Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Coffee Cake

It doesn't make any sense to me when foods are named according to ingredients they don't contain.  Like coffee cake.  I suppose you are supposed to eat it with coffee, but if it doesn't have coffee in it, it shouldn't be called coffee cake.  It's so misleading.

I've been craving chocolate cake lately.  I was going to make a Chocolate - Guinness Cake, but then I decided to use coffee instead of Guinness. So I made a small pot of coffee, used 1 cup of it in the cake, and used the remaining scant 1/2 cup to make the icing.

Chocolate - Coffee Cake
2 1/8 c flour
2 c white sugar
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c veg oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 c coffee
3 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients in a mixer on low speed, and whisk together the wet ingredients in a 2c glass measuring cup.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.  Grease and flour two 8.5 inch round cake pans.  Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 40 minutes at 350.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks.  When they are cool, cover the top of one with glaze, sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips, add the second cake, and then add the rest of the glaze on top.  

Chocolate -Coffee - Cream Cheese Glaze
1/2 c coffee
2 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp brown sugar
confectioners sugar

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Arugula Rolls Take 2

I guess I've been neglecting this blog.  Sadly, kitchen experiments have fallen by the wayside in favor of my newer hobby, photography.  I'm having my first show this coming Friday, and I'm super excited.  I've been pretty busy getting ready for it though!

Staying busy with photography doesn't mean I haven't been cooking, it just means I haven't found the time to document everything I've made.  Tonight was a whirlwind in the kitchen, as I'm looking ahead to a busy and disorganized week, and have no idea when I will have time to cook again before next Sunday.  I made crock pot pulled pork, tuna salad, baked chicken thighs, carrot soup, and arugula rolls.

Arugula Rolls Take 2

red wine
bread dough

preheat oven to 450

For the bread dough: Combine 2 tsp yeast, garlic powder, ginger powder, a dash of salt, 1 tsp sugar, 6 oz hot water, and a bit of olive oil.  Add 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.  Knead in white flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Cover and let rise for 30+ minutes.  Punch down dough, add a bit more flour if necessary.  Roll out the dough into a large rectangle.  

For the filling: Chop some garlic, 1/4 of an onion, and a few strips of bacon (chopped), and cook til browned.  Add chopped mushrooms and kale.  When the mushrooms are almost done, add some red wine.  Let it cook for awhile, then spoon out the wine.  

Construct the roll: Spread shredded cheese and arugula on the rolled-out bread dough.  Add the cooked ingredients on top, sprinkle on some more cheese.  Roll up the dough.  Spread some cornmeal on a baking and lay the roll on the cornmeal. Sprinkle some cheese on top.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Pumpkin Saga continues...

The Kale
(steamed with garlic and ginger)

The Pork Chop
(cooked in pumpkin cider, sage, and ginger)

The Linguine
(tossed with a pumpkin/apple cider/sage/ginger cream sauce)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Ravioli

It's been awhile since I made pasta from scratch!  But I've been wanting to make pumpkin ravioli and I had some time this evening (for once I wasn't too hungry to wait for dinner to cook), so I made them.

Pasta Dough
1 egg
1/4 c wheat flour
3/4 c + white flour
2 tbsp olive oil
garlic powder
ginger powder

big scoop of pumpkin
big handful of shredded colby jack cheese

Pumpkin Ravioli, 
with a Pumpkin Cream Sauce*, 
on a bed of Kale, 
with some Pumpkin Chicken** on the side.

And don't forget the Pumpkin Porter!

*Pumpkin, Heavy Cream, Sage, Ginger
**Boiled in pumpkin and Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Beer

Yes, I love pumpkin!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Avobroc Dip

3/4 c chopped broccoli
1 avocado
1 tbsp ranch dressing

Throw everything in a food processor and blend til smooth.

Good with chips or your favorite crackers.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Meaty Pumpkin Lasagna

1 cup pumpkin
c. 15 oz tomato sauce

1 cup water
16.5 oz alfredo sauce
2 eggs
garlic powder
large handful of shredded cheese

Cook 1 lb ground beef in the sauce & pumpkin.

1) cover the bottom of a baking dish with the white sauce mixture
2) lay down 3 ready-bake lasagna noodles
3) cover with the meat mixture
4) pour a layer of white sauce
5) lay down 3 more noodles
6) cover with meat mixture
7) lay down 3 more noodles
8) pour the remaining white sauce mixture on top
9) sprinkle with cheese

Cover with a double layer of foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pesto Avocado Pasta

Slather some chicken thighs with mustard and pesto.  Make sure to get some underneath the skin too!  
Bake at 425 for 50 minutes. 

Mix up some olive oil, pesto, and half an avocado.
Toss it with some angel hair pasta.

Saute some garlic in olive oil, then add bok choy and steam til done.

Eat up. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Beef & Broccoli, yet again

I've made this several times before, it's different every time.  (Like just about everything else I make!)  The other versions can be found on the "Meat" page of this blog.

Put a pot of water on to boil for pasta.  Chop 1/4 onion and begin browning it in some olive oil.  Chop 3 cloves of garlic and roughly a tbsp of fresh ginger and add them.  Add some garlic powder, ginger powder, and about 1/2 c of veggie stock. Chop up a pound or so of steak and add it to the pot along with some more veggie stock, a bit of beer, and some soy sauce.  Cover and let cook for awhile.  When the pasta water boils, add some salt, olive oil, and a large handful of linguini, broken in half.  Steam a bunch of baby broccoli, then chop it into bite-sized pieces.  When the beef is cooked, add about 1/3 c of crunchy peanut butter.  Sitr well, let cook until it has thickened enough not to be watery when mixed with the pasta and broccoli.  Combine everything in a large bowl and toss til evenly mixed.

