Monday, December 26, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups, chilled

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and a salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat together the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and light brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and milk and blend until smooth. On low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.
Place large rounds of dough onto the prepared parchment. Press down each round slightly, leaving 2-3 inches between each cookie. Place a few pieces of the remaining chopped peanut butter cups onto the top of the cookies.
Bake around 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
Source: Annie's Eats

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chocolate Brownies with Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Pecans

Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 pound vanilla caramels
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease the sides of a 9x13 pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
In a medium sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly into the prepared pan. 
In a medium sized saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels with the cream, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat and pour over the graham cracker crust, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the pecans and peanut butter chips over the caramel mixture. 
In a medium sized saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat well on a high speed. Add the flour mixture, starting on a low speed, and gradually increasing to a high speed until well combined. Pour this mixture over the pecans and peanut butter chips.
Place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Whatever happens, do not let overbake.
Cool at room temperature and allow to set before cutting into bars.
Source: adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Pattie Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
24 miniature chilled Peppermint Patties
4 ounces white chocolate

Directions:
Beat the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, light brown sugar, salt, and baking soda together with an electric mixer. Add the butter, beat until well combined, and then beat in the egg. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Carefully wrap dough around each Peppermint Pattie and place on the parchment. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Melt the white chocolate in a double broiler until smooth. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle with the melted white chocolate.
Source: Every Day with Rachael Ray December 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fudge Pie

My mom has been making this pie for the longest time, and now, I am glad that I can finally make it.


It's so delicious and gets even better after it has been sitting and the flavors have been developing for several days.


Perfect for all occasions!


Ingredients:
1 9-inch pie crust
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Place the pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan.
Blend the sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, flour, salt, cocoa, and vanilla and beat well. Place this mixture in the prepared pie crust. Bake for about 30 minutes. 
Source: Cotton Country Collection

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup cold water

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease 3 medium sized loaf pans.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg together in a medium sized bowl.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, light brown sugar, and oil. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until well blended. Add the can of pumpkin. Then, add the cold water, alternating with the flour mixture.
Place this mixture evenly between the 3 loaf pans and bake for about 50 minutes.
Source: Katherine Evans

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pecan Puffs


Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, grinded
1 cup sifted cake flour
confectioner's sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300˚F.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Beat the butter with a electric mixture until soft. Add the sugar and blend until creamy. Then, add the vanilla. Stir in the pecans and cake flour.
Roll dough into small balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Roll in confectioner's sugar while still hot. Once cool, roll in confectioner's sugar again.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
24 ounces fresh cranberries

Directions:
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: Ocean Spray

Monday, November 21, 2011

Penne with Mozzarella and Basil

Ingredients:
1 pound cooked penne
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces vodka-flavored tomato sauce
1 pound shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Place the cooked penne in a large pot. Stir in the tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. Place mixture in a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
Bake until the sauce is creamy and bubbly and starts to brown, about 23-25 minutes.
Source: What Can I Bring? Cookbook

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Compound Herb Butter

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pepper

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until evenly incorporated.
Source: Annie's Eats

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart

Ingredients:
Basil Garlic Dough
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
heirloom cherry tomatoes
salt
pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese
basil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12-inch circle. Place in a tart pan. Loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over the dough and place baking beads in the middle. Bake in the oven 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the baking beads and foil. Place in oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and lower oven to 375°F.


Evenly place the sliced mozzarella in the baked pie crust. Evenly place the tomatoes on top of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Evenly drizzle the olive oil on top. Finish by placing Parmesan cheese and basil on top.
Bake about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese starts to bubble. Once the tart has been in the oven for 15 minutes, rotate 180° and soak any excess moisture with a paper towel if necessary. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Annie's Eats


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Basil Garlic Dough

Ingredients:
1/3 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 tablespoons cold water

Directions:
Pulse the basil and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Add the flour and salt and pulse briefly. Add the pieces of butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons of water and pulse until incorporated. Add 1 more tablespoon of water. If the dough does not form a ball, add one more tablespoon of water. Remove the dough from the processor, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Use to make a tart. 
Source: Annie's Eats

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
Mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, baking soda, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer. Fold in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into small balls, place on prepared cookie sheet, and flatten into small discs. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Peanut Butter Filling
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar

Directions:
Beat together the butter, peanut butter, and confectioner's sugar until smooth. Pipe into the middle of two cookies.
Source: adapted from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Calzones

