Popovers w/ Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Finally! I love Popovers and I am always referencing them… so… ta da! Here they are. I stuck to my fail safe version, nothing fancy. The key to any Popover is making sure that the eggs and the milk are at room temperature. Helps keep them all light and fluffy, the way they are meant to be!

We were having grilled  BBQ chicken and a green apple, blackberry and spinach salad for dinner. I felt that the lack of carbs would leave a huge hole on my table. Normally I wouldn’t care, but it is just that kind of week ;).

I wanted to eat bread without feeling like I was really “eating bread”. How perfect are Popovers for that feeling?! They are literally hollow. So, I whipped up some cinnamon sugar butter and that was that. Honestly, the cinnamon sugar butter complimented the complex flavors of the BBQ chicken. Really, you ought to try it!

So, you will need…

  • 1 C. All purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 C. Whole Milk, room temperature

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare popover pan or muffin pan. Lightly grease the sides and dust with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together, the eggs, butter and milk until well blended.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and beat with a wooden spoon just until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each tin half way full, and bake at 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
  6. At 30 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes until tops are a rich golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven, pierce the side of each popover to allow the steam to escape.
  8. Serve as quickly as possible!

For the cinnamon sugar butter, just let butter reach room temperature and hen add a dash or two of cinnamon and a dash or two of sugar. mix until well blended. I usually take jam or honey with my popovers, but this felt like a fun thing to do. I love eating fun food!

So, next time it is time for a cook out at your house and you want to keep things “light”, take out that popover pan and give it a whirl. You just can’t go wrong!

Happy Baking!

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Sweet and Spicy Cornbread

It is just starting to get a little bit warm around here, and so I have been cooking with fresh ingredients and loving every minute of it. I wanted to make some spicy spring chili with cornbread, but it just felt to boring! I love Cornbread and all, but geeze… it is really just a dull, dull bread. That can get very dry and tasteless if done wrong! Of course I am just not one of those people 😉

For Easter, the Easter Bunny (aka my mom!!!, yes, still…) brought me a guacamole basket filled with avocados, limes, tomatillos, Habanero peppers, chili peppers and jalapenos! We could only put so much in the guac, and then I made chicken tacos with some of them… they are damn spicy! So, I figured, why not Pump Up the Volume ( yes, I just went there) and pull a Christian Slater on this cornbread!

Sweet with honey (and love) and spicy with chilis! That would definitely be something to write about.

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/4 C. All-Purpose flour
  • 3/4 C.  Corn Meal
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C. Milk
  • 1/4 C. Canola Oil
  • 2 Egg Whites, beaten (NOT WHOLE EGGS)
  • 2 fresh jalapenos diced
  • honey to drizzle over uncooked cornbread before baking, hence the sweet and spicy… just saying!

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease preferred method of baking pan, dish, skillet, etc.
  2. In a  large bowl combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix lightly, just until everything is combined.
  3. Add Milk, Canola Oil and beaten egg whites. Mix well.
  4. Add jalapeno, diced, chopped however you like them!
  5. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan.
  6. Drizzle honey over each piece. The honey will sink into the cornbread and create a delicious crust.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes!

 

These are best served fresh, and don’t be afraid to add a bit more spice!

Happy Baking!

Sage Cheddar Cranberry Shortbread

This is a fun spin on another classic that is too often forgotten. Shortbread! I love shortbread and I wanted to do a savory opposed to a sweet. Shortbread is sweet no matter what, so with the right ingredients it can be very delicious. I chose fresh sage, smooth sharp cheddar cheese and fresh local cranberries. You don’t need a lot of cranberries, just a handful is enough!

This is a fun buttery treat and a must try, and you don’t have to use cranberries if you don’t like them! Think about it this way, Sage and Butter are made for one another, cranberries and cheddar pair very well, cheddar and sage are a fancy couple… so why not let the three get together for a soiree?

So, what you will need…

  • 1 1/2 C. All-Purpose
  • 1/2 C. Cake flour
  • 1 C. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 C. Butter ( Room Temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Handful of FRESH Cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh chopped Sage

Here is my process…

First Position rack in middle of the oven and set to 300 degrees F.

