All posts tagged: Baking

Coconut Granola

My friend Marcy and I recently visited our friend Sarah in Denver, and she cooked up a storm of beautiful, healthy, and delicious dishes for us.  Many of which I’ve tried to recreate since being home.  While I might not have the same wonderful company of friends here and definitely don’t have the glorious views of the sky and mountains, I do have the memories.  One of my favorites she made was this coconut granola.  We had it each morning poured over greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and a spoonful of chia seeds.  We also dipped our hands into it throughout the day… and her supply started to become very low. I knew this was one I’d have to make straight away upon my return home. Coconut Granola Ingredients: 3 cups Old Fashion Oats ¾ cups Raw Cashews, Roughly Chopped ¾ cups Almond, Roughly Chopped 1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (I used sweetened coconut and reduced the brown sugar to 1/3 cup) 1 teaspoon Salt 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1 stick Unsalted Butter ¼ cups Agave Nectar (or Honey) …

Tartine’s Seeded Whole Grain Bread

I’ve never pretended to be a baker.  For one reason, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  Second reason is normally baking recipes serve an army: dozens of cookies, three layer cake, etc.  And with 2 people in my household, that’s too much for us.  Making bread, however, is different.  You can easily freeze extra loaves and/or slices.  With recent media featuring recipes from San Francisco’s Tartine and New York’s Jim Lahey, I couldn’t help but be inspired, and I felt that maybe, just maybe, I could try my hand at being a non-sweet, more savory baker. This particular recipe comes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, courtesy of Tartine baker and co-owner Chad Roberston.  I followed the instructions exactly for the poolish pre-ferment (packaged yeast) version–including weighing all measurements.  I did not have linen-lined baskets for the last rise, so I simply lined a few wide, short ceramic bowls with clean kitchen towels–worked just fine.  This bread was so amazingly good.  The crust was crisp and dark and the inside was perfectly moist and chewy.  …

Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake with White Chocolate + Pecans

I’ve learned a lot about food, wine, and cooking from my parents.  My father has been making cheesecakes for well over a decade.  At one point, he even sold them to restaurants for resale.  Lemon, cherry, chocolate, you name it–he’s made them all, and every single one of them has been a hit for all that were lucky enough to get a precious bite.  Because they were so relatively common, I’m not sure why I found the idea of making one so intimidating.  I think the fear of an under-cooked gooey center or a faulty spring-form pan might have been two potential reasons. My husband Nick had never had the opportunity to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes, so for Thanksgiving this year, cheesecake was the simple dessert choice.  I mean, you have to have a dessert for Thanksgiving, and Nick HAD to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes eventually.  That whole two birds, one stone thing… yeah, it’s an expression for a reason.  So we went for it–together.  I figured if I watched my …

Pumpkin Spice Bars

I love all-things-pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ravioli, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin in salads, and even just staring at hundreds of pumpkins displayed on a farm for picking.  (Why do I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump right now?  “shrimp salad… shrimp creole… shrimp scampi… ) They just smile Fall and cute and cozy to me.  I had a small group for Thanksgiving this year, and I wanted to do something different for dessert, and pumpkin pie was just too conventional.  So I turned to the Food Network for ideas: Voila.  Paula Deen.  The queen.  And she didn’t disappoint.  (Does she ever?)  With over 630 positive reviews, I had to check it out.  This recipe has tons of pumpkiny moist goodness, then topped with that awesome tang from cream cheese icing.  A pumpkin recipe match made in heaven.  So moist, a hint of spice.  It took me immediately to my dreamy pumpkin patch. Pumpkin Bars Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen, FoodNetwork.com Ingredients Bars: 4 eggs 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 15-ounce can pumpkin …

Savory Ham and Gruyere Mini Muffins

Yep–that is NOT a picture of mini muffins.  It’s a cake photo–a savory ham and gruyere cake photo.  The outside looks bubbly cheesy, slightly crisp… and it hints at all of the yummy goodies inside: more cheese, sweet ham, crumbly cake dough.  What you can’t tell by this photo is the fact that the center is goo… uncooked mush.  I did the toothpick test after 50 minutes in the oven–it was clean as a whistle.  I removed the loaf from the oven when the recipe told me to, did the toothpick test, let it sit to cool, and removed from the loaf pan.  Took my photos and anxiously cut myself a slice.  That’s when I first saw the goo.  The oven was off at that point, so I fired it back up thinking “hmmm, maybe my oven temperature was off–I’ll give it another 20 minutes.”  I removed it 20 minutes later–again, clean toothpick.  And sadly again, goo in the center.  I ended up having to cook this thing almost another hour until it was completely …

Olive to Share: 6 Layers of Sexy, Vintage Sugarcube

OMG.  Sometimes food just makes me smile–especially desserts.  Their cuteness, their sugary sweetness, their design, their color!  “6 Layers of Sexy,” a cake designed and baked by blogger Vintage Sugarcube made me giddy all over.  One look at those super adorable photos, and I felt my teeth start to sting with sweetness!  Check out all of the photos here and the recipe here.  For now, more instant eye candy for you.

“Instant” Pancakes

When I have a craving for pancakes, I know exactly where to go.  To my mom’s house.  She starts with a base of Aunt Jemima pancake mix (not the instant, “only have to add water” stuff), rather, it’s the kind where you have to add milk, eggs, and oil.  My mom adds eggs and milk (eyeballs it… never measures), butter and bacon grease, vanilla, and sometimes a little baking soda.  I judge pancakes by crispy edges and a soft, springy (almost spongey) inside.  I top ’em with butter and a little syrup (I feel too much syrup overpowers the other parts), and they’re perfect-o.  Everyone that eats my mom’s pancakes falls in love.  Sadly, my mom lives far away, so I can’t always get pancakes when I want them.  I’ve tried to follow her methods, and they just don’t taste the same.  I think they’re missing that made-with-love factor.  So I started looking for a recipe I could make–a go-to pancake recipe that my children one day would savor.  After many try-outs, I found Alton …