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Posts from the ‘Quick Breads,Muffins’ Category

Spiced Apple Pecan Loaf And An Auction For Charity

3 mini loaves

3 mini loaves

You all know about my passion for animals and that I work with rescue and animal related charities. One of the groups I work with is called PugsquadSOS. We recently had an auction to benefit a small animal rescue group in upstate NY and I donated homemade baked goods. One of the items I included in this box of treats is this homemade spiced apple loaf. I used my banana bread recipe and adapted it for apples adding some warm autumnal spices and homemade applesauce. It turned out really well, the bread is not overly sweet, is light and smells wonderful because of the spices. This loaf along with other homemade baked goods is currently up for grabs on Instagram, we are raising money for 2 little dogs that need very expensive life saving surgeries and their families do not have the means to pay for it. If any of you would like to bid on my offering or any of the items on instagram go to @portiathepug_paw_pal_auction.

I am bringing these loaves with me to Fiesta Friday #145, last week I co hosted and this week we will all be voting on the feature recipes.

I would also be remiss if I did not acknowledge our veterans today. Thank you to the men, women and canine corp that sacrificed life and limb so that we may enjoy the freedom and safety that sadly we sometimes take for granted, without their bravery it would be a far different world. Bless our Veterans and take care of them each and every day and not just on Veterans Day.

Spiced Apple Pecan Loaf

Makes 1 standard size loaf or 3 mini loaves

4 oz (1 stick) softened butter

1 cup sugar (preferably organic)

2 eggs at room temperature

1  cups flour

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allapice

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 heaping cup applesauce (I used homemade unsweetened and it was about 1 1/4 cups)

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

1 apple peel left on, cored and cut into thin slices

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s. Butter or grease standard size loaf pan or 3 mini pans.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. While creaming the butter sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.  Add eggs one at a time beating between each addition until eggs are incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat only until combined. Add the applesauce, creme fraiche and vanilla and beat until combined. Fold in the pecans and scrape into baking pans. Place apple slices and whole pecans on top and bake until golden brown and when tester inserted it comes out clean. This will take close to an hour for a large loaf and about 25 minutes for 3 mini loaves.

img_7396

Auction items

Auction items

The winning bid will receive:
1 dozen chocolate chip cookies

1 dozen healthful dog cookies

1 dozen fig/pistachio rugelach

1 dozen ginger spice molassess cookies

1 mini loaf banana bread

1 mini loaf spiced apple pecan bread

Banana Bread

IMG_1845

I didn’t want to share this, really who needs another banana bread recipe, there are a zillion out there right? Well, this turned out so good I had to share. I tweaked the recipe I always use which is really good but this bread was outstanding. What did I do, not that much really. Added 1/2 cup spelt flour, increased the banana, added dark chocolate chips and sprinkled some homemade granola on top. The end result is really wonderful. I have to admit it’s the best banana bread I have ever made, that say’s alot because I have made MANY loaves. The recipe makes one standard size but I like to make 3 mini loaves. I had guests arriving to stay in my air bnb room so I left one loaf in the room, kept one for me and gave the other one to friends. Works out perfectly.

IMG_1874

Banana Bread

1 stick, 4 oz or 8 tbs unsalted butter- I used Kerrygold- softened at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 large very ripe banana’s (close to 1 1/2 cups) mashed with a fork

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

dark chocolate chunks or chips you judge how much I didn’t measure, I guesstimate around 1 1/2 cups

enough granola to sprinkle on top

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s

Butter or spray your loaf pan or pans

Preheat oven to 350

In stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the butter and  sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda and add to the butter/egg mixture beating only until combined. Add the banana, sour cream and vanilla and again beat until combined, remove the bowl and fold in the chocolate. Spoon into loaf pan or pans and bake for large loaf 60-70 minutes, will be golden brown and cake tester inserted in center should come out clean. If making mini loaves, bake 25-35 minutes.

