Aug 30, 2010


Ok quick recipe today because I am so exhausted! I think that's mostly because while I'm at work I eat one or two (or a dozen) sugary snacks and then I crash later. Today I crashed right before dinner, and even though I ate real food, I'm still sooooooo tired. So I'm just gonna give you a really fast recipe that I've had on my "to post on blog" list for a while. How to make your own poptarts!
I tried this a long time ago after I had made apple pie. I had a lot of pie crust leftover and I remembered seeing something about making poptarts out of leftover crust. And hey, I hadn't had a poptart in eight years and I had a huge pile of gluten free pie poptarts it was! I made mine with strawberry jam because it's my favorite, but you can use whatever kind you want. You could even make frosting to put on top! (But then
wouldn't it be more like a toaster strudel?)
The basic idea is: roll out the leftover dough and cut it into a large rectangle. Fill one half of the rectangle with jam, leaving a 1/2 inch border around it. Then fold the dough over and seal the edges with a bit of water or beat up egg. Cut a couple of decorative slices on the top and throw it in the oven. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. The other method is to cut two seperate squares and just make a pie dough sandwich. Then seal the edges with a fork--they look more like poptarts this way.
As you can see, I used the folding method which I think makes them look more homemade and cute. But that's just my preference.

Aug 27, 2010

Rainbow cupey-cakes!

I made these for my friend Paul because I felt bad about not seeing him for basically the whole summer. And to make up for my horrible friendship skills, I made him cupcakes! I ended up giving them to him in front of a whole bunch of people who demanded he share and they all liked them too. Even the strangers that were standing around us! But I don't blame them. These are some seriously tasty cupcakes. This is my new favorite cupcake recipe because the great thing about it is: it's so basic! It is a simple simple simple cupcake that can be altered any which way you want. So here's how to make them into rainbow cakes, but feel free to experiment with different flavors and styles following this basic recipe. I made two batches: one gluten free and one not. I actually thought that the gluten free ones came out better because they had a better texture-of course this is just from looking. Stephen said they tasted the same, so that's awesome too!

Rainbow Cakes
Adapted from Baking Bites
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
red, green, yellow, blue food coloring

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Then pour the batter into five seperate bowls trying to make them as even as possible. It should be about 1/3 cup in each. Add 1/2 tsp of food coloring to each bowl to make yellow, orange, red, green, and blue. Of course, to make orange you do 1/4 tsp of yellow and red. Stir them really well so that there are no streaks. Feel free to add more food coloring if you want more color!

Starting with the blue, add a spoonful of each color into 10 lined muffin tins. Work from blue-green-yellow-orange-red. I ended up having enough batter to make 11 whole muffins and 1 small one. Don't spread the batter around, just let it fall where it wants, otherwise everything will just run together and you'll end up with mud-puddle cupcakes. Bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once they're cool, frost them with a basic buttercream frosting. I did it all very pretty and artistic with my mad frosting skills. Here's how to do it: After you make your basic frosting, seperate it into three bowls and add one or two drops of food coloring. Do whatever colors you like; I went with red, blue, and green.

Then get a piping bag, or in my case a ziplock bag, and put the frosting in in sections. By this I mean, spread the red frosting into 1 third of the bag then the blue in another third, then the green in the other third. Here's a diagram because I'm tired and I can't think of another way of explaining it. Looking down on the top of the piping bag:
Then just pipe the frosting in a spiral to make it look beautiful!


Aug 23, 2010

Summer Corn Fettucini

I knowwwwwww. It's been about a week since my last post. But I've been super busy! Lately I've spent all my free time researching job opportunities and internships in Santa Cruz. The other thing I've been researching is super duper exciting. I'm looking into the possibility of teaching English in Chile after I graduate. Possibly teaching at the school my dad attended when he was a kid! I think that sounds like an awesome opportunity. Does anyone know of programs? Or has anyone done anything similar?
But now onto the main event! I have a recipe here that is....not for the faint of heart. And by that I mean, if you are prone to heart attacks, don't....don't eat this. It is all carbs, cream, and DELICIOUS!

Summer Corn Fettucini
Adapted from Taste and Tell
1 lb fettucini
6 slices of bacon
6 ears of corn, shucked
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
salt and pepper
1 cup 1/2-1/2 or cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
Hot sauce (optional)
1 cup Parmesan
1 cup basil leaves, torn

Cook the pasta and set aside. In a saucepan cook the bacon until crispy. While the bacon is cooking, cut the kernels off of the corn cob. Add 3/4 of it to the cooked bacon. Add the shallots and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper, cook about five minutes until the vegetables are soft.
While the veggies are cooking, put the remaining corn and the cream into the food processor and pulse until smooth. Make sure it is very smooth, mine was a little too grainy. Add the chicken stock to the pan and let it reduce for a minute or two. Add the thyme and corn mixture and stir, then add hot sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta and then stir in the cheese and basil.