Ingredients:
1/2 batch pizza dough
pesto
grilled chicken, cut into small pieces
canned artichokes
shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Allow a pizza stone to heat up in the oven for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the pizza dough into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on how big you want your calzones to be. Roll each piece into a circle. Spread a layer of pesto on the dough, leaving a half-inch border along the edges. Place the grilled chicken, artichokes, and cheese on top. Fold the dough over to form a semi circle and press the edges together with a fork to form a seal. Brush lightly with olive oil.
Place the calzones on the preheated pizza stone. Bake about 13-15 minutes.
Source: Annie's Eats


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pesto

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Toast the pine nuts with a small amount of olive oil in a skillet for about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Add the garlic to the skillet and toast for about 7 minutes.
Place the basil in a plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin until bruised.
Place the toasted pine nuts, toasted garlic, basil, olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the Parmesan cheese.
Source: Baking Illustrated

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sweet and Salty Halloween Bark

Ingredients:
14 Halloween Oreos, broken into small pieces
1 1/2 cups pretzels, broken into small pieces
1 cup candy corn
24 ounces melted almond bark

Directions:
Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the Oreos, pretzels, and 3/4 cup candy corn in a bowl. Spread this mixture on the parchment paper.


Cover evenly with the melted almond bark. Top with the remaining candy corn. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container.
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Garlic Fries

Ingredients:
2 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, cut lengthwise into 3x1/3x1/3 pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
salt
pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Toss the potatoes in a large bowl with 2 1/2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Roast the potatoes until browned, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Increase to 500˚F. Continue roasting for about 5 more minutes.
Combine 1/2 tablespoon oil, garlic, and parsley in a large bowl. Toss in the hot fries and add salt and pepper.
Source: Bon App├ętit August 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hershey Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
48 Hershey's milk chocolate kisses

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 
Beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on a medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs and milk and beat until well combined.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this to the batter until well combined. Shape dough into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet or silpat.
Bake 10 minutes. Once done, place a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie while still hot.
Source: adapted from Hershey's Recipe Collection

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:
4 cups milk
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

Directions:
Bring the milk, water, and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the broken bittersweet chocolate pieces. Pour into a blender and blend to make sure all the chocolate pieces are melted.
Serve while still hot. 
Source: Laduree: The Sweet Recipes

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taco Seasoning



I like to make a large batch of this so I can easily use it without having to make it every time I want to use it. So much better than the packets at the store!

Ingredients
4 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. To season 1 pound of turkey or chicken, add 2 heaping tablespoons of the seasoning along with about 1 cup of water. Store in an airtight container.
Source: Annie's Eats

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Icing and Vanilla Buttercream

Chocolate Cake 
Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Grease 3 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment circles. 
Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix briefly on a low speed to blend. Add the oil, buttermilk, brewed coffee, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on a medium speed until the ingredients are well incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes once done and then invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper. Ice with the caramel icing in between the layers and the vanilla buttercream over the completed layers.
Source: Annie's Eats

Caramel Icing
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place the butter, light brown sugar, and dark brown sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir, bring the mixture back to a boil, and remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Use immediately to frost the cake only in the middle and on the top. If the frosting hardens, place back over low heat and stir until soft.
Source: adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor

Vanilla Buttercream
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place the butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until well blended, starting on a low speed and gradually increasing to a high speed, scraping the sides of the bowl every so often. If the frosting is too stiff, add just a bit more milk.
Pipe only onto the sides of the cake.
Source: adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 cups peeled and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup milk
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
salt
pepper

Directions:
Place the potatoes in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are pierced easily with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place back in the pot with the cheese, milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher and whip in an electric mixer until smooth.
Source: adapted from The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook 


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crab Cakes

Ingredients:
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound lump crabmeat
3/4 cup Panko breadcumbs

Directions:
Stir the red onion, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs together. Fold in the crabmeat. Let chill for 30 minutes.
Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet. Form the crabmeat mixture into balls, flatten, and cover in the Panko breadcrumbs. Let cook for about 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Source: Cooking Light

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cornmeal Biscuits

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. 
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix on a medium speed until well combined. Add the buttermilk and mix on a low speed until the mixture comes together.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a 8x4-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 equal pieces and placed on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Source: Cooking Light Readers' Top-Rated Recipes

Monday, September 5, 2011

Brownies

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9x13 metal pan.
Melt the butter and 2 cups of the chocolate chips in a double broiler.
Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a medium sized bowl until just combined and add in the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Let cool.
Sift together 1/2 cup of the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture. Combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of the flour and add to the mixture. Pour evenly in prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Once the brownies have been in the oven for 15 minutes, tap the sides of the pan to allow any air between the pan and the batter to escape.
Let cool before cutting into bars.
Source: Annie's Eats

