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Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 Jan

This is one of the first recipes I remember making when I was a teenager. My mother had a big binder-like cookbook called Great American Home Baking and what teenager wouldn’t like chocolate chip muffins? I’ve changed up the recipe just a bit, but the muffins are just as good as I remember.

Ingredients:

    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    5 oz. (1/2 bag) Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease cupcake pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

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In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture into the larger bowl and use a fork to make sure all the dry ingredients are mixed well with the liquid.

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Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full.

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Bake muffins for about 18 minutes, until the tops begin to become golden. Enjoy!

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Summer Peach Cobbler

13 Dec

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe ever since I tried it this summer, but alas I am months and months behind. I first saw this peach cobbler recipe (or peach-a-berry cobbler as she calls it) on Iowa Girl Eats. She is super fun and shares great recipes and takes awesome photos, so you should check out her blog. And definitely make this cobbler. It’s delicious.

I changed this recipe up just a little bit because I wanted to incorporate whole wheat flour and I prefer to use brown sugar over white sugar. Here’s the slightly modified version:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk (I prefer whole, but you can use whatever)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups sliced fresh peaches, skin on
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then begin by making the topping. Combine both types of flour, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar and the baking powder in a large bowl and stir. Add milk and butter then stir until smooth. Set aside.

Topping mixture

In a large saucepan mix together the other 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the cornstarch, and water until smooth. With the heat on medium, add the peaches and blueberries.

Adding peaches and blueberries

Cook until the peach and blueberry mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the 1 tablespoon of butter and the lemon juice and stir until butter is melted.

Heated fruit

Pour fruit mixture into an ungreased pie pan and add the topping. Try not to make the dollops of topping too thick because I did that the first time and it didn’t cook all the way through. The second time I made this cobbler I made a point to make the dollops thinner and spread them out a bit and it worked much better.

Stir 2 tablespoons of white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl then sprinkle on top.

Because the cobbler might bubble up while baking, put the pie pan on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the topping comes out clean. Enjoy!

Cobbler

The Best Crepe I’ve Ever Had (and a trip to Iceland)

11 Mar

This post is going to serve as a shameless promotion of gorgeous pictures we took while in Iceland recently, while also highlighting the most delicious dessert I’ve ever eaten.

While in Iceland we did so many amazing things – we walked on a glacier!

Glacier3

We saw Geysir!

Geysir

We hung out at the most enormous waterfall – Gullfoss, “Golden Waterfall”
Gullfoss Golden Waterfall

We walked between the American and Euroasian plates!

Thingvellir

It was just so amazingly wonderful and I cannot wait to go back.

We also spend some time walking around Reykjavik and eating some incredibly delicious food. One night after dinner while walking along the cobblestoned streets of Reykjavik,  we saw a small ice cream shop. While pondering our ice cream options, I saw their special – a dessert crepe.

Crepes are very popular in Iceland. Traditionally, they are made in a special crepe pan and then often filled with jam and whipped cream and folded in quarters or sprinkled with sugar and rolled into tight cylinders. They are often served with coffee or tea.

Our dessert crepe was a little different – it was filled with vanilla ice cream, nutella and strawberries, then rolled tight. The ends were then dipped in caramel chocolate sauce and rolled in salted nuts.

Crepe

 

I think it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Christmas Sweetheart Cookies

26 Dec

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and is gearing up for a fabulous new year!

I found the recipe for these super easy and delicious cookies in Taste of Home: CookiesReggie even tried to help make them.

Reggie helping make cookies

Check out my awesome purple polka dot PJs

Recipe:

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 and 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam

Using a mixer, beat together the softened butter and sugar until it is creamy. Add in the egg yolk and mix it well with the butter/sugar mixture. Begin to add in the flour a 1/2 cup at a time, trying to get the flour mixed well with the rest of the ingredients. Once you’ve mixed it as well as you can (it’ll still be a sandy consistency), move it to a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand. Soon, the sandy blob will begin to look more like dough. Continue to knead for a few minutes or until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place about two inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Using the end of a wooden spoon or the back of your 1/4 teaspoon, make an indention in the center of each ball. We used the wooden spoon this time, but I think next time we’ll try the back of the teaspoon. Fill each hole with 1/4 teaspoon jam.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Move the cookies to wire racks for cooling.