Aug 15, 2010

Daring Cooks: Pierogi

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

Daring Cooks again! YAY! I love doing these daring cooks challenges, because they are usually just that: a challenge. Super fun! And my family likes it too, cause they get to eat something new and exciting. This month's challenge was pierogi which was perfect because Becky had asked me to make those a couple weeks ago and I never got around to it. I made two kinds: Potato/cheese and Meat/cabbage. I liked both of them, however I felt like the potato cheese one went over better. Although if you don't want to eat just carbs and cheese for dinner, I recommend the meat one. There are a bazillion types of Pierogis, so feel free to experiment with it as well!

From the Daring Cooks
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 cup lukewarm water
Potatoes and Cheese
3 big potatoes, cooked & mashed (1 1/2 cup instant or leftover mashed potatoes is fine too)
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
1 onion, diced & sauteed in butter until clear
3 slices of streaky bacon, diced and fried till crispy (you can add more bacon if you like or omit that part completely if you’re vegetarian)
1 egg yolk (from medium egg)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper to taste
Meat and cabbage
200 g cooked meat (minced or cut very finely)
500 g white cabbage (chopped and simmered in a little bit of water, until soft)
1 onion (diced and fried)
1 whole medium egg1 tablespoon butterdry breadcrumbs (add as much to hold the filling together, about 2 tablespoons)
salt and pepper

To make the dough, combine the flour and salt together in a pie dish. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the egg into it. Using your hands, or a fork if you don't want to touch the egg, combine the flour and egg together. Then slowly add in the water. The water amount is a guesstimation, you might need more or less. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a towel and let rest for half an hour. To make the Potato/cheese filling, just combine all of the ingredients together! (That's a great idea Daring Cooks had, putting the cooking instructions in the ingredient list! Me likey!) Same goes for the meat/cabbage filling.
When you've got the fillings put together, prepare an assembly line situation. If you can, recruit you're family to help. Roll the dough out thinly and cut out circles using a glass or cookie cutter. The size doesn't really matter, it's mostly just personal preference. Put a small amount of the filling in the center of the circle and close the sides up. Seal them with your fingers, but make sure they are sealed all the way, or else the filling will just fall right out. I went around the edges of the potato cheese ones witha fork so that I would be able to tell them apart. You can also use a pierogi form, but hey, where's the fun in that?

After all the pierogis are constructed it's time to boil them. Bring a deep saucepan or a wide pot of water to a boil and then drop the pierogis into the water in batches. I did about 5 pierogis per batch. When they rise to to the top, set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, take them out of the water and let them dry off a bit. When you've boiled all the pierogis you can go ahead and eat them. OR you can go one step further and fry them. (DO IT!) Wait until the pierogis have cooled then fry them on both sides with butter. They should be lightly brown and crispy. Nowwwww you can eat them. Frying them makes them like 10 times better. Not even kidding.


Aug 13, 2010

How to: bait boys

I have heard from some people that my blog is offensive to feminists. Granted I have heard this mostly from the women in my family who actively took part in the feminist movement, but nonetheless: offensive. Well guess what's about to get a whole lot more offensive! I present to you Blueberry Boy Bait. That's right. This is how girls in the fifties attempted to "bait" boys. Apparently the story behind this is that the winner of a pillsbury bake off won with her boy bait recipe. She said it worked quite well. OFFENSIVE!
And you know what? She was right! Boys love this stuff! Dan begged me to make this, so I did. But then he ended up not being able to come over when I made it so I saved him a slice in the freezer and decided that I still needed to test out if boys really do love it. The boys in my family loved it, but they don't really count cause if they tell me they don't like something, I yell at them. That's what brothers are for. Anyway, that night I was going to see a movie with some friends so I brought the bag of bait with me. By the end of the movie it was just gone. Last thing I remember is handing it to Mike and Paul and then it dissssssapearrrred. So boys like it! Mission Accomplished! Now in order to make this less gender specific, I suppose girls can like this too. But then you'd have to call it blueberry girl bait and that just doesn't sound as good.

Blueberry Boy (or girl) Bait
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups plus 1 tsp flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (but don't defrost the frozen ones)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine the 2 cups of flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. With a mixer, combine the butters and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating as you go. Reduce the speed to medium and add in the flour mixture one third of the flour mixture, then half the milk, then another third of the flour, then the other half of the milk, then the rest of the flour. (Phew! Run on sentence much?) Toss the blueberries with the tsp of flour and fold into the batter. Spread the batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the rest of the blueberries on top of the batter. Stir together cinnamon and sugar then sprinkle on top of the batter. Bake in 350F oven for 45-50 min. Cool for 20 minutes, then flip onto a large platter. Then summon the boys and proceed to bait them with the deliciousness.

Aug 11, 2010


So last week a customer came into the bakery and told us about a restaurant in San Francisco called Pica Pica Maize. It's a sort cross between fast food and traditional venezuelan food. I went on the website and one of the first things that comes up is a captions saying that everything in their restaurant is completely gluten free. What the heck?!How have I never been here before?! Luckily, I was going to the city that very night so I convinced Dan that we HAD to go there. Immedietly. And so we did! We went there for lunch over the weekend and it was really cool! Everything is corn based and it's quite delicious. The way the system works is that you choose your filling: various combinations of meats and veggies and cheese. Then you choose your bread out of three options: A corn pancake (Cachapas), maizewich (looks like an english muffin), or an arepa. So there are lots of delicious combos. I ended up getting a Cachapa filled with pulled pork, avocados, and tomatoes.

