Food, Fun, Holiday, NYC, recipe, Sweets

St. Paddy’s Day #2 Flag Muffins

Most people have heard of zucchini bread and carrot cake, but what about spinach muffins?  I found this recipe on a blog and thought it would be a great treat for St. Patricks Day to make green muffins WITHOUT any food coloring.  Unfortunately I did not have a blender with the ability to liquify the spinach, but they tasted amazing.  I was able to weigh my ingredients since bananas vary in size and I adapted the recipe using frozen instead of fresh spinach.  I used almond milk as my milk choice, all whole wheat flour, and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup as it was already sweet enough for my liking.  I folded in walnut pieces as well for a bit of extra crunch and flavor.  I also liked that I could taste the batter as there were no eggs.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (8.5oz)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 lb bag frozen spinach (6oz squeezed of water)
  • ½ cup mashed banana about 2 (7.5oz)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

I adapted this recipe from http://thegreenforks.com/popeye-muffins/

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, place oil, milk, and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed. Add banana and vanilla; blend on low just to mix.
  4. Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups about ⅔ full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Now I had fun with this photo opp creating a cupcake honoring the Irish flag topping it off with whipped cream and a shaved carrot.  These are DECEPTIVELY good… but I am hoping to make them again using the proper blender for vanity sake.IMG_4563

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Holiday, NYC, savory, Uncategorized

St. Paddy’s Day #1 Cabbage Duo

I have taken a few weeks off, but no worries I have a lot of fun to come.  Stay tunes tomorrow for a fun St. Paddy’s Day recipe.  It is that time of year again where I see cabbage at the local grocery store and decide to buy one with no plans of what to do with it.  

Ahhhh the small but mighty head of cabbage.  Once cut, it grows into a forrest of greens that is useful for large batches of multiple recipes.  In this case I decided to go with a chicken cabbage soup and a traditional creamy cole slaw.  The cole slaw was actually adapted from the recipe on the back featuring pretty basic ingredients.  I added a kick of Sriracha (about a tbsp) and used half greek yogurt and half mayo in the dressing, both which I highly recommend.

 

The “dump” soup was a result of an impulse buy of cabbage in honor of St. Patrick’s Day so I used ingredients I had at home.  First searing carrots and celery in a pot, then adding the a few cloves of garlic.  Then I added a can of crushed tomatoes and chicken stock I made a few weeks prior from the bones of a roast chicken.  At that time I added the cabbage and let simmer about 15 minutes before adding the chicken which I poached in the liquid until cooked through before pulling into smaller pieces.  As I recall the only other addition was salt and pepper.

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Dining, Food, Fun, Holiday, recipe, Sweets

Ree titled this one her perfect pot roast and after a perfect pulled pork… I believed the Pioneer Woman would do this one justice.  I did not list the amount of each ingredient as you should refer to the link for the original recipe.  The only changes I made were due to the limitations of my kitchen supplies (fresh herbs, veggie stock etc).  I shared this one with friends and it was received very well.  I can’t wait to make it again.

  • 3 cloves garlic

    IMG_3772

    Plated with root veggie mash

  • thyme (I used dried)
  • rosemary (I used dried)
  • salt/pepper
  • 4 lb Rump Roast
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • 3 C Vegetable Stock
  • 1 C Wine

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast.

Heat the olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.

Throw the carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. Reserve the carrots with the onions.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pot. Place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.

With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a whisk. Place the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway.

Add in the onions and the carrots, along with the fresh herbs.

Put the lid on, then roast for 3 hours for a 3-pound roast. For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours. The roast is ready when it’s fall-apart tender.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/perfect-pot-roast-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Ree’s Perfect Pot Roast

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Food, Fun, Holiday, recipe, Sweets

Molasses Spice Cookies

Soft & Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Although I made this recipe during the holiday season, it is now one of my favorite cookies.  The Cook’s Illustrated version is so perfect I would not change a thing.  Although Starbucks’ version is decent and does not contain many artificial ingredients, it is still expensive and pre-packaged(ingredients below)…that’s where #theRealWendy comes into play.

from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (i didn’t have any)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses, light or dark

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup sugar for dipping in a shallow, wide bowl.

Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter with brown and granulated sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl down once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Dough will be soft.

Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll between palms into 1 1/2-inch ball. Roll ball in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake if you want the cookies to be soft and chewy.

Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Starbucks Ginger Molasses Cookie

Ingredients

enriched unbleached wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), shortening (palm oil), sugar, molasses, brown sugar (sugar, molasses), water, invert sugar, corn syrup, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger.

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/bakery/ginger-molasses-cookie?foodZone=9999

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Food, Fun, Holiday, Sweets

FB Cookie Swap Year Two

I love being a part of the Food Bloggers Cookie Swap (http://www.fbcookieswap.com) where active food bloggers each send a batches of cookies to three different bloggers and receive three in return.  The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015Ironically one of the batches I received in return this year were very similar to mine.  Since I was staying with a phenomenal home cook, I figured it would be best to take a trusted recipe of hers.  It is a trusted recipe from a Junior League of San Francisco circa 1986 cookbook.  It uses very few ingredients and they are great to ship as shortbreads are intended to stay crisp.  The most tricky part was to locate a bag of unsweetened coconut flakes.  The only issue is I forgot to jot down the recipe and it is no where to be found online.  Below is one as close as I could recall.IMG_3740

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut* (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour

DirectionsIMG_3741

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Mix in salt and vanilla. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in coconut. Gather dough together; divide in half.
  3. Roll into logs; wrap each in plastic and chill at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  4. Cut dough into rounds. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart
  5. Bake cookies until light golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.)IMG_3742Note the cookies seem like they will crumble apart, but trust your instincts as they are supposed to be a more dry cookie before baking to ensure a crispy result.
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Food, Fun, Holiday, recipe

Thanksgiving Cranberry Relish

Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_3570Thanks to cranberries.org I learned a wealth of information about the berries.  First of all they were found first in North America by the native americans so they really are a true American symbol.  I thought I would get some pre thanksgiving practice by making a batch of cranberry sauce.  It was also a personal challenge by George who claims cranberry sauce is one of the most researched recipes.  I went a step further by canning it for shipping.  I stuck with the back of the bag recipe with a little added hint of ginger which I read in a recipe from epicurious.  I must admit it is such an easy recipe, I would definitely make this for a turkey feast just to impress the guests.  

Simply boil a 12oz bag of cranberries with 1C sugar and 2tsp minced ginger.  Continue to cook until the sugar begins to caramelize stirring frequently until the cranberries are slightly broken (not mushy).

IMG_3571

canned and ready for shipment

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Food, Fun, Holiday, recipe, Sweets

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

This recipe was made a while back when I found a box of brownie mix on the counter of my cousins house and wanted to make it a little more exciting than the original recipe.  A quick google search led me to this recipe where a peanut butter cheesecake layer takes there brownies to the next level.  I followed the recipe to a tee, but I must admit they are tricky to tell if they are done and I would err on the side of underbaking for a fudgier brownie.  These would also be a great recipe for Halloween as they don the orange and black color scheme.IMG_3371

INGREDIENTS

  • your favorite brownie batter (I used Ghirardelli mix)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (can be light)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • ½ cup peanut butter (i eyeballed it and probably used more)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk

INSTRUCTIONSIMG_3373

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare the brownie batter and spread into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Add the peanut butter, adding the cream as necessary to make the mixture more smooth. The consistency should be thick, but smooth enough to easily mix with the electric mixer. Add the vanilla and salt.
  3. Pour mixture over brownie batter and marble with a knife.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

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