Next SIFT together, and I can not stress the importance of sifting enough, both flours, and salt onto a plate. In a large bowl combine butter and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and well blended. Then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients until large clumps form.

Toss in a handful of Cranberries, the chopped Sage and the Cheddar and mix until everything is distributed throughout the batter.

Transfer the dough to the center of a baking sheet, or brownie sheet it is a bakers choice! There is no need to grease the pan due to the amount of butter in the shortbread! Spread the dough out evenly.

Bake for 39-42 minutes, mine was good at 40 minutes, but it depends on the oven. Cut immediately, being very careful, and then let cool.

Enjoy this buttery savory  delight!

Happy Baking!

Rosemary-Thyme and Blueberry Bagels

Bagels. Bagels are something that I have thought about baking for a long time, but then I always started reading a recipe and it just seemed like too much of a commitment.There are soooooo many different recipes and sooooo many different time frames, it just got confusing and honestly a little annoying. So I shut myself down before I could even try. I knew it was a slippery slope to boxed cake and frozen cookie dough.

Today I wanted fresh bagels. I wanted them in my kitchen, warm and ready to eat.

I am proud to say that my fear of the 2 day bagel commitment is over, just in time for me to trial and error then master my very own 4 hour recipe 😉

This process does take quite a bit of time, but it is nothing compared to some 2 day recipes. The perk of the smell filling up your home is reason enough to attempt this recipe. There should really be a fresh-baked bagel scented candle!

So, you will need…

  • 2 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/4 C.  warm water (add more water if needed)
  • 3 1/2 C.  bread flour (will need extra for kneading)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 C. finely chopped FRESH Rosemary and Thyme mixture
  • 1/4 C. whole FRESH Blueberries
  • Coarse Salt to sprinkle over Bagels before baking

Plus whatever toppings you choose, for the Rosemary-Thyme bagels I finely chopped the fresh herbs and mixed them in half of the dough, then sprinkled the rest on top after boiling. For the blueberry I mixed into the other half of the dough.I find that using fresh ingredients, the taste is way better and the less my food is processed the better!

Here was my process…

First I took 1/2 a  cup of the warm water and poured it into a small mixing bowl. Then I added  in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. I let it sit for 5 minutes,  then I stirred the yeast and sugar mixture until it all dissolved.

In a large bowl, I  mixed the flour and salt. I made a well in the middle of the flour and poured in the yeast and sugar mixture. Then I added half of the remaining warm water into the well. I stirred the ingredients together adding the remaining water as I needed to, and more if necessary. You want the dough to be moist and firm after you have mixed it.

On a floured countertop, I kneaded the dough for exactly 10 minutes until it was smooth and elastic. (Try to work as much flour in as possible while kneading to form a firm and stiff dough).

I  lightly brush a large bowl with olive oil and turned the dough into the bowl making sure to coat the dough with the oil. Then I Covered the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, The dough should in size. I punched down the dough, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Next I divided the dough in half and added my Rosemary-Thyme to one half and my Blueberries to the other. IT IS EASIER TO JUST MIX THE BERRIES/ROSEMARY AND THYME IN WITH  HE REMAINING WARM WATER, so you can divide the dough before you mix it, or just choose one kind. 🙂

After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, I covered them with a damp kitchen towel and allowed them to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I preheated my oven to 425 degrees.

For the next step I brought a large pot of water to a boil and immediately reduced the heat. I used a skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. I put 4 in at a time and turned after 2 minutes and boiled for another 2 minutes. This makes for a chewy delicious bagel. If you prefer a less chewy bagel, boil for 1 minute on each side. Then remove from water and place on slightly oiled baking paper on baking sheet.

Once out of the water I sprinkled the Rosemary-Thyme bagels with coarse salt.

I baked them for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.

I couldn’t wait to let them cool so I broke into one of each. Success!

The flavors were bright and fresh and I will definitely be making these again! This is a long process but well worth it, especially if you love yourself some New York Style bagels. It isn’t that hard once you get the ball rolling. SO…

Happy Baking!

