Thanksgiving 2011

Our Thanksgiving feast ūüôā

Savory…

Turkey, stuffing (my favorite), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mixed veggies and a deviled egg

 

To mop up the sauce…

Butter rolls

And then the¬†sweet…

Classic apple pie and coconut pumpkin pie

 

Recipes coming soon!

 

Kale Banana Milkshake

My eye doctor recently told me kale is the new superfood. It’s good for my eyes and I’m thinking it’s good for basically everything else–my hair, my skin, weight control, etc. I recently developed this arm/hand thing (not carpal, ulnal–the nerve that runs through the ring and pinky finger) which I am hoping will improve also.

I’ve been eating kale in salad, in omelets, in quesadillas and as of this morning in my morning smoothie. So that may seem a bit odd, but it’s actually pretty good. And it makes me feel like I started my day off right–and that I’m loving and caring for this not-getting-any-younger physical vehicle of mine.

The kale flavor and bits lend a fresh, green taste and isn’t bitter at all. Besides that, you know that anything with banana and milk is going to be tasty. I tossed in some frozen cantaloupe I had as well, but it’s totally optional and also easily substituted with other fruits.

Enjoy! (Oh and if you know of any interesting kale recipes, pass them my way ūüôā )


 

Kale Banana Milkshake (inspired by For the Love of Food)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 big leaf kale, without stem and rinsed well

1 banana

1/4 cup cantaloupe, cubed (You can leave this out or replace it with any other kind of fruit.)

1 tbsp honey

METHOD

  1. Put everything into the blender and mix until smooth.

Another Portland Thanksgiving

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I’m home again. I baked, I ate, I traditioned. After all that, I’m ready for sleep.

I’ll write about the pies tomorrow.

Ciao ciao and happy thanksgiving

Theresa

It’s raining. I need cake.

Yes, it’s raining in San Francisco. I’m from Oregon, so I shouldn’t (and normally don’t) care. But, it’s been a tough week at work, I’m tired, it’s wet outside…and I haven’t baked in ages.

So I stayed in tonight, foregoing happy hour, friends and perhaps even dancing. Instead, I made cake. And actually, I’m really happy I did. It feels good to be home, doing something just for me. I need to do this more often.

The recipe is Martha Stewart’s via Shoots and Roots. I made a few modifications:

  • 2 eggs, not 1: Because 2 in this case seemed better than 1!
  • 1 tbsp sugar, not ¬†2 for sprinkling: Shoots and Roots said so.
  • Almond milk, not regular: I needed to save the milk for my morning coffee ūüôā
  • Loaf pan, not pie: Because I halved the recipe. (It IS just for me–and the rest for the office tomorrow.)
It’s good. It’s one of those humble share-with-the-one-you-love cakes. You know those? The kind that warms your heart on rainy days like today.

Enjoy.

Strawberry Cake (a Martha Stewart recipe courtesy of Shoots and Roots)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup, plus 2 tbsp sugar

2  large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10 inch pie plate or 10 1/2 inch cast iron pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Mix butter and 1 cup sugar in a separate large bowl and mix on medium high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is soft and fluffy, ca. 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium low and add the eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  3. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Transfer the batter the pie plate or cast iron pan and spread evenly. The batter will be thick. Arrange strawberries on top, cut side down. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp sugar on top of the cake.
  4. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 F. Bake until golden brown, ca. firm to the touch and pulled away from the sides of the pan, 55-60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into wedges (or slices) and serve. Cover loosely; can be stored on the countertop for up to 2 days.

Haupia

A gift from my friend Candice. Delicious, creamy coconut pudding from Hawaii.

And it came from a mix.


Lemon Peach Scones

I made these ages ago. I’m sure I would have been able to write a quirky short story to accompany this recipe. Back then. Now, however, all I can do is keep things short and sweet and just post the dang recipe.

Before I do, let me just say two things:

1) The lemons: My former CEO let me raid the lemon tree in his “Babeland” backyard. (He’s German and according to him, there are a lot of babes in the Marina.) Serious huge lemons–the size of a small child’s head actually–and, surprisingly, they were not completely dry and flavorless. On the contrary, every gigantic pulp bit was bursting with juice.

2) The peaches: Handpicked from the Haight Street Farmer’s Market. It may have been a while ago, but I STILL remember just how gorgeous they were. And also huge–again, the size of a small child’s head.

This recipe I found on Always With Butter is awesome. Super simple. I picked it because it used A LOT of lemon. I also thought it would be able to handle the addition of my farmer’s market peaches.

Giant lemon + giant peach = epic combo for scones!

