Monthly Archives: February 2012

Home-made PopTarts

Let’s make this a double whammy…

I’ve been having camera-phone issues, so this is the only picture I could salvage from my gallery of half-shots and complete darkness.

So when I get stressed, I bake, usually something complicated. Whats more complicated than individual pies painstakingly filled with just enough of a home-made fruit filling that has be labored over? Its like baking on steroids. Plus I know it will be delicious and I like giving these delicious things to people. One person, after eating my Pear Poptart, actually said “I want to be your child”.

So here goes:

Crust: Mostly any pie crust will do, I used one from a book that I have but I think the pie crust in Dr.Jekyll /Mr. Pie  would work great but instead of adding ice water, add cold milk. Refrigerate for at least 30 min but better, an hour. In the meantime, make the complicated filling

Now, any jams can be used, in fact, jam probably would have been easier, but I had some pears that were ripe all at once, and I wouldn’t eat them in time.

2 bartlett pears peeled and cored, sliced thin and halved width-wise
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp bourbon
1 tsp orange zest
and a dash of clove and cinnamon

Melt the butter, add the sugar, stir till it dissolves and boils. Add the pear, bourbon, vanilla, orange zest, spices and bring to a boil again. lower the heat and simmer until pears become translucent and begin to take on the sauce’s color. Turn off the heat and let it cool down while you prep the dough.

Make eggwash- 1 egg and 1 tbsp water- beat it- set aside

Roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thick,or a little less than half the size of a pie crust. Cut into rectangles that are about 2.5″ by 4″, put about a half tablespoon or so of the filling and carefully spread out to almost the edges (jam would have been easier here) and brush or finger-paint the edges (about 1/4″ to 1/2″ perimeter) of the rectangles with eggwash. Put another rectangle on top, gently press it down on the edges, crimp edges with a fork and poke holes in the top to release steam. Repeat..until you are dead…or you run out of crust or filling. If you have filling left over and not enough dough for a whole p-tart, consider making a tiny pie! you wont regret it.

Egg wash the whole bunch and stick them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 min, until they are golden brown on the edges. Let them cool and then you can either serve them plain or make a frosting..I would go with 1 c powdered sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, and 1 tsp or so of orange juice. Slather it on and let it set up. I went without.

Anyway, let cool and serve for breakfast deliciousness. Enjoy! Unless you don’t eat carbs! Then its gross and you shouldn’t eat it anyway.

-Stine

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Chicken Curry

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned. Its been three weeks since my last post, and I made many delicious things that I should have written about. But when it is really cold outside, I long for exotic and spicy foods like Indian. I had an amazing experience at this restaurant in Saratoga Springs last winter where it was snowy and freezing outside, but I was inside with probably the most delicious Chai Tea (though Kayla’s recipe might give that a run for its money). So I have been jones’n  for something reminiscent.

The hubz and I have gone around Albany and Troy searching out the ethnic food markets that have those special ingredients that Chopper just doesn’t or if they do, they are CRAZY EXPENSIVE. Highlights of the trip: DNIPRO – eastern european foods, deli items, and frozen foods, The Asian Supermarket- you really can’t miss this one, India Bazaar- fresh fruits and veggies (many of which you have never seen before) and a super friendly owner. There’s also a small Mexican market on central that is just behind a bus stop that is adorable and has very nice owners. SERIOUSLY- GO THERE FIRST. If you need spices or special ingredients or some slightly odd additive it is probably available at one of these markets. They rule. Go there. Don’t be scared, they don’t bite.

For Chicken Curry I went to India Bazaar on Central and got all of the ingredients I didn’t have for less than $15 (qt of yogurt- $2.99 8oz bag curry powder- $1.49) WHAAAT? And the yogurt was made in NY state. For realsies.
This recipe I had to tweak because I had a ton of chicken to cook but here is the rough recipe for a normal dinner size:

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced–I added more like 5
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root-
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar- LEAVE IT OUT- no carbs
  • salt to taste
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
    2. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice (and Zest) and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.