Sweetheart Cookies

Sweetheart Cookies2

Homemade Granola Bars

14 May

I found this recipe on Girls Gone Child, which is an amazing blog. It is, in reality, a mommy blog, but it’s super well written with gorgeous photos and she just seems like such a cool person. So that is how I justify the fact that my favorite blog is a mommy blog. Anyway… her mom often writes “Eat Well” posts that feature delicious and nutritious foods, often vegetarian, which is another reason why I love the blog. So anyway, below is the recipe for homemade granola bars, care of Girls Gone Child, and tweaked a little by me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¾ c raisins, dried cranberries or blueberries – whatever you’d like
  • ¼ c ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped mixed nuts
  • ½ c oil (or ¼ c oil + ¼ c applesauce)
  • ½ c agave nectar or honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and start thinking about how you’re going to ground the flaxseed. At least, that is how this recipe started for me. I had bought whole flaxseeds at Trader Joe’s and the internet told me that I could use a coffee grinder to grind them, but I was leery. After figuring out how to use the coffee grinder, it was smooth sailing. Super easy to grind and the ground seeds smell so nutty and delicious.

I actually took a bit of the ground flaxseed in a little container to work and have been putting it on my oatmeal in the morning.

After the grinding is complete, you are free to figure out the rest of the recipe. In one large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, raisins/cranberries/dried fruit, flaxseed, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Also add in the dark chocolate chips, if you’d like.

In a separate bowl combine the oil, agave nectar, egg, and vanilla.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Spray a piece of parchment paper with canola oil spray and place it on the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Press the granola mixture into the parchment paper lined pan and use damp fingers to make sure its even and makes it into all the corners.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. It’s easiest to cut these into bars once they are completely cooled, but good luck waiting that long!

Week 47: Custard Pie

30 Nov

So I realize I’m a bit late this week. There was work, and Thanksgiving, and time off, and a trip to Plimoth Plantation, and all those types of things, so I got a little distracted. But I did take Thanksgiving as an opportunity to try something new – custard pie. I did not make this custard pie; I ordered it from the wonderful Tufts Dining Hall.

Taste of Christmas

So last Wednesday, after dropping off three boxes of food donations for the Greater Boston Food Bank, a coworker and I picked up my pie from the Dining Hall. I brought it back to the office and put it on my desk for the rest of the day. And then I brought it home and put it in the oven (the oven was off) so that Reggie the cat wouldn’t be tempted to try to eat it. (He eats lots of things including cereal, bread, lettuce, and anything that is in the garbage disposal, so I didn’t want to risk the pie.) But custard pie’s main ingredients are eggs and milk. These items need to be refrigerated. My custard pie spent the day on my desk and the night in the oven. See where this is going?

So we arrive at Thanksgiving, pie in hand, and when someone offers to take the pie, she asks, “does your pie need to go in the refrigerator?” And I just stood there like a moron and thought OH. SHIT.

Did you know that when you google, “should you refrigerate custard pie?” the answer you see in every single search result is “always”? So then the pie came thisclose to the trash. But Aunt Betty jumped in and assured us that because the milk and eggs were cooked, the pie actually didn’t need to be refrigerated. Because I really didn’t want to throw the pie away, I took Aunt Betty’s word for it against the forever-wise Google.

So I ate the custard pie and not only did I not die, I thought it tasted just fine. It was rather bland, I’d say, but good and cinnamon-y. Someone had described it as creme brule, but firmer, and I think that was pretty accurate. Now if the custard pie just had a top layer of scorched sugar, it would be my new favorite.

So Thanksgiving was a success. The pie was a success. And we even got in some quality kitty-snuggling at Andrew’s parents’ house:

 

Week 46: Peanut Brittle

18 Nov

My friend Tomoko was visiting from San Francisco and we met at Trident to grab brunch last Saturday morning. She moved more than five years, so it was so terrific to see her again and get to catch up. It was a beautiful day and she was excited to see the foliage. We walked along Comm Ave and snapped photos of the gorgeous trees.

Tomoko brought me a box of peanut brittle from See’s Candies in San Francisco. She said she always brings it to her mom in Japan because her mom loves it too. I carried it with us as we walked along Comm Ave and then sat in a Starbucks, sipping coffees and chatting about how things have changed since we were last in Boston together. It was such a fantastic day.

I brought the box of peanut brittle home and Andrew and I broke it open a few days later. And we ate the whole box. Holy crap, peanut brittle is amazing. I’m appalled that I’ve lived all these years without it.

According to Wikipedia, you make peanut brittle by heating sugar and water. When caramelized,  peanuts, spices, and peanut butter are then mixed in. The hot candy is poured out onto a flat surface for cooling and is troweled to make it a uniform thickness. When the brittle cools, it is broken into pieces. This sounds rather complicated, so I doubt I’ll be trying it at home. But luckily, See’s Candies ships pretty much anywhere. You know what I’ll be eating this holiday season.

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