Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carrot Cake Shortbread

I made these shortbread cookies around Easter! They were mighty tasty. I believe my shortbread was a little softer (or, rather, the dough was) when I was making it than it should have been, however... the cookie parts turned out relatively good, despite being a bit prone to cracking. I also feel like my 'frosting' came out a little softer than it should. Perhaps my kitchen had been too hot that day... as of now, it's hard to remember. I think I made these in my current apartment, and it isn't like it really gets that hot...

THIS ALL ASIDE-- because honestly, is it really that important (the answer is no), these were quite good! They were very rich, and I... I think that maybe I was not the biggest fan of all the cookies I've made. Now that I think more about it, I bet the shortbread could have done with some nuts. Or the frosting. I think the original recipe actually had a giant walnut on top, and I should have done that but forgot while I was making them. That would have really made these cookies feel like they were going all the way.

Honestly, I wish I had more to say. I am including the recipe, which I used from a cooking blog (Piggy's, linked below) and I had it in my storage banks for recipes for what felt like quite a long time. It was one of the recipes I was waiting for a certain time of year to use... carrot cake and carrot bread usually make me think of early fall or Easter time. I'm sure it's because of things like Thanksgiving and Easter (the Holiday feast) that make me feel that way.

Okay, but seriously, I am going to stop rambling. I soon will be out of posts about things that I made so long ago I've completely forgotten about. I think. Honestly, I haven't pulled photos off my camera in awhile.

By the way, I opened up an art blog! Right now it is all the same drawings I have on facebook and/or Deviant Art, but it is there none the less. I have also been thinking of layout changes for Foodival (as well as) making a layout for it. I believe I called it Art Timez. It is creative, yes?

Carrot Cake Shortbread

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon shredded carrot

Oven at 300 Degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter, carrot, and vanilla extract until creamy. Transfer butter mixture to a piece of clingwrap, shape into a log, and freeze for 20 minutes.
Stir together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Remove the butter mixture from the freezer and add into the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter mixture into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs and clings together. Knead the dough until smooth and it forms a ball.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2 inch fluted cookie cutter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies turn slightly brown.
Separately, in a medium mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the shredded carrot.
Spread the frosting on about half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies. Serve!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Dip

I made this for game night! Like... six months ago! HAH! So! This was a jalapeno popper dip. In my hometown, or rather, a suburb of my home town, there was this little mexican restaurant that I was really into. We would go there-- and I wasn't the hugest fan of mexican food (I was well known for putting black olive rings on my fingers and waving my hands about as if I were the world's fanciest little girl) but they had these jalapeno poppers stuffed with cream cheese that I adored. There was this spicy sweet sauce that went with them too, but I ate less of that. There's just something really delicious about a mild, but somewhat spicy pepper, fried, and stuffed with the rich smoothness of cream cheese.

It was an instant win.

So when I found this recipe by Kevin, ages ago, I decided I had to make it-- the very idea of it was so nostalgic that I was tempted beyond words. I kept putting it off, however, because I didn't want to make it just for myself... South Park Wednesdays weren't really happening, and I tended to be one of the only people I knew who liked or could eat spicy things. So... alas. Eventually, however, Brian and his roommates hosted a game night in which everyone came over and something happened (I don't remember what, I imagine it was a game).

That night, I made this. And cookies, I believe. Have I posted those? Hmhmhm. Anyway! I made stuff. And it was good. This turned out rather tasty-- and I believe it was completely eaten. It was rich, mildly spicy, a bit vinegary. I was surprised by the inclusion of mayonnaise, I believe-- not something I normally use. My spinach artichoke dip has nothing of the sort in it. But it was still really good! It probably needed something to make it thicker. I believe I served it with tortillia chips-- but I like to imagine other uses for dips. Like a spread for a sandwich. Now, I probably won't make this again to make a sandwich spread, but it is a delicious idea. Or at least I think so.

