Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tangerine Lemon Curd

So . . . it's been a long time! How have all 4 of you been?:) I've been feeling a lot of blog guilt lately. I still LOVE to eat and still LOVE to cook, I just can't seem to sit down long enough to transfer all my profound thoughts (what? you know it's true) and pictures to the computer. But I've decided to just put the guilt aside and do it when I can make the time for it. So, here I am on a Sunday night, watching The Holiday and blogging about some seriously delicious curd. Ew curd is a gross word. But it tastes anything but gross! I had a big bowl of meyer lemons on my counter and wanted to make something with them. I thought it would be fun to make scones and lemon curd and have a little Saturday afternoon tea party with Ashley. I did a quick foodgawker search and didn't find anything I loved. I somehow ended up on Joy the Baker's site and saw a recipe for tangerine lemon curd. That just sounded too awesome to pass up. I also happened to have a bag of "cutie" oranges so I just used those. Serve this with scones and lightly whipped cream, stir into greek yogurt topped with granola (soooo good!), or use as a filling for a cake. OR eat straight from the jar. Don't laugh - you'll do it and you'll like it.

Tangerine Lemon Curd

slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

makes about 3/4 cup

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon tangerine zest and 1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup tangerine juice

3 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons butter

pinch of salt

Combine sugar and tangerine and lemon zest on a clean cutting board. With the back of a spoon or knife, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is very fragrant and slightly orange in color.

In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together egg yolks, egg, tangerine/lemon sugar, juices, butter and salt. Whisk over the heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This takes about 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to smell just like citrus curd.

Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh strainer (this removes any little bits of egg that may have cooked) into a medium bowl. Transfer to a small jar or airtight container and refrigerate until cool and thicker in texture. Curd will last, refrigerated, for about a week.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Inheritatnce

Hello there. Long time no blog:) So awhile ago I inherited some friends' back issues of Cooks Illustrated. I knew that they were supposedly awesome but honestly I'd never really looked at them because they didn't have big, beautiful colored pictures which is the most important quality to me in a cook book/magazine. But, the other day I actually found myself with nothing pressing to do so I sat down with a cup of tea and the magazines. What seemed like a few minutes later was actually about an hour that I had been pouring over these magazines. It was like reading a novel. Each recipe has a "story" and explanation about how the recipe had been tested to make sure that they were giving out the best version. I found myself wanting to make the recipe even without seeing the big, beautiful colored picture (until I turned the magazine over and saw that it had pictures on the back:). Anyway all that to say it made me want to cook. So, I chose a recipe that I had all the ingredients for. Say hello to the best beef stew ever. Don't be scared of the anchovy paste. Or the unflavored gelatin. Just push through! It's worth it!

Best Beef Stew
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated Feb 2010
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets or 2t anchovy paste (I use the paste. You can get it in a tube and it lasts for a long time. It's also great to use in caesar salad!)
  • 1 T tomato paste (also sold in a tube!)
  • 1 boneless chuck roast (about 4 lbs) trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in pieces. You could also use beef stew meat.
  • 2T vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1in pieces
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1 1/2 C frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 2 t unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 C water
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Combine garlic and anchovy paste in small bowl; press with back of fork to form paste. Stir in tomato paste and set mixture aside.
  2. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Do not season. Heat 1 T veg oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over high heat until just starting to smoke. Add only enough beef as not to crowd the pan and brown on all sides. Transfer beef to a plate and repeat until all meat is browned.
  3. Place all meat back into pan and reduce heat to medium. Add onion and carrots to Dutch oven and stir to combine with beef. Cook, scraping botton of pan to loosen any browned bits, until onion is softened, 1-2 minutes. Add garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until no dry flour remains, about 30 seconds.
  4. Slowly add wine, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits. Increase to high heat and allow wine to simmer until thickened and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to simmer, cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove pot from oven; remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and mushrooms, cover, return to oven, and cook until potatoes are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and stir in pearl onions. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender and onions are cooked through and meat has little resistance when poked with a fork, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over water in small bowl and allow to soften for 5 minutes.
  7. Increase heat to high, stir in softened gelatin mixture; simmer until gelatin is fully dissolved and stew is thickened about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve.
Ok, so maybe you're overwhelmed. It does seem like a lot of steps but it's totally worth it. The meat comes out so tender and flavorful and the broth/sauce is thick and rich. Make it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homeade Granola

Here's a quick and easy recipe for homemade granola. This was the first attempt I made at granola and it turned out really good! Granola is so expensive in the store and this is definitely less expensive. It also uses applesauce as a binder so it is healthier also. But don't worry, it doesn't taste healthy:) I don't like a lot of fruit and extra stuff in my granola so I adapted the recipe which you can do too. Add cranberries or raisins at the end or switch up the type of nut. Enjoy getting crunchy with your granola.

Applesauce Granola
adapted from Fake Ginger
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey and oil over low heat.

Mix the applesauce mixture into the oat mixture and stir to coat everything. Spread the mixture onto a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is a deep brown. Remove from oven and stir in fruit if using. Cool completely before enjoying.

With this delicious granola I made a parfait with greek yogurt, honey and raspberries. mmmm good!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Everything Pumpkin

Finally! My pictures are uploaded and I can talk about some of this food I've been making.

