Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yes, I failed to put something savory on here once again.  But you will understand when you see it.  Chefs sit around and talk about what they would eat for their last meal.  Some have elaborate fancy meals, some have home cooked favorites.  I don't know exactly what my meal would consist of, but I know without a doubt that it would include this.
This is my ultimate comfort food.  I can't remember ever having a Christmas morning without my grandma making it, and that's what it makes me think of.  I have to make it when I'm not at home for Christmas, which is so worth it.  Sometime in June or July I need a fix of my coffee cake.  And that happened last night.  I wanted something sweet, and this popped into my head.  Once that happened, I had to have it.  It's so easy, that I think you should go and make it.  Right now.  And fall in love with it.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
from Glenda Emigh

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans (optional, I never use them)

In a mixer, combine cake mix, pudding, sour cream, oil, and eggs.  Do not over mix.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and nuts, if using.  Pour half of the cake mix into a greased angel food cake pan.  Pour a little more than half of the sugar mixture over the top.  Pour in the rest of the cake mix and top with the rest of the sugar mixture.  Bake at 350 for about an hour.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chocolate Love

Chocolate Love is I'm pretty sure the same thing that people call Robert Redford in a Pan.  It's one of Brett's favorite desserts, and so I decided to make it for him for father's day.  It's kind of hard to take pictures of, and isn't very pretty in the pan or on the plate, but it is absolutely delicious!!!  The recipe is one that Brett's mom gave me when we got married, and I bring it out for Brett's special occasions.
It's chocolatey, creamy and cold.  I have literally been fighting with myself to not just sit down and eat it for lunch today.  We did have a little bit of trouble with the crust this time, but just pop it in the freezer for a few minutes and it should turn out just fine.  It's easy, it's cheap, it's fattening, and it's fantastic!  Try this one next time you are in a hurry and need a dessert!  I also realize that I have only done desserts on here so far, so I will try to post something savory next time.

Chocolate Love
from Carol Lee

1 cup flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped nuts (we use pecans)

1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large instant chocolate pudding, prepared
1 large container Cool Whip

For the crust, cut together flour and butter.  Mix in nuts.  Press into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Cool.
For the filling, mix sugar and cream cheese in a mixer until smooth.  Spread on crust.  Fold one cup of the Cool Whip into the pudding; spread over cream cheese mixture.  Top with the remaining Cool Whip.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

I have finally entered the world of rhubarb.  Up until yesterday I had never even tasted it.  I have been wanting to for a long time, and I don't know what stopped me, but I finally found some at the farmer's market this past Saturday and bought it on an impulse.

Then I realized - dang, I actually have to make something out of this.  So I started searching.  I love the food blogosphere.  I pretty much immediately came up with more recipes than I could ever use, including a Martha Stewart recipe for Rhubarb Crumb Cake.  I have also never made anything by Martha Stewart, so I had two firsts yesterday.

I'm happy to say that I was successful with both!  Martha's recipe was right on, and the rhubarb was awesome.  Just the right amount of tang to offset the sweetness of the cake and the crumb.  It is delicious, and I'm having a hard time not eating the rest of it for breakfast this morning!
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room temperature butter for pan
1 cup flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 lb rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and 8-inch square baking pan.  Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.  Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.  For streusel, whisk together butter, brown sugar and salt.  Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  For cake, in a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour.  In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt.  In bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time.  With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture.  Spread batter in prepared pan.  Sprinkle with rhubarb and top with streusel.  Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan.  Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan.  Cut into 16 bars.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cherry Pie