IMG_1896

 

Guest Post And 4 Year Blogging Anniversary

Four years ago today I hit the publish button and posted my first blog post. It was scary and exciting and honestly I had no idea what would come of it.  I am so thrilled to still be blogging and very happy to have met all of you amazing and wonderful people and I want to thank you for reading my posts, offering your kindness and support and inspiring me. This post on the anniversary of hitting that publish button is a slight departure from my usual food posts, oh. there is still food involved but I  wanted to do something a little different, a bit daring and fun.

I am honored that Teagan Riordan Geneviene has agreed to do a guest post today.  I also want to thank my friend at Hocuspocus13 for agreeing to help me with this post, she created a recipe for a very special tea  (I made it and its delicious, I read about the flowers/herbs and they are incredibly good for you as well)  I think it’s the perfect addition to our meal in the tea room. Thank you, and now I am handing it over to Teagan….

10171695_797936886968118_1682647046547455979_n-1
Hello everyone.  I’m happy to meet you!

From my first visit to A Pug in the Kitchen, it has ranked at the top of my list of favorite blogs.  Interesting commentary, photos, easy to follow instructions, and delicious food — I was hooked.  So when Suzanne asked me to do a guest post there was no way I was saying no.  Even better, it became more of a collaboration than a guest spot.atonement-video-cover-copy

After my regular, real world job, I’m an author of fantasy fiction.  My blog is called Teagan’s Books.  My current novel in progress is actually book-2 in an urban fantasy series that began with “Atonement, Tennessee.”  The title is the name of my fictional town where supernaturals secretly live among the residents of this seemingly quaint town.  (Book-2 will be called Atonement in Bloom.) I told Suzanne about a few different settings in the series that would involve food.  She picked a locale that was new for book-2, Adelle’s Attic Tearoom.

What I’m sharing with you is more of a snippet than a story.  It’s a scene with two minor characters in the novel.  I think it’s fun to get to know the characters who only play a small role.  I hope you enjoy it.

Adelle’s Teapot — Features from Atonement TN

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

1924 Good housekeeping 2 girls tea

The inventory notes Annie recorded were part of an ancient list, passed down through the Metatron clan.  For the most part, the older theitem, the more power it held.  The kind of power varied widely.

The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic could show one’s true self.  The mirror could be playful, cryptic, devilishly mischievous, or brutally honest.  It almost seemed to have a mind of its own.  In age and in power, that mirror ranked about mid-way on the inventory list.  Annie shuddered to think of the havoc she had known the mirror to wreak.

She kept many of the items hidden in plain sight in her antique shop.  It had been easy enough to steer Ralda Lawton away from a special quilt.  Ralda, the new owner of the Sunhold estate, did not need that star design quilt, but someone else would.  However, the brass Bed of Dreams was meant for her.  The bed wasn’t strong in power, but it was effective.

ad 5 Oclock TeaAnnie looked down at the ancient list.  Something glowed through several layers of paper.  She knew the glow came from the script identifying a very old item.  The glowing writing meant an item awakened.  Her hands shook as she leafed through the pages to the very beginning of the catalogued inventory.

The teapot.  Annie took a shuddering breath.  It was simple and unassuming looking, but the teapot was the oldest item listed in Annie’s inventory notes.  It was also arguably the most powerful.  Because of its unique properties the teapot had always been kept separate from the other items.  Adelle, Annie’s sister was the teapot’s custodian.  It was safely tucked away in the attic of the Victorian house that was Adelle’s tearoom and home.

A brew had not been made from that teapot in living memory.  But what else could awaken the pot but the alchemy of water, heat, and the right combination of herbs, flowers, and leaves?

“No Adelle,” Annie muttered as she put away the ancient ledger.1937 Look Shirley Temple Santa tea

Annie ran out of her shop, the door banging shut behind her.  Her platinum hair shone in the moonlight.  She skidded around the corner and ran down the town square.  Annie stumbled to a stop.  She gazed at the night sky in open mouthed astonishment.

Above Adelle’s tearoom the sky shimmered in a golden aura.  When Annie looked farther up into the sky, she saw an even more astonishing sight.  The entire town of Atonement rested unaware beneath five columns of light pillars.  The columns of light pulsed through the clouds.

