May 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
That’s my mom. This was on a spontaneous trip my parents took to visit me in Seattle last summer. We both were having great hair days. In honor of her I made some rhubarb ice cream.
You see, my mom loves rhubarb and she taught me to love it as well. And I always think of her when I use it in my cooking. There are a lot of other things that remind me of my mom, like when I pray with one of my patients, when I make a bed with hospital corners, while bread rises or when I read a great book and want to tell her about it. She’s taught me a lot of important life lessons.
Since it’s Mother’s Day weekend it may be a cliche time to wax on about how great my mom is but I believe there is never a bad time to tell someone you love them. So Mom, I love you! I’m glad you’re my mom. Thanks for putting up with my tears over school projects, cooking lots of dinners and teaching me to be a gracious host. Don’t worry, I’ll make this ice cream when we visit in August, just have the rhubarb ready.
The rhubarb and greek yogurt combo is tangy and creamy all at once. I chose to not strain the ice cream to leave in all the delicious rhubarb bits but if you want a smoother version feel free to strain it before you cool it. I’m already dreaming about this again as the perfect compliment to a summer pie. Enjoy!Ingredients
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt ice cream
- pinch of salt
1) Put rhubarb and 1/4 cup of sugar in medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let sit over medium heat until sugar is mixed in and rhubarb is starting to break down, about 10 minutes. Add in milk and whipped cream. Let sit just until mixture starts to simmer, or small bubbles appear around the edges.
2) In medium bowl whisk the other 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks until smooth. Add in 1 cup of cream mixture at a time, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Return mixture to saucepan and put over medium-low heat. Stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
3) Pour mixture into bowl and put in an ice bath. Let sit until completely cool. Can be refrigerated overnight. When mixture is cool, prepare according to ice cream maker directions. Freeze for several hours before serving. Enjoy!
March 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
I am a creature of habit. If you know me, you know this. For example: everyday for most of my school years (think 6th-11th grades) my lunch consisted of exactly the same things. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich (creamy pb and strawberry jelly), a bag of chips (Cooler Ranch Doritos, preferably), strawberry-kiwi Capri Sun, granola bar, apple sauce and a chocolate pudding pack. If i was feeling nuts I added carrot sticks. It was all kept in a cabinet in the kitchen where I made it myself. This stemmed from me complaining about the lunches my mom made, because I was a rude and ungrateful (sorry, Mom).
I also went through a phase of only eating honey-nut cheerios for breakfast, a snack of tuna fish, saltines and orange soda after school, but I digress. Now that I have reached adulthood (I pay insurance, so I guess I’m an adult) my inner child gets WAY too excited about chocolate pudding despite having eaten it WAY too much going through school. When I found a recipe from The Kitchn for homemade chocolate pudding it went to the top of my list (or Pinterest board).
The recipe looks overwhelming because it’s a lot of steps, but it comes together pretty quickly (30-45 minutes) plus time to chill. You can be a totally happy camper in no time at all. I made mine mocha by adding espresso powder and love the addition. I didn’t add too much for the sake of my coffee-hating husband but think it added some depth. I also can’t wait to customize it more or take it to the next level (I’m thinking whiskey caramelized bananas and homemade whipped cream). Enjoy, y’all.
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Chop the chocolate into small pieces and set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt. Then, adding in heavy cream a little at a time, whisk until smooth. It’s a little challenging but comes together when all the cream is added. Finally, stir in the egg yolks. Set this aside.
3) Pour milk, sugar and espresso powder into a saucepan (I used 4 qt). Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a light simmer (bubbles around the edge) and remove from heat.
4) Add warm milk mixture one cup at a time to cream and egg yolk mixture. This is to temper the eggs so they don’t cook when boiled. Once all the milk mixture is stirred in, pour pack into the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Whisk constantly, while boiling, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
5) Add in vanilla in and chocolate. Let sit for several minutes to allow chocolate to melt, then stir in until well combined.
6) Finally, pour the mixture into storage container. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap (directly in contact with surface of pudding). Chill in the fridge for several hours and then serve and enjoy.
