Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

mmm, beer

For those who don’t know: Ben has been intermittently into 1 gallon home brewing. It’s awesome.

This is a public notice that I would like him to start home brewing again :)

Why I Became a 1-Gallon Homebrewer Beer Sessions | The Kitchn.

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for the first time ever, see the video here:


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This is not a big fluffy cake, this is a short, dense cake that does well with a tall glass of iced suntea and a wedge or lime, or a slushy margarita, or even a nice cuppa tea. Milk could theoretically be served with it as well, but that might be a dairy overload.

Just know that it won’t bake up much, so if you’re looking for a tall cake, make it in a smaller pan. I happen to like a short, dense pound cake that isn’t 4″ tall. This way I get to have two slice and think that they’re really just one.

Happy baking! This recipe was inspired by How Sweet Eats.


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Carrot (Bran) Muffins

Despite having 2 cups of crush bran cereal, these have just a hint of bran to them; the molasses, brown sugar, and cinnamon add enough spice to hide it. And the apple sauce and carrots make these a deliciously moist breakfast treat. Good “first time” muffins too, because they don’t tunnel (over stir) easily.

3 c AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl cinnamon
2 c crumbled bran cereal flakes
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c applesauce
1 c oil
1 1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
3 c finely grated carrots (4 carrots, grated with a coarse microplane grater is perfect)
1 c currants

Heat oven to 350 F. Lube muffin tins or line them with paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together. Add crushed bran flakes.

In another large bowl (I used an 8 c measuring cup) combine beaten eggs, apple sauce, oil and brown sugar. Stir in carrots and currants.

Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and combine until just barely moist through the flour. There will still be some floury bran flakes, don’t worry about them.

Makes 24 normal size muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotate tins in the oven 1/2 way through (just like tires!).

adapted from Muffins: Sweet & Savory Comfort Food

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This idea was so good that I have to share it: Cookie Dough That’s Safe to Eat ~ Cupcake Project. Why didn’t I think of it myself? Just leave the eggs out, right?


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Happy New Year!!!!

I’ve spent the past 3 days totally unplugged from my laptop, and it was AWESOME. Two days of Rosh Hashana praying, eating, and hanging out, and a bonus day of Shabbat (AKA 3rd day Rosh Hashana to some of my friends) today. We did take a tiny break from from doing nothing this afternoon and went for a drive in the mountains. It’s cool, we’re Conservative and it’s OK to drive on Shabbat. I especially think it’s OK if that’s what you do to feel more relaxed, spiritual, etc. Whatever, we wanted to go leaf peeping (Boulder to Estes Park, Estes Park to Nederland via Peak to Peak Scenic Biway), so we did. It was AWESOME!

Other cool things going on: I learned that it’s OK to cook on a chag (holiday), which is awesome because I DO cook on holidays and on Shabbat (I’m not a chef, so I don’t consider it to be working).

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baking madness

I’ve been baking a lot this past week and did 2 really awesome things:

  1. I finally typed up my challah recipe, which can be found here
  2. I made a coconut cake

Yeah, a coconut cake. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take any photos and that it was made from a box mix, but it didn’t taste like a box mix at all!

Here’s what I did: one box of Moist Deluxe White Cake Mix, 3 eggs, one can of regular coconut milk (14.5 oz), 2 Tbl AP flour. Combine following the directions on the box (beat on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 2 miniutes). Bake as directed in two 8″ pans (greased, with parchment and greased again). Cool completely and level off the domes with a bread knife.

Place the bottom cake on your cake plate, cut side up, and spread lemon curd (3-5 Tbls thinned slightly with water and warmed in a coffee mug in the microwave) over the entire top. Invert second cake on top (so cut sides are together).

Frost with butter cream spiked with a heaping blob (2 Tbls) of lemon curd. Coat cake in toasted sweetened coconut (aprox 1 c total).

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I won some cookbooks!

I won some cookbooks over on Yvo’s blog: FeistyFoodie.com. Cool!

Any unemployed Boulder/Denverites want to come cook some new recipes with me? Look what we have to play with:

Joy Bauer’s Food Cures: Eat Right to Get Healthier, Look Younger, and Add Years to Your Life

Slim and Scrumptious: More Than 75 Delicious, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love

Definitely books I can use in my repertoire, FYI one of my favorite healthy cookbooks is Weight Watchers Versatile Vegetarian. Lots of great ideas, all of them healthy!