This dish turned out to be just the right stickiness to make it possible to eat the pasta with chopsticks.  Hooray!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rye-Pumpkin Truffles

And by Rye, I mean Rye Whiskey.  

So last Friday night I was killing time and had the bright idea to put some Smooth Ambler Old Scout Rye Whiskey in some truffles.  I hadn't made any truffles in awhile, and I had been craving them.  I figured all the alcohol would cook out and I would be left with some delicious whiskey-tasting truffles.  

I combined 1/2 cup of the whiskey with a giant spoonful of pumpkin and 3.5 oz of 60% dark chocolate.  I cooked it for awhile in a small saucepan, poured the mixture into a glass measuring cup, and stuck it in the 
fridge to cool.  I didn't get around to taking it out of the fridge until this evening.  

The ganache was super soft, but I formed it into rough balls, laid them on wax paper, and stuck them in the freezer to harden.  I got a little taste from the ganache clinging to the sides of the cup, and it was super delicious.  

While the ganache was hardening in the freezer, I melted 3.5 oz of 72% dark chocolate.  Then I dropped the ganache balls in one at a time, turned them til coated, and dropped them on a new sheet of wax paper.  I had to make the coated truffles in batches because the ganache got soft pretty quick and it would melt into the cup of coating chocolate if it wasn't hard enough.  I ended up needing to melt a second 3.5 oz of the 72% to coat all of the truffles.  (although that left me with quite a bit of leftover coating at the end)

Once the first batch of truffles was hardened, I had a taste-test.  At first, it was super delicious.  Chocolate and whiskey, yum.  But then...I was slammed with a big, overpowering alcohol-ness.  Apparently, the alcohol DID NOT cook out of the ganache.  Apparently, it was condensed instead.  Wow that was strong.  These truffles are not for children.  Unfortunately, the taste of alcohol is so potent, the truffles aren't actually as epic-ly delicious as I had hoped.  They don't taste like whiskey, they taste like alcohol.  I guess I should have cooked the ganache longer...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tomato Sauce

A friend gave me some tomatoes from her garden last week.  I was going to make tomato soup, but when I got to the point where it was time to add the heavy cream, I discovered that I didn't have any.  So I turned it into tomato sauce instead.  It came out pretty tasty.  I didn't end up eating it until several days after I made it, and I wasn't smart enough to write down what I did at the time, so I'll have to guess for you.

5-6 small tomatoes
1 1/2 carrots
1/4 small onion
4 cloves garlic
fresh basil

I made Xs with a knife in the bottom of each tomato, then dropped them in boiling water for 30 sec or so. Then I removed them and the skins peeled right off.  I chopped the onion and garlic and browned them in some olive oil in a dutch oven.  While they were browning, I grated the carrots into the pot.  I chopped the tomatoes and added them.  I let it cook for awhile, stirring occasionally.  I added some fresh basil at some point.  I let it cook down for a bit, and then I removed it from the heat and used an immersion blender to blend it into a tomato-sauce consistency.  

Last night I made some pasta with artichokes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and some leftover chicken tenders.  I tossed it with the homemade tomato sauce.  Super yummy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries

I had some chicken to make into baked tenders this evening, and I decided to have sweet potato fries with them.  However, they bake at different temperatures, so instead of trying to figure out how to sync them, I decided to fry the fries on the stove.

I poured an inch or so of vegetable oil into a dutch oven and heated it up.  Meanwhile, I chopped up 1/2 a sweet potato into thin shoestring fries. I coated the fries with just a bit of olive oil and rolled them in breadcrumbs.  Once the oil was hot, I dropped in all the fries and let them fry for roughly 10 minutes.  Because that's how much time the chicken tenders had left in the oven.  The fries seemed a bit limp when I took them out and laid them on paper towels, but they actually crisped up nicely when they dried.  And they were delicious.  Surely not quite as healthy as the baked variety, but that's ok with me for something tasty!

Dinner is complete.  With ketchup, ranch, and honey mustard.  Gotta have options!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stout Stroganoff

I've made Beef Stroganoff with red wine before, I've never made it with beer.  My plan this evening was to make it with Guinness, but then I discovered that I was out of Guinness.  I did have a Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout though.  So I went with that.  1 cup of the beer went into the pasta pot along with 1 jar of beef gravy, one can of mushroom soup, and 2 cups of water, the rest went into a skillet with the stew beef with some garlic powder.  In a separate skillet, I cooked 1/4 of an onion, 2 carrots, and 4 stalks of celery.  When the beef was about done, I added the veggies.  When the pasta pot started boiling, I added egg noodles and cooked them for about 10 min.  When they were almost done, I added 5 mushrooms to the beef and veggies.  When the pasta was done, I added the solid contents of the skillet.  I added a tbsp of cornstarch to the remaining liquid and cooked it til thick, then added the gravy to the pot with everything else.

It turned out to be a pretty good stroganoff.  The beer made it a little bit bitter though.  Funny how I never notice the bitterness of the beer when I drink it, but it definitely came out in the food.

On a side note, blogger doesn't recognize "stroganoff" as a word, and wants me to change it to "strongman."