November 16, 2010

Double Chocolate Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

Double Chocolate Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins

In my attempt to eat less processed food during the day, I have been making a lot of muffins lately. They fit my criteria for easy food and as I mentioned in my last post, I love any kind of bread. The problem is they can get pretty unhealthy, so all the muffins I’ve been eating have been whole wheat, low-fat, filled with things like oats and applesauce and bananas. All of those muffins have been good, but when I was thinking about what kind of muffins I wanted to make this week, I was not in the mood for “healthy”. In fact, I had some very specific cravings: I wanted something similar to my favorite gingerbread muffins. I also knew I wanted to use the cranberries that I recently bought. And finally, I was craving chocolate because, well, it was a day of the week. (What can I say, I guess I’m a stereotypical female.)


May 5, 2011

Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffed Poblanos

Most of the time I don’t have the forethought to plan recipes related to holidays that aren’t Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I happened to make this for dinner a few days ago and I knew it would be perfect to post on Cinco de Mayo. And in fact, this dish is sort of a celebration for me because it signifies that I’ve finally graduated from the realm of the picky eaters! Chile peppers were my last big food phobia and I’m very happy to say this recipe has put all my fears to rest. And, even crazier, as I was shoveling a stuffed poblano into my mouth my main thought was that I wanted it to be spicier. Five years ago, I wouldn’t even touch bell peppers, so eating a dish with not one, but two kinds of chile peppers in it would have been crazy talk.

This recipe is like a healthier version of chile rellenos. It uses poblano chiles that don’t need to be charred or peeled or anything fussy like that. They’re hollowed out and stuffed with a mixture of black beans and cheese and then …

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June 5, 2009

Pink Grapefruit and Strawberry Granita

Pink Grapefruit and Strawberry Granita

I have a very obsessive personality. It tends to invade all aspects of my life from how I work to the music I listen to and the amount of time I spend on the internet or how much TV I watch. (I’m not a “casual” TV viewer at all, I either have to see every episode of a show from the very beginning or I don’t watch it at all; I HATE missing episodes and I’ll only start watching a show in it’s second or later seasons if I can catch up by watching the DVDs of previous seasons first.)

But my obsessive personality has a really big effect on how I eat. It’s probably one of the reasons I’ve always been such a picky eater. When I decide I don’t like something, then that’s it, I don’t eat it again. Ever. I haven’t eaten a carrot in 20 years because once in elementary school I threw up in the cafeteria after eating them. Recently I decided I should give it another try, but no, it was just as bad as I remember. (I used …

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September 6, 2011

Cantaloupe Meringue Pie

Cantaloupe Meringue Pie

I know what you’re thinking. Seriously. Because I thought it, too. Cantaloupe pie?? That sounds weird and kinda gross. But you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. I would never share something gross and honestly? This recipe…it’s kind of amazing.

But let’s start at the beginning. You see, I got two big cantaloupes in my CSA box a few weeks ago. I knew Brandon and I wouldn’t be able to eat both within a week, especially since one of them was already well past ripe when I got it. So I set out searching for cantaloupe recipes. Something, anything to use these babies up. Unfortunately, unless I wanted some kind of fruit salad, granita or sorbet (I already had watermelon sorbet in my freezer) there just isn’t a whole lot out there. But I kept looking and finally this recipe for cantaloupe pie popped up. Like I said, my first reaction was that it was the weirdest pie I’d ever heard of but I looked at the recipe and the (all 4 or 5 star) reviews for it and when someone said it …

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November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Raisin-Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Raisin-Bread Pudding

I love bread. It’s probably my favorite food. When we order pizza, I take off the greasy cheese and just eat the crust. My favorite restaurants are the ones that bring you a basket of bread. Low-carb diets? I couldn’t make it more than a couple days. I have a pretty major sweet tooth, but if I was ever forced to choose between bread or sugar, well, this blog would have a whole lot less desserts on it. (But let’s really hope that “Sophie’s Choice” never comes to fruition, okay?) What I find really strange is that despite my love of bread, I have never had bread pudding before. I don’t know how that happened, but I have been meaning to rectify it for a while.

I had a loaf of raisin bread sitting around and getting stale so I finally decided this was the day! And when I found a recipe for bread pudding that also had pumpkin (which regular readers know I am obsessed with right now) it was a no-brainer. That was the recipe I had to make.

September 1, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt (no ice cream maker required!)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt

Thanks to twitter I recently discovered it’s possible to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I honestly had no idea this was possible and have been actively contemplating buying an ice cream maker this summer after seeing so many great homemade ice cream recipes. But then my popcorn popper died (after weekly use for almost 2 years it was worth it’s $30 price tag) and I decided it was much more important to replace it than to buy an ice cream maker. But just as I had given up on being able to make ice cream, someone on twitter complained about not having an ice cream maker and another person replied with a link to instructions for making it by hand. I did some googling and found some more tips. Turns out it’s really easy. No, not as easy as pouring it into a machine, but for the most part with this method you are letting your freezer and a hand mixer do all the work, so it’s still not especially labor intensive.

First, I had to decide what …

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July 13, 2009

BBA Challenge: Ciabatta

Ciabatta

The seventh recipe for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was Ciabatta. This was one I was really excited about attempting but also pretty apprehensive. It’s probably one of the most complicated breads we’ve done so far and from surveying other BBAers on twitter and the forum it was pretty apparent that “results may vary”. Good Ciabatta is full of big giant holes and that involves having a very wet dough, which you can imagine, is hard to work with. In addition to working with the very wet dough for the first time, making this bread involves some special tools as well as setting up your oven in a very specific way, so there’s quite a bit of prep involved.

There were two different versions, using different kinds of pre-ferments: poolish or biga. These are just mixtures of bread, water and yeast that sit out for a certain amount of time to develop flavor and texture. Later you add the rest of ingredients to make the final dough. I chose the biga because the consensus seemed to be that it resulted in bread with bigger holes. I …

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October 6, 2011

Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

I hope you guys like pumpkin and apples because those are pretty much the only two ingredients I’m interested in baking with for at least another month (ok, that’s probably not true…I may have to use chocolate at some point). In fact, I’ve been going back and forth since last week about whether I should post another apple recipe or another pumpkin recipe and finally the idea came to me to put both of them together in one recipe for pumpkin-apple pancakes!

Brandon is on a business trip this week which means I’m not putting effort into making dinner, instead I’ve been eating lots of pancakes. You see, I was looking for the best pumpkin pancakes to share which meant I had to try several different recipes. I know, it was a tough job. 😉 But ultimately the one I like best is this one from Nicole at Pinch My Salt. The recipe is healthy and mostly whole wheat but you still get light and fluffy pancakes.