June 20th, 2008
Heavenly! Pretty much sums up this delicious cup up of rich, chocolatey goodness. I have to admit, I am a coffee snob. I like my coffee so I go to a lot of good coffee shops. When I first saw someone order a hot chocolate at my favorite coffee shop downtown I was amazed to see them steam the milk and use REAL chocolate sauce. To top it all off they put fresh whipped cream on top — something we didn’t have very often growing up. I suppose it’s this attention to quality and freshness that makes Red Horse my favorite to begin with. The point is, their hot chocolate amazed me! I started noticing other coffee shops made it like that too and they were delicious! Some still use the powder and water method which usually tastes either too watered down, not rich enough or slightly like tin. (…read more and get the recipe)
June 19th, 2008
Rachel was at it again. This time she used her Stahlbush Strawberries (just now coming into season) and Rhubarb (which has already been cut once, but it’ll grow more for a cut later on in the season). As I said before she really loves smittenkitchen. She thinks I need to get a nice camera (as opposed to my cheap, point-and-shoot, digital camera) to take quality food shots. I agree, but I don’t want to fork out the dough. 😉 (…read more and get the recipe)
June 12th, 2008
Rachel has an obsession with this food blog, so naturally she always wants to try out recipes. I don’t blame her, the photos and ideas look so perfect. So my sister-in-law had her 21st birthday a few days ago so Rachel set out to make her the strawberry chiffon shortcake from the blog for her. I love strawberries and whipped cream (who doesn’t?) so I was sold on this cake the instant I saw the photo. When she finished it last night we sliced into the tall, beautiful, 3-layer treat and enjoyed it with the birthday girl. The cake was light and fluffy and the lemon zest did indeed offset the missing flavor of butter (as is suggested in the blog). The whipped cream and fresh strawberries added to the flavor and texture to create a delicate and delicious cake. We decided the only think we’d do different is put whipped cream around the sides next time. (…read more and get the recipe)
May 18th, 2008
The other night my wife declared “I need some chocolate decadence!” That was when I knew I had to get to work. We had both been craving chocolate chip cookies lately so I got out the recipe. These chocolate chip cookies come from an article we cut out of the Oregonian a year or so ago because my wife was trying to figure out how to make chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, decadent chocolate chip cookies. At long last, this recipe is the end-all of this famous morsel. I baked them for about nine minutes which was probably about one minute too short. Due to this, the centers were soft, but I thought I had reached heaven every time I bit into one.
I think the brown sugar (more moist than white sugar) and cold butter and eggs make the difference when compared to other recipes. When you beat the butter and it is cold, try chopping it into smaller pieces in order to blend it easier. Needless to say, my wife loved them! I even snuck in some whole-wheat flour so it didn’t feel all bad eating these!
I REALLY hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I’d quickly like to announce that I am joining the FoodBuzz Featured Publisher Program. I’m excited to have some new readers enjoying what I cook, so, welcome! Here’s what I did:
- 1 and 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup of cold unsalted butter
- 3 cold eggs
- 2 cups of regular flour
- 1/2 cup of whole-wheat flour
- 3 cups of quality chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch (up to 1 teaspoon) of fine sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit
- Beat the butter and brown sugar together until it is fluffy
- Beat in the cold eggs until well combined
- Mix in the vanilla
- Then mix in each of the flours, baking soda and the salt but only just until combined.
- Gently stir in (with a wooden spoon) the chocolate chips
- Spoon out by the tablespoon full (larger or smaller according to your taste) onto a greased cookie sheet with at least two inches between each cookie
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes
- Remove from tray immediately and cool on a cooling rack then serve with a big glass of milk and go to heaven!
I hope you enjoy them!
March 18th, 2008
As my time in the D.R. wound down I wanted to share my bread recipe and all the learning on bread I have been doing over the past year with some friends. Unfortunately the short two weeks I spent there zoomed right on by along with time to make bread! I decided at the last minute to whip together some no-bake chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter cookies.
As a kid one of my favorite desserts was these cookies! I can’t even begin to count how many of these little chocolate morsels I devoured. Cooking them in the D.R. posed many challenges though. First, we wanted to cook them in Travesia (see Part 2) which is quite a hike. I had to worry about the butter melting, carrying the bulk, and then how to prepare it once I arrived.
I used the fugon (also described in Part 2) to cook up everything. I have some pretty funny pictures of some of the people looking at me like I have gone crazy while I cooked them. While I would have to say I was quite complimented when a villager rode by on his mule and had a couple cookies in his hand that someone had shared with him. He asked if I made them and we talked about what was in them. He said they were really good and everyone was stopping by to try them! Perfect!