“Adelle,” Annie gasped.  “What have you done?”

With a hand to her chest, Annie continued toward her sister’s home.  She fell going up the front porch stairs.  As she righted herself, Annie saw that the front door stood open.  Then she realized that every door and window in the Victorian house was wide open.

“My God, Annie!  Are you all right?” Adelle exclaimed as she helped her sister to her feet and guided her inside.

Annie allowed her sister to guide her, gasping for breath and shaking with fright, to the kitchen table.  There Adelle poured a cup of tea.  Annie turned horrified eyes from the teacup to her sister.

1940s Home Notes Girl tea party“Oh don’t be silly,” Adelle chastised.  “It’s not from that teapot.”

Annie took a sip of the tea her sister pressed upon her.  She took a bite of cake or scone or some baked treat that would ordinarily have been delicious.  However it might as well have been cardboard in her mouth.  Without even realizing what she was doing Annie crumbled the rest between her fingers never looking at it.  She stared blindly out the kitchen window into the darkness, too stunned to process the thousand thoughts in her mind.

“Why in heaven’s name would you let the teapot awaken?” Annie finally asked.

“It couldn’t be helped.  I needed to talk to our grandfather,” Adelle replied.

“That wouldn’t be difficult for you,” Annie said.  “Why would you use the teapot for that?”

Her sister’s mouth curved to that self-satisfied, cat-with-a-bowl-of-cream smile that Annie knew all too well.

“Which grandfather,” Annie asked, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the answer she already knew was coming.

Adelle pursed her lips then made a reluctant, sardonic grimace.  “The one quite a few times removed.  Maybe a few hundred times.”1905 Sunday Mag Tea Woman steam kiss

Annie groaned and dropped her head to the kitchen table, her pale hair falling to cover her face.  Forehead against the polished wood, she rocked her head side to side.  Finally she looked up at her raven haired sister.

“Tell me this is not happening,” Annie pleaded hoarsely.

“It really couldn’t be helped, Annie.  I had to consult Enoch,” Adelle said apologetically.

“What could possibly be that important?” Annie demanded.

The sardonic twist left Adelle’s mouth.  She looked into her sister’s eyes, coldly serious.

“Cailleach Bheur,” Adelle said.  “Beira the Crone.”

***

As you can see, my odd little imaginary town has its quirks.  I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Atonement, Tennessee.

Hugs,

Teagan

 

Dazzle Tea

Dazzle Tea

DAZZLE TEA- Recipe by Hocuspocus13
2 parts red clover blossoms
2 parts rose hips
1 part chamomile flowers
1 part peppermint leaves

tea by these leaves
herbs and water it weaves
a brew so warm
it would awake a storm
teapot time to be reborn

tea time

tea time in Atonement at Adelle’s Attic Tea Room

 

Happy New Year, Some Favorites And 2015 in review

Taken from Pinterest

Taken from Pinterest

I wish each and everyone of you an amazing, healthy, happy, joyous and prosperous 2016. I want to thank you all for being such great friends, for leaving such uplifting and kind comments and for being my source of inspiration. Below is the report compiled by the WordPress helper monkey’s. I don’t really keep track of the stats, but do appreciate the work that WordPress puts into these reports, thank you to the good people at WordPress!! Both 2014 and 2015 were hard years for me, harder than I can even express. The start of a new year brings with it hope and we also reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, the sad and the happy, triumphs and failures. Life can sometimes be like a rollercoaster ride.

Going into my 4th year of blogging in January is quite momentous for me. I can’t believe I am still doing this,  have made such great friends and learned so much. Hope you all have a wonderful time on New Years Eve and joyously welcome 2016, peace, love and joy to all. Below are some photo’s I compliled with some of my favorite dishes both sweet and savory.