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Canning is kinda like sewing, there’s a lot of boring stuff at the beginning like chopping and peeling or cutting the pattern and then the fabric. After all the prep work, it all comes together rather quickly. Amazing.

A few weeks ago I was inspired by our CSA cherries and sour cherries at the farmers market to preserve two 8 oz jars of cherries, or just over 1.5 lbs of fruit. Yum! I tried to make my own pectin from apples, but it didn’t work. The cherries in their own liquid (with lime) are still good over yogurt though.









Then this past week I saw that organic plums were going to be on sale for $0.90/lb and I bought TEN pounds of plums. Once cleaned and processed I had just over 8 lbs since there were quite a few mushy spots to be cut out and all the pits removed. I shoved as many of the brightest red plums as I could into a 16 oz canning jar and covered it in rum, stuck a cinnamon stick in, and shoved in the back of the fridge. That will be a birthing gift for a German friend who is due to have a baby January 1. Apparently plum rum is a traditional German christmas drink.

The remaining 7+ lbs of plums got covered in 3 cups of raw sugar and one packet of Simply Orange powdered orange and left to sit for a few hours in a cold dutch oven. Then I added 1.5 cups of filtered water and set it over medium high heat until it came to a simmer. I added 1 cinnamon stick and 1/3 vanilla bean (de-seeded). I kept 3/4 c sugar and 1/4 c low-sugar pectin reserved until all the skins had floated to the top of the simmering fruit and I was able to pull them out with a pair of tongs. Once the jam was free of skins, I ran the immersion blender through it to make my jam lumpy instead of chunky. Once it was time to add the pectin, I brought the jam up to a boil, added it, and started dumping the water out of my jars (they’d been in the canning bath getting sanitized. I got to play with my new birthday toys (canning racks, canning funnel and jar grabbing tongs) and canned and processed my jam. All total I made a dozen 4 oz jars, 1 pint jar, and five 1/2 pint jars plus enough leftover jam to fill another 4 oz, but we used that to make hoisin-line sauce for dinner the next night because I’d just put it in a covered bowl in the fridge.

Today, I was inspired by watermelon. Actually, I was inspired by the lack of space we had in the fridge for the giant watermelon we still had left from my birthday party last week. So, I made Admiral Akbar Watermelon Jelly. Yum! It’s cooling on the counter right now.

Recipe after the break.


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I’m not sure I’ve EVER purchased or made granola, lots of oats, but not granola.

Anyway, right now, bubbling violently away on my stove, are my 2 jars of HOME MADE cherry lime preserves. YUM! I’ve only had a chance to lick the spoon I used to stir the jam before canning it, but WOW! Why have I no idea why I didn’t try making my own preserves sooner. Last year I made some freezer preserves, but jars are so cute and WAY more showy when people come over and I serve them out of little canning jars, not industrial strength freezer bags.

Mmmm, cherry lime preserves.

Hazon update: I got a full scholarship! Now I just need to get time off OKed and buy my plane tickets. Hopefully I’ll be able to carpool with someone else from the airport out to UC Davis. I’m honestly not even sure what the closest airport is…. Just looked it up, Sacramento. We went through there on the train, on our honeymoon. It looked cute.

What else…. I got Ben his SUPER early birthday present, a small batch home brewing kit! Now we can brew up to 1.5 gallons at a time. We’re starting with a batch of hard cider and a batch of mead. The cider will be ready in 3 weeks, but best after a few months, and the mead will be ready to bottle in a few weeks but take at least a year to get filly tasty.

Earlier in the week we made home made MUSHROOM ONION PICKLES in a big mason jar from store bought pasta sauce. We cracked open the jar yesterday and YUM! Wow. I could get used to eating rich, flavorful, healthy, home made foods like this. Try them yourselves, they’re super easy! If you can’t get a young onion at your local farmers market I’d use 2 shallots instead. Also, we substituted 1/3 dry sherry and 2/3 white vinegar for the wine vinegar. SO GOOD!

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