Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chocolate Snack Cake

Quick- you were invited to a dinner party, potluck, ward function, or your having some friends over to your apartment for dinner and you need a dessert!! The typical thoughts run through your head... chocolate chip cookies, fudge-cycles, store-bought cake... the lists goes on. What you really want is something simple, quick to make, yet decadent and delicious. Here is that recipe. It's called a Chocolate Snack cake. It is a very moist chocolate cake but instead of the hassle of making frosting, you have a thin crunchy layer of sugar that melts in your mouth.

We got this recipe from Betty Crocker. Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 C Flour
1 C Sugar
1/4 C baking cocoa
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 C Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp. White Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 C. cup Water
3 Tbl. Sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Add all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir.

Then add all of the wet ingredients and stir. Do not let the batter sit. Pour immediately into an 8X8 sqaure pan.

Once in the pan, layer the batter with 3 Tbls of sugar. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

Use a toothpick to confirm the cake is fully cooked. Take your cake out and let it rest.

This cake is super delicious and the layer of sugar keeps the cake very moist. We've made this for numerous events and it is always a hit. Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Apple Pie Filling

Instead of using the can pie filling this year for Thanksgiving, why don't your try something different that is just as quick? Here is a simple apple pie filling recipe that is very delicious and incredible easy to make. I got it from my Betty Crocker Recipe book:-) I find that people fear making homemade pies... I think it's the fear of the unknown. Once you get the basic concepts down, pies become very easy and very cost effective to make! This is a recipe I created since K does not like nutmeg. If you like nutmeg in your apple pie put about a 1/4 tsp in.

Here's the recipe:

Pie Crust
3/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt
6 Medium Apples (Honey Crisps, Fuji, Pink Lady preferred)
2 Tbl. butter (cut)

Pre-heat over to 425. Peel and cute apples and place in a large bowl. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Place the bowl of apple filling aside and make your pie crust. This allows the sugar to get into the apples helping the apples release its juicy-ness. Feel free to eat some of the apple slices... they taste incredible at this stage.

Once you roll out the bottom crust into the pie pan, place all of the apples into a large mound into the pan. Cut up the butter into small cubes and distribute evenly on top of the mound. It's okay if it's a tall mound because you can roll your top crust over it to keep all the apples in. Put a crust protector or aluminum foil around the edge of the pie.

Place pie into the oven and cook for 35 minutes. Remove the crust protector or aluminum foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the crust becomes a golden brown. (See below)

Your pie is ready and I promise it will taste delicious. Now you will have a nice and juicy apple pie as oppose to the mushy apple stuff you get from the store. Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Banana Cake

Like Mama always said, "When life gives you brown bananas, make banana cake!" Okay, well maybe it was something more on the line of lemons but either way... well you get the jist! Don't you hate it when your bananas ripen a little too fast and you feel like you can't do anything with them so you stick them in the freezer on the chance that you're going to make a smoothie but then you never make that smoothie so you have frozen brown bananas just hanging out in the freezer? (Run on sentence? I think so!) Well we have the solution for you, Banana Cake. BC is different from Banana Bread because it is a lot lighter and fluffier.

Ready for the recipe?

Recipe:

1/2 cup butter
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk

Pre-heat your over to 350 degrees. Start by creaming the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl

Add eggs and vanilla and beat well

Now add your mashed bananas to the mix. Our bananas were already very soft so we just added them whole.
After the bananas are added the mixture will look pretty runny... that's when you add the dry ingredients.

Sift dry ingredients together. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and milk

Grease a 13X9 pan and pour in the batter

Yuummmmy!! Place pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Use the toothpick trick to determine when the cake is done

Once the cake is cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar on top. We love using powdered sugar because it keeps the cake really light without adding to much sweet

This is one of our favorite desserts to make and it is so easy too!! Thanks Betty Crocker for this recipe! Enjoy!!

We're Back!!!


