Category Archives: Bread

Wine Poached Figs

Wine Poached Figs in Prosciutto Pie Bowls

Figs! For my Eat Write Retreat Culinary Apps Challenge I received a box of California Figs in the mail and had to come up with an amazing appetizer featuring them. I have never  cooked with figs before, so this was actually really exciting for me. Since I have no notion of what to do with them, I can just go crazy, right? Right! Luckily there was a handy information packet included in the box with the figs. For example, I didn’t realize that they are known to be a part of a Mediterranean diet. This is quite useful, because I wanted to try to eat a more Mediterranean style diet for the next few weeks so I can learn how to cook fish. Now I have all these figs that I should try to incorporate into this plan! Also, just 3-5 figs give you 5 grams of dietary fiber, so that’s pretty awesome too!

 

Wine Poached Figs

When I think of appetizers, I always think of some sort of something on some sort of bowl or plate made of food. Real specific, I know. So for this challenge I decided to go with a bowl shape. In my research, I found lots of recipes with figs being wrapped in other ingredients, like prosciutto. I figured this is a good chance to change things up a bit and rolled prosciutto, Pecorino Romano cheese, and dried basil into a pie crust, and used that as a bowl. And it worked!  Bonus: the pie bowls can be made the day before!

Look! Prosciutto, cheese, and basil!

Look! Prosciutto, cheese, and basil!

The majority were shaped with the prosciutto facing up, because I was worried the cheese might stick to the pan. The four that faced down didn’t stick at all, and looked really cool. Next time I’ll definitely make them all like that.

bottom

See, these look just fine, and didn’t stick at all!

I wanted to make sure I kept the figgyness of the figs figgy. I like the texture of them and wanted to use other ingredients to enhance their flavor. I still felt the need to alter them in some way, so I poached them in white wine, honey, and a bit of orange juice. I used Pinot Grigio, and it was fantastic.

with wine

And then I obviously had a glass of wine too

With the shipment of figs I also received some tools from OXO. They really came in handy. Especially that measuring cup that twists up! It was perfect for measuring the honey and getting it to actually pour out of the cup. The cheese grater worked really well too!

Tray

And, to make this all even better, I made it for Mother’s Day so my parents were able to be my test dummies!

Ok, is it recipe time yet?

Wine Poached Figs in Prosciutto Pie Bowls
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Savory prosciutto pie bowls and a figs poached in a lightly sweet dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust, thawed
  • 1.5 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 6 dried figs, halved
  • 1 cup Spring Mix salad, loosely packed and ripped into smaller pieces
  • Optional Garnishes: grated Pecorino Romano, and orange zest
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450.
  2. In a small pan, cook prosciutto until it's lightly crispy, and remove to a paper towel lined bowl and let cool.
  3. Roll out pie dough, and evenly sprinkle cheese, basil, and ¾ of the prosicutto. Press into dough, then use a rolling pin to lightly roll ingredients into the dough.
  4. Cut into small circles, and shape to fit into mini-muffin pan cups. Lightly prick each with a fork.
  5. Bake 6-9 minutes, or until lightly browned. If made the day before, store in an airtight container.
  6. In a small saucepan, bring wine, honey, and orange juice to a simmer. Add halved figs, and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove figs, and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
  7. Toss salad with the remaining ¼ of prosciutto and 1 Tbsp of warm poaching liquid. Place leaves into pie bowls, and top each with a piece of fig. Garnish with orange zest and romano cheese.
White Wine Poached Figs
Orange Chocolate Scones

Orange Chocolate Scones with Orange Glaze

A friend of mine is visiting the area for a couple weeks, so yesterday we thought it would be fun to get out of Boston for a bit and head down to Providence. We ended up going to The Duck and Bunny, which is the worlds most adorable cafe. They call themselves “A snuggery” because it’s such a cozy place. We had fancy snacks like bacon wrapped dates, a ricotta spread, and Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea consisted of a sampling of finger sandwiches, scones, cupcakes, and of course tea. It was delightful. You should all go to this place.Orange Chocolate Scones

I have since been craving nothing but scones, and decided to revisit my favorite scone recipe from Joy of Baking and play around with it a bit. I had all those leftover mini-chocolate chips, so of course I used them. And I wanted to make one of my favorite flavor combos: orange and chocolate. And I wanted to put an orange glaze on them because being a baker at Panera ruined me forever and I now feel like scones must always have a glaze.

Orange Choco Scone

 

Now I think I might have some tea and get caught up on Downton Abbey!

