Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hello!
After *5 years* it looks like I'm putting this baby back online.
One thing of note is that I have been gluten free for almost 5 years and convert everything I make into gluten free, so recipes will vary in that manner.
No time to start like the present. SO, last week we hosted a Pound of Christmas party that involved attendees bringing a pound of something for a white elephant exchange. I crafted a spread for the occasion including a trio of dips and a trio of pound cakes. The picture below might not have the best lighting, but the bowl of dip this post is about is just to the left of the green napkins.



This dip is one of those sure things with people AND it's versatile. C'mon, caramelized onions and dairy. I like it best served with celery, and most people prefer potato chips. It just occurred to me that you could make a casserole with leftovers if you have any. And it tastes much better than its store-bought alternative.

French Onion Dip
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
The great thing about this dip is that beyond onion-sour cream-yogurt ratios, it's pretty much a free-for-all. Suit YOUR fancy.

1/4 cup oil (A canola-coconut blend, or olive oil)
4-5# yellow onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon kosher salt, divided
16oz sour cream
16 oz greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon garlic powder, to taste
2 Tablespoons onion powder, to taste
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
3-4 Tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage
1-3 Tablespoons balsamic jelly, to taste
Fresh cracked black, cayenne and/or white pepper, to taste.

Heat oil in a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat and add the onions plus half the salt. Continue to stir and cook as they begin to caramelize until they turn brown; adjust heat so nothing burns. This should take an hour or possibly more depending on the size of your pan. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix the sour cream and yogurt, then add the onions. I like to wait until the onions have cooled significantly to preserve the cultures in the yogurt, but if you don't care or are in a rush, you can add them hot. Work them into the mixture so they're evenly distributed then add the garlic and onion powders, nutritional yeast, herbs, balsamic jelly and pepper. Start small and add more to taste. Add more of the salt until it tastes right.

Friday, December 12, 2008

B is for Brownie

I am dedicating this post to a girl named Bethany. She sent me a fabulous package with a sampling of her wares and she introduced me to the Colour Calendar she employed for her Page A Day project in 2008. And so, I made for her:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Cookies

I like baking at Christmas as much as the next person, but have never immersed myself in it quite as much as this year. Instead of individual posts, here's a sampling of the goodies I created and distributed in record time...


Starting at the checkers and going clockwise ending in the middle...

My adaptation of pinwheel cookies, checker style
Chocolate mint cookies
Butter cookie logs dipped in peanut bits
Coconut Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Gianduja Macarons
Cinnamon Sugar Crescents
Chocolate Chip cookies
(another gianduja macaron)
Ginger snap

Yay cookies!
Yay Christmas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Abundance of Oranges

What do you do when you peer in the crisper drawer and notice you STILL have 15 clementines after eating them for weeks and giving them away by the twos and fours to your co-workers?

You make clementine cake!

I'm going to venture this cake is on the healthy side, since it provides a serving of fruit and lots. of. protein. According to a recipe analyzer I used, almost 7 grams per piece. Whoa! The crumb on this cake is bound to be unique...

Verdict: INCREDIBLY moist. I thought the flavor might be bitter but it wasn't. I mean, you use the WHOLE orange!! I made the cake to share, hence the 'packaging.' I cut out the middle to make for easier wrapping, and 'cause I really wanted to put some MORE clementines in the middle. Can you believe I still have 5 at home!? They must be multiplying in my fridge.


Clementine Cake
adapted from Nigella Lawson
4-5 clementines (~375grams/less than 1 # total)
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) sugar
2 1/3 cups (250 grams) ground almonds
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds (if yours have seeds). Then finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit via processor or by hand.
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. (9 or 10 inch will do, just watch it closer on the baking time).
Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of springform. When a skewer will come out clean; you might have to cover the cake with foil after about 20 to 30 minutes to stop the top from over-browning.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack.
Nigella says the cake is best on the second day. I can't back her up because it hasn't been that long. ; )

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autumn is Here!

**I'm having issues finding time to load pictures from my camera to the computer. I've been letting it get in the way of posting... Stand by for pictures!

Fall is definitely in the air here in Portland. I am going on a short trip to Austin and I wanted something to remind me it was the middle of October while I'm enjoying the summer weather. =] I adapted these from Simply Recipes, a straightforward blog with pictures and recipes. I ordered some raw cacao beans. By themselves, they are really bitter and in my opinion taste like dirt. Mixed into these cookies, they provide extra crunch and antioxidants. The creamy fluffy batter is important, so it's best to mix all ingredients at room temperature.

Pumpkin Nib Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup 100% pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + a pinch
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
handful (~1/4 cup) pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cacao nibs/cacao beans crushed between 2 spoons

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and beat for another 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon and whisk together. Slowly add it to the butter mixture until just combined, being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom once or twice to ensure even mixing.

Fold in the pumpkin seeds and cacao pieces. Drop spoonfuls of dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray for a minute or two to set, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ginger!

Today, I woke up feeling crappy. I have no idea where it came from, but I am doing my best to ward it off. Straightaway I picked up Elephant's Cure from Elephant's Delicatessen. I forgot how packed it was with ginger! They're cut into slender matchsticks and take you by surprise as you enjoy the soup. It (plus a bunch of medicine) made me feel a lot better, so I decided to make Ginger Snaps. This is a family recipe that is 100 years old. Typically "ginger snaps" conjurs up images of rock hard cookies that are hardly appetizing. The most distinguishable thing about this particular recipe is that they're SOFT. I am sharing a more healthful version of my family recipe. Just smelling these babies is enough for me. I let the measuring spoon heap a bit when I measured the ginger and cinnamon. =)

(Pictures will follow)

Ginger Snaps
1 1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup Grandma's molasses
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
3 cups flour
3/4 cup hazelnut flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger

small bowl of sugar, for dipping

Preheat oven to 375
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Cream butter, sugar, then eggs. Add molasses and dry ingredients.
Roll into balls and dip into sugar.
Bake til lightly browned - depending on size of ball 8-13 minutes.

Yield: LOTS (depending on size of cookies, ~60)

UPDATE: I brought some of these to work and everybody loves them! SUCCESS!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blueberry Crumble Bars

I made these, cut 'em up and dispersed them to people so quickly, I forgot to take a picture! You'll just have to take my word for it, they were good! I used blueberries my mum picked a while ago that I had stashed in the freezer. They were plump and delicious! I also used demerara sugar instead of refined sugar.

Anyhow, here's the recipe:

Blueberry Crumble Bars
adapted from The Good Cookie, 2002

Crust
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Blueberry Filling
3/4 cup demerara sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 1/4 cups blueberries

Crumb Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup demerara sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Crust:
Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan (I use part of the stick of butter going into the crust).

In small bowl, stir together the flour, almond meal, and salt; set aside.

In bowl, of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. At low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just crumbly.

Press dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Make the Filling:
In medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger. Add the blueberries and toss well to coat. Spread blueberry mixture evenly over the crust.

Make the Topping:
In medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt until blended. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture comes together. Sprinkle topping evenly over the blueberry filling.

Bake the bars for 48 to 50 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling. Cool the bars completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Cut into 24 bars.