March 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’m just going to start with some boring weather talk. Seattle has been teasing us with sun the last week. We had two gorgeous days that got to 60 last week and it was so glorious. Then it rained for 5 days and now it’s just overcast. Why is this happening? My emotions are so conflicted. The days I want to sit inside and bake are the days its glorious and when I’m ready to get some sun it’s pouring.
One day last week the stars (or sun and clouds rather) aligned and my oven and I got some quality time with this lovely zucchini bread. Feeling inspired by Smitten Kitchen and some almost-old zucchini I whipped up this whole wheat loaf filled with sunflower seeds, chocolate chips and cranberries. The combination is just perfect.
Best part about this? The recipe makes two loaves, one to hoard to yourself and one to share with friends. Feel free (as always) to customize to your hearts content with the fillings. I think next time I would use mini chocolate chips and more dried cranberries.
(makes two 9×5 loaves, based on This Smitten Kitchen Recipe)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 8×4 or 9×5 cake pans and set aside.
2) Beat eggs, then whisk in vegetable oil and sugar until well combined. Stir in zucchini and set aside. In separate bowl stir together flours, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in to wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in extras.
3) Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans, then serve extra thick slices with some butter and enjoy!
January 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’ve got this great guy in my life. We like each other a lot. I mean, we’re married and all that too, but we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. He puts up with me opening car doors with my feet and I put up with his tendency to leave his shoes in the middle of the floor.
Today is his birthday. When I asked him what kind of dessert he wanted he responded with a shrug and “apple crisp?” Now, I know him, pie is his favorite and I reminded him of that. He responded by saying that since I don’t love pie he wanted crisp. That way everyone is happy. He’s awesome. Self-sacrificing even with dessert. He does most of the dishes, sweeps like a maniac and is generally awesome to have around.
So, in honor of my man, I made some apple crisp and vanilla bean ice cream. It’s a basic Philadelphia-style vanilla bean ice cream (no eggs/custard mix) from Davd Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop and Joy the Baker’s Man-Bait Apple Crisp (if it’s for a married man, is it baited-man apple crisp?). Enjoy!
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup turbino sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1) In a small sauce pan stir 1 cup cream, sugar and salt together. Cut vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds, but seeds and pod in the saucepan. Over low-medium heat stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat.
2) Pour this mixture into medium bowl. Stir in milk, additional cup of cream and vanilla extract. Chill in refrigerator. Make ice cream according to mixer instructions, freeze until ready to serve.
- 10 medium sized apples (mix of Fuji and Granny Smith)
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 2 & 2/3 cup AP flour
- 2 & 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1) Grease a 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350.
2) Peel and chop all the apples into bite-sized pieces. A few peels left on, are a-okay. Put into greased pan. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon onto apples and mix.
3) In a large bowl stir to combine flour, brown sugar, oats, nuts and cinnamon. Using your hands, add the butter to the dry ingredients. Work in until coarse meal is formed (sort of like wet sand). Mix 1 cup of this into the apples and stir well. Pour rest of topping onto the apples.
4) Bake for 55-60 minutes until topping is golden brown and apples are slightly bubbly. Let cool slightly. Scoop mixture into bowls, top with ice cream and serve. Enjoy!
January 9, 2014 § 1 Comment
Is it time for vacation yet? We’re not even a week into the new year and I feel like a vacation is in order. Maybe the holidays were more exhausting than I thought. Does that mean I’m getting older? I may be hitting another quarter life crisis here. Lets just move on to cereal and marshmallows.
The inspiration for these Reese’s Puff Krispies came while googling rice krispy recipes. There were a few other geniuses who had subbed other cereals. And regular rice krispies don’t really turn my crank so why not sub with my favorite cereal?
Side note. While googling “why does reese’s have an apostrophe I found out that that the creator of Reese’s, H.B. Reese, was once a dairy farmer and shipping foreman for Hershey. He was so inspired by Hershey he left his job and created his own candy company.
Back to the treats. We use the same recipe as Rice Krispies except we sub Reese’s Puffs. I like mine extra mashmallowy so I use a whole bag, if you like a little less feel free to leave a cup out. For the topping I simply melt chocolate chips and some coconut oil. The coconut oil helps it to harden a little more when chilled. Another tid bit? Line your pan with extra wax paper so you can use that to remove them when chilled. And use an extra sharp knife to cut them.
