Monday, January 5, 2015

My New Go-To Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Okay, okay, I know, I know. Thanksgiving was a WHILE ago. But I desperately need to share this pumpkin pie recipe anyway. It's the best one I've ever yum. This made enough filling for a 9-inch pie, with a bit extra that I baked alongside it in a ramekin (to test taste just in case!). I served it with vanilla ice cream, but any whipped cream would work well, and it tastes delicious on its own!

I had to bake this a lot longer than what's suggested, but could have baked it a little less. Make sure you mix it COMPLETELY! I put this in Dorie Greenspan's Good-For-Almost-Anything Pie Dough (you can find the recipe here), which was a little flakier than expected but I just pressed it into the pan and it worked amazingly well. Definitely making this again next year!

Pumpkin Pie
Recipe from Linzers in London

1 1/2 cups pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
2 cups whole milk
2-3 tablespoons brandy

Mix all ingredients except eggs, milk and brandy, then add lightly beaten eggs and milk.

Gently swirl in brandy, then pour into prepared 10 inch pie shell.
Bake at 425 (218 c) for 20 minutes, then turn down to 350 (176 c) for another 25 minutes or until custard is set.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

HAPPY NEW YEAR! New year, posts...FIIINALLYYY. I have some recipes I've been meaning to post forever. Things have been pretty hectic these past few months. I got a new job, and now have a lot less time at home since my commute is a little longer. Nonetheless, I am still cooking as often as I can!

I made this dish forever ago--it was SO good! I served it alongside some dry-cooked string beans and some rice pilaf. This was probably the best salmon I've ever had. My friend actually caught it on some fishing trip or class she did (thanks Tai!). She also gave us the fish head, which Adam STILL has to make into stock...(yeah, he's in charge of SOME parts of cooking).

This was an easy and foolproof recipe. Try it now!

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon
Recipe from How Sweet Eats

1 1/2 pounds raw salmon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced

sesame ginger honey glaze
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the broiler in your oven. (Or preheat your grill, etc if you prefer to use something else.)

Remove salmon with kitchen tongs and place directly on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon's thickness (our's was just about an inch thick), until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.

Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, green onions and the glaze below.

sesame ginger honey glaze
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Spicy Lentil Samosas

A few weeks ago I decided I really wanted to try making Indian food. I love Indian food! I didn't know where to look for the best recipes, but found this recipe on the way. It was definitely time-consuming, but I love that these are baked instead of fried! They were really easy (just, like I said, VERY time consuming) and made a TON (we had that plateful, above, as well as a bunch more I froze to bake up sometime in the future).

These were pretty good, although not very spicy. I definitely have to play around with the insides recipe to get it perfect, but it's a great starter-recipe! I served this with long-grain rice and some easy chicken curry (I tried to find a legitimate "easy" recipe, which definitely decreased the quality, but at least the samosas were yummy). Great to make ahead!

Spicy Lentil Samosas
Recipe from Eat Healthy Eat Happy

1 c lentils
3 c water
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small or 1 large carrot, diced
a 2' cube fresh ginger, chopped fine
5-7 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green chile (optional), seeded and diced
2 Tbs olive oil
1-2 tsp curry powder
1-2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika (ideally smoked)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
12 egg roll wrappers
nonstick cooking spray

Heat the oven to 375. Rinse the lentils well, then combine with water in a medium pan. Put a lid on tilted so steam can escape, and simmer on medium heat about 20-25 minutes. While the lentils cook, get the veggies, ginger and garlic ready.

In a large pan, combine the oil and chopped onion over medium heat. Cook until the onions start to get tender, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrot and spices and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat if things start to stick. Add the pepper, ginger and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes. Add some water if it starts to look dry.

When the lentils are done, stir them in. Cook everything together for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water if needed.

Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick. Prepare samosas as shown and arrange on the sheets. Bake 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake another 10 minutes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I love lemon poppyseed muffins. When I was growing up, my mom had 3 standard muffin recipes: banana mini-muffins, lemon poppyseed normal-sized muffins, and blueberry jumbo-muffins. I love them all, and eating those kinds of muffins is always very nostalgic for me.

This isn't the recipe my mom makes, but I thought I'd try it out. It's a very soft muffin--almost like cake, but a little less sweet. Next time I might try sprinkling the top with sugar (as the original recipe suggests), but the overall crunch and lemony-ness was pretty good.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Recipe by Dine & Dish

1/2 cup sweet creamy butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 lemons, zest of, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each.

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla. Beat just until smooth.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

The last few recipes have been breakfast recipes, and it can't hurt to add more. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day...well, if I have time to cook. Generally I eat something quick during the week, but I love going out for breakfast or having time to cook or bake something delicious at home!

This recipe was pretty good! I used spicy sausage and that had a perfect amount of flavor. I'd recommend adding more salt to the gravy but other than that this was a yummy, hearty breakfast! Just try not to look at the gravy before reheating it if you can't eat it all in one day.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Recipe from Taste and Tell

2 C flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 C buttermilk
Additional flour
2 Tbsp melted butter

Sausage Gravy:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 16 oz. tube of pork sausage
Additional fat if needed: bacon grease or butter
4 Tbsp flour
3 C milk
A little bit of dried herbs (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 500F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until you have coarse crumbs. Fold in the buttermilk. Stir just until blended - the mixture will still be lumpy.

Line a small plate or bowl with flour. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or an ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough and put on the plate of flour. Roll the dough in the flour to coat. (Note - the "dough" will be very sticky and wet - not like a typical biscuit dough. It is best to use a scoop so that the mixture won't stick to your hands.) Place the dough balls in the prepared pan - 9 balls around the outside and 3 balls in the center. Brush the tops of the balls with the melted butter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 450 and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

To make the sausage gravy:
Heat the 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a heavy duty skillet or cast iron skillet . Add the sausage and cook until cooked through, breaking up the sausage as it cooks.

Remove the sausage and drain, reserving the fat. Return 3 to 4 tablespoons of the fat to the pan. (If you don't have enough grease, add more bacon grease or butter to make up for the difference.) Add the flour and whisk, allowing the flour to brown and form a dark roux. Keep whisking and pour in the milk. Whisk out the lumps. Return the sausage to the skillet and add in any herbs you'd like. Simmer the gravy until it thickens.

Serve the gravy over split biscuits.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Donuts

I just went on vacation to Hawaii earlier this month. I miss vacation already. About a month before that, I went to Boston with Adam, and got to eat delicious Dunkin Donuts. When will it come to San Francisco! So dying for the delicious vanilla-frosted nommy-ness...the iced coffee was super good, too. So strange.

I decided to bake up some donuts on my new donut pans to enjoy with my Dunkin Donuts coffee mug (I love buying mugs that remind me of places I've been that I loved!) shortly after my trip. I got the recipe from my mom, who made these the last time I visited home.

Baked Cinnamon Donuts
Recipe by Ina Garten

Baking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well.

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.

For the topping, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch saute pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes

Hey! Remember me?

Here's my go-to pancake recipe. You don't need to make it with blueberries. I've used both fresh and frozen blueberries, and you could also go plain, go chocolate, whatever you like! I've made it with fruit and whipped cream on top, with syrup, powdered sugar...whatever! The picture you see above (nicely decorated with my foot and a greasy bacon tray) is from Adam's birthday last month. I'm still cooking and taking pictures of food, so hopefully I'll share some of the recipes I've been trying out soon!

This is definitely our favorite fluffy pancake recipe. If you're looking for a delicious standard to always keep in your back pocket, try this out!

