Archive for the ‘ Food ’ Category

Pumpkin Creme Cheese Muffins.

These muffins are awesome amazing the most delicious things ever. So good.  So so so good.  They’ll probably change your life.  Ok, maybe not, but they’ll totally make your day better.  Make them. Now.  You won’t regret it. 

 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield:24 muffins
Ingredients:
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions:
To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)

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meeting the flay.

Today, I met the flay.  the Bobby Flay.  Master Chef extraordinaire.  I met him. 

Oh my goodness, so exciting.  And no, I didn’t tell him that moments before, I had totally messed up at my attempt at making dinner rolls. twice. 

Anyways, he was at the Annapolis Mall doing a book signing for his new cookbook, Bar Americain (there are some delicious recipes in there) .  So I lined up with what seemed like a billion people to say hi!  (Technically I said both “Hi”and “Thank you.”  lol.  I’m so chatty!) 

After 2 hours and 20 minutes of waiting with my poor hubby (whose knees were in so much pain).  We finally got into the store. 

At least then I could distract myself with all the pretty tools and delicious smells. 

(me totally geeking out)

Finally he signed our copy.  I was so excited! 🙂

So there you have it.  Me + Bobby Flay = best friends.  And by best friends, I mean I met him for 2 seconds, and watch his shows.  lol.  But I still had a blast! 🙂

Triple double

Sometimes we get down at work. Under appreciated. Over worked. Dealing with incompetence. Sometimes it can all just be a little too much.

So on those days we take time for a delicious break. Coffee. Coffee ice cream. Bacon peanut butter cookies. Mega cookies. And triple double Oreos.

I hope that you find time for a tasty escape from work today too. Here’s to sweets, friendship and a little bit of fun in your workday.

 

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Baking: White Bread

I felt like it was time to try something new.  And challenging. And not chocolate.  Because, well, I would eat it all and not share.

So I made white bread.  Like without a mix.  Or a bread maker.

Are you impressed?  Because I am.  I’m totally proud of myself.

I won’t lie to you.  This recipe is not hard, but it is time consuming.  Really time consuming.  An exhausting.  But delicious. and totally worth it.  Do my thoughts seem disjointed today?  Maybe because I was up til 11:00 making bread.  And my daughter is teething.  My. brain. is. too. tired. today. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk (I used buttermilk and it worked great too!)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 package rapid rising dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites, divided and slightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (unless you’re my best friend!)

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat until the butter melts.  (Or in my case forget to turn the stove on, and wonder why it is taking so long to melt. lol. )  Combine the butter mixture with the yeast to proof.  Add sugar and stir gently to dissolve.  Let stand 3 minutes until foam appaears.  Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the flour.

This is where it kinda gets tricky exspecially if you have a hand mixture.  Mine was just getting pulled up into the machine.  But I kept at it, and eventually it got mixed well.  So be patient. 

When the dough starts to come together increase the speed to medium and add the salt and 1 egg white.  Mix until no longer sticky.   

 Then you get to turn the dough onto the work surface and knead for a minute or so by hand.  Gets the frustration out from fighting with a hand mixer.  lol.  Then form the dough into a ball, place in a oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place, until double in size. 

While you’re waiting, it’s best to have some entertainment.  Especially Marcys. And plastic storage containers.  As hats.  Perfect distraction.

Once the dough is doubled, turn it out onto the counter.  Gently pat the dough into a rectangle and place in a greased 9×5 loaf pan.   Make sure dough touches all sides of pans.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise a second time for 20 minutes or until dough is nearly level with top of the loaf pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a large pan on the bottom rack of the oven.  Bring 3 cups of water to a boil on the stove, then pour the hot water into the preheated pan to create a steam bath for the bread. (to make a crisp crust).

Slash dough down the middle of the loaf wiht a sharp knife to allow steam to escape while cooking.    Brush the top with remaining beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes until crust is golden.  Internal temperature should read 195 degerees.  Immediately remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack. 

Voila.  Bread. 

Voila.  Delicious buttery goodness.  Sandwich.  🙂

Wordless Wednesdays : Homemade vanilla Ice Cream

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Baking: Boston Creme Cupcakes – Attempt 1

I stole this recipe from a magazine in a doctor’s office once.  I mean, it was so enticing.  I discovered boston creme cake in college and became enamored with it.  Even the crappy cafeteria style kind.  Still delicious.

Either way, I finally got to attempting these.  I say attempt because I don’t want you to assume it was successful, because it was not.  Sad but true.

So, I was so excited about these, and while they look pretty darn cute on the photo, they were not the right texture.  The cupcake was too crumbly.  The chocolate glaze – too gritty & sugary.  And the filling, well, you can’t really mess it up because it was instant pudding. 

Despite this flop, I still haven’t given up.  I might start by using a box cupcake next time and reducing the amount of sugar in the icing.   I still have hope.  But for now, I’m going to focus on some other recipes, which will hopefully be more successful.

Cooking: Baked Ziti

While cleaning this weekend I found I had been hoarding recipes.  You know those ones you pull out of magazines and say, “I’m definitely going to make that this week.”  but then you don’t have all the ingredients, the time, or the energy to make it?  Well, I decided to tackle the mound of recipes I’d like to try. 

Yesterday I started with a simple baked ziti.  I mean, how can you go wrong with cheese, noodles, and basil?  Answer: you can’t!

So I made this delicious rendition of a classic and baked them in my new (and free) ramekins from Pier 1 Imports.  It’s scrumptious and the flavors are so fresh!  Happy Cooking! 🙂