October= pumpkin everything. I've been going a little crazy with the pumpkin over the last few weeks. In all honesty pumpkin isn't my very favorite flavor in the world but I do enjoy it when it's cloudy outside, the leaves are falling and the heater's on. It just seems right. Here are a few of the pumpkiny things I've been making. (yes, I know pumpkiny isn't a word but I like it)

First is a really delicious moist pumpkin bread with a surprise layer in the middle that makes it pretty darn ridiculous.

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cheesecake Layer

Cheesecake Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon (approximately) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
1 large egg

Pumpkin Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan or you can use 3 smaller loaf pans (great for gifts!)

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the cheesecake ingredients; beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

Place pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat for about 1 minute, until fully combined. Add flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined.

Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter into the loaf pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of pumpkin batter layer and then pour on the remaining pumpkin batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes for large loaf pan and 35-45 minutes for small loaf pans, or until a wooden skewer inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature or cool.

Okay, this next recipe is definitely a keeper. You know that certain fall drink from that certain coffee chain that starts with an S and rhymes with schmarbucks. Well, I've come pretty close (thanks to the recipe I discovered) to making a replica.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Pumpkin Spice Lattes
adapted from

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin purée

-In a small pot over medium heat, dissolve sugar in water.
-Once sugar is dissolved, add remaining ingredients. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not boil.
-Strain mixture using cheesecloth or a tea towel.
-Pour into a small (8-10 ounce) bottle and store in the refrigerator.
-To make a pumpkin spice latte, simply add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup for each shot of espresso.
-For an iced latte, stir together syrup and espresso before adding desired amount of cold milk.
-For a hot latte, add frothed milk and stir to combine. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

This is so good. I tried it hot and iced and both were great. You're welcome for the money you're gonna save not going to schmarbucks.

Ok, ok one more and then I promise I'm done with the pumpkin overload. These pancakes are pretty much amazing. Really moist and creamy and the syrup, oh the brown butter syrup! It is so good you will drink it. No seriously, you'll drink it.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Br
own Butter
taste of home magazine, october 2010
brown butter
1/2 C butter, cubed
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg

1-1/2 C flour
2 T packed brown sugar
2t baking powder
1 t salt
2 eggs
1-1/3 C 2% milk
3/4 C canned pumpkin
1/2 C ricotta cheese

For brown butter
In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

For pancakes
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, pumpkin and cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with brown butter.
Enjoy the pumpkiny goodness while you can! Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I'm Loving . . .

I've been cooking and baking a lot in the last few weeks and have some great recipes to share, but my camera and/or computer is freaking out and won't let me upload my pictures. So, while I wait for the repair man (Ryan, hopefully tonight!) to fix this problem here are some things I'm loving right now . . .

I don't know where I've been cause apparently every one knows about this delicious tea, but in case you've been on a different planet like me this is Good Earth original tea. It really is like fall in a cup. It's really spicy (like herb spicy not hot sauce spicy) and really sweet. Not sure how they do it cause I don't think it has sugar in it and it says it has zero calories. In my book that's a miracle!

And I've been drinking it out of this non-paper travel mug from Cost Plus. It's so cute and that's the reason I got it cause in truth it doesn't keep liquid hot for very long.

The other thing I'm loving is the San Francisco Giants! It's kinda funny cause I've never been a huge baseball follower and definitely wouldn't sit down and watch a whole game. But over the last few weeks something's come over me (it's called the play offs). Since I haven't played soccer in many moons I guess I'm finally needing an outlet for my competitiveness. I also think Ryan's prayers for me to become I Giants are finally coming true.

One more thing I'm loving is 2 Corinthians. I'm studying it in Sisters in Scripture this semester and it's totally rocking my world. It's amazing to see Paul's example of someone willing to walk through anything in order to preach the Gospel and see people's lives changed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yep you read that right. This recipe caught my eye on foodgawker and I had to make it. Anything salted chocolate or salted caramel makes my heart sing these days. So, you must try this recipe immediately. You can thank me later via gifts, money, compliments, etc.:)

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: about 24 cookies

8 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. fleur de sel (sea salt), or Maldon sea salt plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Combine the 8 ounces chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, heat in the microwave in 25-second intervals, stirring in between.) In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the melted chocolate mixture, blending until incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the remaining chopped chocolate with a spatula. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2-3 inches apart.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are just slightly soft in the center and crackly on top, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and let cool on the baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Love

I came across this recipe while browsing on and it pretty much screamed at me "make me! make me! you have all my ingredients!" So I happily obliged.

Let's back up a second. I guess I'm assuming that you know what the miracle of foodgawker is, but in case your life isn't consumed by food blogs let me fill you in. Foodgawker is a site that is a collection of posts from various foodbloggers who submit a recent post and picture of a delicious looking food. It's basically a place where you can go, scan pictures and recipes, and then realize that you've been scanning for hours. It's basically a miracle.

Anyway, back to the recipe that caught my eye the other day. They're called Reese's Bars and the have totally rocked my world. They're a combination of a Reese's peanut butter cup, a brownie, and kind of remind me of muddy buddies. Best of all, it's like 5 ingredients and you don't have to bake them. Definitely one of my new fave's!

Reese's Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a 9" x 12" baking dish with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Mix well. Blend in melted butter until well combined.

Press mixture evenly into pan. In a microwave proof bowl, heat chocolate chips at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Spread evenly over top of peanut butter mixture.

Refrigerate just until chocolate is set. Cut into bars.

You might need to ask someone to keep you accountable when you make these. It's not safe to be left alone with them.