Corn Bake

November 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Corn bake is my ultimate Thanksgiving Side Dish. One year we forgot it and it was the worst Thanksgiving ever. All drama aside, I think you should add this to your repertoire.

Most recipes, including the one my family has used for years, use a box of Jiffy corn bread mix. This year I found one from scratch that is just as tasty. It’s moist, has the amazing crispy edges and is the ultimate compliment to turkey, potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie.

Also, if you happen to forget the cream style corn when you walk to the grocery store and back, you can make your own using regular corn, half and half and cornstarch. My recommendation is just don’t forget the cream style corn because it’s easier.

Corn Bake

Ingredients

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1, 15 oz can corn kernels
  • 1, 15 oz can cream-style corn

To Make

1) Grease casserole dish, or 7×11 baking dish. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

2) In a small sauce pan melt 8 oz (1 stick) of the butter over low heat. Turn off heat once completely melted. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Drain the regular corn, saving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Stir together eggs, melted butter, regular corn, the reserved liquid and cream style corn.

3) In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add this to the other ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!

Acorn Squash Salad

November 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

I don’t like 75% of salads. I love everything in salads except the lettuce/spinach/arugula. Basically that means I love the vegetables and other stuff in them so I’d prefer to just eat that. The other 25% of salads I’m obsessed with. This squash salad came together with a friend and our random ingredients. Since then I’ve re-made it four times. Might be a record for me. It combines the best of fall (acorn squash and apples) AND goat cheese! WIN. Make this for lunch or dinner. And I’ll be thinking of you while I eat another one.

Acorn Squash Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 acorn squash
  • 1-2 cups spinach, washed
  • 1/2 an apple
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • For dressing: 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, S&P

To Make:

1) Roast acorn squash in oven first. Pre-heat oven to 425. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds. Spread a little olive oil and salt and pepper on squash, place on baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until fork pierces easily. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
2) To make salad, cut acorn squash and apple into bite sized pieces. Place spinach on plate, top with squash, apple and goat cheese.
3) In a small jar, mix apple cider vinegar, olive oil and mustard. And salt and pepper to taste. Pour onto salad. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

November 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Guys, you should see how much pumpkin I stocked up on the other day. They were on sale so I’ve got a stash already for Thanksgiving (which is less than 2 weeks away! AH). Now, try not to panic about the fact that Thanksgiving is so close, and just make this coffee cake instead.

Anyway these have the approval of multiple groups of people. The first time I made it there was too much batter and minimal spices so after a little adaptation we’re in a better place. Added some oats to the streusel, some whole wheat flour for some tastiness and now it’s extra delicious.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake
(from Williams Sonoma recipe and the Buns in My Oven)

Streusel topping

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cake

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin puree

For the cinnamon swirl

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

1) To start, make the streusel. Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar and spices. Then using a pastry cutter or two forks cut in the butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Stir in pecans and set aside.
2) Make cinnamon swirl, by melting the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Melt butter over low heat and whisk in cinnamon and brown sugar. Remove from heat and set aside.
3) Next, preheat the oven to 350*. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, spice and salt). In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars and butter until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs until combined. Stir in pumpkin puree. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
4) Spread half the batter in the bottom of the pan. Spoon half of the cinnamon mixture on top. Using a knife swirl the cinnamon into the batter. Top this with the rest of the batter and repeat with remaining cinnamon swirl. Add the streusel topping and bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting and enjoy!

Pretzels

November 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Once in awhile I get the craving for a delicious, soft, warm pretzels. It’s usually when I’m walking by Auntie Anne’s in the mall, but I can’t ever make myself pay $4 for a snack at the mall. Now, I don’t have to because I can make my own.

Start with proofing the yeast. I did it in the mixing bowl for my mixer (which I use for kneading). Mix 1 cup water and 2 tsp active yeast and let it start to foam and such for 5-10 minutes.

After the proofing, mix in salt and flour. I used a spatula. Dough will be floury and a shaggy. Which makes me think of a dog, so that’s weird.  Then we knead. I used my hook and my mixer but feel free to knead by hand, it’ll work too. If it’s not forming a ball well or is too sticky add flour, two tablespoons at a time. Then let it rise in a bowl filmed with oil.

After dividing dough in 8 pieces we roll them out into long skinny ropes, about 20 inches long. To form the pretzel, watch a You Tube tutorial.

Then we let it rise for another twenty minutes, or until they’re puffy. At this point, preheat the oven, and bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large, wide pan (I used my dutch oven). When boiling, add in brown sugar and baking soda, being careful as it will bubble up. Put each pretzel in the water for 30 seconds, turn over for another 30 seconds, then remove. Pretzel skin will look puckered and moist. I didn’t get any good pictures of the baking soda bath part. We do the baking soda bath for a couple reasons. One it gives the pretzel some of the pretzel-y flavor due to the pH balance/basic-ness of it (SCIENCE!). Second, it helps start to form the awesome pretzel crust so it doesn’t puff up as much during baking and gives it the awesome golden brown, chewy texture.

Finally, use and egg wash and salt to top the pretzels, then bake! Wait until they’re good and dark brown before taking them out, too soon results in a too-chewy snack. Enjoy while warm!

All I can think about now are the other options out there, dipping sauces, cinnamon sugar topping. I’m getting excited.

Soft Pretzels
from The Kitchn, recipe makes 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • coarse sea salt to topping

To Make

1) Mix yeast in with one cup warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast has started to foam. Net add in 2 1/2 cup flour, sugar and salt and mix until dough starts to form.
2) Knead, using either kneading hook with stand mixer or by hand. Adding in flour two tablespoons at a time if dough is too sticky. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until dough holds a ball shape, is slightly tacky and soft. In another large bowl (or same bowl used for mixing, cleaned) spray with non-stick oil and let dough rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3) When dough is ready, turn it out on to a large floured surface. Divide into 8 similar sized pieces. Working one at a time, roll into a long, skinny rope. Aim for about 20-inches long.
4) To form dough into pretzel shape, bring two ends of dough up into a long U shape, leaving the bottom of the shape about 5-7 inches long. Twist the ends of the dough around each other twice. then bring the ends back down to lay on top of the bottom of the U. Lay the pretzel on top of a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
5) Let the pretzels rise until puffy, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F. Also, prepare your baking soda bath. Fill a large, wide pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and add brown sugar and baking soda, being careful because water will bubble up. Stir to combine, then keep water/soda mixture at a simmer.
6) Once water is ready and pretzels have risen you’re ready to put them in the bath. Using a slotted spoon gently lower two to three into the bath at a time, or as many can fit without crowding. Flip pretzels once after 30 seconds, let sit for another 30 seconds, then remove and place back on baking sheet. Repeat until all pretzels are done.
7) Whisk egg with two tablespoons of water. Using a pastry brush, brush pretzels with egg bath and sprinkle on sea salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are deep brown. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy while warm.

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