Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Breakfast - Bacon, Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Quiche

I generally have no motives for anything I make.  Today was no special occasion, no one is coming over.  I just had eggs and bacon and cream that all needed to be used and I didn't really feel like making an omelet.  So, quiche it is.

The great thing about this quiche is that it looks and tastes like you put some actual effort into it.  This is super easy and you can use pretty much whatever is hanging out in your fridge to fill it up. Crust included, you can have it thrown together in ten minutes.  Forty-five minutes in the oven and breakfast is served. 

It cuts beautifully and has a nice flaky crust.  An excellent breakfast with nothing more than a cup of coffee.  This would be great for lunch as well, serve it with fresh fruit or a strawberry and spinach salad.

Olive Oil Crust recipe adapted from All Recipes

1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Cold Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Combine everything together until it forms a dough.  Press evenly into your pie plate.  Pre bake 5 minutes if desired.  400F/200C.

Bacon, Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

5 eggs
1 Cup Heavy Cream (you can use half and half or any type of milk)
2 Heaping Tablespoons Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
1 large Shallot, diced
1 Cup Cheese, shredded
6 slices Bacon, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon however you wish.  I nuked mine in the microwave for 6 minutes.  Cool and crumble.

Combine shredded cheese, shallot, crumbled bacon.  Layer this on the bottom of the pie.

Combine eggs, cream, pesto, salt and pepper.  Whisk until well combined and pour over cheese mixture.

Bake at 400F/200C for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350F/175C and bake an additional 30 minutes.  Cut and serve.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh Lordy.  Sometimes I'm too much, even for myself.  Ya see yesterday I went on the great pumpkin search of 2010 looking for a can of Libby's, but I'll be damned if I found one.  Being it's October and all the lucky asses in the States get to go to a pumpkin patch and pick to their hearts content, my reader has been overflowing with pumpkin recipes.  One in particular was for pumpkin puree.  Why did I not consider doing this before? Takes a hell of a lot less effort than going from store to store looking for a damn can.  So forget you Libby, I don't need you.  Take your can and shove it.  And not in your face.  Somewhere much less enjoyable. For some people.

Making your own puree is extremely simple.  If you can make mashed potatoes, you can do this.  You want to go with a more of a gourd type pumpkin, I would stay away from the big jackolantern variety.  You can use that if you like, but you will end up with much more watered down and possibly bitter puree.  Sugar pumpkins are the way to go in my opinion.

Hokay so we have our cute little baby pumpkins.  Look at it, tell it it's pretty and that you love it, then cut its head off.  Cut it half and scoop out the seeds.  Cut the halves in half again.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray or rub it down with some oil.  Place the pumpkin cut side down and bake for 45 - 60 minutes at 375F/190C.  If you can pierce it with a fork it's good to go.  Let it cool a bit then scoop out all of the goods.  If you cover the pumpkins with a bowl or the like right after it comes out of the oven, you'll be able to peel the rind right off and that will save you some work.  Puree the pumpkin in the food processor or mash it to death with a potato masher.  Done!  This will keep in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for up to six months.  

My one medium sized pumpkin gave me a bit over 4 cups of puree.  Most recipes call for a 15 oz. can of Libby's, and that is equal to 1 3/4 cups.  Just so you know. 

And now, muffins!  These are sweet, fragrant, yummy little bits that throw together in no time.  I got 19 muffins out of this recipe, I hope you do too cause you're gonna need them. 

Fresh Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe adapted from Picky Cook

1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
1/3 Cup Oil
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Cloves
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon Sugar, mixed.

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Combine flour, chocolate chips and baking powder, set aside.

Whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice or equivalent, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and fold together just until combined.
Drop into a lined muffin tin 3/4 full.  I used a 2 Tablespoon ice cream scoop.  If you don't have one, just use a Tablespoon measure.  

Top with cinnamon sugar mixture and bake 20 - 25 minutes.  Mine were perfect in 24.

Yields 19 muffins.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I've been craving whoopie pies since two summers ago when I drove to Lancaster for the sole purpose of obtaining one and shoving it in my face.   I was planning on making pumpkin whoopie pies with maple cinnamon cream since those are the best by far, but I haven't tracked down a can of pumpkin yet and we all know I am pretty much the least patient person around.  

Now these will never be as good as the ones you buy straight from the Amish girl at the farm stand but they are about as close as you can get.  The cakes are moist and chocolatey and the cream is sweet but not even close to sickening.  It's chocolate peanut butter heaven, and I can't think of a better heaven to go to than that.  Except maybe pickle heaven.  I'd be happy there.  Chocolate peanut butter pickle heaven.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies recipe from Cate's World Kitchen

1 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
5 Tablespoons (70g) Butter, soft
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 375F/190C

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Cream butter and sugars, add the egg and beat well.

Stir together the milk and vanilla.

 Alternately add the milk/vanilla and flour mixture to the butter and sugars until well combined.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place batter two inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 12 minutes.  Cool on pan 10 minutes.  Finish cooling on a rack. 

