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But 90% of the time, I’ll look at an elaborate recipe with 20 ingredients and think, “Yeah right! Not tonight, my friend.”
Which is a pity, because ingredient lists can be deceiving as far as effort involved.
On the other hand, if I come across a recipe with only 3 or 4 ingredients, I’ll probably dismiss that one too. “Not exciting. Probably has ‘boxed something’ as an ingredient.”
Sometimes I’m too judgmental.
Cover and cook. Eat.
And don’t get a steam burn!
No seriously, DON’T get a steam burn. I went to pull off the aluminum foil, and my hand got in the way of the escaping steam. It was one of those burns that actually took a second to reach my brain. At first it was like, “oh that was kind of hot,” and a second later I was jumping around the kitchen waving my hand in the air like I just didn’t care. Then I remembered to run it under cold water.
I’m quick like that.
Hours later, I was STILL icing my fingers because they felt like my skin was melting off. Unwrap with caution, folks.
Steamy Rice and Beans
Adapted from eat, live, run
2 chicken breasts, diced (or leave out the chicken!)
1 cup dry rice (I used Jasmine rice)
8 oz can of tomato sauce
14 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne, depending on how much kick you’re looking for.
guacamole for topping (I’m kind of obsessed with the Wholly Guacamole from Costco. Best ingredients list I’ve seen on store-bought guacamole.)
Preheat the oven to 350F
In a 9×13″ dish, pour in the rice, tomato sauce and kidney beans. Add the spices to the broth and whisk together. Pour the broth over the rice and beans, and give the pan a little stir. Add the chicken, and then cover the pan very tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 90 minutes with the foil on.
CAREFULLY remove the aluminum foil, top the casserole with guacamole, and serve.
Yours truly with peeling fingers,
Let’s pretend this is a photo of a beautiful quiche, ok?
And it’s all steamy, and delicious smelling, and puffy.
Puffy is a very important quality in quiche. And don’t tell me you can’t smell food photos. You may need to get your nose checked, ok?
In true Jo fashion, I made yet another meal that I took no photos of.
Not one. Not even an instagram shot.
I am so winning at being a food blogger!
1 Pie crust (this is the one I used)
1/3 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 or 1/4 tsp cayenne (or none if you don’t want any kick)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375F
In a bowl, beat the eggs until all the yolks have broken and are combined.
Add the milk and spices and continue to beat until the egg mixture starts to get thick and frothy.
Stir in the vegetables and half of the mozzarella, and then pour the mixture into your pie crust. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the quiche is set in the middle. If your pie crust starts to get too brown, line it with some tin foil. Serve while hot.
I’ve never had good luck saving quiche for leftovers. I’ve just never been able to reheat it well. Anyone have any suggestions?
How on earth has another year passed already?
My child, my amazing child, is READING HIS OWN BIRTHDAY CARDS!!
Obviously that’s not the only difference this last year has made, but I’d say that’s a pretty exciting difference. Wouldn’t you?
*Who am I kidding, I wish I was half as stylish as this kid!
And about 4 inches of vertical growth! I think I may have to keep up this feeding him thing…
By the way, I really need to thank Alton Brown for the most amazing Angel Food Cake recipe ever. The birthday boy was especially pleased.
A few notes about the recipe:
1. I didn’t have cake flour, so I made my own by measuring a cup of all purpose flour, and then taking two tablespoons out. I then added two tablespoons of cornstarch and mixed well.
2. I didn’t really wait for the egg whites to reach room temperature. I forgot. But it was just fine!
3. I used vanilla extract because that’s what I had. But it was just fine!
4. I used my new oven. This has no bearing on the recipe, per se, I’m just really excited about it still.
5. I served this cake with home made whipped cream, sliced strawberries, and homemade caramel sauce. Yeah mama!
I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile. And while I’m kind of sorry about that, I also really enjoyed the downtime.