I also made Raita with 1c yogurt, 1/2 c seeded chopped cucumber, cumin, ground black pepper, salt, and some cayenne.
Serve with a dollop of Raita on top, and rice OR riced cauliflower for carb-o-phobes. Here’s how mine came out:

NOM

Now, I know there are multiple recipes for chicken curry out there, and this is probably a red-headed step kid American version of curry, but it was good, and it was spicy, and I loved it. Hope you try one of those recipes too!

– Stine

Tagged

CRÊPES!

SO. You want to make crêpes, because you don’t want to go to the grocery store to get more eggs and you’re sick of pancakes. THAT IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA.

I love crêpes…but, fun fact: I’ve never had a crêpe outside of my own kitchen! So I hope this recipe is actually GOOD compared to real crêpes. I have adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vanilla-crepes/

But if you go to that link, you’ll see that it calls for A TON OF BUTTER…and EGG YOLKS? WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE WHITES? I clearly do not like egg white omelets since I usually eat sticks of butter for breakfast (kidding).

So, here’s what I do:

1 1/4 cup milk, depending on what kind of milk you have. The less fat, the more liquid-y they get, so keep that in mind.

2 eggs (whole! who wants to separate anything?)

2 tablespoons vanilla extract (OMNOMNOM)

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

2-3 tablespoons of melted butter

Melt the butter! While that’s melting, mix your milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together. I then usually try and sift the flour/sugar/salt, but sometimes it’s hard in the morning. Add those ingredients to the wet and, if you didn’t sift, use a whisk to combine. Once the butter has cooled (not completely, but you don’t want to cook your eggs!) add the butter and whisk to combine.

In a large skillet (you do NOT need a crêpe pan!), spray pam/add melted butter all around it, and get it nice and hot on medium heat. This is where it gets tricky:

Measure out a 1/4 cup of batter and put it in the pan.

Pick up the pan and SWIRL the batter around, creating a thin, hopefully circular shape. These should be really thin, so they will also cook quickly. Usually the first side doesn’t get brown but you can tell that it has solidified and and the edges have started to curl and you can flip it. Keep an eye on these guys, because they really do cook quickly! I tend to put the completed crêpes on a plate and into a warm oven before we fill them. 

Once you’re ready to fill them, you can fill them with anything! These are sweet crêpes because of all the delicious vanilla, so we usually fill them with lemon curd, nutella, and any kind of jam we have floating around (usually homemade and canned from the summer!)

The rest is essentially assembling them like a burrito! Lay a delicious slather on one side and roll up. 

Before and after!

Alright. That’s all I’ve got for now!

–megz

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Pita! Pita!

So, guess who decided to be a vegetarian?!?! That’s right, transitioning vegetarian here. I haven’t had meat (besides fish) in over two weeks. Don’t worry, I won’t get out my soap box and explain the many reasons I decided after meat. Suffice it to say it’s something I’ve been considering for a very long time and I finally decided, that although I find meat to be delicious, I can’t justify eating it anymore.

Deciding to change your diet dramatically can be a bit daunting. Meat has been the centerpiece of my meals for basically my entire life. It’s definitely a huge transition. I decided to cut out red meat almost entirely a probably six months ago.  Since then I have been, unintentionally at first, cutting out other meat slowly. I was down to just poultry and fish for about a month. My final decision to cut out poultry came when I learned some things about meat processing (If you want to keep eating meat don’t read Eric Schlosser or watch Food, Inc.) that were very off-putting to me. I’ve decided to keep fish on the diet temporarily. I only eat fish once a week because of mercury. I think having fish left on the plate once a week will help this transition. Eventually I’ll drop fish as well. I considered going vegan, but I’m not sure about that yet. I think it would be best to get my footing with vegetarianism before I go full vegan.

Long story short, I’m learning about a lot of new foods. I’m learning how to pair new flavors and textures. I’m learning that it’s easy to get sick of tofu quickly.  One vegetarian friendly familiar food is falafel! NOM! I decided to get a box of falafel mix and make my own pita bread. I will make my own falafel next time too,  I want more control over the spices.  NEXT TIME I WON’T FORGET TO GET SOY YOGURT FOR THE DILL SAUCE. >_<

Make us into DELICIOUS bread, PLZ!

