Friday, November 9, 2012

Links to my genius!

I named someone else's cake!

My favorite blog posted a really awesome looking cake and I commented on the post. My comment became the new name of the cake!

Here's the link to the cake! P.S. I love this whole blog! Basically, this is my baking inspiration.

Angry Banana Cake

Banana Bread Caramel Cream Layer Cake (AKA the angry banana cake)

Scroll through the comments to see my genius!

Now for what I baked this week...

Pumpkin Muffins for my friend who helped me get to class since I broke my foot a week and a half ago.

Here's my original pumpkin muffin post:

Pumpkin Muffins

I tweaked the original recipe a little, of course. I used raw sugar and still used 1/2 cup less of it. I used no chocolate chips this time.

I have no pictures of these muffins, but I have this picture for you:

pies, loldogs n cute puppy pictures - I Has a Hotdog!
Funny Animals

And just FYI, remember to buy everything you need for a recipe before you start. It turns out that I didn't have toothpicks for testing doneness and kind of over-baked the muffins. They still tasted good but they could've been better.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Scones in the Big City

2 weeks in Chicago!

I baked something last week. But the lack of internet access in my apartment has caused me to be a little less connected than usual. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing...Anyway...

Cinnamon Raisin Whole-Wheat Scones

I tweaked a Paul Hollywood recipe for this one because I didn't want anything too challenging for my first attempt at baking in a gas oven.

I used his Whole-Wheat Scone recipe from 100 Great Breads. I used Earth Balance instead of butter because I don't really buy butter unless I'm making some kind of French pasty where I think butter is necessary, but I digress. I also added a half tablespoon of cinnamon and the suggested amount of golden raisins (PH has that as an option alongside the recipe). I used raw sugar instead of superfine, which may have caused them to turn out a little less sweet. Also I used 1 and 1/2 large eggs because that's what I had (instead of 2 medium), but it was still a little too wet so I ended up adding quite a bit of flour to keep from having baked pancakes (ew).

The oven time thing was a concern for me (and rightly so) since a friend had told me before I moved that gas ovens don't heat as evenly as electric, so I kept a close eye on the scones while they were in the oven. I may have actually taken them out a little early, but I was scared of burning them. They were bouncy when they came out, and more bouncy the next day (instead of brick-like as my scones have tended to be on the 2nd or 3rd day in the past). Bouncy is the best word I could come up with to describe the texture. They didn't taste weird at all, except that they were a little less sweet than I would have liked.

But enough with the's what they looked like...

A little paler than I would like even though I sprinkled them with raw sugar right before going in the oven...I think I have to be a little less cautious with oven times in the future.

Also, in reference to the awesome picture at the top of this's not mine. I haven't made it that far downtown yet. Maybe I'll make it before the snows start.

Love and carbs to all!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Bread to Come

Hi there Bread Heads! Sorry I've been AWOL lately. Been very busy moving. Arrived in Chicago yesterday to start my new life as a grad student. Will be posting some new breads ASAP. Well, as soon as I get internet access (so ASAIGIA).

Love and loaves,


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Focaccia? Yeah! Peppers? Oh Yeah!

Focaccia with Tomatoes, Garlic, Mushrooms and Roasted Red Peppers

Try saying that 5 times fast.

I found some really great local red peppers the other day and couldn't think of a meal to make with them so I made bread! If you make this bread you'll want to share it. It's that good. (If I do say so myself).

I created my own recipe based on Paul Hollywood's Focaccia Pugliese with Tomatoes and Garlic.

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup olive oil
scant 4 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon salt (I used kosher, but any will do)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dry active yeast (activated per package instructions)
1 cup water
salt water made from 1 1/2 tablespoons salt (kosher, again) dissolved in scant 1/2 cup warm water
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
1/8 cup chopped roasted red pepper*
2-3 baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced

Add garlic to the olive oil, let infuse while preparing the dough.

Put flour, salt yeast, half the infused oil (leaving the garlic in the remaining oil) and all the water in a large bowl and mix for 4 minutes (it will look kind of piecey). Tip out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 6 minutes, return to bowl and let rest for 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet. Roll dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Place on baking sheet. Brush lightly with salt water mix, then the remaining oil. Prick the bread all over with a knife and place tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms on top. Let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425°. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Eat warm.

*Making your own roasted peppers is super easy! Place your washed and dried pepper on a baking sheet in a 500° oven for about 30-40 minutes turning every 5-10 minutes to blacken the outside (it doesn't need to be completely black). If the pepper pierces when to try to rotate it it's probably done. Remove pepper and place in aluminum foil until cool enough to handle. The skin should just fall off. Slice it open and remove the seeds. You can chop it or not but to store put the pepper in an air tight container and drizzle with olive oil. Yay Peppers!

