1. It was mother's day and I thought a cake was called for. I landed on coffee cake because I was serving it in the morning (and frosting before noon just seems a little much sometimes. Not that I've never eaten frosting before noon, don't get me wrong).
2. I had coffee on the brain as this week I am having a little coffee fast in preparation for my sister's wedding this Sunday. You see, I'm doing the whole teeth whitening thing and the whitening strips box told me to avoid black coffee and red wine while using the product as my teeth will be more sensitive to stains.
After reading this I cried a little.
Ok, not really. But I drink coffee every day so I was a little bummed.
But then I also figured I could just drink iced coffee through a straw.
And then I could have coffee AND not stain my teeth.
Can you tell I've given this WAAAAAAY more thought than the whole thing deserves? I'm a weirdo.
The Best Coffee Cake. Ever. That's what this cake is called, literally, recipe found here. I didn't make any changes to the original recipe and it came out amazing so I don't suggest it.
Unless you just want to.
It's your life to live. Do what you've got to do. ;)
A few weeks ago I found myself with an excess amount of egg roll wrappers. Sure, I could have bought items to make the the egg roll filling again, but instead I decided to make something up.
So instead I filled some of the wrappers with cream cheese + dark chocolate, and some with cream cheese + honey. I folded them 'crab rangoon style' and fried them up. Then I sprinkled the tops with sugar, hoping to make them look more... uh... dessert like. ;)
They were a hit!
I personally favor the chocolate ones.
Have you ever made anything random with unexpected leftovers?
If you've been reading my blog for very long then you probably already know that I have a slight obsession with making curries.
I love curries. And I have made it one of my goals this year to create a really good curry recipe. And I must say, this is my absolute best one yet! Plus it's super easy.
My picture on the other hand... hmm. Maybe my next goal should be to get really good at taking pictures when there's not a lot of light available. It. has. not. stopped. raining.
Avocado Curry, makes 4-6 servings. Slightly adapted from this recipe.
For the sauce: 1 medium white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small green bell pepper, 1 can tomato paste, 1 can coconut milk, 1 ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.
In a food processor blend together all the above ingredients into a sauce. Heat up the sauce on the stove top and serve over your choice of sauteed veggies (or, gasp, meat) and rice. I used colorful bell peppers, asparagus, zucchini and pineapple in mine. Go crazy.
I love citrus: lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, etc. So when I saw this recipe in an issue of Everyday Food I had to try it out.
I am SUCH a sucker for magazine photoshoped, high gloss images of tasty treats. I really am. If you show me a really cool picture of food I immediately want to make it. And I read quite a few food magazines.
I was getting my oil changed at a Wal-mart the other day and so I had time to kill, in Wal-mart (I swear they planned it all this way). So I wandered over the magazine/book section. It dawned on me that most gals my age will probably pick up a Glamour or a People magazine first. And I'm not saying I don't like fashion magazines or occasionally glance at gossip columns (come on-admit it, we all do). But I immediately gravitate toward the food magazine section.
The Katy Perry of my world is Paula Deen.
Bobby Flay is my Justin Beiber.
I could go on. I know that many. Knowledge is power. Obviously.
Citrus Bars, makes around 18 (depending how you slice it).
For the crust: 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, 1/3 cup cold water.
Mix together the flours, sugar and salt. Slice up the butter and using your (clean) hands mix up the batter until it is very crumbly. Stir in the water and mix to form a ball (you may need to add slightly more water if your dough doesn't stick together). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night or in the freezer for 30 min to an hour.
For the filling: juice and zest of 1 grapefruit, juice and zest from 1 orange, juice and 2 tablespoons zest from 3-4 lemons, 1 1/2 cup sugar and 5 eggs.
Whisk together all the ingredients and set aside until ready.
Roll out the dough and place in a well greased rectangle baking pan. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes (if you have parchment paper and pie weights use them-I found I was out so I didn't and it turned out just fine). Remove crust from oven and fill with custard filling. Bake for 20 more minutes until the center is set. Allow to cool for 30 minutes to and hour before serving. Dust with powder sugar if you're feeling fancy.
Let's talk vegetarian burgers for a minute, it's not like anything else big is happening today.
What royal wedding?
I've made lentil burgers before, and what I love about them is they are easy to make, filling, delicious, packed with protein AND so easy to customize to your (or your families) tastes.
Warning: This will be slightly green in color. If you have family or guests who may not be so enthusiastic about vegetarian fare (or for some reason might not like the idea of a greenish burger-go figure!) then you can distract them by adding a slice of cheese or giant lettuce garnish to it.
They are very delicious though, so do not be put off by the green color. Otherwise you will miss out. :)
Emma's Lentil Burgers, makes 8-10 medium size patties. These are great to freeze and save for another dinner night!
Ingredients: 2 1/4 cup dry lentils, 1/8 cup or more chopped green onion, 1/4 cup bread crumbs (two pieces of toast), 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, salt, pepper, and other spices you like (I used a bit of cayenne).
Cook the lentils according to the package directions. Usually it will give you a general range for cooking time based on how soft or firm you want the lentils to be. I stay on the firmer side when making burgers because the patties will stick together better that way.
In a food processor combine 80% of the cooked lentils and all the other ingredients and pulse until you have a cohesive mix. In a bowl stir in the remaining lentils and then form patties with your (clean) hands. I usually wrap them in plastic wrap as I go and freeze them for 20 minutes before cooking (helps them stick together). Plus then the rest you can leave in the freezer for another night.
Cook the patties in oil or butter over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite burger garnishes.
*If you cook in oil and don't add cheese (like I did) these are also vegan!
I recently finished reading 52 Loaves by William Alexander and I must say, I was so impressed. And talk about obsession, Alexander spent a whole year baking, traveling to bread conferences, taking baking courses in Pairs and even baking at a monastery all in the pursuit of the perfect loaf!
What a foodie. Geez.
This book chronicles his journey-it has irreverent humor, scientific facts, historical explorations and (maybe most importantly) recipes. I really enjoyed this entire book, and I highly recommend it. But I must warn you: it will have you wanting to stop everything and bake bread.
But that's not so bad, right? :)
What have you been reading lately? Any great summer reading suggestions?
The other morning I woke up in the mood for muffins. With a crumb topping.
And then, for some reason, I was trying to remember what I used to eat for breakfast (or any meal really) back before I started cooking/baking.
I remember a lot of breakfast cereals, specifically cocoa pebbles and fruit loops.
I remember a lot of "bean quesadillas" made with tortillas and re fried beans (from a can) made in the toaster oven. Maybe with cheese if I was feeling fancy.
I ate a lot of toast with butter. I've always loved toast. Smells so nice in the morning or late afternoon.
And I ate a lot of frozen pizza. A whole lot.
I may or may not still eat most of these things.... I'll never tell.
But now I wake up dreaming of homemade muffins... and I can make them. And it usually goes well. And that feels good.
Apple Nut Muffins, makes 18 standard size muffins. Recipe adapted from here.
For the muffins: 1 3/4 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (I used a granny smith) and 1/2 cup nuts (I used chopped pecans).
For the crumb topping: 3/4 cup flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of salt and 6 tablespoons melted butter.
To make the batter mix together all the dry ingredients, then add in the wet and stir to combine. Last add in the apples and nuts and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into lined (or greased) muffin cups 2/3 full.
To make the crumb topping mix together all ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the filled muffin cups.
Bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes. If you make jumbo or mini sized muffins you will need to adjust your baking time.