Tuesday, October 23, 2012

pumpkin pancakes, mornings to savor

pre-pancakes: early morn drop-boyfriend-off-at-the-airport deal.
during pancakes: pumpkin, spices. couch. 2nd coffee.
only concerns: mess i left in the kitchen, will there be enough maple syrup? why is my amazon book still not here?
after-pancakes: the post-pancake nap.

mornings like this have become things to look forward to.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg and cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

sift the flour, sugar, baking power, spices, and salt together in a bowl. in another bowl, beat the pumpkin, egg, milk, and butter. fold the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to incorporate. heat a griddle pan and grease with a pat of butter. scoop about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake and cook about 3 minutes each side. 
serve with maple syrup. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

basil pots de creme + strawberry cream crumbs

well, art is art, isn't it? and east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.
now, you tell me what you know.

Groucho Marx

trust me.

Basil Pots de Creme
from brave tart, she's magical

16 oz cream
8 oz whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved
7 oz sugar 
1 1/2 oz clean basil leaves
8 oz egg yolks
1/4 kosher salt

in a medium pot, combine the milk, cream, and vanilla bean pod. bring mixture to a simmer, then turn off the heat. cover and steep for 1 hour. 
while the vanilla steeps, prepare for the water bath and set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. you'll also need a baking pan with tall sides, like a 9x13" baking pan, a fine mesh strainer, and aluminum foil to cover the baking pan. 

grind the sugar and basil leaves together in the bowl of a food processor for 2 minutes, until the sugar has turned solid green. put the yolks in a medium bowl, then whisk in the basil sugar, reserved vanilla bean seeds and salt. stir to fully incorporate. 
when the steep time is up, preheat the oven to 300 degreesF. return the milk/cream mixture to a simmer, then carefully ladle some of the hot cream into the eggs. repeat with a few more ladle-fulls until the egg mixture has warmed and is more fluid. then whist the warm egg mixture back into the pot of cream. turn the heat to medium low and cook mixture, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides. keep cooking and stirring until the mixture becomes quite hot to the touch and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
pour the mixture through the sieve into a medium bowl (okay to reuse the bowl that held the eggs). portion the strained mixture evenly between ramekins (i used little jars), and place in the baking pan. fill the pan about 3/4 way full with the boiling water, then cover the whole thing with aluminum foil and carefully transfer to oven. 

bake for between 30-45 minutes, or until the custards have a gentle set. to test, giggle a ramekin. there should not be any liquidy movement in the center. keep baking until the custards are set through. its possible for some of the custards to finish cooking before others...so feel free to remove one by one. 
remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hour. then cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or until thoroughly chilled through. they will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a week. 

i even put some in the freezer, and it was good. 


Strawberry Cream Scones
adapted from big sur bakery,  and these lovely ones

crumble them up, toast a little bit more in the oven. top the cremes with the crumbles. add a little extra fresh strawberry if you want. i wanted. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

apple quinoa bread

i overslept.
my alarm was set to 5 pm not am, and i overslept.
i woke up 18 minutes after the minute i was supposed to be at work, on my feet, lookin alive, making dough.

the feeling of being late to work gives me crazy anxiety. i hate being late.

my family was always late to everything. i was always uptight about it.
i was the kid in the backseat of the car, frustrated and ready to go,  honking the horn obnoxiously. then i'd get yelled at.

i got to work in record time, from the minute i jolted awake to walking in the restaurant doors..12 minutes.

i probably could have taken an extra minute to grab an apple or my ever important sharpie.
but the thought of being any later was too much to bear for my late-phobic brain.

so no coffee, no breakfast, no morning zone out time.
the day was clearly thrown off. and the energy was at a 2 for the rest of the morning.

the day perked up with a fat tall venti whatever latte, and then i got back to turning pretty apples into hundreds of sweet, paper thin apple chips.

and then scooping biscuits, obviously.

i made this apple quinoa bread because i had slightly overcooked some quinoa and felt guilty throwing it away.

so, very lightly sweet breakfast bread. it would be completely vegan if i didn't smash a tablespoon of butter into the oat topping.
and quinoa is protein (aww yeah). so protein bread. i'd rather grab protein bread than a protein bar. if i'm not running too late to think about food.

it's dense and super moist.
my sincerest apologies for throwing around the word moist so much.
i'm just trying to describe things accurately.

Apple Quinoa Bread

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
small handful toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)
small handful of golden raisins (optional)

1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (or olive oil to keep it dairy-free)

preheat oven to 350 degreesF. grease or line an 8inch loaf pan with parchment paper. in a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. in another bowl, mix the grated apple, oil, quinoa, and vanilla. in a third small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping - the oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter or oil and set aside. add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir til just combined. fold in the nuts and/or raisins if using. scrape into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the oat topping to cover the batter. bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

oatmeal cookies with rice krispies, coconut, pecan + marshmallow

true or false.

i feel weird and guilty about all the nothing that has been going on here in the past couple weeks. true.
i'm still figuring out my strange technology limbo situation. true. ugh.

i dropped my phone on my face again, and this time, it rather flung into my face leaving me with an actual black eye. not false.

23 was a good year. true.
23 was the best year ever, golden year for sure. false.

i've played it cool with my black eye and led some people to believe i was in a girl brawl. false.

speaking of black eyes, concord grapes brighten my day. true.

cookie dough is an artform, a raw, gooey artform.
it's an obsession, it's comfort, it's ruining my appetite for dinner.
all true.

i made these cookies with a lot of things in them.

sometimes i can't keep it simple. i don't care. i don't want to. i want to take my grandma's cookies, and make them more trashy.

rice krispies. oats. coconut. pecans. marshmallows.

thin and chewy, with a pleasant crunch from the krispies.
do you see those crispy caramelized edges? they taste like a caramelized rice krispy treat.

for me, these are as addictive as it gets.
i didn't eat the dough for breakfast with coffee. false.
i love them so much more than any plain jane oatmeal cookie. true.

and when they were all gone, rice krispy treats is the right thing to do. (true to the true.)

Oatmeal Cookies with Rice Krispy, Coconut, Pecan, and Marshmallow
adapted from my grandma

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups rice krispies
1 cup coconut
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows, chilled in the freezer 

preheat oven to 350 degreesF. line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease with nonstick spray. combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. cream butter and both sugars til fluffy. add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. then beat in the vanilla. add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. stir in the oats, rice krispies, coconut, pecans, and marshmallows. chill the dough in the refrigerator or immediately scoop tablespoons of the dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10-12 minutes. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

vanilla rum banana bread + kaffir lime glaze

wilco @ hollywood bowl. raincoat crisps. wine.
achey hands, fingers acting double jointed. one hopeful morning.
homeland, dexter.
vanilla rum banana bread. coffee x4.
2001: a space odysee.
dead computer. getting angry, punching a pillow, more than a little pouting.

what do you do when your computer is dead and you don't have a new one yet...and you have a blog?

i don't know.
i appear to be borrowing someone's computer, loving up on instagram, and making banana bread to comfort my soul.

i got my hands on some finger limes for the first time, and they are crazy cool. i couldn't help but to squeeze some of the crunchy little lime beads into the glaze.

Vanilla Rum Banana Bread with Kaffir Lime Glaze
adapted from Cooking Light

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp dark rum
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, about 3

kaffir lime
finger lime (optional but fun)
confectioner's sugar

preheat oven to 350. sift or whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for a few minutes. add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. add the vanilla, rum, sour cream, and mashed banana. then add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. scrape into a 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake for about 60-70 minutes. 
simply mix lime juice with confectioners sugar until it becomes a smooth glaze and desired consistency is achieved. pour over the cooling bread.