Beer Bread

I made a pretty amazing 3 Bean Beer Chili and I was all set to make my famous corn bread… and then I realized that I didn’t have any cornmeal. I was sad and puttering around my kitchen trying to figure out what on earth I could eat with my fabulous chili, and then I thought, “Beer Bread?!” So, I used the same beer for my bread as I had put into my chili to bring the flavors together and marry the two dishes. This bread forms a very buttery and crusty outside, and the inside is very moist and tasty. If you don’t sift your flour, you will be left with a brick like hard biscuit, and it isn’t very pleasant.

And YES, I am always excited to work with beer!

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So, what you will need… 

  • 2 C. + 5 ounces of Bread Flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C. white sugar
  • 12 oz. of Beer
  • 1/4 C. melted butter

Here was my process…

First I preheated the oven to 375 degrees and greased a bread loaf pan.

Next I sifted the flour, VERY IMPORTANT, then mixed the rest of the dry ingredients together. Then I poured in 12 ounces of beer and stirred until my dough formed.Melt butter.

I poured the dough into the prepared loaf pan and poured my melted butter over the dough.

I then baked my fabulous bread for 45-55 minutes, let it sit for at least twenty minutes and then I served it (still warm) with chili. My cousin was very happy!

This is an easy recipe and it is very delicious. Even if you aren’t a beer person this bread is great with any stew, chili pasta dish… it is versatile and absolutely amazing!

Happy Baking!

Tasty Banana Bread

If you were to ask me what the perfect breakfast is, I would tell you that it is a warm slice of banana bread and a cup of coffee. Banana bread is one of those classic baked goods that is so easy and tasty, it is hard NOT to make it. There are so many variations of this classic goody, but I stick true to the real ingredients of it… minus my one little spin of adding cinnamon.

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Here was my process…

First I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Next I mashed together 3 ripe bananas. (There is no need for a mixer with this recipe. It’s nice to get back to the roots of cooking every once in awhile!) Melt 1/3 of a cup of butter and mix it into the banana mash. Add in 1 beaten egg and 3/4 of a cup of a mixture of white and brown sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt and mix. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour (any kind you want! I use either all-purpose or banana flour) mix well.

Lastly, pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 loaf pan or into muffin molds. Bake for 1 hour.

That is it! It is literally that easy to make the best breakfast on earth… for me that is! Its rich and delicious, and it melts in your mouth. I serve mine up with a tiny bit of butter, but is just fantastic naked.

So, what you will need…

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

This is truly a MUST try.

Happy Baking!

Delicate Cheese Puffs

First of all, I am a huge fan of the popover. I think they are the perfect way to eat bread. But tonight my feelings have changed, just a smidge. These puffs are so similar to a popover in texture but the process is very different. I was intimidated at first but once I started baking it was easy as pie!

The delicate puffs cave in when you pull them apart. The smell is intoxicating and the taste… well, there are only certain foods that can take my voice, and these have done it. Of course, adding a little bit of butter only makes them that much better.

My Process…

I took a cup of water and  1/2 a cup of butter and brought it to a boil. Then I took a cup of flour, a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of chives and shallots (finely minced) and threw all of that into the boiling butter/water mixture. I took the heat down to medium high and then stirred until a ball of dough formed.

Then I tossed the dough into the mixer and beat it for 1 minute until the dough slightly cooled. I beat in four eggs, individually until they were all mixed in. (It is very important to make sure each egg has been completely mixed in before adding the other). I shredded 1/2 a cup of Asiago and Parmesan cheese and mixed it in just until it was well incorporated.

Next I greased two cookie sheets with butter and spooned out 24 balls of dough about an inch apart. (My sizing and spacing leave something to be desired but what can you do?!)

The oven was preheated to 400, and I baked them for 20 minutes. Then I dropped the heat to 350 and baked them for another 20 minutes. it is very important to not exceed 20 minutes for each temperature because they will over dry.

Believe me, these are so simple to make and once you get the ball rolling the time goes by quite quickly! I’m telling you, my apron barely got a workout!

So, what you will need…

1C         water

.5C       butter (1 stick, 8 tbs)

pinch of salt

2 tbs   finely minced chives and scallions

1C       flour of your choice, I prefer to use whole wheat flour with this recipe

4         large eggs

.5C     shredded Asiago and Parmesan cheese

Happy Baking!