Category Archives: Recipes

Strawberry-Swirl Bundt Cake

The kids have been upgrading their cooking skills during the social isolation of COVID-19. Every week they produce a number of new recipes, almost invariably delicious. They focus primarily on baked goods—muffins, cupcakes, and full cakes—but they have also delved into savory options (the family potsticker assembly line involves all five of us).

This week, Griffin and Maggie looked through the May issue of Martha Stewart Living and cut out a number of recipes that they wanted to try. Yesterday, they chose this cake because we had all of the ingredients on hand. (We are trying to shop for groceries only once per week, which sometimes constrains our spontaneous cooking options.) We’re so glad they chose this one! It was delicious. Although they just baked it yesterday, there is only a little bit left, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone wolfs it down before I finish writing this post.

The recipe is available online, but I’m including it here in case it vanishes (or lands behind a paywall) at some point in the future.


Ingredients

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), whisked, plus more for pan
2/3 cup egg whites (from 5 to 6 large eggs)
3/4 cup whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 teaspoons plus a pinch of kosher salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ground freeze-dried strawberries (1/2 ounce)
2 drops pink gel-paste food coloring
1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (2 1/2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in center. Brush a 10–to–15-cup Bundt pan with butter; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together egg whites, milk, and vanilla. Beat butter with 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Beat in flour in three additions, alternating with egg-white mixture, and beginning and ending with flour. (You should have about 7 cups batter.) Separate 2 cups batter and stir in freeze-dried strawberries.
  3. Transfer 1/4 cup strawberry batter to a small bowl; stir in pink gel paste until combined. Stir mixture back into remaining strawberry batter a little at a time, until you achieve desired color.
  4. Spoon 2 1/2 cups vanilla batter into bottom of pan. Top with all of strawberry batter, then remaining vanilla. Run a butter knife through batter four times to swirl, then use to fold and swoop in a couple of places to further marble.
  5. Place pan in oven; reduce temperature to 325°F. Bake until top of cake springs back when lightly touched, 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool completely.
  6. Stir together strawberries, remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt; let stand until sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat cream with confectioners’ sugar on high speed to soft peaks. Dust cake with more confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream and macerated berries.

Epic Fail

Ever wonder what happens if the handle of your bowl breaks off while you’re pouring the sour cream topping onto your cheesecake?

Cheesecake after an asteroid strike. Note that this picture was taken after I did as much cosmetic reconstruction as possible.

I’m hopeful that it will taste ok, though the bowl blew clean through to the pan, ripping apart the graham cracker crust, so the slices won’t have the classic profile (either visually or texturally).

By comparison, below is a picture of the above cake’s sibling, sans apocalypse:

Pristine cheesecake

 

Update: The damaged cheesecake was as delicious as the pristine one. There was one bite, maybe, that seemed like it had too much sour cream.

Summer Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

This recipe came with our CSA Newsletter a few weeks ago. Bun bowls are one of our favorite dishes at Vietnamese restaurants, but we had never tried making one ourselves. The recipe was easy and delicious (especially with a squirt of sriracha). You can easily substitute or add other vegetables (ours included some shredded kale).


Salad:

  • 8 ounces thin rice noodles (roughly the width of linguine)
  • 1 ½ cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2–3 medium carrots, shredded or cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large or 2–3 medium cucumbers, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs, preferably a combination of basil, cilantro, and mint
  • 16 ounces cooked tofu, chicken, or shrimp, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts or toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Dressing:

  • ⅓ cup fish sauce
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ to 1 fresh jalapeño, minced
  1. To prepare the dressing, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and the jalapeño. Whisk well. Set aside. (Note: The dressing will store in the refrigerator for 3 days to a week.)
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes (or according to package instructions), until tender but not mushy. Immediately drain the noodles into a colander, and rinse them well with cold water to cool them. Shake the colander to drain away excess water.
  3. When the noodles are well-drained, put them in a large bowl along with the vegetables, herbs and tofu or meat. Spoon dressing over the entire mixture and toss well to combine.
  4. Serve with chopped peanuts or almonds on top.

Recipe adapted from Food52.com.

Molasses Spice Cookies

Sarah had these cookies at a recent ECFE meeting. In Sarah’s words, they were “conversation stopping amazing — the perfect cookie, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and bursting with flavor.”


Perfection!
Perfection!

½ cup granulated sugar (set aside)
13 cup granulated sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
13 cup  packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup light or dark molasses (dark gives a stronger flavor)

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread ½ cup of the sugar into a shallow dish for rolling. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and remaining 13 cup granulated sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the molasses until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds (the dough will be soft).
  4. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough until balls with wet hands, then roll in the sugar to coat. Lay the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating each baking sheet halfway through baking. (The cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.)
  6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 34 cookies.

Originally from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book,p. 162. (Adjusted slightly based on our experience.)

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie(s)

The recipes on this blog make it look like we mostly cook junk food. Here’s the thing: when I want to cook a gourmet meal, I usually have time and have lots of cookbooks to turn to. The recipes I post in here are often focused on when I’m alone with the kids or otherwise need to whip something up quickly. These foods also have gazillions of recipes on the internet, so when I find a good one I like to record it.


This recipe is great for really-big-cookies (round blondies). Intended for one huge cookie on a pizza pan, I divided the recipe in two and baked them in springform pans. Worked great; the cookies were robust enough to bring to school in my backpack without crumbling, and tasty enough that kids and colleagues devoured them. (Forgot to take a picture. Doh!)

