Monday, September 30, 2013

Muffin ginger chocolate

I came across this Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk muffin recipe from Coconut and Berries and it sounded delicious, so I gave it a try and am glad that I did. I made a few adjustments to the recipe based on what I already had in my kitchen. Here's what I did:

Mix together the dry ingredients:
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Mix together the wet ingredients
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
2Tablespoons vegetable oil
2Tablespoons molasses
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together then add:
handful of dark chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons crystalized ginger cut into small pieces

Should make about six regular sized muffins
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or longer if needed

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Scones from the Garden

It's 9:30 and I'm at my computer, with my coffee and 3 types of scones to sample. This morning is off to a pretty productive start.

I love fall but my garden does not and as I prepare to be gone for a week I was trying to think of a way to keep some of my garden goodies in case it gets too cold for much to survive in my garden. I had a lot of raspberries and some spicy peppers (they are either poblanos or padrones, I've been unable to determine which). And I threw in a third type of scone based on what was in the fridge. These will also double as breakfast for my early morning flight tomorrow and the rest of them will be waiting in the freezer for me.

Raspberry Oat Scones - inspired by Scottish Oat Scone Recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oatmeal oats
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspooon salt
2/3 cup butter melted
1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 egg
fresh raspberries (I didn't measure I used all the ones I picked this morning so it was probably about a cup)

Mix together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined
add in raspberries
I formed small balls and flattened them to about 3/4 inch by hand then placed them on parchment lined baking sheet and baked at 450  for 12 minutes

Bacon & Date Scones (because I had some bacon and dates on hand)

6 slices of bacon
10 dates
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter
2/3 cup milk

Cook the bacon, until cooked but not crispy then chop
Remove pits from dates and cut into small pieces
Mix together the dry ingredients
Toss the dates in with the dry ingredients, then add the bacon
Cut the butter into small pieces and toss in
Mix in milk then mix with hands a bit
I formed small balls and flattened them to about 3/4 inch by hand then placed them on parchment lined baking sheet
brush top of each scone with left over bacon fat from cooking bacon then sprinkle with maple sugar
bake at 400 for 15 minutes

3 C Scones (Cheddar, Chive, Cornmeal)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal - I used polenta
1/2 Tablespoon bakign powder
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon, paprika & fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup of milk - you may not need to use it all, mix it in slowly
1 Tablespoon butter
spicy peppers

Remove seeds from peppers and cut small, put on the stove with the tablespoon of butter and let cook a little
Mix together the dry ingredients
Add in the chives and cheese
Add the milk and mix until just combined, the full cup of milk made the consistence more like a dough than a batter so you may want to add less and have a more firm dough, if you add it all (which I did) then drop spoonfuls of batter on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400  for 20 minutes

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cucumber Sandwich

Our garden has been struggling a bit this year. The weather has had some kind of extreme swings which hasn't helped anything except perhaps cucumbers... I have more cucumbers this year that I've ever had before. Although I love pickles, I've run out of containers to put any more in... so I looked up some other cucumber recipes and tried this one for Roasted Cucumber Sandwiches

I am generally not a particularly precise cook so if you're interested in more exact amounts of things then check out the recipe linked above. Here's what I did:
Preheat the oven to 400
brush cucumbers with melted butter and put them in the oven for about 15minutes, you want them to stay a bit crisp but also be tender, I know sounds contradictory. When they're cooked put them in the fridge to chill. 

Mix together
equal parts Greek yogurt & mayonnaise 
salt-packed capers, chopped 
clove of garlic, chopped 
fresh parsley, chopped 
fresh mint, chopped 
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Slice focaccia, brush with olive oil and lightly toast in the oven. 
Slice the cooked cucumbers and toss them with the yogurt mixture.
Build your sandwich and enjoy! 

It was a fun twist on an English cucumber sandwich and a nice way to use some cucumbers. 
It will keep for a few days as long as you only mix the cucumber with the yogurt when you're ready to eat it. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spiced up Mac 'n Cheese

The basic recipe:
1 stick of butter
5 cups of milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups grated sharp white cheddar
3 cups grated gruyere
1/2 cup pecorino romano 
1 1/2 lb macaroni
Added flavors:
truffle oil

Cook the pasta al dente
Sautee pancetta, onion and garlic
Mix up the cheese sauce
On the stove melt butter, add milk, flour, seasoning and slowly add in cheese to melt over low heat add in truffle oil
chop up the poblano pepper and toss that and the sautéed food in with the pasta then mix in the cheese sauce

The last step is putting it in the oven. This makes a lot of mac 'n cheese, so I put some of it right into smaller containers in the freezer and then when I need a quick dinner I can just pull it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. I also wanted to try some of it right away so I put some right in to the oven to enjoy.