Category Archives: baking

We are spending the weekend in NJ, and there won’t be a fridge, so I made a couple things in preparation, just in case Marcy gets hungry and/or won’t eat what we have at our meals. Basically, I wanted something that didn’t need refrigeration (at least for the weekend) and that had some kind of substantial nutrition. ¬†First, were zucchini muffins, which I think were more for me in the case that I get hungry, too. ūüôā And then my friend sent me the recipes she uses to make homemade Lara bars for her child. I chose the pineapple (sunshine) version.

The muffins have the perfect sweetness, and could maybe even use a bit more, but it doesn’t matter, because they have the most excellent crumb (I think, because I added some whole wheat flour).

Zucchini muffins
(makes 12 large muffins)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and grated

Stir first 8 ingredients into large bowl. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined. Stir in zucchini and apples. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top.¬†Bake at 350¬į for 20-25 minutes.

Pineapple “sunshine” lara bars

  • 1 c. (160g) dried, unsweetened pineapple
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 1 c. (120g) cashews
  • 1/4 c. (20g) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • dash salt

Soak the dried fruit in warm water for 5-10 minutes.¬† Meanwhile, gather remaining ingredients and pour into a food processor.¬† Drain the fruit and add to the food processor.¬† Process for 30 ‚Äď 60 seconds or until the mixture sticks together when pinched with your fingers.¬† Pour into a loaf pan and press firmly into bars with a spatula.¬† Chill for 10 minutes and then cut into 6 bars.¬† Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.


*Found this post in my drafts, so it is about two months old!

I suddenly had a craving this week for cold cake with ice cream and berries. I used the poundcake recipe from my Moosewood book of desserts, and unfortunately, overcooked it just a bit.  But, it was still delicious!

Poundcake Loaf with Ice Cream and Berries

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, at room temperature
 1 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the loaf pan.

Cream the butter until light. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy. Add the ggs one at a time, beating welll after each addition. Add the vanilla, baking powder and salt and beat well. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing until well incorporated. Add the milk and beat until well blended, another minute or so.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Cool the pan on a rack before serving.


I came across this WholeFoods recipe on theKitchn and made it for a bunch of guys from our church group who came over for breakfast one morning. I wasn’t sure if it would taste all that great, since I’ve never used a recipe from WholeFoods, but how can you ever go wrong with gruyere? This was super easy, I was able to prepare the entire casserole the night before and just had to wake up and pop it in the oven of the morning of. Served this with some more morning glory muffins and fruit.

Mushroom, Tomato & Gruyere Breakfast Casserole (makes 8 servings)

  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 cup grated Gruy√®re cheese

Arrange English muffin halves in the bottom of a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish, cutting them to fit, if necessary; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and liquid is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon tomato mixture over the top of the English muffins, distributing it evenly; set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over tomato mixture, then sprinkle with basil. Cover and chill overnight.

Set dish aside at room temperature for 1 hour and preheat oven to 350¬įF. Sprinkle casserole with cheese and bake, uncovered, until puffed, cooked through and cheese is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.


Several months ago, I had my first morning glory muffin from Grey Dog. I had never even knew that such a thing existed, and ever since, haven’t been able to stop thinking about making my own. So, right before Memorial Day weekend, I made my first batch. This made a ton of muffins and gave us a good breakfast/snack for over a week.

Morning Glory Muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose¬†flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground¬†cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons¬†baking¬†soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in carrots, apple, pineapple, coconut, raisins and nuts.
  2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

I think these would be a hit if Nabisco came out with an Oreo version of these. I came across this recipe and immediately started drooling. Sadly, they did not taste as good as they sound. They’re not bad, I just thought the cookie would be more light and lemoney, and the filling more citrusey; overall a bit on the sweet and heavy side for my tastes. I must say, I did like them better on the second day, though.

Lemon Sandwich Cookies with Triple Citrus Filling

Makes 25 small cookies

For the cookies:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon orange juice
Pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350¬įF degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed or a food processor: beat butter, confectioners sugar, heavy cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt until combined, about 1 minute.

With mixer on low, add flour; dough will still be quite stiff.

At this point, you have two options:
A) If you want to roll out your dough and cut out shapes: turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or up to 2 days, if you like). Once dough is chilled, unwrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough about 1/8-inch thick and cut out using 1 1/2-inch rounds or your favorite cookie cutter. Place rounds on two lined baking sheets, allowing the cookies 1-inch space between one another.
B) If you are like me and too lazy to roll out dough and cut out shapes, use an ice cream scooper and drop rounded spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, allowing 1 inch space between one another. Pat spoonfuls down until about 1/8 inch thick and a circle shape (no chilling required, too!).

To make the filling, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar, lemon zest, grapefruit zest, orange juice, and salt, and beat for additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Bake until barely beginning to brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, place about 1 teaspoon triple citrus filling between two cookies, and press gently to spread filling out evenly. If kept airtight, cookies will remain fresh for 2 to 3 days.


Yum! A guaranteed satisfying meal. ūüôā I think next time I would skip putting a crust on the bottom since it just gets soggy, and perhaps I might try a recipe like this¬†with biscuits on top. That way, there’s more crispy, melt in your mouth pastry/bread to complement your chicken¬†and it’s a lot easier than having to roll out a pie crust.

Also, this recipe essentially has you make a roux, which I had always been too intimidated to attempt, but the recipe gives really easy step-by-step instructions — so it wasn’t scary at all!

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 pate brisee pie crust (makes a top and bottom)
  • 6 cups roasted, shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable¬†oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 small stalks celery, cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup¬†butter
  • 9 tablespoons all-purpose¬†flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, not thawed
Directions:
  1. Adjust oven rack to low-center position; heat oven to 400 degrees. If using whole rotisserie chickens, separate meat from skin and bones, and tear into bite-size pieces. Discard skin and bones. If using chicken thighs, place in slow cooker, cover with water and cook on high for 1.5 hours. Then, remove bones and cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery; saute until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl along with the chicken; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave chicken broth and milk in a microwave-safe bowl until steamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Heat butter over medium heat in the empty pan. When foaming subsides, whisk in flour and thyme; cook until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in hot milk mixture. Bring to simmer, then continue to simmer until sauce fully thickens, about1 minute. Turn off heat, stir in sherry or wine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir chicken mixture, parsley and the peas and carrots into the sauce. Divide mixture between two 9-inch deep-dish pie plates. Top each with pie dough, and flute crust by pinching with your fingers. Set on a baking sheet and bake until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. (Optional: Wrap second potpie in freezer wrap and freeze for a later meal. Remove wrapping, place potpie on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until golden and bubbly, about 1 hour.)

We had some more friends over for dinner and for a quick/easy, but satisfying meal I baked some soy garlic chicken. The sauce is super good (thanks to some butter) and is extra good poured over rice.

Soy Garlic Chicken

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, with skin
  • chopped scallions, to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a baking pan.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley. Cook 2 minutes on High in the microwave, or until butter is melted.
  3. Arrange chicken on the baking pan, and coat with the butter mixture.
  4. Bake chicken for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until juices run clear. Sprinkle with scallions to serve.