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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Less zucchini, hooray

Posted by Jeanne on July 28, 2013

They are still coming in fast and furious, but thanks to three batches of double-chocolate zucchini bread that Curt made, their numbers are dwindling.

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It is really good.  Highly recommended.

I am now steeling myself for the influx of tomatoes.  Await post containing complaining about what a pain canning is sometime between now and the end of August.

This week:

Sunday:  pork tenderloin with mustard and herbs, roasted root veg

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Monday:  gochujang glazed salmon, Korean cucumber salad

Tuesday:  cucumber, sweet corn & tomato chopped salad with grilled chicken

Wednesday:  chicken sausage, roasted cabbage

Thursday:  Buffalo chicken salad

Friday:  BBQ pork, coleslaw

Excited for a low-zucchini week – happy Sunday, everyone!

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Posted in Baking, Breads, Cooking, Planning | Leave a Comment »

Resolved

Posted by Jeanne on January 1, 2013

It’s kind of cheesy, but I love the idea of a new year and a fresh start.  A chance to start over and exchange bad habits for new.

In 2013, I resolve to:

  • Blog at least once a week
  • Floss (ugh.  I hate flossing.)
  • Work out 4x a week
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables

That ought to do it.

I made these today – they are dead simple and actually not bad for you at all.  Plus, banana!  Winning at New Year’s Resolutions!

Two-ingredient Cookies, from The Burlap Bag

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Happy 2013, everyone!

Posted in Baking, Desserts, Not about food | Leave a Comment »

Pistachio macarons

Posted by Jeanne on February 4, 2012

I may have mentioned before that our neighbor Julie is gluten-free.  She was in Italy and France in late summer 2011, and became addicted to/obsessed with macarons in Paris.  I didn’t help the obsession any by giving Julie a macaron cookbook for Christmas this year, so one day in mid-January we decided to have a macaron making afternoon!

 

Making pistachio flour (grinding shelled pistachios in the food processor and then sifting).

Piped and ready to go into the oven.

Baked and ready to be filled!

The finished products.

And now we get to enjoy the fruits of our labors!  Macaron toast!

It was really fun to make them, and really nice to have an extra set of hands (or two) while making macarons.

Today it is supposed to snow quite a bit in Omaha – snowmageddon jokes abound.  It would be a great day to make more macarons if I only had some almond flour laying around.

Happy Saturday!

Posted in Baking, Desserts, Pastry | 1 Comment »

Cranberry sauce muffins

Posted by Jeanne on November 27, 2011

Our Thanksgiving meal was delicious – we made some small menu alterations.  I ended up making mashed potatoes and then using the turnips and rutabaga I bought to make a gratin with emmentaler cheese.

Nettie enjoyed some squash too.

The turkey was a bit of a nightmare – it was measuring fine, temperature wise, but about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  We took it out of the oven and upon carving, Curt realized that there were some portions that were RAW still.  I don’t know how a turkey can be measuring at 180F+ in one spot and then be raw in another… but it worked out just fine.  Curt cut up the bird and we put it on a sheet pan to finish cooking (while we cleaned all the cutting boards and knives) and we ended up eating a bit later than planned.

Anyway.  Food was good and a good time was had by all.  But now we have all kinds of cranberry sauce left!

I made this recipe for cranberry sauce – it’s really tasty and I highly recommend it.

It’s both sweet and tart and has a really great cranberry taste.  But it makes a ton so we have a couple cups left.  I decided to turn it into muffins, using this recipe as a starter.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 C flour
  • 1.5 C rolled oats
  • 0.33 C brown sugar
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 C of leftover cranberry sauce
  • 0.5 C milk
  • 0.33 C vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Procedure

Heat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, combine regular flour, whole-grain flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well. Fold into dry ingredients all at once; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill muffin cups about three-quarters full – I had enough batter for probably 3 dozen muffins.  Since I only have one muffin pan, I did a dozen muffins and a loaf of cranberry oat bread.