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.

Gradually add flour, salt, and baking soda, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread in greased 14 inch round pizza pan or two greased springform pans. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes (a bit less for two pans). Cool cookie in pan on a cooling rack. Decorate as desired.

Originally from Allrecipes.com.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

We were looking for a more robust pancake recipe to have “breakfast-for-dinner” recently and I came across this one. Worked fabulously for dinner, and now it’s my favorite breakfast recipe too. Definitely heartier than standard white flour pancakes, but something about the combo of buttermilk, spices, and brown sugar make these divine. (They’re better than most when reheated too, so we usually have a few in the freezer for emergency breakfasts.)

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancades
Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancades

3/4 cup oats
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk, divided
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Soak oats in 3/4 cup buttermilk 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.

Stir egg, butter, brown sugar, remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, and oat mixture into dry ingredients until just combined.

Heat a griddle over medium heat until hot and lightly brush with oil. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute. Flip with a spatula and cook other side, about 1 minute more. (Lightly oil griddle between batches.)

Originally from Epicurious.

Puffed Apple Pancake

Sarah investigated some breakfast options this morning that would make progress on our basket of aging apples. One of our favorite breakfasts is Pannukakku, so she chose something similar. It was delicious, the kids loved it, and it filled the house with the delectable scent of baking apples and cinnamon.

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter
2 large tart apples, cored and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 eggs
Powdered sugar, to serve

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Saute the apples until they start to get soft, then add the sugar and cinnamon and cook until golden.

Whisk the flour with the salt and nutmeg. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly with a large wire whisk to beat out any lumps. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs one at a time. Beat by hand for 2 minutes, or until foamy. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.

Pour the batter over the apples. Bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden

Serve dusted with powdered sugar. Serves 4-6.

Recipe source.

A bit of powdered sugar completes it.
A bit of powdered sugar completes it.

A slice of yum!
A slice of yum!

 

Pigs in Blankets

Pigs in Blankets
Pigs in Blankets

This is hardly an ambitious recipe, but while on solo-parenting duty this weekend, I remembered how much I loved Pigs in Blankets as a kid. Griffin was excited about the idea, so we decided to do it from scratch. We bought old fashioned wieners from the butcher down the street and eschewed Bisquick. They were delicious, so I thought I would jot down the recipe we used here, for future reference.

Ingredients

1 cup  flour
½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
¼ cup grated cheese (we used sharp cheddar)
½ cup buttermilk
6 hot dogs

Then the usual dough making operation: mix dry ingredients, cut or massage in the cold butter until crumbly, mix in cheese and buttermilk (don’t over-mix). We rolled the dough out lightly on a floured board (again, trying not to overwork the dough) and cut into six similarly sized sheets. Wrap dogs, bake on greased sheet at 400° for ≈12 minutes.

Griffin was quite pleased
Griffin was quite pleased

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

The salsa is fantastic with the pork on a warm summer night—fresh, sweet and spicy. We used jalapeños for the peppers. The article in The Week, where we got this from, talks about how food guidelines have recently changed such that whole pork cuts are considered safe at 145 degrees rather than 160. Much juicier!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • 6 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2½ lbs total
  • 8 oz fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved
  • 1 fresh Fresno, red jalapeño, or Holland chile, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a gas grill to high, or build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Meanwhile, combine ½ cup cilantro, ¼ cup shallots, 4 tbsp lime juice, and ¼ cup vegetable oil in a resealable plastic bag. Add pork, seal bag, and turn to coat. Marinate pork at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine cherries, chile, olive oil, and remaining ½ cup cilantro, ¼ cup shallots, and 2 tbsp lime juice in a medium bowl. Season salsa lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to let flavors meld.

Remove tenderloins from marinade and season generously with salt and pepper.

Brush grill grate with vegetable oil. Place tenderloins on grate and cook, turning frequently, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of pork registers 145 degrees, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices and serve with salsa. Serves 6.

From The Week, July 7, 2013.

Rustic Rhubarb Scone Cake

Definitely not paleo, but for sure rhubarb-a-licious! The first time I baked this, I woke Griffin up and he said, “Are we having rhubarb pie?” and I said, “Yes! How did you know?” and he said, “I heard lots of rhubarby things going on! “

Rustic Rhubarb Scone Cake
Rustic Rhubarb Scone Cake

Dough
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup sugar
1 pinch salt
½ cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk

Filling
1 lb rhubarb, chopped (that’s about 5 stalks)
½ cup sugar

Glaze
1 egg white, lightly whisked with a little water
sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F Butter a 10 inch deep-dish pie dish and set aside.
  2. For the dough sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Work in butter using your finger tips until dough resembles coarse cornmeal.
  4. Gradually add buttermilk folding the wet and dry ingredients together until a soft dough forms (you may have to add a little water).
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly just until the dough comes together (do not overwork it or it will be tough).
  6. Divide dough into two equal portions. Roll out half of the dough into a 12 inch round and place in pie dish.
  7. For the filling combine rhubarb and sugar in a bowl and stir to mix well.
  8. Pour filling into the pie dish.
  9. Roll out the remaining dough into another 12 inch round to from a pastry lid. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with water and put on the lid. Press together to seal.
  10. Brush the glaze evenly over the top crust and then sprinkle lightly and evenly with sugar. Cut 3-4 steam slits into the top of the pie.
  11. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit tender for about 50 minutes.