Savory favorites

Savory favorites

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

Baked, desserts and the epic biscuit!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

An Epic Biscuit…The Sequel, And Garden Update

On Occasion I make a recipe and it turns out great and the second time I make it, it flops. Since I have sought the perfect biscuit recipe like seeking the Holy Grail for years and having found a great one on try #1, I decided to make them again to see if my results are the same.

Epic Biscuit II

Epic Biscuit II

Notice the photo is better, I used a dark background and that makes a huge difference in the photo quality IMHO.

The second go around the biscuits rose but not quite as high, it could be that I patted the dough down a bit thinner than the last time, I did not place them as close together on the sheet pan, or that my buttermilk was not as fresh who knows but they still rose nicely, were tender, fluffy and delicious. I wrapped and froze them for another day.

garden

garden

In July I had my garden re worked to help me with diminishing the weed population and hopefully the mosquitoes too.  Happy to report that although I still have some weeds they are about 90% better than before and almost manageable for me to take care of myself. I have only killed 4 or 5 of the plants that were initially planted (may not have been my fault). Also my herbs including the basil are doing really well. I am also very happy that there are less mosquitoes this year as well so I can enjoy my backyard.

two types of basil regular sweet and smal spicy

two types of basil regular sweet and smal spicy

Jessica planted sunflowers, it is her signature flower and when she initially put them in the ground they were about a foot tall. Now they are over 6 ft tall and look at this beauty.

sunflower

sunflower

In closing I believe this biscuit recipe is a keeper and will be made over and over again.  Since I already gave credit to the author in my last post and there is no way to contact her I am including the recipe in this post.

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

From Food.com Author P4

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board ( if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder ( use one without aluminum)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ( approx)1/2 cup sugar ( for topping) NOTE I did not put sugar on mine
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
  4. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
  5. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
  6. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  8. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
  9. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
  10. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  11. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
  12. If you like”crusty” sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.

Nonna’s Piadina And A Breakfast Pizza

Piadina

Piadina

This recipe is from the wonderful and talented Liz Larkin (aka mrslarkin, aka the scone lady of Pound Ridge NY) on Food52. It is her Nonna’s recipe for Piadina and was entered in the latest contest on Food52 for your best Family Recipes part 2. It was nominated for a Community Pick and is a contender to be a finalist. I signed up to test the recipe. It’s a wonderful recipe, the dough is easy to make and handles beautifully. It tastes similar to a biscuit but has the appearance of flat bread. You get the flavor of a biscuit without another biscuit making failure which works for me since I am biscuit challenged. Win win!!! You can use this delicious bread in many different ways, I made a breakfast pizza, use whatever you like as a topping it’s delicious.

Soft and delicious

Soft and delicious

Serves 6 (recipe can be multiplied)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 heaping tablespoons shortening or leaf lard
3/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup warm milk
Fillings of your choice like Prosciutto, ham, mozzarella, fritatta, salad, Nutella, pretty much anything you want
Place flour in a mound on pastry board or counter. Sprinkle on salt and baking powder, and mix together with your fingers.
Make a well in the center. Drop in the shortening and rub it together with the flour using your fingertips. Lumps are okay! And it will still be pretty floury.
Make a well again and pour in water and milk. Mix with fingers until dough comes together. Add a little more warm water or flour, if needed. You want a soft dough – not at all sticky. Knead for a couple minutes, and roll into a log shape.
Alternatively, all the mixing can be done in a large bowl. I like to use a fork to mix everything together.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, using a scale if you have one. With one hand, gently roll each piece on the board/counter into a ball. Mom says to use your thumb and nudge the dough ball under with each turn. Set each ball to the side on a sprinkling of flour and let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat griddle to medium. Slightly flatten a ball and roll out dough to about 9 inches in diameter. Gently lift and place on hot griddle, scoring the piadina all over with the tines of a fork. If bubbles appear, quickly pierce those suckers with the fork. Cook each side for a few minutes or until each side develops some lightly browned spots. Remove to a clean dish cloth. Repeat with each ball, and stack each cooked piadina over one another. Loosely cover with a dish towel. When done, cut piadine into quarters and enjoy with your favorite sandwich fixings.
Piadina freezes well. Reheat on a griddle over low heat, or wrapped in damp paper towels in the microwave.

