Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Hike up your skirt a little more"




I love listening to music while I cook.  I usually listen to one of those cable music stations; I love old school music and music from when I was in high school. While making this really simple apple cake for my MIL and Mudear, I was completely rocking out to Dave Matthews Band!  Crash Into Me is such a sexy little song!

Even though it is still in the upper 90s in the city, fall baking is in full swing in my kitchen!  I am always looking for quick breads to make for my grandmother and MIL.  I used a chunky applesauce but regular will do just fine.  It has classic fall spices that will make your house smell divine!


Applesauce Loaf Cake
One Loaf

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of chunky applesauce

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  • Spray one loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients
  • In a small bowl mix together the butter, egg and vanilla extract.
  • Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Pour in the applesauce and mix well.
  • Pour mixture into your loaf pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Crystallized Ginger Cookies


Though I am not much of a baker, I LOVE fall baking. The smell of pumpkins and apples and sweet potatoes; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger fill our home around this time.  These delicious cookies are my first contribution to this year's fall baking rotation!


Crystallized Ginger Cookies
Adapted from:  http://www.athoughtforfood.net/chewy-ginger-molasses-cookies/


What you need:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)

What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray, set aside
  • In medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Set aside
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, vegetable oil, sugar, molasses and egg until well mixed, about 3-5 minutes
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat just until combined.  
  • Stir in crystallized ginger if using.
  • Using about one heaping tablespoon of dough (more or less depending on the size you want your cookies), gently roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
  • Let cool for a few minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Now Churning: Fresh Ginger Ice Cream

 
Sidenote: I love this picture.  It is in my top five favorites of all the food photos I have ever taken.  

Since my family loves ice cream so much, I have been playing with some fall ice cream flavors.  While making this I knew they would like it drizzled with homemade caramel.

They hated it.  B and E both said it was "too gingery" and straight up gave me the stank face! If you don't love ginger you won't like this ice cream.


Fresh Ginger Ice Cream
Adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ginger-Ice-Cream-15703

What you need:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated peeled fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
What to do:
  • In a large bowl whisk yolks until pale. 
  • In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook sugar, fresh ginger root, and water over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. 
  • Add milk and cream and bring to a simmer. 
  • Add hot milk mixture to yolks in a slow stream while whisking. Pour into pan.
  • Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170°F. (Do not let boil.)
  • Pour custard through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in vanilla. 
  • Cool custard before covering and chilling in the refrigerator until cold.
  • Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
  • Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. 




 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Break.




To say that my summer has been stressful would be an understatement. With E's health issues and surgeries, demands at work and general life stresses, I am tired.  I am wrapped REALLY tight right now; so much so that I am making myself physically ill.  I don't feel like I have had a summer break or spent enough quality time with my favorite twelve and a half year old. 

So last week I decided I needed to unplug. Like FOR REAL unplug, from social media and even my beloved blog,  and focus on relaxing and having a bit fun before B heads back to school.  When B tells me she misses me I KNOW it is time for a break.

So I will be on a month long hiatus to spend some much needed time with my family and taking time to take care of myself. I hope you all continue to have a fantastic summer and I will see you in September! 


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