Serve it with a salad for a light meal!

This bread was soooo good! Make it and try it yourself and if you like it "give it away".

P.S. I've been very busy lately getting ready for grad school and a big move to Chicago.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blythe's Blueberry Muffins

With a Kristen twist.

The Blythe in question is none other than Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow's mom who has some recipes featured in GP's cookbook My Father's Daughter).

There is a healthier blueberry muffin in the book that is vegan, but I didn't have the ingredients for that one.
I felt the need to make blueberry muffins today because I was gifted a bag of great big beautiful blueberries and, well, muffins were suggested and I'm a sucker for suggestions.

I did change the recipe to make it dairy-free.  I subbed canola oil for the butter (a 1:1 swap) and soy milk for the milk.  I used organic unsweetened apple sauce for the eggs (1/4 cup per egg) and I added about 1/2 tsp of lemon zest because I had fresh lemons and lemon and blueberry is a match made in heaven.

These were the best blueberry muffins I have ever eaten.  As of the writing of this post I have eaten 4 and will probably get another as soon as this is posted.  Easy, fast recipe...just go buy the won't be disappointed.

Non-sliding Pizza

Lately I've been doing more cooking than baking.  I got a cookbook not too long ago that I love.  Every thing I made from the book has been super, but this recipe I think qualifies for The Big Bread Theory!


Got this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter.

The recipe was for Wood Oven Pizzas, but who has a wood oven.  I definitely don't...and actually I don't have a pizza stone like it calls for if you are doing it in a regular oven.  With a slightly vague recipe (probably to do with the inaccurate nature of a wood pizza oven) I used trial and error...and only really error-ed (I know it's erred) on my pizza (See below).

I only used the dough recipe and not the sauce because I was using up some leftover pasta sauce.  I will say if you are using this recipe even without a pizza stone you should heat whatever pan you are cooking on  before putting the dough on and the pizza together.  My first attempt (also known as my pizza) went on a cold pan and stuck mightily to the pan when the rest of the pizza was finished.

This was a fun meal and a really delicious  pizza crust.  I saved some of the dough in the fridge overnight and had pizza again the next night.

By the way here's a clip of, probably, my favorite Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors.

Non-Birthday Cake for Mom's Birthday

A month ago...

For my mom's birthday I wanted to do something really special so (of course) I went for my go-to dessert cookbook, Gesine Bullock-Prado's Sugar Baby!  I even had a little help via Twitter from the Master Baker herself.

I made a Vanilla-Pecan Swirl Tea Cake with Maple Glaze and it was amahzing!  I followed the recipe exactly (except for my substitution of grade A maple syrup for the grade B in the glaze (I made sure this was ok with @gesinebp).  Actually, I used the wrong Bundt pan because I couldn't find the awesome swirl one I was looking for.

I loved this and most importantly my mom loved it...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Brownie Story

Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

Oh, KH, you were wonderful.

I got the recipe here.

I substituted Earth Balance for the butter (partially because I didn't have any unsalted with the added benefit of making them non-dairy) and then reduced the amount of salt slightly to make up for the saltiness of the Earth Balance.  Also it would be great if I could get Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks where I live, just to make measuring easier.

I used raw sugar and my all-purpose flour was King Arthur's unbleached.  The raw sugar didn't blend extremely well, but the brownies tasted fine.  They just had a coating of crunchy sugar on the bottom.

Also, I added the optional walnuts.  You know, so it would be healthier to eat an entire pan of brownies by myself.  (I don't know that Katharine Hepburn would approve of adding healthy stuff to a dessert, but I did it anyway.)  I used Baker's unsweetened chocolate (in case you were wondering).

I'm not sure why the layers appeared but I liked it.

After eating a few as is, I crumbled a couple up in a bowl and topped them with macerated strawberries.  I'm sitting here eating them and watching the Philadelphia Story (my favorite KH movie) as I write this.  Actually, I put the bowl down to type but as soon as I'm finished here it's back to the brownies and strawberries.  Amazing brownies.

Once upon a time I learned to bake and everyone was happy with the results.  THE END.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Carrot Crazy

Who likes carrots?

This guy.

That's a little crazy, right? I like carrots ok, but I like zucchini better. Which is why I put carrots in bread and buy extra zucchini so I could make 2 meals with them in addition to the bread.

I had carrots that had been in the fridge for quite a while and after I found some beautiful zucchini last week so I finally got to try this recipe!

Carrot Zucchini Muffins

I got the recipe for this one over at  Here's the original.

The only substitution I made was 1/4 cup of plain organic applesauce for the egg.

Also, I really like making quick recipes into muffins, because I don't have to do anything different other than reduce the oven time and I have great individual serving sizes (which I ignore by eating 3 or 4 at a time).  My muffins took about 25 minutes and my mini-loaf took about 35-40. (I wanted it all baked at the same time and I only have one muffin tin!)

