November 20, 2009

Honey Roasted Turkey

Honey Roasted Turkey

I’ll always remember my first Thanksgiving with Brandon when we were living in our first apartment together at the ripe old age of 20 and I didn’t really know how to cook anything except brownies. The turkey was the thing I most afraid of. I had always thought that cooking a turkey was so complicated and was surprised to find that it…wasn’t. I had much more problems with my stuffing which I completely ruined when instead of using a real actual onion (I think the only vegetables I cooked with back then were potatoes and tomatoes) I put in 1/2 cup (!!) of onion powder. You haven’t tasted onion until you put a 1/2 cup onion powder in something. To this day I really can’t use onion powder in anything, I think I used up my life quota of it.

But anyway, I think anyone can make a turkey. As long as you keep an eye on it and baste it regularly, there isn’t much thought or work involved. And the end product is almost always impressive looking and something that you can feel proud of cooking. …

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December 12, 2011

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

Molasses Spice Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from many of the recipes on this blog, I love to bake and I struggle throughout the year trying to balance the sweet treats with savory and/or healthier recipes. But from Thanksgiving to New Years Day all that falls away and I embrace what I like to call “baking season”. I don’t put restrictions on myself, I don’t worry about calories, I just let loose and make whatever I want and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about anything I eat. It’s my yearly Christmas present to myself.

Cookies are my favorite thing to make during the holiday season and I think I’ve been mentally saving up because I haven’t posted any cookie recipes here since May. So when I heard about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap I immediately signed up. I’d be making cookies anyway so why not share some of them with others?

The thing I didn’t factor in was how difficult it would be to find a good cookie recipe! The main issue was finding cookies that could travel well and that would keep for at least a week. Maybe others didn’t have any trouble with …

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November 19, 2010

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins

I tend to stay away from making cakes a lot just because I am not so great with the portion control. But I had been thinking about making a cranberry upside down cake for a while so when I saw it in muffin form I knew I had to try this recipe immediately.

Do you like cranberry sauce? If you do, you’ll love these muffins. For the longest time, I absolutely refused to eat cranberry sauce with whole cranberries. I’d only eat the jellied kind that come out of the can…in the shape of a can. I still have that kind at my Thanksgiving, mostly out of tradition, but I make real cranberry sauce, too, and these muffins make me love it even more.

This is a really easy and fast recipe to make and I think the muffins come out so pretty! If you wanted to be a perfectionist, you could cut off the bottoms so they’d sit straight, but it didn’t bother me.

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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December 9, 2008

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

So I guess December is the official cookie baking month, right? I don’t feel so bad about making/eating cookies in November and December. Diets are what January is for. I consider myself quite the cookie connoisseur but I realized last month that despite my love for all things peanut butter, that I’ve never made peanut butter cookies from scratch. Of course, I had to remedy this immediately. Brandon had a cookie craving one night and didn’t want to wait the requisite 36 hours for chocolate chip cookies so I found this recipe and whipped it up. I LOVED how fast and easy these were to make. This recipe also had more peanut butter in it than any others I found, and I don’t think you can go wrong with more peanut butter.

While I liked these cookies a lot, I couldn’t help but think that peanut butter always tastes better with chocolate. I remembered a cookie recipe I saw where they dipped the cookies in melted chocolate and then let it set. I tried this with some of the batch I made and …

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September 5, 2008

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

This is probably one of those basic recipes that everyone in the world (but me) knows, but I’ve always been scared of making food that sounded, you know, foreign. Like just because it has a fancy-smancy name that means it’s also complicated to make, right? Well, there’s another cooking misconception down the the drain because I found out last night Chicken Parmigiana is just about the easiest thing in the world to make. And it turned out very very good with very little effort or time on my part. That’s definitely a recipe I can get behind for nights when I’m tired or just don’t feel like cooking, but I still want a nice meal instead of greasy take-out or pizza.

June 8, 2009

BBA Challenge: Artos and Bagels

I’m still chugging along with the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. So far I’m (mostly) having fun and learning a lot.

Christopsomos

Christopsomos The second week bread was Artos or Greek Celebration bread. I really didn’t have any trouble at all with this bread because it was really similar to my King Cake except that Artos has a lot more spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. The only trouble I had was the shaping, of course. I can tell it’s going to take a lot of practice to get good at shaping things because I’m just not good at that at all. The version of artos I did was called Christopsomos (though I made it plain, it’s technically supposed to have nuts and dried fruit in it), which is shaped into a boule (an oval, the only shape beside a loaf that I can do without much trouble), but then you roll out two strips of dough and lay them on top of the boule in a cross and then you split the ends and roll them …

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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.