May 20, 2009

Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge: Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread

So I decided to do something a little crazy. The awesome Nicole at Pinch My Salt started a group to make every single recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. When she first announced it on Twitter, I was interested but ultimately decided it would be too much work. But then more and more people started joining with her and I kept thinking about it until she announced she was closing the group to new members. As soon as I heard that it made me realize how much I wanted to do this, so I emailed her immediately to join the group.


May 6, 2009

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Oatmeal Cream Pies

I don’t usually post recipes I’ve found on other food blogs (and actually the original recipe is from Recipe Zaar, you see my Delicious account for recipes I like from other food bloggers), but I just had to post this one because these are so awesome. Have you ever eaten a Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie? These are just like them…in fact, they are better. I used to love these when I was kid, but haven’t allowed myself to eat one in years. While these are by no means good for you, you at least know what all the ingredients are and you don’t have to worry about all the chemicals and whatever else crap is in the store bought version. I made a batch for my boyfriend to bring to his office and they were a giant hit with his coworkers who all agreed they liked them better than the originals.

April 30, 2009

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken with Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken

This is just a damn good dinner. I mean, come on, can you ever go wrong with bacon? Bacon makes everything better (Seriously people, you can still eat bacon, virus be damned). Also, sweet potatoes are in my top 5 favorite foods ever. I could eat them pretty much everyday and I think they get a bad rap as being “that stuff with marshmallows that you eat at Thanksgiving”. They are way more versatile than that one dish (see exhibit B another great chicken dish with sweet potatoes and where I got part of the inspiration for this recipe).

I’ve been making this chicken dish for a while and it’s always a treat. In fact, I don’t make it all that often because I think of it as my “special” chicken dish. I think it tastes better when you only save it for special occasions.

While I wouldn’t call the recipe hard, I definitely struggled with it the first few times I made it, but that may have just been my cooking inexperience. If you’re not prepared then it can be really …

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April 10, 2009

Chicken a la King

Chicken a la King

I guess this is one of those basic everyone-has-made-this kind of dishes, but OH. MY. GOD. you just wouldn’t even believe how many years have gone into finding this recipe and then actually being able to make it. This recipe, like the inscrutably named Pineapple Stuff, was one of my absolute favorite dishes my mom made when I was a kid. So much so, that I still remember it fondly despite not eating it in almost 15 years. So last year when I started cooking again, I made it my mission to find this recipe. Except I couldn’t remember what it was called or what the ingredients were other than broccoli and some adorable little puff pastry shells my mom always used. So I looked through every single recipe in my mom’s old recipe collection (which is just a book with hundreds of handwritten recipe cards and magazine cut-outs taped into it in a semi-organized, but still haphazard fashion) several times and finally figured out which one it was.

It was called Tuna a la King and I didn’t remember it having tuna, but everything else …

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March 24, 2009

Quickie: Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pie

My boyfriend skyped me from work on Friday with a link to the article on Whoopie Pies in the New York Times. “You need to learn how to make these”, he said. Not being one to pass up a baking challenge I made them later that night.

Apparently, whoopie pies are the new cupcake, but I don’t know…I’ll stick with cupcakes thanks very much. Not to say they aren’t good because they are, but my issue was with the filling. Personally, I HATE making frosting. It was a miles better experience with my new stand mixer (I completely gave up making frosting with my hand mixer as it was just disaster after disaster with that thing), but it was still a pain and in the end I wasn’t that impressed. I know it’s called Buttercream, but geez, it’s 2 whole sticks of butter! I thought it was butter overload.

Next time I’ll be cutting the amount of salt in the recipe by half as both the cakes and the filling were a bit too salty. Also, I’m going to skip the frosting and fill …

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March 18, 2009

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

This easy to make recipe is from the Philippines. You might think it was just your garden variety chicken and rice dish, but the sauce is so good it takes it to a whole other level. It’s rich, tangy, tart and kinda sweet all at the same time. Maybe like a Filipino version of BBQ sauce…but honestly that description does not do it justice at all. You just have to taste it, you’ll see what I mean. I got it from Mark Bittman’s cookbook How to Cook Everything, which I LOVE and highly recommend for the sheer number of recipes, but also the tips and helpful info he offers.

I’m pretty sure I remember Anthony Bourdain talking about Adobo on a recent episode of No Reservations? It’s a very popular Filipino dish and this recipe can be made with chicken or pork, but I remember him saying there are tons of variations. If they are all as good as this, then I need to find more Filipino recipes because I could eat this …

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February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

I am so happy with how this turned out! Yes, it’s a little lopsided, but I don’t care. I am not at all experienced with making breads (my only previous sojourns into yeast bread baking were making rolls this past Thanksgiving and Christmas), so I thought I would screw this up but it turned out so much better than I thought. And the best part is that it tastes exactly how I remember it. I was worried I’d go to all the trouble of making a King Cake and it wouldn’t taste right, but this recipe is totally authentic.

February 18, 2009

Quick Gumbo

Quick Gumbo

I’m way behind with posting recipes due to being overwhelmed with work lately, but I just had to post this recipe in preparation for my next baking adventure.

Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” and while I haven’t lived in a place that really celebrated Mardi Gras in almost 20 years, I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where it is a really big deal (not as big as in New Orleans, but pretty big). It’s one of the things I miss the most about living there. Mardi Gras and my birthday (this Friday) are always closely linked me for since they are usually so close to each other. There have been a couple of years that they have even been the same day (the date of Mardi Gras changes every year depending on when Easter is since Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday which is 40 days before Easter). In the past, I’ve gotten King Cakes for my birthday, but this year I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt to make one myself. It’s basically like a big …

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