Jalapeno Popper Dip
Recipe from Closet Cooking

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
1 (4 ounce) can sliced jalapenos (pickled)
2 jalapeno peppers (chopped, optional)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

Oven at 375 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, parmigiano reggiano and jalapenos in a bowl and pour into a baking dish. Mix the panko bread crumbs and parmigiano reggiano and sprinkle over the dip.
Bake until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 10-20 minutes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vicky's Raspberry Chocolate Cake

So... I know it has (again) been ages since I've posted Foodival. A lot of that is because of two posts I have had sitting here in my 'edit posts' for later posting. This one, and another. One is Brian's Pasta Salad-- I wanted him to guest post it, but... he is not much of a blogger. So, I may just get the recipe from him and post it without his input. Take that, boyfriend!! The other is this recipe, a chocolate cake I made for my friend Vicky for her birthday before she left LA to live in NY with her boyfriend (the timeline is more stretched out than that, but eh, whatever. It has happened that way).

The problem is... I can't seem to find the recipe for this cake. I'm not sure how I made it. I kind of don't completely remember it. I feel like it was raspberry cake. Or a chocolate cake. But I think it was a raspberry cake! I believe I made a white cake, added raspberries, added extra flour. Then I made uhh... white chocolate frosting for the inbetween layers. Then I made chocolate mousse or chocolate frosting for the frosting of the cake~

I can't recreate this recipe. I mean, I can now, like today-- but I'd rather do a new post about it.

Still. It was a lovely cake.

The layers of the cake fell a little flat. But it tasted good. I remember I was trying to base it off of the cupcakes at Sprinkle's...
And now I have looked through all my e-mails and all my recipes and all my files and I still have not come up with anything that resembles what may have been links, mashing up recipes, or anything that hinted to how I was trying to make this cake work. I am sorry, blog followers. I am sorry that the only post I have made is about something without a recipe.

Epic fail, Stephanie Simpson. Epic. Fail.

That's okay. I am trying to be better. I put it on my todo list. So, hopefully more blog posts will happen!! You know me, anyway, I like fall cooking better than summer cooking. I guess the break up with Jeff really made it hard for me to Foodival. Food was very connected to me in that relationship so my creativity there has been so-so. But I believe it is coming back. I am excited about pumpkin!

Go go pumpkin!

(Man, I want pumpkin beer and a pumpkin latte so bad right now).

Did I mention this birthday was in Feb? Oya oya.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thea's Bananas

My friend from college, Thea, posted on Facebook awhile ago with a very simple statement. It said "Fried banana, sourcream, cayenne. Perfection." I took one look at it and realized I had to make this. I went out and bought the ingredients (for I only had cayenne on hand) and decided to fry them up as a simple treat for myself. I've made it twice since.

I really enjoyed this snack. I believe her recipe was simpler, just fry the bananas in some butter. But I couldn't resist spicing them up with a sprinkling of brown sugar, a bit of salt, and a dash of the cayenne right in the frying plan. I feel like it gave the bananas some extra umph. They were rather hard to keep from disintegrating in the pan, maybe mine were too mushy? I don't have a lot of experience panfrying bananas.

I also really liked how these photos turned out. You can see that I get minimal sunlight through my kitchen/dining room window because I have a whole array of bushes and trees in the way. I like it that way though. My apartment tends to be pretty dark, but also tends to stay cool. But I think it made the photos seem even dreamier.

After I fried the bananas I just topped them with a generous scoop of sour cream and even more cayenne. The result: sweet, spicy, creamy, savory. It was decadent (though not really), but also fresh and flavorful. Gotta say, Thea's got it on this one. Thanks, Thea. I was going to link to things of hers (like, her personal website, or her event websites) but she doesn't have any links available on Facebook for me. Alas. If I ever figure out some of her sites I will link her amazingness to this post. In the meantime, enjoy a quick and simple dessert or snack via bananas.

Thea's Bananas

1 banana, sliced in half
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
cayenne pepper to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt to taste

In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high eat. Place the bananas in the skillet and fry up. Sprinkle brown sugar and cayenne pepper and a bit of salt over them while they're cooking. Allow a crust to form. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and an extra sprinkle of cayenne.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Valentine's Day (uh, late...) - Spicy Chocolate Cookies and Raspberry Rose Cheesecake!

