Saturday, June 30, 2012

Buttermilk and Berries

Baking blogs are just so inspiring.  I'm never sure how they manage to make their cakes so fluffy and light, their cookies so thick and gooey, or their piecrusts so perfectly browned.  Yes, I can make all of these things, but not with the same artistic flair as the likes of Desserts for Breakfast or Smitten Kitchen can.

While perusing the artful photography and recipes of the latter, I came across a delicious-looking buttermilk cake.  Just the thing to make for the tea party I was planning.  Light, lemony, sweet, and almost puddingy in the center, it was just delectable.  The sweetness of the fruit (almost 2 cups of fresh fruit in the whole thing!!) was fresh and crisp, and the lemon helped ensure the cake itself was never cloying.

I halved the recipe and baked about 50 minutes in a loaf pan (with a little tinfoil hat to prevent over-browning).  Just a note about all the butter you see greasing the pan: comments on the recipe said that even nonstick pans, like mine, didn't work well and their cakes fell apart.  I was taking NO chances.

The loaf made 12 servings, and, not to brag, but every single one was delicious.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grapefruit Remixed

I love reading the blog "No Big Dill."  Aesthetically, it's lovely, and full of inspiring sewing.  Maybe someday I'll practice up and get that good, but for now I'm sticking with the food.  When I saw this in her recipe page, I thought I'd make my own broiled grapefruits.

I mixed some melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together to make a paste.  I smeared it over the top of two grapefruit halves.  I broiled/baked until the whole thing was melty and warm.  Mmmmmmmmm.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meatless Meatballs

I'm not vegetarian anymore, but I still LOVE my veggies.  I just feel at my best when I eat less meat, especially red meat, and I save money too.  A win-win, as far as I'm concerned.  After seeing these yummy (and easy) looking eggplant meatballs on "A Cozy Kitchen" (what a great name, right?) I had to act!  I really like eggplant, I could honestly have eaten the whole bowl of roasted slices right out of the oven!  My patience was rewarded, though, and the resulting "meat"balls were super-delicious.  I adapted the recipe a little and made half of it.  I ended up with ten smallish veggie-balls.

Get the recipe after the jump.

Banana Breakfast Squares

I like shaking up breakfast.  Cereal and milk one day, veggie eggs (scrambled eggs + frozen mixed veggies) the next.  Pancakes are, of course, a constant star.

With an overripe banana and some almost-overripe peaches hanging out in my room, I decided to act.  It wasn't enough for quick bread, and I wanted something a little healthier anyway.  After a little peeking, I found this recipe from Gingerbread and Bagels on Pinterest.  Healthy, yummy, and something to use up all the fruit :)

I replaced the milk with 1/2 cup pureed cooked peaches and left the sugar out.  I ate the results plain, but they would also be good with jam or fresh fruit.

*EDIT* the blogger seems to have disappeared, so here's the recipe.

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I used peach puree, but you could use any sweet fruit puree)
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten 
1 large mashed banana 
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix together and pour into a lightly-buttered 8x8-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pancake Days: Lemony Bananas Foster

My sourdough starter is nice and strong again and ready to make tonight's dinner.  As for syrup, I didn't have any maple, so I made Bananas Foster.  A tiny bit of brown sugar, some lemon juice, some cinnamon, and two very ripe bananas later this resulted:

Yes folks, the pancake plate is back again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Peach Pie Brioche

Thought I'd go back to yeast-bread baking while I wait for my Sourdough starter to bulk up again.  After seeing this beautiful (and processed-sugar-free) brioche, I figured I'd do my own twist, haha.

So I made peach pie bread.

Instead of cinnamon-sugar for the filling, I used half a jar of peach-applesauce and sprinkled cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins over it.  I also replaced half the butter with more of the fruit puree.

Swedish Eats

Fun fact, all of Sweden (well the indoor bits, anyway) smell like cinnamon sugar.  I kid you not, it is DA BOMB.

They also have delicious pastries (the source of this delicious smell):

They sell marmalade in tubes, like sausages:

They have Skippy-brand peanut butter in regular stores:

And Nutella-banana sandwiches are just as good here as they are everywhere:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pancake Days: Coconut Almond

My sourdough starter spend the last couple weeks chilling (hah) in the refrigerator sans food.  This is totally ok, it just needs a little extra TLC and strengthening time when it comes back out, before it can be used again.  While I wait for next weekend, I decided to try ANOTHER new pancake recipe.  Dear me, branching out!

Today I made coconut almond pancakes with coconut milk and toasted almond and coconut shavings. I topped them (and filled them) with butter, cherries, and blackberries.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baby Cakes

I have a love affair with this blog.  It's partially the name -how can you NOT like something called "Desserts for Breakfast?"  After scrolling through page after page of drool-worthy photos, I had bookmarked about ten different recipes that I just HAD to make.  HAD TO.  Given my time, monetary, and kitchen restraints, I settled on a simpler-looking one.  These adorable little sandwich cookies really got me.

Om nom.

My beloved neighbor is moving out.  My cookie muse, so to speak, with his inspiring love of all baked sweets.  Mostly cookies.  I call him cookie monster, sometimes.  I baked these for his going-away-bbq and because he squealed when he saw the recipe.  I'm going to miss that one.

He provided the jam, black cherry.  I dipped most of them into a plain dark chocolate ganache, but did one or two in CHILI-chocolate ganache.  Oh my.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Peachy Keen

I love a good peach.  Their juicy sweetness, textural perfection, and versatility make it a fruit I'm proud to call my favorite.  (Like blueberries, strawberries, oranges...  Playing favorites is tough!).  They're just beginning to show up at the groceries at ludicrous prices, so I bought just two.  After eating the first one a little too soon, I waited a nice long time with number two.  My patience was rewarded today with this delicious lunch:

Peaches sliced on Wasa crackers topped with peanut butter, ground almonds, and shaved coconut. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soup for Summer

The weather here has been anything but summery, of late.  Rainy, dreary, and chilly, it has called for soup.  I picked up a little Jamie Oliver magazine at the Bremen airport, after realizing just how long the wait would be.  P got a dictionary and we learned words to help us get out of trouble, like "to deny everything."  Leugnen, if you're curious.

The ham-mint soup sounded really appealing, and I figured it would be a good way to assimilate, given that Germans like their Schweinefleisch (pork). 

I ended up making it without the mint, and added a little pasta tonight since I didn't want to brave the cold to buy fresh bread.  You don't buy bread for the week here, you purchase it by the day.

American Style

Thanks to our local Asian grocery, S. and I were recently equipped with a bag of (expensive) organic light brown sugar.  It was nestled in between blocks of palm sugar and other curious exotic sweeteners.  We decided to stick with what we knew, because...