June 15, 2011

Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Frittata

Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Frittata

Eating more fresh produce has been a goal of mine since I started this blog. Before that, the few times a week when we weren’t eating at a restaurant or ordering take-out, most of the dinners I made came from boxes and the only produce I bought at the grocery store was maybe a few bananas, apples or potatoes. Heck, I can’t even say I bought potatoes all that often because Brandon still teases me about all the boxed mashed potatoes I used to prepare with pretty much every dinner back then.

I feel like I’ve come really far from those days whenever I look at my shopping cart and see that fresh fruit and vegetables take up the most space. And now I’ve finally committed to something that I’ve been interested in for years: I joined a CSA. I was always worried that we would never be able to eat enough of the produce every week and honestly, there was some extreme laziness involved when I thought about having to go and pick up the share every week. So when Brandon informed me that …

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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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August 4, 2010

Caramelized French Toast (Plus Homemade Raisin Bread!)

Caramelized French Toast

I’m not 100% happy with the name of this recipe. Caramelized Cinnamon Toast might be better, but calling it French Toast is more descriptive of how it’s made. I would say this is a combination of French Toast and Cinnamon Toast, but Caramelized Cinnamon French Toast is way too long, so we’ll just keep it simple. Everyone knows what French Toast is, right?

I’ve never been a big fan of French Toast. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never disliked it, but in the world of breakfast foods, I’d usually rather have pancakes or pastries. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever even made it at home before. I remember my mom used to make it when I was a kid (though not as much as pancakes or waffles) and of course I’ve had it at restaurants, but I guess it’s never occurred to me to actually make French Toast myself. But Cinnamon Toast? Well, that is one of my most favorite things in the whole world. I make that all the time. So much so that I have a bottle just to store my …

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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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November 18, 2008

Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake Brownies

I was really craving some chocolate last Friday night. My usual standby is brownies, because they are simple to whip up, but plain old brownies sounded so boring. I went and searched for brownies at one of my favorite recipe sites and as soon as I saw the name of these brownies I was already drooling.

They did not disappoint at all. Simple to make and they turned out so rich and fudgy. I’ve made a ton of brownie recipes and this is definitely one of the best. The recipe has chocolate chips in it, but I don’t think they were even necessary. They made the brownies almost too rich, so I don’t think I’ll be adding them next time.

My boyfriend is usually not a fan of brownies (which I can’t even fathom), but he loves cheesecake, so he liked these. He’s so picky about desserts (which is probably a good thing or I’d make them a lot more often), it’s great finding something he’ll actually eat!

March 16, 2011

Berry-Orange Fruity Oaty Bars

Fruity Oaty Bars

After last week’s fried indulgence, I wanted to make something totally guilt-free that used up a bunch of fruit I had sitting in my fridge and freezer. I’m always on the lookout for homemade versions of the store bought snacks I love, so after reading this post about Fruit Bars I immediately headed down to the kitchen to make my own.

I am so glad to have found this recipe because I will never need to buy fruit bars at the grocery store ever again. These taste so much better than anything store bought and they are filled with natural ingredients.

My bars have a crust of ground up almonds and oats along with flour and just enough butter. It’s like a healthier version of shortbread, but it tastes just as good. I had lots of berries and some beautiful blood oranges so I made two different fruit fillings: cranberry-orange and blueberry-orange. The fruit is cooked with some juice, sugar and cornstarch until it thickens and then it’s poured on top of the crust. The fruit is topped with a streusal made with that …

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November 11, 2008

Pineapple Stuff

Scalloped Pineapple with ham

Okay, “Pineapple Stuff” is not the actual name of this recipe, it’s technically called Scalloped Pineapple (think scalloped potatoes, not seafood). But I, in my infinite wisdom as a child dubbed this dish Pineapple Stuff and as thus it will be known forever. I guess you can call this Pineapple Casserole as I think that’s a bit more descriptive. This is probably my favorite recipe in the whole wide world and has been since I was a kid. It was my mom’s signature dish, which she served at all the dinner parties and all the pot lucks and which everyone raved about. I’ve made it a million times at this point, but I don’t think mine has ever tasted as good as when she made it. I guess that’s just how it goes, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from making it.

This is not a dessert, it’s a side dish. My mom always served it with ham because it’s the perfect compliment. Since we had turkey for Thanksgiving, we always had ham for Christmas, so besides being my favorite dish, it also reminds …

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September 15, 2008

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, know, another chocolate chip cookie recipe. There are a million of them and they’re always THE BEST, right? Well, no, they aren’t because these are hands down the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever bake. Period. These are from the New York Times reporter who went in search of the best ways to make chocolate chip cookies and this recipe is the culmination of that. I made these for my coworkers and they were gone in seconds. Everyone loved them and said they were the best they ever had. One of my coworkers even begged me to make her a batch that she wouldn’t have to share with anyone else.