 

Orange Chocolate Scones with Orange Glaze
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Chocolate and orange are combined in this light, fluffy, delicate scone.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into little pieces
  • ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup milk (more if necessary)
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend small pieces of butter into the mixture (with a pastry blender, two knives, or crumbling in your hands) until it resembles crumbs.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and orange zest. Add vanilla and milk, and stir until dough comes together. You may need to add more milk or flour.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead a few times, then shape dough into a circle about 1½" thick. Divide into 8 triangles, and arrange them on the baking sheet. Lightly brush with milk.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Let cool slightly, and while still warm spread glaze over the top so it can melt into the scones. Let cool until glaze hardens.
  7. To make the glaze:
  8. Whisk together confectioners sugar, zest, and orange juice (adding more if necessary) until it's pourable but not overly runny.

Orange Chocolate Scone

Cheesy Apple Pie Rolls

Cheesy Apple Pie Rolls

Is the title confusing? I don’t know how else to describe these! Any ideas, let me know! I thought I would try these out after seeing a picture on Pinterest of a piece of apple being rolled up in a crescent roll. It seemed like an easy enough thing to do, so why not try it out? For mine I added a bit of sharp cheddar cheese because I had some left over from my fancy Cheesy Rice recipe and because my dad claims that apple pie is best with cheese. So again, why not?

apples

It’s easy enough. I didn’t really measure things like cinnamon. Just a light dusting I suppose? My dad is Diabetic, so I didn’t add any sugar to these and they were still quite tasty, but I do think they would have been a tad better with extra sweetness, so go ahead an add a dash of sugar too if you want.

cheesepie

I only used a small bit of sharp cheddar cheese because I was unsure of it. The result? Next time I’ll definitely use more!

plus apple

Then I just put the apple on top and rolled it up!

apple cheese pie

 

Cheesy Apple Pie Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
 
Crescent rolls, an apple, cinnamon and some cheese are all you need to make these pie-like creations!
Ingredients
  • 1 container Crescent Rolls
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 8 small slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sliced apple pieces with cinnamon and sugar(optional), and set aside.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls, lightly sprinkle with cinnamon (optional). Place one piece of cheddar cheese at the wide end of the roll. Place an apple slice on top, and roll it up.
  4. Bake rolls at 350 for 11-13, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Best if served warm.

 

 

bread2

Irish Soda Bread

Update: I brought this home to my parents. They said it’s awesome, so I probably will make this again since it is so loved!

I’ve never made Irish Soda Bread before, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never eaten it before either, but I wanted to try it for the sake of fun.  I have nothing to base it off of so I decided to try out this recipe since it had a lot of good reviews. I did make some changes, which I will share with you.

bread2

This recipe was a little confusing to me. What’s with the caraway seeds? I looked into it, and it seems like most recipes for this bread contain the seeds, so why not keep it in mine too?  You can definitely taste them, and I can’t quite tell if I like it or not. Maybe caraway with raisins is an acquired taste? I also found that the dough seemed waaaaaay too wet. I ended up adding extra flour because it just didn’t look right. Who knows, maybe I miscounted when I was measuring the flour. I sure had difficulty trying to score the top of it since it was so wet. That’s why it’s obviously over-floured on the top…I just wanted to score it!! You can get the main recipe here, and I’ll tell you the changes I made below:

dough

My changes:

4 cups flour → 4.5 cups flour

3 cups raisins → 2 cups raisins

1 Tbsp caraway seeds → 2 tsp caraway seeds

65-75 minutes bake time → 60 minutes

 

 

 

 

bread

I think it came out pretty good. It might have been fine with a couple extra minutes of baking, and it seems dense but I don’t know if it should be or not. It does taste good, especially with some butter while it’s warm. Will I make this again? Probably, but I think I’ll try a different recipe or research it some more. Will it become a tradition? Probably not. But who knows? Maybe I’ll find myself making it for every St Patrick’s Day!

sliced

I might as well give you a look at a slice too!

open

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

Sometimes I think I should rename my blog something along the lines of  “Cheesy Bacon Laziness” because that’s totally how I roll. As you can tell, I was in the mood for bacon and cheese. Conveniently my cousin was having a potluck in her department at work so I was able to make a lot of Bacon Cheddar Biscuits, and then not be gross and eat them all by myself. Also, I work in the same building so I was able to have some of the potluck food since I contributed to it. (I may have eaten a lot of the chocolate ravioli…)

open

The other half was already eaten before I remembered to take pictures.