Buttermilk Pancakes
Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

2 cups Gold Medal Flour All-Purpose Flour (or White Whole Wheat)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups low-fat buttermilk, plus extra if needed
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 container (6 oz) Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and yogurt until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Sprinkle tops with a few blueberries. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter. Makes 14-16 pancakes.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rosemary Lemon Chicken & Asparagus

Here's a great complete meal idea. Relatively complete--the greens and protein go along perfectly together (the asparagus were perfect!) and I served it as the main course following a crab leek risotto (the grains), so if you were to serve this with a wild rice or some bread then that would be more complete together (if you weren't serving the appetizer). This was a pretty straight-forward recipe.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken & Asparagus
Recipe from ShopCookMake

2 Chicken Breasts, in bone, without skin
14 Asparagus Spears
1 Lemon, cut into 5 rinds
2, four inch Rosemary Sprigs
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt and Pepper

In a small pan, melt the butter in the oil with the rosemary and lemon. Over low heat, cook the seasoned chicken breasts for about 50 minutes (until done), covered. Turn a few times, to cook well in both sides. You may need to add a few pours of stock, only if necessary, to create a bit of a sauce for the chicken to cook in.

After the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan onto a plate ad cover with foil. Let it rest.

Cook the asparagus in the leftover sauce.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Crab and Leek Risotto

This recipe made a ton of risotto! It was pretty good--I'd never made risotto before but overall it was relatively easy to do. I bought a can of crab claws to make this recipe, which was pricey but a cheaper option as opposed to getting fresh crab, but it's probably better fresh.

I served this as an appetizer for a rosemary lemon chicken and asparagus main course. It's best the first day, and was pretty fun to make.

Crab and Leek Risotto
Recipe from Alyssa and Carla

5 cups chicken stock
½ cup white wine
1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)
1.5 cups of risotto rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 oz fresh crab meat
Parmesan cheese and parmesan rinds (optional)
Lemon zest from about ½ lemon
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the stock and wine in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, a sprinkle of salt and a few cracks of fresh pepper to the pan. Sauté until the leeks begin to get tender but before they start to brown. Add the rice and sauté the grains become translucent.

Using a ladle, add one scoop of the stock mixture at a time to the rice. Stir thoroughly until the stock is absorbed. Repeat until the rice is cooked through but don’t let it get mushy. This will take about 20-30 minutes. If you have parmesan rinds, add them to the rice after about 10 minutes of cooking.

Remove from the heat.

Reserve a few larger pieces of crab meat to garnish the plates. Add the crab meat, half of the lemon zest, half of the parsley and the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan. Stir gently to incorporate. Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish the dishes with the remaining lemon zest and parsley and the reserved crab meat.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Roasted Broccoli Alfredo

This was a great easy dish that was pretty yummy. Because I've been kind of...not really participating in eating what I cook for my boyfriend (still trying to eat somewhat healthier or cleaner), I've been trying to cook a lot of simple dishes (not because I can't eat it! Just because I occasionally have to prepare two dishes, his and my even simpler one...haha). I grabbed a jar of Trader Joe's alfredo sauce and wanted to try it out, so decided on this straightforward recipe that called for a lot of ingredients that I already had. I just used chicken apple sausages from Costco.
Roasted Broccoli Alfredo
Recipe from Simple Green Moms

1 lb. fresh or frozen broccoli florets sliced in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package tortellini pasta (or other pasta of your choice)
4 to 6 links chicken Andouille sausage (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup Alfredo sauce (I used Trader Joe's)
Parmesan cheese (for serving)

To roast the broccoli – Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the broccoli with 2T olive oil, salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then spread the broccoli evenly on the sheet. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are crispy on the outside and soft of the inside. Carefully remove from the oven and set aside.

To cook the sausage - Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet on medium-high. Slice the sausage then cook, turning occasionally, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another minute or so until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

To cook the pasta – Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water then toss together in a large saucepan with the Alfredo sauce, sausage, and broccoli.

You can add a little extra milk to make it creamier, if desired. We think it is best served warm, and sprinkled with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese!