Friday, August 31, 2012

Jelly Roll


Jelly Roll


Even though I've never had one before I've always wanted to make a jelly roll. They are just so darn pretty! But very hard to photograph my brother says…thanks Austin for the first picture on this post (you'll be able to tell which one it is ;). The jelly roll may seem a little labor intensive but it's really quite easy and I've included some step by step pics to help you along! PS. If you have British grandparents this is the perfect thing to make for them. PSS. Check out my bro's AWESOME photo's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tottphotography/

Jelly Roll
Adapted from Zoom Yummy

6 eggs, separated
1 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup AP flour

1 1/4 cup jam (I used Blackberry-blueberry from my last post)
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
cooking spray; flour


Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine egg yolks and 1 cup of confectioner's sugar. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. 


In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until firm, stiff peaks and add them to the egg-yolk mixture. (Make sure there are NO egg yolk remnants in the egg whites before whisking!!!) Line a large 12 by 15 inch (or so) baking pan with parchment paper and spray with some cooking spray and flour lightly. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly with a knife or spatula. Bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown. In the meantime, place a clean dish towel on your work surface and cover with a piece of parchment paper sprinkled lightly with confectioner's sugar. 


Immediately upon removing cake from the oven, invert onto the towel and paper. Carefully remove the top paper and roll it up while it is still hot. 


Let cool. When cooled, unroll the sponge cake and spread with the jam. Whip the cream, vanilla and 4 Tbsp of sugar until firm peaks form. Spread cream over the jam. Reroll the cake and sprinkle with more sugar if you wish!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blackberry-Blueberry Jam


Blackberry-Blueberry Jam


This is the first post in my series on blackberries! I feel like blackberries in most parts of the world are underrated or inaccessible. I was spoiled growing up in the Pacific NW, getting to pick and eat blackberries right off the bush. And I must admit, berry picking is by far one of my most favorite activities. However even after picking a ton of blackberries, my berry-picking appetite was not yet satisfied! On to blueberry picking! I would like to argue that blueberries are the easiest berry to pick. If you have never been berry picking, start with blueberries. No bending over, prickly vines, or dirt to get in the way. My mom and I always joke that we are so glad they don't weigh us before and after we go picking because we eat probably more than we pick. 


Blackberry-Blueberry Jam
Recipe adapted from Sure-Jell Box
Makes 8 cups

2 pt. blackberries, or 3 cups crushed (some seeds may be removed if desired)
2 pt. blueberries, or 3 cups crushed
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 package of Sure-Jell

1) Bring boiling water canner (we just used a large pot), half-full with water, to simmer.
2) Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
3) Crush 1 cup of berries at a time, using a potato masher. If using a food processor, pulse to chop. Do NOT puree. Jam should have bits of fruit.
4) Measure exact amount of prepared fruit into a 6 or 8 quart sauce pot.
5) In a separate bowl, combine a 1/4 cup of sugar and Sure-Jell.
6) Stir pectin-sugar mixture into fruit along with 1/2 tsp butter to reduce foaming.
7) Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
8) Stir in remaining 4 1/4 cups of sugar quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
9) Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids and screw on bands tightly. 
10) Turn jars upside-down immediately after filling. After 5 minutes turn right side up again and let stand at room temperature until cooled. The lids will pop to indicate that they've sealed! To check seals press middle of lid with finger, if the lid springs back it is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.
11) Store unopened jams in a cool, dark place and refrigerate opened jams. 



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes


This past week I had the most wonderful time camping/boating with my family out in the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington. I have many fond memories of these islands and they remain near the top of the list as one of the most beautiful places I've been. Not only are these islands beautiful, but they provide a bounty of fresh seafood! I've collected and devoured oysters, muscles, fish, and this time crab from these islands! After eating a ton of fresh crab we decided to save some and make them into crab cakes. 


