Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
My brother was begging me to make banana bread with the quickly deteriorating bananas at his house. We went to Cooking Light and found 2 types we wanted to make. This banana bread was delicious and the flavors were excellent together. I know the banana pictures are kinda gross, but they were leaking banana juice all over the countertop!
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugars and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, sour cream, and cardamom; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in pistachios. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool bread completely on wire rack.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It's Tuesday and that means Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake, or in my case, Fluted Cornmeal and Cottage Cheese/Cream Cheese Cake with Dried Blueberries. This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Caitlin over at Engineer Baker. I didn't have ricotta cheese or figs on hand, so I decided to see if I could use whatever I had at my house. IT WORKED!
Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake
About 16 moist, plump dried Mission or Kadota figs, stemmed
1 c. medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 c. ricotta
1/3 c. tepid water
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. honey (if you’re a real honey lover, use a full-flavored honey such as chestnut, pine, or buckwheat)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10 ½-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Check that the figs are, indeed, moist and plump. If they are the least bit hard, toss them into a small pan of boiling water and steep for a minute, then drain and pat dry. If the figs are large (bigger than a bite), snip them in half.
Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth. With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey, and lemon zest and beat until light. Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated. You’ll have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter.
Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the figs. Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I am soo excited! This is my first post as a Daring Baker and it was so fun to do this challenge. Thanks to Elle over at Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell, for choosing Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Conner.
I have made cheesecake before, so I wasn't really intimidated by the water bath or the cheesecake.
I made 120 of these because after I scooped the batter for the pops out of the top of the pan of cheesecake, there was so much batter left that I decided to put it in a bowl, stir it up, and pipe it into little balls, so that none of it would go to waste.
Luckily, I had two events that I needed to make refreshments for, so we didn't end up eating all of them!
I am the first to admit that I get too many magazines in the mail, but I only do it for the recipes. This is one from Rachael Ray Everyday that I have been wanting to make for awhile. I got the perfect opportunity when my dad asked for some treats. His favorite dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie and you have to make these because you will not believe how they taste exactly like it even though they are Cake! The cake tastes like pie crust in a miraculous way, flaky and delicious. The lemon curd is like the filling and the meringue is the meringue. It is wild to pop one of these minis in your mouth. Next time, I want to make the curd from scratch but I was in a pinch, so I used Dickinson's Lemon Curd.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar, plus more for decorating
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel, plus thin strips of peel for garnish
2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites, at room temperature
One 10- to 12-ounce jar lemon curd
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 tube store-bought decorating icing
Posted by Mary Ann at 10:15 AM
Friday, April 25, 2008
I have been making an effort to have healthier, heartier, breakfasts that provide more energy, fiber and nutrients than a bowl of cereal. Here are two of our recent recipes (not served together, obviously)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I love looking at the newspaper on Wednesday because I know that is when they print the Food section. Lately they have had some great recipes. We had these burgers along with Zucchini Soup (posted below) for a great meatless meal!
1 1/4 cups bread crumbs
Put the bread crumbs into a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.
Peel the garlic, and drop the cloves through the feed tube of the food processor with the motor running to finely mince them. Peel the onion, cut it in quarters and place them in the food-processor bowl with the minced garlic. Cut the bell pepper piece into quarters, and add them to the processor bowl. Pulse the motor until the onion and pepper are finely minced but not mushy, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the minced vegetables to the mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs.
Open the chickpea can and pour 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the can into the processor bowl. Then drain the chickpeas into a colander, discarding the remaining liquid, and rinse the chickpeas under cool tap water to remove excess sodium. Shake the colander to remove as much water as possible, and add the chickpeas to the processor bowl. Add the egg. Pulse just until the chickpeas are finely chopped but still have some texture. Add the chickpea mixture to the mixing bowl, along with the black pepper and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are well mixed. Taste the mixture and season with additional salt if necessary.
Begin heating the oil in an extra-deep 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Shape the mixture into patties by first squeezing 1/4 of the mixture in your hands to make a tight ball. Flatten the ball into a patty, making it as thin as you can before it starts to crack. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make three more patties. Pour the 1/3 cup of flour onto a plate, and dredge the chickpea patties lightly in flour on each side. (Discard any remaining flour.) Add the patties to the hot oil, and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side.
While the patties cook, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
To serve, remove the patties from the skillet and place each on a bun. Top with lettuce, tomato and 1 tablespoon of the lemon-mayonnaise mixture (or to taste).
Yield: 4 servings.
This soup was really good. I recommend garnishing with plenty of feta and radishes to give it more flavor.
Zucchini Soup (from Southern Living Magazine)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Garnishes: thinly sliced radishes, crumbled feta cheese
1. Sauté chopped celery and onion in hot olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until tender.
2. Add zucchini and next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat, and let stand 20 minutes.
3. Process soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor 30 seconds or until smooth. Return soup to Dutch oven, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.
Note: You can also process soup with a handheld immersion blender directly in Dutch oven.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
My son wanted a Pepperoni Pizza Sandwich but we didn't have any turkey pepperoni, so we went with A Cheese Pizza Sandwich.
I take two slices of bread and spread soft butter on the outsides.Then I spread pizza sauce on the inside of both pieces and put one piece on the hot griddle. Next comes a layer of shredded mozzarella or pizza blend cheese, the other piece of bread sauce side down on top of the layer of cheese. From there on out it is treated as a grilled cheese sandwich.
This is a family favorite. It is so easy and a great way to get in some veggies.
ZUCCHINI AND CHICKEN STIR FRY
1 pound sliced chicken meat
1 Tbls oil
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbls soy sauce
Halve and slice ½ inch thick:
1 ½ pds zucchini
Thinly slice 1 round onion and 1 large carrot
Finely mince: 1 tsp gingerroot and 1 clove garlic
Sauce: Mix and set aside until needed- 1 Tbls cornstarch, ½ tsp salt, ¼ cup oyster sauce, ¼ cup water
Heat 1 Tbls oil in wok until hot. Stir in half of the chicken and cook until done. Remove chicken and repeat with other half. Heat 1 Tbls oil in wok and stir in vegetables and flavorings. Stir fry veggies until tender and then add cooked chicken. Stir in sauce mix, stir and cook until thickened. Serve with hot rice and 1 large wedge of tomato, if desired.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe was chosen by Amanda over at slow like honey-Bill's Big Carrot Cake. Baking cakes is one of my favorite things to do. This cake smelled amazing and was a cinch to throw together. The recipe calls for three 9-inch layers, but that is alot of cake, so I made one 6-inch round for my brother at college (carrot cake is his ultimate fave!), one 8-inch round for us and 10 cupcakes because we were taking someone dinner. So it worked out perfect and we didn't have any leftover.
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Yields 10 servings
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.
To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.
To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.
This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.
The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.