Peanut Butter Filling recipe from Judy's Kitchen

1 Cup (226g) Butter, soft
1 Cup Peanut Butter (I used Jif)
1 Cup Marshmallow Fluff
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.  Pipe or spoon onto cooled cakes and sandwich together.

Makes 9 Whoopie Pies.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cooking with Bellamy - Evelyn's Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cupcakes are good.  We like them.  They make us happy.

Bellamy loves carrot cake, and here she is showing you how to whip them up.


First things first, grate your carrots.

   It's a known fact that making an absolutely ridiculous face helps this process immensely.

Get those eggs cracking.  Fingers are the best method of egg white removal.

Get those eggs in the bowl, along with the sugar. Mix it up real good.  Add in the oil and mix that up too. Throw in the carrots and stir it up.

Now add in the flour and everything else. Mix mix mix.

Line your cupcake pan, being sure each one is meticulously pushed down.

Then leave your mom in the kitchen by herself.  Peace out mom, Mr. Bean is on.

You're so much cooler than me Mr. Bean.

Fill the cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they test clean.

Yay cake!

Top them off with 7 minute frosting and you're all set.

Evelyn's Carrot Cake

4 Eggs
3 dl (1 1/4 Cup) Sugar
3 dl (1 1/4 Cup) Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Sugar (or 1/2 t vanilla extract)
4 Carrots, grated
Bit less than 3/4 C Oil

Preheat oven to 375F/190C

Combine eggs and sugar.  Beat well.  Add in oil and beat to combine. Stir in carrots.

Combine remaining ingredients, add to carrot mix and beat to combine.
Line muffin pan and fill 3/4 full.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes.  Cool completely.

Seven Minute Frosting 

2 Egg Whites
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Put egg whites and salt in a bowl, beat with a hand help mixer or in a stand mixer until it's frothy and at forms soft peaks.
Combine remaining ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Once boiling, remove from heat and VERY SLOWLY stream into egg whites while beating constantly.  Continue beating for 5-7 minutes until thick and shiny and it holds stiff peaks.  Spread or pipe on to cupcakes.
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Cooking with Bellamy - Hand Pies

Whenever Bellamy and I are bored I usually suggest we bake something and since that means she gets to eat she usually goes along with it.  This day we decided to make little hand pies.  Or pop tarts, whatever you want to call them.  I say they aren't pop tarts cause they don't have frosting on them, and no one likes an unfrosted pop tart do they?  No they don't.

Om nom nom nom nom nom.

These were plenty easy to throw together.  All you need is a no fuss pie dough and whatever you can pull out of your fridge or freezer that you might want to put in them.  You could even make these into dinner by making pizza or meat pies.  Skies the limit with these babies.

We chose to do sweet pies of course because sugar is your friend.  Bellamy even made a little fancy pants pie.   She had to one up me ya know.  It's a Nutella pie to boot.

No one believes you're innocent Bellamy, stop trying.  We know you well.

Pie Crust

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup (113g) Butter, very cold and cubed
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Sugar
6-8 Tablespoons Ice Water
1 Egg, beaten (for brushing pies before baking)
Sugar, sprinkles, nuts for topping

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor by pulsing a few times.
Add butter and pulse for a few seconds about 5 times or until mealy.
Add ice water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.

Divide dough in half.  Roll one half into a rectangle about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

Cut rectangle into six or eight even squares, depending how big you want your pies

Place 3-4 squares on lined baking sheet, fill centers with filling and leave a small border.

Place remaining squares on top, seal edges by pressing together with a fork or your fingers.  Poke holes with a fork or cut small slits so steam can escape.  Repeat with second half of dough, or refrigerate for up to three days.

Brush tops with beaten egg, bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.

Filling ideas:  Jam, Cinnamon and Brown Sugar (drizzle with butter), Nutella, Peanut Butter, Fruit, Pizza, Hamburger and Cheese, or any combination you can think of.  Have fun!

Makes 6 - 10 pies, depending on size. 
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Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I'm not even gonna lie to you, these cookies are dangerous.  They are awesomely chewy.  They are so chewy that if you eat more than two your jaw hurts.  It's a beautiful, satisfying pain.  These are cheap to make and you probably already have everything in your cabinet.  Twenty minutes start to finish, what are you waiting for?  Go hurt your face with pure deliciousness.  You're going to thank me, so will your chiseled jawline and expanded waistline.

Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe adapted from Kitchen Magpie

1 Cup (226g)  Butter, room temperature
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cup Super Fine Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Cups Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
2 1/2 Cups Quick Oats
1 1/2 Cups Raisins or Chocolate Chips

Preheat Oven to 350F/175C.

Cream together the butter and sugars.
Add eggs one at a time, beating in between.  Mix.
Whisk together flour and baking soda, slowly add to butter mixture.
Slowly add in coconut and oatmeal.  Add raisins or chocolate chips, or both.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  

If the cookies look underdone, that's great!  You don't want them too brown, they finish themselves off to perfection on the cooling rack. 

This dough refridgerates wonderfully.  Let it sit out for about ten minutes, then roll into a log and slice into discs.  

Makes 4 dozen.

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