December 23, 2008

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

In January I promise to post some low fat recipes to get in the New Year’s resolution diet mood, but until then it’s still December and I’m baking like there’s no tomorrow! The cookies come to me courtesy of my boyfriend’s grandma from Tennessee who I like to think of as the quintessential southern woman. Almost every time I’ve been over to her house she has a feast prepared, even if she’s only expecting a few people to come over! Brandon compares my cooking to hers all the time (That’s not how my grandmother makes it…), but that’s ok because she’s a great cook, so if I could be as good as her one day that would be a great compliment.

I’d never had these cookies until the first time I went over to her house and I think I must have eaten about 50 of them that day because now every time I go back she’ll tell me that she made my favorite cookies. She’s even sent us a big batch of them for Christmas in years past. But since Brandon had forgotten to send …

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June 30, 2011

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits with Maple Granola Brittle

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits

I have a confession: I don’t really like yogurt. I’ve tried so many times over the years to make myself like it, but it always ends with me having to throw out a bunch of expired yogurt containers. But then I made that Cherry-Rhubarb Fool last month and I realized that yogurt can be good as long as it’s the base for something else. So yogurt by itself = meh, but yogurt + fruit + whipped cream = yum.

Last week I got some absolutely gorgeous peaches and cherries from my CSA and I had big container of yogurt that was close to expiring, so I decided combining them would be a great way to use everything up. But instead of mixing it all together like I did with the fool I made it a yogurt parfait. Because what’s more fun than a parfait? It just feels so much more decadent than a simple bowl of yogurt topped with fruit. Sometimes I have to trick myself into eating things that are better for me and this is a trick that worked really well.

September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Crunch Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Crunch Muffins

It’s finally here! Friday is the first day of Fall and I’m ready for it. The weather has even been cooperating with temps in the 60s this past week. I’ve been baking like mad since the beginning of September but these pumpkin muffins were my inaugural Fall treat and they did not disappoint. I got inspired to make them after cleaning out my kitchen and finding that I still had 4 cans of pumpkin puree and 2 bags of frozen cranberries. I like to stock up on things, can’t you tell?

I’d been wanting to make my favorite quick bread recipe ever: my mom’s Applesauce Bread because it always feels like fall to me. But I decided to play around with the recipe and make it into pumpkin muffins. I subbed pumpkin for applesauce, some of the sugar for maple syrup and some of the spices for pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin version turned out just as good as the original! These muffins have a very moist and cakey crumb and the pumpkin flavor really shines through.

The cranberries add a wonderful tart contrast to the sweet bread. I know …

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May 27, 2009

Lemon Glazed Strawberry Tart with Pastry Cream

Lemon Glazed Strawberry Tart with Pastry Cream

I’ve been on a strawberry kick lately (seriously, I hope you like strawberries because I have two more strawberry recipes coming up). I also finally bought a tart pan last week and I wanted to make something fun and different. This may not sound like such a “different” dessert, but it’s really different for me. The majority of the desserts I make are either cake or cookies (or some variation like cupcakes and brownies). I’ve only make pie during the holidays and as much as I’d LOVE to make my cheesecake all the time I have to force myself to save that for special occasions.

Anyway, I found this recipe in my favorite cookbook and decided to go for it. I’m glad I did because this was damn good but it’s kind of involved. It’s definitely worth the effort to make, but like pies and cheesecake, I think this is a “special occasions” kind of dessert. It’s not difficult, per se, but there’s a lot of steps because you have to make all the parts (the crust, the …

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November 6, 2009

Tandoori Chicken Tenders


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Tandoori Chicken Tenders

I’m always looking for new and interesting things to do with chicken. For years, practically the only thing I cooked was chicken with some lemon pepper on it. As you can imagine, I have no desire to make (or eat) boring lemon pepper chicken anymore. So when I saw this recipe, I definitely wanted to try it and I’m glad I did because I know this is going to be a new staple in our house. It’s really easy and fast to make. It’s low fat and it results in a moist, tender and flavorful chicken. That’s everything I could ever want in a dinner.

The initial recipe says to use chicken breasts, but the second time I made these I only had tenderloins and I thought they were still really good (and even faster to make because the cooking time is only about 12 minutes). If you have picky kids that would look at yellow chicken in disgust, making tenderloins instead might make them a bit more palatable.

I was initially worried that it would taste too ginger-y, but it really didn’t. In fact, I thought the flavor was pretty tame. So in my second attempt I added some more spices and flavors that I found from similar chicken recipes, which helped amp up the flavor. Also, this recipe benefits from some marinating to make the flavors even deeper, but if you don’t have the time, it still tastes great.

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October 15, 2009

Black and White Cake Cookies


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Black and White Cake Cookies

I’m finally back from my little hiatus. We’re settled into our new apartment in Virginia and I’m ready to start cooking again. I was ready to start last week but after two things I tried to bake burnt to a crisp and set off the smoke alarm, it became apparent that the oven was broken. Luckily, the maintenance guy was able to fix it after he ordered a new part and now my oven stays at the right temperature (which I verified with an new oven thermometer, I’m not taking anymore chances with burning the house down).

But while I work on getting some new recipes under my belt, I wanted to finish posting things that I made this past summer. You may have noticed I have a thing for black and white desserts (see Black and White Chocolate Cheesecake Supreme, Black and White Cupcakes and Cheesecake Brownies), so when I saw Black and White Cake Cookies in my new Cooking Light cookbook, I knew I had to try them.

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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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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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