Alright, so this is... this is a little late. I get that. I could just not post it at all. But-- but this was very nice, and very special, and a fantastic recipe. And I loved my Valentine's Day, it was the best.
It started with this breakfast in bed that I made for Brian. I made the cheesecake the night before while he also made some surprises for Valentine's Day. He had no idea what I was making, it was so cute. The recipe I made actually made two mini ones. The cheesecake is a white chocolate based cheesecake, with a raspberry and rose flavoured syrupy topping. I also served it with some whipped cream and breves! And a vase of flowers. I know, it's super silly and girly to do such a thing for your boyfriend-- but I really, really wanted to show him how much I care. And whatever, I'm a girl. I'm gonna show caring in a girly way. Sometimes it's in a boyish way. I guess. I dunno.

I had this recipe for the cheesecake in my archives for, I believe, over a year. I've had this post sitting in my posts for like... two months. Because I haven't felt like posting it. Its not that I didn't LOVE my Valentine's Day (I did), it's just that it's so long ago, who is going to care about this-- but thats also partially because I'm taking so long to post them. So let's see... I had this recipe in my archives, but was delaying because its use of rose made me go "wut, I gotta save this for valentine's day", so I did.

This cheesecake consists of a rich white chocolate (cheesecake) base. A chocolate crust. And a layer of raspberry 'sauce' that's cooked with rose water. I also used rose nectar (did I mention that before??)

The cookie on top is what I used to make the crust, per the suggestion of the recipe I got it from. It's a "mexican heart of fire" cookie. So it's got cinnamon and spiciness and amazingness. I really liked these, though they were slightly bitter. They were good with tea!!

I had such a great V-day. I made this for breakfast for Brian, then we went to the beach in Malibu and had a picnic (he made pasta salad!!) with strawberries, some of the aforementioned pasta salad, whipped cream, bread, cheese, and wine. Then he took me down to Santa Monica (I napped a bit on the way) and we had dinner at JiRaffe. it was sooo good. I was so full by the end of the night.
Ok, I think that's all I have to talk about. :x For now. I have a fashion show tomorrow (YES!) and some pretty packed evenings/days planned, but I think I'll have more things to post soon. :)

White Chocolate and Raspberry Rose Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Luna's Cafe

1/8 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (listed below)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 package cream cheese
3 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 tablespoon rose flower water
1 teaspoon rose nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla vodka
1/8 cup fresh raspberries, mashed.

Oven at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.

To prepare the cookie base, mix together the cookie crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the bottom of the pan, making a thin layer.

Begin by melting the white chocolate: put it in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue microwaving until creamy, 10 seconds at a time. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese with the sugar with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in the eggs and white chocolate and pulse until combined well. Pour the batter into the cookie coated pan and bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to put a small pan of water in the oven to keep the cheesecake moist.
Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes.

While baking, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream with the sugar and vanilla. Let set until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the sour cream mixture over the cheesecake and return to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Make the raspberry topping by bringing the jam to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk in the rose water/nectar and vodka until smooth. Add the crushed raspberries in. Strain the mix through a strainer and let cool slightly, then spread onto the cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.

Serve with a dollop of rose flavored whipped cream (like I did) and some coffee. Or by itself!!

Mexican Heart of Fire Cookies
Recipe from Luna's Cafe

1/4 cup flour
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup + tablespoon sugar
minced zest of 1/4 orange
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon orange extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon chile powder (I used ancho chile)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

Oven at 325 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt. In a separate bowl cream together the butter, sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, orange extract, cinnamon, chile powder, and cayenne pepper. Once thoroughly combined, add in the flour mixture. Should be pretty dry. Divide the dough into pieces. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once cool, remove from the fridge and roll to be thin, like 1/8" or so. Cut into heart shapes and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
Heat some of that white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave as per previous instructions and drizzle over these cookies for amazingness.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chorizo Omelet

I winged this one morning when I had leftover chorizo from making kale stews. I gotta say, I love making eggy dishes on weekend mornings. During the weekdays Brian and I eat a lot of cereal-- usually until we run out of cereal, then we'll realize we've run out of cereal/milk/something and I make us egg sandwiches with a fried egg and some cheese. Those are nomnom (that's what we did this morning). But every now and then I make something tasty like this omelet. And filling too!!
I think this is very good hangover food btw. I may or may not have had a hangover when I ate this. It's hard to say so far back....
I've never been very good at making omelets. I would always get lazy and not fold them right and they'd sort of just turn into a scramble. This one wasn't folded quite right... you can see an inch of the interior. Which makes for a good picture, so I can't complain.

