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Category Archives: Baking

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Here is my delicious entry for this week’s Photo Challenge InsideSara’s interpretation was the inside of a French canele, and here are my baked goodies – a whole lot of nooks and crannies, nuts, fruits, quinoa, etc.  Since I love to bake but obviously cannot eat all that I bake, my friends and family enjoy a huge portion of the goodies.  Co-workers walk into my office and often ask “So, what did you bake for us?”

Prune Bread

White Sandwich Bread

Banana Nut Bread

Spiced Ginger Peach Muffin

Almond Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

 

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Roasted Vegetable Tart with Pepper Relish

Summer has arrived early at WordPress with this week’s challenge Summer.  New York City has seen rain all week-long with some very heavy downpours.  But, that hasn’t stopped the loads of zucchini and tomatoes available at roadside vegetable carts in my neighborhood.  I am sure everyone planning a barbecue party tomorrow on Memorial Day is hoping the rains don’t spoil the fun.  I bought a bag each of zucchinis and tomatoes and, of course, had no clue how I was going to use it.  Ratatouille…nah…. soup….nah….zucchini bread?? What about the tomatoes?  So, out came the tart pan and the result was a vegetable tart that looked stunning and tasted even better – just simple and tasty veggies that were delicious with the roasting intensifying the flavors.

What about the pepper relish?  That was an afterthought when I saw the pepper relish sitting on the counter.  That is my latest discovery and I’m addicted to it.  It is a perfect relish for sandwiches and I even added it to a marinade (that recipe is for another time).  I could simply dig the spoon into the jar and enjoy the stuff. I guess I must return to the store and buy all the Pepper Relish I can find before others discover this delicious stuff.

It was very simple to assemble as you can see from the pictures.  I used 2 medium-sized zucchinis, 2 medium-sized tomatoes, 2 onions, and 2 potatoes – all medium-sized.  All the veggies were washed and sliced evenly into rounds.  I thawed a store-bought pie crust and blind baked it for a few minutes and set it aside to cool.  You can assemble them however you like I guess, I just assembled it in circles.  Drizzled extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground coarse black pepper.  Snipped off some fresh herbs from the backyard and threw in a few sprigs of oregano and thyme.  Into a 425-degree oven went the tart pan, and the tart was done in about 45 minutes.

This tart is very light and healthy unlike the cream/milk and cheese laden heavier vegetable tarts.  Of course, this is a basic tart and will work well with mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, etc.

Then, the best part of the tart, Pepper Relish.  I thinned out a few teaspoons of the relish with warm water and drizzled it on the warm roasted veggies. The warm veggies absorbed the peppery goodness.  I did not return the tart to the oven because I thought the pepper may spew hot smoke – and I might have to save the situation.  Well, the tart was delicious and devoured  as soon as it was cool enough to handle.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Baking, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

 

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Super Mocha Brownies….yum!

I sometimes look for an excuse to bake…but with these brownies, I don’t need an excuse. I just bake them because they are wonderful chocolate brownies with a twist – mocha brownies.  I baked these brownies recently for an office party and everyone was immediately hooked, clamouring for more.  I have made it twice in 8 days and there were no pictures to post the first time….all the brownies disappeared before the camera made its appearance.

I sometimes substitute ingredients in a recipe, mixing wheat flour with all-purpose flour, canola oil for butter, etc. but this ingredient list was rather interesting with almond flour, dairy-free margarine, instant coffee, etc. and so decided not to mess with the recipe.

These brownies have a chewy texture, the coffee brings out the chocolate flavor and the egg whites render a lightness as well, which is not a problem because you can eat more brownies now. 

Each time I try a new brownie recipe, I think it is the best ever…

I have to go to a birthday party this weekend and I’ve already been asked to bring ‘my bestest brownies’ as these are now called …… until a new brownie recipe comes along!

Recipe Courtesy: Blissful Brownies

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Recipes

 

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Sticky Chocolate Brownies

Isn’t there something about warm brownies that make it so tempting?  Well, if the brownie looks as tempting as this, why wouldn’t anyone want to bite into a warm brownie? 

   I made these brownies yesterday because I was bored….but the brownies were anything but boring.  It was one of those days when I did not want to do the weekend chores or run errands.  Since it snowed on Saturday, walking wasn’t the best way to spend the afternoon.  So, why not bake some brownies so that we can eat warm sticky chocolatey brownies….why sticky and chocolatey….because the recipe says so!

