Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baileys Brownies

In the first chapter of Deliciously Sinful by Lilli Feisty, Phoebe unsuccessfully attempts to make vegan brownies. Not having any reason to deprive myself of dairy (which happens to be one of my favorite food groups), I didn’t experiment with vegan brownies in my own kitchen. I did, however, decide to make some with alcohol! Since I like to keep things simple with the first go-around of a kitchen experiment, I used a brownie mix. All I did to booze up these brownies was substitute Baileys (I used the mint chocolate variety) for the water called for on the box. They weren’t very boozy, but the brownies tasted great so I’m deeming them a success until I figure out how to get a stronger Baileys flavor with brownies made from scratch.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apple Muffins

Those familiar with Cindy Woodsmall's Ada's House series know that the series title refers to bakery Ada runs with help from Cara and Deborah. So to go along with The Harvest of Grace, I baked Apple Muffins from The Fearless Baker by Emily Luchetti and Lisa Weiss. (A review of this cookbook, which was provided for review by the publisher, is coming but I need to test out a few more recipes first.) Now I am far from a fearful baker, the target audience, but I love simple recipes that don't require much in the way of special equipment. These muffins were so simple that I actually had all the ingredients at hand (thanks to a coworker who provided the apples from his orchard). The recipe was easy to follow and made precisely 12 muffins. And even better, they were absolutely delicious!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Summer Squash Muffins

Like Alison’s father in Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves, I’m not much for eating the “healthy” stuff preferring steak and potatoes for dinner followed by calorie-laden desserts. I’m one of those who gets her vegetables by drinking fruit/vegetable juice blends. But I will experiment with ingredients in my baking; so when a coworker brought in some massive squash from her garden, I decided to see what I could bake. I headed to since the site allows you to search by ingredients. It came back with this Summer Squash Bread that I turned into muffins (just bake 20-25 minutes instead of the 45 minutes called for in the recipe). The batter didn’t look too appetizing, so I wasn’t sure about these, but they tasted great.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lemon Fluff

I have been terrible about posting! All of August went by without a peep and now September is almost over too. This doesn't mean I haven't been baking, I just haven't gotten it together enough to transfer the pictures from my camera to the computer and do a write up. I promise to try to do better.

Back when I reviewed Sunset Bridge by Emilie Richards, I intended to post something pie-related. See in Sunset Bridge, there's a character with her own pie shop. I don't make very many pies though, so I made Lemon Fluff instead. It's a simple, no-bake lemony dessert which I wasn't very impressed with (although a few coworkers said they liked it). First off, the recipe (which I found in one of my mom's magazines) called for a 9x13 pan. As I started pressing the graham cracker crust into the pan, I started thinking the crust would be too thin and transferred it to an 8x8 pan instead. I'm glad I did. And although it had great lemon flavor, I didn't care for the texture that came from the cream cheese mixed with evaporated milk. Not my most successful kitchen venture...maybe that's why it took so long to make it online.

Friday, July 15, 2011

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

One of the minor characters in The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross is always in the kitchen coming up with something great to share with Clementine. I'm not nearly as creative as Eli nor do I have all the space and ingredients afforded by Clementine's wealthy parents, which is why a cookbook like In the Small Kitchen by Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine is pretty perfect for me. The authors have created these recipes precisely for people with small apartment kitchens. The recipes don't call for any unusual equipment (who has room to store all of that?) and many are for smaller serving sizes, which is great because I hate making a great dish that I quickly grow tired of because I'm stuck eating it all week long. I'll admit that not all of the recipes in this cookbook appeal to me, but one that I was quite pleased with was the White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. It takes a bit of effort and dirties a few pots and pans, but the end result was so yummy. Two recommendations: Stir the mac and cheese about halfway through the baking time and always use good cheese like Tillamook.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dijon Chicken Salad

Picnics and the 4th of July just seem to go together. So here's my recipe for Dijon Chicken Salad, which makes an excellent picnic sandwich.

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup Dijonnaise
2 oz. shaved Parmesan

Mix it all together. Serve warm on sourdough.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

S'mores Brownies

These S'mores Brownies are incredibly easy and absolutely delicious. I brought them to work for a coworker's goodbye and everyone raved about them. I'm not sure where the original recipe came from, but my mom passed it along to me.

All you need is a 13x9 brownie mix and the ingredients called for on the box plus graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips (though I substituted butterscotch this time around). After greasing the pan, line it with graham crackers; pour the brownie batter over top. Bake according to box, but when five minutes remains add the marshmallows and chips to the top. Bake the remaining five minutes.