Tag Archives: baking

sour.cream.blueberry.muffins

The husband doesn’t request specific foods a lot, and definitely not anything that would be considered a sweet or a bread. So when he casually left the Alice Bay Cookbook (A savory sampler from Washington’s Skagit Valley) laying around the living room, instead of being mad as his slovenliness, I took it as a sign he wanted me to make his favorite muffins.

  • Preheat oven to 415*
  • Cream 1/4 cup room temperature butter with 3/4 cup sugar
  • Slowly add 2 eggs,1 at a time and continue mixing until combined evenly
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Alternate adding sour cream (3/4 cup total) and flour (1 1/4 + 2 TB total)
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and gently fold in 1 cup blueberries

Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Stuff face. Makes 12 delicious muffins.

muffins

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sourdough.starter:pancakes

My dad has kept the same batch of sourdough starter going for over 36 years (even he can’t tell you exactly how old it is) and I grew up eating sourdough pancakes. I became such a pancake snob that all other pancakes are considered vastly inferior, if not just gross (except my grandmas banana pancakes….yum). On my parents most recent trip up north they brought yet another jar for me to nurture (in the many moves from apartments to different states etc I have lost or abandoned more than a few jars…) and I immediately threw it into action.

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The first thing I did was make pancakes – duh. I can actually portion from memory but I’ve had the official instructions for years and with a little practice you can do the same thing.

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The sourdough base can be used for anything from bread to pizza dough, to any other sourdoughy thing you can think of. It’s cheap and easy and each “strain” takes on it’s own specific characteristics. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to pull from my dad’s stash, you can start your own starter. Many specialty stores carry the yeasty bits, or someone in a cold sourdough heavy place (like Alaska) could even mail you a postcard with the “just add water” components.

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local.apple.crisp

My friend Heather moved a year or so ago from the big city to a fab little house about an hour away. I don’t get to see her as much as I used to, and am ashamed to admit that yesterday was the first I had seen her new digs. She has a great view, loads of land to grow stuff on, and a snow apple tree. She braved the spiders and creepy crawled to harvest these little guys and sent us home with a huge bag. These little apples average a little larger than a ping pong ball and are delish.

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Since they are so small, peeling and coring can be a challenge, but I think they are perfect for a batch of apple crisp. I quartered them (with a little help from the husband), cleaned the seeds and added them to my baking pan.

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Apple crisp is a great dessert that doesn’t have a ton of sugar but is still a sweet treat. It definitely doesn’t last long around here.

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apple.cake.&.whipped.cream

I made an awesome¬†raspberry and fig cake with lemon zest a few days ago – and it was really, really good…What put it over the top was the addition of real whipped cream. If you aren’t using real, made yourself, whipped cream, you aren’t living my friend. It’s super easy to do.

  • Send your husband to the store to buy a small container of heavy cream, or ‘whipping cream’
  • Add cream to stand mixer and whisk at a medium – high setting until fluffy (approximately 3 minutes)
  • Flavor with a spoonful of confectioners sugar, or some of the vanilla syrup you use in your morning coffee and give it a few more whirls with the mixer
  • Shove finger into cream and taste test
  • Repeat
  • Add to cake and enjoy

Fresh whipped cream will stay in your fridge for up to 5 days before it starts to break down and get funky. And since we polished off the previous cake within that time frame, I figured it was a shame to waste the cream…..so I made another cake!

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I used the same recipe as before (it doesn’t get any easier) as a base, but omitted the citrus and zest, instead opting for a few good shakes of cinnamon and sliced apples as my garnish. It feels a lot like fall around here these days, so a cake like this was pretty mandatory. Top with leftover whipped cream and it’s the perfect end to a great day! (You can also have it for breakfast. I went ahead and tested that theory this morning and it’s also really good….)

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raspberry.fig.cake

Last week I was seduced by a bunch of fresh figs at Costco. And since it was Costco, that of course means that a bunch is actually a metric ton (only a slight exaggeration). The husband and I have had our fill of the fresh figs, so it was time to come up with something that made use of the not quite turned-still edible-sort of fresh figs. I loosely based my fig cake recipe on the one found here in Food & Wine.

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  • Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar with 3 eggs until fluffy, about 2 minutes
  • Add 1 stick melted unsalted butter and the zest and juice of 1 lemon, mix until incorporated
  • Add a few squirts of lime juice (this is technical stuff people) and slowly add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix until smooth

Butter and dust a 9 inch cake pan and add the batter. Using some of last years frozen raspberries, drop a few dollops into the batter and add your cut figs to make a pattern of your choice.