I started taking the pictures with 3 brownies in the plate,

And then started nibbling….

And, then a few minutes later, between clicking the pictures and snacking…..

And, another a few minutes later…..only 2 left. 

I thought it would be okay to stop clicking and eat the brownies…….it sure was an afternoon well spent with sticky chocolate brownies. 

 To make these sticky brownies, I used:

3 oz. unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

1 tbsp corn syrup

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter an 8 x 8 inch pan and line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the butter, sugars, chocolate and corn syrup in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until well blended.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Beat together eggs and vanilla, and whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.
  4. Stir together the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder and fold gently into the egg and chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely, dust with confectioner’s sugar, and cut into squares (makes large 9 squares).

Recipe courtesy: Blissful Brownies

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Recipes

 

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Fresh Dinner Rolls and Vegetable Soup

A simple vegetable soup and freshly baked dinner rolls for lunch today – easy and delicious.

These dinner rolls are addictive….not all the rolls made it to the dining table at lunch time…. but then, I haven’t met anyone who cannot reach out for a warm dinner roll fresh from the oven and cooling on the kitchen counter.  The recipe is courtesy of King Arthur Flour website, a cinnamon roll recipe.  I did not make the cinnamon filling, instead simply brushed the dough with some melted butter and italian seasoning.  I baked these in a 8 x 8 inch square pan at 375 degrees for about 15-18 minutes, and drizzled extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled some italian seasoning and sea salt on the warm rolls.  I could have eaten the whole batch for lunch, they were simply delicious.

The soup was loaded with veggies and a handful of dandelion greens.  Into the pressure cooker, went one finely diced veggie sausage link, one small leek (coarsely chopped), and 2 cloves of minced garlic.  When it all softened, I added one potato, one turnip, one kohlrabi, 2 medium carrots, 1 parsnip (all diced), 1/2 cup green peas, and 1/2 cup dandelion greens (that is what I had in the refrigerator).  Added 4 cups of vegetable stock (if you prefer, add chicken stock for extra flavor) and some salt.  After 7-8 minutes, the soup was ready.  Topped with dandelion greens, freshly ground black pepper, some fresh lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil, the soup was simply delicious.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Baking, Recipes

 

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Aniseed Braid

This beautiful braided aniseed bread was baked a day before Christmas, and every single crumb vanished the next day!  The recipe is courtesy of a fabulous book Warm Bread and Honey Cake – Home Baking From Around The World by Gaitri-Pagrach Chandra, a food historian who is a Guyanese Hindu of Indian ancestry, educated in North America and Europe and married into a European Jewish family.  A great book for home bakers looking for something different or seeking authentic recipes from other countries, with stories from the author’s life and a little bit of history of the bread/cake. I baked a couple of other breads and cakes, and hopefully will post them some time soon.

I followed the recipe and was rewarded with an impressive braid, fit for any party or for simple snacking. I was so tempted to pinch off a bit to taste it but didn’t want to spoil the braid, and this was a test of my will power! 

My aniseed braid waiting for the yeast to do its drama……

The recipe can be accessed here.  Here is a close-up of the braid.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Baking, General, Recipes

 

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Cherry Tomatoes and Red Pearl Onions

The title of the post is rather vague, isn’t it?  That’s because I’m not sure what to call these cute little baked treats….cherry tomatoes and pearl onions with a topping of gooey melting cheese.  All I know is that it vanished too quickly, long before they were cooled enough to handle.  This is not out of any recipe book or website, but the result of a handful of cherry tomatoes and red pearl onions that almost made it into a pasta salad but were saved just in time to snuggle into a 3-inch pastry shell and get a topping of cheese and dried thyme.  I had very little pepper jack cheese in the fridge, so in it went, although I wish I hadn’t munched on the rest of the cheese yesterday.

Since there wasn’t any particular recipe I was following, it was a little of this, and little of that, and instead of folding the pastry, how about piling on the tomatoes and onions and baking a kind of mini pizza….but without tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  After a little bit of this and that, I ended up with four little tarts or something like tarts…..  What would you call these?

These went into a 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown and the cheese was gooey.

These pictures tell the rest of the story…….

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Baking, Recipes, Vegetarian

 

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