June 13, 2013 § 1 Comment
One of my little goals recently has been to try to make a new type of bread each month. I've baked a lot of sweets since I was a teenager, but never did much bread. I always got turned off by the timely process. I hate waiting. That and loosing hair scrunchies are easily some of my worst qualities. But I'm trying to learn to be better, both about the patience and the whole scrunchie thing. A few days ago I was struck with the need for cinnamon bread and decided it would be this month's bread.
I used this recipe from Seasons & Suppers and just left out the raisins. It came out great and I love that I ended up with an extra loaf to keep in my freezer. I've been enjoying a couple slices each morning with a nice big cup of coffee and it's pretty heavenly:)
June 1, 2013 § 3 Comments
I've loved baking and cooking since I was little. My mom always made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, so those were one of the first things I ever learned to make. When I was a teenager I got really into photography. Almost every weekend I was begging my sisters or parents to take me to a local band's show just so I could snap some photos. Even though my first blog was mostly about food, my love for photography and food never really crossed like I think I had hoped would happen naturally.
I do love sharing the occasional recipe on here when I come across something really good, but recently I was going through some of my old recipes and was really unhappy with the photos I had posted with most of them. I don't expect myself to be some amazing food stylist and photographer, but I've really just been plain old lazy about my food photos – sometimes just rushing myself through them even when I didn't have to.
One of my little goals this year is to really push myself with photography, and one of the things I already had in mind when making that goal was to really focus on improving my food photos. I love looking at food blogs with great photography, and even though this isn't a food blog, when I do share recipes I love I want to be able to convey to everyone how great it really is.
I was experimenting with making a little cocktail last night and the house was pretty quiet so I decided it was time for me to really spend some time experimenting with a little styling and photography on it. Of course, the cocktail actually didn't come out so well (much too strong, perhaps I'll tweak and maybe share a recipe when I work it out) but I feel like I really did learn a lot from spending a good half hour doing nothing but taking photos of it. For one of the first times I really brought in some "props", tried several different spots to play with lighting, and experimented with different angles. I took over 100 photos and the farther I got into looking at the photos, the better they really were (the ones up top are from the very end of my shooting). Now I'm really wandering why I never took this time before, why I've been so darn lazy!
I am certainly no Joy the Baker (and probably never will be), but I now realize how I need to do this more – slow down, think about things, experiment, and not afraid to try something new or different. Practice makes perfect – with everything, so why not dive in and have some fun?
Anyone else out there playing with food photography? Or really exploring any new area of photography!
May 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
Rhubarb is one of those foods that are made for pairing. By itself it seems like some strange red cousin of celery, but as soon as it's baking with strawberries it somehow takes their incredible flavor and smell to an entirely different level. That's why I wanted to keep this little dish as simple as possible. The pairing is so great you really don't need a complicated topping to make it amazing, although It pretty much screams for a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
1 pint of Strawberries (cleaned, hulled and cut up)
1 1/2 stalks of Rhubarb (cleaned and chopped into 1 inch peices)
1/2 cup of Sugar (I used raw)
1 Tbsp of cornstach
Zest of one Orange
1 cup of olf fashion Oats
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp of Salt
4 Tbsp of Butter (cut into small peices)
1 Tbsp of Honey
Combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. In a seperate bowl combine all remaining ingredients except honey. Mix until butter is crumbly, add in honey and mix well until combined. Grease a 8.5×4.5 baking dish, pour in strawberry mixture and top with crumb mixture. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and browned. Allow to cool until fruit is set.
April 16, 2012 § 3 Comments
Simple, tasty and heathy(ish) too?
Pretty much the perfect little snack, I'd say:)
Not to mention, these would be super easy to customize.
Dark chocolate? Milk chocolate? White chocolate? Nuts? Sprinkles? Coconut flakes?
There's really an endless list of ways to make this to suit your taste. As for me, I'm a simple girl. Just chocolate… oh and maybe just a couple with sprinkles too…
As for the ingredients. All you really need is bananas and some sort of melting chocolate. I also used some super cute paper straws I got from Williams Sonoma a while back as the lollipop sticks, but you could also use regular ones you can find at most craft stores.
I got this little "heat and dip" melting chocolate at my grocerie store, but really, it's just the same as getting the nice sized bags of chocolate melts from the craft or candy-making store.
The trickiest part is getting the banana chunks to stay on the lollipop sticks while you coat them in chocolate (spoiler alert: if you just dive in with them normal you'll end up fishing chunks of banana out of your chocolate). Here's what I do:
1. Discarding (i.e. eating) the ends of the bananas, cut them into large chunks. 2.Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate. 3. Push the stick about halfway through the banana. 4. Put them on a sheet of parchment paper, on a plate, and stick in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or chocolate is frozen. 5. Dip the bananas in the chocolate, covering on all sides. Tap the stick to pop any air bubbles and allow all extra chocolate to drip off. (if you're adding any toppings, now is the time!)
Once all of them have been dipped, return to freezer and allow to harden before eating.
After whipping up a batch of these, my brother asked if you could over-dose on the potassium in bananas. These are a bit addictive. Oh yes, they are.
January 1, 2012 § 5 Comments
Just so we're clear, English Muffins are not my new years resolution.
That would just be weird… and wouldn't even make sense.
Now that we have that taken care of,
My resolution is simple, to make more foods from scratch that are already staples of my daily diet, but I always grab from shelves of supermarkets without a second thought.
Oh, and to share them here:)
Turns out a lot of my every-day foods are really, way simpler to make then I would have ever thought. For instance, these English Muffins.
The only part that takes more than a few minutes to do is the rising. And it's not like you need to sit and stare at the bowl while the dough rises. in fact… that'd be kind of weird.
These are perfect to make on a day when you have some errands to run or cleaning to do. You can just throw the dough together in the morning, shape them when you come back in the afternoon, and cook 'em that night!
the recipe serves 18 muffins.
1 cup milk 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 1/4 cup melted shortening (I used butter) 6 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt
Milk & Sugar // Melted Butter // Yeast
On a medium heat warm the cup of milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, and keep stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture cool till lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in a warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In another large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and the rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let it rise at least 2 hours. *I used my dough hook instead of kneading by hand (I'm lazy:) and I also had to add a few extra spoonfools to my dough to get a good consistency – the dough should still be sticky, but stay together on its own well*
Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass, or empty tuna can, whatever you have and give you a round shape. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour. *I used the lid of a mason jar as my cutter & let my rounds rise for 2 hours*
Heat greased griddle. Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side on a medium heat. Keep baked muffins in a warm oven until all have been cooked. Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage. To use, split with fork and toast.
the whole recipe makes way more than I need, so I halved it and got 8, but now that I know how good it is I probably will make a whole batch at a time and freeze some plus they're way cheaper than the store-bought kind, and I already had everything in my cabinets to make them!
Happy New Year!