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza

For The Pizza:

serves 2

1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 shallot chopped

salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs

cheese of your choice grated – I used Toma Piemontese a mild Italian cheese that melts beautifully(but is semi soft and a bit hard to grate) and is from the Piedmont region of Italy.

Parmigiana grated

Olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degree’s, place tomatoes and shallot on sheet pan and coat with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized and shallot is softened approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temp to warm or 170-200 degree’s. Place tomatoes in heat proof bowl, cover with foil and place in the warm oven, wrap the piadina in a towel and place in oven also to stay warm. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and fry the eggs sunny side up over easy your choice I recommend a soft yolk. Remove piadina and tomatoes from the oven,brush the bread with some olive oil and  spread tomato on the bread, add the grated cheese and a sprinkling of parmigiana. Turn the oven to broil and place in the oven just so the cheese melts, top with the eggs. Enjoy! You can top with arugula tossed with olive oil or some flat leaf parsley for a bit of green if you like.

Piadina Pizza

Piadina Pizza

Mini Loaves, Banana And Fruitcake- Christmas/Holiday Gift Box

fruit cake

fruit cake

I love including a mini loaf in my gift box of cookies. I always do banana, sometimes I do pear or apple or fig. This year I made banana which is always good and yesterday I got an email from Pure Wow Recipes. The name of it was The Best Damn Fruitcake Ever. Hmmmm I thought, thats a lofty claim, the dreaded fruitcake that most really hate, can this be the exception that I have been looking for. I decided to give it a try. How can you go wrong with delicious dried assorted fruits, nuts and booze. I bought the fruit. was out of bourbon so I used cognac to soak the fruit, ran out of almonds so I used walnuts along with the hazelnuts and pistachio’s. I must say it tastes absolutely nothing like the dreaded fruitcake, it is a loaf like banana bread or any fruit based bread really and is really good. If I make this again,  I will make a few changes. They have you soak the fruit for 10 minutes in 1/2 cup of bourbon (cognac) I would soak the fruit longer even over night in more booze. The other change I would make is baking temperature. They say 350 degree’s I would bake at 325 degree’s. I found it got done much quicker (actually a bit overdone) than they said, of course to be fair I doubled the recipe baked 4 mini loaves and 1 larger loaf in a pan that wasn’t quite full enough. If I had left the larger loaf in the oven for 2 hours it would have burnt. All in all I think this is a really nice fruit cake and is a recipe I would play around with and tweak, it has serious potential.

Ingredients

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

from Pure Wow Recipes

½ cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried cherries

½ cup golden raisins

1 cup bourbon

½ cup pistachios, chopped

½ cup hazelnuts, chopped

½ cup pecans, chopped

½ cup sliced almonds

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange zest

Pinch of cinnamon

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Turbinado sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. Prepare the fruit: In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, toss the apricots with the cranberries, cherries and raisins. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Pour it over the fruit and let sit for 10 minutes. NOTE: I soaked my fruit overnight and because I did that I didn’t bring the bourbon/cognac to a simmer on the stove.

3. Drain the fruit, reserving the bourbon. Transfer the fruit to another medium bowl and toss with the pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. Set aside.

4. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition.

5. Beat in the vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.

6. Bake the cake: Add the fruit-and-nut mixture to the batter and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Garnish with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, then bake until golden and cooked through, 2 to 2½ hours. NOTE: I made 3 mini loaves which took approximately 45 minutes to bake. I tested with a bamboo skewer starting at 30 minutes in the oven. 