Alright, it's been far too long since we've posted on our blog. We've been cooking up a storm but haven't taken pictures. Well folks, that is going to change!

Stay tuned for Banana Cake...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dynamo Donuts + Coffee

This past Friday we decided to check out Dynamo Donut + Coffee located in the Mission District. We heard about this shop via K's brother C as well as from the Food Network.

We tried two different donuts: Candied Orange Blossom and Apple Bacon Maple Donut. Both of which were amazing!! I know what you're thinking... bacon?! Absolutely! The mixtures of the flavors were amazing. I highly recommend checking this place out!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

French Onion Soup

I was so hungry and I couldn't bear the thought of having cereal for dinner...again. I started searching through the kitchen and I found my carton of Swanson Low Sodium Beef Broth. I immediately think French Onion Soup. I continued searching my kitchen and found all the ingredients I needed to make this dish. Yay!! French Onion Soup is my all-time comfort food. I absolutely LOVE it. Making it is not so difficult either... here's the recipe!

Recipe:
1/2 C butter
1-2 cloves garlic (chopped)
3-4 onions (sliced)
2 bay leaves
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 C red cooking wine
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups beef broth
1 baguette or french bread
Mozarella Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Once the butter is melted, add onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt & pepper to the pot.

Let the onions sweat and become soft and caramelized.

This process can take up to 15-20 minutes. When the onions are done, they will have this soft golden color as shown below.

Add the red cooking wine and bring to a boil. You're going to want all the wine to evaporate and leave your onions dry and a burgandy color. This process can take 5-10 minutes.

When the onions are dry, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add two tablespoons of flour and turn down the heat. Stir. Cook for about 5 minutes to get the flour taste out.

This is what your onions should look like. Deep brownish/burgandy. Your house will smell amazing by this point and your mouth should start salivating. Don't worry, that's how it's suppose to be!

Finally, add the beef broth to the pot. Raise your heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling decrease the heat to low and let simmer. Your soup is now ready.

Turn your oven onto Broil and place slices of bread on a cookie sheet with a slice of cheese on top. Let the cheese melt. Watch this very carefully, your bread will burn if you don't pay attention. True story! Pour your soup in a brown and top with you bread/cheese. Deliciousness in a bowl!! The best part about French Onion Soup is that it is broth based, which means it is low in fat and for those on weight watchers, very low in points.
Enjoy!!

**Inspiration for this recipe by Tyler Florence

Monday, August 24, 2009

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Everyone knows my favorite cookies are snickerdoodle. I LOVE them!! This past spring we visited the Napa Valley and hit up our favorite store Dean & Deluca in St. Helena. At the bakery shop i was introduce to my very first snickerdoodle cupcake topped with edible sparkles and a mini cookie. It was absolutely divine. Since then we decided to find a very delish and super simple recipe for this great cupcake and we believe we found perfection. After sifting through several we found online we landed on one from GroupRecipes.com. We really liked it because it was super easy and fail-proof. We also have one that is a homemade cupcake recipe. If you want the homemade cupcake let us know and we'll post it later!


Recipe:
1 Vanilla Box Cake Mix
3 Eggs
1 C Milk
1/2 C butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheated over at 350 degrees

Start by adding the cake mix to the mixer. Then add the eggs, milk and melted butter and mix.

Next add the vanilla and cinnamon. These are the key ingredients that really make these taste homemade. After adding them, beat the mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.

Pour the batter into 24 prepared baking cups.


Bake for 20-22 min, just until the edges are barely golden and a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. You don't want to over bake them or they will be really dry and dense. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes and then place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Now its on to the real star of the show the Snickerdoodle frosting!

Recipe:
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2-3 tsp milk (start with 2 and add more to get the desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups powdered sugar

Start by beating the cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add the vanilla and milk and mix. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until smooth and creamy.

