Friday, November 27, 2009

holiday wish list

my parents are incredible gift givers. they shop year round and are very thoughtful in their purchases. i wish i was as good at gift giving as they were, but alas, i don't have the same patience for shopping. i'm totally wracking my brain to think of what to get them and my other friends and family this christmas. i did however think of a bunch of things i would like. so if you know anyone who is into kitchen gadgets and things of the like, these are pretty great gifts.

the pastry queen by, rebecca rather

progressive measuring flour sifter. found via thekitchn

and this really nice set of serving utensils from nigella lawson

what's on your wishlist?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

guest posting: pumpkin dulce de leche pie

my november post on yourheartout. check it out! you won't be sorry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

refrigerator bran muffins

these muffins were a family staple growing up. they are so much lighter than most bran muffins i've had. and how convenient that you can just make a few each morning so they are always fresh. such a great and hearty morning treat. 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole bran cereal (i use all bran original cereal)
1 cup boiling water
2 beaten eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup raisins

in a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. set flour mixture aside. in a small mixing bowl combine the boiling water and 1 cup of the whole bran cereal and set aside. in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, cooking oil, and the remaining bran cereal. add flour mixture to the egg mixture; stir until just moistened. then add the soaked bran and stir till well combined. fold in the raisins. transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate it overnight or for up to a week. to bake, put in greased muffin tins. bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or till the tops spring back when lightly touched. makes about 24 muffins.

Friday, November 20, 2009

pecan pie bars

i made food for an event last night for mondo fine art. i was dumb and didn't bring my camera, but i took a couple of shots with my phone. i made pumpkin bread pudding with cinnamon caramel sauce, gingerbread chocolate cookies and pecan bars.

i've been wanting to make pecan pie bars for ages now, but whenever i've tried one of these bars at a bakery or restaurant, they seem to be really dry and not have the consistency anywhere near pecan pie, so i was put off. and as i've noted before, i looooooove pecan pie. love. (love). but i couldn't be daunted for too long, so i did some research and created a fusion between a few recipes. and someone in this room (me) is happy with the result.

i got the crust recipe from the lemon bars on brown butter shortbread recipe from tartine that i posted before. and i got the filling recipe from my mom who found it in but i doubled it and made a couple of tiny tweaks. use an egg wash on the crust to keep the filling from seeping into it too much. you just put an egg white on the crust and swish it around till it's covered the entire surface of the crust, then you pour off the excess then bake.

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup corn syrup
4 eggs, room temp.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups pecans

pour the filling on top and bake for 50 minutes at 350°. after the bars cool for 15 minutes, run a knife around the edges to make them easier to get out later. i think these taste best when they are made the day before and served cold. 


Monday, November 2, 2009

halloween 2009: doughnuts and wassail

it seems as if i've become a bit of a party pooper in my old age. the last thing on the planet i want to do is don a costume and party hop on halloween. i want to make the traditional doughnuts and wassail and watch cheesy movies with friends. i really wanted to re-learn the thriller dance but that was as festive as i was feeling. the thing is, it was a ridiculously enjoyable day and night. which goes to show, it's not where you are but who you are with, and what you are eating. that's sort of a saying, right? i didn't get a chance to take images of these recipes last year so here is some photographic evidence of doughnuts and wassail.

the doughnuts actually turned out better than they ever have before, which was a nice treat for me.

here is the recipe:

beat till frothy:
3 eggs

add, beating well:
1 1/4 c. sugar

add, stirring well:
2 T. melted butter
1 c. milk

stir in:
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. nutmeg
2 t. cinnamon (i like to add a little more)
4 c. flour (probably added more like 5 1/2 cups when all was said and done)

mix well—can chill for easier handling. Fry at 375° (i tried that first but it seemed too hot so i dropped it about 100°) until done.

here is the wassail recipe:

1 quart water
2 1/4 c. sugar
10 cloves
8 allspice berries
2 sticks cinnamon
1 piece of candied ginger
2 quarts apple cider or juice
1 quart orange juice (i like the extra pulp kind)
2 c. lemon juice

mix water and sugar; boil for 5 minutes. remove from heat. stir in cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon and ginger. let stand 1 hour or more. strain. stir in apple cider, orange juice, and lemon juice. serve warm.