This omelet was soooooooooooo tasty. It reminds me of a chili omelet. I love chili cheese omelets. Or chili cheese anything really. Shh, it's a secret my agency isn't allowed to know! (winky face).


Chorizo Omelet

3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon water
1/4 of a pack of chorizo
1/4 of a red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
5 or 6 thin slices of pepperjack cheese
1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
a dash of cayenne
ground black pepper
a dash of salt
a dash of hot sauce

In a large skillet, saute the chorizo, bell pepper, and onion with the cayenne, black pepper, and salt until cooked over medium-high heat. This should only take a few minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, water, hot sauce, a dash of salt and pepper. In a small greased or non-stick pan, pour the egg mixture in and cook slowly over low to low-mediumish heat. When the eggs are cooked relatively thoroughly, place the chorizo and jack cheese as well as a sprinkle of cheddar on top. Fold and let the cheese melt and cook a few more minutes. Top with shredded cheddar.

Could be real good served with avocado. I didn't have any! Or sour cream. Or both. Nomnom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Potato Kale Stew

Finally I'm getting around to actually catching up with my posts! Maybe when I catch up I'll feel like cooking more. :) There's nothing that gets me motivated more than running out of posts for Foodival, hah!!
I made this stew on my kale-kick. I'd say it's a really healthy stew, but it's full of coconut milk, which is not healthy. Otherwise it's just vegetables-- potatoes, sweet potatoes, the kale. Some onion. It's basically like a curry, but less awesome than the curries I've had at thai restaraunts. :( Though still very good.
Because this was supposed to be like.. you know, a soup or stew. It's supposed to be thinner and more liquidy. I wouldn't say it was perfect but it did a good job. And it was nourishing, though not my favourite. Brian liked it a lot, but I thought it was rather bland, personally. But I think that's because when I looked at it I expected it to be yellow curry, knew it wasn't, and it definitely didn't taste like it. I served it with a bit of toast, because I like toast with my stew.
It's a good try, it's vegetarian, so that's nice.

Potato Kale Stew
Recipe from 28 Cooks

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small sweet potato, cut into 2" pieces
1 small white potato, cut into 2" pieces
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 can coconut milk
1 cups sliced fresh kale leaves

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and salt, and saute 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften. Add potatoes, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and spices, and saute for a minute or two. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add kale leaves, remove from heat, and allow to sit for a minute or two for kale to soften. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rose Berry Float

I saw this post somewhere awhile ago and immediately fell in love. I love rose in things. Rose ice cream was one of my favourites at this ice cream shop in Savannah called Leopold's (a producer owned it, Leopold Stratton I think?). He made awesome rose ice cream. Also, rose in baklava, cookies, cheesecake, all good ideas. For Valentine's Day I made rose cheesecake (still haven't posted that... I think)-- but a rose float? oh jeez! That sounds amazing.

So I went to this little market in the Farmers Market on 3rd Street to Monsieur Marcel's and they had not only rose water (yumyum) but rose nectar, which is like... already sweet, and from... the nectar, I guess? So I also have a bottle of that-- it's a soft, perfumy pink fluid sitting in my fridge (still). And it's amazing.

Part of the reason I got the nectar was for this float, it seemed like a good idea. I had strawberry ice cream in my freezer for forever, as well as some frozen berries (including ones I picked last year with Jeff in San Fran. Woops.) Those ingredients combined made this amazing float-- luxurious and delicious. I admit, the water with the rose was... perfumy, not as much sweet. I think a float goes better with more sweetness in the liquid. Maybe mixing a strawberry or raspberry juice with carbonated water and the rose would have been a bit more appetizing, then also floating the berries and strawberry ice cream in it. Yeah, that'd be good. Or perhaps using a sweeter soda water than I did.

But whatever the case, I still really enjoyed it-- I felt like Marie Antoinette, drinking a rose flavoured delicacy. And as far as I'm concerned you can't steer wrong with that.