We like to use our cookie scooper to make sure that each cupcake gets the same amount of frosting.
Here is some finished cupcakes. We also like to add a small snickerdoodle cookie on top as a garnish, but trust me they are just as amazing by themselves! We hope you enjoy these quick, but delicious cupcakes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Open-Faced Caprese on Artisian Bread

Do you like caprese salad? Do you like the crunchiness of brucheta? We'll we have a recipe for you! Welcome guest chef, C, to our kitchen. The first night C was here he whipped this up and it immediately became a household favorite.

So C... take it away...

Recipe:

1 Loaf Artisian Bread
1 Large Tomato (we used heirloom)
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


Cut the bread into thin slices, roughly 1/4 inch thick.
Place on a cookie sheet and broil both sides until slightly browned.

While Broiling slice the tomato and cheese.


Now that the bread is toasted you can add the tomato slices and cheese (don't forget the salt and pepper) and place back in the oven to broil.

Once the cheese is nicely melted take out of the oven and top with the basil and give it a nice drizzle of EVOO.

Here is a shot of the final product. Mmmm this is a tantalizing twist on the traditional caprese, if you want to add more sustenance try adding a slice of your favorite meat. Enjoy!!

Thank you again C for this delicious addition to our blog!!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

As you know by now, B loves anything and everything strawberry, so of course when we saw this recipe on Omnomicon we knew we had to try it out. Needless to say we were not disappointed! It is a little tedious to make because you need to sift the ingredients several times, and measure everything carefully, but its well worth a little bit of patience with the process. The other key to making these is to not over mix the dough, you want the ingredients to just come together. Put these together with the ice cream, whipped cream and some fresh strawberries and you have one irresistible dessert!


Recipe:
1 lb fresh strawberries.
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter
3/4 c light or heavy cream
Preheat over to 450 degrees

Start by sifting the flour onto either a flexible cutting board or a piece of parchment paper.

Using the paper as a funnel pour the flour into the measuring cup, it will be over filled. Take the flat side of a butter knife and level off the measuring cup. Do this for the second cup of flour as well. Add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Then, re-sift the flour mixture.

Cut the butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Use a pasty cutter or two knives to "cut" the butter into the flour mixture. You are done when there are no more chunks of butter and the mixture is crumbly. Now add the cream and mix just until the ingredients are moistened and the dough just comes together.

Set the dough aside to rest while you cut the strawberries. Take the 4 best looking strawberries and cut off the top in a cone shape.

Cut the strawberries in half, and then cut out a "V" shape in the top to make it into a heart.

Spoon the dough into a greased muffin tin to make 8 shortcakes. Place a strawberry on top of each one and gently press it in to the dough. Place them in the over for 12 minutes.

While the shortcakes are baking cut up the rest of the strawberries and mix then with 2 Tbs sugar. Cover and place them in refrigerator.

Take the shortcakes out of the oven and let them cool a few minutes before removing them from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Here is what it looks like once they are cooled, but they aren't quite done yet! We still need to make some whipped cream! :)
Recipe:
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
4 Tbs sugar
1tsp vanilla (we like to use Vanilla bean paste from Williams & Sonoma)

One of the keys to whipping cream is making sure the cream is cold. To make sure it stays cold I like to place the mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before I start. Once the bowl is cold add the cream and begin whipping it.

When it starts to thicken add the sugar and vanilla, and then whip until you reach your desired thickness, but be careful not to over due it or you will end up with vanilla flavored butter. Once it is whipped put it into a container, cover and place in the refrigerator.

Now we just need to bring it all together. In a bowl place the shortcake, a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a heavy dollop of whipped cream. Then just top it all off with some of the sliced strawberries and you have a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

This dessert is sure to win-over the hearts of your family and friends. The biscuit is fluffy and light, the vanilla whipped cream brings the sweetness and of course the strawberries are the star of the dessert. Pair this with your favorite vanilla ice cream and wha-laa... deliciousness!!
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