June 10, 2010

Light and Fluffy Buttermilk-Oatmeal Pancakes

Buttermilk-Oatmeal Pancakes

Since I already found a healthy waffle recipe that I liked a lot, I decided it was time to find a better recipe for pancakes, too. I’d seen some recipes for oatmeal pancakes and was intrigued by the idea. Before last winter I hated oatmeal, but moving to a place that actually gets cold and my desire to eat something warm in the mornings finally converted me into an oatmeal lover (also finding out about steel-cut oats helped a lot). But I was still unconvinced about oatmeal in pancakes. Mainly, I was worried about the texture. Would they wind up being lumpy or mushy? Would they be really heavy or dense? Also, all the recipes I’d seen required that the oatmeal sit in liquid overnight to soften and I just don’t have that much forethought about whether I’m going to want pancakes when I get up in the morning. So when I found this recipe that only required the oatmeal to soak for 20 minutes (though you can soak it overnight if you think that far ahead), I decided this was definitely worth a try.


July 1, 2008

Fried Pasta

Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I mean, I know you can fry pretty much anything, but fried pasta?  I’ve never heard of that before.  Well, I’m here to say fried pasta = yum!

A few weeks ago my boyfriend, Brandon, and I went to Copelands and we were basically blindsided with this item.  We had ordered spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer and assumed that it would come with tortilla chips like every other restaurant we’ve ever eaten spinach and artichoke dip at (which is A LOT).  But Copeland’s is not every other restaurant.  The dip comes out with a plate of fried bow-tie pasta.  At first we just looked at it in astonishment and even a little disgust, but neither of us are ones to turn away fried food so we tried one.  Oh.  My.  God.  I could eat them all day long.  I would say pasta and fried food are my two biggest weaknesses, so to combine them is just ungodly.

The worst part is that the portion was ginormous.  It was like 5 parts pasta to 1 part dip.  AND WE COULDN’T STOP EATING THE PASTA EVEN WHEN WE FINISHED THE DIP.  It was horrible …

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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.

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 27, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake with Dulce De Leche

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

I know last week I was all about being healthy, but this week…well, sometimes you just need chocolate! This is my go-to recipe for such times. This is my “It’s Saturday night and I need something sweet and chocolatey or I’m gonna lose it” cake. Since time is of the essence in these situations, this recipe is perfect because it’s so easy. It only takes about 15 minutes to whip up and 30 minutes to bake. Plus there’s none of that “let it cool completely” nonsense. It tastes just as good warm from the oven than it does at room temperature the next day.

A little cinnamon and coffee are added to this chocolate pound cake to give it a nice kick. Since it’s so moist and flavorful on it’s own you don’t really need frosting. That said, if you wanted to slather a slice with some Dulce de Leche, Caramel Sauce or Nutella you would not be wrong. I’ve tried this cake with all three and It. Is. Awesome. Nutella is my usual choice since I can just pull it out …

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March 29, 2011

Tex-Mex Potato Soup

Tex-Mex Potato Soup

It feels weird to be posting a soup recipe when it’s almost April, but it actually snowed in Charlottesville this past weekend so Spring isn’t quite here yet, at least for many of us in the top half of the country. And you know what? That’s kind of okay with me. Spring is beautiful time of year up here, but I actually prefer cold weather. Plus I get to eat more soup! I don’t think there’s anything I love more than soup (well anything that doesn’t have sugar in it, anyway).

During the colder months I make soup at least once a week, but I’ve been making it less in the past few months. So last week when the temperature dropped and brought rain and snow with it, I knew I had to make some soup. I figure it’s my last chance before it gets too warm. I recently had some potato soup at Panera Bread and it made me remember how much I love it, so I decided to improvise my own version at home. I love spicy soup like my favorite Chicken …

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April 19, 2011

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

In a perfect world, this would be purely a baking blog where I posted one decadent dessert after the other, but since this is not a perfect world I often struggle with my desire to make these decadent desserts and the reality of trying to be a healthier (and lighter) person. It’s especially hard in a two person household where a whole cake can be entirely too much…and entirely too tempting. So I’ve found the key is to make what I want, but try to give as much away as possible. This strategy has been working out well lately and Brandon’s coworkers seem to be quite happy to eat all of our extra sweets. We also regularly attend a Saturday game night and I’ve found that to be the perfect event for trying out new cookie recipes. I get to satisfy my sweet tooth, and by the end of the night all the cookies are gone so I don’t have anything tempting me the next day.

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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