Rose Berry Float
Recipe from The Jewels of New York

1 1/2 cups sparkling water
1 teaspoons rose syrup
1 teaspooon rose nectar
1 scoop strawberry ice cream
raspberries and blackberries to garnish

In a tall tumbler, mix in Pellegrino and rose syrup. Add in raspberries and blackberries and top with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Honey Walnut Baked Apples

Sometimes I like to be healthy. Really! I know I make a lot of pastries and I'm not exactly the most health conscious person to eat nomnoms, but sometimes I really do like making healthy things! This is... more on that path. I actually meant to make two of these, but I didn't end up using the other apple (I forgot it was in the fridge [yes I keep my apples in the fridge]). But Brian and I ate this for dessert one night after a deliciously filling meal. It was good-- nice and rich and juicy without being excessive. It felt nice, healthier than my usual cake/cookie/brownie/chocolate creations. I like baking, but sometimes it's nice to just make something simple and more au natural.

I really think I would've liked to use a Honeycrisp apple for this-- I loove honeycrisps (and pink ladies). Unfortunately my grocer didn't have either, so I used a... a granny smith, I believe. Or maybe a golden delicious? Its sort of hard to tell and I don't really remember. Like most things I've been updating with recently, I made this awhile ago. I really should do better at catching up (sorry, readers).
Or maybe this was a honeycrisp. Hmmm. Those are usually like, the only applies I buy. But whatever the case, the skin sort of got... soggy, I think I cooked it too long. But the apple was sort of caramelized by everything, which went well with the ice cream. It was a nice treat-- I should make more, except that I haven't been feeling up to cooking a lot lately. Though Brian and I made a tasty Easter dinner together last night and that was fantastic. :D

Anywho, that's it for now, more updates soon! Sorry this one is mostly pictures! :D

Honey Walnut Baked Apples
Recipe from Cooking by the Seat of my Pants

1 medium apple
1 teaspoon sugar
a dash of cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a deep bowl or cup in the microwave. Add sugar and cinnamon to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add honey and melted butter, whisk until smooth. Stir in walnut pieces sit a long spoon. Set aside.

Core the apple and cut a shallow slit around the center of each apple, just through the skin, approximately 1/8 of an inch deep. Fill each apple with 1 to 2 tsp of the filling mixture. Arrange in a high-sided baking dish just large enough to hold the apples. (I used an 8-inch square baking dish for these, but a pie tin would have worked as well.) Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until apples are tender. If filling begins to blacken, cover the apples with foil and continue cooking.

When done, set on serving plate and serve immediately with a little honey or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cinnamon Chip Danish


This dish-- this.... this cinnamon chip danish... this was so heavenly. Brian and I had it every morning for breakfast (practically) for like a week. Once I even had it for dessert. I just wanted more and more. It could be because I'm hopelessly addicted to cinnamon. It could be that we love pastries. I don't know. It was just... tasty, tasty, tasty. Now that I'm posting about it, I'm tempted to make it again. Maybe I'll make a cherry or strawberry danish instead?? Or chocolate? Because... I mean, right now I really want chocolate. But it's Spring!! It's time for fruits and berries and amazingness!!

But whatever!! Cinnamon chip danish, you are my hero. Actually, I watched Inglorious Basterds twice in the week that I made this, and I kept thinking of the scene where he orders Shoshanna whipped cream and a danish (growing up, my best friend was named Shoshana, and I thought of her a lot because of that movie), and so every morning when I cut slices for Brian and myself I made sure to serve them with whipped cream on the side. It seemed necessary, and went well with our coffee.

It was really fun to make this. Sure, it took awhile (I made it the night before with some soup, I believe), but it was fun. I like making pastries and bread items-- I like letting them rise and kneading them and cutting the pieces and folding it to be pretty. When it came out of the oven it made me so happy-- it was so pretty. I believe I squeeled and was like "Look how pretty!". And since it was breakfast, the pictures turned out nice too. Also, Brian turned out nice to, he's below. ;)

Look at him enjoying my danish, isn't he cute? This picture makes me want to give him a hug, but he's still at work. I will give him a mental hug right now.