And to be quite honest with you, I was feeling a bit uninspired in the kitchen. I know, right? Kind of lame for a food blogger to stop having fun in the kitchen.
I don’t want to post fluff just so I can say I posted something. I write when I’m inspired. Or when I’ve had a success.
Or an epic failure.
And there were so many other things happening in my life–all for the good!–that what we were eating for dinner just kind of went on the back burner. (Kitchen pun! It’s ok, I know I’m hilarious.)
But let’s get back to that gorgeous photo at the top.
Dude, we got a new oven!
I’m in love.
Between the new oven and my dreamboat, I’m kind of in heaven. And! I’m ready to get back in the kitchen.
Watch out world!
Remember those bacon things?
That just doesn’t seem like something I’d do.
Call something by its proper name? Not me!
I made bacon things and apple things, which is why there’s bacon in the photos. I briefly considered combining everything into bacon/apple things, but I was lazy. It will happen soon, don’t you worry!
2 apples (of your favorite variety) sliced thinly
1 can crescent rolls
8-12 tsp cream cheese
brown sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375F.
I’ve made these with baked apples and raw apples. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference, so if you’re pressed for time, just slice the apples and go.
“Bake” the sliced apples by gently heating them in a skillet or griddle over medium heat. You may want to use a little cooking spray to keep them from sticking.
In the meantime, spread out the crescent rolls. Drop a teaspoon to teaspoon and a half of cream cheese on each. Sprinkle the cream cheese with brown sugar and cinnamon. Top with several slices of apples, and roll up the crescents.
Bake for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for several minutes before serving.
Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you on something mediocre! I’m told this was an excellent pie.
The bite I tried was…cherry pie.
If cherry pie is your thing, this one shouldn’t disappoint. It has a nice balance of tart and sweet, decadence and simplicity.
But man, it’s still…cherry pie.
Makes one pie
2 chilled pie crusts (making your own is easy!)
4-5 cups of frozen pitted cherries
1/3 cup sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
juice from one medium lemon
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg yolk mixed with 1/2 tbsp cool water
Preheat oven to 375F
In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Toss together until all the cherries are covered.
Roll out one pie crust, and place it in a 9 inch pie pan. Fill with the cherry mixture. Roll out the other pie crust and top, crimping the edges together to seal. (If you don’t want to mess with a lattice top, I don’t blame you! Just make sure to cut slits to vent the steam) Brush the top with the egg wash, and then sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake for at least an hour, and as much as an hour and a half. Cover the edges of the pie with tinfoil after a half an hour to prevent them from getting too brown. You will know the pie is done when the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
Allow the pie to rest at room temperature for several hours before serving. It’s even better (I’m told) the next day, so if you have time, make it a day ahead and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
When you buy something at Costco, you don’t just end up with one package. So, the other package of sausages have been sitting in our refrigerator long enough that I was worried we’d have to throw them away if I didn’t come up with something.
Our broccoli was the same deal. We had a lot of it, and although we’d been slowly nibbling on it for awhile, (and adding it to a few dinners) I knew that if I didn’t use up a big portion of it, a big portion of it was going to go in the trash.
Ok, so we totally can, but we needed to use it up faster than nibbling would allow.
You can freeze what you don’t need right away, thereby not wasting any food, and you have back up dinner or lunches when you’re pressed for time.
And Nick thought the sausage taste was disguised enough that he didn’t even realize it was the same sausage. Win one for me
Chicken Sausage Calzones
1 pre-made pizza dough (I used my bread machine, but lots of stores have ready made stuff in the freezer aisle)
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup sliced onion
3 sausage links (3 oz each) sliced into rounds. I used these
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup grated mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 350F
On a cookie sheet, spread the sausage out to create one layer. Roast on the bottom shelf of the oven for 30 minutes (or until done), making sure to move the sausage around on the pan several times to prevent burning.
On a separate cookie sheet, spread the broccoli and the onion out to create one layer. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for about 15-20 minutes, moving everything around on the pan several times to prevent burning.
