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, Ohio, recipe, Sweets

Neighborhood Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread

Banana Bread From A Friend

Loaf packed with crumble topping

Loaf packed with crumble topping

I love this recipe because it came from a recent visit to a neighbor who claimed it was the best banana bread which she received from another friend.  I tried a bite and had to agree.  I couldn’t find where the recipe came from, but it is pretty simple as banana bread should be.  The only issue I had was the baking time which I happily enjoyed the slightly undercooked middle slices while sharing the perfectly baked and moist outer edges.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1C Sugar
  • 1/2C room temp. butter
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2C buttermilk (I used milk and lemon juice replacement)
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed (I used 3)
  • 2C AP flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • I added 1/2C chopped walnuts

Crumb Topping

Crumble topped slice

Crumble topped slice

  • 1/2C Powdered sugar
  • 1/2C AP flour
  • 4T melted butter
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Beat egg, sugar, vanilla. Add butter.  Beat in buttermilk and bananas.
  2. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder,and cinnamon.  Slowly stir dry into wet.
  3. Spray loaf pan with oil before pouring in batter.
  4. Combine crumb topping with your hands and sprinkle over loaf.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.  Mine took much longer and was still underbaked.  I ate the gooey middle pieces without complaint but when making for a crowd allow extra baking time.

#theRealWendy

This one falls under #theRealWendy umbrella as Starbucks makes a similar loaf replacing the crumble with a walnut topping (I added chopped walnuts to the batter).  Although the ingredients are better than most packaged foods, it is still very overpriced for a packaged slice of bread.

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Food, Fun, NYC, recipe

Healthy Morning Recipe and My Return

Fried cricket and silkworm

Fried cricket and silkworm

Hi All! I have returned from an epic trip to Thailand and an exciting holiday season.  I have many recipes in “the vault” and I am so ready to get back into a routine.  I was fortunate enough to enjoy the tastes of Thai food which will surely be incorporated into my 2016 cooking.  I had the opportunity to take a cooking class and I ate everything from fried silkworm to charcoal ice cream and traditional pad thai.  One of the most enjoyable street foods was roti which is basically a fried dough stuffed with banana.  It is theatrically made and a sight to see itself.

Roti with banana and nutella

Roti with banana and nutella

cooking class

cooking class

market shopping

market shopping and long long beans

HORRIBLE plane food from AirChina

HORRIBLE plane food from AirChina

#TheRealWendy

#TheRealWendy quest continues to update, upgrade, and cost effectively change fast food meals for the better.  Since the start of a new year is usually full of healthy habits, todays quest is to conquer an easy custom made oatmeal from home.  This one is less of a recipe and more of a custom creation made for your palate.  I made a big batch of steel cut oatmeal and added different mix ins once I portioned it out for the days of the week.  All around it is better to make this at home (from being more cost efficient to avoiding unwanted additives).

Here are a few examples of fast food chains who sell morning oatmeal.  Although it is not a horrible option in most cases why not enjoy an extra few minutes at home in the morning as opposed to waiting in line? Also I have secret add ins to make an extra protein packed oatmeal.

  • Wendy’s Oatmeal bar

    dried fruit addition

    dried fruit addition

  • McDonalds fruit and maple
  • Starbuck’s perfect oatmeal
  • Au Bon Pan oatmeal
  • Jamba Juice steel cut oatmeal

I make a batch of steel cut oats (or rolled oats) according to the package and scoop out portions into a muffin tin to cool before refrigerating or freezing.  In the morning you can pop it in the microwave and add a bit of milk (any kind) to loosen to your liking.

Traditional add ins

oatmeal portions

oatmeal portions

  • Fresh/ frozen/ dried fruit
  • Sweetener- Brown sugar/agave/ stevia etc.
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chocolate chips
  • Spices- cinnamon/ginger
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts (be sure to add day of for crunch)

If you want an extra protein kick stir in egg whites, protein powder, or chia seeds.

 

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Dining, Food, Fun, Ohio, recipe, savory

#therealWendy Pizza

I am starting a new series “The Real Wendy” taking a fast food style recipe and making it deliciously homemade.  In 2014 Pizza Hut began its line of “Artisanal” pizzas meaning the dough is hand tossed trying to achieve a more authentic pizza.  As a child Friday night was always Pizza Hut night, so it was fitting that I made an artisinal pizza for a Friday night in Ohio.

Roasted Tomato Pesto Pizza

Once again I am on the mission to make a great pizza at home.  This time I made the dough for the crust which hit the spot.  I preheated the oven at 500 degrees with the pizza stone in the oven for an hour before cooking.  In this case I did not put enough toppings on the pizza, as the last time I was left with a soggy mess.  My toppings included a homemade pesto base, mozzarella, tomatoes, and mushrooms which I perorated and added after cooking.  I did not use fresh mozzarella as last time it was too wet.  This would have been perfect if I added a bit more pesto and cheese, but worthy of a post.IMG_3567

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place a pizza stone inside you oven on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. You most definitely need a pizza peel for this – or at least something to easily transfer your dough to your stone ( used a rimless cookie sheet.IMG_3568

In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast and honey. Let that sit and get foamy, about 10ish minutes. During that time, I like to get out all of my pizza ingredients and measure them out – because this dough doesn’t have to rise! For the above pizza, I used pureed crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a little crushed garlic and fresh basil leaves. You want everything measured out and ready to top so you can quickly transfer the dough to the stone.

After 10 minutes, stir the flour and salt into the yeast mixture. Stir until the dough comes together, first using a spoon and then using your hands. If the dough is REALLY sticky, use a little more flour until it becomes silky, adding 1 tablespoon of flour as needed. Flour your workspace and knead the dough a few times with your hands. Let it sit for 5 minutes.IMG_3569

Roll the dough out as thin as you possible can – at least 10 inches. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest another 5 or 10 minutes. Flour your pizza peel VERY well. To transfer the thin dough to your peel, I gently and quickly fold the dough in half and then in half again, pick it up, and unfold it on the floured peel. Quickly add your toppings – your sauce and cheese and what not. Remember, with this thin crust it is best to not do tons of heavy toppings. Work quickly so the dough do not stick to the peel.

Open the oven and gently slice the pizza from the peel to the stone – I use a spatula to help if needed. Bake the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes – just keep and eye on it since the oven is so hot and stones can differ. It will be done when the crust is crispy and cheese is golden.

Remove the pizza by sliding it back onto the pizza peel with the help of a spatula. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing.

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