Friday, July 29, 2011
I moved from New York with my boyfriend and dog down to South Florida a few months ago and finally had a visit from my family last week! My parents and sister came down along with my aunt and cousin...unfortunately, the long weekend of laying on the beach and by the pool came and went but we all had so much fun.. can't wait for the next time they're here! Of course their visit caused my apartment to turn into a mini bakery haha. I made sure I had a nice breakfast ready for them upon arrival and had a couple of desserts waiting to be eaten later on in the evening. The menu for breakfast consisted of mimosas, diner style hash browns, scrambled eggs, pancakes (extra-cakey), cinnamon rolls & of course fresh fruit (haha). After going out to eat each night, we came back to our place and had Black and White cookies along with Boston Cream Pie Cake (both recipes courtesy of the Baked Explorations cookbook…..post for the cake coming Sep. 1st!). I also made a large batch of caramels for everyone, which disappeared pretty quickly thanks to my sister ;)! Overall it was a great weekend & a great reason to bake up some sweet treats. :D
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I wanted to make a lighter version of cheddar biscuits as a side one night for dinner. I came across a recipe on the Food Network website and switched it up into my own, lighter version. You can find the original recipe here which I also halved to make 6 biscuits…this was more than enough for 2 people. I also used the toaster oven to bake these since I was broiling fish in the oven for my boyfriend! They were extremely easy to make and came out great, just as I had hoped!
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 2 tbsp I can't believe it's not butter, melted
Preheat toaster oven to 450 degrees & line small baking sheet with parchment paper
- Whisk the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl
- Add Cheddar Cheese & milk and mix until dough forms (add more milk by the tbsp if dough seems dry)
- Using an ice cream scooper, scoop dough onto the baking sheet
- Melt the 2 tbsp "butter" in the microwave and brush tops of biscuits
- Bake in the toaster oven at 450 degrees for about 15 mins (the cheese is now melted and the tops & bottoms are slightly browned)
Friday, July 15, 2011
This time for Club:Baked we had to make donuts! I was very excited when I found this out because I never actually made them before! A few weeks ago, a good friend of my boyfriend's came to visit for the weekend which I took as the perfect opportunity to make these for breakfast. I also made Baked French Toast from the Baked Explorations cookbook (p. 48) (which was amazing also!!!) at the same time to make for a hearty and
healthy breakfast (haha j/k..but def a very filling breakfast!). I also cut this recipe in half which resulted in 10 donuts and 10 donut holes. I used a 1 1/2" cutter for the big donuts and 1/4" for the hole in the center which became the donut holes or "munchkins". Because I was rushing to have breakfast ready asap that morning, I opted to make only the chocolate dip and the cinnamon sugar toppings..soo this is actually Farm Stand Buttermilk Donuts TWO ways! I also cut the chocolate dip recipe in half and had a bunch left over. I think they came out perfect and would be adorable for a kid's birthday party with a variety of different toppings! I didn't find them difficult at all to make either! While I was waiting for the oil to heat up, I kept the raw donuts in the fridge like the book suggests. Once I got them into the oil, they cooked very fast! As soon as they came out they were set on paper towels to drain the excess oil, quickly dipped in either chocolate or cinnamon/sugar and consumed within 10mins (the guys were hungry and the smell of me baking/cooking was killing them!!). We did have a few left over which kept great overnight in a sealed plastic container. I honestly never eat donuts because of their fried-ness..sooo I only had a donut hole and a bite of the chocolate donut but they tasted absolutely delicious! The chocolate was sooo rich and eating them warm definitely added to the enjoyment..I never had a fresh donut like that before. This recipe is a keeper for sure! When I make these again in the future, I plan to give myself more time to experiment with different toppings! Our host for this one is Gloria of The Ginger Snap Girl. Be sure to check out her page! She clearly experimented with different toppings and glazes and her photos are amazinggg! Don't forget about all of the other Club-Baked bloggers too! You can find links to their blogs here on the Club-Baked homepage. Enjoy!!
