Friday, April 27, 2012

Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Bread


Recently during a shopping outing, I spotted a magazine that I wanted to buy. I rarely buy magazines anymore, especially food magazines but this one seem to have a lot of recipes that I wanted to try. I bought and am so glad I did. Tsis recipe is amazing. We loved it. Served along with salad- it was a nice light meal.
It baked up so nice and beautiful and the kids loved it.

Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Bread
Original recipe can be found here at Recipe.com
No kneading required.

2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
pepperoni
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup provolone, chopped small
1/2 cup pepperoni, chopped small
Stir together sugar and water.  Sprinkle yeast over top and let sit until foamy about five minutes.  Meanwhile start chopping the pepperoni and cheese.  Set aside.  Add flour, salt and oregano to the water yeast mixture and blend using an electric mixer.  Add melted butter.  This a fairly wet dough.

Grease a 2 quart casserole dish with butter or vegetable shortening.  Pour dough into the casserole dish and let rise in a warm ,draft free place for about an hour. 

Preheat oven to 375F.  Bake bread for about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chocolate Mocha Cake

Can you say delicious?  I love cake.  This one is no exception.  I made it for my husbands birthday and I think he enjoyed it.  I promptly froze it the next day because I would have it gone in no time.

Long before I started blogging, I used this recipe for chocolate cake that I found on Epicurious.  It was my stand by.  When I started blogging I started to experiment using all different kind of chocolate cake recipes.  This is still one of my favorite.  It is light, flavorful, easy and delicious.

The frosting... well that was a mega bonus.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Adapted from this recipe at Epicurious.

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
1 cup oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment if you would like a worry free release.

Sift first 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix water, oil and vanilla in large bowl. Whisk in dry ingredients. Divide batter among pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out; cool completely. 

Mocha Frosting


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
Whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vegan Burger Via Serious Eats

I love reading Serious Eats.  Lots of interesting articles about food, along with some great recipes or ideas for recipes. Its a must read for me.  Recently there was a recipe on Serious Eats for a vegan burger.  I have made numerous bean burgers in the past and frankly we love them.  I had to try this version.
My husbands burger, sans bun.
 Be forewarned it is a multi step process. You will have to work to get this one.
The result, well, a bit fall-apart-ish.  Gentleness is key along with the right proportion of eggplant puree.  They have rewritten the recipe to help out with this issue. 

The verdict.  It is okay.  We liked it but I have to say I like my lentil beluga rcipe better.  I will however try their recipe again when those vegetables are in season, just to really give it a fair shake.

Vegan Burger
From Serious Eats- Slightly adapted to what I had on hand

1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, trimmed
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 whole small eggplant (about 1/2 pound)
1 small onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, grated on a microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
3/4 cup dry pearl barley
1 (14-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry on paper towels
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon marmite, vegemite, or Maggi seasoning
1 cup toasted cashews, pinenuts, or a mix
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/2-cups panko-style bread crumbs

See the original recipe for a detailed description of how to make this burger.

1.  Cook barley.
2.  Roast eggplant and mushrooms in a 375F oven.

3.  Toast nuts and pulse in processor (not too much).
4.  Gently pulse garbanzos in same way.  You want a nice texture not a puree.
5.  Gently process mushrooms once they are roasted.
6.  Puree eggplant and set aside.  This will be added tot eh mixture once you are ready to fry.  I kept ina  seperate bowl so that each time I made them I would add it to the mixture.  We had them three times.  It makes quite a bit.
7.  Mix everything but the panko and eggplant in a large bowl.  Use this plus a little eggplant and a little panko to make a batch.  Or mix all of it together to cook them all up. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Faux Oreos, aka Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

I am still unable to log into google.  Right now I have snuck onto my husbands computer to get this post out. The children have persuaded him to give them snacks, thus delaying bed time but also adding some time for me to get this post written.
As you can see I had a lot of fun photographing these cookies.  Lighting was good and they were pretty photogenic so I went a little crazy.
I made them for one of the quilting guilds I belong to.  A nice Spring like dessert.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Homemade Oreos
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Retro Desserts


For the chocolate wafers:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
12 ounces  (2 1/2 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
2 large egg
 
Preheat to 375°F.
In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

Divide dough into two pieces and roll into a log.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour or more.  Remove one log at a time from refrigerator and cut int discs.  Place on cookie sheet two inches apart.  I used parchment.  Bake for nine minutes.

Fill as desired.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crab Stuffed Eggs

Not the prettiest as I was late getting dinner on and the natives were restless.
In another week or so there will be a lot of hard boiled eggs around this house due to Easter festivities.  Not that we don't usually have ahrd boiled eggs around because we often do.  Finding new and different ways to eat them is always fun.  This one is well worth any effort put forth.  They taste great.  You can use the canned variety of crab or fresh.  Obviously the fresher one will be amazing.  But the canned one is quite good too.

Crab Stuffed Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved
1 small can (6 oz) salad crab meat, rinsed and drained well
3 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons very finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
½ teaspoon onion powder or more if you like
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Hard boil eggs.  I put my eggs in cold water and then bring it to a boil (I heard that prevents cracking).  Simmer three minutes and turn off the heat.  Let the water cool a little.  Generally I run a little cold water on it and peel and then run cold water again on it to rinse of any remaining shell bits.

Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl, mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, celery, mustard, onion powder, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and mix well. Fold in crab meat and mix thoroughly. Fill the empty egg white shells with the mixture.

Serve chilled or store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
about 75 calories per half.

*Next time I will add some chopped chives.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies

One day it's light meals and the next time its luscious desserts.  Okay, it's like the nature of my overweight tendencies.  Well... it is also the fact that there have been birthdays and my kids are always crying out how come we don't have any goodies to eat? Ah... well.... I am scared I am going to pass on my weight issues to my kids.  But, funny, they have shown restraint when it comes to food.  So why should I deny them?  As long as there is not too much sugar because really that is not good for anyone.

These brownies were super delicious.  I will admit that the outer ring (which is usually my favorite part) was not very good.  I may have overcooked it a little though.  The part in the middle, going in about a 1/2 inch all around, was moist delicious and tasty.  I would make these again- next time using mint chocolate.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies
Recipe largely adapted from this recipe, from Fine Cooking Issue 10
I did not have neough eggs so I substituted with applesauce. If you have all five eggs, skip the applesauce.

filling:
1 cup chopped bittersweet chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound of cream cheese
1 egg
2 teaspoons flour

brownie batter:
9 ounces butter, unsalted at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

icing:

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or semisweet.  (I used mini for faster melting)

Melt chocolate and cream together in a microwave or double boiler.  In a bowl beat cream cheese and egg together until fluffy.  Add the cooled chocolate to the cream cheese mixture. Add in the flour.  Set aside in refrigerator while you prepare the batter.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter.  In a bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs (and in my case the applesauce.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.  Add in extracts. Finally, add the dry ingredients.

Spread half of the batter in the 9 x 13 pan.  Spoon filling all around the top of the batter and smooth gently over top of the batter.  Add the remainder of the brownie mix over the filling.  Bake for 35 minutes.  As soon as you remove it from the oven sprinkle the chocolate chips over top and spread as they melt.

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