Friday, February 26, 2010

cranberry orange cookie/muffin

this recipe comes from my "twin" who is helping me through my baking disaster from last time:) even though she said the cookies came out perfectly, i still have my aversion to baking with butter (i have no problem with eating it) so i used applesauce instead. so of course i get a bizarre cookie/muffin. which is great for people like my D whose teeth are not what they once were...they almost look like meringues because the texture is so smooth but the eating texture is definitely more muffin like. maybe pressing the dough down flat before baking will make a more crispy/chewy cookie.

Cranberry Orange Cookie (courtesy of my twin, although i bet hers tastes much yummier)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c applesauce
1 egg
3 Tblsp orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 c dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, cream together the white sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Stir in the egg, orange juice, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix into the orange mixture. Stir in the dried cranberries. Drop cookie dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on the prepared cookie sheets. Makes about 20 cookies

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

something wrong...

so after the deliciousness of yesterday's muffin i bought some sweetened dried cranberries (they were on sale) to try to make some citrusy cranberry muffins. plus, i finally got around to buying some greek yogurt since i've heard so much about it. i figured it would lend itself to giving a light and moist muffin. but no, the result is something so hard to describe, not quite muffin, not quite cookie, wish it had butter kind of baked good. i guess i can't get it right everyday...even my camera was scared away by the strange food. any suggestions on best proportions or uses for the greek yogurt in baking? i'm thinking maybe some cranberry orange cookies would be really delicious!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

orange chocolate muffins

i don't even know how to tell you how delicious these are for how simple they were to make! they're getting gobbled up so quickly by the M and D. they are so soft and with such a great orange zing with chocolate that i had to put this up as soon as possible to share the yum! you can even see some orange zest in the picture! this was kind of spur of the moment "i feel like baking instead of studying for my chem" test next week that will more than likely kick my butt...but at least i have these muffins to make me feel better:) unfortunately, it was very much a throw whatever proportions into it so i'm not quite sure on measurements but here's the best i can remember

Orange Chocolate Chip muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup instant oats (cooked in water)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 spoonful brown sugar
3 spoonfuls applesauce
1 egg
2 Tblsp orange juice
1 Tblsp orange peel, finely chopped
3 handfuls semisweet chocolate chips, to your own preference

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a muffin tin.

Cook the oats, it should still be pretty watery. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda salt and brown sugar. Mix in the cooked oatmeal, then mix in the applesauce and egg. Add the orange juice, orange peel and chocolate chips. Scoop into muffin tin and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (the muffins will be pretty tiny, but oh so delicious!)

i will fiddle around with the proportions to make sure i have this right. the M has said this is the best bread yet that i've made so it will definitely be made again!

Monday, February 22, 2010

zesting orange old school

so everyone talks about the best ways to use every part of a piece of food and taking the peel off of citrus fruits to use later for breads and such is always a big one. better to use every part possible of a food and never waste and i finally got off my lazy bum and just zest the darn things. (i only did 3 today:D so slow and steady is going to be my motto)i don't have a zester so i used my regular old peeler and then chop chop chopped at it. it's all frozen in a cute tiny tupperware until i crave some orange chocolate bread or something!

good news, my laptop is back to life! probably the fastest fixing of a virus happy pc every:)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Partybrot yeast party

this is my rendition of German partybrot. i tried this out from amanda's cookin. it had really simple ingredients (i didn't have any poppyseeds though...). in addition, i'm a yeast newbie so i figured i should just jump in and try using those living little thingys. and boy did i not do this right. it didn't dissolve all the way, my dough didn't rise the first time or the 2nd time:( but the bread still tastes good (really dense, not sure if that's the idea). perfect with some jam. so maybe yeast isn't my thing. but i'll come back to it some day. and i might try brown sugar to get a more molassesy flavor.

just in case you really miss me i may not be updating too often. my laptop ate a virus on friday and it's still up in the air whether or not it'll come back to me in one piece. so hopefully i can get some updates in every so often. happy late night eating (i realized this is my first late night cooking!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

something new and baked chips!

yan yan is a childhood treat s4 and i love and for valentine's day we shared one. the treat is a shortbread kind of stick that is dipped in chocolate. when we opened our package there was a wonderful surprise of silly animals with "factoids." our favorite was "seal-loves to sun tan"

lots of baby red potatoes sitting in our house so i baked them with old bay and olive oil and wha-la, a healthier potato chip. although that led to greater eating than what i would probably do with a bag of chips...i guess you win some and you lose some:)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Valentine's and New Year!

