Monthly Archives: December 2009

Apri-can: Apricot Crumbcake

I found a recipe in Cooking Light for Strawberry Jam Crumb Cake.  It just sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?  It looks pretty good too.  I have the week off and you know I can’t go more than a few hours without getting bored and baking something.  My immediate thought was to make cookies, and then brownies, and then I thought that maybe I should try and wean myself just a little bit off my dependence on the black gold that is chocolate and try something new.  And I’ve never made a crumb cake before (as least, I don’t think so, and if I ever did, I guess it was so terrible that I blocked it out) so I figured, why not?

Of course, I didn’t have any strawberry jam because what fun is baking if you actually have all the ingredients you need?  I did have apricot preserves, though, since I’d needed it for my spicy apricot chicken.  Works for me. Continue reading

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: eat tasty food. like apricot chicken

Oh, and I guess it can be healthy too.  Can be.

Anyway, I was inspired by this chicken wing recipe and decided to play around with a sweet-and-spicy chicken recipe myself.  The store I stopped at this morning didn’t seem to have sriracha sauce specifically, so I went with the chili paste, which I’m sure I’ll be using pretty often because it smells great.

And let’s face it–we can all use a light meal now and again.  Especially in these heady days between Christmas, Christmas, more Christmas and New Year’s.  So this dish, bundled up with some fresh guacamole and a delicate side of lemony green beans (blanch green beans in boiling salted water, then drop into ice water, then pan-fry in a sauce of a tablespoon of butter, a half tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper and herbs) was a welcome breath of delicious, moist, tender air.  I know what you’re thinking: moist is a creepy word.  Yeah, it is.

But the chicken will make you forget all that.  The chicken is here to help. Continue reading

My name is Muffin. English Muffin.

I decided to do an experiment today, sort of as a way to ease my way into breadmaking with teeny tiny baby steps.  First, I ate a piece of bread.  Two actually.  On either side of a piece of cheese.  Grilled.  I mean, after all, if I’m maybe someday going to bake bread on my own, then I need to get adequately acquainted with it.  So I ate bread.  And then I made English muffins.  They’re not really bread.  I mean, they’re muffins.  It’s in the name.  But they’re bread-like and seemed like a reasonable amount of effort, so I figured, eh why not?

What I didn’t know, but maybe should guessed, is that English muffins are actually pan-fried first before being baked.  That’s how you get that nice dark color and crisp top and bottom.  Yeah.  The more you know (and knowing is half the battle!).

You, too, can follow along at home now by going to Pete Bakes and checking out the English Muffin Recipe that I used.

His come out way better looking than mine, but with time, they will soon be beautiful.  Like a bready, yeasty duckling who turns into a bready, yeasty swan with peanut butter on top. Continue reading

turtle turtle

I made some Christmas gifts this year.  Partially due to my natural inclination towards creativity, partially due to my incredible edible prowess, partially due to our unfortunate timing in deciding to buy a house during the holiday season and therefore having very little funds available to do anything but pay for inspections and appraisals.

Anywho, along with my current favorite beauty item, my chocolate salt scrub, and tins of my homemade instant hot cocoa, I thought I’d put together a little somethin’-somethin’ for people to nibble on: chocolate turtles.  Yes, those delicious, wonderful, gooey caramel and nut filled delights named after one of the greatest of all God’s creatures: the Koopa Troopa from Super Mario Brothers. Continue reading

Silent and Savory: Roasted Squash-Stuffed Poblano Peppers (in Pictures)

Cut up one small onion, one medium summer squash and two cloves of garlic.  Mix together with a cup of sharp shredded cheddar, a tsp of salt, a half tsp of black pepper and a tablespoon of ancho chile powder.

Cut the tops off two large poblanos, clean out the seeds and insides and then stuff as much of the squash mix as possible.  Pour a bit of tomato or enchilada sauce on the bottom of a small pan, place peppers on top.  Pour any leftover squash mix over the peppers followed by more tomato sauce until peppers are fully covered.

Cover with tinfoil and bake at 425 for 40 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with more cheese let bake another 5 or until cheese is melted and gooey.

Enjoy!  Serves two.

Citrus Salt: just what you scurvy dogs need

I’m so terribly sorry.  I’ve been neglecting you, I know.  You want to read about food, I want to eat that food, but sadly, the past couple of weeks have not been conducive to deliciousness.  There was illness, dental surgery and the tedious anxiety and paperwork of attempting to buy our first house.  In the meantime, recipe ideas have just been piling up one after another.  It’s a culinary tragedy.

But never fear.  Slowly, the art of food is making its way back to the foreground of the landscape that is my life (poetic, aren’t I?).  I thought I’d ease back into things with something simple but effective.  A nice mix on an old standby.  Something to bring some sunlight and vitamin C into your day.  Maybe you’re a pirate suffering from a terrible case of scurvy and running out of ingredients for your morning hardtack.  Well look no further, matey, I have exactly what you need.

Citrus Flavored Salt
1/4 c. sea salt
the zest of one large orange
the zest of one large lemon

Lay the zest from both fruits out on a paper towel for about 5 minutes to dry out a bit.  Mix and mash into the salt, stirring thoroughly.  Store in an airtight container and use as a finisher for fish, pork, chicken and well..anything you want :-).

Wasn’t that easy?  It’s like your very own flavor-based Easy button.

A Simple Frittata….I had a lame joke for the title but decided to spare you…this time

Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back.

It was an odd weekend, really, this past weekend.  There was very little cooking and no baking.  Indeed, a pall of sadness hung over our apartment.  Poor Josh had to have all four wisdom teeth removed at once and…well, let’s just say, he’s seen better weekends.  And while I was reasonably healthy myself and not even a fraction as miserable as Josh, I tried not to cook too much because I felt sort of like a meanie making delicious food when he was subsisting on soft oatmeal and light Gatorade.

But today, as Josh slowly makes his way back to health and normalcy, I am slowly making my way back into the kitchen.  I baked a super easy cake recipe I found on, which yes, I did choose because it didn’t require butter and lazy girl that I am, I didn’t feel like trekking to the store to get more.  What’s even more shocking about that is the fact I was nearly out of butter to begin with.  But no matter!  I experimented and the cake looks good but as of the time of this writing, I have not tried it yet.. Continue reading