Bake muffins 20 to 25 minutes; bake bread 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Posted in Baking, Holiday | Leave a Comment »

Daring Kitchen November 2011: Cooking with Tea

Posted by Jeanne on November 14, 2011

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

This is another good challenge for me – I’ve never made anything with tea before.  Most of the recipes you’ll find are for sweet baked goods – things like cookies and scones.  But part of the challenge was to make a savory, not sweet dish – so I was stumped at first.

I was thinking of doing a soba cooked in green tea – but then I thought the dipping sauces and toppings would overpower the tea flavor too much.  And then I dinked around for ages and THEN the challenge was almost due so I had to make SOMETHING… so I decided to make crackers.

Tea-flavored Homemade Crackers, based on this recipe

Ingredients

1 ¼ c. flour
1.5 Tbs. sugar (or honey, I used honey)
0.5 tsp. salt
0.25 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbs. butter
0.25 c. water
0.25 tsp. vanilla
dry tea leaves (I used rooibos for half the batch and an Earl Grey green for the other half)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and butter in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the dough is pea-shaped. Combine the water and vanilla in a measuring cup, plus honey if using, and add to the flour mixture. Mix well until combined and dough forms, but only as long as necessary for the most tender crackers.

Use parchment paper, a lightly greased cookie sheet, or an ungreased baking stone.

Only use half of the dough at a time.  Add the tea and knead to incorporate into the dough.

Roll the dough as evenly as you can. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as humanly possible without tearing.

Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife and cut the dough into squares or triangles, about 1 1/2 inches each.  If you want all beautifully square crackers, you can trim the edges square.  I am lazy and don’t care so I didn’t bother.

If you have used a mat or parchment paper, just slide it onto the cookie sheet. If you don’t have either, you’ll have to move each cracker individually.  (I used parchment paper to avoid this issue).  Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt.

Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.

Bake the crackers until crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. If you want to do two trays at once, you can put one on top and one and bottom and switch them halfway through the baking time.

If some of the thinner crackers on the edges brown too quickly, remove them and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking. Watch closely as they bake quickly!   I did 5 minutes, rotated the sheets, and then another 2.5 minutes and they were done.

Check it out!  Crackers!

These are tasty – you get a hint of tea flavor, and they’re nice and crisp.  Will definitely make them again!  Thanks Sarah for a fun challenge!

Posted in Baking, Breads, Daring Kitchen | 3 Comments »

“Clafoutis” is Fraunch for custard and fruit tart

Posted by Jeanne on June 29, 2011

Actually, a clafoutis is made by topping fresh fruit with batter and can sometimes be cakelike, or sometimes be more custardy.  Cherries are traditional – I read an article once that said you’re supposed to leave the pits in to give it an almond flavor.

This one was more custardy, and made with apricots and pears.  I used Julia Child’s recipe, with some modifications.

3 C fruit

1.25 C milk

1 C sugar

3 eggs

1 TB vanilla extract

0.25 tsp salt

0.5 C flour

Equipment:  an electric blender; a 1.5 or 2 inch deep pie plate

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare pie plate with oil or cooking spray.  Slice fruit, removing seeds and pits.

Combine milk, 0.66 C of sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour in the blender.  Blend at top speed for 1 minute.

Pour about a third of the batter in the pie plate.  Add fruit and sprinkle remaining sugar on top.

Carefully add the remaining batter.

Bake for about an hour, until a knife inserted in the center is clean.

Serve warm, or room temperature – you can sprinkle it with powdered sugar, or leave as it comes out of the pan.

Either way, it’s tasty.

Posted in Baking, Desserts, Garden/Seasonal | 1 Comment »

Talbot Trifle

Posted by Jeanne on June 26, 2011

He was the love of my life.

Tonight is the True Blood season 4 premiere, and I can’t wait.  In honor of the joyous event, I made a dessert that represents some of the best moments in season 3:  the demise of Talbot.  And the insanely hilarious lines prompted by Talbot’s demise.

Talbot Trifle

Raspberry Custard

1.5 C heavy cream

5 egg yolks

0.25 C sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

12 oz. fresh raspberries

Combine all ingredients except raspberries in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan.  Whisk to combine over medium heat.  Add raspberries, and crush fruit so it releases its juices.