The inside of the pastry is cream cheese, sweetened and folded with cinnamon chips. It's rich-- definitely, and not as dry as a lot of the cream cheese filling in danishes I've had in the stores (probably the yolk --> cream cheese ratio, which looks something like this [ cream cheese > egg yolk ]). The cinnamon chips, which my mom got for me while I was at home for Christmas because I can't find them here (which is funny, because I've had this recipe in my box for like, a year and a half now, and I made this like over a month ago... oy, I'm so bad at this updating thing.)

I liked making thick slices and heating them briefly in the toaster oven and then topping them with whipped cream. Once we put butter on, but it didn't taste as good-- the other flavours were weakened. So boo on butter. Give me sugar cream!!

We would eat like, two slices each a morning, but it still lasted us about a week. By the end of the week it was kinda dry, but I wrapped it in plastic every day and tried to make it last. It was still pretty moist for staying out that long though.

I don't think I have anything else to say, but wanted to break up these images. This was so good. My mom is here (she and the rest of my fam delivered to me my furniture from Savannah where I went to school-- they also brought me a buttload of stuff for my kitchen. A box was still left at home, but I now have my kitchen scale back... means I can make french things a bit more easily, no? Hah! No more conversion for me!!)

Cinnamon Chip Danish
Recipe from The Other Side of Fifty

The Filling

6 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups cinnamon chips, divided

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolk until well blended. Set aside three tablespoons of the cinnamon chips for garnish. Stir the remaining cinnamon chips into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.

The Dough

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice plus enough milk to make one cup (warm to 100-110 degrees in microwave)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups flour

Combine the honey and warm milk in bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly.
Add in the butter, salt, wheat gluten, and flours. Mix until the flour is incorporated.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it's all smooth and elastic, this should take about 8-10 minutes. Turn the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in volume (1-2 hours, depending on room conditions.)
Like the original poster, I preheated Brian's oven to it's lowest setting (170 degrees), then turned it off, and this is where I let my dough rise.
Punch the dough down, then turn it onto lightly floured working surface and pat it into a ball.
Roll the dough into a 12x18 rectangle. Spread the cream cheese mixture lengthwise down the center third of the dough rectangle. Cut 1-inch wide strips from the edges of the dough almost to the filling. Begin the braid by folding the top row toward the filling. Alternately fold the strips at an angle from each side across the filling toward the opposite side. Fold bottom row toward the filling and finish by stretching last strip and tucking under to seal. Transfer to baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or you can use parchment paper to cover the baking sheet.
Brush the loaf gently with a beaten egg and cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the loaf 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool.

To Glaze....

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp softened butter
enough milk to make of the desired drizzle consistency
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a dash of cinnamon

Stir the powdered sugar and butter together in a small bowl. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix. Add milk until you have the needed consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled danish and garnish with reserved cinnamon chips.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chorizo Kale Soup

Can't remember how long ago it was that I made this-- but it was in my whole 'kale' phase. I think I've made all the kale recipes for now-- just in time, it's leek season. I've gotta put leeks in EVERYTHING. Now it's Spring, so I keep wanting fresh vegetables and fruits... its a dire craving. Unfortunately, I'm pretty broke. I try to keep my expenses cheap then, and while fresh vegetables aren't exactly expensive, they don't last as long....

But whatevs! This was an AMAZINGLY flavourful stew. This was so good! I loved the spicy chorizo in it. The recipe I took it from suggested chorizo, though they used Italian sausage. I kind of thought the chorizo would be slicable-- and maybe sometimes it is, but the chorizo I bought just fell right apart and became mushiness in the pan. And in the soup-- but that was fine! It led to a bright red colour, which I appreciated.

In the original recipe they called it Portuguese Kale Soup, but I dunno, I don't know enough about the history of this soup to be like, yeah, this is from Portugal. So I'll just say it's Chorizo kale soup.

Brian and I really enjoyed this with some bread. It made enough that we had leftovers for two or three days, and every day it just got better. I didn't have some of the stuff that they originally used in the original recipe, so I adapted it to my own use. Which I did, in fact, enjoy greatly.

