Saturday, August 30

Pancake Mini-Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

I love pancakes. I find them to be just so satisfying and filling. My only issue is I usually have a craving for them, when I do not have time for a huge morning breakfast. I wanted to find a way to fix that, so I experimented with a few things and came up with this pancake mix+doughnut pan=pancake doughnut! The perfect bite size version of a pancake, easy to make, easy to eat, and easy to take with you.

Full time 40 (includes baking multiple batches and cooling time)
Makes 3 dozen doughnuts

The needs-

2 eggs
1 1/2 cup pancake mix
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp maple sugar (or plain sugar)
1 1/4 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

For Glaze:
1 cup confectionery sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup

The know-

Preheat oven to 375' and lightly coat a mini-doughnut pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients, mixing until well combined and even in texture.

Move batter into a pastry bag and fill wells 1/2 way. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can use a zip top bag.

Bake in oven 5-6 minutes or until even in color.

Allow to rest in pan 3-4 minutes.

Flip doughnuts out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before glazing.

To prepare glaze whisk together melted butter and maple syrup until well blended.

Whisk in confectionery sugar until smooth and even in texture.

Did doughnuts into glaze and try to cover evenly.

Let glaze rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Thursday, August 28

India Inspired Baked Saffron Halibut

Indian markets are full of beautiful herbs, spices, and all the colors of the culinary world. One of the most beautiful of these is saffron, a vibrant red/pinkish thread with amazing flavors. I love to let this beautiful flavor ding by pairing it with a mild white fish, allowing the saffron to steal the show!

Full time 35-40 minutes
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 lb. halibut fillets
1 tbsp water, boiling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp saffron

The know-

In a small heat resistant bowl combine saffron and water and let sit 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Make sure fillets are dry of excess moisture and lay flat on baking sheet.

Season with 1/2 the salt and pepper.

Drizzle half of this over fish.

Sprinkle 1/2 the salt and pepper over the fillets.

Place fish in oven and bake 10 minutes.

Whisk in all remaining ingredients, oil mixture, and saffron mixture together.

Once fish has baked 10 minutes, spoon saffron oil mixture evenly over fish.

Return fish to oven 10-15 minutes or until it easily flakes with a fork.

Carefully remove from baking sheet to serving platter, cheers!

Indian Saffron Mayonnaise

Saffron is one of the most expensive herb/spice in the market. However, if you have a local Asian market you can usually get it rather inexpensive.  Although, it is of a slightly lower quality, it still has all the flavor and color of the spice. Similar to buying store brand olive oil verse top self olive oil, you can make amazingly inspired dishes with saffron and not spend a whole lot. A great example is saffron mayonnaise, which is a beautiful sauce for fried vegetables such as zucchini or mushrooms. 

Full time 1 hour (includes rest time)
Makes 1/2 cup mayonnaise

The needs-

1/2 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing style)
1 tbsp water, boiling
1 tsp saffron (if high quality use 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

The know-

In a heat resistant bowl combine saffron and water. Let sit 10 minutes.

Whisk in garlic powder and pepper.

Whisk in mayonnaise, whisking until smooth and even in texture.

Adjust seasoning, adding salt only in needed.

Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Serve alongside fried vegetable, cheers!

Tuesday, August 26

Flavored Dill Oil Bread Dip

I love bread. To me there is nothing more satisfying than a nice slice of fresh bread. And favorite way to eat bread is dipped in a little flavored oil alongside a meal. Here is a great dill oil for bread dipping which goes perfectly with fish dishes!

Full time 20 minutes (includes resting time)
Makes 1 cup oil

The needs-

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

The know-

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients.

Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.

Give oil a quick stir and serve along side some crusty bread, cheers! 

Dill Roasted Fingering Potatoes

Roasted potatoes are one of my families favorites, so we eat them often. Occasionally I like to change or jazz them up a bit. This is a great and refreshing way to turn roasted potatoes from a side dish to a spotlight special!

Full time 40-45 minutes
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes, washed and dried
1 lemon (or 1 tbsp lemon juice)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 6 small ramekins in a baking sheet. You could do bake this in a medium baking dish as well.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, dill, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

Cut fingerling potatoes in half and toss into olive oil mixture.

Toss potatoes to completely cover.

Fill ramekins equally with potatoes.

Squeeze lemon lightly over each ramekin.

Carefully place ramekins in oven and bake 25-30 or until they are easily pierced with a fork.

Remove from oven and place ramekins on serving dishes, remember ramekins will be very hot to the touch.


Tuesday, August 19

Asian Carrot Salad

In several areas throughout Asia you can find fresh vegetable side dishes. These dishes are usually simple in execution but elaborate in flavor. Layering one flavor on top of the next to create a powerful combination.

Full time 40 minutes (includes marinating time)
Serves 3-4

The needs-

1 lb. shredded carrots
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 olive oil
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

In a large bowl whisk together everything except carrots.

Check for seasoning, you may need to add more salt.

Add in carrots and toss to completely coat.

Let stand 15 minutes at room temp and toss.

Let stand additional 15 minutes, you will notice the carrots absorb the liquid and actually sink down and tenderize.

This is similar to the concept of a quick pickle. Toss and check for seasoning, adjust if necessary.

Drain liquid from bowl, serve and cheers!

English Brownie Fudge Hand Pie

Hand pies are very common in England. Much like their larger namesake hand pies can range from savory to sweet. The  hand pie is often referred to as a pocket pie, a small pie which could traditionally have been placed in a pocket and eaten by hand later for lunch. Of course in more modern times, although these pies are no longer carried in your pocket, they are still perfect for lunches!