Here are some pics from my Donut making experience!
You can see how sticky the dough was!
Although it was sticky, the addition of extra flour allowed me to easily pat down the dough and cut out my donuts!
Here they are frying in the oil…I was so excited when I saw them puff up like that taking their true donut form!
And here's a few pics of the finished product! Ta-daaaaa! I think they turned out great both visually and in taste! :)
Friday, July 8, 2011
This pesto is another great way to consume mushrooms! Since I really want to have a "balcony garden" and my boyfriend got me a little basil plant recently, I thought of incorporating some mushrooms into a pesto. This a great alternative to traditional pesto which uses pine nuts (although i loveee making it that way too). I really think the flavor is close to it too! Enjoy!
Basil plant..looking a little sad…(oh & my dog bandit's head..he loves the balcony..hehee!)
4 oz. Baby Portabella Mushrooms
1 cup packed fresh Basil
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp + 1/4 cupOlive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Clean mushrooms and quarter them. Arrange on baking sheet then drizzle with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place in the oven and roast until they brown, about 10 mins.
Next, add in the 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse again to combine. Remove from the food processor, mix in some extra parmesan if desired and serve. If using as a dip leave the pesto as is, with a thicker consistency. I like to add some water to it to thin it out and make it more of a sauce to toss with pasta, but I think the choice is up to you!…I usually add the water a little bit at a time at the end until I like what I see..but never more than 1/4 of a cup. This makes enough pesto to cover pasta for 2 people or about 6 oz. of pasta.
I transferred mine to a container and put in the freezer for later use….
Sunday, July 3, 2011
This is just a quick and simple stuffed mushroom recipe. I decided to play with a couple of ingredients and the result was just delish! I am a huge fan of mushrooms so I am always trying to come up with different ways to eat them! Even my mushroom hating boyfriend loved them & that's really saying a lot, trust me!
Morning Star Italian Sausage (these are meat-free) - I used 2 of them
Gorgonzola cheese - about 1/2 cup crumbled..i really just eye-balled this
Mushrooms - I used 1 package of white button mushrooms but i think mini bellas would work great too!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove stems. Arrange mushrooms on the baking sheet.
Spray a skillet with cooking spray, heat and cook sausages according to package directions. As sausages begin to turn brown on the outside, begin breaking them up into pieces so they are crumbled. About a minute before they are done, mix in the gorgonzola cheese.
Spoon mixture into the mushroom caps and bake for about 20mins
Friday, July 1, 2011
Club: Baked is a new baking group in which all members take a baking journey through the Baked Explorations cookbook by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito and Tina Rupp. The 1st and 15th of every month there will be a new recipe posted from the book! Maybe it's because I'm from New York that I feel like I have a great familiarity with crumb cakes. I always remember having a fresh one from the bakery in our house. My parents would each have a piece with a cup of tea after dinner. I didn't like the cake part when i was little but of course, I LOVED the crumbs. When no one was around, I would open the bakery box and pick off as many crumbs as I could and shovel them into my mouth haha. Because of my parents influence, I have made a few crumb cakes over the years and all of have been delicious, but this one tops them all for sure! The crumbs end up being HUGE and that's what makes it extra-delicious. While the cake calls for sour cream I actually used plain greek yogurt which worked wonderfully! The cake itself came out super moist & stayed fresh for about 6 days too. As I bake my way through the book, I have been putting post-its with notes & tips so I will remember exactly what i did, what i could have done better and if it's worth making again in the future. This one has the note, "definitely make again"! This is great cake to serve to company, have for breakfast, dessert or really just anytime of the day! I also have to add that my best friend Jamie of Random Acts of Food made this before me and advised to bake for 55mins, which was exactly the perfect time! Thanks Jay! :) The organizer of Club: Baked, Karen is hosting our first recipe and you can find it on her blog here. Enjoy!
Delicious crumb mixture!
Look at these crumbs!!!!