Sunday, November 27, 2011

How we choose recipes

I was looking through old photos of recipes we did not put on the blog and trust me there are a lot of them. It starts off well but at some point the recipe becomes too complicated or the end result is not..well...delish. I thought I'd write a post on how we decide whether or not to post a recipe.
  1. The end result better be worth it
  2. It shouldn't be too complicated
  3. Ingredients should be easy to come by
  4. Did I mention the end result?
We take pride in the recipes we post and we won't just post anything (and I have the pictures to prove it). If you have any recipes you'd like us to post leave a comment or send me an email. We are always looking for good recipes.

PS I'm thinking about doing a 12-days of Cookies post in December. If you have any Christmas cookie recipes you love, please let me know!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cinnamon & Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I saw this on Pinterest and got the recipe from Mandy's Recipe Box blog** and had to try them out! I'm so glad that I did. The recipe is pretty simple though there is a lot waiting time involved for when the dough is rising/resting. I loved the mouth-watering aroma while the bread baked in the oven. I couldn't wait for the timer to go off. The end result was ooey goey delicious-ness. We didn't even break out plates but ate the bread right off the cutting board. We loved this recipe and hope you do too.

2 3/4 c plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 c sugar

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbls butter
1/3 c whole milk
1/4 c water
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbls. butter, melted until browned

In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Put aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and milk. Once the butter is completely melted take off the burner and add the water and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes or if you have a thermometer and want to be super tricky, wait until the mixture cools to about 125 degrees.

Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter. Keep mixing. Add 3/4 c of flour and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means it's perfect.

Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Cover with wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled its size, knead in 2 Tbls of flour. Cover the dough again for another 5-10 minutes.

While the dough is rising you can start on the filling. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.

Brown the butter in a small saucepan. Should take about 5-8 minutes. Once browned, take off heat and set aside.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Brush the butter on the the dough and add the sugar mixture. Make sure everything is covered.

Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into six equal strips.

Stack the strips onto of each other and cut six equal squares.

Place squares side by side in a bread pan and pre-heat the over to 350 degrees. Cover the dough for another 10-15 minutes to rise.

Bake in the over for 30-35 minutes. The outside of the bread will be a dark golden brown. (Side note: I had to put a small pan on the oven shelf underneath the bread pan because the sugar started to boil over.)

The bread is best served when warm. I enjoyed it with some apple cider- a great combination. If you want more  of a dessert, feel free to whip up some icing to drizzle on top once you take the bread out of the over.


**Note: I just wanted to make sure I gave credit to where credit was due. I was accused of stealing this recipe and I wanted to clear things up because my intentions were definitely not that. As I mentioned above, I found this recipe on Pinterest posted by Mandy's Recipe Box. Just to clear any confusion, by reading Mandy's Recipe Box she mentioned she found this recipe from Joy the Baker. I'm so grateful for the world of blogging & pinterest, where we are able to share ideas and recipes. Sorry to anyone who felt I was stealing recipes. I try my hardest to give credit to where I found the recipe. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings and we can go back to what we love most...eating!! :-) xoxo B**

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lettuce Wraps (Inspired by PF Changs)

You cannot go to PF Changs without ordering their lettuce wraps. It's impossible! They're just way to good. I was on Pinterest the other day and found this recipe and we were very excited to try it out. Thank you CDK Kitchen, where I found the original recipe for this. So I started making these and realized I was not as prepared as I thought and made a few changes to the recipe to match what I found in the pantry. I'm so happy with how the turned out, they're so delicious!!

                                  Butter Lettuce Leaves
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoons red chili flakes
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped (optional)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Rinse leaves keeping them whole and set aside. We bought Butter Lettuce which the packaging said it was still alive. Is it weird to feel bad about killing lettuce? Haha- anyways, loved these leaves and they were so crisp and fresh it really made the dish.
In a large skillet, brown the chicken and add the onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin, ginger, red wine vinegar and chili flakes. Cook until meat is crumbled and brown.
If you are using water chestnuts (we did not use these and the dish turned out great) now is the time to add them. Also, add the green onions and cook until the green onions begin to wilt.
Get that lettuce ready because it's time to eat. We didn't even sit down to eat, we just grabbed a leaf and dished up and ate over the stove haha. Not a lot of patients in our household but when you try these, you'll understand why:-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Snickerdoodle Muffins

The world knows my favorite cookies are snickerdoodles.  I've also tried snickerdoodle ice cream and cupcakes, both of which are delish. I was on Pinterest and saw this recipe for muffins. Of course I had to try them out. The finished product is fantastic. A semi-crispy outer shell of cinnamon sugar and a sweet & fluffy inside. Top it off with a mug of apple cider and breakfast is served. Thank you Eat Me, Delicious for this excellent recipe!

Recipe (slightly modified):
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. & a pinch nutmeg
1 1/4 C. sour cream
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C sugar & 1 TBL cinnamon (put in shallow bowl)

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees and grease a muffin pan with baking Pam.

Cream the butter and sugar until soft. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time and mix well.
In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

Add half of the dry mixture to the egg mixture and mix. Then add the sour cream and mix. Pour in the remainder of the flour mixture and mix well.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out dough and drop in the shallow bowl full of cinnamon-sugar. Roll the dough in sugar until completely covered and drop into the muffin pan.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown

Like I said the end result was so scrumptious. We stood around the kitchen eating these and drinking apple cider for breakfast.