this is a big weekend for the fam. the D's birthday, valentine's day and the lunar new year! we made red velvet cake balls from bakerella! the color was perfect for valentine's day AND the new year. so best wishes for the new year and spend some time with your loved ones. when we made monkey bread for christmas morning the D really loved it so we tried a variation on it to decrease the crunchy part of the brown sugar and butter. we saw a recipe that used whipping cream instead, unfortunately with the blizzard the grocery store is a bit empty so we tried out whipped cream instead, except it didn't seem to tasted just like the biscuits but in a bundt pan:)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tuna Shepherd's Pie and thoughts on papaya

i finally "left" the house...for the grocery store. at least they were restocked! bought some basic veggies and ended up with a super easy tuna shepherd's pie. thew in a bunch of veggies with tuna and tomato sauce and cooked that up while my potatoes boiled. then layered it into a dish and topped with cheddar cheese and wha-la! yumminess. although i need to get rid of my fear of salt and just have at it. not that sprinkling after the fact wasn't just as tasty.this is a shot of the food in the afternoon light as i was spreading the mashed potatoes over the veggies. pretty isn't it!onto the next order of business. i've never bought a papaya before but i was feeling random at lotte so picked one up. i treated it like mango, the mushier the better. the seeds reminded me of caviar, or nemo's brother's and sister's...which i suppose is the same thing. so basically ugh. the fruit is interesting. definitely an acquired taste, but it's so good for you i had to get the fam to eat it! so i blended it with some plain yogurt, peach and a dollop of honey and it was tasty! i spent about an hour smushing the seeds to dry them b/c i figure i can use them for something. i'll check back with you once i figure out what that something is...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chocolate Avocado cupcakes in blizzard pt 2

this recipe comes from joy the baker. i halved the recipe and made cupcakes instead! if you didn't notice the mideast is going to a bit of a blizzard so this gives me plenty of opportunities to bake! i used the metal cupcake tins and sprayed with oil then lightly dusted each with some unsweetened cocoa powder (whoooeee, this takes some patience. i think it might help to sift it over the cupcake tins)

the mashed avocado came out to be such a beautiful color! the cupcakes are delicious but i think b/c i haven't had granulated sugar in awhile it took me a bit to get used to the after sweetness. i might try again with some applesauce next time. but these are good! hopefully i will get around to making the avocado buttercream icing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tortilla pizza

what day of this snow fun is it? we're expecting 10-20" of snow again starting today through tomorrow evening so i ventured out to the grocery store early this morning to see what pickings i could get. let me tell you, the store was looking pretty sparse. but i picked up some whole wheat tortilla wraps and yummy whole milk mozzarella (not that skim stuff! some things i just do not accept as a substitution) and wha-la, add some tomato sauce, a dash of pesto, onions and tomato and some good pizza. just bake in the oven at 375 for 5 minutes on the top shelf and then switch to the bottom shelf for another 5.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Banana Walnut Bread and preparing seaweed

there's something about being trapped inside my house because of a blizzard that gets my baking drive going. i woke up at 7 am because i was dying to find out if my bananas had finally ripened. and success! so here's some yummy love if you're stuck in a blizzard (if not, it's such nutty deliciousness that you can still enjoy it) i tell myself it's okay to have this much bread around the house to graze on b/c it's made of whole wheat flour and oats. and if that doesn't work, there's a nice freezer that can easily take some bread lovin. see recipe at end of entry.

today i also helped the mother to prepare some dried seaweed for some salty goodness. it's very simple and straightforward procedure. take some dried seaweed, rub in sesame oil and then sprinkle lightly with salt.once that's all done you cook it up on the stove. one by one place it in the pan to cook up (there is a way to cook in the oven, but this is the way my mother likes to do it).it starts out the dark blackish color and then when it's fully cooked it turns a beautiful green like so. have with rice and side of kimchi and egg and it's a delicious meal!

Banana Walnut Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup instant oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
5 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together brown sugar and applesauce. Add eggs one at a time. Add mashed bananas. Slowly stir dry mixture into the wet ingredients until combined. Add the walnuts, stir up and pour/scoop into bread pan. Bake for about 58 minutes or until done. yum!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blizzard of '10 and Orange chocolate bread

so it's a blizzard here in md and it's hitting my back pretty hard. probably spent over an hour with the family shoveling snow. and it's still coming down after shoveling all i wanted to do for some reason was make some warm and toasty bread... this is some orange chocolate bread, good looking, no? here's the recipe, i'm really messing with the ingredient list these days

Orange chocolate bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup instant oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 Tblsp apple sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bread loaf pan. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Combine wet ingredients and then add to dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips and scoop into pan. Bake for around 25 minutes. Cut and enjoy!

