Recommended Baking Adventures May-June 2014

So many fun things to celebrate in May and June! We got married a few weeks ago and have a whole new set of toys to play with, which is a GREAT excuse to get adventurous.

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New stand mixer!!

First up: Barb’s Banana Bread

I got this great recipe from a family friend as a wedding shower present and it’s incredible. Easy, delicious, flexible.

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Cream: 3/4 cup butter

Add: 1 1/2 cups sugar gradually, cream well.

Blend in:

  • 1 1/2 cup mushed ripe banana (should be 4-6)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Add:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Blend until just combined, bake for 50-60 minutes at 350.  Makes two loaves.

Julia Child’s Boef Aux Oignons (Guest kitchen post!)

While in California for graduation, I wanted to make a delicious thank you meal for the friends I was staying with, and this seemed like a good stretch for me (I don’t usually cook meat) but fairly foolproof. It turned out deliciously– very hearty. Yum!

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After returning home from California and lots of scrumptious happy graduation, happy birthday, happy vacation meals, we wanted to lighten up and turned to Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s awesome Appetite for Reduction cookbook. The vegan lasagna in it is suburb! If vegan lasagna isn’t your thing, just go for the cauliflower ricotta.

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With too much rhubarb and no time to shop, these Rhubarb Bars were a no-brainer. The recipe calls for strawberries as well, but I went full-on rhubarb. Originally, the recipe is from a book called One Bowl Baking. In this case, the only dishes used were the pan and the bowl I used to melt the butter. Brilliant and delicious. Super easy.

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Last, but certainly not least, I discovered baked risotto. It looks and tastes like stovetop risotto, but you don’t do much to it after you mix everything together. This is going to be my new potluck recipe– everyone loves it, it looks impressive, and it’s super flexible. I used veggie broth, corn, and spinach. I think I also fudged the cheese and used whatever was in the fridge and it was great.

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Bonus recipe: Marc’s Sangria

On our wedding weekend, we wanted to see as much of our guests as possible, so we hosted a wine and cheese party at our apartment. Marc made some killer sangria.

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Mix:

  • Two bottles of cheapish red wine
  • Chopped fruit (we used an orange, a couple of nectarines, and a couple of apples)
  • Chopped sour citrus (we used one lemon)
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • Sugar to taste
  • Lots of ice when you serve it

Chill in the fridge for a few hours. Add more wine, brandy, grand mariner, etc. throughout the night to keep it full. We used a box of Trader Joe’s wine and it worked well. (And was cost effective.)

 

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Recommended Baking Adventures Oct 2013

Fall is officially here. It’s been a great excuse to make some delicious food, and even host a fancy birthday dinner party!

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Oatmeal Bread: My mom gets most of the credit for this one. Recipe to be posted/linked soon!

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Apple Pie: We were lucky enough to go apple picking on a gorgeous fall day, and a good portion of our haul turned into apple pie. Loosely based off the Mark Bittman Apple Pie Recipe, but with a crumble topping. We even made several little ones (6 inchers) and froze them, so will be able to enjoy them for the next couple of months!

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Chocolate Ginger Bark: Inspired by one of my classmates, this treat was the perfect end to an epic dinner party. (Full menu below) I took the minimalist approach: chop candied or otherwise preserved dry ginger (I did about 1/2 cup), melt dark chocolate  (I did 1.5 bags of chocolate chips and it made 70% of a pan) in a faux double boiler, and pour melted chocolate into a baking pan that has been coated with wax paper. My goal was to make the layer as thin as possible without making holes. Some of the ginger went below the chocolate, and some was sprinkled on top. This then cooled in the fridge for a couple of hours before being broken up. Super easy, very pretty, and delicious. Win!

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Epic Dinner Party: Full list of recipes may be included at a later date. Suffice it to say that Julia Child’s creamed spinach and her hollandaise are killer.