Full time 1 1/2 hours (includes cooling time)
Makes 12 pies

The needs-

2 eggs
Pie dough*
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*pie dough can be homemade, for store bought get 2 boxes/you will use 1 1/2 box, or use refrigerator biscuits and roll them flat.

The know-

Preheat oven to 350', cupcake pan with cooking spray.

Roll out pie crust and cut out 12 4-inch circles.

Gently press pie circles into each well of the cupcake pan and use a sharp knife to cut off any dough which is higher than the well.

In a small pot melt chocolate chips with milk over medium high heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.

Whisk sugar and vanilla into cooled chocolate.

Whisk in eggs, whisking until an even smooth texture is reached.

Carefully spoon mixture evenly into each well, making sure not to over fill, I try to fill 3/4 of the way up.

Bake in oven 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden, the center will appear soft but should not giggle if pan is lightly shaken.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5-10 minutes.

Carefully remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack 30 minutes before serving.


Sunday, August 17

Magic Morning Waffles

Looking for a little something extra to make your breakfast time sing? Or how about a great addition to any brunch? Here is the answer your looking for waffles. Thick, moist, and full of classic morning comfort, these waffles are the perfect blend of easy and satisfying taste.

Full time 40 minutes (really depends on your waffle iron)
Makes 4-6 waffles (easily multiples)

The needs-

2 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder, slightly heaping
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

The know-

Place milk and butter in a large microwave safe mixing bowl. Heat in microwave in increments of 30-45 seconds until butter appears 1/2 melted.

Remove from oven and gently whisk to finish melting butter.

Whisk in sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Whisk in 1/2 cup flour.

Whisk in eggs.

Whisk in remaining flour and whisk until a smooth even textured batter forms.

Let stand 4-5 minutes before using.

Place 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter into your waffle iron (depends on size) and cook 5-8 minutes or until lightly golden. My iron is 5 minutes even.

Carefully remove from iron and set on a serving plate and continue with remaining batter.

Serve and cheers!

Thursday, August 14

BAKE IT: Molasses Bread (Steakhouse style Brown Bread)

Molasses brown bread is a very popular bread often found in steakhouses. Occasionally mistaken for a similar named bread served often in Boston, Massachusetts. Molasses brown bread and brown bread are actually very different. Molasses bread has a nice soft but dense inside and a sweet finish to eat bite. Pairing this bread with warm whipped butter or honey butter is a definite treat for the taste buds.

Full time 5 hours
Makes 18 large dinner rolls

The needs-

3 large eggs
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup warm water, 110'-115'
1 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup butter ( if using salted eliminate salt from recipe)
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

For after baking:
2 tbsp butter, melted

The know-

In a large mixing bowl our 1/2 cup water and sprinkle yeast on the surface. Walk away and let bowl sit 10 minutes for yeast to activate. When you return yeast should be nice and foamy.

Whisk in eggs, molasses, butter, brown sugar, and salt. The butter will be slightly resistant to mixing and break into little bits, this is okay.

Add in wheat flour and whisk.

Add in 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup water and mix well to fully incorporate.

Add in 2 cups flour and remaining water and mix well to fully incorporate.

Add in 1 cup flour and knead to form a slightly stiff but malleable dough.

If dough is still sticky add in tiny amounts of remaining flour until no longer sticky.

Place a small amount of olive oil in a bowl and add in dough. Flip dough over to lightly oil both sides of dough.

Let dough rise for two hours covered by a kitchen towel.

Place any remaining flour on a table and turn dough out onto the floured surface.

Break dough into 18 pieces and roll in between palms to form uniform balls. Place balls onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

Allow to rise on baking sheet for 1 hour in a warm draft free place.

While this rises preheat oven to 375.

Bake rolls in heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Rolls should sound hallow when tapped lightly.

Remove from oven and brush tops of the rolls with melted butter.

Let cool on baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.

Pile rolls on cutting board or wire rack to cool for another 20 minutes before serving.


Thursday, August 7

Chocolate Scones

Chocolate scones are a wonderful spin on a classic scone. Soft and full in flavor, these scones are both a coffee house and tea room specialty.

Full time 1 hour (includes cooling)
Makes 8 large scones

The needs-

1 egg
2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, cold
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips or baking melts
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

For Topping-
2 tbsp half and half (or milk)
2 tbsp granulated sugar

The know-

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray or grease a baking sheet.

In a microwave safe bowl place chocolate and vanilla.

Microwave for 45 seconds and then stir well, it should be nice and fully melted. With a few minutes stirring it will become an even smooth texture. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make sure to break up and lumps of brown sugar.

Dice butter into small pieces.

Cut butter into flour mixture using pastry cutter, two forks, or my preferred method rubbing the two in between your palms. Until mixture has a nice crumbly texture.

Once chocolate is cooled to the touch, mix in egg and milk. It will take a tad bit of work for the chocolate to want to mix in, but after a few moments you will get a nice even mixture.

Make a well in the middle of the of the flour mixture and pour in the chocolate mixture.

Knead the two together, if it feels too sticky add a tiny bit of flour.

On a lightly floured surface turn dough out and pat it into a 8-9" round circle, which is roughly 1/3" thick.

Slice into 8 pieces using a sharp edged knife or pie cutter.

Move wedges onto your prepared baking sheet.

Lightly brush the top of each wedge with half and half.

Sprinkle sugar over the top of each wedge.

Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes, turning sheet around mid way through baking.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for a minutes.

Carefully move to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.