I have been scared of making pies for a long time.  It's scary!  Crust is so hard to master, and making them cute is much harder.  Pies always sound so homey to me - like something that a true domestic goddess makes and then lets cool on the window sill.  After my bread turned out (I had serious problems with yeast until recently), I decided that pies would be the next hurdle to tackle.  And I'm glad I did.  Brett loves cherry pie, but I have always hated it because I hate the canned stuff.  It's disgusting.  So I told him that during cherry season I would try a fresh cherry pie, and that's exactly what I did.  Here it is just before going in the oven.  The lattice isn't perfect, but it worked.
The dough was ridiculously easy.  I just put the ingredients in the food processor and let it go basically.  And although I did dirty up quite a few of the dishes in my kitchen making this, the most labor intensive part was rolling out the dough, and that's only because it was really cold.  The final product was more than I could have hoped for.
It was beautiful!!!  I can't believe it turned out so well.  The bottom of the pie didn't even get soggy.  The crust was flaky and delicious, and the filling was 100 times better than the canned stuff.  When cherries are cheap (or if you grow your own, when you have more than you know what to do with) this is the way to go!  Trust me, you don't need to be scared.  It is way easier than it looks, and I will be making a lot more pies from now on!

Cherry Pie

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine.  Add in the butter and process until coarse crumbs form.  Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a ball.  Divide into 2 equal portions and flatten into discs.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

1 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 lbs whole cherries, pitted and stemmed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 425.  In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, salt and 1 cup of the sugar.  In a large bowl, mix together the cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Mix the sugar mixture into the cherry mixture and set aside.  Roll one of the pie dough discs into an 11" circle and use to line a 9" pie pan.  Pour the cherry mixture into the lined pie pan.  Dot the cherry mixture with the butter cubes.  Roll the second pie dough disc out and using a pizza cutter cut into 1" pieces.  Create a lattice with the dough strips and crimp the edges together with the crust.  Brush the lattice pieces with milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.  Cover edges of the pie with foil to prevent over-browning.  Place pie on a baking sheet.  Bake on center rack for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 375.  Continue cooking until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Let cool completely before eating.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

I am so excited to have a recipe to share with you!  I am bummed that my camera doesn't take beautiful pictures (and neither do I), but you can still see the results.  I tried my hand at Dorie Greenspan's Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream today.  And you get to see how it was done!
Cast of characters: whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract, eggs, sugar, peppermint extract, and chocolate chips.

Don't worry, the recipe will come in a minute, but I wanted to show you a technique used while making the custard.  All ice creams begin with a custard, and in order to know whether it is done or not, run your finger down the back of the spoon that you are stirring with.  The track you make should remain clean, like this.
If the custard runs into the track, keep cooking.  By the way, aren't those some lovely drips on the counter?  Nothing stays clean in my kitchen when I cook.

Brett decided that his mint ice cream had to be green, so my finished product doesn't look exactly as it should.  During the freezing process I added some green food coloring to make the husband happy.  Here is the completely finished and frozen product.
It's beautiful, isn't it?  I was so proud.  It is absolutely delicious and definitely worth a try.  It's so satisfying to make your own ice cream!  It feels good to eat something you made with your own hands.  I have lots of ice cream recipes, so I'm sure you'll see more.  I hope you try this out!
Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoon mint extract or oil (I used 1 1/4 teaspoon)
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.  If you are using a vanilla bean, put the seeds and pod into the pan, cover and set aside for 30 minutes, then bring the milk and cream back to a boil before continuing.  If you are using vanilla extract, wait until later to add it.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened.  Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid - this will temper (or warm) the eggs so they won't curdle.  Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid.  Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon.  Do the test I showed you earlier.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and strain the custard into a clean heatproof bowl.  Discard the vanilla pod, or if you are using vanilla extract, stir it in now.  Stir in the mint extract.
Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into ice cream.  This should take 2-4 hours.  Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Pack the ice cream  into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Adventures in Food

This is what I hope to do with this blog, have adventures in the kitchen!  I love trying new things, new gadgets, new recipes, and just everything I can get my hands on.  I haven't created very many recipes of my own yet, but I know they will come as I get more familiar with the kitchen.  But don't worry, I have probably a million recipes (most of which I haven't tried yet) and I want to share them with you!  I have a few ideas up my sleeve for the first few posts, so please stay tuned to see what will happen!

My hope for getting comfortable and creative in the kitchen is that my children will too.  I want them to have good memories of cooking with mom and the desire for home cooked meals.  I love the idea that they will want to bring their friends over to eat, want to help in the kitchen, and make these same dishes for their own families when they get older.  I will make sure to post pictures and recipes and what I thought of the dish.  Enjoy!
Related Posts with Thumbnails