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Baklava

Ingredients:
3 cups walnuts, finely ground
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 pound phyllo dough
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Combine the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
Grease a 9x13 pan with a little of the butter. Place one sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the pan, brush with butter, and repeat until there are 8 sheets of phyllo in the pan. Place half of the walnut mixture in the pan, place a sheet of phyllo on top of it, brush with butter, place the rest of the walnut mixture on top, and continue layering and buttering the remaining sheets of phyllo. Once finished, cut into small triangle pieces.
Bake in the oven until golden, about 1 hour.
While the baklava is in the oven, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup,  lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla in a heavy saucepan and let simmer 5-7 minutes. When the baklava is done, pour the warm syrup evenly over the pieces and let sit for 1 hour before serving.
Source: Eleni Melirrytos

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken Paremesan

Ingredients:
1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1 pound chicken
2 cups warm marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 475˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with olive oil.
Toast the breadcrumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet until golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Once done, place in a shallow dish with the Parmesan cheese.
Combine the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a second shallow dish.
Whisk together the egg whites and the water in a third shallow dish.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Then, coat each piece first in the flour mixture, then with the egg whites and water, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place the chicken on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Remove from the oven, cover one side of the chicken with marinara sauce, and then sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve with pasta.
Source: Annie's Eats

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pizza Rolls

Ingredients:
olive oil
1/2 batch of pizza dough
mozzarella cheese
sliced turkey pepperoni
Italian seasoning
grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Oil a 9-inch pie pan.
Divide the pizza dough into 24 pieces. Flatten out one piece of dough, place as much or as little mozzarella cheese and pepperoni as you like in the dough, pinch and seal the dough together, and place down in the pie pan. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
Brush olive oil across the top of the rolls and sprinkle Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Source: Annie's Eats

Pizza Dough

This makes 2 pizza crusts. 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 cups room temperature water
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
olive oil
bread flour

Directions:
Place the warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle and mix in the yeast and let sit until the yeast is dissolved. Stir in the room temperature water and oil. 
Combine the bread flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Slowly add in the liquid mixture with a flat beater. Mix on a low speed until the dough comes together. Stop the mixer and replace the flat beater with a dough hook. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
Oil a large bowl, form the dough into a ball, and let the dough rise in the oiled bowl until it has doubled in size for about 90-120 minutes.
Once the dough has risen, roll out and divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Use 1/2 of the dough to make 1 pizza.
Source: Annie's Eats

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Banana Bread

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
1/2 cup canola oil
2-4 very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
Beat the eggs and sugar together until fluffy.
Slowly pour in the oil on a medium speed. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Fold these dry ingredients into the batter until just combined.
Let bake in the oven for about 60-75 minutes, or until golden brown and the center springs back when touched. Let cool for about 30 minutes before taking out of the pan.
Source: adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peach Pie

Ingredients:
2 pie crusts
2 1/2 pounds peeled and pitted peaches, sliced about 1/4 inch thick 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons potato starch
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
milk or cream

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a 9-inch pie pan with 1 of the 9-inch pie crusts. 
Combine the peaches, sugar, potato starch, lemon juice, almond extract, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place the filling evenly in the bottom pie crust and dot with the butter pieces.
Cover with a lattice top using the 2nd pie crust, and brush lightly with the milk or cream. Place a pie crust shield over the edges of the pie and let bake in the oven for about 55 minutes.
Source: The Joy of Cooking 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups ground pecans

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ground cinnamon.
Blend the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl. Fold in the dry ingredients, and then fold in the zucchini and pecans.
Place the batter in the prepared loaf pan and let bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Let cool.
Source: The Joy of Cooking 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate Oblivion Torte

Chocolate Torte
Ingredients:
8 ounces Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
8 ounces Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Thoroughly butter an 8-inch springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment the size of the springform pan and place in the bottom of the pan. Butter the parchment once it is in the bottom of the pan. Place heavy duty aluminum foil around the outside of the pan. Cut a circle slightly larger than the pan out of heavy duty aluminum foil. Butter one side of the aluminum foil and set aside.
Place a large metal bowl over a pot of hot water. The bottom of the metal bowl should not be touching the water. Place the chocolate and butter in the metal bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. Take the bowl off the water and let cool for about 5 minutes.
Place a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Place the eggs in the bowl, stirring constantly to prevent curdling, until just warm to the touch. Remove the mixing bowl with the eggs from the heat and beat with a mixer on a high speed until the eggs have tripled in volume and soft peaks form.
Fold half of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula until they are almost incorporated. Fold in the other half of the beaten eggs until no streaks remain. Make sure there is no chocolate left at the bottom of the bowl.
Place this mixture into the prepared springform pan. Place the springform pan into a larger pan filled with very hot water. Place in the oven and let bake for 5 minutes. Place the buttered aluminum foil circle loosely on top of the springform pan and let bake 10 minutes. Make sure the buttered side of the foil is facing down.
Once the cake is done baking, take the aluminum foil surrounding the pan off and let cool for 45 minutes. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Store refrigerated.
Source: Katherine Evans