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Bake for 40 minutes at 350* on the second lowest rack in the oven. Move cake to the 2nd from the top rack and continue baking for 35 minutes. Cake is finished when a tester comes out clean. Cool, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy. It’s really, really, good.

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homemade.hamburger.buns

According to my scientific calculations, it has been way too long since I’ve updated (that’s science). So I bring you a delicious recipe for homemade hamburger buns as an apology offering. This is the first time I’ve done them, but they turned out so well (and are so stupidly easy) I don’t think I’ll be buying them anymore. One more thing off the shopping list! And one more thing that makes all my friends think I’m an even bigger hipster homesteader. (I’m ok with that).

  • Add 3 1/2 cups bread flour to your stand mixer
  • Proof 1 TB yeast in 3/4 cup warm water
  • Add 1 large egg, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 TB melted butter and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt to your flour and start the mixer using the bread hook attachment
  • Add water and yeast to flour and mix. Slowly drizzle more warm water to dough if it is not pulling together
  • “Knead” with the hook for 5-8 minutes
  • Form a ball with the dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise until doubled (I rise on the heating pad – so much faster!)

After your dough has risen, gently punch down and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll the dough into a ball and set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Remember to fold the bottom of the roll into itself so the weird edges don’t rise up and out creating mutant buns. Press the ball into 3 inch or so flat circles, lightly flour, and allow to rise (covered) until doubled.

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Brush with melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes (until brown) in a 375* oven.

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We ripped into one last night as soon as it cooled and they were pretty amazing. The hands on time it takes to make these is so minimal – probably as long as it would take you to go to the store. So, why buy it? Make it.

 

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dog.birthday.pupcake

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Our awesome little Blue Heeler Cedar just celebrated her 8th Birthday (or is it Barkday?). And since I’m “that person” I absolutely had to make her a cake. Dog cakes are different from people cakes as all that sugar and extra stuff isn’t good for them (I know it’s not really good for us either, but we have thumbs so it’s ok), so carrots are the main ingredient in this one. And considering carrots are pretty much the only ‘people food’ she’s allowed, and absolutely loves them and comes running when she hears them being chopped, this cake was a huge doggy hit.

  • Grate 1 1/2-2 cups carrots
  • Add 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 cup honey to a bowl
  • Arrange slices from 1 large carrot on the bottom of a lightly greased cake pan to allow for ultimate doggy cake presentation (yeah, I know she doesn’t care)
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350* oven
  • Cool, release and serve

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She thought it was pretty much the best thing ever. I’m not even sure she bothered to chew. Happy Birthday Cedar!

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french.bread

Last weekend I went a little crazy at Costco and bought the 50# bag of bread flour. Why? Because it was only $20 and I use bread flour for almost everything (it makes things lighter and fluffier and awesomer). So of course I get to make as many loaves of fresh bread as I want. With gumbo on the menu for tonight, I thought a loaf of nice, sexy, French bread would be the winning touch.

  • Proof 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast in 1 1/4 cup warm water (80-90 degrees)
  • Add 3 cups flour, 2 tsp sugar & 1 tsp salt to mixing bowl
  • Mix with dough hook until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary
  • Rise in an oiled bowl until doubled
  • Punch down, roll out into a rectangle on a well floured surface, then roll to form a tube – pinch ends together and rise, covered, for another 30-45 minutes, slice lines just before baking
  • Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes (add a dish of water to the oven while baking for a crisper crustkitchenaid

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And yes. I tastes even better than it looks.

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raspberry.scones

A friend took me to the most amazing full-yard garden this past weekend, where I not only drooled over their fabulous vegetables and chickens, but picked more raspberries than I know what to do with. I came home with 2 full gallon containers, and I lost count how many went directly into my mouth.

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Today I pulled out my ‘proper English tea’ cookbook and decided to give some scones a go, all proper like.

  • Sift and mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt in a mixing bowl
  • Cut in 3-4 TB butter and slowly add 2/3 cup buttermilk and mix
  • You should have a nice heavy dough at this point. Add a handful or 2 of raspberries to the mix and gently mix into dough – no, it won’t be pretty
  • Roll out on a floured counter top. 1/2 thick is best, cut into triangles, and arrange on a baking sheet, close together, but not touching
  • Bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes

If you have some clotted creme sitting around, you are more than welcome to throw that pinky up and dive in. I had ice cream, and more berries, and man oh man are these little guys good.

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