We also ordered a side of beef empanadas, which were alright but not as good as traditional chilean empanadas. In my opinion. So anyway, the moral of the story is: Pica Pica is delicious! I want to go there everyday!

Aug 10, 2010

Quick Chicken Curry

yes yes yes I know, I'm horribly lazy and haven't been posting very much. To tell the truth the days have just been flying by and I didn't realize that my last post was a week ago! So now I've got a really tasty (and super fast) meal as requested by my Aunt Kate. Here is a recipe for quick chicken curry!

Quick Chicken Curry
Adapted from Cooking by the Seat of my Pants
3 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp curry powder
8 oz heavy cream

In a large skillet heat bit of olive oil of medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a minute. Add the chicken and cook through. Add the garlic and chili to the pan and stir to combine. I didn't think that this recipe was very spicy, so if you like it with some heat feel free to add more chilis. Cook for another three minutes until everything is slightly browned. Add the salt, turmeric, corriander, and cumin and stir well. Make sure all the chicken and onion is covered in spices. Then add the tomato paste, curry powder, and cream.
Stir well and cook until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. I let it cook for about five minutes and it had reduced quite a bit, but still had plenty of sauce. Serve over rice and dig in!


Aug 2, 2010

Cookie Cake Pie

Are you ready for a sugar coma?! I know I am!
I actually made this months ago for Dan's birthday, but for some reason I haven't posted anything about it yet! This is the most ridiculously sugary thing ever. EVER! This is a cake on top of a giant cookie all within a flakey pie crust. I believe Garrett compared it to a star. As in, super super dense. And sugary...although stars don't have sugar in them. You get the idea.

Cookie Cake Pie
Adapted from CakeSpy
1 batch of cookie dough (your favorite chocolate chip cookie, or just the recipe on the back of the tollhouse bag)
1 batch of cake batter (I used boxed funfetti cause hey, it's fun)
1 pie crust (You can find my favorite pie crust here)
1 jar of frosting (I used vanilla, but you can get creative)

Ok so super easy put assembly: First line a deep pie pan with the pie crust. Then add the cookie dough; spread it out enough to cover the bottom of the pan entirely. Then pour in the cake batter. You aren't going to use all of the cake batter, just fill up the pan. Make some cupcakes with the rest! Then bake the whole thing at 350F for about 30 minutes. Check it every five minutes after the 25 minute mark. You have three very different things in one pan so you need to balance out times as best as possible. After the cake/pie/sugar bomb has cooled, frost generously and dig in!
Please limit yourself to one slice. I can not be held responsible if you go into a sugar coma and don't wake for days.


Aug 1, 2010

Veggie Lasagna

This recipe has been on my list to post for sooooooo long. I seriously made this two months ago, but totally forgot to post it! I made this by request of my cousin (in-law? is that even a word: cousin in-law?), so now she's finally getting her wish! Now this isn't something I would normally make just because it has veggies and no meat and the majority of my friends/family are carnivores. However, this went over very well with my family! Even the veggie haters! (that means me...)
Veggie Lasagna
Adapted from For the Love of Cooking
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 red onion, sliced
2-3 bell peppers (I replaced these with more broccoli and mushrooms)
handful of broccoli
handful of shredded carrots
6 cloves of garlic, leave skins on for roasting
1 green zucchini, cut in half moons
1 yellow squash, cut in half moons (I used two smallish ones)
olive oil
salt and pepper
dried basil, to taste
dried oregano, to taste
Cheese mixture:
1 16 oz container of ricotta
3-4 Tbsp mozarella, grated
3-4 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg
salt and pepper
dried basil and oregano, to taste
Everything else:
lasagna noodles
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
Mozarella, shredded
Parmesan, shredded
Dried Basil

Phew! That was a long list of ingredients! So the first thing to do is roast the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Put all the veggies EXCEPT the zucchini and squash on the baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano to taste. Put them in the oven for 20 min. When time's up, add the zucchini and squash and cook for another 10 min. After you take them out of the oven and the veggies have cooled, take the garlic out of the skin, slice, and return to the rest of the veggies.
Next, combine the cheese mixture ingredients together in a bowl.
As for the lasagna noodles, there are multiple ways to do this. You could get the no-cook noodles, but that's boring. What I like to do is buy regular noodles and lay them in a casserole pan with really hot water and let them soak for about 30 min. This will soften them, but not cook them all the way through, which makes them easier to handle.
Now to put it all together! Coat a lasagna pan with olive oil or cooking spray then pour some marinara sauce onto the bottom of the pan and layer lasagna noodles so that the bottom is covered. Now the layers go like this:
1/2 of the ricotta
1/2 of the roasted veggies
Lasagna noodles
Sprinkle the mozzarella, parmesean, and dried basil on top. Cook covered in 350F oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.
Yay! Veggie Lasagna!