- 4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast, and the salt. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is warm and the butter is melted.
- With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/ yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and one more cup of the flour and mix for 2 more minutes.
- Switch to your dough hook and stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Knead with the dough hook for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, soft, sexy and elastic, adding extra flour as needed.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and then a tea towel. Place in a warm, draft free place until risen and doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Prepare your fillings.
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Once the dough has doubled in bulk, make the meringue. Using a very clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and the salt on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to high until the egg whites and foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla and then start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 20x10 inches. Spread half the meringue over the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch of room on each side. Then sprinkle with 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar mixture, 1/2 of the nuts and 1/2 of the chocolate.
- Roll the dough up jelly-roll style, starting on the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Bring the ends of the log around and seal together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, slash the dough evenly about 1 inch apart.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Take 1 egg and beat well. Brush the loaves with the egg wash just prior to placing in the oven.
- Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from oven to cooling racks until well cooled. Just before serving dust the tops lightly with cocoa powder or icing sugar (or both) to give them a pretty look. These are best if eaten fresh, the first day or two is ideal.
- 3 inches of fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp tamari (aged soy sauce)
- zest and juice of 2 limes
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp grill seasoning (i.e. montreal steak spice)
- 2 lbs flank steak
- 2 1/2- 3 lbs idaho potatoes (4 large potatoes), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 to 2 tbsp wasabi paste (how hot do ya like it?!)
- 3/4 lb green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 4 scallions, trimmed of root ends
- a handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat a grill pan or indoor/ outdoor grill to high.
- Combine the ginger, 1/4 cup of the tamari, lime juice, 3 tbsp of the oil, and grill seasoning in a shallow dish. Add the meat to the marinate, turn to coat evenly, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- While the flank steak marinates, place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a oil, salt the potatoes, and cook until tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Use a potatoe masher to mash the potatoes with the cream and wasabi to your preferred consistency and heat level. Adust the salt to taste.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry. Grill meat for 6-7 minutes on each side, for medium-rare to medium. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice on an angle against the grain.
- While potatoes and meat cook, cut the green beans into 2-inch pieces on an angle, and place in a skillet. Add an inch or two of water, salt it, and bring to a boil. Cook the beans for 5 minutes, then drain. Return the skillet to the burner and ad the remaining vegetable oil. Heat the pan over high heat until the oil smokes. Add the beans and bell peppers and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the remaining tamari and sesame oil, toss, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Finely chop the scallions together with cilantro and lime zest.
- Serve the meat over a mound of smashed potatoes and garnish with a generous sprinkling of chopped scallion-cilantro-lime zest. Serve the sesame-soy green beans and peppers alongside.
Hope you have all had a great weekend and managed to find some time to relax! I ran an 8km race this morning with some of my co-workers. It was a beautiful day and I had a great time running with some awesome people. What did you do this weekend? Whatever you did, hope it was great. :)
Happy Cooking my Friends!
These mushrooms are great because you can make them ahead and then just pop them into the oven right before you need to serve them. They're surprisingly easy and quick to prepare!
Italian Stuffed Mushrooms with Pancetta
Recipe from the Best of Fine Cooking Magazine, Party Food and Cocktails 2010
- 35-40 cremini mushrooms (about 1 1/2 lb), about 1 1/2-2 inches wide
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, more for the baking dish
- 1 1/2 oz pancetta, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)\5 medium shallots, finely diced
- 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs (preferably from a day-old rustic french or italian loaf)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-regiano
- 2 to 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425F. Trim and discard the very bottom of the mushroom stems. Remove the mushroom stems and finely chop them, along with 5 of the largest mushroom caps.
- Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute and add 2 tbsp of the butter. When it has melted, add the pancetta and cook until it starts to render some of its fat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallots, sage and red pepper flakes, cook gently until the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes (reduce the heat if shallots begin to brown). Stir in the chopped mushroom stems and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tbsp butter. When it has melted, transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs and parmigiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool slightly.
- Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the mushrooms in one layer. Arrange the mushrooms in the dish and season the cavities with salt. Stuff each cavity with a rounded 1 tsp of the filling, or more as needed. The filling should form a tall mound. You may have leftover filling; if you have extra mushrooms, keep stuffing until you run out of filling.
- Drizzle the mushrooms with the olive oil. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve warm.
In light of the seriousness and stressfulness of the week, I thought sharing a simple and light salad with you would be fitting. As many of you are likely consumed with worry and sadness, this salad is quick to whip up, and will provide you with much needed nourishment to keep you strong and on top of things. This salad is delicious and definitely has a spring feel to it.
