort of like a test-kitchen process. are you picking up what i'm putting down? let me know what you think and give me your feedback, if you don't mind.

hearts,
-caroline

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting


i needed to make some cupcakes for my friend's baby shower and she likes white cake and white frosting. so i looked all around to find a recipe that wansn't too airy or too dense. and i wanted to do a cream cheese frosting. so i found this recipe on cupcake bakeshop.

i adjusted it to fit the ingredients i had on hand.

3 Vanilla Cupcakes
20 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3/4 cup (1-1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-2/3 cups vanilla sugar (i just used regular sugar)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2-2/3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (i didn't have this so i just doubled the vanilla extract)

1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
3. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

For the frosting:
Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your
taste.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

peanut butter and jelly bars

i found this recipe on one of the baking blogs, bake or break, that i subscribe to on my trusty google reader. they are originally from martha stewart's cookies. they are easy to make and not too bad if i say so myself.

1 cup butter, softened, plus more for preparing pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pan
1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 & 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups strawberry jam (or other flavor)
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9x 13 baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed of an electric mixer. Mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and peanut butter, and beat about 2 minutes or until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add vanilla and mix.

Transfer two-thirds of dough to pan and spread evenly. Spread jam on top of dough. Crumble remaining dough on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden. Rotate pan half-way through baking. Tent loosely with foil if bars are getting too dark.

Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges to loosen. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 3 dozen bars.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

mama's cafe

i recently had the opportunity to go to my favorite place for work (san francicso - what i'll always think of as my home) and we were able to find the time to eat at my favorite breakfast place, mama's cafe. here are a few pictures.

there is always a line outside, wrapping around the corner. it usually moves pretty fast, and since it's in north beach, there are always fun things to look at to make the time go by quickly. old asians doing thai chi on the grassy square across the street, the gorgeous st. peter and paul church and just the general area off columbus street. once you get up to the door, they ask you how many in your party and you get asked inside. finally! you watch these guys preparing the amazing food you are about to eat and look over the incredible options and then order. it's cash only so be prepared for that. then you are directed to a quaint table and salivate while you patiently wait for your food.

this is the pan dore. i typically order this because it's so unique and so good. so good, in fact, when i had my mom try it, she figured out how to replicate it and i always ask for that when i go home, too.

i added their home-made huckleberry jam that i always want to buy when i go there. they don't typically sell it but they said next time, if i bring a jar, they might possibly sell me some. i would imagine it costs a small fortune, but would be worth every penny.

so that is my tour of one of my very favorite places to eat, ever. you should make a point to go there, if it's ever possible.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

grandma ruth's cinnamon rolls


i've made my fair share of cinnamon roll recipes, but i've never made these ones because they intimidated me. now that i feel more comfortable with making yeasty breads, i was craving some so i busted these out.

the thing i love about these is they don't get tough and dry the next day like other recipes. i will definitely make these as my cinnamon roll of choice, but maybe make a recipe and a half of the frosting to have more to work with, the second pan of these got the shaft with the amount of frosting they received.

scald: 2 cups milk (i researched this and there is no reason to scald the milk, i would just warm it up so it melts the next ingredients)

add: 2 rounded teaspoons salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
let stand until warm

in separate bowl:
2 beaten eggs
2 T. yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water and 1 t. sugar

now add milk mixture.
add:
6-7 c. flour until it just curls and handles easily.
drop dough on floured surface and knead a few times adding flour if necessary. put in lightly buttered bowl, cover and let double (about 1 hour). punch down and let come up again (give it about 15 minutes). divide into two and roll on floured board one half at a time. melt 2 T. butter and spread on dough then sprinkle with sugar mixture (1 cup brown sugar and 4 t. cinnamon). roll and cut into 16 rolls. repeat with remaining half.
place rolls on lightly greased pan and tuck under ends. let rise and then bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes. frost while hot out of the oven.

frosting:
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1/8 t. salt
2 T. flour

cook until thick, stirring constantly. add:
1/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar (sifted to avoid lumps)

spoon one tablespoon of frosting on each hot roll.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

dear fried plantains,


i love you and i think about you all the time.

with love,
caroline.

image courtesy of laylita's recipes.

lizano salsa


is the jam. it's so good. in costa rica, we put it on everything, especially the super delicious rice and beans we had everywhere. you can buy it here. it's a good thing i bought a supply for myself to use at home. i crave it daily.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

i'm back...

...and until i have time to post any of my food pictures, i'll leave you with some posts from my photographer friends' pictures here and here. you girls are very talented and thanks to all the girls for making the trip possible and so amazing.

best birthday ever!

Friday, May 16, 2008

gone baby gone

basically i'm going to be out of town till about july 2nd for fun and work purposes starting very early tomorrow morning. so, i won't be able to post anything but i plan to take a bajillion photos of my tropical getaway with some girlfriends for my thirtieth birthday. yep. 30. hard to believe. so, when i get back from that then my work trip right on the heels of my vacation, i will try to post a few things. i hope to learn some local recipes or something.

have a great rest of the month!

xoxo,
caroline

strawberry banana muffins with toasted coconut

i saw this recipe on the joy of baking and wanted to make it but add toasted coconut and use fresh strawberries.