 

I was feeling super lazy, so I decided to just use Bisquick for these. Here is my method:

 

First you cook the bacon. Remove it to a paper towel lined plate when it’s cooked, and either crunch it up with your hands or chop it to make it into small pieces. I just did a whole package, and saved crumbled bacon pieces for another meal.

bacon

I think this is the prettiest picture in the whole world.

ingredients

 

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups Bisquick (or other similar mix)

~2 Tbsp chopped chives

~1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

~2/3 cup chopped/crumbled bacon

1 cup buttermilk (add more if necessary)

These measurements are mostly guesses, I didn’t actually measure anything other than the Bisquick and buttermilk…

 

 

raw

 

Drop in rounded spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake at 450° for 8-10 mins, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt about 4 Tbsp of butter.

 

 

 

 

Brush tops with butter while still warm, and sprinkle chives/garlic powder/salt/whatever makes you happy. Best if eaten warm!

baked

 

This recipe made about 14 biscuits.

 

bread

Beer Bread

This is one of the easiest and most delicious breads I have ever made, and as a former baker that’s certainly saying something. It has very few ingredients, and is really quick to make. And it’s fun! Because it’s made with beer! It goes really well with chili (which you’ll learn about tomorrow, and also contains beer), and probably with a lot of other meals as well.

sliced bread

The flavor isn’t super beer-y, but you do taste it. I don’t know if I’m explaining that very well, you’ll just have to make it and try it for yourself. I also have no idea what kind of beer would be best; I just used what was in my fridge. Play with the recipe, it’s fun!  I first thought of trying it when I found this recipe , and after reading the comments decided to try it with some of the suggestions that people made. And if you don’t feel like buying self-rising flour, you could easily make it yourself.

Check it:

recipe

This is how I write recipes

 

3 cups self-rising flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 (12oz) beer

1 Tbsp butter

 

 

 

mixing

 

Mix flour and sugar. Add beer and mix until everything is just combined.

 

 

 

 

proof

 

Pour into greased 9×5 pan. Let sit for 30 minutes, then pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350° for 40-55mins, or until lightly browned.

 

 

 

 

 

Let cool on wire rack about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool.

Slice and eat. Preferably with chili.

bread

 

 

 

 

 

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Curry Buns and Greek Buns

I’ve mentioned these before, in a post a long time ago, but I thought it would be nice to actually keep track of what goes into my version of this recipe and then share it with the world. I got the idea from a Cooks Country magazine about traditional recipes. The recipe in the magazine is for Beef and Cabbage Buns (Runsas), and when I made them exactly as the recipe said I was amazed at how incredibly delightful they are.

The dough is made with a little bit of sweetened condensed milk, so it has a very slight sweetness to it, and then you place a slice a cheese into the rolled out dough, put the filling on top, close it up, flip it over and bake it so that the cheese melts down into the meat and creates a cheesy, meaty, savory flavor that is complimented by the sweet dough encasing it.

Look at the melted cheese in the Curry Bun, so gooey and fantastic

Of course, being me, I had to play with the recipe. When I was in Japan, one of my favorite things to eat was curry bread, which is buns filled with dry curry seasoned meat and vegetables. I was eager to try it with this dough, and sure enough it worked! I still used the slice of cheese even though curry doesn’t traditionally have cheese in it, but it was still quite satisfying.

This time, I decided to make them again as a bribe to get my brother to visit me. He wanted to learn how to make them, so he made one batch by hand, and I made a batch with my stand mixer. For his, we tried using ground turkey, spinach, and a Mediterranean herb seasoned feta (from Trader Joe’s). Mine was curry. Both were amazing. You can use pretty much any combination of ingredients you want as a filling, just make sure it’s dry enough. We put the meat and spinach, for example, into paper towel lined bowls after they cooked to get some of the excess moisture out.

Try this out with any flavor you want! In the recipe I gave directions for both of the fillings my brother and I made. I highly suggest making two batches of the dough so you can try both of the fillings (or just making one batch of dough and halving the amounts in the fillings so you can try both). They are delicious! The recipe may seem stupidly long, but that’s only because I added both filling choices to it.

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Donut Muffins

That’s right. Donut muffins. Are the donuts in the shape of muffins, or are they muffins that taste like donuts? You know what, it doesn’t even matter. I’m just glad I found this recipe. In the past I have tried various donut recipes. One was for baked donuts, which ended up tasting and having the texture of bagels. Another was for deep fried donuts, which were quite delicious but still a little off-putting when you realize how much oil you’re eating later on. And then I found these.

