Friday, July 3, 2015

Marble Swirl Pound Cake

I think there's something artistic about marble swirl cakes. I like any dessert that incorporates a swirl pattern. It gives the impression that the baker is really talented and creative.

*looks around*

Did they buy it? Do they believe I'm creative?

Ingredient list: 

-1 cup of butter, softened
-2 cups of sugar
-2 tsp of vanilla
-6 eggs
-3 cups of all purpose flour
-1/4 cup of baking cocoa
-1 tsp of chocolate extract

1) Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. 

2) Add the vanilla, stir to combine and then add the flour. 

3) After mixing to create a smooth batter, scoop out one cup of batter into another bowl. 

4) Using a small spoon, mix the cocoa powder chocolate extract into the 1 cup of batter until it's fully mixed.

5) Grease a 10 inch bundt pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

6) Spoon 3/4 of the regular batter into the bundt pan. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate batter all over the top of the batter that's in the pan. 

7) Gently spread the remaining regular batter on top of the chocolate batter. Using a knife or the small spoon you used to to mix the chocolate batter, drag the utensil halfway through the batter to cut across the chocolate batter and swirl it. Don't drag it too hard or mix too much. You still want a distinct pattern in the cake. 

8) Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today's post features a cookie based on the Coffee bar. 

Ingredient list:

-1/2 cup of butter, softened
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1/4 cup of brown sugar
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-1 tsp of coffee extract (or espresso)
-1 egg
-1 & 1/8 cup of all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp of baking soda
-1/4 tsp of salt
-1 tblsp of instant coffee granules
-3/4 cup of chocolate chips

1) Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Add the egg and both extracts to the butter mix.

3) In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda and instant coffee. Try to mix thoroughly so that the coffee granules are dispersed throughout the dry mix.

4) Gradually add the dry mix to the butter. Stir until it's completely mixed together.

5) Add the chocolate chips and stir until all the chips are mixed in.

6) Drop small spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. At the 8 minute mark, turn off the oven and leave the cookies in there. In about two minutes' time, take out the cookies (this will allow the baking process to slow down but not stop completely).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bison Baked Ziti

I wanted to test out this pasta classic with bison instead of beef.

The results are quite tasty!

Ingredient list:

-16 ounces of ziti
-1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
-4-5 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and minced
-16 ounces of ground bison, defrosted
-2 15 ounce cans of tomato sauce
-Olive oil
-8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
-Dried parsley
-Dried basil
-Dried oregano
-Black pepper

1) Boil a large pot of water and add the ziti, stirring occasionally.

2) In a bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground bison, 1 tsp of parsley, 1/2 tsp of basil and 1/4 tsp of oregano. Add some freshly crushed black pepper (I would say I added 1/4 tsp ) and mix to combine all the ingredients.  

3) In a large pot, pour in enough olive oil to shallowly cover the bottom. Heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the onion and garlic. Stir and cook until the onions start to soften. Add the meat in batches and chop it up with the spoon you're using to cook the onions. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the two cans of tomato sauce. Stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

4) When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander. Then add the pasta to the meat sauce. Turn off the heat completely and stir to coat all the pasta in meat sauce.

5) Scoop half of the pasta into a 9x13 baking dish. Grate mozzarella over the pasta that's now in the baking dish. Try to cover the entire surface area. Repeat with the second half.

6) Bake at 300 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Product of the Week: Talenti Gelato

I've been really, really enjoying Talenti Gelato lately.

Whenever it's on sale in my area, I pick up at least two pints. It's usually $3.40 when it's on sale at my local stores.

Double Dark Chocolate is delicious. In addition to the one pictured, I've been trying other flavors.

The ones I've tried so far:

-Tahitian Vanilla Bean
-Mediterranean Mint
-Southern Butter Pecan
-Belgian Milk Chocolate
-Fudge Brownie
-Caribbean Coconut
-Coffee Chocolate Chip
-Alphonso Mango
-Roman Raspberry

Which ones have you tried? 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Butterscotch Chip Pecan Cookies

An easy version of butter pecan cookies.

Ingredient list:

-1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature.
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1/4 cup of brown sugar
-1.25 cups of all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp of baking soda
-1/4 tsp of salt
-1 egg
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-3/4 cup of butterscotch chips
-1/2 cup of chopped pecans

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the sugars and butter. Beat until it's smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until combined.

2) In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually add it to the butter mixture, beating in between additions.

3) Once the dry mix is all in, add the chips and pecans. Stir to combine.

4) The dough may be stiff enough to form in your hands. Take a tablespoon of dough and form it into a ball. Then press it into a thickish patty. I have found that this cookie dough won't expand in the oven, so it's best to form the shape you desire before you bake.

5) Bake for 8-9 minutes. At 8 minutes, turn off the oven and let it cool while inside the oven.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Homemade French Fries

I love French fries. They're one of my favorite foods. I decided to try my hand at making them at home.

Ingredient list:

-Russet potatoes
-Vegetable oil for frying

1) Peel the potatoes (as many as you want) and slice them into 1/4 sticks.

2) Rinse them in cold water. Then place them in a bowl of fresh cold water and refrigerate overnight.

3) The next day, take them out and drain off the water. Pat them dry on paper towels (if there is too much moisture on them, the oil will pitch up and possibly burn you).

4) Pour about 2 inches of cooking oil into a pot made for frying. You want to use a small pot if you can because it will allow you to use less oil.

5) Drop some fries in the hot oil (make sure it's hot before you fry them) and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Be sure to leave some space between each fry. You want them to develop a somewhat crispy texture, but not fully cook.

6) Line a tray or plate with several paper towels. Scoop out the fries and lay them flat on the paper towels to drain off some oil. Continue to fry until all the raw potatoes have gone through the first frying.

7) Set up a second tray or plate with several paper towels. Re-fry all the potatoes in batches, just like before. This time, they will achieve that golden color you want. Place them on the second tray to drain off some oil.

8) Sprinkle with salt before you serve them.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are the reason I am alive today.

Well, that's not exactly true. Chocolate is what sustains me. But fish tacos come in at a close second.

Ingredient list:

-2 Alaskan cod filets
-5 tablespoons of chipotle salsa
-1/2 tsp of ground cumin
-1 tsp of ground coriander
-Juice from 1/2 of a lime
-1/4 tsp of salt (I use sea salt)

1) Mix all the ingredients (except for the fish) in a bowl.

2) Place the fish in a container that comfortably fits the pieces and spoon the marinade over it. Make sure to cover all the pieces well and leave no bare spots. Refrigerate the covered container overnight.

3) When you're ready to bake, place each piece in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Serve on warm tortillas.

I topped these with pico de gallo and queso fresco.