Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Studded Scones

#TheRealWendy

I pulled the recipe from my favorite Skinnytaste, but I omitted the lemon and spread homemade pumpkin butter on the baked scones.  Mine clocked in at 240 calories each (I had no clue how to cut into 10 equal parts so I made 8 slices) as opposed to the 490 calorie bombs at Starbucks.  I found these the best the first day as they lose the crisp sugared crust when stored in airtight containers.

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup dried sweet cranberries (I used orange flavored)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in cranberries or cherries. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring just until moist. (dough will be sticky)
  4. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 8-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4″ thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 8 wedges (do not cut all the way through). Sprinkle 2T sugar over dough.
  5. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature.

 

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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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Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Lemon Puppy Chow

What was in last weeks mystery box?

Mystery Box

Mystery Box

I like wikipedia’s description best “Puppy chow, also typically known as muddy buddiesmonkey munch, or reindeer food, is the name for a homemade snack made in the United States”  It is crunchy and sweet and quite honestly hard to stop eating.  Nowadays it is not a homemade snack as you can purchase the pre-made mix but it is so simple and quite honestly only semi-homemade to begin with.  I decided to make a lemony version of the treat using white chocolate and lemon juice in place of chocolate chips and peanut butter.  I did not make up this recipe, but thought it was worth sharing as it was something I have never heard of or tried before last week. I also think it is a great treat looking forward to spring.

IngredientsIMG_4491

  • cups Corn Chex™ cereal
  • 1 1/4cups white vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4cup butter
  • 4teaspoons grated lemon peel (or 1tsp lemon extract)
  • 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2cups powdered sugar

DirectionsIMG_4493

  1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; gently shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.

http://www.chex.com/recipes/chex-lemon-buddies/0ddce4db-9367-4d8b-a731-809279ce9b46

 

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Food, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Lavender Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars, but they are anything but healthy.  I decided to make a lightened up version based off Gina’s Honey Lemon Bar recipe from her Skinnytaste blog.  I wanted to incorporate my culinary lavender as I knew it would pair well with the lemon and shine through this simple dessert without messing up the consistency or bake.  The only downside was the use of so many lemons!

Honey Lemon Bars *adapted from Skinnytaste

For the crust:

  • 6 tbsp white whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
  • 1 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar, for dusting on top

Directions:IMG_4366

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly spraying the inside of the pan with baking spray before lining it with 2 long sheets of aluminum foil folded to fit inside and placed perpendicular to each other in the pan.  This is so you can get the bars out after they are cooked, so don’t skip this step.

Simmer honey with 1T of culinary lavender for 30 minutes before straining solids.

Cut the sheets long enough to hang over the sides to use as handles to lift out the baked lemon bars before cutting into squares.  Spray the inside of the foil lined pan with baking spray.

For the crust: In a food processor combine the flours, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and process until well combined.  Add the butter and yogurt to the flour mixture at once and pulse at least a dozen times before turning out into the prepared pan and pressing into an even layer.

Bake until evenly browned about 20-22 minutes.  Cool the crust on a metal rack for at least 15 – 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Prepare the filling by whisking together the eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour and the salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and pour over the cooled crust.  Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes.  Cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the foil.  Cut into 9 squares and dust with confectioners sugar. *Note be prepared for the sugar to “disappear” if refrigerated overnight.  Do not dust until bars are cooled and are ready to be served.

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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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Dining, Food, NYC, recipe, Sweets, Uncategorized

Snow Day Date-Nut Bread

Since it is the storm of the century here in NYC, I decided to post some of the things I cooked today while happily stuck in the apartment.  Since I was aware of the storm earlier in the week I pre measured and froze buttermilk.  I waited a bit too long to go to the grocery store as the line was wrapped around the block just to enter and the line to checkout was another half hour wait winding throughout the store.  In the end I found plenty of ingredients to make dishes ranging from a greek yogurt kale dip, to stuffed red peppers, roasted artichoke hearts, and even managed to make a homemade vegetable stock.

Date- Nut Bread from ATK Healthy Cookbook

This recipe comes from a favorite cook book America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.  I ended up making this recipe as directed but baked in an 8X8 in pan since I didn’t have a loaf pan.  I learned that the dates can turn tough when baked so it is important to soak in hot water and baking soda to weaken the skins to remain soft while cooking.

Batter:
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk, chilled
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9x5x2¾ inch loaf pan (I greased and placed parchment along bottom of an 8X8). Tip: to make baked bread easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust with flour.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine boiling water, baking soda, and dates. Cover and set aside about 30 minutes or until the dates have softened and the water is lukewarm.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, and egg; whisk together until well blended. Stir in the date and water mixture. Add flour mixture; stir just until blended. Stir in nuts.
  4. Bake: Pour batter in the loaf pan. Bake 60 minutes (mine took 25) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and let cool about 15 minutes. Grabbing the top edges of the parchment paper, lift bread from loaf pans and place on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Remove parchment paper and discard.
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