Oh, the original recipe included a glaze, but I skipped it. Too sticky. These are good just on their own.¬†Hope you like them ūüôā

Lemon Peach Scones (recipe adapted from Always With Butter)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tsp grated lemon zest (I used like 1 tbsp!)

1 large peach, cut into bite size chunks

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 F.
  2. Sift together baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Cut in butter until it forms coarse crumbs.
  4. Mix in juice and grated zest.
  5. Quickly and gently fold in the peach chunks.
  6. Form into two disks and cut each into 4 pieces.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before serving

 

Photo Teaser: Lemon Peach Scones

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The zest of 1 1/2 giant lemons and a half cup of lemon juice later…

Recipe to come!

Liwi’s Believe in God Brownies

I was in Phoenix visiting my best friend Leah. (Oh! Already 2 months ago!) Our fairy tale began when we were 11 years old, believe it or not. We were both in the middle school band–she played trumpet and I played the clarinet. Maaaany years later, she is still my heart, my Liwi.

Anyway, my weekend desert getaway with Liwi was full of coffee, crosswords, swimming and general bopping around. I even convinced her to bake her ¬†famous “Believe in God” Brownies for me. With a name like that one, you just know these are no ordinary brownies. The recipe calls for 1 cup butter, 4 cups chocolate, 1 cup cream, so you’ll definitely want to save making them for only¬†very special occasions.

White and dark chocolate brownie smothered with creamy, rich ganache and topped with toasted nuts. I’m speechless.

So here is the recipe–from Liwi to me and now me to you.

Believe in God Brownies (recipe courtesy of Leah)

INGREDIENTS

Brownies

1 cup butter

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup white chocolate chips

Ganache

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups premium chocolate chips

1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans

METHOD

For the brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9 by 13 inch baking pan by greasing with butter or spraying with a cooking spray (such as Pam).
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Over low heat add unsweetened chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted.
  3. Remove from heat, mix in sugar (in saucepan). Add eggs and vanilla, stir until incorporated.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and stir just until combined (be careful not to overwork). Gently stir in white chocolate.
  5. Spread mixture in prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes just until brownies begin to pull away from the sides. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

For the ganache-nut topping:

  1. Over low heat in a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream to just to boiling. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Let sit for a few moments in order to melt chocolate. Stir until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Let mixture cool and thicken slightly, stirring occasionally for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Spread chocolate ganache over completely cooled brownies.
  3. Press chopped, toasted pecans into the ganache. Let ganache harden and then cut into squares and then into triangles.

SOMArts Feature

Look, it’s me! I volunteer for local arts non-profit SOMArts here in the city, and I just realized that I am featured on their blog!

Hefeschnecken (Sweet Rolls with Hazelnut-Raisin Filling)

Alright, one recipe for you. (Blogging after being away for such a long time is hard!) Sugary, sticky, pull apart rolls filled with ground hazelnut, grated apple and raisins! In German they’re called “Hefeschnecken” which literally means “yeast snails”. Ick, I prefer my English title. ūüėÄ

By the way, the recipe I used is from my favorite Swiss cookbook,¬†Tiptopf. I think it’s the one all the kids use when they learn to cook at school. It’s the best!

Enjoy!

Hefeschnecken (recipe from Tiptopf)

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Dough

300 g flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar

60 g (2 tbsp) butter, at room temp.

20 g fresh (2 1/4 tsp active dry) yeast

100 ml milk

1 egg

Filling

3 tbsp apricot jam (I used plum)

150 g ground hazelnuts

3 tbsp sugar

1 apple, grated (with peel is fine)

1/2 cup raisins

zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

4-6 tbsp milk or cream, at room temp.

Glaze

5 tbsp confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp – 1 tbsp water

METHOD

For the dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter, mixing lightly with your fingers until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Stir together yeast and milk. Allow to sit and “activate” for ca. 5 minutes. Then, whisk in the egg.
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture, pour in the wet ingredients and mix, gradually bringing the dry into the wet. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Then cover, put in a warm place and allow it to rest until doubled in size.
For the nut filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together ground nuts, sugar, raisins, grated apple, lemon zest and juice and milk or cream. Note: the filling should be moist, but not runny.
For assembly:
  1. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, 3 mm thick.
  2. Spread the apricot jam over the surface of the dough, followed by the nut filling. Then distribute the raisins evenly over the top.
  3. From one end of the dough, start rolling. Once rolled, hold the outermost dough layer in place and slice into 5 cm thick disks.
  4. Lay the disks cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the bottom half of a cold oven. Turn on the heat to 220 C and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly prepare the glaze.
For the Glaze
  1. When the rolls are about ready to come out of the oven, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and water until combined.
  2. With a pastry brush, spread evenly over the hot rolls.