Creme Anglaise
Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste
6 egg yolks

Directions:
Combine the cream and the sugar in a heavy saucepan. Add the vanilla bean paste and bring just to a boil over medium-low heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in the cream gradually, 1/4 cup at a time, to prevent curdling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until thickened for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Strain into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
Serve with the chocolate torte. 
Source: Katherine Evans

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Naan

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
about 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
Place the warm water in a medium sized bowl. Add the sugar to the water, and then sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and sugar. Mix lightly together and let sit for 10 minutes.
Add the flour and salt and mix well. Then, add yogurt and unsalted butter and mix until a dough forms. Knead this dough until it is smooth.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm place (I always prefer a spot in the sun) and let rise for about 2 hours.
Once the dough has risen, place on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into about 6 balls before rolling into circles.
Lightly grease a small skillet with a little bit of the melted butter. Grease both sides of all of the rolled out balls with the butter before placing on the skillet. Let each side of the dough cook until it becomes a light brown color.
Source: adapted from Closet Cooking.  


Tastes great with Chicken Tikka Masala!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:
3-4 chicken breasts
salt
ground coriander
ground cumin
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
about a 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons Garam Masala (If you cannot find Garam Masala, take 3 tablespoons of a mixture of 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, and 1 tablespoon ground cardamom)
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups basmati rice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F on the broil setting. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire cooling rack on top of the foil.
Season the chicken with salt, coriander, and cumin on both sides. Cover the seasoned chicken with the plain yogurt and place on the wire cooling rack. Place in the oven about 10 inches under the broiler, cooking the chicken about 5-7 minutes on each side.


Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Then, add the garlic, ginger, and salt and let cook. Add the Garam Masala (or the alternative mixture if you don't have/can't find it). Next, add the tomatoes and the sugar. Let simmer for about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook 2 cups basmati rice according to the directions on the packaging.
Add the heavy cream to the sauce and stir until well combined. Cut the cooked chicken into small pieces before adding. Finally, add the cilantro.
Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman.


Tastes great with Naan

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fresh Cherry Pie

Ingredients:
2 pie crusts
5 cups Bing cherries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons potato starch
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Make 2 pie crusts, one for the bottom, and one for the lattice top. Place 1 crust firmly in a pie pan.


Combine the cherries, sugar, potato starch, water, lemon juice, and almond extract in a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes. Place this in the bottom of the prepared crust.

Place the butter over the cherry mixture.


Cover with a lattice top using the 2nd pie crust.


Place a pie crush shield over the edges of the pie and bake in the oven for about 55 minutes. Once done, let cool.
Source: The Joy of Cooking

Pie Crust

This makes 1 9-inch pie crust that is easy, quick, and works every time!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 tablespoons very cold water

Directions:
Stir the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and coat with the flour mixture.
Mix on a medium-low speed with a flat beater until the texture of the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make sure the butter pieces are no larger than small peas.
Add the water and mix on a low speed until the dough comes together.
Roll into a ball on a floured surface.
Roll out flat.
Rub flour on both sides of the rolled out crust and place in a pie pan.
Source: Williams Sonoma

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spinach Quiche

Ingredients:
1 pie crust 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
10 ounces spinach
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese
4 large eggs 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven until 375˚F. Press 1 pie crust firmly in a pie pan.
Melt the butter with the onion and garlic on low heat until the garlic and onion are translucent. Stir in the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes.
Beat the evaporated milk, cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, and salt in a medium sized bowl. 
Place the Swiss cheese and the Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the pie crust. Place the spinach mixture over the cheese. Place the egg mixture over the spinach mixture.
Place in the oven for about 50 minutes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chili

Ingredients:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 package dry ranch
2 packages taco seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chiles
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 bean can full of water

Directions:
Place the garlic, onion, and olive oil in a large pot and saute until tender. Add the turkey, ranch, and taco seasoning. Mix with the garlic, onion, and olive oil until the turkey is brown. Once the turkey is brown, add the tomatoes and green chiles. Drain the black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and corn and add to the pot. Fill 1 bean can with water and add to the pot. Let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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