Bring to a simmer, stirring often.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes until slightly thickened (do not boil).

Strain custard into a bowl, discarding raspberry seeds.  Place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the custard to prevent skin from forming, and chill completely – at least two hours or overnight.

Balsamic Strawberries, inspired by Eat The Love

2 lb. fresh strawberries, cleaned and quartered

0.33 C brown sugar

0.25 C balsamic vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

0.5 tsp garam masala

Preheat oven to 275F.  Combine all ingredients well, and pour into a baking dish with sides.

Roast for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Set aside and cool completely.

Pound Cake, from Staff Meals From Chanterelle

1.5 C butter (3 4-oz. sticks), room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

3 C sugar

6 eggs

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

3 C flour

Preheat oven to 325F.  Line a large baking sheet (with edges) with parchment and set aside.

Beat together butter and cream cheese until combined.  Add sugar, and beat on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.  Add vanilla, and then add salt and flour all at once.  Beat until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before assembly.

Assembly

Whipped cream

Large crystal bowl for presentation

Cut pound cake into approximately 1 inch cubes.

Layer cake, strawberries, and raspberry custard in the crystal bowl – I made three layers, you may get more or fewer depending on the size of your bowl.

Top with whipped cream and garnish as desired.

Refrigerate at 2 to 4 hours, and serve cold, proclaiming “Talbot!  He was the love of my life.”  At least that’s what we plan to do while we’re eating it, because we are horrible people.

Poor Talbot.  Happy True Blood premiere day!

Posted in Baking, Desserts | 1 Comment »

A delicious wedding

Posted by Jeanne on June 19, 2011

A couple of months ago, my friend Naomi’s friend Claire contacted me about possibly catering her wedding.   Naomi and Claire both live in Minneapolis, but the wedding was to take place on a ranch/retreat center near Watertown, South Dakota.  It’s still under construction, and the facilities are very limited – fridge, running water, electricity, coffee maker.  No stove, definitely no serious kitchen.

Thankfully, we knew this ahead of time and planned the menu accordingly. The bride and groom made arrangements for someone to haul in an enormous grill and make steaks for everyone, leaving us with the apps, sides, and dessert.  This is how Carla, who traveled to the wedding with me, felt about this:

The grill guys told us they were relieved not to have our job, and we felt the same about theirs – everyone did what they were good at, and I think we were able to pull it off.  The bride and groom were happy, and that is the most important part!

Appetizers

Dried apricots with chevre & pistachios

Marinated feta, olives, roasted peppers, roasted garlic, marinated artichokes + selection of flatbreads

Soup shooter duo – chilled corn chowder with chive oil & chilled zucchini soup with fresh basil

Smoked salmon, capers, creme fraiche, onions, tomatoes + baguette

The groom and flower girl peruse the appetizer selection.

(aside:  what is going on with my fonts here?  Why can’t I get a consistent font?  WordPress, sometimes you are a mystery to me.)

Sides

Potato gratin (this one was very stressful, as it had to be cold during transport for safety reasons, but was to be served hot.  We warmed it with sternos and prayers to the gods of cooking.  It worked!)

Couscous salad with grilled summer vegetables, olives, capers, and pistachios

Haricots verts salad with shallot & tarragon vinaigrette

Caprese panzanella

Assorted rolls

Desserts

Brownie tarts, topped with either honey-candied pecans or dark-chocolate covered pomegranate


Pound cake with balsamic-roasted strawberry sauce

Cheesecake bites with fresh berries and honey

Thanks to Tom for the app/side pictures, and to Kate for the dessert pictures!  And thanks to Claire and Darren for letting Jeanne Cooks World be a part of your day.

Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Catering, Cooking, Desserts, Entrees | 4 Comments »

Peepshi!

Posted by Jeanne on April 24, 2011

Peepshi is peep “sushi” made from fruit roll-ups, rice cereal treats, and peeps.  They are a cavity in the making.

But super cute.

What you need:

Rice cereal treats

3 TB butter

10 oz. marshmallows

6 C puffed rice cereal

Butter or otherwise prepare a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ square pans.

Microwave butter and marshmallows in 30-second increments on high, stirring after each time, until completely melted.  Add cereal and stir until combined.

Press into prepared pans and allow to set about 30 to 45 minutes.  Don’t prepare the day before, they will be too hard to mold.

Fruit roll ups

Peeps

Cooking spray

And then… go to town.  Before handling the rice cereal treats I would highly recommend spraying your hands with cooking spray.

I would recommend using scissors to cut the peeps – also the scissors will help you open the fruit roll ups once your hands are covered in cooking spray (details, details).

The “rolls” can be sliced with a serrated knife.

The little “nigiri” are super easy – just form the rice, and then perform quick peep butchery.

The finished platter.

Happy Easter, blog peeps!

Posted in Desserts, Holiday | 2 Comments »

Daring Kitchen April: Edible Containers

Posted by Jeanne on April 14, 2011

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

I came up with two ideas for this challenge:  beef & chocolate bock stew in an Irish soda bread bowl, and a chicken & peanut stew in a sweet potato bowl.

Beef & chocolate bock stew, inspired by this recipe.

3 TB canola oil, divided
0.25 C all-purpose flour
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt
5 C sliced onion (about 3 medium onions)
1 TB tomato paste
4 C beef broth
1 (12-ounce) bottle Sam Adams chocolate bock (or other dark beer)
Freshly ground black pepper
1.5 C carrot, cut into chunks (I used those pre-cut “baby” carrots)
2.5 C Yukon gold potatoes, cubed

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with some salt; dredge beef in flour. Add half of beef to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.

Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Return meat to pan. Season with salt & pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring to a boil. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add carrot and potatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are tender.

Irish soda bread bowls, inspired by this recipe.

3.5 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking-soda
0.75 tsp salt
1.5 C milk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enoughmilk  to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball.

Turn onto a lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Stretch dough until it is about 2 inches high, and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter.  Or the lid of a jar.

Have you seen my biscuit cutter?  It appears to have run away from home.

Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool until they can be handled.

Cut through the top of the bread, around in a circle, and remove.

Scoop out the insides of the bread, trying not to poke through the outer edge.

Serve stew in bread bowls.

And secondly:

Chicken & peanut stew, inspired by Bittman’s The Best Recipes In The World

2 TB vegetable oil

8 chicken thighs, about 2 lbs. (I used boneless, skinless thighs)

Salt & pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

0.75 tsp cayenne pepper

0.25 tsp ground cumin

One 14-oz. can diced tomatoes

4 C chicken broth or stock

0.75 C natural peanut butter

Chopped scallions, for serving

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper and add to the skillet, browning well on all sides.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside; return the skillet to the heat.

Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Stir in cayenne, cumin, and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to break down, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan and add 3.5 C of the stock.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

While chicken cooks, whisk together remaining 0.5 C of chicken stock and the peanut butter.  When the chicken is cooked through, add the peanut butter mixture to the pan.  Simmer another 20 to 30 minutes, or until sauce mixture thickens.

After the dish was fully cooked, I cut up the chicken into small bites and added it back into the sauce.  I wanted smaller bites, rather than full pieces of chicken, so they would fit well into my sweet potato bowls!

Sweet potato bowls

2 lb. sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt

2 TB butter

0.25 C flour

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.  Rub sweet potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in a baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake until very soft, 40 to 60 minutes.  Cool, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes can be handled.  Lower heat to 350F.

Peel sweet potatoes, discarding skins.  Add butter and flour,  mash until very smooth, and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Prepare a muffin tin with butter, oil, or cooking spray.  Place a heaping tablespoon of sweet potatoes into each cup, and press up the sides to form a small “bowl” shape.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are firmed up and can be removed from the muffin tin.

Serve the chicken stew inside the sweet potato bowls, garnished with scallions.

Yummy and cute!  Thanks to Renata and the Daring Kitchen for another great challenge.

Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Breads, Cooking, Daring Kitchen, Entrees, red meat, Soups & stews | 1 Comment »