Cooking for Seven on Oct 8th 2012
Spicy sweet pumpkin cupcakes with freshly ground espresso, whipped cream and caramel sauce. Convinced yet?
As Reuben and I drove home from a birthday party for my little niece (I made these for the occasion), I mentioned that I was going to eat a cupcake when we got home. “My cupcake?!” Reuben protested. I assured him there were two left.
You can check out the step-by-step instructions and recipe over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog.
Hope you’re having a marvelous Monday!
Erica Lea on Sep 17th 2012
Alright, ya’ll are probably just dying to hear my news right now, so I’ll cut to the chase.
We’re expecting! To see more photos and details, visit my personal blog.
Now about this peach cobbler.
Simply mix together some peaches, sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch, whip up a drop biscuit batter, and bake until golden. And you have dessert!
When Reuben saw me editing the photos for this post, he wistfully asked if there was any peach cobbler left, even though it had been gone for over a week. Guess that’s a hint to make it again.
* The original recipe was for a peach blueberry cobbler, which sounds lovely, but I didn’t have any on hand. I’m sure you could easily adapt this recipe for different fruits. Just make sure to adjust the sweetener according to the tartness of the fruit.
* If I would have thought of it, some coarse sugar sprinkled on top of the biscuits would have been lovely.
* I ended up cooking the cobblers much longer than the recipe recommended. Think of that time as a starting point.
- 4 to 5 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, demerara, sucanat, rapadura, or sweetener of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can substitute half whole wheat if desired)
- Pinch of table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Vanilla ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place peaches in a large bowl. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Add to peaches; toss to combine. Set aside.
- Combine egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and cream in a bowl; whisk with a fork. Set aside.
- Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and remaining tablespoon sugar. Make a well in center of dry ingredients, and pour egg mixture into well. Using hands, slowly draw dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and work dough until just mixed together.
- Divide fruit mixture among four 8-ounce ramekins. Gently pat dough into 4 disks just big enough to fit on top of ramekins. After placing, brush dough with remaining melted butter. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake until juices bubble up and crust is golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Serve warm, with cream or ice cream if desired.
Cooking for Seven on Jul 30th 2012
If I were to choose my bane in baking, it would be pie crust. No matter what I do, it seems, my crusts inevitably turn out tough or crumbly, even if I use all white flour.
Grandma K. agrees with me. Pies are evil.
This recipe may of have changed my mind. Slightly. It was the first pie crust that I was sort of proud of. There was no toughness in sight, it was flaky not crumbly and had lovely flavor. I’m still mighty leery of pies, but I just might have the courage make another using this crust recipe.
- The original recipe called for a basil cream sauce, but it sounded a bit strange to me so I left it out.
- Reuben, who does not like overly sweet desserts, thought this was bit tart. Perhaps another time I would increase the sweetness slightly.
- With the leftover dough and strawberries, I made little hand pies.
For The Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 1 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
For The Galette
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Make the dough: (I mixed the dough by hand using a pastry cutter) Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and pulse until just combined (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm with basil cream and fried basil.
Now For the Giveaway Winner!
And the winner of Pioneer Woman’s Cooking Essentials is…
Commenter #77, Nikki Sportsman, who said: “on toast, with jam.”
That’s one of my favorites, too!
Congratulations, Nikki! I will contact you soon.
Thank you to all who entered the giveaway! Have a lovely day.
Cooking for Seven on Jul 18th 2012
Disclosure: The author (that’s me) received a gift package from Land O’Lakes, including two cookbooks, a whisk, a slotted spoon, tongs and a full-value coupon redeemable for LAND O LAKES® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, for recipe development and review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s talk butter.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a major fan of butter. Besides being incredibly healthy, it just plain tastes awesome. On just about everything. That’s why I was excited to be able to test and review some new butter from Land O’Lakes.
Pioneer woman has teamed up with Land O’Lakes to help sing the praises of one of their new products: Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Last month I was lucky enough to be able to attend a webinar hosted by Ree, in which she detailed some of the wonderful qualities of butter, its history and how to cook with it.
It was so informative and fun, and the folks at Land O’Lakes even sent me a thank-you package with some awesome items (more on that later). When I couldn’t find any of the butter in our little town, Land O’Lakes sent the butter straight to my door. Yep, I was impressed.
To test out the butter, I decided to see how it performed in baking. Using my buttermilk biscuits recipe as a base, I substituted the olive oil & sea salt butter for all of the fat, added a bit of rosemary and brushed the tops of the biscuits with extra virgin olive oil. They were simply scrumptious. My sisters-in-law and I gobbled them down (spread with the olive oil butter & honey, of course) before Reuben could give them a try. Poor guy was rather disappointed.
