Friday, December 19, 2008

This is what my neighbors are getting, how about yours?

White Wheat Bread
5 cups hot tap water
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup honey
1 T salt
2 T instant yeast
10-12 cups flour (half wheat and half white)

In bread mixer put water, oil, and honey, (put honey in same cup as oil and it comes out a lot easier!), salt, and 1/2 the flour. Start to mix and then add yeast and enough flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Let machine knead for 6 minutes. Let rise for 10 to 15 minutes (this step can be eliminated if you're in a hurry!). Put oil on counter and roll or pound into loaves. Put into greased pans and let rise 15 to 20 minutes on top of warm stove. Bake at 350 deg for 30 minutes. After putting bread on cooling racks, rub stick of butter all over the top (this makes your bread look pretty). Make 4 medium sized loaves.

Raspberry Butter
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the berries and powdered sugar until softened.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Add butter and mix until combined. This may take a few minutes, but it will come together.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ding Dongs

Everything is always better homemade than store bought, right? Well, I decided I wanted to make ding dongs, and it turned out so easy and simple (best of all, the ingredients are always on hand at my house). So this is what I did:

Make cupcakes (I just use a box - sooo much easier!), but only fill them about half way (you don't want them to over flow out the top of the pan). Once cooled I "inject" the bottoms with this filling (see picture):

1/4 cup all-purpous flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Set aside to cool completely.

Once cooled, beat the 1/2 cup shortening, butter, sugar and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the milk mixture and continue to beat for 4 more minutes.

You'll want to inject the cupcakes about 3 - 4 times to make sure you get a good amount of filling in there.

For the chocolate topping you can do a ganache (which is good just messier) or use a dipping chocolate (also good, but much prettier than the ganache - depends on what you want).

Dipping Chocolate:
Melt 12 oz chocolate
Add 2 teaspoons shortening, mix until smooth

Then dip the tops of the cupcakes into melted mixture. If serve cold I've found they taste better.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I can't get enough Pie

Remember those hostess individual fruit pies? I loved them when I was little.

Well, I haven't had them in forever, and I figured they can't be that hard to make, right?

What I did was make the dough (see recipe in an older post below), and cut into circles. I then did an apple filling, but there are so many options! Place the filling on the dough and fold over, crimp, and add slits on the top (just like you do on a regular pie). Bake as directed, and right after they come out of the oven and are hot, pour a glaze (mix powdered sugar and milk together) on top. Serve cold. They are the best two days after baking.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I want brownies, not cake

Okay Ladies. So I made these the other night and was really excited about them. Martha Stewart claimed they were gooey, which I feel was false advertising. In which I can't help but to post a letter claiming my injustice.
Dear Martha,
I tried your Pumpkin Swirl Brownie recipe the other day and was gravely dissapointed. Seriously, I do love your food. Albeit, you make things way harder than they need to be, but I love your recipes/crafts nonetheless. Here's my problem; out of all people, you should know the difference between cake and brownies. Since apparently you don't, I will re-cap for you.
Cake: a food that is usually sweet and baked. When eaten, it makes you feel like you've eaten nothing but air. Most people are deceived into believing that this is not only an appropriate form of dessert, but delicious as well, since it has become the center of many celebratory events (i.e. weddings, birthdays, etc.), but trust me, this is only a ruse.
Brownies: a flat, baked square or bar, which is a denser, richer form of a cake. When eaten you are left feeling satisfied and happy that the calories you have consumed were well worth it.
Do you see my dilemma? When you told me that your Pumpkin Swirl Brownies were A) brownies, and B) gooey, I feel as though you have tricked me.
If I were to form a lawsuit, based on the claim of false advertising, the damages would be based on the following:
1. I spent 1.5 hours prepping, stirring, and baking the so-called “brownies.”
2. I waited for 1 hour in intense anticipation for the “gooiness” I was promised, only to be disappointed.
3. I wasted way too many calories eating air, instead of the rich denseness I kept thinking was coming with the next bite.
4. All those products have now been wasted, in which I have been forced to return to the store to replenish them.
5. Last, but not least, the God-like image I had categorized you in has been shattered. It really is a great and tragic loss.

So, I would prefer that from this point forward, you have learned a valuable lesson. First, that cake and brownies are significantly different, and second, I will never be able to look at you the same.

