Saturday, December 4, 2010

Buckwheat pancakes

I was surprised by these buckwheat pancakes. They weren't heavy like buckwheat pancakes of my youth. They were softer, moister, and delicious. Jeff had seconds.

Buckwheat pancakes
1 cup ground buckwheat flour (we used Bouchard Family Farm brand)
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon butter (for flavor - delicious, delicious flavor)
1 or 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat your pan to medium on the stovetop (4 was the setting that I used). Combine all ingredients.

I should note - I only intended on adding 1/4 cup of milk in these at first, but the batter was too dry. So, I kept adding. 3/4 cup was the perfect amount.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto heated pan. Cook & serve like normal pancakes.

Makes 10 half dollar pancakes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

This may be the best cake recipe ever.  I love it.  Tastes amazing.  The Washington Post ran Restaurant Eve's Cake recipe.  (Restaurant Eve is this delicious place in Old Town, Alexandria.  If you get the chance eat there.  There is a great lunch deal, cause the place is not exactly the cheapest.)  So this is where it's from.  Mix the batter and the icing for a long time.  That is the secret.  

I made it into a Steeler helmet.  Well, I tried really hard.  They make it look really easy on TV.  It's not so simple.  I used 3 pans instead of 2 pans.  Using parchment paper makes the cake level when you bake it, instead of that round top that you normally get.  I have no idea why.

Ingredients- Serves 12.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional to grease pans
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)
Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Melt butter and let it cool to room temperature.  Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer. (A stand mixer is preferable for this recipe, though a hand-held electric mixer may be used.) On medium speed, add the butter, incorporating in several additions. Beat for about 2 minutes, or until combined; the texture should resemble cornmeal.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add to the flour-butter mixture in two batches (scraping the bowl once), and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans to cool completely. Frost the cake. It can stand at room temperature for 1 hour; otherwise, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

This makes a generous amount of icing, so those with a not-so-sweet tooth may want to reduce the quantities or expect leftovers.

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds (7 1/2 -8 cups) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, (may substitute whole, low-fat or nonfat milk)
Food coloring (optional)

In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy. On low speed, add the sugar in batches, increasing the speed to high after each addition is incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and cream in a steady stream on low speed until incorporated. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired. (Restaurant Eve uses red to make pink.) Beat on high speed for 8-10 minutes, until light and fluffy.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chili Corn Bread

It's been a while--cause I went to Italy on vacation.  I highly recommend going to Italy.  But all you do is eat.  And eat.  The food is fabulous, but be prepared.  

On an unrelated note, after I moved to the south, I decided to learn how to cook southern food.  So I tried a bunch of times to make corn bread (cause it's amazing).  Mine was always too dry.  So a former co-worker, Donney Bibb gave me a recipe.  I love it.  To be southern, it has to be a cast iron skillet.  Ha ha

3t baking powder
1 c yellow cornmeal
1 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 t salt
1 egg
3/4 c milk
1/3 c corn oil
some corn
1 jalapeno
2 chopped green onions
some cheddar cheese, shredded
some red pepper

Pre-heat over to 425 degrees

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix together.  In a separate bowl, beat egg slightly, and blend into mixture.  Blend in milk and oil.  When well blended, add the remaining ingredients one at a time (batter will be lumpy).

Pour mixture into a cast iron skillet.  Bake 30-45 minutes.  


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Banana (Nut) Bread

My mom gave me this recipe, from Betty Crocker I think.  She mostly makes banana nut bread loafs.  I use to eat granola bars for a mid-morning snack.  But I'm not crazy about the processed food and strange ingredients.  So now I make banana (nut) bread as muffins.  They are delicious.  And a nice portion size.