Set the vegetables and sausage aside to cool slightly before adding the cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir everything together until fully combined.
Increase the oven heat to 400F
Prepare a stone baking pan or cookie sheet by sprinkling cornmeal onto it.
Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal portions, and roll or spread the dough to create little circles. Add a few spoonfuls of the filling onto one side, leaving about 3/4 of an inch edge. Fold the other side of the dough over to create a pocket, and use a fork to seal the edges. Cut a slit or two in the top, and bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
You know that scene in Amelie where she reaches her hand into a sack of beans because it’s one of her life’s simple pleasures? That’s how I feel about a bag of cornmeal. I have to resist the urge to dip my fingers into it every time I get it out of the cupboard.
It’s ok. I know I’m an odd duck.
1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 425F
**Follow your favorite cornbread recipe, omitting most–if not all–the sugar. Add enough batter to an 8 inch round pan to fill the bottom about a half inch. (Use the leftover batter to make cornbread muffins!)
Bake the cornbread for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in the broccoli.
Pour the egg mixture over the cornbread, top with the cheese, and reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Put the quiche back into the oven and bake for another 30-35 minutes. Just until the eggs are firm and everything turns a nice golden brown color. Serve hot.
If you want a little more kick or moisture, feel free to add some salsa as a topping.
I’m going on a road trip this week, and I can’t tell you how excited I am!
I’ll be performing “Views from Grandma’s Porch” with Bare Bait Dance, a fantastic modern dance company right here in Montana. I get to hang out with five of the loveliest ladies you’d ever meet, and dance till I drop.
Don’t you dare pinch me if this is a dream!
Because our schedule will get a bit hectic here and there, I’m going to be bringing some homemade snacks to get me through our techs and workshops. I was trying to think of what would be easy to make, easy to throw in a dance bag, and not be heavy in my belly.
Yes, yes, and yes.
From Good Housekeeping
makes 12+ muffins
1 cup oats, processed in a blender until mostly uniform in consistency
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, see the notes below)
3 tbsp olive oil (or substitute unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw)
Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin tin with liners or non-stick spray.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl until fully mixed.
In a smaller bowl, beat the egg with the buttermilk, then add the remaining wet ingredients.
When everything is almost fully incorporated, add the blueberries and fold them into the batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin and then bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into a muffin’s center, and the tops should be golden brown before you remove them from the oven.
I overheard this line coming from the kitchen after I’d thrown together what I thought was a brilliant new concept for dinner.
Seriously? How did I not catch on?
It was one of those nights where we had nothing planned for dinner, and no fresh ingredients. You know those nights? Where it would just be easier to go out to dinner because you’re starving and you couldn’t possibly go to the grocery store and then come home and cook dinner? (I’m the queen of the run-on sentence, by the way.)
Except we had company. And my husband and said company were in the process of making home brew, so they couldn’t leave.
What to do? What to do?
I got it! I’ll make biscuits. Those are fast and easy.
Maybe I could even follow in my Aunt Patsy’s footsteps and make chocolate sauce! (True story. I’ll never forget that dinner as long as I live. I thought she was the coolest mom in the world.)
No, I can’t very well serve three grown men and a growing 6 year old chocolate covered biscuits. I don’t have her recipe for chocolate sauce
But they were delicious! And gourmet…or something.
Not Sloppy Joes
For the biscuits:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425F
Sift dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add oil and milk, and mix until all the ingredients are just incorporated. Don’t over mix.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface, and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick–you don’t want it to be too thin. Using a round cutter (mason jar rings work really well), cut out circles and place onto a stone ware pan or lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden brown.
For the *ahem* gourmet and totally fancy meat sauce:
1 pound ground beef
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (here’s mine)
Brown the meat in a skillet, draining the juices periodically. Add the sauce and heat through completely.
Serve the biscuits warm, covered in the meat sauce.
And don’t tell anyone I made Sloppy Joes. It would ruin my street cred…or something.