Crab Cakes

1 lb crabmeat
1/3 cup crushed crackers (i used Ritz)
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour for dusting

Mix all ingredients (except flour) in a large bowl. Shape into patties and dust with flour. Heat a large frying pan and spray with cooking oil. When hot, carefully place crab cakes in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve warm and with preferred sauce.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sloppy Joes


Sloppy Joes


One of my all time favorite childhood foods was sloppy joes. And luckily they're one of the easiest things on the planet to whip up! Last week my fam and a couple friends and I made a massive batch of sloppy joes, caesar salad, watermelon, and ice cream for about 60 homeless people who live in tents in a church parking lot in Bellevue! It was so much fun to serve these people by cooking them all this yummy food. If you're interested in serving these lovely people at Tent City, check out their calendar for available dates: http://prem.calendars.net/tcmeals. And if you need meal ideas please don't hesitate to contact me!


Sloppy Joes

1-2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can tomato soup
1/2-1 cup BBQ sauce
Dash Worcestershire
1 Tbsp mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef, onion, pepper, and Worcestershire. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over buns. Quantities can be adjusted to personal taste.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zucchini Bread


Zucchini Bread


If you hadn't noticed, I LOVE making quick breads. My favorite though is probably zucchini bread. I have many a fond memory of walking into our house and smelling the warm, cinnamon-y goodness wafting through the air. Maybe it's the moistness of the bread, or the unique fact that it's made from a vegetable that makes me like it so much…either way, I could probably beat anyone in a zucchini bread eat-off. My grandma has a gorgeous garden that produces many a beautiful vegetable, including zucchini! So, since it's one of my grandpa's favorites as well, we decided to make some together. I have to say, she is one of the best people I have ever cooked with. We had a lovely time, I only wish it happened more often!


Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large or 2 smaller ones)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan; set aside. In large bowl, whisk together the two kinds of sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. In small bowl, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add this flour mixture to the egg/sugar mixture and blend well. Stir in the grated zucchini. Stir in nuts and/or chocolate chips if using. Pour batter into the greased and floured pan, spreading evenly. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (my loaf was done in 50 minutes). Cool in pan 10 minutes; then remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beef Bourguignion


Beef Bourguignion


So I know it's not really the right time of year for people to be craving hot soup…but when you come across soup this good you don't need a seasonal excuse to make it. We were visiting my grandparents this weekend so I decided to make this classic French soup for dinner! I was really quite amazed at how delicious this soup came out considering the minimal amount of kitchen labor it required. It's definitely fancy enough for the most special company, yet easy enough for any skill level. Another thing I appreciated about this was the use of "normal" ingredients, therefore keeping your spending on a minimum. Try out this soup and I promise it won't disappoint!


Beef Bourguignon
Recipe adapted from Everyday Occasions

2-3 pound Chuck Roast
3 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of red wine
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of rosemary (dried or fresh)
1 bunch of fresh thyme 
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups of carrots, 1-inch dice
1 1/2 cups of potatoes, 1-inch dice
1 1/2 cup of mushrooms, 1-inch dice
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour

Coat the Chuck Roast with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Heat a large dutch oven on the stove top for 2 minutes, then sear the roast for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Add stock, wine, garlic, and herbs.  Cover and put it in the oven for 4 hours at 225 degrees.

After 4 hours of cooking, add the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms.  Cook for for 30-45 minutes longer.  Remove from the oven.  Place the pot on the stove, and remove the roast from the stock and wine sauce, placing it on a platter.  Cover and let it cool for 10 minutes.   Leave the sauce (with herbs and vegetables) in the pot on the stove.

Meanwhile, thicken the sauce (that remained in the pot) by microwaving 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the butter, stirring it until smooth.  Whisk it into the sauce until smooth.  Cook on medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken.  You may add another batch of the thickening mixture, if you desire.

Remove the fat and bones from the Chuck Roast.  Shred the beef into large pieces back into the sauce. Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or with a crusty loaf of french bread.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Banana Cream Pudding (Magnolia Bakery Style)


Banana Cream Pudding (Magnolia Bakery Style)


One of my most favorite things I had while in New York was Magnolia Bakery's banana cream pudding. Now this bakery is renown in NY for having fantastic cupcakes, however the thing that most people don't know, is that their banana cream pudding is FAR superior. 

If I were to eat a cloud in heaven, this is what it would taste like. 

