19 May 2009
16 March 2009
recipe found at Pennies on a Platter
1 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cups water, warm (100-110F)
4-5 cups bread flour (not all purpose)
1 tbsp salt
1 egg, for egg wash
Once dough balls have rested, use your fingers to poke a hole through the center of each dough ball. Stretch out the dough into a ring with your fingers and be sure to make the hole a little larger than you want the finished bagel to have, as it will shrink slightly while the bagel is expanding during the baking process. Let bagels rest for about 10 minutes.
Brush boiled bagels with lightly beaten egg (a pastry brush is a good tool for this) and sprinkle with seasonings. Bake for 24 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and toast to serve.
I have some more updates coming soon, I promise. I'm in my last 7 weeks or so of college, so I don't have a lot of spare time for blogging. When I do get the time, expect to see bread, cupcakes, and soup!
15 January 2009
Chicken Paprikas is so much more than a meal to me. It is full of memories and makes me feel at home. My gram makes the best chicken paprikas I have ever tasted and, one day, I will get the recipe. I have so many memories of the entire family getting together at Gram's to eat heaping plates of this chicken, served over her homemade spaetzel, and visit with one another. Unfortunately, we've all gotten busier and this tradition has fallen to the wayside but it is one that I have never forgotten.
One day I was hit with an undeniable craving for this comforting, hearty meal and was quickly on a mission to make some for dinner. Bryce gladly offered up his kitchen, knowing he'd benefit from my kitchen excursion. I turned to allrecipes.com and sifted through each recipe until I found one that I felt would be a keeper. Boy, was I right. While it wasn't quite Gram's [maybe my memory is a bit biased...], it was exactly what I wanted - rich, creamy, flavorful, and comforting. I served our meal over noodles but I would definitely recommend using spaetzel if possible.
adapted from allrecipes.com - Chicken Paprikas II
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 heaping tablespoons paprika
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons flour
1 8 ounce container sour cream
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, hot sauce, and paprika. Stir together and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken and cover with the broth [add some water if chicken is not completely covered]. Stir together and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes [if desired - I left them out], reserving the liquid. Stir about half of the liquid from the tomatoes with flour and sour cream in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Slowly add mixture to the chicken, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Serve over noodles, rice, or spaetzel.
The dish is simple and delicious, and I highly recommend it!
07 January 2009
04 January 2009
from the kitchen of my Aunt Colleen
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup M&M plain candies, plus some to place on top
21 December 2008
I have so many memories of making sugar cookies with my mom when I was younger and I really have missed making them. I can't remember the last time we made some cut-outs and I knew I had to bring them back this year. As much as I enjoy a traditional sugar cookie, I wanted something different. I turned to my cookie book simply titled Cookies, which I purchased this summer but hadn't yet used. The recipe I selected was a sugar heart cut-out recipe, but different slightly from most sugar cookie recipes I've seen. I opted to add cinnamon to my cookies in order to add a little something extra and it was a great addition. The cinnamon adds a very faint flavor in the background and compliments these mild cookies quite well. The texture of the cookies is incredibly light and soft, which is exactly what I was looking for. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a go-to sugar cookie recipe!
adapted from Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract [I used my vanilla bean paste]
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon [that's an estimate - I eyeballed it]
Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium until creamy. Add the vanilla and half-and-half; beat to combine. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating until just blended. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Divide the dough in half. Press into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour (overnight would be preferable).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one of the disks on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies and transfer to the prepared cookie sheets, placing them 2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake until just golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool completely before frosting.
I wanted to find the perfect icing recipe, so I turned to allrecipes.com and found an awesome glaze. This glaze tends to set up between cookies, so make sure you stir it between uses. It dries hard enough for stacking cookies and stays vibrant and shiny after drying. I don't recommend using wax paper between the layers [only stack after completely dried!], as it tends to take away some of the color. Also, do not refrigerate after icing - this leads to condensation and it will ruin the icing.