Next time I think I'll reduce the amount of sugars and increase the amount of veggies.  Otherwise these were great!  My mom was visiting, so she got to try them and loved them!

Eat your veggies, guys!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Whole Wheat and Basil? Oh Yeah!

Whole Wheat Basil Bread

Quite possibly my family's favorite bread I've ever made!

This is a recipe of my own creation.  Yeah, I created it all by myself (with the knowledge I've acquired since learning to bake).

Scant 3 cups bread flour (I like King Arthur)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (also King Arthur)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
2 packets active dry yeast (activated as per package instructions)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
small handful chopped fresh basil (you could use more if you wanted)

1. Activate yeast
2. Mix together flours and salt
3. Add olive oil and mix a little before adding yeast mixture
4. Add 1 cup of the water and mix, slowly adding in additional water until the dough starts to come together (you may not need all the water)
5. On a lightly floured counter, knead dough for 5 minutes.
6. Place dough back in mixing bowl and let rise for 1 hour
7. Mix in basil and stretch dough into a sort of rectangle thin enough that you can easily roll it into a log shape and then do that (roll into a log shape, I mean)
8. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and let rise for 1 hour
9. Bake in preheated oven at 350° F for 25 minutes (maybe a little more if you want more color on the outside)
10. Let cool slightly before slicing

My lovely bread! I almost forgot to take a picture at all.

This was the softest bread I have ever made and it was turned into sandwiches, toast and eaten plain. Oh YEAH!

Have a super Sunday!  Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Like To EAT, EAT, EAT Apple and Banana Bread

Mmm...Keith Urban...

I mean...

Apple and Banana Bread!

I almost forgot to take a picture of the bread! I dove into it as soon as it was cool enough to touch.

Anyway, this recipe is all me. I had some bananas that were very soft and this was my way of using and not losing.

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 bananas mashed (the more ripe the better)
1/4 cup applesauce (I used plain but a flavored one would work as well.)
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, bananas, applesauce and oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended. Pour into loaf pan. Mix a little extra cinnamon and raw sugar together and sprinkle on top. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then place on a wire rack.

I was pretty excited at how this bread turned out.  It tasted really good and I did the whole recipe without using a template.

Enjoy your vowel sounds today!  I mean, eat your fruit encased in carbs!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

They All Turn Into Blueberries (Pie)


Vegan Blueberry Crumb Pie

I got the recipe for the crust here and the recipe for the filling and crumb here.  Thanks, The Gluttonous Vegan.

Pretty pie pan

Crust...I have some left over 

Blueberry filling...mmm

Not so crumbly crumb topping

What was left of the topping once I pulled off all the burnt topping...

Yummy pie!

So everything was going fine until I'd had the pie in for 25 minutes.  I took the tin foil off to let the top brown and after 10 minutes it was as white as when I first put it in the oven (the browning was supposed to take 5-10 minutes).  I moved the pie to the top rack and waited 5 minutes.  A dime sized spot browned.  So I turned on the broiler and then got distracted.  When I opened the oven 5 minutes later smoke poured out!  The pie was completely black on top!  I decided to try to scrape off the  burned parts and found it to be easier than I expected for the crumb.  The blackened crusts were a little more difficult, I had to cut off the edges.

The pie tastes amazing!  Not too sweet and very berry!

I've got a blueberry for a pie!  Have a great pi(e) day, guys!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cookie Cookie Bang Bang

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Today's recipe re-do is amazingly delicious! And nearly vegan. I got the original recipe from my favorite food blog.

Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker is a great blog even if you just like looking at pictures of food.

Here's a link to the recipe.

I cut the recipe in half and substituted Earth Balance for the butter and because the Earth Balance has salt in it (and the recipe calls for unsalted butter) I used about half of the half measure of salt...if that makes any sense. I also made all of the chocolate chip cookies so I kept that measure the same as the original.  I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips (because they're my favorite). To make these vegan you can use my substitutions and vegan chocolate chips.

The recipe calls for banging the pan of cookies every 5 minutes during the 15 minute baking time (hence the "bang bang").  That part was fun!

My beauties!

I ended up with about 15 giant cookies and ate one immediately and another as soon as I'd eaten some real food (so about 20 minutes later).  So good!

I hope you have a Truly Scrumptious evening!

Get on the Banana Bread Boat!

Fried Banana Naan!

Vegan and yummy!

I took the dough recipe from this recipe for Banana Naan and got the idea to fry it from this recipe.

Thanks (never home)maker!

Instead of using fresh herbs in the dough I added a little cinnamon.

Here's my finished product:

Mine didn't turn out exactly like the (never home)maker's, but looks aren't everything.