2 1/2 C flour
1 C sugar
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3 T vegetable oil
3/4 C milk
1 egg
1 c finely chopped nuts (I use steel oats instead)
1 c mashed/riped bananas (2 or 3 medium sized
1/2 c of dried cranberries (optional)

-Preheat over to 300 degrees
-Grease and flour 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (I put muffin liners in 2 muffin pan)
-Measure all ingredients into a bowl (not the dried cranberries)
-beat on medium speed for 1/2 minute, scraping side and bottom of the bowl
-pour into pan (if making muffins, pour half into cups, then add dried cranberries for other half)
-bake 55 to 65 minutes
-remove from pan
-cool thoroughly before slicing

-bake 30 minutes for muffins, makes up to 24 muffins


Monday, August 2, 2010

Angel Food Cake Roll

Hi.  This is one of my favorite desserts.  And everyone loves it.  What's better than ice cream?  And Angel food cake (though in this instance I use a box mix).  I think I got the recipe out of a cooking magazine, but I have no idea which.  It has been a long while.

1 Package (16oz) Angel Food Cake Mix
5 t confectioners' sugar
8 oz ice cream (I get a small vanilla from DQ or McDonald's)
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 drops red food coloring (I left it out this time)
Whipping crème

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Line a 15in x 10in x 1 in baking pan with waxed paper.  Prepare cake according to package directions.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Cool for 5 minutes.  

Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar.  Gently peel off waxed paper.  Roll up jelly-roll style in the towel, starting with a short side.  

Cool on a wire rack.

In a bowl, whisk the ice cream, pudding mix, and food coloring.  Fold in whipped crème.  Unroll cake, spread filling evenly over cake to within 1/2 inch of edges.  Roll up.  Cover and freeze.  Remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to slicing.  


If you look closely, you can see the ice cream in the middle of the cake.  


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Salsa Soup

This is one of my favorite summertime meals.  I buy most everything from the farmer's market.  Though this year I have grown my own jalapenos!  I am very excited about this.  If my current job does not work out, I'll be a farmer.  Ha ha

The basic recipe came from Cookshelf Soup cookbook.  I have modified it.  You can use any colored peppers.  I add additional seasonings, but it's hot stuff that I have on hand.  This is enough soup to be my lunch for a entire week.  Or I eat it for dinner.  Sometimes I have chips or crusty bread with it.  Some avocado would also be good.  

2 large ears of corn
1-3 T olive oil 
2 green peppers
2 jalapenos peppers
1 onion (I use a red one as I like lots of colors)
3 or 4 tomatoes, skinned, chopped
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1/2 c water
2 or 3 c low sodium tomato juice
salt and pepper

Boil water.  Add tomato and cook for 20 seconds.  Take out tomato and skin.  Then chop.  

Chop the peppers and onion.  Cut corn kernels from the cob.

Heat oil in saucepan over a medium-high heat.  Add the peppers and cook, stirring briskly for 3 minutes.  Add onion and continue cooking 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, corn, and chili powder.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.  Pour in the water and when it bubbles, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the peppers are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a large container and stir in the tomato juice.  Add more chili powder if desired.  Cover and refrigerate until cold.  


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna at the Beach

My wonderful, extended family and some of their friends (27 total) went last week to the Outer Banks on vacation.  We rented a huge house ocean front.  Everyone takes a turn cooking. Had Thanksgiving dinner/ham/tenderloin one night.  Enchiladas another.  Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken too.  Then my turn came up.  What better to feed everyone than lasagna. There were actually 3 lasagnas, with a seafood one, and a traditional one.  Other talented chefs made those.  

I always add a jalapeno to my to make it a bit spicier.  Also, all the vegetables ensures leftovers, cause what kid will eat all these?  Well, not many kids that were with us.  Special thanks to Olivia and Maddie, my little cousins, for helping.  (Short of chopping, they did most of the work.)  

2 green zucchini chopped
2 yellow squash chopped
1 head of broccoli chopped/box frozen (prepare according to directions)
1 15 oz box of frozen spinach (prepare according to directions)
2/3 tomatoes
1 green pepper chopped
1 yellow or orange pepper chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper chopped
1 jar tomato sauce
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 package of mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1 package of cooked lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  After cutting vegetables, put into pan with a little olive oil and heat.  Mix the ricotta cheese and egg, along with some mozzarella.  Put some sauce on bottom of 9" by 13" pan.  Put down 3 noodles across.  Then cheese on top of noodles.  Put a little pasta sauce on top of the cheese.  Use vegetables instead of meat sauce.  Repeat until down with ingredients.  Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered.  Uncover and cook an additional 20 minutes.