Final Breakdown of What I Think of the Butter:
- Because there is some oil in this butter, it comes to room temperature faster than “regular” butter, which is quite handy.
- I was a bit skeptical when I heard about this product - it’s “adulterating” my perfect food, I thought. And whereas I think it’s an awesome idea to pair olive oil and butter, I wish Land O’Lakes would have used extra virgin olive oil, which is much healthier.
- As for taste, it’s lovely. I would say, since there’s only one less gram of saturated fat in the olive oil butter than regular butter (olive oil is mostly monounsaturated fat), it’s still mostly butter. Thus, the olive oil doesn’t overpower the butter flavor, it just complements it slightly. It’s wonderful spread on bread and crackers. The sea salt is also a nice addition.
But on to the giveaway. Land O’Lakes will be giving away Ree’s Cooking Essentials (the same package I received) to one lucky Cooking for Seven reader! The winner will receive both of Ree’s cookbooks, a whisk, a slotted spoon, tongs, and a full-value coupon for Land O’Lakes Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
Here’s how you can enter to win:
Leave a comment on this post answering the following question: What’s your favorite use of butter and/or olive oil?
- US residents only, please.
- Only one comment per person allowed.
- You must leave a valid email address in the comment form so I can contact you if you win.
- Giveaway ends Wednesday, July 25th and 12:00 noon, Central Time. No comments will be considered for the giveaway after that time.
- Using random.org, I will choose one winner. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
Cooking for Seven on May 7th 2012
The other day, my sister called me up and asked if I’d be willing to stay with the kids while she made a trip into town. Of course I said yes - being home alone is kinda lonely sometimes, and I love my little niece and nephew to death.
While she was in town and the kids were napping, I decided to harvest some of her beautiful rhubarb and make a dessert.
Everything went together easily and it baked up as described by the recipe. When the kiddos woke up from their nap, they were very interested in my creation and desperate to give it a try.
The guys got home from work and Reuben spied the rhubarb crisp. He, too was eager to try some - perhaps before supper?
Just as we were getting ready to eat, my sister announced that she was going into labor. We quickly finished the meal and cleared away the dishes - but she need us to leave: NOW. We scooped up the kids (and the dessert) and headed home.
Judah and Ellie finally got to eat their dessert (with whipped cream, of course). We waited (somewhat) patiently for news of the arrival of the baby. Ten o-clock rolled around and no phone call. We put the kids to bed and settled down at the computer to relax a bit after a very busy day.
Just as Reuben and I were drifting off to sleep, we got the call. It’s a girl!
The next morning we packed up the kids and headed out to see the newest member of the family: Susan.
And what a doll she is.
I’ve gotta tell you, these kids are aDORable. But, like all little kids, they’re also a handful. They need help doing almost everything, from wiping their faces, to washing their hands, to getting dressed. They seem to have two modes: super energetic or sleepy. After two days of taking care of them I was exhausted.
All of this to say, I have a new appreciation for the unsung heroes of the world: mothers.
The only time you have to yourself is the few short hours when the kids are taking a nap. All other hours are spent keeping the kids fed, happy and safe. Just living becomes a chore.
But their happy faces and excited voices make it all worth while.
So to all mothers: my hat is off.
But about this rhubarb crunch.
It’s a bit different than most crisp recipes I’ve made - you press half of the topping into the pan before adding the rhubarb. Also, you boil together sugar and water and pour over the rhubarb in the pan for sweetener.
I used whole wheat flour and a natural sweetener, partly because that was all that I could find in Audra’s pantry (go sis!). Also, she didn’t have any regular rolled oats on hand, so I used quick instead. Feeling a bit lazy, I decided to melt the butter and mix into the topping ingredients instead of cutting it in. A trick my mum taught me.
Reuben thought it was a tad too sweet, even though I cut out some of the sugar. Of course, rhubarb recipes usually call for a ton of sugar to combat the sourness of the fruit (is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable?). And we’re not very tolerant of overly sweet desserts.
Would I make this again? Definitely. It was very easy, and I think it would easily convert to other fruits, such as raspberries.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned or quick oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (I used about 3/4 cup sucanat)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed (or melted)
- 4 cups diced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb
- 1-1/3 cups sugar (I used 1 cup of sucanat)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- whipped cream or ice cream, for serving
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square baking dish (I used a pie pan because that’s all I could find).
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter or mix in the melted butter. Press half of the topping into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rhubarb on top.
3) In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly mix in the cold water and heat over medium until the mixture boils; boil for 2 minutes or until thickened a bit. Pour over the rhubarb in the pan.
4) Sprinkle with remaining crumb topping. Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour (start checking at 40 minutes) or until bubbly and beginning to brown.