They were So Delicious!   Like a banana-y churro!  I love fried dough!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So I Made A Milk Bread, again.

Soy Milk Bread

I remade the Milk Loaf from 100 Great Breads.  Vegan!

I subbed soy milk and Earth Balance for the milk and butter. Since the Earth Balance is salty I used slightly less salt.

The bread tasted so great!  It's kind of addictive.

This is all that's left of 2 loaves.

If you liked this post, and you want to make it (the bread); come on, baby, let me know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amateur Baker Attempts Master Baker Recipe...Ruffies

I tried this recipe recently:

I didn't change anything (surprised?) and made my very first toffee.  Making toffee takes a while (ok, it probably didn't but it felt like forever with the constant stirring), but I got to use my candy thermometer for the first time!

Toffee before I shattered it!

Here's what my Ruffies looked like:

I didn't even know they still made Ruffles, but snacking on them while baking brought me back to elementary school.

This video has nothing to do with anything except that I watched this episode today and I love hippos.  If I met a hippo I'd probably be like this.

I'm walking away now and eating some more of the most caloric dessert I've ever made (I'm guessing...I don't count calories because I'm bad at math.)  Ruff ya later!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vegan Apple Berry Muffins are a girl's best friend!

Today I made Vegan Apple Berry Muffins!

I got the recipe from Fit Chick in the City.

I did change it a little because otherwise I wouldn't be me.

Instead of pastry flour (which I didn't have) I used half all-purpose half whole-wheat.

I used dark brown sugar because that's what I had and it didn't specify.

I didn't have vanilla soy milk so I used plain and added a tiny bit of extra vanilla extract.

My frozen berries were chopped strawberries and whole blueberries.


Yummy!  Not too sweet...maybe a few more berries next time...

Now I'm going to go work on dinner!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Want Cupcakes!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes!  

I've been so excited to make this recipe and the day has finally come!

Chocolate batter...

Out of the oven (these were my 1st cupcakes ever)...

Hi there, cutie cakes!


The only thing I have to add to the recipe is that I used the almond extract choice and will probably not do that again.  Almond extract always tastes kind of like chocolate covered cherries to me.  Not bad cupcakes (really good, actually) it's just that the almond extract is distracting.

I did make my own icing for these.

Here's my recipe for Coffee Icing!

1/2 pkt Starbucks Via
1 tbsp plain soy milk
7/8 cup powdered sugar

It was extremely sweet and I'll probably try something a little different next time, but not bad for my first try at that, too!

Let them eat cake!

Whole Lot of Biscotti Bakin' Goin' On

Whole Wheat Biscotti with Nuts and Dried Fruits

I've found a couple of biscotti recipes lately, but this is my first attempting at baking them.

I found this one and thought I'd give it a go.

I did modify it a little...of course.  I used 1/2 cup applesauce instead of eggs and added 1/4 tsp cinnamon just to spice it up.  Get it?  Spice?  Huh?  Huh?  OK...moving on.

For the nuts I mixed pecans, walnuts, and almonds.  Fruit-wise I went with dried cherries, craisins, organic raisins and golden raisins.  (I had them all in the cabinet.)

Here's what they look like:

Success!  And delicious!  I bet this recipe would taste awesome with some gluten free flours, too!

Goodness gracious!  Great Biscotti!

The Lovin' Spoonful

Triple Chocolate Salted Cookies

I made a batch of these cookies before Christmas, but I really wanted to make them again before posting about them.  So I could have a picture...

I made the cookies larger than last time and only got about 18 (I say "about" because of that tiny little one in the middle).

Here's the original recipe.  I actually really like The Small Things Blog, not just for the cookies.

I halved the recipe because what do I need with 4 dozen cookies?  I also played around with the recipe a little.  I did 3/4 whole wheat flour and 1/4 ground flax (to make it a little healthier).  I also used Earth Balance instead of butter and dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar (because that's what I had).    Also, everywhere it said semisweet chocolate I used dark chocolate (because that's what I like).

These cookies are pretty great.  The first batch tasted like brownies and this one did a little too.  Yummy chocolate cookies!

Do you believe in chocolate?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

No bread, but chocolate and peppermint!

It's been over a month since I last posted.  The retail holiday season is now over and I'm back to having some free time.  I'm feeling a little under the weather today, but I'm going to share some of the recipes I made over the past few weeks.

I used this recipe to make some pretty delicious cookies that I shared with my co-workers and my chiropractor and his staff.

I made some substitutions (of course) and though they didn't look as good as the originals they tasted wonderful.

I subbed Earthbalance Original for the butter, soy milk for the milk and instead of prepackaged mint chunks I crushed some candy canes (so I could have candy canes for later).

Just for the record, I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips and no nuts.

I'm going to add a few more recipes that I made over the holidays in the next few days.