*there was a awful lot of chocolate chips so i would probably decrease it to 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. I wish the orange flavor was stronger but that would probably require zesting an orange.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Eggless Apple Walnut drops

clearly no class, no work and snow= baking cooking overload! not that my fam seems to mind. i would have simply made cookies with egg if i didn't know that the silly yellow, still greenish bananas weren't desperately waiting to become banana bread, so the few eggs left in the fridge will be for that (and i am in no way shape or form going to drive in the snow to get some eggs, this just means using the wonderful internet to find fun recipes)

this recipe is based off of Recipezaar 58919 which was for eggless chocolate chip cookies. but since i already baked something with chocolate chips i decided to try something else. i also used applesauce instead of butter (b/c i have no butter and i don't want to deal with butter) i'm not sure how long this "i don't want to use oil or butter" thing is going to last, but i do know i love me some real sweets, so in reality when i buy baked goods i will go towards anything that looks like it swum in butter (and still looks appetizing).

as for the recipe, i forgot to take out the vanilla extract and replace it with cinnamon, so the cookies i ended up with are a bit too on the sweet side. i also replaced the granulated sugar with less brown sugar and the flour with a combination of instant oats and whole wheat flour. the result- a bready kind of cookie/muffin thing. tasty but not a cookie. i need me some butter...
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Black bean and tuna salad

i'm on a health kick craze so this is lunch for the fam today. it's black beans, tuna, orange bell pepper, onion, cheddar cheese with spices (cumin, parsley, black pepper, and salt) with a spoonful of mayonnaise just to get it held together. top that with some lettuce over whole wheat bread and i think we're good to go!

black beans- good source of fiber, protein, iron and antioxidants (the darker the outside of the bean the better it is for you)
tuna- omega 3 fatty acids and protein
cheese- calcium

i think i did pretty well today:)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cherry, chocolate, walnut whole wheat bread

phew, just writing that title made me tired. this was not originally what i planned to make at 7am but the grocery store was conspiring against me. because the bananas are merrily greenish yellow but i still wanted to bake i figured i would make some pumpkin chocolate chip bread, BUT, after haunting the grocery store for 30 minutes and not finding it i decided it just wasn't meant to be.

so instead i bought a bag of frozen dark cherries (i had wanted cranberries, but i couldn't find fresh or frozen!) and this is what i ended up creating...

i was stealing bits of cherry as i cut them in half. yum! the recipe was definitely a fiddle as i go kind of thing. the bread is a little too sweet and doesn't hold together very well, but who am i to turn down chocolate and walnuts. not so sure about the cherries, but i will continue eating them to find out!
the other problem may have come from my strange obsession to base this recipe off of the banana bread in the Everything Cookbook...

Cherry, Chocolate chip, walnut whole wheat bread (say that 3 times fast!)

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup instant oats

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

about 1 cup apple sauce

½ cup water

2 eggs

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 ½ cup halved frozen dark cherries, tossed in whole wheat flour (not sure if necessary)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two loaf pans and flour the bottom of the pans (or you can make 1 larger loaf, they come out pretty shallow). Mix flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl add the apple sauce and water. Mix eggs in one at a time. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. After mixing add the cherries. Scoop into bread loaves and bake about 25 minutes.

the chocolate chips were a bit overpowering so i would cut that back a bit. i can't taste the oats, but the whole wheat flour definitely gives the bread a very hearty and dense flavor. i wonder what it would taste like with white flour?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ripening bananas and baking woes

it's a winter wonderland and apparently it's going to get even snowier this weekend!

i've wanted to bake and that hasn't been easy with this kitchen mess. i finally thought i would be able to bake since the contractors weren't coming around so i bought super cheap bananas from bj's to make some banana walnut bread. the only problem- when i bought them they were green- like green green. green eggs and ham kind of green. and for some reason there are absolutely no brown paper bags in my house to ripen them faster. now, i could've gone out to get some brown paper bags but that would be too simple. instead i have my bananas housed in a large quaker oatmeal box next to a heat vent to somehow create a nice and warm environment so the fruit can decompose or whatever so i can bake!

24 hours after placing them inside of the box
48 hours later

i don't know about you but my banana still looks pretty's to hoping i get to make banana walnut bread in the near future.