Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Fig & Goat Cheese

Croissant Dough

Dried Figs
Goat Cheese
Red Onion
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

I first had this at a place in DC, Logan Circle, called Birch & Barley and I've been craving it ever since. The toppings are all personal choice, however much or little you'd like. Bake at 350 for 12 min, the Parmesan goes on after it's out of the oven. Focaccia

1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

I made half the recipe and I think it would taste better is the herbs were mixed in. It was a little flat but that's what you get with no yeast. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 min.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 French Onion

This made enough for three as an appetizer and it was made from essentially leftovers.

1/2 Red Onion (Thinly Sliced)
2 Cans Beef Broth
1/2 Loaf Focaccia Bread (3/4 inch Cubes)
1/2 Cup Mozzarella (Shredded)

Saute the Onions for as long as you can, 20 or 30 minutes. The longer, on low heat, the more caramelized they get. They can be cooked at a higher heat for shorter time but that risks burning them. Also, covering them after 10 min and coming back every 5 to stir the Onions lets them steam in their own juices. Place them in a pot with the Beef Broth and leave it on low for a while. Meanwhile toast the Focaccia (or any kind of leftover bread) until they're crunchy croutons. Finally ladle the Onions and Broth into bowls, add the croutons and top with Mozzarella.

Saturday, March 19, 2011 Zucchini & Jicama

Cooking for one can be difficult, it's hard to guess portion and there are some ingredients that can't be cut down. For example an egg is difficult to use in more than whole units or in halves of yolks and whites. The fritata was a recipe for 4-6 originally but i just wanted enough for dinner tonight.

Zucchini Fritata
1 Zuchini (Grated)
2 Green Onions (Diced)
1/4 Lime (Juiced)
3 tsp Mint (Finely Chopped)
3 tsp Egg
3 tsp Flour
A Bit of Cajun Seasoning or Chili Pepper Powder
A Bit of Ground Pepper

 Add everything together and then fry in olive oil. Try to dry out the Zucchini by putting it in a strainer or patting them down with paper towels. Otherwise after frying them the insides will still be mushy. I'm still having trouble with this. They're still yummy though!

Chili-Lime Jicama
Jicama (Cubed)
3 tsp Mint (Finely Chopped)
1/4 Lime (Juiced)
Chili Pepper Powder

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Irish

Bailey's Irish Cream  Cup Cake

The Batter
2/3 Cup Butter
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1-1/3 Cup Bailey's
2/3 Cup Milk
4 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt

Cream the Butter and Sugars first, add the eggs and vanilla next. Combine Liquor and Milk together in a glass. Put all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Alternate adding wet and dry ingredients until they're gone. I filled a 9x13 and a 9x9, baked at 350 degrees for 35 mins.

The Frosting
11 oz Cream Cheese (1-1/2 Package)
8 oz (10 Tbsp) Butter
1.5 tsp Vanilla
4 tsp Bailey's
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3-1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Cream Butter and Cream Cheese first, add Vanilla, Bailey's and Cinnamon next. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 Cup intervals.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Avocados

3 Avocados (Cubed)
2 Vine Tomatoes  (Diced)
4 Cloves of Garlic (Finely Chopped)
1/4 Medium Red Onion (Diced)
1 Lime (Juiced)
4 Tbs Cilantro (Finely Chopped)

Mash and Enjoy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 Mango Mojitos

Pint Glass
1/2 A Lime (Juiced)
4-5 Pieces of Mint (Tear them a few time)
4-5 Half inch Chunks of Mango
(this really works with any fruit)
A Spoonful of Sugar
Muddle All Above Ingredients
A Double Shot of White Rum
3-4 Ice Cubes
And Club Soda to the Top Vegetables

My favorite cookbook to date is Edible - A Celebration of Local Foods by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian.

It's part cookbook, part touching stories of local farmers and chefs. It's organized in a few ways that I really appreciate. The stories in the front half are arranged by region (it spans the entirety of the US) and then the recipes are arranged first by season and then by region in an index in the back. I've probably made and remade a dozen recipes and they've all been amazing.

Today I baked a recipe from the Fall section, in my defense Southern California doesn't really have true season anyway. I made the Harvest Cake with Cider-Cinnamon Frosting. Only i went a little off script because I didn't have apple cider and it calls for so little so I instead made Cinnamon-Ginger Frosting.

Harvest Cake Batter

First bowl....
2 Large Carrots (Grated)
1 Large Parsnip (Grated)
1 Medium Zucchini (Grated)
1 Tart Apple (Peeled, Cored, & Grated)

In a second bowl....
1-1/4 C Flour
1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ginger (Ground)

Final bowl....
3 Eggs
1 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Whip the eggs and sugar together until fluffy then add the remaining ingredients of the Third bowl. Slowly add the contents of the Second bowl to the Third. Lastly add the veggies from the First bowl and fold in with a rubber spatula. Cook the Batter at 350 for 30 min in a 9x13 pan.

Cinnamon-Ginger Frosting

3 Tbs Butter
4.5 oz. Cream Cheese
1-1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger

Cream the butter and cream cheese thoroughly before slowly adding the dry ingredients. Let the cake sit and cool 15 min or so before frosting.

Friday, March 11, 2011 Thai

....Or mine really, most of my recipes have been acquired, this one is no exception. This is a Thai Chicken recipe from one of my best friends and I'm not really sure where she got it. The original calls for marinating chicken breast, I recently tried it with party wings and usually serve it with coconut rice and spicy lime green beans. There's a few more ingredients than I keep lying around the house but once you get them the prep is simple.

4 Chicken Breast
(or Equivalent in Wings)
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Jalapeno
3/4 in. Ginger (Peeled)
4 Tbs Cilantro (Chopped)
2 Limes (Zested & Juiced)
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Sugar
1/2 Can Coconut Milk

Cut four deep slashes into the chicken and place into a bowl. Food process the rest of the ingredients together and poor over the chicken breasts (or wings). It can marinade overnight or soak lightly. Then bake or Bar-B-Que. Place the marinade into a sauce pan and bring to a boil for a few minutes.

Coconut Rice
Follow cooking directions on the rice but substitute quarter to half the water with the coconut milk.

Spicy Lime Green Beans
Boil fresh green beans, I'm not sure how long, I eat them raw so I more or less blanch the beans and call it good. Then lime and Siracha to taste.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not Everything I Make....

I like to cook and bake but I've never been very good at food presentation. I'd like to think I put the care into actually making whatever it may be and admire those who go the extra mile to make it look nice. In addition to culinary interests I do my best to travel as much as my schedule and bank account will allow. And while I love architecture & design, the amount of 'design' I do has been significantly reduced now that I've graduated so I need an outlet. In baking, cooking, traveling and design, I've decided I'd like to keep track of the things I make and share them, with the hopes of creating conversation.


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