7. While the cake is baking, bring the reserved bourbon to a simmer and reduce to about ¼ cup. Pour the reduced bourbon over the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. The uncut cake will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container. NOTE: I did not cook the bourbon/cognac but spooned some on the cake when it came out of the oven, let it cool then spooned on a little more and wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a air tight tin. Every few days I spooned more syrup on the cake and re wrapped and let it age in the tin. It is good after about a week to eat but it can sit longer.

not your average fruitcake

not your average fruitcake

Banana Bread:

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping cup mashed very ripe bananas (the recipe calls for 1 cup, I pile it high)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
Banana bread

Banana bread

 

Fried Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli For Fiesta Friday #43

Fried Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

Fried Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

If you need a quick dessert, really delicious, looks impressive and will get a lot of ooohs and ahhhhhs make these fried ravioli. You use wonton wrappers, nutella, deep fry, dust with some powdered sugar and there you have it. They taste amazing, really you have to try these. I used to watch Food TV and saw Giada De Laurentis make them, I am a big fan of nutella and fried dough so I felt that these had my name written all over them. Serve on their own with some coffee/espresso or with a bowl of gelato. It makes such a nice, easy and delicious dessert. Serving size is 2 according to the recipe but I can easily eat 4 of them.

I thought these delicious little bites would be really perfect finger food for Fiesta Friday #43 which is hosted by the super talented and very sweet Angie@The Novice Gardener and this weeks co hosts never left the party, I am so excited thatTracy @Scratch It and Stephanie @The Cozy Cook are still there to welcome everyone.

Fried Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

From Giada De Laurentis

Serves 8 (or if I am there 4)
16 wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: nutella)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the wonton wrappers on the surface. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with egg. Spook 1 tbs of chocolate hazelnut spread into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper diagonally in half over the filling and press the edges of the wrapper to seal. P,ace the ravioli on the prepared baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium high heat to 350 degrees.

Working in batches. carefully add the ravioli to the hot oil and cook until they are golden brown, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Then, transfer the cooked ravioli to another baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while you are frying the remaining ravioli. ( The fried ravioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool them completely, then cover and refrigerate. Before serving, place them on a baking sheet and rewarm in a preheated 375 degree oven just until they are heated through, about 7 minutes.)

Delicious

Delicious

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-was-featured1

Disappointment And Huckleberry’s Comforting Biscuits

Soggy sign

Soggy sign

Azita from Fig and Quince designed our flyer for the block party, cute right? Here is it hanging on a post getting soggy. The rain was relentless, canceling the block party was the only option.

wet

wet

Our block, one lonely dog walker out. What a miserable day.

pretty leaves wet sidewalk

pretty leaves wet sidewalk

I love the Fall, the leaves turning and falling. The dogs love walking in the leaves that fall to the ground. It should have been a happy fun day, but we got rained out. All in all it was very disappointing, so I wanted to make something comforting. I haven’t made anything yet from Huckleberry, thumbing through the book my eyes were immediately drawn to this recipe for Comfort Food Biscuits, how appropriate. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know I am biscuit/scone challenged. My biscuits have been likened to paper weights, hockey pucks, rocks. I am constantly searching for the elusive biscuit recipe that will be light and fluffy and pillowy. I thought this recipe sounded really good, lots of fat in the way of butter, cream cheese and heavy cream so it should produce a nice moist biscuit. Great step by step instructions. The only thing I was perplexed about was the baking temperature. It’s counter intuitive really, baking biscuits in a 350 degree oven didn’t make sense to me, every biscuit recipe I have ever made uses a hot oven 425 -450 degrees.

Comfort Food Biscuits

Makes 13 2 inch biscuits

3 cups (380 grams) all purpose flour

1 tbs +2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tbs sugar plus more for sprinkling

1 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup (170 grams) cold unsalted butter cubed

3/4 cup (180 grams) cold cream cheese cubed

6 tbs (90 ml) cold heavy cream

egg wash

fleur de sel for sprinkling

 

In a very large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and toss well. Throw in the cold butter and work it with your fingertips until the pieces are pea and lima bean size. Then do the same with the cream cheese. Add the cream. Lightly toss to distribute.

Immediately dump everything onto a clean surface with more than enough space to work the dough. Using only the heel of your palm, quickly flatten out the dough. Gather the dough back together in a mound and repeat. After two or three repetitions, the dough should begin holding together. Be sure to avoid overworking. You should still see some pea size bits of butter through it.