Reese’s Puff Krispies
- 1, 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 7 cups Reese’s Puff cereal
- 1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
1) Line a 9×13 inch pan with wax paper, spray well with non-stick spray. In a large saucepan melt together butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat.
2) Stir in cereal until combined. Pour into pan evenly. Press down with spatula to condense.
3) Topping: in a medium size microwave proof bowl pour chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Should take 1-2 minutes. Once the chocolate mixture is smooth pour over the krispies.
4) Let chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from pan using edges of wax paper and cut using a sharp knife. Enjoy!
December 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
The spice I most associate with Christmas is cardamom. The rich scent immediately brings me back to holiday treats. Cardamom is included in my dad’s famous kuchen (coffee bread with loads of cardamom and citrus zest) and these amazing rusks. My mom always made these, often gave them away, and let me eat the ends she cut off. What a treat.
In addition to cardamom we add almond extract and sliced almonds to give with a delicious nutty flavor. And they’re twice baked, making them dry and hard. I realize that sounds gross but trust me, they’re still amazing. It’s even better if you enjoy them with a cup of coffee.
Depending on how you cut these the recipe makes roughly 60 rusks so feel free to share with co-workers, neighbors or your mailman.
- 1 cup of butter, softened
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup slivered almonds
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
2) Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and almond extract. In another bowl whisk together flour, cardamom, baking soda, salt and flour. Using a mixer (or stand mixer), add flour and sour cream to butter mixture, alternating. Before you add the last of the flour, stir in almonds. Dough will be sticky.
3) Separate dough into four equal parts. Directly on parchment paper, shape dough into logs, roughly 12 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool on wire racks. Using serrated knife, slice into pieces roughly 3/4 inch wide.
4) Turn down oven to 225. Place rusks back on baking sheets and bake until crisp about 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy, dipped in coffee.
December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s Christmas treat week here. A lot of baking has happened and it’s been intense, delicious and awesome. My stomach celebrates the sugar and butter and then I have a serious sugar crash by 3 pm and it’s all downhill from there. Oh well.
I want to introduce you guys to this awesome cookbook. It’s Maximum Flavor by Aki Kamozawa and H. Aleander Talbot. They’ve created a book celebrating science in the kitchen. Check out this review from The Kitchn to find out more about it. I’ve made a few of the recipes now and they’ve all been winners.
This week I slightly adapted their coffee shortbread recipe. It’s a crispy, shortbread cookie with a little something extra: espresso powder and white chocolate. Best part about this? You get to eat the scraps after you cut the shapes out!
We start out combining almonds and instant espresso granules into a powder, combine that with flour and set aside. Then we mix butter, brown sugar and sea salt using a mixer. Add in chopped white chocolate.
Dump in the dry ingredients, still until combined and you get this beautiful dough. It has to chill in the fridge for about an hour. Take it out, roll it out, bake it and cut shapes out and you are in business. I find it goes really well with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!
Just as a heads up I found it easiest to do cookie shapes that didn’t have points (like a snowflake). Since you’re cutting them while dough is still warm the points broke off when transferring on some of them. A circle cookie cutter would work very well.Coffee Shortbread
from Maximum Flavor
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3.5 oz white chocolate, chopped
1) In a food processor combine almond and espresso powder, pulsing until a find powder forms. Pour into separate bowl, whisk in flour and set aside.
2) Using paddle attachment on a stand mixer, stir butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy 3-4 minutes. Add in white chocolate all at once, mixing just until combined. Pour in the flour mixture all at once and mix just until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides once. Put dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about one hour.
3) Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Take dough out of the fridge, using a large rolling pin roll dough into rough rectangle shape. It’s easiest if you keep dough on plastic wrap while rolling out. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to baking sheet by lifting up plastic wrap from counter and flipping carefully onto baking sheet.
4) Bake 20-25 minutes until browned on edges slightly and cooked through. Cut out cookie shapes immediately and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!