Sincerely, your former long time follower,


P.S. A free subscription to your magazine might make me feel better.
I only post this recipe, not to advertise it, but in hopes that someone can help make it what it claims to be. I’m open to all suggestions. Is it the amount of eggs/flour? The size of the pan? What?
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Ingredients - Makes 16
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer.
Work quickly so batters don't set. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Maple Glaze

Ahhh, again with my pumpkin obsession. I just can't help it, I love fall! We stayed up in Midway with the family for the weekend and I decided to make these wonderful waffles for Breakfast. If you choose to make any of my pumpkin recipes, this is the one.
With the snow having already fallen, I feel like fall has been stolen from me. I took this picture in Midway and it makes me feel like I captured the last of my beloved fall.
Ingredients - serves 4
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup melted shortening
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 crisp apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, spice and salt together in a large bowl.
Beat together the milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and melted shortening, egg and egg white, in a large measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk together to make a slightly lumpy batter.
For the topping: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and let cook until slightly browned, but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the maple syrup and walnuts and toss to coat.
Pour and spread about 1 cup batter into the waffle iron. Cover and cook until crisp and a rich golden brown, about 7 minutes. (Try to resist the temptation to open the waffle iron too soon. Steam will puff out of the iron while the waffles cook, when this stops the waffle is cooked.) Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with the apples.
Enjoy! Tish

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rigatoni with Pumpkin and Bacon

Pumpkin Obsession Part II

My lovely friend Jen makes this great Martha Stewart recipe every year for October book club. Well, she's due any day and I realized that I won't be getting my pumpkin pasta this month and decided to make it myself. It's always a crowd pleaser. I wouldn't serve it as a meal in itself (since it's so heavy), but it's great for a party with lots of other foods.

Serves 6
Coarse salt
8 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds), peeled and halved, seeds removed, and flesh cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons hulled raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Put bacon into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until bacon is almost crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; let drain.
Add onion to skillet with bacon grease. Cook, stirring, until soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Add pumpkin, sage, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add stock and cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to mediumlow, and simmer until pumpkin is soft and sauce has thickened slightly, about 25 minutes. Season with pepper.
Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and add to skillet. Add the bacon and Parmesan, and toss to combine. Divide among bowls. Serve with Parmesan.

Fall Pizza

I had bookclub at my house and wanted a fall menu. Among other things, I served a homemade pizza that turned out delicious.

Use your favorite dough recipe (make sure you put cornmeal at the bottom of your pan). Top dough with the marinade from an artichoke jar and add a little bit of olive oil.

Toppings include: mozzarella cheese, slices of red onion, artichokes, and a little bit of crushed red pepper and cracked black pepper. Pine nuts would also make a great addition.

So good!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pumpkin Obsession

With the start of fall, my pumpkin obsession begins! These Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are always a hit.

3 cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, vegetable oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt, and mix well. Add flour and mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Optional: frosting them with cream cheese frosting

Enjoy! Tish

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's not you, it's the crust

I LOVE to make pies, but I've decided that my pie making skills are really only mediocre and my crust making skills are the only thing that saves it. This recipe is not too flaky, or dry, and you always wish there was more of it!

2 pie crust:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup crisco butter shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup cold water

Beat egg, add vinegar & water. Mix (with pastry cutter) flour, salt, and shortening separately (will be crumbly). Add all together and continue mixing with a pastry cutter (will get thick). Work with hands a little bit and mold into a ball. Divide dough in half, roll out onto floured surface and place in a 9" pie dish.

You can either make two pies, or one with the crust on top and on bottom.


Hint: make sure your working surface is cool.

Potatoes for a real man!

For my brother-in-laws birthday, I decided to make a meal that fit his "meat and potatoes" personality / appetite. We had steak, corn on the cob, salad, and these awesome potatoes:

Red Potato Salad with Bacon-Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

4 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
3/4 pound hickory smoked bacon
1 large red onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
parsley (to your liking)
1 cup crumble blue cheese

In a baking dish toss potatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Brown the bacon and crumble. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, and sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Pour the onion mixture over the potatoes, add the crumbled bacon and toss to combine. Bake at 400 deg. for around 1 hour (until potatoes are soft). Before serving, sprinkle blue cheese on top of potatoes.

They're a big hit!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pike's Place Market

So I'm all about food that doesn't require a recipe. I was in Seattle's Pike Place Market and they had this amazing cheese shop (the sight of cheese makes me drool a little) called Beecher's, so I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and homemade macaroni and cheese. I hate to admit it, but it was so good that it's probably what I'll remember most about my trip. The first thing I did when I got home was recreate the grilled cheese masterpiece.
Sourdough bread (or an italian bread)
A red pesto sauce (I concocted my own - don't ask)
Havarti cheese
Fresh basil
Cracked pepper

Grill and enjoy!