Flatten the dough to a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thickness and cout the biscuits. Transfer them to an ungreased sheet pan. Very gently push the scraps back together and cut once more. Freeze for at least 2 hours before baking, or up to 1 one month, tightly wrapped.

Preheat your oven to 350 degree F or 180 degrees Centigrade. Remove the biscuits from the freezer Space them with plenty of breathing room on two ungreased sheet pans, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with both sugar and salt. Bake from frozen until cooked through, nicely browned, and easily lifted off the pan about 30 minutes.

Instructions

Instructions

Disclosure: My results in no way reflect on the actual recipe since I am biscuit challenged.

I followed the instructions or at least I tried, the dough felt dry to me. I weighed the ingredients except for the flour and the heavy cream, in retrospect I should have weighed the flour also, that might be the key as to why the dough felt dry. Have I said I am biscuit challenged, well I am. Overworking the dough seems to be my mantra. I used the heel of my palm pressed and gathered and eventually it came together but only after a lot of work (overwork?). When I cut a biscuit with the cutter and picked it up it sort of fell apart,it was too dry. I had to put the dough back in the bowl and add another tbs of cream and really carefully incorporate, press it into another disc and cut the biscuits, this time they held together but my fear is that at this point I overworked the dough, in the photo’s above the dough looks soft mine was not it was tightly packed. They made exactly the amount indicated, I placed in the freezer for the requisite time (2 hours). I pre heated the oven to 350 degrees. I had to smack my hand to keep me from taking the temp up over 400 degree’s. To be fair it looks like the biscuit dough in the photo’s above is not the same recipe, it looks like the Herb  biscuits which has more liquid in the form of buttermilk but a bit less fat so it should have evened out I would think. We’ll see what happens when I bake them. Note: I decided to try weighing three cups of flour using the same measuring cup and method and it was 420 grams and the recipe calls for 380 grams, hence the dry biscuits, I removed approximately 1/2 cup of flour to make it 380. You see why it’s important to weigh ingredients when you bake. When I cut 3/4 cup of butter it was less than the 170 grams so I added a smidge more. 

The Results:

Well, I think I overworked them, they were not pillowy, light and fluffy as I hoped. The flavor was good though. I am beginning to think I have unrealistic expectations when it comes to biscuits, I have the same problem with pound cakes. All biscuits are supposed to be like the ones you get in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, you know the ones in the can and pound cake should all be like Sara Lee. On a positive note, they rose nicely, flavor was really good and I am sure they are perfectly acceptable biscuits but one day I will go to LA and taste one from the source Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe. I really look forward to making more recipes from the book.

If I were to make these again I would do a few things differently:

1. weigh the flour and all ingredients

2. add more liquid if it looks to dry, that would help me not over work the dough.

3. Bake at a temperature higher than 350 degree’s, maybe with a commercial oven it works but with my less than wonderful oven it was too low and the biscuits looked anemic ( In all fairness I did not use egg wash, I brushed with cream)

I boosted the color in iphoto so they look more golden brown than they actually came out of the oven so the photo’s have been touched up.

biscuits

biscuits

close up

close up

 

 

A Tribute in Lights-9/11/2012

I wrote this post 2 years ago but the sentiments are the same. A day to Remember and a day that we will never forget…..

apuginthekitchen

Fox News Photo Of American Flags 9/11/2012

Sitting on my stoop in Brooklyn I have a beautiful view of the Tribute in Lights, it’s awe inspiring. It feels like yesterday when we were attacked and so many innocent people were murdered. I saw the Towers in billows of smoke on that day and every September 11th I re-live it. I count myself lucky that I wasn’t in Manhattan working when it happened but it still rips my heart out every time I think about it, for hours that day I didn’t know the whereabouts of my daughter. On that day she had to go to Battery Park City in the shadow of the World Trade Centers. There was no cell phone service that day and for what seemed like centuries I could not reach her. She left for work late that day, we both watched in shock and horror as…

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