My lovely coworkers at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center got me a HUGE vat of it for my little going away party last week, and I literally liked the bowl clean. I really wish I could send them my version of the banana cream pudding, but for some reason I don't think it would travel very well… looks like I'll just have to go back!


Banana Cream Pudding (Magnolia Bakery Style)
Recipe taken from their cookbook
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1½ cups ice cold water
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!) 
  • 4 cups sliced ripe bananas
In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. (I didn't want to wait for 3 hrs, so I spread the pudding out it in a very shallow dish and popped it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and it was just about as set as it could be!) It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain. To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours - before serving. (if you like cake-like wafers, allow at least 4 hours of chilling)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quinoa Fried Rice


Quinoa Fried Rice


Fried rice is one of those wonderful comfort foods that I like to enjoy every so often. Although, I don't usually make it with rice! I make it with quinoa! If you're new to quinoa, I think this would be a great recipe to start with. Especially if you like fried rice made with brown rice, this quinoa version has the same sort of dense, nutty flavor. Enjoy!


Quinoa Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups cooked quinoa
2-4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large white onion, chopped
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1-2 large eggs, optional
1 chicken breast, cooked
Salt and Pepper to taste
Scallions for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add minced garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then, add in quinoa, soy sauce, garlic powder, peas and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until flavors are well melded. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of the fried rice and pour in whisked eggs. Let them cook until underside starts to turn opaque, and then mix into the rest of the quinoa. Add in cooked chicken if using. Cook for another minute, or until all egg goo is cooked. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nutella Banana Bread


Nutella Banana Bread

This wonderful bread came about all thanks to my lovely roommate in NYC, Felicia. Seeing her jar of nutella sitting on her shelf day after day, inspired me to make something out of this fabulous hazelnut spread. And then I came across this recipe, and BAM! I knew I had to make it.

And who better to make it with than the cutest couple EVER, Felicia and Brenden! So, while belting out Disney songs into our wooden spoon mic's, we mashed bananas and sifted flour. And one hour later we were contentedly licking our fingers and proclaiming this bread a complete success! 

Nutella Banana Bread
Recipe from Recipe Girl
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8x4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & salt.
3. In a separate large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until flour is incorporated (don’t over mix).
4. Spoon Nutella into a medium dish and soften in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Add 1 cup of the banana bread batter to the Nutella and stir until blended well. Spoon Nutella batter alternately with plain banana bread batter into the prepared pan. Swirl batters together with a knife.
5. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check the oven at 45 minutes to check the top of the bread for browning. If it’s browning too quickly, cover lightly with foil for the remainder of the baking. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Momofuku Bo Ssam (AKA Pork Butt)

Momofuku Bo Ssam (AKA Pork Butt)




Last sunday I had the pleasure of cooking this mighty pork butt for a feast with my friends, taking place the following night. He took a whopping 7 hours to cook, but oh, it was so worth it! We devoured it in minutes, and enjoyed every morsel. This meal is definitely one that I would label "finger-lickin' good". 




You can go to the Momofuku Ssam bar to enjoy this meal with 6-10 of your friends, or you can just make it at home and have twice the fun! And spend $150 less than you would at the restaurant! You simply cannot beat good food, friends AND saving money! If you would like the recipe for this lovely feast you can find it on the NY Times website, just click here! This website also has lots of helpful tips!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Streusel Apple Bread


Streusel Apple Bread


It's come to be that time again where I get to clean out my fridge before I depart New York! I love combining all of the odds and ends I have accumulated and making it into something great! And that  my friends is how this lovely bread came about! It's kind of more of what some would call a "fall" recipe…but it should definitely not be limited to that season! It is far too good to only be enjoyed during the fall.


Streusel Apple Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups apples, half grated and half roughly chopped
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans

Streusel topping
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9" X 5" bread pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream together margarine, sugar and eggs.  Add vanilla and milk and mix until smooth.
Add dry ingredients and mix on low just until blended. Stir in apples, raisins and nuts. Pour the batterinto prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.

In small mixing bowl, combine first 3 streusel ingredients. Add small pieces of
butter and mix until blended.  (a pastry blender works well for this).
Add the nuts and stir. Sprinkle streusel over bread batter evenly.

Bake for 60 - 70 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
Let stand for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.