These are fantastic. They are cakey donuts, like a plain donut, except they have flavor and are baked instead of fried. I didn’t mess with the recipe this time, but I’m getting ideas already for different flavors I can make with this. It’s incredibly easy, and only makes 12 donuts so I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed and thinking “oh crap, now I have to eat ALL of these?” like I did last time when I made a batch of about 30.  At least both times I had roommates to help :)

I won’t go into a whole spiel about how I created these and what was going through my mind, because I didn’t create the recipe and all I was thinking was how it’s a cold night and I wanted to bake something to make the house warm. Mission accomplished.

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Rosemary and Sage Peasant Bread

There’s this bread that I sometimes make, it’s ridiculously easy and versatile, and very quick. None of that waiting 12 hours crap. Plus you can mess with it all you like with a good chance of it resulting in genius. I first came across it through Sarah, who found it here. You don’t need to use all the equipment in that post though, I just use a bowl and wooden spoon.

Here it is with ham and cheese! A most delicious combination

We played with it and made many different versions, besides just the rosemary one. For example, we made it with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Fantastic! And we also made it in muffin tins and used it as sandwich bread. Trust me, it was awesome.

The thing about this bread, other than the different ways in which you can play with it, is the fact that you don’t have to knead it at all. Not even a little. All you have to do is stir the dough. I hate kneading, and I try to avoid it. This recipe was a godsend. I’m not even joking, all there is to do is stir. Don’t be deceived, these are not biscuits! It does take some patience since it is a yeast dough, but when it’s done it has a much sturdier and more satisfying bite to it than most biscuits.

Another thing that scares people off the bread making train is the use of yeast. Yes, there is yeast in this one. Here’s the thing, it’s recommended that the water you use is between 100-110 degrees (it even says it on the packets or jar). One way to go about this is to do what I do and use a little thermometer. You could also just try using water that feels warm but not painfully hot to touch. Or you can cheat and use fast rise yeast. I’m pretty sure that type has you just add it straight to the flour and not worry about dissolving it. There are many things to try, but don’t be scared. Adding the sugar the way this recipe tells you to is a huge help in making the yeast dance. And you’ll know it’s working if the yeast gets kind of foamy. Just give it a few minutes and don’t freak out.

The reason I chose both rosemary and sage for this version of the bread is simply because I have come to the conclusion that these two herbs are glorious together. Also, I have an abundance of them in my garden. Adding them into this dough makes the bread savory with a flavor all on its own, but not so overpowering that you can’t eat it with other food, such as in a sandwich or with soup. Enjoy it as is, or eat it with other food. Either way I promise deliciousness.

Ham and Cheese, Eggplant, Chili

I chose to make this bread last week (I was lazy in posting this) because I was thinking of all the great herb breads I can make when I get my bread machine in a week (which I now have and have used at least 4 times and love it!), and then I remembered that I know this classic recipe that I can use to tide me over until then. And so bread was made.

This time I made it into little sandwiches, but sometimes I make this recipe into loaves. For your culinary enjoyment I made sure to include instructions for both ways.

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Simple Mozzarella-Steak Pinwheel

Using pizza dough the way it’s used in this recipe is a very simple, yet very impressive, technique. It’s the most basic stuffed bread, but when your guests have a piece they’ll think you spent forever making it because it is just that awesome.

Once again my parents had their friends over and I agreed to make a few snacks for them. These are good opportunities for me to practice cooking since I can pick whatever I want to make and then have them pay for the ingredients! I have made pinwheels before; I used a recipe out of one of Giada’s cookbooks and have since altered it a little. Her recipe had the bread stuffed with mozzarella, spinach, and prosciutto. I made it that way, and it was fantastic. When I made it again this time, I took out the prosciutto since my mom’s friend is a vegetarian. And it was still fantastic.

But then I was thinking, what about everyone else? Surely they would like a stuffed bread with meat in it too (mostly I was thinking of me). So I decided to make an entirely different recipe, using steak. And what goes with steak and bread better than pepper, onions, mushrooms, and cheese? That’s right, nothing. And so this recipe was born. And then devoured.

Seriously, it was delicious. And so easy to make. Especially if you just buy the pizza dough like I do. You can make it from scratch, but the would negate the point of this recipe being quick and easy. It’s also very versatile, so it’s easy to substitute whatever you want. But you’ll want to try this one, trust me.

Remember, the thinner the cut of steak you can buy, the better it will roll in the bread! So try your best, ok?
Also, props to Mark for seasoning the steak and helping me make this.

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