- 8 cups arugula or other mixed baby greens
- 1 ripe (but not too soft) avocado, sliced
- 1 pint of fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup feta
- juice of 1 lime
- good quality extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Wash and dry lettuce and place in a pretty bowl. Fan out the sliced avocado artfully on top of the greens and sprinkle with the blackberries and crumble the feta on top. Juice the lime over the salad, sprinkling evenly with the lime juice. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I told you it was easy! And it tastes amazing - the fresh flavours really come out and the lime juice keeps the avocado from turning brown. You will love this salad and hopefully it's simplicity brings a little joy to your life in such a sad and trying time.
To all of you affected by this horrible tradgedy, my thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find your loved ones and feel a sense of peace in such a tough time.
Happy Cooking my Friends! Hugs to you all.
The cookies weren't nearly as much work as I thought they would be which is always a plus. And if you put the filling into a piping bag and pipe the filling onto the cookies, filling them is a breeze - speedy with minimal cleanup. If you make them, put about double the filling you see piped on them in the picture below, and make them the night before that way the cookies can soak up some of the filling making them extra moist and delicious.
- 9 oz (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 oz (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Lemon Cream Ingredients:
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 6 oz (1 1/2 cups) confectioners sugar
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses, egg and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Put about 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll about a tsp of dough into 1-inch ball. Roll each ball in sugar and arrange about 2 inches apare on the lined baking sheets. Use the bottom of a gladd to flatten the cookies slightly. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies feel dry to the touch and are beginning to firm up (they'll still feel soft inside), 12-14 minutes. Cool completely on racks.
- Make the lemon cream: with a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and lemon zest in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly add the confectioners sugar and continue to mix until smooth.
- Assemble the cookies: pipe filling liberally onto the center of a cookie, top with another cookie, then gently press them. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to two days.
If you want to serve them up pretty, you can put them on a plate with some candied ginger. It adds a nice touch!
I hope you're having an exciting weekend! Filled with friends, family and fun times. I am heading out of town again for work (leaving tomorrow), out to the middle of no where... so blogging may be somewhat intermittent, so please bear with me. :) Hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to try out these little bits of heaven!
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
- cooking spray
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tbsp molasses
Carmelized Mango Buttercream Ingredients:
- 2 cups, plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened, but still cool, cut into small pieces
- 2 ripe mangos, coarsely chopped
- 6 large egg yolks
- cooking spray
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger, for garnish
- To make the cupcakes, combine the granulated sugar, fresh ginger, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 30 minutes. Then strain the ginger syrup before using.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and spray the liners with cooking spray.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a medium bowl.
- Whisk the melted butter, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and molasses together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
- Fill each paper liner with 1/3 cup of the batter, to come about 1/4 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the tops liberally with the ginger syrup. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before removing. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- To make frosting, heat the 2 tbsp butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the mangos and cook until carmelized and soft (watch them carefully - they will burn easily at this high temperature), about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Pass the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed until creamy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
- Spray a heatproof measuring cup with cooking spray. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238F- 242F on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour into measuring cup to halt the cooking.
- Add a small amount of the syrup to the beaten egg yolks, turn the mixer on to high speed, and beat for about 5 seconds. Continue stopping the mixer, adding syrup and beating in the same manner until all the syrup is incorporated. Beat the mixture until it is completely cool.
- Add the remaining 2 cups butter, a few pieces at a time, beating until incorporated before adding the next pieces. When all the butter ha been blended in, add the vanilla and mango puree and beat until combined.
- Frost the top of each cupcake liberally with the buttercream, and garnish with candied ginger.
How is that for a weeknight post folks? Hope you enjoyed and it added some sweetness to your week! Woohoo for tomorrow being Friday! Hang in there!
This recipe makes a lot of chicken stock, but thats no problem. You can freeze chicken stock for a couple months in the freezer. Freeze it in 4 cup portions for ease of use when you thaw it! And if you think you won't use lots of chicken stock, think again! Stock goes in everything and making your own soup can be a delicious adventure. Do try out this recipe, put your own twist on it and remember, this recipe is just a guideline! Be creative and enjoy the process and the amazing smell in your house as this stock simmers away!
Recipe from Anna Olson
- 1 chicken carcus (some meat left on it is okay)
- 2 onions, cut in half, peel intact
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- Put all ingredients in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Slowly bring up to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat (no higher than medium). Once the fat and impurities start rising to the surfact, skim the sop of the stock with a spoon.
- Keep the stock at a bare simmer, uncovered, for 2 1/2 hours from when it first starts to simmer. A vigorous boil would disturb the ingredients and the stock will come out cloudy. Strain the stock while its still hot. Discard the veggies, herbs and chicken bones.
- Now that you have great stock, you can make amazing soups and sauces! Have at er!
So, thats it, pretty simple huh? Hope you get a chance to try this out at some point. You will be able to taste a difference - its that good!
Happy Cooking my Friends!