I keep getting distracted as I write my post because my new kitten is chasing my cat, Tseng, around the apartment and attacking him. Tseng is usually pretty mild mannered, but he's chasing her back. He's much fiercer with her than he has been previously, but he still never hurts her. She's silly, though, because she keeps attacking him, then running and hiding. Coward, hah!

Anywho. Yes... soup... right now it's really chilly in my apartment and I could go for another bowl of this. I made this like... forever ago, though. So I definitely don't have any left. In fact, I don't think I have any soup. I could make oatmeal, but I'll probably end up making tea and an egg or something. I haven't had a lot of protein lately (this morning Brian and I had bagels for breakfast) so that's probably a good idea.

I'm actually catching up with my posts!

This recipe, by the way, was really easy to make. I totally suggest it-- it's like... a piece of cake, and really worth it. Serve with some bread, it's awesome!

Chorizo Kale Soup
Recipe from One Tree Past the Fence

1/2 pound of kale
4 cups of chicken stock
1 pound of chorizo
2 cans of white northern beans
1/2 to 1 cup cooked white rice (depending on preference)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion
Cajun essence
3 drops hot sauce
1 drop lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the chorizo. Remove the chorizo when cooked thoroughly and add the onion and garlic and saute. Once tender, add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the kale, simmer for about five minutes then add the rice. Continue simmering until the kale softens. Add the beans and chorizo back in. Add in the hot sauce, cajun essenese and lime juice. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saffron Scented Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese has long been one of my favourite meals. When I was a kid it was basically all I would eat (the Kraft kind, which is still something I eat all the time). I feel like I made macaroni and cheese before and talked about that but since I can't find any posts about macaroni and cheese under 'pasta' or 'cheese' that must not have happened. Perhaps that was me preplanning THIS post in my brain. It's like the weirdest sort of deja vu...

Anyway... yeah, so I totally adored Kraft macaroni and cheese. I remember once my mom moved to Chicago for a brief period because she was working as a contractor for Kraft and I was like... "Mom, does that mean they'll give us free macaroni and cheese all the time?"

They didn't. How little did I know back then. If only they had, my little life would have been the best.

I remember also my favourite dish as a kid (I partially remember this because I wrote it in one of my diaries which I then later read-- I remember reading my words, more than the actual feeling, though I still have that somewhat too) was my mom's pork chops with macaroni and cheese, green peas, and lemon poppyseed muffins. Big meal for a little kid, but man, I loved eating it. I think the flavours complemented each other well, I guess I had a taste for things before I even knew it.

I can't say this was the best macaroni and cheese I've ever made (I'm sorry!). I had to break down the recipe because only Brian and I were eating it, and even then it made too much-- but the cheese flavour wasn't strong enough. The cream cheese helped provide the creaminess, but really, I had to add sooo much cheddar to even start making flavour happen. I'll have to retool this and figure it out better-- I think if I make macaroni and cheese again (which I will), I might try to find very flavourful cheeses to see if I can make the most flavourfull macaroni and cheese ever. I mean, for this dish I could see why they did a softer flavour-- if you cover up the saffron with cheese flavour, whats the point? But still, this was missing salt, which I added, and just... general flavour. But then again, I like my stuff cheesy.

Anyway, we made it cheesier and saltier and I still tasted the saffron so that much was good, but it was neither of our's favourite dish. We also added broccoli to it, because broccoli is awesome. I also used rotini, because rotini is awesome (also it reminds me of Kraft Spirals, which is also my favourite).

Hah, I'm a childish dork. :)

Saffron Scented Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe from The Adventures of Kitchen Girl

1/2 pound elbow pasta
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 1/2 cups non-fat milk
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
small pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon hot water
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper (optional)

An hour or so before making the macaroni and cheese, grind the saffron threads into a powder using a mortar and pestle. IN a small bowl combine the ground saffron and the hot water and allow to steep. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain, then return to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook onion in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Melt the remaining butter in the skillet and whisk in the flour, cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. whisk in the milk and bring to just a boil lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, and the cream cheese and cook. Add cheddar cheese (remove from heat0, stir until smooth, add the saffron water and onion. Add to pasta and stir until combined. Season.