Here’s what I did:
- 1/2 cup butter (I had to use margarine due to the melting issue)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or chunky, if you like that sort of thing)
- 3 1/2 cups dry quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- Add butter to large pot and melt over medium heat
- Mix in sugar, milk and cocoa into pan and bring to a rolling boil for one minute
- Mix in peanut butter, vanilla and oats
- Drop onto waxed paper by the tablespoon and enjoy once they fully cool/harden
As you can see they are so simple and probably only take a few minutes to make. I hope you will enjoy them as much as the Dominicans and I do!
November 1st, 2007
I’ve noticed the pumpkin recipes on my blog have been pretty popular so I thought I would try another. I’ve been using Stahlbush’s “Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin” only, it’s straight from the processing plant where my wife works. All the food she brings home is a great perk of the job! It almost makes me wish I had her job!
I’ve never really made pumpkin cookies, nor do I remember what they are supposed to be like, but I sure can imagine. I envisioned an extremely moist, pumpkin/spices flavored goodness melting in my mouth. YUM! I just ate my sample cookie and the rest are now baking! It is good!
Keep in mind when looking at my list that I cut back on the sugar — they are still sweet and delicious. You can feel free to add up to 1 cup of sugar depending on your taste. I also added too much flour and for fun poured in a little heavy cream to thin out the dough. I still feel like this dough is missing something (perhaps more butter?), even though the cookies turned out good. I am going to continue reading my food science books so I can learn more about the science of what we bake. Here is how I did it (minus a little flour and the cream):
- 2 and 1/4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- a pinch of ground cloves
- a pinch of ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 stick of butter — melted
Now to make the cookie dough:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixer or bowl
- Whisk the eggs until they are well beaten
- Add the pumpkin, vanilla and butter to the eggs and combine
- Mix the egg and pumpkin mixture into the mixer and mix well.
- Place about 24 large spoonfuls of the batter onto two cookie sheets and bake each for 15 to 18 minutes
- Cool and enjoy!
Here’s your chance to have your sweets and save the world too.
I hope you enjoy it!
October 17th, 2007
I love applesauce. I can only remember my Mom making it once, but my Grandma’s applesauce was the MOST delicious applesauce you have ever had! I loved the sweet and juicy apple chunks that she had, it didn’t remind me of the store bought kind — and that was a great thing! A year ago, during apple season, I decided I was going to try my own. I could not believe how simple it was to make, not to mention how delicious it was. My mother-in-law let me borrow an apple/potato peeler (a handy little machine) and I was off to work. It turned out great and I made quite a few batches over the months.
Once apple season ended (no more cheap apples) I sort of forgot about it, UNTIL NOW! Cheap apples are back. I got some fresh apples for 65 cents a pound at a fruit stand nearby this weekend so I could make applesauce. Sometimes I find “baking apples” (the bruised and beaten ones) over at Hazelnut Hill for 25 cents a pound during the season (I also can’t resist their chocolate covered hazelnuts!). For my next batch I hope to get over there and buy some cheaper apples.
Now, I don’t remember exactly what kind of apples I bought (shame on me) but you can just ask the clerk which apples might be best for applesauce (gala, granny smith all work though) . Here’s my recipe:
- 6-8 apples
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (more or less to your taste)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- You can do one of two things to get started: Peel the apples, or leave the peels on. (If you leave the peals on, later you will HAVE to put them through a food processor. I don’t recommend it, unless you like the peels and don’t want larger apple chunks. I forgot that detail today and left the peels on for fun.)
- Next, cut the apples into quarters, then trim out the core and seeds.
- Then place the apples in a pot and turn the stove on to medium-low.
- Place the lemon zest and juice in the pot and mix it in.
- Cover the pot and let it sit, come back and stir every 10 minutes or so. You’ll start to notice it turning more and more into applesauce after 20-30 minutes. You can be the judge based on thickness and number of apple-pieces to tell when its done.
- Now, add the cinnamon or, if you’re not a fan, leave it out or use less.
- If you don’t like my sugar free version, feel free to add sugar here too. I don’t think I need it after all the pumpkin cupcakes!
- This step is optional, but if you want to (or if you left the skins on) here you can process the pan. Since I left the skins on mine this time I pulsed mine a few times just to get the skins to bite-sized pieces.