Sugar Cookie Glaze
adapted from allrecipes.com
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar [add more if you'd like a thicker glaze]
2 tbsp light corn syrup
4 tbsp water
a splash of vanilla or almond extract will give the icing a little more "oomph" and I recommend that
food coloring of your liking
Mix 'em all up and go to town! I dipped a lot of mine, but if you make yours thick enough you can spread the icing. I also tried to do some piping but that was just a giant mess. You may be more successful with that than I was ;p
20 December 2008
15 November 2008
23 October 2008
I saw this blogging event on Foodgawker and immediately knew that I had to participate. Cilantro and Lime is hosting this event in order to raise awareness of breast cancer. Breast cancer is, worldwide, the second most common type of cancer and ranks fifth in cancer deaths. One very interesting fact concerning breast cancer is that it affects both men and women [well, maybe this is common knowledge but I didn't really expect it to be].
The reason I was so adamant about participating in this event is my experiences with cancer. My mom has spent quite a few years working in the billing office of a cancer center and, because of that, I have been able to spend my past 4 summers and winters helping around the office. So, for a number of years, I've been exposed to cancer in that sense. More directly, cancer has affected both sides of my family. My Uncle Wayne [my mom's oldest brother] was diagnosed with throat cancer about...4 or 5 years ago. This came as a huge blow to the family. How could this happen to Uncle Wayne? He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke...he doesn't deserve this. My uncle sought treatment at the cancer center mom and I work at and, thank God, has been clear of cancer for a good 3 years or so. He goes back every year for a follow-up and so far, so good.
Sadly, our other family encounter with cancer does not have such a happy ending. Later during that same year that my Uncle Wayne was diagnosed, my Aunt Connie [my dad's oldest sister] was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, we were all shocked. Two family members in the same year? Unbelievable. Aunt Connie was initially treated at the same cancer center and then went to receive treatments elsewhere. I never heard much else about how she was doing, mainly due to poor family relationships with that side of the family, and I guess I just assumed she was recovering. It wasn't until this past summer that things really went downhill, and fast. We got news that Aunt Connie was struggling and the treatments weren't working. To make a very long story somewhat shorter, she was eventually placed in hospice care. My dad spent every day over there and for at least a month I hardly saw my father. I was so amazed by his dedication and his willingness to do whatever Aunt Connie wanted. The cancer had spread to at least her bones and her lungs, and she soon could hardly speak. My Uncle Chad flew in from Florida and spent at least a month here, and all her brothers and sisters and her 5 children did all they could to make her comfortable. On August 9th, I returned home from a trip to Myrtle Beach and Bryce accompanied me [a friend of mine was getting married that day]. Around 2 in the morning on August 10th, I heard the phone ring and shortly after, my dad was up and in the kitchen. He knew this was going to be his last time with her and he spent that night at the hospice center. She passed away around 4:00 AM and her pain was finally gone.
I apologize if that was too long or too personal, but that's my story and that's why I'm doing this. I wanted to bake something fun, something different. After some brainstorming with Bryce and Amy, I came up with cupcakes with pink frosting bras. I picked a recipe from our family Best of Cooking Light cookbook and frosted them with my favorite frosting recipe, tinted pink with my Wilton gels.
I'm slightly pressed for time, so I'll post a link to the recipe. The only changes I made were I omitted the breadcrumbs and I baked the recipe as cupcakes, so I checked on them after about 10 minutes and used my judgment past that point.
Brown Sugar Pound Cake
1 cup milk 5 tablespoons flour 1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a saucepan, combine the milk and flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Now, I wasn't sure how thick this meant, but you'll know. It gets really, really thick. Set aside to cool completely. Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, then stir in cooled milk mixture. Beat until icing reaches a nice spreading consistency.
These cupcakes had a great texture: dense and moist. They were the perfect sweetness and I think the frosting complemented the cake nicely. I would definitely like to make this recipe again but perhaps in a loaf pan and with a glaze rather than frosting.
16 September 2008
from Cathlin Cooks
2 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup flour
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 1/3 cups assorted nuts and seeds
1 1/3 cups assorted dried fruit, cut up to the size of sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Roughly chop nuts and fruit into pieces about the size of a sunflower seed. Place in a bowl with oats, coconut, and flour, and stir together until combined.
Slightly heat honey in a pot on the stove, then add sugar, peanut butter, and oil, and whisk together thoroughly. Pour wet into a well in the dry mixture and combine. If it doesn’t stick together well add more honey.
Dump into the prepared pan. Wet hands with cold water and using a spoon and hands, pack mixture flat into the pan.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. During baking, use spoon or spatula to press down mixture every 10 or 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes after baking and then remove from pan. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.