The pita bread recipe comes from my “little big black book.”  To be honest I don’t know where the pita recipe came from originally. Every time I find a recipe I like I write it down in this book…

I have everything in this book-- from breads to sauces and everything in between.

 The recipe goes as follows:

Pita Bread

3 c. Flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs Sugar or Honey (I use honey)

1 packet yeast

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c. room temperature water

2 Tbs Olive Oil

Mix all ingredients, knead for 10 minutes.

Pita dough!

Place dough in an oiled bowl, let rise 90 minutes or until doubled.

Dough balls!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make eight balls and rest for 20 minutes.

Roll those suckers VERY thin.

Roll very thin.

The pita should puff up while in the oven.

Bake for 3-6 minutes.

Ta da!!!!!!

If you’re lucky maybe someone will make you a delicious martini while you’re making pita!

Thanks, baby!

Pita bread is simple and delicious. This particular batch ended up being filled with veggie burgers or dipped in hummus. Turns out the store-bought falafel mix is kind of gross. I’ll let y’all know when I figure out how to make them from scratch!

Until next time!

xoxo

Kayla

PIZZAPIZZAPIZZA

Hey guys,

It’s been kind of quiet around here! I know school has kicked back in, and that’s my main reason for not posting as frequently as I would like. Lately, my life has looked like this:

 So yeah. That’s my internship computer, filled with PDFs and highlighted text about….instant messaging. What is my life?

Anyway, so yeah, lately I’ve been eating things that I would totally be into blogging about, but realize mid-bite that I didn’t take ANY pictures and am too tired to blog. School be damned!

Here’s my pizza dough recipe. I wrote in my response to the survey that my favorite thing to make (or was it eat?) was pizza. HOLY CRAP I love pizza. This is based on joy the baker’s recipe (you guys also love her, right??), but I add more herbs and do more with the yeast.

1 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast

1 cup of warm water

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (I’ve tried using more, but then the dough gets REALLY dense)

1 1/2 cups of AP flour

Honey

Olive Oil

Herbs! Crushed red pepper flakes! CURRY POWDER?

Put the teaspoon of yeast in the warm water and let sit while you put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. You could totally do this by hand, which is so bad-ass, but I have no idea how to do it without a mixer, so good luck.

I also, with the flours, add herbs. My boyfriend REALLY likes oregano, so I put a lot of that in there (probably 2 tablespoons), and then about a tablespoon of basil and two teaspoons of thyme. This is where you can get creative! Last week, I made a thai chicken pizza, so I put curry powder. I will often times put crushed red pepper flakes in, but it depends on what’s going to be on top.

I then add a squeeze full of honey. This is probably around a tablespoon, but it depends on how sweet of a crust you want.

I then add olive oil. I make sure to pour the olive oil (around 2 tablespoons) onto the dough hook so it doesn’t get stick.

Then, I add the water, and turn that baby on! The mixer that is, although the yeasty water should be nice and foamy. I let the mixer knead the dough until it forms a ball at the bottom of the bowl like this:

Then, I don’t bother kneading it again. I do touch it to make sure that it’s not too sticky. It should be sticky, but if it gets stuck to your hands, keep kneading it and you’ll have to add more flour. I usually add it by the 1/4 cup full, but it varies depending upon how much olive oil was used/how humid it is.

After it’s ready to go, not too sticky, etc, take out the hook and cover it/keep it in a nice warm spot for at least an hour. 

I keep mine on the stove because it’s an old school gas stove that always has an open flame. And will eventually explode from a gas leak or something. Yeeeeahhh…it’s the perfect place for the dough, since it’s nice and toasty!