That’s it! I just finished eating (and loving) a warm bowl of applesauce and am looking forward to my next batch already!
In the mean time, I have a lot of books to read. I went to the library today and checked out a bunch of books on food and cooking.
* These probably have a ton of natural sugar from the apples.
October 14th, 2007
Have I got your attention now? My mouth has FULL attention on these cupcakes! These cupcakes are so moist and melt-in-your-mouth! And the frosting, it’s the best frosting I’ve ever made (which I guess isn’t saying that much) but it’s up there on the best I’ve tasted list.
The pumpkin and spices in the cupcake blend so well with the ginger-infused whipped cream. You probably wouldn’t believe that this whipped cream frosting is good, and to be honest, by itself it’s pretty bad. My wife’s face did a 360 when she licked the spoon. I told her, “You have to try it WITH the cupcakes!” Here’s how it should be done:
A year ago I read an article in the Oregonian about flavor-infused whipped cream. I just tucked it away in my memory banks for a rainy day. Today was that day. I whipped out the recipe and got to work. The article/recipe lists a bunch of different flavors you can use, which makes this fun! I decided that the ginger would go really well with the pumpkin and other spices.
I boiled the cream and added the flavorings. I cut up a few thin slices of ginger and also threw in two cinnamon sticks for good measure. Next I let it steep for 45 minutes. Then, because I didn’t have enough time, I put the cream on an ice bath and put it in the refrigerator while I worked on the cupcakes. This REALLY cut down the cooling time called for in the recipe so if you’re in a hurry, it’ll do!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 & 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk (I used whipping cream + skim to make whole)
- 1 – 15 oz can pumpkin (I used Stahlbush Island Farm “Farmer’s Market” brand Organic Pumpkin)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger together and mix in a bowl
- Beat the butter until “fluffy”
- Add the sugar and mix
- Add half of the dry mixture, then half the milk, repeat while mixing
- Mix in the pumpkin, stirring the sides with a spatula (if you are using an electric mixer).
Now fill about 24 cupcake tins (lined — and I did 12 at a time twice) half-way and bake for about 15 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
Back to the frosting…
Now take the completely cooled flavor-infused whipping cream out of the fridge and place it in a clean mixer. Add about 4 oz of cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar per cup of whipping cream. Whip the cream until it is fairly thick, so that you can ice the cupcakes with it. Now you’re ready to put it all together.
I had a lot of fun with this part. I handed my wife the camera and got to icing. I had to hand-make a piping/icing bag, for the first time ever. I made it way too short and got icing all over my hands, it was really fun though!
Take a cupcake, fill an icing bag and have fun. That’s my advice. I even made a little R + K in the cupcakes for my wife (I gotta keep her happy)!
I hope you enjoy it!
October 13th, 2007
Since I started thinking about writing my blog I have been reading more and more food blogs. I noticed a strange trend, cupcakes are everywhere! These aren’t your regular supermarket dry, sugar-high cupcakes either. Okay, so maybe I’m a little behind on the times. Cupcake blogs are everywhere: here, here and here. I visited a friend in San Francisco last spring and she mentioned a bakery around the corner from her that sold nothing but cupcakes. I had never heard of such a thing. “How cool!” I thought.
All the varieties, decorations, and flavors are enough to make a food-loving, sugar-craving guy like me go crazy! Well, I am not here to start another cupcake blog, but boy have they made me hungry for cupcakes. I’ve been doing my research over the past few days (hence no recent blog entries) but I wanted to write today to ask for more ideas and to let you know I’m going to try a pumpkin cupcake recipe soon (with a secret and special topping)! I hope it turns out good and that you’ll enjoy reading about it.
October 10th, 2007
It’s another 350 degree day here in the Prickett house. I’m talking about the oven of course. I found a pumpkin biscotti recipe a while ago on another food blog and thought it sounded DELICIOUS. My wife works at a local farm that produces a lot of produce, including organic pumpkin puree (the kind I needed for this recipe!). It just so happens that she brought home some sample cans a week ago that I have been itching to use.
So today we both got the craving for the biscotti. I’d like to follow Garret’s advice of getting some chai, but it was really too late for us to go out tonight so maybe tomorrow we’ll have to make some!
They are just finishing up in the oven now, but I have all the photos I’m going to get for this one, so I’ll post them below. I pretty much followed the recipe verbatim except, as usual, I didn’t put the salt in. I’m on a use-less-salt kick and don’t put it in my baking much. These things smell SOOO good and I can’t wait to get them in my belly!!