Strawberry-Banana Muffins Recipe

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup (160 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup (240 ml) fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries (cut into pieces) (i used fresh strawberries)
2 1/4 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon (4 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) salt
** i added about 2/3 cup toasted coconut.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Line the muffin pan with paper liners or grease with butter or a vegetable spray. Set aside.

In a small saucepan melt the butter. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter to the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine.

In another large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in the berries, making sure they are coated with flour. This helps to prevent the berries from sinking during baking. Do not overmix or the blueberries will end up coloring the batter blue. Add toasted coconut. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix the batter or tough muffins will result.

Fill each muffin cup about two thirds full of batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Fill any unused muffin cups halfway with water to prevent warping of the pan and/or over browning of the muffins. Place in the oven and bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Adapted from Oregon's Cuisine of the Rain by Karen Brooks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

lemonade cupcakes

my oldest sister sent me this recipe the other day and i have to say, it's all she said it would be. moist deluxe and lemony.

Lemonade Cupcakes

white cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
6 oz lemonade concentrate, thawed; reserve 2 T for frosting

Mix together on high for 3 minutes. Fill muffin tins
3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.

Frosting:
1 can cream cheese frosting
2 T reserved lemonade from above

Makes 30 cupcakes

these are messy but so worth it!

ps- happy mother's day mom!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

working from home

equals toasted PB&J on homemade bread with mom's homemade apricot jam.


sorry you couldn't be there...

Monday, April 21, 2008

molten(ish) cupcakes


so i FINALLY made these cupcakes i've been wanting to make. my oldest sister sent me this recipe from a cookbook we gave her for her birthday and after she sent me the recipe she said she's not as much a fan of them as she expected. she didn't really like the cake part. so i figured i'd try them with the birthday bundt cake recipe.

so i mixed that cake recipe with this

Cupcake:
1 pkg Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup water
1/2cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Prepare ganache (recipe follows), cover with plastic
wrap and place in fridge to chill.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly mist 24 cupcake
cups with spray and dust with flour. Mix together
cake ingredients. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into prepared
tins, filling them 3/4 of the way full. (will make 22
to 24 cupcakes). Drop heaping teaspoon full of
ganache onto the top of the batter in each cup. Bake
until cake bakes up around ganache 12-14 minutes. Let
cool one minutes. Run a knife around edges of cups,
lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups
using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the
cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on
dessert plates, sift with powdered sugar and serve.

Ganache:
3/4 cup heaving whipping cream
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Place cream in saucepan over medium heat and bring to
a boil, stirring. Meanwhile, place chocolate chips in
a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Remove the cream
fro the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir with
a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted Stir in
vanilla. Let sit at room temp for 1 hour or chill
20-30 minutes.

i just did the ganache part, then added it to the other cake recipe, put it in cupcake liners and cooked it for 20 minutes at 350° (325° on my crazy oven.)

pictured is one with powdered sugar all over it. unwrapped from the wrapper and upside down.

next time i'll just make hot fudge sunday cake for really molteny (not a word, i know) cake. but these weren't a bad way to eat a cupcake.

Friday, April 11, 2008

cake in a jar


ok, so i saw this post here, and have been wanting to try this for a while now. and i wanted to send my friend cindy some cake she likes for her birthday (the poppyseed cake - the poppyseed + extra glaze) and my friend jessica came over to bake, and we came up with this version of cake in a jar.

these are my notes. i would make them in smaller jars cause it's easier to get out. and these might be better for an "in-person" gift because i ended up having to cut off the top which is the cutest part and these suckers are sorta expensive to mail. and you can give the person a few, rather than just mailing one big heavy one. it's a cute idea, but i don't know if i'd do it again. but you never know, i could get inspired and try it again. just how i haven't mastered éclairs yet but i swear i will one day...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

my one true love: straws

my friend julia and i were discussing our affinity for straws and how it's nice they are so cheap and recyclable but were thinking that to cut back on waste maybe we should get re-usable ones like these or these. is that taking our neurotic need for straws to a ridiculous level? maybe. am i ashamed? not in the least.

Monday, April 7, 2008

granola bars

cooking in a new kitchen the first time is always a learning experience. for example, i have to learn where exactly i put all my stuff, i learned that i didn't have raisins like i thought i did, and that both my oven and stove-top cook extra hot/fast (note to self, bake everything at 25° less than called for—ALWAYS). consequently, my granola bars came out crunchy when i was going for the softer kind. still very yummy just more crunchy than i was going for.

this recipe came from my oldest sister and are always a hit on road trips or just for a good healthy-ish treat. and since i'm trying to eat as little processed goods as possible (darn you cheetos and oreos for being so delicious)– these are an easy snack to make.


1/3 c. oil
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. honey
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. oats
2 c. rice krispies
1 c. raisins (or chocolate chips if you don't have said raisins or just plain don't like them)

in large bowl, combine oil, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and egg. add
flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. mix well. stir in oats,
cereal, and raisins. grease 9x13 inch pan. press mixture into pan. for
chewy bars bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. for crunchier bars, bake 25
minutes. slice into 16 bars.