After 45 minutes, I pre-heat my pizza stone. I throw it in the oven and put it up to 400 degrees. It’s super important to let your pizza stone come to temperature in the oven at a gradual pace so it doesn’t crack (which is my worst nightmare!). After 15 minutes, take the stone out, put some flour on it so the dough doesn’t stick, and punch down your dough (which is SO satisfying). I typically can stretch it out just using my hands, but sometimes I need to use a rolling pin. No big deal. Once it’s stretched onto the stone, top it with whatever you fancy! Tonight’s was sausage and pepper….mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Oh yeah. That’s nice! 

So that’s that. ❤ PIZZA ❤

–megz

Tagged

Pad Thai..for the carb conscious

The cravings for carbs continue, and I have had a hankering for pad thai. I mean the kind you get from that sort of shady place, but it is so spicy and peanutty it is just amazing. Plus Ms. Nyssa sent me a recipe swap email that got my hunger for peanutty thai food goin’. Last night I was STARVING, and had vowed earlier to make a psudeo pad thai, and some-how some-way I came up with my own little twist like every single day…that I ate aggressively as soon as it was cool. Who am I kidding, I burnt my mouth. So on our way home, we visited this beyond sketchy Korean grocery store in Latham, right after the traffic circle, to get fish sauce because I was fresh out. Lo and behold, I found a beautiful replacement for noodles that was wonderful. I didn’t even miss the carbs!

This stuff above, was ridiculous! And I don’t even like tofu! Also the package says it has 3g carbs per serving, nah son, that’s with 2g of fiber, so 1g net carb B!!!! And at $1.59 per package..so worth it.

Anyway, I kind of vaguely followed a pad thai recipe but I made it up as I went along.
First make the peanutty sauce, this is the final thing to add but the longer it sits and the flavors come together, the better.

The sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter- teddie brand is my new favorite, but its pricey
1 tbsp almond butter, I had it on hand and it was crunchy so you can just add more peanut butter if you dont have it
1 tbsp chopped peanuts
1 packet of Splenda/stevia/cancer sugar/ or if you must follow a recipe, it calls for 1 tbsp tamarind paste (it is mad carby so I figured some kind of sweetness is needed here)
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
2 tsp lime juice, some zest if you are feeling zesty
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp of garlic juice- the stuff you get from the minced garlic jars, no biggie if you have to leave this out though
1/4 c soy sauce
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
maybe a shake or two of ground coriander

whisk it all together and let it sit, your patience will be rewarded (shut it, Alton)

Then I marinated the shrimp, about a one pound package of uncooked, frozen, EZpeels makes more than enough for 3-4 people. These were 16-20 counts so they were plump little buggers. Also I just added stuff till it tasted right so these are rough estimates

Shrimp Marinade:
1 tsp honey- you can take it out if you dont want the extra carbs
2 tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp Sriracha Chili sauce
1.5 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp sesame oil
3tbsp soy sauce
few shakes of rice wine vinegar

Let those sit in the marinade for at least 15 min, longer is better.

In the meantime I browned some mushrooms and onions (1 c mushrooms and 1/2 c onions I think) in the pan with some vegetable oil and a drop or two of sesame oil, then added a cup or so (two handfuls) of shredded napa cabbage and a whole package of mung bean sprouts (save some for crunchies and garnish if you are fancy!). originally I was going to use these as a replacement for the noodles, once they were cooked and in the sauce I couldn’t tell what was sprout and what was noodle anyway.

Once the sprouts and cabbage are semi-cooked- they look more translucent than they were- add the noodles to the pan and sautee only until they are heated. The noodles are pre-cooked so they don’t need much time at all, just need to warm up. in the last few minutes, crack an egg or two in there, and scramble it up. Take all of these things out of the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Put shrimp in the pan, and sautee until just undercooked than add everyone back into the pan, let them all come up to temperature then, the most fun part, dump the sauce over it! toss it around and make sure everything gets coated with the nutty goodness. Then plate it! Garnish with plenty of chopped scallions, cilantro and some of those bean sprouts if you managed to save them.

Voila, craving complete, and without all the carb’ers-remorse. There weren’t any pics of this, but that is because it was thrown in a bowl when it was done (for hunger situation, see above) and I didn’t have the patience to take a pretty picture. Trust, it was good.

-Stine